It is not uncommon in artistic circles to use prompts to get creative juices flowing. Quilting bees issue monthly challenges to innovate familiar blocks. Writers share a verb and see what words appear on the page. Mica and Noah Scalin lead 30 day Creative Sprints on the internet and results are shared online by many participants.
I belong to two local creative circles that use monthly prompts. When I am pressed by the studio work schedule, I can resent these commitments. I do not fail to use the prompts, but I do alter my approach to them. I have set time limits on the exploration of the theme. I have prepared in advance a design format to use for an entire year. This month, I put the two prompts together for one project.
Blue and tangle inspired a mosaic of fused cotton fabric on felt, which was stitched together by a tangle of lines of variegated thread.
Several days later, I cut the work into measured squares and free-cut triangles and rectangles. The free-cut pieces are stitched together and sandwiched between two layers of construction mesh. I like where this is going, but I do not where that is!
Do you use prompts to ignite your creativity? Do you let play inform your work?
I use different scissors for different tasks in the studio just as I use a variety of knives in the kitchen. Practice informs me which tool works best for a particular task. Experimentation increases the scope of usefulness for each tool I own.
Recently, I have begun to regard my screen images as tools. This set of little suns was designed for a custom project. Before I use it for its intended purpose, I want to know more about how it works when repeated, when worked in multiple colors, when overlapped or spaced irregularly on the background.
A morning’s play with screen and paint introduced the potential of this simple design; I think I would like it in multiple sizes.
I married a man with a cat last fall. Sweetie the cat, adopted when his daughter moved, is the empress of the domain. ( and I am fine with that because she never enters my studio.).
The persnickety puss loves moving water. She has an endearing meow which I interpret as, “Get that faucet turned on now. I am languishing.” She prefers that her human serve her, immediately. This is a well established pattern for both cat and man.
I turned on the faucet today. The slow head turn, the inaudible sigh, the unmistakable disdain. She’s all cat, but she still pussy-footed her way to the water.
The Creative Sprint task for today: do someone else’s role.
Today marks the 2/3 point of CreativeSprint. I agreed to try this practice because my assertive younger sister told me I needed to loosen up about sharing work that is either incomplete or just nor very good. Ouch. It does take the magic out of the practice of art. It also makes me more aware of the mystery.
Today’s task is to make a pie chart or a Venn diagram. What happens when the gray-haired girl and the red-haired sister get creative together (as we often do)? The light and the heat show up! Fire!
The best part of today’s activity was discovering that the daily inspirational quotation was from my sister Beth Nyland! Here are her words: “Through daily practice, I strengthened my creative muscles. And those muscles have memory. Now I’m quicker to think of solutions to problems, new angles on writing projects, even suggestions for my children when they’re bored. I’m seldom “stuck” or at a loss for ideas. “
I carry a fabric tag inside my purse that reminds me to be BOLD.
It is the half way point in CreativeSprint, and I am bending the task to suit me. Instead of carrying something I have made and documenting locations, I am bringing BOLD back to the studio in a little frame. Thanks to Another Limited Rebellion for the encourage to practice creativity with discipline.
I started a poetry MOOC yesterday. One of the presenters talked about her technique of collecting words she encountered through her day. When she was ready to write, she intuitively combined different parts of her collection and found pleasing rhythm and observation. Today I cross trained my poetry lesson into CreativeSprint: collection and juxtaposition.