Tuesday, April 12, 2016

#AtoZChallenge, Just Show Up!

So much of creativity is really all about just showing up. You don't have to know what you're going to do once you get there, but you do need to get there: to your desk, your studio, your kitchen table. No big deal.

But just in case you do think it's such a big deal you'd rather clean your base-boards and check all your clothes for loose buttons rather than face your journal, here are my favorite tips for showing up with a free and easy attitude:

  • Assemble what you need ahead of time. Give yourself as long as you need to find and collect collage and other papers, paints, pencils, stickers, etc. Set up a small but usable work-space that makes you want to go there to play.
  • Having everything in place, including hand-wipes and other clean-up materials will help keep you in place without constantly having to get up and find yet another missing piece.
  • Start a weekly or daily habit of going through magazines in search of images and word-prompts. Collating images when you don't have the energy or will to write or draw in your journal is a strong part of the process and will help ease you into a creative frame of mind.
  • If the idea of an actual real-life journal is too intimidating at first, take time to play with the basics: some newsprint or old printed-out pages (back or front) from your printer you no longer need, and crayons or felt-tip markers. Just scribble, doodle, have fun and toss if you don't want to keep any of it.
  • Another alternative to a journal is to start out with one of the thousands of adult coloring books currently available. Color in the designs then add your own words or other embellishments later on.
  • Buy a "how-to" book on collage, art journaling, or other technique and follow along with the lessons. Choose one day a week to make your "class time" and don't be late!
  • Sit down at your workspace and set a timer. It's amazing what you can achieve in 15-20 minutes. (I bet you stay long after the bell has rung!)
  • Join or start an art journal group. There's nothing more motivating, or fun, than group creativity at a set time and a set place.

Tip of the Day: If you find that even after trying these methods you're still resisting showing up to work in your art journal, you might want to find out what's really stopping you. Dialogue with yourself, or perhaps with your journal. Ask what's going on. I know that when I first started out with art I could find dozens of other things to do other than finally sitting down to work. Looking back into my past, way back, I realized it all stemmed from kindergarten (seriously!) and being afraid of getting paint on my dress. I was terrified of that dripping paintbrush. Now I wear jeans and fling that paint like there's no tomorrow! (And if there is, I'll see you there with the letter K!)


JEN Garrett said...

There is so much truth to the showing up thing.
The awesome part of journaling is that there are so many ways to do it. In my opinion, keeping a blog is kind of like a public journal... except you actually want your brother to read it! :)

Valerie Storey said...

LOL! Great point, Jen. Thanks for visiting!

Sue said...

I'm liking these ideas, and wonder about doing an art journal in women's group. Probably have to do it at someone's house though.