Alternatives to a Creative Challenge

So what do you do if you want to add some creativity in your life but you don't want to commit to a full blown creative challenge yet? Something like a Lite Creative Challenge.

One option is to take art classes for adults from the local community center, park district or community college. I took a ceramics class from the local park district when my children were very young because I needed something creative in my life. I needed something that I could start and finish and mentally dive into. Instinctually, I knew I needed to replenish myself. I had never taken an art class before, not even in high school. I thought I was not creative because I could not draw. Now, I know creativity comes in many forms from cooking interesting meals, taking photos based on content that inspires you, sInging in a choir, or decorating your home, etc. Being creative just means doing something in your unique way. Every time you do something the way you want to, as opposed to imitating what someone else did, that is creativity. Yes, when you first start much of your work will be imitative.  It is like starting with training wheels. But you still bring something of yourself to each project. This is why it is called self-expression.

I realized quite quickly that ceramics was not the thing for me. However, I had no regrets having taken the ceramics class because even though I wasn't crazy excited about ceramics, it was still better than the alternative of doing nothing. Having a scheduled class time and a specific project to work on was the beginning of a creative habit.

There are so many options for classes. You could take classes on painting, watercolors, or photography, collage, etc. Other options: knitting or crocheting classes from your local yarn shop, or quilting classes from your local quilt store. Even the big box stores like Joanne’s and Michael's offer classes based on different types of activities. You could look online and see what sparks your interest.

This is like the Beginner 101 Creativity Class for figuring out what you might like to pursue.

If even this step of taking classes is too much for you at this point, consider a trip to your local library. Find the arts section in the non-fiction stacks and walk through looking at the spines of the books. Do not filter your thoughts. Find books that looks interesting. Maybe it's on mid-century modern furniture. Maybe it is on Navajo woven rugs. Grab it. Pick about 10 books that look interesting to you and find your way to a table in the library. Take an hour to peruse these books and write down what you think appeals to you in these books. You could be like a detective figuring out what it is that attracted you to these books.  

Day 280 of 2016. Fall Prairie series. Example of my artistic style with colors and design based on nature.  I have included yellow and purple for the flowers, browns for the dried grasses, and blue for the sky and white for the clouds with a complicated design of smaller pieces of fabric to reflect the variety of colors I see in the prairie.

I have checked out every quilt book in two local libraries. This is how I learned to quilt initially, just from books in the library and directions on quilt construction from an online quilting site in 1998. In a way, I attribute my artistic style to being someone who likes to figure out stuff in my own way and following my own path.  The path may be longer and more circuitous but it helped me define my artistic style.

So what do you do with the books you really find interesting?  Bring them home. Treat yourself with the time to read them and think about what inspires you and what seems like the natural next step. Buy art supplies and just spend time making art, signing up for a class, looking for online class instructors, etc.  If you are interested enough in following your interests, you will find a way to make the next step happen. If nothing grabs you enough to keep going, then keep looking for the thing that holds you attention.

These are two relatively easy things that you can do to add more creativity into your life. I have personally done both of these activities and they started me on my path to finding fulfilling creative activity in my life. 

On a side note, I am on our local Fine Arts Commission and as a member I am part of our annual Public Art Program where we select artwork to be displayed in our public buildings for one year. We hosted a Meet the Artist event in September and three of the artists said they started by taking an adult art class when their children were older and they had more free time. One is a sculptor. Two are watercolorists. These three artists had their artwork selected for the past three years in our community. If they had never taken that first class, they would not be where they are today. 

You may not know where you want to go with your creativity. You just need to take one step at a time. Here are two activities that you could help you start today. 
  • Sign up for an art class. 
  • Visit your library art book section. 

Looking for some new music to listen to? I have made music playlists based on the theme of the series. You can easily access these from my website. Click HERE for the link.  The Spotify playlists are embedded in my website and you just need to click play and then enter your Spotify info to continue.  Not on Spotify yet? Why not? It is free with minimal commercials or commercial free for a small monthly fee.  I am not affiliated with them but just a big fan.

I just added the Blue Square playlist .  Click HERE to listen.