Forcing Artistic Endeavors...

8:11 AM

...seldom works well for me.

In a very recent (as in yesterday) conversation with an art friend, we were discussing our lack of motivation to create art at this insanely busy time of year.

I'm not even sure I would call it a lack of motivation. I think it's more of a redirection of time, talent and interest and it's deadline driven.

You see, it's not that I haven't been creating. I have, I have! Just not in my journal.

Very quick sketch of my new door tree
on hot press watercolor paper
I recently purchased two new "trees" to go on either side of our front doors. I had a ball decorating them with all kinds of red and bright, acid green trims. I have also redone the wreaths that go on the doors as well.

However, when I tried to paint them....well, let's just say it became "forced fun" and it didn't go so well. It was damp outside and I had a running litany of all the things on my gotta-get'er-done list as I attempted to sketch the trees. I rushed the painting and it was taking forever for the paint to dry because of the dampness.

The result...not my finest piece of work. Do I wish it were better? Of course.

Do I wish it enough to s...l.....o.......w down enough to do a better job? Not at the moment.

Does that mean I'm slacking? Hmmm, maybe. Maybe not.

Let's take a look at the definition of creativity. Does it apply to just creating art or does it also apply to decorating the mantel, making (and decorating) adorable, delicious cookies, sewing cute stockings to be hung by the chimney with care, and wrapping each present with extra attention?

For me, it is all of the above. Well, except for the cookies. I do cakes rather than cookies.

I also find that I have ideas hitting me rapid fire—so rapid that it's hard to keep up with all those really fabulous ideas that I want to act on if I just had the time.

This is where my journal really starts coming in handy. Instead of just creating art, I capture ideas. 

When I want to remember that cool snowman I saw, but instead of a red top hat, I have the idea of adding a long scarf with a blue sky cap so it would look like my cousin when he arrives for the holiday gathering, I put it in my journal!

How about that really cute holiday display I saw down in the town square that made me think about the small village I have packed away that I could use to recreate the scene on your mantel? I can sketch out a quick idea in my journal!

Sometimes, it's just words that inspire, like an idea for a greeting card or a gift tag, maybe even a gift. I write it down!

Maybe it a gorgeous play of reds and oranges with a mix of acid green that looks so stunning that I want to remember it for next year's decorating. I. Write. It. Down!

Using our journals creatively to help us capture thoughts and ideas rather than stressing over whether we're filling enough pages or the art is good enough is the true beauty of keeping a journal.
The Finished Page with a little bit
of ink to help add definition

If you don't want to use your regular journal, create an idea journal and carry everywhere so that you can capture those wisps of inspiration when then happen to float by!

The idea here is to make our journals and sketchbooks work for us so that we can recognize all the fun ways we're using our creativity as well as to capture all the ideas that we have when we don't have the time to act on them.

Try keeping a creativity list and write down all the ways you've been using your talent and creative/artistic skills. You'll be amazed at how quickly the pages start to fill up when you start thinking about the various activities that require creative thought!

How are you using your journal this holiday season—are you creating art or capturing ideas?

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