As much as I love the idea of being creative every day (and participating in that official challenge), I confess that I often feel guilty making opportunities to do so. Part of the problem is that I forget who I am -- an artist, created creative like my Creator. I don't make a living off of any of my creative endeavours, but I have the Spirit of the Creator in me -- therefore all that He is, I am (when I allow Him to live His life through me).
I stumbled upon a new-to-me blog last night which reminded me of my creative roots: Emily Freeman's Chatting at the Sky. (I also discovered that she is the sister of The Nester, one of the creative bloggers I've long found inspirational!) In her post "5 ways to know if the art has to wait," Emily challenges us:
"Consider the beginning. If you pick up the Bible and start on page one, the first thing we see God do is to create. It was priority number one. It was not an afterthought. He had a purpose and a vision, and he made it come to be. If you tend to see creating art as a luxury, or if you feel guilty about your creative self, I want to urge you to reconsider. You were made in the image of Someone who places a high priority on creativity. To deny that part of yourself is insulting."
Isn't that just the cursed one telling me I "don't have time" -- or that creativity should be low on my list of priorities?!?!?!? It's the first thing God's Word expounds upon -- so it must be far more important than I allow it to be. Perhaps that explains my frustration in not making time for creativity. I feel guilty for wanting to do something I want to do, and guilty for feeling frustrated about it -- but perhaps the serpent is camouflaging the Spirit's urging to let His creativity flow through me -- freely and frequently!
The other problem is that I often neglect to recognize opportunities in my day-to-day life to be creative. Emily addresses this common difficulty, too:
"Find the art in the living. . . . [I]f you insist on compartmentalizing your art from your living, you may never find the time to pursue it. The more I see myself as an artist, the more my art spills over into my life. I begin to see meal prep as an outlet for my creative side. I use my writing as a gift by sending a long note to a friend instead of jotting a quick thank you out of obligation. If you can’t find art in your living, keep looking. I promise it’s there."
The art in the living -- that's it! That's what I need to do -- how about you?
So, what I thought I would do today is just brainstorm a number of ways to be creative in our everyday life without having to take "time out" to be creative (though of course we're not saying that's a bad thing! :). Here are just a few ideas:
- Snap a few photos of ordinary life, considering composition as you click. The food left on your plate -- or on your child's face, the tree branch outside your kitchen window, the pile of laundry on your bed -- just look at it through the lens of a camera for a few seconds and see if you can't capture an interesting image.
- Shape the pancake batter into letters or fun pictures as you pour it instead of simply making round pancakes.
- "Shop the house" for an interesting item to use to decorate the family meal table for dinner and stage it as the focal point of the table setting.
- Notice something out of place in your home and instead of being annoyed by it, make up a creative little scenario in your head about how it got that way. (If you jot things like this down, perhaps they'll grow into short stories one day!)
- Try a new recipe for dinner, or add a new twist to an old favourite.
- Keep a blank notebook by the phone -- not for messages, but for doodles while you're talking. If you keep a collection of coloured pens or pencils handy, too, you might be pleasantly surprised by the things you create while you're not even trying.
- While on "hold" on the phone, practise writing your name in new and creative ways. Perhaps you'll stumble upon a new signature for yourself. (Just remember to update your bank's records. Ask me how I know;)
- Make up limericks with your children as you shuttle them to and fro in the car.
- While driving somewhere, challenge your family to a sing-a-thon in which you compete to see who can come up with (and sing the relevant lines of) a song that has a specific word in it. (I have fond memories of this activity -- DH and I spent hours on our honeymoon playing this game as we drove from destination to destination. He always won ;)
- Slip a note into a loved one's lunch. Decorate it with a cute doodle.
- The next time you're forced to listen to an annoying, repetetive sound, see if you can "hear" words in it. (For example, if you ever have to undergo an MRI, listen to the knocking sounds and see if any "words" emerge. Or listen to the ticking of a clock . . .)
- Play a game with your children -- but make up new rules.
- Rearrange the furniture in a room or the contents of a cupboard to make things more functional or attractive.
- If you're posting on facebook or twitter anyway, try using as many alliterative words (i.e. words that begin with the same consonant sound) as you can.
- Leave someone a special message -- somewhere unusual. (DD13 recently came home and told how she and a friend had put post-it notes all over a public bathroom mirror with messages like "You're awesome!" and "You're beautiful just the way you are!" I'll bet some girl really needed to read that!)
- Make up your own "happy dance."
- Do something different with your hair or make-up.
- Find as many left-overs from the fridge as you can and create something new.