Saturday, July 19, 2008

100 Ways to Live a Creative Life, 76-100

By now, my brother and new sister in law will have been married on a mountain top, and I, perhaps, am sitting in a back yard barbecue, allowing other people to dote on my little poopets while I take a few breaths for myself. And maybe a gin and tonic. That's my wedding drink.

Hopefully, I have been taking amazing photos for the whole weekend and have gotten in some writing in my novel while the kids sleep and I do not have access to the internet. Hopefully, I have had my mom and/or my sister take over the kids while I go wander a new town by myself, or maybe wander in the woods. Or maybe just sit under a tree and stare off into the difference. I have no idea what to expect this weekend.

Maybe I can get in some of the suggestions I am making for living a creative life. Here are 25 more for you.

76. Go thrift shopping or yard sale-ing and look for things to inspire your creativity. Supplies. Instruments. Collections. Old photos. Think about what you COULD do with the things you see, not just what they are or have been used for.

77. Host an art party. You can provide the art supplies and some snacks. Set up in the yard or a park. Sit around and talk and listen to music and paint or draw the day away.

78. Keep a notebook by your bed so that you can write down those fleeting thoughts that often come as you are falling asleep and your conscious mind lets go a little.

79. Join an online creativity challenge or prompt, like this or this.

80. Create a fairy house in a hidden spot in the park or your yard. Using only what materials you can find, build a house for fairies or children of all ages to find.

81. Watch a great movie, listen to a great song, go to a great museum, read a great book, enjoy a great performance... and then create a response to it. It's a grand old creative tradition to write about other artworks. Give back to those creations you already love.

82. Give yourself a living challenge. For one day, do not say "no" to anything... or do not say "yes", whatever you need to do to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

83. Have a taco bar dinner... or an omelet bar brunch... or a sundae bar dessert... or a pizza bar lunch. Whichever it is, set out all the ingredients, including some adventurous ones, and allow everyone to create their own version of yumminess.

84. Hang up beautiful fabric. It could be an old quilt that has been hiding in a chest, or a tapestry from another country, or some lovely silk scarves or a kimono you never wear or those vintage dresses that you love. Hang them up and revel in their beauty outside of their functionality.

85. Fill a bowl with fruit. Leave it out as a centerpiece. Draw it. Photograph it. Enjoy it. Eat it. There is nothing as fruitful as fruit.

86. This is a long term project, but one that takes very little time each session. Take a self portrait in the same outfit or in the same place or in the same pose on the same day every year. Do the same for your children and spouse. You will have a documentation of your lives that is hard to beat.

87. Or challenge yourself to take at least one picture a day for a whole year. That's a different kind of documentation of your life.

88. Watch a documentary and allow it to inspire your creativity. Write a story or a poem set in that time and place. Paint a picture based on those facts and details.

89. Challenge yourself to perform in public. Do karaoke or a poetry slam. Play guitar at a cafe open house. Sing songs for a group of toddlers. Audition for community theater.

90. Draw an outline of your hand like you did when you were a kid making turkeys for Thanksgiving. This time, fill your hand with words or drawings or paint or collage. The only thing that limits you is the outline you drew, and that's not even a real limit, more like a guide.

91. Call a distant loved one and sing them a song over the phone.

92. Take an old book and alter it. Paint the pages, tear some out. Collage inside of it. Cut and reassemble the words into something else. Hollow out the pages and fill the hollow with something surprising. Get over your aversion to writing in books and make one your own.

93. Set up a lemonade stand and give away handmade postcards with each glass of lemonade.

94. Dress up for Halloween in a homemade costume. Or dress up for a costume party. Or just dress up for dress up, no occasion needed.

95. Find a small box, match box, cigar box, what have you, and fill it with wishes. You can create an assemblage of lovely things, or a collage inside of it, or you can just write your wishes on small strips of paper, or draw them out and use the box as the receptacle for your dreams.

96. Teach someone else something creative that you already know how to do. No one learns more than the teacher.

97. Go somewhere new, whether a new country or a new city or a new park or a new store. Look at things with new eyes.

98. Collect quotes that inspire your creativity.

99. Go on a nature walk. Collect beautiful things. Display them in a bowl or in a collage or through photography, or pressed in a book.

100. Believe. I wanted 100 to be special, and it came to me from out of nowhere. The one thing that allows you to live a creative life more than anything is the belief that you deserve one, the belief that you are creative, the belief that it is worthwhile, the belief that you are brave enough, the belief that you can explore and try new things and create something beautiful, so just believe in yourself and your creativity.


Liz Stone Abraham said...

Rowena, you really ought to send this whole piece into a magazine. It's great stuff, and I know that magazines love lists. Try it. I challenge you!

Jenn: said...

Every idea is a gem! Thanks for sharing these.

Rowena said...

d'oh! Liz, yer killin' me. Now I have to think about doing this. Yikes.

Thanks jenn, I can only hope that others will be inspired... maybe that means I really should pitch it, gosh darn it.

Ben-Doodles said...

i have printed out your list and hung it behind my desk at work. Although a few of the creative subjects are a little out of my gender-role-creative-zone I am eager to fulfill every one of these 100 wonderful ideas.

Life, when viewed in the wrong light, has a way of draining us of our creativity and vitality. this list finds that vitality again and it is precisely the inspiration I needed to start feeling fulfilled again.

Thank you!

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