Do you have a creative practice ? | With examples by Justina Blakeney
Hey! You! Don't want to read the entire post? Scroll down and read my summary of favorite reason to have a daily (almost) creative practice. Prefer video and audio? I'll post the video below that I recorded talking about this topic on IG & FB live.
January is almost over, and this wraps up the first month of a new habit that I am practicing. If you follow my Instagram account, you might have seen me post a time-lapse of my digital sketching daily (Mo-Fr). That is a daily creative practice that I have meant to start many years ago. I finally committed to it, and I am experiencing a lot of mixed emotions about it. I'll talk about this during another time, but for now, I just wanted to share the benefits that I am experiencing and what designer, artist, and author Justina Blakeney shared during her Creative Morning talk that confirmed with me that this is just a great thing to do for myself.
Justina shared that she is currently doing "one-line" drawings, where she doesn't lift the pencil until the drawing is done. This practice reminded me a lot of my promise to myself to let go of perfectionism and enjoy the process. I sketch my designs on paper while watching the Sex and the city episodes. And then I take it into the Adobe Illustrator software with a time limit of 30 min. Having the self-imposed time limit allows me just to do it, and it keeps me in the current moment and doesn't allow for editing (not much). I am officially on day 23 today, and I noticed about ten days in that I started to relax and even finish my latest fashion design in under 12 minutes. I didn't care for it too much at the time and just let it be done. I am not saying that speed is always essential and was my goal for this, but I am noticing that I get into the flow faster and am okay with not loving what comes out of my practice.
Justina shared that she used to do flower portraits. She explained that it was easy to do and that the materials where readily available all around her for her to put together a portrait at any coffee shop on a napkin from twigs and leaves that she found there. Her audience grew to like the portraits and complained when she decided that she had enough of it and was moving on to new things.
While she was sharing this, I got a little bit uncomfortable because I had started my calculations on my creative practice and committed myself to a year of doing this. I know myself and I easily get bored and it reminded me that this was really daunting and a long time contract with myself. I ended up being really glad that I opened the parameters of the project up to include many varieties of designs. Meaning that Justina "only" did portraits, but I am exploring all sorts of fashion and textile design options. As a matter of fact I notice myself sketching a lot of lingerie, textiles, and dresses. Which is another amazing benefit of having a creative practice, I get to document and look back over any patterns that I see develop. If I like them I can keep them and if I don't like the habits and patterns I get to shake it up and inspire myself to a new way of thinking. Justina went on to quote Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, explaining how we are constantly changing.
The way that I watch the Sex and the city episodes for my daily creativity practice is amusing to me. I have an ancient, portable, tiny DVD player that I can take anywhere. It holds a charge and doesn't need to be plugged in. So now I am marveling at the ease with which I get to do my project from anywhere. It's like Justina said about the leaves and twigs being readily available anywhere to practice her art. Funny, because I am usually into the latest tech and apps, but for this, I get to go old school. I bought the entire DVD-set when they were still selling DVDs, and the DVD player was a way for me to use my old fitness DVDs. Remember those?
Here is a photo of the DVD-box and the options for my February color palette. Those are Starbucks cards that I collect merely because I love the vibrant color combination. I am finally using them in my playtime. Which one would you choose? Vietnam or West Java?
There are so many ways of doing the same thing, and sometimes I can't immediately recall what way of working in Illustrator is my the most serene way of getting a task done. I have noticed specific tasks where I get hung up on the details. It helps that I am drawing in mirror draw and I get to see my entire idea of garments right away instead of just half and to envision the other half. I am getting a lot of questions about this on my social media pages so here is to remind anyone interested that I cover this in my Freemium workflow course.
In summary here are my favorite reason to have a daily (almost) creative practice :
- You get to discover your(self) style, habits, likes, dislikes, and workflows.
- You get to do something you love to do without any restrictions.
- You get to practice letting go of perfectionism.
- If you share your work/ play. You get to connect with people around a common interest and showcase your talent.
- You get to change your mind over and over again and mix up your ideas to your liking. Change the entire creative practice if you like to exploring something new.
- You freshen up old skills, and perhaps accidentally discover new ways of approaching your creative tasks.
- You develop self-esteem because you show yourself that you can finish things and that you are consistently showing up for yourself.
- You are giving yourself the greatest gift of self-care and time.
- You get to surprise yourself.
I am sure I am going to come back to this post and add and edit my experiences. As always I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you would like to practice to have creative expression daily? What helps you commit to it? Email me or share in the comments of the blog. Remember to join me in the Studio for checklists and speedy workflow tips and tricks ~ you can always find them in the Freemium section.
By for now,
You Compassionate Creativity Coach
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