I have been thinking about what I would choose for the first quarter studio challenge for quite a while. I’ve waffled around with the idea, wasn’t sure I could do it and wondered if anyone else would even want to try. But what the heck… This idea is a bit different from our previous challenges but I hope you will all be inspired to give it a go. Since it is a new year and we’re all thinking about new beginnings and what our plans are for the year, I thought this challenge would be a little bit of a push to emphasize your creative side. I challenge you to do something creative every day and get your daily dose of “fiber”. I’m sure I just heard a loud groan from the audience but this doesn’t mean that you have to felt a seamless garment every day. All it means is that you make creativity a habit and do something every day, even if it’s only 5 minutes. I have actually been doing this for quite a while now. I work on something related to my fiber art every day even if it’s only for a few moments. I haven’t actually tried to document this in the past, but for the next three months, that’s what I’m going to do. I will be blogging daily on my personal blog about what creative thing I’ve done that day. Once a week, I’ll do an update here and give you some ideas of what you could do for the rest of the week if you need a bit of inspiration.
I know that this challenge sounds a bit daunting but it actually isn’t that hard to do. I lead a busy life just like everyone else but there is a lot of time that gets wasted if you aren’t paying attention. Just a small amount of planning and preparation allows you to be ready to be creative at the drop of a hat. For example, I always have a small stitch project in a plastic bag ready to work on. The bag holds the base fabric marked with the design (if there is one), my needle case with scissors and the matching threads. I take it with me in my bag and if I have to wait or I have a spare moment, I stitch for a bit. You could do the same with small needle felting projects, beading, knitting or if you use a journal or a sketchbook, you could draw or write your fiber art to do list for the week.
I’m sure that it would be very easy to come up with many excuses why you couldn’t possibly do this challenge. ‘I don’t have time’, ‘I’m too busy’, ‘I have family responsibilities’, blah, blah, blah… Really? Do you want to be creative? Do you want to make more art? What is stopping you? Give yourself permission to do this and give it priority over things like watching TV, cruising the internet and seeing what’s new on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter and even doing housework. Life will go on even if the house isn’t perfectly clean, ask me how I know! Let your family know that you need this time to yourself, set boundaries and then reinforce that this small amount of time that you are setting aside is for you. Then do it, be creative and make some art, even if it’s bad art. Just do it. Every. Day.
Some people say it takes 21 days to form a habit, other studies indicate it takes longer than that, perhaps greater than 60 days. But I think if we can do this for the first three months of 2013, we might have developed the habit of being creative every day and getting our daily dose of “fiber”. It really isn’t a chore, it’s what we like to do. You certainly don’t have to blog about what you do everyday. But I’d love to hear what creative activity you do each day so please leave comments here, post photos on our Flickr group and join us in the forum where I’ll start a topic about the challenge.
This first week of 2013 why don’t you take a few minutes and look at what you do during the day. How do you manage your time? What do you spend your time doing? Are there times during your day that seem to be wasted? Can you schedule a time that could be spent being creative? Grab a notebook and write down your thoughts about being creative and how you can make time for creativity. What are the impediments to spending more time playing with fiber (or whatever creative thing that you do)? Write about them. Take 5 minutes every day to do this and we’ll count that as your daily dose of fiber. Or if you want, just dive in and start the creative habit.
Now we all know that life happens and sometimes things don’t work out as planned. That’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. Put a favorite art related book or magazine by your bed and read that for a few moments before you go to sleep. Then the next day, you can get back on track. Adding more creativity shouldn’t be a huge pressure and chore, it should be fun. Once you get started, you’ll be surprised how much you can get done. I get asked frequently how I manage to get so much artwork done and the answer is “5 minutes here and 5 minutes there”, it all adds up.
So are you up for the challenge? Get your daily dose of fiber with me, it will be fun, I promise 🙂
Oh and by the way, Happy New Year from all of us here at The Felting and Fiber Studio. All the best for 2013!