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Learning to See More Creatively

Learning to See More Creatively

I hope everyone is cruising along with the first quarter challenge of a Daily Dose of Fiber. Lyn, from Rosie Pink, has been doing the challenge and I really liked her comment recently on the forum about how the challenge was working for her. Lyn said that she got home from work and didn’t really feel like doing anything but because of the challenge, she decided to go into the studio for five minutes to get her “daily dose”. She was only planning on getting a few things set up but three hours later, she had completed felting the outer portion of the vessel that she is working on. That is usually what happens to me as well. I might not feel like doing any creative work after I get home from work, but if I just start, I end up enjoying what I’m doing and I get tasks done that I might have put off.

applique

The challenge is going in to the third week now. How have you been doing? Have you been able to get in five minutes of creative time per day? Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t. You can start this challenge any time. You didn’t have to start on January 1. It is really more of a decision as to how you are going to prioritize your time and what is important for you. For me, it is important to use my time wisely and I have a hard time now, just sitting around without a stitch project or something to keep my hands busy.

OK – enough of that. What I really wanted to talk about today was some fun things to try that will help your “creative” eye to see more clearly. There are inspiring things everywhere you look whether it be in nature or walking down a city street, you can find inspiration anywhere. But you have to look. Most of us rush through life, not taking the time to examine what is around us. Take a few extra minutes and look at the textures, patterns, colors, lines etc. around you. One way to do this is each day is to look for something specific. For example, today you might look for anything orange. The next day it might be crisscrossing lines or lines in broken pavement. Or maybe you want to look for certain shapes such as circles, squares or triangles. Carry your camera with you and take photos of things that interest you. Or better yet, take a notebook and draw/sketch what you see.

I know, I know, “you can’t draw”. I used to say that too. But drawing is a learned skill. It’s like playing the piano, you aren’t born knowing how. You can learn and with practice you will improve your drawing skills. I highly recommend this book:

This book teaches you about looking at the edges and shapes of objects. Instead of seeing a “bottle”, you are looking at the different shapes that make the bottle.  You are learning to really see the bottle instead of just seeing a generic bottle. Learning to draw trains your creative eye to see more clearly. Whenever I take the time to draw something, I always remember more about that drawing than if I took a photo. Even if I look back at the drawing much later, the memory is much more clear. (And that’s saying something these days!) That’s because I took the time to really look and see what I was drawing. I can’t say that I spend enough time drawing but I do enjoy it now and I no longer say “I can’t draw”.

I found this fun idea on the Create Mixed Media blog. It’s an idea from Margaret Peot. The photo above is from Margaret’s post. She does some really fun inkblot sketchbooks. This idea though is a variation on her usual inkblots. What she suggests is to take photos of clouds, sidewalks, old walls, anything with fun texture or line. Then you print the photos out on to regular printer paper and draw into them whatever shapes that you see. You can see her full post here.

Those are just a few ideas to get you started seeing more creatively. Do you have any other suggestions for others to try? Things that you do to get your creative brain working? I’d love to hear what they are. Leave a comment or join in our forum discussions.

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