As we all know, setting aside only 15 minutes a day for creating is real nourishment for the soul. Not to mention that it will have a very good effect on your creativity if it becomes part of your daily routine. It’s pity that it doesn’t really work – not even for me, even though I use my brushes fairly often. Last year I made an attemptat painting every single day, and this year I did this one week long art challenge of repeat patterns again, coming up with super-exciting results.
How it works
Last year I only painted whatever came to my mind, the point was to get myself painting every single day. This year, however, I took the task more seriously and found a topic for every day to paint patterns. I like painting in small size, which is great help especially if I need to cover a piece paper in patterns each day, so as usual, I was working in A6 size. I couldn’t spare the same amount of time every single day, sometimes I had less energy to create, which is visible on the outcome, but after all I did manage to squeeze in some painting time day after day.
I’m sitting above a blank piece of paper and I am simply unable to start… If only I drew the first line, it would be easier… But at the moment it seems unbelievable that this blank paper will soon be filled with something, something that I create…
The above case is well-known to (some) artists and is called blank paper syndrome. It is a paralyzing fear that stops you from starting your work. Of course it’s a good idea to meditate about what might cause this fear but luckily there is a quicker way of dealing with it: you just have to leave a mark on the paper/canvas.
One of the advantages of ‘mark-making’ is that the goal is not to produce a Work of Art (even though it usually ends up one), so your perfectionism will not tell you that you are not good enough (always assuming you are a perfectionist.. if you are not, that’s your great luck).
I must admit I was a little sad when I posted the last downloadable wallpaper calendar on the blog. I liked to do them and you guys liked them too, but next year will bring change and I will not continue with this series. However, just because I don’t create a new calendar, there is no reason why you shouldn’t – actually it might even feel good during this busy season to draw/paint in solitude for a couple of hours.
Naturally you can download some amazing new calendars for 2017 but that’s not exactly the same as something you do yourself. I have therefore made this collection purely for inspiration, so if you are out of ideas just now, you can still start creating right away.
There’s a slight odour hanging around the notion of DIY presents. Those who have already given some (and have an inner critique) will know that the result is often a little crappy, a little useless, looks a bit awkward, but it was done by our own little hands, therefore it is priceless, and anyone who gets it should consider it as such. It’s a shame that they don’t, except maybe your old gran.
So it’s time you were the exception, as handmade presents can be super-cool. ‘Handmade’ is not necessarily meant literally, it only means that you put in your creativity, knowledge and time to make the present a success. When giving a present it is essential to know at least a little about the one we want to surprise, here, however, I have collected some ideas which will probably do the trick even if you are not bosom-friends.
The edible present
I’m starting off with my favourite one. There are surprisingly many people who cannot enjoy the wonders of home-made cakes and cookies, either because they don’t bake or can’t make it home where mum bakes, or even mum doesn’t bake, so they really appreciate some handmade gingerbread. You can wrap up the finished cake beautifully (here are some ideas) and you are ready with a nice Christmas surprise. The great advantage of edible presents is that they don’t add to the junk pile of your loved one.
Don’t give: to those who follow a diet or sensitive to some ingredients. You can either bake something which follows their diet or alternatively give pesto or sugar-free jam.
Are you one of those who find the whole Christmas hype, shopping, cooking just a pain in the neck, working even on the 24th, then fall headlong under the Christmas-tree on Christmas Eve? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you’ll probably roll your eyes when I say you should write Christmas cards sent by good old snail mail. However, you might get a glimpse of a new angle: I say you should send Christmas cards for your own well-being! I’m just about to tell you how.
“I don’t have time” is one of our favourite excuses for not being creative or do art. Actually I am just as guilty at this as everyone else, and as I’ve been going through a particularly lazy period I decided to do a little art challenge.
For one week I sat down with my sketchbook and brushes every single day to do a repeat pattern. Sometimes they were utterly simple, other times they needed more time to complete – but mainly I did what came naturally. Here are my experiences in the form of a visual (and verbal) diary.
When I was little, a perfect weekend looked like this: my granny read out some story while I was drawing something. Of course at that time I didn’t call it that, but it was a form of meditation. Today I still go on doing this, as I feel the very same calmness bending over the paper as I did when I was a child. You don’t have to be particularly talented or creative to try these techniques – the hardest is probably taking the time and going offline. However, these two are essential for the more traditional ways of meditation too, so if you enjoy meditation, why not experiment with these creative ways?