So I'm taking a bit of a break from posting about my retreat (here, here, and here) to share one of the projects to come out of the retreat: the 30 Day Creativity Challenge.
Have you heard of this? There's lots of versions floating around, lots of lists of what to do, what to create. One of the goals of my retreat was to tap back into my creative Self; I did, after all, graduate from art school. But saying you're going to be creative while you're still high on the bliss of a successful retreat and putting that bliss into action are two very different things. So like any good person, I Googled "creativity challenge."
The list I've come up with is a re-working of several different lists culled from several different sites. The only rule is that you use the item on the list to create something. For me, I'm focusing on imagery- drawing, painting, and thankyouJesusforInstagram- as well as writing; you could easily incorporate music or singing/songwriting, too, or even cooking or clothing choices. The main goal is to get you to think outside of your normal-ness. I'll try to post once weekly during the challenge to share what I've been up to, but no promises. My next post will be part three of my retreat posts. And so-
Sunday, September 9, 2012- Day #1= Self portrait.
What I like about this photo is how green my eyes look against that top. And that it doesn't look like I need Botox or Juvederm yet. And that I don't have bags under my eyes, and that they're not puffy, and that I look kinda okay with my face bare naked like that.
Monday, September 10, 2012- Day #2= Animal.
For this challenge, I had to think a bit. I love birds, but didn't really want to draw a bird. So I thought about other animals, and naturally thought about people's pets. My friend Tha Doctah has cats. Hmmm. NO. I know several people with dogs, but...these pursuits were taking place in the evening hours, in my basement. What to do? A photograph of a pet? YES. Instagram to the rescue? YES.
So I found a photograph I liked and rendered a simple drawing in pencil. But as I was studying the photo and the drawing, I thought of a story to tell. So I did both.
An Evening in August
She sat on the steps of the deck, looking out over the back yard and the items there: lawn chairs, a swing set, a rake, a garden hose, dog toys. And the dog. She was an old dog, maybe 8 or 10 years old, and her hips bothered her, you could tell. Some kind of shepherd mix, black, mostly, but with white on her muzzle and some on her chest.
"She can be a bit skittish with new people," he had said. But she had dealt with dogs like that before. Wasn't S____'s dog that way? All bark at first, and then quickly a mutual respect was established? That dog, Rezzy, was also a shepherd mix, but smaller, shorter, like a corgi or something.This dog was tall with matted fur that came off in clumps every time she petted it.
She picked up one of the dog toys and threw it out towards the fence; the dog retrieved it and brought it to her, tail wagging, excited barks. She did this- played with the dog- for a good 30 minutes or more. The dog tired and lay by her feet, which she tucked under the dog's belly, feeling the warmth and weight of this animal, feeling content.
What was it about a skittish dog? They were often her favorite ones. The docile and dumb labs or retrievers just lacked substance for her, even though they looked nice. She absently ran her hand over the dog's back, scratched its ears, massaged its neck. She grabbed the dog's face with both hands, rubbing under its chin, touching noses and telling it through a half-closed mouth, "You're a good girl. Such a good. Girl."
The patio door opened and the dog's attention shifted from the feel-good-ness of her hands to the figure in the doorway. The dog got up slowly and climbed the three stairs and walked into the house. She followed, sliding the screen door shut behind them both.
Get creative, friends. If anything, it can serve as a pleasant diversion from life for awhile.