Friday, September 2, 2011

Oil Those Creative Wheels, Quiet the Inner Critic, But No Peeing in Cups!

I'm so excited to hear from several of you this morning that have told me they are oiling up their creative wheels and planning to enter my art contest. Even some of you that have expressed that you don't think you have an artistic bone in you body are willing to give it a try .  I'm happy to hear this because really, that is what it is all about:  A challenge to find that SIMPLE and UNINHIBITED kid inside of you!  A challenge to slow down and get that brain working in a different way.  These types of creative exercises can help us more than we might athletes, mothers, professionals, etc. And I even added a new option to choose from when you are creating. 

As I was writing this post and working through these thoughts yesterday, I came across a new online magazine called Sparrow.  Love it!  One of the articles on there was by Shannon Kinney-Duh called Play With Paint and be Free.  So much of what she writes about was exactly what I've been writing was a little weird finding her article just as I had just written about the same thing.  Her words resonated with me so deeply and I felt like I was finding a kindred spirit indeed!  Sparrow and Shannon's site Free Spirit Knits are worth checking out!  Two of my new favorite places on the web!

I strongly believe that there is an artist within all of us!  As adults, so many of us lose touch with that creative kid inside. That side where we just let ourselves go...

Have you ever seen preschool kids create art?  Before they've picked up on messages of "I'm not an artist", 
        "I can't draw", 
                    "Art isn't my thing"...before their walls come up?  
Most of the time you'll notice that they just create. Simple.  They get lost in their paintings and arrangement of leaves.  Their swirls and lines turn into scenes from their favorite stories.  A rock becomes a pet.  Paint becomes a trail into imaginary worlds.  And when they are done with their work, so often they beam with pride.  Even when their self portrait looks like a potato with eyes or their family drawing looks more like little martians with three circles across the face.  To them, it is art and we accept it as art too!  

So why are adults so guarded when it comes to creating things?  Why does it seem so silly or wasteful of time to get out pencils, things from nature, glue, paint, or various things around our house and create something?  It might seem like there are too many things to do or that the task of coming up with a creation seems like too much work.  Maybe some of you really believe that you don't have a creative bone in your body.  Or you don't want to look silly.  Whatever it is that keeps us from carving out time for creativity or doing some kid-like art time, I do hope that you will try it out!  If not for my contest, then simply to shake things up a bit!  Get your creative mind working!  I truly believe that by taking time for creative exercises and allowing ourselves to let that child-like artist out from time to time (or always) is good for all the other areas of our life that need a RECHARGE!  

Try it:

  • Go buy a set of water colors (the kid kind) and see what happens when you sit down with a clear piece of paper and a paint brush.  Maybe even some music in the background.
  • Play with some clay.
  • Think of a fun childhood memory and write about it or draw it.
  • Cut words and pictures out of a favorite magazine and make a vision collage.  
  • Write a poem.
  • Create a scene of you running your next race...a diorama, picture, sculpture, etc.
  • Find things in nature and make a good ol' nature collage 
See what happens.  Let that kid come out.  That is the whole point of the BE SIMPLE.  It isn't about who is the "BEST" artist according to our adult standards.  It isn't about who can really draw or paint like a pro.  It is a contest that is about CREATING something...even if it looks like your four year old did it.  That's even better actually! 

One of the options for my contest was to think of a memory from motherhood and create a scene or piece of art that represents that memory.  You can do this from the perspective of a kid too...maybe it is a memory you have from your childhood.  This works too.  My mom thought she would share an example.  This is just one idea she came up with.  And yes, the story is true.  I did try to pee in the cup and I did fall down the stairs.  And she did tell me that it must have been a "poke from God" since I wasn't obeying my mommy!  One of my most vivid memories as a kid and hers as a mother.  And see how simple it is?!

I hope your wheels are turning!  I can't wait to see what you come up with.  Any media works!  Even if you want to arrange a group of fruits and veggies or use random things around your house!  It doesn't have to be a drawing!  Be creative.  Think outside the box. I promise you that you might come out of it refreshed and recharged for something else in your life that you might not have energy for right now.  Like I said, I tweaked the options for the contest so go check it out!  



  1. Okay, that peeing in the cup story and artistic rendition is absolutely hilarious. What on earth possessed you to want to pee in your cup? ha ha, too funny.

  2. loving this!heading off to check out the contest

  3. Love this! I get my inner preschooler on at work a lot! My niece peed on the stove once...crazy kids!

  4. Love the "poke from God" comment! If i participate, i have a very similar story but i think mine was a push from God! ;-)
    By the way, i loove the new picture on your header-thing. Very cool pic!

  5. So I'm sitting here at work... Working hard... On my SUAR. drawing. When I check the deadline for your "competition" and I see that it's not til the 27th!!! Lol. Here I was rushing to do one... Maybe I will submit more than one, or maybe I'll post this one and add to it as I feel inspired. Hmm. I am having fun drawing though--I haven't drawn in years. I wish I was creative to come up with a rock scene or something unique like that! I feel like drawing is an easy cop-out :)

    But, I do like your point lately about taking chances creatively. Make messes. Experiment!

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  7. lol, peeing in a cup!i am hosting a giveaway! a flower ring hand made by SSCD+ $20 gift certificate to Sweet Spot Card Shop :) Please check out my blog for the interview+giveaway!xo

  8. Oh good lord, another post about our artistic creative juices...argh!!

    Messing with ya!! You know I love ya, girl!!

  9. I'm one of the fortunate few who have a creative outlet built in in the form of work. And if I need to be even more creative I can just dream up some new cupcakes.

  10. Being an art major in college you'd be surprised to know I have not done any art since I left there!! I take photos from time to time but that is it!