Thursday, March 26, 2009

Creative Patterns

In my last post, I encouraged readers to increase their observation skills by looking closely as a tool to enhance creative thinking. I even described my own experience with this new way of looking at the world. I continued that exercise on my recent trip to Washington, DC - a city in which I lived for many years.

So you might assume that I had already seen everything there. But with my camera in hand, I learned there was a lot that I had missed. Mainly they were small details that I had overlooked in the past.

For example, above, I captured textiles at the National Museum of African Art. The textiles have similar colors and patterns and blend together to create a new pattern in my cropped image of them.

It made me stop and think how patterns can inspire creativity. Creativity is really about connecting existing patterns or objects and creating something new much like the textiles above.

  • What can you combine to create something new?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Waking Up Your Inner Artist

Spring is a great time to wake up your inner artist after a long winter. This year, I pulled out my Everyday Creative Cards for 30 Ways to Wake Up Your Inner Artist by Eric Maisel, a tool I have never used, despite them sitting on my bookshelf for years.

Since each card has a different inspiring message and activity, I decided to start by randomly selecting one from the deck. The card I chose happened to be one on growing creative by creating today. A quote at the top declared:

"Today is the best day to create. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow isn't here."

I had a little difficulty with the first task, which was to do some creative work. I thought about creating a mini collage, but then realized I didn't have enough time to pull out all of my images and supplies to complete one, so why start it in the first place?

Instead, I decided to focus on the second activity: respond creatively to life. It seemed like something I could fit into my busy schedule. So that day, I focused on observing as a creative tool. I really paid attention to even the smallest details throughout my day. I noticed the colors of houses and looked at the clouds in the sky comparing patterns. It made me appreciate my surroundings in a creative way. It turned out to be even more fulfilling than creating an actual piece of art.
  • Look for artistic connections as you respond creatively to life.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Twitter Tips for Creatives

I am a recent convert to Twitter. I resisted the temptation to join, because like most people, I didn't understand the benefits of tweets.

Last month, I finally took the plunge and joined Twitter. Once on the site, I immediately got hooked on finding other creatives to follow and reading their tweets and checking out their links.

I also found this article on Tweetable Art: 10 Twitter Tips for Artists. Some of the suggestions like linking to works in progress and your blog are pretty standard social media marketing, but I really like the idea of starting a collector's club by setting your account to private and offering discounts to those who follow you. Don't miss the comments section where there are even more tips.