Thursday, February 25, 2010

Plan Your Own Creative Retreat

Have you ever dreamed of going on a creative retreat but didn’t have the time or money to take one? Why not plan your own? That’s what I did last weekend, and it was so worth it. The winter had been taking its toll on me and with my birthday just around the corner next week, I thought it was a perfect time for a little rest, reflection and creativity.

So I devoted an entire day, when I knew I didn’t have any obligations, turned off the phone and computer and enjoyed the silence. I spent a lot of the day musing, reading, creating, and planning. I now have a clear vision of where I am going and all it took was about 12 hours of my time.

If you don’t have the time to spend an entire day for your retreat, I would suggest taking a morning or afternoon and finding someplace quiet where you can think without being disturbed.

Here are some more tips on planning your own creative retreat:

1. Start out with an opening ceremony to get you focused on creating. Try lighting a candle or even reciting a creative mantra. I took mine from the Rituals: Light for the Soul Kit:

I look upon an empty canvas
And see there an unformed opportunity
To express my life
And how it could be
I begin

2. Reflect on the questions I created for a bi-annual Creative Check-In to determine not only goals for the upcoming year but also celebrate achievements from the last 6 months.

3. Look for images to reinforce those 6 month and 1 year goals. Create a visioning collage to inspire next years' successes. For mine, I used images that I cut out of my favorite magazines.

4. Work on your creative project. Once your goals are established and you have a visual plan for them, then have some fun by creating. I completed a few small sketchbook collages, with no particular goal in mind.

5. At the end of the day, blow out the candle and take a moment to reflect on your creative achievements and future goals.
  • What would you include in your creative retreat?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Five {5} Creative Questions with Andrea Schroeder

This month we feature the inspirational Andrea Schroeder. You may know her better online as the author of ABCcreativity. But above all else, Andrea is a creative being and believer in possibilty. Andrea takes this sense of possibility, blends it with sparkles and secret messages about the magic and wonder of life, and uses it in all of her creative work, infusing it with flashes of inspiration and reminders of what an incredible being you are.

After graduating from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada with a bachelor of applied arts in fashion design, Andrea explored many different avenues of art and design including costume design, textile design, textile art, knitting, cloth dollmaking and interior design.

Andrea has also spent years studying new thought and other spiritual and philosophical teachings and is currently an accredited new thought healing practitioner at the Centre for Conscious Living in Winnipeg, Canada. Andrea describes this as ”a believer in possibility, a creator of dreams come true and a mentor for others in creating their happily ever afters.” Andrea blends spiritual and artistic creativity in all of her creative work, which is filled with maps that will guide you on your path in creating your own “happily ever after”.

1. What does creativity mean to you?
i see myself above all as a creative being in a creative universe. my inspiration, intuition, uniqueness and gift flow through my creativity out into all parts of my life. creativity is life for me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Calling All Creatives: Social Entrepreneurs and Social Innovation

In my last post, I explored the concept of using creativity as an agent of social change and highlighted a program in Cleveland that was doing just that. I also asked readers to share their own examples of creativity and community building.

One reader, Isobel, left a comment praising the organization Ashoka and the partnership between IDEO and the Gates Foundation. I decided to check out her suggestions and was thoroughly impressed.

Ashoka is a leader in the social entrepreneur movement supporting some 2,000 fellows in 60 different countries with projects ranging from sanitation to establishing schools. Ashoka has created a global network of innovation and creativity empowering regular citizens to become change makers.

Similarly, IDEO, not only has an alliance with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support projects on health but with several other well-known global foundations. At IDEO, it is not just about innovation but social innovation as defined by using design-thinking principles to better serve underprivileged areas and communities. Recent examples of projects have included the Human Centered Design Project providing a tool kit for innovation and the universal ear, an affordable hearing aid both created for developing nations.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Creativity is About Perspective

The other day, while taking off my earrings, I dropped one on the floor. I looked down but couldn't see it. The tiny earring blended right into the hardwood floor. I decided the only way to actually find it was to change my perspective by getting on the floor to locate it.

Voila! Within seconds of bending down and getting on the floor to look for it, I found the earring. It reminded me that creativity is also all about perspective.

Similar to me not being able to find my earring while staying in the same position, creative ideas aren't usually found by thinking the same thoughts. Creativity requires us to take a different approach to finding the answers, like I took a different approach to finding my earring. I could have stood there all day looking for it, but if I hadn't changed my perspective I would have never found it.
  • How can you change your creative perspective?