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Online Challenges: Jump Starting a Daily Creative Practice

Gratitude Journal

 

Okay, I know when you read that heading, you scratched your head and said, “yeah right, a DAILY practice?  You are out of your mind.”  I might be, but I bet I’m not.

As a busy professional, it is has not been easy for me to keep up with my own creative practice.  At times, I would longingly look to my studio space and feel guilty for neglecting it…after all that is what it is there for right?

How could I possibly fit one more thing in a day that is packed with meetings, appointments, social activities, gym work outs, family, pet duties…the list goes on and on….art will be there when it all “settles” down.  The sad thing is…you and I both know that it doesn’t tend to settle down (if you are anything like me, it tends to revive up even more!).

One way I found that has been very helpful for me is online creative challenges.  This keeps my mojo flowing, allows me to experiment with different mediums and at I would not normally focus on in my own art practice.  A few years back, I started with  Art Everyday Month, a 30 day challenge started by artist Leah  Kolidasthat occurs every November that encourages you to create something, anything, related to a daily prompt.  If you scroll through this blog, you will see some of the creations I made with this challenge.

One that I started last year (unfortunately did not finish) was Spectrum facilitated by Hali Karla Arts  which not only challenges you to create on a regular basis, but you get to “sample” a variety of artists from across the country in various modules focusing on self development.  I have benefitted greatly from these kinds of challenges because I explore who I am and new mediums in the process.

HeArt Space facilitated by art therapist, Kate Leppard is another one of my favorites.  It is an ongoing creative challenge with different topics each month to spur your artistic practice.

The additional benefit is that most of these challenges create community….a commnity of like-minded artists and creatives that are working through the challenge with you.  I have made many friends and colleagues through the process since all of them include a private Facebook group to show your work or even at times vent about your creative process.

There are virtually 30-day or daily practice challenge in just about every creative field, whether it is writing, poetry, culinary arts, etc. you name it.  A google search on any of these topics with “daily challenge” or 30 day challenge will open you to a world of other creatives and can help jump start your practice.  There is nothing like seeing how others are juggling careers, kids, etc. and posting every day of their progress with a challenge.  If they can do it, you can too!

Lately, I felt that I needed to do a daily practice around the topic of gratitude.  I was bringing more attention to what others were doing and my challenges and I felt I needed to ground myself on all the magic Sharon has going on her own life and celebrate it.  I started off considering a written journal of the 3-5 things I was grateful for each day….however, I wasn’t motivated to write anything or would forget.   Enter the 30 Days of Creative Gratitude Challenge  (my journal cover above).

Artist, Priscilla George has this 30 day creative challenge complete with the Facebook Group and daily prompts focusing us to concentrate on things we take for granted as subjects for our art journaling practice.  I don’t do every prompt every day, but I do find that I am creating space not only for my art practice but to focus on the prompts as a way to feel gratitude for the everyday things that matter.

What creative challenges have your tried?  How have they enriched your creative life?

 

5 Questions for 2016

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Soo…a whole year has passed and I have not blogged at all in 2016, and even thought about abandoning this blog altogether.  But the Universe had other ideas….I woke up today feeling that yeah, I want to start blogging again.  So here I am.

Since you will need to go else where to see some of the highlights of 2016 for me (my Instagram is the most up to date way to track me these days), I thought I would share during these last few days of this iconic year my summary for all that went right and where I might need to improve.

I am a big Danielle LaPorte fan (I was self-initiated into Desire Mapping this year) and recently she posted the above list of questions to her readers as a way to sum up their experiences and begin to plan for the next year.  Last night I rose to the occasion and wrote in my journal my answers to these questions.  I am sharing some of that below to help encourage others to consider completing this exercise.

Highlights of 2016

  1. What Didn’t Work?

  • Saying yes when I knew in my soul I wanted to say no.

  • Settling for less.…in relationships, friendships, partnerships, projects, etc.

  • Not enough gym time….after being in pain due to a spine injury in 2015, I was a bit reluctant to do the gym thing as hard as I did.  I am now paying for it by being less in shape but been working with my trainer the latter half of the year to try to get something in.

  • Eating – my diet needs an overhaul, LOL!

  • Communication:  In many cases my communication skills was lacking, leaving unnecessary bitterness and misunderstandings that could have been resolved much quicker.

  • Not always sticking to my personal promises to myself regarding self-care, time for creativity, and personal boundaries with people.

  • Better choices on where to show my artwork that resonate with the style of my work.

2. What Did Work?

  • This was a transition year.  I wanted to stick my toe into some new avenues and areas that I wanted to explore beyond fine art advisory and curation.  That experiment was a success with the projects that I engaged in.

  • Expanded my own spirituality through studying the Chakras

  • My sacred space/altar

  • Getting up early to engage in my spiritual practice every morning.

  • Deepened my yoga practice on a weekly basis.

  • De-cluttering and getting rid of a lot of junk

  • Participating in an Desire Map workshop with others like minds to create a different vision for their lives.

  • Personal development through writing and art journaling

  • Attending new and unique professional development opportunities to expand my career interests such as Expressive Arts.

So what does my list of highlights say about 2016 and about me?

  • Move forward with new ideas, activities and direction

  • Build my knowledge base and share more

  • Trust my intuition

  • Spiritual practice is imperative for grounding

  • Keep creating

So what do I need to do to help my upcoming year be successful (or is full of stuff that works?).

  • Deepen my spiritual practice as a way to further ground me.

  • Create…and let it be more of a priority.

  • Adopt a fearless, courageous stance on all that I do.

  • Stay open to people, conversations, ideas and opportunities.

  • Keep my body moving through yoga and exercise…especially exercise that incorporates nature.

  • Focus on more love,  laughter, and  listening with my family and friends.

Thank you 2016 for all of the lessons and blessings! Look forward to manifesting in the New Year!