What is “something” exactly?

So far, I think I am most interested in moving into the realm of just making “something” every day. Not a specific medium or theme, just – something. Anything. But what does that mean, exactly? There have to be some kind of parameters in place, or else this just won’t work. So, I am going to define “something” as one of the following creative acts:

  • Working on a knitting, crocheting, sewing or needlepoint project
  • Creating a sketch/drawing/painting using pencil, charcoal, pen, colored pencil, pastel, paint, etc.
  • Working on writing of some kind – even if it’s just coming up with ideas and outlines – such as fictional stories or poetry
  • Taking a creatively framed photograph, or series of photographs
  • Designing using graphic design software or tools (such as using my Wacom tablet or Adobe software)
  • Creating a recipe of my own design when cooking or baking
  • Writing and/or recording original music using sheet music, the keyboard, or computer software
  • Writing a blog post about something other than one of these other items (that’s right, blogging itself will be considered a creative act, if it contains my original thoughts about a topic)

Of course, there may be other ways in which I am creative on a given day that don’t fall into this list, and I will be open to finding new ways to expand my horizons and discover new formats, so this is not an exhaustive list. I just wanted to start with something, a list of ideas to get my creative juices flowing. When I feel stuck, I will have somewhere to look to say “just do one of these things” and not have an excuse to skip a day.

On that note, I decided to set up a “Creativity Bag” that would contain the tools for some of these kinds of this – kind of like how I keep a gym bag in my car so that I can’t really get away with not going to the gym, seeing as I have everything I need easily available to me. It’s the same concept – I have a bunch of tools for creating in one place so that all I have to do is grab it and decide which item(s) to use. Currently, my bag contains: the scarf I am knitting (and related items), a sketchbook, a box of pencils/charcoal/erasers etc., a notebook for writing stories and poetry, and one of my favorite pens.

What do you do to get creative? How do you stay focused and motivated? These are obviously topics for posts unto themselves, but I am just wondering what some of the basic tools are that others use to get started and keep themselves going.


One year later… (considering a blog relaunch)

I keep randomly thinking about how I want to draw something. Nothing in particular, just something. In fact, I keep having random memories from the time that I took that Saturday morning drawing/charcoal class at MassArt a few years back, and wanting something like that again. It was helpful because it was 4 hours long – where are you going to go? You just have to stay there and do it!

But, life being what it is, I find that I tend to let the creative ventures fall by the wayside instead of being a priority. I have to work, go to the gym, food shop, cook, do laundry, take a shower, a number of other chores and responsibilities (shit, I still have to finish my taxes! arghhh) and by the time I actually sit down at the end of the night – well, I just don’t want to do a damn thing except watch something on Netflix and cuddle my kitties. So even the things I have to do are hard to squeeze in, let alone things I simply want to do. And the weekends? Well, that’s my time to spend with my partner and my friends, or else be completely lazy. I might get some creativity in then, but not always. I know, I know, I’m just full of excuses. But when being creative neither pays the bills nor gets the chores done…

So, what kinds of things would I do with time set aside to be creative?

  • Sketching, with pencil or charcoal
  • Knitting & crocheting
  • Bookbinding
  • Playing piano
  • Writing

What this leads me to is that I think I may attempt to revive this blog (almost exactly a year since my last post, ha), because it might help give me the impetus to actually make that time in my day to do something creative… The question is, do I make it open-ended (just do something everyday, no matter what it is) or more specific – like a particular medium (charcoal, knitting, etc), or a theme, like the guy that does a skull everyday in some form or another?

Please share your thoughts and ideas! I am going to ponder of this myself for the next few days. I have a number of other things I am trying to achieve aside from this project, but I think that if I commit to doing something creative, no matter how small, every day – I will be better off for it and it will help me in other areas of my life.


I Could be More Creative, If Only…


I Could be More Creative, If Only…

I wanted to share this link, which was sent to me by Emily, about struggling with creativity. I would say I am personally going through a bit of a creativity crisis right now. She and I had some long talks this weekend when she came out to Boston to visit me, about the concerns that I have about being in school and whether I feel that I am on the right path. I’ve definitely been overwhelmed, so at the very least I am going to take the summer off from the program so that I don’t get completely burnt out. Where I will go from there, I am not sure yet…

Blast from the Past

Hey everyone! I know, I kind of lapsed with my blog here and disappeared. To be honest, that is one thing about me that I don’t plan to do but seems to always happen. You can ask my closest friends, I tend to go away now and then – but I always come back! A character flaw, I guess, but I’m working on it.

I am now in my Spring semester and I’ve already had like 6 or 7 weeks of classes, so I have some things to post but I need to work on them some more first. We have off this week for Spring break, so I am trying to catch up and finalize some work but I’ve been having a lot of trouble concentrating. I guess part of it is that working full-time and then trying to switch gears into creative mode when you get home at night is a struggle. Also, I have a lot of other things I want to do that compete for my time.

This actually came up during a recent class because we were discussing “How To Steal Like An Artist” (I’ll include a link for those of you who haven’t read it yet). One of the items on the list is “Be Boring (it’s the only way to get work done)” and I know that it’s true but it’s hard to say no to spending time with people that I care about. It’s all about the balance I guess.

How do *you* do it? How do you strike a balance between accomplishing your goals and finding time to relax and strengthen the all-important social ties that keep us healthy and motivated?

Ok, here’s the link that I mentioned – enjoy!  How To Steal Like An Artist


Trying a Little Color

I guess most of these posts will be doubles. Again, I have my homework, as well as what I did in class tonight. I am kind of excited because I tried color for the first time!

My homework was still in grey tones, and my professor said she was drawn to it which made me happy! Here it is:

Greytone with Cloche Hat

And then here is what I did in class, which was really challenging and, at times, frustrating. But the professor sat down with me for a while and explained some things so I started getting into it by the end. I still have a lot to learn about mixing colors, but her advice was to just jump in and see what happens, and eventually you start to just know what you need to make a particular shade. The only down side is, oil paint is so expensive!!! So, it’s hard to just play with lots of it and waste any… but,that’s the way it goes.

Color with Fruit

And here is a little bit closer up:

Color with Fruit - Detail

Not as scary as I expected! =)

Oil Paintings – Part Deux

I have two again, one from class and one from home. I’ll show the one I did at home first, so it’s chronological. I have two photos – flash and no flash – because I couldn’t decide which to use. I don’t think either is right; one is too light and the other is too dark. But, regardless. here it is:

Teapot 1(with flash)

Teapot 2(no flash)

And here is what I did in Thursday’s class:

Cup and Head(The thing on the left is the back of that styrofoam head.)

The professor gave me some good feedback and she said I did well! I am not sure I’m ready to move on to adding color, so she said I could continue doing this for a little while longer if I wanted to. I just feel like I still need to get the hang of determining the values. So that’s probably what I will do for this week. We’ll see.

My first few oil paintings

So, I don’t know how to title my posts anymore, because I’m not counting the days like I did before. Or should I? Hm… I’m not decided on this. Thoughts?

I finally have some work to share! Actually, I have two items. The first is the homework assignment we were given last week, and the second is the painting I did in class last night. Now, bear in mind that I have *never* painted with oil paints before, so they are very rudimentary.

The homework assignment was to only use black and white (and we had to learn to mix our own black) to capture a still life. I somewhat misunderstood her and I put a grey background down too, but she said she still liked it. Ok, so here it is:

Homework Assignment #1

The second one was done during class. First I had to create a “grisalle” – eight successive shades of grey. Then I used them to paint this:

Class Painting #1

If it’s not clear, it’s a face (styrofoam), a ball and a box, with another box behind it and the bottom of a cylinder (it’s a vase) on top of that. I wish I’d had more time to fuss with it because I’d just gotten into the “zone” and suddenly it was time to clean up. So it’s not really finished. But, to be honest, I’m pretty happy with it for my first try.

I have another painting assignment for this week that I am going to work on tomorrow, and I also have to do my homework assignment for my other class as well. I’ll post both when they are done!

(P.S. – I will most likely edit the photos in this post later on because I am particular like that, but I am tired and just wanted to get this out there, so it is what it is.)

Back to School

The new semester is starting for me tonight at MassArt! I am really psyched about this class – it’s the Painting: Powers of Observation one. The professor, Catherine Kehoe, actually has a blog about/for this class – as well as her own website. So, I’ll be posting my paintings up here again as I go.

Also, I called to see why my grade for last Springs drawing course was “H” (it was a pass/fail class) and was told that it stands for Honors and that means I did “really, really well.” That’s so exciting!! And, my grade for my Typography class over the summer was A- which I am very happy about as well. Yesss! =)

Long time, no post

Hi everyone! I have so many new developments in my life, and I wanted to check in to say that I haven’t forgotten about my blog! I just don’t have the time for it in my life at the moment. I wanted to make August a time to rejuvenate it, but as it turns out, I am moving on Sept. 1st so I have been busy packing and preparing.

I am so excited to be moving into the city of Boston!! I will be spending most of my time working and focusing on my classes at MassArt, but it will still be great to have the opportunity to take advantage of what the city has to offer, when I have the time. Since I am taking a painting class this fall, expect to see my work posted on here – so there will be more activity once that starts. In the meantime, I hope everyone else is well and happy. See you soon!

Fall 2011

I’m so excited for this upcoming Fall semester at MassArt! I have enrolled in these two classes: Foundations of Graphic Design (Tuesday nights) and Painting: Powers of Observation (Thursday nights).

The first class is part of my certificate program, usually taken alongside the Typography I class that I am taking right now. So, I had to find a second class, but I can’t jump ahead in the program. The adviser suggested this painting course – from what she said, the course is really popular, so I am quite psyched for it! She also told me that the Professor has a blog for that class, and she sent me the link: http://www.powersofobservation.com/. Also, check out some student work from the class this past spring here.

I have been quite busy with my Typography class, which I am still enjoying, but I will also enjoy having the whole month of August free! I was thinking of trying something new for that month, like Manga. Whatever I do, I definitely want to try to get back to one-post-a-day, even if just for that month. I’ve been seriously missing this blog, and I know I shouldn’t beat myself up about it but I’ve been kind of mad at myself for not being able to update it like I did when I started. I have a few other major changes on the horizon, so who knows what will happen but at least that is my goal for now.