Nurture Your Creative Spark


So. After writing the last post about my papier mache birds with shawls, I had an image in my head to work out on paper. It started with writing that bit about having a tendency to make lots of smaller projects when life goes on full tilt.  I looked back at last year around this time, and yep, I was doing it then as well. The six weeks prior to the Art Show at my school is packed with sorting through stacks of artwork, backing them with colored construction paper, labeling them, coordinating volunteers for all aspects of the evening from hanging the show, to the reception, to taking the show down a few days later. Holidays are often “full” like this, as is May-early June, the end of the school year. I had an image of Genevieve holding one of these birds gently, protecting it, with a whirlwind going on around her.

But when I sat down to draw, the thing kinda got away from me…I was drawing flowers and rain and clouds and collaging words and a poem. Huh? (above drawing)


So then, I decided to have a go at the image I originally had in my head. I found myself pulling out oil pastels with this one. Funny how sometimes the image dictates what supplies you need. Or how an image has a mind of its own and goes off in directions you had no clue it would go. Still I like them both. They’re quite different in many ways even though the central image of Genevieve and the bird is the same.

So. How to nurture your creative spark when life is so very full? Here are some ideas:

*Make use of the little bits of time you have here and there. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish while waiting at the doctor’s office, or in the car pick up line, or over lunch, or any margin you can find in your day.

*Find a mini-version of what it is you’d really like to be making.  So you might not have time for throwing clay on your wheel…perhaps you could make some small jewelry out of Sculpey Clay. Maybe you can’t begin illustrating your next children’s book…but you could sketch out little thumbnails, playing with placement. And if there isn’t time for composing your next symphony, pull out a toy piano or a piano app on your iPad and play around with chords, harmonies, and tunes. You never know when these seemingly insignificant things might lead to larger works when you have more time.

*Stay connected to your creative love. Even if you only have a minute or two to crack open a book on sketch journaling, or read an inspiring blog post about mosaics, or look up a favorite artist in your particular creative genre, try to stay connected with the creativity you would love to be doing. It might feed ideas and allow you to mull over what you’ll do when your time allows.

*Jot down ideas. Write down somewhere the ideas/inspirations that come to you. This way you won’t forget them, AND you won’t fret about possibly forgetting them. 🙂

*Use the little bits of time you have to try NEW things you might not otherwise try. So if you can’t work on your novel, maybe you can try your hand at calligraphy. If you don’t have any time for weaving on the loom, maybe a bit of origami would be fun to try. Mix it up, choose something small, play!

I’d LOVE to hear your ideas! What do you do when time is precious and scarce? How do YOU nurture your creative spark?

0 thoughts on “Nurture Your Creative Spark

  1. sunny says:

    Thanks as always for your post! I have a ziploc bag of blank atcs, a spiral index card thingy (cheap and can draw on the blank side) and some pens I keep in my bag for those short times. The atc/index card size is small enough that, eventually, I can finish something. 🙂

  2. freebirdsings says:

    I love both of the pieces. I think it is a good thing to have a flurry of little things once in a while. They might actually act as a sort of brainstorming activity or saving grace for while you are doing something less creative with your time at work. It is doing well by you however you look at it.

    • jenpedwards says:

      I think you’re right about “a flurry of thigs” being a kind of brainstorming. Perhaps it feels more like the saving grace as I wait or the time to open up to work on my next Genevieve book’s illustrations. What are you into these days? Are you knitting socks? Would love to see a pic!:)

          • freebirdsings says:

            It sure did. I replied on my post because you don’t have your email linked to your commenting. I was so glad you dropped by but I goofed as I meant to show the pic of your picture and the frame my daughter picked and didn’t realize it wasn’t on the post. That just means your picture will get it’s own post when it gets done being framed (it got done but my daughter told Michael’s to redo it as the mirror frame was bubbling in the corners somehow). I posted on Ravelry where I got the pattern for the afghan.

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