A few years ago, I invented an app that turned flat drawings into 3D pop-up art. It was during the time Creativity Portal was leaking creative fluid from Jill Badonsky's Creativity Owner's Manual, and after successfully testing it on her book with delightful results, I named the app Jillustrations.
Badonsky and I had an interesting chat after that, and probably the first Blog Tour U-Turn, in which the "but wait, there's more" in me had to continue important discussion around fish, cats, my favorite 70s sitcom, and how they all relate to the creative process.
Where's that app now? It's suspended inanimation, in a stage of staging, ready for a logistics completion into our more complex reality defined by shape and form … and a team of developers who can write code to make it happen. Ah, resources!
This isn't my first invention suspended in imagination. Like da Vinci, who journaled and sketched his brilliant and innovative ideas through the Renaissance, I doodle and jot when inspiration hits. I'm not comparing myself to him, but writing about us both in the same paragraph puts me in good company and raises my esteem.
Lots of my ideas live on paper. You should see all the sticky notes and ephemeral journals I have going on. You might call it clutter, but I know where everything is. And like da Vinci, who worked an assortment of ideas through to fruition via intention and focus, he knew when some ideas needed to ripen, and when some needed to fall off the tree. So he painted the wry smile of Mona Lisa while he figured things out.
I'm surprised when one of my amusing ideas gets real. Occasionally they go rogue. Like my Free-Range Ant Farm — I quickly learned how smart ants are at using liberating opportunities to work together for a common cause, such as seeking out a counter top sugar bowl and turning it into a hot tub. And given the choice to stay or go … they go.
Abandoned farms aside, I play with ideas all the time — mostly for fun and without intending them to market. This approach is freeing and gives plenty of room to play and 'break a lot of light bulbs', as Edison might say. This practice is good for my more serious, day-job work, where creativity and innovation is in high demand. Sometimes, through sheer serendipity, my playful ideas end up in the marketplace. See The List Below.
You possess this awesome ability, too — to unleash and express your creative power through an array of tangible and intangible ways and means: on canvas, fabric, paper, screens, and stages. In pots and pans, petri dishes, machines, and molds. In workplace collaborations, mindful meetings, and in pure stumbling upon because you dared to try. Let's encourage more of this.
Tell me about the things that you create. I would love to hear about your experiences and what motivates you. Share your influences and inspirations, mentors and muses. Show me the things you are making, the concepts you are collaborating, and the important ways you are expressing your talents in the world.
And if you need some help getting started or restarted in the above, let's brainstorm some ideas together to help make creating fulfilling and fun for you.
You never know where one of your ideas might land. Here's where a few of mine landed:
But wait, there's more! Okay, we'll save some for later. :) I look forward to hearing from you!
I want to share an inspiring experience I had in my early 20s that had a major influential shaping on the trajectory of my creative life. It all started with a small-town newspaper book review of How to Draw a Radish by Joy Sikorski, and continued when I curiously pulled a thread to see where it might lead. Read my reflections in Creative Influences are Everywhere.
While you're there, take notice of the whimsical drawing lessons and interview I had with Joy. About 25 years have passed since I first encountered Joy, who still influences my attitude toward being playful and embracing "silly," as she wisely told me, "Helps in everything in life."
Author Tina Welling shares a compelling observation about the reader-writer relationship. She says, "We are two halves of a whole, you and I. We create our own ecosystem, writer and reader. We thrive from one another's activities, like bees and blossoms."
In this Writing Wild series, Welling explores themes around the energy of writing, healing through expression, and the importance of storytelling in connecting with self and others. If you're not a writer, you'll find these themes apply in other focused creative endeavors. See where you find the connections.
When asked, "What does it take to be creative?" Anne Paris, PhD, says, "It takes feeling 'connected in' or immersed with the artwork," but also "a great deal of courage to allow yourself to dive into that state of creative immersion … because the whole process is very unknown and uncertain."
Paris' unique path to creative immersion through support from mirrors, heroes, and twins, reflects her belief that "connections with others, whether in reality or fantasy, are what give us the courage to take that dive," and has helped her clients to start and finish their greatest projects.
Enjoy this inspiring excerpt and interview based on Paris' book Standing at Water's Edge: Moving Past Fear, Blocks, and Pitfalls to Discover the Power of Creative Immersion.
Artist, therapist, and creativity coach Lisa Agaran examines the challenges around creative expression when depression, disconnection, or high sensitivity is present. In this series, she explores way to navigate through the hills and valleys, re-enter creative process, and reconnect with creativity through the senses.
Can you remember the last time you were surprised by love? In this story, Anne Marie Bennett helps us remember the deep connection we have with one another that transcends time Through the Eyes of SoulCollage®.
Chris Dunmire's new sock game, based on the classic memory game, celebrates the warm hugging socks do to our feet with endless pairs to pair. Print a set of twenty sheets if you dare!
Creative writer Molly Anderson takes us down six paths for getting poetically inspired. Enjoy the array of creative options for transforming your words into works of art. She affirms, "You are a fantastic poet, breathing fire and ice, telling the hot truth and salsa-dancing with exciting, exotic words!"
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