Honesty moment: I tried them several times but never fell in love so it’s not exactly in my range of techniques – though I do use other printing methods. Too messy for my taste 🙂
But, I know a lot of you love them and may want a little more info, so here’s the scoop straight from the Gelli Arts folks themselves! You’ll find tips, storage, cleaning and more on this page and here’s their demonstration video:
So, yay or nay? Let me know what you think – I’d love to hear from you!
Are you curious? If you’re like most deeply creative people, your curiosity, about everything, knows no bounds – even though you might keep your relentless questions quiet from time to time to not annoy your friends.
Curiosity is the gateway to creativity. Asking questions is the natural way to move forward. After all, the creative process itself is often sparked with the question “What if?”
Harness Your Curiosity
Curiosity is a great start but to really make creative gains, you’ll want to direct and amplify that force. Here are 3 essential practices to develop your creative curiosity.
Keep a Journal
Yes, we’ve all heard this time and again, but it really is the beginning of a meaningful creative practice. It doesn’t matter if your notebook is plain or fancy, lined or unlined or bound or loose pages – it only matters that you carry it with you and use it regularly. Don’t worry about being “writerly” or “artistic” either. Use it for everything that strikes your fancy.
Mine are usually smaller notebooks that I can carry with me that I use to make notes, sketches, lists (sometimes it’s just my shopping list) and even attach clippings and other scraps that interest me. The pages are a mash-up of my daily life and aren’t very often beautiful, but they’re mine. This is the one I’m working in right now:
Of course, asking questions is the realm of the curious but how often and how deeply do you really question what you encounter everyday?
Start a new page in your notebook for something in your daily life – say your commute to work or a project you’re working on – and ask the basic questions: Who is involved? What happens? When does it happen? Where does it happen? How does it happen? and Why does it happen?
Don’t be overly concerned with the answers as you write and try for multiple answers even if they seem silly. Make sketches or lists or margin notes if you like, the point is to become more familiar with questioning. Bonus points for finding answers that move you forward!
Try New Things
Do you have a daily routine? Most of us do and some parts are useful and necessary like brushing your teeth every day. But, other parts are ripe for change. Trying new things doesn’t have to mean big, bold life altering changes.
Start small: vary the route you take on a routine errand or to work, try a new brand of food, personal items or art supplies on your next shopping trip, listen to a different station for unfamiliar music, etc. Make a point to change something regularly and see how it affects your creativity.
Creativity is in the Questions
While curiosity drives creativity, it can be hard to hold on to that questioning spirit when the world around us wants to get to the right answer without enjoying the creative questioning that takes time to unfold a truly new answer. What ways do you keep asking your creative questions? Let me know – I’d love to hear!
*This notebook is covered in the Shiny Designs Signature Print and has both lines and space for drawings. That’s hard to find, so I made this one! Grab yours from Amazon here!
To create is to work. That’s why art and other creative output is referred to as “artwork” and a “body of work.”
That doesn’t mean the work is drudgery; it can be joyous. But, the nature of creative exploration has to encompass trials, missteps and outright failures or it won’t lead anywhere worth going.
As you expand your creative practice and output, you learn about your chosen craft and how to work within its constraints while bending them to your own vision. This intersection of practical knowledge and experience is where inspiration lives.
The difficulty is persevering on the path to get to that intersection because you don’t get there overnight. It takes time – maybe a few days or a few years, depending on complexity – and the road on the way is sometimes frustrating.
Learning to find reward in the creative process itself is how to remake the work of creating into joy.
How do you find joy in creating even when it doesn’t go as well as you’d like?
Creativity is a skill – Practice, and You’ll Get Better
I think the idea of having a creative practice and moving forward in small consistent ways is overlooked today. We’re inundated with images, stories and achievements of other creatives that make it seem that these things just spring into being in one dramatic creative act. We see and hear without context so the creative work that went into something is submerged beneath a glossy presentation. It happens so often in our daily lives, in the stores and online that we lose sight of the reality that to create is to work.
But, it’s not drudgery! Creative work is joyful work – it’s being engaged and alive and present with yourself – your best self. Sure, sometimes you’ll swear and walk away in disgust, but occasionally time itself will stand still and you’ll look at what you’ve made with wonder at how it came to be.
That beauty is the fruit of your creative practice.
So, how do you practice creativity? Like most things that you think of practicing – piano, yoga, soccer – creative practice is performed frequently, with intention and with high standards regarding the results. Creative practice can be the smallest action to the largest: from carefully preparing a gorgeous Bento box lunch to designing a large showy perennial flower garden.
The key is that the small creative acts support the large ones. Making that pretty lunch reinforces the skills necessary to tackle the much larger project of a garden. The elements of planning, material selection, color and texture considerations, composition and presentation are common across many creative projects.
Everyday creativity adds up to a creative life.
What large and small ways do you practice your creativity and how could that be better? Let me know – I’d love to hear from you!
I’ve been thinking about you lately – I’m starting to wonder when you get to do something just for you. Yes, you. I know you’re busy, oh so busy, doing all the things for everyone else but we both know that’s not cutting it anymore.
What About Me?
We talked about creativity being something you practice everyday but when you’re sunk under the weight of everyone’s cares, it can be hard to even see the slender thread of your creative spirit running through your life.
But, creativity is expressed a thousand ways – both small and large – throughout a day and a life. Look for the small, yet so meaningful, ways to express your creative spirit in your day.
Take a minute, an hour, a day and make something – anything you like – just to make yourself smile. It’s a small but meaningful start.