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Week Two : Creativity Bootcamp 2016

As I head into my second week of Creativity Bootcamp, I’m feeling pretty stellar. I’ve produced 7 or 8 new collages, journaled every day, and decorated a special event party. Plus kept my house and blog running. Mostly because I worked hard ahead of time to really prepare. See the first three of the week’s collages here.

It wasn’t that easy the first round of Bootcamp back in October. I was raging against the fact that I had no regular free time for me. Because as it turns out to enter flow, as you’ll see in number two below, you need to have enough TIME to enter and exit your flow state in PEACE. Neither of which you have with a toddler. Ergo the immense frustration I was feeling back then.

        Five Keys To Flow

  1. Ritual – Create a mood or environment that’s conducive to creativity
  2. Solitude and Enough Time
  3. Focus – Plan ahead of time what you’ll be doing specifically
  4. You can’t command creativity – The cat under the bed will move further back if it doesn’t want to come out.
  5. Trust and Welcome whatever comes forth/out

(I got these from Sally Wolfe who’s ecourse on writing my book Manifesto I’ve signed up for and will be working on after Bootcamp.) Collage Tulips on Shalavee.com

What has changed in four months? I suppose I get better naps out of her or she’s more self entertaining or I’m not choosing to try to art when I know I can’t. I still have limited time but what I also found was that, if I want to, I can speed my creative process up considerably and get a creative result in 15 minutes. A little bit is better than nada and that expectation adjustment may also be the key.

Interested in more information on Flow, read my past post here on creative expression and flow.

The next week is supposed to be about styling and picture-taking. See this post for my Creativity Bootcamp intentions. Currently I’m catching up on blogging and the sun outside is now being obscured by snow clouds. I’ll need to make sure to create my weeks posts in case another snow day costs me my private writing time tomorrow.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Three Days into Creativity Bootcamp

Day three of Creativity Bootcamp 2016 had me making my third collage with the prompt I set ahead. I wrote 8 prompts out so that I would not balk for inspiration the moment I stepped up to the craft table. This first collage was prompted by “Green”.
 Stack collage on Shalavee.comAs I began to gather my paper pieces, the encyclopedia page with the Wrigley building in Chicago was what I grabbed as my background. The caption said it was built entirely from chewing gum….profits. So the green theme was expanded.

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This second collage above was from my prompt “Stack”. The smokestack happened to also be in my pile on my work bench leftover from the Valentine’s wreath I did in the Altered books crafting group activity I participated in in January.  I’d watercolored a book picture of Rio do Janero earlier and I added in some of my more vibrantly painted cut up pages. Ta Da. Took maybe 20 minutes. Very satisfying.

2016-02-03 07.37.19 1

This, my third day’s collage offering, was prompted by the word ” glimmer”. Kraft paper, another old encyclopedia page of a mountain and snow, and a silver paint pen. Took me five minutes tops. Because I spent the rest of the day working on a decorative piece for a fundraiser installation. See my thoughts on the challenge here.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures,friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Create or Die Trying

Today I gave my collaging a break. Wanted to artfully describe the frustration, the real feelings I feel when I go to create and I can’t. I wrote posts instead. And I also wanted to share the other art that’s happened so far. Let the catharsis continue. Create or die trying.Watercolor encyclopedia Butterfly on kraft card on Shalavee.com

Hands poised over the keyboard, a hovering potential of something to come in the space between. Then…The horrible screeching of toddler joined by an unskilled clarinet honk.

My nerves already frazzly. “Why is she crying” I scream.

“Put it away, it’s not a toy.”

No nap is inevitable. I’m foretelling the same tired future. More raw nerves.

Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Twitch twitch twitch.

Seems so easy to do the laundry, clean, and sometimes even cook. These can be accomplished, or interrupted, without a broken heart. No worries, the dirt doesn’t care. A mostly clean house most of the time means I’m winning. No need for inspiration and a muse, vacuum on.

But the art cares.

Tragedy is being so close to the escape of your heart, you will soon soar and disappear and then…”Mommy, I poopy!” I’m afraid my brain will seize up from the grief of stopping. I’m afraid my dashed expectations will paralyze me. Make me more angry, the fury at the helplessness. I am bloated with my fear and my potential.

I’ll just try tomorrow…when there’s time…when there’s space…when I can think…when I’m not afraid.

The creativity challenge continues as does thirty-one days straight of posts. To be continued.

travel bug collage by Shalagh Hogan on Shalavee.com

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Creating Despite Your Life

Before 9am on day one of my challenge, I was in the craft room ready to get crafting. I had “cleaned up” the day before clearing just enough space to make more mess. I’d also made some more water-colored encyclopedia pages with Fiona to collage with. Including her in the painting process had worked out then so I was hoping to just roll through my creative time easily.Caitlin's collage card on Shalavee.com

All was well for a little while. She wanted to do more painting in the encyclopedia. Set her up, go back to doing something. Follow a whim, making a thank you card. Eventually, my focus is shifted back to her. She wanted to play with the fairy. Two minutes later, the fairy had no arms. In an attempt to super glue them back on, I spilled the glue all on my bench and on my hand. I was now irritated. Never give a two year old something you care about but don’t be irritated with her if you do and she breaks it.

The irritation was from the familiar “I told you so” dialogue lurking.

That dialogue might go something like, “And this is why I don’t even try to create while Fiona’s around. It’s just too much work and ideally I’d rather just create without distractions”. And while I agree to the ultimate wishful truth in this statement, I call foul. Because this is the same true/false statement that I’ve used the whole time I’ve raised a baby and have not been creating.Shannon's butterfly card on Shalavee.com

This Creativity Bootcamp is my self-appointed lesson in How to do Both. How to parent and carve out time for myself. How to drive through the wreck because Sister, that wreck is inevitable. As dear young creative entrepreneur Caroline Kelso recently said when speaking about what insight failure gives you,

And that’s why I hope you create too. Because you have to.

Because even the possibility of failure can’t deter you from bringing your ideas to life”.

Because when you ask yourself if it’s alright if you just don’t try again after that failure and the answer is a really obnoxious “NO”, you keep going.    I pushed through. After the poopy diaper happened. I kept at it. While the cat was walking over my bench and nestling into the basket with paper odds and ends. Despite Fiona grabbing everything in sight and throwing it on the floor. And even though I had to pee really badly. I made four cards. Three as thank you’s to dear ones in my life for the loveliness they gave me on my recent birthday. And one is for the Etsy shop. That’s right. Because why wouldn’t I use this opportunity to get myself over that fear hump too.

Stay tuned for a post a day every day of the month of October and more creative insights.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Day One of The Creativity Bootcamp

Officially, the Creativity Bootcamp Challenge has begun. And the word “Challenge” was made clear to me today. Dropped the boy off at school early for band practice. And when Fiona and I returned, we went straight up to the craft room. Saving the majority of the story for tomorrow’s post but thought I’d give you a sneak peek at the first day’s proof of creativity and tell you that overcoming my “why I can’t create right now” excuses is going to take the entire month of October.Sue's chair thank you on Shalavee.com

Just know that any progress in your life takes focus and resignation. Disabilities need not be reasons for failure. They’re just there to make the end product look that much sweeter and you and your perseverance more impressive.

Every day in October, there’ll be something published on the blog. It’s a thing and I’m doing it again. See the next post here.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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