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Creative Habit

Rachel Wynne's "Coral", norwyn design

Creative Habit

Recently I assigned my students a 31-Day Drawing Challenge for the month of March 2015. The idea here was to start to build a ritualistic muscle, drawing daily. I suggested it be a continuous location that might change over time. Keep the materials and the container (a sketchbook) constant. These common denominators highlight the shifts and changes to the subject matter. Some of the ideas were fabulous: tracking house keys, a laundry hamper, a communal couch, the kitchen sink…It seems that having a forum for this sort of practice helps. There is an assignment and a destination for the work.

Some of the reactions to the assignment ran the gamut from anxiety to the appreciation of discipline.  The American dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp states in her book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life,  “In the end, there is no ideal condition for creativity. What works for one person is useless for another. The only criterion is this: Make it easy on yourself. Find a working environment where the prospect of wrestling with your muse doesn't scare you, doesn't shut you down. It should make you want to be there, and once you find it, stick with it. To get the creative habit, you need a working environment that's habit-forming. All preferred working states, no matter how eccentric, have one thing in common: When you enter into them, they compel you to get started.” 

Yesterday through MOMA, something called The 100 Day Project began. This is a chance for people to choose a sustainable creative ritual for 100 days. It is not too late! Here is the link: thegreatdiscontent.com/100days 

The beauty of this project is that thousands of people around the world are participating and posting their images via Instagram. The potential for motivation and interconnectivity is global. My sister out in California is making beautiful paper collages which may become graphic repeat patterns.  By the end, she will have an amazing body of work. 

Until next time…find a forum to incubate your inspirations. What will you do to build your creative habit? CREATE.