Creative Cleansing Exercise

Clear your head and CREATE!This Wild Sister Magazine topic back in Arpil 2014 put me in mind right away of the clutter that fills the creative mind—we artists either seem  to have no ideas or way, way, WAY too  many, you know?

Learning techniques to deal with this is  essential to stop creativity becoming a source of overwhelm.

Here is a simple journalling exercise for those moments when you have more ideas for creative projects than you have time, energy or inclination to pursue.

Start with a blank sheet of loose paper. Grab some coloured pens and pencils and even crayons (crayons are fabulous tools for freeing creativity, trust me!).

On the blank sheet, write down the first five ideas which come into your head. Just
use a few words for each and space them out on the sheet so that there’s room to write around each one. Write each one in a different colour, and take note of how you feel (and which colours you choose) as you write.

Now, grab some more colours and start writing more words around each idea.

Empty your head! Write down symbols, colours, textures, words, anything which the idea brings to mind.

Be sure to still leave space around each cluster of words, because next you are going to tear around each cluster. Oh yeah, rip baby RIP!

You’ll now have some sections of paper filled with ideas. Stick each one on a new piece of
paper either in your journal if you have one (if you don’t, you should consider getting one— it’s a magical practice of joyousness) or on another five sheets of blank paper.

Now you’re going to narrow it down to three. Pick the three with the most words around them.

Change colours again and keep writing, doodling, drawing around each stuck-on
sheet. Work really quickly, don’t overthink this bit. Scribble, colour, add collage, just fill each sheet of paper right tothe edges (go over the edges if you like!).

You now have the starting point for three pieces of artwork.

Pick one.

It doesn’t matter how! Keep the other two (handy cheat sheets for when you are next
stuck—yay!) and start on one. Either scan or photograph the ideas sheet and stick it in a brand new sketchbook or journal, so that you are starting with a ‘clean sheet’ and use the
ideas-emptying-out-of-head technique any time you want to take the idea further.

unnamedThis article was first published in Wild Sister Magazine in the ‘Cleansing’ issue

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