Creative Constraints May 31, 2018 – Posted in: Uncategorized

I tried reading the Artist’s Way many years ago to learn better habits about creating the ideal creative brain space. The only thing that stuck from reading that book was morning pages: you journal for twenty minutes as soon as you wake up before your brain starts going into analytical planning mode. I’m not sure if it’s made me more creative, but it allows me to order my thoughts and helps me be a little less word vomit-y on my husband. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a little bit more perspective about big themes in her life.roses

Last week I started using a new journal I’d received as a gift. I was a little bit skeptical about this, because it features pages for writing along with half finished graphics of everyday objects and people and invites you to finish the illustration yourself. Part of me is very independent and does not like being told what to do, even if it’s a gentle directive to draw. And furthermore, this is my writing journal, how weird to integrate doodling with the writing!

But a few days into using this new journal, I found myself absentmindedly finishing the illustrations without much thought. This weekend, during a mid-afternoon lull I took over a whole page with doodles. This is a revelation to me, because the past few years I’ve felt so stuck about drawing. I can’t think of much I want to sketch. But having the picture half complete makes me feel like it’s a collaboration, and the hard part of coming up with the first marks on the page is already complete.  Now I’m really excited about drawing again, all because I had a few constraints given to me by the printed image. I’m seeing that infinite options of what to draw or do is just a little too much, and giving myself some rules and structure allows for a lot more creativity and growth. I love this idea expanded and applied to the rest of life too.