Journal Friday #25

Unfortunately, it's been three and a half weeks since I was able to post about my daily visual journal challenge with how busy things have been around here, but I'm finally getting back on track. I've been able to spend a few days catching up, and it just goes to show that you can use several of the challenges in one sitting to guide the creating.

 
Paint Marker

Paint Marker

 
 
Observation Drawing: Trees

Observation Drawing: Trees

 
 
Random Shapes: Collage

Random Shapes: Collage

 
 
Security

Security

 
 
Double Door

Double Door

 
 
Cursive Writing

Cursive Writing

 
 
Collage: Business Cards

Collage: Business Cards

 

The Quest for Creativity

 
 

Creativity like any act in life is a spiritual act. We seek meaning in our lives in many different ways, and the act of creating — the act of making something ourselves — helps us to not just find meaning, but to create it. All humans have an innate need to create, to build, to paint, to cook, to sew, or to make something where there was nothing but a lump separate parts. Through the act of creating we get in touch with ourselves and begin to create the meaning that we seek.

But many people believe that they are not creative. They believe that the creativity fairy has passed them by or that they just don’t have the natural talent or that only certain people are gifted with creativity. But the truth is we are all creative — every single one of us. But then why do so many believe that they are not?

We might just have too narrow of a definition for creativity. We are all unique and different, so we are creative in very different and unique ways. We are not all the same, but we all have the innate ability to make something new that has value. For one person it might be through music and song, and they have a gift for putting together melodies or lyrics. For another it might be using paint to create colorful and moving images. Yet for another it might be mathematics, and they see the path for solving complex problems. For another it might be a way for an offense to stymy the opposition in football. All of these rely on creativity.

Creativity is not a single thing. It’s not a one size fits all thing. It’s not just a thing for the geniuses. It’s not just a thing for those artsy-fartsy folks. It’s a human thing. But we have be socialized to believe that creativity is for special people or it’s about special subjects or only certain people are creative. Many people have closed themselves off to the possibility that they are creative, and so they become unwilling to even try.

But the urge to create — that innate need has persisted, so they rely on companies, corporations, and other individuals to show them what and how to create. With the proliferation of DIY shows, books, websites, and YouTube videos, it’s simple to let others figure these things out — to sit back and rely on someone else’s creativity. Though they may have taken the steps to sing, to build, to sew, to paint, and to make, they have left the creative decisions to others.

This has led to companies, corporations, and individuals to can creativity — pre-package projects where outcomes are known. We get a taste for creating but without the problem solving, without the trial and error, and without the discovery. We get the sense that we are creating, and it quenches that innate desire, at least for a little bit.

Many people seem to prefer this canned creativity because there is no risk. We know what the outcome will be, so we don’t have to risk absolute failure. We know it can be done because we can see the product, but we don’t come up with anything new. We simply follow someone else’s directions, and we don’t have to risk relying on our problem solving and critical thinking. It’s much more convenient to leave those decisions to someone else.

However, we never discover anything about ourselves. We never create the meaning that we were looking for because we look for others to create it for us. How can we take something that someone else has created and connect it to our own personal meaning? Something might appeal to us. Something might speak to us, but it will never be authentic to us.

In the end we become merely consumers consuming a product, but we can’t consume meaning. We must make it for ourselves.

Catching Up

 
 

With teaching, launching a revamped website, finishing the first in my ebook series, and just simple day-to-day things. I've gotten a few weeks behind on the daily challenges. Over the past few days, I've been trying to catch up, and I'm slowly getting back on track. If everything goes well, I'll be able to post two or three Journal Fridays this Friday. Stay tuned!

The Journal Fodder Junkies Daily Challenge Now On Sale

 
 

I am pleased to announce that my latest endeavor is ready for release, and it is officially on sale now in the shop. I've been working on The Journal Fodder Junkies Daily Challenge since October of last year, and my original plan was to self publish it as single book through Amazon's Createspace. Writing took much longer than expected, so I decided to publish it as a series of ebooks. I really wanted to have something ready for all of the teachers as they go back to school.

I'll be releasing a new part of the series each month over the next year with 30 or 31 challenges. Each ebook will be only $5! One of the big advantages of the ebooks, is that each challenge can have it's own page. I envision people printing the book with 2 or 4 pages per sheet and making their very own set of challenge cards that they can use themselves or with their students.

The goal of the series is give artists and visual journalists a daily creative nudge, but it can be used at anytime when you and your art needs a spark.

Part 1 is now ready! I am looking forward to sharing the first 31 challenges to get you through August. To purchase or for more info, check out the shop!

New Website and New Ebook

 
fullsizeoutput_e50.jpeg
 
 

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of busyness. So busy, that I haven't been able to keep up with my daily visual journal challenges, and unfortunately, I'm a couple weeks behind posting my weekly Journal Friday posts. I'm working on catching up though, and hopefully I'll be posting new Journal Fridays soon.

At least it has been a good busy, and I've been busy teaching and making art. I taught a two-week summer art program for high school students, and then it was right into teaching a summer camp for little kids. During all that, I was making art in preparation for Arts in the Alley this past weekend in Leesburg, VA. This apparently wasn't enough to do, and in the midst of all of that I revamped the JFJ website and finished up a new ebook. Hopefully you noticed the new website since the blog is now hosted on it. I am excited that everything is in one place.

 

 
 

As for the ebook, it's the first installment of my series based on my daily journal challenges, and it will go on sale in the shop tomorrow. It contains the first 31 challenges, and I can't wait to share it. I just have to look it over one last time so that it's ready to meet the world tomorrow.

I am glad to finally be getting a chance to catch up.