“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
And the world will not have it.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you.
Keep the channel open.
I’ve used this quote by Martha Graham (American dancer) in my workshops forever and ever. A long time.
To me, she encapsulates what it means to have a creative practice.
The creative practice that I do and teach takes the form of inquiry-with-art-supplies inside of our journals /sketchbooks / art journals.
Today’s post is a toast to you and everyone here who is taking the leap (or maybe just a baby step) and cultivating a creative practice.
The following images come from participants in the FLOW: 30 Day Journal Project – and are just a few that I’ve seen fly by in my Instagram feed. I’ll be sharing more. (How to share is at the end of this post).
The idea for creative practice came to me through the doorway of music and dance. My undergraduate degree is in music, and all during college, I went to as many dance classes (ballet) as I could. The ballet conditioning classes were something I loved from childhood. Being a part of a group of girls, all dressed the same in our leotards, going through the same routines week after week. There was something so certain and comforting about that—qualities that didn’t exist at home, in my family.
What I learned as a kid, was if you miss a week of dance class, you loose some of your flexibility and tone. It was dance class that helped me create a discipline around piano practice during music conservatory.
For some reason, the idea of having a creative practice is foreign to visual artists, and for a lot of writers, too.
But dancers have to warm up their muscles before they dance. Dancers, actors, musicians, all rehearse. They have a way to practice. And they have to do it daily.
When I shifted from music into visual art and writing, it seemed natural to treat writing and art like I did dancing or playing the piano. Show up, work out, practice. Do it again the next day.
It’s worth mentioning that I practiced writing and doing my visual art inside of my journaling sketchbooks long before it became my new profession. In case you’re wondering about your progress, or what could possibly come out of keeping a journal.
Having a creative practice isn’t just for professional artists. No way!
My higher purpose with creativity (as a practice and in the art I make) is to heal, grow, and make beauty and meaning out of the dross of life.
Creative expression belongs to everyone, and we all need a place (the journal) and some methods (spontaneous writing and playing with art supplies) to confront the blank page of our lives. This is the cure for everything.
If you want to read more about my story, I invite you to check out my memoir, Sketchbooks.
The ultimate work of art is you.
The life you are living and creating is the ultimate expression.
Having a practice that honors your creativity and helps you know yourself is what I wish most for you.
Enjoy. And Go Gently.
Today’s Journal Prompts:
Today, I dare to express…
I feel energized when…
I’m aware that I tend to hold back, or hesitate when…
If I weren’t stopping myself, I would…
Make your journaling even easier:
Last year when I offered the first 30 Day Journal Project, I found that having the prompts printed out in advance helped me get right into my journaling for the day.
So I made you nice versions of the very same layouts I’m using for my own journaling.
After I made these for myself, I prettied up the design so you could use them, too.
FLOW: PRINTABLES | $12
This post is part of the 30 Day Journal Project.
Our theme for this year is: FLOW.
Just discovered this project? Great! You can begin right now.
Pop your email into the box below, and you’ll each day’s prompts delivered to you:
You’ll get Day 1 immediately when you sign up, and a new prompt each day after for 30 days.
Don’t want to receive prompts by email – or did your daily email go missing?
No worries, we’ve got options:
1. Every day for 30 days, a brand new set of journaling prompts is posted right here on my blog. Creative journaling is my number one tool as an artist and creative entrepreneur.
2. I also made printables of ALL 30 days of prompts… (this is how I’m making my journal this year)
Beauty & Connection
You may join our closed FB Group for this project here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/30dayjournal/
Each inspirational quote for the 30 Day Journal Project has a pretty visual graphic for you to print out and paste your journal, add to your Pinterest gallery, or share as you wish.
You are invited to share your experience in the comments—the dream is to collect your stories for an upcoming book about this project.
Use the hashtag #30DAYJOURNAL in your blog and social media posts so we can find each other and build our creative community.
*Upcoming Workshops Registering Now*
A quick heads up that this is the last chance to join an online workshop with me until October, 2015.
Dreaming on Paper: The Creative Sketchbook is the foundational course that shows you how to effortlessly combine word, image, collage and photography to create richly layered visual journals.
This course is required for more in-depth study and the facilitator training. Four weeks, starts in August, 2015.
The 7 Creative Powers is all about breaking through resistance and understanding the places we get stuck. For those who have already taken Dreaming on Paper or Creative + Practice. This course is required for the Facilitator Training. Seven weeks, starts July 8th, 2015! You may register through July.