7 day creativity challenge

By Carrie Brummer

Do you remember those amazing choose your own adventure books? Man how I loved to lose myself in those stories and all the choices I could make for my character. The funny thing is we are living one now. Today. But somewhere along the path to “adulthood” we were told to choose responsibility and obligation over creativity and fun. We feel without choice, thus, no adventures.

Despite research that tells us repeatedly that creativity is not only good for business, it actually makes us happier, healthier, human beings we feel guilty for taking time for ourselves to express our creative interests.

I’m here today calling you to make a new choice, a different choice, a better choice. Making time for your hopes and dreams isn’t selfish, it’s actually selfless. When we are at our best, we can give more to our loved ones. When we honour the very real need to take care of ourselves, we model the same example to our loved ones. We can literally make this planet a happier place by choosing to honour our creativity.

Start today with me and commit to 7 days of creativity. Let us honour our inner artist and enjoy some arts based play. While we don’t have all the time in the world, because we do have things like responsibilities, I’m pretty sure we can all find around 15 minutes a day.

Are you ready?

Warning: Actions speak louder than words. Creativity is about doing. Join me. Starting right now.  (Important Note: Each day’s task builds on the next.)

Day One

Find a blank piece of paper, a pencil, ruler and a compass (don’t have a compass? Use the tops of cups, plates, etc. as templates). Make a dot in the center of your paper and draw one large circle that has that dot/point as it’s center. Then make as many circles of varying sizes as you like, but be sure they share the same center point (it’s called being concentric).

Day Two

Use your rule and pencil to divide your circle in half. Then do it again, and again…. and again! At minimum divide your largest circle 4 times. You should create a bunch of “pieces of pie” by doing this.

Special note: You may decide to erase some of these marks later. A simple but often neglected piece of advice: make light marks with your pencil (they are easier to erase than dark marks). You can always return to any lines in your drawing to trace over them if you want your marks darker.

Day Three

Anywhere your circles and lines intersect, place a large or small circle using the intersection as your circle’s middle point. (This is a whole lot easier with a compass than templates!!) Be repetitive and create symmetry by drawing the same size circle all the way around. (Variation: you can decide to use every other intersection to also keep symmetry but make it a bit less busy).

Day Four

Look at your creation so far: are any shapes within your circles large and spacious? Fill in those spaces with some kind of pattern. I actually have an activity sheet for you today. Click here to download and get access to a mark-making sheet to help you brainstorm.

Again, remember symmetry is important: if you make one texture, where can you repeat it in other shapes to create harmony and balance? Fill up as many spaces in your drawing as feels good to you.

Day Five

Do you want your drawing to have more lines, circles, or other marks? Today is the day to refine the drawing and decide whether you are ready for colour. Then go find some colouring tools. Coloured pencils, markers, paint… select whatever feels most fun and exciting to you! Start colouring today if you have time.

You can make it as easy or as complicated as you like: do what feels fun.

Day Six

It’s time to colour! This may take more than 15 minutes so you get two days for sure to work on this.

Day Seven

Today you finish what may be your first drawing since school. You’ve just created an ancient artform, a mandala. They are symbols of the universe, of infinity and of connection. The last seems especially fitting, as you have just reconnected with your inner artist.

I’d love to see your work! Give a shout out to @ArtistThink on Twitter with an image of your artwork. And then go back to the drawing board and make some more. :)

Our life is one big choose your own adventure book. We are our own characters. So make a choice: choose your creative interests. Not only will you be happier and healthier for embracing your creativity, your family and loved ones will also benefit. They will see the happier, healthier you!

Carrie Brummer is an artist, educator and entrepreneur all wrapped into someone who loves traveling, eats way too much sugar in the form of chocolate chip cookies and currently lives in the country of Muscat, Oman. Her biggest passion at the moment is to encourage creative play in the lives of as many people as she possibly can: engaging with your creative interests makes us happier, healthier, more fulfilled human beings. Seriously, what’s not to like? That’s why her company Artist Think is now alive and kicking: it’s her vehicle to art-educate and art-empower. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook

Photo Credit: Unsplash