That seems like such a simple question, but when you think about it deeply, it can be difficult to answer. Who are we? What makes up what we are deep down? Personality, values, genetics, thoughts?
Philosophers, psychologists, artists, and ordinary people have pondered this for years. Yet, everyone seems to have differing opinions. What we all can agree on is that people are unique and amazing creatures who are difficult to understand fully.
Hoofer: noun. Slang. A professional dancer, especially a tap dancer. (Dictionary.com)
When I did my Fosse imitation a few weeks back, Karina, one of our commenters, suggested that I try to do a Gene Kelly imitation. I’ve tap danced before, I thought. No big deal. Continue reading Hoofer→
Have you ever been in a library or bookstore, glanced at two books shelved next to each other, and realized that their titles formed a phrase or sentence? Today, I turned this phenomenon into art by stacking books so their titles made two short poems.
This project was quick, easy, and only required books and a camera, but it reminded me that opportunities for creativity are all around us. Even if you are not a fan of writing, I would strongly encourage you to try incorporating art into your everyday life.
Here are three tips that will make it easier for you to get involved with art:
1. Start small
Sometimes creating art feels like an enormous undertaking, but you don’t have to start with oil painting. Instead, choose one easy project (like stacking books) and a short amount of time (like ten minutes in the evening). You might be surprised by how much you can enjoy in short, simple projects—I know that I was.
2. Ask friends
If you have friends who are involved in genres that intrigue you, ask them if they’ll teach you. This can be pretty scary, but most people enjoy talking about things they enjoy, so they’ll most likely say yes. I would never have tried ceramics or violin without my friends’ help.
3. Try improvising
You won’t always have the exact supplies that you need to follow directions, and that’s completely okay. You can often find something that will work just as well—like trading an awl for a thumbtack. This improvising just gives you another way to enjoy being creative.
Art is everywhere. You just have to know how to look for it.
I spend a lot of time upside down. It increases the blood flow to the brain, so it really helps your creativity.
We’ve already talked about photography in the mundane, but how about photography from another angle? What if you took pictures of the mundane and did it while being upside down? For example, it’s easy to photograph a table, but have you ever tried from being underneath it?
Remember how fun craft time was when you were a kid? There was something so wonderful about being able to pull out the paint supplies and go wild, without any pressure to create a fantastically beautiful piece. Today’s art burst is about recreating that feeling.
As I mentioned in last Friday’s post, my paintings tend to look the same as they did in kindergarten; however, I do love the feeling of a brush in my hand, so for today’s post, I decided to paint rocks. This is a pretty flexible activity since paints and brushes aren’t hard to find at Target or Michael’s and little stones are scattered all over the place. (I dug mine out of the snow in front of the dorm.)
Even if we’re involved in art, we tend to stick to mediums that are familiar. For example, my college campus has a ceramics studio in their art building, but I have never been inside in all my three years at this school. Until now.
This weekend, I strapped on an apron and got my
sister, who is an art minor, to give me a tour. She began with the bucket of wet, slimy clay (called “slip”). After this clay has the excess water removed, it’s usable for projects. Next, she took me to the wedging tables, where artists knead the clay until it’s solid enough to work with. When I tried wedging, I was surprised by how fast the clay dries out.
Then I got to try wheel-thrown pottery. First, my sister showed me how to center the clay by bracing my palms on the rapidly spinning wheel. I couldn’t get my lump centered. Then I pushed too hard and pulled it completely off the wheel. After a couple more tries, we decided I should just make my object by hand.
Did you love face painting as a child? Were you one of those kids at the fair who begged your parents to pay for a tiger-face paint job? Did you get into your mom’s make-up when you were little?
If you’re like me in that you like to use paint, but you’re terrible at it, then this short art burst is for you. Using your face as a canvas is a lot easier than paper. Plus, you can use your fingers. Double bonus.
Some people naturally appreciate modern art. I am not one of them. Several times, I’ve found myself standing in an art gallery, staring at a painting called something like “Red Line on White Canvas,” and thinking, “I could do that.”
Today, I actually tried it. I got out my colored pencils . . . and had absolutely no ideas. I hadn’t realized how hard it would be to create art that didn’t look like physical objects.
To give myself some inspiration, I browsed the work of two abstract expressionist painters, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. Rothko’s paintings depict colored rectangles. Newman’s works feature bright colors with thin vertical lines running through them. I’m not a very good artist, but I decided to imitate both of these artists. How hard could it be to draw some lines and color blocks?
It was much harder than I thought. Drawing the shapes was fairly easy, but it was hard to create a picture that was visually pleasing. I couldn’t explain why, but my pictures were less interesting than the originals. My rectangles looked like random blobs. My lines weren’t very striking.
This reminded me of a conversation several of my friends who are art majors had about abstract art. They said that it was hard to create good composition with such limited subject matter.
While I still don’t understand modern art, I gained a new appreciation for artists who can make such a simple structure hold the viewers’ attention. It’s a deceptively simple art form.
Do you know someone who is going through a hard time right now? Are you trying to find ways to encourage them? Have you considered looking at crafting in the creative arts?
Crafts can sound childish, but they can be highly effective in giving someone a little extra love. I have a friend who is going through a bit of hard time right now, and since it was her birthday yesterday, I decided to create a unique sort of card, not only to say happy birthday, but also to remind her how much I love her.
Everyone suffers from writer’s block at some point, and there are a billion solutions for getting past it. But when someone told me that she runs her poems through Google translate when she gets stuck, I had to try it.