Thursday, August 27, 2009

Playing with Inspiration - Zentangle

Morning pages - Zentangle by Lani

This prompt comes from the current Wreck This Journal Round Robin over at 14 Secrets. It was in susanna suchak's journal. The prompt was to go to, read about it and create something based on it. Well, that was SO much fun, I thought I'd share it here. Part of the fun was the research. There's a lot of Zentangle material out there, even videos on youtube about it. Very interesting! Of course I wanted to know the rationale for creating all these bitty lines on a 3.5" by 3.5" piece of water color paper, since it looked like it might feel a little ... er... obsessive and the kit is a wee bit ... er... expensive. So I found this fascinating blog about rational, cost, and even easy to follow direction.

Zentangle themselves say this:
One day, Maria told Rick (it's their "invention" what she experienced as she drew background patterns on a manuscript she was creating. She described her feelings of timelessness, freedom and well-being and complete focus on what she was doing with no thought or worry about anything else.

"You're describing meditation," Rick said.

Rick and Maria wondered if they could create a simple system so others might enjoy a similar experience. And so began the journey towards discovering this simple and elegant system called Zentangle.

Benefits and Uses of Zentangle

It is fascinating to learn how other people are using Zentangle. Here's a list of ways others are enjoying Zentangle's benefits. This list continues to grow as people apply Zentangle in ways we never considered.

* Relaxation
* Journalling
* Insomnia (Improved sleep by creating a Zentangle before bedtime)
* Self-esteem
* Inspiration
* Panic attacks (For fear of flying, creating a Zentangle during takeoff and landing)
* Modify behavior
* Create beautiful works of art
* Nurture and develop creative abilities
* Relieve stress
* Improve eye/hand coordination
* Develop/rehabilitate fine motor skills
* Team building and group focus
* Therapy
* Anger management
* Addiction therapy tool
* Early artist development and appreciation
* Increase attention span and ability to concentrate
* Home schooling
* Design inspiration
* Stretching and warm-up for artists
* Stress reduction

This all sounded pretty amazing so I thought I'd give it a try. And yes, you do get into that timeless zone of no worries, a lot like you do with contour drawing. At some point my mind did want to run in the opposite direction and that's when I changed patterns rather than putting it down. 3.5" by 3.5" is not a lot of space, just about 15 to 20 minutes worth.
So play with this inspiration and blog about it, then leave us your link!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Playing with Inspiration

Secret Life Within by Lani

Continuing to play with inspiration here, I'll leave interesting prompts which will hopefully open doors to increased creativity. This week's prompt is to create a "Secret Life Within" like the above photo (click on it for a closer view where you will find a secret life or two at the heart of the photo). Create your own "Secret Life Within". This can be a photographic image, a collage or mixed media work. Blog about it and leave us your blog address and we'll come visit.

14 Secrets Stamp exchange

Here's a sweet little 14 Secrets mail art image. The idea was to create our own faux postage stamps, so here's mine along with a sheet of them. You can click on these and print them out if you like. Then cut them apart with crenellated scissors, run them through a xyron machine and you'll have yourself some 14 Secrets faux postage stamps.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Are you an art journaler?

Collage by Lani

Carol Moore sent me a link to Pam Carriker's blog that kept me busy for hours. She's posted a nearly personal invitation from Christen Olivarez over at Stampington & Co. to send in your art journals (until August 24th) for possible publication in the January 2010 issue of Art Journaling. She says you can email questions and inquiries to Christen directly. Of course the possibility of publication is nice but what I enjoyed was the youtube link to her videos. Lots of lovely tutorials. Here's one on creating a portrait with pan pastels! Awesome.

And while on the topic of art tutorials, SuziBlu has a couple of new ones on her new blog. I particularly like this one.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Playing with Inspiration

I did promise to post prompts here that we could all work on in our own blogs and link our blogs right here. This will be my first attempt.

Collage by Lani

This prompt comes partly from Leo Babauta's Zen Habits and partly from Richard Wiseman . The thing Leo really gets is that no matter what our medium is, we are always looking for inspiration, things that will help us unlock those doors of resistance and create more easily. Here are a few of the items on his "little but really useful guide to creativity" list. For his complete list , do visit his blog(but I'm sure in actuality an unabridged list would be infinite):
▪ Shut out the outside world.
▪ Reflect on your life and work daily.
▪ Look for inspiration all around you, in the smallest places.
▪ Don’t try for perfect. Just get it out there, asap, and get feedback.
▪ Teach and you’ll learn.
▪ Shake things up, see things in new ways.
▪ Apply things in other fields to your field, in ways not done before.
▪ Write all ideas down immediately.
▪ Turn your work into play.
▪ Play with kids.
▪ Read wildly different things. Especially stuff you disagree with.
▪ Don’t force it. Relax, play, it will start to flow.
▪ Do it when you’re excited.
▪ Don’t be afraid to be stupid and silly.
Richard Wiseman has a new book, 59 Seconds, and website filled with self help ideas that have actually been tested for validity. Here's one that I particularly liked:

Japanese psychologists Seiji Shibata and Naoto Suzuki asked people to carry out various creativity exercises in carefully controlled office environments. Some of the offices contained a potted plant whilst others were devoid of any greenery. Time and again, the researchers discovered that the addition of the potted plant enhanced people’s creativity.

Other work has produced similar conclusions with, for example, an eight-month study of creativity in the workplace conducted by Robert Ulrich from Texas A&M University showing that adding flowers and plants to an office resulted in a 15% increase in ideas... and more flexible solutions to problems...

Why should a little nature have these effects? According to some evolutionary psychologists, seeing greenery might initiate an ancient feeling of calm... Such pleasant feelings then make people more helpful, happy and creative.

59 Seconds tip: Boost your creativity by adding some potted plants to your surroundings.

Now here's the idea, combine one or more of Leo's ideas with Richard Wiseman's idea about plant life boosting creativity, blog about it, and share it here with all of us by adding your name to the list here! The result will be some very happy artists indeed! I'm sure of it!
Playing with Inspiration Participants

1. Lani Puppetmaker

2. Barbara

Learn more about Playing with Inspiration here.
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