I recently attended a Stampin' Up regional seminar and was intrigued by the Creativity Journal project presented by Carrie Cudney and the sample journals shown by her associates. I thought it was a wonderful excerise for any stamper to work on, especially those of us who tend to think all our best work is CASE'd from someone else.
I'm a firm believe that every person on earth has a spark of creativity in them, placed there by the Creator. Some forms of creativity may not follow traditional lines of thinking or use common mediums, but everyone is creative.
I get a twinkle in my eye at the beginning of a workshop when someone announces they are "just not creative," because I know that by the end of the evening, they will be having a great time and they'll be so impressed with themselves. That remarkable feeling of accomplishment and creativity is addictive. Good demonstrators find ways to point out creativity of thought and technique and foster that feeling in their customers.
Consider hosting a creativity journal class for your customers, perhaps at your next Hostess Appreciation Event. You don't have to use the 5x5 chipboard albums that Stampin' Up gave us all at the seminar, but it does make sense to do your purchasing from yourself. Everyone will start with the same basic notebook or album, but where those end up will ultimately be completely different and unique to the creator.
The "rules" and creative challenges below are a combination of concepts from Stampin' Up along with my own thoughts and additions.
Creativity Journal Rules
- Don't go in order. Start in the middle or the end, anywhere but the first page.
- Use any papers, stamps, inks, ribbons, whatever that you like. Incorporate anything that makes you happy and can be affixed to a page.
- Don't compare your journal to others. This is about you and your likes and dislikes.
- There is no such thing as a "start over". Any "mistakes" are only "oops"portunities.
- Don't over think the exercises. It's supposed to be fun, and yes, a little silly.
- Do any of the challenges you want to, in any order you want to, or come up with your own.
- Try to do at least one challenge a week.
- Find 10 quotations about creativity that inspire you or remind you of the importance of being creative. Find a way to incorporate them into your journal... one per page, or all on the same page. Anything goes! Use your own handwriting. It's a part of who you are.
- In your journal, write the phrase "I am creative" 25 times. Make it look different each time you write it. Use different pens, hand positions, colors, art styles.
- Dump all your markers into a shoebox. Grab random markers and color little circles or stars in groups of three or four. Mark down any unexpected color combos that grab your eye.
- Doodle stick figures of yourself or even the whole family. Draw a fancy frame around them.
- Get past your inner critic by doing some stream of consciousness writing. Nothing is too silly, too weird, or too trivial to be included. Write it in a shape such as a rectangle or spiral.
- Pablo Picasso once said, "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." Do something creative that you loved to do as a child (put together a puzzle, color a picture, build a sand castle, play make-believe, etc.). Create a page in your journal inspired by your experience.
- Do something creative to your appearance. (Wear brightly colored accessories, paint your toenails a fun color, wear your hair a different way than you typically wear it.) Take your photo, put it in your journal, and record how you feel about your creative new look.
- Papercrafting is your medium. List in your journal all of the reasons why you are a legitimate artist and/or designer.
- Make a two-page spread about the best dream you ever had.
- Create a rebus about yourself--a short story that uses images instead of words, such as a photo of an eye instead of the word "I" or a picture of a tree instead of the word "tree."
- Fill a page in your journal defining the word "Fun" by using only images - no words.
- Make a representation of yourself stepping out of an imaginary comfort zone and finding something pretty outside the box.
- Steven Spielberg once claimed that his very best ideas came to him while driving the freeways. On a nice day, go for an afternoon drive by yourself, put on some inspiration music, roll down the window, get comfortable, and let your mind wander - but please drive carefully! When you get back, record the ideas that flowed through your mind.
- Ask at least two people you love to say something nice about your creativity and record their comments in your journal. Add their pictures if possible.
- Describe yourself using the most adjectives possible. Say only nice things.
- write down the nicest comment you got last month on your blog or gallery or Facebook page and embellish it in colors and images that remind you of how good you felt when you first read it.
- use only shades of your very favoritest color to decorate one page. if your favorite color changes, decorate another page and articulate why it changed.
- Cut out a photo of a celebrity you admire and adhere it in your journal with a "conversation bubble" in which they are saying something "way over the top awesome" about you.
- Write down an idea you had that didn't work, and what you unexpectedly learned from it.
- Finish the sentence: "Next time I am feeling stuck in a rut or uncreative I will_____"