2021 Creativity Challenges
In the new year, a somewhat random idea came to me, to combine my love of landscape with poetry. I had received an email prompt from “Poetry Invites” to write a poem about Lake Ontario. Easy! I thought… I’m going to take this one step further, and write one poem a day about Lake Ontario! That did not happen, but the idea transformed into something else: daily photo-poems of Lake Ontario. I’m currently coming to the end of January and have managed to post every day thus far. The poetry is all over the map, but the images have consistently stayed with the Great Lake.
To my surprise, by starting this self-imposed challenge, it bled into other creative pursuits… I found myself wanting to draw again! Simple line drawings, of the beach landscapes. That lead to colouring, skies and clouds, and water and waves, and beach and sand and snow… and I thought of a new challenge for February: To do one small colourful sketch every day!
When I realized I had a new challenge for myself, that led to more ideas… maybe I could do a new challenge each month, for a full year? And that’s when I decided 2021 would be my “year of creativity.”
I started a new Instagram profile @2021_The_Creative_Year so I could document the journey, a photo every day for a year. It helps me stay accountable and excited to share. The photo-poems have been a hit on Facebook too, an art page I have only recently started breathing life back into (Jennifer Anne Burke). I hope you will follow along on my journey!
So what’s the point of all this?
I had myself “trapped” in the box and label of “painter.” I was driving myself to paint, to sell, and to promote. I wanted more sales, but was losing steam on the actual painting. I had to take a step back.
Since August I had started dabbling in writing again, and it felt good to be doing something different. I was noticing people commenting more on my landscape photos, than my actual art/painting. I was seeing other people doing cool creative things, and getting the itch to do something new. I was remembering days when I used to carry a journal and sketchbook EVERYWHERE I went. I was remembering that I used to write and sketch every day, just because. I remembered how good that felt, how natural and how vital. It was a part of who I was, and who I am.
At the end of December, it became pretty clear I needed to reconnect with creativity as “play.” Creativity as being fun, even if it’s terrible (especially if it’s terrible!) and getting over my fear of sharing my worst along with my best. It’s all okay, and a part of a bigger process. I was understanding that “creativity” is like a second nature, regardless of what I paint or sell; and I want to embrace allll of it.
The best part is this new energy I have towards my painting again! This new creative “play” has circled me back to the passion I have for my “work.”
Finding Your Creative Community
Creativity Coaching Canada and Spirit of the Hills! These are two groups I have blathered on about in other blogs, so I’m not going to do that again BUT please research them if you feel you need your own creative connection with other people. There are so many creative opportunities in our Northumberland County area, but there is so much available online these days I’m sure you could find many many more. I highly recommend networking with other creatives, we help revive and inspire each other. As an introvert, this does not come naturally for me; but this pandemic has changed that. More and more I crave creative connection with others.
So, how much creativity is too much creativity? Where are you in your creative journey? I would love know (post below)…