I’m about to embark on a North American tour. It’s been TWO YEARS since I’ve visited the USA and Canada; I’m SO ready!! I want family time, board games, home cooked food (that I’m not cooking). I want cooler weather (try on 50 degrees celsius or nearly 120 degrees fahrenheit for a few weeks, or how about an entire summer?), to be able to wear shorts and tank tops, and to kiss my husband in public (even holding hands in some places can get you scolded). I want cheap (costing, not tasting) beer. All of this makes my recipe for creative rejuvenation.
I’ve been working rather obsessively on Artist Strong. Why? I love it. I absolutely feel found when I get to share Creative Spirit stories, when people say yes to creative play, and when I discover resources for realizing creative goals and dreams. When my hubby travels for work, I see that as further opportunity to develop Artist Strong. But, life IS about balance and I’m telling you: this girl needs a break.
While I won’t go on full digital sabbatical, I hope to step back a bit and get some mental space. I created C2C because I need creative play in my life; I will continue my playtime with the C2C community. But I’m also going to prioritize other things over Artist Strong (gasp): yoga, rest, and drawing time. My brain needs space to think! And that kind of time can actually be a huge creative kickstart for when I return to Artist Strong in full force mid-July.
In honor of my impending trip (what shall I do in Seattle and Charlotte my dear readers?), here are a few tips to rejuvenate and refresh your creative juices.
(1) Pick a new MINI project.
Do something new you’ve wanted to, without agenda. Just try it! This summer I’m going to play around with urban sketching a bit more. I keep being drawn to people’s work I follow on social media. So it’s time for me to try it on (yes, it’s a new dress). Don’t be overambitious, this is about some creative playtime for something you’ve put to the side.
Take my creative holiday advice: Do something new you’ve wanted to, without agenda. (Tweet Me!)
(2) Schedule/Allow for quiet time.
Have a journal or sketchbook handy in case you have to write something down, but just try to be with yourself. Meditate if you wish. I plan to enjoy my parents’ lakeside home in Charlotte. I’m going to sit on their porch and watch the heron fishing from their dock. And try not to think too much.
(3) Reconnect with loved ones.
Traveling near friends or family? Prioritize time with them. Make your holiday time meaningful. It is usually the regret of the dying to wish for more time with people they loved. This summer is all about family for me. And spending time with family gives me a great creative recharge.
Make your time meaningful. It is usually the regret of the dying to wish for more time with people they loved. (Tweet Me!)
(4) Read. Everything. Anything.
Reading is a great way to absorb new information, to reflect, and to give your brain an escape from thinking about (insert your version of my Artist Strong project here). I’m going to read a few books recommended to me: Creative You, The Blue Ocean Strategy, and Play it Away.
We all know walking is good for creativity. It’s also good for a giant list of health reasons. You don’t have to be training for a marathon while you are on a holiday but walking will help to clear your mind, give you space when you need some air from your quality family time, and slow you down a bit if you are a busy body like myself. I may not walk a lot until I hit the Outer Banks, but I am definitely doing yoga 2-3 times per week.
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Have you thought about how your holiday can rejuvenate your creativity? How do you honor the mental break and space you need from work related projects when you go on vacation? Comment below, I want to know!
Great post! I wrote about this same topic when I was travelling in the US last year. The nature of my trip was a little different as I wasn’t going home to see anyone, rather going away to see somewhere new for the first time so I think that definitely has an impact. Here’s my take on it http://forthecreators.com/2013/05/the-creative-break-or-how-to-let-go-of-the-essentials/
Thanks Michaela, My traveling lifestyle has me away from my family for the most part, so you are right, it will be different for people who aren’t expats as I am. I love in your article how you talk about letting things percolate. We do just need to “sit with” our new experiences and be present with them. Being present and mindful can generate lots of new creative thinking! I also think it’s smart to keep your supplies to a minimum and work with less and see where that takes us. Limitation can be a powerful creative tool.
Thank you this helpful information. Your suggestion to take on a short range creative project is a good one. It’s most rewarding to experience transforming an idea into a product within a few hours. Most of my paintings are large scale and therefore in excess of 160 hours which includes resolving some tough issues. The occasional short project can be refreshing. The television production:”Art Attack” provides ideas and inspiration in that regard. Great for children!
Another experience I would recommend is walking in an old growth forest. There is somethings here that attracts all the senses and is loaded with inspiration. I believe it
is something in the environment by the centuries old trees dying and falling, then becoming a nursing tree to facilitate new plant growth. Perhaps there is a reserve in the Seattle area you can visit.
While in Canada, in terms of hops and barley be sure to try Kronenbourg 1664, Tuborg Gold and Molsons Dry. Cheers to your summer vacation!
Hi Bruce! Working the scale as you traditionally do is quite the challenge. Sounds amazing. A smaller project could be a satisfying break from your normal projects. What makes you decide to work so large?
I’ve heard of Art Attack, I will be sure to look it up.
I would LOVE to walk in an old growth forest, what an amazing idea! And I will definitely take note of the beer you recommend. 🙂
Thanks again for your contributions to Artist Think, Bruce, it means a lot!
I work in large scale to address small market I have the good fortunate to service. People often hang paintings that in many cases are undersized for their walls in terms of design portion. When they are introduced to large scale work and how strongly it can draw attention to their environment they become interested. The size helps me to bring out a form of expression that directly communicates what I want to say. Also impasto technique helps by layering paint and colour creating a surface with depth, expression and energy. The latter is three layers which is most time consuming yet yields rich outcomes.
You may find old growth close to Salmon Arm, B.C. but I’m not certain!
That’s great your work fills a need in your market. I agree people don’t use the wall space as they should, I love larger works on a wall! Thank you for sharing Bruce. I’m not certain about old growth either, but we look forward to quality family time 🙂 Best wishes!
Love this article! Ahh would be so nice to head back home. Enjoy your article and thanks for sharing these great tips. I love the one about taking up a mini-project. Creatives always have a thousand ideas to try even if it’s not in our normal style of play.
Have fun sketching, eating good food, and being at home!
Amira thank you 🙂 That’s exactly why I like the idea of a mini project as well! My mom is gifting me some knitting needles to bring back here that may become another mini-project in my future. I feel like I have a giant list of things I want to play around with and trial. I can’t wait!
Thanks Carrie again for the post! And wanna see your urban sketching!
Have a great and regenerative holiday! Love!
Thank you for reading! 🙂 I will be sure to share them. Best wishes to you!