Posted by: Cathy | March 25, 2019

Are you doing my 365 creative prompts?

In December, I posted my new booklet: 365 objects to draw, paint, or describe in your writing! (With a bonus leap-day prompt!)

Are you following along and doing some of the prompts? You don’t need to do all 365! You can do them for a month, for a week, or just open it and randomly turn to a page if you need an idea of something to shake up your creativity.

Whether you draw, paint, or write fiction or poetry, I put together 365 prompts (with a bonus leap-day prompt) that can help you start or maintain a daily creative practice. The prompts are broken down month-by-month. They include a category of “travel”, and those 15 prompts are also listed as a batch at the end so you can do them all when you go on vacation.

How to use these prompts:

  • For drawing, painting, or photography, you can simply make a representation of the object.
  • For collage, you could find a bunch of images of the item on Pinterest and make your own digital or print collage.
  • For poetry or fiction writing, you can write a poem about the item, or write a paragraph or page of details/description about the item.

If you post any of these prompts on social media, please use the hashtag #365eyd

Download it here under “Art.”

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Posted by: Cathy | March 20, 2019

Happy Spring Equinox

Today is the spring equinox! The day and night are equal length. Take a few moments today to reflect on your life: how you feel about spring energy, and what is balanced or imbalanced in your life lately.

How do you feel about spring energy? Are you eager for spring, or do you want more time to hibernate in winter? We all have personal seasons, and those may cycle differently than the cycles around us in nature. Notice your personal season and honor it.

What is balanced in your life lately? What is going well or feels good?
What is imbalanced in your life lately? What could you change to move more toward balance?

Also, what do you want to experience this spring? Think about your favorite spring things and be sure to enjoy them over the next three months; fresh asparagus, walks in the park, gardening, bird-watching, etc.

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Posted by: Cathy | March 18, 2019

Creative Astrology – creative advice by the signs

The spring equinox bring us into Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. This gave me the idea last year to give you some creativity horoscopes!

Aries: Get impulsive with a kid’s paint set or even just some crayons. Pick a color, think of a shape, and put it on your paper. Play with different colors, shapes, and sizes. Don’t think, just create.

Taurus: Try something with yarn or fabric; knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, or quilting. The textures will satisfy your sensual nature, and the finished project will give you something cozy and functional.

Gemini: Play with words. Make a list of words you just like the sounds of, then read them outloud in different combinations. When you find one you like, write it as a poem and consider taking it to open-mic night at your favorite pub or coffee house!

Cancer: Fiddle with your favorite recipe, or make up a new recipe. Play with your food and maybe share the dish with a loved one for dinner and conversation.

Leo: Go big. Get a large roll of paper or tape some smaller sheets together and put them up on the wall. Draw, paint, collage, write, or try any combination of mediums on your paper.

Virgo: Try something meticulous, like mandala coloring. You could get a mandala-themed coloring book or find a mandala image online to trace and recreate.

Libra: In any medium, try representing a subject in two halves; a tree in day on one side and night on the other; an apple fresh on one side and eaten on the other; a child laughing on one side and crying on the other, etc.

Scorpio: Go deep. Make a poem or sketch representing something deep inside you. You can burn it in a fire-safe pot afterward to release any heavy emotions from the project if you find that helpful.

Sagittarius: Do something fun and athletic, like interpretive dance. Put on your favorite music and let it move you around the room in different shapes and postures.

Capricorn: Try something structured, like embroidery or cross-stitch. It’s neat and elegant, and you can make decorative slogans or quotes you can hang on the wall.

Aquarius: Play with modeling clay. Make one shape or figure, sit with it for a moment, then smash it and make something new.

Pisces: Make something abstract. Collage images relating to your favorite song or poem. Copy an impressionist or cubist design. Write a poem using only verbs.

Let me know if you try any of these activities, and how it went!

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Bradley Whitford: “Fall in love with the process and the results will follow.”

I started the year with a goal of strengthening my daily sketching habit, and I must say it’s going well. Taking 20-30 minutes each day to sketch something has become a valuable part of my day. It helps clear my mind to focus on my subject intensely enough to capture it on paper. I look forward to my sketching session every day. I’ve had a different theme each month so I keep from getting bored, and I have my sketchbook and pen right in front of me on my desk every day so it’s easy to remember.

I also started the year with a goal of journaling in the evening every night. This hasn’t been going as well, because I don’t have a clear process. My evening routine hasn’t been consistent, and sometimes I’m about to get in bed and think, oh crap, I didn’t do my journaling yet, so I scribble down a few lines but they’re not in tune with my intention for the journaling, to honor my thoughts and feelings, and to process my emotions. Improving my process around evening journaling would surely deepen my practice and meet my intention.

How are your results on your goals going so far this year? How are your processes serving or not serving you? What could you do to strengthen one of your processes?
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Posted by: Cathy | March 11, 2019

Are you aware of your influencers?

We are always co-creating our lives. The people close to you, now or from your past, have influenced you in certain ways, and some of them subconsciously impact what you do today and tomorrow. Other people we see at a distance could inspire or trigger us (artists, politicians, drivers on the highway). Everything you create, from a poem to a painting to a plate of food for dinner, has influences you may not be conscious of.

Conscious creativity helps you notice these influences so you can be mindful of what is going on behind the scenes and you can choose what you want to keep or release.

  • When you have a fight with a loved one, you can consciously use that energy in a creative project to help it move through you.
  • When something wonderful happens, you can consciously use that inspiration and joy in your work.
  • When you’re confused, you can even use that consciously to explore what you’re feeling and uncover something to help you move forward.

Practice becoming aware of what is influencing you and decide if you want to use it or lose it.

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Posted by: Cathy | March 6, 2019

Aim vs Try

To aim to do something is to have a target in your sights and a clear objective. Imagine aiming a dart or arrow at a bulls-eye. You are taking action with your arm and your eyes are focused on the center circle.

To try to do something is lower in commitment and vague in intention. If you simply try to hit the target, you could use a frisbee and technically hit it, but you won’t earn any points.

When you set your goals for the year, did you set an aim or did you commit to try something?

Consider how both phrases sound. My aim is to do xyz, vs I will try to do xyz. Which has more energy? Which makes you feel motivated?

Think again about your goals for the year and how you talk about them. Is there a way you can rephrase your goal statement to give you more confidence and power?

Something simple like the words you use really can help make a difference in whether you attain your goal or not. How do you talk about your goal?
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Posted by: Cathy | March 4, 2019

Do What You Desire for Mardi Gras

Laissez les bon temps rouler! Tomorrow is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday. It’s a day to let loose and give in to your desires.

Don’t forget to include your art and writing as things you desire! Splurge on some writing time, glutton yourself with your paints, luxuriate in your words. With those, you won’t feel bloated the next day, you’ll feel inspired and hungry for more.

You can give into your desires in a healthy, supportive way, buy doing something to move your dream forward!

What do you desire? Can you let yourself get a little crazy and give in to it??
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Posted by: Cathy | February 27, 2019

Leap Ahead on your Goals

It’s not a leap year, but you can make a leap in your life at any time.

Maybe you’re stalled on a project or bogged down with unrelated things grasping for your time. Pick a day, whether on a weekend or take a vacation day from work, and make it a Leap Day!

For help brainstorming and planning your leap day, check out my free ebooklet, “Create a Leap Day,” to help you execute it. Download it here under Project Planning.

Where could you use a leap forward?

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Posted by: Cathy | February 25, 2019

Creative Alignment Check reminder, 9 months later

It’s been nine months since I shared my new booklet, “Creative Alignment Check,” so I invite you to check in again, notice any imbalances, and work to integrate and re-align.

Many of us are suffering from a “Reality Disorder”: our ideals are not aligned with our day-to-day reality.

It doesn’t matter how you got to this point. You made choices that led to your current reality and you can make choices to change it. We aren’t going to judge and regret the past. We are going to take a Creative Alignment Check and use that to make small changes in the present to better align your future with your ideals.

We’ll do this with three scales: Mind, Body, and Soul.

Review my post from May on how to do this, and/or download my Creative Alignment Check e-booklet, which has worksheets for these three exercises. Find it on my downloads page under “Self-Development.”

You can begin to merge your reality to reflect more of your ideals. It takes mindfulness to notice when you are operating from the “old” states so you can make different choices to cultivate the “new”/ideal states. But day by day, moment by moment, you can create new habits and slowly shift to your ideal states. You have the power to build your reality in a new direction by building new habits.

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Posted by: Cathy | February 20, 2019

Winter Blues? Or Reds? Or Yellows?

We’re in the thick of winter in the northern hemisphere. Are you feeling blue, blah, or just bored?

Take a cue from Picasso’s “blue period” and play with color. Or to lift your energy, use reds or yellows. Do a series of doodles or collages using only your chosen color, mixing mediums and textures to amp up the visual interest. Can you use all blues but make an uplifting image? Or all reds to create something that makes you feel peaceful?

Challenge yourself with a limited palette to harness the monotony of winter and turn it on its head. Whenever you’re experiencing an emotion you don’t want, like boredom, you can shift it with your creative practice(s).

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