Three Activities to Reclaim Your Creativity


| July-August 2008

Activity #1
For a boundless, uninhibited creative spark, try thinking or doing as a child would. Marney Makridakis, editor of the do-it-yourself craft magazine Artella, offers a list of 10 playful tips to get you started: “Find a board or card game from your childhood,” she suggests, “and have fun rewriting the rules. . . . If possible, alter the actual game board and pieces to celebrate your rebellion against the rules.” Go for a nature stroll “with child’s eyes,” or create your own deck of “kid-like ‘trading cards’ ” for a personalized set of images to inspire future projects.(artellawordsandart.com)

Activity #2
Here’s a muse that won’t disappear: What It Is, a stunning new book by artist Lynda Barry that functions as a creativity workbook for grown-ups. Riffling through the 200-plus pages of colorful drawings, writings, and words strewn every which way feels a bit like spying on an artist in action; you can almost hear Barry humming to herself as she sketches. She pulls browsers in with imagination exercises and open-ended questions that pop up throughout: “Where is a story before it becomes words?” “What is an experience? Is it something you have? Or something which has you?” (Drawn & Quarterly, 2008)

Activity #3
Even when decked-out devices fill their toy chests, children often have the most fun with the simplest objects, like clumps of mud, vegetable steamers, and invisible friends. Enter the Fridge Box, which is exactly what it sounds like: a big brown box that becomes whatever your kids can imagine. Paint and stickers can transform it into a pirate ship or flower shop, or an unlikely combination of the two; twin-box packs can become dueling clubhouses or friendly neighbors. One Star Wars superfan worked with his mum to build an Imperial Star Destroyer for his fifth birthday party.(fridgeboxworld.com)