Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Crazy for Creativity...

I spent an hour this morning organizing my papers that I use when I make Artist Trading Cards.

I was carrying them around in an old suitcase, (thinking that was organized), but didn't know what kinds of papers I had, so I put them in this cardboard organizer. Now that they are color co-ordinated, it will be easier to get right to what I need.

What's an Artist Trading Card you ask?

Artist Trading Cards (will be referred to as ATCs) are miniature expressions of art, done on the size of a playing card, 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches. They can be painted, drawn, done in mixed media, crayons, pen & ink, recycled materials, fabric and even clay. They must be 3.5 by 2.5 and they should never be sold. (although people do sell them on ebay, I personally would never buy or sell them)..
I've been making and collecting them for about a year now and have received cards from all over the world. I get in swaps and do personal trades. I even have my granddaughter making them with me. She's five and she has a little collection here at my house. It's fun making them with her, she's very prolific, once she starts there is no stopping her.

Designing ATC's has helped me tap into a new realm of creativity and when I'm working on these little works of art, I'm lost in a world of ideas, plans and dreams. I'm happiest when I'm creating. I gather my art supplies, my papers and ribbons and paint, and I place my troubles high up on a shelf.

How creativity helps me get through the day...

Anytime I do anything creative it opens up my mind to another idea. It inspires me to "think outside the box" which I think I'm pretty good at. Being creative is not just doing an art project or making a cake, it's figuring out how to solve a problem, sometimes in unique ways that no one else might have thought of. Here's a great example. Many years ago, my family and I went camping up to Sleeper State Park. When we got to the campsite, the only site left for us was lower th
an the sites around us. My sister was up on a slope, my friends were on the other slope, and there we were, in the valley. Of course, you can guess what happened. A quick storm blew in, bringing a torrent of rain and it literally flooded our camp site. We watched streams of watering gushing down from my sister's and friend's campsites. Within two hours, a small pond of water had settled around our tent. My x-husband wanted to leave, the kids were running around in the puddles making matters worse, but I was thinking of a way to solve this problem.

Earlier in the day, before the rain came, I had wandered into the woods and had come across a sand dune. It was only a few hundred feet from our site. Looking at the puddles, I had an idea. I gathered up all of the kids, gave them buckets and cups and led them to the sand. We ran back and forth tossing sand into the puddles. At first, it looked like it might not work since the sand was just as wet, but soon the puddles disappeared, the wet sand was buried by the dry sand, and we had a dry campsite. That evening, as we sat around the campfire, I had a sense of satisfaction that I, along with an army of energetic kids, had saved the trip.

Creativity doesn't always save the day for me. Trust me, I have my share of problems that I had a hard time solving. But I'm glad I can tap into that creative part of my brain to try to figure out a solution.
Want to be more creative. Check out the creativity links to the left. You may get inspired!

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