Creative Review

I spent a little time yesterday evening doing a creative review of 2023 from some prompts I found online.

I was expecting to feel a bit disconcerted or let down by my results but I felt exhilarated.

Because of my grief over the loss of my Dad, I felt like I had been haphazard with my creativity, working in bits and pieces but not really doing anything cohesive.

Actually, though, I taught lots of workshops and made zines and took workshops and experimented with using fabric in my art.

That means that despite my difficulties, I kept turning to my creativity to remind myself of who I am and what I need.

I’m really proud of myself for that.

Reminder: Creativity is the Point

I gave an introduction at a family painting class this morning and I think I struck a chord with the kids and parents there.

I hadn’t really thought about what to say, hadn’t actually planned on doing an intro, so I ended up talking about how the fun of creativity was the point of the whole thing. And if the kids (or the adults) we’re getting stressed about how their painting was going, it was ok to turn it into a whole different thing. In fact, they could just smear paint around on the canvas if they wanted – as long as they enjoyed doing it.

I swear I felt a sense of relief in the room.

And when I went around a little later, several kids had done their own thing – some making delightfully glorious messes and others just veering off on their own course. I was delighted to see it.

And one kid was struggling through the process of creating the planned piece so I helped him take a break from the project and try something else.

I felt like I made a connection, did some important work, like what I said had mattered.

I love this feeling.

Decisions, decisions – a good problem to have ;)

This is the kind of evening I dream of when I feel tense or when it feels like the winter will never end.

I’m sitting on my patio on a warm summer night, deciding whether to draw or to read while I drink my (non-alcoholic!) beer.

A photo of a table with a bottle, an ereader and a sketchbook and markers on it.
Image description: a angled-down view of a small red patio table with a bottle of Corona Sunbrew non-alcoholic beer (which is covered in condensation), an e-reader in a blue and gold patterned case, and an open sketchbook with six markers on top of it. In the background there’s another patio chair, the bottom of the railing, and the end of a string of warm white lights.

Invoking Creativity

12 or 13 years ago, I was in Colorado for a convention and I found a great-smelling little shop that sold candles (and other cool stuff.)

I bought one that invoked creativity and brought it home with me, making most of my luggage smell creative in the process.

I burnt that candle sparingly but eventually I had used it up. I was able to find another online (spending a fortune on shipping!) and used that one sparingly until it too was gone.

I kept a little bit of the wax – not nearly enough to melt into a new candle – just because it smelled so great- but I just couldn’t justify the expense of getting another shipped here.

Then, a few years back, I discovered that a local store – The Natural Emporium* – carried them so I have been happily invoking creativity ever since.

Do I actually need outside help to invoke creativity?


Do I enjoy how the smell of this candle puts me in mind of how often I have created things while the candle burned nearby?

Most definitely.

It’s good to for anyone to surround themselves with reminders of the things that are important to them.

It’s especially important for people with ADHD because those visual cues (and olfactory cues in the case) can help keep our plans and wishes top of mind.

Also, I just like it.

A photo of a lit purple candle in a small glass container
My creativity candle sat in the edge while I read on the tub yesterday. Image description: a purple candle in a small glass container sits on the edge of a bathtub with the blue shower curtain in the background. The white label on the candle has the word ‘creativity’ in purple at the top, then an square of rainbow lines with an artist’s palette etched into it. Below the rainbow square is text reading ‘“allow me to explore new dimensions, discover, new thoughts, ideas, and emotions.” and the name of the company – Crystal Journey Candles

*An absolutely delightful place run by a kind and delightfully enthusiastic woman and her low-key and friendly staff.

Tea for Tuesday

Since I wasn’t ready to focus on my work yet today, I drew a little mug of tea instead.

I love the process of filling in the background with thin lines, starting in one corner and working to the other, then turning the paper so I can work in a different direction. For this one I also drew a series of horizontal lines parallel to the bottom to about a third of the way up and then drew vertical lines from the top down to meet the horizontal lines.

I really like how it turned out.

A drawing of a small green mug with a gold star on it.
This mug of tea would be far too small for my needs but it was fun to draw. Image description: a drawing of a green mug with a gold star on it. The tea within must be hot because there are curls of steam rising from it. The background of the drawing is pinstriped lines that overlap.