Why should kids have all the fun?
I’m starting the week off with a little challenge to open up a sketchbook and create a double page spread every day. I find that my kids are more creative when they witness my own passion for creativity, and this strategy is a manageable and inspiring way to walk the talk.
You don’t have to accept the challenge, but I’m throwing it out there in case it’s something that you need too.
I’ve heard from some of you that it’s hard to find time to make time for yourself. I certainly fall into this category.
I used to make a lot of art and had no trouble making time for it. I prioritized it, in fact. I had a studio, a daily art making practice, showed art in galleries, and co-founded an art collective. Making art wasn’t my full time job, but I was successful at committing myself to a ritual of creating.
And I’m about to say something that I’m sure will make me sound like a victim that I’m not…
Having kids changes everything.
Do you feel the same way? Making time for our own creative pursuits can be tricky with little kids who need our constant attention and a home that never seems to be clean.
Making time to make art has become almost impossible for me. I know parents of young children who don’t have this problem. But I also know that if running an art studio meant so much to me I could easily trade the hours I spend writing for the hours I used to spend creating. I don’t want my old life back, but I do love the feeling of pouring visual images onto a piece of paper.
Getting started is easy
I first wrote about the Double Page Spread in my 2012 New Year’s Resolution post: 5 Resolutions for a Creative New Year. The idea is simple, and it doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part.
Every day you’ll open a sketchbook and create anything you want on two facing pages, or the double page spread (DPS). That’s it!
You can draw on the paper, smear it with play dough, attack it with your 3-year old’s dot makers, cover it with Thomas the Train stickers, or paint it with watercolors. The objective is to get your creative juices flowing and build the ritual of making into your life. No one will judge your creations, and you may start out on shaky ground, but I guarantee that if you follow a ritual of creating on a daily basis your comfort level will grow and your ideas will flourish.
The sketchbook can be large or small. Store bought or homemade. I prefer a spiral-bound sketchbook that’s at least 5″ x 7″ because it can lie flat, and I like to use heavier paper because it can withstand water, paint, and whatever I may dream up along the way.
I have a lot of projects brewing at the moment (and hope to share some exciting news with you soon), so I hardly feel like I have time for one more thing, but nurturing my creative journey is important to me and I think a Daily DPS will be easy to accomplish if I work on it while my kids are creating at their art table. I’m setting my expectations low — my kids are young and often demanding of my attention, so I’ll do as much as I can and not worry too much about the results.
My kids like to do everything I do, so to make this easier for me I bought us all matching sketchbooks. That way, if they want to jump in and do what I’m doing, my book won’t be commandeered by them.
So let’s get started. Find an old sketchbook with some blank pages in it or take a trip to the nearest art store and find a book that will get you excited to show up every day. You don’t have to create a double page spread, so don’t let that get in your way. Some people prefer to use a single page, loose paper, recycled paper — I’ll leave these details to you!
Sketchbook Prompts to Get us Started
- Draw small objects that you collect on a nature walk.
- Wrinkle and flatten tinfoil. Glue into sketchbook and color with Shaprpies.
- Cut out and glue magazines images that make you happy.
- Make an all-over pattern of flowers, dots, circles, stripes, waves, etc.
- Find an image or pattern on a favorite shirt/hand towel/sheet and draw or repeat it.
- Stamp it with rubber stamps and found objects
- Make a version of whatever your kids are doing
If this sounds interesting to you, please let me know, and I’ll share my sketchbook with you.
And if you’d like to take on the same challenge and join me, I’d love the company and we can figure out a way for you to share your sketchbooks too. Maybe through Facebook or Instagram? Or you could send me your images to be included in a weekly post? What are your thoughts on this?
Wow! The response to this prompt has been huge! Click on over to the next post, #Tinkersketch (Day One), for information on how you can share images of your journey on the DPS Challenge.