An Introduction to 52 Ways to Be Creative

I’m super excited to announce my project for 2019 — 52 Ways to Be Creative.

My mission for 2019 is creative expansion.

Each week of this year, I will take a course, do a workshop, or take part in peer-to-peer learning related to art, design, and all things creative. I plan to develop my existing abilities, refresh a few forgotten skills, and stretch into new areas.

I’ll share what I learn along the way, and you are welcome you to join me in the process.

I’m seeking out challenges across a wide range of creative areas and disciplines. I want to discover and celebrate what makes each unique and special.

Connect with me and we can swap skills and share experiences about our journey into the creative life. I’m doing this in the spirit of exploration, community, and self-improvement.

On my agenda is figure drawing, landscape painting en plein air, and mixing paint from raw pigments. I’d like to learn to play the harpsichord, take singing lessons, and try my hand at making French macarons.

I am taking a kaizen approach to growth and learning, trusting that small changes over time can have a significant impact.

I’m interested in celebrating new paradigms around education and life-long learning. Education and access to knowledge have changed significantly even in my lifetime. I always loved school as a child (except for a few awkward middle school years, eep). As an adult, I see the world as my classroom. I never finished my MFA, so I also see this in the spirit of a self-directed AltMFA.

I believe that we are all students and teachers to each other. I enjoy being a student, teacher, coach, and mentor. Stepping into spaces for creative exchange will hopefully help me grow in all those roles.

I hope to encourage those that follow me to let go of limiting beliefs related to how and when we should learn in our lifetimes.

I work with groups and individuals to help them build creative confidence. When I work with people who have a creative impulse but don’t know where to begin, I often suggest they trust their intuition and just get started with what feels right. I will take my own advice and let myself be guided by my intuition. If it feels good, I’ll go with it!

You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. With all respect to mastery (which I’ll dig into another time), clinging to this kind of thinking can keep us attached to old paradigms that limit our potential for life-long growth and development. New paradigms of education align with the amazing access to knowledge that has arrived with developments in technology and the strengthening of community-based learning.

I’m looking forward to the year and seeing what it brings. As we move into 2020, creativity is projected to be one of the top skills needed to thrive in the workplace of the future, and I am looking forward to being prepared.

A few intentions for my creative learning:

  • I will do a mix of online courses (both paid and free), evening and daytime workshops, 1-to-1 learning with instructors, short courses, and peer-to-peer learning.

  • 60% should be related to my core art practice of painting and drawing to work towards mastery.

  • 40% cannot be directly related to painting or drawing to work towards findings new creative connections.

  • Of all the courses, at least 20% need to significantly stretch me in some way into things I have never done before.

  • I’ve put aside Friday mornings for learning, but the timing for each week will be flexible.

  • I may take intermediate and advanced courses of the same subject where appropriate.

The rules:

  • I will take one course, workshop, or learning unit per week for all 52 weeks.

  • I will set aside at least 1 hour each week and plan to average 4 hours per week. I will allow myself up to 40 hours of learning (for example, to take a 1-week short course during a break from work).

  • I will write about my experience on my blog, and share photos and videos of my work.

  • I will be transparent about my costs and share them on my blog.

  • I’ve set aside an hour on Sunday morning to write about my experience.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this project. Feel free to drop me a note.