Daily Random Acts of Creativity

Laurie Pollack in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania is doing a project she calls Daily Random Acts of Creativity inspired by the prompts in my book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal. Since she's not posting her project online she instead sent me descriptions of her first week...

January 1st: Prompt: "Make something that fits in the palm of your hand": I drew, in my visual journal, a big green hand, and an acorn inside of it. And wrote across the top: "We are all in Her hands"

January 2nd: Prompt: "Use your favorite animal as a prompt" I'm big on collaging discarded old calendars: they have such beautiful pictures and such a waste to recycle them. My partner had discarded a 2010 cat calendar. One page had a big picture of cats hiding in the jungle, with a tiger in the center. I took this picture, glued it on a cardboard back, glued to it in the center the picture of a woman wearing a teeshirt that said "Cat Person" (from one of those throw away holiday gift catalogs you get), and painted in black glitter glue a quote: "God made the cat in order that humankind might have the pleasure of caressing the tiger" - Fernand Mery

January 3rd: Prompt: "Make something out of paper, but don't use scissors or glue or draw on it".
This is the one where I tried to follow the prompt but what happened was something exactly the opposite. I thought about what to do with paper, and thought about writing: the prompt said nothing about not writing on it: just not drawing. Initially I did a paper Moebius strip: stapled together NOT glued: and wrote along the strip: "We all come from the Goddess, and to Her we shall return: like a drop of rain, flowing to the Ocean." (a common Goddess spirituality chant). But it didn't really work/didn't look good. So I decided to throw away the rules and write this saying somewhere else.
Looking in my collection of collage materials, i found the picture of a sunflower, found another red background that kind of looked mandala like. I then glued the background onto cardboard, glued the sunflower in the center, and wrote in concentric circles starting from the edge of the sunflower to the edge of the paper, the above chant over and over again. I then realized that at times I'd have to break the rules of the project prompts and just let what happen, flow.

January 4th: Prompt: "Take a 5 minute walk, and make use of whatever materials you find." How could I take a 5 minute walk? It's January in Philadelphia and very cold. Then I realized: the prompt didn't say the walk had to be outside. So I took my walk inside the house and picked up various paper items. I then noticed among them: a cutout from a magazine with a very small (one inch) picture of a young woman jumping around. I also saw a magazine cutout, discarded from working on a collage: of a coffee cup. I had previously bought some blank small white cards for use in Artist Trading Cards but had never made one. I thought: these 2 pictures are small: why don't I make my very own first ATC. And I did. Glued some coffee colored paper onto the card, glued the young woman dancing out of the coffee cup: it's entitled "Morning Person"

January 5th: Prompt: "what do you collect? Work with a collection of objects you have in the house, or borrow a friend's" This didn't really seem to gel. Nothing happened. Then I noticed, totally unrelated, an Orangina bottle (Orangina is an orange soda that comes in a glass bottle.). And don't I collect or at least, recycle, soda bottles? I decided that rather than recycle this Orangina bottle, to make an altered Orangina bottle in honor of the color orange and its energy. I painted the bottle orange except on the blue label: preserving the label. I glued small cloth flowers (from a crafts store) all around. I also painted glitter on the bottle. I tied an orange ribbon around the bottle. I glued a small butterfly patch on one side of the bottle. I looked in my collage supplies for something orange I could add; I found on orange paper, a Rumi quote that I had cut from an old calendar: "We have come to the place where everything is music." And I glued it also onto the Orangina bottle. It turned into a really over the top altered soda bottle. The only thing missing was feathers: I have ethical issues on feathers though I dont' want to buy them at crafts stores because I know they probably come from slaughterhouses: same thing with shells; I only use shells I collect on the beach. But really over the top. And an example of a project that was inspired by/sparked by, but not directly related to the prompt. Maybe next time I'll do an altered Diet Coke bottle.

January 6th: "Work with the first fruit or vegetable you spot." I realized too late: the Orangina bottle could have counted as that. But too late. I couldn't really get into the prompt. I may go back and do this one some other day. But what DID happen that was unrelated was: I happened to be looking over my collage supplies: decided to do another Artist Trading Card: my second ever. I happened to have gotten, that day, a catalog from Kripalu, a yoga retreat center: their catalogs are great sources of pictures of people in various yoga poses. I cut out a picture of a girl meditating in yoga pose. I then looked through my collage pictures and found an abstract background: it just looked, to me, how meditation FEELS to me: the pattern of relaxing yet focusing lines. So i glued the background, glued the young girl meditating: and for some reason outlined her in black: not sure what this means:maybe it symbolizes that she isn't totally merged with the universe yet: there's still that ego, that skin, that identity, and that's a good thing. But that's my second-ever ATC, and thanks to the 365 book.

January 7th: "Make a stencil and use it in your work." Okay, I just couldn't get going on this one. Again, maybe another one I'll go back to and try again some other day. But when I was thinking about how hard it was to do this, I realized that I wanted to do something on the Chronicles of Narnia, a book I loved as a kid and still love (and now love the movie): on the way to work I thought of a poem
or prayer to Aslan (the Lion in Narnia who symbolizes God): and wrote it into my poetry journal:
"Prayer to Aslan: Lofty light life Lion, Lift me!"  I'm going to put this into my visual journal, if I can find a picture of a lion to collage: maybe I'll even try drawing my own primitive version of a lion.

January 8th: "Transform an old book into something new:" I've done altered books before. Didn't really have a book I could use at this time: another one to come back to. But as i was thinking of this: I saw: that there was a crystal glass angel (around 2 inches high). My partner and I have a part time business where in our spare time we table at holiday crafts shows and sell small items like that that we purchase from wholesalers. This angel had been holding a book, but the book broke off: we couldn't sell her, so I just kept her on my shelf. But I realized: that if I glued her onto a pebble as a base, and painted the base to match, then glitter it, she'd make a nice ornament next year for our tree. I did so. So to a certain extent I followed part of the prompt: as I had altered an old item. (I am very into altering/reclaiming stuff; am always looking in the recycle bin for stuff that might work in projecfts).

So that was my first week. And I actually did something creative each and every day.

Why did you decide to do this project? Because I enjoy doing creative stuff and wanted to see if I could do something creative each day. And it's sometimes easier to do this if there is an idea/spark/suggestion from outside to jump start things.  Last year I had gone through the "Crafters Devotional"
which was somewhat similar, but the projects in there were too involved: these are simpler and allow more freedom.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Well it's only been one week. So far it's been a lot of fun. And one thing that has been a lesson: is the awareness that it's okay to break the rules (not follow the exact prompts) when inspiration leads me elsewhere.

While I'm happy to hear about Laurie's experiences and share what she wrote I really hope folks will choose to post their projects online. I would have loved to see some images of the things she mentions. Plus the addition of an audience to a daily project really adds a wonderful additional dimension to the experience. Many of the positive things that came from my own project had a direct correlation with my sharing it publicly!

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