Starting Creative Sprint, and what I’ve learned so far

by Joanna Pieters | Follow her on Facebook here

For the last few days I’ve been taking part in Creative Sprint. It’s a completely free, 30-day creativity challenge, run by the artists Noah Scalin (who joined me last year on the Creative Life Show) and Mica Scalin. Each day we get an email with a little creative challenge – something fun and playful. When we’ve done it, we share. I’ve been putting mine on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #creativesprint, and once you’ve signed up, the Creative Sprint Facebook group has masses of energy and support in it. 

I don’t see myself as a visual or materials artist at all, so it’s challenging me to dare to do this, and especially to put it on display. But I’m finding it’s making me look at the world around me to see how I can respond to it, and not get hung up on doing something ‘good’. And seeing what other people are doing for their own creative sprint challenges is absolutely exhilarating. The results range from fully formed art-works to tiny playful arrangements of found objects. 

It’s not me, it’s my creative ego

So far I’ve managed to post on 4 days out of 5, even if it’s meant taking a deep breath before hitting ‘send’. However, there was one day – creating something inspired by the page of a book, any book – that I found myself judging what I’d produced so much, that I couldn’t bring myself to share it. I’m still curious about why I found it so hard, but I think there was an idea that because books are my ‘thing’, somehow I should be particularly inspired. I wanted to do something with words as a visual device, and I just couldn’t get it to work. Maybe that was me not really allowing myself to be inspired by the challenge, but trying to keep my ego happy. Which is nonsense, of course.

That aside, and somewhat unexpectedly, it’s already having an impact on my other creative work. I’ve been thinking about my writing in the same way, and asking, how can I look at this a bit differently? And it’s making me realise that, in an odd way, anything is possible. If you can make a landscape of torn bus tickets, or an animal from a toilet role, then the only limits have to be our imagination. 

Which I now see is the whole point of it – Creative Sprint is all about making creativity a practice. 

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