Thank you to everyone who helped me celebrate my birthday on Saturday!
My real birthday, November 5th, I was recovering from jet lag.
It wasn’t that fun.
But I made up for it on Saturday with my Creative Sandbox Community Virtual Playday!
Making art with 20+ kindred spirits? Now THAT’S what I call a birthday celebration!
I shared my screen the whole time I was working (actually TWO screens: my main computer, AND an overhead view of my art table), and I have to say, I felt a bit like a kid in a candy shop, pulling out art supplies I hadn’t played with in a long time.
I also worked BIGGER than I have in awhile, which was SO FUN!
Here’s an early shot of my paper:
I started, as I always do, by making a mark to simply make the page “unblank,” to get over fear of the blank page. Those black marks are the first things I did — the ones that look sort of like bent barbells.
Totally random. Completely unplanned.
Then I grabbed a pencil and scribbled those circles.
It’s looking pretty blah at this point, but I’m not worried. My inner four-year-old is having a blast! And that’s all that matters.
I let her inhabit the tip of my pen or pencil, and I gave her free rein to just PLAY. No attachment to outcome (remember Creative Sandbox Way™ Guidepost #1, There Is No Wrong, and #2: Think Process, Not Product!)
My inner four-year-old doesn’t care what anybody thinks, even me! She’s all about the EXPERIENCE. She doesn’t care if I throw the paper out when I’m done!
THAT is how I can have so much fun making total crap!
Next I added some swaths of watercolor, and it got really ugly:
Again, my inner four-year-old didn’t care!
I’m not thinking about composition, or design, or anything, here. Just PLAY!
And since I’m playing, how about pulling out some pastels?
And one of my favorite pastel media, SpectraFix:
Oh, my goodness, it’s just delightfully ugly at this stage! But the TEXTURES! Yummm!
Toes tingling, I decide to pull out some acrylic ink — Ziller ink, to be exact — and make some drippy drips:
Which create an interesting bleedy effect in the “mystery” paper I’m using.
(Printmaking paper? I have no idea. It’s not watermarked, and it’s been in a drawer for years…)
Here I’m roughly outlining the drippy drips with pencil:
And adding dots inside with white gel pen:
Which was perhaps a waste of time, because the next thing I did was pull out my all-time favorite medium, Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground (aff link; or click here for a non-aff link), and apply it with a credit card, effectively wiping out most of what I’d just done!:
But as Kelly Rae Roberts, and many others before her, have said, nothing is ever wasted. The important stuff always shines through. You can still see some of those white dots!
Here I’m adding irregular lines, first in charcoal pencil (twisting as I pull the pencil toward me):
Then using a skewer dipped in ink (and the same twisting motion):
Ta-da! I don’t know that this is finished, but this is the state the piece was in at the end of the Virtual Playday (thank you to Nilce for the suggestion to turn it upside down!):
The best part, though, was seeing what other participants had created during our time together!
A few examples (I’d share screenshots of ALL of the artwork mentioned, but I don’t have explicit permission to do so, so I’m only sharing art that has been shared publicly):
Joyce, Faith, Petrea, and Julie worked on glorious mixed-media pieces they’d each started awhile back
Carla worked on a (totally adorable) “nonopus” (i.e., octopus with nine legs) business card design for a client.
Ania made some “crappy critters” to add to her collection (if you aren’t already following her on Instagram, she’s been sharing her critters there in her Instagram Stories — @ania_archer_designs)
Jeanne only had Sharpies and pencils, but didn’t let that stop her from creating wonderfulness! And she also worked on the stitching for a quilted journal cover.
Penne worked on a folded paper book arts project.
Leslie (@leslieehle on Instagram) did an abstract sketch that turned into an “elephant in a windstorm.” Fabulous!
Cheryl drew a chair for one of the prompts from this month’s challenge inside the Creative Sandbox Community.
Anne Marie (who is featured on the podcast this week) shared a pic on Instagram of what she created:
And here’s what she posted to Instagram of the finished product — yay Anne Marie! (You can find her on Instagram at @musicnys.)
And that’s not even everyone!!!
The upshot is, I was utterly thrilled that participants used the time to CREATE!
That was my hope, and it made me so happy that this is exactly what happened. 🙂
Public Virtual Playdays, it turns out, work as a container for creating the same way that my in-person Creative Sandbox Playdays do! Yayyy!!! 😀
(The next in-person Creative Sandbox Playday, by the way, is next Sunday, November 25th, in Palo Alto, CA. Click here for more info. And in case you’re interested, I just started a Creative Sandbox Meetup group, and on Wednesday I’m hosting the first in a string of monthly Meetups, on UN-Networking with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, in Mountain View — click here for all the details.)
The Power of Creativity + Community
The sense of community in our Zoom room yesterday was so lovely and sweet. Several members of my Creative Sandbox Community for women were in attendance to help me celebrate, and I was delighted to share (and am delighted to share with YOU) that I just opened the doors to new members again…
AND I just created a brand, new membership tier, to make Sandbox membership more accessible to more women.
For a limited time, Basic Charter Membership is just
$200/year or $20/month $100/year or $10/month.
Someone posted in the text chat, “OK this is sad, I just thought, well, I am probably not as talented as the members of the Sandbox. LOL.”
Carla, a long-time Sandboxer replied, “No, no, no – we are supporting each other, including those comparison traps we *all* get caught up in periodically. Of course everyone brings different strengths and are at different points in their creative process/evolution, but it’s more about linking elbows and encouraging each other.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself!
THAT is exactly what the Creative Sandbox Community for women is about!
It’s a party, not a competition. You get to be you, I get to be me, and we all get to celebrate each other.
AND we get to acknowledge those gremlin voices we ALL have inside of us. Bring them out into the light, where we can actually deal with them!
Because when we shine a light on those gremlin voices, it lessens their power over us, so they no longer drive the bus.
A community of other creative women like you makes it so much easier to create when the rest of the world is telling you it’s a frivolous waste of time.
A community of other creative women like you can inspire you to keep going, to try something new, to take a risk.
A community of other creative women like you can help you see just how amazing you are.
There’s never been a better time to join us.
We’re waiting to welcome you inside.