Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Creative loafing

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2000 at 12:00 AM

The Artist's Way Creativity Kit by Julia Cameron
  • The Artist's Way Creativity Kit by Julia Cameron

I’m not always good at channeling my creativity. I’ll hunker down in my studio with every intention of working on a project, but inevitably lose concentration and wind up cleaning out my desk, or making a mix tape or folding paper airplanes, when I really ought to be, say, writing a review for the newspaper.

Maybe this box of creativity-inspiring goodies can help me. Inside, there’s incense and a journal sprinkled with thought-provoking quotations. (Francis Bacon: "The job of an artist is always to deepen the mystery." I’ll try that on my editor: "I don’t know George ... where do you think my assignment is?")

Best of all is the deck of round cards, each inscribed with a little project designed to start your creative engine. You could "stencil a room," "decorate a chair" or just "sit on a park bench for an hour." Maybe you can "wear a disguise to the grocery store" (security guards love that stuff) or "make tiny pancakes" (then feed them to tiny lumberjacks?) or "lose a dollar where someone else will find it." (I recommend the MGM Grand – I lost $126 there; it was easy.,)

Small-minded people will tell you that these sound more like work-avoidance techniques than inspirational exercises, but don’t let them harsh your creativosity. Draw another card – "Clean out your desk," it says! "Make a mix tape!" "Fold a paper airplane!" What’s this one say? "Review what you’ve accomplished this year." Uh ... hmm.

Sean Bieri is the design director for Metro Times. E-mail him at sbieri@metrotimes.com.

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