By Jan Whitted, Artbeat LLC
At first I was thrilled to hear about the Cre8time movement. As the owner of Artbeat, a creativity store and studio, my goal is to encourage people to take time and make time for creative activities.
Then I read something about finding 8 hours a month to devote to creativity.
You’ve got to be kidding!
Who can possibly find 8 extra hours in their busy life? Not me!
Then the inspiration hit: if the challenge of finding extra time for creativity is that daunting, let’s do something really small. Small can be good. Small can be powerful:
- Small meals are healthy.
- Small businesses drive the economy.
- Small cars are better for the environment.
- Small babies are cute.
- Small steps can lead to big gains.
I talked with my staff. Surely we could find 8 minutes every day to do something creative for ourselves!
We gathered five different materials (sticky canvas, Bristol board, Woolfelt, collage boards and watercolor paper) and cut them into three-inch squares. We made bundles of 30 (6 of each type) so we’d have an easy kit for making something different every day.
Why 30? Studies show that it takes 30 consecutive days to establish a new behavior. On the 31st day of the month, we would have a set of creative Post-it notes that could be assembled into a visual quilt – or repurposed on greeting cards, book covers, as coasters, etc.
We all decided to give it a try for the month of March—National Craft Month. We came up with four simple rules:
1. Pick a time each day for an art break. Make it a habit!
2. Plan the materials you’ll use for each surface. Something simple is perfectly fine.
3. Play for eight minutes! Let your mind relax and your fingers move.
4. Post the results on our Facebook page.
So, how’s it going for us at Artbeat? Well, we were pretty prolific for a few days. I picked up a
box of watercolor crayons that are creamy and wonderful to use, and that I hadn’t touched in months. Karyn, who is a henna artist, sketched an intricate design with glitter glue. Kory painted an abstract design on a sticky canvas. I needlefelted a rainbow. We all loved it. It seemed do-able.
Then life interfered. I had to knuckle down and work on my taxes. Karyn had family come to visit. Kory went off to Barcelona for two weeks of study. None of us followed through on our thirty days – the first time around.
But we started. And that’s something.
Here’s what we learned:
8 minutes can be a long time. When you pick up your materials and enter the creativity zone with a single focus, time seems to stand still.
Community counts. Having each other to remind us, having to post to Facebook, sharing our ideas with the CRE8TIME staff, all are energizing and motivating.
An art break 8 minutes every day? We all can do it! Who knows, someday we may get to that 8 hours after all!