What If We Did Creativity Small? A Month of Creativity, 8 Minutes At a Time

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.

What if we did creativity small, too – a month of creativity, 8 minutes at a time?CRE8TIME art square

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.

Cre8Time-Jan's Felt Rainbow
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:

It IS possible to schedule creative moments into a busy workday.Cre8Time-Karyn's Henna Design

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!

Cre8Time-Kory's Doodle

3 thoughts on “What If We Did Creativity Small? A Month of Creativity, 8 Minutes At a Time

  1. I LOVE this!! I have a hard enough time finding time in a day because of phone interruptions or feeling like I have to check up on FaceBook family and friends. But 8 minutes sounds SO doable I will be starting this today. Thanks so much for the tip!! 😀

  2. Long before cre8time, I started a daily — well, work-week daily — practice of creating a small work of art for the card frame on my office door. Most of these pieces have taken fewer than 10 minutes to make. I’ve made 423 of them so far and have no plans to stop any time soon. So, yes, an 8-minute art break every day is both possible and productive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s