Q: What is creativity?
A: The relationship between the human being and the mysteries of inspiration.
— Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic)
Hello May! To celebrate Creative Beginnings Month, we here at EndlessPens would like to invite you to awaken your imagination and transform your ideas into action. Being creative means opening your perception to everything around you and within yourself, seeing patterns, making connections, and reshaping these associations into something new that comes from you.
Everyone has the potential to be creative, and this ability can be developed at any age. One way is to be more receptive -- to the sensations that come to us, whether from our daily activities or an especially unique event in our lives -- and let our psyche process how these affect us. Another method is to be more self-aware, diving deep into our inner selves -- let those emotions and thoughts that have been simmering be expressed through action, through making. A third is through problem-solving, exploring possibilities, and forming different solutions. These are some of the ways of sparking the latent creativity that exists in each of us. We need not work in creative fields such as painters, musicians, or writers. Each moment can be remade, fueled by inspiration and manifested into action.
Let us tap into our creative well with a few activities that can be done within the comfort of our own homes. Making use of commonplace objects and materials, these projects will encourage you and your family to see the possibilities of being creative within the context of daily life.
Coffee Stain Doodles
A lot of people have coffee among their household items. Why not use it as a medium for expressing yourself as well as your love for it? Have you ever spilled your beverage on some paper? I know… annoying, right? This time, let’s do it on purpose, haha. Using a cooled-down cup of leftover coffee, you can either use a small brush, a dip pen, spoon or fork, or your finger to make marks on the paper. Let the stain dry, then doodle over it or around it with a fountain pen. Children would enjoy this activity, since it allows for more spontaneity and play.
Coffee, paper, any tool for mark-making, Pilot Prera Fountain Pen
Use a lighter hand when drawing over stained paper, as the absorbency and/or texture might have changed from the coffee.
Ink Blot Drawings
Those sudden and accidental drops of fountain pen ink on your page are off-putting (and spills, oh my gosh!), but making them mindfully is a satisfying experience, as I have discovered. Making sense of the abstract form of the blot itself and associating it with a figure help flex your imagination. With deliberate plops of ink on paper, you can transform these “mistakes” into little pieces of art. Choose your fountain pen ink, then using any tool on hand that can hold an amount of liquid, make a few random or well-placed drops on paper. You can either let these dry, then draw over or around them. Or you can gently draw over the moist spots with a fountain pen, and allow the different inks to interact. Children will also enjoy making those blots, and can be introduced to the magic of fountain pens and inks.
Robert Oster Cozy Comforts Stargazing Fountain Pen Ink, eyedropper, drinking straw, or the like, paper, fountain pen
You can also push a few drops of ink from your fountain pen by twisting the converter if you prefer a monochromatic look.
Attention, all of you who love keeping those ticket stubs, old notes from friends, and other ephemera (like me), this is your chance to shine! Sort through your memorabilia and see which pieces go well together to evoke a particular theme or event, then lay them out as you’d like on a page of your journal first before fixing them more permanently with glue. After the glue has dried, you can either write your thoughts directly on these or within the empty spaces.
This can be a family bonding activity as well, with each member having their own journal to embellish, or just one or more pages with ephemera chosen by each member of the family.
Make Your Own Notebook
Creativity and invention work synergistically. According to Jonathan Schattke, a scientist and nuclear engineer -- “Necessity is the mother of invention, it is true, but its father is creativity, and knowledge is the midwife.” Crafting something with your hands hones your problem-solving capabilities and immerses you in a total learning experience. This is more time-consuming than those previously mentioned, but I can personally attest to how gratifying it is to make something that can be used (or given as a gift) that has been tailored to your taste.
You can take this opportunity for personal development by researching the different techniques of bookbinding, and select one that appeals to you. Learn about the different materials needed, and see if you already have them on hand, or modify them so they can be used for this project. As you continue practicing a particular bookbinding technique, the easier it becomes as you work with the materials you have.
Tomoe River A4 Paper for the leaves, stiffer paper for the cover, needle, waxed thread, ruler for measuring, cutting tool like blade cutter or scissors, piercing tool like an awl, cutting mat to protect work surface
You can precut a template from thicker paper beforehand, to skip the measuring of the paper for the sections.
Ink Your Notebook Covers
One facet of creativity is making something already existing distinctively your own by putting a unique impression on it, so to speak. If you already have a notebook with a plain cover that you can write or draw on, it can become a blank canvas for your own design. You can put ink blots on it, write your favorite inspiring quote, or you can draw on it with your fountain pen. The possibilities are up to you!
Journal or notebook with a blank, writable cover, Sailor Shikiori, Diamine, Robert Oster Cozy Comforts (Set of 6) Fountain Pen Inks, fountain pen
You can test out a fixative beforehand, such as Mod Podge or a spray, to see if it works well with your inks. If yes, then applying it on the cover will add a layer of protection to your work.
Begin Your Creative Journey
Believe that you have the capacity for it, and embrace your own way of expressing it. Be open to inspiration and act upon the urge to transform that into something tangible or sensate. Realize that errors are also opportunities for learning. Most importantly, enjoy the process of becoming more creative.
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Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!