Thursday, October 19, 2006

Creativity Exercises

I've been hunting around the house, looking for a book I've had for 12+ years called "The Book Of Questions". It's a book that I used to leave in the spare bedroom along with some lighter reading for guests. It's a book that we used to play as a game when I was in my early 20's, when meeting new people we would open up the book of questions, choose one at random, then discuss it - you could learn an awful lot about people in a hurry that way. The book's questions are varied and interesting. Some of them set up difficult moral or ethical dilemmas, then you are asked what you would do in that situation. Some are as simple as:
"You are sitting in the back of the bus. You notice a $10.00 bill on the floor. There are several people around you, including someone who appears to be homeless. What do you do? Do you ignore the bill? Do you pick it up and ask around as to who may have lost it? Do you wait until an opportune time to pocket it without anyone else seeing? How would your answer change if the bill was a $20. - or a $100?"
Fun stuff, eh? Well, I'm looking for that book today because I got it in my head that I'd like to use it for some creativity exercises to jump start my creative brain (yes, I'm trying to blow the dust off...I may have to use canned air). My thought was that I could open the book at random, then draw something related to one of the questions. Spend some time interpreting the ideas, not just rote illustration. Alas, no book.
Part of the whole motivation behind the sketching is to help me better learn the drawing program that I use for designing pantograph patterns. I need to stretch my wings a little, push the boundaries of what I know, rather than regurgitate the same ideas over and over. Then it occurred to me that I could do it with any book, not just that one...any text pulled at random could be the impetus for a sketch. So here it is.
The phrase was "my first memory". My first memory is of a time when I was very little, looking out the window of our kitchen while sitting in the sink. I must have been only 2 or 3 years old. I could see the plum tree (and my swing) and the big cement steps that led down from the road into our back yard. It's a hazy, almost-not-there memory, but I can somehow remember turning toward my mom and seeing her smile and reach out to me.

Happy stitching,


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