Friday, April 15, 2011

Fun Friday - Magazine Collage + Silly Putty

A month ago I posted about the "Artist's Date," a once a week play date with yourself that emphasizes fun and creative silliness. Although I haven't been going on these "dates" weekly, I felt a need to have one today.

My current WIP is going well, and I've gotten much better at writing for longer, steadier chunks of time in the mornings. Today was my longest bout yet, and afterward I felt accomplished but mentally trained. There was creative energy stored up, but not much physical or mental energy left to keep going with the WIP. So I decided to channel that energy into an Artist Date.

This time I got out the fun stuff: old magazines, scissors, and glue. I gleefully snipped, ripped, and glued. The result: A big mess of sticky bits of paper and this collage:

Bonus points if you can sing the song.


The process was so fun, so creative in a way that was engaging and yet primitive. Something about the snip-snip of scissors and squeezing of glue bottles. I've hung this mini-poster above my work space so I can repeat the words as a mantra.

Little creative outbursts like these are, I believe, necessary. Sometimes we have the drive to work and create but no specific goals or intentions. If not channeled, it can create nervous energy. There are books by Stephen King and Nora Roberts where the character, a writer, will chain smoke as he writes. Writing can create this pent up energy that needs to be funneled into something, hopefully something non-destructive. Myself, I have a bad habit of picking apart things while I write, including: my fingernails, bits of paper, or tissue.

If you find yourself in the same boat, an easy solution might be a stress ball or a sketch pad. I wanted something more tactile and something that I would allow me to be more destructive.

I considered Play-Doh, but this leaves no mess.


It's so cathartic to squish and mold and mash the putty into shapes. As I twist and stretch it, my mind is free to work out the complexities of plots and characters while my nervous fingers are otherwise engaged.

Do you have any nervous habits that you exhibit while writing? How do you deal with them?

No comments:

Post a Comment

life.in.review: spring 2017

Ah, spring, or as I like to think of it, "BEES, AAGH, SO MANY BEES!" season. . mems .  The weather's been disgustingl...