A silkscreen a day...
November 23, 2009 6:01 PM   Subscribe

What is one creative thing you do each day?

I'm looking to get the creative juices flowing, and once they are, I want to keep the momentum going.

So, MeFites, what do you do each day to stay creative? Other than being terrible at drawing, I'm open to pretty much anything. We don't have a ton of crafting apparatuses, but I could be persuaded to buy.

posted by elder18 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (38 answers total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
I love knitting but unfortunately, I don't have time every day (or even close).

I guess the only creative thing I really do every single day (okay, most days...) is get dressed. Fashion is an art, and one that is easy for a lot of people to appreciate!
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 6:03 PM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

I write something every day. It doesn't have to be as formal as a journal if you don't want it to be. Just write 100 words.

Also, I am absolutely horrid at drawing and I doodle all the time. Don't worry about the results of your creative ventures. As long as you enjoy doing it, you are spending your time in a meaningful way.
posted by mmmbacon at 6:04 PM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm a fool for cross stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, and similar pointless projects, at least in winter. I like to write and am slowly circling toward actually attempting a novel, which I know will require for me reserved writing time every day. And I mess with the guitar my husband bought me, even though I know I'm terrible.
posted by bearwife at 6:04 PM on November 23, 2009

Rather like bearwife, I try to at least bust out a *couple* of crochet stitches a day on a project and, if nothing else, tune my ukulele and make some random noises on it.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 6:05 PM on November 23, 2009

Digital photography is so cheap and throwaway, I try to take a few pictures every day. Once you have the camera, your expenses are essentially over (unless you require prints). Take as many pics as you want, look at them on your computer, publish them to Flickr or your own web site. Carry a camera with you wherever you go. It is a rewarding hobby, and if you have the time for composition, all the better.
posted by netbros at 6:09 PM on November 23, 2009

Play an instrument (trumpet). There's a big difference between any kind of performance art and writing code (which is my day job).
posted by phliar at 6:09 PM on November 23, 2009

I think you can learn photography over time as well - so you acquire a skill as well as a images. It takes time, though.

I also like to see if I can hum along to a familiar piece of classical music. This takes time to learn how to do as well.
posted by carter at 6:12 PM on November 23, 2009

I cook as much as I can; at least once per day.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:15 PM on November 23, 2009

I take at least one picture every day. I try to write every day but I don't always make it.

I find knitting to be very soothing and there was a time when I did it every day, but I've managed to screw up my wrists so not so much anymore.
posted by sugarfish at 6:23 PM on November 23, 2009

dance! anywhere, anytime.
posted by crawfo at 6:24 PM on November 23, 2009

Other than being terrible at drawing, I'm open to pretty much anything.

You know what? Draw anyway, just for yourself.

Doodling leads to great moments of surprise insight that can spin off into other creative pursuits.
posted by rokusan at 6:26 PM on November 23, 2009

I make up rhymes and sing them to my cat every single day. No shame.
posted by banannafish at 6:27 PM on November 23, 2009 [7 favorites]

I came to say cooking and getting dressed, but have been beaten to it.

Some days I come up with creative reasons why something should/n't be done (see: work, cleaning, exercising...)
posted by cestmoi15 at 6:27 PM on November 23, 2009

posted by serazin at 6:37 PM on November 23, 2009

I don't think I have anything that I do every day. The creative things that I do tend to fall into categories. Sometimes I paint. Sometimes I noodle around on guitar and try to make some new music. Sometimes I write computer programs. Lately I've been building a cyclekart. I do read blog.makezine.com pretty regularly, and there are some good ideas there. Once, long ago, a friend asked me if I considered myself to be a creative person, and if so, how I rated myself on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of creativity. I think I told him "8 or 9." Later, I was thinking about that, and what "8 or 9" meant. I figured, "8 or 9" meant that I ought to be more creative than 80 or 90 percent of people. Well, was I really more creative than 80 or 90 percent of people? If so, then where's all the stuff I've created? That was almost twenty years ago that I had that conversation, but it kind of stuck with me, and has served to motivate me over the years. (Don't know if I'm a "8 or 9" on such a scale, but I try.)
posted by smcameron at 6:44 PM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

Cooking and I take a picture everyday - mostly of my daughter.
posted by geek anachronism at 6:44 PM on November 23, 2009

I sing in the shower. I make crazy cooking plans. I play music. I make up stories about strangers who do unexpected things. None of these every day, but one most days.
posted by aimedwander at 6:53 PM on November 23, 2009

Cook, but don't use recipes exactly.

Keep a blog. Force yourself to write something everyday. It could be anecdotal, a description of an image, you could wax poetic about that awesome beer you had after work. Just make sure to write something.
posted by chicago2penn at 6:57 PM on November 23, 2009

Nthing knitting, which I do every day.

Also, I find that not a lot of adults look for shapes in clouds. I do that.

Making words out of license plates - my car was named Redux because the plate letters were rdx.
posted by bilabial at 7:02 PM on November 23, 2009

I cook. Professionally, yeah, but not a day goes by even on days off that I'm not in a kitchen, somewhere, cooking.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:28 PM on November 23, 2009

Shoot a roll of film. (You could commit to taking 15-20 digital captures with your phone every day, if you don't have a camera.)

You're on the right track: it's the "every day" (and a mandatory minimum) that really makes this work.
posted by availablelight at 7:35 PM on November 23, 2009

Lately it's been Snowflakes - you know where you fold a square bit of paper a couple of times, give it a hack with a pair of scissors or xacto, unfold it and behold! a Snowflake! I'm finding it quite theraputic... Also, I will now have lots of choice when decorating my portion of the office. Sooo bascially, Paper crafts could be an option - Origami, etc
posted by latch24 at 7:39 PM on November 23, 2009

I draw Tarot cards.

But you probably already knew that.

I try to draw one each day and figure out how it fits in with what I'm experiencing or craving or expecting (or not experiencing, etc.). Sometimes I read up on it a little bit, other times I use it as a mental leaping-off point for meditation or journal entry, other times I don't think about it even slightly for the rest of the day.
posted by hermitosis at 8:16 PM on November 23, 2009

Writing and photography are both great and inexpensive ways of expressing your creativity. A blog is totally free and point-and-shoot cameras are pretty cheap - even for good ones. You can even blend the two and blog about photos you take.
posted by consilience at 8:37 PM on November 23, 2009

posted by turgid dahlia at 9:45 PM on November 23, 2009

I find myself either crocheting, making jewellery or doing some sort of paper craft almost everyday. I especially like how zen these activities make me feel, while at the same time helping me feel like I've actually accomplished something tangible.
posted by MelanieL at 10:17 PM on November 23, 2009

I write something every day. It doesn't have to be as formal as a journal if you don't want it to be. Just write 100 words.
posted by mmmbacon at 8:04 PM on November 23

A good place to start --> www.100words.com

Write one hundred words a day, month by month. My intention is to capture the salient around which my day pivoted – that's the ideal – but it can be anything. It's got to be written daily, is all.

I can't tell you how many times I've been fading toward sleep and ZAM !! “I haven't written !! Fuck !!” – and I head to my puter or pick up a pen, spit out that days hundred.

I've started way more months than I've finished but I call it good anyways, a good discipline, lots of fun.

Try it!
posted by dancestoblue at 12:30 AM on November 24, 2009

Cooking, baking (without recipes, or recipes modified to my taste)
Writing a blog post, or even just a funny Facebook status update.
Taking my camera with me when I go on a walk.
I also make poems in my head sometimes, just to pass the time (e.g. when waiting for the bus, or when trying to fall asleep at night).
posted by The Toad at 1:06 AM on November 24, 2009

My daily commute involves a fairly long walk. I usually use the time for making up little songs, brainstorming, listening to my iPod and figuring out outfits I'd wear if I were singing the song on American Idol - kind of letting my mind creatively wander.

It's "disposable" creativity - most of it stays there in the moment and never turns into anything tangible or significant - but that's fine with me because I already have notebooks full of drawings and drawers full of knitted socks and handmade jewelry. But it's great for my mind and my mood.

In all honesty, I think the best thing anyone can do for their creativity is go for a walk. Physically moving around kickstarts my mind in a way a closet full of craft supplies doesn't.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:24 AM on November 24, 2009

Besides those mentioned I have three sites that I enjoy frequently visiting to stir up the creative juices.
1) http://tweaktoday.com/ - Daily activities of the random variety that often end up being worthwhile.
2) http://www.plinky.com/ - Creative prompts on varying topics.
3) http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/ - Being a fan of games the game design challenge often gets me thinking within a realm on knowledge I enjoy.

I also spent a lot of time (365 days actually) with the "This Book Will Change your Life" by Benrik and its sequel. Quite fun.

Hope these resources help.
posted by prithee at 6:48 AM on November 24, 2009 [5 favorites]

I've been writing my wife an email a day, trying my best to be creative and funny while describing my mundane day.
posted by booth at 7:42 AM on November 24, 2009

For awhile I was doing a collage-a-day. Grab an old magazine, flip through it quickly and rip out whatever images appeal to you, then use them to create a collage. I did mine in a sketchbook and it turned into a visual journal of sorts. The trick for me was to set a time limit (half an hour, maybe?) which kept me from getting bogged down trying to come up with a brilliant idea or execute it perfectly.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 9:43 AM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

I write a lot. I like to write a page on two different things a day, or else plan a new story. I also have an LJ that I update regularly; I try to make the entries entertaining, or failing that, only update when I have something possibly interesting to say. I spend a lot of the day thinking about situations, real and imagined.

I read a lot, both fiction and nonfiction. Right now I'm in the middle of something like eight books. I remember them better when I put them down and come back to them, rather than read them straight through. I think most people classify reading as a passive activity -- even if they don't read passively in practice -- but it's as creative as anything else if you're thinking about what you're reading and applying it to things. Reading has always been a surefire way for me to get ideas.

I cross-stitch some days. I try to cross-stitch video game stuff, since it doesn't feel as lame to me as stereotypical cross-stitch stuff. Truthfully, this is (to me) a good example of something that on-face seems more creative than reading because it's more active, but in practice doesn't make me feel very creative. Thinking of possible patterns is the only creative part for me, but actually sitting down and doing it just feels like following instructions. If I were an accomplished enough cross-stitcher to make changes or improvise as I go, I might feel differently.

I have a rule that if I'm doing something with my hands, like cleaning or sorting laundry or cross-stitching, I am simultaneously listening to either a podcast or audiobook. Music works too, though I tend to listen to music when my primary activity takes too much of my attention to follow full sentences, or else when I don't have much time. Creativity is the synthesizing of unrelated ideas, and in that vein, I've found that having two things going on simultaneously is pretty inspiring. Keep something around to jot ideas on.

I sing all the time; it's the one thing I've done seriously since I was a child. If I hear a song, I try to imitate the artist as closely as possible, just for the hell of it. Then I will also try to do my own version of it. As a result, I can imitate a lot of artists, male and female (I'm female), and my range has gotten very big and I've learned a lot of stylistic things I wouldn't have if I didn't try to imitate them for fun. I pretend to be the actual artist whenever I imitate them, which some might say isn't "creative" since it's imitating, but it's wildly inspiring to put yourself in someone else's shoes and the insights you get while doing it is worthwhile for creating your own things. So if you ever get bored with whatever activity you're doing, or you don't feel creative at the moment, just take a bit of time and copy someone else. You'll be in a different frame of mind and the interaction between yourself and your idea of who you're copying will result in something you and that person could have never come up with alone.
posted by Nattie at 12:38 PM on November 24, 2009 [3 favorites]

All over the Internets there a little things you can participate in to live a more creative life. I started a blog to help me be more creative. Given I post 6 days a week, I'm taking photos pretty much everyday. So nthing photography!

I also signed up for art class. While I'm pretty average, I do enjoy the two hours dedicated to putting something on paper.

I also try and crochet most days. Give Mr WayOutWest and I usually sit on the couch and catch up I always have my yarn nearby when we're chatting.

There's also things like Illustration Friday
Project 365
What I Wore Today.
YMMV depending on your interests.
posted by WayOutWest at 8:06 PM on November 24, 2009

I did an instant-photo-a-day project last year - self-linky - for 30 days, starting in January. At the time, I was knitting and writing (and working in architecture) so I was certainly making things already, but I had the total winter blues and needed to force myself to wake up creatively.

I find setting a time limit makes it easier to stick to it, whether it's a year or a month or 54 days or whatever, and it allows you to view it as a body of work or experimentation, from which you can start off on another set, rather than it all just being a chore.
posted by carbide at 4:35 AM on November 25, 2009

Silence and self-awareness are both wonderful canvasses.
posted by Rinku at 5:31 AM on November 25, 2009

Sorry. I just realized how smarmy that must have sounded. It's true, though. Simply the act of being creative in silence, in your head, I find deeply fulfilling, especially while on a walk. Being aware of your breathing, acting deliberately, can also be a creative act for me. Take a minute to control your body - you don't have to do poses, or anything. Just while doing a task be aware of every motion your body makes; it's difficult but... engaging.
posted by Rinku at 5:52 AM on November 25, 2009

I'm looking to get the creative juices flowing, and once they are, I want to keep the momentum going.

Morning pages. Three hand-written (yes, hand-written) pages, written every morning, first thing. It's a creative meditation of sorts, the idea of which is to remove the cruft from your brain so you can start each day fresh and with a creative mindset.

From the first link:
I compare Morning Pages to my morning shower. While I'm not visually dirty in the morning, I feel refreshed and ready for my day after taking a shower. Your shower takes care of your body. Morning Pages is a shower for your heart, mind, and soul. There's no visible "dirt," but there might be something under the surface that needs attention. Or maybe a dream or two looking for a place to land. Or maybe a list of things you want to get done during the day. Or just random thoughts that plague you like a song you can't get out of your head.
There's a lot more about Morning pages on MeFi if you do a search.
posted by Brittanie at 5:48 AM on November 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

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