Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Imagination Ink

Once a month, I meet with a small group at work to discuss art and other creative endeavors. Originally, the group began because I was inspired by the works of Keri Smith, a self-proclaimed guerrilla artist. I was particularly drawn to her recent publication of her Wreck This Journal project and thought it would be fun to complete the journal with other people at work. Smith challenges people to create outside of the box -- her journal forces the participant to reach outside of his/her comfort zone and create art out of destruction, not perfection. It's liberation from the idea that art is perfect and clean. She teaches you that the messy process of destroying is just as essential in experiencing the creative process as it is to produce a perfectly presentable end product.

That idea seemed very appealing to me. I had been in a creative rut, and I knew that my job had a lot to do with it. My job lacks opportunities to be creative, and it takes up most of my time. The monotony of sitting in front of a computer all day can be draining. I knew I couldn't be the only one who felt this way. So imagine my happiness when I sent out the initial invitation to people to participate in the project and they said yes! We began meeting in January during our lunch break, and although our small group only meets once a month, the break in the work day is just enough to replenish my energy until we meet again. Aside from the journal project, we also participate in other creative activities. We've already held a photo challenge outing, and we are in the works of organizing a painting party.

During this month's meeting, I brought in my shodo set to share with the group. Shodo is the art of Japanese calligraphy. (I briefly took classes while teaching in Okinawa.) I thought it would be a good to way to do something creative at our meetings since our interest in the journal project seemed to be waning.

Lise and Life

Lise practicing the Kanji Life (Inochi)

Amanda and Love

Amanda practicing the Kanji Love (Ai)

I found some great templates online to use as guides. Everyone took a stab at creating the flowing, dark characters on their crisp, white papers. Though not an easy art to master, I thought everyone did a great job of creating their own kanji. I had not used my shodo set in such a long time, so it was nice to dust it off and use it again.

Alfonso and Love

Alfonso and the Kanji Love (Ai)

Shannon and Happiness

Shannon and the Kanji Happiness (Sachi)

Kelly and Happiness

Kelly and the Kanji Happiness (Sachi)

I'm already thinking of ways to try to incorporate elements of shodo in future drawings that I do. The activity even inspired some of the other group members to bring in similar activities to the next meeting.

I can't wait to see what we do next month!

Da-i-a-na

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.
Art is knowing which ones to keep."

-Scott Adams

5 comments:

  1. This was fun! I hope we get to try it again. I would like to make something for the walls in my our new house.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would love to see what my name looked like

    ReplyDelete
  3. Terry, try this site:
    http://japanesetranslator.co.uk/your-name-in-japanese/

    It'll generate what it thinks your name should look like in katakana. Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have been missing a treat...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, you have! Hope you come to next one. :)

    ReplyDelete

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