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Creativity 101

Acts of creativity can give us a dose of happiness and shake us out of our torpor. It only requires we make or contemplate beauty to raise our happiness level. (I recommend Your Brain On Art: How the Arts Transform Us, by Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross, 2023.)

Creativity can involve music, dance, a gallery visit, time outdoors, etc. Even just pausing to look at a favorite painting on your wall can elevate the spirit. (This painter was glad to read this fact. Of course, intuitively I knew this, as time in my studio makes me happy.)

Interestingly, I just read in the paper that "there's been a lot of chatter lately about the benefits of micro-dosing psychedelic drugs... to promote relaxation and creativity". I couldn't help but to think, why don't we just make art? Creative moments are all around us.

You say you aren't creative? Here are a few ideas to get you started, all legal and free!

Level 1

  • Curate your refrigerator door

  • Visit an ethnic grocery store, then cook something you've never tried before

  • Dance in your slippers

  • Contemplate the bloom of the dandelion for 60 seconds

  • Sing with gusto on your commute (bonus points if you are taking public transportation)

  • Write a thank-you haiku and make someone's day

  • Make a fort to work in (won't your boss be impressed)

  • Plant a garden

  • Learn the lyrics to a new song

Level 2

  • Re-create your signature, with calligraphic flourish

  • Print three of your favorite iPhone photos, frame them in IKEA frames and hang them on your wall. (See, I told you you were creative.)

  • Find a YouTube video on how to draw a banana. (Put this on your wall with duct tape. Your friends will think you are cutting edge.)

Level 3

  • Share what you are uniquely doing to feed your creativity. This is level 3 because reaching a higher level requires NO FEAR. So... just do it. (Or, as art critic Jerry Saltz famously says, "Get to work, you big baby!"

Above: my iPhone photo of the week.

Now it's your turn.

Go have some fun.



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