Do Something Creative, Anything

*A guest post by Tammy Garcia. Visit her at:

In the states we have jelly bean displays at the grocery store where you can fill a clear bag with colorful candies in flavors like tangerine and licorice. The jelly beans flow from the containers and if cherry runs out, you can simply switch to margarita. Wouldn’t it be fun if creative ideas were like that? We could open our journal to a fresh page and a zillion creative ideas would spill onto the page. Some days are indeed like that – madly, wildly creative. Others, not so much.


do something creative
George Bernard Shaw said, “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” I figure that doing something creative, anything, is better than spinning your wheels waiting for elusive ideas to land on your paint brush. I often get ideas while I’m doing something seemingly mundane, like cutting watercolor paper for journals. And those ideas morph, transform and grow into bigger and more intriguing ideas. So it’s a positive in so many ways.

We might as well welcome periods of low creative adrenalin. Go ahead, make the most of them and work them into the process! I even have tasks and projects that are a perfect match for artistic indecision.


do something creative
My mental list of low-tide tasks allows me to maintain just enough forward inertia. It includes work that does not require a lot of imagination or multi-layered decisions, projects that are easy and comfortable with little set-up or tear-down of materials. There is something soothing about repetitive work, in being mindful of the movement of the pen, the brush, the knitting needles.


do something creative
Sometimes I just doodle random pattern ideas in my journal while watching Big Bang Theory reruns.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

  • Organize and clean your dip pen nibs. You’ll be ready when you want to draw.
  • Tape papers into a little journal. You are collecting reference material and ideas for the future.
  • Make color swatches, develop color mixing charts or paint color wheels. You are learning how your art materials work and how colors interact.
  • Cut large pieces of paper down to journal size. You’ll be ready when you want to make a hand-bound journal.
  • Paint vertical and horizontal lines of gouache that blend at odd intersections. You can cut these pages up and use them in collages.
  • Write one word or the alphabet over and over again. You are practicing your hand-lettering skills.
  • Organize your embroidery floss or yarn stash. You’ll be ready for your next fiber art project.

An art journalist’s dream. Paper to work on, fabric to sew, journals to fill, ideas to pursue. Try to see the scope of your work in the big picture. Doing something that’s a tangent {a sidelight} to your primary creative focus is still part of moving forward.


tammygarcia-icon-300x199Tammy Garcia is a mixed media artist who writes about bringing creativity into your life. Tammy doodles, sews paper, snaps photographs, works in her art journals and blogs at Daisy Yellow at

For more amazing incite into art journaling please check out some of these great Create Mixed Media art journaling books:
Click to Purchase Art Journal Courage! Click to Purchase Art Journal, Art Journey!
Click to Purchase Art Journal Kickstarter!

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