While I'm away from the blog over the course of the next few weeks (because self-care comes first, loves), I've asked some of my unbelievably incredible entrepreneurial soul sisters to join me as guest bloggers. This week, we have the truly luminous Shelly Prokop, founder of Studio Shelly Prokop and Dive Paper. In addition to her absolutely stunning work as a graphic designer, Shelly is the go-to visual branding expert and a mixed-media artist. I'm thrilled to have her kicking off our series of guest bloggers as she talks resuscitating your creativity.
With love, love, love.
resuscitate your creativity
There is an allure that the genius of creativity happens alone. That the beauty behind making great works of art is exclusive to loneliness. We tell ourselves that it flourishes behind closed doors somewhere unique and special, or that there must be some secret sauce to their methods. Worse... we tell ourselves that it is reserved for a select few. “Normal folk” can’t be creative.
We sell ourselves short before we even try.
I’m here to open those doors. To show you that creativity really isn’t magic at all.
It is courageous. It is stubborn. It’s persistent.
It is daring. Forgiving. Alive.
And that it lives deep inside, begging for company.
Nobody asks children why they love to color. No one hands them a list of requirements that says it has to be blue or absolutely fabulous by 5pm. They just express whatever is inside them at the moment and go on about their day.
Creativity can be cultivated faster and easier than a jar of pickled peppers (or beets, a personal fave!). I believe we are all artists, just brimming with that childlike wonder. Each with a different perspective to share. But as adults, we suffocate that urge to let our imagination run free.
It’s time to fling open the shudders. Dust it off and let it breathe.
Your creative Spring Cleaning starts NOW.
Creatives are resourceful. They work on the fly with what they’ve got for the sake of getting it out. Period.
You’ll need 3 things...
Some sort of paper. It doesn’t have to be the perfect sketchbook or a fancy canvas. And to that pipsqueak chiming in, well what about archival?? Seriously, screw you, pipsqueak. (Are you really worried about this sticking around for a hundred years?) I’m talking anything you can get your hands on that you decide is mark worthy - cardstock, newsprint, old school construction paper, the comics section, a cereal box - hell, a napkin. (Nobody’s ever been creative with those. Note the sarcasm, love.)
Something sticky. A gluestick, school glue, scotch tape, duct tape, a stapler, paper clips… The object of this is to use what you have.
Something to write with. Marker, crayon, paint, chalk, jelly, mascara, eyeliner, nail polish, whatever you've got.
Fan through a magazine or the newspaper and pick out 2-3 words or images that jump out at you. Tear the page out. Tear off the excess quick and fast. Don’t overthink it. Just let ‘er rip. Shuffle them around and stick them down or attach them onto the page.
Pick up your writing tool and doodle. Smoosh a paint swash across it. Connect edges, swirl overlapping lines, write whatever streaming thoughts enter your mind. Make letters. Make chicken scratches. Make shapes. Trust whatever feels like it needs to come out.
I’ve worked this way in journals and sketchbooks for over a dozen years. There is no right or wrong to the practice. You can’t mess it up. In fact, messing it up is the GOAL. And maybe it never lands itself in a frame or even on the fridge. Maybe you never show it to anyone. Maybe you blast it out on your Instagram. But that energy isn’t all closed up and buried anymore. Creativity is energy, expression. And its beauty is about getting it out. Sharing it. Letting it breathe.
Do this once and it will awaken you. Do it regularly and it will free you.
Shelly Prokop is a mixed media artist, graphic designer, and visual branding expert. Force of Nature Intuitive Arts Retreats & Mixed Media Workshops launch this Spring in the Hudson Valley, New York. If you want to know more about my process, connect with me over at www.studioshellyprokop.com or www.divepaper.com.
Dive Paper was born out of the elemental need to connect back to the visceral process of making art and to encourage breaking down the barriers of the blank page. When you release the expectations that art has to "say something" it allows you to jump in and revel in the discovery. The process delivers the message - a true breath of fresh air.