02 October 2012

Creative Projects To Be Accomplished in Fifteen Minutes or less

Part of my current art-immersion project in the past five months has been about exploring the ways that I can create as part of my daily existence. I am busy -- just like everyone else in this great wide world of 21st century global be-productive-or-die society.

be Extraordinary Tag By ~runningwave~ laid out during
my lunch break in August 2012

I spent all of last winter wondering why I couldn't get myself off my duff and be productive, even while I watched my husband sit every morning in the living room teaching himself to read Chinese with several apps and online web tools. I admit it. I was jealous of his dedicated efforts to better himself and to do something productive with every spare minute of his time. He'd be working on his Chinese character apps in line at the diner for breakfast or riding on the Metro, all because he's love to be able to read Chinese legends and folklore in the original text some day. (By the way, in his not quite two years of doing this he is already up to memorizing 2500 characters -- a person who reads Chinese newspapers needs about 3000 characters. Now, that is dedication for you!)

This listing post was inspired by a fellow artist-blogger, Aimee who over at Artsyville, with her post, "list it tuesday: 15 minute creativity."  I met Artsyville on Facebook due to a post by another web-savvy artist I love, Jill K. Berry.  (I adore how the Internet can bring like-minded people together across time and space, even if they would never perhaps met in real life.)

As I continue with my focus on my artistic life, I am looking to other artists who share their ideas to help me. It is such an inspiration to see other people out there who love their art and who think it's important enough not only to do it every day, but to share it with the world also. So big thank yous to those artists like Aimee, Jill and others who share!  

So here's my list to add to the blog roll:
  ~runningwave's~ Creative Things I Can Do in 15 Minutes Or Less

1) Collage, paint, or draw on an ATC* or other small-scale project during my lunch break
*ATC -- for those of you who don't know it means, "artist trading card"

2) Add a few more pieces to my collage projects begun at the August classes taught by Tim Holtz at Queen's Ink

3) Brainstorm for ideas on my next collage pieces

4) Paint color backgrounds for my next collage art journals

5) Organize bit 'n pieces in my studio area

6) Make Zentangle drawings in my notebook

7) Take Instagram photos or mess around with the filters for my other digital photographs

8) Knit another few rows in my current fiber art project

9) Doodle in my handy journal

10) Rubber stamp some backgrounds to be used later

11) Start making my holiday cards

12) Look around me for artifacts and objects that can be incorporated into a collage

13) Browse the blogs of artists to gain inspiration

14) Finally read a bit more in that book on maps and imagination to insights into my own mapping project agenda.

15) Go outside and enjoy the weather; breathe; observe nature

And, of course, make more lists . . .

I am working on an Autumn project to share very soon.  Stay tuned.


  1. Great list! Thanks for reminding me about Instagram : )

    1. Isn't Instagram the coolest thing since sliced bread? I was trained in commercial photgraphy back in the day, but left that career far behind when I decided to go to grad school. I find Instagram very satisfying in my urge to make art wherever I go -- only my smart phone and imagination are required.

  2. I'm trying to not waste time during the day by filling little snippets of it with creative pursuits. Sometimes I'm successful and sometimes not! But, I do feel I'm getting better at it.
    That tag is gorgeous, btw! I love the photo!

  3. Great list! And oh, do I ever love that Jill Berry! And what an inspiring story about your husband squeezing in time to learn Chinese -- as a language lover I am all over that!

    1. Aimee, thank *you* for instigating the list. It teaches me how far I have come in pursuit of my artistic life that I can think creatively about what to do with my time.

      Some of the other commenters express feelings of being unproductive themselves. What I have learned in the past year is that you are only as productive with your time as you actively apply energy to it. If other priorities interfere, then you may need to re-focus your intentions or your aspirations.

      And my husband, well, he is an amazing language geek. Already taught himself to read at 6th grade level Spanish via webtools, and up and decided to tackle Chinese next. His brain never stops, and I love him for that. He is always in pursuit of new challenges and the glass is always half full.

  4. A very enviable and ambitious list!! I love it! Thank you for sharing :)

  5. Fabulous list!
    Oh, I need to look into that map book!
    I love, love, love all things mappy!

    1. Are you familiar with Jill Berry's Personal Geographies book? Here is her blog about that project, which I discovered because the focus is similar to mine and I just Googled it last year: http://personal-geographies.com/

      Enjoy your journey!

  6. I would love to learn about your own mapping project, too, so I started following your blog! :)

    1. Mary, thanks for following the Tides. The map project will begin to surface on this blog soon, so stay tuned.

      Maps are a passion for me. I drew them a lot as a child, collected them as a teen, and became a curator of them as a career (or, part of my career. I am an archivist by day.).

      The long-term project I've begun is to create an Atlas of my creative life. So rather than describe a physical landscape per se, my maps will show my timeline and the journey my mind, body, and soul have been on together.

      I work in mixed media, but i am just getting back i to the flow of regular art practice after a long career-building tangent. I haven't made art daily in 20 years. I have been taking classes and getting back in touch with my artist's voice. Slowly, on this blog, you'll see the results of my experiments.

  7. Someday I will get off my own duff like you have done and be as productive as you! Still having trouble with squeezing it in, because I keep wanting to read in those few precious minutes in between things I must run around doing!

    1. You are on the right track. One day at a time, Grasshopper. :-)

  8. I like your list! Also the book you linked to looks really interesting. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. I appreciate everyone's comments. Thank you for visiting.

  10. I'm a little late to the party, but making the rounds of everyone's list and loving all the creative ideas! Who knew you could accomplish so much, 15 minutes at a time?! Great list and it gave me some ideas.

  11. Your tag art is really very beautiful and elegant ~ lovely post ~ one step, one word at a time ~ I find is how everything gets done and time for just 'being' ~ (A Creative Harbor)

  12. A beautiful tag - I love that deep rich blue. The list is a fab idea - I am often amazed at how little I can achieve in 15 minutes! Thanks so much for the info on Jill K Berry and Artsyville - I'll be visiting them later. A great blog post - thanks!

  13. great list... amazing how all those 15 minutes add up!

    and very impressive about your hubby learning to read chinese!