This summer, I’ve joined in with the Slamseys Creative Challenge. The Challenge is to keep a Visual Journal for the summer; it can be a sketchbook or a blog, photographs, knitting, sewing … whatever. If it’s visual and it records the summer (or winter should you be in the southern hemisphere) then it counts. I’ve decided to try to take a photograph every day, sometimes of things that will remind me of this hot summer and sometimes using the prompts or theme for the week as a bit more of a challenge.
We don’t always make enough time for being creative, even though it’s such an important thing for us to do. There’s a great deal of satisfaction making something with your hands, even if it doesn’t turn out exactly as we might expect, to the extent that the ‘doing’ can be more important than the finished article. Doing something creative is also good for relieving stress and mental health. Sometimes your mind wanders as you settle into the rhythm of your action, other times you get so engrossed that you have no space to worry about anything else.
Even if we do make the time to be creative, there’s always the worry that we’re rubbish at it. There’s so much perfection on the internet and social media, that sometimes it’s easier to consume than make something that doesn’t measure up to the images online. But where’s the satisfaction in mindlessly scrolling through social media? Much better to do something constructive and to remember that most things worth doing take a little effort.
With the thought that being good (or at least improving) needs practice and dedication, I’m also including some sketches in my visual journal. In my imagination, I shall spend the summer with my sketchbook in hand, recording everything like the Urban Sketchers but the reality is that I would never be brave enough to venture out into a public place with a sketchbook. Instead, I hope that making sketches reasonably frequently at home will make me look at things more carefully and at least give me a basic (if not accurate or well executed) visual record of summer.
If you’d like to join the Slamseys Creative Summer Challenge, you can find all the details here.