Throughout my experience in school (and life) I’ve come to realize that creativity is like gardening… it takes work, effort, intuition and a bit of love to cultivate something truly amazing. However, sometimes I find that I just don’t have the balls-to-the-walls energy to put into each any every single thing I do. It seems a ridiculous thing of my perfectionist self to ask… so that’s why I’ve embraced the skill of “baby art” recently. “Baby art” isn’t about babies, or for babies (although it could be I suppose) nor is it meant to have a negative connotation. To me, its the idea of living out a creative process in the form of doing tasks or making something that doesn’t demand a strain on my body, mind or bank account. In a world that is constantly grinding, sometimes small art is what we have to work with. I wanted to share a few projects that I found simple, rejuvenating and creatively inspired that didn’t require any extreme effort on my end.
Something that I always find joy in doing is adding a new plant to my living space. There’s creativity in selecting what kind of plant you want and what kind of holder you want for it. Where will it be placed? Will it hang? Even beyond that, I enjoy adding decorations to plants as well, like this Lego guy or this butterfly and bee pendant I found at Michaels. And, you have new friends to photosynthesize with, always a plus. Depending on how crazy you want to go with this, the price can be anywhere from a few dollars to dozens or even hundreds!
Little DIY Projects/Customizations
I like my things to be unique to me. In a way, I believe it adds to a sense of self-worth to have things that aren’t like anyone else’s… and you definitely don’t need to unwisely spend money on knives like I do to achieve it. So last week I bought a new bright pink piece that I decided I wanted to recolor and add a lanyard to. I used to enjoy making jewelry and lanyards with cord and plastic beads as a kid, although I’ve since forgotten, so re-learning how to tie a symmetrical diamond knot took me a good 8-9 tries before I felt comfortable with it again. Even in something like this, you can still weave in elements of creativity (hehe weave?). Mixing up what kind of knots you tie and where in the design you tie them can make each lanyard have its own unique character, and adding beads also creates a more original look. Sometimes designs call for two different colors, so it allows some freedom over the color composition of your final piece. Not that there is anything wrong with hot pink… I just wanted a more unique color. I bought indigo RIT dye, disassembled the knife and boiled the scales in it to get the color to set permanently. I picked up some rainbow paracord for added visibility for when I inevitably lose it (and because it’s pride month and who doesn’t want a rainbow lanyard!) Viola, a piece that is unique to me and didn’t require me to spend 15-plus hours painting. Total price of around $10-$15 to customize this.
Upgrading/Upcycling Your Already-Owned Objects
There is a lot of power in finding purpose for things that could otherwise be considered useless or even considered garbage. Finding ways to organize your objects/add to them can make your space a more fun place to be in! For instance, one day I was digging through my art supplies when I found this foam head from Michaels and used leftover art supplies/home objects to make it funky. Some butterfly eyes, wire glasses, gift bow hair and we have ourselves a new friend! I found my lamp at goodwill and used spray paint to color it solid satin black. Adding an incandescent bulb definitely gives this creative corner a feel of its own.
I’ve also had a plain non-decorated deer skull I found last year along with the rest of its perfectly composed skeleton (do I hear bone jewelry calling my name?) during a hike that’s been sitting nonchalantly on my dresser for ages… but I decided (until I wanted to find a more permanent use for it) that it needed more flair. Using the same fake butterfly decorations, I added just a little breath of uniqueness to it, making it more fun to look at when I’m home.
If you’ve read this far, let me close by encouraging you to make your own personal gallery out of any objects you have in your house. Sometimes exalting an acorn or a fork on homemade pedestal is what you gotta do. Who knows, maybe stick the fork inside the dirt of your favorite potted desk plant to be weird.
My computer desk gallery