Creativity & Play: Enjoyment Is the Key!


I believe that everybody is creative! No exceptions!

When students attend my classes for the first time I often hear remarks like this:
“I can’t even draw a straight line” (therefore I am not creative)
“I have tried things before but never really found anything I can do creatively” (so you can see I’m just not creative!)
“I have no ideas!” (that proves I’m not creative!)

All this is rubbish of course… let’s look at these point a bit closer

1 – “I can’t even draw a straight line” (therefore I am not creative)
Of course you can draw a straight line, we use a ruler for that:)

2. “I have tried things before but never really found anything I can do creatively” (so you can see I’m just not creative!)
Trying things by yourself without having the basics, taught by self-study or going to classes, often leads to failure. Which in turn sets you up for feeling even more insecure whenever you try something new again.

3. “I never get any ideas!” (that proves I’m not creative!)
Getting new ideas is just a matter of getting ‘into’ the materials at hand and playing, without looking for an outcome.

So… what can you do?

There are some great ways to learn about design & creativity, using things around the house, things you find in the garden, or on the street even!

Here’s a short list of things that are cheap and easy to find, but give an endless opportunity for play:

Aluminium foil – easily shaped into all sorts of things – crunched up loosely for textures, crunch up tightly for sculptural 3D forms

String & Wire – All types of string are usable, glue them down on paper in shapes and patterns that appeal to you that day (tomorrow something totally different might come out!)
Tie things together – sticks – bits of paper – found objects etc. 
Tie them in bunches or knotted along the line, each can suggest different things to you. Wire can do all these things too but will give a totally different effect and spark other ideas.

Playing with Paper to find new shapes and designs

Playing with Paper to find new shapes and designs – by Linda Arthurson

Thin card or Manilla – not too hard to cut and very easy to manipulate. 
Try cutting strips and weaving them. 
Drag strips along a pair of scissors like curling ribbon, and see what you get when you combine them with other things.

Found Objects – Anything can work, whatever takes your fancy. Collect things as you find them, and have them ready for use when inspiration strikes!
Bits of plastic, bottle caps, seed pods, shells, sticks, feathers, fragments of netting or fabric, bits of rusty iron, buttons, lace, hardware stuff like washers, nuts etc, coloured bit & pieces. This list really is endless!

Go and have a look what a Flickr group of jewellery artists did! They really stretched the boundaries of materials and designs by making a Ring A Day – For a YEAR! I wish I had time to join them, it would be a real challenge to keep coming up with new designs!

You’ll see people get on a roll with a concept and following it along until they want to do other things.A Ring A Day Challenge - Nina Dinoff

A Ring A Day Challenge – Nina Dinoff

So…. make time each day, just to play, whatever bit of time you can free up to do it.
Relax and just let yourself play like a child, without too much thought and with no goal in mind.
It is about having a bit of fun in a busy life and letting your creativity flow! You never know what gem might come out of a play session one day when you least expect it! For artists this is an essential practice, too often ‘life’ gets in the way, we stop playing, become stale and get into a rut.

To get out of a rut: Play!
  • To generate new ideas: Play!
  • To work out new ways of constructing things….. well, maybe you’ve guessed the answer here:)

And don’t forget to just play for enjoyment and to de-stress! It’s a very cheap way to calm down from a hectic day.

Leave a Reply 1 comment

Linda Lankford - May 17, 2015 Reply

Just took you Craft Cast class on aluminum. Loved it.
Couple of questions for you.
How do I sign up for your blog? I know you are on FaceBook but is Play Design Create on there?
What is the blue adhesive material that you use for the designs in the Silouette machine? Is it available in the US?

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