The other day I was looking through a magazine and noticed all the ads for creative workshops and retreats. I found myself wishing I could attend something like that. After all, mixed media work, art journals, and fiber-embellished jewelry sound fun and creative!
But I'm learning to look for ways to solve problems. So, I asked myself, what about it did I want most? Would it be doing creative things with other people, away from home? Learning new techniques? Having time set aside for creative exploration with no other obligations? Were the class offerings things I really wanted to do?
For me, I realized my top priority would be to have time set aside for creative endeavors. (This may sound strange coming from someone who does creative work as a business, but there are so many creative things I like to do!) I also like to learn new things, but right now I want to learn things related to what I am already doing, such as explore more techniques and designs with metal clay. And while I enjoy working around other people, I am used to working alone and it doesn't bother me (plus I'm kind of a homebody, and like having all my supplies at hand).
I decided to design my own creative workshop classes. I use the term "class" loosely. Just a block of time with a plan of what to work on! I made a list of creative things I want to do. Most are things I already know how to do. These are the things I always think I will do "if I have time". We all know how that works! I also listed some new things I want to learn/try. Some ideas are one-time projects, others will be repeated. I will be scheduling some time to do these specific things. That way I can look forward to them, and know they are going to happen. Not be at the mercy of "if I have time"!
This is a simple idea, and not new either, just setting aside time for creative pursuits. But sometimes it takes looking at things from a different angle to make sense to me. I will feel a lot less guilt about it now. I don't need to spend much in gas or materials, I can fit it around my family's schedule, and I don't have to leave the comforts of home.
You might want to try it, too! Make a list of creative things you want to work on, and schedule some time for them. Pick a day/time and put it on your calendar. If you want to learn something new, research it. Find out what materials and tools you will need, and if you can learn about it online. Determine if you should get an instructional DVD or book, or take a local class. (It is totally worth doing that for certain things!) If you have the ability to schedule a whole weekend with no interruptions, you could design your own retreat at home, and maybe invite a few crafting friends to share it with you!