I am excited to announce that I am one of the new members of the Creative Team at Simple Scrapper! I am thrilled to be working with Jennifer Wilson and her team. Jennifer is an educator and coach for scrapbookers, and her creative team works with the sketches, layered templates, and storytelling prompts from the Simple Scrapper membership to create examples for each month’s issue of Spark magazine. Here is the complete creative team roster:
The January book club (a new book club for memory keepers!) selection at Simple Scrapper was The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. This book happened to already be on my shelf, and anticipating the additional work demands January brings, I decided to skim to see what I would most like to reread. The chapter on creativity stood out to me. This topic has been on my mind lately as the elementary school in which I work is transitioning to become a visual and performing arts academy in the next school year. In addition, in taking on my new role as a creative team member, I’ve wondered about what it will be like to create on demand.
Brene describes how on her journey toward wholehearted living, she discovered the importance of making time for creative expression. In fact, one of her key points is that we must carve out the time and prioritize creating. I connected with this as I have found in my own life that I am happier and more effective in all my roles when I set aside the time to create regularly. If I wait until the housework is caught up and I have a big block of time to myself, then it does not happen. Learning to embrace imperfection and a “just do it” approach has helped me learn to create in small chunks of time on most days.
Another point which resonated with me is the importance of not comparing, something to which the author says we must bring continual mindfulness. I have found it is a fine line between gathering inspiration and comparing and even being thrown off course. In school, we as educators build in time for students to collaborate and engage with peer models, but then also require independent work for students to keep their eyes on their own papers, so to speak, to apply and synthesize their learning. Brene emphasizes that we all have something unique to express in the world and that terms such as best or worst do not apply when we cultivate our originality.
The final point that stood out to me was the benefits of engaging with a creative community. The online world has opened several avenues for me to experience the inspiration a community of like-minded people brings. Some of my online homes have become Instagram, Studio Calico, and, of course, Simple Scrapper.
In reflecting upon my creative process, I realized that creating with sketches, such as those which are released each month at Simple Scrapper, has resulted in some of my favorite layouts. In further reading about creativity, I came across the idea that we are creatures of habit and will tend to revert to whatever we have done successfully in the past. Limitations or requirements, such as a framework of a sketch, can lead to new solutions, or interpretations of a sketch. Tools such as sketches, prompts, and challenges can be a great way to stretch your self creatively.
What are your creative goals for 2016? How can letting go of perfection and embracing your creativity help you get there? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, and if you are interested in learning more about the Simple Scrapper book club, please check it out. The February book selection is Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin and is all about habits. Hope to see you there!