Time and Space for Expression: Creative Prompts

Time and Space for Expression: Creative Prompts

Time and Space for Expression: Creative Prompts

Who knew that the hustle and bustle most of us knew as a way of life – rushing from one appointment, one activity to another – would suddenly shift to a far less scheduled and necessarily domestic routine? In varying ways and degrees, most of us have been affected by the retreat required by COVID-19, from the world at large to the perimeters of our homes.

About two months in, the sudden shock of quarantine gave way for me to a more subtle sense of slowing down. The shut-down came to signify, among many other things, an opportunity to appreciate time and space in a way I couldn’t have imagined even a few months ago. I’ve been able to watch the changes in daylight as the sun moves across not only the sky, but the rooms of my house. I notice birds more, and the sound of breezes moving and shifting through the oaks and palms outside my house. Days and nights have seemed to stretch out, and not in a bad way. This feeling of open-ended time, with less to do and far fewer places to go, is something I don’t think I’ve experienced since I was a kid. Summer in the 1970s had a languid, long quality, and it was that set-apart kind of time that allowed me to daydream, muse, and freely spin my own internal creative wheels.

Creative Prompt #1: Have schedule changes brought by the shut-down reminded you of another time, when you felt less hurried and had more time to think? If so, jot down a quick description of this memory.

As an adult, I notice these unpressured wheels continue to turn most smoothly when I make enough time for my personal Expressive Arts practice. I find that when, not everyday but often enough, I carve out a couple of hours with even basic art supplies and a simple Expressive Arts process, I’m able to travel to that land of unhurried self-discovery and secret inspiration.

Creative Prompt #2: With a piece of paper and an art medium of your choice, first take a few deep breaths and then while basking in your memory of unhurried time, make a quick visual image.

And so the shut-down, for all its grief and fear, has given me this one silver-lined cloud – of the experience of expanded time. I’m able to connect on a weekly basis with others in virtual Expressive Arts groups and open studios, and also savor these unfettered alone hours of art-making, because they mysteriously, and surprisingly but unfailingly, leave me feeling better connected – to myself, my world, and all the people in it.

Creative Prompt #3 – Take a moment to observe your image and write a few words or lines, starting with the words “I feel…” Consider giving your image a title.

I’m not sure yet how I will, someday soon or later, transition back into a more hectic world. I’m trying to figure out how I want to, how I can without losing what I have come to really like about this slow time. I know for sure though that keeping at least some easy hours in my week will be a priority, and practicing Expressive Arts at home is simply the best way I know how.

 

Creative Prompt #4 – If you’re unsure how you’ll be able to fit an extensive art practice into your schedule, consider finding and spending just 90 minutes per week to create and rejuvenate. Would one all-in session work for you, or 30 minutes three days a week? Or anywhere in between. Great thing is – there’s no right or wrong way to go about making art.

Stay tuned for Part Three of Time and Space for Expression – “A Room of One’s Own – or at least a Nook and Cranny” We’ll discuss how to create a peaceful atmosphere for practicing Expressive Arts in even the smallest abode. Additional Creative Prompts will be included!

To read part one of Time and Space for Expression, click here!

 

*Sign Up for our free 9 Essential Ingredients To Court Your Creativity PDF. Learn nine crucial skills you can implement RIGHT NOW to increase your leadership creativity by stepping back into your right brain! Click here to sign up.

Laura Hensley, LMHC. Through Expressive Arts therapy and personal practice, I find and make meaning, develop my own personal mythology, and gain confidence and connection to myself and others. I offer this same opportunity to Integrative Counsel clients by way of multimodal creative exploration of your intentions, goals, and heartfelt desires!

About the Author