HIGH FIVE, CREATIVITY

be creative project My year long quest to be more creative continues. This month I shared my office space with this rad blue backdrop from The High Five Factory. Why? Other than the fact that it made my office 10 times more fun? Well, according to this article, a 2009 study found that people solved twice as many “insight puzzles” when surrounded by the color blue. Apparently blue leads to more relaxed and associative thinking. THIS is surely my path to more creativity, I thought. I spent April testing this theory.

After spending the first part of the month intensely focused on creating awesome ideas with my blue backdrop by my side, I realized such intense focus wasn't quite working. I was too focused. I was worrying about the final results for all my projects and getting suuuper stressed in the process. That takes all the fun out of the creative process.

Intentionally attempting to spark creativity is tricky business, guys. In my experience, great ideas can't be forced. The more you try to force creativity, the less likely it is to happen. The best thing you can do is surround yourself with the things that inspire you and then chillax, bro. That way we're calm and receptive to ideas. Stress, anxiety, and working at a frantic pace will NEVER result in new + great ideas. Okay, lesson learned... for the 50th time.

I started to let go towards the end of the month and simply have fun creating without worrying about the final product. Good ideas and creativity definitely started flowing more easily. A sense of lighthearted detachment goes a long way when you're being creative.

What's coming up in May for my Be Creative project will be the perfect follow-up to this month. I'll be exploring the "act like a child" method, which involves more play and FUN. Channeling my inner child will surely help me be more lighthearted. Get ready. All my childhood faves are coming back - bubbles, kites, sidewalk chalk - I'm doing it all in the name of creativity, folks.

HUGE thank you to The High Five Factory for lending me their amazing backdrop!! Fun was had, photos were taken. I highly recommend one for your next event, party, or, ya know, for that empty wall in your office.

Images by artsocial.

LET'S HAVE A DRINK

gummis This month I've experimented with the theory that having a drink, chillaxin' at happy hour, and gettin' one's drank on can help spark creativity. I have not been very successful. Sure, I've had fun... but my productivity has decreased. Shocking/not shocking. Although I was inspired to get creative with this photo shoot. Maybe it's working after all?

Before I say peace out to cocktail hours, mimosas, and booze popsicles, let's take things up a notch for one last drink. I love the idea of infusing my own vodka. Especially after visiting this place. If you're a fan of infused vodkas and live in Denver, go there. Get pineapple, you won't regret it.

Last weekend, I started the infusion process with jalapenos, pears, and cucumbers... and gummi bears. I was channeling my inner college student.

jalapeno pear cucumber

This weekend I'll be putting my own vodka-infused spin on a few of the following recipes... woot! Which one should I try first? Numbers 01 & 05 look wayyy good.

01 Jalapeno Bloody Mary

02 Cucumber Cape Codder

03 Pear Rosemary Cocktail

04 Jalapeno Basil Martini

05 Pear Lemon Fizz

I'm looking forward to starting a new method for sparking creativity next month. One that does not result in hangovers + Breaking Bad marathons. Although I did enjoy the Breaking Bad marathons... let's see what's coming up on the Be Creative project:

be creative project

Images by artsocial.

EAT DRINK CREATE

EATDRINKCREATE You may remember hearing about a little party called Eat Drink Create... hosted by artsocial and The Proper Pinwheel at West Elm. Yeah? A few times? I'm so excited to finally share the details! Omigosh make sure you scroll down to the video Evergreen Lane Productions put together for us...! It captures the event so perfectly.

EATDRINKCREATE EATDRINKCREATE

When Lexy and I first started planning this event, I really only had one goal: get awesome creative people together + have fun. Okay that's two goals... but I'm happy to say we accomplished both. High five! There are so many amazing creative people in Colorado. You all deserve more parties.

EATDRINKCREATE EATDRINKCREATE EATDRINKCREATE

Is there anything better than mini donuts, popcorn, jarritos, and diy fringe lanterns?? Nope. I didn't think so. That's what happens when two bloggers who love sugar and colorful diys come together to plan an event... I couldn't have asked for a better co-host!

EATDRINKCREATE EATDRINKCREATE EATDRINKCREATE

... and I definitely couldn't have asked for better guests. Holla to the amazing + talented ladies who came out that night!! Big hugs to everyone.

Can I just stop for a sec and say, Kate Donaldson takes the BEST photos... mad skillz, yo. Check out Lexy's recap for even more photo awesomeness!

EATDRINKCREATE EATDRINKCREATE

We put a lot of attention into the details. Creating rad photo ops for everyone was very important to me... I take my instagrams srsly, ya hear. I had SO much fun going through the photos on the #eatdrinkcreate instagram feed!

EATDRINKCREATE

Oh West Elm, I love you. Huge thank you to everyone at West Elm in Cherry Creek for having us! The space was perfect. The whole crew down there is uh-mazing. Not gonna lie, I was secretly shopping during the event... I mean, hanging garden? Must have.

EATDRINKCREATE EATDRINKCREATE

Guys. The swag bags. Ban.do was ridiculously awesome and donated a pom pom flower for each guest!! Whaaaat. You guys know how much I love my ban.do flair, I was beyond excited. I still am.

swag

Wait, the swag bags got even better. First, I learned that the incredibly talented Lemon Jitters was contributing hello magnets + chalkboard tags *happy dance*. THEN Consumer Crafts kicked things up a few hundred notches by donating enough craft goodies to keep everyone creating for months. Seriously. Amazing. Thank you.

EATDRINKCREATE EATDRINKCREATE

If that wasn't enough awesomeness, Artifact Uprising blew us away by offering a 40 page 8.5x8.5 softcover photo book to one of our lucky guests!! I was stoked, I'm a huge fan. We randomly selected a winner... you ready? *Drum roll* congrats to Tara of Modern Maven!! Woot woot! Lexy will be in touch.

Omigosh okay, time for the video... huge thank you to Annabelle Mintz of Evergreen Lane Productions for creating this video for us! She's so talented, I can't stand it.

Offline events, getting together in person, chillin' IRL? That's the good stuff. The next Eat Drink Create is in the works, friends. I can't wait!!

HUGE thank you to everyone who made this awesome party possible! Srsly, say hi, follow them on twitter, send them love. We couldn't have done this without these amazing folks:

+ ban.do + Consumer Crafts + Kate Donaldson + West Elm + Sarah Fritzler + Lemon Jitters + Annabelle Mintz + Artifact Uprising

 

Photos by Kate Donaldson Photo; video by Evergreen Lane Productions; Eat Drink Create logo by Sarah Fritzler.

POPTAILS + SHOTSICLES

blueberry lemonade popsicles Welll helllo, friends. No, I'm not drunk. But I was this weekend, in the name of creativity and the Be Creative project. In last week's post, I explained how it's been scientifically proven drinking a beer can help boost creativity (or at least allow for more creative thinking to occur). I won't argue with science, but I must say I didn't feel more creative this weekend. I guess it was only the first experiment, maybe my expectations are too high?

Anyhoo, in the name of creativity and drinking I've decided to give you the recipe for one of my very favorite drinks. Some of you might remember this drink - or should I say DRANK - from The Art Drank series... but this time it's in popsicle form! Cuz that's just more fun.

blueberry lemonade popsicles

GROWN-UP BLUEBERRY LEMONADE (POPSICLES)

ingredients / supplies

+ lemonade (I used Simply Lemonade… nom!) + blueberry vodka (I used blueberry Stoli) + blueberries (optional) + popsicle mold OR this article has a whole bunch of rad diy options + popsicle sticks + foil

directions

Pour half an ounce of blueberry vodka into each individual popsicle mold. Fill the rest with lemonade. If you want to include blueberries, mash/muddle a few blueberries and add them to your mold. Place foil over the top. Cut a small hole in the center of each popsicle and add your popsicle stick. Time for the freezer... and then it's time to get your drank (and your creativity) on.

blueberry lemonade popsicles

Recipe and images by artsocial.

ARTSOCIAL: THE SHOP

the shop Happy Monday to ya! Last month I set up a society6 shop to help me be a more prolific creator. The plan was to have it open for March only. I had so much fun though, I've decided to keep it goin' for a while. Yay!

Being creative is so good for us. I think of my shop as my creativity workout. It gets my ideas out and pushes my photo + design skillz. Instead of just thinking about all these fun graphics, I create them. For realsies. They're out of my head and out into the world... wow and if someone else likes them too? Well that's pretty rad.

Check out the AS shop, girrrl... and never stop creating, k?

BLUES AND BOOZE

blues and booze Happy April, friends! It's a new month and you know what that means... I'm experimenting with new methods for sparking creativity. Can you guess what they are? The title gave 'em away, huh?

The first method I'm already enjoying is surrounding myself with the color blue. According to this article, a 2009 study found that people solved twice as many "insight puzzles" when surrounded by the color blue. Apparently blue leads to more relaxed and associative thinking. Well bring it, blue.

In order to bring more blue into my life, I've teamed up with The High Five Factory. These awesome + talented ladies create one of a kind, custom made photo booth backdrops. I'm pretty stoked to share my office with this rad backdrop for the month. I've transformed an entire wall into a photo-opp-idea-sparking-backdrop-of-awesomeness. I am in love with this thing.

blues and booze

The second method I'm (hesitantly) trying this month involves getting my drank on. Why do I think drinking will lead to more creativity? Welp, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago tested students' performance on a series of insight puzzles. Drunk students solved nearly 30% more puzzles than sober students.

The reason being, drunk students have the surprising advantage of not paying attention and thus not inhibiting their imagination. This article says it best: "Although we live in an age that worships focus—we are always forcing ourselves to concentrate, chugging caffeine—this approach can inhibit the imagination. We might be focused, but we're probably focused on the wrong answer."

blues and booze

So interesting, right? That means taking a break from work and going to happy hour with our friends - just letting go for a bit - can actually be the best thing for our creativity. Just to be clear, I'm in no way saying we should all take up drinking to be creative. That would be cray. Plus I'm a major lightweight, I couldn't handle that. I am, however, going to try this approach in moderation and carry its underlying message with me this month: take time to relax, yo! and have fun.

Follow along with my adventures this month on instagram + twitter! I'll most definitely be 'gramming this blue backdrop on the reg...

 

Huge thank you to The High Five Factory for making my blue experiment possible! Images by artsocial.

CREATING IS GOOD FOR YOU

creating is good for you I've had so much fun creating more this month for my Be Creative project. At the beginning of the month, I remember thinking how the heck am I going to make time to create more? I knew I'd feel this way, so I devised a strategy early on: ONLY create projects and diys I'm really excited about.

By only taking on additional projects I truly loved, I knew I'd find the time... and I did. However, this strategy meant spending more time in the planning phase... much more, which is tough for me. I always want to hurry up and create already. It takes time to think of awesome projects! And I had to LOVE it otherwise I wouldn't follow through. Spending extra time planning paid off though. I had fun creating and I was happy with the final results.

My month of creating more has taught me (once again) about the importance of choosing the right projects. By only doing those things I really want to do, not only do I feel more productive and prolific, but I also feel freer. I had plenty of time and had plenty of fun... and I've created a whole lotta stuff this month!

So. Only invest your time and attention in projects you love and the creativity will flow. Of course, it comes down to following your bliss. Of course!

I have one more diy on the way to round out my mini diy series, so stay tuned. Although I've had so much fun, I'm wondering if I should incorporate more mini diys into the ol' blog... and maybe even keep my little shop open for a while. What do you think? Should I keep this creating train rollin?

Aannd here's what's coming up for the Be Creative project. Still not quite sure how I'm going to tackle April... I'm the lightest of lightweights.

be creative project

Images by artsocial.

LET GO OF LITTLENESS

let go of littleness The Be Creative project continues, y'all. March is all about creating more, so I've come up with another mini diy for ya. I say "mini diy" because it's crazy simple.

Just like last week's mini inspiration banner, this diy is also meant to help you remember your goals. It's easier to stay on track if you create reminders for yourself, don't cha think?

Guys, meet the super easy + mega inspirational paper vase:

let go of littleness

"Let go of littleness" is a phrase I came across in Gabrielle Bernstein's book Spirit Junkie. It's something I've thought about a lot lately. Sometimes I do play small and lower my expectations... which I hate to admit I do. It doesn't do anyone any good to play small.

Marianne Williamson says it best in her book A Return to Love:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, famous? Actually, who are you not to be? [...] Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you [...] as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

That's what I want to remember each and every time I look at this paper vase.

paper vase diy

Make one, yo:

Supplies

+ paper bag + white pastel pencil or pastel stick + paint (if you want to paint the sides like I did, obvi I chose gold) + small vase that fits into the bag + pretty flowers + your goal/words of encouragement

Really, the only direction is to decorate that bag! Any way you like. So have fun.

 

Images by artsocial.

PINATA PARTY

© Kate Donaldson Photo I bet my boyfriend thought I was kidding when I said I wanted a piñata for my birthday... nope, I was serious. Hey, February was dedicated to new experiences...

I never had one when I was little, so I figured it was best to get that activity checked off the ol' life list sooner rather than later. Although it was so much fun, I might want to revisit the whole piñata thing at some point... hmm new tradition, perhaps?

© Kate Donaldson Photo

Guys, I was a total piñata cheater. I didn't take turns with anyone and I refused to wear a blindfold, so I was basically peeking the whole time. Luckily, no one seemed to mind.

I was preeeetty darn excited to discover it was filled with ERIN-fetti, not gonna lie.

© Kate Donaldson Photo

Kate always has a way of making my silly antics look good. Now that's the sign of a great photographer, huh?

What's your favorite birthday tradition? Cake? Prezzies? Oh it's all so good...

Images by Kate Donaldson Photo.

DIY: MINI PARTY BANNER

mini banner diy I'm a goal-setter. Blog goals, meditation challenges, creativity + happiness projects - I'm always working on something. With all this striving going on, there will inevitably be days where I'm feeling a bit down, a little behind, and not so strive-y.

I hear in order to achieve a less tangible goal, like "be more carefree" or "act like the effing rockstar that I am," it's helpful to keep your goals in front of you. Write them on a post-it and have them physically on display for you to see throughout the day. I love that idea, but come on, we can do better than a post-it!

Enter: the mini inspiration banner.

I created this "hooray" banner as a reminder to celebrate more and have MORE FUN. Even when we're passionate about our jobs, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of emails and to-dos. Well I'm keeping this banner front and center on my desk to remind me to be lighter + enjoy the process. I kind of have a pink + gold thing goin' on, huh?

mini-banner-diy

Supplies:

+ mini canvas banners + acrylic paint (any color, go wild) + abc stencil + small paintbrush + sponge brush + washi or masking tape + string + a rad word or phrase

Directions:

01 Find your rad word or phrase... pinterest is always great for a little inspiration.

02 Lay out the appropriate number of banners for your word or phrase... plus a few more in case you want to get creative.

canvas banners

03 Paint your canvas banners with the sponge brush. Some curling may occur as they dry. Press them underneath a heavy book for a bit if necessary.

mini-banner-diy

04 After your banners dry, tape them onto a flat surface. Line up your stencil and secure with more washi or masking tape. Fill in the letter using the small paintbrush, it's more precise than the sponge brush. Remove stencil, rinse + dry it to prevent paint smudges. Repeat this step with each remaining banner.

stencil paint repeat

05 String 'em up, yo. Tie a few knots at the ends to ensure the banners won't slide off the string.

mini-banner-diy

I can't wait to share a couple more inspirational diys with you this month as part of my Be Creative project... HOORAY!

mini-banner-diy

Follow my adventures on the gram (@erin_artsocial) for a behind the scenes look at the Be Creative project and catch up on past posts here.

Images by artsocial.