A Month of Creative Play

I often have trouble getting back into my creative work after a break, and last week for me was evidence of that—after returning from my holiday trip home I felt a little lost all week, unable to focus or get really involved in my work. It’s kind of like I lose my momentum when I take a break—I lose my thread. I have learned from experience that it’s only a matter of time before I hit my stride again, but sometimes it takes a little nudge—some creative play—a little break from taking things so seriously. And so, I’ve decided to surrender—I’m declaring January my month of creative play. I’m going to give myself free reign to experiment with any creative thing I can think of, and take the focus off the business side of my art and making things to sell.

My heart must have known this before my brain did because last week, before I had declared this to myself, I got this experimental month off to a good start by trying my hand at making rubber stamps. Here are some of the results:

I bought some E-Z Cut Printing Blocks (a rubber-like version of linoleum blocks) and started cutting them up and carving them with my linoleum carving tools and an x-acto knife. What fun! I was most happy with my more blocky shapes (like the trees and mountains). I was also very excited by some more abstract little imprints I started to make towards the end—just little squares of abstract lines (see the stamp at far right just under the small tree stamp in my picture above). They made me think of a little monogram stamp or a seal for envelopes. I might try making some more in the future.

Sometimes it’s so good to take a step back and remember why I do what I do—I make art because it feels like playing around. The play part of art is always something I can go back to—it’s where my inspiration lives. So, here’s to a month (and life, really) of creative play! I will be back with some of my other experiments in the coming days!

What are you playing with today?


7 Responses to “A Month of Creative Play”

  1. 1 Isabel Marques January 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

    very nice, great idea! I’m trying to embroid… but it’s taking so long…

  2. 2 rachel awes January 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    oh my goodness…i love these!!
    & how i miss tulips!
    my little corner of play today
    was walking into a gorgeous library
    i’ve never seen…
    i’m trying to, bit by bit,
    spring back into my life
    following our son’s winter break
    & myself & them being yucky blucky sick!…
    so any little tulip is a field to me now!!!

  3. 3 Amy January 10, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Oh, Nicole, there’s so much good stuff in this post to think about. I know exactly what you mean about getting back into the rhythm of things after a break. Sometimes it’s so bad that going to bed at night breaks my stride…what’s that? Maybe my stride needs some strengthening exercises, you say? ;-) And you’re so right–the solution is almost always to approach things from a playful, fun angle–because of course that’s what creating is all about. How is it I forget that so easily all the time?

    I also love, love, love carving stamps. I find it addictive–I use them in my jewelry making, and the more stamps I make, the more I have ideas for. I particularly like your mountains and your tulips! Can’t wait to see what else you come up with during your play month.

  4. 4 Kerri January 11, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Can I please come over and play stamps with you?

  5. 5 Geoff M. Pope January 27, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Today I’m playing with the word *icicle*:


  1. 1 These Are a Few of my Favorite Stamps « blue bicicletta Trackback on January 12, 2011 at 1:05 pm
  2. 2 February: A Month of Peace « blue bicicletta Trackback on February 1, 2011 at 9:34 am

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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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