Creative Prompt

Let’s try another creative prompt. Remember the doodle road pattern I posted a few weeks ago?

Raw art journaling in tar and road.

It was a photograph of how we repair roads in the summer–you can’t re-surface them, because the tar won’t harden. So we just drizzle tar on the cracks and wait till autumn, when it gets cooler at night.

This (2012) summer, in Washington, D.C. a plane couldn’t take off because the runway surface had softened in the heat, and the plane sunk into a pit caused by its own weight.

The cover up.

On my walk this morning, I saw the blinking light of a paving truck, out at 5:30a.m., re-surfacing the road. I watched the funny doodle-patterns get covered up. Seems that the doodle tar acts like glue to hold the surface in place.

Sunrise on a re-surfaced road

The question is–what are you hiding underneath your fresh, new surface? Specifically, what clever, interesting things are you hiding that were beautiful, but not practical. Or maybe there was something that just needed hiding.

This is a creativity prompt–not just for journalers, but for any way you would like to address it. Dance on your new creative feet. Sing your new joyous song. Sway to your new creative prayer. You (obviously) don’t have to talk about thoughts that are private, but if you feel moved to talk about what’s underneath that practical surface, let us know!

-Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach and a writer who keeps an art journal.


12 thoughts on “Creative Prompt

  1. I was an art class flunky. But deep down underneath, I really wanted to play with art supplies. To pick up a pen and draw. Or even simply make marks! Funny how a harsh word spoken by an art teacher years ago (almost 26 years ago!) still echoes.

    But that’s all changing now. The “I wanna create some art!” desires are rising to the surface. Breaking thru the asphalt/concrete/layers of life that have been covering them (suppressing them) for so long. I wrote the first part of a blog about it the other day:

  2. Lisa, just to let you know. . .I am a trash picker too! I have made artists’ books out of crushed aluminum cans and found objects from the ground. I decorate the front “page” with all the found objects and put the can pages together by punching holes in them and adding eyelets to the holes of the front and back pages — then I “bind” the book together with pieces of coated wire that I have also found on the ground. I also pick up rubber type items, rubber darts and anything else that I can use as a rubber stamp on my art journal pages, for mail art or other mixed media projects I may be working on. These are free art supplies and I use them often. Using found objects in your art is a very “green” thing to do! I have titled my can books, “Was Lost But Now I’m Found.” I also brought cans etc. home from Greece and made a can book that I named, “It’s All Greek to Me”. Have fun with your flattened bottle caps. . .I have used them in my can books as well!!

    • bkisrael, the can books sound fascinating!!! Wow. I know I would love them. I have always been rather like a crow, or a packrat, picking up odd objects because of shine or color or an interesting shape. Battered things are very appealing to me. I covered a table with old mangled coins that were extremely scratched, discolored, etc.and it’s one of my favorite pieces of furniture…I love that idea and now when I see flattened cans I will see potential books! Do you crush cans to do this art, or do you “need” to find them flattened already? (A flattened can Purist?) I’ve done mail art for years, using many stamps and postmarks, etc. in collages and for stamp mosaics…love your rubber stamping ideas, too.

  3. Hmmm. I’ve lately taken to picking up rusted, flattened bottle caps from parking lots, roads…I have quite a little collection of them now. I’m not sure why. But I’ve noticed very odd looks when I do this, so now I am more furtive…to look at me you’d never think I would be picking up scraps of rusted metal and stashing them in my pockets and purse. My boyfriend was horrified when he recently caught me doing this–“You are picking up trash??!!”–so now I feel a teeny bit guilty, like I have to hide what I’m doing. I know I’m going to end up doing something wonderful with them.

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