Saturday Prompts

It’s time for a switch. After years of posting links to art and artists, this Saturday I’m posting journal prompts. A lot of art journals are being painted and a lot of journals being bound, but not a lot are being written in. No surprise. Writer’s block strikes a lot of people. Stare at a blank page (no matter how many colors or layers it has) and your mind goes smooth and blank.

PromptsHere are some prompts to get you started filling your journals. Set a timer for three minutes and choose one of the prompts below. Write without editing your own thoughts or censoring yourself. Write down what shows up.

1. Lots of schools require some sort of uniform. Would you like it if your workplace made you wear uniforms? Supposing you got to design the uniform. What would it look like?

2.You’ve been mugged. You aren’t hurt, but you are shaken up. There is a cell phone on the ground, but it’s not yours. What would you do with it?

3. Is intelligence inherited? Which of your parents (or siblings) was the smartest? What criteria did you use to get to your answer?

If you use any of the prompts and come up with an interesting train of thought, leave it in the comments.

Happy exploring!

—Quinn McDonald is a writer who is exploring the interior.

Making Space

First, some good news: A few weeks ago, I saw that Niji Art, owned by Yasutomo, had an open call for a Design Team. Having demo’d their Splash Inks and liked them, I applied. And I was one of the designers chosen! For the next six months, I’ll be asked to use their products to design and create projects, then do the tutorial. It’s exciting–this is something totally new for me.

Second, poetry news: There are still places open for Jungle Gym for Monkey Mind, the online poetry class. It starts this Sunday and is not a traditional class. You’ll be writing poetry from emotions, experience, and your imagination.

Making Space: This afternoon and evening, I cleaned my workspace. I’ve let paperwork pile up. I’m a piler not a filer, but the piles were starting to mutter and threaten me. One of the benefits of being a piler is that when you sift through the piles, you can often throw out most of the material that other people would have neatly put in filing cabinets.


Art from discarded papers, from

As I sorted and threw papers our, put other papers in folders, I realized that my creativity needs a good sorting, too. I had ideas I wanted to follow up on, ideas that were half-baked, the beginning of the poetry class notes (it sure has changed in the six months I’ve been working on it!) ideas that had no legs and no motion. And like the papers I threw out, I cleaned those idea out of my mind.

The ideas might come back as something else, or they might stay gone. But not every idea is worth nurturing, and not every bright idea will light the way to completion. I carried an armload of papers to the recycling bin, with the idea of starting in the studio tomorrow.

This wasn’t some sad, “I have to let go of this” good-bye, there are six new ideas on index cards in my “development” slot. They are the best of what I’ve been planning, broken down into steps along the way. Cleaning up is also cleaning out, and it feels great. Almost like summer’s oppressive heat is blowing out.

-Quinn McDonald has designing ideas.