Being Creative 15 Minutes a Day (no matter what)

Being Creative 15 Minutes a Day (no matter what)

I wanted to review this book thinking Grasshopper and Sensei would like it, but instead I found it was perfect for me. I used to take a lot of art classes before I had kids. And while I have tried to paint from time to time, even managing to complete a hand painted set of plates before PickyKidPix was born, it never seemed to be the right time to make art. Either my workspace needed to be cleared off for a meal — I used the dining room table for my art — or I didn’t have a chunk of uninterrupted time, or inspiration, or the right materials …

Art Before Breakfast is a zippy, inspiration with the conviction that we all just need 15 minutes before breakfast to bring out the artist within us all. I am not a morning person, so I’d rather sleep the extra 15 minutes but I applied the principle and found 15 minutes in my day — sometimes less, sometimes more — to be creative. And I’m really glad I did.

Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are by Danny Gregory

Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory

As I mentioned, my earlier hurdle to create art was set up, but now I have dedicated space to paint. Still, without this book to prompt me, I had my photograph inspiration, watercolor paper and all my supplied ready to go for months without touching it once.

being creative 15 minutes a day, Art Before Breakfast: 1 zillion ways to be more creative no matter how busy you are

I used several 15 minute sessions to sketch my painting. I wanted to take the poppy photograph, but pull out just the far right corner of two flowers and blow it up really big.

being creative 15 minutes a day, Art Before Breakfast: 1 zillion ways to be more creative no matter how busy you are

Next, I wanted to lay in large swathes of color trying to start with the darker spots. In watercolor, unlike pastels which I struggle with, I like to build up layers to get the darker shadows, leaving white paper or less layers for the lighter areas.

being creative 15 minutes a day, Art Before Breakfast: 1 zillion ways to be more creative no matter how busy you are

My next 15 minutes was spent playing with colors, mixing on both the palette and on the paper.

being creative 15 minutes a day, Art Before Breakfast: 1 zillion ways to be more creative no matter how busy you are

I used this 15 minute section to get one coat of the background purples.

being creative 15 minutes a day, Art Before Breakfast: 1 zillion ways to be more creative no matter how busy you are

The next session looks pretty similar to the last one, but I deepened one side of the purple background. (I should have stopped here.)

being creative 15 minutes a day, Art Before Breakfast: 1 zillion ways to be more creative no matter how busy you are

Trying to get the flowers a more uniform color.

Being Creative 15 Minutes a Day (no matter what)

Adding shadows.

painting daily

A little more shading. I think I overworked it, so I might stop here and start over with a new piece of paper. I should have stopped 30 minutes ago. Ugh!

photo (2)

How about you? Would you try something creative for 15 minutes a day? Danny Gregory’s book gives you all kinds of suggestions of how to develop a creative habit as well as ideas of what to draw, paint or photography and how to do it. He has “a zillion ways to be more creative no matter how busy you are.” It works too! I’m ready for my next painting!

Mia Wenjen watercolor poppy

I finally sat down for 2 hours and painted something by crashing my daughter’s art lesson. The 15 minute a day creative habit set me free.

My second attempt to stop before overworking it.

watercolor poppies, being creative 15 minutes a day

watercolor poppies sunflowers and lupins

p.s. I have a few art projects for kids here:

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Seurat Art Project Using Chapter Book Liar and Spy

Mondrian Music and Art Project for Kids

Art Project for Kids: Making Paint Like Impressionists

Arthur Dove Abstract Art Project for Kids

Autumn Leaf Art Project for Kids

Abstract Art Project for Kids: Koi Fish

Emil Nolde Poppies Inspired Art Lesson for Kids

Top 10: Children’s Art Books

Drawing with Jef Czekaj and Jarrett Krosoczka

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

Being Creative 15 Minutes a Day (no matter what)

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

15 Comments

  1. Thanks for writing about what I really need. After years of leaving back my music lessons and knitting, I am thinking of starting them again. But still I am postponing the start for various silly reasons. Your article is some motivation for me.
    Ambika S recently posted…The Hundred Penny Box – Sharon Bell Mathis (1975)My Profile

  2. Dee

    This is awesome, Mia! I love this idea and it reminds me of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way.” I’ve taken two Artist’s Way classes working through that book and one of her others. It encourages you to write, stream-of-consciousness style, for three pages every morning. I love it, even if I don’t make it every day.

    (And can I tell you that I like even more now that you’ve said you are not a morning person? Me neither! People used to tell me that would change over the course of my life, but at this point, it does not look like it.)

  3. I love this! I, too, have watercolors that sit for months without being used! And this approach seems perfect for watercolor, where one thing that always gets in my way is being too impatient to let things dry properly between layers. Clearly, though, setting up a regular work space is crucial.
    Rebecca Dougass recently posted…W is for Waterless Mountain (a middle-grade Classic).My Profile

  4. Mia!

    How lovely to see how you used my book. Your painting is wonderful and I look forward to seeing more!

    Danny

  5. Such a lovely painting, Mia! I wish our library had this book! I just may have to break down and buy it…

    Thanks!

  6. Good for you! I hope you can fit in at least 15 minutes of creative joy each day. I recently took an art class at our local library and remembered how much fun it is to draw.
    Claire Noland recently posted…W is for Washington D.C.My Profile

  7. You really are a talented artist. I really love seeing the stages of the watercolor. Exercising creativity is good for the soul. Unfortunately I can’t use my hands, so I create in other ways.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…Voices Are Not for YellingMy Profile

  8. This sound like a great book! I think I’ll check it out! 😀

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