We have all just endured a year (or more) of loneliness. Behind locked doors many of us have been struggling, others coping day by day. I have been wondering what art making has to do with this collective experience we are all going through... I know for me that my art has been an incredible ally allowing me to escape, explore, and push myself to new places even while at home. But honestly, I miss being with people and I am sad that so many of my relationships have had to be paused for so long. Perhaps you can relate. Both friendship and art making are important to our mental health and well-being but I began to wonder what happens when we bring them together? I would like to share the results of this wondering with you here today in hopes that it brings you the same joy and intrigue it has brought me. This creative prompt will have you filling yourself up with friendship and connection while also making art (safely of course.) Here is how it works…
Think of a person who you miss and that you would like to catch up with. Reach out to them and plan to have either a phone/video call or a safe walk depending on your circumstances. Then make a date to just be with this person and catch up with them as you normally would.
After your time together spend a few moments recalling that experience. What stood out for you? What stories, feelings, imagery or sensations you experienced come to mind first? Perhaps it was the colours in the sky as you walked, or the feeling of abundance you were left with afterwards. Maybe it was the silly image of a memory you both recalled together as you laughed, or the way you felt your shoulders relax as you chatted. Settle on one thing that stood out for you big or small.
Invite yourself to creatively respond to this one thing. Welcome it into the world using shape line, colour, texture, movement or words. Let this be your muse and see where this creation takes you! Plan to give yourself 1020 minutes to do this (although if it feels like it needs to be something bigger and longer than by all means follow the inspiration!)
Now here comes the fun part… Reconnect with your friend and tell them or show them what you created in response to your time together! Share with them a little bit about your process and what stood out for you from your time together. This will be a courageous act towards deepening your shared connection and a new way to make meaning with someone you value.
A variation on this prompt that might be fun would be to do this together with another creative friend. Share this email with them and then make a plan to share your creative responses with each other afterwards. How interesting it will be to see how you each differently respond to the same experience!
Here is my own creative response I made after a walk with a friend...
I went for a walk the other day with a friend and afterwards I recalled so many wonderful things but the experience of us both trying to savour the warm slivers of the sun that peeked through the trees onto the cold icy pathway was what seemed to stay with me most. I welcomed this into a little painting and poem. Outstretched warmth. Contrasting slivers of ice and light remind me of the temporary. The sun sets lower and the ice begins to win again. Perhaps, I am still part lizard because I captured just enough warmth to ride me through another day. Thanks as always for being here with me. I hope that this invitation brings you some inspiration and connection in a time when we all need this so much. All my best, Rachel