Friday, July 6, 2012

2012 Summer Creativity Challenges Commence! Tap into a Season of Creativity

This season marks the third year of Summer Creativity Challenges, weekly activities designed to stimulate your creative process by tapping into themes and memories that make the most of summer.

Summer is a season ripe for creativity, not only do we have more daylight hours but there is also a sense of having more time in our schedules (and hopefully some vacation too).  This is also a season that brings out our natural tendency to play and explore, two of the key tenants of creative discovery. 

I have always believed that there is a certain magic to summer, a thinning of the veil between the past and present.  With our senses stimulated by the scents, sounds, flavors, textures and lush summer landscape, we are more easily able to tap into memories from our childhood or other times. 

Memory plays an important part in the creative process.  We use our own experiences and observations of the world around us to “fill the well,” as author Julia Cameron calls the process of restocking our internal creative resources.  Summer offers the perfect time to take in the world, explore our own memories, and be playful with new ideas.

I feel the spirit of the Summer Creativity Challenges is captured in this beautiful quote by artist Rebekah Maysles, “If I could dream up the perfect summer day, it would be a combination of time and place.  I would be able to move around from Long Island Sound to Harlem, from when I was younger to now, with people who are here and those who are no longer . . .”

For the next eight weeks, The Paper Compass invites you to play and share around these creative activities.  Each week we will feature a weekly Summer Creativity Challenge post on a theme or topic that is open for your own interpretation.  You can think about it, savor remembering it, write about it, create an artist date around it, or do whatever comes to mind.  The intention is that the topic, or something related to the topic directly or indirectly, will spark an idea that can be of use to you in the future—or may just be really enjoyable and inspire some creativity in the now.

Most importantly, feel free to share your ideas, memories, thoughts and feedback around each post.

If you’d like to take a look at previous Summer Creativity Challenges you can review where we’ve been and what we’ve explored:

Week #1 Candy
Week #2 Books
Week #3 Ice Cream
Week #6 Wanderlust
Week #7 Adventures
Week #8 Alfresco

Week #1 The Beach
Week #2 Summer Jobs
Week #3 Summer Camp
Week #5 Summer Love
Week #6 Postcards
Week #7 Time Travel
Week #8 Labor

Also, the Summer Creativity Challenges are not written in stone.  I have an idea of the topics for the next 8 weeks, but if you have a suggestion or want us to return to a favorite and explore it from a different perspective, please let me know!

Check back in on Sunday for our first Summer Creativity Challenge.


  1. idea: the joy and peacefulness of getting "lost" in Nature

    1. That is a good one! Thank you, Gourmet Lady.