Blackout poetry, face painting and more: Still more Creative Ideas in Complicated Times

A blackout poem created by Will Langford. (Used with permission)

In uncertain times, we need something creative to lift us up and give us hope. We need poetry and drawing and creative projects because they build us up.

The Artists’ Way author Julia Cameron sees courage and conviction in taking up the pen or paint brush. “Faith is almost the bottom line of creativity; it requires a leap of faith any time we undertake a creative endeavor, whether this is going to the easel, or the page, or onto the stage,” she said.

So take a leap of faith and jump into one of these activities that anyone can learn or try:

Create a special thank you.   Scientistis have shown that expressing gratitude brings many rewards, from fewer aches and pains to higher self esteem.  So in the next week, create a handmade thank you note to your favorite teacher or mentor or ally.  It doesn’t matter if you create it digitally or using collage or colored pencils. What matters is that it is personal and heartfelt – and that you send it to the person promptly.  (If you truly have no skill in creating a thank you note, then buy cards from Mint Artists Guild on our new Facebook shop LINK  and write a personal note.)

Write blackout poetry.   If you need training wheels to write poetry, try blackout poem, also known as an erasure poem. This idea from Mint board member and poet Will Langford requires a page covered in words, from a magazine, newspaper or brochure. Then follow these instructions from Scholastic – and as Langford wrote: “Be creative, use materials you already have at home and have fun!”

Practice face painting. This could be the start of a new creative enterprise, once things are safely open again. You may learn this skill by watching some good instructional videos and here are a smorgasbord of choices from  Also download the beginner’s guide from the International Face Painting School. Then you need paints – here’s a recipe by the blog Mommypotamus, using flour and food coloring and here’s another from Green Kid Crafts that uses avocado, tea or other colorful foods.  Now practice on the people living with you- and please post your best results tagging @mintartistsguild !

Draw blindfold challenge.  These challenges pop up on YouTube and elsewhere, encouraging artists to cover their eyes and draw something.  Watch Canadian artist Mei Yu draw Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen in this fun video.  Thanks to Mint marketing intern Journey Shamily for this idea and recommendation.  Then choose a familiar character or favorite object, find or create a blindfold – and try this yourself.  

If you really love poetry, we recommend a daily dose – write one one day and read two the next.  We will share some more poetry next week. And the National Poetry Writing Month people have prompts for writing and advice to make it easy. 

And if you have some very creative ideas for youth, please share them with us in a comment or send us an email.  


  1. […] idea for blackout poetry was featured in the Mint blog series Creative Ideas for Challenging Times.  And since Mint regularly brings poetry into its […]

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