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Paint a poem and more mixed up ways to get creative

Poetry and painting go hand in hand. (Photo Trust Try Katsande / Unsplash)

We are in our sixth week of sharing creative activities for youth, for all who are staying home to stay safe.  Some of us are feeling bored and uninspired.  Others may need something different to break up our usual creative work.  Others may be wishing they could take a “spring break” from real life, but know that isn’t possible right now.

Instead, we suggest you take a break from your usual and try something inspiring or surprising – right in your home or back yard. We’ve got you covered this week with an array of offerings for all ages:

Create something random. Websites such as Art Prof, Doodle Addicts and many others offer ideas to draw. Whether it be a character, scenery, your fears or curtains billowing through a window, the possibilities are endless.  Mint marketing intern Journey Shamily, who made this recommendation, especially likes Artpromps.

Try some improv.  The Detroit Creativity Projects’ brings improv artists out to share cool games in its Improv Project new YouTube Channel.  Try one for something fresh and fun. Or check the Canadian Improv Games online training center for more improvisation ideas.

Interview your grandma.  Grandpa also could be a good person to

Spend a couple of hours interviewing your grandmother. (Photo: Ashwin Vaswani / Unsplash)

interview to learn more about your family history or to discover the most difficult moments in their lives.  Create a list of questions or draw from these 20 by Family Search.  Follow the excellent etiquette and other advice from genealogist and author Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. If you need more family history research tools, check our previous post for some excellent recommendations.

Put poetry into your painting.   Pair poetry and painting, and you have something twice as wonderful. Perhaps you will insert a line of poetry into your art work. Or perhaps your piece will be inspired by a piece of poetry.  Choose a poet whose work is filled with imagery such as Mary Oliver (try “Song for Autumn” or perhaps “Spring”)  or by Lucille Clifton (perhaps “My Dream About Time” ) or Eleanor Lerman (“That sure is My Little Dog.”)  Or maybe you want to write your own poem and then illustrate it! It is still National Poetry Month.

Look back on our five previous posts for more inspiration and look forward to more coming next week from Mint Artists Guild.

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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.