anna brones

writer + artist

2022 Words for Creating and Being: August

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2022 Words for Creating and Being August by Anna Brones

New month, new prompts in the 2022 Words for Creating and Being series.

Use them as creative prompts, use them as a starting point for conversation, use them for contemplation. They may spark something, or they may sit and marinate. Let them be whatever they need to be.

//

1. edge
2. voyage
3. partner
4. curiosity
5. repair
6. flourish
7. learn
8. facilitate
9. opposite
10. emotion
11. situate
12. make
13. offering
14. challenge
15. help
16. excite
17. participate
18. observe
19. lush
20. improve
21. empathize
22. conspire
23. thrill
24. project
25. momentum
26. brighten
27. behold
28. prepare
29. interact
30. lethargic
31. believe

What happens when we sit with a word? When we unpack it? When we investigate every single letter? When we consider what’s behind the definition? That’s what these words are for. They are intended to create space for contemplation, they are an ask for you to invest time in the creative process in all of its forms.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

As always, these monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon.

Written by Anna Brones

August 1, 2022 at 04:00

2022 Words for Creating and Being: July

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july words for creating and being by anna brones

New month, new prompts in the 2022 Words for Creating and Being series.

Use them as creative prompts, use them as a starting point for conversation, use them simply for contemplation. Put them in your mind and let them rest there. See what they bloom into.

1. luminous
2. community
3. sustain
4. pivot
5. foster
6. scout
7. stand
8. meander
9. juxtapose
10. contribute
11. convene
12. navigate
13. admire
14. enliven
15. encourage
16. energize
17. rewind
18. permit
19. transcend
20. invisible
21. exhale
22. peek
23. inspect
24. smooth
25. galvanize
26. imperfection
27. mirror
28. contextualize
29. access
30. sing
31. stillness

What happens when we sit with a word? When we unpack it? When we investigate every single letter? When we consider what’s behind the definition? That’s what these words are for. They are intended to create space for contemplation, they are an ask for you to invest time in the creative process in all of its forms.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

As always, these monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon.

Written by Anna Brones

July 1, 2022 at 10:07

2022 Words for Creating and Being: June

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New month, new prompts in the 2022 Words for Creating and Being series.

These are words for contemplation, words for action, words for creativity. They can be a starting point for a drawing, a poem, a painting, a song. Or use them to spark a conversation, or something to contemplate while out on a walk.

1. shift
2. beauty
3. search
4. nurture
5. crossroads
6. burrow
7. establish
8. scent
9. tide
10. embolden
11. scour
12. mesh
13. essence
14. moonlight
15. imbibe
16. engage
17. enter
18. diminish
19. weave
20. layer
21. transition
22. inhale
23. magnify
24. evolve
25. balance
26. bloom
27. current
28. elaborate
29. spread
30. gather

What happens when we sit with a word? When we unpack it? When we investigate every single letter? When we consider what’s behind the definition? That’s what these words are for. They are intended to create space for contemplation, they are an ask for you to invest time in the creative process in all of its forms.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

As always, these monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon.

Written by Anna Brones

June 1, 2022 at 07:00

2022 Words for Creating and Being: May

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Untitled_Artwork 12

New month, new prompts in the 2022 Words for Creating and Being series.

These are words for contemplation, words for action, words for creativity. Use them as you see fit. Use them as a starting point for a drawing, a poem, a painting, a song. Use them to spark something. Use them as a question, use them for contemplation.

1. dream
2. rest
3. forage
4. speak
5. dig
6. appear
7. watch
8. wonder
9. trust
10. limit
11. wild
12. deliver
13. seek
14. investigate
15. flow
16. branch
17. commence
18. try
19. blend
20. identify
21. force
22. savor
23. germinate
24. thrive
25. ripen
26. explore
27. question
28. lengthen
29. glimmer
30. burst
31. delve

What happens when we sit with a word? When we unpack it? When we investigate every single letter? When we consider what’s behind the definition? That’s what these words are for. They are intended to create space for contemplation, they are an ask for you to invest time in the creative process in all of its forms.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

As always, these monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon.

Written by Anna Brones

May 2, 2022 at 10:34

2022 Words for Creating and Being: April

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New month, new prompts in the 2022 Words for Creating and Being series.

These are words for contemplation, words for action, words for creativity. Use them as you see fit. Use them as a starting point, use them as a mantra. Use them to spark something. Use them as a question, use them as an intention.

//

1. laugh
2. allow
3. involve
4. appreciate
5. proceed
6. lean
7. rebuild
8. awaken
9. center
10. release
11. puddle
12. commit
13. plan
14. resume
15. discover
16. refine
17. journey
18. grow
19. find
20. stumble
21. alter
22. strengthen
23. articulate
24. perceive
25. control
26. arrange
27. clarify
28. attention
29. stir
30. change

What happens when we sit with a word? When we unpack it? When we investigate every single letter? When we consider what’s behind the definition? That’s what these words are for. They are intended to create space for contemplation, they are an ask for you to invest time in the creative process in all of its forms.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

As always, these monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon.

Written by Anna Brones

April 1, 2022 at 06:54

2022 Words for Creating and Being: March

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Untitled_Artwork 5

New month, new prompts in the 2022 Words for Creating and Being series.

Words for contemplation, words for action, words for creativity.

I know that things are heavy right now. Which is even more reason for us to take time to be present, to think, to connect, to create.

1. pause
2. feel
3. immerse
4. focus
5. grace
6. respond
7. decide
8. resistance
9. see
10. root
11. open
12. revive
13. forge
14. voice
15. support
16. plunge
17. contemplate
18. there
19. amend
20. emerge
21. choose
22. trim
23. expand
24. notice
25. connect
26. intertwine
27. invite
28. revitalize
29. transform
30. struggle
31. adapt

What happens when we sit with a word? When we unpack it? When we investigate every single letter? When we consider what’s behind the definition? That’s what these words are for. They are intended to create space for contemplation, they are an ask for you to invest time in the creative process in all of its forms.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

As always, these monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon.

Written by Anna Brones

March 1, 2022 at 20:24

Puns to Tell Your Friends You Appreciate Them

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A few papercut puns that I made for Valentine’s Day, mostly as a reminder to tell your friends you love and appreciate them.

Written by Anna Brones

February 14, 2022 at 08:35

2022 Words for Creating and Being: February

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New month, new prompts. 

This is the second month of 2022 Words for Creating and Being (here are the ones from January). As opposed to last year when I made more specific prompts, a single word offers a little more room for interpretation. They can be for drawing, for writing, or simply for contemplating.

Let the word sit with you for the day. Say it out loud, feel it on your tongue, hold it in your head. Then see where it leads you. 

1. here
2. ground
3. answer
4. become
5. return
6. infinite
7. cloud
8. peel
9. uncover
10. approach 
11. ramble
12. grip
13. deviate
14. kind
15. rise
16. resolve
17. tend
18. glide
19. remove
20. stretch
21. abundance
22. align
23. begin
24. build
25. dedicate
26. shadow
27. complete
28. radiate

What happens when we sit with a word? When we unpack it? When we investigate every single letter? When we consider what’s behind the definition? That’s what these words are for. They are intended to create space for contemplation, they are an ask for you to invest time in the creative process in all of its forms.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

As always, these monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon.

Written by Anna Brones

February 1, 2022 at 06:25

Coffee Outside, on a Walk

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Coffee Adventures Outside is a yearlong, monthly collaboration between myself and Alastair Humphreys, released each month somewhere around the new moon. This is the final installment. We hope that you will continue to partake in coffee adventures, wherever you are. 

As we inch into the new year, this marks our 12th installment of Coffee Adventures Outside. A full year of prompts and encouragement to use our coffee habits as an excuse to get outside. It is perhaps fitting that we conclude this year of microadventures with one of the things that we love the most: a simple walk.

Coffee has a long history as a companion on long walks or journeys. Wilfred Thesiger, perhaps the last of the old-guard of English explorers, crossed the Empty Quarter desert in Arabia with meagre, ascetic supplies but plenty of coffee. At dawn, after prayers, they would bake bread for breakfast and then drink coffee, “which was black, bitter and very strong. The coffee-drinking was a formal business, not to be hurried.”

Whether you are interested in crossing a desert, or strolling somewhere a little less ambitious, we agree with old Wilfred that a cup of coffee improves the experience of going for a walk.

One of the reasons we love to walk is that it helps us to think. Such a notion dates at least as far back as to Augustine of Hippo who declared, 1600 years ago, “Solvitur ambulando: it is solved by walking.” Combine a walk, then, with the brain-fizzing boost of a black brew and you may feel ready to put the world to rights again.

Walking into the woods (or wherever you choose to find your nature), is a stimulating experience. The gentle rhythm of our footsteps encourages our brains to meander, as does the smorgasbord of new sights and sounds at every turn. A cup of coffee on a walk is a gentle, continuous stimulation. It is, we feel, a very different experience to the pleasures of running or zooming along at speed on a bicycle. There is time today for our thoughts to roll around and grow. Whilst your walk may get the blood flowing and raise your heartbeat a little, it is still a meditative, reflective experience. 

As Rebecca Solnit writes in Wanderlust: A History of Walking, “I like walking because it is slow, and I suspect that the mind, like the feet, works at about three miles an hour. If this is so, then modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought or thoughtfulness.” Nature allows us to think, walking allows us to experience the world around us at a different pace than our usual one. 

The poet Walt Whitman asked, “But are not exercise and the open air in reach of us all?” No, not everyone, unfortunately. Those of us who are free and able to exercise in nature would do well to remember and appreciate our good fortune. But the point made by Whitman was that it does not take much or cost much to savour some time in fresh air. It applies to the idea of the ‘Nature Pyramid,’ and the recommended doses of nature at different time scales. We need nature in big chunks and smaller ones, and the pyramid urges us to pay attention to the different quantities of nature we include in our lives on an hourly, weekly, monthly and yearly scale. 

Every walk is different, of course. You may set out with an objective in mind, a goal to march towards. You could choose to follow your nose and see where you end up or toss a coin at every junction. If your walk is a circular route then everything you see will be different, all of the time. How does that change the creative thoughts you have along the way compared to an out-and-back walk where you see familiar things but from a different perspective and with different eyes? Or try sipping your coffee on a well-worn trail and compare how that makes you feel to walking a route you have never done before. 

Our days are so often driven by efficiency and busyness and a pressure to get things done. Walking with a cup of coffee (or taking a thermos and stopping for a break) is a gentle but important push back at that cultural expectation: you are deliberately choosing to do something slow and ‘unproductive’. Immersing yourself fully and completely in a single activity for a chunk of time is a rare experience these days, but it is a vital one for anyone interested in tapping into their creative side. It is surprising, too, how productive such dawdling often proves to be. 

So today we urge you to go on a walk with no goal or schedule—pass the time simply by putting one foot in front of the other. Take your thermos with you, and stroll for the sake of strolling. Find a spot to sit and pour a cup. Take note of where you are. Here your body and mind can wander. 

We have entered a new year. There are hopes and dreams ahead, but there is also the present moment of today. Let your coffee remind you to exist here for a while.

Share photos of your adventures with us: #coffeeadventuresoutside. Various prints, cards, and even a calendar featuring the artwork from Coffee Adventures Outside can be found here.

Written by Anna Brones

January 7, 2022 at 09:14

2022 Words for Creating and Being: January

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New year, new prompts!

Last year I put together monthly lists of creativity prompts. They were mostly intended as drawing prompts but they worked as writing prompts too.

I wanted to continue this year but felt that drawing prompts could often be a little prescriptive. Creative plays a role in my daily life, but I am personally not someone who does well with strict daily routines. I wanted some kind of prompt that felt a little more open to interpretation.

Enter the 2022 Words for Creating and Being.

Creativity isn’t passive—creativity requires action. Most of all, creativity requires curiosity and contemplation.

Modern society doesn’t always provide a lot of space for that, and if we are seeking to be more creative this is an excellent place to start. To kick off the year, I read Pico Iyer’s The Art of Stillness and this stood out:

“It’s easy to feel as if we’re standing two inches away from a huge canvas that’s noisy and crowded and changing with every microsecond. It’s only by stepping farther back and standing still that we begin to see what that canvas (which is our life) really means, and to take in the larger picture.”

So these monthly lists of words will be a space for doing that. Use them as a springboard for writing, for drawing, or just for thinking. Take the word to paper with a pencil. Take the word with you on a walk and ponder. Share the word and see what conversation it sparks. These words are intended to create space for contemplation, they are an ask for you to invest time in the creative process in all of its forms.

I didn’t launch this list on January 1st. There’s so much pressure on the first day of the year to start something new. I think we need a pause before we begin, a little extra breathing room. So that’s what … is for.

//

1. …

2. presence

3. exist

4. quiet

5. solitude

6. exchange

7. rejuvenate

8. dull

9. absorb

10. wind

11. howl

12. extend

13. breathe

14. befriend

15. capture

16. collaborate

17. dark

18. cultivate

19. hope

20. plan

21. consider

22. reflection

23. unearth

24. deepen

25. marinate

26. beam

27. ignite

28. expression

29. renew

30. arrive

31. create

We spend our lives surrounded (and sometimes inundated) by words. We read books, we have conversations, we write emails, we scan headlines. But how often do we really spend time contemplating them? Time holding a word, turning it on its head, considering it means and what we want it to mean? 

I can’t wait to see what spending stillness with some words will lead to. 

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

As always, these monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon.

Written by Anna Brones

January 2, 2022 at 11:59