anna brones

writer + artist

Archive for the ‘Design + Creativity’ Category

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

Daily Creativity Prompts: December 2021

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New month, new prompts!

The last month of the year, the entry point to the darker season. The welcome of solstice, the celebration of festivities. It’s can also be a bit of a hectic/frantic season if you do any kind of elf business, so I am taking some time every morning like I did last year to look at my Advent calendar, drink a cup of coffee, and do a drawing.

This also marks an entire year of me making monthly lists of daily #creativefuelprompts. I haven’t done them all (except for the monthly mugs!), but making them has been a reminder to constantly invest in creativity, no matter what the investment is. Thank you to all of you who have done some of them, many of them, or all of them if you’re my friend Margret (seriously she did an entire year’s worth).

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

Want some more ways to slow down and enjoy this season? I’ve got my annual digital Advent calendar running this month as well which you can still sign up for. As always, these monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon.

24 Days of Making, Doing, and Being Digital Advent Calendar: Sign Up for the 2021 Edition

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I am doing my annual digital Advent calendar 24 Days of Making, Doing, and Being again this year, and now is the time to sign up.

This marks my fifth year of creating this calendar, which certainly feels worth celebrating. The format will be the same as usual: a daily email with a written post and artwork, as well as a few prompts, projects, and recipes scattered throughout.

I originally started this whole endeavor with the inspiration of the Advent calendar that I had growing up: a beautiful handwoven one made by by mother, each day made to hold a small slip of paper. My parents would write a new prompt on a slip every day, so that I would read it when I woke up in the morning. It was the source of a lot of magic for me in my younger years (and even now—it gets hung up every year to this day).

The goal with this Advent calendar is always to create a little magic every day during the month of December, so that’s it’s not just a countdown but an everyday celebration. It’s a focus on slowing down, finding balance and contentedness.

It originally began as an antidote to the consumer frenzy that tends to define this season, as a way to challenge people to make space for small moments of magic throughout the month. Writing the calendar last year in the midst of a dark winter defined by a global pandemic, I was reminded of how it was also an antidote for uncertainty, anxiety, loneliness, and weariness. It feels like we need a little bit of all of the above this year too.

I aim for this calendar to be a source of light, a source of joy, a source of thought. It’s a way to settle into the darker days, to get cozy, to slow down.

We need daily reminders to keep us present, to keep us breathing, to keep us existing, to keep us hoping. We need to remember the things for which we are grateful. We can all benefit from creating a little extra magic, both in our brighter moments and our darker ones. 

$5 will get you access to the entire digital Advent calendar. If you are a Patreon supporter of mine, you will get a subscription to the digital edition of the calendar for free. There is also a print edition of the calendar. I do this in a small print run, so if you want one be sure to snag one before they are sold out (buying one includes a subscription to the digital edition).

The daily email will include artwork, prompts, recipes, etc. all with the intention of inspiring presence, creativity, and gratitude, and you will be able to access the archives during the month too (because I know keeping up with a daily email can be difficult). 

Can you gift the calendar to someone else? Of course! Just be sure to include their email address when you order so that I know who to send it to.

I hope that you consider signing up.

Daily Creativity Prompts: November 2021

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New month, new prompts!

The first time I made a list of monthly prompts was last November. So this marks a year of making them. Not necessarily a year of doing them every day, but I definitely have a lovely collection of all the monthly mugs in my sketchbook.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

November 1, 2021 at 13:48

Daily Creativity Prompts: October 2021

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New month, new prompts!

October is Inktober, so there are a lot of people doing daily drawings this month. Maybe it’s time for you to join in too?

And yes, #2 is definitely a McSweeney’s reference.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

October 1, 2021 at 09:07

Daily Creativity Prompts: September 2021

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While I am not quite ready for fall yet, I made September prompts that will hopefully gently ease us into the season.

Drawing, writing, daily, daily-ish… whatever works for you on these.

Take some time every day to sit down and draw the prompt. Don’t love drawing? Use them as writing prompts instead. Or do something entirely different: blind contour drawings perhaps?

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

September 1, 2021 at 10:52

Daily Creativity Prompts: August 2021

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You know the drill: draw, write, scribble, etc. Do them daily or just drop in here and there.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

August 1, 2021 at 13:21

Daily Creativity Prompts: April 2021

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A new month, a new list of creativity prompts.

These can be used for drawing, painting, writing, scribbling… whatever works for your own creative practice. Do them daily, do them daily-ish, or dip in every now and then.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

April 1, 2021 at 09:49

Daily Creativity Prompts: March 2021

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Here is a new set of daily creativity prompts for the month of March.

Use these as drawing or writing prompts, whatever works for your own creative practice.

I’m still about a week behind on my own February drawings, so please know that skipping some days or playing catch up every once in awhile is very normal. Mostly this is just to give you a little guidance and encouragement for taking the time to sit down for a regular (or semi-regular) creative practice. Show up, allow yourself to play, see what happens.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

March 1, 2021 at 09:35

Daily Creativity Prompts: February 2021

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A new month, a new set of daily prompts.

I personally use these as drawing prompts, but they can definitely be done as writing prompts too. If it’s helpful, set a timer: 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes… whatever you can commit to as a daily creative practice. And not to worry, sometimes I play catch up too when I miss a few days.

If you post your work, use the hashtag #creativefuelpromptsfeb2021 so we can see them all in one place. You can see some of the results from January here

Written by Anna Brones

February 1, 2021 at 10:47