Entertaining yourself, your family, and your friends doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, and it doesn’t have to involve passively sitting on a couch and watching television or a rented movie. Whether you are looking for something new and different to try yourself, for a party, for your family, or for the kids and their friends, creativity is more key than money.
Everyone’s an Artist
Art classes are disappearing from the class room at the same time that corporations are sending executives to adult kindergartens to develop creativity. Adults don’t have to wait for a corporate training program to play at art, and parents and children don’t have to wait for schools to reinstate an art program. You can create an art program for yourself, your family, and your friends right in your own home.
To start sketching, all you need is a pencil and a sheets of blank paper. You can use inexpensive pads of newsprint a package of printer paper, or you can spend a little more on an artist’s sketch pad. You can also draw with colored pencils, felt tip pens and markers, crayons, and chalk or oil pastels.
You could paint with acrylics or water colors. You can both draw and create a watercolor wash with water color pencils by drawing on wet paper or using a dampened brush to soften lines drawn on dry paper.
You can buy a pad of construction paper to create collages. If you have glitter, sequins, scraps of fabric, or strands of thread or yarn, you can add those to your collages as well.
If you want to try working in three dimensions, polymer clays like Sculpey or Kato to create fanciful sculptures. Fimo is another brand of polymer clay, but it can be difficult to soften by hand.
You don’t have to create a recognizable picture or object, just play with colors and shapes if you want. If you had art classes in school, think of the projects you enjoyed, and recreate them or create variations. Borrow books from the library for more inspiration. If you’re working with polymer clay, visit Sculpey.com for basic instruction and creative inspiration.
Wander through the art materials in a craft store and pick what you think would be fun to try. Avoid anything that feels intimidating or makes you think you have to create a serious piece of art work.
Make a party of it. Buy some inexpensive art materials and invite friends over. Have everyone create one or more artist trading cards. The idea springs from an ongoing art performance project created by Zurich artist Vänci Stirnemann. The only rule is that you create your artwork on 2 ½ by 3 ½ business-card-size card stock. You can display your cards in the online gallery and trade cards with other creators. You can trade by mail, but the idea is to meet in person to trade cards and to share stories.
Everyone’s an Improv Actor
If you enjoy sketches like those performed on Saturday Night Live, you and your friends and family could try creating your own improvised sketches. The New Improv Page list several online sources for ideas. The collection of ideas in The Improv Encyclopedia are organized into categories that can guide you to the ones your friends and family will most enjoy. The ideas in The Living Playbook are listed alphabetically following a glossary of terms.
Using these ideas, you and your friends and family can stage your own unpredictable, interactive live shows. If you aren’t quite uninhibited enough to perform improve on your own, try using these suggestions from About.com to create puppets to be your performers.
When you, your friends, and family entertain yourself, not only do you learn more about yourself and each other and you also develop your creativity. Great benefits for having fun.
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