The DDQCH Creativity Warm-Up

Since the last holiday gift was wrapped, I’ve been wrapped up in production and beta testing for my first eCourse — New Age Looping Basics. There hasn’t been much going on here to entertain or inspire you. So I’m revisiting some creativity exercises originally published on my old blog, Compost and Creativity, and getting back on a program of short warm-ups and creativity rituals at the beginning of the day instead of just the doodling I do in the evening.

The DDQCH is a doodle/collage hybrid. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Double Doodle. Spend a minute or two double-doodling on a large sheet of paper (I use recycled blueprints or sheets of newspaper). Double-doodling is done with a marker held in each hand. I use two different colors. Try to vary your movements so one hand does not always mirror the other, and so that your hands sometimes cross the center line of your body.
  2. Quick Collage. After doodling, do a quick collage on the paper. I keep a stack of pages torn from magazines for this purpose. Just grab a few sheets from the pile, pick a couple, tear them into pieces, and start gluing them down with a glue stick. Remember, this is just a warm-up exercise so don’t overthink it or try to make it “be” anything. Set a timer, if necessary, to limit yourself to about 5 minutes for this part of the warm-up. Try to do it standing up, if possible, so you keep your body moving.
  3. Harvest A Crop. After gluing down collage elements, it’s time to see what you can harvest from this exercise. You’ll need a cropping tool, which you can make from two L-shaped pieces of white poster board. Move the cropping tool around on the collage. Things will look very different within that white frame. Select something, cut it out, and glue the crop in your sketchbook. 

I generally follow this warm-up with a few minutes of writing about whatver I’m working on or whatever else is banging around in my head. By the time I’m done, the studio has warmed up, my tea has cooled enough to drink, and I’m ready to focus and be productive.

How does that feel to you, doodling with both hands?

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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin