International Dot Day

International Dot Day

Have you read The Dot?  Even if you haven't read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, I'm sure you've seen it around.  The main premise is encouraging creativity even when you don't think you are a 'creative type'. 

I happened upon something and discovered that September 15 (ish) is International Dot Day.  What does that mean?

In The Dot, Vashti's teacher gently encourages her to 'make her mark' even though she doesn't think she can create anything.  Vashti goes on to create various types of 'dots' in different mediums and changes the way she sees herself.  International Dot Day encourages the artist in each of us to 'make our mark'.

You know when you just try a little something and then something sparks inside of you?  This is usually how I feel when I'm reading and not drawing or painting because I always say that I can't do those things.  But I do love to do crafts, especially with my kids and I do like to sew and crochet.  And I do love to write.  But I do. not. draw.  (except I do, I just don't like my works.)

I decided to take the dot challenge.  Of course, since life is busy, I'm working all day on Dot Day and then I have to go to a school meeting.  The girls and I celebrated dot day over the weekend instead. 

I brought dot paints,  a pop-up paper art book and various types of paper to my mom's house.  I envisioned us making our mark in dot shapes, just like Mini Me and Little Lion Bookworms used to do when they were little.  Boy was I wrong!

And it's lovely that I was.  Mini Me already had her own ideas of what she was going to do.  She didn't need an instruction manual (and I forgot it anyway!) as she had her own plans of creativity.  My mom had origami papers that the girls utilized with great joy in their own individual ways.  Mini Me has been fiddling with pop-up cards and paper engineering for some time now.  Her art teacher taught them how to make a great pop-up/wallet--I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it's beautiful.

Little Lion decided to do a painting of her favorite pokemon, Squirtle. She also made her own collages.

Earlier this week, I sent an Instagram about unstructured play time that LL's teachers had sent home.  And it's true, just like unstructured play encourages "creativity, problem-solving, and independence", so does unstructured art time.  My girls didn't need any instruction--just a little paper, glue, paint, and the gift of time to wander around their imaginations.

And me? Well, I made various bookworm pictures.  Yes, I could have stretched myself a bit more, but at least it's a start. Vashti started with a dot and her signature.  I'm starting with bookworms.  Or if we're being real, currently my new creative outlet is this new blog.  Though, yes, I'll get back to my writing as I'm still working on re-outlining my YA novel and I need to catch up on my 12x12 picture book challenge for my own goals.  I'm up to book 6 for this year so far.

This week I challenge you to give yourself (and your kids) a little down time to do something on their own--maybe with a table full of Lego (clearly I'm a fan), play-dough, or just a piece of paper and a pencil.  Maybe you've been wanting to work on a recipe, a new bookshelf, or craft project.  Maybe you used to paint but you don't think you can anymore.  Or maybe--since this is my favorite thing to encourage--maybe you're always telling yourself that you want to write a little something but you "can't "write.  I'm here to tell you to take your pencil to that blank paper and just scribble a line, a few words, a character outline. I'm going to challenge myself to finish my own outline and get back to the world of Lola and Hanry (my main characters).  It's a start.

So go on, get your creativity on!

Have You Seen my Dragon? by Steve Light

Have You Seen my Dragon? by Steve Light

The Hueys in Whatโ€™s the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers

The Hueys in Whatโ€™s the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers