Here are a few things you may not know about me. 1. I’m a lyrics girl. Some people hear the music; I hear the words. 2. I love karaoke. A lot. 3. I often spend long car rides listening to (and singing along with) all kinds of music to be prepared for any upcoming karaoke opportunities. 4. I have lots of long car rides. 5. Pop music lyrics stick in your head and are, frankly, poetic at times. What does any of this have to do with chalk paint and creative habits? Right. It’s kind of long-winded. (The giveaway info is at the end, promise. updated: giveaway had ended).
Remember that lovely book I was so impressed by a while ago, Mighty Ugly? Well, I was determined to follow through on every directive in Mighty Ugly and that included incorporating a daily creative habit into my routine.
I have a canvas I covered in two coats of chalk paint and lovely chalk markers and I was all prepared to write a daily message to myself. Yup. Good, solid plan for a creative routine.
I was all set…you know, something important or inspiring!! Something *magical* and profound. Bwahhahaha!! Thing is, this tall order was never getting done. It just seemed so precious and self-important and well…wasn’t working for me. I was totally un-moved to write up the perfect thing. I was essentially rolling my own eyes at myself.
Then, I had a one-hour muzak-filled horrible dehumanizing experience with the soul-crushing robots and automated systems in control of my Apple ID. When I finally got off the phone with everything all sorted out, I thought to myself, “Phew! I really need to shake that off”. And, that is how Taylor Swift entered into my brain and wouldn’t let go. I sang Shake it Off in my head for the rest of the day and decided I might as well doodle it. It was a joke.
But, I couldn’t stop. The next day, I doodled another lyric and on and on. The empty chalk paint canvas was so easy to fill with lyrics. I like hand-lettering and found it funny to draw cutesy and sweet doodles next to the words from not-so-sweet songs. Sometimes my youngest helps me; sometimes he is the one who reminds me to do it (!) but most of the time I do it on my own. (He prefers the red marker so it’s pretty easy to spot when I’ve had a helper.)
Sometimes I like how it turns out and others days I am less than impressed with myself (see just above, uck). Either way, I don’t get hung up on it. It’s nothing precious…just a little doodle and the song in my head.
I decided on a few rules to keep myself from getting finicky and perfectionist about it: 1. It doesn’t have to take a long time but it can if I feel like it, 2. If it isn’t perfect that is too bad, I keep moving. (Unless a mistake or bad design is totally driving me crazy.) 3. Any song I have in my head is game, it doesn’t have to be on the radio or “cool”. 4. I try to do it every day but don’t beat myself up if I don’t. 5. I take a quick picture no matter the state of my desk or studio space, it’s all part of it. 6. I always wipe the canvas clean after a day. No saving these doodles, the act of doodling is what is important not the result.
Now….it’s time for that giveaway!! It’s no secret that I love the book Mighty Ugly and if I had my druthers I would buy everyone a copy! For real. Barring that, the publishers (Sasquatch Books) have offered me one copy to giveaway so we will settle for that until I hit the lottery jackpot.
So help me out…what songs runs through your head? What tune do you hum as you stroll through your day? Leave a comment telling me your tune and offering me some chalk paint inspiration! I will pick a winner at random but you have to name a song to be entered! Additional entries can be acquired by following me on Instagram where I will be posting all future song lyric doodles (leave a comment here telling me you follow me, ok).
Don’t worry about embarrassing yourself, I’ve pretty much covered that base for all of us now, haven’t I. The giveaway ends at midnight EST next Thursday, March 5th. Good luck!!
By the way, do you recognize all these lyrics? Anything got you stumped? In order of appearance: Taylor Swift (of course), Cyndi Lauper, Miley Cyrus, Icona Pop, Decemberists, Tom Petty, Bonnie Tyler, Lady Gaga, Pat Benatar, Pink, Katy Perry, Cat Stevens, The National, The Pixies, Justin Timberlake, Pink, Lady Gaga, Indigo Girls.
Updated: Jenna O. you are the winner! Thanks for your lovely song recommendation, I can’t wait to check it out and I will send you an email soon.