design matters | embracing creativity

My mom has a much younger sister, my Aunt Roxanne, who always seemed more like a cool older cousin to me than an aunt. She had an apartment. She drove a convertible. She was a lot younger than "the moms" (aka my mom and their other sister, Aunt Liliana). Love all of them, but when we were little, AR was definitely the cool one of the bunch. 

I'll never forget getting to go stay with her one night when I was in elementary school. She must have been in her twenties at the time. That evening, she broke out a set of watercolors and we just played and painted together. I remember painting a little scene of trees and just loving the soft colors, the act of painting, the whole thing.

The other day, I was at Michael's by myself, armed with a 40% off coupon (thank you, sweet husband, for encouraging me to leave the house alone for a few hours!). I browsed the aisles for a little while and found my way to the back of the store in the paint aisle. Feeling adventurous (clearly my life is a little bland these days!), I picked up a set of inexpensive watercolors and a nice brush along with a new pen. 

Yesterday I was up early after a rough night with a restless baby and a sick toddler. I had a few minutes to myself, so I got a cup of coffee and rather than start checking email, I just played around with my new supplies. It was relaxing and cathartic, and it reminded me of that night spent with my aunt. I didn't do anything really special, certainly nothing "pin-worthy" (if you know what I mean), but the act of just sitting down and doing something creative with my hands was really satisfying. I don't have an art journal or anything like that (though I love  THIS from Caylee and company). I almost never work creatively without a project in mind. But it seems there's value in this exercise, so maybe I need to consider making time to embrace creativity on the regular. 

Do you ever spend a few minutes embracing your creativity without a "goal" or project in mind?