Reboot your creativity with a collaborative art project

Sitting in front of a computer can be a drag. Some days I feel like the screen sucks the life out of me and my creativity. TV and computer screens are everywhere: at the gas pump, hanging from the ceiling at big box stores, attached to the treadmills at my gym, in waiting rooms, and in most minivans.

Thomas and I were eating dinner at a restaurant the other night, and the couple across from us was watching a movie on a portable DVD player. Not talking. Just chewing, eyes glued to the screen. To each her own, but that’s just dismal.

So when I feel drained by all the screens, I unplug and go back to pen and paper. When the first Extra Fine black stroke from my Pilot Precise V5 slides across the acid free 60# Strathmore, I instantly feel centered. Thomas gets the same cathartic feeling from watercolor painting. So the last time we needed a break from our electronic screens, we decided to reboot our creativity with a collaborative art project.

On a sunny weekday afternoon, we sat on the back porch. Thomas painted, and I sketched. After a few hours, we each had a few pages of free-flowing art. The plan was to frame each page and hang everything in a group. But our screens beckoned, and we went back to the office.

Our art sat awhile, then Thomas said, “We should scan all the pages, then layer your ink drawings on top of my watercolors.”

We shuffled around in Photoshop for an hour or so, then stood back and looked at the final project.

Sonja and Thomas artwork

We had to shut off our screens and reboot in order to renew our creative spark. But in the end, our collaboration took final form with the help of a computer screen. And I’m cool with that. Just don’t bring a portable DVD player to my dinner table.

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