My first artistic love is reading, so I've been doing a lot of that, and I don't think I need to explain the benefits to anyone here. Second in line is writing, and I've been doing that, but not in the usual hide-in-the-attic, peck- a- thousand- words- before- the- house- wakes- up way that I normally do. I love to journal in my Moleskine, but this summer I've been studying bookbinding and wanted to give that a try.
This weekend I went out and grabbed the most basic materials for perfect binding: MegaSticky, Don't Mess With Me Glue, papers, and an Exacto knife. I knew my first book would be a mess, so I went as cheap as possible, but did use paper I liked: thick, rough Manila drawing paper, which was my favorite as a kid, and similar to the paper used in those great paperbacks I read as a kid. I love how those little, skinny books feel in my hands, and their smell. Even if my first handmade book turned out ugly, I'd still like it because of the interior paper.
When I started, I didn't reference any of my research. I just did it and didn't look back. There are some very obvious flaws to my final product, but I knew that would happen when I started, and I'll be doing this a lot more. I will get better at it.
I like to draw, photograph, and paint, but I'm not particularly good at any of those things. That's okay. When I've stressed myself out over the written word, I tend to shift my focus to visual arts because those are things I do just for me. For the pleasure and for the release.
So what do y'all do for a creative release, other than write fiction? Do you play music, cook, or sculpt? Scrapbook, garden, or sew? Graphic design, write poetry, or rearrange your home?