by Nynke Passi


Photo: Valerie JanLois

PROJECTS WEEK 1 and start of WEEK 2:

  • Map of your self as an artist. (This assignment includes freewriting and list responses to pages 25 and 26 in your main syllabus, which are many of the exercises of the first few chapters of your textbook. This means that you will move through the first few textbook chapter exercises more quickly). DUE for PRESENTATION in class: Monday April 7 and Tuesday April 8. Record in your Creativity Log that you did this assignment.
  • Affirmation exercise. (You will come upon it automatically in your textbook. Write down any negative sayings and phrases that run through your head when you start creative work. Now reverse them. You can write this out and post it to your wall during this block–you will find it more useful than you might think! Speak these affirmations out loud to yourself if you wish. You can decorate if you feel like it.) DUE: at your own time. You don’t hand these in, but record in your Creativity log that you did this assignment.
  • Contract exercise. (You will come upon this in the textbook as well. Feel free to adjust the text to your liking. It is useful to make a clear statement of intent and goal at the beginning of this process.) DUE: at your own time. You don’t hand this in, but record in your Creativity log that you did this assignment.
  • Portrait of yourself as an artist. (Read pages 7-15 in Syllabus Reader where you will find some examples. Write a 1-3 page self-portrait of yourself as an artist, then scribble or draw an illustration of some kind. Don’t worry about making it great or perfect! Just do this in a relaxed manner for evening homework and have fun. Let it come out as it will. There is no right or wrong way.) DUE: Next week Tuesday you can share portraits with the class or submit them to me. You will also hand in your portraits with your Portfolio materials at the end of class.
  • Artist Shrine. (Create some kind of “sacred” or special space for as an homage to your creativity and Muse. It can be a small object that you fill with special mementos (such as a box), a folder filled with items, a paper construction, a special table or location in your room where you place items that inspire you creatively, or even something outside that the wind will erase. DUE: Sometime next week, at your own time. E-mail me a photo of your shrine and tell me why you chose it and what it means to you to show me you did this project. That is all the documentation you will need. Write down that you did this assignment in your Creativity Log.


  • Read textbook pages 1-60, doing about 1/3 of the exercises. (That is intro. chapters and weeks 1 and 2.) Do as much of this as possible. You can skip exercises you don’t resonate with and exercises you have already done in class via the map assignment. Make a selection of exercises that draw you in or that scare you at the end of each chapter, then do those. DUE: Do as much of this as possible before the start of week 2 of the class.
  • Read ahead in Syllabus Reader: Natalie Goldberg from Writing Down the Bones, p. 24, and Anne Lamott from Bird by Bird, p. 36.  DUE: We will discuss this material in class on Monday and Tuesday next week.
  • You can either view or read Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED.com talk on Nurturing Creativity. It’s on your blog (first post) and it is also in your reader (see content page of the reader, Elizabeth Gilbert). DUE: We will discuss this on Monday next week in class.