365 Days Of Creativity Challenge, Creative Exercises And Prompts, Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal), Textiles

Design A Wood Block Print (365 Creative Exercises & Prompts, Day 31)


Welcome to December. It’s my favorite time of the year and I hold each day as the precious gift it is. I wish I did this year-round but I’m more successful in the fall and winter. This year has special significance for me because next week I finish 9 years of blogging. On the surface, it’s just a blog. But for me, it’s been a path towards my most sacred self. To all of you who have been part of this 9 year journey, thank you for your company. It’s been a privilege.❤️ We are now onto the 2nd month of the 12-month, 365-day creativity challenge. The first month was relatively easy because of the excitement of starting something new, and the expectation that accompanies everything new, that of immediate reward. We don’t know what the reward will be, but we expect them instantly nevertheless. I feel the satisfaction of having shown up as I promised to do. And it makes me feel really great to end every day here, talking about my favorite topic, creativity and the journey towards it.

So here we are in the 2nd month! If you haven’t been able to follow the challenge every day because of time or commitment constraints, it’s okay. Do it when you want to. Do it when you can. Do it on days you feel like it. Do the ones that resonate with you. Go gently.

I have a Collectivitea-themed creative prompt for today, the first day of the second month of the 365 day creativity challenge. We are going to design a wood block print. Teak or mango wood blocks are carved with patterns which are then hand-stamped/ printed on textiles using color dyes. Talk of block prints is often accompanied by an eye roll these days. It seems like everyone, and their friends are running a block printing business. Block prints are also sometimes seen as dated, and not in tune with the demand for sleeker, more contemporary textile design. Whatever the gripe that some may have with block printing, this long-standing, multi-step and collaborative artisanal tradition continues to have a devoted fan base. Present company included.

Wood Block Prints / Day 31/ 365 Day creativity Challenge/ Collectivitea

Day 31: Imagine that you are a designer. Maybe you already are. If you’ve never thought of yourself as one, here’s your chance! Your creative exercise today is to create a pattern or design for a textile, specifically that which can be carved onto a wooden block and used for printing. Popular motifs are drawn from nature (leaves, flowers, vines, trees, peacocks, etc.), or are mandalas. Paisley patterns are also immensely popular. Your goal is to design a wood block print. Make it as simple or as complex as you’d like. Draw it out/ paint it into your journal. I’ve included a few of my photographs. Use them as inspiration or imagine your own!

Day 16/ 365-Day Creativity Challenge/ Collectivitea

Go For It: Design a repeat pattern and fill the page of your journal.

To share how you are interpreting these creative prompts or following the challenge, please use the hashtag #ctea365 on social media and /or leave me a comment below.  – Priya

Background: Welcome! We are now at Day 31 of the 365 Day Creativity Challenge, and I am excited and happy to have you here!  I use the terms ‘creative’, ‘creativity’  or ‘creative exercise’ very loosely. While they have very specific meanings within the art or business worlds, I define it as any activity that allows us to access an inner stillness. Where the mind’s incessant chatter decreases, and for that short period of time, we are in the presence of a magnificent quietude. Where we feel joyful and recharged as if accessing a powerful, bountiful source of imagination and ideas. It makes what we do- draw, write, paint, work in a science lab, dance, sing, play music, photography etc. etc.- a spiritual experience. It has nothing to do with talent and skill level, and everything to do with joy. Whether you take part in all 365 days, or 7, 21, or 30 days, or join us when you can, I hope you will take the time to relax, slow down, and be your joyous self! Want more details? You may want to read this introduction to the 365-Day Creativity Challenge. Just as a reminder, it really helps to have a dedicated journal or notebook because you will see  a continuous record of your creativity expanding and changing as you devote time to it every day. You will also be creating a year’s worth of creative work. As you work through the prompts, write down other things that strike you because you may want to revisit these ideas. Have a wonderful day and I will see you tomorrow! To share what you are doing, please use the hashtag #ctea365 on social media and /or leave me a comment below. – Priya

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