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Prompt #67 - The Sound of Silence
Hi, I‘m Lorena and welcome to The Stress Less Pencil. Together, we create art to make us feel good, not to make it look good. All weekly prompts are designed for total beginners and experienced artists alike, so come join us.
The world is loud. If you live in a city, you're surrounded by sound pretty much all the time. When you leave the house, there's traffic noise, honking, and sirens. You go into a noisy train or underground to get to work. Maybe you drown out the sound with some loud music. Most offices are now open plan, so there's people talking, phones ringing, and people typing away at keyboards. Then you're back into the noisy train to get home. If your house is anything like mine, then there's music, toddlers screaming with joy or crying bloody murder, and the occasional dog barking. To relax, you watch a movie. Then you go to bed, maybe listening to a podcast to fall asleep to.
Sounds and noise. Pretty much all day long.
This much lack of silence, however, actually stresses us out and makes us less productive. Which, for me, also means less creative. How are we supposed to hear our ideas if they are drowned out by noise all the time?
I was listening to a podcast with Michael Easter, author of "The Comfort Crisis," the other day. He had spent some time in the Arctic for his research. Surrounded by complete silence, he eventually started to hear his wristwatch ticking, even though he wasn't holding it up to his ear. I realized that it's been a long time since I've had a moment this quiet.
So today, we'll try to create a small moment silent enough to hear our crayons draw.
The Activity - Listen to Your Drawing
Step 1 - Prep
Get out a piece of paper and some colored pencils. It doesn't matter what you draw today. It can be squiggles, a photorealistic portrait, or anything in between.
Make sure that you're in a quiet space. Ideally, in your home somewhere with the door closed. No music, no background TV.
Before you start drawing, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Listen to the sound your breath makes as it enters and exits your nose. Now that you've arrived at this moment of stillness, start drawing.
Step 2 - Listen
While you're drawing, listen to the scratchy sound of pencils on the paper. The clacky sound of you putting the pencil back on the table. Your breath, still going steady.
Your mind might start to wander, trying to create some internal noise. When you notice this happening, just bring it back to the sounds of your art.
Continue to enjoy the silence.
Step 3 - Notice the Noise
Once you're back in reality, start noticing how much sound there is around you all the time. Hopefully, you'll be able to find some more moments where you can create some silence for yourself.
I'm at home. We live in the countryside, so there is no traffic noise. My daughter and my husband are taking a nap. I took the dog for a long walk this morning, so he's asleep, too. I took a shower, made tea, and then sat down to do a little sketch and write this article. I didn't turn on my usual “epic music for writing” playlist, so the only sounds are my pencils on the paper, and now my fingers on the keyboard.
It's a very peaceful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Hope you'll have a silent week, my friends.
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