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Arts At Home – Contemplate, Connect, Create

Five Creativity Challenges for Artists of All Ages This February

Here in Chicagoland, February is one bitterly cold, sometimes "blizzardy" month. Last February, we discovered local museums and zoos, as well as some online challenges to get inner-artists of all ages inspired in Free In February. This year, circumstances due to the on-going pandemic may be very different but that doesn't mean that this isn't the perfect time to continue to build your home art practice. Here are five challenges to help you to #BloomIn2021. No matter what you do never feel intimidated to share what you create. As we all have the powder to inspire one another.

(Note: Neither I, nor Perennial Music and Arts is affiliated with these challenges. See their links for full information.)

Now, Let's Get Inspired!

Calling ALL creatives! This project is for all kinds of artists. Sketchers, doodlers, guitar shredders, chefs, bakers, whatever kind of creator you are, you can join in to the challenge. The #THE100DAYPROJECT is a free, global art project. The objective is simple; create for 100 days and share your results online by using the hashtag. You may wish to be specific and create your own hashtag that pertains to your specific goal, such as #100daysofpractice or #100daysofwatercolor. You may also chose a less specific goal and simply want to jump back into being creative, that works too. It also is a great stepping point if you have a long term goal, such as writing a novel. You can work on it a little bit each day. This incremental process can make a big task feel less daunting.

For 2021, the project begins today, Jan. 31. Visit to learn more and sign up for their newsletter.

Februllage is a 28-day project that offers daily prompts for collage artists. This open submission project is put together by the Edinburgh Collage Collective and The Scandinavian Collage Museum. The guidelines are easy to follow. Simply, make a collage based on the daily prompt. It may be on paper or digital. Post it to social media with the hashtags #februllage and #februllage2021.

With the RPM challenger, you are encouraged to "record music in February, just because you can." This challenge is for musicians, composers, and songwriters of all skill levels who wish to share music that they have created in a short period of time. It's a great tool to get over writer's block or to get back into practicing if you haven't been keeping as up with it as you should. The rules are all the music must be composed and recorded during the month or February and submitted to their website by March 1. Then they host listening parties to celebrate. It's for musicians of any genre, any experience level, and from anywhere. Tens of thousands of tracks have been made by participants since 2006.

In the past music had to last at least 35 minutes or be at least 10 tracks long. This year, they are three different goals to choose from, including a single track choice. Sign up and learn more at

Journaling can be a great tool for all types of artists. In her book, The Artist's Way, master teacher, speaker, and writer, Julie Cameron, encourages all artists to keep a journal of Morning Pages, unedited, daily musings that are written when we first rise for the day. To learn more about journaling and helpful journaling guides, see The Power of Journaling.

While Julie swears by a stream-of-consciousness approach, other artists find prompts more beneficial than Morning Pages. Blogger and journal-enthusiast, Kaitlyn Pendleton, offers monthly journaling prompts. For Feb. 2021, she offers 28 prompts all about love. She writes, "I wanted to focus on thinking about what love means in all its iterations. There’s a lot of focus on self-love: What do I love about myself? What makes me feel loved? But also some thought put into how others might perceive (and love) you, and how you can love them in return!" Visit her website for the prompts.

To learn more about journaling and helpful journaling guides, see The Power of Journaling.

Blogger and creative professional, Chantelle Ellem or "Fat Mum Slim" offers daily photo challenges for anyone to join. Her rules are simple, check the list each day and take a photo using the prompt as inspiration. Share your photo on social media using the hashtag #FMSPAD. Visit for February's prompts and to learn more.

How will you create Arts At Home this February? Remember, creating art of any kind is a process and do not judge yourself. Don't worry about results or getting stuck. Allow yourself to be explore and have fun. To learn more about "getting into the flow," see Mindfulness for Musicians. That being said, if you wish to share, I would love to see what you're working on, no matter where you are in the process.

(The simple photo to the left is my #day1 of the #the100dayproject.)

Let's all get to creating art!


Janae J. Almen is a professional music instructor, composer, sound artist, and writer. She has a BA in Music/Education from Judson University and a MM in Computer Music/Composition from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. She is the founder of Perennial Music and Arts and is passionate about sharing her love of music and arts.



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