Creativity in everyday life – The benefits of doing laundry

The benefits of doing laundry

Making your own art takes time and fitting in that time when work and family has its own demands is challenging. In a different house from the one that I live in now, I did not have an art making space upstairs. I set up in the laundry room. I discovered that no one would bother me while I was doing laundry. From the time that I put a load in the washing machine to the time the load was ready to put in the dryer (about half an hour), I was free. My family’s fear of having to help with or do their own laundry kept them away. Is there a time like this in your own life? Sneaking in time or is it? I call it making use of the time you have.

Think hard about how to get more art time.

Another occasion to create art when I had a busy schedule was folding clothes. I set up still lifes and photographed them using my laundry and an iron. Those paintings were a very popular series. Those were the days of slides so I don’t have any digital examples to show you.

Jonathan Ely, in his article in creativity says that people need to create. It is one of those basic needs that exist in all of us. He says that creating is a learned skill and we need to practice to develop that skill. That is good news. If practice is what is needed, then you can do this. He also says that your ability to create is directly proportional to the practicing of the skill. Does that encourage you to keep creating? If you want more information, look up the article here:

When you feel that ‘creating’ is an uphill battle, keep in mind that skills can be learnt with practice. There are differing opinions on how long it takes to develop a skill. There is a TED talk that I saw once (but could not find again) that said we only need 20 hours to learn basic skills to achieve a skill competently. He emphasized that it was 20 hours of intense concentration. If you worked casually, you did not learn as much. Intense concentration is what is needed. You absorb the skills better and a retain the information needed to accomplish the skill.

So if you are trying to paint a new technique while watching the kids playing in the back yard, you will not learn the skill as well as when you sit down in a quiet spot to practice this new skill. Use the time while watching the kids play as a time to sketch, draft ideas loosely or draw the kids as they play. Practice skills you already know.

There is a lot of information that says that 10,000 hours is needed to learn a skill but if you read the fine print, it is hours you need to start a skill that you will turn into a business. Most libraries have that 10,000 hours book: Outliers by M. Gladwell. If you want to turn art into a business, consider starting in on those hours but if you just want to learn a particular skill, it is only 20 hours. Imagine how many skills you can fit into 10,000 hours.

In the meantime, how many hours are you putting in per week? Are you ‘sneaking in’ your time? Find your 15 minutes a day and see if you can expand to 20 minutes or more.


I have creativity courses and art courses online at :

This is you making it to the top of the hill.

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

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