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The Creativity Workshop in Amsterdam


Program Overview

The Creativity Workshop in Amsterdam is not scheduled this year.
Please see our Calendar for our current schedule.

Each day The Creativity Workshop in Amsterdam will meet for approximately 3½ hours. We will explore ways to expand our creativity through a series of exercises including guided visualizations, creative writing, memoir, oral storytelling, automatic writing, map making, photography, collage, and free-form drawing. Many of the exercises are focused on the helping you see and absorb this remarkable city.


What Will You Learn?

The Creativity Workshop is an experiential workshop of doing and experimenting. Our exercises and instructors’ talks focus on helping you:

  • Learn practical techniques to stimulate your imagination and innovative thinking.
  • Explore the process of creativity, rather than simply focusing on the product.
  • Discover how to find inspiration in the world around you.
  • Get over creative blocks and the fear of failure.

More on What You Will Learn
  • Work with many different mediums to develop your creativity in your chosen medium more deeply.
  • Use your memories to trigger your imagination.
  • Engage your curiosity every day and make it work for you.
  • Establish a 15 minute a day creativity practice to accomplish your goals after the Workshop ends.


Daily Schedule

Amsterdam

Here is a sampling of just some of the exercises and techniques we will be working with in class. Participants tell us the time in workshop seems to fly by. The order and kinds of exercises and the instructors' talks may vary. Some exercises are done individually while others are collaborative.

Arrival. Free day

  • Time for you to settle in and relax.

First day of workshop

  • Introduction to the hows and whys of The Creativity Workshop.
  • Relaxation: Exercises in relaxation techniques to help your imagination flow.
  • Guided Visualization: Calling forth the vocabulary of your imagination using the myth of the hero's journey as a framework.
  • Automatic Writing and Drawing: Finding your hidden imagery.
  • Show and Tell: Retrieving and sharing childhood memories to spark new ideas. This exercise will sharpen your storytelling skills.
  • Instructors' talk: How some famous writers, scientists, and artists found their inspiration, and how you can use some of their methods to find yours.

More on Daily Schedule


Second day of workshop:

Amsterdam
  • Relaxation.
  • Guided Visualization: Mapmaking as a way to find, chart, and communicate your creative process and projects.
  • Automatic Writing: How automatic writing (also known as “free writing”) can help you create in new and surprising ways. How you can use automatic writing to outrun your inner judge, get over creative blocks, and discover new ways of developing and editing written work. How alternating between writing and drawing can help you develop creative flexibility and mental dexterity.
  • The Interview: Listening to and experiencing a life outside your own. How listening is as important as doing in creative work.


Amsterdam
Third day of workshop:

  • Guided visualization: Letter writing as a way to express voice, character, and audience.
  • Miniature Theatre: Storytelling with found objects.
  • Automatic Writing: Writing in Groups. How writing and/or drawing with others can stimulate your imagination and expand your point of view.

  • Instructors' talks may include:
    • The importance of play in creative work
    • Valuing creative process over product
    • How to do ongoing creative work in short modules of time
    • How to use luck and coincidence to jump-start creative projects


Fourth day of workshop:

  • Guided Visualization: The Myth of the Other.
    Imagining yourself living a parallel life. What would you do that you aren't doing now?
  • Trips to the Past: Using a foreign environment to invoke memory and inspire transformation.
  • The Close-Up: Using photography and drawing to focus on details and change the way we see.
  • Instructors' talks may include:
    • Following your innate creativity and listening to its intuition
    • How to rekindle fearless imagination
    • The Power of the Magic phrase: “What If”


Amsterdam
Fifth day of workshop:

  • Guided Visualization: The Legend of the Hand.
  • Automatic Writing and Drawing continues with a new twist.
  • Cafe Exercise: Writing about, drawing, and photographing people you find in local cafes.
  • The Illuminated Manuscript: A collaborative exercise in combining mediums and perspectives.
  • Instructors' talk may include:
    • The Gift of the Amateur
    • Creativity is a Muscle: Use it or Lose it
    • Making your home and work environments inspiring
    • How to stay creative after The Creativity Workshop ends


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“You will come back (from The Creativity Workshop) with a heart full of artistic passion, completely convinced that creativity and imagination--yours and everyone else's--is the answer to just about any question the world could pose. Plus, you'll have the tools to enable you to fill a whole cargo hold's worth of luggage with paintings, poems, drawings, and essays. This is one of the 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life.”

Pam Grout, author, The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life, National Geographic Publishers, 2008

 

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