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For the past several weeks, I’ve been keeping a promise to myself to make more room in my life for art of all kinds. Last weekend, I was blown away by the Tanner Dance Program‘s showcase, In A-Chord, with performances by dance groups ranging from itsy bitsy ballerinas to the dramatic ensemble work of The Tipping Point teen company. As a bonus, the music—mostly live, much of it original composition by members of Salt Lake Alternative Percussion (SLAP)—added to the dynamism of the show.

I’ve also been sketching, though after all the structured effort it took me to get through the last two years (studying for doctoral comps) and a wicked bout of carpal tunnel syndrome, I haven’t had any interest in pulling out my long-neglected paints and taking on any capital-p Projects. Instead, I’ve been having fun just sketching and scrawling with cheapie markers on whatever paper happens to be on hand. Sometimes all I can think to do is decorate the letters I use when writing the date in my journal.

Guess my delight in finding (during a Sunday bookstore browse) Jenny Doh’s Creative Lettering: Techniques and Tips from Top Artists. The diverse styles of the artists got me thinking about how I could experiment further with my own letter-doodles, and that got me thinking about how fun it is to make art-stuff just because. Because you want to see some color. Because you like seeing one line lead to another. Because your hands need to show you they sometimes know better than your brain. Because art for its own sake is part of a life worth living.

So, thanks to Tanner Dance and Jenny Doh, Invisible Sun is launching a series of ART DARES. I invite you to try them out and/or invent your own and share them through the Comments on this blog or via Twitter with #ARTDARE (and, pretty please, @jenngibbs so I’m sure to see it).

What’s an ART DARE? It’s an invitation to take however much time you wish to play around with art. The dare is to listen to & follow your inspiration without worrying about whether or how what you create measures up. For some of us this is a very, very hard thing to do. So, I double-dog dare you to try.

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