Eight Ways to Live a Curious Life

Fred's Diner - Moleskine Sketchbook and Micron Pen

Fred’s Diner – Moleskine Sketchbook and Micron Pen

I love to explore. I love to people watch in public places. Put me anywhere and I love to walk around a see what there is to be seen. When I take a walk through nature, or in the city for that matter too, I am just as busy looking on the ground as I am taking in all the sights and sounds around me. I love digging through junk at flea markets and curiosities at antique stores in wonder of what I might find. (One time I scored a series of animal skulls and bones from a hunter for next to nothing.) I call this living a curious life and it is part of what feeds my creativity.

There is a famous quote…
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” — Dorthy Parker

I say, curiosity is the cure for creative block as well. We need to nourish our creative spirit on a regular basis if we want to thrive as an artist. Here are a list of eight of my favorite ways to feed my creativity:

Waiting at Panera - Sketchbook - ink

Waiting at Panera – Sketchbook – ink

  1. Go for a long walk.
    Take the time to go for a walk, whether in nature or the city, and take in the surroundings. Not only is this great stress relief, the fresh air and new sights clear my mind.
  2. Sketch in a public place.
    Go to a local coffee shop, park or mall and find a spot to sit a sketch people.
  3. Learn something new.
    Go to the bookstore or library and peruse the art books and books on subjects that interest you.
  4. Art Exhibition Openings and Art Walks
    Check out what other local artists are doing at local galleries.
  5. Spend a day at a local museum.
    Find a local history, art or science museum and spend the day.
  6. Explore new places.
    I am lucky enough to live in the Chicago area where there is a wide variety of ethnic neighborhoods to explore. I love to go take my camera and sketchbook and spend a day taking pictures and drawing.
  7. Local Public Gardens and Arboretums
    Bring the camera or sketchbook to a local botanical garden or nature center.
  8. Browse Unique Shops and Markets
    Whether its antique stores, vintage stores, ethnic food markets or flea markets, for me it is all eye candy with plenty of hidden treasures to be found.

6 thoughts on “Eight Ways to Live a Curious Life

  1. I like your posting, and eight ways, I am curious as to the other two. You said here are ten of your favorite and then made a list of eight, so curiosity has the best of me, what are the other two?
    When I have a creative block, I seek a book store or the library, select a book I don’t recognize, open in the middle and read a paragraph. I continue this with other books until I can make a decision on what i wish to look for. Often checking our or buying several new books on new topics I never read before. Go home and paint and it works.
    I like your list, and have used those techniques, good posting you did.


    • Oh too funny. Thanks for pointing that out. I think in my notes I had a list that as I was writing the post I decided to condense some items together.

      I like your book selection process. I’ve been known to spend entire days lost in a book store… So many new interesting things to discover.

      Thanks for your comments!


  2. Rebecca, thanks for this post. I must admit that I do all of these when it is a little warmer out but it is more of a challenge when it is below freezing. The times when I find a scene that I must capture is when I am driving and see little of life’s moments happening and all I can do is take a mental snapshot. Thanks


    • Wes, I agree. This winter has been brutal. I’ve been doing a lot of indoor close to home stuff and hoping for spring to hit soon. I should add browsing other wonderful artist websites etc. to the list…

      Thanks for taking the time to respond and stay warm.


  3. Your are so alright for these eight ways. That’s so true. I’d like also to add another one: if you can afford it make a special vacation or journey, feeling like a traveler.
    It is not necessary to go out for a month, even a weekend is fine.
    It’s like all your eight ways wrapped in one single trip.



    • I love your extra tip. It is so true. I love exploring new cities and all their local flavor and culture. Sketching them always creates such a much more vivid memory than a photograph.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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