Jim Johns' Sprinter Story
Deciding to do the Creative Sprint was a big decision filled with all of the emotions that I would have on the first day of school. Excitement and anxiety over the unknown. How will I do? What will the assignments be like? Will the other kids like me?! But this wasn't compulsory. I could opt out! I decided to jump in because I wanted to stretch out of my comfort zone. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I am grateful that my wife and daughter were willing to join too.
Looking back on the Sprint, it's hard to pick a favorite day out of so many memorable experiences! One day does stand out. The prompt was "create something using an old map or something that ends up looking like a map." My wife was sitting on the floor flipping through an oversized hardback atlas. She was looking for inspiration and I saw the images upside down as I was walking in front of her. The upside down image of North America and Central America looked like a ridiculous creature. That was my favorite day because I still enjoy looking at the picture I made.
The most challenging day was when we were asked to create something inspired by another Sprinter. Oh, how I struggled to choose from so many talented Sprinters! Ultimately, I chose my daughter's Sprint pieces and tried to do something like her. It was late and trying to make an image of a bird using Elmer's glue was frustrating and humbling. It was so tempting to hold it back, or keep working on it until I liked it more. Reluctantly, I posted it and went off to bed. That is the beauty of the Sprint, and something first time Sprinters should know: The prompts and opportunities to create are there every day. Make the most of the day, take the prompt and create!
As the Sprint continued, I was surprised how quickly I felt supported by the online community of Creative Sprinters! It doesn't matter if it's being accepted at school or Creative Sprinters from around the world, it feels good belonging and participating in a community.
Looking ahead I want to continue working with prompts because they offer me a much needed daily practice and without the self-sabotaging expectation to create the coolest thing. Letting go of high expectations was liberating and allowed me to approach the Sprint with a sense of play.
The Creative Sprint was such a rewarding experience because it changed the way I view myself and my ability to create. It feels like I was able to make use of potential that was waiting to be tapped.
Find more of John's work on Instagram.