1. bulk feed for livestock, esp. hay, straw, etc.
2. raw experience or material: fodder for the imagination.
Most of us creative types are continually on the lookout for creative fodder. Fodder, that’s what I call the piles of left-over bits of paper and scraps of junk mail and little bits of metal that my kids find in the dirt. And fodder is what I call the weird treasures I find at the thrift store down the street and the awesome “bargains” I find on ebay. And fodder is also what I call the free books and odds and ends I pick up off of listings on craigslist, from people giving away their junk when they move.
Really, I have a huge, I mean really huge, stash of that kind of stuff, that spills over from my drawers and cabinets of art supplies and into boxes and piles in the garage.
Some people might think I’m a pack rat. Nope, not a pack rat, an Artist.
So today we’re going to try something a bit different. Christopher is digging around in my stash. His mission is simple: to pull out 5 items from the stash…5 items that may have nothing to do with each other…5 items that may or may not look like they go together. He is going to pull the 5 items, without my guidance (I know, I’m a bit nervous too!) and bring them to me. I am then tasked with making something out of the items. I am tasked with finding a way to bring those 5 things together into something artful, or crafty, or at least interesting, lol. I have to use at least 3 of the 5 items, with a goal of using all 5.
I can hear a bit of noise coming from the garage, where my piles and boxes and cabinets threaten to gobble him up. I hope he makes it out safely. Or that he makes it out at all.
The idea is that if he goes out to pick out the stimulating fodder for the challenge, he won’t have the same potential blocks that I do; you know, the emotional vibes that I might have for particular items, or the pull that I have to always go to my same favorite supplies. He can go digging around in the stuff that I haven’t seen for a while, things that I’ve long forgotten in my fodder-collecting habit.
I’m really pretty giddy about it, trying to be patient listening to him clamoring around in there. I hope he doesn’t rearrange stuff so that I can’t find anything later! Or maybe that would be a good thing, to turn it all over so that I see all new stuff now…
I will be back to share with you what comes out of this whole experiment.
Challenge: Come join me in this little adventure. Have someone else pick out your art supplies. Have them pick out paper or paint colors or ephemera, whatever it is that you like to collect in your own piles of inspiration and art fodder. Don’t give them any parameters other than how many items to choose and a finger to point them in the direction of your stash. See what you can do with it and we’ll see how we fare, together.