Creativity Workshop in Portugal (CW)

Venue: Hotel Infante Sagres

Location: Porto, Portugal

Event Date/Time: Jul 15, 2012 End Date/Time: Jul 22, 2012
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The Creativity Workshop in Portugal will be in the old town of Porto, a Unesco World Heritage Site, and an inspiring place to absorb traditional Portuguese culture. Porto has an amazing variety of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Industrial era architecture. You will find yourself ambling down twisting streets dotted with cafes, artisan shops, and open air markets. Porto is the home of port wine and there are many wineries to visit. Beautiful beaches are just a 15 minute taxi ride from town. An hour away by train is Coimbra, one of the oldest university towns in the world . The Workshop class will take place at the Infante Sagre, a 5 star hotel in Porto's historic center.

Ech day the Creativity Workshop in Portugal will meet for 3 1/2 hours. We will explore ways to expand our creativity through a series of exercises including guided visualization technique, automatic drawing and writing, map making, memoir, and storytelling. Throughout the workshop, the exercises and talks by the instructors will focus on ways to:

Believe in your creativity
Stimulate your perceptive abilities
Find inspiration in the world around you
Discover and use images from the unconscious
Get over creative blocks and the fear of failure
Engage your curiosity
Recognize and use your creative instincts
Give yourself the time, permission, and nourishment to do creative work
Develop a daily practice to accomplish these goals
Work collaboratively
Use your memories to engage the imagination

(Order and kinds of exercises and instructors' talks may vary. Some exercises are done individually while others are collaborative.)


Day by Day in Portugal
We will meet 3 1/2 hours per day.

Sunday, July 15, 2012: Arrival. Free day
Time for you to settle in and relax.

Monday, July 16: First day of workshop
Introduction to the hows and whys of the Creativity Workshop. Exercises in relaxation technique and guided visualization. Visualization: writing and drawing using the myth of the hero’s journey as our framework. Automatic Drawing exercise: Finding our hidden imagery. Exercise in ‘show and tell’ as a means of honing our natural storytelling styles and retrieving childhood memories to spark ideas. Instructor talks about famous writers, scientists, artists and their sources of inspiration, and how we can use some of those same sources.

Tuesday, July 17:
Relaxation exercise followed by a visualization using map making. Map making as a way to find, chart, and tell fictional stories and true life experiences. Exercise in Automatic Writing. How automatic writing allows you to brainstorm and create in new and surprising ways. How we can use automatic writing to get over creative blocks and discover new ways of developing and editing work, while avoiding self-censorship. Why alternating between writing and drawing aids us in developing creative flexibility. The Interview: Listening and experiencing a life outside our own. How listening is as important as doing in creative work.

Wednesday, July 18:
Today's visualization exercise uses letter writing as a way to explore voice in writing. Miniature Theatre: an exercise in storytelling with found objects. Automatic Writing continues with Writing in Groups. How writing and/or drawing with others can stimulate our imaginations and expand our points of view. Topics of instructors' talks may include: the importance of play and the need to value the creative process over product. Enforced Cafe-Sitting: the art of relaxed observation. How to carve out time for creativity in a busy schedule. How to do on-going creative work in a short modules of time? How we can use luck and coincidence to jump start creative projects. Creative freedom requires discipline: Developing daily practice.

Thursday, July 19:
Today's visualization is The Myth of the Other: imagining ourselves living a parallel life. The imagination's magic phrase: What If. Autobiographical exercise: 'Trips to the Past:' Using a foreign environment to spark and sharpen memories of home.
Exercise exploring how to focus on the details of your environment using photography, writing and drawing. Importance of detail in making creative work come alive. Finding inspiration in the world around us. Topics of instructors talks may include: honoring our innate creativity and how to rekindle fearless imagination.

Friday, July 20:
Visualization exercise using maps and legends to tell our stories. Automatic drawing and writing exercises continue. How to be our own trickster and transform ourselves and our creative ventures. Exercise using postcards. Cafe exercise: Writing, drawing or photography to search for characters. Exercise in stimulating our perceptive abilities and discover and use images from the unconscious. Instructor talk: How to get over creative blocks and the fear of failure. Making our home and work environments inspiring for the imagination.

NOTE: There are no classes on the final day of the workshop. This day is free for participants to put to active use the various techniques learned in the workshop and to explore the cultural, historical and natural riches of each location and its people. It is suggested you make your sightseeing plans during your stay and not before you come to allow for flexibility in your itinerary. Most excursions are available with very little time in advance.
Excursions are not included.

FREE DAY: Saturday, July 21 - Suggested visit:
Day trips to Portuguese and Spanish cities such as Braga, Guimarães, Vigo, or the famous pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela.

Sunday, July 22: Departure