Creative Summer Challenge | Act Like a Tourist

Creative Summer Challenge | Act Like a Tourist

The summer holidays are speeding by but we hope that you’re managing to find time to take part in the Creative Summer Challenge to keep a visual journal of the summer. As it’s summer (in the UK), which is a time for holidays and living life a little differently, let’s act like a tourist for the week and see if different experiences can inspire us to fill our visual journals.

tourists at the Sky Garden

If you wander around a big city, you can easily spot the tourists who are in a constant discovery mode. Tourists look around at everything and stand in awe, while everybody else passes by without looking, absorbed in their daily routine. Jump on the train and as tourists gaze bright eyed out of the window or excitedly plan their day with their friends, the commuters sit silently reading their newspaper or scrolling through their phones, oblivious to the passing countryside and towns.



You may be on holiday this month, in which case you won’t need any ideas for how to act like a tourist.


But if you’re at home you can still be a tourist in your own town. If you have children it can be fun to play at virtual holidays by pretending to be in a different country each day, learning some phrases, eating the food, wearing the right clothes …


Grab your camera and actively seek things to photograph or sketch in your local area.  Here are a few ideas for some activities that might provide some inspiration.

Go into town using a different mode of transport to usual or take a different route

Visit the local museum, art gallery or historic house and linger for a traditional afternoon tea

Take a walk down paths or into villages that you usually just pass by

Raise your eyes above the shop fronts to see the different buildings along the street

Pack a picnic and explore a local country park or forest

Pose for a selfie in front of your favourite building or sit on a bench and watch the world go by

Design a tourist trail for your area

Make a set of postcards like these



If you enjoy the challenge of using a prompt to fill your visual journal, here’s the list for this week.


ideas, themes and prompts for a creative summer with our Creative Summer Challenge

There’s no pressure to share your work online but you can post it onto our Facebook page,  tag @Slamseys in Instagram or leave a link to your blog in the comments below this or any of the Challenge posts.

For more information about the Slamseys Creative Challenge for Summer 2018, read Introduction to the Creative Challenge

Next: Creative Challenge Week Four | Same Time, Same Place

Creative Summer Challenge | A Different Perspective

Creative Summer Challenge | A Different Perspective

Continuing the Slamseys Creative Summer Challenge to keep a visual journal for four weeks in July and August.

This week, the theme for the Visual Journal is to look at things from a different perspective. You may of course, choose to look at this theme from the perspective of completely ignoring it and doing your own thing.

It’s easy to get sucked into doing things the same way all the time. Always shooting photos from the same angle, only taking still life photos or keeping the dial set on automatic. Maybe you’re a printmaker who only works from photographs instead of sketches. We often follow the same daily routine without thinking, because it’s easier but shake it up and try something different.

Wilbur Lawn Art at Slamseys with Artist Chris Naylor
Lawn Art at Slamseys Photo: Chris Naylor


Try taking a different perspective this summer and record it in your visual journal.



If you usually work in miniature, try working on a large scale

Travel somewhere using as many modes of transport as you can

Work in black and white instead of colour or vice versa

Lay on the ground and find images in the clouds

Listen to a different radio station

Climb to a high place like a church tower, a hill or a bridge and look down at life below

Look at life from a dog’s (or some other small being) point of view

Shut your eyes and use your other senses


Image of duck formed by rust on painted metal
What do you see in the rust pattern


That’s quite a long list of suggestions for a week, so if you’re happier just using prompts, try these.



There’s no pressure to share your work online but you can post it onto our Facebook page,  tag @Slamseys in Instagram  or leave a link to your blog in the comments below this or any of the Challenge posts.

Summer creative Challenge looking at tree from different perspective

To find out more about the Creative Challenge, read Introduction to the Slamseys Creative Summer Challenge

Next: Week Three | Act Like a Tourist

Creative Summer Challenge |Make a Mark

Creative Summer Challenge |Make a Mark

Hurrah! It’s the start of  Creative Summer Challenge to make a Visual Journal for Summer 2018.

If you’d like to find out more about the challenge, read this post


Summer Creative challenge make a mark with a simple rubber stamp

This week, we’re going to concentrate on sketchbook ideas, but some of the ideas and prompts can be used for other types of journals too.


The hardest part of keeping a journal can be starting the first page because a blank page can be a daunting thing. So write something. Anything. Your name. The title of the journal. The date. An introduction. A quote.

Stick something onto the page. A painting you admire. A photograph of someone or something that you love. A print you’ve made. A map.

Or just turn the first page over and start a few pages in. You can come back to the first pages later or use them for making notes or a list of contents.


If you’re worried about blank pages further on, then make some marks on them to make them less precious.

Add some colour

Put a colour wash on the page or add a margin of colour down one side.

Add some pattern

Draw lines.

Scribble and doodle.

Add symbols.

Visual journal with stamp made from eraser and triangle pattern border on page

Use rubber or foam stamps to make patterns along the edges of the pages. Make your own stamp by using a craft knife to cut away parts of an ordinary eraser. If you just use the edge (as above) you can cut another simple pattern on the opposite side. Use the flat side for a larger image.

Other mark making ideas

Bleached pattern on sketchbook page colourwashed with ink

Use a brush dipped (carefully) into bleach to make marks on a page colourwashed with ink. (Washable blue used in photo above.)

Dip a feather into some ink and flick the ink or try to paint a picture.

Stain the page with cold tea for a vintage look.

Use a stick and paint to add dots or lines.

Use a calligraphy pen to write a quote.

Mark each page with a date stamp or number stamp.


We’re going to throw you some prompts each week that may help you if you’re stuck for ideas. Feel free to use every prompt, cherry pick your favourites or ignore them altogether.


There’s no pressure to share your work online but you can post it onto our Facebook page, tag @Slamseys in Instagram or leave a link to your blog in the comments below this or any of the Challenge posts.


For more information about the Slamseys Creative Challenge, read Introduction to the Creative Challenge

Next: Creative Challenge Week Two | A Different Perspective

Creative Summer Challenge | Be Prepared

Creative Summer Challenge | Be Prepared

We’ve thrown this challenge at you with no warning, other than a quick post yesterday, so you may need to spend some time getting prepared before the Creative Summer Challenge starts next week.


If you’re planning to draw or paint in a sketchbook, pick a size and shape that’s comfortable to work in and make sure the paper is suitable for your chosen medium.

If your visual journal is going to contain photographs, collages, pressed flowers, train tickets or the like, consider the best way to bring everything together. Notebooks, repurposed books, photo albums or scrapbooks are good options depending on the size of your intended collection and how you plan to store it when the challenge has finished.


visual diary for Slamseys creative summer challenge
Visual Diary by Madeleine Howard


A ring binder or portfolio make it easy to keep loose sheets of paper together or you could bind them together to make your own book like this beautiful book that Elizabeth has made for the challenge.

Does your project need to be portable eg do you plan to take it away on holiday or on trips out for the day?

Consider the alternatives to using books. Frame your visual journal and hang it on the wall, make a mini cabinet of curiosities or display everything on a pinboard. You could just stuff everything into a box.

Alternatively, you could crochet a blanket, shoot videos, embroider a sampler, write a blog, make jewellery … the list is as long as your imagination. Anything goes.

If you need some inspiration, look at our Pinterest board.

The first week starts on Monday when we’ll give you some ideas for starting your project.

If you’d like to know who the challenge is for and how to join in, read yesterday’s post Creative Challenge Introduction

Next: Creative Challenge Week One – Make a Mark