Curious Excursions from Original Impulse
Amsterdam June 13th - 19th, 2010
You see inspiration for art in the world all around you, but you haven’t picked up a paintbrush or even a piece of sketching charcoal in months. You know that you want to be a writer – but you have pages of notebooks left unfilled. You’re starting to question your creative capabilities. Maybe you don’t really have the magic to create art inside you.Don’t despair. If you’ve lost your creative juju, we know the perfect way to gather more.
Curious Excursions is a creativity workshop hosted in beautiful, mad, eclectic, unflappable Amsterdam, a city full of feasts for your senses. You’ll join an adventurous tribe of artists just like yourself – people who badly want to give in to the impulse to create, but lack the inspiration, the fire, the hidden magic.
That creative fire is your juju. I think of it almost as magic dust. It floats in the air around the things that inspire you to create art. Sometimes, though, we’ve looked at the same things and people and places so often, we can’t see the juju anymore.
That’s why every creative person needs a spare pocketful to pull out and throw in the air now and again, when the magic needs a little boost to get going.
We’ll take you on an epic quest for new juju in the city itself, in the streets and the people and the abundant art scene. This isn’t a travel tour and it isn’t the sort of workshop where you stare at an easel all day. This is a serious adventure, a way to tap the wellsprings of juju all around you and gather it up for all those times when you feel lost and drained of your creative juice.
It’s a workshop like no other. Just enough structure to keep you challenging yourself, mixed with lots of room to roam, create, and break all the rules. You can’t imagine finding your juju by following the rules, can you? It’s not in the nature of juju to be caught the same way every time.
spend one week in Amsterdam being as free and wild in our thoughts as
possible, devoting a day to every creative sense so you have lots of
possible places to find a hidden cache of juju.
When you find some – a place that brings a story to mind, a person whose life intrigues you, a hat bobbing above the heads in the marketplace – you’ll capture it between the pages of a Moleskine Japanese notebook. The accordion-style journal is the perfect way to capture juju as it unfolds during the week.
And when you need some juju in your life in the future, all you need to do is open those pages again and set it free.
How to Gather Juju
only have one week to replenish that creative well you’d thought was
dry, only one week to collect as much juju as your Moleskine notebook,
your brain, and your senses can hold.
That’s why we use every one of our creative senses to find those hidden treasures of juju that can be found all over this amazing city.
Monday – Sight and Design
Our quest to gather juju begins with the sense of sight. You’ll explore
Amsterdam’s urban landscape, looking for the sparkle of juju in every
nook and cranny.
may find it shimmering atop the Westerkerktoren, slipped in a book at
the Spui book market, or hiding on a tiny piece of baroque styling on a
single house overlooking a canal.
You might even find some under the hat of an old woman as she tucks up her hair before boarding the bus.
it comes to juju - and design - we all see it in different places than
everyone else. That means that you decide where, in Amsterdam’s
boundless possibilities, you will seek it out.
Trust your instincts; juju is fairly magical, after all. Logic won’t help you in your quest for it.
Tuesday – Sound and Story
Juju is most commonly found hidden in the stories of others. Just as truffles and tomatoes have favored places to grow, juju grows best in stories. You’ll join us in tromping the streets of Amsterdam in a collaborative storytelling effort, using the city as your inspiration for ever more compelling tall tales that might lure your juju closer.
Your sense of sound is essential to this exercise, for you will have to hear the faint sound of juju among the words your companions are saying, and carefully extract the juju from the story itself. It’s a delicate process, but a rewarding one. Every time you’ll gather a little more juju, tuck it away in your notebook for safekeeping, and keep listening for more.
Wednesday – Scent and Empathy
You may have heard that smells can evoke whole memories. They can also open doors to creativity, and they can summon your juju to your side. You’ll explore the power of empathy in Amsterdam’s thriving art scene, tapping into what most inspires you. Perhaps you’ll choose a street fair, or one of the many galleries or museums, or even a single artist sketching by the canals.
Wherever you go, breathe deeply. Scents and smells will deepen your empathy with what you see. When you are most tapped into the world around you, you are most likely to hear the sound of your juju in the music around you, or see it in the face of the market vendor who just sold a painting.
Thursday – Taste and Symphony
If music be the food of love, then a hearty feast is surely the symphony of your most heartfelt emotions. Juju thrives in places where people are full of happiness and real enjoyment, and this means you can often find juju in the pattern the spoon makes as it swirls the sauce, or in the memories a well-loved dish evokes.
Join your companions in a beautifully orchestrated meal, sharing and savoring, and you’re sure to uncover new sources of juju just as easily as you uncover new dishes. The dinner gathering is a high art in itself, but it also fosters other kinds of artistry – just the sort you’ve been looking for.
Friday – Touch and Play
By this time, you surely have no fear you won’t find any juju, for your notebook will be full of your juju gems from the week. Now it’s time to seek out juju in ever-more unlikely places, for juju is fickle and without rules. The unexpected draws more unexpected things, and so it is when you play and laugh and explore that you’re most likely to put your hand down – quite by chance – on a thriving trove of juju.
you want suggestions on what games you might play or places to explore,
we’ve got them for you. Bring your Moleskine and spend the day in
laughter, games, merriment – and lots of juju gathering.
Saturday - Intuition and Meaning
gathered a treasure trove of juju over the last week; now it’s time to
share the tale of your quest for it with your companions, so that you
may all learn the true value of your own intuition.
A Pecha Kucha-style
presentation will help us share those experiences with one another, and
it helps to listen closely.
Intuition helps us discover that we really do have the wisdom to recognize what we need locked away inside us, and we only need to trust in it to find new sources of the juju we need to badly to stay creative.
You’ll also discover more about your companions, where they seek their juju, and how they’ve learned new ways of finding some. Take these stories to heart. They’re rather like aficionados sharing the best place to find good wine or a beautiful restaurant. All the intuition of the group transforms those chance encounters with your juju into places you can revisit again and again.
As you can see, even within the context of your creativity workshop, you’ll have many opportunities to nurture your creative self in the ways you most see fit. Should you ever be at a loss for a place to explore or a new sight to take in, your guide is always ready with a handful of possibilities.
If you’d been, you’d never ask – and if you have been you’re probably already aching to return.
Amsterdam is a playground for people who have grown too tall for the ones our children enjoy.
is full of curious corners and magical moments, people who astound and
intrigue, design that baffles and beautifies, and food that keeps alive
the old tradition of bread-breaking to become closer to one’s
is a city of art and artists, and if ever there were a place an
unquenchable fountain of juju was likely to be found, this is it.
Join your creative tribe June 13 - 14, 2010.
What’s Included in the Excursion?
- Welcome party at the Original Impulse Atelier
- Seven days of instruction at the atelier and throughout the city itself
- Daily snacks during the workshop hours
- A grand feast on Thursday to delight your palate
- Pre-excursion meetings on a private online group site so you can connect before you arrive
- Our excursion kit which includes:
- Curious Passport – You won’t get past the juju border without one. Our creative travel keys will open the doors to your creativity and allow you to translate the juju you find into your journal.
- Moleskine Japanese notebook – By the time you complete your workshop, you will have this notebook filled from cover to cover with new ideas, stories, thoughts, wonders, and moments of genius. This is your juju. Keep it safe.
- A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink – Daniel Pink’s guide to the six creative senses is our inspiration for the structure of our days.
mini-guide – For purely practical purposes, including how to get to
Amsterdam, where we enjoy creative lodging, eating and shopping, and
how to get around the city in your quest for more juju.
- Plus our hints at places where juju is likely to be found (my favorite spots in Amsterdam).
- Other fun goodies to surprise and delight you!
What’s the Cost?
of the above is only $1,200, and you can even save an additional $200
(that’s nearly 20%!) if you register before February 28th.
You can also save $100 more by signing up with a friend – actually, you’ll both save $100. Sign up before March 1st, bring a friend and the cost is only $900.
Do sign up quickly – so many creative people out there need juju to perform their best, and they’re desperate to find some.
Our workshops can and do sell out quickly, so make sure you get your spot reserved!
You can download our registration form, with all the information and policies you need, right here.
The longer you wait, the more your supply of juju will deplete. There are so many sources of juju it breaks our heart to think of you going without it. Trying to make art without juju is, like the old tale, like trying to cook without salt. It can be done, but it is so unsatisfying that people have given up gold and jewels before they gave up that little pot of seasoning.
For an artist, juju is just as essential. Wouldn’t having that elusive, indescribable spice in your creative work again be priceless?
Let your curiosity get the better of you and come join us. Replenish your supply of juju, and your art will be full of that impossible to describe, magical, amazing quality yet again.
Your registration form is here. What are you waiting for?
About Your Excursion Host, Cynthia Morris
Cynthia has been traveling to Europe since 1985 and has been hosting
workshops in major cities for the last several years.
She has been a
teacher and a coach for over ten years, and has had her own writing
practice for 16.
She has written and published Go For It: Leading Tours for Fun and Profit, among several other ebooks designed to help curious, creative types find their missing juju.
Cynthia always tries her tools, techniques, and travel ideas on herself before bringing them to her clients, and they’re the reason she’s managed to keep a firm grip on her juju even when more mundane life threatens to whisk it away.
believes in making creative empowerment enjoyable, unusual, and
thoroughly sensual. She believes in the curious mind, books, tribes,
and Moleskine notebooks.