Zip Zap Zop is an improve game that’s fun, focusing and energizing. Use this playful game to overcome your fear of approaching the blank art journal page.

For the next 26 days I will be sharing the ABCs of Art Journaling and thanks to my friend Nancy Shobe, I’m starting at Z and working backwards. She reminded me in a conversation yesterday that creativity is about beginnings not endings. I believe it’s also about opening and expansion, not closure. Let’s meander our way from Z to A and see what we can find on the path.

Join me for a curated conversation about art journaling and how to use this playful creative process to open your heart, to heal your relationship with your art and to transform your life. Sounds lofty doesn’t it? It’s not. It’s gentle. It’s subtle. It’s being curious on the journey and allowing your Inner Child to come out and play.

Z is for Zip Zap Zop (aka bright shiny idea syndrome)

Zip Zap Zop is a game often used in drama classes or improve groups to get energy moving.

Zip, Zap, Zop is about focus and energy. As students pass the energy across the circle (in the form of a Zip, a Zap, or a Zop), they make eye contact with the person they send the energy to, and work together to keep the rhythm going. The activity also provides an opportunity to explore pace, specificity of choice, “energy” and sequence.

In a nutshell, a person zips energy across the circle of people to a particular person, who zaps it to another, who zops it to yet another, on and on around the circle. It’s fast, fun and silly. It will get you into your body, light you up and help you to feel focused and connected to others in the circle. Here’s a fun YouTube video where you can see an example:

What does Zip Zap Zop have to do with art journaling?

I’m sure at this point you are thinking to yourself, what the heck does zip zap zop have to do with art journaling?

Have you ever tried to sit down to a blank page and found yourself staring at it blankly? Or overwhelmed by so many thoughts, ideas and color choices that you simply walk away from the page?

Often when we have a few minutes to create, we dash excitedly to our stash of supplies and then stand there with our head doing one of two things: spinning out of control or completely blank.

A simple physical activity like Zip Zap Zop gets you back into your body, clears out the cobwebs and gives you focused energy. It’s like shining a laser beam on that blank page or canvas and suddenly seeing the perfect place to begin.

Other ideas for ways to bring your mind and body into alignment when facing the blank page are go for a walk, dance, stretch, drum or do jumping jacks. Get that blood flowing from your head to your toes.

Once you feel that sense of aliveness, your creativity will feel more present and accessible.

Bring Energy to Your Art Journal Page

Here is another fun activity to try with your Zip Zap Zop, especially if you don’t have family or friends near by to play the game with. Zip Zap Zop paint, marker or crayon right onto your page! Repeat the words in your head and see what fun you can have. This will help you get some marks and color right onto the page. Nothing to be afraid of! Choose three colors and go. Here’s me doing this in the video below.

Bring Zip Zap Zop to your Art Journal Page

I encourage you to grab a few colors and Zip Zap Zop your way across a blank page. I promise your Inner Child will be so happy with this playful approach to embracing your creativity. Enjoy!