Category Archives: Creative Life

Monday Morning Wisdom #332

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Monday Morning Wisdom #332

Creation is bringing something new into existence. Formula is re-creation of what has been. Through a repetitive series of steps, it seeks to gain similar results by duplicating what’s worked in the past.That’s great for a muffin mix. Not for creating something original.

~Allen Arnold, on Facebook at The Story of With

Creative Juice #264

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Creative Juice #264

Halloween is coming soon. . .

Creative Juice #263

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Creative Juice #263

Beautiful things to look at, and hints for the creative lifestyle.

Monday Morning Wisdom #330

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Monday Morning Wisdom #330

Create to connect to those who need you.

~ Amie McNee

How Limits Inspire Creativity

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How Limits Inspire Creativity

Necessity is the mother of invention.

~English proverb

Every artist has all the tools he needs at his disposal.

Oh, if only that were true.

No matter what your medium is, you need physical supplies: a drafting table, paper, canvas, needles and thread, ink, music stands, computer programs . . .

And beyond the tangible implements, you also need the intangible: education, life experience, time, a spark of inspiration . . .

But in a way, having every possible requirement for your art could also be a hindrance. Too many options can make it hard to focus. Which shiny idea do you work on? Oils or acrylics? Fiction or poetry? Modern dance or ballet? Butterflies or toads? Having every advantage can be a curse.

Don’t you admire the people you know who are able to do remarkable things with very simple materials? Your friends who can make an impromptu dinner out of the odds and ends in their pantry. The guy who finds an old broken dresser next to the road on garbage day and turns it into a glamorous bathroom vanity. The child who delights the neighbors by painting whimsical designs on rocks and hiding them in their yards.

Brilliant ideas

The challenge of making something out of what you have at hand can unlock your creativitity.

Here is what some people have made with found objects:

Read an interesting article on the power of limitations.

I challenge you to make or write something with the resources you have on hand today. Don’t wait until you get that expensive tool or that elusive inspiration. You have enough. You are enough.

Creative Juice #262

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Creative Juice #262

A lot of interesting articles this week.

  • Cats in stores.
  • I never really understood how vital the bison had been to the ecology of the prairies. Read how Native Americans are spearheading the effort to reintroduce bison to the wild.
  • Don’t you just hate it when you’re writing a scene in your novel and you get stuck? Here’s three ways to get unstuck.
  • Are you tempted to throw in the towel? Here’s why you should persevere.
  • Children’s book authors: when you submit a picture book manuscript, do you show where the page breaks are? It’s a controversy, but I like this approach.
  • A stroll through Jersey City, including a couple of awesome murals (be sure to scroll to the end).
  • Crap. I think I may be the friend that all my friends lovingly tolerate. I recognize myself in this poem.
  • The search for authenticity.
  • Oooo. More artistic people to follow on Instagram.
  • Yellow Submarine means different things to different people.
  • Connecting our Natural Worlds is an art quilt exhibition. In addition to photographs of the quilts, the website has links to videos of the artists talking about their creations.
  • How to write fiction about drug abuse when you have no clue.

Creative Juice #261

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Creative Juice #261

The best articles I’ve read this week.

Creative Juice #260

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Creative Juice #260

I didn’t set out to make this week’s offerings photography-heavy; it just turned out that way. Enjoy, shutterbugs.

Creative Juice #259

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Creative Juice #259

Pretty things and practical advice.

Creative Juice #258

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Creative Juice #258

All sorts of info to inspire your artistic brain.

  • I know the common green mantises; I didn’t know they have diverse cousins.
  • Flip through Nathalie’s art journal.
  • How things get done in Mozambique.
  • Lovely photographs of ordinary objects.
  • Funny and amazing animal videos.
  • Natural poses to suggest when you’re taking photographs of groups of people.
  • Teeny tiny paintings.
  • This artist’s quilted portraits celebrate Black life. Be sure to click on the link at the end of the article to see more. (Actually, you have to click on the little box that appears when you click the link.)
  • For the writers: mining memories for your memoir.
  • Incredible photographs of endangered species.
  • For the artists: open calls, grants, residencies, and fellowships.
  • The Presto from the Summer concerto from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons played on a big honkin’ organ.