Sixteen juicy articles to tickle your creativity bone:
- Just looking at these snowy illustrations makes me cold.
- Whatever your art form, what will it say about you to a future generation, or the present one?
- A reading list for quilters who like to make scrap quilts.
- Combining nature with 3D printing.
- Why you want me to move next door to you.
- Don’t you wish you could take a peek inside Frida Kahlo’s house?
- Street art.
- Gorgeous embroidery.
- Are you writing a story that needs more tension? Have your characters fight dirty.
- Why creative cross-training is important for writers, artists, and musicians.
- Why laughter is important for your health.
- Oooo…I want to do this quilt-along.
- Teeny tiny creatures.
- The director of Incredibles, Iron Giant, and Ratatouille talks about animation.
- You could take these photographs if you had a good eye and your camera ready.
- Portraits made from flowers and leaves.
Some of the most creative articles I found online this week:
- Lots of lovely free quilt patterns.
- Should you listen to music while you’re working?
- An adopted girl’s odd relationship with her grandmother.
- Beautiful fashions from China.
- Do you like unusual cars?
- Video about the harpsichord: obsolete musical technology
- Possibly the most beautiful commercial ever conceived.
- A memoir by John le Carré. It’s long, but you can click on an option to listen to him read it aloud. Then you can tidy your desk while you listen. 😉
- I think I might participate in OctPoWriMo next month.
- For writers: how to craft a compelling elevator pitch.
- Illustrated biography of Frida Kahlo.
- A Chinese artist picks up discarded cardboard boxes to use as canvases, then returns them to the locations where he found them.
- Gorgeous photographs of woman healed from mental illness by practicing yoga.
- Literary tattoos for Outlander fans.
Today’s post comes with a special blogging *challenge. But first, some background.
I have been wanting to write this post for a long time, but I procrastinated because my office was such a mess–I didn’t want to post a picture of it.
But then I figured out I could just spiffy up the desk where I write, paint, and draw. You don’t have to see the stacked boxes o’ stuff I’m trying to find places for. (Yeah, I know, not that spiffy, but it took me a week to get it this organized.)
There’s my laptop, open to one of my favorite sources of inspiration, Pinterest. The pink flower behind it is actually a pen stuck in a vase. To the right, you can see some of the many receptacles for pens, scissors, paperclips, etc. The ubiquitous water bottle–a must for writers everywhere, but especially in Arizona. In the cubbies, a stack of salvaged notebooks, all kinds of sticky notes, index cards, scratch pads, and thank you cards.
Under the light is a panel from a birthday card Greg gave me years ago with a picture of a little boy singing his heart out (who looked remarkably like one of my kindergarten students, so it spent a few years on the wall of my classroom). Below that, a postcard my friend Judy sent me from Florence, Italy several months ago. To the right of that, a list of my creative goals for 2016 (you’re working on yours, right?), with sticky note addenda attached.
Can you see on the perpendicular surface to the right the post card from the Cloisters of one of the Unicorn Tapestries (to inspire me to work on my mystical fantasy-in-progress)? And to the left of the singing boy, two pages from magazines reminding me of places I need to go for photo-essays I’m planning.
On the top shelf of the desk are art supplies, a box of greeting cards, boxes of envelopes, some supplements old ladies take, a picture of Greg when he was a little boy (because he was so stinkin’ cute!), some toys that used to belong to my kids, tissues, hand sanitizer, a mini-stereo (I must have music when I write! You can see the slots where I store some f my favorite CDs), and a Scripture-a-day calendar.
I am fascinated with seeing the workspaces of writers and artists. You, too?
To see more, check out these articles on creative workspaces:
- 40 Inspiring Workspaces of the Famously Creative
- Japanese Artists Show Off Their WorkspacesArtist’s Studios
- A collection of posts about artists’ and writers’ workspaces
- Offices and workspaces of famous people, some creative, some not
- 25 Creative Workspace Ideas
- Quilter Melanie’s studio
Do you have the freedom to do this in your workspace?
And here are workspaces of some of the people who have been featured on ARHtistic License.
Artist (and writer) Robert Holewinski:
Jewelry designer Shirli Matatia:
Artist Michael James:
Not exactly a workspace picture, but here is artist Jeremy Kirsch at work:
Woodcarver and furniture maker Scott Zuziak of Lazy River Studios:
*And Now, Presenting: The ARHtistic License Workspace Challenge
Fellow bloggers, let’s take this workspace sharing one step further. Your assignment, should you chose to accept it, is to show us where you create. Here’s all there is to it:
- Between now and September 30, 2016, take a picture of your workspace, and post it on your blog. Tell us what you create there. Do you write, design greeting cards, manufacture household gadgets? You can even tell us the special significance of the objects in your photo(s), or why you’ve set up the area as you have. How does it inspire you? Help you to be productive?
- Somewhere in the post, include this sentence (cut and paste so that you include the link–when your post goes live, it should automatically generate a ping-back to your post in the comments below): This is my response to the ARHtistic License Workspace Challenge.
- Share your article on social media with this hashtag: #ALWorkMagic.
- Optional: to spread the word, share this article on social media with the hashtag #ALWorkMagic. Cut and paste this shortlink: http://wp.me/p6gt9v-33p or use the sharing buttons below.
I can’t wait to see where you work!
The 1998 film Saving Private Ryan opens with one of the most terrifying scenes in military and cinematic history: the Allied landing on Omaha Beach in World War II. What touches me most is the courage of the hundreds of young soldiers who, seeing their fellow teammates being mowed down by fire on all sides, nevertheless follow their training, obey their orders, and advance to the shore despite certain death.
We might think bravery means fearlessness, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Certainly, soldiers experience very real fear during combat.
Merriam-Webster.com says courage is “the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous;” bravery is defined as “the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening.” In other words, courage and bravery mean taking action despite fear, not without fear.
How do warriors find the courage to fight in spite of grave danger? Perhaps bravery is inspired by a belief in a greater good, such as battling an oppressive regime to safeguard innocent populations.
Bravery is also required of ordinary people in their everyday lives, even though the perceived danger may be less fatal. A child on the first day of school, a teenager with a brand new driving learner’s permit, and a job-seeker filling out applications are all facing the unknown. Will their next step bring new adventure, or throw them up against a brick wall? They might cling to mommy at the classroom door, collapse in tears behind the steering wheel, or tear themselves to shreds while listing their weaknesses. Or they may fortify themselves by visualizing desirable outcomes: exploring the secrets of the universe, mastering a skill which brings freedom of movement, or contributing to society while earning a living. Growth requires ordinary, everyday courage.
The creative person faces fear as well. Trying something new carries with it the danger of failure. Maybe the idea won’t work, and the money spent on expensive materials will be wasted. Months and years devoted to a project might never reap a benefit. Audiences may be unimpressed with our talents. And many artists never earn even a few thousand dollars per year for their art, so they’re obligated to work a “paying” job as well. Who can thrive, or even exist, under those conditions?
But in the case of art, the compulsion of self-expression overcomes the inertia of uncertainty. The need to be who we are, creators, urges us to disregard the security of the status quo. We go forward regardless of unguaranteed end-result.
I am not saying that an artist’s bravery is equal to the courage of a firefighter who enters a burning building hoping to save lives, or of a police officer confronting someone up to no good. But I am saying that it takes a certain amount of selflessness to do something you’ve never done before (or something no one has ever done before).
Acknowledge the fear. Maybe no one will like our work. Maybe the critics will pan it. Maybe no one will buy it. Maybe people will laugh.
But maybe one other person will see it and be encouraged. Maybe our creation will impact someone’s life in a positive way. Or maybe it will affirm a segment of society who thought they were forgotten.
So, let us go forward bringing beauty to the world, relieving grief by exploring it in detail, extending hope by suggesting a better way. Let us expose evil, invent heroes, spawn universes. We’ve been called to create; let’s do so courageously.
Fear emoji by KAZ Vorpal, found on Flickr