14 Reasons This Artist Doesn’t Need Cable TV

1. I value creating more than consuming.

2. I don’t need to put my mind in neutral that many hours per week.

3. Instead of watching the story happen, I’d rather be telling the story or sharing the story myself.

4. It never helped me accomplish my dreams.

5. Movement begets movement. No movement begets no movement. (Click here to tweet that)

6. I’ll accomplished more with the extra 520 hours (10 hour per week average) per year. That’s 21.66666667 days–ouch!

7. I have a daughter and I want to learn her and love her.

8. I need to train my ever-wandering attention span to focus. Continue reading “14 Reasons This Artist Doesn’t Need Cable TV”

Humor is Creativity

My wife Sarah and I are featured in the April issue of Courageous Creativity! An intro from the editors:

“Have you ever considered that humor is essentially creativity? Check out stories and insights from TED speaker Hannah Brencher, renowned artist Chad Crowe, comedic writer and improv artist Lisa Warsinske, Indian classical vocalist Srivani Jade, multi-entrepreneurial duo Andrew and Sarah Zahn, poet Farah Abdul, and our two young minds, Madhurum Bhuvan and Nadiya Narula! All set to the backdrop of Devasmita Chakraverty’s keen-eyed photography.”

This fantastic ezine is put together by a wonderful group of professionals and we’re honored to have been part of this month’s publication.

Just click on the Courageous Creativity picture below to read the ezine. We’re on pages 18-22. Enjoy!

The Silent Thief that Steals Your Creativity

FotoChesKa via Compfight

Missing something?  

If someone crept into my home and stole something I loved, I’d not just want the stolen item back, I’d want to know…

  • Why was it stolen
  • Who stole it
  • How do I prevent this from happening again

As artists we can sometimes get discouraged and that discouragement can lead to procrastination, apathy and blocks that hinder our creativity.

In other words, discouragement robs us from creating, and consequently robs us of enriching the lives of others with our creativity. The result is that we may feel numb, uninspired and blocked–a victim of a discouragement robbery.

The antidote is simple, but not easy: ask a few basic questions… Continue reading “The Silent Thief that Steals Your Creativity”

The Project Driven Artistic Life

Aaron Shumaker via Compfight

I can remember where I was when I realized I was a project-driven artist.

My wife and I were having dinner at a local pub-estaurant we love and I was talking about how my day job as a corporate sales trainer was good, but not artistically fulfilling. Sure, I was thankful for the job, the pay and the people I worked with and the trainees I’d helped, but a part of me was needed a little nurturing.

That part wasn’t being fed or watered. I felt it inside me grasping for breath.

My wife mentioned that she thought we were ‘project people’. That is, we like to birth an idea, cultivate it until it can stand on its own and then release it and move onto the next project. Sales training was the opposite of that concept and though I enjoyed several parts of the job, I wanted more.

I wanted to contribute more. I wanted to see the process through. And I wanted it for myself.

That last part…the ‘for myself’ was probably the most difficult to come to peace with for me.

“Why do I need to do something for me? Why am I so individualistic? Am I being selfish?” I thought. Continue reading “The Project Driven Artistic Life”

7 Things My 12-day-old Taught Me About Creativity

1. EnjoyIMG_2612

Relish each moment.

2. Listen

There’s beauty in each little sound.

3. Dream

Don’t despise the day of small beginnings.

4. Experiment

If something doesn’t work, try something else.

5. Simplify

Needs met = happiness all around.

6. Rest

Being is more important than doing. (Tweet it)

7. Laugh

Joy is always found…if we look for it.

She’s pure joy!

Feed your creative beast (and toss in a few coins for her college fund) by checking out Ten Commandments for Creatives on Amazon!

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Jack London to Creatives

I haven’t read any Jack London books, but recently I read an essay of his, and now I want to read more. I had to share a few morsels of goodness with my fellow creatives–I know you’ll enjoy them.

From Mr. London’s article “Getting into Print” was published in 1903 in The Editor. 110 years later and the wisdom proves itself timeless.


“Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will none the less get something that looks remarkably like it.”

Application: be ravenous. Always stay inspired. The minute we stop being inspired is the minute we stop inspiring ourselves and others.


“See that your pores are open and your digestion is good. That is, I am confident, the most important rule of all.”

Application: exercise and eat well to be at your maximum creative peak. Continue reading “Jack London to Creatives”

Vonnegut on Being Artistic

Two minutes of great inspiration from the late Vonnegut:

“Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

vonnegut risk creativity

As we create, make our work sustainable and grow into our next project, we get to enjoy the risk of being artistic.

  • We’re the gutsy ones who put our feelings, thoughts and philosophies out into a sometimes volatile space for others to adopt…or trample on.
  • We’re the rainmakers–taking the invisible and making it real. We put skin on dry bones and make them sing…and not everyone loves the song.
  • We’re the culture-shifters, seeing the future in the present…and that makes others uncomfortable.

The gift of your artistry cannot ever be separated from the risk of sharing it. (Share that on Twitter) Continue reading “Vonnegut on Being Artistic”

Day Job Dilemmas: Bathrooms, Sawdust, and Hovering Co-Workers

I was having lunch with my co-workers recently and we ended up talking about how shiny the floors are in our company’s bathrooms.

So right now you’re thinking two things: 1) How did that topic come up and/or 2) I’ve noticed that too and it’s disturbing.

You may even say to yourself (with a posh British accent) “why, on such a high-brow blog about creativity, is the author stooping to publish such low-brow humor?” You may never get an answer to that question.

Thus, we begin with #1…

#1 – Shiny Bathroom Floors

Shiny bathroom floors are upsetting, disturbing and borderline pornographic. If we can pick the finish for our printed photos, we should certainly be able to make a decree that all bathroom floors be standardized matte.

Why? Continue reading “Day Job Dilemmas: Bathrooms, Sawdust, and Hovering Co-Workers”

Degrading Other Creatives

Anti-Torture Vigil - Week 18
Justin Norman via Compfight
  • She’s a natural. 
  • Everything he does seems to turn to gold.
  • They have “the it” factor.

Slippery slope.

Attributing fellow artists’ accomplishments to anything but work ethic, desire to learn and dedication is a grave mistake for our own creativity.

Yet, it’s easy to fall into this dishonoring thinking pattern.

Would we think/speak this way with any other occupations or hobbies?

  • He’s a natural at building houses. He was born that way.
  • She just knows accounting. I don’t know how but she’s just got that “it factor’.
  • He’s so lucky at writing software and getting it to the market. 

Ridiculous, right? Then why do we sometimes think/speak this way about the work and success of our fellow creatives? Somehow it feels right (or good) for us to downplay the work of others and emphasize luck instead. Continue reading “Degrading Other Creatives”

Childish vs Childlike

When doing creative projects…

Childish: “no one ever helps me. Why doesn’t anyone want my dreams to come true.”

Childlike: “this could be a fun adventure. I hope I make a bunch of mistakes that’ll help me learn and make me a better artist.”

When you have to work a day job to fund your art/projects/fulfilling work…

Childish: “I’d be more creative if I didn’t have my day job. It really stifles me and takes all my time.”

Childlike: “I’m even more creative because I have a day job. I have to be more focused and use my time and resources to the fullest. Plus, I’m grateful to have my needs met. So thankful.”

When being forced to meet a deadline (even when you don’t feel in the ‘creative flow‘)… Continue reading “Childish vs Childlike”