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”

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”

Real Artists Work

I’m always inspired by being around artists that challenge and stretch me and since I’ve given up being a passion basher, I see people differently, places differently and my fellow creatives differently.

This past weekend my wife and I headed to the city for artistic inspiration: New York City. My takeaway from our getaway: real artists work.


We saw a couple Broadway shows…

In Cyrano De Bergerac, Cyrano’s first entrance was from the street–from house right of the theater. He then ranted throughout the entire theater, climbing several floors of steps to deliver lines at various locations while shrouding his facial protuberance in the dark of the performance hall and the tilt of his plumed hat.

Only a top athlete could accomplish this feat without becoming breathless and extremely winded. Continue reading “Real Artists Work”

The Best: Creativity from Carbon

I like the best.

The best food.

The best technology.

The best movie, book, play…you name it.

But isn’t ‘the best’ subjective? Sometimes I have to slow myself down and ask why do I believe this is the best?

  • Who determined that gold is more valuable than silver?
  • When was it decided that if I pay more for something it’s therefore better?
  • Why do I think “the best” is “the best”?

The concusion I came to…

Continue reading “The Best: Creativity from Carbon”

When Saying Yes to Others, Means Saying No to Yourself

[box options]Today’s post is a guest post by Amber Kane. Amber holds a Masters of Arts from Union Institute and University of Vermont, crafts amazing scarves/necklaces and writes about it all on her blog. Enjoy![/box]

You’re creative, which means that you might have trouble saying yes and saying no at the right time. 

  • If you are a maker, you are asked to donate your work to silent auction after silent auction.
  • If you are creative you are the go to poster maker, photographer, party planner, home decorator and fixer of all things that require glue.
  • If you are an artist you are the gift maker, dance decorator and problem solver of all things creative

I’m not here to say that helping a friend out is a bad thing, or that you shouldn’t donate your work to a charity that you believe in, but most creative people find themselves saying yes so often to the small things that they don’t feed their own creative journey.

Then they lose their way. Continue reading “When Saying Yes to Others, Means Saying No to Yourself”

Revealing Your Creativity: Cut, Discard, Reject

The sculptor starts with a mountain of stone. He chisels away and discards much of the rock to reveal the statue within the stone. He must cut and abandon parts of the stone first.

The editor starts with a manuscript. She slashes words from the novel to focus the reader on the essentials of the story. She must release words to make other words more potent.

The clothing designer starts with multiple yards of fabric. He reduces the fabric to smaller shapes and patterns to uncover clothing worthy of a runway. He must reject parts of the fabric to create stunning and original design.

nishat nguyen via Compfight

Creativity is revealed.

Art is found within the medium.

Ideas are released during the process. Continue reading “Revealing Your Creativity: Cut, Discard, Reject”

Redefine the Muse: Who’s Responsible for Your Creativity?

[box options]Your creativity flourishes when you stop blaming others for not creating.[/box]

Simply put…

It’s you who created.


It’s you who did not create.

Not a muse. Not a spirit. It’s you.

The Muse

I believe in a muse (of sorts). I really do.

I believe you need to position yourself for your creativity, and I believe that you need to create a safe environment for your creativity to flourish.

But when happens when it doesn’t flourish?

Do you stop creating?

Did your ‘muse’ fail you?

Should you just wait for the muse to strike again (or not)?

The problem with believing whole-heartedly in the muse is this: it’s an easy out. 

As artists, we can quite easily be ruled by our feelings. If our feelings say “we have no inspiration, no muse, no hope,” we can easily give up. Continue reading “Redefine the Muse: Who’s Responsible for Your Creativity?”