No Net

Did you see that guy who walked across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope?

As I was watching the video I thought…

He’s crazy.

He’s passionate.

He’s an inspiration.

Isn’t that who we are as creatives?

We go out on the limb that’s far too slender to hold our weight because that’s where the fruit is at. (Tweet that)

We know that if we keep doing things the same way, we’ll experience no change, no results and no growth. Continue reading “No Net”

Belief Comes First

I know a handful of millionaires.

Though they’ve earned their greenbacks in different ways, they have one thing in common: confidence.

I don’t mean the brazen, teenage-like confidence that disgusts. They posses a humble confidence which exudes from the core of their beliefs.

Millionaires believe that…

  • They make good decisions.
  • They will continue to make good decisions.
  • They must continue to grow and learn.

They’re artists of decision-making. Continue reading “Belief Comes First”

Do. Something. Differently.

As creatives, we’ve got to ask ourselves a few pertinent questions from time to time.

  • What really fulfills me?
  • What do I have to give?
  • How do I sustain my creative projects?

They’re not easy questions for creative people to answer. We tend to be nonspecific in our desires, knowing we want something but not defining it succinctly.

We may have vague, foggy notions about what we want but as the sun starts to peer through the fog a pseudo-religious attitude craftily whispers “stop being so selfish! Why do YOU think you should get what you want? Be happy with what you’ve got.”

That’s #$%@!

What the world needs is people who are fully alive and who generously share themselves with others…artists. (Tweet that)

But sometimes it may seem easier to be unhappy and feel unfilled than to clearly define what we want.

Freedom / Coney Island Mermaids Parade 2007 / SML
See-ming Lee via Compfight

Do. Something. Differently.

When we try to answer those three pivotal questions listed above, we may get confused, frustrated or despondent for one simple reason: we don’t know what we want.

Or worse, we ramble on and on (and on) about a multitude of interests and desires, refusing to hone in on one place to start.

My 2 cents: start. Do. And do something differently.

I’ll start with what my answers would be…

  • What really fulfills me? Creating stories (via film, written word and/or acting) really fulfills me.
  • What do I have to give? I can give my talents and education that I’ve honed over the past 25 years to accomplish what fulfills me.
  • How do I sustain my creative projects? I can make that happen by writing 10 minutes everyday, auditioning and not overworking at my day job.

As we come fully alive in our creativity, we invite others to do the same.


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Several Reasons Why You May Not Want to Cut the Cable Cord

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Today’s post is from a great college friend of mine, Jeremy Doan. After Jeremy read 14 Reasons This Artist Doesn’t Need Cable TV, he and I had a stimulating Twitter conversation resulting in me asking if he’d share his thoughts with you.

And I’m so very glad he did. Enjoy…

Jeremy’s bio: “I am the husband of Superwoman and a father of four part-time devil children (with another on the way). By day I work as a software engineer.  The rest of the time, I am an amatuer photography, a film-watcher, a book-reader, a music-listener, and a nature-experiencing. In other words, I am a short-talented Renaissance Man.”

Feel free to connect with Jeremy on Twitter.


I  don’t completely agree Andrew’s post “14 Reason This Artist Does Not Need Cable TV”. After reading it, I considered writing a snarky reply entitled, “14 Reasons Why Every Artist Needs Cable TV.” That would have been fun.

However, further contemplation revealed that I did not want to provide counterpoint to each of Andrew’s points, but to add some nuance to the overall spirit of the post. I agree (mostly) with this spirit. I even agree with several of his points. I particularly appreciate points 9 and 10—you do not need Cable to get the really good shows.

Thus, I took a break from my YouTube viewing to write a psuedo-reply.

Walden Pond and Greenwich Village

A key factor, possibly even the most important factor, for creativity is discipline. As Andrew has pointed out on many occasions, inspiration does not come by accident.

We have to seek it out.

Creativity involves work.

Creativity takes discipline and intentionality.

Creativity involves action–we either peer through the distractions, or prune them from the path. Thoreau found inspiration on Walden Pond. Dylan found inspiration in Greenwich Village. To a great extent, inspiration and creativity occur despite our surroundings. As William Blake says:

“I question not my Corporeal or Vegetative Eye any more than I would Question a Window concerning a Sight: I look thro [sic] it & not with it.” (From A Vision of the Last Judgment) Continue reading “Several Reasons Why You May Not Want to Cut the Cable Cord”

7 Attributes of the Entrepreneurial Artist

Artists create for multiple reasons.

  • Some artists create for their own pleasure.
  • Some artists create for others.
  • Some artists create for profit, seeking to sell their work.

But there is one artist who creates for all those reasons and a myriad of others–this is the entrepreneurial artist.

the entrepreneurial artist
Photo Credit: Mark Mathosian

1. The entrepreneurial artist embraces obstacles as opportunities.

He knows that each challenge is an opportunity for breakthrough problem solving, leading to greater creativity, greater freedom and potentially greater profit.

2. The entrepreneurial artist fosters an environment of sustainability with his creativity.

She gives freely, charges freely, and shares freely. Continue reading “7 Attributes of the Entrepreneurial Artist”

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”