The Recipe for Creating Interesting Characters

  • A dash of happiness and joy blended with a half-cup of artsy-fartsy melancholy…
  • An insatiable urge to create something new kneaded into the dough of apathy and procrastination…
  • A hunger for sharing and creating beautiful art with the world chopped up and sprinkled into a hermit-esque lifestyle…

 Happy/sad + Hungry/full + Content/restless = An Interesting Artist

Artists are a complicated bunch, aren’t we?

These complexities of thoughts and feelings that are in opposition to one another form the basis of who we are and how we create. These same personality patterns also reveal a recipe that helps us create interesting characters in our creative works. Continue reading “The Recipe for Creating Interesting Characters”

One Word for Focus and Purpose

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People who live without asking this question fulfill other people’s dreams.

Their own dreams die, never realized.


Companies who exist without asking this question function solely as money-making machines, destined to crumble after 10-15 years of success.

They never aspired to a greater focus and purpose.

  Continue reading “One Word for Focus and Purpose”

Speaking Fake English and Other Fake Languages

Have you ever tried to mimic a foreign language? As in: you don’t speak French, Chinese, or German but you attempt to sound like you’re speaking the language?

I’m guilty. I’ve done this on several occasions. This past weekend I made a baby giggle by performing my faux Chinese for him. He loved it. Best thing he’d ever heard in his less-than-one-year-old life. Giggles galore.

There are numerous You Tube clips of people speaking fake English. If you have a few minutes, watch this video. It’s a short film of actors doing a scene in fairly convincing fake English. Fascinating. Here’s one viewer’s comment…

Two other times in my life, I’ve publicly spoken fake langages.

Hotel in Des Moines. I was in high school at the time and was attending a function at a convention center. I don’t remember the function. I don’t even remember why I was there. I do remember my friend Jason and I were extremely bored. In our boredom, we masqueraded as foreigners in the opulent lobby by chatting in a quasi-something language as people walked by. The passers-by either thought “wow, they’re so foreign that I don’t even know where they’re from” or “what’s wrong with them.”

Rehearsal for a Play. A director once had the idea to have the actors focus only on the intent of our lines without using the lines themselves. She told us to use gibberish instead of our actual lines; our communication limited to nonsense sounds and physicalization. It’s a decent idea… until you start cracking up while trying to communicate frustration, joy, and other emotions while looking into your fellow actor’s eyes as he says “gerdarbul ferndig blarstic. Blarstic! Narful blads tog infel daldig rerg. Gowtow.”

Langauges fascinate me. I’m always amazed how humbled and awkward I feel when I’m in a foreign country where everything, including the language, is different from my normal. It’s refreshing to learn again. To communicate in broken sentences. To push through all those mistakes and uncomfortable moments.

Isn’t that what we do each and every time we create? We find our legs again and we start from scratch. We seek to communicate using our chosen language: written words, paint, ingredients, presentations. Sometimes we feel foolish. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes our message may seem like gibberish.

But sometimes we bring a smile. Sometimes our seeming nonsese makes someone laugh. Sometimes we change something in someone. All because we spoke the language that only we can speak.

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