The Beauty of Blinders: Taking Sight of Your Own Creativity #CreativeEncouragement #Creativity #Individuality

BLINDERS:

  1. something that obscures vision: something that prevents clear vision or understanding
  2. eye covers for horse: a pair of flaps attached to a horse’s bridle, one beside each eye, to keep the horse looking straight ahead.Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

In terms of art and creativity, the first definition of the word for Blinders is very negative. Art, after all, is about giving vision and making the obscure more understandable.

But as an artist and as creative people, there are times where Blinders are a necessary tool that we should employ within our journeys.

Real art is not about competition it is about the newness of authenticity. Authentic creativity speaks not only for the artist, but to the artist as well as the audience, and comes from a place within.

Blinders that cover our eyes from distractions, things that keep us from our vision, and looking ahead, staying on the path, are very beautiful and worthwhile.

When you start creating, developing your motion, the thing that you do not want to do is to think, “How can I be different from the person next to me?” When you start your creative process with that mindset being your base or foundation, (and many of us have) you keep yourself from tapping into your true creativity.

What you are essentially doing is looking ‘outwardly’ at what the person next to you is doing, and you are taking what they have created, and have made that your foundation or base. You are putting icing on an already iced cake.

Your individuality begins from within it doesn’t take root from without…”

Digression. Spring-boarding off of the work of others, using their vision as a tool or muse, is one thing. It’s a means of learning. This is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about creative competition and anxiety which is the knife that cuts the throat of many of fantastically creative people.

People who run their creative race with the eyes on the competition never reach their fullest potential. They begin the race with a goal in mind and never reach the finish line because their eyes stayed on the ‘horse’ in the other lane. Ultimately, they ended up crashing and burning, trying to be like the one next to them but never becoming the best expression of themselves.

Real art is not about competition it is about the newness of authenticity. Authentic creativity speaks not only for the artist, but to the artist as well as the audience, and comes from a place within.

When you look ‘inwardly,’ which is a revelation (even if someone else’s work has led you to do so) and you get a new creative revelation that is authentic that speaks from the core of who you are, then at that point you can really  begin to glean from the creative wisdom of others.

From there you can take aspects and concepts of what others have created and from there say, “How can I use this expression and make it my own?” while still holding on to your own individuality.

You create your own lane and forge a new path of inspiration.

Your individuality begins from within, it doesn’t take root from without…if that makes sense. It requires taking an introspective glance into the dark places deep within ourselves and learning our own true voice and song.

Many do not dare dive that deep for fear of what they will find.

We as creatives shouldn’t look around and think “How can I be different?” Instead ask yourself “How can I continue to be me, learn who I am as an artist,  and continue to climb each rung of this ladder of creative enlightenment. How can I rise higher by getting a hand up by other artists and creatives by gleaning the wisdom that they have already produced?”

I hope my words were understood and have given a bit of encouragement to help you soar even higher.

Thanks for reading! And keep it Creative!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Divorcing Perfect: The First Step in Sowing Seeds for Creative Success #SeizetheDream #Goals #MotivationMondays

Welcome to Week 1 of “Sow the Seeds, Seize the Dream 12 Week Creative Course.” I have to say that more than anything I am super excited about embarking on this journey with you.

No matter what your creative goals are, I want to see you soar!

Taking the steps, harnessing the faith and courage to walk on the waters of our curious creativity, is a grand thing and certainly not one to be taken lightly.

This is a big deal. You, making the decision to find your creative voice, to try something outside of your comfort zone, but oh so impressed upon your heart with a million ‘what ifs’ is a big deal.

The reality is everything will be as good as it is meant to be in the stage of development that it is in.

Today we begin with a simple but necessary introduction to the path we are going to take. Like with any journey, it is important that one counts the cost and gets ready for the road ahead.

The biggest hurdle we as creatives must leap over (we as humans) is that of ‘Perfectionism.’

  • PERFECTIONISM: The inability to accept anything that is below the standard of perfection.

Today, I just want to talk to you about how crippling ‘perfectionism’ can be and give you a few steps to move beyond this so-called giant.

I remember for over a period of five years I had gathered a mouthwatering collection of art supply, from paints to pens, paper, canvases … you name it, I pretty much had it. All of it gathered to create glorious art, but all of it gathered little more than dust as the fear of making something less than perfect crippled my hands from moving.

For five years my creativity bottle-necked because I was afraid to mess up the cotton fibers of my papers. I was simply afraid, afraid my results would not match my original design, afraid I would fail, afraid I wouldn’t measure up to the expectations of others … simply afraid.

Can you relate to that?

Many of us have a dream but do nothing with it, not because we are careless, but because we have become overly careful. Many times this ‘care’ which is actually insecurity and worry is birthed the fear of not being good enough.

The reality is everything will be as good as it is meant to be in the stage of development that it is in.

As the book of Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 puts it: What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”

A five-year-old playing a mean tune of “Chopsticks” has done a fantastic job even though that song doesn’t compare in the minds of many to “Moonlight Sonata.” But if the five-year-old continues to try his or her hand at simplistic tunes until their muscles have learned to flow into something like “Jingle-Bells,” then there is hope that they will grow into pieces composed by Mozart and Beethoven.

This truth holds the same for ALL CREATIVES. We have to make peace with the truth that growing in our creativity is a messy business and will require some keys being played out of tune, some colors being poorly mixed, even some words being used out of context.

The mistakes are all a part of the growth process and actually, some things birthed out of imperfection have actually proven to be quite perfect. Here are a few examples:

  • Cream Cheese: Cream cheese was the IMPERFECT mistake made in 1872, created by American dairymen, William Lawrence of Chester, N.Y. In Mr. Lawrence’s attempt to create the French cheese called Neufchatel, he imperfectly, yet perfectly, created Cream Cheese which is a hit! I mean what is a bagel without cream cheese, and don’t get me started on cheesecake.
  • Ganache: I heard it on a Food show years ago that this chocolatey delight was created by a chef ‘accidentally’ and thusly, imperfectly knocking cream into some heated chocolate. In his attempt to create something else, this confection was invented.
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies: In 1938 American Chefs,  Ruth Graves Wakefield and Sue Brides imperfectly yet perfectly came up with just about every cookie lover’s dream. Now, according to some, the chef’s were attempting to create a chocolate cookie, believing that the chocolate chips would melt in the batter only to find that the did not, but no one is complaining over that!

The point of these delicious examples is that there are people the world and time over who have stepped out of their comfort zones to attempt something new to them only to be blessed by the results of their imperfection. (I used food examples to whet your creative appetites.) They had a dream and vision for something and what they ended up with, although imperfect by some standards, ended up being better than they had imagined. They didn’t just set out to be perfect they set out to take hold of their creative dreams.

Today, we have the same opportunity as the folks mentioned. We can step out, divorcing the fear of perfectionism, but raising our expectation for something good to happen in us and through us creatively over the next 12 weeks.

CREATIVE FAITH IN ACTION:

  • Commit to a new definition of perfection. Find perfection in the ‘completion’ of each creative step required to get you from dream to vision, not in the flawless result of what you currently view as perfect. (For each person, this will be different. What is needed for an amateur make-up artist to complete is not the same as an aspiring author. )
  • Commit to attempting your creative endeavor while embracing the glory of imperfection. As Zig Ziglar put it, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly . . . until you can learn to do it well.” 
  • Commit to acknowledging the goodness in each effort you have made toward your dream and call it ‘good.’ As in the dawn of Creation, The Lord God, at the end of His daily efforts of Creation, He blessed His work and called it GOOD! Yes, He had a bigger picture in mind (end result) but He acknowledged the goodness in the steps He’d made toward that goal. We have to do the same.

SCRIPTURE FOCUS:

ADDITIONAL READING:

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS:

  • How have you defined perfection?
  • How has your definition affected your creativity?
  • What advice would you share with others who have struggled to take hold of or regain their footing in conquering their dreams and goals?

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THIS 12 WEEK JOURNEY, SEE Gearing Up to Prepare for Your Creative Success: Seeds We Sow

(Also, get yourself a journal and write dow your thoughts. It will be great to see how far you’ve grown in the coming weeks!)

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt: June 26th 2017 #AmWriting #CreativeWritingPrompt #Monday’sMuse

OPENING LINE (S): “He glanced back again, surely more times than was necessary. They had lost his trail and were no longer following him, at least he prayed they weren’t.”

RULES: 

  • Using the above line and the picture provided, (Or a line of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within up to 20 minutes.
  • Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add a link in the comments section of THIS POST to your story for others to read, as well as a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag “Monday’s Muse.”
  • To get the Above Image follow this LINK

If you do not have a blog of your own, leave me a comment and send me an email to icameforthesoup@gmail.com and I will post your lovely words here on my blog.

(PLEASE KEEP ENTRIES THAT NEED TO BE POSTED ON THIS SITE WITHIN A PG13 RANGE. THANK YOU)

My results will be posted by Friday.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

As Sure as His Eyes Were Blue: A Poem #Monday’sMuse #Romance #Poetry

The warmth of his hand against hers warmed her far deeper than the coffee she held, and it was totally unexpected.

The blessed bliss, the memory of their first kiss, was instantly resurrected.

How touch and hold and glimpses from his eyes could turn the tide with truth, a truth so deep, of love so sweet, and as sure as his eyes were blue.

She dared not move, nor even breath, though the need pressed against her lungs.

The smile he gave was what she’d craved assuring her new things had begun.

THE END

*Creativity is a funny thing. This began as a short and wove its way into poetry. These are my results for Monday’s Muse June 19th, 2017

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

The Right Time: Writing Prompt 1 Results

Writing Prompt: “3rds” Song: The Right Time, by Warren Barfield (Click the song title to read lyrics and hear the song.) Album:“Red Bird” 3rd line in 3rd verse of 3rd song: “We were barely getting by” Note: From my view, I have chosen to count the chorus as a verse. To view the original Prompt & Rules, click HERE.

The Right Time

“We were barely getting by. Carlos liked to believe that everything was just fine, but me, I knew better. Seven days straight drinking cold water and wearing underclothes that were so filthy they could stand up straight on their own was not fine.

“Life’s too short to be gripping all the time.” Carlos managed to throw that line at me every time I looked like I was going to wage a complaint. In all honesty, there wasn’t anything that Carlos could do that he wasn’t already doing to make things any better. We had a roof over our heads, really it was a tent he had managed to pinch from some local store a few months back. He hated stealing, but he hated being cold more than that.

More than just being dirty, finding our stomachs growling louder than any conversation we could seem to have, what seemed to bother me the most was his optimism. I suppose one of us had to be the optimist. One of us had a whole long life to live and the other…well the other of us was on precious borrowed time, time that should never be spent with complaints, no matter how much clay gets caught underneath your fingernails.

Apart from the stealing, we did other things that weren’t always on the shining side of the law. All of it was harmless. Just two kids out pocking a joke or two with no cares in the world besides seeking a good laugh and make believing we were a pair of lost boys on Neverland.

That was mostly true.

There wasn’t much to care about besides living in that moment. At least I let Carlos believe that I believed that. That is what friends are for, to laugh with, cry with, and run away with when it seems there is no hope.

Homes for the un-adoptables. What is it that makes a kid unwanted, unable to be placed? What does being unadoptable even mean? Did it mean that Carlos and I, and a slew of others, were broken, mistakes, unfit for love?

Carlos somehow managed to not think so. He said it meant we were born free. It meant we were created without confines and made to live in the dreams that others would never get to live.

I had always been the realist, not so much a pessimist, but a guy willing to look at the facts and call a spade a spade. We weren’t wanted because we were too old. Thirteen isn’t cute and cuddly. Carlos said if age had anything to do with it then what made us not cute when we were babies in the system?

I kept the hard truth to myself. One of us wasn’t wanted because of sickness and a quick expiration date on life. Parents didn’t want that. They wanted to be grandparents. That meant their kid had to grow up. If they wanted to watch the beginning and end of a life in less than twenty years they would get a puppy, not a thirteen-year-old old boy.

That is why we ran away. That is why I ran away and I am so glad that I did because if I hadn’t done so, ten years ago, I would have never gotten to see Carlos reach the height of his life. I would have never come out of my shell and anger. I would have never been able to tell his grandmother, seven months after he passed, what a great kid he was. I would have never been adopted by her and become the man I am today if it wasn’t for Carlos.

THE END.

I really enjoyed writing this and seeing how the story unfolded around that first line, “We were barely getting by.” I felt like I was taking a risk, hitting on a subject that is so sensitive to many, being an “unwanted” child, lost in the system. I hope I was able to bring the short tale full circle and create a tale that is uniquely its own apart from the song that lent its inspiration.  Thanks for reading, and I will be posting my BONUS round next week!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

“3rds”: Creative Writing Prompt #AmWriting #Story #CreativeWritingPrompt

There is nothing like a good writing prompt to help get your muse muscling along. I, for one, enjoy those with a time limit as well as quirky rules to follow.

This one is called “Thirds.”

TIME LIMIT: 20min (This is from the moment you put your pen to the pad or start typing…and yes, we are under an honor system here.)

DESCRIPTION: Music is a big part of our inspiration. We all listen to music. But how much does music shape the art that we go forth to create? Are we conscious of its effects on us, and if so (if you weren’t before) how can we take this knowledge and harness this inspiration to create something fresh and authentic and on purpose?

RULES:

  1. Choose the album that you are currently listening to or listening to the most, and select the 3rd track on the album.
  2. Play the track over 3 times.
  3. Get a hold of the lyrics, go to the 3rd stanza/verse and then select the 3rd line. (If your song does not have such stanza’s then just grab the 3rd line in the verse)
  4. Weave a story or poem of your own around this 3rd verse and see what you come up with within 20min.
  5. Remember to include the Track you are working from via Youtube to your post if possible. If not, just add the title of the song and the band etc.

BONUS ROUND:

*Instead of using music, use a book or poem that you are reading. Select the 3rd chapter and the 3rd line, and weave a story/poem around that line, making it your own.

**I will post my results NEXT WEEK**

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Gearing Up to Prepare for Your Creative Success: Seeds We Sow #MotivationMonday #SiezetheDream #Creative

“The little seeds sown today become the fruit trees of our tomorrows.” ~Candice Coates

The Word of God says that whatever we sow that we shall also reap (Galatians 6:7). When it comes to our creativity, like our faith or life in general, we still reap what we sow.

If you sow seeds of laziness or even fear of failure and choose not to make the time to create today, tomorrow you will have nothing but the fruit of regret.

But if you take the time, get your hands dirty and press past your barriers and fears, sowing seeds of action, even when it seems fruitless, soon and very soon you will eat of the fruits of success.

I want to help you sow your creative seeds! I want to help you find your success.

Success isn’t solely found in book deals or high priced paintings, but in the knowledge that you accomplished a challenging goal. In your efforts, you grew. That is always worthy fruit.

Let’s grow together!

MISSION FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS:

Over the next 12 Mondays, I would like you to journey with me in sowing seeds to capture your divine and creative vision for tomorrow.

We will:

  • ‘Turn the soil’ of our creative ground and prep it to be fruitful
  • Relay proper foundations to build creatively upon
  • Learn how to design our personal roadmaps to ‘creative success’
  • Find out what it means to Dream, Imagine, Believe, Do, and, CONQUER!

WILL YOU JOIN ME?:

Will you make a commitment to join me in this journey? If so, please

  • Follow ICFTS if you aren’t already
  • Invite others to join by spreading the word and sharing this post on social media
  • Make a commitment at the end of this journey to Sign my GUESTBOOK sharing how ICFTS has blessed you and helped you grow creatively

I look forward to sharing this creative table with you.

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS:

  • What steps have you taken to walk into your creative dreams thus far?
  • What were/are some things that were/are holding you back?
  • What advice would you share with others who have struggled to take hold of or regain their footing in conquering their dreams and goals?

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!