All posts tagged: art

The Beauty of Blinders: Taking Sight of Your Own Creativity

BLINDERS: something that obscures vision: something that prevents clear vision or understanding 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 creativity, the first definition of the word for ‘blinders’ is very negative. Being creative after all is about giving vision and making the obscure more understandable. But as creative people, there are times where blinders are a necessary tool that we should employ within our journeys, and actually, blinders become a great blessing when we employ them in our faith journeys as well. “True creativity 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. …

Artful Aggression: How We Abuse Our Creative Work & Why We Shouldn’t

Have you ever watched a movie, sat in horror or just sheer irritation as you witness one character (generally a parent or a lover) verbally abuse their child or partner? And as you are watching you begin to judge that character thinking, “Gosh, they are wrong. I would  never talk to my child like that.” The scene ends, the couple or family members come to some peaceful ground, and then the movie ends. “We cruelly victimize our art. Art’s greatest victimizer is often the one who created it.” The movie ends but the hypocrisy continues. In the Book of Matthew 7:5, Jesus says “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.“ You are probably wondering, what in the world does a scene from a movie and teaching from Jesus have to do with art. They have everything to do with art, even if indirectly. We as artist and writers  have a tendency to look at our creations the …

Words…Use Them Wisely

Life is more than words, but words do make up our lives. Have you ever considered how the simplest of words can change a person’s attitude either for the good or bad? Even the words spoken without verbalization have such great power. Consider a person who feels utterly alone, ignored and unseen. Let a stranger smile at them, genuinely smile at them, and that non-verbal interaction, those ‘words’ spelled out without sound, can push away the dark clouds in the recipient’s day. “Life is more than words, but words do make up our lives.”   God created the whole of creation with just His Words (Genesis 1). He spoke and it came to be. Our Lord Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1). He too spoke and things happened. He spoke to the fig tree and it died (Mark 11:12-25). He spoke to Lazarus and he was resurrected from the dead (John 11: 38-44). Being a person of faith I am compelled not to take language and words lightly even though I often stumble, …

The Almighty Quarter: 3 Ways to Make Creative Time in a Busy Day

Quarters are amazing! You can do so many activities with quarters. You can do laundry, you can play a game at an arcade with enough quarters (are those even a thing in today’s world?). You can purchase a cheap, hot cup of liquid motivation on your way to work with quarters. Once upon a time, you could make a phone call in a phone booth with a quarter. Packs of chewing gum used to be a quarter! I mean I could go on and on about how great quarters are! My favorite quarters, however, are those within a day, made up of minutes and seconds. In a single day, you have twenty-four hours, forty-eight half hours and ninety-six  QUARTERS! Nintey-six! Now, you are probably thinking, “What is the big deal?” “Time does not play fair. It plays mind tricks. More often than not, it will rob you, trick you and leave you frustrated…if you let it.” Here it is, as creative beings, who have full-time commitments away from our crafts, finding the time to cultivate …

Rules versus Mighty Revelation

*Revised from June 16, 2014 I have since I can remember, held firm to the belief that in any form of art, one must know the rules before they can properly break them, (thank you, Pablo Picasso). Being a person that is still learning to go through the process of things, I find that I often remind myself of this truth; learn the rules and then break them. Break them through revelation. In art, in writing, there are set rules for the ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s.’ Why does this color go with this one? Why must I tone my canvas before starting to paint? Why do I need to be concerned with the first-person narrative versus the third person? You get the drift. Creating, and being good at it, involves knowledge but it also includes a great level of instinct. Both go hand in hand. Rules will only take you so far but instinct powered by Revelation can take you to heights you never dreamed of. So what is the difference between the two; Rules and …

Five Ways to Maintain Creative Joy

Being a creative person is a gift, one that is inherent to us all. Whether you are a writer or an artist, an educator or a parent imagining a new way to get your kids to eat their broccoli, you are operating in your creative nature. For those us who want to take our creative passion to the next level and turn our hobbies into lucrative business ventures, we run the risk of facing burnout. This burnout isn’t just from working nonstop on something awesome. This burnout comes from being unprepared for the reality in the shift that we are making. When our passion becomes a business there is another level of accountability that we have to step into, a level that is not as ‘fun’ as creating itself but just as necessary if we are to be successful. With that in mind, I want to encourage you on ways to keep the glow of joy in your creating even as you stretch beyond your comfort zone and begin to make your passion available to …

Before you Take Flight…: The Icarus Syndrome

“You gave me wings to fly, and I melted them in the sun.”~ Candice Coates Just the other day I had a thought about false starts, creative false starts, in life, great attempts that reaped no rewards, and foiled efforts that had been torn asunder by the whirlwinds of life. I thought about my efforts and I how I began many projects with great zeal, ran into obstacles and then after becoming winded and wounded by “failure” felt like I had blown another chance. “…each failed attempt in our lives is not a matter of flying too high too soon or too low. Sometimes they are just training sessions to strengthen our tenacity muscles.”   The quote above came to mind, and I spoke it aloud. Immediately afterward I had a vision in my mind about the mythological character Icarus. He was given an opportunity, an open door if you would, but with it came two instructions: Do not fly too low to the sea because your wings will grow wet and it will be …

It All Begins with a Dream

*Article updated from August 25, 2014 “I sleep to dream, I dream to be inspired, and through inspiration, I live. Jesus  is my Inspiration.” ~Candice Coates I came up with that little ditty when I was sixteen or seventeen years old.  It was then that I created the image of myself resting and dreaming yet holding onto the Spirit of Peace.  For years I have been gleaning inspiration from the dreams that I live in each time I lay my head on my pillow at night. But even though I understand the importance of dreaming, I often encounter people who have no concept of dreaming at all. Not only do they shun the concept or idea of dreaming one’s way into a tailor-made future but they scoff at the idea of dreams born out of rest. “…dreaming is the pinnacle of imagination and thus the root of creativity.” What many fail to realize in their efforts to remain ‘practical’ is that dreaming is the pinnacle of imagination and thus the root of creativity. Authentic creativity …

Taking the Scenic Route: Moments of Creative Clarity

“…The race is not given to the swift…” ~Ecclesiastes 9:11 I am, by nature, a person who is all about using every second of every day to my advantage, constantly working out in my mind how to squeeze as much into a moment of productivity as I possibly can. I like to map things out in order to ensure that I have taken the shortest route but achieved the greatest return. I especially held this way of thinking in the world of my fiction writing. So when I set out for the third time in my writing career to complete the writing of a novel in thirty days, the first thought, besides what I would write about, was in how many words would I need to produce in a day. If you do not know, what makes a novel an official novel is the word count. This is the same with Novellas, Short Stories, etcetera. To have a novel, your manuscript must be made up of 50,000 words or more. Trusting God often means taking …

The Art of Tireless Pursuit: The Expression of Faith in Creativity pt 3

Faith is not only defined by giant leaps but is often reflected in the tiny steps.” ~Candice Coates A few years back, I was sitting in front of my television, watching some show on HGTV, eating a plate full of room temperature leftovers (good leftovers nonetheless,) when a thought popped in my head: You will never know where you are going if you never take a step.” ~Candice Coates The thought seemed simple enough, for, as I was watching HGTV, eating room temperature leftovers, I was also thinking about this creative platform, my writing career,  my art, and all the other things I had planned to do in that year which seemed to have been getting derailed from every angle. Truth be told, I am still thinking about all of these things. But when I first had these thoughts, I was thinking about my serial-blog-novel, ASCENSION GRAVEYARD. I will be honest, AG (for those of you who are just now tuning in, AG is my blog novel that I started writing in June of 2014…it …