All posts tagged: art

“Anything You Can Do I Can Do”…But Why Should I?: Creating My Way

First, the title of this article is not necessarily true in and of its self, but I am trying to paint a picture with words here, so follow along, will you? I am not sure if you are familiar with the old musical “Annie Get Your Gun” starring Betty Hutton and Howard Keel. In the movie, there is a song that they sing to each other. It’s more two people shooting arrogant verse at each other as if they are bullets. “Anything you can do I can do better. I can do anything better than you.” As creatives, we are all looking for our own place in the world, our own voice. Even when and while we are inspired by and appreciate the expressions of others, we can sometimes find ourselves looking at fellow creatives with competitive eyes. “I can do that and I can do it better. Maybe I should try.” Being human, no matter what we are aiming to do, we can all go ahead and admit we’ve  done that once or twice.  …

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. “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. When you start creating, developing your motion, the thing that you do not want to do is …

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

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. 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! May favorite quarters, however, are those within a day, made up of minutes and seconds. In a single day, you have 24 hours, 48 half hours and 96 QUARTERS! 96! 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 our craft seems like an impossible feat. It …

Coffee With Character…Or Tea. How to Get to Know Your Fictional Characters: A Creative Writing Exercise #WritingTip #Writing #CreativeWriting

Writing is such a cathartic expression. Be it used to create poetry, something literary, or a piece that is completely outlandish and full of adventure, writing is indeed a breath of fresh air. As writers, even in the face of an activity so purifying we often times find ourselves locked in a position where our creative muscles have not been trained to go, or rather have no idea how to get where we are trying to go.  This frustration is no different than Yoga. Sure, you have got “Downward facing dog” in the bag, but dare your muscles to attempt “Crane pose.” or “Forearm-standing Scorpion,” and you may find yourself stuck in between the attempt and nowhere near where you had hoped to be. And it all looked to so easy in the beginning. This writing exercise is all about getting ‘there,’ helping you stretch past the stiffness of your imaginative muscles, especially when it comes to the characters who are the life blood of the writing you may be working on. In order to …

What Did You Say?: 4 Steps to Building Up Your Craft with Words

We’ve all done it, said ugly things about our art, found the faults in our craft so much so that we alone have brought ourselves down into the very depths of discouragement’s dumps. (Take a look at Artful Aggression for more on that.) It’s an easy thing to do, really, to see what is wrong with what we’ve created. And let’s face it, nothing is ever really perfect not even your final draft. But even with that being the case there has to be something worth praising in the work that you have accomplished in its pre-polished form. So as an exercise, I am challenging you to create a list to combat all the negatives that you’ve said about your work in the past while giving you some keys to keep you positive in your creative future. STEP ONE: Identify your familiar negatives, the ones you say the most about your work. STEP TWO: For each familiar negative, create a positive response. Here, I’ll share my own top 3 negatives and do some positive combating as …

Writing like Chopsticks: 3 Tidbits to Help Improve Your Creative Flow

*Note: This post is an updated version from one I created in 2014. Nevertheless, eat up!…I mean, who doesn’t like leftovers? It amazes me how something as simple as Chopsticks can actually hold very profound power. After all, basic chopsticks are fashioned from two pieces of wood. They are nothing more than sticks, but to use them, to be able to feed yourself with them takes practice and elegant form. When thinking further about the analogy I made between Chopsticks and Time management, I realized the same holds true with creativity as a whole. To that end, I am to give you 3 tidbits to help you along your creative path. Your art is a living, organic thing. Allow it to grow in its own way.”~ Crystal Robinson Clark Years ago, I was having a conversation with my eldest sister, Crystal, about my art not doing what I wanted it to do and certainly not doing it within the window of time that I had set for it. Crystal’s response was that “Your art is a …

Writing Process: A Quote

In the writing process, the more the story cooks, the better. The brain works for you even when you are at rest. I find dreams particularly useful…You can only learn to be a better writer by actually writing.” ~Doris Lessing In our pursuit of writing the perfect prose, novel, short story, let us bless ourselves with the gift of time-time enough for our ideas and visions to proof and rise to their fullest potential. After all, I would much rather have a “meal” from a slow cooker than a microwave. Let’s treat the words we weave together with the same honor and respect, especially since we intend to feed them to someone else. Cheers!

Monday’s Muse: Free Flow Writing Prompt March 16th

OPENING LINE: He swirled the small glass beneath his nose, careful not to breath too deeply. RULES: Using the above line and the picture provided, create a story (or even a poem) within 15 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. My results will be posted on Thursday March 19th under the FICTION tab, then the WRITING PROMPTS AND EXERCISES, then MY WRITING PROMPT RESULTS. Cheers!

Rules versus Mighty Revelation

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. 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 first person narrative verses 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 Revelation? RULE:  principle governing conduct: an authoritative principle set forth …

Hearing the Sound of My Voice: Creative Discovery

We all know the little ditty “April showers bring May flowers.” We come out of winter (those of us who live above the Equator or who live in 4 season regions) only to find ourselves skipping between sunshine and rain, smiles and frowns, anxiety and hope. Is the winter really over or is nature just playing tricks on me? Before I go on let me just say rain is such an amazing thing. We often frown when it comes and we had been hoping for sunshine, but the sound of rain is so soothing. Its in the tremble of the water droplets and the crack and roll of thunder and lightening that we…rest. We calm down inwardly and are given moments of repose to think. The rain washes away but it also breathes new life…think on that for a while. Understanding creative voice is dependent upon listening to it when it speaks.” This April has given me so many of ups and downs and ins and outs. I have battled with time, struggled to maintain …