Tag: art

Creative Mondays #001 – An Introduction


To me, being creative is something that has become second nature.  It is now like breathing or blinking to me.  I just have to create.  I’m not saying all of it is good, but I just have this, almost instinctive, desire to constantly create things.

It has actually been that way for a very long time.  As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to ‘put on a show.’  I can remember recording the audio from cartoons off of television and then rounding up neighborhood kids and putting them through rehearsals to act out the cartoons in front of our parents.  When mom and dad would have friends over I would organize the kids to do a lip sync number or something and then drag all the parents to watch it at some point in the evening.  As a kid I also loved to draw, though I was never any good at it.  I’m still not but I continue to do so anyway.  I also loved to sing along with records and strum on plastic guitar (though I didn’t know any chords).  I was just always trying to think of someway to entertain people.

I was very lucky.  My parents encouraged all this.  Sure, they would have liked me to focus a little more on my studies and less on drawing or writing, but they never told me I couldn’t pursue these passions.  As I reached high school and started getting involved in theatre and band, they became very involved.  Mom in the Drama Boosters and dad building sets for the shows.  Again, I know exactly how lucky I am to have had that support and that is largely responsible for why creating is so important to me now.

At the beginning of 2012, for some odd reason, I just started posting daily Facebook posts and Tweets on Twitter that shared a short thought on some aspect of creating.  I would sometimes sit down and think of them for the week or sometimes I would just go day after day coming up with one for each day.  These daily postings seemed to catch on with people resulting in a lot of ‘Likes’ and ‘ReTweets.’  People would message me privately and let me know the little quotes were inspiring them to be creative in their daily lives and one person even wrote that because of these daily postings, they had left their full time job, partially, to pursue a creative career.  Whoa, that’s heavy.

After a couple of weeks of these daily postings, I started to run dry.  I had been keeping good track of them, but all the new thoughts I was coming up with were either duplicates of or very similar too ones I had put out earlier, so I stopped.  But, as I said, I was keeping good track of them and the thought hit me to take each little thought and then write a three hundred to five hundred word piece on each of them and release them on this blog every Monday.  My goal is to do this for a whole year so that by the end of 2014 I’ll have 52 short pieces on different aspects of creativity.  I already have fifteen written, not including this intro post, so it’ll continue for fifteen weeks at least.

I would really love this to become something interactive as well.  I’d love to hear your feedback on this “Creative Mondays” project as a whole and the weekly posts when they come out.  Also, if you feel so inclined, I welcome you to share these posts with anyone you feel would enjoy them.  Also, at the end of each piece I will post a question or prompt and I’d love for you to post your response in the comments below.  Feel free to interact with other readers as well.  Though creativity is not a decisive tops, I ask you please keep discussion civil and supportive.  Comments will be moderated.  Let’s get a really good creative discussion going!

See you next week for Creative Mondays #001!

This week’s prompt….

Introduce yourself and tell us what your main creative passion is.  (Writing?  Drawing?  Painting?  Sculpting?  Woodworking?  Digital art? Etc.)  Tell us in the comments below!

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Health, Decide & Love in 2014.

It is the start of a new year and so time to pick three new words I’m going to attempt to focus on in my life for 2014.  This is a practice I picked up from C.C. Chapman‘s book Amazing Things WIll Happen.

Last year my three words were Create.  Rebuild.  Live.  I would say out of those three I hit Create the hardest.  I certainly was not wanting for creative projects to occupy my time.  The Live focus also got some attention this year, but not nearly enough as I would have liked.  The Rebuild portion was a hard one.  Rebuilding relationships often takes more than one person and, despite efforts, I was not always successful in this arena, though small steps were made.

But those were the words for last year, it’s time to focus on the words for this year.

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Health. A lot of people make the old Heath resolution in January and it falls by the wayside weeks later.  Back in October, I focused on health for 20 days and it worked.  Not only that, it was easy.  But then I went to Toronto and instead of keeping going it all flew out the window.  Any gains I made were lost.  And then some.

So for 2014 I have a goal of taking better care of my self.  Yes, this includes eating right, exercising and losing weight, but it means more than just that.

Sleep.  My sleep in 2013 was horrible.  Most nights I’d go to bed after 1am then I’d be awake at 5am or earlier and just be completely unable to fall back asleep.  Usually because my brain starts going a million miles per hour.  As part of the word ‘Health’ for 2014, I need to discover why this happens and work on ways to make sure it stops happening.
Health also includes mental health.  Over the past year I have been, semi-regularly, seeing therapist.  I’ve been to two different ones over the course of the year looking for one that works but neither seem to. I’m realizing that it might not be the thing for for me.  I’ve found that a drive, late at night, on the freeway with the windows down and music blaring will usually make me feel better than an hour (or 50 minutes) of therapy.  If that’s true, I need to find other things that do the same.
I turn 40 this year and though I believe you can always make a change no matter what age you are, I feel this is a turning point and if I develop the proper habits right now they’ll last me for however long I have left on this planet.
Decide.  Despite having a lot of professional work in 2013, time spent working on projects I was truly passionate about was few.  I’m not ashamed to say that there were several moments in 2013 where I was pretty much convinced that, for my sanity, I had to get out of this business.  That being the business of attempting to land something at least minimally life supporting in the creative arts.
I spent a large part of the year angry.  Angry, jealous and bitter.  I was at an audition a few months ago and bumped I to a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile and as we talked I got off on some sort of rant about something or other in the entertainment world and he said, “Yeah, but you don’t want to wind up a bitter old man do you?”   That clicked in my head.  Was I just becoming this bitter old guy?   Were the years of trying to ‘make it’ grinding me down that much?  Was obsessing about people and projects I perceived as much less talented or creative than me who got big breaks making me a ‘bitter’ old man?
I think so.
So 2014 is all about deciding.  I need to decide on the best ways to continue in this business, if I am going to continue.  Sadly, the ways I’ve been trying either don’t work or, I think more likely, are not working anymore.  Instead of becoming more and more frustrated with how little traction my Saturday Morning Media projects get, I think I have to find a new way to go about presenting them.  I need to decide how I am to deal with the ups and downs of this business.  I, actually, used to be pretty good at it.  I need to find my way back there.
I need to decide to pursue projects that will make me happy.  Not just pursue projects ‘because I need the money.’  Unfortunately, this one is already broken for 2014, because I committed to a project I’m just not feeling but I needed the money.  At least I know that and will attempt to avoid avoid that mistake further on in 2014.
Love.  This one kinda goes hand and hand with Decide up above.  I need to find a way to Love more.  Love the life I have, love the people around me.  Love how things are going in my life.
As I mentioned above I spent a lot of 2014 angry.  Angry for the things I didn’t have or the things people did to me.  I need to learn to love what I have.  I need to learn to, not love, the people who wrong me, but cut them out of my life so I can keep focus that love elsewhere.
I have it pretty good.  I get to do things a lot of people would PAY to do.  I need to remember that.  I need to learn to love that.
I wrote in my Annual Review yesterday that there was a moment on stage in Toronto where I just broke out into a big smile.  I was so happy because I was loving exactly what I was doing at that moment.  I need to start finding that feeling in all other aspects of my life and if I don’t love what I’m doing or who I’m with, I need to stop.
I think finding more of the things I love will also help with the whole health thing too.
In his book, C.C. Chapman suggest posting your three words somewhere where you’ll see them everyday.  I didn’t do that last year and, perhaps, that is why I didn’t get as much progress on them as I wanted.  I’m going to give it a try this year.  Post them at home, in my office, and anywhere else I can find to put them.
Okay, here we go!
Soon…Goals for 2014.
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