Uplifting Conversations



Today's Creativity Wisdom:

Angela Hook

Angela Hook: Artist Interview
Wire Art: A Whole New Language
Become a Storyteller through Photography


Inspiring Conversations

Cathy Yardley: Chick-Lit Author
Joan Lefkowitz: 'Mother of Invention'
Jill Badonsky: Kaizen-Muse Founder
Quinn McDonald: Paper Artist & Coach
Sonia Wijts, Center for Adaptive Learning
Lilly Fluger, Artist & Cartoonist
Creative Careers Interviews Introduction


Jurgen Wolff

Four Brainstorming Guidelines
Power of Off-the-Wall Combinations
Be a Successful Part-Time Writer
Interview with Author Jurgen Wolff


Steve O'Keefe

Set the Page on Fire: Thinking, Talking, Writing, Reading


Judy Wood

Riding Lessons for Artists
Forging a New Path in Art and Life
It's (Almost) Never Too Late
The Basics are Basic
How Do We Learn and From Whom?
Community
Where am I, and where am I going?
Mirror, mirror


Marianne St. Claire

The Top 10 Benefits of Play
The Pendulum Swings Right to the Conceptual Age


Lynda Lehmann

Artist Lynda Lehmann Interview
Why Artists Create Art
Creating Art is an Affirmation of Life
What is Art? Traditional vs Abstract
What Good Art Does to Us
In Praise of Creative Process
Think Small (No, I'm not Joking...)
The Artist: 'Tortured Soul' or Joyous Participant?


Susan Anderson

Outer Child and Your Future
You, Two Years from Now Exercise
Dream House Guided Visualization
Healing Abandonment, a Creative Process


Hal Zina Bennett, PhD

Get Unreal: A Writing Exercise
Solitude and Creativity


Lisa Collazo, LSCW

The Power of Words
The Writer's Ailment: "Stuckitis"
Writing Out the Gremlin
The Emotional Writer


Peter Clothier
The Art of Looking At Art
'Slow Looking' Meditation
'Slow Looking' Silence
Peter Clothier 'Persist' Interview
Making Space
Heeding the Call
Nurturing the Artist Within
PERSIST: The Big Lie
Peter Clothier MIND WORK Interview
Today Is Thine: Tempus Fugit
Not Just a Number

Kimberly Wilson
Enlightened Work & Mindful Play
Your Life Is Art
6 Ways to Evoke Creativity
Modes of Creativity

Stephen Nachmanovitch
The Art of Is
Improvisation: Rubbing
Improv: Mushrooms & Tide Pools
Improvisation: Twists and Turns

Nancy Mills Interviews
Wine Maker Lane Tanner
Actress Sybil Temtchine
Mediabistro's Laurel Touby
'Girl Blue Project' Marlow Wyatt
Artist and Activist Ellen Spencer
,Spoken Word Artist Sally Shore
Cathy Salser: Window Between Worlds
Astrology Zone's Susan Miller
Swirly Girl Christine Mason Miller
Mystery Writer Rochelle Krich
Jewelry Designer Katy Leakey
Jet Set Modeling Cindy Kauanui
Mystery Writer Rochelle Krich
World Traveler Marie Javins
Radio Host Frances Halpern
Creative Sage's Cathryn Hrudicka
Author & Actress Fannie Flagg
Writer Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey
Entrepreneur Crystal Allene Cook
Frou Frou Flip Flops Alice
Lotus Blossom Style Tabby Biddle
Comedienne & Storyteller Roz Browne

Shakti Gawain
Shakti Gawain Interview
Becoming a Creative Channel
Trusting Intuition
Transforming Our World

Seeing Differently

A New Look at Photography

By Angela Hook

Photo by Angela HookSlipping behind the lens of a camera allows you to become a storyteller. Photos make people appreciate the things their naked eyes see every day. When someone recently told me that, I began to see my photography in a new way. For many years, a camera has been merely a tool that I have used to collect reference or record memories. Lately, I have been visually documenting my own personal love affair with horses. Observing these amazing, beautiful creatures in their natural environment is one of life's greatest pleasures for me. No posing. No portraits. Just bits and pieces of what makes a horse a horse. That's what I like to capture. 'Glimpses' of their magical world and how it crosses over into ours


Let the Wire Inspire

Wire Art: A Whole New Language

By Angela Hook

Horse wire sculpture by Angela HookYears of art appreciation and education led me to realize that art can be thought of as a language, spoken only by those Earthlings known as "artists." The remainder of the population requires interpreters in order to understand their messages. Hence, reading about art can be thought of as learning another language. Of course, this is always easier to do if you immerse yourself in the culture. If you want to learn to speak "art", then be an artist. If you are skeptical, and you are thinking that you could not possibly be an artist because you don't have a creative bone in your body, then you need to remember this: creativity does not come from your bones; it comes from your heart!


Creative Careers Interviews

Interview with Creative Wire Artist and Equestrienne Angela Hook

By Molly Anderson-Childers

Uplifting ConversationsQ: Tell us a little more about the fantastical, magical creatures you've lately been inspired to create.

A: Well, I recently received a commission to create a winged unicorn. This seemed reasonable, since it was really just a horse with accessories! I had a lot of fun creating that piece. Around the same time, I watched the movie 'Eragon', which tells a tale of dragons and their riders. From this, I was inspired to create a wire dragon. The basic form was unfamiliar to me, so it challenged both my skill and imagination. I would like to experiment further with creating fantasy creatures… maybe a centaur or a griffin?


Creative Careers Interviews

Interview with Chick-Lit Author Cathy Yardley

By Molly Anderson-Childers

Uplifting ConversationsQ: You have such a distinctive voice. Reading one of your books is a lot like chatting with a girlfriend. Tell us how you developed it as a novelist. Was it tough to cross over to the how-to market and still retain your individual voice and style?

A: I didn't really develop my voice, per se. That's just how I write. The lucky part was finding Chick Lit, which fit my voice so perfectly. I used to try writing historical romance novels, then I tried writing mystery — and boy, was that disastrous! Once I found Chick Lit and romance, I realized where I'd been going wrong. The how-to market wasn't difficult, considering it was still for a subject I love and one where the voice made it a natural fit. It'd be interesting to see if my voice was embraced in something that tends to be more academic, like "how to get a mortgage" or something.


Creative Careers Interviews

Joan Lefkowitz: 'The Mother of Invention' at Accessory Brainstorms

By Molly Anderson-Childers

Uplifting ConversationsQ: As unlikely as it seems, you started your professional life as a drama teacher. How and why did you make the transition to a new career as a fashion accessory designer's sales representative?

A: I wanted to expand my life experience by taking on something that I did not know and learn how to do it. I made a list of my interests, and my strengths and weaknesses. I pruned my list and found I was most interested in taking innovative unknown products and making them available to people. Many inventors lack the business experience to get their products from 'mind to market.' We give seminars at the Learning Annex, the Fashion Institute of Technology Continuing Education Department, and the Yankee Invention Convention, laying out the steps to take to get an invention ready for the marketplace.


Creative Careers Interviews

Punny Cartoonist and Artist Lilly Fluger

By Molly Anderson-Childers

Art by Lilly FlugerQ: When did you first discover your talent for cartooning and painting?

A: Which came first? I am discovering my talent still. Some days more than others. I don't really know how it all started, but I wanted to be happy and laugh, and lighten up the seriousness of my life. So I played around with cartoon drawings. I wanted to be important and popular and be liked, so I tried to be clever and funny and get others to laugh. Painting came after. In Portland, I signed up for a cartooning class. I arrived a bit late to notice that lots of adults were leaving the building. Was it cancelled? I head inside, and open the door, to see that it's filled with kids! Those were the moms leaving (who had driven their kids to the class). Everybody was 4-10 years old, 90% boys, and me! I felt so strange at first, but then realized, hey, I'm with my correct age group!


Set the Page on Fire

Thinking, Talking, Writing, Reading

By Steve O'Keefe

Set the Page on FireAll writing originates in thought, so it's understandable that thinking and writing sometimes get confused. It is amazing how many people, myself included, think of the thought streams in our minds as "writing." That is a seduction to be avoided. I've spoken with dozens of people who want to be authors — and think they already are — because they have thoroughly worked-out streams of stories and articles in their heads. Until you translate those thoughts into words, you're not writing. You're thinking. They're two different things.


Slow Looking

Series Spotlight

The Value of 'Slow Looking' with Peter Clothier

Slow Looking: The Art of Looking At Art is based on the “One Hour/One Painting” sessions Peter began offering a number of years ago to practice a more profound and rewarding way of looking at art. Combining the skills of meditation and contemplation, it invites participants to sit with a single work of art for a full hour; and by extension it models the way in which the mind benefits from the simple practice of paying close attention — whether in art or, more broadly, in life itself.

The Art of Looking At Art | 'Slow Looking' Meditation | 'Slow Looking' Silence


The Enlightened Way to Clear Writer's Block

The Physicality Of Inspiration

By Tom Evans

WritingThe brain is about two per cent of the adult total body weight but consumes something like 25 percent of the energy from our bodies. It also burns about 25 percent of the body's nutrients and it is estimated it takes 70 percent of the glucose we consume. This is one reason we can faint to protect ourselves, as I mentioned earlier, and you can become mentally exhausted if you are thinking and processing too many things. This is, of course, where using your vestigial minds really comes into its own. It might come as no surprise that with all this new brain and mind activity, it is a good idea to pay attention to our fuel intake.


Reflect & Write

Crossing Bridges

By Hank Kellner

BridgeUnder construction from 1933 to 1937, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world. In fact, it’s been declared a modern Wonder of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Not all bridges, however, are majestic enough to earn such praise. But even the humblest bridge can help to trigger ideas that inspire either poetry or prose.


The Nine Modern Day Muses

Muse Spills: The Beauty of ImperFection

By Jill Badonsky, MEd

Symbol of SpillsI've written on the art of making mistakes and of being imperfect in the creative process — I've made several mistakes in the course of my career, my creative process, my relationships and with a turn off I took in east L.A during rush hour. Mistakes are requirements for growth and discovery. They are rituals of initiation at the beginning of a process and scare off 80% of people pursuing a path that could bring so much joy and reward if they only allowed themselves to be imperfect. So many people really do hesitate to follow their bliss because they fear failure or cannot tolerate their own incompetence at the beginning of a process — where they are supposed to be nothing but incompetent and nonjudgmental. I find this is particularly rampant with people who are very competent in another area of their lives or would like to return to a creative arena where they were once very productive and successful. Their unrealistic expectations immobilize them.


Author Interviews

'Writing Dangerously' Interview with Author Barbara Abercrombie

By New World Library

Barbara AbercrombieThrough her years teaching writing at UCLA Extension, Barbara Abercrombie has heard repeatedly that writing is painful, scary, even dangerous. In this Q&A, Barbara discusses what dangerous writing means, why it's important, and how Writing Dangerously is different from other books on creative writing. She notes, "It's important to write our stories, no matter how hard it might be. No one can tell your story the way you can. And each story is unique and precious and needs to be told."


Books & Printables

Origami Money Plant Project

By Chris Dunmire

Money PlantWith fake fun printable 'Cashius monetarius' seed packet! As featured in Money: Everything You Never Knew About Your Favorite Thing to Find, Save, Spend, and Covet by Sandra and Harry Chonron, this unique origami money plant makes a delightful gift to create, but hard to give away! Learn how to make this truly memorable craft with my with easy-to-follow instructions in a fully-illustrated, step-by-step 23-page project book.


Rock Painting Tutorial

Painted Desert Cactus in Flower Planter

By Ernestina Gallina

Rock PaintingYou don't need a green thumb to grow this cactus, only rocks and acrylic paint! This everlasting, non-thorny cactus with its bright colors will decorate any corner of your home or office. Just choose an ordinary rock whose shape suggests the plant's shape, pot it, and finally paint it to resemble a real cactus!

365 Pictures

Today's Photo Prompt

Inspiring & Uplifting

Deal of a Lifetime

By Lilly Fluger

Art by Lilly Fluger

In our world of shopping and commerce, coupons and rebates, one-click buying, price comparisons, free trial offers, 2 for 1 sales, and "drastically reduced sale prices", it seems that everyone wants to find a good deal. And that makes simple good sense. But perhaps we've all forgotten that we've already gotten our best possible deal: We each 'got to' be born for free. I didn't pay to be born, did you? This idea hit me over the head the other day with a bonk of gratitude and a delightful fresh new perspective. I realized that I have a whole free life! But that's not all.


Engaging Series


Your Writing Coach
with Author Jurgen Wolff


Thinking, Talking, Writing, Reading
Set the Page on Fire with Steve O'Keefe


Riding Lessons for Artists
with Equestrian & Artist Judy Wood


Celebrating the Ubiquitous Beauties of the World
Artistic Perspectives with Lynda Lehmann


In Praise of the Creative Spirit
Persist with Peter Clothier


Taming Your Outer Child and Healing Abandonment
Exercises & Visualizations with Susan Anderson


Get Unreal; Solitude & Creativity
Write Starts with Hal Zina Bennett, PhD


The Art of Looking at Art
Slow Looking with Peter Clothier


Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching™ Features
with Jill Badonsky, MEd


The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman
with Danielle Dulsky


Body Blissmass: Creativity & Wellness
with Jill Badonsky, MEd


Cre8ng People, Places & Possibilities
with Robert Alan Black, PhD


The New Wisdom of Doodling
with Chris Dunmire


Visual Journaling Prompts & Altered Art
with Violette


Guide to Publishers, Editors & Agents
with Jeff and Deborah Herman


Writing from the Deeper Self
with Naomi Rose


Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock
with Marney Makridakis


Repudiating the Damaging Admission that You're Not Creative
with Kate Quinlan