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Twenty Questions Interview with Bonnie Neubauer : Page 2 of 2

20 Questions Interview
with Bonnie Neubauer

continued from page 1

11. What challenges have you faced?

I have so many ideas that it's hard to know which to choose to pursue. I realize that some are just small ideas that I need to explore to get to the next big idea. And others are minor parts of a bigger whole. My job is to trust myself as I pick and choose which ones to let go and which ones to take to the next level. It's a delicate dance and the challenge comes from constantly questioning my choices.

12. What worked for you?

Being part of a non-critiquing organization where all sorts of creative people gathered to set goals and show their work. That group no longer exists and I miss it. But I make it my point to share my goals and my work with others who I know will appreciate my process and be encouraging. Unsolicited critiques are deadly.

13. What didn't work for you?

Being a full-time creative person hasn't seemed to work for me. At the moment I need a couple daytime jobs to help me structure my creative time. For me, creativity seems to flourish when there are limitations on my time.

14. What three tips can you share with those starting on a similar path?

a. Visualize what it is you are working towards. Do this creative goal visualization often.

b. Keep up your momentum by working toward your creative goal at least 5 times a week. Five minutes a day for five days is better than twenty-five minutes once a week.

c. If you ever feel stuck, do something that is creatively playful so you can rediscover the joy you initially felt when you started on this creative path.

Bonnie Neubauer's JoyRox

15. What are you working on now?

I have been working on a fairly new project called JoyRox. It involves painting geometric shapes on rocks and then secretly leaving the rocks for others to find. The joy comes when I create the rocks and also when people find these hidden rock gifts. Each of the Rox has written on the underside so that people who find them can go to the website, scan the photo gallery, and discover the name of their JoyRock. When people let me know they have adopted the rock, I post that in the caption. My intention had been to be anonymous for this project, but when I set up the Facebook page, I accidentally posted some revealing info under my real name. I am quite good at keeping big secrets, but little ones, like blurting out presents I bought for people, just seem to slip from my lips.

16. What's coming up for you in the next year?

I would really like to get one of my board games published (and see it sold in Barnes & Noble along with my books). I have made a commitment to myself to do more play-testing and more fine-tuning and to send out at least 3 games to publishers during the 2012 calendar year.

17. What else do you desire/dream to do?

For me, part of the creative process involves an element of surprise so I don't like to project too far into the future. That said, it would be wonderful if there were JoyRox placed all over the world, bringing joy to thousands as their hiding places are discovered. Running workshops where people make their own Rox would be fun. In these workshops my goal would be to teach others who believe they can't draw (what I thought about myself exactly a year ago before I made a commitment to doodle every day) that they can. I run workshops like this for creative writing, so I am pretty sure I can figure out how to do it with visual art.

18. How will you make that happen?

I commit to brainstorming and then outlining an agenda for a JoyRox workshop. I will then invite 6 people (not known for having any prowess whatsoever in the visual arts) to attend for free if they are willing to be guinea pigs. We'll see what magic happens in the workshop before I plan the next phase.

19. What question do you want to answer that's not on this list?

Everyone always asks me where my ideas come from, so that will be my question. Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from the equation 1+1=3. What that means is that I take 2 things I already know, combine them (1+1), and come up with a third new thing (=3).

Take the creation of JoyRox as an example:

1: I am always collecting rocks so I have many of them hanging around.


1: I spent 2011 learning how to have confidence in drawing by working through a page-a-day doodling calendar. I also attended a class in Zentangle after which I bought a few books on Zentangle by Sandy Steen Bartholomew. One of these books showed Zentangle on rocks.


3: Rather than use typical black and white Zentangle patterns, I decided to doodle colorful geometric shapes on my rocks!

Once I get to the end result of the equation, I often apply the equation yet again. That's true in the case of JoyRox. Here's the next 1+1=3:

1: I had a big pile of decorated rocks hanging around.


1: I saw a documentary titled Exit Through the Gift Shop about street art and street artists. I liked that the artists all took on monikers and I found the secrecy of what they did very appealing. I didn't like the part about defacing public property.


3: I decided to put a name on all the rocks and then hide them in the great outdoors for others to find. That's pretty much how was born.

20. What's your Web site addresses?

That was fun!