Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Change and Disappointment

This has been a difficult week full of change and disappointment.  I don’t like change.  It makes me uncomfortable.  It makes “one late for supper,” as Bilbo would say.  I prefer routine.  However after I am forced to deal with change, I find that it shakes me up, out of my comfort zone and makes me face things in a new way.  I end up with a different perspective.  This isn’t always a bad thing.  As a matter of fact, it can be a very good thing for an artist. 

So as I look at things in a whole new way this week, I’m less sorrowful of the loss and hopeful of the new direction and new perspective the future will bring.  After all, nothing stays the same forever.  You either get moving or you begin to decay.  Things that stay in the same place for too long begin to rot.  I’m assured of not rotting this week. 

Look around you.  Are there things you have just become complacent about?  Too comfortable to move?  To happy in routine that you don’t see a need for change?  Well, look out.  Live has a way of throwing curve balls to change you and your point of view.  Just a different way of looking at things.  Have a great week.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I have been reading the biography of Jim Henson the creator of the Muppets.  It is a fascinating journey he took and a fascinating biography to read.  He initially just wanted to get on the new technology, Television.  When an opening came up for a puppeteer, he read a couple books on them, made a quick handmade hand puppet and showed up for the audition.  The rest is, as they say, history.  He, sort of, fell into it.  Sometimes I think that success in art isn’t about talent as much as it is being in the right place at the right time.  Of course, he had tons of talent, and that can’t hurt.  It’s like the Georgia O’Keeffe story, where Alfred Stieglitz just happened to see her work and display it in his gallery, then fall in love with her and promote her work.  The right place, the right time.  Does that mean, then that there are (and were) tons of talented people who just didn’t happen to be in the right place at the right time and never achieved any measure of success?  No, I don’t think so. 

I think there is a divine plan and we are all part of it.  There are no accidents.  There are struggles and sometimes sorrows, but not forever.  I think we make our own success by working hard and helping others do the same.  I think we creatives, are the frosting on the cake of life and the loss of even one of us diminishes the lives and enjoyment of all of us.  I think in my small circle of acquaintances, friends and family, I have a place and a purpose, and a bit of frosting to impart to all around me.  So the question is, have you been frosting your bit of the universe lately?  Your creative ability, whether it is flower arranging, photography, painting, sculpting, cake making, pastry baking, interior decorating, architecture or dentistry, is necessary to the joy of life for so many.  Frost on, my friends.  Frost on.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Eat the Frog

I understand that it was Mark Twain who said you should eat the frog first thing every day.  Then everything else you do will be a piece of cake, well, because nothing worse can happen to you all day.  What he meant was that nothing is as bad as eating the frog, so you should do the thing you hate most first thing, and the rest of the day is all down hill.  Sounds like good advice.  People have written books about it, including Brian Tracy, who has a website called Eat That; a site on avoiding procrastination.

Well, some projects are the cake for me and some are the frog.  Sure, it’s all art and it should all be fun for artist, but it isn’t.  I think artistic creative-types are the worst procrastinators alive.  So when I have the chance, I go for the favorite personal projects as opposed to the assigned commercial ones.  I know I should not go for dessert first but I love it, and I hate the frog.  I know I would have a more pleasant day if I just ate the frog first thing.  It goes back to time management and priorities.  So, top on the list should be: 1.  Eat the Frog.

What is your frog?  What do you hate to do and avoid as long as possible?  Just eat the frog.  You’ll be happier in the long run.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


So it’s the beginning of a new month and the year is officially half over.  It seems like time is slipping by faster and faster (My dad said this would happen but as a teenager I wasn’t really paying attention).  The question I ask myself is, have I accomplished half of what I wanted to succeed at this year.  I think it is a good idea to really evaluate your goals and your accomplishments periodically or suffer the fault of wondering where all the time went.

As an artist, I want to be prolific with my work, turning out series work and experimental work using mediums and techniques that are new to me.  I want to say, this year I created this series and explored this style and entered this and that show.  These are hard goals to manage when time slides by just trying to keep up with jobs and family, home and house, bills and the mundane of laundry.  Some days I wish I were independently wealthy so that I could just focus on my creative work and not be distracted by the mundane.  A selfish wish, I know.  The truth is that if I were to win the lottery or something, I would not be so driven to purposely carve out time for my art.  I know myself well enough to know I would get fat and lazy, kicking back on my piles of money.  No, there is a reason I was never to have that kind of plenty.

So I take inventory to be sure I am purposefully and creatively carving out time for my artistic goals.  How about you?  Have you made the time for your creativity today?  This week?  This month?  For me, just one day without a creative challenge is a sad day.  Creative people need to be creative with their time management so there is always at least a little time for the arts.  Before work, after work, after the kids have been put to bed.  Whenever you have a moment to engage in the creative, take it.  You won’t be sorry you did.