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Breaking Barriers to Creativity: Five Strategies for Third Agers

July21
Author: Dr. Frank Bonkowski

Recent research on aging shows a clear link between developing creativity and having a joyful, enriching midlife and beyond. For third agers to be more effective, productive and fulfilled in their lives, they need to break the barriers to creativity. Here are five new ways of thinking, speaking and acting that I have discovered in working with Dr. Sylvie Labelle ( http://syllab.ca/en) and Dr. Fred Horowitz ( http://fredhorowitz.com/), executive coaches.

1. Don't allow the people around you, the environment and self-defeating beliefs to sabotage your capacity to be creative.
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- I wasn't born creative; I can't learn to be creative now at my age.
- Creativity requires lots of talent; I'm not talented enough.
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- I'm not clever enough to be creative.
- Creativity is really stupid; I depend on logic and reason to solve problems.
- Only certain people need to creative, such as writers, artists or musicians.

In many cases the environment in which you live or work blocks your creative thinking. How often are you faced with the negative judgments and critical comments of your family, friends and peers? As a result of these constraints, creativity becomes an underutilized capacity. Most of your thinking becomes robotic and operates in monologue, which gives more of the same kind of thinking.

2. Believe in your ability to be creative.
Research shows that creativity doesn't belong only to so-called creative types. Most normally intelligent people are capable of doing some degree of creative work. Through perception and understanding creativity can be deliberate. Creativity comes from many different elements: experience (which certainly you have a lot of), knowledge (that too you've accumulated over the years), technical skills, talent, and persistence in achieving goals. Creativity is a quality that can be learned, trained and practiced if you put your mind to it.

3. Live a created life.
According to Dr. Fred Horowitz, we can profit by thinking about creativity in four ways:

(1) Live a creat ed life by speaking something new into existence ("I'm changing careers", for example) not based on the past, yet honoring it. A created life is distinguished from a "reactive" life, in which we're at the effect of our circumstances, emotions, moods and thoughts.
-2 Generate possibilities, breakthroughs, a new future by saying something new that wouldn't occur if we didn't say it. This is distinct from predictions, which are past-based and give more of the same in the future.
-3 Generate ideas by engaging in conversation with people who don't share our points of view. It's a collaborative conversation, in which something new opens up through the process of dialogue.
-4 Become fulfilled on what's brought into existence by taking actions based on what we're committed to accomplishing. The actions need to "call us" - need to resonate with us, connect us with something beyond our identities.

4. Try new ways of thinking and acting.
Dr. Sylvie Labelle suggests new ways of thinking and acting differently without necessarily changing who you are. Here are some simple steps she recommends for breaking free of constraints:

- Do the opposite of what you are used to.
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- Talk to others, both experts and non-experts in the area- Turn the problem upside down by asking what the problem is not or what's missing.
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- Use a graphic organizer to chart what works and what doesn't.

5. Have fun and laugh more often.
Doug Hall, an eccentric and creative thinker, noted that fun is fundamental to creativity. In fact, he has come up with his own Law of Creativity Physics : without fun there is no enthusiasm or energy. He claims you can increase your brain power three to five times by laughing and having fun before tackling a problem.

Robb Correl offers these simple ideas for becoming a funnier person:
- You're funnier than you think, so be yourself.
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- Laugh "with" people and not "at" them.

About the Author:

Dr. Frank Bonkowski is an author, teacher and educational consultant. He is co-founder of http://www.happiness-after-midlife.com in collaboration with Dr. Fred Horowitz. The site is devoted to adult transition and reinvention.

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Blocked Creatively? You Might Just Be Swimming Upstream

July21
Author: Valery Satterwhite

Copyright (c) 2009 Valery Satterwhite

Where you are in your creative expression mirrors where you are in your life flow. If you are blocked creatively it is an indication that there is a disruption in your energy flow. Something isn't working. And the harder you try to push on forward the more blocked you become. You become exhausted, literally drained, depleted, unmotivated. The couch beckons, the television calls, every distraction imaginable is suddenly luring you away from your work. Doing anything else feels better than fighting the block.

Why is that?

Life, and art, is about flow. Effortless flow. Passionate flow. Creative flow. If you're struggling in any area of your art or your life you are swimming against the stream of life instead of with it. You're emotions, thoughts and actions are out of alignment with who you are. Therefore, you are frustrated in your lack of ability to fully express yourself in your art, your relationships, your business matters. You are the block. You are getting in the way of your creative expression. Essentially you are in a state of self-sabotage when you are blocked, when you swim upstream.

There's a difference between being blocked and a pause. A pause is for the purpose of reflecting, getting a different perspective, replenishing yourself is purposeful. You feel good when you pause momentarily because you know that this action will result in the forward progression of your achievement. The pause is a part of your natural flow.

A block, on the other hand, doesn't feel good. And it may be permanent if you don't deliberately turn yourself around to flow with the stream. Now, no one does anything without getting something out of it. What are you getting out of being blocked? Here's a hint: Have your Found Excuses And Reasons (F.E.A.R.) to do other things instead of your work? Yes, when you are making excuses you are in fear. You may be focused upon your misguided belief system that you're not good, talented, creative, smart, skilled, worthy, ad nauseam, enough to successfully complete the project, task, goal at hand. You may fear failure. You may find yourself blaming others for your inability to create or succeed. This is a victim mentality that is a huge block to creative expression.

What does staying blocked allow you to do? It allows you to stay right where you are in your current comfort zone. You may not like you're current comfort zone but it's what you know, so it's comfortable, and safe. You may not like thinking that you're not whatever enough or thinking that others control your success but it's what you've always thought. To change is frightening. Who would you be without those thoughts, those blocks?

As I mentioned earlier, if you are blocked, you are out of alignment with who you are. If you are out of alignment with who you are you are blocked, struggling, swimming upstream. "Well, then" you might be saying, "If I am out of alignment with who I am, who am I?" And that, is the question you must ask yourself.

To find the answer to that question you must ask yourself the following question:

"If there were no expectations; money was not an issue; my current abilities (or lack thereof) were not an issue, and I knew I could not fail: Who would I be, what would I do and what would I have?"

Spend some time with this question. I suggest writing down your answers in a journal. There is something about putting your truth onto paper that gives it power; brings it into reality. Take your time. Breathe. Dig deep. Pull out your truth from your core.

And when you are finished read your answer to yourself and visualize yourself as already being, doing and having that. This is who you are! What you desire most is a reflection of who you are. Hold this vision. Write an "I am" statement around it. Keep this statement nearby where you can refer to it in the moments you are blocked. If a thought, emotion or action is out of alignment with that statement, turn the thought, emotion or action around. How else could this be perceived? What could I do differently? Go with the flow instead of against it.

"The creative act is not hanging on, but yielding to a new creative movement. Awe is what moves us forward." - Joseph Campbell

About the Author:

Valery is an Artist Mentor who specializes in empowering creative peoplecreate more profoundly, more prolifically, and more profitably. She teaches people in the visual and performing arts how to tap into and trust their intuition, acknowledge their truth, and disarm their fear and self-doubt with her proven unique whimsical "Inner Wizard" methodology. Visit http://www.InnerWizard.com . Get Free "Artist Resource/Marketing Directory" today!

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Blocked Creatively? Here’s A Get Out of Jail Free Card

July21
Author: Valery Satterwhite

Copyright (c) 2009 Valery Satterwhite

The most damaging restrictions on a creative person's freedom are self-imposed. What may have started out as a new idea, a new methodology, becomes routine, a habit, after awhile. Habits are the comfort zone. Once snuggled into a comfort zone there is a tendency to stay. However, this is not what a creator is here to do. Staying in a comfort zone habitually creating the same kind of thing over and over again does not feed the artist's soul. Comfort zones are safe. Comfort zones bore creative people literally to tears. Stagnation goes flies in the face of an artist's passionate desire to expand and express their full creative potential.

Habits are not limited to craft. The greatest crippler of the creative spirit is habitual thinking. Habitual thinking turns the innovator into the academician; passion into melancholy; fulfillment into despair.

"A ship in the harbor is safe. But that's not what ships are built for." - Anon

It is said that an artist of any kind brings a lot of himself into the work. The artist isn't as interested in the subject of his creation as in his own reaction to that subject. When you change your habitual thought patterns you also change your habitual reactions. You literally have new eyes with which to see and observe the experiences in your life and your world. Newer expanded vision births newer expanded creation.

"Most new discoveries are suddenly-seen things that were always there." -Susanne K. Langer

When an artist is stuck, dug-in, in the mire of rigid or habitual ways of creating he literally puts a cap on the availability of his own intuition, his inner muse. Those magical "in the zone" moments of full creative energy and accomplishment are fleeting because very little inspiration is allowed. Inspiration is limited to what fits into a self-limiting set of possibilities. The artist has unknowingly handcuffed his soul.

If an artist isn't personally evolving; stretching, growing, moving beyond comfort zones, then her art isn't evolving. Stagnation suffocates the potential creative expression that is the artist's birthright. Treading water in life, not moving in any direction, is exhausting! Swimming against the stream, holding back your full creative potential, is exhausting. Let go of tired old ways of being, thinking and doing. Rediscover the playful child in you. Approach your art with the wide-eyed wonder and awe of a child at an amusement park where everything is new, exciting, waiting to be experienced. Fear and judgment is left behind. Play is what turns the utilitarian into the discoverer of new interpretation, new invention. Play is the vital heartbeat of the creative spirit.

If you think you might be treading water in life or your artistic endeavors, give yourself permission to play. Play with your craft, indulge your passions, do a silly dance. Shake up your stagnated energy. Fully alive and present, be open and available for whatever comes next. That glorious state of being is the ultimate freedom.

About the Author:

Valery is an Artist Mentor who specializes in empowering people to create more passionately, profoundly, productively and profitably. Learn how to trust your intuition, acknowledge your truth, and disarm your fear and self-doubt. Valery developed a proven unique "Inner Wizard" methodology to empower the Wizard Within to actualize and express your full creative potential. http://www.InnerWizard.com . Get Free "Inner Wizard Empowerment tips" too!

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Creativity Starts With a Habit

July21
Author: Pat Samples

Want to write a memoir or novel but can?t seem to get started? Want to create a memorable painting or performance but you?re too busy to work on it? It can be frustrating when your creative fire just never seems to get lit.

Fire Up with Creative Habits

To ignite a daily fire in the fireplace requires that you bring in the wood and place it in the hearth, then strike a match to set it ablaze. In the same way, to ignite your creative fire you must have certain habits and rituals that will fire up your enthusiasm and energy, allowing you to plunge into the joys and mess of creating an artistic work.

In her book The Creative Habit, the famed choreographer Twyla Tharp says emphatically that creativity has much less to do with talent or genius than with hard work. Tharp, who is in her late sixties, illustrates by saying she gets up every day at 5:30 a.m. and heads to the gym for a two-hour workout with her trainer. She says that, because of this kind of dedicated habit associated with her creative work, she is able to feel confident when she has just five weeks to create a new dance for a major performance venue. She has prepared her body and her mind well, beginning with a daily ritual.

It?s the ritual of calling the cab that actually gets her in motion, she says. The well-established routine of making the call gets her past the resistance that might arise about being too tired or otherwise reluctant to put herself through the hard routine at the gym.

Set Up Habits and Rituals That Inspire You

So, what are the daily or frequent habits and rituals that activate your creative productivity? Here are five examples of habits you can borrow from successful artists, along with rituals to set the stage for each habit:

Habit 1: Be observant and make a record of what you observe.

Ritual: Carry a notebook and pen or pencil with you everywhere you go to do a quick sketch, jot observations, or make a note of dialogue you overhear.

Habit 2: Study the work of artists you admire.

Ritual: Keep a set of books by your reading table or bedside and spend 15 minutes or more reading before going to bed. Or check out the arts calendar each Sunday and select a show to attend.

Habit 3: Practice, practice, practice what you want to get better at.

Ritual: Set a specific time to practice each day or on certain days. If you begin with a specific activity such as sitting in a certain place or turning on a certain light, you set up the habit to take on a life of its own.

Habit 4: Take time for solitude to give your muse a chance to play and have its say.

Ritual: Have a pen by your bedside and pick it up as soon as you wake, using it to record your creative ideas before you engage with other people (even before your coffee). Your muse will soon get in the habit of showing up for the appointed time. Or plan a weekend a month when you retreat to your bedroom or a quiet getaway place, and always start the weekend with a set activity such as lighting a candle.

Habit 5: Celebrate your successes. You may want to recall yourself at your best to boost your confidence during slumps.

Ritual: Create a screensaver of an art piece of yours that you?re happy with, or display a testimonial quote from an admirer.

Being creative is most satisfying when it moves from an idea in the mind into the actual creation of an artistic work. That happens more easily and more often if you have habits and rituals that light your creative fire. When starting or renewing a creative habit, build in a ritual to start you off each time you do the activity. Be sure to do the ritual every day for at least 30 days to make it stick. That ritual, faithfully practiced, will become like a book of matches you can count on set off that creative spark.

About the Author:

Learn more from Pat Samples about practical and inspiring ways to live creatlvely at http://www.patsamples.com . Her new book, The Secret Wisdom of a Woman's Body: Freeing Yourself To Live Passionately and Age Fearlessly, has been called by AARP's magazine "what our generation wants to read."

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Cover Design for Artists – Everything You Need to Know

July21
Author: Tom Williamsen

We all know that cover designs of any product found anywhere have various messages and objectives. These cover arts and designs are used to capture the imagination and interest of ever single person that will see it. It is like the armor and at the same time the weapon of the seller of the product because it greatly depends on the cover if the buyers will like the product that these covers are representing. Although these facts are undeniable, it is also a fact that most people fail to notice the other side and functions of these cover designs.

Cover art or cover designs are also a way for artists to express themselves. Of course, the best way to express the feeling of an artist is by letting as many people as possible to know about it. And what better way to do this than using an artist's work to front a product? What many people do not know is that cover design for artists is an excellent way for them to display their skills and be known to many people. It is a given fact that many artists volunteer to be a part of a brand or a product so that they can develop their talent and for other people to notice them.

Some may think that this is a very selfish manner for some artists because it is like using a product to be able to climb their way up the success ladder. The truth is that cover design for artists are very important because they are not just given the chance to support and patronize the product, but at the same time, they are also given the chance to speak their emotions through their art. Of course, part of doing this is also to become popular but this is not the defying reason why artists agree or decide to create a design for a certain product.

Therefore, if you are an entrepreneur who wants to sell something online or anywhere else in this planet, just remember the impact and importance of a cover design for artists. In short, as much as possible go with someone you know who is an aspiring artist. This way, you will not only give them the chance to earn some money but you will also give them a chance to bloom as an artist. The thing that you entrusted them with a responsibility – no matter how trivial it is – is an indication that you trust their capabilities. And of course, this in turn will really boost their confidence in themselves and in their works. This will also be good for you not only because you will have a very expressive cover design for your product, but also because you know that you have lead someone towards what he/she is really passionate about.

Even though you know that you will become the medium to someone's success and there is a possibility for you to feel used, it is still more important that you feel honored because you became a part of why an artist will become successful in the future.

About the Author:

Looking to design quality and professional images quickly? You don't need to use third party software - use http://www.ecover-go.com to create quality images and then turn them into ecovers, software boxes, or even Cover Design for Artists !

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Careers After Art School

July21
Author: Tony Jacowski

Ordinarily, most people do not perceive being an artist as a realistic career choice. The common impression is that it is merely an elitist pursuit, with no guarantee of monetary returns. However, this preconceived notion may not be applicable to every career option that involves art. For instance, having a career in art is not restricted to just painting. There are various other lucrative career options in the field of art, upon graduation from art school. These schools can provide formal training in art, which equip students with tools that can be used in commercial settings. You can be one of the lucky ones to be able to pay your bills through your art!

Career Options After Art School

MultiMedia Artist And Animator: If you are interested in creating animated images for commercials in various media, like television, print media, cinema or computer games, you can become a multimedia artist. Multi media artists create the large series of pictures, which become the animated images on television, computer games or movies. In 2002, there were almost 75,000 animators and multimedia artists in the United States of America, and this number is expected to expand further in the future. You can become a multimedia artist if you possess a bachelor or masters degree in fine arts, although it is not always necessary.

Craft Artist: A career as a craft artist can be ideal if you have a passion for creating useful artifacts like stained glass, pottery, hand woven rugs, sculpture or woodcarvings. These crafts are very popular in markets all around the world, thus making a profession as a craft artist a lucrative career option. You never know when your craftwork could become the next sought after collectible! Studio art classes at your local art school can be of great help in mastering the required skills. You can also join an art club to enhance your craft. Generally, craft artists work on a freelance commission basis. You can also find work in studios and galleries that usually require creative craft artists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average earnings of craft artists in 2005 was $27,360.

Fine Art Artist: Fine art is another career option that you can pursue after art school. Painters, illustrators and sculptors come under this category. The competition in this field is fierce, as there are a lot of aspiring artists. As a fine art artist, you can display your art in museums, and your creations can be sold in auctions.

Art Director: As an art director, you can produce creative visual concepts meant for magazines, newspapers, videos, websites or billboards. An art director needs to coordinate with graphic designers as well as photographers, and make decisions related to the presentation of visual concepts. Having management skills is an added advantage for being an art director. A starting income of $73,790 was estimated for art directors according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Advertising agencies also generally require the skills of an art director.

Besides these career options, you can also try your hand at teaching art, landscape decor, interior and clothing designing, or photography.

Requirements For A Career In Arts And Crafts

If you want to pursue a career in art, passion and interest in this field are prerequisites. However, you will need patience, as earning from your craft may take awhile. Dedication and determination often results in fame and success. For example, artists like Van Gogh and Picasso have become household names. People with a bent of mind and passion for art usually find their art careers satisfying and enjoyable.

About the Author:

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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Building a Foundation for an Enhanced Artistic Vision from a Distance

July21
Author: Donald Mitchell

An artist's perspective is a key that unlocks the door into a new world of understanding for viewers. Yet where does such a novel perspective come from?

While natural objects often inform artists, few powerful artistic perspectives emerge solely from viewing nature. In fact, until the 19th century most serious artists viewed painting or sculpturing from nature with skepticism.

Spending time with artists has helped many to formulate new perspectives. For the wealthy, it has always been possible to buy lessons from the leading artists of the day who didn't earn enough from making art to support themselves. Some art students traveled to Europe to gain that exposure. Without the need to earn a living, wealthy artists could indulge in whatever creative work inspired them until something useful developed.

For the not-so-wealthy, schools often provided the basics through studying art produced by others and developing fundamental skills like drawing live models. From the Renaissance on, male artists often supported themselves by serving as assistants to established male artists. In the 19th century, women began painting in large numbers, and many earned a living by copying masterpieces in museums like the Louvre in Paris.

Those pathways worked well for those who were wealthy or knew they wanted to be artists at a young age. What could the others do?

Choices were limited. You had to earn a living and carve out a little time to do what young artists had already accomplished by the time they were 22 or so. Without a background in art, you couldn't hope to earn a living teaching it.

This was a classic Catch-22 problem (when you need what you don't have to get what you need) for aspiring adult artists with limited backgrounds until online education expanded the art world. With a computer you could travel the world from your bedroom, see the great masterpieces reproduced, and hear the works discussed by countless art historians. College art lectures had long featured showing lots of slides in dark rooms while an art historian commented. The view on a computer screen was often better than from the back of a crowded, overheated classroom. You can also "visit" major art historians online without attending their lectures in person providing much flexibility for those with limited time for travel and study.

What does the future hold for artists who want to further inform their perspectives? Online education provides an unparalleled additional opportunity.

Let's consider the case of Ms. Raeda Ashour to appreciate how large the changes are. Ms. Ashour is a native of Saudi Arabia. While growing up, she didn't yet feel a calling towards creating art. Instead, she felt attracted to literature and the chance to learn English during her studies in Egypt. As a college student at the American University in Cairo, she deepened her understanding of Middle East culture through reading Arabic literature.

In the process of her Middle East studies, she gained some exposure to Arabic art. She discovered that she loved to paint and took up this activity as a hobby. She also visited galleries and began reading about art.

After graduating from college, she could not obtain a work permit in Egypt and had to bide her time until she gained exposure to book publishing through some friends. Eventually, she founded a publishing company with two partners and especially enjoyed designing book covers. Her artistic hobby also expanded to making collages that friends admired.

After seven years, the publishing business started losing money and was closed. Ms. Ashour was unsure what career to follow next.

Soon thereafter, she married a Lebanese photographer who encouraged her to spend more time working on her art. Ms. Ashour held a solo exhibition in Cairo that was well received.

When the couple moved to Saudi Arabia, she continued to focus on her art and soon built a following as one of Saudi Arabia's leading artists. In the next twelve years, she added a base of collectors through six solo shows and twenty group exhibitions.

In 2005, Ms. Ashour found that she wanted to expand her artistic vision and improve her perspective. By adding a solid art education, she hoped to gain new insights she could apply to her work. She also realized that a master's degree could also help her gain either a university teaching job or consulting assignments with companies. The wildly fluctuating income of a freelance artist can be stabilized through such activities. In addition, she wanted to write about the potential for art to play a larger and more helpful role in Saudi society.

How might she gain those educational perspectives while living and painting in Saudi Arabia? The possibilities of an online education to serve her needs soon attracted her keen eye.

After considering many online degree programs in art, she selected Rushmore University as her school. Why?

Here were some of her reasons:

1. The possibility of designing a custom major.
2. She could start classes immediately.
3. She could earn credits for her previous life experience.
4. She could study as much as she wanted and accelerate her graduation date.
5. Since many of the university's students had published their work, it gave her confidence that her master's degree writing might also be published one day.
6. There were no exams.
7. The tuition fees were affordable for an artist.

After she graduated in 2007 with an M.A. in Arts Education, I asked Ms. Ashour to share some thoughts with me about her distance learning experiences. Overall, she described this way of learning as a very rewarding step in expanding her artistic vision. She felt that she accomplished several things including:

1. Enhancing her knowledge about art and art education to help improve her career as an artist.
2. Regaining her research and writing skills.
3. Improving her credibility in the artistic community.

In addition, she gained confidence about publishing her papers and seeking teaching jobs at the university level. She intends to continue her education through either specialized studies or possibly earning a doctorate.

How is her art career doing? A recent e-mail shared the good news that she is busy preparing work for two important solo shows in 2008.

What career boosts are you seeking?

How are you going to improve your vision and perspective to enhance your career?

What role can distance learning through the Internet play?

About the Author:

Donald W. Mitchell is a professor at Rushmore University. For more information about ways to engage in fruitful lifelong learning at Rushmore to increase your influence, visit http://www.rushmore.edu .

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Artist Song Demos – How To Break Through And Sell Your Songs!

July21
Author: Tom Gauger

As writers, it's often difficult to be objective about writing and any aspect related to writing and creating the demos that are used to shop songs. As a former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency, I can tell you that with all of the vast array of talent and gifted writers, only a few make it to the inner circle. There are various reasons for this, but none that come close to what we will spend the remaining time in this article talking about. Many a hopeful writer and artist walked through the doors of William Morris only to find that the magic they thought they had come upon, vanished in a moments notice. Why is that? Why do some get the writers and artist deals with virtually no writing innovation, while others, with up in your face talent, not getting the due recognition and artist album cuts so richly deserved? Let's spend a few minutes together talking through a few basic concepts to hopefully get you moving in the right direction.

As founder of ReelMusician.com, it is and has always been my goal to see rising talent succeed and make it to the top. We strive to always remain approachable, authoritative with music industry resources and information and provide relevant services such as creating master quality song demos for rising song writers, top notch jingle demos for singers trying to break into singing commercials and effective press kit writing for artists trying to establish their careers. We are already in that mode of how to help singers and writers break through, which is the foundation to why we exist and with all of that in mind, I want to share with you some ideas that will help you get your career jump-started.

Always remember that content is king. You can't very easily take a story without a decent plot and try to pitch it. Same thing holds true for your writing and career. One of the problems today, is that many would be artists and writers clutter the playing field by utilizing technological advances and use their friends computer, keyboard and mic to record music and think they have a chance. And because music equipment and software has become so affordable, many who would not ordinarily approach the idea of writing or becoming an artist now feel that they have to have their chance at stardom and so the A&R, managers, booking agents and all other ancillary music industry offices are flooded by material that is not even close to being a go. It's a waste of everyone's time. The thinking is just because so and so made it, I could make it to. Well that might be true, but for the every one of the so and sos that make it, there are thousands to possibly millions that don't. Think about that. Go for your dream, but make sure that you have a decent plot to back up your artist story line.

Once you have established that you have credible talent, and the fact that you are reading this article is probably a good indication that you have some credible talent, you will want to figure out the best approach to selling your songs, artist deal or break into jingle singing, whatever the case might be. I will tell you, as I've stated before, that everyone has their own story to tell in how they broke into the music industry, but I will tell you that there are a few golden concepts that you should employ to increase your odds. Always remember that creativity coupled with authenticity will go along ways in your career. There are so many phony people out there inside the industry and out, that when individuals who are decision makers inside the industry find authentic and truly gifted talent, they are pulled to it. Do you have a record cut or a record deal, maybe, maybe not. But the fact that you now have an ally inside the inner circle creates a much broader platform for your career to take off from. The fact that now someone who holds some influence and who has taken a liking to you is strong - really strong. You develop these types of relationships whether at area writer's meetings, artist showcases, or other various ins that you can find and think of in your area, and you will be well on your way to getting your demos not only listened to, but listened to with interest and on an inside path. Don't be users. Figure out ways where you can have conversations totally outside the music industry where an individual truly thinks you care - if your career comes up the conversation great, but if not that's fine to. And if it does come up in the conversation, don't make a big deal of it.

Your song demos have got to be the best no questions asked. Your productions better sound better than what's on the radio. Figure out the key musicians in your area and produce your song demos with no excuses. I've said it before and it's worth repeating, that it's better to have a slimmed down song demo version with an incredible guitar or piano player and vocals that just melt, than a fully produced song demo that's pretty good. You hear that. Don't produce pretty good demos - They're not good enough. When you get the opportunity from a heavy weight in the industry to listen to your song demo, artist demo or jingle reel, it's far better to have an incredible demo done with a few musical elements that just wow the listener. Chances are you won't get another chance, and so your listener better remember that your demos not only sound good, but will make him or her look good when they go to pitch your material. Don't hesitate to contact us at ReelMusician.com if you have any questions about demos, what you'll need and your current writing and artist demos.

In closing, and I never feel like I have enough space to cover all of the relevant ideas in a given article, please take these few simple concepts seriously and implement them in your career goals. Don't get all stirred up about the latest and greatest this or that or your having to be in the "in" musical crowd to get a record deal or to get your songs cut. Just develop authentic relationships and make sure that your song demos, jingle reels and artist demos are simply the best! Please feel free to contact us for any questions you might have!

About the Author:

Mr Gauger is a former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency and founder of http://www.ReelMusician.com You may contact the author at tgauger@reelmusician.com . Free e-books "The Jingle Singer's Guide," and "Secrets To Great Song Demos," may be downloaded at http://www.ReelMusician.com

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Artist In Search of His Art

July21
Author: Paula Andrea Pyle, MA

Getting Rid of Superficiality A Mode in Cosmic Therapy

Up until this particular point in your life, you have been able to maintain an agreeable façade of "acceptance" with the status quo. [At work and in your present relationships] But recently, things have begun to shift. A certain obvious restlessness has entered your body without your being aware of where it came from. {Even IF you could pin-point its origin, you'd be wrong.} An anxious unsettledness has developed in your gut; one, you simply can't explain. You've begun to question things you've always taken for granted. People's remarks bother you more than they ever have while certain facial expressions don't seem to mesh. A certain ill-defined tension fills the air, almost as if you have to be extra nice to fill in the 'gaps' in the conversations. When you try to bring up the "let's don't mention it" subject, no one seems to know what you are talking about. But, you do.

You've noticed yourself being less patient and tolerant of things that never bothered you before. Something's definitely going on. You feel instinctively that "something just aint right". What you don't know, exactly yet, is how and what to do about it. You realize you're not going to settle for how things have always been. "It's just a matter of time", you hear yourself saying without fully realizing what you are referring to. An unambiguous change is taking place deep within, moving its way to the surface. You're not so numbed by indifference that you don't realize what's happening. No mistaking the uneasy sensation. An unbridled restless spirit is demanding some sort of action. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you want to see what's behind the curtain, if anything.

As that curtain of 'supposed reality' is drawn back further to reveal the inward state of your gnawing concern/unrest, so shall you be able to see ever more clearly those things that seemingly hurt (confuse) but never injure (delay). You are subconsciously imbued with a grand design, so implicit that you have never stopped for even one second to realize that when you were trying to adapt yourself to someone else's standards, ideas, and thoughts of how you should conduct your life, you were 'throwing' your essence to the wind. [Now, you must collect yourself.] Little did you know that the same wind you so indiscriminately threw the pieces of yourself away into would blow back to you those sacred things which make you who you are when you were ready to receive. You are ready.

Slowly, you are arousing as if from a long slumber in hibernation, opening a slight area, JUST enough for you 'to rediscover the essence of what you're made of.' You are beginning to remember yourself in such a way that surprises you. (Little broken fragments [memories] of glimpses [sensations] that make no logical sense) The first faint stirrings are awkward and indiscernible. At times, you like the sensation, other times you don't. Because the sensations are so new and unfamiliar, the inner commotion disturbs you somewhat. It could be called sexual i n nature, but you are able to perceive a sensation much more diverse and intense.

You find yourself daydreaming a lot; wondering: who is this shell of a person who goes by your name. You find yourself wanting to explore what really makes you tick instead of floating on automatic pilot. This 'funky' personal awareness seems difficult to comprehend as the layers begin to peel themselves away. Exposing the inner void becomes quite distracting while the disclosure of newness does not relate to other things in your life. At this junction, it's supposed to be distracting. You are being summoned: "It's time to pay the music man. Show up for the dance of your life." From now on, everything you do that is not in line with your specific 'not yet divulged destiny' will pale in comparison to what you so earnestly desire to do. You need not understand it. In fact, IF you did, you would be manufacturing the process and anticipating the result.

You realize you have never been this clearly disconcerted before. Up until now, you were able to 'go along with the program'. Not any more. No longer can you feel guilty about what you need. More importantly, you are realizing quite succinctly: you don't feel guilty or obligated to anyone or anything! This thought dishevels you, somewhat. You're not sure how this affects you. {And, more importantly IF others are able to see the transformation taking place inside.} Such strange, yet wonderful stirrings are surfacing. Wild, crazy, imaginative, original creative instincts that make you smile when you let yourself envision them. You absolutely will not sublimate your deepest desires nor continue to play a fictitious role in order not to rock the boat. You are determined to SEE what's going on. "Turn the damned boat over IF you must, just feel something genuine!"

The plain fact is: You are more than adequately equipped with the intrinsic artistic tools needed for the personal creative exploration in your individual life. You are powerful and influential. You need not ask permission or seek acceptance in your chosen plight. No one other than yourself can decide what makes you happy and fulfilled. To others, "it" {whatever is important to you} may seem foolish and unproductive. That matters not! You are driven by an imaginative unyielding impetus that begs your attention and care. Bottom line: You are an artist in search of his/her art. You will not be satisfied until you discover, expose, express and connect "IT".

You have lived much too long with these incredible sensations buried, not knowing how to express them. You shoved a lid on the innate sacred voice trying not to 'cause a scene'. Because of your inordinate need to be accepted and loved, you bargained with plastic feelings only to feel worse for having done so. You were acutely aware of being so radically different/disapproved of, {IF you voiced you true feelings} you pretended to go along with people and plans that you {in some cases} actually abhorred. This superficial tactic, disguised quite well in a seemingly concerned supportive personality, was the survival mechanism you learned quite young in order to manipulate your circumstances. You did whatever it required to 'get by'. Because of deeply instilled insecurities, you never liked being set apart from others, often assuming insults when none were present. The overwhelming feeling of alienation so engulfed you, {this is where you would begin to fabricate things}, that in some instances you genuinely believed your own lies. The episodes, you helped to create, were followed by weak vulnerable embarrassing situations, established by and filled with, inappropriate bouts of jealousy and envy. You KNOW these things are true by the amount of times you say you're "sorry" in the run of a day.

The more you try to fit in, the more you experience failure. Again, powerlessness engulfs you. SIDE NOTE: No one likes to feel powerless. That's the number one barrier in human relationships. {People will do just about anything to hold onto power they assume they possess.} When you engage in these types of measures of control, you end up feeling lonely; afraid you will be totally shut out of the activity. And, to you, any involvement is better than none. You experience such high levels of "I'm not good, pretty, smart, and rich enough" anxiety in the 'abandonment' department; you will literally almost sell your soul to alleviate, or at least, diminish this horrendous self-deprecating experience. You are apt to fall at the feet of anyone who would show you two seconds of flattering words, emotional appeal or romantic magnetism.

But during the course of eliciting and sustaining an involvement what happens? You walk around silently mad. {For no reason other than your indecision and lack of initiative to step out of the safety box.} You've always felt unsure of the relationships, as if you have to barter your affection. The putrefied anger you harbor eats away at you, poisoning the mind. You hate the feeling of being deprived of the things {lucid fantasies as, only you could invent} others seem to possess and enjoy.

All the while you judge, complain, compare, and condemn, you hide behind a mask of concern/consideration. But, now the mask has slipped. To reposition it would only make you feel more superficial. The game of denying is over. You simply can not refuse to say what it is you truly want one moment longer. Do I hear you gaping as you respond, "But, I don't know what I want?" Oh! Yes you do. No one but you has the combination to THAT lock. Part of realizing your aspirations and dreams is being courageous enough to speak them aloud. What do you want? What do you really w-a-n-t? (w-ish a-nd n-eed t-erribly) Can you take a sheet of paper and write down 10 things you honestly want in importance from least to most? After writing those ten things, toss that paper in the trash. Write 10 more. After you have done this 5 times, the very next thing you write will be your greatest desire. Finally, denial's gratification will shout at you in 750 foreign languages.

Why 50 times? Because the basic survival need to please and gratify others has been so great, you will write things on your paper that involve others. These things are phony. You have so identified yourself with someone else, along with his/her needs that to possess a genuine thought of your own will be a little abnormal for you. You must regain your own mind. This begins by stopping the compulsive need and verbal act of constantly checking with others to see how they feel. You want to know if they like whatever it is you think you like before you can decide if it's good enough for you. Cease it immediately. Accept the fact; that clever ploy of yours is nothing more than a calculating scheme to maintain your so-called security base. State aloud: "When I am trying to control another I am the one being controlled." You are like a parrot mimicking the words. {Empathetic Words that ring so false.} Write the sentence if you must 1000 times, until you break free of the idea of your being able to make someone love or stay with you is utterly ridiculous.

Realize once and for all times, you'll readily agree with and buy into the idea of being in LOVE {includes and emphasizes your need to hang on} for no other reason but for personal benefit to forestall the incalculable idea of being unlovable. But, the downside of this scary notion is you end up with a sense of warped gratitude. You don't care, nor are you interested, but in an effort to avoid confrontation, {meeting the demon of solitude in yourself} you smile and nod in cheerful affirmation. Your need to be thought well of, respected and admired is so great it's almost pathetic.

You have become so afraid of voicing your own ideas that you have blended into the woodwork lacking any genuine kind of authentic flavor or color. You are BLAND. When the pressure has built to the point of no return, you inappropriately express yourself through unwarranted emotional tirades, bouts of unexplained anger and unprovoked verbal attacks. Then, you spend useless hours wondering why you acted in such an inexplicable manner; adding guilt, remorse and regret to your already overloaded plate of disappointed expectations. Give it a rest. Your mind is surely overworked and undervalued. Stop jumping to all those negative conclusions you so easily and readily sling away from yourself.

Why not accept the fact of how spoiled (starved) you are? {I see the hairs on your back stand up like a mad dog at the audacity of my implying such a thing.} Accept your demanding, overbearing, self-serving, callous nature and be done with it. We all have to sooner or later. Realize just how much you DON'T want to change a thing about you. But, in order to free yourself from the onslaught and oblivion of superficial chaotic 'molly-coddlings', you must see yourself in plain view [complete with all] of the selfishly greed driven lustful ego distorted desires for pleasure and attention. The more you try to disguise your vain deceitful lazy uncaring and unconcerned ways, the more they will become exaggerated. You are petty and nit picking. You simply can not be satisfied; the lengths and depths you will go to stir up confusion and chaos is mind blowing. Who cares? It's much better to know what you're dealing with than trying to blow smoke up your already blazenedly inflated 'victim' ass.

The gig is up.

Your artistic authentic nature demands you to: "Return home." Fulfill the first commandment in you. No other face can replace your own. No other hand can fit the ploughshare. Unless you take care of sacred business first, the other will suffer needlessly and you will too. You are an unfulfilled sacred artist who has become bitter and resentful. The sacred sexual impetuous is willing and able to set you free. [Not in yourself but from yourself] You have never been alone, nor will you ever be alone. Face it! This unsavory predicament is the exact circumstance you called into existence to push you over the barrier of a self-pity debasing sickness into your fully liberated realized creative self.

You are a Master of Divine Essence who has forgotten his/her celestial artistic heritage. It's you that you are dealing with. It's you who is thrusting. YOU are the only one you are in search of to expose, explore, express, and experience. No other subject will compensate for the failure to accept the responsibility of the ineffable sublime pleasure locked within the treasure chest of unspoken words {art, music, drama, written word}, of supremacy in your human body. "Physician, Heal thyself." "Take up thy body and walk." CREATE. EXPRESS. CONNECT. SHARE.

About the Author:

Proud Native {Born, Bred, and Resident} of North Carolina, married 39 spectacular years, 6 children, 11 grandchildren. I am passionate about love, living, laughter, liberty, learning, listening, loosening up, lounging, lunch, liveliness, literacy, lip stick, letting my hair down, leaping, leaning, libido, lifting, linking, looking, lodging, lemons and lyrics. My personal and professional background is wide and varied. I have a BS in Communication with a MA in Art Education. I am a Cosmic Therapist, artist, entertainer, singer/songwriter, musician, composer, playwright, perfumer, astrology, author, teacher, speaker, poet and self-taught chef. I am also a radio/television talk show creator, host and director. In addition when I'm not busy, I maintain a presence at M.O.D.E International School of Esoteric Arts and Sciences of which I founded many years ago,

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Artist Statements, Artist Biography Tips, And Resumes – Nuts and Bolts

July21
Nuts and Bolts

By Barbara Bowen

 "If you aim for a market you'll miss the mark." Whoever said that, I'm a believer. It's no good looking over the shoulder at what strangers prefer before creating. True inspiration is the optimal motivator. Quality issues from there, and its purity taps the nerves of audience attraction. That said, there are far too many masterpieces tucked on shelves behind the light of day. Strong promotional tools may be secondary to our motivation, but they're essential. Like the apex of an iceberg, they show first. They introduce our work, foster credibility, and mirror how far we've traveled along the arc of our goals. Those we know may direct us to new connections. But even then, we must support those connections with an effective "portrait" of who we are. Selling is a part of every career. Never underestimate the power of presentation. Why not enter the new season prepared with an updated, incisive, authentic, and powerful one? What do you need? A dynamic artist statement, artist biography and artist resume is the beginning. Effective artist portfolios and proposals are also important. Start now and stay ahead of the pack. So, what are the important elements of these essential artist presentation tools?

Artist Statement: Shaping your essential bond with viewers and sales An artist statement communicates what motivates you as an artist. It's the most personal part of your presentation; an opportunity to bring your viewers and potential buyers closer. It offers a glimpse of the person behind the work. While keeping it informative, let your personality show. Share your ideas and concerns, and how they are revealed in your work. Explain to viewers what your work means to you, not what it's supposed to mean to them. They will arrive at their own conclusions. It's okay to mention influences, but mostly keep prominent names associated with your career for your resume, where they will serve as testimonial and avoid the appearance of boasting. Give some details about your techniques and how they help you achieve your vision. Then, you might add a segment about how your approach is unique. Most general artist statements are around one page or less. Brevity sustains attention, so I lean toward three or four concise paragraphs. In some situations, a statement about a particular artwork may be requested. A statement can act as a marketing piece in certain commercial situations, which may be appropriate. So be sure to tailor your artist statement to its purpose.

Artist Biography: Creating a memorable snapshot of your career life An artist bio contains similar information to the artist resume but is presented in paragraph form, is less formal, and is most often written in the third person. It serves to highlight the information presented on your resume. It's a great way to convey a "snapshot" of your career experience.

Artist Resume: Detailing your career with clarity and professionalism Artist resumes detail the accomplishments, endeavors, and knowledge. They offer a full picture of your career, and the categories featured on the resume will depend upon your artistic discipline. It's important to update your resume on a regular basis, adding and deleting the listed activities, as appropriate. An artist resume can be one to four pages in length. Most artists have two versions prepared: a longer and shorter version. It's often best to use a professional paper stock, in white or ivory. The style of type varies, and can add to the resume's professionalism.

Artist Proposal: Standing out from the crowd with dynamic writing/shaping/editing Artists also use their portfolio to apply for specific projects, funding programs, residencies, or other competitive opportunities. These applications may ask you to submit a project description, details on your approach to the project, and a cover letter. These written materials should be tightly edited and tailored to the particular opportunity. Be passionate and sincere in the presentation of your work, and always conclude with thanking the panel, juror, and/or organization for their time and consideration. Typical questions for you to answer will be: Why are you an ideal applicant? How will you benefit the program or project? What technical qualifications, abilities, or personal assets can you contribute? How will you benefit from the opportunity? How would the project advance your career as an artist? How would you use the money awarded?

Visual Artist Portfolio: Keeping the heart and soul of your work evolving Your portfolio is the most valuable tool in your overall presentation. Your visuals are worth a thousand words, and an arresting portfolio can help close the gap, should your written materials be less developed, as in young artist on the career path. There are many approaches to a portfolio, depending upon the discipline. One universal ingredient to a successful portfolio is a sense of continuity. The transitions between and within subject matter must cohere. Color, tone, shape, scale, all must be considered when choosing what images to include and how to position them. This process involves subjectivity as well as objectivity. Most artists benefit greatly from feedback from a trained eye, and reactions from untrained eyes can also be helpful. A portfolio is most successful when modified and tailored, with acumen, for its particular audience. Many artists now supplement their physical portfolio with a digital version either on the Web or presented on CD-ROM or DVD. Stay current on new formats and choose the method(s) that feature your work most powerfully and support your marketing goals.

*Article by Barbara Bowen, founder of: http://www.GatewaysCoaching.com #NAME? for Creativity Coaching and http://www.GatewaysToAction.blogspot.com

Email Barbara your questions about creativity coaching and creating dynamic artist statements, bios, resumes and proposals. Learn about creative action projects through her Web sites. She would love to hear from you.*

Do you need content? You may use this article on your website, or in your newsletter. The only requirement is inclusion of the text above, including the active links. Thank you.

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Art: A Sacred Art I’m-Pulse

July21
Author: Paula Andrea Pyle, MA

Tapping into the Cosmic Therapy in You!

MAN is an artist. Man must create. He lives to express. He breathes life into his work and through this work he is sustained. Man may not recognize the enormous innate artistic talent, along with the other sensual flowering gifts he possesses, but nonetheless, he is endowed to an overflowing pulsating measure. "Your cup runneth over..." He may, in fact, live his entire life under the false assumption that he has no artistic talent by any stretch of the imagination. He may reply: "You've got it all wrong.there's no way I'm an artist. I can't even draw a round circle." {Most people can't without assistance.} Furthermore implying, he has no musical ability whatsoever.

Wrong!!! These erroneous ideas are false. Inaccurate assumptions have possibly invaded his mind {instilled through faulty teaching, unenlightened reasoning and uninformed conditioning}. Or, he, at the vulnerable age period between 9 though 12 years old, (A most critical and crucial stage of life!) was temporarily abruptly cut away from his gifts due to extenuating factors beyond his control. [Usually having something to do with sexual induction] The key, here is to reconnect to that artistic self which was interfered with or obstructed for a season.

The hard lessons offered, experienced and indelibly learned [during this most sensitive and influential time] proved to be invaluable along the path,[Pain and shame are closely related.] but, while he was on the 'other journey' of such , no doubt, he ceased all artistic activity. His life was overshadowed by situations, circumstances, and events that were certainly painful, frustrating and tremendously disappointing. {Possibly, emotionally debilitating.}These experiences created a long-suffering problem. IT seemed as if, he would never be able to realize his most cherish dreams; so, he buried them. {along with his enthusiasm, hope, belief, trust, faith} It would take years before he was able to reconstruct the cosmic pattern held within.

The once unspeakable problem, however turns out to be a blessing in disgusie. Due to the fact that the zest for life may dwindle but the divine spark which ignites the flame never ever goes out. You continue to be what you are no matter what you go through. In fact, what you go through only intensifies your talent! "Hurt Me One More Time, Please!" A sacred opportunity to study, relate, combine and appreciate the specific elements of your personal journey as you apply them in a truly artistic manner.

The premise of Cosmic Therapy through ART is to present the untarnished concept that EVERYONE, no matter age, education, intelligence, size, background, training (formal or none), culture, race and recognized ability is in fact an artist, as true and pure any artist who has ever lived or been acknowledged. Though he may not be aware of it, man is imbued with enormous undiscovered, unrealized, undelivered artistic talent .

Every breathing mortal desires only one thing while he's alive: to connect. He longs to communicate feelings, ideas, thoughts, music, stories, visions, and individualistic expressions. If he has been prevented from sharing these innate talents and gifts, a vital part of that discarded artistic self has died. He and his indelible talents have lain dormant so long, he has almost forgotten he possesses them in any manner. But, as it is written, Lazarus came forth ONLY after having already started to rot. Have you begun to rot? You, along with your special artistic ability and talent can be resurrected. Instead of living a second hand dispassionate life, you can and will unveil and activate these individual powers of magnificence. You already do. The pure sacred sexual impulse generates your every move.

No one has the right, authority, or enough in-sighted brilliance to infer to you that you have no artistic talent. That ignorant statement is a lie. Man is created and immersed in an ever on-going artistic story. He always has been. You are never without being actively involved in art. I submit by careful, committed and applied study of the Cosmic Therapy found singularly in you, through, and about your environment, weaved immeasurably throughout your intimate relationships and carefully diffused in business arrangements; you will be able to locate the obscure repressed artist within. Even though you may be too shy to admit it, or too embarrassed to say, you earnestly yearn for the opportunity to unlock your 'Vault of Artistic Treasure' just to see what is lurking there.

No need to remain frozen in a mumified state. "Lazarus, Come Forth!"

Man wants to correlate his individual existence into something of lasting and purposeful definition. Man desires to experience life passionately and through this personal experience of living, elicit from himself something of value. Artists want to know what's down under.

ART, in all of its myriad forms, remains the single impetus by definition. ART will not apologize to the Artist. It demands a love, passion and obsession so utterly pure that one gist of gain, value or praise expected from it deforms and cripples the talent. "To whom much is given much is required." Man, the Artist, assigns untold obligation upon himself and requires such a state of unification 'in and of' himself that nothing short of a divine contractual commitment will suffice. Otherwise, he and his work would simply fade away.

Artists make people feel. It matters not what that experience consists of as long as it moves him in a direction beyond where he presently resides. The signs and symbols pervade us. We need not go in search of beauty far from our feet. Pulsating, vibrating, gyrating energy surrounds us in everything we can see, feel, hear, touch, and smell. True Artists know. They intuit the life altering energy permeating every step encountered as they walk upon the ground. They relish in the organic experience associated with the sacred energy waiting to be revealed, recognized, harnessed, channeled and detonated into celebrated joyful artist splendor.

The truth is: We, as Artists, exist to produce because we recognize and receive that which is beyond our mortal comprehension. We know that the force that flows through our brushes, chisels, pens, palette knives, hammers, and other means of Artistic expression do not completely reside within us. We starkly verbalize its appearance and abruptly acknowledge the receipt of its expression of celestial origin. We receive so that we may share in its ecstasy and unfathomable bliss. We exist to find, bond, discover and express all that we can of that which saturates us. The grave will ensnare us all. But, not before we make our mark upon the canvas of life. ART transcends life. ART speaks when the tongues of those who so desire to reveal the ugly truth is cut off and out.

About the Author:

Proud Native {Born, Bred, and Resident} of North Carolina, married 39 spectacular years, 6 children, 11 grandchildren. I am passionate about love, living, laughter, liberty, learning, listening, loosening up, lounging, lunch, liveliness, literacy, lip stick, letting my hair down, leaping, leaning, libido, lifting, linking, looking, lodging, lemons and lyrics. My personal and professional background is wide and varied. I have a BS in Communication with a MA in Art Education. I am a Cosmic Therapist, artist, entertainer, singer/songwriter, musician, composer, playwright, perfumer, astrology, author, teacher, speaker, poet and self-taught chef. I am also a radio/television talk show creator, host and director. In addition when I'm not busy, I maintain a presence at M.O.D.E International School of Esoteric Arts and Sciences of which I founded many years ago,

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An Artist’s Statement

July21
Author: Jo Mari Montesa

Of all the gifts God gave to man the finest is his free will. Second to life itself. It is the essence of man. It is what separates man from all the other creatures of God. By ones choice or action he is judged if he is worthy to be called the man created by God.

The child of free will is art. It is man's self-expression. It is synonymous to freedom of expression. Every art is unique since every man is unique. How man perceives art is also unique as how man perceives beauty. As how man perceive life.

Art is like life. It all depends to the person's perception. Truly beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. The gauge of how beautiful life is, depends uniquely to every man.

A professor of mine once walked in the streets of Manila during summer. It is very hot, humid and dusty. He noticed a very old beggar asking for coins to the passers while bathing to the heat of the sun all day. Beside the beggar was a newspaper stand. One tabloid headline reads 'Young Matinee Idol Commits Suicide." My professor stops for awhile and asks himself how could this young man kill himself when he has everything. Money, women, good looks, popularity, youthfulness, what more could he ask for. While this old beggar is still striving for a few coins. Why not just threw himself to the vehicles speeding in front of him. Like my professor, my conclusion too is that it's all a matter of perception.

Like life the beauty of art depends solely to the individual. It is how man perceives art that makes it beautiful.

Those who believe that they found the beauty in life. Let as show that beauty to the world. Let as show our art.

About the Author:

Jose Mari Montesa or Jo Mari is a Visual Artist by talent. He has Masters Degree in Business Administration, Accountancy is his profession and currently working in a bank. But his heart really belongs to the Art world.

Since his boyhood he joined many art contests in different mediums. He has informal trainings in Painting, Technical Drawing and Photography. Also, a student and a believer of Humanities.

Jo Mari is also into Photography. He joined competitions both local and international. Some of his Photographic works are now in the hands of private collectors.

Right now the artist is concentrated in painting. Specifically Oil painting on canvas. He hopes that he will be known for this medium.

Most of his paintings are influenced by the rich culture and tradition in the Philippines. For example his series of Immaculate Concepcion oil paintings are inspired by the dark wood used in the icons of the Virgin Mary centuries ago when Spain brought Christianity to the Philippines. This type of wood are used to make the skin complexion of the Virgin similar to Asian or a Filipina.

Jo Mari have also done Landscapes, Still Life and Abstract paintings.

Jose Mari Jose Mari - http://www.artmajeur.com/jomari


This website has received the 2008 Artmajeur SILVER
Award

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About Glen Cram

July21

I was born in London UK in 1952, and was immigrated to Canada when I was 8 years old. I grew up in Montreal during the 60s and 70s, and got my Bachelor's in anthropology, linguistics and education at McGill University. I travelled extensively in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. I then went teaching Indian students in northern Quebec, where I met my wife Roma. We moved to Toronto, and had Sarah and Matthew. I designed websites for Reuters, the Globe and Mail and GM, and various financial organisations. Although I still dabbled in art, I had all but forgotten my dream of actually doing what I wanted for a living. Then I discovered the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, which showed me that I could in fact be both an artist and a success. I took courses in painting and sculpture, learning the classical techniques and applying them to my own interests and talents, until I felt confident enough to offer my services on a commission basis. I now run an Artist’s Way Meetup group, where I try to offer people in my situation the belief in themselves to follow their artistic heart and become who they really know themselves to be.

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