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What It Takes To Live A Creatively Productive Life

July21
Author: Mary McNeil

If you want to lead an existence which is not just rich in creative thought, but which also produces regular and recognized creative output, you need to design your life so that it supports your creativity. As the writer Oriah Mountain Dreamer observes: "The artist's life is simply an ordinary human life that is consciously choreographed to support ongoing creativity in both you and those around you."

So if you're going to make creative output a practical reality, what are the elements you need to consider as important ingredients in the recipe for your creative success?

Famous achievers in an array of creative fields have written books revealing much about what it takes to live a creatively successful and productive life. Each one describes their individual creative practices, challenges, connections and stories. And while there is much that is unique about each account, there are also many common threads weaving their way through the genre. Here are four of the themes which appear with regularity...

** Don't wait for circumstances to be perfect before you get started.

Producing creative output is a process of starting over and over and over again. Every single time you come to your work, you're required to make another beginning. This is a constant challenge for most creative people. No matter how much you love your creative work once you're in the flow, the struggle to get started rarely goes away.

The temptation to find reasons to procrastinate is strong. That voice in your head can be particularly persuasive. The one that says: 'the time isn't right... I don't have the correct materials... there's no space to work in... I'm not in the best frame of mind... I might get interrupted...' All of these objections may have some truth behind them, but if you don't overrule them, you'll never get started.

Progressing your creative work means creating in the middle of things. Whilst being aware that there are chores to be done, calls to be made, the trivia of life to be attended to, you have to choose periods of time when your creative efforts take the top spot on your list of priorities. If you wait until everything's perfect, you'll simply never get started. And if you never get started, the obvious result is that you'll never produce anything.

** Don't rely on inspiration - build appropriate structure to support your creativity.

Being inspired is a wonderful experience. It can give you wings to produce fabulous creative output. But inspiration can't, unfortunately, be relied upon.

Creative activity needs to have continuity, regularity and a structure to support it. That doesn't mean a rigid structure that's more likely to stifle than to stimulate your imagination. It means supportive routines and practices which, when thoughtfully constructed and utilized will encourage you to get working away on your creative projects and entice your inspiration out to play as you do so.

There will be plenty of days when you don't feel even the tiniest trace of inspiration. These are the days when your support structure will see you through. Your job is simply to show up. If you don't show up and get started, your inspiration won't either. The prolific British composer, John Rutter, was once asked when and where he gets his best ideas. He replied without missing a beat: "When I'm working".

** Be prepared to produce low-grade output more often than top quality work.

The only way to learn and to improve is to experiment. If you want to master your craft you have to practise it. And when you set about practising with enthusiasm, you'll produce any amount of what you might class as inferior quality output. It's important not to allow your judgment of it to stop you in your tracks. Instead, appreciate the progress that you're making and see the improvements as you keep experimenting and learning.

Yes, it's wonderful to produce top quality output, but the kind of output that teaches you the most and develops your skills is, in fact, the substandard. Treat your less magnificent results as encouragement to try again and to improve upon them. Celebrate your turkeys!

** Allow your creativity to change you.

Creative endeavour can and will move you along the path of spiritual and personal growth. A willingness to embrace the changes that it brings about in you as a person and in your life will allow your creative output to develop simultaneously. The two are interwoven. If you attempt to contain or to control the changes that your creative work is nurturing in you, beware! For you run the risk of settling for a smaller, lesser version of the full, glorious, connected self you could be.

Creative work that stems from deep personal connection has tremendous power to reach and to touch others too. As you are changed by your art, so your art can change the world.

Naomi Wolf describes the power of the creative act particularly expressively: "the making of a beautiful thing cracks open the painful or ugly ordinary world, and then something amazing shines through, which you have forever; which can make you blind with tears."

About the Author:

If you're brimming with creative ideas but struggling to develop them into tangible output, the practical support of a coach can make all the difference. Mary McNeil of Create a Space is an experienced, ICF-certified life coach, natural born planner and declutterer extraordinaire! She works with artists, writers and musicians, coaching and supporting them as they make creative output a practical reality.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - What It Takes To Live A Creatively Productive Life

Self Love–Primary Path To Healing, Health And Success

July21
Author: Suzi Elton

Self love is a topic that is almost never discussed. It's not even a concept for the majority of people. What does healthy self love mean, and how does it lead to healing, health and success?

By the nature of childhood (dependency and necessity of learning how life works) many of us humans end up being fed a steady stream of criticism, rebuke, and the opinions of others. We are told how to think, how to feel and how to behave. We are strongly encouraged to conform to standard behavior and seldom allowed to express our uniqueness. We are told to hug and kiss adults we don't want to interact with. We are not allowed or encouraged to make our own decisions.

We are told how to "decide". If we think we know the right thing to do, we are told what the right thing to do would be. The worst part though is being consistently criticized, abused and humiliated, scorned or belittled. This leads us to develop a constant mantra of negative self talk that can follow us all the days of our life unless we purposefully "decommission" it. This is often the most critical part of learning to develop self love. Here are some ideas on developing self love.

1.) Realize that many child rearing techniques are well intentioned, but often end up creating self hating adults who do not trust themselves, and parrot the opinions of the adults who reared them. This in unfortunate, but often is simply the result of parental lack of skill. It is our job to do what it takes to create healthy self respect and self love for ourselves if our upbringing did not provide this. This is easily said but not as easily done.

2.) The most important thing to do is to develop awareness of your negative self talk and replace it with supportive self talk. Start by "capturing" the negative statements you "hear" in your head. Write them down so that you can see exactly what dynamics are at play here. You will likely be shocked when you realize what you are mentally telling yourself all the time. Most of us experience this, but we aren't even aware that it is going on.

Be vigilant about writing these down. You will be amazed at the breadth and depth of negative self talk your inner critic bombards you with. Take each statement and reverse it in such a way that it becomes a self supportive statement. Take the time to do this work; it will really pay off for you. Then, be vigilant about replacing each negative statement with your new self supporting statement.

2.) Learn to trust yourself and your opinions, wishes, and desires. This is not done in a selfish way, just a simple and honest way. Trusting yourself means trusting that "inner voice" (usually felt lower in the body than self talk--which is experienced in the head). This voice might warn us to bring our umbrella, or not walk down a certain street. It is very subtle and usually "mild mannered".

Don't confuse it with parental style admonitions. Some people call it a "gut" feeling because these feelings are frequently experienced in this part of the body. It can feel like a tension or "shrinking" if it's a warning or like a release or expansion if it is a "go" signal. Experiment with becoming more aware of these signals and trusting them.

3.) Self love also means being kind to yourself in a multitude of ways. Taking healthy care of yourself is important. This can mean excellent dental care, exercising, resting, eating healthy, paying attention to and getting care for your health needs. One way to think of this is to pretend that the care you give yourself is the care you would give a well loved child. Likely, you'd take the best care of a child. Why would you do any less for yourself?

Self love is the most direct path to healing, health, and success. It might seem at first that we all love ourselves, but there is likely residue of unloving behavior left over from childhood. You will be amazed as you start to jettison this stuff. Your life will become better, more satisfying and success will be a lot easier. It's a wonderful path to a better life!

About the Author:
Suzi Elton is a success coach working with highly creative types to create income that matches their talent. She has coached hundreds of clients to approach their goals strategically through tiny steps to bring about quantum leaps. Get free Life Purpose exercises, at http://mylifepurposecoaching.com

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Self Love--Primary Path To Healing, Health And Success

Permission To Be An Artist – Granted!

July21
Author: Linda Dessau

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

Since I've been offering Artist Retreat Day programs, I've been hearing a lot about the concept of "permission". Some artists who said yes to a retreat day shared that this was a much-needed structure to enable and empower them to FINALLY give themselves permission to take time for their creative work.

Others just couldn't say yes, just couldn't give themselves permission.

What does it mean to have permission to do something? My thesaurus tells me that other words related to permission are: consent, sanctioning and authorization.

Consent signifies agreement, validation that what you're doing meets with specific expectations, criteria and guidelines. It sounds solemn and like someone has faith in you. Sanction is an even more formal declaration of acceptance and faith.

AUTHORIZED TO CREATE

Authorization well, that implies that you're something special. That not just anyone is meant to be painting this painting, writing this song or designing that jewelry. You have been specially authorized to do it.

And why? Because you have the unique gifts that are necessary to bring that creative project into being. Who authorized you? The same power that granted you those gifts and skills whether you choose to think of that as God, the universe, Spirit, or another name. As we read in the Science of Getting Rich, we're not given the desire to do something without also being given the skill to carry it out.

Why is it so difficult to authorize ourselves, grant ourselves permission and consent, to sanction our own creative work? Sometimes we seek this permission from others, unconsciously (or consciously) hoping they'll deny it, so we won't really have to venture into the scary world of living up to our potential.

A lot of these words symbolize that external permission is needed. And sometimes it is.

PERMISSION FROM OTHERS

Whether you want to attend an artist retreat day, meet a deadline or just develop a new idea that came to you overnight, you'll sometimes need permission from the people you share your life with to take the time for your creative work.

It might mean delegating household work or child-care or rescheduling a date or planned event. All of you might also need a willingness to be flexible and to accept that sometimes things don't get done right away. It also means ensuring an environment of support for your work.

Will others give you permission? Of course you can't control what anyone else thinks, says or does, but consider this: our loved ones will take cues from us about how serious our creative work is to us. If we're constantly putting it on the back burner, putting our work down, and letting it be the first thing to go when things get stressful or busy, we're teaching others to treat it the same way.

If we don't take our creative work seriously, why should they?

PERMISSION FROM SELF - ARTIST AT WORK

I think what's even more important is the permission we give ourselves. There are so many reasons we deny ourselves permission to pursue our creative work. Fear tops the list. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of what people will think of us, fear of being good, fear of being terrible, or fear we'll let someone else down, to name a few examples.

Sometimes we hold on to earlier instances when we were denied permission, denied access, not sanctioned or authorized, or when our work was criticized or belittled. Some of us have even been told, directly, NOT to pursue our creative work ("don't give up your day job", "find another path", "you have no business doing this work"), which hung a big UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS sign on the door of our creative hearts.

So hang a new sign on your creative heart one that reads "Artist at work". And in fine print, "This work has been sanctioned by _______" (the name of your source of Power).

10 Signs That You've Given Yourself Permission To Be A Creative Artist

  1. The first words out of your mouth when someone asks "and what do you do?" are "I'm a songwriter/artist/sculptor/writer, etc.".

  2. You work steadily at your craft, whether it's working on or re-working pieces or promoting your work.

  3. You teach your loved ones to treat your art seriously.

  4. The materials and resources that you need to create with are part of your budget and are planned expenses every month.

  5. You're committed to your learning, growth and development, participating in artists groups and discussion forums and seeking out mentorship and coaching.

  6. You don't let mistakes or criticism stop you from taking your next steps.

  7. You're building the resources you need to support yourself financially, emotionally and spiritually.

  8. You're conscious of your physical lifestyle habits and choose the ones that won't interfere with your creative work.

  9. You find opportunities to pass on your knowledge and support wherever possible, to someone who's had less experience than you have.

  10. You consistently say no to requests for your time, energy and commitmentthat will take you away from your creative work.

It takes time and practice to consistently give yourself permission to create. Start today by improving just one of these ten creative practices.

C Linda Dessau, 2006.

About the Author:

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. Feel like your creativity is blocked? Sign-up for the free e-course, "Roadblocks to Creativity" by visiting http://www.genuinecoaching.com

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Permission To Be An Artist - Granted!

Overcoming Artist’s Block (part 2)

July21

By Gail Miller

Once you are ready to start working again you will know it instinctively. All artists go through periods of 'creative block' - it's normal, but after one such episode there are ways of stimulating ideas and getting the creative juices flowing again.

Visit your local library and take out books that cover materials, techniques and subjects that are not familiar to you. If you are a watercolour artist, why not try oils for once? If you paint large acrylic abstracts, would it be possible to try soft pastels on a smaller scale? What results could you achieve by doing something completely different to what you're used to?

What about trying collage or mixed media work? Take photos of your neighbourhood, family or friends. Local places of interest, the countryside, the seashore, the city. Manipulate your photos on your PC and print out as digital art. Use the images, either natural or manipulated as collage pieces. It is so therapeutic cutting pieces and sticking them down. Use a range of materials to finish your work.

Instead of going straight back to paintings or drawings on normal scale, why not create some miniature pieces? How about greetings cards? White card 'blanks' are very easy to source. How delighted family, friends or customers would be to own an unique hand painted card.

Try drawing for once instead of painting, if that's your usual medium, or vice versa. Fill a sketchbook with small quick sketches. You could even time yourself. Three or five minutes maximum for each sketch.

When you're ready to go full size again, try loosening up your technique, by again setting a time limit for each piece of work you create. With a deadline to meet, you will speed up and loosen up. Try not to be precious with your art. Be quick and bold - see what happens.

Paint upside down. Start a new piece, then half way through turn the paper or canvas round 90 degrees. This is a great technique for abstracts. Use new colours - let them flow into each other. Splatter colours onto the wet surface. If you like, you could turn the work once more to finish. What a great way to create 'happy accidents'.

Paint or draw to music. Use only your emotion to make marks on the surface of your support. Play your favourite rock, pop or classical music, let the melodies and rhythms wash over you, influencing how your artwork evolves. I often paint to 'Smile' by Brian Wilson .... and boy do I get inspired!

What about painting left handed if you're a right-hander and vice versa. Trying to do a representational work with your weakest side will produce art that is still yours, but will have a completely different edge to it. Challenging and great fun to do ... if you have the discipline!

Finally, once you get back into full flow, remind yourself of all the artwork you have created successfully. How appreciated you are by your customers. Read their testimonials. Feel that glow again, when you realise that your creativity block was only temporary and that there are fans out there just waiting for you to release some wonderful new artwork into the arena.

Gail Miller is a professional artist whose artwork is a visual feast of colour and fun. Her fascination with bold colours and fluid, expressive shapes and line are evident in funky abstracts, sinuous nudes, vibrant still life paintings and lively townscapes. Visit her website at http://www.gailmiller.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gail_Miller
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Overcoming Artist’s Block (Part 1)

July21

By Gail Miller

How many times does an artist stare down at that blank piece of paper thinking "What on earth do I paint - Where do I put my first mark?" More often than you would imagine! It happens to all creative people actually, from visual artists, designers, poets, through to musicians and writers.

When this situation arises, you are in the grip of creative block. When you wrack your brains to come up with ideas but just can't seem to. There may be contributing factors to this state, such as tiredness, depression, environmental, physiological or psychological issues. On the other hand you could just be experiencing a period of simple low creativity.

When this happens there are a few things you can do to restore your creativity levels at will, however what you must not do is worry or fret about it. If the worst comes to the worse and you don't seem to be able to produce any work, simply regard the period as a 'holiday' or a rest. Your creativity level WILL rise again. In the meantime, utilise the time spent not creating to do positive things anyway.

Research other artists' work. Visit galleries or surf the net and see what other people are doing. Join artists' chat rooms or visit message boards or forums where you can exchange ideas and views with other artists. Just talking to other creative people can give you a real buzz! You might even make some new friends in the process.

Spend the time you are not actually producing art, by increasing your marketing efforts. Send postcards to galleries, research upcoming local art fairs or events where you could possibly take a booth to sell your art. Have some leaflets or brochures printed up all about yourself and your work. Take a couple of days out of your schedule and do a local neighbourhood leaflet drop.

Update your website or online portfolio. You may think it's already perfect but it's not often that things can't be improved or sharpened in some way. Update your artist's statement; put new 'zing' into your descriptions.

If you really can't face doing anything concerning your own artwork, visit the theatre, go to a pop concert, browse local museums. Go to a restaurant or coffee bar with friends and have a (non art related) natter.

Use the time to take a complete break, if this is what works best for you. You will instinctively know when the time is right to 'go back' to your art. When this happens there are lots of techniques you can use to get back into the swing of high creativity. These I explore in my article 'Overcoming Artist's Block (part 2)'.

Gail Miller is a professional artist whose artwork is a visual feast of colour and fun. Her fascination with bold colours and fluid, expressive shapes and line are evident in funky abstracts, sinuous nudes, vibrant still life paintings and lively townscapes. Visit her website at http://www.gailmiller.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gail_Miller
http://EzineArticles.com/?Overcoming-Artists-Block-(Part-1)&id=12036

Making Creative Output A Practical Reality

July21
Author: Mary McNeil

If you want to bring your creative ideas to life, you'll know that you need more than just inspiration. It takes planning and persistent effort too. So if you're brimming with creative ideas but struggling to develop them into tangible output, here are a couple of techniques you can use to make creative output a practical reality.

1. Declutter your way to creativity

Clutter takes many different forms. The most obvious is the physical clutter in your home. Less obvious, but just as constricting, are the emotional and mental clutter you carry around in your head and in your habits. I'm a great believer that the first step you need to take towards greater creativity in your life is to create a space for it.

Sometimes you need to create space without knowing what will fill it. Just clear the clutter and trust that something creative will appear once there's space for it. In my experience it always does. Other times you need to create space with a specific purpose or creative project in mind.

The process of decluttering itself often involves tough decisions, followed by a brief period of grieving for the ex-clutter. But once you've got through that, you experience a fabulous lightness and sense of possibility. This is the space in which your creativity can come out to play.

- So if you stop for a moment and think about where the clutter is in your life, what springs immediately to mind?

- If you were to clear one particular area or type of clutter in your life, which one would free you up the most to get creative?

- What's the first step you need to take to get clearing and to create some creative space for yourself?

2. Create structure to support your creativity

There's a fairly widely held belief that truly creative people need to live unstructured, bohemian lives and that any hint of a routine will kill their creative output. Now while that may be the ideal for a rare few artists, for most people it removes the possibility of a support system.

I believe that the structures and routines you build in your life are the foundations which support your creativity. They can, of course, also stifle it. So you need to make sure that you're building the right sort of foundations. And that means designing your day-to-day routines thoughtfully.

Ultimately you want your creativity to have some output. That involves creating the space and the routines which will allow you to practise your art regularly, whatever form it takes. The grander the scale of your creative ambitions, the more space and disciplined structure you will need.

- Have a think about how much time you want to spend each day (or each week) on your creative projects.

- What routine or structure could you put in place to ensure that you get the time you want?

- If you can't get all the time and space you want, how could you get at least a part of it? What's the first step towards it?

About the Author:

Mary McNeil is an experienced, ICF-certified life coach, natural born planner and declutterer extraordinaire! She works with her clients on a variety of decluttering, success and creativity projects. Her 30-day home learning e-course is jam-packed full with the knowledge and experience she's gained over years of one-to-one coaching with her clients. Check out => Declutter Your Way To Creativity

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Making Creative Output A Practical Reality

How to be creative and find motivation for designing websites

July21
Author: Dinah John

Website Motivation - Whatever your skills, whatever your interests, everyone has the ability to be creative in their work. However, we can often lose our motivation and drive to create, making it difficult to stay focused on a particular work plan or project, especially in web design. So what is the best method for staying motivated?

The key to maintaining your own motivation to be creative is actually a long term effort. Starting out can be tough, and in most cases the most difficult part. But with the right methods and consistency you will be able to reach a point where staying motivated is easy. It is a simple case of knowing when to make the right choices at the right times.

Obviously everyone is unique and each of you will have your own methods and actions into being creative. But here is the chance to read something that offers some possible methods and solutions when getting motivated and staying motivated.

The main things to take into consideration are:

Set goals
You will find it is a lot easier to stay motivated when you feel like you've reached a target. Give yourself something to achieve and break the work load down. If it is a large website project you are working on, set yourself mini goals so you are reaching targets every few hours or days rather than spending weeks trying to get the lot done.

Small bite-sized objectives
As mentioned briefly above, set yourself up for more success than failure by being realistic in goal setting and come up with small, bite-sized tasks to start with. As you complete more tasks, start making your goals more ambitious.

Build a creative workstation
Whether you design websites at your desk, in a dark room or a home office, you need to assign a place to yourself where you can be creative. Once you've decided on that place, use it! Each creative task and success you achieve in your 'creative workstation', will slowly train your mind to be creative within it. When I first set up my creative workstation it took me about 3 months for it to click in my mind that it was actually my workstation but as soon as I enter now, I can focus my mind that I'm ready to work.

Walk away, but don't quit!
Whatever you do, you must always remember to never give up on a website or problem. Put them to one side for a while but always come back it later on, even if it means coming up with a theory for solving the problem. These problems build confidence and develop a nice portfolio.

Find your creative time zone
Just like your body's sleeping and eating times, there is also a best time when your body can be most creative. For me, the best time to be creative used to be late at night, now-a-days it's usually between midday and late evening. Although I do have a creative burst where I get most work done after 9pm. Your main objective is find out when you are at your most creative side and start using that time to your advantage.

Using the right tools
When being creative designing websites you need to ensure that you are using the right tools for the job. The 'right tools' doesn't necessarily mean the best tools but being creative can be difficult enough, therefore, the idea is to make the job / project as easy as possible. For example, my best choice design software has got to be 'Photoshop', you may make this more difficult by trying to use 'mspaint' to come up with some amazing graphics. It's something you just don't do!

Following progress
One of the key points in being creative is to follow your own progress. As mentioned in step 1; the main objective is to break the task down into smaller parts. Therefore, after a few weeks working on a project look back and see how far you've come. If you don't stop every so often to see where you were a couple of months ago, and where you are now – do it! You might just surprise yourself on how much progress you've made and how your creativity has grown.

Get out of the house
This may seem a bit like the step where you walk away from your work and come back to it later, but there is a fine line between setting aside some work and actually taking a break from your workstation. Whilst a creative workstation can often be the best practice, it sometimes helps to go somewhere different to work. It can provide a different level of ideas and influence your creativity and work.

Work through it
You may think that it's pointless trying to force yourself to be creative when you're 'not in the mood' but often it can work in your favour. It may feel difficult to start with but as you gain momentum you'll find your motivation returns almost every time! After all, you have nothing to lose; you get the job done and you're still producing quality work / websites. It may not seem like they are of good quality but you may still be working the same as you usually do, you're just in the wrong state of mind to realise.

About the Author:

Read more about web design and Ecommerce web design glassbottomdesign.co.uk.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - How to be creative and find motivation for designing websites

Decluttering & Creativity

July21
Author: Mary McNeil

Intuitively the link between decluttering and creativity makes sense doesn't it? Creativity thrives in the land of new ideas and open thinking, while clutter tends to be characterised by clinging on to old ideas, attitudes, habits and possessions. In order to free yourself up to be fabulously creative, you often need to be prepared to let go of the clutter first. Inspiration is unlikely to emerge unless you've created a space for it.

Clutter generally builds up quietly and imperceptibly over time. The reason for this is that not all clutter starts out its existence as clutter. If you think about the clutter in your life at the moment, you can probably recognise that much of it was originally useful and meaningful. It's the passing of time and the moving on to different phases of your life that convert many of your once-wonderful ideas, items and relationships into life clutter.

You'll probably find that, strangely enough, some of your old clutter consists of items and ideas that were once your creative playground. Many of yesterday's creative sparks evolve into today's clutter. It doesn't mean that they weren't creative at the time or that they had no worth, simply that time has passed and they are no longer current. I like to imagine them as the creative stepping stones that have brought me to where I am now - I couldn't have got here without them, but their value is now in the past and by clinging on to them, I prevent myself from moving forwards.

That's why decluttering has to be a way of life, a state of mind and an ongoing activity. Particularly during the times when you want to produce creative output.

There's an important distinction to be made between clutter and creative messiness, though. A reader of my newsletter wrote to me about her decluttering routine: "I am an artist and always clean my entire studio before beginning a new series of paintings. Sometimes this might take two days! I put everything in the correct place, vacuum, wash windows, rearrange the feng shui, etc. When I am finished, I bless the space and then proceed to totally mess it up with all my creative materials and energy!!!"

The space you declutter may be a physical or a mental one - the important thing is that it's clear, and that's what allows it to be a creative start point. It liberates you to get out all your coloured pencils, all your bright ideas, all your interesting words... to throw them in, mix them around and to make a gloriously creative mess. Then comes that amazing flow experience of being totally absorbed as, from the mess of creative potential, a sense of focus gradually emerges.

Most times, for me, I don't think the focus would come unless I allowed myself the creative messiness first.
In this context, then, clutter is the stuff that blocks you from having the clear space in which to get creatively messy.

It may be environmental clutter - physical things gathering dust and taking up your creative space. That's generally the most obvious kind of clutter to spot and to do something about.

But it may be mental or emotional clutter. For example: the internal voice that says you should be getting on with something more important, or the fear of producing creative output that isn't perfect first time. These thought patterns and emotions are clutter too.

To embrace decluttering as a way of life and turn it to your creative advantage, there are three key skills to develop:

- Recognising clutter before it even enters your life and stopping it at source

- Acknowledging which of your previously useful thoughts, attitudes and items have now turned into clutter

- Being prepared to thank the clutter for its earlier usefulness, then let it go

What life clutter would you like to thank for its usefulness, before letting it go and freeing yourself up for new creative ideas and output?

About the Author:

Mary McNeil of Create a Space is an experienced, ICF-certified life coach who works with her clients on a variety of decluttering, success and creativity projects. Her 30-day home learning e-course: 'Declutter Your Way To Creativity' is available from www.Create-a-Space.co.uk .

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Decluttering & Creativity

Artists Creative Block – Overcoming the Difficulty

July21
Author: Les Anderson

From time to time, most artists have experienced a creative block. Is there a key to overcoming this block to restore our creativity? Let's look creatively at what artists experience, what it feels like when a block occurs, and how to overcome the artists block.

When it strikes, we never see it coming. The feeling is something like this: You're strolling through a serene forest, the cool breeze caressing your hair and whispering from the treetops above you. The filtered sunlight is fluttering like a nature-made strobe, lulling you to sleep.

You see the ocean in the distance and can almost feel the salt spray on your cheeks as you make your way down the needle-laden path toward the shore. Spying a beautiful cluster of magenta colored flora, you stop. As you bend down to caress one of many blossoms, you close your eyes to allow the scent to permeate your mind, unmolested by sight and sound. The sensation is near heavenly.

As you stand and open your eyes, you find that a heavy fog has suddenly and cruelly replaced the forest, and you're surrounded by darkness. You turn back to the path but the path is gone. You turn toward what you thought was the ocean and you see only fog. Behind you, fog. Beside you, only fog. You reach out your hands in a vain attempt to feel something, anything familiar.

As the anxiety mounts, you feel the familiar pricks of pine needles on your face and hands. Now however, they seem foreign and angry, no longer the beautiful sunlight filter they once were. You can see nothing, so you stumble around in the fog until you are so frustrated that you stop and collapse onto the forest path, your cheek pressed against forest floor, the scent of the magenta flower replaced by the smell of dirt.

Unfortunately, artists block can occur without notice. One moment we're in the groove. The next thing we know we're on the forest floor. It's from the floor of the forest, blinded by the fog that we make our choice to either continue to lay there in defeat, or get up and find the way out.

Ok, first step is to take a break. Make it a short break, not a long one. Get up, stretch, go for a walk. Get a cup of coffee or tea. Get a beer if you're so inclined. Go outside if you're inside. Go for a swim or take a nap. Go for a drive or a bike ride.

The idea is to get away from the canvas and get away from the block. This is equivalent to sitting on the forest floor, or standing on the path, stretching and waiting for the fog to clear. If the fog takes a while to clear, at least you're not wallowing in self-doubt and pity. You're facing the fog and not allowing it to get the better of you.

What should you do after your break? Get up and move. I've found that when my mind seems blocked from the creativeness and talent that I know I possess, there truly is a next step. However the question is, what is the next step?

The answer is, move. Now that you have had your rest break on the forest floor, move.

Naturally, the next question is, which direction do you go when you're in a fog? There are choices.

Move back. Go back down the familiar path that was so beautiful just moments before. Get back to the basics of primary colors, pencil drawing and stick figures. Soon you'll rediscover yourself and your roots. Make it simple like it once was. Relax and move back.

Move to the side. Venture off into the foggy forest to discover new and exciting things that you would never have seen had you stayed on the path. Try something you've never tried before. If you're into oils, break out the watercolors. If you do pastels, try sculpting. If airbrush is your thing, do some finger-painting. Move to the side.

Move forward. Continue through the fog toward that beautiful seascape that you know is there. Forget what just happened. Don't dwell on what turned out bad. Don't speculate on what caused the block. Know that you're creative. Know that you're talented. Put the block behind you and try something that was more difficult than the project before. Many times for me this has brought me to places I didn't know I could reach. Move forward.

When you encounter artists block, the point is to move. Don't let the block get you down.

Move. Move. Move. Remember the only real reason you got artists block in the first place: You're talented. You're creative.

You're an artist!

About the Author:

Telecommunications Engineer, freelance artist and writer, Les Anderson has been published in business-related, telecommunications technical trade journals.

Formal education aside, his best artistic education comes from personal studies under Hollywood portraitist, Alexander Rosenfeld, and Southern California watercolorist, Margaret Hunter.

Canvas and Pen ,
motivation and inspiration for writers and artists.

Canvas and Pen Blog ,
a little edgier, with your feedback.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Artists Creative Block - Overcoming the Difficulty

Artists and Depression

July21
Author: Megan Webber

Health concerns are a major issue for all of us, whether it's fitness, weight control or specific health issues. I am an artist. Since my mid teens I have also suffered from Depression. I however didn't come to terms with this until my mid 30's. Initially on consultation with my GP I began a six-month course of antidepressant medication.

What I found with this kind of medication was that as an artist it was not the direction I needed. Yes, it blocked my emotional responses to certain situations, but this was more a dilemma then help. To me as an artist if you can't feel you can't express yourself.

So at the end of the day I decided to stop the medication and live with my condition accepting that I would have my up and down days. This can be difficult when dealing with family or your partner. At times is can be difficult to gain understanding about these issues with people you love. Yes you are fatigued much of the time and others unable to get outside and experience life. Many aspects of life become difficult.

When I met my current partner I was introduced to the products of Herbalife. As a trained Kinesiologist she also was able to fast track some core issues that had impacted on my condition.

I've been that sort of person who likes to almost stick my head in the sand when it comes to some health issues. Also hold a certain scepticism, which means that I need to consider all aspects of anything before I commit.

First of all I became aware that even in my mid 30's I was peri menopausal. In fact probably for many years. Something that can also has an impact on emotional levels as well as physical.

I have now started a course of herbal treatments, which unlike traditional medicines deal with a holistic approach. I strongly believe gentler on mind and body, but truly effective on assisting me with my conditions.

I now take Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix, which balances my nutrition on a daily basis, Formula 2 that is a vitamin B complex, Formula 3 Vitamin C and Tang Kuei the key ingredient, which stabilise hormonal changes.

The key ingredient of Tang Kuei, which has been taken by men and women for centuries in China, is Angelica polymorph and Chamomile. These ingredients are used after strenuous physical exertion, relief of muscle tension and for relaxation.

This has been a fantastic break through for me with depression and pre menopausal conditions. Tang Kuei is extremely important for a range of health problems not just depression. From Chronic fatigue syndrome, menopause, arthritis, Asthma, Skin conditions, Weight Loss and more there are many products to help you. These products are much less invasive then many prescribed treatments and will balance your system physically and mentally.

As like some of you I don't necessarily like to talk about my conditions, but these nutrition products make a huge difference to my quality of life.

Please email me with comments or questions on DM or email me on the form below to see whether we can help you out or, other loved ones with any of their health concerns.

If you can think of anyone who you think can benefit from any of the listed information please feel free to forward this article to them.

http://www.thehealthsuccesssite.com/webber.html

About the Author:

Artist and Health Consultant representative.

Working as an artist for over 20 years. Have a love of the environment and politics, which don't always go hand to hand.

Lateral thinker who likes a challenge.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Artists and Depression

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

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - An Artist's Statement