Creativity: Shifting “Should” Mindset to “Could”

[Click here to see the YouTube video]

I had just completed the painting and wanted to share the process. So yesterday I posted photos and this text on Facebook:

Parts of the completed reworked painting …Please help me give it a title…

 I have included throughout this article photos of various sections of this unnamed art piece. The complete painting is posted at the end…

floral fantasy1Elaine Rose immediately suggested ‘Floral Fantasy’, which I like.

floral fantasy2Then I got a heartwarming, validating comment from acquaintance and Facebook friend Andreea Negrea:

This is just beautiful Nellie ! I’ve come back to this post 3-4 times today just to take another look, there is something in this painting that’s hidden… I don’t know how to explain it. There are so many elements in it that give me a different emotion every time I come back to look at it. For some reason I want to call it “The longing”, that’s what came to me every time. I love it. You are very talented.

I find painting to be a unique way of expressing oneself and I wish I had that talent. It must be an amazing way to release emotion and energy.

floral fantasy3Andreea’s comment inspired this blog post …Read on…

floral fantasy4I am just getting back into creating art after a very long break, in spite of  the fact that – as with any creator – when I’m fully into it, the process of art creation takes me to a high, a place that’s beyond this world, to feeling that is  almost indescribable, at least on a public site as this.

I want to share with you information about the painting’s years’ long development and the creative truths verified along the way …

floral fantasy5Years ago, I framed what I thought was a completed painting as a triptych, and hung it on a wall. Here is the original:

floral fantasy originalOver time, however, whenever I looked at it – except for certain elements – I came to hate it.

I felt it was too busy, too dull, too much of an experiment in too many areas that didn’t really work as a whole. Two years ago, I took it down and turned it to face a wall.

Every time I walked by, I’d glance at the back of the frame, and wonder what to do with it.

Two weeks ago,  I  spontaneously began dismantling the frame layer by layer.

First off were the screws holding the support wire, then the glued wrapping paper protecting the back, followed by the heavy cardboard backing held in place by dozens of staples, and finally, the white matte. It took almost an hour of careful removal to free the painting.

I placed it on a table, ready for something, but what? I’d stop, stare at it and wonder, “What should I do to improve it? What if I mess it up?” And then,  after a few days, asked myself, “Who am I answering to …and, really, who cares?” I decided to let go of the “should” and instead embrace the “could”. What could be done to make this painting more exciting, cohesive and, even, mysterious?

Out came pastel crayons, liquid acrylics, and magic markers. The colour red became my friend. Each day, I eliminated the busy-ness, added a bit of colour here, a brush stroke there. And then, yesterday I was done!

floral fantasy7Not only did I enjoy the process, not only did I love the changes, but the fact that someone else expressed her emotional reactions to it was really an unexpected icing on the cake.

I wrote a note of appreciation, “Thanks again, Andreea. Your response is very meaningful to me.

floral fantasy8To which she replied,

Thank YOU for sharing something so beautiful, something made by your hands and driven by emotions and soul. This was truly a breath of fresh air in this social media world that’s full of disturbing and draining drama … Keep doing all you do, it’s inspirational!

Here’s the completed painting, needing a title… (I LOVE the red!)

Floral Fantasy_1

Untitiled Triptych – Multi-media 21½” high x 31½” wide

[Click here to see the YouTube video]

After posting on Facebook, my friend and fine artist Elaine Clarfield Gitalis, who taught a few of my art courses (see my next article for her A to L assignment), wrote, “…the red was a bold move!……you made great painting out of a good painting!”

My reply, not a word of a lie? ” Red just came to me like a bolt out of the sky. Who can explain those moments, Elaine? There are no words.

So, I suggest anyone looking for creative solutions:

  • Let go of restrictions caused by
    • traditional practices,
    • preconceived ideas,
    • self-criticism,
    • concern of what others expect or think, or
    • striving for imaginary perfection (who is the judge?).
  • Experiment with new elements and fresh ideas.
  • Access limitless creativity and problem solving change your thinking from “should” to “could.”
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Starring Violette Clarke!! Turning Passion into Products & Services-Part 8

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This is the eighth in an ongoing series featuring worldwide creative-thinkers’ responses  to questions about creativity posted previously on this site.  

Violette Clark

Please welcome artist Violette Clark who years ago shared her  personal story on my Creativity-Bites blog.  Violette is a fabulous marketer of her products and services, and generously offers her  tactics below. (Click on any image to enlarge)

What you do and what product(s) and/or service(s) you offer that developed as a result of your passion.

I am an artist and creative spirit. My passion is to inspire people to embrace who they are through the vehicle of their creativity. I have had a book published – Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash Your Inner Eccentric (North Light Books).  From there I created a couple of online classes on Visual Journaling.  I’m in the process of creating self-esteem kits for teens. I also teach visual Journaling to teens and women. I have been teaching workshops – in different art forms for 30 years.  Right now I’m focusing on teaching Visual Journaling/mixed media to teens and women. 

 
 

 

Violettes Products and Services

 How you came about to create it or them?

How did I come to create them? 

Well the path to my book Journal Bliss was not an easy or quick one.  First I had my art and projects published on online zines, and then on physical magazines. Then from there to paper arts magazines like Cloth Paper Scissors, Somerset, Altered Couture, Haute Handbags, etc.  The book opened doors which led me to create online classes.

As for teaching workshops I have been doing this for 30 years in some shape or form artistically. Regarding my online classes I had to teach myself how to shoot video and how to work in Indesign (so I could create PDF files).

 It’s been a big learning curve for me. I am fortunate to have a partner who is a techie so he can help me along the way.

 Your target market

Violettes Studio

My target market is women between the ages of 40 and 65. However, I’ve had folks as young as teens interested in my work (as is evidence from the workshops I am teaching) and women into their 70’s.

 How do you market?

I

  • have an e-zine
  • blog 5 days a week (and have done so for 5 years)
  • took out ads in a paper arts magazine
  • article market (e-zine articles)
  • do online interviews/podcasts
  • have had virtual book tours
  • create YouTube videos
  • have been on TV locally and internationally (HGTV Weird Homes and numerous Local TV shows)
  • do art demos in local craft and art stores/galleries
  • been in the newspapers promoting my book and classes
  • have a Ning site, Flickr site, Cafepress store
  • recently had a table at the B.C. Art Teachers Conference with my books and promoting classes
  • had my website on the back of my van (it’s now sitting idle in the driveway)
  • wear my art – literally – my soldered art prints, painted purses (which cause people to ask me about it and then I tell them what I do)
  • had projects in magazines with my contact info on the bottom of the article
  • create colourful bookmarks with my information on the back and give these out freely to folk
  • had contests on my blog and given away art and books
  • am on Facebook and Twitter and talk about art and blog posts on there
  • am a designer for The Art Glitter Institute, so create projects online for them at http://artglitterblog.blogspot.com/
  • call local women’s centers and also neighbourhood houses to see if they would like me to teach a class – and am teaching Visual journaling to teens as a result
  • recently called my therapist (from the past) and given her my self-esteem kit to see what she thought of it – she now might have me teach a class on self-esteem using art. 
  • joined Toastmasters so that I can go out and do some public speaking on creativity which will enable me to sell my books and products after the talks.
  • created short YouTube videos to promote my book and 2 online classes (I also have a third class) I am sure I’m missing something.

Violettes Art

As you can see I try many different things to get the word out there.  You can find some articles and projects here:

http://www.creativity-portal.com/howto/a/violette/index.html 

 Contact information/website.

You can contact me via my website http://www.violettesfolkart.com. Check out my YouTube videos at: http://www.youtube.com/user/creativeboho or e-mail: violetteclark@shaw.ca

________________

Your comments and feedback to this posting are more than welcome.  

If you would like to send your own opinions, ideas and experiences, click here for the questions. When you’ve completed them, click here to send your responses and contact details 

You and your story may be mentioned in my book-in-progress about mining creativity, with acknowledgement and reference to you and your contact information.

 Please forward the link to this site to anyone in your network who might be interested in reading them and/or participating.  

 All the best.   

Creatively yours,        

Nellie 

__________     

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Do you want to share your creative story? Click here to send your answers to the above questions.

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Creativity: Questions & Answers-Part 7: Barbara Florio Graham

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This is the seventh in a series featuring worldwide creative-thinkers’ responses  to questions about creativity posted previously on this site.  

Please welcome Barbara Florio Graham, a writer, teacher and communications consultant. Her book “Musings”  was a winner in the 2002  Cat Writers’ Association, Inc. communications contest. Visit Barbara’s website at  www.SimonTeakettle.com

 1. What is a creative environment?

Any environment can be enhanced to stimulate creativity. If you work all day in a small cubicle with neutral walls decorated only with calendars, charts, and the occasional family photo, it’s very difficult to think creatively.

 How do you define it?

 A creative environment is full of things that stimulate your right brain. The ideal surroundings include plants, running water (perhaps a table fountain), a view outside where you can see nature (my office overlooks a large pine tree and bird feeders), and lots of visual images: not just photos, but posters, drawings, abstract as well as conventional art.

What do you need to be at your creative best? How do you/can we develop a creative environment to promote day-to-day creative-thinking and solutions at home, school and in business? (You can refer to physical space, attitudes, systems, beliefs, etc.)

 In addition to the surroundings I’ve described above, anyone can move into a space that’s more right-brain friendly, such as the courtyard or lobby of a building where there is art, plants, a fountain, and different kinds of seating from your office chair. Taking a walk outdoors is helpful, and those who work at home (or tend to brainstorm problems while they’re at home) will find that taking a shower or a bath can help. Water is a great stimulant for the right brain. 

 2. What are the common obstacles and fears people commonly face when called to use their creativity?

I mentor writers, and many complain about writer’s block. But that is almost always caused by fear. If you don’t attempt something, you can’t fail! Thinking you might not be able to do something is a sure way to shut down and become more frustrated.

 What solutions do you have?

 I teach an online course, called Tapping Your Innate Creativity, that has received rave evaluations from participants since I first began to offer it in hands-on workshops two decades ago. The lessons and exercises are original with me, and everyone who has taken the course tells me they really work.

3. What strategies are available for people to access their creativity?

I describe a great many in my course, and work individually with participants to help them along the way, because each person  is different.

4. In what ways are you creative?

 The best testament to my creativity is my famous cat, who owns the company, has been featured on radio and TV, wrote an award-winning book, and has a blog. I created the persona more than 30 years ago, and the third (real) cat to carry the name Simon Teakettle heads a MEWSical Society with 33 cats from six countries plus a parrot. He now has a Facebook Fan Club, and the fan page on his website includes several dogs, birds, a rabbit, an alpaca and a llama. How creative is that!

In what ways do you contribute to the creative process/outcomes for others?

By working with writers and entrepreneurs I mentor, and through my online course.

________________

Your comments and feedback to this posting are more than welcome.  

If you would like to send your own opinions, ideas and experiences, click here for the questions. When you’ve completed them, click here to send your responses and contact details 

You and your story may be mentioned in my book-in-progress about mining creativity, with acknowledgement and reference to you and your contact information.

 Please forward the link to this site to anyone in your network who might be interested in reading them and/or participating.  

 All the best.   

Creatively yours,        

Nellie 

__________     

To listen to call-ins discussing “Creativity and Innovation in Our Homes, Schools and Workplaces” with co-host World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21 co-founder and Creativityland CEO Marci Segal, click here to tune in to Part One on Episode 29 and Part Two on Episode 30

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