Tag Archives: inspiration

Ugh! Why is my creativity stalled?

My last blog post was about asking why–three times, in three different ways to get motivated about creating your next thing. This is part two, what if I know why I want to create this thing, but I am still stuck??

Asking your head, heart and gut–why do you want to create your thing of interest–is a big deal. Our why is the motivation behind creating, it drives us. And keeps driving us. But what if we think we aren’t good enough?

Self-awareness is the key to recognizing and managing our self-doubt about our creativity. Where is the resistance (the BIG R!) originating from? Most of us feel the negative power of the “Big R” but don’t really analyze it. One of our creative centers–either our fearful/critical head, our envious/comparing heart or our lazy gut center is to blame. Which of these intelligence centers is your resistance culprit?

One of the tricks of our head center is perfectionism–this stops us from creating–it tells us we aren’t good enough to do it. If our head center convinces us that everything has to be perfect, it knows we won’t begin, or at least we won’t finish what we started. For example, I’ve done endless research for my new book and made an outline of the chapters. Is my head center the culprit for my stalling actually writing it? I ponder this–I’m not at the point of analysis paralysis and still have incredible curiosity about my subject. No, I don’t think its fear from my head center that is stopping me at this point.

Our heart center says, “What if I suck?” If we say this, then what we are really saying is that I suck compared to others. Comparison is a major creativity killer. So I say to my heart, my feelings, “If I really suck at this then why do I have a persistent desire–a calling–to birth this book?  My heart says, “I have a deep passion for this subject, it is significant to me and I don’t think anyone else has already done this book… I know they haven’t!” Its my unique voice and history and take on the subject (my mess, my message) after all–so why compare myself to others?

What am I feeling, I ask my heart? “I am feeling overwhelmed by my story–getting lost in it.” This is another effective “Big R” tactic. “What are the most authentic pieces of your book,” my heart says, “most true for you? Cut everything else, get rid of it…” OK this is great advice from my heart. Its helping me, not causing my “Big R.” Its telling me to simplify, simplify on the message(s) that matter most.

This leaves only my trusted gut center for me to ask the same question: Are you the culprit– the resistor of me writing this book? Alright it confesses: “I am pitifully suffering from under-action, undisciplined writing time and poor resolve. I am excessively surfing the net–in the name of research–which is really BS. I am not controlling my time, NOT spending my time doing the right things at the right time for the good of my book.” My gut tells me, “You know you write best in the morning, the earlier the better, but instead you are insanely reading newspapers and opinions… the all-distracting Trump thing you have going on… he isn’t anything you can control, so why spend your best time on this?”

My gut tells me: “Creativity isn’t about rare talent, it’s about executing! Quit ignoring writing your book and feeling overwhelmed by it. Get down to the nitty-gritty writing of the details to discover which of your ideas work best. It’s a numbers game, but it is a numbers game that you are not playing!” Oh yes, thanks for reminding me–being creative isn’t magic. It’s just a person dedicated to actually doing it for better or worse–no matter the ever present resistance–every single day.

Aha, that’s it! My distractions and excuses are essentially lies. My gut tells me so! We can DO this creative thing, lets do it!

I invite you to read more about the creative high hanging and low hanging fruit from our three intelligence centers in my book: The Three Sources of Creativity: Breakthroughs from Your Head, Heart and Gut.

Thank you for reading my post. My core message of everyone is creative resonates with people of all ages and walks of life. I invite all to become the best version of themselves and find true meaning by pursuing long term creative quests in my book and website.

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Surprising Ways Animals Inspire Great Art!

Why do animals inspire such great art? For some, it is their unconscious beauty–they never struggle to be “authentic” or creative–they just are. For others–many would say–it’s their unconditional love and joyous way of giving back to us. And yet for others, it is the desire to “conserve” the rare beauties for the next generation.

For photographer Michael Kern, he uses abstraction to remove fear and prejudice of reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids, “I’m trying to help people see the beauty in the beast,” he says.

PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL D. KERN

Kern’s says that most of us don’t experience and appreciate the beauty of these animals due to our natural fear of them–and some of these species need our help to survive. He is dedicated to their conservation and hopes to save them through revealing them in his art.

Kern’s creatures include: bush viper, tragopan, chameleons, rainbow millipede, flower mantis, and blue tarantula

He starts by photographing the animal. Then he “deconstructs it into its most basic elements: color, line, pattern, texture.” These are the building blocks of a new image, which he alters in Photoshop. His technique results in a pair of portraits: one abstract, one of reality. When he is successful Kern muses, he turns fear into fascination for his viewers.

Kern’s Panther chameleon (left) and rainbow millipede

Frida Kahlo is famed for the love of her beasts and she is frequently painted with them in her self-portraits.

 Frida Kahlo with her pet deer

Frida kept pet monkeys, xoloitzcuintli (“Mexican Hairless”dogs), parrots, parakeets, macaws, chickens, a pet eagle, and a fawn called Granizo. Kahlo had a chronic pain-filled life due to childhood polio and a tragic bus accident— but her animals were a calming constant.

Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait With Monkeys

Painter/illustrator Norman Rockwell remains widely popular for his nostalgic depictions of American family life, he did many iconic covers for the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines. He often painted dogs because they were an important part of families and a sense of “home.” His own dogs hung out with him in the studio. He recommended that other artists depict them “just as carefully and understandingly as you paint the people.”

Normal Rockwell posing a beagle for a reference photograph

 “Boy and Girl Gazing At The Moon” by Norman Rockwell

Another dog-inspired artist is Picasso. Pablo Picasso, perhaps the most influential artist of the 20th century, was born in Spain in 1881. He acquired Lump his dachshund in 1957. When Lump and Pablo met, it truly was “true love”. Lump was allowed anywhere on Picasso’s property, including being the only creature allowed in Picasso’s studio. Lump appeared in 54 of Picasso’s works. They were together for sixteen years, and died within months of each other.

Pablo Picasso and Lump

 Pablo Picasso’s “Dog” Line Drawing

Paul Klee’s unique style was influenced by expressionism, orientalism, cubism, and surrealism.  His original work is a favorite of many other artists, art scholars, and teachers because it is immediately recognizable.

“Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.” Paul Klee.

Klee was so devoted to his white cat (Bimbo) that he would write to his wife (while he was away) simply to inquire how his kitty was doing.

Paul Klee, his wife Lily, and their cat Bimbo

Klee’s love of cats meant many were incorporated into his paintings.

“Cat and Bird” by Paul Klee

 “The Mountain of the Sacred Cat” by Paul Klee

Why such a love of cats you may ask? The French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was a photojournalist for Life and other publications and is considered to be the father of modern photojournalism. He explains his love for cats like this: “I’m an anarchist, yes. Because I’m alive. Life is a provocation…. I’m against people in power and what that imposes upon them. Anglo-Saxons have to learn what anarchism is. For them, it’s violence. A cat knows what anarchy is. Ask a cat. A cat understands. They’re against discipline and authority. A dog is trained to obey. Cats can’t be. Cats bring on chaos.”

 Photo of Henri Cartier-Bresson and his cat

Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson

The most famous surrealist was Salvador Dali, born in Spain in 1904. He painted bizarre scenes that were meant to cause confusion and inspire creative interpretation. Dali had an eccentric lifestyle that accentuated his brilliant artwork. He owned two ocelots, Babou and Bouba, one or both of whom accompanied him frequently.

Dali loved to collaborate with other artists, as this “live” photo shows.

Portrait of Dali and cats by photographer Philippe Halsman

How do animals inspire you to make art? What is your favorite kind(s) of animal(s) and why do you think this is? How do they make you feel, think and act–that is different from people?

Thank you for reading my post. My core message of ‘everyone is creative’ resonates with people of all ages and walks of life. I invite all to become–the best version of themselves and find true meaning by pursing long term creative quests–in my recent book and website.

Need inspiration? Milky Way is our AMAZING home

This is my third post continuing with the theme of finding inspiration to boost our own creativity. Please think about how these photos impact your head, heart and gut intelligence centers. How does each voice speak to you when you consider them?

When I need inspiration to kick-start creativity it helps me to look up… I am mesmerized when I think about riding in our Milky Way galaxy— home to 400 billion stars and our own moon, sun and solar system. Our spiral galaxy is nearly 120,000 light-years across and is a fairly typical barred spiral–with four major arms in its disk, at least one spur, and a newly discovered outer arm. The galactic centre, which is located about 26,000 light-years from Earth, contains at least one supermassive black hole (called Sagittarius A*).

The Milky Way began forming around 12 billion years ago and is part of a group of about 50 galaxies called the Local Group. The Andromeda Galaxy is part of this group as are numerous smaller galaxies, including the Magellanic Clouds. The Local Group itself is part of a larger gathering of galaxies called the Virgo Supercluster of galaxies. Is your head spinning yet? We belong to a ginormous neighborhood of galaxies.

Lets delight in some of the most amazing views of our Milky Way galaxy ever captured by amateur and professional astronomers… or “MW” as I affectionately say.

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Image of the night sky above Paranal, Chile on 21 July 2007, taken by ESO astronomer Yuri Beletsky. A wide band of stars and dust clouds, spanning more than 100 degrees, is seen. At the centre of the image, two bright objects are visible– the planet Jupiter and the star Antares.

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During a road trip in 2015 to a wedding Mark Lehrbass spent the night out of Snoqualmie Pass, WA. “Epic light pollution from Seattle’s suburbs, multiple wild fires, and the 90 interstate winding through the mountains made for some incredible lighting to frame Mt. Ranier and the Milky Way rising above it,” he said. All I can say is WOW…

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Here MW glows over an old windmill in this stunning image shot by an amateur astronomer and astrophotographer Sean Parker. This (14-shot panoramic view) is over Paulden, Ariz. The planet Jupiter, bright star Sirius, constellation Orion and open star cluster–the Pleaides–can also be seen toward the right in the photo.

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In 2014, astrophotographer Shreenivasan Manievannan photographed MW arching over a rock arch in Joshua Tree National Park, California.

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The Milky Way and green airglow are captured over the Isle of Wight in this image taken by Chad Powell on Oct. 4, 2013.

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MW is seen in all its glory, as well as, in the lower right, the Large Magellanic Cloud. Credit: ESO/S. Guisard

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The bright Perseid meteor streaked through skies in Hungary on August 8, 2010. In the foreground is the Church of St. Andrew ruin, with bright Jupiter dominating the sky to its right. Two galaxies lie in the background: our own MW, and the faint smudge of the more distant Andromeda Galaxy just above the ruin’s leftmost wall.

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A view of MW toward the constellation Sagittarius (including the Galactic Center) as seen from the Black Rock Desert, Nevada). The bright object on the right is Jupiter, just above Antares. Photo by Steve Jurvetson.

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MW arching from the Cerro Paranal, Chile, on the left, and sinking into the Antofagasta’s night lights. The bright object in the center, above the Milky Way is Jupiter. The Magellanic Clouds are visible on the left side, and a plane has left a visible trace on the right, along the Vista enclosure. Photo by Bruno Gilli/ESO.

This detailed artist’s impression shows the structure of MW below, including the location of the spiral arms and other components such as the bulge. This image includes the most recent mapping of the shape of the central bulge from survey data from ESO’s VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory, credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESO/R. Hurt.

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Where is our sun relative to our gigantic MW neithborhood?

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Yes our sun is located close to the “Orion Spur.” In my own sky above Santa Fe, New Mexico–I can always depend on finding Orion! The constellation is located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world, named after a Greek hunter in mythology.

Lastly photographer Antoni Cladera shows why “shooting the Milky Way is contagious” with photo below.

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Our Milky Way is just one of countless galaxies in the universe. Our view of the universe is expanding. Less than a century ago, astronomers thought that our Milky Way galaxy of stars might be the whole universe. Today, we can observe the splendor of galaxies far beyond our own. We can see the estimated 100 billion galaxies that make up our “observable universe.”

We are all creative creatures living in a God ordained, ever-creative, and expanding universe. How is your head, heart and gut inspired by these photos in distinctive ways? Which is your favorite and why?

Thanks for reading my post. I am an organizational and business consultant living in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico with my husband and dogs. My core message of everyone is creative resonates with people of all ages and walks of life. I invite all to become the best version of themselves in my book and find true meaning by pursing long term creative quests.

Looking for more creative inspiration?

I am continuing my theme of “inspiration for more creativity” from my last blog. There may never be more unique artistry created than in animal’s eyes. These detailed photos of animal’s eyes are captured using macro photography. We can try to match the colors and details of nature’s diversity–but can we ever truly be as successful? Maybe not, but we sure can try! Be listening to your: “heart voice,” “head voice” and “gut voice” as you allow each photo to speak to you.

Special thanks to Suren Manvelyan, a professional Armenian photographer who specializes in animal eyes (some of his photos are shown below). His work is awesome!

MANDATORY BYLINE: PIC FROM JOEL SARTORE/NAT GEO STOCK/CATERS - (PICTURED: The eye of a Veiled Chameleon.) - What a sight! These are the eye opening images which capture the beauty in the eyes of the animal kingdom. The colourful pictures show the intricate differences and delicate detail of a variety of animal eyes. From the eye of a tiger or a tree frog to the eyes a penguin or a parrotfish, the close up images were taken by a series of photographers who certainly dont have a lack of vision SEE CATERS COPY Pic taken 13/11/2006.

Eye of a chameleon (National Geographic)

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Cayman eye (alligator/crocodile family) by Suren Manvelyan

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Llama eye, by Suren Manvelyan

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Thornback-ray fish by Suren Manvelyan
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Gurnard fish by Suren Manvelyan
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Iguana eye
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Tarsier (nocturnal primate SE Asia) http://www.avivhadar.com/

My kitty pet : Shu! Hope that brings me good luck! Also is quite hard to shot a macro picture to a cat's eye, they never stand still!

Domestic cat eye by Gabriel Burns

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Leopard blue eye
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Peacock mantis shrimp eye by Steve De Neef
And which animal in our animal kingdom has THE MOST EYES?

Common Name: lined chiton, Scientific Name: Tonicella lineata, Magnification: 1.2x

Chiton eyes by David Liittschwager

The answer might surprise you– its the chiton, a type of mollusk. It is an ocean dweller and has thousands of eyes embedded in shells on their backs. Most scallop species also have dozens to hundreds of eyes, as do ark clams and giant clams.

I don’t know about you but I am incredibly inspired by the creativity of these animal eyes, each exquisitely unique. It is a privilege to experience the extreme biodiversity of our God given planet earth! Next time you see any kind of interesting animal, take a closer look at their eyes… they are bound to inspire you in surprising ways. The neon amber eyes of my weimaraners certainly do.

How are you inspired by these animal’s eyes? Which one(s) inspire you the most– from your head, heart and gut perspective?

Thanks for reading my post. I am an organizational and business consultant living in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico with my husband and dogs. My core message of everyone is creative resonates with people of all ages and walks of life. I invite all to become the best version of themselves in my book and find true meaning by pursing long term creative quests.