Archives for Life circumstances


Deal With Energy Vampires To Be More Creative

"Energy is the key to creativity. Energy is the key to life." William Shatner
We need more than ideas to be creative, we need passion and energy. Being productive in most creative ventures takes ongoing motivation and resolve.

Some situations and people fuel our emotional energy, and some suck it away. How can we deal with that kind of energy drain?

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Barbara Sher: Having Many Interests Is Not a Disorder

Do you have a wide range of passionate interests, even "too many"? Maybe you have never "settled down" into a well-defined career. Maybe you think you have ADHD - and maybe you do, but you may really be what Barbara Sher refers to as a Scanner.

In her video below, she notes it may not be the best term, and there are others such as “Polymath,” “Renaissance Soul,” or pejorative ones like “Dilettante.”

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Fear and Your Writing

“It scared me sometimes when I was writing it; at times I had to stop—I frightened myself."

That is an admission by novelist A.M. Homes - see more of her quotes below.
If an aspect of your creative work scares or upsets you, should you change that part of the painting, or modify that design element in your performance, or stop exploring what that character is doing in your novel?
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Michael Gelb on How To Be More Creative

In his writings and presentations about being creative, Michael Gelb addresses many topics, including being sensitive and creative:

"Every sound and every silence provides an opportunity to deepen auditory attunement; but city sounds can be overwhelming and cause us to dull our sensitivity.

"Surrounded by noises from televisions, airplanes, subways and automobiles, most of us 'tune out' for self-protection."

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Margaret Keane: Overcoming Exploitation

In the 1960s, paintings of "sad-eyed children," massively reproduced in posters and cards, became possibly the best-selling art in the world for a time, thanks to the tireless marketing by Walter Keane of "his" work. The "big eyes" images were owned by celebrities and hung in many permanent collections.

But Walter Keane was a fraud and plagiarist: the art was actually created by his wife Margaret Keane.

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Creative Thinking

Where Do You Get Creative Inspiration? – Part 2

[Continued from Part 1.]
"Before the dance of inspiration and perspiration can begin, there must be some raw material, some spark of inciting energy."

From the book The Soul of Creativity: Insights into the Creative Process by Tona Pearce Myers.

Actor Rose McGowan relates an experience that may be common for many creative people: being inspired by seeing someone else's artwork or other form of creative expression:

"After saving my allowance for ten years, I flew to Paris when I was 15 years old. When I visited the Musée Rodin, I was profoundly inspired by the story and the pain of Camille Claudel. Her diminutive sculptures — much smaller in stature to Rodin's — led me to become an artist."

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Creative Thinking

Where Do We Get Creative Inspiration?

Where does creative inspiration come from? It may show up mysteriously, "out of the blue" - and for a good part of human history, it has been explained as a gift from a supernatural being, a Muse.

At least some people still embrace that idea, or at least like to use the concept.

Novelist and author Steven Pressfield writes in his book "The War of Art" about pulling in creative power when we are doing creative work:

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Pushed to Excel – Part 2

[Continued from Part 1]
What does creative excellence take?

In his article How to Win American Idol, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman refers to research by Rena Subotnik and Linda Jarvin, who "interviewed over 80 top students at different stages of their musical careers and identified the traits important to succeed at every stage on the way to the top.

"The three abilities that were absolutely necessary as a baseline were intrinsic motivation, charisma, and musicality."

But for musicians at an "elite" level of talent, "technical proficiency mattered less and the following factors rose to prominence: self-promotion skills, having a good agent, capitalizing on strengths, overcoming self-doubt, exuding self-confidence, good social skills, persevering through criticisms and defeats, and taking risks."

How does a brutal teaching style impact those factors?
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Pushed to Excel

"I push people beyond what's expected of them. I believe that is an absolute necessity."
How much does forceful mentoring help students achieve excellence, and when does it become abusive?

Those issues are part of the movie Whiplash, apparently named after the jazz standard by Hank Levy.

The quote above is by acclaimed teacher Terence Fletcher (JK Simmons) at a music school reputed to be "one of the best in the country," explaining his teaching approach to one of his star pupils, Andrew (Miles Teller), who idolizes jazz drummer Buddy Rich, and has aspirations to also be "one of the greats."

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