THE ARTISTIC LIFE – Living the creative life in everything we do

Posts tagged ‘creative’

This Blows! …A First Attempt at Glassblowing

The very exciting new state-of-the-art glass studio is now open at the Chrysler Museum. I have always been a fan of glass art, often purchasing blown glass ornaments and decorations on my travels. For the grand opening of this studio, an expert from Murano, Italy even recently performed and demonstrated his art. I was very excited to try out this skill with an hour-long class at the studio with a friend.

We were shown around the Hot Shop and the Cold Shop and the kiln area and given some safety information. Then our instructor gave us a demonstration of what we would be trying. There were 8 students, and after the demo, the lesson became hands-on. We were each given a metal rod, so that we could learn how to properly hold it and turn it while the molten glass was on the tip. Then we each had our turn taking the rod, putting molten glass on the tip, rotating, spinning, heating, trimming, cooling and so forth…Pardon me if I do not have all of the terminology right yet, as this was my first introduction to glassblowing.

It was a little scary performing all of the tasks, both in trying to remember all of the steps while the other students were watching, as well as hoping I wouldn’t burn my hands off, set the studio ablaze, fall into the furnace, or singe someone’s feet off. After all, the waivers we signed indicated that there was a remote possibility of death due to glassblowing activities…But we gleefully signed off on our waivers anyway, knowing that glassblowing was bucketlist material.

So, each of us nervously had our turn, but everyone stayed safe and was happy with the clear glass marbles that we made and kept as mementos of our initial attempts at glassblowing. My marble has “feet”. I don’t think it’s supposed to. But at least it can stand proudly and remind me of another fun experience I had, getting out of my comfort zone and learning something new.

I can’t wait to go back and try something else!

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Eleven Tips to Be Creative

Eleven Tips to Be Creative (I was aiming for Ten, but I guess I was feeling creative)

While this is certainly not a definitive or a scientific list, there are certain things I personally do to improve my chances of having a creative day:

1. Read about lots of different topics – I’m not very into “niches”…and have never liked being “put into a box”. After all, no one category or “box” can describe me, which is probably the same for most people. I get bored with niches and am interested in so many different hobbies and topics. Learning about various current events and varied topics not only keeps life interesting, but keeps one’s mind alert and creative. One’s brain starts to connect disparate ideas and topics and relates them in new and different ways.

2. Take different routes to work/school/shopping. I’m not a neuroscientist, but I realize that doing something differently and not in the same old rut makes those synapses fire away. New connections are made in our brains, which are then recharged to start thinking differently. Besides, you might discover that new gift shop that just opened or an enticing bakery that you never knew existed.

3. Listen to music. Different types of music. Jazz. Rock. Alternative. World. Pop. Opera. Heck, even Country. Also, listen to your favorite song from when you were a senior in high school. Listening to your favorite music from days of yore, not only brings back good memories, but stirs your mind. Every painting class I’ve ever taken played background music during studio time. Music stimulates the right side of your brain, which of course is necessary for creativity. iTunes, CDs, and the radio are great, of course, but if you have the opportunity to hear some live music – even better!

4. Window shop and browse catalogs and magazines. You don’t need to spend money for this. However, just looking at a myriad of items and products, especially colorful and/or creative products stimulates my thinking and gets me excited to start creating! And, if you can afford it, spring for that new dress or bedspread while you’re at it!

5. Look at art. Get to a local museum, gallery, or art fair. Galleries and fairs usually have free entry and even museums may be free (donations accepted) on certain days of the week. Whether you are an artist or not, nothing stimulates the right brain like looking at various types of painting, sculpture, mixed media and photography.

6. Make time to recharge. Allow a little bit of time each day for yourself to relax or participate in your favorite hobby. Most people can’t be creative 24 hours a day…I know that I need to have a bit of down time daily to allow myself to recharge, so I can then focus my creativity for those times when I NEED to be creative.

7. Practice the art of brainstorming…when trying to come up with a solution or a new idea, let yourself relax and just write whatever crazy ideas come into your head. Most of the ideas might be too crazy to act upon, but write them down nonetheless. Don’t be discriminating. Try to come up at least 20 ideas. Later on, you can go back and cross off the ideas that simply won’t work. But, all you need is for 1 idea out of 20 to be the solution you’re looking for!

8. If you’re going to watch TV, watch something educational or a do-it-yourself type of channel. Seeing people working hard at their creative products, whether it be decorating, home re-design, or cooking that delicious and nutritious meal in under half-an-hour, motivates me, teaches me, and usually gives me ideas.

9. Exercise. The solution to whatever problem I’m trying to solve sometimes comes to me suddenly while I’m taking a brisk walk or using the elliptical trainer. I guess the increased blood circulations gets ideas circulating in the brain too!

10. Keep a journal. It doesn’t have to be a diary, and you don’t need to begin every entry with “Dear Diary…”. However after receiving a Christmas gift of a blank journal, I began jotting down creative ideas in it whenever I would think of something. I realized that I’ve always been creative, but I often forgot my “inspired ideas” by the next day, because I never wrote them down. My brain would then move on to the next idea, but it would then leave a trail of forgotten ideas behind. Now I DO write them down, and I can refer to them anytime I want. It is improving the amount of action I take on these ideas. In fact, my idea for this blog was jotted down randomly in this journal…

11. Eat healthy and take your vitamins! Being nutritiously minded keeps one’s energy, brain and heart at peak levels. On the other spectrum, lethargy leads to fewer ideas, and, more importantly, less energy to act upon those ideas.

Friday – time to be creative!

It is Friday again – the day when I get to escape the cubicle world, if for just a short time, to pursue other interests. This weekend I have a few photography projects on the agenda, as well as finally planting the Spring plants to add some color to our deck. Sounds like I need to post a photo of our deck on Monday…

I plan to, once again, try getting some indoor “studio” shots for stock photography to upload to http://www.fotolia.com, one of the best stock photography sites out there for both photographers and designers . I’m trying to boost my photography sales on that website by trying to take more relevant (and technically perfect) shots. Easier said than done, without professional models, a studio, or studio lighting within access. Yet, I will try, with the help of my new homemade photo lightbox and some hand-me-down lamps. I’ll hopefully be posting a successful stock pic or two (along with my homemade lightbox setup) next week. Wish me luck.

Have a fun (and creative) weekend!

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to The Artistic Life blog!

As an artist, photographer, web designer, and graphic designer, I am always trying to be creative in various ways, using different outlets. Even when I’m not working on an art project, creativity enriches my daily life, by getting me to try new hobbies and be curious about many different fields, seemingly unrelated to art, but still related in some way deep down. I’ve never believed that art and design are luxury items that can be separated from the rest of life…they are part of living and closely related to science, math, music, philosophy, culture, history, religion…you can’t have these without art. Anything produced must have a design. It may be a poor design, but a design nonetheless.

I’ve heard many people say that they aren’t creative…I don’t think that’s true! Anyone can be creative and probably already are creative in ways they don’t realize. One doesn’t have to paint a masterpiece to be creative. Many people experiment with a new recipe, sew a dress for their child, problem-solve an issue in their lives, invent a new game to keep the kids entertained….there are countless ways to be creative in daily life and this should be recognized!

In this blog, I hope to touch various topics related to art, creativity, photography, design, cooking, travel, or new hobbies…or whatever creative outlet seems to be taking shape in my life at the moment.

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