Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Billy Elliot

I went to see Billy Elliot The Musical after waiting about a year for its arrival in town. I own the DVD on which it is based and I have watched it many, many times. Some changes they made from the film were so powerful!

It is the story of a 12-year-old boy who lives in a mining town in England. Most of the men in the town are miners. His father is a miner, his brother is a miner ... As you can imagine, it does not go over too well when the family discovers his secret: he has an extraordinary talent, and desire, to be a ballet dancer!

One of the things that has always inspired me about this story is the conviction Billy had at such a young age! He was going to hold onto to his dream despite tremendous pressures not to. He tapped into that inner strength that we as artists and creative people do have, even if we have to dust it off and nourish it a lot over time before it breaks out in full force.

Monday, October 17, 2011

risk then success

World renowned actor, Denzel Washington, gave a commencement speech at a university on May 16, 2011 that every artist and creative person should hear. It was inspirational, powerful and undeniably true. After you watch the video of his speech at this link, and ponder the hard-earned wisdom he shared straight from the heart, post a comment here on my blog and tell me that I was right. I love being right. :)


You can read his speech and print it by going to the link below


Thursday, June 30, 2011

the need for change

"The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind."

- Dr. Maya Angelou

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

painting is

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. 
- Leonardo da Vinci

Sometimes a simple quote says so much!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

be a lion

It takes a lot of courage just to be an artist or creative person, more than most people realize. I wonder how many of you give yourself credit for daring to just communicate something in the way you want.

On YouTube.com, I saw videos related to "Be A Lion", the fantastic song from the Broadway musical hit, "The Wiz", and this ran through my mind afterward. As a creative person, you run the risk of getting back insensitive comments from people who wouldn't know talent if it kicked them ... but you also receive acknowledgments, even gratitude, from people whose lives you effected in some positive way: a smile in their day, an inspiration, a desperately needed hope ...

I think it's worth the risk!

Monday, February 28, 2011

it is just their opinion

When I was taking art lessons, I had future plans to paint a lot. Then I went to a seminar by a successful art gallery owner who asserted that if you don't know the world of modern art and understand what other painters are doing, you're going to fail. Well, I fell for that one hook, line and sinker! I reasoned that since I knew of no dictionaries or glossaries to define the modern art terms that are tossed around, and since the modern art world had no clearly defined standards of excellence or beauty that I could reach for, I decided that the endeavor was hopeless. I soon stopped going to art classes and basically gave up. This is so unlike me: I am tenacious when I want to reach a goal, especially when it is art related, but for some reason, this gallery owner's OPINION sounded close enough to THE TRUTH that I believed him.

Years later, I attended a seminar by a watercolor artist who makes 6 figures a year by creating her art, thus she dissolved the concept of "starving artist" for me. Also, she said that she shunned gallery owners, preferring to sell directly to people at art shows, all the while building her mailing list. She also had a very different opinion about the art world: that the paintings you create, and put strong emotion in, are far more important than understanding the art world. According to her, your paintings are the priority, not the networking. Her opinion felt much, much, much better and listening to her INCREASED my desire to paint. That's how you know who's opinion to accept or consider. Listening to a valuable opinion makes you want to create more, not less. Even constructive criticism should be just that, constructive: something that builds you up, not tears you down.

Now, I want to ask you a question. Did something like what happened to me when I listened to that art gallery owner happen to you at some time or another? Did some artist, some art teacher, some celebrity, some successful person, some family member, some loved one, some group of people, or some book convince you that you could not, or should not, create the effects YOU wanted to create with your art or other creative endeavor? If this happened and you went into agreement with their negative opinion, I can practically guarantee you that is the point when your interest in your art or creative activity lessened, maybe lessened a lot!

Be very selective about whose opinions you take to heart. The only person who has the right to decide what effect you will create with your art or creative activity is YOU! Even if you need proper, or better, instruction; even if you need more practice; even if you have to go to an environment where you are more appreciated. The Internet could make that last part easy, but long before the Internet, Josephine Baker decided that she was a star and since the USA was not yet ready for a Black woman to be a star, she went to Paris and became the star she already knew she was. But she decided what her dreams were, she didn't let anyone else decide for her. (In case you're not familiar with Josephine Baker: "before Madonna, before Marilyn, there was Josephine". That's on the DVD cover of the cable TV movie based on her life.)

You are as entitled to your opinion as anyone else. If they say, "You can't", you have every right to reply, "Watch me!"

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Emotional Support for Your Art or Creativity

In this short video clip, Writing Coach Jurgen Wolff speaks about a vital subject often not addressed. He talks about how to get emotional support from those people around you for your writing, but what he says applies to any creative activity that you are doing. As creative people, we all need emotional support. That does not make us less independent, it makes us human.