Author Archives: CreativeCatalyst

Announcing Creatively Onward’s YouTube debut!

Announcing the official launch of Creatively Onward’s YouTube Channel. We have now gone LIVE! This is both thrilling and terrifying! I am putting myself out there in a big way with the intention of creating a positive, empowering, inspiring and creative community with whom to share and grow.

One year ago this month, I stumbled upon Jennifer Lee’s Right Brained Business Plan Product Development online course. My experience with online courses had left me feeling isolated and frustrated. I felt I was missing something by not being in a classroom hearing the dialogue. This class was different. This community of creatives is wise, inclusive, knowledgeable and fun. Learning was presented in an interactive way that inspired me to rise to the challenge of being in business. Creatively Onward was born.

I began with a glimmer of an idea, a rough concept for a deck with creativity prompts and a personal Facebook page that I barely knew how to work. After one quick year, Creatively Onward has a website, Instagram, Twitter, a business Facebook and YouTube. All set up by me through trial, error (lots of error) and some guidance from my teenagers. It’s not perfect but it’s done and it’s mine. Yowza! This is another step in the preparation for online class offerings, as well as, potential workshop events that combine my mad yoga skills with my love of creativity. It has been a year filled with many growth opportunities. As 2015 winds down I am feeling grateful for growth, new friendship, possibilities and creative connection.

Planning is already underway for 2016. There are rumblings of exciting opportunities emerging. I say, “bring it on.” Hope you will join me for the adventure! Sign up for the newsletter and subscribe to my channel.

Click the link below to view my premiere video and feel free to share it. Go Creatively Onward!

Creatively Onward YouTube

Open For Business!

Creative self-care, anyone?  Join me Wednesday, September 30th to create a “Live Your Words” accordion book. This class marks the commencement of my foray into business in the Pacific NW. Bring a friend and come ready for fun, fellowship and creative play!

class offerings

Tips and Tricks

It happens. I know it does. But it is still frustrating even after 20 years in the creative business. The dreaded “off” day. You know what I mean, one of those days where all attempts to create turn out awful. My sketches are uninspired. The selection of colors is a struggle. Subject matter alludes me. My brain won’t work and my heart is not picking up the slack. The muse has left the building. There is no spark of imagination to be unearthed. Or is there?

It used to be that when this happened I would turn to art related books or magazines. Now I find I turn to the internet. Quicker but not always productive, I fall down the rabbit hole of
images never to be seen again. Today I am trying a new way to attain inspiration. I am returning to my sketchbook with new eyes and a desire to crop something. Pages of doodles, potential designs, paint swatches, samples of new mediums and techniques all lovingly compiled to help me learn and grow as an artist and human.

Armed with my view finder (a piece of paper with a 1″ x 2″ hole), I set out running it over my pages in hopes of finding an interesting composition. It worked! I like part of a sketch I have been working on. I taped the view finder down, grabbed my tracing paper and 2B pencil then traced the cropped area. Now I can enlarge the image to whatever size I want and experiment with color.

Aaahhh, I am on my way! Hope this helps you on those “off” days.

Check out the Happenings page  (www.creativelyonward.com). I will be teaching classes locally in the fall and plan to have an online class available before the end of the year.

sketchbookImage

 

Creative Snacks #3

Here’s another tidbit to inspire your creativity. Grab your goodies and get situated. Let’s play.

  1. Commit to trying it, as an experiment.
  2. Gather a small journal (6″x4″; 5.5″ x 8.5″) or notebook and a pencil.
  3. Set up your space, in your home, in your car or at the park just make a place.
  4. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
  5. Notice how your mind feels right now.
  6. Take a deep breath in and slowly let it out.
  7. Notice how your body feels. Is there tension?
  8. Take another deep breath in and slowly let it out.
  9. Think of your ideal day. What would you do? Where would you go? What colors do you see? What smells are there? Are you inside or outside? Do you share your day with anyone?
  10. Start writing. Describe your ideal day even if it is silly and far-fetched.
  11. Stop when the timer sounds.
  12. Take another deep breath in and slowly let it out.
  13. Notice how your mind feels now.
  14. Put it away without judgment. It is the process we are focused on, not the product.
  15. Take a moment to appreciate yourself for playing.
  16. Optional – ask yourself what would have to happen for that ideal day to take place?

DuneBuggy

Routine and Ritual

Soothing music, candles, essential oils, low lighting, these are tools that I have used to set the stage when teaching yoga classes. It allowed students to begin to bring their awareness to the mat and leave their stress at the door.

Taking a bath, putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, the reading of a favorite book, are cues used to help my children be ready for bed. They knew it was time to wind down, relax and prepare to sleep.

A cup of tea, my journal, inhaling deeply as I extend my arms wide, sweeping them over my head until my palms touch, then exhaling as I bring thumbs to my heart prepares my mind to express thoughts.

This week, I realized that while I had established several routines and rituals in my life, I had yet to create one to open or close my studio time. This event has always been worked around my family schedule. Run kids to school. Work for 2 hours. Go to grocery store. Work for 1 hour. Eat lunch. Work for an hour or two. Pick up kids from school. Run to lessons or sports. Fix dinner. Clean up. Put kids to bed. Work until the work gets done. Sound familiar?

Now I find myself in a transition. Next fall my kids will, for the most part be on the same school day time schedule. Yipee! Goodbye 3 separate drop off and pick up times. Hello, consistent extended studio time and a new routine.

How shall I open and close my creative studio hours? Maybe it’s lighting a candle when I come into my studio, playing my favorite song or preparing another cup of tea. Perhaps, I will ceremoniously close the door and take a quick walk around the block to clear my head and be ready for family time at the close business each day. I’m not sure what it will look like but I have learned that it is important to have those transition markers. Let me ask you, how do you make it work?

Creative Snacks #2

Here’s another tidbit to inspire your creativity. Grab your goodies and get situated. Let’s play.

  1. Commit to trying it, as an experiment.
  2. Gather a small journal (6″x4″; 5.5″ x 8.5″) or notebook and a pencil.
  3. Set up your space, in your home, in your car or at the park just make a place.
  4. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
  5. Notice how your mind feels right now.
  6. Take a deep breath in and slowly let it out.
  7. Notice how your body feels. Is there tension?
  8. Take another deep breath in and slowly let it out.
  9. Begin by writing 5 words that describe you. Go fast.                           No over thinking. Fill the page.
  10. Use markers to add color to your page and decorate your words.
  11. Stop when the timer sounds.
  12. Take another deep breath in and slowly let it out.
  13. Notice how your mind feels now.
  14. Put it away without judgment. It is the process we are focused on, not the product.
  15. Take a moment to appreciate yourself for playing.
5words

Above is a peak at my page. Have fun and keep creating.

Stay tuned for more Creative Snacks. There’s even a workshop coming soon! Check back for details.

#creativesnacks

Creative Snacks

A dear friend of mine teaches a workshop about meditation “snacks.” These are short teachings of ways to relax, breathe and go within for short periods of time. It’s a great way to begin a meditation practice or if you are pressed for time to squeeze one in.

I was thinking of my friend today, of her meditation snacks. I started to wonder, could this work for encouraging creativity? This question kept flickering in my mind. Yes, I believe it can. See what you think. Will you join me?

  1. Commit to trying it, as an experiment.
  2. Gather a small journal (6″x4″; 5.5″ x 8.5″) or notebook and a pencil.
  3. Set up your space, in your home, in your car or at the park just make a place.
  4. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
  5. Notice how your mind feels right now.
  6. Take a deep breath in and slowly let it out.
  7. Notice how your body feels. Is there tension?
  8. Take another deep breath in and slowly let it out.
  9. Begin by writing your name repetitively until you fill the page.
  10. Use your pencil to shade in the spaces around the lines that make your name (or use colored pencils/markers).
  11. Stop when the timer sounds.
  12. Take another deep breath in and slowly let it out.
  13. Notice how your mind feels now.
  14. Put it away without judgment. It is the process we are focused on, not the product.
  15. Take a moment to appreciate yourself for experimenting.

That’s all. Seems so easy doesn’t? So why don’t we do it? That’s a post for another time, I feel. Stay tuned for more Creative Snacks. There’s even a workshop coming soon! Check back for details.

#creativesnacks

A Recovering Perfectionist

I get it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to get started and grow from there. That’s a hard one for me. I want to know the ending and I want to do it all “right.” It wasn’t always this way.

As a child I barreled full speed ahead wanting to learn as much as possible, as quickly as I could with no fear. The joy was in trying new things and being present. Not a care in the world. Somewhere along the journey to being a grown-up, I became overly concerned with the outcome. I wanted it all to be “perfect.”

That attachment to the outcome limited my choices. Caution became the voice in my ear saying, “I don’t know if you can do this well. Let’s pass on this one.” Hmmm, think I missed out on some fun? I do. I’m sure there were opportunities to really make a mess of it but have so much fun doing it that I wouldn’t have cared. Most of the time, I didn’t go down those paths.

It’s all good. My past actions and choices put me where I am now, letting go of my attachment to the outcome and focusing on my process. It is time to take a leap, knowing it could go either way. Care to join me?

This space,  the online home for Creatively Onward is a work in progress. It is a place to synthesize the experiences of my life as a graphic designer, artist, yoga teacher, wife, mother, daughter, sister, woman, friend and colleague into a thriving, engaging, inspired, creative community who collectively envision a life with more art, joy, well-being and fulfillment. You are invited to join me for however long this space meets your needs.

This site will evolve as I do. New items will be popping up in the next few weeks and months, including an eCourse or two. It may be a potpourri until I find the true voice of Creatively Onward but that is part of the fun! Here’s to the start.

How about a little something to ponder. As Julia Cameron asks in The Artist’s Way, “What would you do if you didn’t have to do it perfectly?”