Art: Bigger Than Real Life

Powell Gardens

Check out this awesome exhibit from an an artist who was inspired by nature. According to his website bio, David Rogers first saw the potential for his wood sculptures in the form of a fallen sapling. These insects are accurate to real life — except their size, of course. You can see more of his designs here.

My cousin was able to catch this travelling exhibit at Powell Gardens, which is  located about thirty miles east of Kansas City in Missouri. Thanks to Cara Hall for the photos.

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Collecting Ideas

Memory Failure

Ideas are tricky things. If you’re anything like me, ideas pop in and out of your head all day long. But I have a short term memory. My brain doesn’t hold on to much at length unless I make a conscious effort, and even then I’m not always successful. I’m not sure if having three babies is an excuse or a reason for memory failure, but either way, I juggle way too many things on a given day to rely on memory alone. Read the rest of this entry »

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What Is Art?

Art is about passion. Where does passion live? On the inside.

Creating art is difficult, because it involves accessing that innermost place where we have to face our deepest fears. We have to pass through all of our weaknesses, faults and failures to get to that hidden recess where our creative potential lies. When we get there, we’re deep in the midst of everything we love most, but we’re also surrounded by that which we despise in ourselves.

And if you can successfully battle the monsters within, reemerging into the outside world with a handful of precious stones, glowing with promise, you’ve only mastered step one. Step two is much worse: baring your creation before the public world. Did I say creating art is difficult? Sharing your art is even more frightening. Read the rest of this entry »

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Left or Right? (Brain)

Judah as Mario and Chi as Luigi

I have three children. The youngest is still an infant, but the other two are old enough that their personalities have really started to blossom. In some ways they are two peas in a pod, but in others they are completely different. Judah, 6, is my right-brained, dreamy imaginer. Malachi, 3 (soon to be 4), is my left-brained, focused, logical problem solver. They both take after me, but in vastly different ways. Read the rest of this entry »

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Capturing Inspiration

Inspiration is a tricky thing. I’ll always remember the night I finished my first novel. It was a meandering, unplanned, angsty beast I spent most of my high school career working on, and I really had no idea where I was going. Then, one Friday night, I watched Empire Records for the first time. As soon as the credits started I turned off the TV, walked over to the computer, sat down, and finished my novel.

That ending took me nine hours and came out to about 15,000 words. By the time I finished, the sun was already shining on Saturday morning. I went to bed, woke up sometime in the afternoon, and realized with a feeling of great accomplishment that, after four long years, my book was finally done. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guest Writers — Aaron Pogue

Photo Credit: Julie V. Photography

Some of us have a hard time coming up with ideas. The blank page. The pristine canvas. That dreaded waiting, blinking cursor. But there are others with no shortage of ideas. Maybe you’re one of them, drowning in so many projects (and potential projects) that you can’t possibly complete all of them in one lifetime.

Maybe you’re deep into your work-in-progress and suddenly inspiration hits, plopping a fresh, new project right down into your lap like good ‘ol Mr. Stork. What do you do? Drop your W.I.P. or put the new bundle of promise on the shelf? If you decide to trudge onward, how can you gracefully capture the flood of infant ideas and preserve them for later use? There aren’t many things worse than birthing a brilliant idea for a story or book but failing to write it down. Ever killed a grand idea via forgetfulness? It’s tragic.

Aaron Pogue is one of those Creatives with no shortage of ideas. But he knows the value of protecting those precious gems. Aaron is author of sci-fi thriller Gods Tomorrow (released 2010) and Expectation (available February of 2011), the second book in the Ghost Targets series. He also maintains Unstressed Syllables, a website that provides writing advice for authors and other professionals. The founder and president of the Consortium, his passion is to support artists to be professionals within their own craft.

Along my journey of writing and editing my first book, Aaron has been an immensely helpful source of information and encouragement. Come back on Thursday to hear his strategy for preserving those bundles of joy and organizing your fountain of inspiration.

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Sowing and Reaping

Walking the Tightrope

If you’re like me you probably have a long list of goals you want to accomplish…this week…this year…this lifetime. That plus keeping up with work, family life and laundry and are enough to fill up pretty much all available time, right? I don’t know too many people who have even a nanosecond to sit around and twiddle their thumbs. (I’m not sure how much thumb-twiddling could be attained in a nanosecond, but whatever percentage of one twiddle is possible is likely a feat enviable by all who are as busy as I.)

If you’re a Creative like me (or even just someone who’s project-minded), you strive to just keep your focus. And once you’ve got that golden nugget of inspiration, you put your head down and just go, go, go – cranking out the work, honing your craft or working toward your goal. And that’s a good thing…usually.

Unless the work becomes all about “me.” It’s a delicate balance, really. I have to walk that tightrope between complete inner focus and making time for the others I share this world with. I can’t give all my time away, but I can’t keep it all to myself, either. Read the rest of this entry »

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