Category Archives: Influences

Tell a Good Story

I read. A Lot. Tracking my reading in Goodreads because I can. You can follow me if you’re curious about the books I read.

How many of us heard these words of wisdom from our ninth grade English Literature teacher?

The best way to learn to tell a good story is to read. A lot.

To read 52 books was my goal this year. At this point I know I will surpass my 2017 goal. I finished Austin Kleon’s book: Newspaper Blackout last night – number 52. Through reading I will continue to work on learning how to tell a good story. I also write and/or journal daily. My youngest son feels that one of my greatest strengths is writing and that he’d like to see me write more books!

Let me know if you agree.

My dog is snoring next to me as I write this post. Her snorts are a lovely sound with the backdrop of heavy rain outside. It’s early and very dark out. I am sipping coffee with soy creamer and cinnamon sprinkled on top. I awoke ready to start my day, and so here I am…with you!

In the 5 sentences above, a story could evolve. I could take it further. Or not.

Is the Trump thing a good story? Is that why we listen to the drivel? Not knowing the ending. We can endlessly imagine endings. Actually not even knowing how the story started and got so far. So far.

In the 5 sentences above, a story could evolve. I could take it further. Or not.

Austin Kleon‘s weekly newsletter often has nuggets of wisdom. I saved this entry, knowing that one day I would write a blog about telling stories — George Saunders explains about how to tell a good story. So smart! Enjoy!

I have nothing more to say right now about telling a good story. However, if you are curious about what books I have read this year go here.

Thanks for reading.

PS. I get nothing for tooting Austin’s horn!

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Baby Records

I have always been an artist. How do I know?

Dorky Doodle Flower Girl. Paper, Ink. 7 x 5 inches.

Dorky Doodle Flower Girl. Paper, Ink. 7 x 5 inches.

My mom kept great records in my baby book.

Nursery School notes from teacher at 4 years old:

She has become much more social. Shows real adaptability to cutting, pasting, drawings, and art work in general.

Favorite types of play at 5 years old:

Always could amuse herself with crayons, paper, scissors, and glue. Enjoyed imaginative play with friends.

Seven Years old, Mom’s notes:

Could pick up a brush and paint for hours, until something was finished. complete immersion for her. Spent hours modeling with clay at ages 7 & 8.  We bought a chalk board at age 7 — for drawing, very good response.

Eight years old:

Started showing interest in sewing clothing for barbie.

I am sure it surprises no one that I haven’t changed! Most of all, my Mom!

Dorky Doodle Ruler. Paper, Ink. 8.5 x 5.5  inches.

Dorky Doodle Ruler. Paper, Ink. 8.5 x 5.5 inches.

 

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The Daily Trend

The daily trend is a “thing.” Have you seen or run into these daily trends?

Do this for 30 days.
Do this for 100 days.
Do this for 365 days.
22 pushups for 22 days.
Start with one burpee and add one every day until you just can’t anymore… (I made this one up just now).
And so on…

As I navigate my way through hundreds of on-line groups, classes, and blogs one thing that strikes me is how often I see “daily challenges.” These challenges — the daily trend — are great, until they are not.

Explore Yes, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

Explore Yes, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

I have joined a few daily challenges from time to time, for example this month’s #inktober. I have also created my own challenge, for example 222 Faces, which I did back in 2010. I have tried to do 222 faces again this year, but I am falling short of my own goal, check out my progress on Instagram.

(more…)

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F-n Good Article

Amateur vs Professional. Can anyone really define the difference, the grey area, the line in the sand between these two categories bestowed on creative people? Artists? Authors? Well, maybe and maybe not.

What I like is that this article tried to draw the line and define the difference. At times the article is gut wrenching. At other parts, I find myself nodding my head in agreement. Yes, yes, so true…

Do you want to know for sure if you are an amateur or professional artist? Do you already know? Read the article here.

This is a fu–ing good article because each time I read it, and I’ve read it many times over the past three years I see more wisdom and I also recognize the lies I tell myself.

In my most recent reading, the advice in warning number 7 gave me prickles on my spine and at the base of my neck. Ugh, yes I tell myself… ugh. Number 7 – “Amateur artists never finish their work.” There are several projects I promised myself I’d complete this year (2016) and they are still on the table. A second Conscious Curiosity book for the self – yep, not yet started, but I said I would. A Dorkey Doodle coloring book that I created – yes, almost complete, yet stalled…. Then there is a set of postcard designs I made initial sketches for… another stall… and I could go on. and on.

I guess I’m still in amateur stage, but this saddens me to say, because on another level I feel like I AM a professional. I have given myself to making art and writing for so long that I cannot even imagine myself doing anything else anymore.

Enough lamenting. Professional vs Amateur. Who really cares? Why label? Why categorize?

Anyway, if you’re interested, it IS a very good article: 9 Warning signs

I dearly hope you are kinder to yourself than I am to myself.

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Three Sources for Creative Courage

Three sources of Creative Courage. The never give up attitude!

One: Ira Glass

Two: Elizabeth Gilbert

Three: Danny Gregory and his blog too!

Bonus: Julia Cameron

Obviously, there are many many more sources and ways to keep nourishing your creative spirit. But today’s post serves to remind you to: Go Make Art. Any kind of art. Any kind of creative output. Go!

I don’t want you dwelling on reading my blog. Go! Have creative courage!

Yep, showing you that my images are drawn by hand in a 5.5 x 8.5 Canson Sketchbook for Mixed Media. Using Uniball pen and Peerless Watercolors.

Yep, showing you that my images are drawn by hand in a 5.5 x 8.5 Canson Sketchbook for Mixed Media. Using Uniball pen and Peerless Watercolors.

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