We all have our methods, I like to mix up my tasks as I find monotony really boring. What ever we do, if we are creative people, we need to find ways of letting out that spark without doing us harm. We also need to know where to apply that spark and what to do with it once we have it flaring. That creative side of our personality has to be given the space to exist in, and if it isn't allowed to breathe then it can make us really unhappy.
So how do we use our creative side in a way that makes sense to the rest of the world? How do we be ourselves without having the unwanted labels which all too often come with people who call themselves “artistic”? We can look at a variety of behaviours and habits that are helpful for all of us, especially if we are creative types.
Take The Initiative
Creative thinking means that we see things others don't. We create an option that isn't immediately there. So think about things on a deeper level than you may be asked to, and always check first before breaking from routine. If you're working for yourself, test your theories before applying them everywhere, It doesn't always mean being the one who has the great idea either, sometimes taking the initiative means being the first one to accept more work needs to be done. Take some training, fill in those gaps in your already worthy knowledge.
The more people in our network, the more opportunity for growth and development. Also, more people means more options for work. We all need solutions from time to time and finding solutions is a creative activity in many cases. Often people get stuck because they don't know who to turn to, that's where creative thinking comes in. If you're there to be asked, then you're there to be useful. Useful earns payment. Other people often make great companions and help to keep us going when things are getting tough out there, too.
There are always plenty of nay-sayers and anxiety ridden folk who cannot imagine themselves in your shoes. For them you're in uncharted water and they'll project all kinds of negativity at you. Imagine if you were on a sinking ship and the person next to you is shaking you and telling you to jump, you'd find that pretty normal. This is how some people see a career in the arts, and they'll tell you to jump. Don't do it. ,
Develop A Routine
Like I said at the beginning of this article, I have a habit of mixing things up a little. This helps to keep me alert and focussed. It also saves me from going slightly mad. Finding a routine though, is something that has to be achieved in order to make good work. Put things in some kind of order, know your mental and physical limits and work well within them. If one day you have to pull a double shift to get something done, it'll be much easier if you've been doing single shifts for a while.
Don't wait to be told, or for the letter to remind you, do it now. If you have work to do then set yourself a target and make sure you stick to it. Don't accept your own excuses and be your own boss. This is if you work for someone else or not, taking the reins of your life in this way ultimately reduces the stresses of work
Take Feedback Kindly
Honest feedback is valuable. We can learn about how we are perceived and how our services work for people. By listening to feedback, we can get to the bottom of sales funnels and lead leaks in order to maximise our hard earned returns. Only by listening to what our customers and users are saying can we really improve and deliver things people want, need, and enjoy.
Use Your Restlessness
It's difficult to relax when your mind is continually working on things while you're trying to rest. So why not get up and put pen to paper? Even if it's just a bit of reading or elearning, it's not difficult to keep the mind occupied on something worthwhile other than the rest. Embrace the sleeplessness and work through the night, be an inspired inventor, changing the world in little ways with creativity.
Take the risk and do your project, so what if it doesn't work out. You'll have learned a lot about what ever it is you did in the process. Everything is valuable if we take the right perspective on it. It's just about finding it. Choose the outrageous option if it's what you want to do, make your statement by applying your creative thinking to the max. Don't be shy.
Put Your Back And Your Heart Into It
Use your head of course, but if you want to make a splash then you'll need to put in a lot of work and a lot of care. It needs to be a labour of love as well as sweat. You'll likely need to take training in the right subjects to make it truly something worth showing off to your companions. If we apply care to everything we do, from caring about the project to caring about the people it is meant for, we will be more successful.
It's always worthwhile learning something new. I know that we can sometimes shy away from new information in case it makes us feel stupid, or in case we don't quite understand it, or in case it simply is wrong for us. However, it's always worth while taking on the challenge in education and opening your mental doors to new ideas. Going to the people who make it their business to educate pretty much guarantees a successful venture. Take a few courses over time. They might be a scenic route or they might be a shortcut, you'll have to try and draw your own map to make a precise judgement. Try some now for free.
Make Your Own Rules As You Go Along
Don't be a killjoy and put your work in a flowchart that must be obeyed. Allow some slack, see if you can do something new or a bit crazy within reason and don't worry too much. By putting on too many restrictions, we might not have the right path up the mountain. You sometimes have to go round a few corners before you get to the path that leads up and so always be prepared to take those corners.
There's never a wrong time to stock up on printer ink, save big here and add to bookmarks to make use every time.
Whether you're a boss or just in charge of your own direction, leadership is a skill we all have to employ from time to time. During our lives, occasionally the light falls on us and we have to take the role of leader. Maybe we know the most about something or perhaps we have a challenge that we must overcome. People who are employed to be leaders such as line managers, directors, and teachers, know that sometimes the right option is a new option. This takes an element of creative thinking, rationalising the most effective route through the various aspects of the problem.
Works of art, especially ones that have elements of the abstract, can help prompt us to see things in the way needed. Often the answer to our problems is brewing in the subconscious and with just a little nudge from our environment, we can get a brainwave to pop up like toast. We are used to taking inspiration from our environment, from construction to poetry, nature often already holds the key to perfection. It could be said that a leader's mind is geared up for looking to the world around them in order to gain the information needed to progress.
Of course, as art is always relative to the individual who is observing it, the information available from abstract and impressionist art will be respective to their own inner topography. Our motivations and inhibitions will guide our thinking process to see the relationships and patterns that make the most sense to us, even if in a non-tangible way.
Professional leaders are already being exposed to artistic based training in order to help them be more effective. According to Harvard Business School, two projects have recently been undertaken involving police officers, doctors, and FBI agents. This shows that there is real value in the use of art as a way to prompt our decision making and problem solving capabilities.
Replicating the way others do things is often a safe bet, if we want to do something we know is working then look to the people that have already made their way in this area. If you're looking for a colour for your new payment button, for example, then look to the big companies like Amazon, Paypal, and eBay, to see what their colour choices are. With more complicated and abstract challenges, try going to the local gallery or flicking through the pages of a quality book about art.
PS. Good job for those who took their Free course at Shaw Academy recently, how many of you took the accredited leadership diploma? There's still time if you haven't taken one yet.
Thanks to the video wizards at Nasa and Mashable, we can now explore a wonderful fly over of the lunar surface. Consider yourself lucky, as only in modern times have only a handful of peple ever reached it. Now we can all get a glimpse of the real thing, even if over the internet.
“Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
The Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter has been capturing high definition images for the past nine years. The collaborative snaps come together to produce a stunning real to life animation. We can see how the rock surface resmbles that of Earth, with contours and valleys, albeit dry and dusty. The Moon is completely volcanic in origin, having been a completely molten ball of rock at its birth. The most widely accepted theory is that an object similar in size to Mars collided with the Earth in its early history. This created the Moon as we know it today from the off-shooting debris.
Perhaps within our own lifetimes people will begin to live and work on the Moon. It's recently been discovered that there is frozen water under the surface and with water there is oxygen and hydrogen. These are two vital ingredients to space exploration and ones we perahaps take for granted at home. What ever happens, for long term off world life to exist, we'll need to build a biosphere. Maybe there will be space-craft manufacturing there with a the lower gravity, launching giant ships from the Moon would be less costly. Perhaps we will someday see hotels where people can stay for the out of this world experience. I imagine Virgin Orbit have some good ideas., I always thought they should do maternity wards but i'm sure they hear that all the time. We will have to see.
Watch the tour here.
Top Tips For Staying Cool When You Work In The Arts
When the arts become your job, we can no longer accept payment in verbal responses and friendly compliments. Like any other job, we do what we do because we need to get paid for it. This changes everything, and instead of creating to satisfy our own private world, we are working to satisfy paying customers. Taking this on board is one of the biggest steps any professional creative has to make, ins and outs on the balance sheet are what it is all about for any employee, self employed or not.
The stress of this situation can be excruciating. Especially when the people who like what we do expect us to live on compliments alone! Don't be afraid of accepting this either, trying to hide from stress only makes it worse. Staying cool is paramount to remain on the good side of creativity. Once we let the pressure get between us and our work, both suffer. Once we can identify the pressures we are under, we can address them with particular mindsets that help us to thrive. We can prevent the natural pressures of being a professional artist from getting between us and our work.
How does this happen? We need to look at a few different things to build a big picture. They all boil back down to how we view our self, our work, and the world we are working in. Putting these things in equal terms is the main issue, and yet the dynamics between all three can be complex and so they need further definition.
It may seem obvious, but it's surprising how many people expect to be successful without learning how first. Simply because you have a knack for doing something well, it won't automatically qualify you to succeed. For any creative product, it must be marketed. Studying marketing is really important to understand how to package and describe your work and then how to get it in front of the people who are most likely to want it. We can learn marketing that is specific to your particular art, whether it's a book, a painting, or a computer game. There's a technique that will help you and it's simple to go and find the right course online.
Brainstorm Your Path
It's never clear cut and the routes to financial success with art are numerous. No two products are the same, and neither are their road. We must be able to plot out a journey for ourselves and actively seek the steps. Knowing where we are and where we need to be leaves us only the way to get there. Opportunities present themselves all the time, if we spot them we can pluck up the courage and see about getting involved. Always keep an open mind about how we can get to where we need to be, and also plan for change meaning don't accept only one outcome but acknowledge that we could go for a number of them safely.
Pull It Together
It's likely you have many projects and ideas that you run around in circles trying to water and keep going. These need to be consolidated or left alone. We will lose our energy very quickly if we try to run lots of various artistic ventures. Stick to one and then try to employ as many of your talents as you can within the main frame of what you do. It takes a bit of creative thinking sometimes to find the way everything can link up, but that's what you're in the creative industry for isn't it? You're good at this sort of thing.
It's Fine To Not Aim For The Top
Not everyone wants to be the next global sensation, and it's very possible to make a great living by being quiet and largely unknown. Think of the cafe on your high street, it makes a good living by serving several hundred people a day. If you were to go to the next high street along, it wouldn't be a well known landmark. We can be like that cafe. If we want to be KFC and become a global phenomenon, we must accept that to cater for many we have to do a lot more work.
Keep It Real
This isn't a game and we're not playing around. Be honest about where you really are in the arts world, and where others around you are too. It's not all about you and you likely are not where you want to be yet. So take notice of the truth and drop the wishful thinking. It's okay to visualise and it's okay to imagine the future but always keep your feet firmly in the now.
Enjoy The Process
It's really fun to learn and improve. Finding a method and pathway to success involves a lot of changes to how we work and what we work for. It isn't a drag to learn new skills when those skills provide us with the bread on the table. It's just a fact of life. It's really important to appreciate how much there is left to do and look forward to further study. Once we stop loving learning we won't be able to adapt to new challenges.
Keep Your Wits About You
Listen to your gut feelings all the time. It's really easy to be swept up in the razzmatazz of the arts world and fall for sneaky tricks. A lot of people just want your money without offering anything in return. Perhaps they offer a cosy publishing deal or a cosy arts contract. If it's cosy then it's too good to be true. Nothing is easy and that is especially true in the world of professional art. I will let you in on something now, when I was a new author, I fell for a publishing scam. Someone offered me a publishing deal, they said they had shops in the States and that I'd likely sell many copies. I went for it, and soon after I was asked for money to complete the deal. It wasn't much so against my better judgement I handed over a few dollars. The book did sell a few, and yet I never received anything in royalty. This showed me that with self-publishing I can control my income myself. There is a bit of prejudice still floating around with self-publishing, however anyone who cares to actually look will find all is in order with my work. No vanity intended.
Having Said That, Don't Intentionally Fail
It's easy to be afraid of what the next step could mean for you, your time schedule, and the things you love in life. Taking the job at the big firm will ruin your plans for the next few weeks while you get to grips with it. We all need to accept that change means adaptation and so having the right change that suits us is important. Not everyone can be able to do the things needed, meaning there is opportunity for all, not just you. For me, working at home works extremely well as I struggle with social anxiety. It also means I can be an active parent and also hold down a high pace job. Don't set yourself up to have to quit and also don't be afraid of taking on new challenges when you have the ability. Stop pointing out your flaws and weaknesses and focus on your strengths.
Love What You Do But Don't Expect The World To
In the art business, we are all in it together. Everyone cares the most about their work and yours is only a sideline to them. It will always be like this. We can't expect everyone to suddenly drop their agendas because we created something great. More often the creation will only push others back to their labs to find something that puts them on equal footing. It's not a community with you in the middle, and it likely never will be. Enjoy your place in the art world and stop fighting with it, learn to co-operate and work in unison with your peers. Have fun, and good luck!
Almost 1,300 mental health patients in the British South West have had their anonymous data collated and inspected by researchers at the University of Gloucestershire. The participating individuals each were prescribed an art course as part of their mental health care plan. After publishing the results in the European Journal of Public Health, it's now open knowledge that the arts have positive effects when applied in this way.
Non-medical methods of health-care are called social prescriptions and can include any number of socially relevant tools for better health. Holistic healthcare takes notice of the fact that our well-being is reliant on many factors in life and chemical interventions are not necessarily the most appropriate primary option. Mental health is one of the fastest growing issues in the UK, with loneliness and stress contributing the most. Living nuclear lives in high pressure jobs like so many do can leave us feeling drained and without the community comforts we need to feel supported.
Art courses on prescription are not the same as art therapy, where clients take an amateur approach to creativity under the wing of a professional. The new styled prescriptions offer clients a way of learning a skill, either in painting, drawing, or writing. This hugely benefits them in the way it offers new layers to their life and shows them that they can learn things they enjoy. The courses give participants confidence and helps to increase self-esteem.
One important factor in the data collection is that the anonymous nature of the results means that individual cases can't be traced back to underlying conditions. These could be a diagnosis or a life problem that brought them into mental health care. Even though the results have been highly positive, the scheme is not gaining enough support to become a nationwide mental health care initiative. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health, and Well-Being have credited the investigation and brought the results forward. This first time for such a large data set enables researchers to strike out the small scale patterns which may not translate into a wider area.
It's not always the job of the government to provide benefits to society, we are all able to use this knowledge to improve the lives of those around us. With many arts courses available online, some of which are free for all, the options are already there for many of us to take positive steps to wellness.
Braille is a dot based alphabet which uses perforations or bumps rather than visual symbols. Particularly useful for blind or visually impaired people, the adept can touch the words and read as casually as you or I with letters. For most people who don't understand it, it perhaps feels very daunting. Being able to determine where the dots are without seeing them is one thing, but remembering what they mean is another, Two challenges we must face if we need to learn to read it.
Named after Louis Braille, a nineteenth century French teacher, the system was invented in order to allow the blind to read. Louis Braille was blinded in both eyes due to an accident in childhood. Having been awarded a scholarship for blind children, Braille was able to achieve a good education regardless of his disability.
He created the system of physical lettering to help himself and others to continue education through reading. Having spent his whole life adapting his system and fine tuning the letterings, it was only until after he died that the system began to be adopted. Now as an internationally recognised alphabet, which is read by millions of blind people around the world, Braille is due for a modern day facelift.
Thanks to the knowledge of Kosuke Takahashi the dot based system of Braille has been superimposed onto actual letterings. Visual Braille, or the visual representation of the dots, together with the traditional letters make one font. He's called it Braille Neue and we now have an open window into the world of Braille. Thanks to the font sighted people learning to read Braille have a neat and easily reproducible guide. Putting it another way, we can now type out in “AlphaBraille” and double up on the translation thus saving space, time, and money.
It seems like such a simple step, adding this to that to make the other, but it seems that it takes a special kind of thought to actually visualise a thing before it has been a thing. Let's keep having great ideas, especially ones that help to make our lives more enjoyable.
Via Boing Boing
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