Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

booksI have a bit of a long list for you today, mostly because I've been reading a ton of illustrated books lately. I recommend getting a stack of them and cozying up in a nest of some kind and reading for days. That's a good way to deal with the end of winter, right?

Fiction

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper

Our local library was running a program that was sort of like a city-wide book club. They chose one book, had extra copies on hand, and created lots of games and challenges to take part in. My curiosity was piqued: it must be a good book if they thought the whole city should read it. I didn't end up taking part in any of the activities but I really enjoyed the book. It's sweet, and sad, and strange, and captivated my heart. (more…)

creative role models

This is a series where I write about the people who have inspired my creative journey and become part of my creative DNA: the people who live and breathe creativity and are using their passion to make the world a more interesting place. I've also written about Nick Bantock, Jim Hensen, Lisa CongdonAmanda Palmer, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Miranda July

Who is Ray Bradbury?

A writer of short stories and novels who lived from 1920 to 2012. Known for books like Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. Called "the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream" by the New York Times.

What’s so great about him? (more…)

shawna lemay

Photo by Shawna Lemay

One of my favourite ways to stay inspired is to read about how other people put their creativity into practice and learn to live creative lives. On the first Friday of each month I’ll be interviewing someone who is letting their creative light shine. Hopefully these folks will inspire you as much as they inspire me. 

I stumbled on Shawna's blog a few years ago and have been turning to it ever since as a source of inspiration and peace. Her soft photos and gentle words often soothe my agitated mind and leave me feeling refreshed.

What sort of creative work do you do?

I’m a writer who also finds inspiration in photography. I’ve published poetry, essays, and most recently, a novel, titled Rumi and the Red Handbag. I sell my photos on Getty Images, but the main reason I take them is to share them on my blog, Calm Things. (more…)

big magic elizabeth gilbertElizabeth Gilbert knows a lot about creativity. She makes a living as a writer so it's something that she grapples with daily but she's also given Ted Talks on the subject, discussed it in plenty of interviews and on her Facebook page, and now she's written a book about it. Like me, my mom is a big fan of Gilbert so when I told her that the book Big Magic was coming out on a certain day, she went out after work on that day, bought two copies, came straight to my place and gave me one of them. It made my week.

I've now read the book twice, the second time going through with pink, blue, and yellow highlighters (because they match the cover of the book) to pick out what I think are the juiciest bits of wisdom. And I would like to share just a little taste of that wisdom with you (it was so hard to narrow it down!). You'll have to read the book to get the full effect, or you can listen to Gilbert  herself talking about some important points on this episode of her podcast, or  this MarieTV episode. (more…)

Justina Smith

One of my favourite ways to stay inspired is to read about how other people put their creativity into practice and learn to live creative lives. On the first Friday of each month I’ll be interviewing someone who is letting their creative light shine. Hopefully these folks will inspire you as much as they inspire me. 

I first saw Justina's paintings at a pop-up art market here in Edmonton, and I've been drooling over them ever since. I love the way she combines paint and collaged papers, and her unique perspective of the world, and it's a lot of fun seeing her photos on Instagram turn into paintings.

What sort of creative work do you do?

Drawing and painting and writing are the main things I spend my time doing. I also really love knitting.

Have you always thought of yourself as a creative person? Why or why not?

Not really. I kind of figured everyone had some kind of thing that they were into: music, dancing, drawing, decorating, cooking, gardening, etc. Family members were always working on little projects of some sort after work and on weekends. I assumed everyone else's family did too. (more…)

books

It's time for another book post! Looking at this list I'm a little impressed with everything I've gotten through. I hope you find some gems here!

Fiction

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I heard about this book on a similar book list on this blog and thought it sounded super interesting. Like Elise, apocalyptic stories aren't really my thing but the roving band of Shakespearian actors caught my attention. Though it might not be the most realistic and the plot is simplistic at times, the images Mandel creates will stick with me: a man pushing cart after cart after cart of supplies through a snow storm to get to his brother's high rise; a young woman playing Shakespeare's Tatiana in a tattered wedding gown and lit up by candles; a museum of discarded artifacts like smartphones and high heeled shoes housed in an airport; the sight of electric lights off in the distance where once there was only blackness. It's a more gentle, whimsical imagining of what might happen after the world ends, with characters that grab on and don't let go. (more…)

Breakfast jones

One of my favourite ways to stay inspired is to read about how other people put their creativity into practice and learn to live creative lives. On the first Friday of each month I'll be interviewing someone who is letting their creative light shine. Hopefully these folks will inspire you as much as they inspire me. 

I met Kendyl briefly at a meetup for entrepreneurs that I organized. She was only able to come to one meeting but she had plenty of wisdom to offer the group and I was a little sad when I learned that she was moving to Victoria, British Columbia. Thankfully I can still see her fun drawings and constant creativity - and her adorable dog, Breakfast - on a regular basis.

What sort of creative work do you do?

Well, I feel like I do everything... if I can get my hands on it, I do it. I draw, paint, cut things, crochet, ink, design, sculpt, stitch, make whatever I can find. As a profession, I'm a freelance artist. The most common work I do is caricature and character design. (more…)

sea balls

My contribution to the installations

I spent the last couple of months working for one of my favourite events here in Edmonton. The Kaleido Family Arts Festival is an exuberant celebration of the arts that happens over a weekend in September every year. It started as a way to help make the neighbourhood safer and friendlier to artists and families. After 10 years it continues to grow, with music, dance, circus, theatre, art installations, and more. When they asked me to coordinate their installation competitions, I jumped at the chance to be part of something that I believe so strongly in. (more…)

creative living

One of my favourite ways to stay inspired is to read about how other people put their creativity into practice and learn to live creative lives. On the first Friday of each month I'll be interviewing someone who is letting their creative light shine. Hopefully these folks will inspire you as much as they inspire me. 

Artist and illustrator Gloria Ho was introduced to me by a mutual friend who thought we might get along since we were both artists and Royal Bison vendors. Did we ever! From the first day we met we've had so much to talk about. Gloria's watercolours paintings are distinctive and she's so good at capturing the whimsy and delicate beauty of the animals and people that she paints.

What sort of creative work do you do?

I'm a watercolour painter and I specialize in animals and people. I sell my work at art markets around Edmonton and Calgary and also do custom commissions and freelance editorial work.  (more…)

creative livingOne of my favourite ways to stay inspired is to read about how other people put their creativity into practice and learn to live creative lives. On the first Friday of each month I'll be interviewing someone who is letting their creative light shine. Hopefully these folks will inspire you as much as they inspire me. 

I met Tatiana in an online business course and was captivated by her passion for movement. We've shared plenty of creative struggles over early bird specials at the Sugar Bowl here in Edmonton and I always learn plenty from our talks.

What sort of creative work do you do?

I'm a choreographer and a dance teacher, but I get up to many different things in the realm of dance. I work both independently and with a dance studio in the Edmonton area. My specialization is in contemporary dance, but I also have training in musical theatre, Ukrainian dance, and various other styles of dance that tend to show up in my work when I least expect it! (more…)