Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

creative living

Photo by Alex Tran

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 (and sometimes more often!) I'll be interviewing someone who is letting their creative light shine. Hopefully these folks will inspire you as much as they inspire me. 

Meags Fitzgerald is one of the hardest working creative people I've met. She's incredibly prolific, in all kinds of media, and is the only person I know who has published a book - with another one on the way. I've known her literally her whole life, as our parents were good friends when we were kids, and I've always been inspired by her dedication to living a creative life.

What sort of creative work do you do?

I work (and play) in a lot of disciplines. At the core, most of my interests are about combining images and stories. By trade I’m an illustrator, a lot of my jobs are t-shirt and poster designs. However, I’m best known for my work as a graphic novelist; I write and draw non-fiction stories. I’ve also made sculptures and photographs that I’ve exhibited, as well as stop-motion animations that have screened at film festivals. I really enjoy crafting, specifically sewing, crochet and embroidery. On the performance side of things, I do live storytelling and work as an improv theatre teacher. More recently I’ve been getting involved with circus arts, primarily exploring aerial silks and contortion. (more…)

artist links

My newest print of a Yellow Lady Slipper orchid

I spent the weekend at the Whyte Avenue Art Walk. One of Edmonton's busiest streets was filled with artists selling their work and making art right on the street. When I wasn't baking in the sun and talking to ALL the people, I was checking out some amazing local art. It has become clear to me that a lot of my favourite work is inspired by, or incorporates, nature and the natural world (just like my art!).

This Sunday I'm going to be taking part in an exhibit of artists all expressing their relationship with nature (at the Devonian Botanical Gardens, 10-6 on Sunday) so I thought I would gather some of the interesting work I have come across lately that fits with that theme. I hope you feel as awed and inspired as I do!  (more…)

creative living

Photo by Cory Johnn

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. 

This week I sent my questions to local designer and metalsmith, Kristine MacDonald. Her Alberta-inspired jewellery is unique and recognizable, and is making a big splash here in Edmonton. We met on a dragon boating team 3 years ago and I've loved watching her business and artistry grow.

What sort of creative work do you do? 

I work with copper to design and create custom jewelery and accessories. I am also a freelance web and graphic designer. (more…)

what's I've been reading

Another stack of books I can't wait to get started on

The fact that it's been 4 months since my last books post tells me that I don't finish very many books, or at least I don't finish very many books that I feel like recommending. Only the best for you! Here's what I've enjoyed reading since I published my last list back in March:

Non-Fiction

The Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth - Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield is kind of an amazing guy. At six years old he decided he was going to be an astronaut and every decision he made from that point on was in service of his dream. In case accomplishing that goal wasn't cool enough, he also created videos in space teaching kids about science and playing his guitar, and he became pretty famous. (more…)

creative living

Photo by Orange Girls Photographs

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. 

For the very first of my interviews I am so excited to welcome local Edmonton designer Justine Ma to the blog. Our creative lives have criss-crossed each other since we were in the same high school art class and later when we were both vendors at the Royal Bison Craft and Art Fair. Her work is beautiful and charming - I bought one of her onesies for my friend's baby and it is absolutely adorable. Enjoy!

What sort of creative work do you do?

I’m a graphic designer. I specialize in hand lettering and contemporary calligraphy. I make stationery, large prints, and home goods. (more…)

inspiration in childhood

I believe that we all have strands of creative code hard-wired into our imaginations. These strands are as solidly imprinted in us as the genetic code that determines our height and eye color, except they govern our creative impulses. They determine the forms we work in, the stories we tell, and how we tell them. Twyla Tharp

When I was 11 years old, I started a "Things to do when bored" list. It had suggestions like: write letters, work on alien photo album, put on a show, make puppets, puzzles, skulptures, beads, baking, watercolours, design clothes... etc.

Many of the things on that list (which I still have) are things that I would like to spend my time doing now (even 'phone Eryn' is something I wish I did more often), and though I rarely slow down enough to feel bored, I do occasionally get stuck doing the same things over and over again and feel a need for inspiration.

I've read in many places that remembering what you loved as a child can help you find your calling as an adult. While this is certainly true for some of us (the scene above is not that different from how I like to spend my time now), it doesn't necessarily have to point you towards a career. Going back to childhood passions can simply help you be more passionate in your life today. (more…)

creative role models

This is a new series where I write about the people that inspire me to be more creative every day: the people who live and breathe creativity and are using their passion to make the world a better place. I've also written about Nick Bantock, Jim Hensen, and Lisa Congdon.

Who is Amanda Palmer?

A musician that got her start performing in the punk-cabaret band the Dresden Dolls and is still touring. She became famous outside of her music circles when she launched a very successful (well over $1 million) Kickstarter campaign to fund her album and tour. Some people thought it was great that she was ditching the label model and connecting directly with her fans, some people thought she was misusing the platform and didn't deserve to get so much money. She has since done a TedTalk and written a book, both called The Art of Asking, about how and why she decided to take such a drastically different approach. She is married to fantasy writer, Neil Gaiman - another one of my creative role models.
(more…)

Creativity

So much creativity was unleashed at my Easter egg decorating party last weekend

Link list posts sometimes feel like sort of a cop-out so I hesitated about posting one. But then I thought, is there ever a better time to cop out than right before vacation? These should keep you busy for awhile. (If you're not subscribed to my newsletter then you won't know that I'm heading to the Middle East for 3 weeks next Thursday. SO excited. If you want insider updates on my process and what I'm up to, sign up using the form on the right of the page.)

This is a great project idea, with a huge following. If I was here I would consider doing it just to be a part of something so big - the connections and inspiration gained would be amazing.

Creative blocks can be caused by many different things. Here are 7 of them - with tips for overcoming each one. (more…)

library books

I've instituted a monthly "spa day" for myself where I spend an entire day not working and doing whatever I need to re-energize and rejuvenate. For February's spa day I went to a public library and wandered the non-fiction shelves for an hour, because this is an incredibly energizing activity for me. I see so many interesting topics, ideas, and images and I am often almost overwhelmed by inspiration. The photo above is one shelf of the nature/science section and I swear I wish I could read every single one of those books, they all look that interesting. (more…)

creative role modelsI'm starting a new series where I write about the people that inspire me to be more creative every day: the people who live and breathe creativity and are using their passion to make the world a better place. You can find more inspiration posts here, here, and here

Who is Lisa Congdon?

She's a successful artist and illustrator based in San Francisco (thought she's been mentioning moving to Portland), and I've been following her blog and her Instagram. According to her website, she does commissions for all kinds of big name companies like Martha Stewart and MoMA. She has also written some books, including Art Inc: The Essential Guide to Building Your Career as an Artist and teaches courses on Creative Bug and Creative Live. (more…)