A Must-Read for All Artists

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Rainer Maria Rilke 1900

“If your everyday life seems poor to you, do not accuse it; accuse yourself, tell yourself you are not poet enough to summon up its riches; since for the creator there is no poverty and no poor or unimportant place.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

I recommend reading  Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. This book is a collection of letters 27-year-old Rilke wrote to a 19-year-old cadet who was seeking guidance and feedback on his poetry.

His book will ground you and connect you to the true beauty of creating art…of being an artist. He reminds us that the beauty is in expressing our true selves through our craft, not in expecting fame or money.

Rilke died at 51, a successful novelist and poet.

Wanted: Trailblazers

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Artists are powerful because they appeal to people’s hearts and minds. Painters, sculptors, writers, musicians and other artists are changemakers.  Writers, for example, can be drivers for social equity.

Two Asian actors in “Hawaii Five-O” just left the show. When they signed on, they were the big names. No one really knew the two white lead actors (Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan). Daniel Dae Kim was coming from “Lost” and Grace Park was famous for her work in “Battlestar Galactica.” The Asian actors were really the draw for the show. Now, seven years later, the Asian actors are still not making as much money as the lesser known leads.

NPR had an intriguing and informative interview with writer Rick Najera and Jeff Yang (podcast host). Najera made the assertion that the power lies in the hands of the writers:

NAJERA: The writers’ room can decide whether that actor is a supporting actor or a leading actor. So it’s very easy to make that decision. So you can sit there and say, well, we have two Asian actors on a show set in Hawaii, which is predominately very Asian, let’s make them leads. They can make that decision early on. I think Hollywood’s kind of catching up to that thought and wants to. It’s just everyone in Hollywood wants to be second, no one wants to be first.

I believe artists outside of Hollywood – the independent filmmakers and artists – are the people who will make (are making) this happen.

Be the first!

 

 

 

 

 

On “Perfection”

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photo by Thought Catalog

On Perfection:

Elizabeth Gilbert, American Author

“Perfection is the death of all good things, perfection is the death of pleasure, it’s the death of productivity, it’s the death of efficiency, it’s the death of joy. Perfection is just a bludgeon that goes around murdering everything good. Somebody once said I was disingenuous for saying this, because surely I try to make my work as good as it can be. And that’s absolutely true — but there’s a really big difference between ‘as good as it can be’ and perfection.” – TED, September 2015

 

 

Instantaneous Inspiration

My friend and fellow chaperone was walking with me at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum in Washington D.C. We were in the aquatic section. He laughed, pointed at a fossil and said, “I think I’ve seen this in Star Wars.”

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I laughed and realized that creators are most likely inspired and influenced by the strangest things!

“And this too!” He laughed. I could see exactly what he meant.

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I imagined the designers and creators researching and studying ancient, strange creatures from millions of years ago. Maybe? Maybe not. But they were clearly inspired by the strange.

If you’re looking for inspiration, visit a musuem or an art gallery. Relax and enjoy yourself. Creativity is sure to reveal itself when you least expect it.

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Something to Say

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I was watching an old (actually, timeless) interview with Quentin Tarantino. He was talking about his life before becoming a film maker. Did you know he worked in a video store? He was a clerk! His old life was very comfortable and he admitted he was pretty happy.

And then he realized he had “something to say.”

He was better than his friends, which was not hard to do, since they were drug addicts with no ambition. He got real. He realized that he  could continue to live his life watching free movies behind a counter and be superior to all those around him OR…work towards his  dreams of being a filmmaker.

And the rest is history.

Do you have something to say? What one step could you take – NOW – towards your dream?

Do it!

4 Ways to Creative, Financial Freedom

I have been following Deep Space Sparkle  by Patty Palmer for years. I’ve watched her grow from an art teacher writing about her passions to a full-fledged entrepreneur with one of the most generous websites I’ve ever landed on.

Yesterday, I told you about Teachers Pay Teachers, a website where you can post your hard-earned work and start getting paid for it. Patty has created her own website and offers curriculum for sale (as well as a lot of FREE valuable resources).

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In her latest podcast, she reviews and shares her successes as a teacher and businesswoman. Teachers are some of the most creative, loving people you will ever meet, but it’s hard for them (us) to ask to be paid what we’re worth. Here are some of Patty’s tips for success while leaving your love of teaching intact:

  1. Enjoy – really enjoy – your teaching right now. Use this opportunity to experiment with your students…see what works. Bring your best each and every day.
  2. Start selling slowly. Use Teachers Pay Teachers, or start your own website. Don’t quit your job to do it, just begin.
  3. Create your curriculum based on your passions, don’t look to children or their parents for direction.
  4. Learn new skills! Have fun as you learn. It’s never too late.

One (of many) things I love about Patty’s site is that she emphasizes the importance of living and loving the present moment. This is what Kismet is all about. The paradox of success: In order to “get there”, you need to “be here.”