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.”

 

 

 

 

2 Quick Tips for Self-Publishing and Entrepreneurship

As my illustrators get to work, I want to apprise you of two valuable resources for self-publishing and entrepreneurship – especially if you’re a teacher – but for everyone.

Tip #1: Fiverr.com– Here, you can find every possible digital need: marketing, video animation, programming, singer-songwriters and translation work. Each gig starts at $5. You can also sell your services here.

Here is what you see when you browse for “Cartoon & Caricatures”:

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You can communicate with artists before making a decision. All you need to do is agree upon a deadline and price and then wait.  I used an artist who lives in Germany. I just needed cover art for a short story and she did a fantastic job…for $5! Providers are given reviews to hold them accountable for delivery time and customer satisfaction.

Tip #2:  Especially for teachers – is TeachersPayTeachers.com Here, you can find high-quality lesson plans  and activities for your grade level and subject matter. Almost all material has been created by teachers. Again, providers are reviewed by customers and everyone strives to attain a 4.0. There are teachers on this site who are so good, that their pay from TpT equals or exceeds their teacher salary!

Here is the Halloween page:

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Selling your work is free and easy. They have ample tutorials and advice to help you be successful. If you sell a lot, it’s recommended that you go to “premium” status, which costs you about $60/year, but you’ll get a higher percent of your sales.

Here’s the breakdown for getting paid via PayPal and Dwolla:

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Here’s to creating, learning, teaching and prospering!

Uncommon Courage & Commitment

Strong. Empowered. Free.

 

They pushed the boundaries within their respective genres.

Bowie created music (and himself) in ways that the world had never seen before. The same could be said of Prince. Muhammad Ali is arguably the greatest athlete ever.

But something else separated them from others. Bowie was said to be down-to-earth to the very end. Prince loved his hometown Minneapolis and stayed loyal, building his empire there. And Ali was sentenced to five years in jail (which became a three year abstinence from his work) for refusing to be drafted for the Vietnam War. He famously declared, “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong.”  Bowie, Prince and Ali lived in accordance to their values, while disregarding any possible financial or career damage.

Perhaps, instead of simply working, we can work simply: with our values as our guides.

It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. It could be as simple as refusing to wear makeup to work.

“I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt,” she said of the experience. (Alicia Keys, Huffington Post)

 

 

 

The Mesa Arts Center

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Our daughters’ MYS concerts are held quarterly downtown in the Mesa Arts Center in the Piper Theater. This place astounds us each time with the vibrancy and creativity of local artists. Here are a few pianos that were out a couple months ago.

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Art inspires creativity in the viewer/listener,

it sparks dialogue,

and requires dedication,

focus and faith

To all artists everywhere: keep creating!