Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Tag: creativity

How to stay creative

The Artdog Quote of the Week

Angelou had good reason to know this truth. Like love, like generosity, like any attitude, discipline, or craft that you practice, the more you practice it, the richer your store.

This image shows an ink-drawn portrait of Dr. Maya Angelou on a lime green background, along with a quote from her that says, "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

IMAGE: Many thanks to Brain Pickings, via The Fox is Black, for this image and Maya Angelou quote, featuring artwork by Lisa Congdon.

This square design features a purple, orange, and yellow background to set of a rectangular design by Jeffrey St. Clair. It shows a square design that is mostly orange, with purple, yellow, and black elements. Words surround it. They say: The seven principles: Kuumba: Creativity. To use our creative energies toward creating a vibrant community.”

Creative healing

The sixth day of Kwanzaa

This one is especially near to my heart: the principle of Kuumba, creativity! The only way to build a vibrant community is through the creative devotion of the people within it. Is there any community that could not benefit from some creative healing?

Just as the arts can help revive a dying neighborhood, so can applying creative energy build positive bridges of hope, where before there were only walls of separation. Our whole country desperately needs this kind of creative healing.

What better, more hopeful task can we set ourselves upon than that, this New Year’s Eve?

This square design features a purple, orange, and yellow background to set of a rectangular design by Jeffrey St. Clair. It shows a square design that is mostly orange, with purple, yellow, and black elements. Words surround it. They say: The seven principles: Kuumba: Creativity. To use our creative energies toward creating a vibrant community.”
Image by, and courtesy of, Jeffrey St. Clair. See Credits below.

Creativity Transcends Communities and Careers

There are very few careers or communities that cannot be improved with creativity. It is the driving force of innovation, the power that fuels important breakthroughs. Applied creativity gives us the capability to overcome obstacles and develop greater vision.

And where systems or communities are broken, creative healing is the force that builds them back best. We become “stronger in the broken places” when we harness our creativity for good.

On a square blue and gray background, this vertical design has a top and bottom section. On the bottom is a photo of Mae C. Jemison, the first African American Woman Astronaut, in the microgravity environment of the International space Station. She smiles at the viewer/camera while floating in midair, wearing dark blue pants and a yellow long-sleeved shirt with a NASA patch on it, surrounded by wires and technical gear. Above the photo, on a dark blue background, the words say, “Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live. -Mae C. Jemison, First African American Woman Astronaut. Students at the Center Hub / Black History Month.”
Quote-image courtesy of Students at the Center Hub.

Creative Healing Scales Up

From personal improvement to mending conflicts in our communities to resolving divisions on the national or international stage, creative healing empowers us.

This square design has a green and red background to set off a vertical rectangular design by Emily Poe Crawford, Em Dash Paper. It is an artistic calligraphy project in green and red on a white background that says, “Devote yourself to your community around you & devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose & meaning. -Mitch Albom.”
Design by Emily Poe Crawford, of the Em Dash Paper, courtesy of See Credits below.

Where can you employ creative healing in your life and world today?


Many thanks to Jeffrey St. Clair via LinkedIn’s SlideShare, for the nicely designed symbol image and “seven principles” slide, to Students at the Center Hub for the Mae C. Jemison quote, and to designer Emily Poe Crawford of the Em Dash Paper and for the Mitch Albom quote.

Breaking out of patterns

The Artdog Quote of the Week 

When we look at creativity’s value, it’s everywhere.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Pinterest, and Professional Artist Magazine for this image. 

When is it play, and when is it creative work?

A much-belated Artdog Quote of the Week!

I’ve been playing a little more than I “should” this week (always with the “shoulds” [insert quiet groan here]. You’d think I’d learn).

Last week, I finished my final editing pass on Going to the XK9s. It’s the (eighth draft of the) first novel in my planned “XK9 Series.

I sent it off to my editor, took a deep breath, and . . . OMG! Really wanted to get going on the next one!

I don’t know if this is a good thing, or a bad thing. I’ve been told that one should take a vacation, or at least a nice, relaxing break, after finishing a novel manuscript–especially after finishing the kind of fine-toothed-comb, line-by-line editing process, where you sweat ALL the details.

My problem with that? I’m bubbling over with ideas and energy for the next book. My XK9s are a pack of sapient police dogs who shake things up on their adopted space station home, while sniffing out bad guys. Writing about them is a lot of fun (as I hope reading about them will be).

I’ve also had enough experience to know that “flow” like this doesn’t happen all the time. It’s wise to hop on and ride it out, when it comes, which is what I’ve been doing, instead of writing blog posts (sorry). Every job feels like “a job,” sometimes–just not right now, for me.

So, then, am I relaxing? Am I working? Is it okay to say “yes”? If your work feels like playing, do we have to draw the line somewhere?

Gosh, I hope not.

IMAGES: Many thanks to Pinterest, via Betype, for the John Cleese quote, and to Marine L. Rot for the “creative flow” banner.

Independently together

The Artdog Quote of the Week: 

My vision of Strength in Diversity has everything to do with people from different cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, and life experiences coming together to pool their collective wisdom.

That is, in fact, also the essence of creativity: drawing ideas from a range of sources and putting them together in new ways. Only through that process can we innovate, develop our potential and make progress toward a better world.

This attitude does not mean I’m a pie-in-the-sky idealist who just wants to sing Kum By Yah with everyone else in the world because of the overflowing goodness in my heart.

And I don’t espouse my ardent belief in the vital importance of social justice out of some ambition to be politically correct.

No, my primary reason for affirming the importance of a diverse and interconnected society is that I firmly believe it’s my nation’s best route to a strong, positive future. It will take the intelligence, and the fortitude, and the creativity of ALL of us, to get ALL of us out of the messes we’ve made.

As allies, not enemies, we need to think independently together.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Inner Journey Outfitters, via Pinterest, for this image.

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