Tag Archives: creative process

Michelangelo- A Constant Learner

27 Feb

Image credit: abcgallery.com

Image credit: abcgallery.com

Club Creative Studio- Creativity QuoteLearning is continual and constant and creative learning is an individual  journey.  What can we learn from the above quote from the great Michelangelo?  Whether you are an emerging leader or artist. If you are a seasoned veteran at your craft, there’s always more to learn and new ways to grow within that field . At 87 years old, Michelangelo said it well: Ancora imparo (“I’m still learning).

Club Creative Studio appreciates the learning curve and supports curious minds in pursuit of creative knowledge.  Like Michelangelo,  the continual association with learning can be a passion and a reality to get the know=how to become better at something. Learning opens doors to growth and opportunity.  What do you think that Michelangelo at age 87 meant when he said “I am still learning.”  Do you think that he meant to express that he did not know it all? Did he perhaps imply that there is so much to learn about so many topics in the span of a lifetime?

Thinking about this quote today, what do you think this quote would mean to you if you were near the age of 87 versus now at the age you are now? 

This quote is great for many reasons if you ask me. It gives me a sense of wonder that the love of learning is a gift at any age, as well as a part of our life at any stage.  We simply can’t know or experience everything in our life-time.  We are in a constant revolution of thoughts and learning episodes.  We learn from our own life and from each other’s journey. We face trial and error daily and we are on a vicious cycle to catch up with the new as we hold onto and learn from the past.

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, known commonly as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance Artist: sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted unparalleled influences on the development of Western art.

This quote comes to mind for me whenever I attempt a new skill and I have much to learn.  Although we look at the list of talents Michelangelo shared with us, he had to have known that with each of his creative jumps, came a humbling thought that it was all  a learning process. 

My life and creative offerings take on a personal spin from what others have done on as well.  Each creative process brings me to the realization that I can be comfortable with my level of expertise but, I can also take notice that with each topic at hand, I have opportunities to learn even more.  Taking time as an example, to attend more art classes, workshops, seminars, teleseminars and hands-on lessons, I have gained a newfound love for learning once again.  I can take time to slow down for instruction from others.  I don’t have to learn it all by myself.  In this same light as Michelangelo, I can say today that I too am still learning. Still learning new techniques, skills, people, traits, still learning about history, present day events, creative expressions, and still learning the best way to learn.

As your learning adventure marches on, what can you share about the level of excitement of continual learning?  Share your comments below, we’d love to hear about your challenges, and success stories about learning something new that helped you grow creatively.

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Creativity Takes Courage

21 Jan

Creativity Does Takes Courage.

Creativity Does Takes Courage.

Creativity does take courage.

The Club Creative Studio blog today has a focus on five of the top reasons why I believe this is true. Can you think of anything to add to the list?

  1. Being creative demands that you “put yourself out there”.  It takes bravery to express yourself as an individual.
  2. Being creative explores unknown results.  Courage is needed to chart unfamiliar territories and step outside the box.
  3. Being creative requires a level of risk.  Creativity has a risk of failure and success.
  4. Creativity is a give and take experience.  Creativity gives satisfaction to self and others. Creativity also includes a part of the creator’s soul.
  5. Creativity has an element of investment.  Being creative uses invested supplies and a time commitment.

These are the very reasons among others, that I am dedicated to Being Creative Everyday!

It is not easy to be the one that always stands out in a crowd.  But, it is probably the most satisfying result of having courage to create.  Expressing uniqueness is something that anyone can learn to be comfortable with.  When a creative person sits down to focus on a task at hand, they do so with the thought that the results are going to be unpredictable.  I love knowing that my creative endeavors are all part of my wonderful journey.  The path can take on twists and turns as fast as the ideas spark.  The exciting part of creativity is that it can evolve and proceed in many new directions.

Being creative always as an element of risk involved.  I know that my success and failure rates are experienced in record amounts. Creativity is a learning process.  It is an expression as unique as the individual.  While any creative person dedicates a part of their soul to their art, creativity does not always take away from the creator. Creativity expressed and shared gives greatly to those willing to receive and reach out to connect with another’s creative ways. For me, Being Creative Everyday is not only my personal and business model canvas mantra, it is also a means to the end result of being the best I can be in creating art and sharing it with others.

My hope for you today is to find a way to be creative and thrive in your own level of creativity.  The spirit of creativity lives within you, find what it takes to spark it, and see what it can do for you!

A Group Art Prompt

16 Aug

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Club Creative Studio would like to highlight the creativity of a small group of people in this TNT (This-N-That) blog post today.

New Bridge Middle School in Jacksonville, North Carolina was the setting for creativity at the summer Leadership Camp. Five young artists and their instructor led efforts for a group art project . The collaborative works will be proudly displayed.

Take a look at the creative process in the video on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/clubcreativestudio , and you will see how all parts DO make the whole. This is a project that may inspire you to do in your own way because it is rewarding at all stages of development.

Thank you to the participants and the instructor, and acquaintance Mr. Bernie Rosage, Jr. He will certainly agree that this group art project was created with pride and joy.

Get inspired! This over-all project display technique can be replicated in a variety of canvas sizes, as long as they are anchored securely before and after your wall placement. It reminds me of a puzzle. Happily, their theme is NOT puzzling!

What did you think? Share your thoughts here!

Wired Up

3 Jun

Are you motivated to become creative today?

I am all “wired up’ as I experiment in the work place of Club Creative Studio.  As I try new techniques in wire-wrapping I have run into trials and tribulations.  This is what I love about the creative process…the learning process.  Success in art means to be brave to start from an idea, remain open-minded to continue the project and then hopefully become pleased in the final product.

This is what is at the heart of exploring creativity.  Today in this short post, I share with you the results of the recent stone, wire and crystal art pendants I am experimenting with.

Club Creative Studio hand-made wire and crystal art pendant.

Club Creative Studio hand-made pendant in stone, wire and crystals.

How have you been creative lately?

For more creativity at work for you, visit the artistic website at:

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com 

Plastic Painting Project Part ll

22 May

Let us show you what we did with our empty plastic bottles.

Club Creative Studio offers part two of the creative process from the latest mother/daughter project. Part one shared the beginning stages of the painted canvas and gave a hint of the mixed media added: the recycled melted plastic bottles.  In today’s post we will reveal the final outcome and share the process of how you can also create the flower sections.

This project will be an ongoing project that we will continue to build upon as we add more and more recycled sections to the over-all project.  We will add more melted flowers as we obtain additional bottles by which to recycle.

Club Creative Studio recycled and melted plastic bottles were transformed into flowers and added to the painted canvas.

This is what you need to begin:

With your empty and clean plastic soda or water bottle, use scissors to carefully punch and cut along the line that is already found across the bottom design of the bottle.

This is what the cut portion will look like when you have cut around the entire bottom of the plastic container.

Cutting the “petals” can be done in a variety of ways keeping in mind that you want to cut portions that mimic the natural forms of flower petals.  Your initial petal cuts can be made by cutting along the indention of the bottom of the plastic container.

Experiment with round cut and fringe cut ends.

To start the melting process you need a craft heat gun, your pre-cut plastic sections, pliers, a heat-resistant area (outdoors is a well ventilated area), a protected work surface (like a tin liner or cookie sheet),  and a mask that protects from vapors.

It does not take long to melt the cut plastic so you will be moving the heat gun around fast and not long at all. I made a short video on the Facebook page that you can review which will  demonstrate just how quickly this is done. http://www.facebook.com/ClubCreativeStudio

STEP FIVE: THE MELTING PROCESS

This is the above item after I have melted and formed it with the heat gun.

Club Creative Studio’s fringe-cut plastic bottle melted to form a flower shape.

Adding color to the plastic is easily done by dabbing alcohol ink colorants to the plastic.

Cranberry ink added to plastic form.

Adding Club Creative Studio hand-made clay beads completes my floral blooms.

The “Mother-Daughter Project” continues as we add more melted bottle blooms. The goal is to cover the canvas at some point for a complete look.

Thursday’s TNT (This-N-That) post will highlight all of the creativity quotes used in this project.  Check back for the creative inspiration they provide.

The Waiting Game

10 May

Smile during your creative process.

Today’s TNT (This-N-That) post from Club Creative Studio is about technique in your creative process. I often find myself playing “the waiting game”.  You know what this means to an individual on a daily basis. We wait in line, we wait for the mail to come, we wait in traffic, we wait for the dryer to signal the clothes are dry. We wait for the text response, we wait for something to download, we WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!

But wait there is more waiting if you are an artist!  It is what we do with that “wait time” when we are creatively working that is important.  When an artist has down time, time in which we have to wait for something to dry, wait for something to stick together, wait for something to cure, melt, mold, bake, even sell… we need to also occupy that time to be productive.  And guess what?  An artist usually fills their wait time with something that takes even more time to wait for, right?

I often find myself doing tasks in the studio that involve multiple skills, steps or focus.  It is just part of the nature of the beast of putting constructions together, that forces us to wait for one step to be completed before another is started.  Multitasking is nothing new.  Multi-focus is the skill that is in question.  Being able to move from one task to another quickly is productive if you are organized, goal-oriented, and patient.

Organize your stuff!

Organization

When your supplies and work space are organized, your efforts become smooth and there is less time dealing with details that waste time.

Organization offers the flow of creativity because you can see more clearly and tools are readily at hand where you expect them to be.

Order in your space allows you to see the process in front of you without distractions.

Striving to be more organized can form habits that are productive in day-to-day activities outside of your craft.

Set your goals.

Goal-Setting

Being goal-oriented means you have a focus and outcome in mind.  Sometimes in art, that has to be general since we want the over-all outcome to be creative, not totally predicted.

Knowing what you want to do at the start of a process stems from being organized and also grows out of having the foresight of knowing what supplies you need to begin step one.

Inspiration and goals can be used together to give you a mental snapshot of where you want your project to head.  Envisioning the plan and product together sparks creativity.

Patience

No doubt about it deadlines and creativity sometimes do not mesh well but, being patient does have its rewards for reaching a time related task.

Setting the pace for creativity will manage your time more effectively.  Leaving room in the day for trial and error accounts will be less stressful and more successful.

I practice being patient by moving from one task to another.  I try not to get too frustrated with various steps of a complicated or intense project at hand because of those little breaks.

Take into account what your starting point and ending points look like.

Are you organized?

Do you know your goals for your creative process?

Are you patient?

I would like to end this post by sharing one idea that helps me pass time in between projects.  The focus on the REWARD, which is different from the word GOAL.  As a “reward” to myself as a job well done creatively and in celebration of an accomplished task, I take time to savor.  Chocolate and tea work for me!

My “pick-me-up-reward beverage” choice is sweet tea!

Let us know what you do in your daily “waiting game” challenges.  Do you have a routine or helpful hint for others that explains why you can be more creative during the times you have to wait in between steps of a project?  We’d love for you to share your thoughts below in a comment. Thanks for stopping by the blog,  Good luck in your creativity today!

Creative Questions

30 Apr

Image: hypperridedesign

Club Creative Studio has pressing questions for you today: What is your recipe for making your concoction of creative juice?  Do you have a secret combination of ingredients that jump-start your creative process? Is it just the right amount of mood, skill, talent and forces that come together for successful thinking?  What is your secret weapon for creating the perfect storm of productivity? What makes a whirl-wind of constructive ideas flow for you?

Maybe one thing or a combination of several aspects make you more creative one day compared to the next.  For me, creative times come naturally.  It’s what I am interested in and have a passion about so it is second nature to want to be involved in the creative process in some form during my day.  It is also a conscious personal and business mantra: Be Creative Every Day.

With that being said, I would like to share the characteristics that I have noticed that answer the questions of creativity for me.  What can you add that also answers the general query: What makes your creativity flow?

C:    Catching random thoughts and using them in an artful constructive way

R:    Reaching beyond what is normal and reaching deeper than the surface to try something new

E:     Experimenting with different combinations of materials

A:     Acquiring new skills and allowing them to become second nature

T:    Taking my time to create and express what I want and need to

I:    Initial reactions gathered can be used for inspiration to jump-start creative thoughts

V:    Variety is the spice of life, so taking breaks help me stretch my focus longer

I:    Involve others and gain suggestions as insights for new prospectives

T:    Tossing aside what I think will not work too quickly might save me time, but does not provide creative growth

Y:    Yes, I did it!  Take pride in originality and success of another creative mission accomplished!

Ask yourself creative questions.

Thank you for adding your comments, I’d love to hear about what is making your creative time bomb tick!

Y is for You (Your Creativity)

28 Apr

Take the steps to be creative!

Sometimes it is a struggle to think creatively, find the time to be creative or have materials on hand to produce an item from your creativity.  I get that. And it might sound familiar to you too. This is why today’s post from Club Creative Studio has a focus on You.  The letter “Y” stands for you today, you and your creative process.  When I say I am “Creative Everyday”, I really am. That is my daily process.  It may not be in the same manner or with the same materials but, I do recognize that it takes effort sometimes to be productive from creative juices, and I strive to make sure that everyday I do something that I consider to be creative in my workspace: Club Creative Studio.

For those times that you think it is not possible to be creative or hard to get motivated, take to heart some of the considerations from the ideas of Gary Gonzales, in the Leadership Journal, as he writes about Real Ministry in a Complex World. Now I know his subject matter is not an art focus. But, when talking about creativity we can gain some insight to his words and thoughts about the creative process as a whole.  He writes about your “creativity quotient” and how to raise the bar in creativity. He  believes that  a few good habits can improve the quality of your ideas.

“Someone once asked William Barclay how he had become such a prolific writer. The key, he said, is learning to apply the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair.

Creativity is far less subjective and ethereal than some make it sound. As much a function of our habits as our “genius” or inspiration, creativity takes discipline. Here are four ways to enhance your creativity.

Know your moods

Perhaps you’ve heard the old saying about diet: “Mornings are gold, lunch is bronze, and dinner is lead.” Well, the same applies to personal energy levels. A few months ago, a lay leader handed me a newspaper article outlining the body’s daily rhythms. It underscored how, for most people, mornings provide peak energy and concentration. Quick recall and analytical reasoning are strongest in the a.m.

Conversely, the infamous “afternoon grog,” the inability to focus, hits from 1 to 3 p.m., with a short reprieve from 3 to 4 p.m., especially in recall.

By evening most people are downshifting, except for the late-night geniuses who hit their creative stride from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Knowing this, I safeguard morning hours for the challenges of praying, studying, writing, and creative thinking. I no longer feel guilty when my engines are revving low. I pace myself, husbanding my energy for creative times.

Do you know what time of day you are the most creative? I fit into that "night owl" category for sure!

Learned how to improve energy and lessen the negative rhythms

Soon after moving to the Twin Cities from Southern California, I thought about joining a fitness club. But I wondered, With my mornings scheduled full with message preparation and my evenings already overflowing with meetings and programs, how can I realistically expect to add an exercise regimen?

But I had heard others describe how a workout increased their energy level, so I decided to experiment. I discovered that a sixty-minute workout during my lunch hour or after 3 p.m. worked wonders. Regular exercise dramatically increased my endurance, making my low periods less low-and I feel better about myself. As an added bonus, I find thinking and praying easier while on the Nordic Track or between weight-lifting sets.

While getting into shape, I learned another valuable lesson: If I work out on Friday, resting or going easy on Saturday, by Sunday morning I’m primed to preach. A one-day layoff between workouts enables my body to bounce back with renewed vigor. I can’t recall a time in my previous fifteen years of ministry when I’ve been so clear-headed-able to think creatively and spontaneously in the pulpit.

Write it down

Someone has said, “Opportunity is like a horse that gallops up and then pauses for a moment. If you don’t get on, before long you hear the clatter of hoofbeats dying away in the distance.”

You have got to start someplace start your creativity at the beginning!

Great ideas are just such opportunities.

Whenever you hear, see, or think a worthwhile thought, write it down before another moment passes. Experience has taught me to keep a pen and paper handy on my night stand.  That’s also true of the ideas we learn from others. For several years I’ve kept a journal handy at my office. Whenever I come across a good quote, I immediately jot it down and document the source. Often, when I’m stymied while preparing sermons, I thumb through this journal to stimulate ideas.

Others’ ideas provoke my ideas. While paging through my journal recently, I ran across the statement, “Leaders are to be imitated, not gold-plated.” It triggered a thought: I’ve wanted to do a series on leadership for some time. Why not develop a series of seven messages on leadership principles using one-liners as memory hooks?

I’m now reading and gathering ideas, illustrations, and resources on that theme.

Let it simmer

Most creative ideas mature over time. So, whether I’m planning a sermon series, a special holiday service, or a seminar, I arrange my time to give it as much advance thought as possible. My mind works best when I’m not clawing for ideas at the last-minute.

I don’t get over structured too early. A good idea has a ripple effect, soon suggesting other ideas or applications. At first, all I want to do is grasp the big picture-even if only a piece of it.

Apology for the language displayed here but, ADMIT IT: we have all felt this way!

Useful ideas sometimes come to me after months of simmering.

Several years ago, I heard the story of Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. He went down to the local army surplus store one morning and bought forty-five used weather balloons. That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair, to which several of his friends tied the now helium-filled balloons. He took along a six-pack of beer, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and a bb gun, figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.

Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, was caught off guard when the chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky-smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport. Too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, forcing the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon, causing long delays in flights from across the country.

Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police, reporters asked him three questions:

“Were you scared?”

“Yes.”

“Would you do it again?”

“No.”

“Why did you do it?”

“Because,” he said, “you can’t just sit there.”

His answer caught my interest. I pondered that story and its implications for several months. Then, as I was preparing a sermon, “The Crisis Called Christmas,” my thoughts came together. I used the Walters story in the introduction to set the stage for the idea that each of the birth narratives called for a response-or a reaction-from its participants. When it comes to God’s intervention in our lives, we can’t just sit there.

image:aboxjourneybutton

Talk about it

Creativity is often synergistic, so I cultivate people in formal and informal settings who cultivate my ideas  I never  know when a brainstorm will strike-and quickly vanish!

Happily, I can relate to this writing and it gives me insight and information to use to step up and recognize my creative strengths and areas of weakness that can be improved upon.  Did you find anything in his writings that might help you relate to being creative in your own life?  I hope so.  Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope your creativity grows.

10 Ways to Think Like an Artist

10 Jan

While I write and share information about creativity, I do understand than not everyone thinks they are specifically “artistic”.  We tend to believe that the artistic/creative type are a strange bunch that really think differently.  Well, while it may be true that they think a little differently, they do so because they see differently, and are open to change.  What does it mean to think like an artist?  Creative people do things simply because it is interesting and personally challenging to do.

Image:funderstanding.com

This week’s Two-Cent Tuesday post shares ideas on how you can jump-start your journey to think like an artist.  How can you be creative everyday?

Learn to think like an artist:

1.  Look at things more closely than most people do.  Open your eyes to your surroundings.

2.  Find beauty in everyday things and situations.

3.  Make new connections between different things and ideas. There is more than one way to do something.

4.  Go beyond ordinary ways of thinking and doing things. Make an effort to approach and produce something differently.

5.  Expose yourself to possible failure.  Experiment or try something that is not comfortable to you.  Be brave and not scared to mess-up.

6.  Arrange things in new and interesting ways.  Mix it up and rearrange something to be unexpected or different.

7.  Work hard and at the edge of your potential.  Push yourself and discover hidden talents.

8.  Persist where others may give up. Forge ahead and remember your focus.

9.  Concentrate for long periods of time.  Creative persons usually don’t do things very quickly, they take their time to create.

10.  Utilize dreams and both new and old ideas to see something in a different way.

 Challenge yourself to try one thing on my list today that uses creativity in some interesting way.  Be and do the opposite of routine!

 It is an aspect that I strive for each day as I have the continuous goal of Being Creative Every Day at

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

I Am In Love With Lampwork

6 Jan

Glass bead makes a fun fish bead by adding elements.

IT’S FEATURE FRIDAY!

Club Creative Studio Hand-Torched Glass Pendant.

Feature Friday is a time when Club Creative Studio Art is highlighted.  This post gives a few hints of what is included in the category within the online storefront called Hand-Torched Glass.  Also known as lampwork, this term refers to “torch” made beads.  Many years ago, before propane and oxygen torches, beads were made over small “wick-type” lamps.  This is where the term “lampwork” originated.  In this post I will share a few photos of how I look when I am working on a glass bead project.  I love working with the torch and the flame.

Glass can be known as being hard or soft. I use “soft glass rods” about the thickness of a pencil.

Veronica Campos-Hallstrom with Italian Moretti Glass rods.

Simply put, the process involves heating the the rods of glass in the flame until the glass begins to “melt” and it becomes soft.  The glass is then manipulated on a stainless steel rod called a mandrel.  The mandrel has been coated to avoid molten glass sticking to it for easy removal once cooled.  The glass is shaped into a bead shape with a variety of colors of glass layered together.  The final step called annealing is done in a kiln which further hardens the bead over several hours.

Club Creative Studio creates Hand-Torched Glass beads.

Enjoy browsing unique hand-torched glass items within Club Creative Studio’s website, as well as other creative one-of-a-kind, festive, fun and functional items incorporating hand made beads created by hand, on the East Coast with Italian Glass and hand-rolled polymer clay. Also check back on the blog for more FEATURE FRIDAY posts, thank you!

Close up: Veronica forming a glass bead with torched glass.

Bead shape being formed with my torch flame and Italian glass.

Please visit: http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

Because glass is so typically delicate, I like to mix that feeling with the boldness of color!

I love creating one-of-a-kind glass beads in my studio!

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