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ARTstarters: Creativity at pLaY!

Blogger:  Nicole Steiman, The Creativity Coach, Founder of The ARTbar Hands-on Studio

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  • 04 Jul 2013 9:23 AM | Nicole The Creativity Coach (Administrator)

    Do you give your creativity freedom to play? Or does art sometimes seem a quest of perfection, battling the critical voices in your head that tell you that you're not an artist, that your artwork doesn't look as good as others?

    Creativity is a muscle that needs practice and exercise . . . just like our physical muscles, just like we take our dogs for a walk . . . and just like we practice the scales on a piano. We wouldn't expect to perform a concerto for thousands without taking time to practice each day, yet many times we put immense pressure on ourselves to artistically perform in our chosen artwork.

    So what would practice look like in art? I believe it is creating for creating's sake . . . not for a finished piece or expected result. To allow yourself to play with lettering, to collage with a theme in mind and see where it leads you, to do random creative exercises without a certain design in mind, to try new art supplies and see what happens . . .

    Celebrate your FREEDOM OF CREATIVITY this month of July by joining us in doing 30 quick doodles or sketches in your journal by the end of this month. That's just 1 a day -- catch up whenever you can -- even if you just take 5 minutes to draw a quick shape, nothing fancy. You might not end up with 30 amazing drawings you can frame, but you will prove to yourself that your schedule does allow for you to be creative - even if for a short amount of time each day! You are FREE TO CREATE!

    To give you an added incentive, stop in before, during or after one of our August events, and let us know you completed the "Doodle-a-Day" or "Drawing-a-Day" challenge, and we'll reward you with an awesome prize! Basic members can post their doodles, drawings and insights in our gallery. It's just $5 a month and enables you to also access our monthly creativity calendars with added resources.
  • 03 Jan 2013 10:57 PM | Nicole The Creativity Coach (Administrator)

    Last night I was part of an Icarus Session organized by Seth Godin.  There were over 1200 sessions that met all over the world on January 2nd

    The purpose of the session.  To publicly share your art with the world, and say “Here, I made this.”

    Seth Godin’s new book “The Icarus Deception” defines art as the “unique work of a human being, work that touches another.” (page 6).  The moral of the story of Icarus is not to fly too close to the sun, so we purposely hold ourselves back.  But the other part of the myth that is not often shared is how dangerous it is to fly too low, to hold ourselves back, to play it safe . . .


    The Rules of an Icarus Session ( I love these!):

    “You can attend a session without presenting, of course.

    A presentation at an Icarus Session is 140 seconds long. You can go shorter, but not a second longer. You can use slides, or handouts, or even better, just bring your enthusiasm. The assignment: Tell the group about your art. What have you created? What frightened you? What matters?

    Not a pitch. An act of brave vulnerability.

    I made this.

    It scared me.

    This might not work.

    Here's how it changed me.

    What do you think?”


    Last night over a dozen courageous artists each took their turn, some with planned words, and others who spoke from the heart, and some who even thought there was no way they were going to speak . . . yet every single soul who attended stood up for their art, whether it was a painting, a philosophy, a business, or a seedling of an idea. 

    Wow!  In just 140 seconds or less, we shared more than just an introduction of who we are, we shared our souls.

    Next month we will do it again . . . but the challenge is that when we stand up to talk, we now have NEW art to share, or something NEW to say about it.  That we are always moving forward, changing our art, bringing our art deeper into the world.  Our message won’t be the same because we are committed to not remaining the same.

    I hope all you ARTstarters stand courageously with us next month!  We have been doing sessions just like these for years at The ARTbar in various forms, encouraging artists to come together to share their art.   So much more than networking events, this type of sharing encourages risk-taking not perfection, vulnerability and authenticity not marketing gimmicks. 

    There’s something magical that happens when you stand up and share with others!  Your ideas are suddenly transported OUT of journals, our of our heads and hearts, and into the world . . . where they might encourage or inspire others, and most of all, where they commit you to moving forward.

    So when you see Icarus Session on our calendar, you now know a little more about it!  You can attend just the first part (to speak for 140 seconds or just to watch), and if you like, stay for the ARTstarter Mixer right after to deepen any connections you want to make, and do a creative journal exercise.   You can also connect with the Meetup Group online to tell others worldwide that you are attending, as well as on Facebook.  Bring along a friend and have them share the art that they are making.

    Just a mere 140 seconds can be a great step to your next action . . . even if just for the simple act of saying, “Here, look what I made.”

    Thanks for letting me share what I made with you . . . it's a free event.  I hope you come!

  • 31 Dec 2012 11:59 PM | Nicole The Creativity Coach (Administrator)

    Happy Old Year!!!

    Everyone is always in such a rush to celebrate the NEW YEAR that we often forget to celebrate the OLD YEAR!

    Today I mentally made a quick list of all I did in just the last few weeks:

    • Shopped and wrapped tons of presents
    • Attended at least a dozen holiday gatherings
    • Created Christmas cards (that I didn’t have time to send - LOL)
    • Hosted a sleepover party for my daughter and her friends
    • Made an appetizer for the school holiday feast
    • Created a new business website
    • Reorganized the studio
    • Took the kids up the mountain to make their 1st snowman

    With all the emotional ups and downs of the holidays, it is especially important to remember what we are celebrating.  Whether you believe in the birth of Christ or another  belief, the afterglow of the holidays often finds us reflecting on “what it’s all for” and “why we’re here.”  For some, the New Year is the time to beat ourselves up for broken resolutions and unmet goals. 

    I say that it’s the perfect time to express gratitude for LAST YEAR!  To make a spiritual connection with what we have accomplished, and celebrate our successes, big and small.

    God has blessed us with a gift of creativity.  Sometimes we use it to build businesses, to make profits, to create art.  And sometimes we use it to make recipes, to wrap gifts, to send letters, to share laughter  . . . but most of all to create meaning in our lives.   Even through the years that aren’t our favorites, we seem to find moments of courage and success, and to remember truly ARTful MOMENTS.

    Today I am celebrating the memories and creativity of 2012! 

    Happy, HAPPY OLD YEAR!


    Here’s a fun journal exercise to wrap up the OLD YEAR:

    Write a list of everything you accomplished this month!

    Now expand your list to everything you accomplished this year!

    Pop the cork and CELEBRATE!

    Give THANKS to the Creator of Creativity! 

    Shine ON!


    Nicole Steiman, The Creativity Coach

    Founder, The ARTbar Hands-on Studio

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