Friday, June 29, 2012

Using Pinterest As A Door To Creativity: A Few Thoughts for Writers and Artists

Some of the interesting and colorful images on Pinterest that caught my discerning Dragon eye as potential tools of creativity were 'Doors'.  Doors, in various sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. Historical Doors and Artistic Doors. Romantic Doors and, frankly, odd Doors. Their very aspects generate questions that could serve as the basis of a story idea or a painting concept. Literally makes my tendrils and ears tingle with artistic fire.

Take a look and it's easy to see what I mean. 
Oh, the Brightness! What a wonderful door to come home to!
Incredible full door carving.
Artistic. Romantic. Somewhat...Elfish.

Great colors and an interesting lintel.

S'like a sunset on water. Beautiful!
Art Gallery Door. S'Art in itself!

Old texture and great surrounding windows.
Historic...perhaps Religious?
Fantastic ironwork on this one. Flowing, and Original

These are beautiful Doors, and worth looking at simply for that reason. However, in terms of creative prospects, they are worth a second look. Each one solicits similar questions:

  • Who would own such a door? What kind of people go through it every day?
  •  Who designed it? Who built it? When? Where?
  • What lies in the house behind it? Royalty? A religious order? Old wealth? New wealth? Pretend wealth? Lost wealth?
  •  If it contains a family, what size? Many children? No children? Adults only...old, or young? Does the nature of the door suggest any characteristics of the inhabitants?
  • Is it magical? Can it gain magic via some aspect of its design? Was it once magical, but has lost that quality? If so, why? 
  • Is there a meaning to its design? Does the design reflect the type of activities within? Do specific colors have specific meanings? Does the type of wood or the type of ironwork (if any) have meaning? 
  •  How often does it open? Are there frequent visitors? No visitors?
  • Does it hide secrets? Does it keep out good, or evil?
  • Whatever dwells it even human? Hey--Dragons like nice dwellings, too!  
These Doors offer up a plethora of questions to be answered. There are probably many more that a writer could think of. A good writer already has the imagination; a good Door will simply provide fodder to feed it.

The same could be said of an artist's imagination. Imagine painting an image of a door. Slather it with your favorite colors and textures. Will it stand alone, or be one of many doors? Will it be the entry to a structure, or will it open into an empty field? Will there be plants around it? People or animals near by?

An artist can change the shape, the colors, the size, the materials its constructed from. The Door could be a background, or the entire canvas on which you add a whole other concept. An interesting Door can become a painting, or a part of a mixed media collage. can find some great ones just by playing with Google. But Pinterest will hold the really fascinating Doors, because only the fascinating Doors will be pinned by creative-minded folks.

Spread your wings and circle through the colorful Boards of the Pinterest community. You'll love the inspiration!

The Dragon has spoken...  

Why I Love Pinterest

Today I spent what some might consider an inordinate amount of time on Pinterest...setting up several new Boards and perusing through Boards of other folks to find images that grabbed my eye faster than a Dragon can down a bullock! And it was, indeed, a pleasant chow down of eye candy. A tasty visual meal of gourmet textures and colors spilled like sugar on fresh, warm cookies! Or sprinkles on a rich cake...

Time's value is set by the one who's busy using it, is it not? I consider my time well spent!

Dream garden; oh, the colors!
It was a lovely way to focus on something that gives me pleasure--looking at fun, cool, unusual, and oft times inspirational images.  My 'Colors' Board is overflowing with some truly marvelous photos and images of anything exhibiting vivid or pleasant or breath-taking colors. Crosses the entire spectrum, not only of color, but of subject matter. Anything can be visually pleasing for the sake of its hue/tone/tint/pigment/shade--s'all in the eye of the beholder! My keen Dragon eyes love visual titillation. 

What a lovely place to visit.
I could never have found all those wonderful images browsing on my own. It is a great option to be able to utilize the browsing powers of a multitude of others who have already found some of those splendid images. And it's fun to see how many of us have similar taste and opinions in regard to what we look at and what we like looking at! I enjoy, as well, being able to store the images that please me so much and being able to go back and re-enjoy them time and again. S'like having a digital gallery that I can view whenever I want.

The kind of home one stumbles on the forest, where you find safety, a good meal, a warm bed, and good company...

A beautiful hand-sewn garmet

A fun, bright Art journal. Someone's marvelous creation.
I like Pinterest because I like visual things. I like discovering photos of items I might never have otherwise discovered. I like garnering ideas about making things, cooking things, and building things. I like seeing places that would be beyond my ability to actually visit. I like seeing the physical representation of my dream house, or dream building, or dream man, or dream work of art, or even dream life-style.  I love the sharing of it all. S'nice to know there are so many others who have the same interests, and the same response to those interests. It's a lovely way to connect with the rest of the humanity (or Dragonkind, whichever your proclivity).

Indeed, s'my personal Dragon opinion that strolling through the Pinterest galleries is worth the time and effort. As satisfying as walking through a museum or art gallery without having to set foot out in the heat, or look for a parking place where there aren't any. And these digital galleries are can pin and re-pin, share in the delight, smile at the results, sigh at the 'oh, if only I had that!' particularly wonderful object of admiration.

If you haven't checked out Pinterest, you should. If you already have Boards, enjoy them with enthusiasm. Express yourself fully with color and concept, dreams and hopes, and many 'ohhhh-that's beautiful' moments.

The Dragon has spoken... 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

the artist unique... 

great ideas for discovering your Creative Signature

I was browsing for interesting 'craft' related books (as Dragons occasionally do) and discovered this excellent work by Carmen Torbus (printed by North Light Books, 2011). The title caught my discerning Dragon eye...after all, every artist (and writer) desires to be unique and fascinating in their artistic presentation. A more common/well used moniker for this specific concept is "Branding". 

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers." The key term, I believe, is differentiate

You want to be different, to be recognized because of that difference.

the artist unique  approaches this idea in a manner both colorful and wonderfully applicable by concentrating on how to find the inspiration you need to create your own style, and by presenting some of the techniques utilized by real-life artists who have achieved their own creative signature/ brand. 

Oh, I love that term: creative signature! It has so much more flavor and energy than 'Brand'.  Creative flows off the tongue rich with prospects, full of potential - original, imaginative, inspired, inventive, resourceful, innovative... All aspects of artistic thought (whether arising from stylus or pen) spawn/explode/generate from the powerful activity of mental creation. A signature is a mark, a name, an autograph, a sign, a visual representation of the creative process.  Ergo, a creative signature is the creator/artist/writer's physical expression of whatever their inspiration has produced.  It is singular. Something no one else has done. 

All artists and writers learn the techniques of their craft, but in the learning do they subjugate their own originality? Ms. Torbus expressed it well: "I was great at following step-by-step instructions, but my artwork was often a replica of the project shown, a copy of another artist's work. Something was missing in my work--me!" She dedicated her book to that idea:
  • I believe that signature style is developed through creative discovery and loads of artful play. I would like to dedicate this book to the seeker in you. Inside you is an artist with a style all your own. Trust that with a little encouragement and inspiration--paired with easy-to-learn techniques done your way--your creative signature will emerge.
This book introduces a variety of art techniques, some of which may not be applicable to your particular form of art. But it is the individually imaginative approaches by which each of the presented artists develops her ideas and the interesting methodologies of her application that you should peruse and consider. Some of them might just be the key to spark your personal moment(s) of creativity. 

A few interesting ideas:
  • Draw with your eyes closed
  • Develop an ink blot
  • Draw with your non-dominant hand
  • Work with a media you've never used before
  • Find interesting photos in magazines or on calendars
  • Use a 'master word list' of the words you love the most
  • Try a technique you've never tried before 
  • Grab a blank piece of paper and simply slop on the paint or the words...let it flow!
These ideas and methodologies could/should/would prove inspirational to your own creativity.  

The artwork pictured is bright and exciting and fun, the explanations worth noting.  My Dragon heart says 'Yes!' This book, the artist unique, is well worth the price to add it to your collection of artistic/craft/inspirational works. 

Check it out, my creative human pals...go forth and solidify your imagination to share with the rest of the world!

The Dragon has spoken.


Saturday, June 16, 2012


The Dragon Has Two New

Romance Novels Available!

Blessing, Texas and A Development Of The Heart are contemporary romances set in small town Texas.  Blessing has a slightly 'fantastical' twist, while Development brings some interesting environmental issues to the fore.

These books were great fun to write! Both are available on Amazon as e-books and print books (Blessing; Development).  If you get a chance to visit my Amazon page, please be kind enough to leave a 'like'. Better yet... should you get a chance to read one or both books, a review would be greatly appreciated! 

The Dragon in creative mode...

'Define' Yourself - Who You Are Belongs To You!

In the course of my long Dragon years (oh, they are too many to count!) I have observed humans spend most of their days 'defined' (described... outlined...delineated...restricted!) by someone else. Or at least by the circumstances of their obligations.

Your job defines you based on what you do every day to earn a living. And, generally, what you do is determined not just by the job requirements, but by the expectations and dictations of the boss/supervisor/overseer who decides what they want you to do, or, worse, what they believe you are capable of. Or--not capable of. Someone else deciding what you are able, or not able to do, can be not only deflating, but a terrible tromp on one's self-worth! S'nuff to droop a Dragon's wings, let alone a humans dignity...

This happens, I am wont to suggest, even in the doing of hobbies and vocations. 

Do you belong to an organization--be it pertaining to art or writing or music or any kind of creative endeavor--that sets the parameters by which your art or writing or music or other creations are judged worthy? Don't get me wrong--organizations are often a fun and hugely beneficial route by which one learns from those more experienced not only in the techniques of a chosen creative industry, but often, as well, of the business methods by which one presents their creation to the world. The right organization can spark creativity, teach the ins and outs, and they are also a wonderful place for networking and building friendships. But...they can be a restrictive setting in that (not unlike political or religious organizations) they are often stone-set in specific methodologies and regulations. Like a horse wearing blinders, they move only in one direction down the track. Sometimes it leads you across the finish line a winner, sometimes it merely shuts off the rest of the track from your view. No deviations, re-routing, experiments, or side-tracks allowed or sanctioned! Belief in a singular manner of creating and selling are inflexible.

As a Dragon, I believe in freedom of flight. Grab the currents as you will and soar as long as your wings will hold you! Organizations can only teach you just so much, and after a time the lessons are no longer able to offer new insight. When they become repetitious, s'time to venture out on your own. That is the point, my human friends, when you 'define' yourself according to your own concept of worthiness. You define, as well, whatever you have created--be it art or a book or a song or a beautifully knitted scarf!--as worthy. You define. You choose the routes of creativity and business according to what works for you, and never--the Dragon repeats--NEVER let anyone else tell you what you are--or are not--capable of. What you can't always do in your 'day job', you CAN do as your creative self!

If you move outside the parameters set by tradition and establishment, don't let anyone tell you that makes you and your creation unsuitable. Inappropriate. Improper. Unworthy!

If you enjoy and prefer the fellowship of an organization, seek and select one comprised of other creatives who have no problem 'bucking the system'. Join a group that is not only not restricted by a charter of regulations, but that encourages and is, indeed, excited by your projects. There is nothing more enriching than sharing the enthusiasm of the real you--the creative and capable you!--with others.

It's all about moving forward unfettered by others' expectations and definitions. Go forth and be creative. Define yourself, my human friends. Be worthy!

The Dragon has spoken...