Bawwwk, Bawwwk…

22 03 2011

bantam-henCouldn’t resist this picture. Perhaps because I just finished some book illustrations, one of which was of chickens (see below).

My favorite part of this illo is the rooster strutting to the right. Reminds me so much of someone I know. He’s just got that attitude…

Rooster

© Laurie Edwards 2011

Here’s the full scene…

© Laurie Edwards 2011





Exploring Your Creative Gifts

11 01 2011

As I said in a previous post, I’ve heard that the number 11 symbolizes creativity. If that is so, then this year is a year for exploration and creativity. I’d like to focus on ways to open up the creative mind. And what better day to start than 1-11-11? I’ve done a great deal of reading on creativity — my master’s thesis was on stimulating creativity in art education. My premise was that everyone was born an artist (and I believe that applies to music, writing, art, and all other creative endeavors), but that early experiences stunt creativity. In addition to ways to improve art education for school students, a portion of my thesis focused on helping adult regain their creativity.

As a writer and an artist, I surround myself with creative, talented people. And one thing I find is that most of them do not lose their childlike engagement with the world. That, I believe, is one of the most important elements in stimulating creativity—a sense of wonder. A willingness to suspend disbelief, to explore with an open mind.

That is the gift I’d love to give everyone this year.





Now I’ve seen everything…

11 12 2010

I’d heard of dresses made of duct tape, of paper, and of trash bags, but this blog takes things to a new level. Among their selection of the top 10 most unusual dresses is a dress made out of porcelain. Yep, and it looks as if most of the plates are broken, so not only would it be extremely heavy to wear, you’d also also have to be careful not to cut yourself on the broken pottery. The dress itself is gorgeous, BTW, but practical, it isn’t.

It would make a great “break-up” dress, though. Wear this while you’re slow dancing and… your date will get the picture that you’re unavailable. The body armor and leaving him bloodied ought to do the trick. And no need to worry about him staining the dress. The blood will just wash off. But who wants to do all those dishes???





Why Do Artists Live Longer than Politicians?

30 11 2010

Recently, I’ve been working on an assignment that requires a series of bios of famous and semi-famous people from around the world throughout history, and I discovered something interesting. Almost invariably, the artists, composers, moviemakers, and writers lived well into their 90s; an amazing number even made it past 100. Many politicians, kings, and government leaders died young.  Of course, coups and assassinations cut some of their lives short, but even those who died of natural causes lived a much shorter time than those who were involved in the arts. Even during eras when living to 40 was considered normal, artists generally outlived their contemporaries by 20-30 years. When artists died young, it was often because they took their own lives, so it’s hard to know how long they would have lived, if they’d given themselves a chance.

So what it is about the arts that leads to longeviety? I’ve pondered this and wonder if it’s because artists approach life differently. Politicians often have driving needs to compete, to be first, to get to the top of the heap. Once there, they have additional stresses heaped on them. Artists spend their time creating more often than competing. That’s not to say there isn’t competition in the arts, but given a choice between winning or creating, most artists choose the latter.

I suspect, too, that artists’ angst and stress often get expressed through creative work, so although many artists struggle to make a living, they transform their problems into something outside themselves. When they lose themselves in their work, many of those stresses disappear, even if only temporarily.

Creativity may also give artists an edge in solving problems; they’re usually willing to think outside the box. And the act of creation is life-giving and energetic, so perhaps artists benefit internally as they share their gifts.  Art renews the mind and the spirit. So every day artists may be renewing themselves as they work.

But I think the real secret is the childlike wonder and unique approach to life that many artists have. Most keep their youthful and innocent eye as they age, so their internal age is much younger and more vibrant than their external age. Have you ever noticed that many artists have an aliveness and a sparkle to their eyes, their features? They think and speak excitedly about their next projects. Perhaps they’re less likely to give up on life because they have another project they’re just dying  to do. (or maybe not…perhaps it’s a project they’re just living to do.)





Creative Commons

9 08 2010

In keeping with the theme I’ve been discussing of free intellectual property, I thought I’d mention Creative Commons. Their slogan is:

Share, Remix, Reuse — Legally

Here’s what their website says about this nonprofit organization:

“We work to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in “the commons” — the body of work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing, and remixing.”

They provide “tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The Creative Commons licenses enable people to easily change their copyright terms from the default of ‘all rights reserved’ to ‘some rights reserved.’”

If you’re into sharing, it’s a great place to go. You can get a license (or should I say a licence, which is the British spelling for the noun?) for your work to allow others to use it and share it. Not only can you donate work, but they have many things available to use. Check it out. Best of all it’s global.

Creative Commons licenses are available in the following languages:




Grammar Grrrs…

26 04 2010

Hate seeing misspelled words? Misused expressions? Poor grammar?

You’re not alone. Some of us grammar geeks have been enjoying the wisdom and humor of Hyperbole and a Half. Not only does it contain rants on subjects dear to my heart, but Allie Brosh, the author, also draws pics.

Ever wonder what an Alot looks like? Check out her blog to find out.

BTW, if you’re not a grammar geek like me, put need help with that part of your writing, her pictures will help you remember what words to use when.





Tony DiTerlizzi

27 10 2009

Check out this fabulous interview by one of my fav illustrators:

http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=1821

The art is to die for…





Feeling Ghoulish?

24 10 2009

tombstonesblog

Leap Books is offering some graveyard fun. Check it out. And while you’re at the site, take a peek at their new Exclusives–2 fab stories set in cemeteries. Perfect for this time of year. Better yet, they feature vampires—what more could you ask? If you need a few shivers to keep you on edge this Halloween season, LEAP on over.

And for a recipe for even more haunting fun, try the directions for the Leap Gravestone Art. It’s definitely art to die for…

Come join me in the closest graveyard for a hauntingly good time.