Entries in motivation (15)


Facing the scary stuff

via automatism

I spent an hour and a half tonight participating in the most amazing experience, a creative counseling call with a favorite life coach of mine, Tara Sophia Mohr. During this time of year, I often feel stuck creatively speaking. So when I read about the opportunity to listen to Tara and 20 other creative types speak about their struggles, I signed right up. I was so surprised to find myself nervous about the call all day. I had never participated in a conference call before and don't love talking on the phone, so I was concerned I would freeze up and not be able to talk. But this being my year to conquer more fears and develop my motivational and inspirational side, I promised myself I would do everything I could do to get the most out of the call.

Tara was amazing. The call definitely started with many of us on the quiet side but after a few of her great exercises designed to help us find the space where we feel most inspired, a few people and I pushed the button to talk. It felt amazing to talk about my struggles as an artist and Tara of course was full of great exercises and practices that I could do to help me in my artistic journey. As well, it was such a beautiful experience to listen to the other artists and develop these new connections. I even ended the call with a new deadline for myself with a scheduled check in. If I let the fear take over, I would have remained quiet or maybe not have made the call at all. I certainly would have still learned quite a few things by being a silent participant but for me half of the challenge was to conquer the fear of expressing my artistic fears to a bunch of strangers. Believe me, I feel really good right now.

Is there something in your life that you want to conquer? A scary next step to becoming the successful artist you want to be? Genevieve and I are full of great resources to help inspire creativity so just drop us a line and we'll help

I highly recommend checking out Tara's workshops. She has a couple of small group counseling circles starting in February - monthly, phone-based, 90-minute group sessions over a five month period.  This is a great opportunity!


Word Inspiration

by lucky blue bird art

One thing that helps all creative people relate to one another is their experience with creative block. We all suffer from this time to time and if someone tells you they don't, they are lying. It is so easy to get lost in this uncomfortable feeling but one thing I can suggest to make this easier is to try to quiet that inner nagging voice. Try to silence the part of the brain that suggests quick fixes and instead pick up a project that can help stimulate new creative thoughts with ease.

A favorite that I learned both in creative writing classes and in art school is one word inspiration. I bring this up because I have recently introduced a new daily photography project to the Lightbox SF community called Creative Exposures. This project is to help inspire people to carry that camera on a daily basis and to help stimulate creativity. I start the week off with a randomly chosen word that can provoke a weekly theme. 

I personally have been struggling with one word inspiration with my photography. I have been finding it a little leading and my photography feels forced. However, it has worked for me for so many other projects so I wanted to suggest that people try it in different ways. Are you blogger and feel that your posts lack structure and format? Pick a monthly or weekly theme. Do you enjoy collage or painting and are full of empty thoughts? Pick up a book or dictionary and choose a random line on a page. Do any of these words speak to you? Do you have a new idea for your next project?

My main purpose in this post is not only to give a shout out to an old tried and true art school project but also to suggest when something isn't working for you try it in a new way. When you sit in front of a blank canvas and feel frustrated, channel that energy in a different way and open up space for something new and exciting.



Creative Exposure - Word for Monday

Pinned by Mallory Orfall

Need a little creative boost?  Here is the random word for today,. Feel free to let it inspire a writing project, a collage or a few shots for our Creative Exposure project.

Confront - "to stand facing or in front of; to face; to oppose with firmness"


Charting A Dream, How To Keep Those New Year’s Resolutions

Photo by GenevieveIn this first week of the New Year most of us are trying to be the best person we can. We’ve vowed to change our bad habits, live up to our potential, and do all the things we feel we should or have always wanted to. These first weeks are invigorating and infectious. The possibilities seem endless and any goals seem attainable, you have a whole year after all.

Now I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but I want to offer a bit of advice to help you keep that sense of possibility and infectious motivation. Make a plan! It’s the only way to keep you on path and measure how far you’ve come.

If you wanted to drive across the country wouldn’t you look at a map, plan how far you would drive in a day, maybe even throw in a few sight-seeing excursions? It would seem crazy to just get in the car and start driving, taking whatever roads looked best. You may eventually reach your destination, but there’s also a good chance you’d run out of gas on a long stretch of highway. I think you get my point.

You don’t have to know when and how each step will occur, but start by mapping out a few milestones. If your goal is to get two gallery showings over the next year, you know you need to contact potential galleries and have a body of work to show. From there you can prioritize the milestones. You might already have most of the work you’d need for a show completed, so you can focus on gallery outreach while putting in a little studio time each week along the way.

Go back to that bigger milestone of contacting galleries and break it down into smaller, easily accomplished steps. First you might make a list of galleries you think your work is perfect for. Then you need to find the appropriate contact for each gallery. A little research on how they want to be contacted is a good idea. During this process you might find out you need a brochure to make the best impression or you need to update your website. Again break these tasks down into smaller actions you can accomplish in a day or two.

Just like a road trip, things will undoubtedly come up to throw you off course like a road closure. But because you know where you want to be at the end of the journey, you can plot a new route that still gets you there. You might find out that all the galleries you want to be in are booked for the next year or two. What now? You might keep on that same path just knowing it will take you longer or maybe you develop a new list of smaller galleries that you can get into quicker.

To extend the metaphor even further you may decide along the way that you no longer want to go to New York, the weather is still too cold and the BBQ in North Carolina sounds much better. There’s no harm in changing the destination. What seemed like a good idea a month ago, may no longer be what you want. 

I want you all to be thinking bigger than you dare for the year ahead. Make the most outlandish goals you can think of, dream the most seductive dreams and then chart your course.

What are some of the resolutions or goals you set for yourself? What are your first steps to getting there?


A new project

 We are starting off the new year with an interesting online photo project, Creative Exposures. It's an accessible daily photo challenge that I hope is also thought provoking and creatively stimulating. I hope you all join, professional photographers and people with no photo experience are welcome. The end goal is to help jump start your personal creative process and help you look at your days a little differently.

Creative Exposures is a photographic community brought together with the purpose of providing a creative kick in the pants. We ask you to carry your camera with you at some point everyday (phone cameras are encouraged due to their readiness), stop for a moment and take pictures of the things you notice everyday or the things you've never noticed before. Take the time to look at the surroundings you often find yourself in, what do you notice, what sparks your interest? Next you upload your photo to the Lightbox SF Flickr webpage to share with the community. But there's a catch, we want you to upload the unedited images. Yep, that's right no color correction, no cropping, no touch ups. Just your unedited photos with a description in a sentence or less. Why unedited? We want this project to remain as raw and easy as possible, ignoring needs for perfection. Just let go. Creativity flows more freely with spontaneity, without perfection, and when we appreciate the ideas in their simplest form.

For those who want and appreciate a little guidance, we will provide a randomly generated word every Monday here on our blog and on our project Facebook page to help inspire a possible theme or to provoke a new way of seeing. Twice a week, Lightbox SF will post their favorite photos on our blog. This is not only a great way to awaken your creative being but also a great platform for you to get your work noticed.

This project is a small step toward living a conscious life and will help you tap into your creative energy with only a little effort. Sometimes we forget what makes us feel good and how easy it is to make that happen. This simple and approachable photo project will allow you to bring that spark into your daily life. Whether you are a full-time artist or a weekend hobbyist this project will help you to become more awake to your surroundings, more appreciative of the beauty and interesting things in your day and will allow you to delve into a more exciting energy inside of you.