Thursday, September 24, 2015

#118 - #120 out of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life - Simplify

"Simplify Our Life"  collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.

While working on my morning pages I had a line up of YouTube video's playing.  They were very interesting, very liberating in simplifying way.  And they made me feel very happy in a liberated, simple kind of way.  Perfect for this artist living a happy artist's life.
The first one was "A rich life with less stuff" - The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.  Basically they tell a story about downsizing the "stuff and clutter" that makes our lives overly busy and meaningless while building up the important aspects; like passions, meaning, and purpose.  Minimalists live deliberate meaningful lives, passionate and purpose driven.  They are happy people and happy with less stuff and clutter.  And very interesting workable methodology.  They have a website and books. Lots to explore.  So that's Happy Idea #118.
The second video to pop up was "The art of being yourself" with Caroline McHugh.  She talked about her work in real life with the sweetest Scottish accent.  She helps people become themselves.  She believes that we all need to be as good at being ourselves as we can.  "Just be yourself" is something we tell others, very easily.  Children are good at it and our elders are good at it, but adults often have a hard time.  We all have our own "thing," our own "sense of strength" and our own "queendom."  It was a lovely, inspiring Ted talk and very simple.  "Just be yourself!"  Here's Caroline McHugh's website.  Follow the link and just scroll over the images and feel the inspiration.  I may need to get that book.  Beautiful!  (Happy Idea #119)
Finally the third one to pop up was a simple way to survive party's and social events without resorting to altered states.  "How to engage in better small talk," with Malcolm "Minister Faust" Azania. Very interesting.   Really his idea is simple, engage with people and find their interesting stories with just a few simple questions.   For example rather than asking people "what they do," he asks what they do for fun, or what did they do for fun when they did have fun.  He interviews people for a living, finds their stories.  So here's his list:
1. Food. “Tell me the story of your most powerful associations with bread . . . ” Azania related a story of asking that question of a friend who told him about when his dog ate a loaf and an half of bread dough.

 2. Favorite teacher. It’s amazing how much people want to answer this question.  Who are the heroes without their teachers . . . the ones who helped them transform?

3. Forest. Ask about their connection with nature.

4. Film & culture. People will tell you remarkable things about how their favorite book or movie affected them.  Instead of asking,  “Have you read book X?” ask “Tell me about a book that changed you.” Or, “Tell me about your favorite book dealing with X . . .  or about Y . . . or by Z.”  Other questions: “Tell me about a movie that makes you cry.” And,  “Who would you want to play you in a movie?”

5.  Forlorn or fond. “Tell me about the songs that profoundly remind you of your own youth and why.”

6. Fear. Ask them about their fear—a fear they’ve overcome.  “Tell me if and when you ever personally overcame racial tension.”

7. For the Win. “Tell me the story of one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for you.”  Or, “Tell me about a time when you discovered that you were stronger than you thought you were.” 
And here's his website.  Have some simple fun today!  Collect some stories.  (Happy Idea #120)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

#117 out of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life - Finding Wonder

"Finding Wonder"  collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
Part of the joy about having a time set aside to do some daily art is this idea of exploring and trying new things, experimenting with textures, colors, and fun collage elements. Part of the joy is finding that sense of wonder is alive and that it can animate us.

So here are a few joy and wonder filled links for you:
Momentous Institute - an amazing website out of Texas, lots of great ideas for educators, parents, and mental health workers.  They have a great blog with book reviews and resilience building ideas, just awesome.  They also have some free apps you might want to look at.  (mindfulness based and soothing)

Also FlyPaper has some new textures, Fine Cracks.  Love me some great FlyPaper textures.

"The creative source is a room hidden inside you. Wonder is a door that - for an instant - opens to give you a glimpse inside. Wonder entertains mystery, builds a nest for the unknown and unknowable, and it lures you down the path less traveled." -Mari Messer from Pencil Dancing