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Inspiration-ish

January 14, 2018 Leave a comment

One of the places that seems to keep me motivated is Zen Pencils.  Not only is the story of the artist, Gavin Aung Than, very cool and inspirational itself, he’s created a nice stable of characters to reflect and visualize some of the best historical and present-day quotes on topics as far ranging as motivation, kindness, fear, etc.

Here’s a video to explain it, shared from Another Beautiful Story on Vimeo.

But to get back to the crux of this.  First, here’s a link to a comic from Zenpencils that I absolutely love right now.  In fact, I’m sure I’m going to share this with my students once we’re back from Winter Break.

It’s a quote from Commander Hadfield, an astronaut (also a very cool and inspirational guy.  You may have seen his YouTube video of “Space Oddity” from the ISS.  Link if you’d like to see).   Anyway, here’s the quote itself:

 Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.

Zenpencils Link: An Astronaut’s Advice

Again, very inspirational, and something that I’m definitely going to keep in mind.  However, I always have a very pressing problem that goes with this.

Inspiration is definitely fleeting.

 


If you’ve found yourself in a position to create, to express oneself in any sort of medium, you definitely enjoy the process, getting into that “flow” state and producing something that makes you excited, elated, and content.  I know I do, whether it’s photography, drawing, painting, writing, or when I had the physical ability to play basketball competitively (being in the zone), I enjoyed that sense of “flow.”  However, for myself, inspiration often flutters away within a day or two and I’m left scrambling again for sources of inspiration, chasing that metaphorical butterfly.

This, I realize, is something I need to work on.  Not finding sources of inspiration, or even just keeping the inspiration alive.  It’s building the habits to keep creating and using those sources of inspiration as kindling.  It’s building up the discipline to keep working, even when I don’t feel motivated. 

It’s each and every day, trying to focus on that creative flame, along with the other responsibilities that you have, like in my case, keeping up and even giving the very best effort that I can, to the matter of education.

To do that, I’ll have to build those habits.  And keep creating.  And keep teaching.

Oh, and here’s a shot that I think is very Nevada.

PL

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Creativity . . . in General.

January 5, 2018 Leave a comment

I keep telling myself that I should be creating.

Whether it’s drawing, writing, painting, teaching, or photography, I should be doing . . . something.

I think I should be doing it just because it helps.  It helps with my mentality, it helps clarify thinking, it helps with engagement with life in general.  Instagram is always a nice distraction (I’m probably on that site more out of any other), but it also inspires me to think differently about what I can create.  There are some great artists on there, photographers and the like.  I’ll see if I can post some of them here as well, just to get their name out.  Great content is always posted there, you just have to find it.  Or create it yourself.

In general.  This should be something to incorporate as much as I can as the weeks, months, and years carry on.

So I will.  As much as I can.  General creativity.  And if you saluted at that last sentence, I applaud you as I would’ve done the same thing, if I weren’t typing.  So I’ll leave you with this for tonight.

Hidden Beach 4

I think I’ve got the purpose of this little blog now.  I’ll keep doing what I’m doing here and if you’re along for the ride, please leave a comment saying hello, or anything else.  I’ll keep creating, keep posting, and see what may come about.

 

P.S. – Let’s just ignore the fact that I’ve been so inconsistent using this platform.  I think it’s the lack of a feedback loop, or at least something fast.  I’ll have to learn not to rely on that and just keep doing what I need to do.

Will This Be a Yearly Thing?

No, I don’t think so.

I’m not one to give up on things so easily so I think I’ll try to start this up again.  I’m sure I’ll stick with education topics but I’ll also incorporate a few things regarding photography and art as well.

Of course, tearing an achilles does put a damper on things (Don’t worry, I did that last summer, hence the stoppage of posts for the last year or so).

So we’ll keep at it, determined and resolute to keep writing.  We’ll see what I can come up with.  I’ll start by leaving you the last picture I took (before hurting my back last week – I’ll catch a break soon I think!).

MW at Bonsai

  • Photo Notes:  I stacked 10 images to reduce noise, shot at F2.8, ISO 3200, around 17 seconds.  Used Lightroom and Photoshop.
  • Education Quote:  Just saw this one on Twitter and I couldn’t agree more . . .

    “Schools do not thrive because of programs or plans… they thrive because of the passionate educators in the building.”

    From Danny Steele (Twitter: @SteeleThoughts).

Summering. That’s a Verb, Right?

Last weekend was the annual Art Club Field Trip to the Nevada Museum of Art.  It was also the first time Room 55 Students had a lesson taught to them by one of the docents of the Art Museum.  Normally, I’d take the students through the museum itself and then have lunch at a local restaurant.  This time, however, the Nevada Museum of Art was kind enough to let us participate with the guided tour and time within their studio.  A big shout-out to the Nevada Museum of Art.

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At the entrance of the Museum

 

If you’re a local or just a resident of Washoe County or the surrounding areas (Carson/Douglas . . . where you at!), I definitely recommend visiting the Museum.

Currently, the museum is showcasing two things:

  1. There is a collection on loan from the Haukohl Family who apparently own the largest collection of Baroque Pieces in the United States.  Very impressive collection.
  2. There was also a collection from Doris Duke’s home in Hawaii.  Now known as Shangri-La, it is a center for the study of Islamic Art and Culture.

Funny thing about that .  .  .

. . . I used to live in Hawaii and had no freakin’ clue this was there!  Of course, I was probably occupied with doing 10-Year-Old Boy stuff when I lived in Hawaii, but still!  Definitely a place I want to see if I manage to make it back to Hawaii 🙂

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New Installation!

Anyway, I thought the visit went great.  It was awesome to see as many students come to the field trip during the summer, especially some of the students who haven’t been in my class for a few years!  However, once they’ve gone through the class, they do have that privilege of coming back on the trip, if I manage to stay in touch with them!

 

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Some of the kids in front of the Blossom

 

Anyway, we finished our trip with the Art Lesson, which centered around creating mandalas using a heavier weighted foil paper.  There was also talk of geometry, especially defining asymmetrical design.  I was happy the students could define “symmetrical” and sort of arrive at the conclusion that “asymmetrical” mean it wasn’t.  As far as the embossing lesson itself, I’ve seen done before with embossing dragons (which I think I’ll do as a lesson next year) but this was a great application as well!

Naturally . . . I took some pics of the Art Project as well 🙂

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For a simple project, there were some very intricate designs by the students 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lots of hard work went into this one 🙂

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This one was creative, I thought 🙂

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This was beautifully executed!

We finished the day at My Favorite Muffin and Bagel 🙂  In all, a very fun little excursion into the city.  I just hope the kiddos had some fun with it as well.

Now . . . it’s time to travel.  And I think I’ll write more on my “Photo a Day” deal 😉

 

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