The Case for Creativity: The True Meaning of ‘Starving Artists’

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image courtesy of Crafting Connections.

Earlier today it was brought to my attention that the Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, had made her Budget Proposal for this year. While the overall proposal was sound, there’s just one part of it that doesn’t sit right with me. I am a member of the OFTA (Oklahomans for the Arts), which aims to make sure that funding and community for the arts remains intact in Oklahoma. It’s a well-known trend that the Arts has had peaks and lows in terms of funding, while always remaining at the bottom of the totem pole, yet in Oklahoma it seems to be a constant struggle. To sum up, her proposal requests that the Oklahoma City Arts Council merge with the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and the Historical Society which will in turn cut a massive amount of funding away from OCAC. You can find more information about this notice and OCAC on their site.

No Undermining Others

I would never say that any of the other causes that are focused on in the Budget Proposal aren’t worth the time or the money. Education, Infrastructure and Economic Growth are all vastly important to this and any state. Any country! Yet it’s being shown too often that people fail to see the value and importance of others gaining access to music, painting, dance, and the compass of art as a whole. For all practical purposes, and to meet the bare minimum of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, art is not all that important. There, I said it. We don’t need art to survive as a species or anything. That doesn’t mean we don’t need it at all. One could argue that art makes the difference between a meaningful and meaningless life.

Not Just For Some People

Art isn’t meant just for the people who create it. It’s meant to be shared and experienced with as many kinds of people as possible. It’s meant to feed a wide variety of palettes, and to inspire those who would not be doing their best without it. Too many kids nowadays are directing their attention towards destructive paths such as gangs and drugs rather than putting their potential towards something productive. Many family members and friends I know put their skills in music, photography and even making handmade soap bars. For those who don’t have the know-how to be doctors and lawyers, or the physical skill of athletes or technical prowess of scientists and engineers, art may be their only other outlet. And there’s a lot of people out there who need the chance to shine.

Art is Everywhere

It’s not as simple as saying, “Art is cool, but…” because there really is no BUT about it. Nearly everything we touch and interact with is some form of art (or a mix of art and something else entirely). The layout of our homes, our furniture, the cartoons that distract your kids right down to the pretty appearance of your favorite dish is all an art. It takes basic skills such as drawing and understanding the elements and principles of design that makes these things possible. If people continue to downplay that importance we may end up having a lot of ‘things’ and not a whole lot of creativity. Craftsmanship without any content and vice versa. I don’t know about you all, but that’s not the kind of world I want to live in. 

We Won’t Starve

Creatives are evolving to meet with the demands of an unstable view towards the arts. What we do is becoming more integral to everyday needs, and overtime I feel that people will realize that art is more than just fluff and embellishments. It reaches into our psyches and reveals our thoughts and what makes us tick as human beings. So to Mrs. Fallin, I would have to say that Tourism can do fine on it’s own. We need our Arts Council!

 

Please support OFTA or if you’re out of State support your local non-profits to aim for more funding for arts in the community. Also checkout Crafting Connections, a site dedicated to bonding with your children through neat crafting ideas.

Portable Chalkboards

Portable Chalkboards

Another mini project of mine. Simple five-pack of cardstock paper signatures. Wanted a boutique-y feel to it so I put a pink ribbon around it. 🙂

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ART: CAUCASIAN WOMAN CREATES TOUCHING NATURAL HAIR ART!

Love, love love this! Makes me want to dive in and create some Natural Hair Art of my own.

Katie Bradley creates touching watercolor and ink art mostly based around children and natural hair. Her story is what drew me to her more than anything. She is a Caucasian woman who has a passion for adoption, Africa, and art for children of a diverse ethnic background. I am intrigued by people who center their worlds around selfless acts and philanthropy.

What Katie says about her children, art and black hair:

“My inspiration comes from my kids – my first watercolors ever were painted for my son’s nursery 5.5 years ago. Now we are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia, and so I began learning how to care for and style African hair – we want our daughter to feel good about her natural curls! Braiding my friend’s daughter’s hair for the first time inspired my “Hair Time” series, and it just kind of went from there. I look forward to Hair…

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My Own PeNoWritMo and Happiness

Since I missed the actual NaNoWritMo, which was in November, I’m doing one for the month of January for my current writing projects. For those who don’t know, NaNoWritMo is the National Novel Writing Month which always takes place in November on their website (I’ll list it below). You have thirty days to crank out 50,000 words, which is considered a full length novel.

PeNoWritMo is my Personal Novel Writing Month. I’m not trying to trademark this idea, nor am I trying to make a competing website saying “See you don’t have to write a book in just November, but you can get twelve books out a year with MY system.” That’s just a little disclaimer of mine 🙂 I felt like the pressure of an actual collective group of people was a little too much for me, and it’s also a test of being accountable to one’s self. Granted, being accountable to others will definitely get the ball rolling and you will have more productivity, but it’s good to start solo and then branch out, at least for me.

This is also a factor in being happy with your writing progress. For Christmas I was given a book called the Writer’s Portable Therapist: 25 Sessions to a Creativity Cure, and it is a fabulous read. You’re on a recliner everyday (or night in my case), scribbling out your writing woes and frustrations and pinpointing the source of your struggle. I’ll be doing a full review on this book on my Goodreads page.

I have always been at my happiest when writing and drawing. Sometimes things that have nothing to do with writing such as relationships and financial problems can cause us to lose sight and interest in our passion. It becomes secondary to us, even when that’s the one thing that makes us truly happy. Determined happiness is the strongest kind of happiness you can achieve. It may come in different mediums for most people, but as a writer it’s the ultimate form of release. It’s finding the courage to write even when your heart is aching or your tired, or you just don’t think your good enough. 

PeNoWritMo has been my determined happiness, what’s yours?

Check Out:

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Portable-Therapist-Sessions-Creativity/dp/1593375441

Forget What You Read…

I can’t think of how long it’s been since I’ve done this. Wrote a word on a page from my mind to ink or pressed a button on my laptop? How can I call myself a writer I’ll never know.

It happens all the time, I reach my peak and then hit a snag, a bump in the road. I stumble and lose my balance but only come out with minor cuts and bruises. Then something foreign invades those cuts, blood pools under the bruises and slowly I deteriorate. 

My pen dries up and I forget how to use it. I make excuses at every turn.

“The bleeding will stop once I start back again.”

“I’ll get to it soon, I just need to wait for the right time…”

“Oh I’ve been writing a couple days but it’s not very good so I’m taking a break.”

“I’m busy with work and just don’t have the time…”

“I have a lot of schoolwork and it just gets in the way…”

Stop. Just stop.

There are people out there who will help others with dried up pens and barren inspirations. People we love, people we don’t know personally but through their work. Very few are out to get us, we don’t have haters if we are invisible. So then the only person who actively gets in our way is ourselves. We can be our own worst enemies, but we’ve heard this story before. The question is how and will our endings be different from any other?

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