Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Creator's Corner: How to Work (and Play) Well With "The Others" to Succeed

I ATTENDED A GRADUATE SCHOOL WHERE ARTS & BUSINESS STUDENTS WERE BROUGHT TOGETHER--on purpose--to propose, create and apply communications technology solutions as a team to problems. As graduate students of the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), we were encouraged to face our distrust of "the other's" approaches to problem-solving (creative arts vs. business) and collaborate in playful and experimental ways to meet the needs of individuals, groups; local, national, and global communities--artistic, nonprofit and commercial--who we were learning to serve as a workforce. Otherwise, we could not succeed in our studies, projects, or current and future employment.

How Can I Trust You?


WE HAD TO FIND WAYS TO KEEP AN OPEN MIND, TRUST, AND SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER (even if one's primary incentive might only be to get a good grade). Sometimes trusting simply meant investing in the belief that we would do whatever we could to help each other succeed for the sake of that project. Those who couldn't or wouldn't commit, who gave up, failed: they either left the program or flunked out. For those of us who did commit, paths always eventually opened, and some of those solutions we accomplished together were simply astounding. Those collaborations and solutions led to our Information Age and what's coming beyond it.

NOTE: The Interactive Telecommunications Masters Program in Tisch School of the Arts at New York University is going strong. Check out some of the pioneering and innovative courses.

Artwork © Gavin Aung Than 2017

  Column Inspiration:

 

How Not To Give Up Before The Miracle Happens


I READ SOME LITERATURE TODAY TO HELP INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE ME NOT TO GIVE UP in areas that I want and need to change in my life (personal and professional). I get tired and discouraged at times. I can't afford "keeping up appearances" (like Hyacinth, the character in the British BBC program) because I've learned the hard way that doing so is incredibly stressful and hurts my health. One quote I read is from an article (AKIRA KUROSAWA: The Note Taker) included in the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, Sunday, February 12, 2017 edition is just the right medicine:

"Kurosawa was determined to become a better screenwriter and set about writing one page a day, despite how busy he was as an AD, 'There was nothing I could do about the nights I had to work till dawn, but when I had time to sleep, even after crawling into bed I would turn out two or three pages.' Writing didn’t come easy, but over time the daily struggle became a habit and Kurosawa found that like most creative endeavors, just showing up was the key. 'At some point in the writing of every script I feel like giving the whole thing up. From my many experiences of writing screenplays however, I have learned something: If I hold fast in the face of this blankness and despair, adopting the tactic of Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect, who glared at the wall that stood in his way until his legs became useless, a path will open up.'"
      

Column Inspiration:


SOMETIMES I THINK THAT WE HUMANS SUFFER FROM CHRONIC FORGETFULNESS: we work hard on something, complete it, and then lose our confidence in what we've learned and know: we start from the beginning again--over and over--in uncertainty (a creative-specific conflict forgetting like in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind--though they choose to forget!). We stick to our endeavors, come through again, and hope we will remember in the future.

THE HEALING ARTIST STUDIO PROJECT BLOG, THE CREATIVITY & STORYTELLING 'ZINE, and all the writing, content curating, posting and tweeting I do is my way of remembering, of continuing the open-mindedness, trust, and collaboration I learned as a high school student at The Team School, and as a graduate student at ITP.

WE ARE NOT IN A PHYSICAL CLASS TOGETHER, AND MAY NEVER MEET, but I choose to believe that I am investing in our creative and business problem-solving success to benefit our world through the practical and miraculous solution we are every day.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Best Visual Content = Storytelling Solutions via A&E Professionals, Lies & Storytelling: Strange Bedfellows in Shades of Gray, Best Storytelling Has Sensory Empathy (or It's Important to Engage the Senses), Get Up To Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling: On a Low Budget, Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin), The Joy is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible), Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life; Religion, Spirituality--Contrasting, Trending; Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona, Here Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie







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CREATOR'S CORNER is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine (as the editor/curator) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and storytelling as content for usage in arts & entertainment, media communications, marketing and advertising, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Creator's Corner: Original Creativity & Storytelling Content Roundup for 2016

IT'S TIME FOR AN UPDATED ROUND-UP OF  CREATOR'S CORNER FOR EASIER ACCESS TO THE CREATIVITY COACHING CONTENT HERE with a brief excerpt and link to each one (March 2016 to December 2016)--in the spirit of "Everything we need for creativity & storytelling success is within our grasp." Of course it may not be everything we need, however; between Creator's Corner and the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, there is a hearty helping.

I BEGAN WRITING CREATOR'S CORNER IN AN INFLUENCER, COACHING, INSPIRATIONAL CAPACITY to share original ideas and solutions for you to consider based on my own thoughts and experiences inspired by the curated content in the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine. Due to my work and volunteer schedule, Creator's Corner columns will not be as plentiful as in the past, but I will be posting new content as space clears to do so. Cheers! 

 

Creator's Corner Round-up (March-December 2016)
 

Best Visual Content = Storytelling Solutions via A&E Professionals - December 24, 2016 | Stage32 (One of my favorite websites) invites its members to select 10 films that we would take with us if we knew we were going to be stranded on a desert island.

Lies & Storytelling: Strange Bedfellows in Shades of Gray) - August 14, 2016 | Liar! Who hasn't had to enter into an almost daily relationship with lies in our political climate today as we countdown to choosing our next president of the United States of America (#45). . . .

Best Storytelling Has Sensory Empathy (or It's Important To Engage the Senses) - July 27, 2016 | I had the responsibility of creating visual content (publications, packaging, and safer sex advertising campaings) to help save the lives of men, women, and children at-risk for HIV/AIDS during the fours years that I worked at Gay Men's Health Crisis, Inc. in New York City . . .  

Get Up to Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling (On a Low Budget) - June 25, 2016 | In our world in which content is king/queen and we must use vital creativity and storytelling mojo, and provide it in ways that engage, inspire and energize our fellow humans, what can we do to achieve quality . . .

Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin) - June 5, 2016 | Breakout from traditional approaches and models despite potential flack that you might receive from doubters or critics who aren't as courageous, and/or fear conflict or change.

The Joy Is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible) - May 18, 2016 | What really kept me on the edge of my seat wasn't the mission getting accomplished or the end (though I was happy to get the payoff): it was everything that occurred prior to actually accomplishing it.




**YOUR TOP STORY**
Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life
- May 4, 2016 | Lisa Sanderson's dad taught the creative writing elective, and he drilled into our heads the following regarding story content: Write about what you know, what you are . . .


Religion, Spirituality -- Contrasting, Trending - April 19, 2016 | Creative breakthroughs often occur as the result of conflict in many aspects of the human experience. I feel like screaming again because conflict and contrast commands attention. They SHOUT and we. . .

Here Comes Play-Doh - April 6, 2016 | Certainly it's easy to see that Play-Doh can be used as content to attract and communicate with children in your particular business, project or service, but what about with adults? Many of us are familiar with Play-Doh because . . .

Sacred Geometry, Visual Storytelling Content: One of Top Four Creative Trends 2016 - March 27, 2016 | Sigils are sacred geometry symbol forms that the ancients considered to be the marks of angels, deities, and other powerful entities; they are archetype conduits that merge science, creativity and spirituality.



Card Decks and The Mystic or Visionary Persona - March 25, 2016 | Create a card deck as visual content to inform, educate, inspire, attract, promote, aesthetic (purely as art for arts sake ), or for fun and play to help achieve your goal or purpose.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future)  

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie 


 
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Friday, February 10, 2017

Creator's Corner: Conflict Has Creative Value. Learn How To Use It.

Somewhere along my life's journey, I received a strong message that stuck in my gut for a very long time: "Do not discuss religion or politics in mixed company (or in any social or business settings) because you are asking for trouble." I was taught that discussing these topics will create great conflict that will destroy friendships and potentially make me a persona non grata in professional circles that can lead to isolation, and perhaps even dismissal (though that reason would never be cited as the true reason).

Yes, I have seen the damage in other people's lives; but not in my own. Sure, conversations have become heated, but I always took the approach that we can agree to disagree because--well, there are so many other things that I often like about people with whom I have a difference of belief or opinion. I learned to value the whole person, and not divorce myself from relationships because of a strong contrast. My oldest friend is a Republican (and always has been). Another dear friend is an atheist.

Image: Bernie Sanders, Credit: Reuters

Column Inspiration:
  Americans Skeptical Of God But Believe Heaven Is Real, Somehow (vocativ.com)
Perhaps, our relationships would be rather dull and bland without the challenges.

Conflict and Contrast Are Creative Goldmines

As a creative professional and healing artist, I was taught to value conflict and contrast as vital creative tools: contrast in colors, contrast in textures, contrast in lighting, contrast in perspective, contrast in camera angles, contrast in point-of-view, and contrast in characters to create the conflicts necessary for telling an engaging story. Conflict and contrast are CREATIVE tools and principles.

Rebellion Meets Divinity (Andrew Saunders)

Column Inspiration:
Top Designers On The Next Decade's Visual Trends (marketingmagazine.co.uk)
Actually, spirituality and mindfulness is trending (and spiritual practices include religions), and it's viewed as a creative trend in this and the next decade (see Creator's Corner on Sacred Geometry); yet, the content in the articles cited that inspired this Creator's Corner are examples of even more contrast and contradiction. One includes research citing that Millennials are disengaging from religion and spirituality. Another cites that Americans do not believe in God, but somehow believe that Heaven is real. The third article might seem like an oxymoron: it explores the concept and practice of Imaginative Conservatism.

The story of good and evil, of strength and weakness, of love and hate, of beauty and ugliness . . . neither can exist without the other . . . out of their groupings creativeness is born. --John Steinbeck

Creative breakthroughs often occur as the result of conflict in many aspects of the human experience. I feel like screaming again because conflict and contrast commands attention. They SHOUT and we all pay attention. The content then engages us for short or long periods of time depending on our interests, desires, emotions, and needs.

Image: S.L. Frank

Column Inspiration:
 The Imaginative Conservatism of S.L. Frank (theimaginativeconservative.org)
Creative Strategy

1) Become students of conflict and contrast from a creative arts perspective (Although this article is geared toward children becoming arts students, we adults can become students again for our own growth and sustainability now and in the future). Learn as much as we can about the use and value of conflict and contrast. Watching films and television with an eye for identifying their use in these mediums (and their success or failure from which we can learn lessons) can only help to shake off our antiquated negative attachments to them. Immersing ourselves in them helps to shape-shift our relationship from enemies to allies.

2) Share what we discover as part of our content offerings, or use these new allies in content strategy, content marketing, marketing strategy, songwriting, storytelling, or even to become more comfortable in our own psyches and skins with their value to attract, reach, impact and inspire others as creative professionals, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, content curators, coaches, mentors, etc. through the variety of communications and media we use as calling cards and other enduring connection platforms in our careers or missions. 

3) Read content sources in the April 20, 2016 edition of the Creativity & Spirituality Magazine that include elements of conflict and contrast through color, dance, innovation, and challenging preconceived or learned concepts that inhibit our creativity. Plus read the Creator's Corner column: How to Work Well and Play with "The Others" To Succeed.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Best Visual Content = Storytelling Solutions via A&E Professionals, Lies & Storytelling: Strange Bedfellows in Shades of Gray, Best Storytelling Has Sensory Empathy (or It's Important to Engage the Senses), Get Up To Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling: On a Low Budget, Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin), The Joy is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible), Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life; Religion, Spirituality--Contrasting, Trending; Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona, Here Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016etry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie






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Creator's Corner is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine (as the editor) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and spirituality as content, for usage in arts & entertainment, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

TOP CONTENT 2016 | Creator's Corner: Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life

I ATTENDED ONE OF THE FIRST "alternate" high schools in the United States in New Jersey. The Team School was innovative and unique at that time because the students, teachers, and parents worked together to determine the courses, type of government to address conflicts and issues, and handled the daily operations. The mornings were dedicated to academic courses necessary for college preparation, and the afternoon courses were electives taught by parents who were professionals in their chosen fields.

LISA SANDERSON'S DAD TAUGHT the creative writing elective, and he drilled into our heads the following regarding story content: Write about what you know, what you are experiencing in your own home environments and communities. You will never go wrong with paying attention to what often goes unnoticed, and how these events and relationships affect you and those around you. 

Nick Lupi and Jimmy Nice, of Spit Syndicate. 
Image Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald. Photo: Nic Walker

MR. SANDERSON TAUGHT US TO PAY attention and mine for gold in our own hearts, thoughts (and those of others), and locations grounded in our daily experiences of life. 

I CHOSE THESE TWO ARTICLES BECAUSE they remind me that there's so much value in the wealth of content in my past and current communities that I used to take for granted before taking Mr. Sanderson's class. As a storyteller, screenwriter, film producer, healing artist, content specialist (and award-winning writer/blogger, editor, art director, and marketing specialist) I know from past experience and successes that unlike Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I don't have to travel to realize that "there's no place like home" for stories and other content.


FOR EXAMPLE, THE FLASH FICTION STORY, Back Up The Truck, is inspired by a domestic violence true story from my childhood. Many of us grew up in a war zone of domestic violence that impacted our lives in those moments and beyond.

ONE DAY MY BEST FRIEND WHO LIVED next door came running to my house to get my help. His "uncle" was beating his mother and we needed to find a way to distract him. First, we tried to physically pull Uncle Charlie off his mom, but he was too strong. So, we decided to distract him by taking as much of his clothing as possible from his room, putting the clothes into a pile in the backyard, and soaking the clothes with liter fluid to create a bonfire. We then ran back into the house and started yelling "Fire!" It worked!

THE SHORT STORY "GIFTS" is also inspired by a true story about a highly-anticipated first date gone wrong and what happens as a result.

Image Credit: Medium.com


Creative Strategy: How I See Using This Story

1) USE THIS FLASH FICTION STORY in an anti-domestic violence campaign focusing on how it impacts children. Create a number of story scenarios to drive home this point to attract and engage audience stakeholders.

2) USE THE STORY IN A RAW, EDGY marketing campaign about childhood friendships that survive traumatic situations and endure the test of time that leads to happiness in some form--a product, event, fine arts project, or service they share (an antithesis to the traditional "Hallmark" variety content). My friend and I had to instantaneously come up with an intelligent, creative and practical solution under intense stress. The physical approach failed, so we quickly moved on to save his mom from that attack. We worked together to accomplish it. We were both about 11-years-old. 

THERE'S A LARGER MESSAGE in these stories for us: If two 11-year-old children are capable of these types of creative and practical solutions under this kind of duress, then certainly we can (or can learn how to) access these qualities within ourselves.

THIS STORY IS JUST ONE IN A SLATE that are either already written as short stories (some written under strict time constraints as the creative structure model) that are to become short film scripts or expanded into larger formats for film, television and theater.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and spiritual support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Get Up to Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling (On a Low Budget); Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (Or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin); The Joy Is In the Creative Journey (or Mission Impossible); Religion, Spirituality--Contrasting, Trending; Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona, Here Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie







Original Publication Date: May 4, 2016

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CREATOR'S CORNER is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Storytelling Magazine (as the editor) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and spirituality as content for usage in arts & entertainment, media communications, marketing and advertising, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Creator's Corner: Best Visual Content = Storytelling Solutions via A&E Professionals

STAGE 32 (ONE OF MY FAVORITE WEBSITES) INVITES IT'S MEMBERS TO SELECT 10 FILMS THAT WE WOULD TAKE WITH US IF WE KNEW WE WERE GOING TO BE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND. I don't know what criteria you would use to select the stories to watch over and over and over again, but the ones I chose impacted me on an emotional, mental or spiritual basis; introduced me to a new world or perspective; or simply fueled my imagination into high gear.

THE DESERT ISLAND MOVIES. The movies I picked are: The Red Balloon (My Top Pick! the original 1956 version), and the rest in no particular order: Harvey, Being There, Jesus Christ Superstar, Ingmar Bergman's Trilogy (Through A Glass Darkly, Winter Light & The Silence), Topper, Life is Beautiful, West Side Story, Chocolat & A Christmas Carol.

                     
A red balloon with a life of it's own follows a little boy
around the streets of Paris.

WHO HASN'T BEEN SEDUCED BY A FILM OR TV PROGRAM? Consider one that completely engaged you--and with binge watching original programming content today, how can anyone one of us deny the fact that arts and entertainment professionals (screenwriters, directors, actors, cinematographers, producers, showrunners, etc.) are often masters of storytelling. Therefore, it makes perfect, logical sense for us to listen to what they have to say to help us become much better at it.


Column Inspiration:

THE BUSINESS OF STORYTELLING. Now that those of us who provide strategy for and produce content are being challenged to inform, educate, persuade, inspire and entertain our audience (potential clients/customers and current ones) through storytelling, there is pressure to get up to speed FAST!

"Storytelling must be respected and evaluated as a valued component of growth hacking and ROI."


STORYTELLING MUST BE RESPECTED AND EVALUATED AS A VALUED COMPONENT OF GROWTH HACKING AND ROI. This is similar to filmmakers and original programming writers, studios, and streaming services who carefully craft what they create to recompense their investors and producers (they are first to get paid from the revenues).


Column Inspiration:


THE AUDIENCE OR USER AS THE STORYTELLER. What if you're just not feeling secure as a storyteller, or simply don't have the time, budget or interest to do-it-yourself? If you've been close paying attention, you know that practically every person on this planet is telling stories in a variety of formats and sharing them on the Internet via social media, or there are professional membership online groups like Stage32.  

Column Inspiration:

ARE YOU A CURATOR OR DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE? People are often extremely eager to share their existing content (in which case you act as a curator of nonprofessional content from the general public), or you can collaborate with professionals who will want to  contribute original content (for which you act more as a development executive) to expand their industry resume and portfolio. Either way, the storytelling solutions are available--and some of the best resources come from those in the storytelling industry itself.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Best Storytelling Has Sensory Empathy (or It's Important to Engage the Senses), Get Up To Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling: On a Low Budget, Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin), The Joy is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible), Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life; Religion, Spirituality--Contrasting, Trending; Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona, Here Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Winter Solstice (belated), and New Year!

Valerie







************

CREATOR'S CORNER is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine (as the editor/curator) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and storytelling as content for usage in arts & entertainment, media communications, marketing and advertising, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Turn Your Love My Way: Every Day As Thanksgiving Sharing and Gratitude

Turkey Power Animal Medicine (Giving, Giveaway)
ORIGINAL PUBLICATION DATE: November 26, 2015. 

Now that the deep duality that exists within us has been brought more fully into the light, it seems appropriate to remember our common values that this holiday inspires in personal and very practical ways.

Last year, I did not expect Thanksgiving to be celebrated in the usual way. Typically, it's been shared with my family (my two sisters, my brother, my aunt, my nieces and nephews who live in New Jersey). However, it was the first year that my brother (who died in January 2014) was not with us, and my aunt who died in 2013 would not be at the table, and my mother, and grandmothers, plus many other family and friends who have died many years ago are also passed on.

Instead, I spent it in Pennsylvania with a good and unconditional loving friend of mine, Holly, who I had been longing to see and spend time with for a while; and despite best laid plans for what to share doing on Thanksgiving, the Creator (God/Goddess/Great Spirit/Higher Power/Jehovah/Allah) had something else in store for us--though we didn't know what it would be. So I was set to expect the unexpected.

Our plan was to be of service by working in a soup kitchen or a shelter serving food to people who can't afford a traditional Thanksgiving spread for themselves or their families. Well, we learned that all the places serving food had all the volunteers they needed. This is good news! This had me thinking about the origin, the beginnings of what has become a national U.S. holiday, and how it's about SHARING and GRATITUDE.

Crow Power Animal Medicine (Sacred Law)
Photo: http://birdcamoncheltenham.blogspot.com
I'm thinking now about anyone who may be feeling low or sad about not being able to sit at a table in the traditional way on this holiday, because self-pity and guilt was beginning to snap at my heels because I wasn't celebrating with my birth family, and Holly and I were not needed to prepare and/or serve dinner as we planned. The image that the Creator awakened me to that Thanksgiving morning, was me sharing a piece/crumb/morsel of multi-grain bread with a crow. For those unfamiliar with animal spirit medicine, the CROW represents THE MESSENGER, SACRED LAW (and TURKEY represents GIVING, SHARED BLESSINGS, SACRIFICE). In that moment, I realized that nothing is too great or too small to share whether it's funding, housing, a ride, listening, food, a smile, a story, a free haircut (see post with video about Mark Bustoswhatever I have to share with any creature that is open to receiving the love that I turn their way (and that is turned mine. ALWAYS, 100% by my Creator).

In this spirit, I want to share with you a song and some words that I received from D.K. Brainard, a man I really like a whole lot, in his e-newsletter that he sent out with his own take on Thanksgiving last year titled, Miracles and Gratitude. Thank you D.K.! (Listen to D.K. as a guest on The Healing Artist Studio Project's Radio Channel. It's a podcast titled, "The Greater Reality: Soul Healing and More". Some highlights include: What has been the most challenging concept for us to accept in the Greater Reality consciousness? How close are we as adults to our childhood career dreams? Is "not being enough" an aspect of spiritual consumerism?)

Also, I remember one person I spoke with at one of the shelters on Thanksgiving sharing with me the fact that they have a great need for people to help prepare and serve food EVERYDAY, not just on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and other holidays. So this year, a friend and I are planning to volunteer on days other than the holidays.

Happy "Everyday is" Thanksgiving! Thanks to you all for what you've shared with me, and thanks to Godd, who for me, all blessings flow in one way or another.

But I love Thanksgiving because it's so easy for me to forget to be grateful for all the blessings in my life. The holiday itself is about food and relaxation and the fact that Life offers us lots of help - including from people we've never met and may never see again - if we're open to receiving it. I believe on some level the Native Americans knew what the white man was bringing their way. But Pocahontas and her tribe had compassion on the poor, suffering pilgrims anyway. 



Photo Credit: http://allaboutbirds.org

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine (November 9, 2016)

"These topics are so bright, I just have to wear shades!

It's been touch-and-go with my plans to get out a new 'Zine while managing my "life on life's terms" these days; but I did give you a heads-up last month that I couldn't be certain what the publication schedule would be moving forward for "Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine" and The Healing Artist Studio Project blog.. 

As it has turned out, some space has cleared on this unusual and historic Election Day. I guess we all have our own beliefs about whether the campaigns used some of the best practices shared here . . . "
(Read More)

"CREATIVITY & STORYTELLING 'ZINE" (TOP STORIES)

* Evaluating Storytelling: Where to Start?

* Content Marketing Examples From Top 10 Brands

* The Top 4 Mistakes That Make Business Leaders Awful Storytellers

* A Digital Dozen: 12 Traits Of The Truly Creative CMO

* Why the Marketing Industry Is So Obsessed with Creativity

* 5 Creative Habits Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Novelists

And More!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Creator's Corner Content Roundup: Best Creativity & Storytelling Is Within Our Grasp (March 2016 - August 2016)

IT'S TIME FOR AN UPDATED ROUND-UP OF  CREATOR'S CORNER FOR EASIER ACCESS TO THE CREATIVITY COACHING CONTENT HERE with a brief excerpt and link to each one (March 2016 to August 2016)--in the spirit of "Everything we need for creativity & storytelling success is within our grasp." Of course it may not be everything we need, however; between Creator's Corner and the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, there is a hearty helping.

I BEGAN WRITING CREATOR'S CORNER IN AN INFLUENCER, COACHING, INSPIRATIONAL CAPACITY to share original ideas and solutions for you to consider based on my own thoughts and experiences inspired by the curated content in the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine. Due to my work and volunteer schedule, Creator's Corner columns will not be as plentiful as in the past, but I will be posting new content as space clears to do so. Cheers! 

 

Creator's Corner Round-up (March-August 2016)
 

Lies & Storytelling: Strange Bedfellows in Shades of Gray) - August 14, 2016 | Liar! Who hasn't had to enter into an almost daily relationship with lies in our political climate today as we countdown to choosing our next president of the United States of America (#45). . . .

Best Storytelling Has Sensory Empathy (or It's Important To Engage the Senses) - July 27, 2016 | I had the responsibility of creating visual content (publications, packaging, and safer sex advertising campaings) to help save the lives of men, women, and children at-risk for HIV/AIDS during the fours years that I worked at Gay Men's Health Crisis, Inc. in New York City . . .  

Get Up to Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling (On a Low Budget) - June 25, 2016 | In our world in which content is king/queen and we must use vital creativity and storytelling mojo, and provide it in ways that engage, inspire and energize our fellow humans, what can we do to achieve quality . . .

Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin) - June 5, 2016 | Breakout from traditional approaches and models despite potential flack that you might receive from doubters or critics who aren't as courageous, and/or fear conflict or change.

The Joy Is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible) - May 18, 2016 | What really kept me on the edge of my seat wasn't the mission getting accomplished or the end (though I was happy to get the payoff): it was everything that occurred prior to actually accomplishing it.




**YOUR TOP STORY**
Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life
- May 4, 2016 | Lisa Sanderson's dad taught the creative writing elective, and he drilled into our heads the following regarding story content: Write about what you know, what you are . . .


Religion, Spirituality -- Contrasting, Trending - April 19, 2016 | Creative breakthroughs often occur as the result of conflict in many aspects of the human experience. I feel like screaming again because conflict and contrast commands attention. They SHOUT and we. . .

Here Comes Play-Doh - April 6, 2016 | Certainly it's easy to see that Play-Doh can be used as content to attract and communicate with children in your particular business, project or service, but what about with adults? Many of us are familiar with Play-Doh because . . .

Sacred Geometry, Visual Storytelling Content: One of Top Four Creative Trends 2016 - March 27, 2016 | Sigils are sacred geometry symbol forms that the ancients considered to be the marks of angels, deities, and other powerful entities; they are archetype conduits that merge science, creativity and spirituality.



Card Decks and The Mystic or Visionary Persona - March 25, 2016 | Create a card deck as visual content to inform, educate, inspire, attract, promote, aesthetic (purely as art for arts sake ), or for fun and play to help achieve your goal or purpose.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future)  

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie 


 
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Sunday, September 4, 2016

BlogTracks: You Dig, Dig, Dig. What Have You Got There? Gold!

Welcome to BlogTracks! Click on the links for a multimedia experience of sight and sound to inspire, motivate, and elevate your creativity and storytelling energy.

I received a double rainbow during a nap in what I think was a dream even though I felt like I was awake. Now this is quite fascinating to me because I’ve been viewing and listening to a song titled “Wishery” (a remix of a song from Walt Disney’s Snow White that I discovered through one of the Facebook groups. This led me to thinking about mining for gold within myself and others as a healing artist. The gold nuggets I’m talking about are mental, emotional, physical, electromagnetic and spiritual energy that can yield treasure in many forms.

I don’t know about you, but for many years I have loved the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” made famous by Judy Garland singing it in the film, The Wizard of Oz. It taught me to believe I had to travel over it to get to “the pot of gold” to transmute and transform the stress and troubles of my life to beauty, peace, and tranquility. It seemed so far away, so way up high, too high, and how do I get to it?

It took me gently digging into my self with a master healer as my guide to discover the answer that I had forgotten: I AM the rainbow. The rainbow that exists above also exists below: the rapture of the double rainbow – the rainbow of love. Every person is a living rainbow to me, the manifestation of the rainbow light here on earth, and can come to believe that they are the true Wiz of their life. I don’t want to get into a conflict with any fans of leprechauns, but I am proof that the pot of gold is not over the rainbow but instead within me. Those nuggets and gems are within each of us, ready to be accessed, retrieved, revealed in the hidden places in our minds, physical and energy forms, hearts and spirits when we are ready to awaken, heal, and live the lives we dare to dream.

Music artists: Judy Garland, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Tania Maria, Lena Horne, and Keith Jarret.

As the disabled child Tiny Tim says in the book, "A Christmas Carol", written by Charles Dickens: "God bless us, Everyone!"

Valerie

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Creator's Corner: Lies and Storytelling: Strange Bedfellows in Shades of Gray


LIAR! 

WHO HASN'T HAD TO ENTER INTO AN ALMOST DAILY RELATIONSHIP WITH LIES IN OUR POLITICAL CLIMATE TODAY as we countdown to choosing our next president of the United States of America (#45).

"HE'S LYING!" "SHE'S LYING!" THE WORDS LIAR AND LYING KEEP BEING BANTERED, TOSSED, HURLED, yelled and spat. My ear distinguishes them in the cacophony of words used by guest panelists on CNN.

SOMETIMES IT'S SPOKEN IN A SUBDUED MANNER BY POLITICAL AND MEDIA WORDSMITHS. FOR SOME REASON when I hear it the child in me starts thinking--well, really singing in my head: "Liar, liar, pants on fire."

THOSE WHO LIE GET SPANKED IN A VARIETY OF WAYS NOW (OR NOT), but we'll have to wait until November to learn who receives the final punishment. Unfortunately, lies are often hurtful and harmful; yet, this leads me to share my thoughts and an experience about the relationship between lies and storytelling.

(Photo Source: Video Capture)

Column Inspiration:

CREATIVITY AND IMAGINATION ARE THE BEDROCK OF GREAT LIES, TALL TALES; OTHERWISE KNOWN AS STORYTELLING. In fact, during my childhood, my mother wouldn't say stop lying to me as much as she would say: "Stop telling stories!" Or perhaps I just want to remember it that way because it's more palatable to me; and therefore, my recollection is fiction.

IS IT LYING IF I HAVE NO IDEA WHICH STORY IS REAL? If I just can't remember? Do the best storytellers know the difference? Does it matter? Is there an ethics to storytelling? Depends on the context or situation? Yes. No. Maybe So. So we say.

AS A CHILD, I LEARNED LYING CAN CARRY SOME HARSH REPERCUSSIONS OF THE KARMIC VARIETY. Mom would ask me who took those cookies after she told us (my three siblings) not to touch them. My favorite answer was: "I don't know." I don't know was an invisible entity in our household who did the things to which none of us wanted to admit. I couldn't resist oatmeal cookies (and I have a pack that I really don't need right now).

ONE DAY MY MOTHER PUT THE COOKIES HIGH UP IN THE CUPBOARD. AFTER SHE LEFT THE KITCHEN, I moved the step stool over to it, opened the cupboard, and reached behind the iron to get them. I knocked over the hot iron! It slid down my arm. I fell off the stool, and have a long, visible scar on my arm to this day. Storytelling usually doesn't carry such hurtful results.

I received an A+ from my peers (aka the press) for an expert complete and total fabrication . . . 

 

Convince People of the Nonexistent

MAKE UP A WORD THAT DOESN'T EXIST. CREATE A STORY AROUND THE WORD. GIVE A PRESS CONFERENCE CONCERNING IT. Use your co-workers, family or friends as the press. Make it a game. You have 20 minutes to prepare the story you are going to tell which is essentially a lie, not true, unreal.

IT'S NOT QUITE LIKE THE GAME "TO TELL THE TRUTH" WHERE THE AUDIENCE MUST GUESS WHO IS TRUTHFUL. Your audience already knows you're making it up: but judge whether you excel at telling a story so effectively that it appears believable. You have ten minutes to address the press, and the press has ten minutes to ask you questions.

(Photo Source: Panon | Shutterstock)

Column Inspiration:

I CAN'T REMEMBER IF IT WAS MY ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS OR THE ART OF PERSUASION COURSE. IT WAS DURING THE FIRST WEEK of the semester. At the end of 20 minutes, I received an A+ from my peers (aka the press) for an expert complete and total fabrication.

THEY WANTED TO TOUR THE FACILITIES BUILT THROUGH GOVERNMENT and investor partnerships where the serum to preserve jungle eco-systems was created! They fired questions at me like crazy, and I answered every one of them with confidence and ease:
  • Question: In which jungle in what country did you test the serum? How do you know it works in every jungle in the world?
  • Answer: We created huge greenhouse facilities here in the U.S. in Arizona, took a sample of every major plant species from each jungle, recreated each environment, we introduced the known variables to-date that serve as threats, and tested the serum for two years.

    We were meticulous and committed to almost a religious fervor in our efforts since our failure or success impacts our children, our children's children, who are our future. It would be incredibly monstrous and selfish for us as ancestors not to do everything we can to assure them healthy and safe environments.

Lies may indeed include reality but only as partial components, never pure truth. 


LIES CAN BE LITTLE WHITE ONES OR HUGE WHOPPERS. THEY CAN BE USED TO DECEIVE, INJURE, PERSUADE, REFLECT, RE-DIRECT OR PROTECT. THEY ARE FICTION (KNOWN OR UNKNOWN)? Lies may indeed include reality but only as partial components, never pure truth.  Stories can be short or epic, and they can be used to hurt, harm or manipulate. Are they used with an intent to deceive as are lies?

THE BEST STORIES ARE ENGAGING IN WAYS THAT HELP US EMPATHIZE WITH THE CHARACTERS AND/OR SUBJECTS (sometimes environments, conditions, attributes, and situations) so we can connect and care; become interested, inspired or motivated, or are moved to a powerful emotion or action (even inaction).

STORYTELLING CAN BE 100% FICTION (IMAGINATION) OR MIXED WITH ELEMENTS OF REALITY, or 100% non-fiction (truth, unlike lies) or mixed with elements of imagination (though kept secret in a lie of omission) in a multitude of creative forms that are ever expanding and bursting boundaries.

NOW TO USE all of this in a creative storytelling ways as part of the fabric of the human condition.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Best Storytelling Has Sensory Empathy (or It's Important to Engage the Senses), Get Up To Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling: On a Low Budget, Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin), The Joy is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible), Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life; Religion, Spirituality--Contrasting, Trending; Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona, Here Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie







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CREATOR'S CORNER is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine (as the editor/curator) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and storytelling as content for usage in arts & entertainment, media communications, marketing and advertising, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.