Can they feel your spark? And instrinsic motivation

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In my Creativity in the Workplace Graduate class we read an article that the professor wrote about what he learned while designing hats for the Cirque du Soleil in 1996. The article is called “The 8 Lessons for building a creative workplace.” This is my reaction reproduced here and shared.

Reading about working in a circus and a fun environment had me reflecting on my own shift in my business. I once had more of a counseling business for people and their animals. It was serious, rewarding work for the contribution I was giving and how I was helping, and I adored the animals, but emotionally weighing in my psyche, and after many years doing that type of work I focused back onto designing and creating online classes that were fun. I look at that progression in my business from one extreme to the next and it’s interesting and revealing for me that my latest creation is an imaginary mall that teaches design and thinking creatively. It’s fun and entertaining like a circus. Your workplace should be fun and feed your creativity, the article suggests.

I established an Instagram account to test-drive my creations from my mall. It’s an experimental place to try out what works and what doesn’t, much like the new acts in the circus, and like the Professor described, with others witnessing and hopefully, being inspired. I see that when I am most excited, I am most successful in my posts. The other day I happened upon a creative fashion design app, Pret-a-Template.  I could draw on my tablet and design clothes for my imaginary mall. You would think I just won the lottery! I played most the morning, lost in what Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi called deep in the flow. I was apprehensive about sharing my new shoe design on Instagram, but when I did, there was an outpouring of support of comments, the opposite of my last few lackluster shares.

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Teresa Amabile, a creative theorist, describes intrinsic motivation as what excites and drives you. You are rewarded from within. Can others feel your deep intrinsic motivation then through your work? As mentioned in the article, leading to more innovative creations? I believe so. It’s that spark that we are attracted to in others’ work. I watched an episode the other day of the new season of World of Dance. There’s a group of LA youngsters called The LAB, back from last year. They dance with passion, fire and motivation. I could never get enough of watching them perform as they command the stage. Perhaps that is an argument in being excited about what you are doing vs. creating only what the market seems to want. That route doesn’t lead to innovative work or work with heart, although it can be profitable. I live near Sedona, Arizona. There is one artist that makes these standing deer figure sculptures. They have a funky, Native American, symbolic feel. I imagine his first sculpture was filled with heart & deep expression. Many years later he now simply replicates the deer in different costumes and they sell like crazy. They are devoid of spark. Can others see that or only other artists?

The other part of the article that fed me was the idea of rewarding your efforts vs. focusing on your failures. The idea of failure causes anxiety throughout my body for most even small efforts. I observed how this idea would be applicable the other day. My husband is also going back to school to finish his Bachelors degree in Business. His latest online class in Finance has challenged him to spend many hours after work struggling away on calculations, sometimes, late into the night. After getting through an intense problem there is noticeable relief. His upset was obvious when his professor graded his exercise by what was wrong or right leaving very little credit for all his work done the night before. He explained to me that his prior teachers always graded his effort giving him full credit. Why was this teacher different? His whole demeanor shifted in this class. I could see the air drain from his tires. This was a real life example of what I do to myself when I work so hard but a project doesn’t have glowing reviews so I discount the effort. I was squashing my creativity and poisoning my creative workplace, in this case, studio.

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How will you reward your efforts? Where do you dive down deep in flow?

It’s been a while. I hope to share more soon and my journey through learning animation and attending Grad School.

Until next time,

ronnidesigningfairy

Kantor, R. (2018?) 8 Lessons on Building a Creative Workplace. Retrieved from Drexel University website 9 June 2018.

How to draw a balloon animal: a lesson in shading

As you may or may not know balloon animals often visit the Idea Emporium Bakery and are partial to ice cream sodas. I don’t know a great deal about balloon animals that have came to life, but I can only theorize then, that the balloon animals are not lactose intolerant, which is a good thing. For fun, here’s a quick, fun lesson in shading.

First draw your balloon animal. A simple grey marker or crayon will work.

Now add your dark shadows. A dark grey or black will work. A balloon has very sharp shadows and highlights and looks very dramatic. Where ever your shadow will be your strongest light or highlight will be next to it.

Now we add the highlights or white where the light hits the balloon animal next to the dark shadows. Isn’t he cute? You might want to name him.

I went a step further and colored in the little guy orange. I added yellow for a mid color between the orange shading and the white highlights for a little BAM.

For a FREE exclusive Idea Emporium Balloon Inspiration & Exploration sheet, check out this Google Doc link here.

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Updates and Video Tuesdays

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In a few weeks I start Graduate School online for Education Transformation (doesn’t that sound cool?) I am scrambling around to get done what I need to before that, and I still am learning 2d animation and Aftereffects. I had this idea, what if I hosted on my site a Video Tuesday? That way I can still dedicate learning animation and bringing the mall’s stories to life without losing it when I start school. Be sure to stop by on Tuesdays on this page to see and participate in the weekly videos. And did you sign the guestbook?

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A Year of Weird Mirrors

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2017 was an uphill climb for many people.

I wrote, I created a lot, I experimented. I learned about my limits and boundaries. I worked in my Brain often (my sketchbook), and created pages and pages of activities for my book.

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I also questioned myself.

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As I created and doodled and poured out my ideas and gathered resources on a page surrounding the theme of Movement, I wrote what was causing my perceived lack of movement:“My frustration of not feeling a clear path.” Next to those words, many months later I wrote, “As I design what I love to do?” The path was there, developing. I was doing what I do. What I do now. But I didn’t feel it. There was a cluster of thoughts telling me I was directionless, which had me acting crazy pulling from the air all that I could. I’ll try this, I’ll try that. It was confusing. Opposite.

It was a year of Weird Mirrors. 

(Check out my full page of designing to Movement on Instagram.)

You may already be in the process of becoming. Morphing into what is next and you don’t see it. Those whispers, quiet longings. But when the Outside World doesn’t acknowledge or mirror your enthusiasm, the creative buds get cut off. You don’t follow that thread of energy.

It can be subtle whispers from your Soul.

  • I want to draw on ceramics (I collect pictures on Instagram)
  • I am interested in fashion design (My Pinterest has a ton of pictures)
  • I would still like to make a zine, even though it seemed no one cared (I feel sad about this and yet still pulled)
  • Rubber stamps fascinate me (Lots of instagram pictures gathering in my feed)
  • I want to dance again (I cry when I watch dance movies)

Sometimes we don’t recognize that depressed feelings happen because we cut our Soul off. It’s leading us, and we just blew it off. We see these longings as impractical or silly. Don’t abandon yourself.

We need to be inwardly focused, not outwardly when this occurs. Don’t look to the audience, the readers, the followers. Look to what you are excited about. Block the rest out. Because if there are Crickets and the Mirror is the wrong one, at least you are filling yourself back up and leading you to true fulfillment inside.

I give you permission.

Until next time,

ronnidesigningfairy

Sketchbook Inspiration Sheet: Manolo’s Shoes

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©designing fairy 2018

Today’s Inspiration Sheet

All last year I’ve been making Inspiration Sheets in my Brain sketchbooks. They started out as an idea or jumping point and then sometimes I pair them with music to listen to and branch off into other resources I find. This is the first one I am sharing with you to give a little juice to maybe make your own stuff.

I watched a documentary this weekend when I was forcing myself to finally rest, Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards (on Netflix, by the way). I had heard of and seen Manolo shoes from when I used to receive The New York Times on my doorstep and there were often his fun, expressive shoe drawings in some of the ads. Being a design lover, I was curious who this flamboyant designer was and excited to find this documentary. Lately, I’ve been attracted to the tiny design details — the perfect stitches, the flounce of ribbons, the shiny rhinestones. His shoes burst with all of these. Even his “crazy” designs are clean and make sense, like his patchwork red stripe number in the sketch above. These aren’t messy craft projects you sometimes see on Project Runway. These are work of art. I took notes on jumping off points for my creative juices. I like that he names all his shoes. I need to name all the creations in the mall.

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I sketched his shoes for over several hours. These shoes so belong in the Idea Emporium Mall, don’t you think? I wonder if he would be interested. The designs inspire me to draw and create my own crazy designs, although, my designs are not nearly as classy as his. (I will share on my instagram.) How about you? Inspired to start doodling and designing?

Until next time,

ronnidesigningfairy

Creative Resources

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Other Innovative Teachers Who Think out of the Box:

More jumping off points for your creativity and imagination that float my boat and I hope, will float yours too.