Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for February, 2007|Monthly archive page

Speaking at IIT

In ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on February 27, 2007 at 8:09 pm

My first speaking presentation will be Thursday March 1st, 2007 at The Illinois Institute of Technology ( IIT). My presentation is part of the KEEN Industrial Entrepreneur Lecture series, which is sponsored by the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network.

I will be speaking to Engineering Students on both the IIT campus as well as via web broadcast to students at Cornell University.

This presentation is about creativity and how it is developed, maintained and utilized as a sustainable tool in life, work and entreprenurial activities. As part of that presentation Steve Wolf, guitarist for The Bite Size Arts Ensemble and I will present, as part of the speech, the 2 songs I have written- Dorm Room Babe and Shiva. We rehearsed them for the first time yesterday and they sound really great!

Shiva is complete and was most recently changed to fit a tighter format for the purpose of presenting it as a song.  This song is part of my presentation about creative death and its purpose and necessity to the development of the creative process.

I am really looking forward to getting started with my speaking material so wish me luck.


In Uncategorized on February 20, 2007 at 1:50 pm

A Shiva, for those of you who are not familiar with the word, is a 7 day period of morning for the loss of a close relative. I have written about half the lyrics to a song I am going to call Shiva.

My Shiva, is about the death of creativity, and why each and every one of us must experience a death of sorts in our creative process to find the path we were truly meant to follow. Creative death is a very important part of the creative process.

Anything and everything in life that consumes our passions, is surely meant to at some point reach its full capacity, and needs to evolve. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen others resist this happening, only to find themselves dried up, void of most of their self esteem and unable to make a decision about which way to go.

Re-inventing your creative self is what creativity requires to flourish and produce results beyond what you can imagine right now–today.  While it may never get easier to work through it, by doing so, you are assuring yourself of a creative future.

I think one of the reasons this concept is so hard to grasp, is that it only happens at most a handful of times in a creative life, making it seem like either a failure or leaving one to not know what is happening and how to handle it.

Beginnings and Endings are natural. Allow them to occur as they need to…..

The melody for this song I have woken to for the past 2 weeks but no words came for it until just about four days ago. While its absolutely not finished, here is a little bit of it for you to read. Where this song stops is literally where I am in my writing; just about to turn the corner to a new creative path and future for this artist…


It’s just one soul that has departed.

But that one soul was one creative being.

It’s the soul that has gone from the artist

No art left in his weary being


With the wind blowing strong

And his lips dried of song

Northin left for the one

Who once loved all he saw

 For the art in his eyes

Sparkling nearly twice as bright

Before his life took his spirit

And it died.


Yes his life was a race

To create the perfect space

For his soul to be seen

While he starved and became mean


Starving Artists will die

just one at a time

on the battlefield of life

that has no time..

To experience the love

And the talent and riches

That the arts bring to those

Who will stop and pause and listen


It’s the artist who must

Learn to create a box and fuss

With the wrapping of how

His soul is seen.


Yes  your one creative being,

Yes your one creative life

What you see, what you feel,

What you do, is no longer real

For your vision has gone and

Your passion no longer belongs

Where your heart once was open

Now its closed..



Its just one soul that has departed.

But that one soul was one creative being.

It’s the soul that has gone from the artist

No art left in his weary being



When there’s nothin left  inside

You will know
that your Passions died

It’s the life that you lead

That took your creativity

To a place that was filled

With tombstones.


It’s the one that was taken from you

It’s the one not meant for you

It’s that life that must first die

To let the real creativity fly

To a life that was meant for you


As he woke he became

Aware that his limbs were no longer drained

And his heart jaded black now was blue…

Great Jewels On The Web

In WEBSITES & BLOGS on February 20, 2007 at 1:27 am

In my research I have found a number of interesting Websites to check out. Each has a different focus but is worthy of a look. All of them are designed for artists to offer assistance in your development both as artists and as a business person. Some of these offer true assistance for entrepreneurs. I hope you take the time to check them out. Creative Capital

This is a grant-making organization that focuses on individual artists with innovative projects. It also administers the Rockefeller Foundation’s Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund. It also administers the Rockefeller Foundation’s Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund.

Born at an art fair in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, this non-profit’s organization maintains a site for and by the self-employed artist. It’s a membership organization, but makes a great deal of helpful content available to any visitor. There are show directories, tips for finding fairs and shows, what to do when you get there, member galleries and lots more.

Future of Music Coalition

This is an advocacy organization concerned with making sure the marketplace makes room for Indie musicians and labels. Besides advocacy, there is a lot of useful information for the independent musician, especially legal issues concerning copyright and digital media.

College Art Association

As the name implies, CAA is devoted to art instructors and students in higher education. It also provides some very well-developed tools, such as formal guidelines for portfolios, artist statements and CVs.

World Wide Arts Resources (Absolute Arts)

If you don’t mind a little commercialism–this site is rife with ads–you’ll find a trunk full of stuff on this Website. Job boards, arts news, mailing list vendors and a forum called the Visual Arts Cafe are a few features that might be worth your while.

This is a portal dedicated to fine art photography.

EBSQ Self Representing Artists

Here’s an online gallery dedicated to independent artists. The founders of the site helped establish sections for self-representing artists at online auction sites. This site is representative of dozens of other online galleries, plus offers some good electronic marketing advice.


Pressure, Pain and Freedom

In Emotional Intelligence on February 9, 2007 at 3:09 pm

Its been a period of challenges creatively for me. I have been wrestling in silence, unable to write, with a specific pivotal connection I needed to make in a chapter in what I hope will be the final creative edit of my book. I have felt enourmously pressured to figure it out, because my ideas are so close to being connected; yet I have not been able to articulate how they fit cohesively together.

I have spent over eight months of time on this book, and as each day passes my commitment to the project and desire to see its outcome grows; which is likely the source of the pressure I feel.

Yet through my song writing diversions, which has been liberating and freeing creatively, perhaps because I am yet unattached to this process and am allowing myself the freedom to try this new thing; I feel no pressure at all!

Perhaps its exactly that sensation of creative freedom, without my judgements interfering, that has allowed me to finally write the three pages late into last night that I needed to connect my points together into a solid cohesive compelling thought.

Its funny how writing this book started out the same way, as a freeing experience, and as I have become more involved in the creative process of it, I need new sources of creativity to recreate my ability to be creatively free.

Starving Artists

In Author: Lisa Canning, Interesting Articles on February 6, 2007 at 8:29 pm

On Sunday January 28th in the Arts Section of the Chicago Tribune the first of a two part series ran on how much actors and musicians get paid.  I was very disheartened to read freelance writer, Nina Metz’s, article. As a creative writer, an artist herself, I guess I expected her take to be more positive then opening with ” No one one works in theater to get rich. Every performer understands this going in.”

Why is it such a forgone conclusion that it is impossible to make a decent living wage doing something creative that you love? 

Perhaps the rules of how we, as artists, view the arts first needs to change, for others to see us differently. 

While the economic realities of theater and music and the venues actors and musicians perform in might dictate lower wages, hardly do either musicians or actors need to depend on these solely as either the measure of their artistic worth or to pay their rent. 

The article, by Nina Metz went on, in my opinion, to disgrace some fine actors by revealing how they could barely afford to exist in Chicago, while many of them are performing in Chicago’s major performing venues like The Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf and Second City.  How she could write this article and not offer a bright beacon of light to those who have developed artistically and found creative and financial success on their own paths in their own way, while still retained their love for theater and music, is something she should be ashamed of not representing.

If we keep reinforcing through our words that the arts are full of starving artists, then guess what?

Pretty soon the arts will die from anorexia. Choose to place a higher value on creativity and you will attract those that will pay a higher price for it. Corporate America is championing creativity as the path to growth, profits and start up success according to writers like Richard Florida. Why can’t artists, and creative writers like Nina Metz, feel the same way about what we as artists are capable of achieving? 

It may not be at The Goodman, Steppenwolf or Second City, but if you use your creativity and gifts, and creatively build a life on your terms, financial success CAN follow. No one ever got rich working a J.O.B; and that is what The Goodman, Steppenwolf and Second City represent. After-all these venues are their creators creative vision, and those they hire will never profit immensely from it. No different then any big corporation anywhere in the world. That’s why those who take risks, and apply their creativity, inside the artistic world or outside of it in corporate america, reap the benefit. 

This series in The Tribune could have been a much more valuable insightful interesting series, both for artists, and for the general public who pays to experience what artists have to offer.

Original Thought

In Creative Support on February 1, 2007 at 5:13 pm

So this week has largely been about creating new things. I just started working with a song writer/arranger to help me take the melodies and words I am creating, and figure out how to turn them into songs. I have a tape recorder I carry with me everywhere filled with snippets of musical ideas, words and lyrics, and each day I spend time seeing how they fit together.

The show The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble will be presenting, is going to be original, so the music needs to be too.

It is really exciting to think that at some point in the future I will have put all this together, but its also quite daunting, because I have never done most of what I am attempting to do right now. By focusing on just one new thing at a time, instead of looking at the whole, I find it easier to cope with all the unknowns and potential risks.
Since I have never written a single song, and now, not only will I be writing one, but a number of them; that seems like a big enough challenge for me for right now. A long time ago I use to write poetry for fun, I also took voice lessons for about a year, and I do love to sing, but it is a completely new experience for me. What makes it easier to do this, in my moments of doubt, is first off knowing that I believe that I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to, and secondly that regardless of what anyone thinks, I am moving closer towards what I want to share and do for others passionately.

With all the new things I am doing these days, it would be easy for me to feel that it is simply unrealistic, too difficult, and that I have lost my mind, trying to help artists through my writing, musical performance and consulting. After all, does anyone really care about what I have to offer?

That’s what makes Entrepreneurship hard; until your efforts are embraced, your vision is all you have to support you. Having climbed this mountain a number of times in life, I can tell you that the climb never gets any easier. You will climb the mountain alone, until others begin to reveal that they need you to help them climb their own mountain too.

That point comes when it is ready to, so stay on your path and keep climbing until you turn the corner and see a small crowd waiting to cheer you on and walk with you too!

So if your feeling kinda down and wondering what you can do to stop your life from running you around, remember what your creative self is made from and spend some time there. ( Hey, maybe this could be a line in one of my songs! I kind of like it…)

Sure not every original idea you have will be a good one. God knows some of mine have done a great big old belly flop; but that’s also how you find the jewels.

Creativity is largely about being originally you. I am discovering how many different ways I can be original with my message by presenting it in unique and different ways.

Entrepreneurship at its core is about taking what you know, and who you are, and allowing your message and skills to be evident in as many ways possible, but, making sure that you hold steady to the focus of your mission while doing so.

If you are worried that no one will appreciate what you have to offer, test it. The more you test it, the closer you will come, to finding the path to sustain it creatively and financially.

I am on that path right now, and be sure its full of rejection and dismissal; that’s always part of the test of a new venture. But if you keep testing it and you keep seeing others tell you there is a need.. then keep going brother and sister. You are on your way to true creative and financial freedom.