Creativity Mood

Draw Happy

Draw what makes you happy?  What a great idea.  Happiness is redefined by everyone who experiences it.  To define happiness can be as simple as expressing what gives you joy.  Think about what makes you happy and draw it!

Draw “happy.”  Join the global art project at Draw Happy and share your happiness with the world.  Don’t know what makes you happy?  I guarantee the creative expressions at Draw Happy will remind you and hopefully bring a smile to your face.



So many innovative ideas come about by accident.  They come about by experimenting and being creative in your own unique ways.  Just playing around with ideas can lead to exciting new discoveries.  Schools don’t teach us to play.  They don’t encourage us to explore.  They don’t even really prepare us for tomorrow, but rather prepare us for test taking.

Robert Scoble presented at TEDxBloomington about “play” and what wonderful discoveries and inventions it can lead to. Coincidence plays a big part, but it’s primarily curiosity.

Check out the great examples of “play” and what comes of it!


Your Own Scale for Measuring Success

I’ve read Seth Godin’s books over the past couple of years, and he consistently has great insights into marketing and human behavior.  His post about “Originality” was very timely, coinciding with Austin Kleon’s post on the same subject.  His way of thinking is a parallel to what I aim to apply to my own life, and the perspective I want to share with others.

People have different motivations to achieve success and how they measure their achievements.  Our society puts a lot of value on becoming famous and achieving recognition by the main stream media.  It’s sometimes dumbfounding to observers when someone with exceptional talent and influence does not follow the “trendy” routes their peers may follow to become recognized.  Seth Godin talks about chef Charlie Trotter, whom he calls “a pioneer in modern cooking”.  Someone who is achieving greatness and measuring success in his own way.

Fame and fortune are not what motivate all of us.  Seeing how you affect the people around you can be gratifying enough.  “Dancing faster than ever, but why?” highlights Charlie Trotter as one of these people, and it’s refreshing to have an influencer such as Seth Godin reminding us that we don’t have to measure success the way others may want us to.



Originality is not as simple as it sounds.  The idea of creating something that has never been created before is easier said than done.  We are all influenced by so many things in our lives, that whether we know it or not, those things we’ve observed and picked up along the way go into our projects and creations.  Some people may look at it and see the most spectacular thing they’ve ever seen and be blown away, while others will see similarities with what they’ve encountered in the past.

I wrote about Austin Kleon’s “How to Steal Like an Artist,” which talks about how artists are influenced by their observations throughout their lives.  Another recent post by Seth Godin talks about “Originality,” and how some of his readers call him a “hack” because nothing he says is original, while others praise him for his originality.

It’s a funny thing about originality.  As much as many of us want to achieve something that has never been done before, someone may see it as a reincarnation of something they’ve already seen.  So don’t worry about what people say.  Create and push forward with your own original ideas.  Be inspired and create.  They are original to you and express who you are!

P.S.  The titles of my posts about Austin Kleon and Seth Godin (this post) have both lacked originality, but why come up with our own when the originals are perfectly fitting.


How to Steal Like an Artist

This is a fantastic post by Austin Kleon with many insights and observations about the creative process and learning about yourself.  It can be a huge challenge to figure out what it is you want to do with your life, who you are, and what you were meant to be.  There are so many things that influence our decisions we make, too often taking us off the right path.

The overall message of Austin’s post is about originality and not letting your quest for your own original ideas get in the way of creating.  He expresses this perfectly:

You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences. The German writer Goethe said, “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”

An artist is a collector. Not a hoarder, mind you, there’s a difference: hoarders collect indiscriminately, the artist collects selectively. They only collect things that they really love.

Your job is to collect ideas. The best way to collect ideas is to read. Read, read, read, read, read. Read the newspaper. Read the weather. Read the signs on the road. Read the faces of strangers. The more you read, the more you can choose to be influenced by.

Steal things and save them for later. Carry around a sketchpad. Write in your books. Tear things out of magazines and collage them in your scrapbook.

Steal like an artist.

The lessons that Austin has learned are inspiring and ring very true.  Some are challenging, while others are refreshing in their perspective.  No matter who you are or where you are in your life, “How to Steal Like an Artist (and 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me)” is worth it!