A funny video about SEO, blogging, marketing, tweeting, etc… Creative delivery.

So many new inside jokes for tech savvy geeks. Gotta give it to Hub Spot for being creative in its gorilla marketing tactics. 🙂

I’m gonna give the link love song some link love…

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What do desks and altars have in common?

I have kept an altar in my room since the age of 17. On it I have many beautiful representations of what I see as sacred, profound, and divine. It is a spiritual anchor in my room even if only as a visual reminder. During the period when I was meditating daily, I would sit every morning first thing in front of my altar and center myself in this practice. Thus the altar was associated with introspection and connection to something greater than my chatty mind.

It occurs to me that the person praying at their altar and an artist setting up at their easel to paint and an entrepreneur at their desk working are all engaged in much the same thing. They are using the visual cues and physical features of a specific space to help them to focus their energies.

MEDITATOR               CENTERS SELF                AT ALTAR
ARTIST                         CENTERS SELF                AT CANVAS
PROFESSIONAL        CENTERS SELF                AT DESK/WORK SPACE

So let’s focus on the workspace or desk as an altar to efficiency and inspired success in our work. Besides the obvious elements of computer, pens, files, staplers, etc… what can we surround this space with that will help us stay connected to the deeper motivation behind our work?

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SOME VISUAL ANCHORS to consider putting in YOUR WORK SPACE:
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* Your MISSION STATEMENT, Life Purpose, or Artist Statement– This summary of your essential commitment underlying your work can serve as a profound reminder of why you are hacking away at your to-do list.

* Your GOALS– I have noticed a huge difference in my realization of goals since I have started writing them out clearly in bold pen and hanging them up to see on a daily basis.(Picture below is of a template I created for this purpose, which I am happy to give you- just email me at muse at catalystarts.com and I will send it to you)

Goal template created by Audette Sophia of Catalyst Arts

* Your VISION BOARD or a Bulletin Board– A vision board is a collage or what you are creating in your life for the coming year (6 months, 3 years, fill in time period) I will dedicate another post to the process of making a vision board, and I teach workshops on that topic. I will include a picture of mine as an example. I also have a bulletin board in my office that I use as an inspiration board and to put key flyers, cards, etc… on. If the work you do at your desk is mainly just to bring in money, then make a little visual reminder of what you are making/saving money for.

vision board


* PICTURES of  ROLE MODELS & or your CHILDREN
– to remind you who’s shoulders you are standing on, and who will stand on yours. Hang up a picture of anyone who exemplifies grace and success and will inspire you just by seeing them. This can also be a place to hang up an image of Christ or the Buddha, or the Earth, or any spiritual symbol that touches you. (They are role models too after all)

* SYMBOLS of PROSPERITY & SUCCESS– Surround yourself with a couple tasteful objects that represent these things for you. In feng shui they say that purple and gold are good colors to put in your Prosperity Corner, as well as succulent plants and round objects.

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It certainly can’t hurt to put more intentional and beautiful things in your work space, and it may just work a little practical magic and bring more of the profound into the mundane and more of your deeper motivation into your daily action.

To Your Success!

Sometimes a book jumps off my bookshelf and says look at me again- Now!
Being that I am currently studying marketing, when I picked up the book ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’ By, Richard Florida again, I had a whole new appreciation for its contents.

This national bestseller written by a professor of economic development, makes many key contributions to the discussion about the central role of creativity in the economy, and specifically highlighting a growing class of society he calls the creative class.

HERE ARE SOME Gold NUGGETS  or KEY QUOTES to chew on:

“Many say that we now live in an “information” economy or a “knowledge” economy. But what’s more fundamentally true is that we now have an economy powered by human creativity. Creativity– “the ability to create meaningful new forms”, as Webster’s dictionary puts it- is now the decisive source of competitive advantage. In virtually every industry, from automobiles to fashion, food products, and information technology itself, the winners in the long run are those who can create and keep on creating.”

***

“The economic need for creativity has registered itself in the rise of a new class, which I call the Creative Class. Some 38 million Americans, 30% of all employed people, belong to this new class. I define the core of the Creative Class to include people in science and engineering, architecture and design, education, arts, music and entertainment, whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology and/or new creative content. Around the core, the Creative class also includes a broader group of creative professionals in business and finance, law, health care and related fields. These people engage in complex problem solving that involves a great deal of independent judgment and requires high levels of education or human capital. In addition, all members of the Creative Class– whether they are artists or engineers, musicians or computer scientists, writers or entrepreneurs– share a common creative ethos that values creativity, individuality, difference, and merit.”

***

“Given that creativity has emerged as the single most important source of economic growth, the best route to continued prosperity is by investing in our stock of creativity in all its forms, across the board. This entails more than just pumping up R&D spending or improving education, though both are important. It requires increasing investments in the multidimensional and varied forms of creativity– arts, music, culture, design and related fields– because all are linked and flourish together. It also means investing in the related infrastructures and communities that attract creative people from around the world and that broadly foment creativity.”

***

The Creative Class  has 3 FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES TO ADDRESS:

1.) Investing in Creativity to ensure long-run economic growth.
2.) Overcoming the class divides that weaken our social fabric & threaten economic well-being.
3.) To build new forms of social cohesion in a world defined by by increasing diversity and beset by growing fragmentation.

This book shows how codependent and increasingly connected are the worlds of finance/business/economy and the worlds of the arts/creativity/culture.

It also really broadens the scope of what we may usually categorize as “creative work” and illuminates the integral role that creativity has in many of the jobs central to our economic health.

We all know how it feels to fumble our way through a vague jumble of to-do’s and get distracted, get some little things done, and at the end of the day wonder what we actually accomplished.

In contrast to that, how good it feels to be crystal clear on your priorities, have all tasks organized and listed, and to blaze through the list with efficiency.
Since time is a very precious resource, can we afford to be disorganized and ineffective?

SOME POINTS about EFFICIENCY

* PRIORITIZATION IS KEY for acting efficiently. Take the time to assess your list and determine an order of priority. Use Color coding, Stars, or a special box on your To Do List page to indicate which items are to be acted upon first. Tackle the most important and/or most difficult tasks first thing in the morning when you are sharpest, and it will set a great tone for the rest of the day.

*Have a MAP or MASTER PLAN. In visual or written form this big picture document can be a reference point to return to when we get distracted and veer off track. I have a vision board in my home office that I can look at, as well as my mission statement and a Master Plan word document on my computer.

* Your ability to GET STUFF DONE is strengthened by working your  ACTION and DISCIPLINE MUSCLES. To support this, I highly suggest developing and maintaining a daily practice (could by physical like running or yoga, spiritual like mediation or creative like writing). Even 15 minutes a day of any practice can help us greatly to get used to taking action weather or not we are ‘in the mood’. This is also a way to balance out our do do do work orientation with a non mental practice, and the byproduct is that we are practicing discipline which will spill over into the mental sphere too.

* STREAMLINE OPERATIONS by clearing space and getting rid of unessential objects, projects, and clutter. Clear and organize files on your computer every couple months.

* Being a sleek effective person who knows what they want and gets stuff done not only leads to more Success, but hey… its SEXY!

THINGS THAT ENHANCE EFFICIENCY:

* Good Systems

* Good Time Management

* Clarity and Planning

* Delegating & Teamwork

* Focus w/out distractions

TOOLS and SOFTWARE RESOURCES
that have been helping me streamline and up my time/task management game.

RESEARCH– R&D is a big part of the initial phase of almost any project. We need to research when exploring career options, getting a new apartment, writing an article or book, or looking for places online to promote our work.

Microsoft Word Notebook Documents-
This template is in all MS Word from 2004 on. To find it go to Project Gallery under File and then click on ‘Word Notebook’. You will get a blank document with multiple tabs on the right side. This way you can gather a lot of varied information related to your topic into one document. For EXAMPLE, I am writing this blog post in my Blog Topics notebook, and there are tabs for “Topics & Ideas”, “In Progress”, “Already Posted”, and “Radar Screen”. It’s easy to add, delete, and rename tabs as you go along. Using notebooks for any topic that is more multi-dimensional than flat leads to more streamlined virtual filing systems and less overwhelm.

Evernote- http://www.evernote.com
I absolutely love this tool and have been using it a lot lately. (It was tool #9 in my inspired productivity tools series.) Once you download it for free, its small icon lives at the top right of your screen and you can use it to get screenshots of sites relevant to your research. You can also add tags to keep it organized, and put the source url so you can easily return to that site (easier than bookmarking). For EXAMPLE, I am developing an educational branch to Catalyst Arts and exploring local organizations to partner with to bring the program to low-income youth. So here is a screenshot of my evernote notebook with c.a. education program tags.

Evernote_EducationProgram

What Else?? What helps you to act efficiently?

This is a very special Sunday coming up- it is Chinese New Year(Year of the Tiger), Tibetan New Year, and Valentines Day!

This year I got inspired to create this collage to offer up. Use it as you like. Send along to those you love.

I am not generally that enthusiastic on the Valentines bandwagon, as there is so much pretense and cheese and chocolate coated baggage associated with it.
That said- a day set aside to celebrate LOVE is a great idea. Really, if we expand beyond the romantic sphere and just affirm ALL the FORMS that LOVE takes in our lives and give affirmation and gratitude to this— it can only grow.

So my wish is that you truly give thanks— for your partner/lover if you have one, for yourself, for your cat, dog, mother, child, friends, angels, and any other place you receive the gift of Love from.

It truly is a precious gift.

Cheers to Love and Cheers to You.

🙂

Artists are known for being the pioneering out of the box types. But then so many find themselves in a frustratingly small competitive mini world going for the same gigs or galleries as their counterparts. Lack of inspiration and lack of compensation are two of the biggest pitfalls to avoid while we adventure down an artists path. With so much pulling back and shrinking going on these days, I think we creative types need to stretch out and think BIGger.

Expanding the sphere of our art is good not only for the creative stimulation the challenge brings, but also for the new sources of income it can generate. In a nutshell, splashing out of traditional containers can be both fun and profitable.

Well the visual artist’s primary canvas is the human eye and perception/imagination field.
The paper and easel and computer screen are common containers for that art, and yet in being small squares, they have their limitations.

EXAMPLES of CANVAS EXPANSION FOR VISUAL ARTISTS:
Tattoo Art, Body Painting, Face Painting, Designing Fashion, Painting Murals, Caricature Sketches, Graffiti Art, Air Brushing clothes and walls and people, Silk Screening, Live Painting at music shows, painting pregnant women’s bellies, drawing your dream home on your lover’s back and taking a picture of it, decorating cakes, doing custom signs for local small businesses…

Musicians primary canvas is the human ear and the emotional and social field.
The live show and the compact disc or mp3 are the traditional containers for this audible art.

EXAMPLES OF CANVAS EXPANSION FOR MUSICIANS
Play in mental hospitals or old people’s homes, teach kids in schools or private lessons, collaborate with other artists on a large public art project, create a music therapy project at a local childrens hospital, go in a tunnel and record your most heartfelt music and sell it to gardeners to play to their plants, make fun little snippets of music for commercials, ring tones, your answering machine…

Performing Artists like actors and dancers primarily use a stage as their canvas.

EXAMPLES OF CANVAS EXPANSION FOR PERFORMERS:
Perform on the streets, perform for your neighbors or block party, collaborate with photographers and film students, for charity events, in beautiful spots in nature, in ugly industrial settings, make up a new theatrical telegram service, work with wild new props, dance with fire, put on a show with your favorite kids for their parents, do political satire miming at the lawn of a federal building, dance at rallies, try go-go dancing, wear a mask and perform on a bench during lunchtime in a big city, teach your art form to kids or under-expressed housewives and businesspeople,  hang up a big sheet at a party- shine light on it and shadow dance behind it, build a stage onto a big van or ice cream truck and take the show on the road…

You get the picture.

Integration Exercise:
(cause it is oh so easy to scarf through ideas with our minds and never build a bridge into action)
Answer these questions in your journal or with another artistic partner.
1.)    What are my main 2 artistic forms?
2.)    What current canvas are they being expressed on?
3.)    What new ideas do I have for other outlets and canvases to explore?
Then circle the most compelling ones. Then do them, or if you are the forgetful type- write them and hang them up in a visible place to remind you of them till you get around to trying them out.

Would love to hear your comments or ideas.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

I have MOVED this BLOG over to my own server and IT CAN NOW BE FOUND AT:

http://www.catalystarts.com/blog/

Please visit that site and bookmark it if you would like, or sign up for the Museletter

Thanks!

Audette Sophia

New & Improved Catalyst Arts Blog

Here is the new & improved Catalyst Arts Blog

Art can change your Life- art nouveu poster

I have been a quote junkie since I was a teenager. Here are a couple of handfuls of good quotes from my collection. Do you have any favorite arts quotes? If you have a lot of creative friends, you can print these up onto nice paper and give them out to them, or to complete strangers.:)

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” –Pablo Picasso


“…art is not just ornamental, an enhancement of life, but a path in itself, a way out of the predictable and conventional, a map to self discovery.”
– Gabrielle Roth
“Art is neither a profession or a hobby. Art is a way of being.” -Frederick Franck

“For creative beings (and we are all creative beings) experience is only half of an experience. We experience life and then digest it by making something out of the experience. Creativity makes life useful to us. It also makes us useful to life.” – Julia Cameron

“A concerto is a cake is a sculpture is a scrapbook is a sonnet is a sweater. There is no difference between the human impulses behind one act of creation and another. The distinctions between “good” and “bad” quality or “high” and “low” art don’t’ really exist. There’s only creation, and the joy that comes with it.” – Sandra Magsamer

“All arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.” -M.C. Richard

“Art is the kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purpose through him.”
-Carl Jung

“Inspiration is our contact with the divine, our ability to access the interconnected and energetic nature of life. Expression is our desire to give form to our experience of the divine.” -Tom Crockett

“The sterility of the bourgeois world will end in suicide or a new form of creative participation.” – Octoavio Paz

“Inspiration cuts through the cultural trance suspending the prescribed goals and expectations of this conditioned cultural mindscape so that alternative realities and solutions may be perceived.” – Philip Rubinov-Jacobson

“By descending down into the depths of the soul, and not primarily by a painful acquisition of many manual skills, the artist attains the power of awakening other souls.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We recognized the role of imagination and ritual that is shared between contemporary psychotherapies and all ancient traditions. It was also evident that the arts are the bridging existential phenomena that unite ritual, imagination and dream-world in a way that no other activity can do.” -Paulo Knill

“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” -William Plomer

“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” -Henry David Thorou

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Want more infusions of Inspiration??
Sign up for the MuseLetter & get a Free Promotion & Productivity Resource Package- http://www.catalystarts.com

I went on a movie marathon the other day and watched both movies pretty much back to back. Here are my reviews…

THIS IS IT-
This movie basically showed us Michael Jackson’s swan song- the epic tour he was working on full throttle (tickets already sold out in most cities it would be visiting). I thought incorrectly that rehearsal footage would not be compelling enough to keep me engaged for a 2 hour film. It was fascinating to see the process, the incredible production value, and to get such a close up on the man- who’s voice and moves were as impressive as ever!

On on one hand it could appear like a tragedy that this tour never got to be realized. On the other hand, it is realized and brought to the world through this movie, and may likely more people in that medium than it would as a music tour.

I was very touched by the new rendition of Earth Song and his clear caring message about the Earth.
In his words “That’s why I write these kind of songs, you know, to give some sense of awareness and awakening and hope to people. I LOVE the planet.”

Here is a video of his ‘final rehearsal’ of They don’t really care about us.

It was truly inspiring to see the passion, emotion and message behind it all and how epic of a production he was making.
Go see the movie!

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2012

Going to see a film with the title 2012, I was hoping for some deep messages, considering that there are a lot of complex and profound prophecies and theories about what kind of transformation might happen at that time. That is asking too much of Hollywood. Instead it co-opted and oversimplified the Mayan prophecy and turned it into an unrealistic, way oversensationalized action film about the end of the world.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT IT

* It put 2012 on the radar screen of the mass public from a doom gloom fear perspective only
* It underplayed the deaths of millions and overplayed the plight of one family clinging to their lives
* It got cheesy a few times and the unrealistic factor took me out of it when I should be most compelled
* It put all responsibility for our demise on the earth/sun instead of our own actions
* It could of and didn’t really interject any truly redemptive or spiritual messages

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT IT

* There is something very cathartic and profound about seeing such extreme destruction and sort of having the worst case     scenario played out on the screen to experience without experiencing.
* The effects were impressive and well done, and the action was quite exciting.
* There was also some commentary about social values, power politics and compassion.
* It did highlight for me how fragile and precious is the life we have right now and how much we should appreciate it.

What both movies had in common is that I walked out of the theater feeling so GLAD TO BE ALIVE!!!

IDEAS ————————————————————————————>> ACTION

I am surrounded by amazing visionaries who talk about such brilliant ideas all the time. I love inspired visionaries and will be one myself for my whole life. Yet I’m noticing that lately my deeper respect goes more to those who have ACTED on their ideas and have something TANGIBLE to show from them.

I’m gearing up to teach a workshop next week called Get your $h*t Together- a hands on action accelerator for artists. So I’ve been focusing on what gets in the way of us acting on our ideals and ideas and inspirations, and also what helps support us to act. Here is one of the lists.

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THINGS THAT HELP US to ACT and MANIFEST

CLARITY
CLEAR PRIORITIZATION
PLANNER/CALENDAR
LEADERSHIP, CATALYST, COACH, ACCOUNTABILITY
INSPIRATION & EXCITEMENT
ENCOURAGEMENT
EXTERNAL SUPPORT STRUCTURES- like school, workshops, training programs, like minded groups, etc…
TIME MANAGEMENT- Designing a time structure based on true priorities
ORGANIZATION- GOOD SYSTEMS
SELF-DISCIPLINE, DAILY PRACTICE- consistent effort
BLUEPRINTS- STRATEGY- OVERVIEW MAPS- ACTION PLANS
PASSION/FIRE/INTRINSIC MOTIVATION
MONEY & RESOURCES
ACCOUNTABILITY & SUPPORT
COLLABORATION/TEAMWORK/COMMUNITY
SURRENDER & PRAYER & CONNECTION TO SOURCE
MAGIC

What Else?? What helps you??