Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fabulous Featured Posts

Boy, lots going on. Here's the rundown!

Next, try giving yourself a Drawing Mindfulness Break.

Next, try out some Free Printable Coloring Pages:

And, print out some great sheets that let you:


Head Over to The Affluent Artist and Let Your Beast Out!

Rick at The Affluent Artist is premiering a brand new e-book of mine on how to "Let Out Your Creative Beast!" Check it out!

And while you're there, read up on Rick's philosophy uniting artistry and entrepreneurship. He's even got a book about it. It's high time we toss out the notion that creativity is some sort of nice "add-on" or "enrichment activity." I'm not even sure where that came from. I don't think anyone in Silicon Valley is aware of it.

Thanks Rick for the post, and everybody check out The Affluent Artist!

Drawing and Mindfulness

Here is a little meditative exercise you can use whenever you need a "mindfulness break" during your day.

1. Take a pencil or pen and a piece of paper, and put them in front of you. Take a nice, deep breath.
2. Take your pencil, and begin - very slowly - to draw a line.
3. Let the line go wherever it wants - it may squiggle around, or go back and forth, or whatever.
4. Keep your eyes on the spot where the pencil meets the paper. Listen to the sound of the pencil moving over the surface.
5. Draw as slowly as you can. If your mind wanders, or if you start worrying about what the "whole" line looks like, just gently bring your attention back to the tip of the pencil.
6. Keep doing this for as long as you want. You can let your line cross itself, or fill up the paper, or go in little circles - just follow it along. You are not trying to "make" anything, just follow.

Once you've done this for a few minutes, you may find that your mind clears a bit and you feel physically better. You may also find that as you do this more, you'll be able to make longer and longer lines in one go.

The calls and beeps and blips from all of our various devices, accounts, friends, and emails chip away at our attention like a million little chisels.

To keep ourselves healthy, we need to specifically look after our minds and our attention.

Drawing is an excellent way to bring your mind into focus.

I am reading an excellent book right now, called "RAPT: Attention and the Focused Life" by Winifred Gallagher. I recommend it if you would like to read more about how your attention and focus determine your life experience.


New Free Printable Page: Create a Character!

It is no end of fun to create characters. You can create a character based on someone you like/don't like, powers you wish you had, or even an appliance in your kitchen.

This handy sheet walks you through some basic questions to get character-creation started.

It's based on my classes, as well as field trips I help with at 826 Valencia (check them out, support them) - and it's designed to help you begin to picture your character clearly in your mind.

You can answer all the questions, or just a few - but as soon as you start, your character will begin to seem more real. Then you can loose him/her/it on the world!


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