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Get Inspired By This Jaw-Dropping Cardboard Armor For Kids via Geek & Sundry

April 11th, 2017 No comments

This is an amazing example of cardboard crafting. The final look is absolutely wonderful and would please almost any cosplayer, big or small. — Douglas

Get Inspired By This Jaw-Dropping Cardboard Armor For Kids via Geek & Sundry

Superdad and artist Warren King says on his Flickr page that he used mostly Amazon shipping boxes, storage and moving boxes, and packaging for the armor, then gloss spray paint on top. But, what’s even cooler than the finished product is actually seeing the work that’s underneath it. Looking at the steps taken to create this suit of armor, you can truly see the artistry with just the bare cardboard.

Read Get Inspired By This Jaw-Dropping Cardboard Armor For Kids via Geek & Sundry


Find more on cardboard crafting with these books from Amazon.com

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Categories: Creativity, DIY, Fun, Make, Shared Items Tags:

Do It 2017 #9: When Life Gets In The Way

March 30th, 2017 Comments off

Did you miss me? Did you even know I was gone? I’m hoping you didn’t notice

I’m hoping you didn’t notice, but I have basically been a housebound invalid since Friday, March 17. We had planned a family trip back to Ohio that had to be canceled and, instead, I have spent these last few weeks moving painfully from chair to chair and doctor to doctor.

What happened? Sciatica, for the most part. I’ve never experienced this before and certainly never want to experience it again. While I am somewhat better now, I am still not 100%. Standing or walking for more than a few minutes is nearly impossible, so I have spent the days sitting — and posting to the blogs, but not much else. While I am improving, I am still not “better.” Right now I feel like it is going to take at least another week before I approach “normal” again.

Pushing through the fog…or getting lost within it

That said, this isn’t about being ill. Rather, I have been having thoughts about how to be creative while being ill. I will be the first to admit it is really difficult. Most of my output has been curated posts from other sources, photographs from the archives and such. When your mind is addled with pain it often can’t think much about anything else. It tends to push out other thoughts, distract you from reading or actively, physically creating, but it can also give you time to think and create mentally by forcing your STOP and heal. It is amazing what thoughts and ideas can come to you when you simply can’t do much else.

Looking back over these last 2 weeks, I think I have generated some interesting ideas that I can start to work on once things get a little bit better. That helps to give me some extra motivation to get better, even I can’t really do much about it. That is a reality about life in general, actually. We often come up with ideas when we have no time or energy to put them in motion. This is why it is so important to capture any and all ideas you have when they occur, so you can go back and “mine” them later. Don’t let ideas get away. You might never get them back. Sure, you’ll collect a lot of ho-hum ideas, but scattered among them could be your next great project.

On some days, though, as it was earlier this week, there is no possibility of pushing through the fog. All I could do was let myself get lost within it. Sleep is one of the best ways to heal, so I took advantage of it whenever I could. As almost always happens, though, sleep bring odd dreams, thoughts, fleeting images and more. Use them. You may have no idea why you were dreaming about far-flung planets, weird animals, odd situations and more, but you might be able to use this different frame of mind to find a new path into your creativity. I know it’s not fun, but there is some solace in making use of something that is otherwise quite annoying and traumatic.

A good distraction

If nothing else, looking to your creativity during an illness can help provide a small distraction from the day-to-day grind and boredom that quickly sets in. I have found great solace in being able to, at least, sit at the computer comfortably and engage in my typical day-to-day work. It has given me a few moments without thinking about the pain — at least until I need to move somewhere else. Small favors are better than none, though.

What distractions can you give yourself when you are ill? Is there a small “lap-sized” project you can start or finish. Can someone help bring your painting supplies closer to your chair so you can paint a little when you have the energy and attention? You might find yourself creating something entirely different from your usual work. You changed mental state is sure to effect your output. I know I have certainly been having different thoughts and ideas over the last 2 weeks. Some good. Some bad. Some weird, but all useful.

So the next time you are laid up, like I am, help yourself heal by staying creative and keeping an active mind, even if your body is still. There is often very little you can do to heal, but you can, at least, try to keep your mind, your creativity, your productivity ticking along as best as possible. I think it is as important to your healing as a good night’s rest. I’ll let you know how it works for me in the coming weeks.

Categories: Creativity, Do It! Tags:

On Podcast: Charles Duhigg on Self-Motivation, Mental Models, and Getting Stuff Done – The Upgrade by Lifehacker

March 25th, 2017 Comments off

Charles Duhigg on Self-Motivation, Mental Models, and Getting Stuff Done – The Upgrade by Lifehacker

Listen to this podcast

If anyone knows the difference between being busy and being productive it’s Charles Duhigg. The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times and author of The Power of Habit has made a name for himself plumbing the science of productivity, and this week he’s joining us on the podcast.

Charles is, by any measure, a very productive person—he wrote a bestseller while working full-time and raising a family. And even though success begat success, he started to feel like he was treading water and didn’t want to come home every day after work to spend another five hours answering emails.

So he started calling researchers who study productivity as well as very productive people he admired to learn why some people manage to do so much while others struggle to reach the inbox zero promised land. Those phone calls and conversations are what led to his second book, Smarter Better Faster.

In today’s show we talk about many of the key principles Charles detailed in his book, including how pilots used ‘mental models’ to land a severely damaged airplane, how the worst automotive manufacturing plant in the country turned itself around when new owners gave the workers more control, and what it means to be truly productive.

Categories: Business, Careers, Creativity, Education, Podcast Tags:

Noted: 15 Photography Ideas to Boost Your Creativity

March 25th, 2017 Comments off

Noted: Podcast: The Assassins Of Creativity (and How To Spot Them)

March 22nd, 2017 Comments off

On YouTube: Intro to 3D Printing – A Series

March 9th, 2017 Comments off

On YouTube: Intro to 3D Printing - A Series

Watch YouTube: Intro to 3D Printing – A Series

This is the first video in a series of 3D Printing video’s i plan on doing. Since 3D printing and 3D Printing Technology is relatively new i am going to start as though you’ve never printed anything before and work my way through everything you need to know. I will go over what to look for in a printer, how much does a printer cost, tips and tools, settings, enclosures, modifications, filament explanations, prints you need, adding a glass bed, fixing clogs, insulation, and the best 3D design software.

Hopefully you can watch these video’s and save yourself the hassle of making the typical mistakes that most people do who are just starting out.


I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!

Noted: Everything You Need to Get Started in Screen Printing for about $50 (or Only $100 to Go All Out)

March 7th, 2017 Comments off

Do It 2017! #8: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered [Book]

March 6th, 2017 Comments off

From the author of Steal Like An Artist (see my previous blog post) comes Show Your Work, another excellent book for anyone who seeks to gain more visibility for their work — especially those in creative fields.

Do It 2017! #: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered [Book]

My reading copy of this book came from the Los Angeles Public Library in eBook format

Reading Show Your Work was like listening to my own frequent talks on career topics. Much is exactly the same message I have preached to people for years. That is, the only way to get your work noticed is to share it as widely as possible. Music must be heard. Art must be seen. Writing must be read. Otherwise, it is a wasted effort.

Share, Share, Share

One message I share deeply with the author is the utmost importance of sharing your work via blogs and social media. As the author puts it, “It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.” If your work can’t be discovered, stumbled upon, ran into, seen in passing, found in a Google Search, etc, you are severely limiting the exposure and discovery of your work. I don’t frequently use the word “MUST”, but I will in this occasion. You MUST make your creativity discoverable, through social media or other methods, or it simply doesn’t exist. Of course, you can ignore this if you are only creating for yourself, but most who create want their work to be seen, to be cherished, to be sold, to be understood, to be an important impact on the world. Don’t let your work languish. As the Bible says, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel.” Show Your Work!

Make them come to you!

Another dream I often talk and write about is the upending of the current job search market. I envision a world where job and life opportunities comes to you instead of you going, hat in hand, begging, for your next job, you next commission, your next opportunity. Imagine what an amazing world that would be/

Kleon says, “Imagine if your next boss didn’t have to read your résumé because he already reads your blog. Imagine being a student and getting your first gig based on a school project you posted online. Imagine losing your job but having a social network of people familiar with your work and ready to help you find a new one. Imagine turning a side project or a hobby into your profession because you had a following that could support you.

I doubt that I will see this as commonplace within my lifetime, but it is an admirable goal we should all be trying to bring to fruition. We need to move beyond the norm of job search and turn it into a world were people go seeking new collaborators from the huge stockpile of great, interesting, talented people they already know. Of course, it is up to you to share “what you do and how well you do it” so that people clearly know the type and quality of work you do and you can be in the forefront of their mind when they need someone with those talents. If not, they’ll simply — and quickly — find someone else.

Show your work page

What do you have to share?

It might be more than you think. Sharing the process of your work is just as important as sharing the final product. Human beings LOVE to see “behind the curtain.” They love to feel like they are getting a special, closer, deeper, more intimate look into your work. This is something only you can provide. when friends and clients bemoan “What do I have to blog/post/status update/Instagram/Twitter/Tumblr about?”, this is my first recommendation. Share what you are doing. Share your successes. Share your challenges. Share your failures. Both you and those who follow you will both be better for it. Does this mean share everything? Maybe not, but most of us share far less than we might…or should.

If you need a good kick in the seat of your pants, Show Your Work can provide it. You’ll find yourself making notes, lists and todo items continuously as you go through it — I know I did. While your at it, check out Kleon’s other book, Steal Like An Artist (see my previous blog post on this book). I think you’ll find it enjoyable and greatly useful, too.

What do you have to share? What should you be showing off to your friends, family and the world? 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Noted: These 7 Books Are Necessary Reading for All Creatives – Product Hunt

February 27th, 2017 Comments off
I’ve read nearly all of these and highly recommend them. I need to read Bird by Bird again and also check out Big Magic and Creative Confidence, which are new to me. — Douglas
 
 
 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 


An interesting link found among my daily reading

 

Do It 2017!: #7 Give yourself a creativity budget

February 25th, 2017 Comments off

Do It 2017 Do It 2017! #7: Give yourself a creativity budget

So far in this series, I have talked about being creative, making space for your creativity, and making time for your creativity. Today, though, I’ll address one of the more problematic aspects of creativity and your creative pursuits — giving yourself a creativity budget.

It is a sad fact that, even when money is available, we often discount our own creative adventures, deciding that it isn’t worth the monetary investment to pursue our creations. We feel frivolous, silly, wasteful, imprudent and a hundred other things. We might be saying to ourselves, “It is wrong to spend money on paper and paint brushes when there are bills to be paid, children to be fed, etc, etc, etc.” While it may be true that we have other commitments, most of us usually have some discretionary income, too. If you have enough money for a pint of beer, you have enough for a few sketching pencils. If you can eat out once or twice a week, you can also afford a nice set of watercolors or a couple blocks of paper. For most of us, there is money available. We just have to realize that we deserve to spend it on ourselves.

That said, creating art can often be done on a shoestring budget — or no budget at all. How many buskers have you seen that create some amazing music beats using only recycled buckets or crates? Acapella singers on the street can captivate an audience using only the power of their voice. Sometimes constraints can help us to go deeper in our creativity than we might in a fully stocked studio. If you truly have no budget for art, start making collages from newspaper and magazines. Draw with a ballpoint pen on copier paper or Post-It Notes. You can even burn the end of a stick and draw on the cement sidewalk if need be. It is creativity that is important, not the tools you use to express it. Don’t let yourself get caught in the trap of thinking you need hundreds of dollars of supplies to even get started. Do something today, using the supplies at hand. You can always get more or different supplies later once you’ve created a habit of creativity.

Budgeting isn’t just about saving your money, it’s also about deciding where it goes. You can create some space in your budget to support your creative endeavors if you try. I know I can cringe at the price of some art supplies, but I still make space to buy some every now and then. I know that a good brush or good paper can make the difference between great, fun creativity and struggling. Like a student musician who struggles with their first cheap instrument, you can struggle with cheap supplies. Once you allow yourself to dedicate time and attention to creativity, you’ll come to a point where your future growth requires some investment, so you can continue to grow in your art.

Look for sales at your local art stores and haunt them religiously. Recently, our local Aaron Brothers store had an amazing sale on art supplies of all sorts. Papers — for drawing, painting or journaling — were Buy 1, Get 2 Free! I typically see 2-for-1 sales, but this sale was amazing. The same sale was also available on a variety of paintbrushes. Instead of spending $60+ on watercolor paper, I purchased 3 pads for around $20. One paintbrush was priced at $16, but I came away with 2 more brushes for the same price. Buy as much of your supplies as possible during sales like this and you’ll only have to budget them in one or twice a year.

Finally, remember that you yourself are worthy of investment and that is exactly what art supplies are — an investment in you, your creativity and in many cases, your happiness. Don’t shortchange yourself. In most cases, you aren’t going out and buying a ceramics kiln, print presses or other big ticket items for your creativity. You’re buying yarn, paints, glues, polymer clay or papers. You can always add the larger equipment and supplies later, as our skills and needs grow.

Surely you can find some space in your budget to add some supplies to your studio — even if your studio is comprised of your kitchen table or the stoop outside your back door. Go out this weekend to your favorite store and, at least, see what they have to offer. Spend $20 on your creativity and then get creating. You deserve it and the world deserves your creativity!

Show off how you are using your creativity budget this week! What small tool or supply did you add to your studio? Why? What will it help you create?

Previously on Do It!:

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