Make it wild.
Make it experimental.
Make it fun.
Make it imaginative.
Make it risky.
Make it yours.
My Patreon is for two types of people.
If you’ve been following me awhile, maybe you’ve bought in wholeheartedly to what I’m doing. Maybe when you say you believe in me, you actually believe in me.
If that’s you: Do you believe in my dream, like that my work is worth more than a box of mac n cheese? You can invest in that dream. Buy me mac n cheese & I’ll mail you an autographed copy of the Cast of Characters for my book.
Then once I’m a big deal, you sell it on ebay for even more $$$ & we laugh at the scoffers who’d rather have mac n cheese now than fortune later (although really, who can blame them…)
Do you need motivation & tips to get your dream moving forward? Good news! I now offer creative coaching for just $2/month (coincidentally, enough for me to buy a box of mac n cheese.) You can see what other clients have to say about my creative coaching, then hop over to my Patreon and invest a little bit in your dream.
Psst… I’ll tell you a secret since you’re my people: For now, you can sign up & trial run, then back out before the 1st if you don’t think it’s worth the mac n cheese you’re missing out on.
There are creatives out there, I guarantee it. They just need someone to call them out and make it happen. That someone can be you.
That someone has been me. Unintentionally, I just kind of stumbled upon it.
This is simple, but it is not instantaneous. Each step is important, and it’s kind of a snowball effect.
But it’s so simple, you can get started today, I promise.
(I’ll be taking this from the angle of writing, since that’s my experience, but this applies to any type of creativity.)
Your results from this will vary, but here’s a few responses you’ll encounter:
So the next step for all of these responses you get:
And the final step. How does this help you? You’re looking for people to hold you accountable to your goals, not vise versa. You don’t need more slackers to deal with you may say.
You see, you can’t do the above stuff well without writing yourself. Here’s why:
Some of those people you’re encouraging will seep through. They’ll keep going because you’re inspiring them. And they’ll care about you. Because you know stuff and you do stuff, and you think they’re worth the time (because – reminder – THEY ARE!)
And voila – you’ve built a community of creatives that keep you going and that you keep them going. It’s a beautiful thing.
Under-appreciated. Emotional. Irish. I’d like to think I’m two of those things, but the Pirate Queen musical gets all three 😉
So while recommending this soundtrack that I just can’t be rid of, I thought I’d share how we all are basicly pirate queens. Us creative souls, us dreamers, we can relate to the ups and downs of this epic voyage 🙂 I’ll go through the story song by song, so yes, major spoilers all spoilers basicly here. But I’ll be analyzing the theme of dreaming and how it applies to our lives along the way 🙂
Listen along with the full playlist free on YouTube here.
Bagpipes, just to make sure you remember this is an Irish musical.
A new ship is christened The Pirate Queen. Grania (Grace) O’Malley, the daughter of the captain, sneaks aboard with her sailor love Tiernan.
Shocker? Grania doesn’t get to stay on the ship. Because? She’s a woman.
All of us are at some point denied our dream. All of us have something that disqualifies us from our dream: gender, age, personality, family, income.
“I’m almost your age / I’m your match in size. / I’m your match with swords, / an equal in most eyes. / But when you have a dream, / and you’re caught in its grip, / you can climb aboard a ship, / you can, / you can, / for you’re a man. / You can reach toward that place / where the earth meets the sky, / fight a battle, be brave, be true, / if you can do it, why not I?”
So what does Grania do when she’s told to stay home and wait for the men to save the day and return? She disguises herself as a cabin boy and becomes a stowaway, of course! Then a storm hits and Grania saves the day, exposing herself.
The captain, her father, is in a tight spot, punishing a stowaway or honoring a hero. He finally determines to let her stay through that voyage as a reward for her bravery.
“Who can even imagine the trials you will face / as you strive to live free?”
Keep fighting for that dream. Take whatever opportunities you have to prove your worth. Become a stowaway towards your dream and seize the opportunity!
Grania and her love Tiernan are super excited (understatement) to get to be together. Their romance is a secret, but they’re together.
Two queens are revealed in this song.
First our Grania proves her worth yet again. England attacks and injures her father, so she takes charge and sinks the battling warship. Grania’s father recognizes her leadership, and begins to train her to be captain. She is dubbed the Pirate Queen.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth becomes Queen in England. Knowing women aren’t taken seriously as a leader, she decides to hide her femininity.
Noticing a pattern yet? The villainess has a similar storyline to Grania, not being taken seriously in her role because she’s a woman.
Everyone will have something to disqualify working towards a dream. If the Queen of England and the Queen of the Pirates were disqualified, what makes you think you won’t be?
Queen Elizabeth’s court tries to assure her everything is in “tip-top” shape, patronizing her as if she’s a little princess so as not to “bother the royal head.” When she presses, they admit that an Irish pirate ship had attacked. Upon further inquiry, they admit that the ship had a female captain – Grace O’Malley. Queen Elizabeth must show her power and commissions Lord Bingham to “crush” Ireland.
With England warring against Ireland, the O’Malley clan must unite with rival O’Flaherty clan as one force, suggesting an arranged marriage between O’Malley’s daughter Grania and O’Flaherty’s son Donal.
Grania’s dream was to fight England, but this isn’t the way she planned. She would lose the love of her life, Tiernan, but also she would lose her freedom to be pirate at sea. It’s a time where she has to choose between the means and the end of her dream, and sacrifice.
We all will come across a chance, where what was seen as a detriment to our dream is actually a stepping stone to the cause we fight for. And we may be asked to sacrifice accordingly.
The irony is she is asked to do what only a woman can do, when all this time she’s been fighting to do what only a man is permitted to do. The cause would be won in doing what only a woman can, marrying and bearing a son to create an alliance.
“I fought so hard, / to carve a life that’s mine. / I love my land. / Where do I draw the line? A man cannot, / a woman can. / It’s cruel, the path / we are now forced to choose.”
This song is a fun little ditty that shows just what hubbie Donal is like. Donal and clan are at a tavern the night before the wedding (bachelor party? 🙂 ) and he is being teased about marrying a pirate “queen”. Donal claims he’ll tame her, and the guys are all about that, but the ladies bet on Grania giving him trouble.
Girls: “After the drums, / wedding night comes / who will come out alive? / She’s been captain, leading a crew, / She’s killed people, ran ’em right through. / Sorry, Donal, lad, I’m betting on her.”
Donal: “I’ll be rough when she needs it, / rough as seas ever were. / Up to now she’s been steering. / Now it’s time to steer her. / She’s confused about gender. / She’s been too long at sea. / I may well have to beach her, take her inland and teach her, / what a woman should be.”
In the end, Donal promises “marriage won’t change a thing” and he’ll still party. What a guy :/
And yep, they get married. Celebrate, complete with Irish dancing of course 🙂
“Go and marry a man you don’t love if that pleases you. / Throw away for a cause all the joys we have known. / Let his kiss keep you warm, I’ll be fine on my own.”
Tiernan is mad about Grania’s choice. However, his love for her remains, and he decides to stay with the O’Flaherty clan for when she needs him.
The dream does not start easily for these ladies. Your dream won’t come easy for you either. Grania and Elizabeth took a chance, a risk, and made it into their dream “industry” per se.
After all that work to even be considered for their dream, Grania’s marrying a jerk, England is warring. You guys, working toward a dream isn’t pretty from the get-go. You’ll be asked to sacrifice. Steve Kamb says in his book Level Up Your Life: “Great sacrifice is often required of the hero along his/her journey to achieve transformation and reach his or her full potential.”
I certainly don’t want a boring to-do list. Granted, I do have a to-do list probably similar to yours, piled high with the following:
I know. You don’t want to read anymore of that list. I don’t either 😉 but let’s have more than the boring to-do’s. Let’s liven our lives up with fun to-do’s. Creative to-do’s. Goals and dreams and making life beautiful to live.
I have a FUN to-do list you have forever access to! On my Trello board, you can see what creative projects I’m working on and how I’m tracking with each goal. You can comment and tell me what you wanna see or what I need to move up in priority.
See what I’ve been up to? 🙂
On your Trello, you can create your own boards, keep them private or public for creative projects or the boring to-do’s. I’m not getting paid to say this unfortunately 😉
Do you use Trello? have a public board to share? I’d love to see how you use it. And drop by my Trello board to join the conversation on my upcoming projects 🙂
Unless you’re in the Incredibles of course 🙂
When my sister said it was superhero day for my Lil Niece (world, meet niece 1 of 3), it was way past halloween and she was just going to drop by the store and look for a cape the night before. Of course they don’t have a pink batman cape readily available year-round.
Auntie to the rescue! …see, some superheroes don’t wear capes 🙂 hehe.
We found the following quite quickly:
Then it was just a night of cutting, gluing the seams, and painting the batman symbol. Now Lil Niece is off to the rescue!
She didn’t win for best costume because some girl wore a cop costume and said her daddy was her superhero (yeah, sweet, cheesy, and heroic, but not superheroism…mehh…) Still Lil Niece won life with a determined mama, creative auntie, and rockin’ diva cape! She swooped around the house to save the day and loved her cape. And I have leftover material to make a matching one for Baby Niece when she gets older. Squeal! 🙂
I love finding a creative solution in everyday life. I’m no seamstress, I’m no painter, but it doesn’t turn out bad if you try.
I don’t need an Elf on a Shelf. My Christmas tree is my own gift guard, and she makes less of a mess. Meet Delilah. You can see her adventures (or misadventures) on my facebook and twitter under #DelilahTales.
Delilah’s Christmas tree outfit didn’t just happen. Last year I had a test case (that turned out gorgeous!) and wrote a post on how you can make your own Christmas tree dress form too. This year, Delilah decorated herself, as you can see by the string of lights in her hand. (Yes, this is my cop-out – since it’s not the fanciest tree yet, she gets the credit 😉 ).
Maybe next year I’ll get better and have it more elegant. Maybe next year I’ll find some way to make the skirt cover all her legs to be more tree-like. But for now, I’m so proud of my tree. Talk about a conversation piece! 🙂
If you want your own conversation piece, maybe see how I made mine and get started on your own. Then comment and let me know what you came up with!
Already have a creative tree? Why don’t you share in the comments? I’d love to see other creative holiday decor!
Being an artist is difficult. Adding Christian to that title puts a whole other spin on things. Here’s 5 Christian books I recommend for artists.
This book is perfect for anyone looking to make their art a business. Branding is especially big right now, even though it’s been around forever. Matt Tommey’s book introduces readers to the basics of branding, while also tackling some of the lies we believe about creativity clashing with business.
Every artist should read this book. Every artist! This book studies the origins of artistry in the Bible and presents the lies (and truths!) that are prominent in that. Find your place in the Kingdom with chapters on community, prophetic voice, spiritual discipline, and co-laboring with God.
For those artists (and non-artists) who are still unsure what their calling is in life, Craig Groeschel’s book has a very practical approach to discovering it through looking at your gifts, values, and experiences. Once you pin down your vision and calling, there’s still a bulk of chapters on next steps and living it out. Don’t miss this book!
Jon Acuff’s Do-Over is perfect for those who feel they’re stuck in a rut, not moving forward with their dream. Maybe you’re an artist on the side with a day-job that drains the life out of you. Maybe you’re living what you thought your dream was and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Whatever the case, Do Over gives you the chance to do just that – call “Do Over” and start your dream anew. Acuff gives the tools to get you right where you want to be and start living life with your dream at the center.
Not to be confused with Matt Tommey’s book, Rory Noland also wrote a book about the Heart of the Artist. This one centers on the character struggles that artists tend to face – Perfectionism, Poorly Handling Criticism, Jealousy, Overly Emotional, and the like. There’s also an excellent chapter on how to Lead Artists, because we are a difficult to finagle bunch, ha! Excellent book for any ministry team or any artist individually to work through.
Maybe you’re a writer. Or painter. Or dancer. Or card maker, flower arranger, or really any type of creative soul. Now it’s time to look the part.
One thing about artists, they know how to pick their wardrobe. It’s not boring. It’s rambunctious. Daring. Eclectic. Bold patterns, bright colors, varying styles.
(Side note: Maybe you’re one of the creatives that wear the same clothes every day. This blogpost, not about you. Sorry. Try here instead.)
You know why I am against wearing the same clothes every day, despite the claim that it increases decisive behavior the rest of the day? Because creativity needs an outlet, every day. Starting the day with creativity of a fun outfit, it’s life-giving. Being that spark of creativity in the world, it’s life-giving. The world needs creativity, and you need creativity, and this is just one way to have fun with your inner artist.
Here’s some ways I make my own eclectic wardrobe – maybe it will spark some ideas for your own closet 🙂
Noo, it’s not Narnia (unfortunately.)
A friend once asked me what stores I shop at, and my secret almost popped out: “I don’t buy clothes.” What?! I hadn’t realized until that moment, but it’s true.
You see, I couldn’t have my fairytale wardrobe without my fairygodmother friends who pass clothes my way anytime they’re done with them. Dear Kim, of the “Geeks Rule Others Drool” blogsite, keeps my closet fresh (along with sporadic donations from other friends.)
The truth is, many of my favorite pieces were a blessing I wasn’t expecting. I do shop for clothes (more on that later), but so much of it is actually the generosity of others. My modern patronage system – they give me clothes so I am inspired to write 😉
Often even when I do shop, my mom has given me a pile of coupons to make everything free or near-free.
What About You?
Maybe you buy clothes. Maybe you don’t have a friend or family member dumping fun clothes in your lap.
Do you have a friend getting rid of stuff? It doesn’t hurt to ask if you can snag some before the trash or Goodwill or whatever. (Okay, some friends it would hurt. Sometimes it’s just weird to ask a friend if you can have their clothes. I get it.)
But who are your secret patrons? Who supports your work in tangible or intangible ways? Maybe you get food from a friend’s garden or your couch came from a family member who was pitching it. You may find you have a supporter in an unlikely place, even if it’s not in regards to fashion – sighhhh 🙂
Besides raiding friends’ and family wardrobes, the answer to most all your problems is at rummage sales and clearance racks of cheaper stores. Trust me on this.
Disagree? “But name-brand quality pricey items last longer. I’m saving money by going to pricier stores.”
Do you hear your hypothetical self? You want to spend a buttload of money on a top so you can wear it for the rest of your life? No. The way to go, buy a cheap top that will wear out in a couple years – then you still have plenty of money to buy a new fun top, because you know what? By a couple of years, you’re ready for something new. Save yourself the problem of “having nothing to wear” with no money because it was spent on a closet full of name-brand items that just won’t wear out already!
There’s my two top tips for watching your budget with an eclectic wardrobe. Friends’ clothes and clearance racks. The leftover scraps and rejects of clothes, those are the funky pieces you need to liven your fashion! There’s just something poetic about it, don’t ya think? 🙂
My next fashion post will be on how to stretch your fashion sense to include more funky pieces – Lord knows I didn’t start with my wacky style! But it’s fun, I promise, and I’ll give you more secrets to get there yourself 🙂 Until then, start looking at reject clothes for your style.
Psst! I go through clothes so fast I don’t know what to do with it. No wait, I do! I pass it on to you – you can shop my closet on PoshMark. Use my friend registration code – AmyLSauder – for $5 off your 1st purchase from any closet.
Hello, my name is Amy, and I’m a tortured artist.
Or am I?
There’s a problem with the “tortured artist” cliché in popular culture. It’s everywhere. It creates this community of “I’m crazy, but I’m not the only one.” Which is nice. But it’s also an indisputable excuse to continue on with unhealthy habits and relationships. Sometimes it’s hard to determine what parts of me are my artistic quirks, what parts of me are my personality irrelevant to creativity, and what parts of me are character flaws I need to battle. And the “tortured artist” can mesh all of those into one clump and escalate the necessity for madness.
Nowadays, this need to be weird, to own up to quirks or faults, to accept them because I was “born this way” or have self esteem or am genuine (all important concepts) seems to have created this competition to be crazier, louder, even bitchier, with no accountability or ownership of legitimate need for growth and change. Either it’s all accepted as a part of the personality, or it’s all blamed on past sufferings.
In Ted Dekker’s book “Outlaw,” the angel Shaka says, “The insane secretly crave suffering. It gives them an identity, however absurd.” And it seems like that’s the idea of the tortured artist, that my problems are my identity. But that’s not truth. I am not my sin, my flesh, my past, or even my quirks.
Oh, I’m a little mad. But I don’t want to succumb to what I should not. I want to learn and grow and not be held captive to the artistic stereotype. An easy one for me to bring up, because I am already so not this way, is punctuality and reliability (or lack thereof.) The stereotype of creatives is that they’ll show up when they show up, have no regard for others’ time, and are not reliable for their commitments. And it drives me crazy!!!! Because I’m not naturally that way. But other problems are more difficult for me to bring up, specifically because I am prone to those quirks – or even faults.
On the flip side, I think there is some truth to the idea of the tortured artist. Artists in general possess (or are possessed by) quirks, vices, elusive behaviors, simultaneously inflated and self-destructive egos, and temperamental tendencies. To name a few.
It’s a paradox, difficult to grasp both sides at once. In a Huffington Post article on the legitimacy of the tortured artist idea, Christopher Zara says, “In speaking publicly about tortured artists, I’ve been accused of suggesting that drug addicts are better off high and the mentally ill should not seek help, if only because such impediments, by my estimation, help them produce better art….So why, then, are so many artists still turned off by the tortured-artist concept? For some, I suspect, it simply hits too close to home. Consider the wedge it creates between two fundamental desires: the desire to be happy versus the desire to produce great art. The stereotype of the tortured artist as a long-suffering creative genius suggests that those two states are mutually exclusive — and that’s an unsettling thought for anyone who practices a creative craft.”
And this is the dilemma I have now. Who am I really, and what is the imposter inside of me to let go of?
Any other creatives have this feeling? What do you think of the Tortured Artist? To what extent is it actuality and to what extent do we perpetuate the needless cycle?
Wiki-How’s “How to Act Like a Tortured Artist” – for anyone still learning 🙂