Thursday, February 22, 2018

What do you do when you reach a dry spell?

I don’t know about you but I’ve realized it’s not that easy to keep your creative juices flowing. There comes a time when our minds are tired. Tired from all the thinking because there’s so much we want to do but we don’t know how to do it all that we end up not doing it. Or it could be that you really just don’t have anything to do all, as I imagine writers do have a mind block. The dry spell is when your mind just refuses to work and you’re completely blank. The worst is when you’re on an assignment and you know you have to bit deadlines.

So what do you do when this happens?

1.  Relax and let everything around you will bring you back.

A lot of the times it’s because you’ve been doing too much.  What you need to do is sit back and just let it be. This is the time for you to take in your surroundings and see the world has to offer. I usually get a lot of inspiration from conversations, nature, reading a book, watching TV, and listen to music, basically everything that happens around me. The moment I leave my desk and give my work a break, I allow myself to think constructively. That’s the time I’m able to put the bits and pieces together that will get me back to where I need to be.

2.  Always list down a ‘to do’ list.

Do you have a ‘to do’ list of the things you wish to get accomplished? As a creative my thoughts overflow when I least expect it. Especially when you’re enjoying a nice shower. I don’t know what it is about that shower space that gets your mind going. I mean, it’s not like I can get off the shower and grab a pen and start writing or scribbling. It also happens when I’m in bed and I can’t sleep which has to be the laziest time to try and get up to note things down. Somehow we can all relate. The point is, doesn’t matter what you’re doing, writing it down will help you at the time when you will need it the most. Being able to go back and refer to something you were meant to do can help keep you busy and always keep your creative mind at bay.

3.  Go back to your unfinished projects.

If you are like me, you probably have a lot of unfinished and pending projects waiting for you on your desk. All you need to do is back track on what you were doing and tackle them one by one as you go. You will find that the reason you stopped doing it is because you found something more exiting to do at the time. Usually most creatives suffer from wanting to do so many things at once. What usually happens is that when something new comes along abandon the old stuff and then we end up forget about it.

4.  Understand that you can only do one thing at a time.

You will find that having so many things to do leaves you with nothing to do. There’s no way you will be able to do everything at once. When this happens, it’s important to learn how to prioritize your projects. Just because something more exciting comes along, doesn’t mean you stop what you were doing. Note it down, finish what you are doing, and then move on to the next one. Don’t be the person that’s busy doing nothing. Besides, if you do it all it will take you a longer time to finish than if you were doing one thing at a time. Remember it’s better to constantly put out something than wait for a long time to finish everything at a go, then put multiple things out. A lot of the times, they’ll go unnoticed because people don’t like being overwhelmed. Less is more.

5. Research

Research is so important for the mind. Thank God for the internet, I know I say this a lot but gratitude goes a long way as there’s so much information given to you for free out there. All you have to do is seek that inspiration. It won’t always come to you when you relax and sit around looking for the birds and the trees, waiting for the whisper in your ear. You actually have to go the extra mile and seek out what you’re looking for. Besides, there’s so much that someone else knows that will benefit you than you will ever be able to figure it out on your own.

You can now buy my ebook, 'The Inevitable

The inevitable is a screenplay for a science fiction film. Caroline Spenser, a sixteen year old has settled in Kenya after moving a long way from Canada. She becomes accustomed to the place; she loves the school and her new friends Lena and Harold. One morning when she is going to school she feels watched. As she enters the bus and sits by Lena, she hears a car approaching them quickly. An accident almost occurs but she manages to stop it and protect everyone else in the bus by creating a force field. It is then when she discovers that she has powers. However, no one believes her. After somehow convincing her friends to help her gain more information, she faces new challenges.  There is someone out to get her; who endangers her life including her friends’. Read more to discover the mystery behind her powers.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Season of Love!

The reason I associate this month with love is because of all the themes of love displayed around to prep for Valentine’s Day. Speaking of Valentine’s Day, do you have a valentine and what does it mean to you?  

Valentine should be a day set aside to show love and appreciation for those you love. The person you love doesn’t necessarily have to be a person of the opposite sex, that way we can all feel included. I say this because those who don’t have dates usually loath the day. There’s nothing to long for or expect from anyone but reminders everywhere that they are alone.

I’m not here to talk about love, or what category I fall under this year… I’m just here for some valentine themed art. Seeing that I joined the band wagon and chose to do a love theme for pretty much everything this month. I thought I should share some work of art with you. Maybe we should just make this valentine’s about our love and appreciation for art or the things we do.

For me, hearts are the best of shapes, if they count as a shape in the first place. I get excited designing around this time of the year because they are so easy to incorporate everywhere. I know, there’s not so much thought into it but the endeavors of love and relationships are what get me excited. I realize love triggers emotions whether it’s positively or negatively which is always worth a mention.
I’ve not really got myself to thinking how I am tackling the designs for this month in detail. So far I have been doing backgrounds and sharing them on dreamstime.  

Below are free background Valentine themes you can use for your devices:

Bleeding hearts, for those that love has treated them so unfairly and painfully.

Download without the logo 

Dark hearts, for those who are in the dark about love, they know nothing about love.

Download without the logo

Metallic hearts, for those rejected and have one sided love, where love is so cold.

Download without the logo

Have a happy February, and remember… it’s not just about love for a person but it’s about love in general.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Fighting procrastination!

One of the key things I’m looking forward to resolving in the course of the year is procrastination. I hate it when I procrastinate. It’s so bad that I even feel guilty taking a nap during the day. Does anyone else feel like this? I keep thinking about how time is passing by whenever I sleep. Here is how I intend to break the habit of procrastination in order to make my time more valuable:

Finding my focus.

I’m finding that it’s not so much about procrastination but more about organization. It’s so much easier to focus on something when you have something to focus on. When you set goals for yourself, you are able to know whether you’re achieving them or not. As much as I hate planning I’m learning that it’s so important to plan. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking planning is a task in itself. I get that but I think once you’re able to get yourself to start planning, you’ll get used to it and you’ll find yourself a lot more organized. Most importantly, please get yourself a diary. I can’t say that I utilized the one I had for the previous year properly, since I’m so bad at jolting things down ahead of time; Though, I find that whenever I wrote things down I actually got to do them. The thing is I’m more likely to do weekly/monthly updates on my diary depending on what it is I’m doing at the time rather than having to think of sitting down to plan a whole year. Therefore, working in stages should help me a lot. Additionally, setting up themes help direct my thoughts in terms of creativity. It gives me something to focus on when I’m working and it gives my work more purpose. That way, I feel more accomplished as I am able to give meaning to my work, while at the same time keeping track of the progress.

Getting it done.

A lot of the times I feel like I’m procrastinating a lot because I have nothing to show for the work I do. The fact that I can’t see it, makes me feel like I’m not getting anything done or maybe it’s true, maybe I’m actually not doing any work. Say you have a full time job or you have projects to do for clients (Assuming you’re a freelancer) and that’s all you do. At the end of the day, it is so important that you find something to do for yourself. As a creative, I realize when I’m in the process of working for someone else, it doesn’t feel as fulfilling as when I create something for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll give it my all, I’ll do my best but at the end of the day, I realize that the work is done according to their standards. The work doesn’t really belong to me, it belongs to them. If I’m lucky I’ll get credit but unfortunately, most of the time I don’t.

Remember, you want to create a strong portfolio for yourself showing everything that you do. When you work for other people, it’s harder to claim or show that you’re the one who did it when you don’t get credited. The assignments you create don’t have to be anything big. It could be a logo, template, background, card, wallpaper, photo, journal, book etc. Anything that can make you feel a lot more worthy in this life. In that case, after you assign yourself work and you’ve been able to complete it, have somewhere to display it. I keep saying we are so lucky because we get an unlimited amount of digital space, for free! When you put your work out there, it helps you take yourself more seriously. Plus it creates a chance for critiques to critique, which will help shape up your talent.

Keeping and beating deadlines.

I tend to find that because it’s ‘your own work’, you might be tempted to skip out on a day, or two or even forget about it completely. When you have an audience, they unknowingly help you keep track of your work. Your audience usually checks up on you and asks about the progress of your work. That usually helps me have that mindset of constantly creating and putting out work. The platforms that I can suggest for putting out your work are in the lines of a blog, vlog, basically posts on social media or any places that have a following, which will eventually help build your brand. I wish you all the best in fighting procrastination!

Monday, January 22, 2018

The artist in the room

I always find it funny being the artist in the room. More like the creative. For some reason people assume that your brain is wired to think differently compared to others when it comes to coming up with suggestions. Everyone turns to look at you… Well what should we do? Cause I’m the creative. You know being an artists doesn’t really mean you think on the spot. Actually a lot of times we have mental blocks, the same way writers do. Doesn’t mean they are always ready to write but they do write eventually.

There’s something called process through practice where you’re able to unlock that mental block by creating. Most of the times I don’t really know what I’m doing until I do it. It’s only through that process of creating that it becomes clear to me, what I’m eventually going to do. Maybe that’s why sometimes I find it hard to explain beforehand.

I mean don’t get me wrong, planning is the best thing you should do as an artist. I’m learning to storyboard a lot more and work with sketches. I love that my sister got me a pocket sketch book and I draw in a few sketches here and there that help direct my thoughts. In fact I’m discovering drawing again which was something I was always afraid of. To challenge myself further, I use a pen to draw, not a pencil because I have a bad habit of erasing a lot. I realize that when I draw with a pencil I am more relaxed and I seek perfection. My point is, a lot of the time the final outcome of the work you present is never the same as the original plan. Usually it’s better because as you create the plan you make changes through the process of creating and when you’re done, it’s an awesome masterpiece.

To all the artists in the room… I know we can all relate to the stares and the head turns when someone asks you point blank a creative related question. You are expected to blat out an answers like an incredible magician. It’s ok… I need everyone to chill out and relax. A good piece requires time, requires patience and is brought about by the process it undergoes through tuning. The truth is, no one ever knows what the outcome will be until it’s done. We artists don’t even know what the final work will look like before we create it. We might have an idea but the outcome is never the same as the initial idea. So don’t take for granted the time and effort that goes into creating. Take the time to plan, document the process and let that generate the outcome that defines it.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Taking pride in your work

Here I am at it again, putting out content but I still find myself fearing critics and scared of being judged. I’m not sure if any other creatives have this same problem but I keep finding myself having so much to do but nothing substantial. If you think about the worthlessness of the things and the time and effort you use creating, it’s insane! I end up wondering if it’s even worth doing. At least one thing is for sure is that knowing the worth of something helps me prioritize and determine whether I should spend time on it or not.  

I have to admit that not being in a work setting has made my organization a lot more complicated. So, this year I am thinking of setting up projects to do on my own. That way, I can work on a lot and share, just to keep me busy. Lucky for me I have a platform to show some of my creative content.
Feel free to download some of my work on the links below:

As creative’s we have so much advantage now that we are able to gather viewers from all over the world to see our work. Example, just on this blog I get about 100 viewers on a post. So I shouldn’t really have an excuse as a creative for not creating and sharing work. It’s not like when I used to paint and had my work up at galleries. I would go back and check only to find them stashed somewhere in the back of a dead pile of deserted paintings. When I ask they would say they were rearranging, and there’s too many other paintings to put up. It was obvious none of my paintings were being seen or bought though I still find it challenging as an artist to break through the market now.

It’s interesting how we search for our value of work based on other people’s approvals. We lack the ability to determine our own value and appreciation of our work such that we find ourselves putting it alongside other people’s work so we can compare and hope ours will be picked over others. If there’s anything I have learned it’s, there’s enough room for all of us creatives digitally to make it. Digitally we’ve got a space where anyone in the web can showcase their work for anyone in the world to find. We no longer have to run the streets and look for spaces in galleries, we no longer have to search for audiences or make invites for people to come see what we’ve done. We no longer have to set specific times and dates for a limited amount of time to put out something. Now we get a chance to keep up our work for as long as we like on a digital platform and anyone anywhere can access it anytime.

The truth is that I hadn’t really thought about that before. It’s funny how we kind of sit there and hope someday someone will discover us. Kind of how Christopher Columbus one day discovered America or how Johann Ludwig Krapf discovered Mt. Kenya. As if they magically appeared. That notion of thinking only confirms that people don’t really see the value of things unless it’s emphasized upon. Makes me wonder why we seek approval from other people for the value of our things as if their opinions of our things are much more important to us than our own opinions. Like what makes one thing more valuable than the other? Take gold or diamonds for instance, as opposed to Amethyst? Is it because someone else decided its importance for us and the whole lot kind of just went with it? How do we sit down through a critic’s choice award and give awards based on someone’s critics knowing very well after watching some of those movies ourselves we liked nothing about them? All I’m trying to say at the end of the day, it’s all about taking pride in your work. Not everyone will appreciate it but at least you do. I mean you took the time and effort to create it, so you might as well take pride in it.

Check out an old post I did on My value and self-worth

I took a lot of elephant amazing shots last year, some of which are on my portfolio and made a digital calendar for the year. So if you are interested in the digital copy of this Spinkly Calendar for this year (2018) you can buy it below for a dollar and it will be sent to you email. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Dare to be different!

I’m not one to argue with nature. I see its outstanding forms of beauty. It’s incredible how everything somehow adapts to survive, to continue living. It’s amazing how everything is living in the present, adapting capabilities and ways to survive based on instinct. I have a habit of taking a couple of shots for one place to keep still the time of the different scenes captured of the same place. Many shots taken of one memory producing different awesome images.

It’s not like a still life image where you take the shot of one thing that even by the amount of many clicks at different times, the pictures remain the same. Unlike nature where you stay at the same spot, take several pictures you produce different images. You find the variations in the pictures such that the clouds moved, the leaves shifted, so on and so forth. Movement is a reminder of reality where something is living. It is a reminder of a life form in its presence and how nothing is ever the same with time. In fact that’s the beauty of a landscape, its nature, its ability to be captured at that point in time and feel its presence.

That’s the amazing thing about life. The same way I can relate to nature, we look at our mentors or the people we look up to, read so many stories, looking for our similarities. Make choices based on other people’s choices and their outcomes expecting the same fate. Thinking because it worked for them it must for us. We forget that with nature, nothing is identical, nothing is ever the same. We forget that we are all special beings, that everything we do is unique, particular and that we’re the only copy.

Somehow we should find comfort in knowing that we create our own stories. That we make the best out of what we’re given. We should capture the essence of our different forms, which are the different paths we face. We should be able to focus on our own story and try to understand what our story is telling us. We should also be able to learn from own stories. Of course that shouldn’t mean that we limit ourselves from learning from other people’s stories, or experiences of their so called paths in life. If anything we should pick a thing or two and be able to understand that it doesn’t determine how ours ends. Instead, those stories should mold us into better beings, and gives us a head start in the right direction. It should give us a better path to follow with the hopes of a better ending. Otherwise if our lives were all the same like a still image, we would know the outcome. How boring would that be? Wouldn’t we lack motivation? So why not embrace your differences, live your story and make it a beautiful one! 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

To the New Year and new resolutions!

A sample of a lettering font I created on illustrator 

I want to start this year right and that means posting at least one blog for every month.
If there is anything I have learned… Don’t share out your plans with anyone, let your actions speak for themselves. You don’t know whether people are genuinely happy for you. A few are, some are jealous and most don’t care. Plus there’s too much negative energy being passed around and I’m not here for it.

To staying positive.

I realize it so hard to stay positive when the world is judging. Especially when your friends are so much ahead of you and your life is at a standstill. The funny thing is, it’s usually you who feels that way about yourself when probably you’re doing things for yourself, they are just happening at a slower pace. Have you ever heard someone complaining so much about their life and you just want to shake them and point out how good they have it? Maybe you should try that on yourself. Try focusing on the things you have managed to achieve so far and write down the things you wish you did then check those boxes as you go. Trust me, as much as we hate planning and jolting things down. An organized mind leads to a productive mind. Note that your life is yours alone to live so stop comparing it to other peoples and start comparing it to you past present and future on the growth there is.

Read on how to Get Motivated!

I am learning to let go and let God.

At this point is critical that you understand that our timings for everything are different. That God’s time is always the best. It is important to know that if anything is meant for you it will be for you and that nobody or nothing else can change that. In the blog, 'My Appreciation and Gratitude' I talk about destiny and the choices of the paths we make. I realize that your paths is predetermined and it’s up to you to get yourselves there, because nobody else can do that for you.

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not. ~ Denis Waitley


Is it good to be content? I keep seeking satisfaction and contentment but is that necessarily a good thing? I realize that if we get satisfied eventually does that mean we stop? I don’t think so. If anything I am learning gratitude. Saying it, feeling and believing it are different things. I think we should learn to be truly grateful for what we have in order for us to receive more. Aim low and that’s all you get. Don’t say the sky is the limit. Aim higher than the stars and you will be assured to achieve the inevitable.