Step #2 & black/white collages.

Hello Tuesday! First things first. My sister has shared some of her collaged pieces. This black bound journal may seem ordinary on the outside, but the inside pages contain various collages, paintings, drawings and some text too. Check ’em out! Thanks Kaitlin!

Journal collage pages

Journal collage pages

For today’s project, you may recall the supply list from the last post. You’ll need old black and white prints, other black and white images and/or small items like tags, fabric swatches, tickets, etc… (in black and white). This proved to be a bit of a difficult undertaking. Searching for strictly back and white is tricky in 2016! Below are some books from the local Goodwill that I’ll use for this project. There are some other black and white things I found too.

Black/white collage contents

Black/white collage contents

Maybe now is a good time to explain what we’re doing. I got lucky and happened on another amazing book titled, ‘The Trickster’s Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity,’ by Nick Bantock. The neat thing about this book is that it’s comprised of various exercises to finesse the creative senses to surface. I’ve perused them and have selected a few to try.

The Trickster's Hat by Nick Bantock

The Trickster’s Hat – Nick Bantock

It’s important to mention, in the book, Nick notes why he chooses to utilize the medium of collage in most of his exercises. “Not in the small sense of the word but collage in its broadest form, which includes everything from art and writing to humorous ranting and steampunking Barbie dolls. Unlike many art forms, collage is both highly flexible and forgiving. It’s also fast changing and nonlinear, which tends to promote a euphoric freedom from the predictable.” With that said, I tweaked the project a little from the exercise in the book, but it still holds the same principle. I mentioned that you should make an effort to NOT use family photos or mementos. You’ll also need:

  • scissors
  • poster board, cardboard, or some type of backing (heavier paper if your items are heavy)
  • matte medium (as opposed to other glue) – What’s this? Paint matte mediums are used by mixing into the paint to extend color, add transparency and help the paint flow better. You can use this kind or something like Modge Podge, an all-in-one glue, sealer and finish. You should be able to find either at a local craft store. Most importantly, use what you have; it isn’t a necessity that you go and buy matte medium.
  • brush to apply the matte medium

We’re going to create three separate collages. Nick specifies to size them at 6” x 6” but ultimately size them how you’d like. Focus your thoughts on your childhood. Pick the contents for the first collage, from your finds, that remind you of your childhood in anyway. Nick says to, “find elements or symbols that represent the general tone of who you were and the events that surrounded you.” It is going to be super difficult to include an image for every event that transpired while you grew up. Here’s where the second collage comes in, just as you may have guessed, use this one to focus on your teenage and youth years. The last should represent your adult life. Three collages helps to divide lifetime events. Even still, you won’t want to try to represent EVERY memory or event; that’d be a ton. Also, remember that using personal family imagery will complicate this process.

This project is a good way to delve into self-exploration and show your story to others. It’s a good foundation project that will help you build on what you discover doing it. Images you are drawn to, but don’t necessarily directly correlate to any event in your lifetime will, as Nick puts it, “be quite obscure, yet they often have a way of being more poignant than any literal illustration…” These collages will also emulate the true you. Once you find the true you, it will radiate and everything you do will be real, authentic, true, good and convincing; all of these make something good.

“The more open you are about sharing your passions, the closer people will feel to your work,” Austin Kleon, ‘STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST.’ Now, go and create!



Remember, I’ve been there. Finding my inner artist was not an easy task, but highly rewarding. Share your thoughts and your STUFF, e-mail me.



Step #1 & collage.

Who's there?

Who’s there?

Here is the collage I came up with. For a list of items in my collage, visit the Post Extras. page. Did you find this easy or kind of difficult? Enjoyable or agonizing? Please share your thoughts & your creationFill out the contact form. I’ll e-mail you back so you can send me images of your stuff and I’ll post them here!

Just joining us? Jump on the fast track and create a collage out of anything you’d like in any way, shape or form. Need more instruction? Visit the previous post for more information.

This is just the first step, of many. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the first step, it could be the 17th step. Also, you may have already known or recently discovered that you aren’t the crafting type, which is more than ok. If this describes you, try collaging with strictly words, numbers and symbols as opposed to images, bits and pieces and other materials. Another idea to attempt is using your personal photographs (that already exist) or pictures you’ll take to collage with. Arrange them in a way that makes sense to you. See what you notice with either of these alternate exercises. Creativity doesn’t equate to only art or art-like things. Once you find your something good, it will radiate and become something good for others around you too.

I stumbled on this book by Austin Kleon, a writer and fellow artist. “STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST” is a fantastic guide about being creative. There’s loads of great quotes and perspectives on living creatively. The key to all of this is this: take the information and formulate your own opinion and tweak it to fit you. Nothing is factual, black or white.



Here are some thoughts:

“Art is theft,” said Pablo Picasso. Well, ok…wait, what?! A, perhaps very explanatory, response to this exclamation is, “All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original,” Kleon writes. Inspiration has to come from somewhere. I have lists of people, different works, places and things that inspire me. There are even containers with loads of pictures and images in my basement to prove it.

Jim Jarmusch says (quoted in the book), “Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or feels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.”

For the next post, ready yourself by searching for old black and white prints, other black and white images and/or small items like tags, fabric swatches, tickets, etc… (in black and white) Try to source things that aren’t your personal family photos-it’ll make it easier to complete the project if you don’t use things that directly relate to a family gathering, event or general memories. Start at a thrift store and browse through old magazines and reading material to build your supplies.


The hunt for your inner visionary.

Collage snippets

Collage snippets

Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist or the imaginative type in any way, shape or form, this exercise will do you good. Let’s start the search for  your ‘something good.’

In the previous post, the main question raised was, ‘what defines you?’ Go back to read the bottom half of the post, if you need. Here are more questions to ponder:

  • what are your interests?
  • what are your hobbies?
  • what drives you day by day?
  • who do you admire?
  • what do you want to be when you grow up?
  • what do you like?
  • how would you describe yourself?
  • what do you want to learn? do you want to keep learning?
  • what is it you’d like to achieve with creativity? what does creativity mean to you?

The noun creativity is defined as, ‘the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.’ Throughout these posts, I’ll refer to creativity as the ‘something good’ or ‘good something.’ The connotation of creativity for some is different than it is for others. Hence, we have coined the new term something good.

When using my imaginative sense, I like to make people smile. I like to evoke happiness with a carefree and, perhaps humorous undertone. I love the lighthearted. Life is too short to be grumpy all the time. I’m especially intrigued by pop culture and fashion. I have finessed my passions and interests to define myself and therefore my something good. Now here I am, hopefully, helping you lovely people discover one of the most gratifying things ever.

My get up and go just got up and left

‘My get up and go just got up and left.’

Hold the phone! If this is what you’re thinking, don’t leave yet!

The exercise/ project for today (or the next few days) is fun and it’s likely you’ve done it before. Grab yourself a few materials:

  • images (see below for an expanded list of types of images)
  • items (see below for an expanded list of types of items)
  • glue
  • scissors
  • other types of fasteners depending on your items (staples, putty, tape, etc..)
  • backing such as poster board, cardboard, or even regular paper
  • a collection of imagery could be: photographs, magazine clippings, tickets, brochures, logos, cards, journals, or any source of paper with something on it you like [even a pattern or texture]
  • a collection of items could be: fabric swatches, mementos, souvenirs, jewelry, heck, even something big if that’s what you need
  • it doesn’t matter what state the items or images are in. If you like it, add it to the pile!

Note: if you don’t want to adhere something, don’t. This exercise is to merely help draw a visual of things you like and are drawn to together in a unified manner.

It doesn’t matter how you combine everything, layering, no layering, collage-like or not. Do it how you like.

  1. cut out the images; there is no rhyme or reason, cut on the lines or outside of them, slice things in half or even fold them
  2. place an item or image on the paper/ backing
  3. follow by placing more images and items in a manner in which you like; overlap, layer, spaced out
  4. if you feel up to it, grab a few markers or crayons and draw onto your collage; experiment with using staples and tape in addition to glue
  5. try playing with letters from magazines or newspapers
  6. keep going until you feel fulfilled; it doesn’t matter how busy it gets, just DO NOT become discouraged or try to redo every part of what’ve already done
Supplies for collage-ing!

Supplies for collage-ing!

In the next post, I’ll check in and see how you’ve progressed. I’ll have my collage ready to share. Please, share yours as well!


What’s in a name?

What's in a name?

Pictures with these boots

So, the idea with the boots came from a website I made many years ago and the premise has resonated with me since. Long story short, the boots offered an unconventional way to share stories. An item I wore consistently, made me comfortable in my own skin and served as a staple in my wardrobe became the catalyst for reaching my inner creativity. Not only that, but maintaining a fun-loving attitude with a dose of humor through footwear is great! Footwear is vital for going places. As a wanderer, a nomad, it seems fitting to share stories through a pair of boots. Today, the boots still act as a creative catalyst. Appropriately, they serve as the face of this blog. Ultimately, their purpose is aimed to help you on the journey to find your personal unique spark.

Here are some facts about ‘these boots’:

  • In 2009 I purchased them from Getz’s in Marquette, MI.
  • The thing to note about UGG boots is that they can be worn ANYTIME of the year; the materials keep feet at body temperatures. UGGs offer the quintessential relaxed style footwear.
  • As a neutral color, they’ll go with anything. Even black pants! Do I need to mention how warm my feet stay in the wintertime?
  • The trend for UGGs caught fire in the early 2000s.
  • I wore the boots while living in 3 different cities.
  • They’re shareable! My sister and mom have worn them.
  • The boots played the lead role in my wardrobe for years. The significance of something so integral to personal style in fashion, but also to something that exposed the roots of my creativity is unparalleled. The boots were present during the time of my life in which I developed my style as an artist.
Green light = go

Green light = go!

Here’s where we begin. Now you have to ask yourself, what defines you? If it isn’t just one thing, person or place, that’s ok, but still look and figure out what those things may be. Keep in mind, this thing that defines you could have changed or may change in the future. If it helps to break it down further, do so. What defines your taste? Your personal style? Your attitude? Try to hunt for pictures of yourself with an item like I did here. See what you can come up with; you might be surprised! Note, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that my boots define me in every aspect as a human being, but they define a lot of what I have become because they helped me get to where I am now. They just happen to be the thing that helped my creative sense to come to fruition. In the next post, I’m assigning a project! Come back with the ideas you’ve generated from reading this post.

If you like to be prepared, come equipped with:

  • any images you are drawn to (photographs, magazines, etc…)
  • any items you are drawn to that can be adhered to something (fabric swatches, mementos, souvenirs, jewelry, etc…)
  • glue, staples, tape, putty or all of the above
  • scissors
  • paper, cardboard or some type of surface


Creativity & you

The stage is set; hello & welcome!

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Hi! I’m so glad you are here! Let’s set the record straight; blogging is the kind of thing I didn’t think about too much. Fresh out of high school, I just entered into the world of unknowns and opportunities. Blogging was just picking up; gaining steam amongst mainstream culture (circa 2006). The last thing I felt the need for was a blog or to blog. Really, I didn’t understand the purpose. One day a handful of years later, I started to ponder blogs, blogging, and bloggers. I developed a liking towards the combination of a website and a place to share something with others. It sounded like a good thing. So, I delve in and researched, read, watched and listened. Enter today. After countless hours of thinking, curtailing, tweaking, brainstorming, note taking and idea generating, this is what I’ve come up with.

Anyway, enough of that. I’m here for you. I’m here to help you apply creativity to your life, through projects, but also through a mindset and an approach to daily, everyday life ‘things’ we often take for granted. I’m here to teach you how to find your creativity and use it. It could be buried under other stuff, hiding in the back of your mind, or, I hate to even say this, you might believe it is non-existent, but it is very much THERE! Offering up a different perspective on life is something I’d love to do. How about you? In the next post, I’ll describe where the title of this blog came from. From there, we’ll dive right in with the first project to stumble upon your creative sense. If you’ve already grasped it, even better. The project will only enhance it. Stay tuned!

I’m no martyr and I don’t think I brag too much. I am almost thirty and I’ve lived, but I still have a lot to learn and hopefully a lot more to live. I have, however, seen and experienced things that are worthy of sharing. These experiences serve as the foundation for the topics seen (and explored) here; they manifest themselves through this blog. Enjoy visiting, but please share your stories, your thoughts. Learn; learn to enjoy applying creativity to your lifestyle. Learn how to apply creativity to your lifestyle. One last note: for sake of not being cryptic, I refer to your creativity (or, for some, the creativity you may not know you have) as the ‘something good,’ or that ‘good something.’