Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Scandinavia with its lush green pastures, picturesque mountains, rich blue lakes and European architecture is bound to inspire the creativity of any artist. SIPOWORK

As artist Sipo Liimatainen says, “Inspiration may come unexpectedly out of virtually anywhere.”

Liimatainen was born in Helsinki, Finland, one of three countries which comprise the Scandinavian Peninsula. Sweden and Norway are the remaining countries considered part of Scandinavia.

Even though he spent his childhood in the downtown area of Helsinki, Liimatainen now lives in the natural beauty of the countryside.

“I love nature and the way in which the colors vibrate to me,” Liimatainen says. “That’s why nature’s colors frequently play a role in all my creations.”

Liimatainen began his artistic career in the early 1980s by doing custom work on automobiles, portraits, walls and other surfaces. His first official pieces was a jungle-themed mural for a fashion shop.

“I started to work when the store closed,” Liimatainen says. The wall was 15 feet wide by 4 feet high.” When the store opened the next morning, Liimatainen had completed the work.

Liimatainen appreciates artists whose work differs from the mainstream such as Dali, Picasso, Monet and others. Indeed, Liimatainen’s own work can be considered non-traditional. Colorful, bright, eye-catching abstracts dominate his digital art and his passion for art shines through.

Passion is an integral part of creating art. “Ambience of working and a passion for that,” says Liimatainen. “And fearlessness to express familiar things by fresh and creative ways is crucial.”

Raised by a single mother, Liimatainen learned to use his imagination at a young age. “Daydreaming and imagination, as well as taking responsibility, are still strong in me,” he says.

Transitioning from traditional painting to computer art came naturally to Liimatainen. As the decade of the nineties came to a close, he sought new forms of expression. Through digital creations he “found my very own method of working.” He creates works using fractal, 3D and painting softwares side by side, putting each piece together like a puzzle.

Liimatainen has good advice for beginning artists: “Be open-minded to those who can help you. Don’t attempt to conquer the whole world by doing this and that. Think twice about who you are and who you want to become. Align all your efforts in that direction and hold steady, even when your faith is shaken and it seems that your work won’t lead anywhere. Remember that overnight success usually means ten to fifteen years of hard work.”

That advice is actually good for everyone.

Visit Liimatainen’s website, follow him on Twitter @SipoArt or visit his page at Fine Art America.

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info 


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A.W. Daniels may not have set out to be one of the 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading, but it’s a goal he may just accomplish. awdanielsbooks

“Apparently, I’ve been able to strike a nerve with a certain type of reader,” says Daniels. “I can only hope it’s for the good.”

Apparently, it was for the good as Daniels is a finalist in The Authors Show (www.theauthorsshow.com) annual competition.

The author of The Bethlehem Project series – Genetically Privileged, Genetically Conflicted and the forthcoming Genetically Rejected – has always been interested in the natural sciences. An article about designer babies he read while on a business trip to Canada sparked his imagination.

“I began speculating about the possibilities, ethics and the product of such an endeavor,” Daniels says.

What would those individuals created from such technology think of the world that spawned them? Would they see their creators as inferiors? were only a few of the questions he contemplated regarding the subject of genetic engineering.

The idea for the series developed for almost a year before Daniels began putting words to paper. Once started, it took only a month to complete the first draft.

“It literally spewed onto the pages after I began writing,” Daniels says. “This means there was quite a bit of editing involved.”

Growing up in conventional middle-class America, Daniels feels technology has changed almost every facet of daily life, for better and otherwise. On that, Daniels states, “I’ve always felt that change must occur and it is up to the individual to use the new tools available to improve our personal and societal environment.”

The author’s reading tastes run the gamut from medical and science journals to Cervantes, Machiavelli and Stephen Colbert to a dash of science fiction from Kurt Vonnegut.

His eclectic reading choices reflect his desire to encourage non-conventional thought. “I strive for my children to explore any topic, be it religion, politics or any facet of society and question the status quo,” Daniels explains. “I want them to ask themselves ‘what can I do to make it better?’ I’ve seen conventional thought quell the inquiring mind in school and everyday life.”

In an interview on The Authors Show, Daniels was asked about the Biblical references of his book Genetically Privileged.

While not attempting to create a religious book, Daniels says, “Religion and science have always struggled.” By using names and situations, “I wanted that thread running through the series. It’s indicative of the struggle between science and religion, how they grow apart then come back together in certain situations. I believe in the end we’re going to find that religion and science are more closely related than we think currently.”

The science of the book goes beyond cloning. Most of the science in the book may sound realistic but Daniels assures he was making up a good deal of it. “There is legislation against some of the aspects of this book in most of the industrialized nations,” he states in the same interview.

Given the opportunity, Daniels would love to speak with Dostoyevsky on nihilism, Dante on theology, Twain on politics and life (which would make a very interesting conversation) and Steinbeck on society. “Each would have such insight into the segment of life for which they are known.”

It would also make fascinating dinner conversation.

For more information, including purchasing Genetically Privileged and Genetically Conflicted, visit www.awdaniels.net

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info 

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Freedom and introspection are the only two rules Jacqueline Athmann lives by when it comes to creating her art.


Growing up in a suburb of Minneapolis, she was encouraged to paint when her sister purchased a canvas for her at the age of eleven. She was mesmerized shortly after by a magazine ad with wet paint splotches and dripping wet paint drops.

She recently began a “Wet Paint” series inspired by that ad.

“Once the paint dries, the paint color dulls and darkens and never has the same look and feel,” Athmann explains. “This is what inspired me to start photographing the painting as I paint so I could enjoy the paint longer.”

Photography is a passion for Athmann in addition to painting. It is “a great way to be artistic when I’m unable to be in my studio or am not inspired to paint.” She confesses she is still learning photography but it keeps her active and interested in the surrounding world.

She particularly admires the work of Bansky whose political and social commentary can be seen on walls, bridges and buildings in numerous cities around the globe.

“I love Bansky’s humor, rebellious nature and the simple yet dramatic way that he sends his message,” says Athmann. “I believe we would have a great conversation and learn from each other.”

After watching  a video on YouTube where she paints “Consoling Strength” I recognized Athmann’s wonderful outlook and attitude.

“My paintings are created in chaos and with a lot of surrounding plastic in the immediate area…typically very thick with layers of paint,” says Athmann. “This kind of work is usually over 15 layers of paint or more.  Getting the right look takes time and the process is something I enjoy very much.”

Of course, the viewer may not recognize the layers but certainly can appreciate the finished product.

Relying on intuition, Athmann doesn’t have a plan when she steps in front of a canvas, though it is something she is working on. “I have been known to step in front of a canvas, work for over 8 hours without a break,” says Athmann. “Once I start, it’s very difficult to stop.”

For Athmann, painting alleviates anxiety and daily stress. It frees her mind from racing thoughts and worry. Just the glistening paint makes her happy.

“When I paint, I can create and feel any way I want to,” says Athmann. There are no rules. All art is beautiful to someone.”

Athmann’s philosophy and advice to aspiring artists? Don’t stop. Believe in yourself.  Find your path.  Don’t waste a day.

An attitude everyone should live by.

Athmann’s work can be found here.

Follow her on Twitter @That1chikuknow or on Facebook.

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info  Contact her at mytuppenceblog at yahoo.com to inquire about proofreading, editing and formatting services

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Having a mother who mesmerizes an audience with her storytelling skills is bound to spark the imagination.  betteleecrosbyarticle

So it was for Bette Lee Crosby.

“My Mom was an awesome storyteller,” says Crosby. “She could mesmerize a room full of children with her fantastic tales. Listening to her helped me to discover the magic in storytelling.”

No doubt having parents with Southern heritages influenced Crosby’s writing. Some of her books have a distinctive Southern flavor. Her books are not necessarily set in the South but her characters retain a touch of Southern charm and faith.

Crosby admires all writers with the courage and determination to write. “Authors are a special breed,” says Crosby. “We are both dreamers and doers. We battle windmills every day and we do it for the joy of telling a story.”

Like most authors, Crosby loves to read. She reads across genres, favoring literary and women’s fiction. “What I truly enjoy is finding a book where I honestly care about what happens to the protagonist. When that happens, it’s a magical experience that takes me into another world.”

A USA Today best-selling author, Crosby is no stranger to the writing process. “I start with creating the characters long before I start writing the story. I make myself think like them and that enables me to gauge how they will react in any given situation.” Crosby’s characters are composites of people she knows or has known, making them characters to which a reader can relate.

Compelling characters in sometimes adverse situations lend a good deal of authenticity to Crosby’s stories. Ordinary people overcoming fears, helping someone in need, climbing a mountain that people said couldn’t be climbed: these are the characters found in Crosby’s novels. They also depict people that most of us know or would like to know which contributes to the popularity of her books. All of her books have a rating average of 4-star or above.

Writing for business made the transition to writing fiction virtually inevitable. In 2010, being unhappy with her current publisher’s pricing policies, Crosby and her then-retired husband formed Bent Pine Publishing through which Crosby’s books are published.

Currently, Crosby is working on The Memory House, a prequel which connects to several previously published works, a delightful project because, “I got to revisit some of my favorite characters and meet some charming new ones.”

An author she would love to meet is Harper Lee, if only for the opportunity to ask why she wrote no other book after To Kill a Mockingbird.

Author Links:

Blog:   http://betteleecrosby.com




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Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info Contact her at mytuppenceblog at yahoo.com to inquire about proofreading, editing and formatting services.

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Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.

Edward de Bono

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Nothing boosts creativity like having a goal to accomplish. Especially if you are a project-oriented and deadline-oriented person.

1. Set your goal

2. Create a deadline for meeting your goal

3. Make a list of steps to take to reach your goal

Let’s say your goal is to participate in a crafts festival. Your steps may look like this:

1. Fill out and turn in application

2. Create crafts to sell

3. Generate publicity – let friends and family know about the event

These may seem like small steps but they are each time-consuming and making the crafts is labor-intensive.

But if you are determined to reach your goal, you will get creative.

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