A Work and Creativity Challenge

My friend Dave Seah created a challenge for himself, based on learning from his efforts and failures:

A February Full of Promises | David Seah

…I have a pretty good idea now what is important and meaningful to me. I’m actually found a good spot to start building something, and thus 2013 is dedicated to doing the work. It’s been going around, this recommitting to work. In my case, it was coming to a conclusion about what I wanted that created the necessary confidence to move forward.

Anyway, to kick off this year’s Groundhog Day Resolutions, I’m going to commit to a crazy idea: make a new product for every day of the month. The time period will begin on February 2nd and end on March 3rd. Since doing my 715AM “start work” routine with my illustrator buddy Brad (who incidentally drew the Groundhog sketch), I’ve been experiencing a greater productivity and think it’s possible to sustain this pace. I also draw confidence from my experience doing the National Novel Writing Month challenge last November. To write 50,000 words in a month, I had to spend about 90 minutes every day producing around 1600 words. I learned, to my surprise, that the artistic process DOES work if you make it past the fog of uncertainty; just chipping away at it for a few minutes yields surprising and unpredictable results. Product-wise, I know I can make something in 90 minutes, and having 30 or so new products to potentially sell would be a huge jump in inventory. I think that would lead to some increase in daily sales, which is on the road to creative self-sufficiency.

I have to admit that I missed the whole thing, as my Lovely Bride and I were preparing to re-locate for her new job…February vanished into the black hole known as “Moving” for me.

I am going to be taking a good look at what Dave was working on and see if we can’t incorporate some of these ideas into the Creativity Workshop (which has been on hiatus but resumes on Friday!).

Where to Get Inspiration for Your Arts and Crafts

Many find arts and crafts to be a relaxing past-time as they can lose themselves in the creation of something that didn’t exist before that moment. This is also a great activity to involve children in as the imagination can create a whole new world of crafting for the child. However, sometimes we can be faced with a form of “creator’s block” and are unable to focus on what it is we may want to create. Sometimes, having a way to be inspired can get the creative juices flowing in order to put together that masterpiece you’ve always wanted to construct.

1. Pinterest – Visual stimulation is one of the best methods for inspiring people to create works of arts and crafts. What better location on the Internet to provide that inspiration than images provided on Pinterest? Thousands upon thousands of images are available on this social media hub and everyone is eager to share images based on virtually any subject. The hardest part about using Pinterest for your inspirational source is picking the project you would like to emulate or improve upon. Once you’ve completed your project, why not “pin” it on your own Pinterest account and help others like yourself?

2. eBay – Yes, even the online auction super giant can be an inspiration for your creationism. Many companies call eBay home for selling their wares and craft supplies. A seller can reach millions of customers simply by having a store on this website. By browsing through various items for sale, you can get inspiration to create virtually anything you wish. Hundreds of thousands of listings of craft supplies are available from sellers from all over the globe. If you are looking to make an oriental motif project, eBay is a good place to start. Not only can eBay provide great inspiration for your project, but the cost of the supplies are usually much cheaper than those at retail brick-and-mortar stores. This is aside from the fact that the selection is much greater as well.

3. Radio Shack – Who says that arts and crafts can’t include technology? For developing electronic crafts, one of the best places to go is Radio Shack. Simply walking through the store can stir the creative side of any tech-junkie looking to create something useful for the home. Whether you are looking to build a Do-It-Yourself solar phone charger project or simply want to create a method to connect all of your game systems simultaneously to your television, Radio Shack has what you need. Who knows, maybe your project will peak the interest of friends and family and you wind up making more of these creative devices – it may not hurt to post it on YouTube or Facebook.

4. All Electronics – Like Radio Shack, All Electronics is another great place for the techie to get his or her creative on. Various components for your electronics hobby project can be found here from adapters to solar panels. In fact, All Electronics has a decent selection of small solar and photovoltaic equipment for nearly any weekend family craft project for a great price.

Inspiration for your arts & crafts can come in a variety of ways. Whether it is looking at pictures of crafts completed by others or simply looking at the raw materials, you can be inspired to create. From woodworking to technical innovations, you never know when your hobby may one day be used to provide a richer life for yourself as you invent a product that has never been seen before. Fill your life with arts and crafts and discover talents you never knew you had.

Author Bio:

Nancy provides feedback on all elements of the site “www.enannysource.com” helping us to really make sure that we are making it as easy as possible for caregivers to sign up and find work. In addition, she spends quite a bit of her time on freelance writing tasks.

Learning Infographics to Better Understand Complex Things

Life is complicated, and you’re probably well aware of that. Sometimes, it can feel even more frustrating when you are trying to learn new information that is more quite dense and challenging. Fortunately, infographics are arriving on the scene more and more to help you out. Why are these little tools so useful? Here’s what ya need to know!

Infographics: The Meaning

Perhaps you have never even heard of infographics before. Essentially, an infographic presents information to you in a way that is easy to understand, and graphics, as the name implies, are involved in the process. For example, let’s say you wanted to demonstrate the ways that 25-year-olds today are different from ones in 1963. You could have two figures, one from each decade, drawn side by side. On them, label the different ways in which they are different. For example, by the feet, you could show what types of shoes they were and are more likely to wear to work.

The Visual Representations
One of the ways infographics help you understand complex topics is through the use of pictorial representations. A lot of people are visual learners, and they need to actually see the information laid out in an artistic manner. Not only do these infographics help to draw in an audience, they synthesize information that is usable and accessible to a variety of people who have different learning styles.

Snippets of Information
Infographics also do not use lengthy and drawn-out paragraphs to get to their points. Instead, they will provide little snippets of information. These snippets are detailed in their own way, and the top infographics out there will ensure that they still make a point. This is important because many people have difficulty reading through a page that has no breaks at all. In fact, they might not even try to read that kind of material, because they automatically assume that it will be too dense. Infographics help to bring the most important information to the surface without leaving the reader to guess what the details mean.

New Audiences
People sometimes feel as though they want to be as far away from work or school as possible. As a result, they close themselves off to the learning experience, but infographics have the power to draw them back in. Basically, infographics are very different than other types of information you are going to see on the Internet, so they have a certain appeal. Even if you love to read detailed research articles, infographics can act as your starting point. The page might even show you where you can go for more information on the particular subject.

As people are seeking out new ways of obtaining information, infographics are really starting to make their presence known. These help to condense information in a way that is understandable to the average audience. However, they also have the power to inspire people to seek out more information about a given topic.

Roger Blake writes about technology and education. His most recent work is about the best computer degrees in the US.

Where is your Creative Work done?

My colleague Dianna Huff shares an insight as to how she approaches her own creative work:

How I Work (Hint: I’m No Longer Tied to My Desk)

Which brings me back to my new office and how I work. I finally realized that my real work — my creative work, the place where ideas develop — doesn’t happen when I’m sitting at my desk. It happens while I’m cooking. Or driving. Or pulling weeds. It happens while I’m lost in thought watching the birds or walking the dogs on brilliantly clear winter days.

Sometimes it takes a little while for ideas to develop. Sometimes they come to me unbidden or with a snap of insight.

And when they occur, I’m often not at my office. So, I find myself working at the kitchen counter. Or the table. Or on the couch in front of the fire. I wrote my entire Website while sitting on the back porch last spring listening to the birds, which is why my keyboard became covered in pollen dust.

This morning I woke up with a start at 5:00 AM with a solution to a problem I had been mulling over — and so, there I was in bed, with my laptop and notebook, putting my idea to work.

Where does your best creative work happen? I invite you to share a discussion in the forum: Where do you work?.