Saturday, February 4, 2017

Show Your Work, Reap the Reward

A photo posted by Cassie Brenn (@cassiebrenn) on

You've probably heard of the book Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.  If not, do yourself a favor and read it.  The whole point of the book is that you should show your work.  In other words, put your work in places that others can see it for example - Instagram.   As an introvert, I find this really difficult and as a lazy person, I find this really difficult.  But I do have a desire to connect and share with the wider creative community.   So, I've made the effort to put myself out there a little more.  It hasn't always been easy or comfortable but it has been really fulfilling.   My efforts have been well received and the positive feedback and connection with others makes me want to keep going.   Try it for yourself.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New Year's Resolutions

I usually make a New Year's resolution but this year I haven't narrowed it down yet.

Here are some websites I've been using to help me come up with ideas for what to do in 2017 ...

I want to
James Clear list of Best Art Books

I want to take more photos...
Photojojo's Resolutions for Photographers

I'd like to create another Skillshare class...
Classes I'm teaching on Skillshare

I'd like to add another sidehustle...
Chris Guillebeau's Side Hustle School Podcast

Looks like 2017's going to have some creative fun!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Cheese Advent Calendar

Can't find the Advent calendar you want to make your holiday special?  Make it yourself -
Cheese Advent Calendar

Speaking of cheese how about making a custom cheeseboard for a Christmas gift.  I'll show you how.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Creativity is Not Always About the Lesson You Intended to Learn.

I set out to watch this video called 4 lessons in Creativity because I'm all about learning about creativity but  what caught my attention was not the lessons in this video but a little story about Sculptor Richard Serra.  The story was about how he threw his painting supplies in the river and then went on to become a famous sculptor.  I think the lesson was about being open to experience or something like that but the part I got excited about was he made a list.  It was a long list of verbs - to cut, to spread, to lift, to roll, and so on.  and he applied the list to materials.

What I got out of this video is that I wanted to know more about this list!  So here it is...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

How to Relieve Stress for Creatives

I found this funny video at  

I don't think there's a business with a room like this in the US but maybe you could try it on a hike in the woods.   Of course, doing art is a good way to relieve stress too.  But sometimes it leads to more stress like when you think your cat is making fun of you.

Don't put up with mean cats.  Take my newest class and find out How to Calm Your Inner Critic
Hint The problem is not your cat at all!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

30, 100, or 365 Days? How Long Should Your Creative Challenge last?

You probably think my answer will be 100 days because I teach this class

A 100 Day Challenge for Creative and Artistic Growth

But the answer is it depends.  Ask yourself...
What do I want to get out of the project?  
How much time do I have to devote to the challenge?
How hard do I want to push myself?
The answers to these questions will determine what type of challenge is right for you.

For example, if you want an intense challenge to push yourself to complete a creative project then a 30 day challenge such as National Novel Writing Month might be right for you.  It's a deep dive to fully immerse yourself but generally not a schedule you can sustain for a long time.  (Get ready NaNoWriMo starts Nov 1!)

But maybe instead you want to establish a daily habit, then a year long challenge might be right for you.  New Year is the perfect day to start a 365 day challenge and set the theme for your year.  And when the year is up you can decide to keep going or pick a new challenge.  Here's an example Movie Poster a Day.

And of course, 100 days is somewhere in between.  Short enough to push yourself and long enough to build up a body of work and grow your creative talent.  Like my own photography challenge #100daysofXena.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Why You Should Share Your Creative Work

photo by Cassie Brenn

As an introvert, at times in my life I have been reluctant to share my creative work with the outside world.  But after reading Austin Kleon's book Show Your Work, I've changed my point of view.

I've started posting my work on different websites and it has been extremely satisfying.  Maybe no one is watching, I have a mere 7 followers on Instagram, but it has helped me sort through my thoughts on art and creativity, given me an archive of work, and helped me discover new talents.

And here's 3 more reasons why YOU should share your work.

1. You learn by doing and having the goal of sharing your work can be the push you need to get started.

2. It helps us all overcome the idea of perfectionism. No one gets it right the first time. But everyone must have a first time. Show your work even if you are a beginner and everyone benefits from seeing your growth, not just your highly polished talent after years of practice.

3. Posting your work connects you to the community and that can lead to some great things such as   finding like minded people and mentors.

Now go Seize the Day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Remove your Creative Barriers

Creative barriers are things that are blocking you from creating the creative works you want to create.  And here's the kicker, they are barriers we put up ourselves.  It is telling yourself things like I'm too old, I'm too young, I don't have enough money, etc.  The truth is they are just excuses we make up because we think we will be judged by others.  If I try this and I fail others will judge me.  Yeah they might.  but you can't control what other people do.   And you might also say, "but it's true, I don't have enough money."   Well, when there's a will, there's a way.  Just watch this video about Folk Artist Butch Anthony.... Barriers removed.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Discover Something New Day

Today is Columbus day in the US.  Supposedly Christopher Columbus was the first person to discover America. That is if you don't count the people that were already here or the Vikings, which we are now learning, probably landed in North America some 500 years before that.  And not to mention that Columbus never set foot on what is now the US mainland or that he thought he was in India.  Yes, besides all of that.  I say let's celebrate.  Let's celebrate the fact that he took a chance and set out on a voyage of the unknown in search of something new.

So Let's make our own voyage as explorers of the creative and dedicate this day to discovering something new.  Who knows what you will find but one things for sure ...

 "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

So get out there and see what is waiting to be discovered...
  • Eat a new food, discover the spice of life
  • Try a new art material, discover a new perspective
  • Visit a new place, discover inspiration
  • Learn a new skill, discover a hidden talent  
Ok the last one is a shameless plug for my new class, How to Write Funny Riddles which you can find here.  It's free for the first 25 students, I'm just saying... discover laughter, make the world a happier place...

Happy Discover Something New Day!