February, 2012

how to turn your creative online platform into an art*

Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.

What makes someone an artist? I don’t think it has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards, or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while swell people, aren’t artists. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artist who works with oil paint or marble, sure. But there are artists who worked with numbers, business models, and customer conversations. Art is about intent and communication, not substances.LINCHPIN, Seth Godin

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Strange concept, developing an audience before you have something to sell.

Maybe it makes perfect sense, if you tilt your head and shift your angle. If you don’t have something to sell, you don’t have such an obvious agenda. Buy my book. No, really. Buy my book!

That annoys people.

When you’re randomly shoving your book in people’s faces, what are the odds that that particular reader is going to be your right reader? If you walk into a crowded bar and throw yourself at the first prospect you see, what are the odds that she or he will prove a match for a genuine relationship (or even an awesome one-night stand)?

There’s an element of subjectivity to art. We like what we like, and even if we’re not sure how to put that into words, we know it when we find it. The nature of the art has to link with the nature of the individual. Two inner lives have to open up to each other and find recognition. Resonance.

Maybe you can’t truly sell or market your work online. Nobody wants to be marketed to unless they’re already sold on your work and on you. This seems a paradox but what I’m trying to say is: click for more

Feb 27, 2012 · 17 Comments / ADD YOURS

things that smart women know

This morning I asked on Facebook and Twitter: What do smart women know? I distilled the answers into this post. Thank you to everyone who participated*. You are awesome sauce.

Smart women know that perfection is annoying and overrated.

Smart women know to be gloriously imperfect.

Smart women know that they are responsible for creating the beauty in their lives.

Smart women know that there is more to life than being in a relationship.

Smart women know that success stems from love, connection and leading from the soul.

Smart women know that great men exist and they are not the enemy. click for more

Feb 24, 2012 · 32 Comments / ADD YOURS

Demi Moore, the limits of beauty + why Cleopatra was badass

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I was skimming an article that claimed how the newly single Demi Moore has been partying with her daughter’s friends and chasing men half her age when I came across a quote from one of her alleged friends. It was something like:

She’s going to turn 50 soon and has no idea what her life is supposed to look like.


In these rapidly changing times, you could wonder if anyone knows what life is supposed to look like. On some level we’re all forced to wing it, creating and recreating ourselves and our ‘brands’ and innovating our way forward (or sideways or backwards before looping round again) into the rest of our lives.

Those who can adapt shall inherit the world.

People like to say that women have too many choices now, and get paralyzed and stressed and miserable in the face of them, and so blame the evils of feminism. I don’t think that’s true. I think women can choose to be traditional (marriage, kids) or trailblazing (anything else, including the attempt to combine marriage and motherhood with a career). click for more

Feb 20, 2012 · 19 Comments / ADD YOURS

how to find the Big Meaning of your novel (+ blog) that will make your readers fall wildly in love with you

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So I realized I was coming at my novel from the outside in.

I’d created a complex storyworld with a cast of characters and tangled backstory shaping the frontstory. It was like I had the map, but couldn’t find the interstate freeway leading to my destination. I was going down some dark country roads, and it was only a matter of time before I’d end up in a town of cannibals or something.

(Cue the sound of a chainsaw.

…On second thought, DON’T.)

As Roz Morris suggests in her book NAIL YOUR NOVEL, one way to help yourself get unstuck is to remind yourself why you wanted to write the damn thing in the first place.

For me, for this book, it was the idea of repetition compulsion: how we recreate relationships and situations from the past in an ongoing effort to resolve them. I’m using reincarnation as a metaphor for that.

But what is the point of the book? If art is the creative demonstration of a truth, what is the truth I am trying to prove? I needed to get at the novel from the inside out. click for more

Feb 17, 2012 · 14 Comments / ADD YOURS

The ABCs of Self-Love: G is for Growth: how to find your life’s meaning. really.

This Blog Crawl of Self-Love is hosted by Molly Mahar of Stratejoy. She believes in the transformational power of radical self-care and so do I. Find out more about The ABC’s of Self Love Blog Crawl + Treasure Hunt here.

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So there’s this thing called a ‘growth mindset’ and this other thing called a ‘fixed mindset’.

If you have the former, you believe that things like talent and intelligence are not fixed at birth; that with work and effort, you can improve. You can invent and reinvent yourself.

You can grow.

If you have the latter, you believe that growth is not possible. You are who you are, and that’s the end of it. Instead of expanding to become more of what you want to be, you contract around those frozen beliefs about yourself.

You protect your self-image at all costs.

You avoid challenge. You look for the easy A. You don’t work hard when you don’t see the point. You sidestep anything that might show you up as quote-unquote inferior – because then you’ll be stuck with that inferiority, no way out.

Life is more interesting with a growth mindset. click for more

Feb 12, 2012 · 11 Comments / ADD YOURS

how to be creative

Accept that you’ve got the creative urge and it’s never going to go away. Make friends with it. Drink some tequila if you need to.

Commit to the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Unless of course it was built by aliens. This is doubtful.

Engage! Things start out murky, but that’s ok. Creativity builds on itself, and clarity comes through engagement. So in the immortal words of the great George Michael, you gotta have faith, or at least act like you do.

There is a gap between where you are and where you want to be. The only way to get where you want to be is to close the gap, through practice and learning and practice and feedback and more practice. There are no shortcuts, unless of course they were built by aliens. This is doubtful. click for more

Feb 9, 2012 · 18 Comments / ADD YOURS

the art of becoming a (badass creative) thought leader

I used to watch Project Runway (back in the days when I still watched TV) and the judges were often talking about whether or not the aspiring designers had a point of view.

At the time, I didn’t get it. How could something like clothing have a point of view? It was only when I realized that I was interested in style rather than fashion that I made the connection.

Great personal style is an expression of who you are, so distinct and singular that it might even make you an icon (Kate Moss). It becomes a statement of identity. You move beyond expressing yourself to ideas of the self, inspiring others to adopt those ideas to express that same sense of identity.

That same point-of-view.

We talk about voice a lot. So-and-so has a great voice. You need to find your voice. She needs to get her voice ‘out there’ (wherever ‘there’ is). The best writers have voices so distinct that you can not only recognize them at a thousand yards, you can recognize pale imitations click for more

Feb 3, 2012 · 8 Comments / ADD YOURS

cool creatives from around the web

Here’s some people who intrigue or inspire me. They might do the same for you.

Natasha Wescoat

Natasha’s bio describes her as a “self-taught artist who is a force of nature” and I believe it. She’s a savvy artist-entrepreneur whom I discovered when I was just becoming interested in artist-entrepreneurs.

She not only cut out the middleman and seized control of her destiny, she takes out the elitist vibe that so often infuses the very idea of Art by offering her work at warm, friendly, accessible prices. She reminds me a little of the innovative art dealer Edith Gregor Halpert, subject of the bio THE GIRL WITH THE GALLERY, who believed in art for the people (and was herself a force of nature).

I bought a piece from Natasha as a gift for one of my closest friends after she had her first baby, and it’s possibly my favorite gift I’ve ever given. I like her art – it’s kind of got this dreamy pop art deco primitive thing going on, if you know what I mean (and if you don’t, that’s okay, because I’m not sure I do either). And I like her, even though click for more

Feb 3, 2012 · 5 Comments / ADD YOURS
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