5 Last Minute Gifts for Creatives

DSCN3878You need a gift and you need it fast. But you don’t know what to buy for your brother/sister/friend/cousin who is creative/artsy/a writer.

Settle down. We’ve got you covered. Here are five ideas you can pick up just about anywhere.

  1. A notebook.
    This is a staple necessity in any creative’s toolbox. There can never be too many notebooks. If all else fails, a plain one will do. If possible, though, get a pretty one. You can find them inexpensively at places like Walmart and Dollar General (or other department/dollar stores).
  2. A package of pens.
    This is another necessity. Your favorite pen runs out of ink just at that crucial moment when lightening strikes and you KNOW beyond the shadow of a doubt what your next masterpiece/opus will be, but you needed to make a note to yourself.
  3. Colored pencils.
    These are fun and not exactly a necessity, though they can certainly be helpful.
  4. A sketchbook.
    Depending on what the person you’re buying for does, this might be another staple item. It’s almost as handy as a notebook for just about everyone, but probably handier for visual artists and designers.
  5. A gift card. Everyone likes a gift card to their favorite store. Your creative friend is no different. If you know them, you know which store sings their name in a siren call that’s difficult to resist.

Counting today, there are five days before Christmas. Maybe you can find a gift idea from this list.

CreativeLive

CreativeLive_Logo_2014
Logo (c) CreativeLive

Have you heard of CreativeLive? It’s a website with live and recorded classes on a very wide variety of subjects of interest to creatives. They also have an interesting blog.

I don’t talk about it near often enough.

Next year, CreativeLive turns 10! It was started in 2009 by Chase Jarvis and Craig Swanson. Part of their central philosophy is that there is a creator in everyone. Essentially agreeing with my primary key to creativity: Everyone is creative.

They’ve been highlighted in Entrepreneur Magazine, ABC News, GeekWire, Inc., and Mashable, just to name a few.

Categories for their courses include:

  • Photo & Video
  • Craft & Maker
  • Money & Life
  • Art & Design
  • Music & Audio

Upcoming classes this week include:

  • Introduction to Paper Marbling
  • Posing 101: Essentials
  • How to Make Money
  • Craft Photography Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Adobe Stock

And many more.

Some of their instructors include:

  • Mel Robbins
  • Tara Swiger
  • Lindsay Adler
  • Mike Johnson

I could keep going.

I really don’t know how to tell you how valuable a resource Creative Live is. All I can really do is to encourage you to go and check it out, if you haven’t already.

There’s a reason I’m telling you about this right now. Close to Christmas.

Give yourself, or someone you love, the gift of creativity for Christmas. Gift yourself/them a class from CreativeLive.

Note: The above link is an affiliate link. If your purchase a CreativeLive course through this link, I will receive a percentage of it as an affiliate.

Christmas Doodles

I don’t know if you make your own greeting cards or not or if you are a visual artist or not. But I think everyone can get some enjoyment out of doodling, even if you only do it for yourself. This video shows you how to do some Christmas doodles.

Taking My Own Advice

jen1Back in October, I posted about Creative Self-Care. I have to admit that I haven’t really done that myself. I’ve been in get-it-done mode.

You know how it is.

You have your list. You’re checking it twice. You’re gonna find out who’s naughty… Wait. Wrong list. And I’m not Santa.

Anyway, you have your list and you double- and triple-check to make sure you’re dong everything you want to do. Then a hiccup comes along and makes you adjust your plan, but you’re still determined to get it done.

You don’t take time for you. You get run down. You don’t feel all that great. You’re trying to do everything right, but you’re… just… so… tired.

I’m there.

There are a lot of reasons for it, not just being busy and trying to get things done, but that is part of it.

I’ve decided to lighten up on myself. I’m not going to harp on what I have or haven’t done, because that’s not the point.

I am going to rest. I am going to do things for me. That includes reading and listening to podcasts just for the fun of it. If my wrist cooperates, that means making a “dragon belly” shawl and some dragon-scale fingerless gloves. Or starting them, anyway.

It means slowing down and taking my own advice.

 

Introducing Courses & Book Bundles

Thinking
Image used courtesy of The Public Speaking Project under a Creative Commons license.

I have been sitting on a couple ideas for quite a while and I think it’s beyond time to get going with them.

What is it?

Courses!

I have two in mind.

40 Days of Creativity Challenge
This one will start the day after Thanksgiving and go for 40 days. That will take us into January. If you look at the calendar, that’s going to be more than 40 days because we will skip Christmas and New Year’s Day. Anyone who enrolls will receive a Kindle copy of 80 Creativity Tips as part of the cost of the course. I’ll let you know more details very soon.

Journal Your Way to Creativity
This course will be more involved. The book, Journal Your Way to Creativity, is a 90-day self-guided journal to help people tap into their creativity. That’s three months. This would have weekly videos where I would talk about the prompts and some of the reasoning behind them. A Kindle copy of this will also be included in the cost. Once again, I’ll let you know more details very soon. This one would not start until sometime in January.

Book Bundles
Not exactly a course, but still a source of (possible) education/information. I will offer bundles of books, a box set, if you will, at a special price for a limited time. I will have these ready to go by the day after Thanksgiving.

This is all going with the plan to be more intentional in what I offer to you and why. It will come together in a cohesive program I call Living Your Creative Life.

Look for more details soon! Don’t want to miss anything? Consider signing up for my email list so you’ll be among the first to hear about new books, courses, and videos.

Happy Easter & Future Plans

(c) 2017 Richard R. Barron
Used with permission

I am determined to make a go of this blogging thing. I don’t know why I’m so sporadic with it. Once again, I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I feel like if I make it through an entire month of daily posting, I can then set a sustainable schedule and maintain the blog on a regular basis.

That’s the plan, anyway.

The end of 2017 was…difficult. I developed a double ear infection that left me deaf for most of December. That was challenging. For those who don’t know, I am legally blind, so I rely on my hearing a lot. All my life, I have been able to hear very well. To have problems hearing was a trial I did not want. I learned a lot from that experience. I used to think I would rather lose my hearing than my eyesight. I know now that is not true.

On Christmas morning, I was sitting in the living room. My Dad had the TV on a channel that was playing Christmas music. After a while, I realized I could hear it. I was kind of singing along with it. Mom and Dad had since gone to different parts of the house, so I went to where Mom was.

“Is the TV blaring?” I asked.

She nodded.

“I thought it had to be because I could hear it.”

That was pretty much the only Christmas music I heard until after New Year’s Day. I found a Christmas station on iHeart Radio and listened to it for a few hours.

It’s April and I still want a do-over on Christmas.

I wish I could say the ear saga is over, but it’s not. Later this month, if everything is cleared up, I will have a hearing test to see what lasting damage there might be.

But my absence from the blog isn’t filled with only bad news. I’ve been writing. Quite a lot. And I have a new book out, Journal Your Way to Creativity. It’s available in print and on Kindle. I will tell you more about that tomorrow, but I had to mention it today.

Something else I will be talking about soon is the writer’s notebook/workbook I’ve started using. I need something that will help me to keep track of what I’m doing, what I want to do, and what’s next. I think this will do that.

In the meantime, I’m debating on which project to do next. It will either be finishing a novel or re-releasing my first book that is out of print. Decisions, decisions.

That’s it for now. This is actually posting a lot later than I had intended, so instead of wishing you a happy Easter, I will just say I hope you had a happy Easter.

Happy creating.