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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Become A Creative Super Genius in Just Minutes a Day" and other fabulous musings!

CREATIVITY - The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc. [Creativity week begins here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.

I told you yesterday that I was going to write about my creative muse. I had some vague notion of telling you about how my two year old is helping me to find new arenas of creativity, two million uses for foam stickers, purple paint as a food group, body paint as a substitute for clothing. You know, all the usual toddler induced excitement! But what became clear, as I sat down to write that, is that as much as Jessie is helping me to get over some of my childhood phobias about the proper use of art supplies and that I am really enjoying all her cries to "try it" and create with her, I am looking for a different type of muse.

Still from Tim Burton MoMA Spot, 2009 

So I decided to poke around the internet, a favorite part of each week's study,  and see what I might find... and there he was! David Wahl has a blog called Creative Creativity- A daily guide to Creativity and New Ideas. The tag line reads: Become A Creative Super Genius in Just Minutes a Day! Who can resist that? Certainly not me! Then in his most recent post he had this quote from Tim Burton that I found most illuminating for a creative phobic like me:

I remember, I was at Cal Arts and I wasn`t a good life-drawer; I struggled with that realistic style of drawing. And one day I was sitting in Farmer`s Market sketching, and it was this weird, mind-blowing experience. I said, `Goddammit, I don`t care if I can`t draw, I`m just gonna draw how I feel about it.` All of a sudden I had my own personal breakthrough, and then I could draw, and satisfied myself. I`ve had very few experiences like that, and I`ll never forget it.

Reading that Tim Burton needed a personal breakthrough to "satisfy" himself made me feel so much better about my creative journey.

Anyway... back to David Wahl. In addition to his really fun and inspirational Creative Creativity Blog he also writes the Monkey Goggles web site, who's "purpose is to present the world as we see it and ignore the things we find boring. There will be no pop singing sensations gone bad or reviews of albums you don’t care about, we write about the parts of the world that society forgot or does not have the nerve to ponder."

Random peeks at the different articles and links at both of these sites can wake the creative genius in anyone. For example, after trying David Theory (click link for full article) which advises making "a list of at least 10 things that you think are awesome. If you can't do that, I feel sorry for you and you might as well not read the rest of this. Seriously, if you can't make a list of 10 things that you love, you should be out looking for things to love." Then "take your list of 10 and start combining things on the list together. For instance, you might have robots and werewolves on your list, I do, so jumble them up in your head and see what comes out." Jessie and I have combined Glue and Pasta to come up with a very fun new building material. Today we are using spaghetti noodles mixed with glue to make nests. (some how a recurrent theme with us!) I am considering the addition of another favorite thing, fairy dust for an even more exciting process... I'll provide the photos later!

So there it is, my creative muse of the week is David Wahl. I'm sure he'll be excited to learn of this fabulous distinction. I wonder if he would enjoy a fairy dusted spaghetti nest as an award?

Next Post: An update from my work with "The Creativity Book: A Year's Worth of Inspiration and Guidance" by Eric Maisel which I started last creativity week.

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise


  1. OMG! Are we twins? I am working with the Maisel book as well. I have to wait until the weekend to do the tea thing and have only started on my autobiography. Love this post. Thanks for working on it!

  2. I can't wait to see pictures of your spaghetti nests. Instructions on how you made them would be terrific too. I'm not a crafty sort, but I want my kids to have the options.

  3. Hello -- Sniffing around old posts... purple paint as a food group? body paint as a substitute for clothing? the Tim Burton quote? I love it!

  4. Poking around your old posts. I love this! I will be checking out David Wahl. Somewhere a while back I forgot about my gift of creativity and am finding it again...Thank you. :) Love your blog!


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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