Creative Civiliza...
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Fab digital storytelling: The Power of Words

Wonderful and highly inspirational video. Reminds us all to strive for authentic and purposful communication. So chose your words wisely. They are extremely powerful.

Via Karen Dietz
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

I'm sharing this courtesy of Karen Dietz and Ken Mikkelson - which only proves how worthwhile it is to check out what other people are discovering and writing about on the web. Karen's take is that of a storyteller -business person. Mine is as an artist; where communication is essential and has the potential to be equally compelling. How can we as artists strive for authentic and purposeful communication?

I will hazard a guess that compelling artwork begins in my head as an idea, migrates down through my chakras/system to my heart, where it engages me emotionally, and then lifts unstoppably into my Will - or throat - where it manifests as a proclamation of what I intend to make next.Perhaps that part is sometimes a silent proclamation, but when it happens I know it.

Does your Artist Self recognize this chain of events in you? If not, pay closer attention next time an idea arises and see where it leads.

Thanks to Karen and Ken for a big lift to my afternoon!

Nick Usborne's comment, March 16, 2013 8:23 PM
As it happens, if you like "story" you will probably love David Kirby's poetry.Every poem is a complete story.
Kirby Wadsworth's curator insight, March 17, 2013 3:45 PM

I've loved this video for years...always gets me

Alessandro Donadio's curator insight, March 19, 2013 7:01 PM

The power of Words

Creative Civilization
Making and Meaning at the Core of Our Being
Curated by Jane Dunnewold
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What to Expect

What to Expect | Creative Civilization |
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

There are loads of articles out there on creativity and making art. I think the really engaging stuff considers what we make and why we make it. So you can expect the curating I do to focus on the surprising, the astounding, the thoughtful and the bizarre. And if that doesn't cover it, we'll go there anyway.

I am selecting articles that encourage me to think differently - broader, deeper, wider - and that means I won't always like what I read. But hey - that's part of the growth angle of being human. And appreciating conflicting opinions is, perhaps, a right we don't take seriously enough. I am eager to share ideas with you.

Wonder how to navigate the magazine?

To Find a Topic:  Click on the Filter Tab above and type in a keyword. All the articles with that keyword will appear.

I won't be including anything gratuitious or silly. But I won't be everywhere either. So if you have an article to share, please feel free to write to me. And take a minute to visit my website:

With over twenty years experience teaching and practicing the art of mixed media and surface design, I definitely have an experience base and log of opinions. I hope sharing them will trigger a few insights for you.


Karen Dietz's comment, February 22, 2013 1:28 PM
Love the site Jane! Can't wait to dig into the articles. Thank you so much for curating this topic.
Jane Dunnewold's comment, February 22, 2013 1:38 PM
Thanks for the nudge and the inspiration. I expect we'll find lots of common ground between your site and mine!
Karen Dietz's comment, February 22, 2013 2:49 PM
Yes, I'm looking forward to re-scooping some of your material! Have a happy day :)
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eunice kim

eunice kim | Creative Civilization |
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Thanks to Jeanette Davis for the link to Eunice Kim's website and blog; a perfect addition to our ongoing discussion of making and meaning!

In my Artist Strength Training workshop we discuss approaches to making - is art "better" if it's big? Some audiences might think so.

Is art "better" if it's obsessive? If the viewer asks "How did she DO that?"

I know I certainly admire hundreds of stitches, thousands of brushstrokes - evidence of immersion in making as meditation.

Within the context of the workshop, answers are always personal; my point is to ramp up awareness, and encourage discussion around these questions, because I think it's important for artists to know what the answers to the questions are for them.

Enter Eunice Kim. Studying the images in her website gallery is entrancing. Reading the description of her process is equally entrancing - respect and admiration are the words that come to mind.

Simple materials + labor-intensive actions = artwork with an elegant simplicity, and subtle, compelling beauty. The word obsessive may not even come to mind! It's so right! So obvious!

Visit Kim's site and take some time to appreciate her work. Breathe and center. Think about how to redirect quiet energy back into whatever you're working on today. Be grateful for artists who don't rush; imbuing their work with a grace that can rub off on the rest of us.

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Tapping Into the Daily Rituals of our Great Creative Minds

Tapping Into the Daily Rituals of our Great Creative Minds | Creative Civilization |
Mason Currey, author of
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Thanks to Marla Ripps for bringing this article, and therefore the book, to my attention.

Evernote interviews Mason Currey, author of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. This feels like the perfect companion piece to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book of landmark interviews with creatives of all types -  Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention. More inspiring stories of how creatives organize time in order to make the most of every day.

Some of my favorite quotes from the interview:

"...You have to really take stock of your weaknesses and then craft a schedule that protects you from your worst habits."

"So working in the face of constant distraction is not a new problem, even if the Internet has made it more acute. And I think the solution, then as now, is to carve out some distraction-free working time each day—to set aside a certain number of hours to work on your most important project, and then ruthlessly protect those hours."

"I like to think of a routine as a plan or framework for each day, and a ritual as a specific behavior within that larger framework."

"Maximizing your creative potential probably means minimizing some other aspect of your life."

There you pretty much have it. Reading the book will provide revealing insight into the habits of people like Maya Angelou and Beethoven - those strategies that helped them accomplish hundreds of poems and melodies; but the basic truths remain intact.

In order to get as much out of a day as you can - no matter what bent your creative impulse takes - it helps to:

- be honest with yourself where weaknesses are concerned and work with them, instead of allowing them to work against you.

- recognize sacrifice may be required in order to achieve the level of satisfaction from creating that you envision. Determine whether you are willing to make those sacrifices.Either work on it, or let yourself off the hook.

- Set a routine that becomes a habit. Engage a ritual to honor the mystery of your process.

- Distractions are not now, nor have they ever been, new. Can't blame it on the internet. We're talking about discipline here - and have perhaps come full circle -

Knowing thyself and working with intention and discipline. Qualities it takes a lifetime to refine. There's no better time to start (or continue) than the present.

As Shunryu Suzuki Roshi wrote, " You are perfect the way you are, and you could use a little improvement."

Karen Dietz's comment, February 12, 2:43 PM
Truer words couldn't be said Jane! Many thanks for the book and your review. With discipline comes great freedom, which most people don't realize.
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26 of the Best Street Art Photos - Enpundit

26 of the Best Street Art Photos - Enpundit | Creative Civilization |
If you like street art, you’ll enjoy these 26 amazing street art photos (our favorite finds from Street Art Utopia). Also check out 25 Photos of Awesome Banksy Art and these Incredible 3D Sidewalk Paintings.

Via Kuniko
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Wow. Sometimes the creativity of it all just leaves you speechless. These are wonderful. Humbling. Delightful!

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What Happens When You Steal an Artist's Identity

What Happens When You Steal an Artist's Identity | Creative Civilization |
ALBUQUERQUE — If you live on the West Coast, you’ve probably already read plenty about Jessamyn Lovell’s “revenge” piece Dear Erin Hart,.
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

What got me most when I read Matthew Irwin's interview with Jessamyn Lovell, was the power artists are capable of wielding with the work they do/make.. And wondering how often we realize how powerful acts of making art can be.

Lovell's identity was stolen by Erin Hart, a woman she didn't know. The article details the art project Lovell commenced - of photographing Hart (unbeknownst to her.) Characterized as revenge by many online circles, but not felt that way by Lovell. Read it for the fascinating story that it is. 

On one hand I relished the fact that artists can use their work to explore life trauma and heal from it. That's about as good as making can get - a sacred place.

But down on the other end of the continuum is what the making means to anyone on the receiving end. If you were the one who did the damage - whether a parent gone wrong, a society at fault, or a thief who stole someone's identity - what's it like to be called out publicly? How does privacy fit into the equation? Is making art such a high and mighty calling artists are absolved of adhering to any cultural or personal code of decency, kindness or right behavior?

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Pulitzer-Winning Poet Mark Strand on the Heartbeat of Creative Work and the Artist’s Task to Bear Witness to the Universe

Pulitzer-Winning Poet Mark Strand on the Heartbeat of Creative Work and the Artist’s Task to Bear Witness to the Universe | Creative Civilization |
"It’s such a lucky accident, having been born, that we’re almost obliged to pay attention."

In the 1996 treasure Creativity: The Psyc
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

More in a steady stream of inspiring articles on the importance of slowing down, being present and seeking authenticity in our creative endeavors. Maria Popova’s essay begins with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book of landmark interviews with creatives of all types -  Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention - an engaging read that ranges all over the map - evidence that creating is an odd mix of being fully engaged by Process - but never taking anything too seriously in the process. One of the paradoxes of many creative acts. A wonderful book.

One of the creatives Csikszentmihalyi interviewed was the poet Mark Strand, who died last November. His deep humility at being alive - referenced in many of his poems - is a gentle reminder that creativity, as well as life itself, is a gift. It can be cultivated, it can be embraced - but it can’t be ordered up, and unfortunately, it can’t always be counted on to be there when you want or need it. What better reason to live in present time and walk humbly on the planet? And how in contrast to the posturing and bravado we too often witness in some artists and poets.

Take time to read this article. It will make your day better.

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Livre de couture peu ordinaire

Livre de couture peu ordinaire | Creative Civilization |
L'usage de manuels pour apprendre à faire telle ou telle chose est très répandu, même avant que l'imprimerie ne s'empare de ce filon d'édition. Chirurgie, cuisine, arts en tout genre, et autres tra...

Via Chris Lott
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Poignant, this. And thoughtful. Thanks Chris Lott - for your curation on book arts. The creative expertise doesn't get the due it deserves in many circles.

And I was just in an Asheville thrift store loaded with vintage books. Oooh. The many possibilities!!

Chris Lott's curator insight, May 16, 2014 8:22 PM

Wonder how many of these were produced?

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Wendell Berry on Solitude and Why Pride and Despair Are the Two Great Enemies of Creative Work

Wendell Berry on Solitude and Why Pride and Despair Are the Two Great Enemies of Creative Work | Creative Civilization |
"True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One’s inner voices become audible... In consequence, on
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Thoughtful, intentional writing on par with Kahlil Gibran's classic, The Prophet ,Wendell Berry's essay, What are Humans For?  should be required reading for artists in every medium. Shoot, the book is  grounds for good conversation with anyone who has ever felt creative in even the smallest way, or wished they were. Surrendering will, and seeking humility are at the heart of the matter. 

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Five Textile Designers Saving the World - Source4Style

Five Textile Designers Saving the World - Source4Style | Creative Civilization |
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

This is pretty exciting stuff - pulled together by source4style's founder and CEO Benita - this week online.

Clothing made from milk protein? Gorgeous wall pieces and clothing made by cooperatives  of men and women all over the globe? We're all familiar with the Heifer International project, and other forms of support for local economies and villages but these five designer/producers are focussed on textiles - and as a textile, mixed media artist, I'm so encouraged by the report and by the gorgeous stuff you can find by clicking on the links in the article. Definitely enticing!

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Digital revolution has damaged creativity, says Zandra Rhodes

Digital revolution has damaged creativity, says Zandra Rhodes | Creative Civilization |
Digital revolution has damaged creativity, says Zandra Rhodes, Zandra Rhodes, the pioneering fashion and textile designer, believes computers and the digital revolution has
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

“I think the computer and the digital revolution has damaged creativity and drawing in textiles. It is too easy to lift photographs. It is too easy to mirror images to create repeats...

Will hand-drawing disappear? Will it be more valued? Will these skills continue into the future or will they become a rare art form? Computers mean that there are now two languages. The one we create with our hands, and language that evolves from the computer.”

Zandra Rhodes built her reputation on colorful - sometimes rather bizarre - exotically patterned textiles. Her dramatic entrance into a gallery was matched only by the dramatic billowing fabrics draping the walls.

Now Rhodes bemoans the use of computers as design tools - as evidenced in the short quote above. And anyone who has followed textile design (or Rhodes) closely must admit the playing field is vastly different from even five years ago; not only because of the introduction of the computer into design school classrooms. Companies like the print-on-demand site have democratized fabric design in short order. Armed with a camera or drawing pad, a free account, and a big dose of experimentation, anyone can design cool fabric in the course of an afternoon and begin constructing as soon as it arrives at week’s end - the typical turnaround time for an order.

I’ve designed artist made fabric for twenty years and spent a good portion of my career teaching others how to think about and make art cloth.  So Rhode’s concerns interest me. But I think they’re unfounded. 

Tools are tools. It’s the creative ability of the artist/designer that renders inconsequential the choice of tools. Artists who love to draw - forgive the pun - those who are irresistibly drawn to drawing - will always love to draw. Artists compelled to explore inside the computer screen will go there. A fair number may cross over - in a sort of strength training maneuver that marries the best of both worlds. And those of us who love textiles will fall out somewhere along the continuum. Tools are tools. It’s mastery that excites and delights. Which is very encouraging. Some things don’t change!

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Dirty car artist leaves masterpieces in the dust | Cult of Mac

Dirty car artist leaves masterpieces in the dust | Cult of Mac | Creative Civilization |
Dirty car artist Scott Wade creates masterpieces from the grime left on car windows.
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

I’m a big fan of street art - graffiti of all kinds, actually. I love seeing anything that makes me think “Oh, Wow!” It’s the scale. It’s the daring. It’s the transiency.

Scott Wade’s art form, profiled in this article by David Pierini, is an oh wow  for me. Wade literally draws into the dirt on windows. Car windows for starters. But windows of all kinds. And is hoping someone with a really big building will eventually think letting him work on the dirty glass beats cleaning it.

Check out examples - and the video. And be reminded of Buddhist sand paintings - mandalas that take days to create; only to be whisked away by breath, or hand, or both. Such a gentle reminder at the beginning of the New Year of our own exquisite fragility.

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In Praise of Melancholy and How It Enriches Our Capacity for Creativity

In Praise of Melancholy and How It Enriches Our Capacity for Creativity | Creative Civilization |
How the American obsession with happiness at the expense of sadness robs us of the capacity for a full life.

"One feels as if one were ly
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

A great review by Maria Popova, of Eric G. Wilson’s Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy. Reviews of books can so easily slip into a one-sided opinion; dumbing down the subtleties and challenges of the subject the author intended to address. Not so with Maria's review, which encourages the broader discussion by reminding readers it’s a slippery slope from acknowledging melancholy as it exists in anyone who is connected to the reality of human existenceto inadvertently being dismissive of the scourge that is the face of unrelenting depression. TWO quite different states of mind. Add then adding into the mix a discussion of the positive rise of happiness programs, degrees and self-proclaimed gurus. 

So what’s an artist to think? And/or feel?

Seems to me it always cycles back to balance. Few human beings can live in a perpetually happy state. It’s up to us to discover how to pull out of that funk - how to adopt an attitude of gratitude - as best we can. In the meantime, feelings of melancholy that arise from seeing the world as the imperfect place that it is, can and should fuel creative expression. My experience of being a single mother powered numerous works that other vulnerable people - women and men alike - related to. That’s the power of art; created from a sincere and authentic place. There’s room for the upbeat and glorious celebration of life that was Rumi, Mary Cassatt and Anna Williams. And there’s room for the difficult, painful, and challenging stuff that was Rothko, Van Gogh, and a host of others. There’s room for everything. Striking a balance is key. As is making an effort to stay in community with others. A shield against the darkness.

Karen Dietz's comment, January 13, 2:10 PM
This is a great article Jane. Thanks for sharing!
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My Month of Minimalism Challenge

My Month of Minimalism Challenge | Creative Civilization |
What if you removed one material possession—just one—from your life each day for a month? What would happen? Taking the minimalism challenge.
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Courtney Seiter sums it up. Many of us have too much randomly acquired "stuff" that we could do without.


Of course this applies across the board when it comes to how we live - too many silly kitchen aids; time-saving devices that don't save time because we have to clean them and figure out where to store them! Better to boil a little water if you want to cook a hotdog. Who needs to Weinie Genie?


Since I'm an artist, my thoughts went to all the "stuff" artists acquire in the studio over time. When I cleared out my old space so I could move into a new one, it took three garage sale/giveaways to get rid of paints, fabrics, chemicals and equipment I'd accepted as "love offerings" over the years. Or bought on a whim or in a "what if" moment.


Finally dawned on me - one girl's love offering easily becomes another girl's storage issue! "What ifs" can easily turn into OMG, where did all  crap come from?


Clearing and cleaning the studio - whether it's a second bedroom, a part of the garage, or a dedicated space - is time spent wisely. Opening physical space by clearing clutter has a wonderful secondary benefit - it opens up mental space, too. You feel lighter, spacious - ready for new thoughts and glory, glory! Possibly new acts of "making."


So Free Cycle a few art supplies you know in your heart of hearts you won't use any time soon. Take a bag a week to Goodwill, and while you're driving, imagine delight on the face of whoever encounters your stuff and takes it home to a studio that might be missing just what you've cast off.


BTW - good idea NOT to go into the store when you drop off your donation. It takes a few weeks to develop a new habit!



What goes to Goodwill STAYS at Goodwill. At least until next month...




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Place and Vision: The Artistic Legacy of Masumi Hayashi

Place and Vision: The Artistic Legacy of Masumi Hayashi | Creative Civilization |
Artist Masumi Hayashi: A Student’s Tribute written by Beth Dubber Masumi Hayashi was a tenured photography professor at Cleveland State University for 24 years. I was fortunate to have been a student of hers for 5 of those years, 1994-1999.

Via Mario Pires
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Thanks to Beth Dubber for this poignant piece on Masumi Hayashi. The artist's story - born in an American detainment camp, a successful and sensitive photographer and teacher, murdered senselessly in her apartment building hallway - traverses the depths of emotion, but it's the photographs that stop you in your tracks with their depth of feeling, and terrible beauty.

Composed of hundreds of smaller photos, Hayashi's images of relocation/detainment camps, cityscapes (Cleveland, Ohio) and other sites of power, often misused or misguided, feel sacred to me. Especially the amazing skies in many of the images. Incredible beauty in settings that are mostly desolate and representative of the worst of what human beings do to each other. Looking at them feels like praying.

Mario Pires's curator insight, February 25, 5:44 AM

"Masumi Hayashi is perhaps best known for creating striking panoramic photo collages, using smaller color photographs (typically 4-by-6-inch prints) like tiles in a mosaic. Many of these large panoramic pieces involve more than one hundred smaller photographic prints; the rotational scope of the assembled collage can be 360 degrees or even 540 degrees. Much of her work explores socially uncomfortable spaces, including prisons, relocation camps, and Superfund cleanup sites."

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Family as Art: The Photography of Julie Blackmon

Family as Art: The Photography of Julie Blackmon | Creative Civilization |
We explore Julie Blackmon’s take on everyday family life, her photography filling otherwise ordinary scenes with the surreal and the extraordinary.
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Julie Blackmon might not be on your radar, but you will be delighted when she is. I read this review of her work, written by Cat Yanish for and had to know more. 

Blackmon blends photographs of her children and friends with doses of Photoshop and theater, to tell magical visual stories with an emphasis on the craziness, poignancy and ordinariness of daily life. Be sure to click through to Blackmon's galleries in order to fully appreciate her work.

The black and white series, Mind Games, is everything I think of when I try to describe the idea of visual poetry to someone for whom the term is new. If you looked in the encyclopedia, you'd see Blackmon's work as the illustration.

Not to say the color images aren't equally captivating. I thought immediately of Tim Jenison's pursuit of Vermeer in the film Tim's Vermeer. Blackmon looks to be a student of those masters - although her reverence is definitely tongue in cheek!

Couldn't the perfect party game be inspired by her work? Write the Caption! Anyone want to play?

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Let Us Now Praise Crappy Cameras

Let Us Now Praise Crappy Cameras | Creative Civilization |
These days, it's possible to spend as much money on a fancy camera as you would on a brand new car.
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

LOVE, LOVE these pictures! Proof again that creativity lies in the head, heart and hands of the artist/maker and tools are tools. So delightful that even "bad" tools can make great art and entertainment. Made me want to resurrect the pin-hole camera - a favorite of mine from the '80s when my young daughter built a camera in a class and shared her pictures with me. Poetic and poignant.

You'll enjoy these!

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Scientific Heretic Rupert Sheldrake on Morphic Fields, Psychic Dogs and Other Mysteries | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network

Scientific Heretic Rupert Sheldrake on Morphic Fields, Psychic Dogs and Other Mysteries | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network | Creative Civilization |
For decades, I've been only dimly aware of Rupert Sheldrake as a renegade British biologist who argues that telepathy and other paranormal phenomena (sometimes lumped under ...
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Ok. you might ask - what's this got to do with making art? A friend sent a link to a Robert Genn post - one of a weekly series the eminent artist offers as part of his outreach to other artists - in which Genn suggests morphic fields as evidence supporting Jung's collective unconscious theory. Genn goes on to propose this might be what's happening when artists create works that are eerily similar, despite distance and no knowledge of each other. 

Read more about morphic fields - as it's one of those concepts you pass by until you're ready to embrace it. That's an experience we can probably all appreciate. Being ready for the teacher and then the teacher comes. Or in this case being ready for the concept, and it surfaces again.

From another perspective, these two articles are fascinating because they reference that old familiar issue - artists who think they've just invented themselves or what they make - without awareness of all the shoulders upon which they stand. It's a certain unfortunate vanity that isn't magnanimous (and curious enough) to honor the source of lessons and wisdom over time! That's why I, for one, am always eager to give credit where credit it due. It's just right behavior.

But on the other hand, there's another half to the equation. Every artist has the inalienable right to "discover" process, technique, and content for his or herself - and to believe in his or her ability to craft something distinctively personal and unique. 

Such is the paradox and balancing act: Honoring when honor is due, while harnessing enough self esteem to believe in the power of the evolving self to seek and find the unique, the new and the never been done before. 

A worthy challenge.

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How to See a World in a Corner of a Living Room

How to See a World in a Corner of a Living Room | Creative Civilization |
What do the ’80s post-punk band Liquid Liquid, faded family photographs, and Art Spiegelman have in common? All contributed to the creation of Richard McGuire’s latest graphic novel, Here.
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Thanks to and Megan Liberty for bringing this to our attention. Richard McGuire's graphic novel is ordered, paid for, and on the way from I can hardly wait to get it after reading Liberty's article/ review. 

One more example of how creative digital can be - when used a tool for art and storytelling! The book's theme - events that might have happened in McGuire's new apartment living room in the years that preceded his acquisition of the space - is made exponentially richer by his use of technology to layer image on image and color over color. I want to do this!

And while I'm not a convert to digital reading (yet) I find it alluring to think about the digital version of this book - available for iPad and Kindle - because sound effects and movement have been incorporated.

How intriguing is that?

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Death Of An Artist: How Social Media Is Ruining Creativity

Death Of An Artist: How Social Media Is Ruining Creativity | Creative Civilization |
In a world in which everyone is trying to plug in, we just want to break out.
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Thanks to Stephanie Sharlow and elite for an article that's hard to read, full of truth, and a challenge to creatives of all ages. At the center of the article is the call to rebuke a daily diet rich on social media bites, but lacking in real life sustenance.

It's ironic to be writing, and therefore participating in, the very thing Sharlow criticizes. The conflict that irony produces is not lost on me. It's IN me.  As an artist, the best thing I can do is GO TO THE STUDIO and MAKE ART. Having said that, the teacher in me knows how many people long for connection. A connection that social media provides, right or wrong.

So, as with all things, the another version of the discussion could focus on how we cope with the world THAT IS - since it's unlikely we can change it - in an effort to stay grounded and connected authentically - while using the tools innovation has presented us - without allowing them to rule.

I'm looking for balance all the time - hours in the studio, hours to reflect and write - and an hour a day to reach out to others who are thinking and caring deeply about their work, their time and their creative contribution to the rest of us.

A struggle worth embracing.

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The Mother of All Yarn Bombs: A Bus in Mexico City Takes a Yarn Bombing - Enpundit

The Mother of All Yarn Bombs: A Bus in Mexico City Takes a Yarn Bombing - Enpundit | Creative Civilization |
Magda Sayeg, aka the Mother of Yarn Bombing, has completely knitted and crocheted over an entire bus in Mexico City. Magda is quite famous in the yarn bombing community and has worked on commissions from companies around the world, including yarn bombs for Absolut Vodka, Mini Cooper, and Smart Car.

Via Kuniko
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Thanks, Kuniko for this fantastic image. I want one. And think about how many productive hours it would be to set a group of young artists to work on a fleet of city busses? Imaginative and so unique!

Street I Am's curator insight, January 5, 9:33 PM

More of the best stories on street culture

Pedro Luque Sancho's curator insight, January 20, 10:55 AM

añada su visión ...

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Writing Your Way to Happiness

Writing Your Way to Happiness | Creative Civilization |
Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Love this! Back story? I lead an online workshop called Artist Strength Training and it's an immersion in the challenges of being an artist; whether you are a professional or someone who has chosen art as a serious and committed avocation.

Tara Parker-Pope quotes a number of experts who focus on expressive writing as a means of actually REWRITING personal history. Through that writing, perceptions of self versus world can actually change.

I'm not familiar with the term expressive writing, but reading the article was like finding a long lost relative. I knew immediately the power researchers describe because I witness it myself all the time.

When we take time - and yes, that is what is required - to settle, think and KNOW ourselves, we begin to see that what happened wasn't always about us. That might sound like a paradox, because often it is. But it does help artists to make more significant,  more deeply connected art.

Read the article to understand this phenomenon better. Thanks to the and researchers Tim Wilson and James Pennebacker, whose studies are featured in the article.

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How to love art in your own way -

How to love art in your own way - | Creative Civilization |
Before there were self-help books and the legions of advice columnists, before Dr. Phil, there was art.
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

"But here I visit them as I do old friends. They continually nurture, comfort and delight me. They connect me to millions of my fellow humans long dead or still alive."

Lennie Bennett's review of pieces from St. Petersburg"s  Museum of Fine Art effectively articulates why art lovers visit art museums. Whether it's the pieces we first saw as children - and grew to know and love through frequent visits (as is true in her article) - or pieces loved from afar and finally viewed in person during a visit to a specific museum, art is about stories and their impact on us.

Haven't thought about it that way? Think again - and think specifically about five pieces of art you yourself love. I bet you'll find it's the connection to the story of the work that makes it resonate for you. Maybe it's the actual story you project onto the piece, maybe it's a story about the artist/artwork connection. Maybe it's a story about how you came to love what you love.. No matter the angle; it was great to be reminded that art carries limitless stories that enrich our appreciation of the who, what, why, how and when of art works that touch our lives.

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The 20 Most Powerless People in the Art World: 2014 Edition

The 20 Most Powerless People in the Art World: 2014 Edition | Creative Civilization |
While other publications sing the praises of the rich and powerful, we like to look at those who are largely overlooked in order to understand the real state of the art world and its discontents.
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

I am reminded of the adage Be in the world but not of the world.  And of my belief that we OR IS IT THEY? (politicians, popular culture, the corporate world, art world “experts”, mavens and others of that ilk) are currently on a slippery slope not unlike the one into addiction. Hitting bottom has to happen before the long climb out of the muck - back to sanity and self-respect - begins. If it ever does.

If you make time to read this list, you’ll easily see that it’s the disenfranchised poor of the art world - interns, purists, artists who refuse to sell out, (performance) artists whose art can’t obviously be manipulated to generate dollars, serious art lovers of acedemia (who also perhaps haven’t chosen to sell out) migrant artisans and workers, and others who are brave enough or powerless enough to rebuke GREED - who continue to remain powerless. It’s always about the poor.

That’s a big community. Will the slow but unstoppable shift that’s scaring the shit out of other old guard entities (whatever that means wherever you are in the world) - include the arts? 

Pray for it, if it fits your belief system. But take action however you can, and visualize the change you/we can be. One small act multiplied by all of us who are disgusted and dismayed by this list has the potential to change it.

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Meet the women redefining street art

Meet the women redefining street art | Creative Civilization |
Though street art is still a boys’ club, women like ELLE, Swoon and Vexta are trying to change the status quo

Via Street I Am
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

An expansion of the street art discussion for people who admire outdoor work and want to understand motivation better. The observations in this article by Roland Henry encourage appreciation at a new level - at least that’s what happened for me. And swelled up a big bunch of respect for women painting on the street and their obstacles to making. Names you didn’t know. But now you will.

Also important distinction referenced in the article between tagging (mainly about interior (personal or group confrontation) versus street art - which may be a form of exterior confrontation (out there in the city i.e. private property) but isn’t always. Sometimes it’s a gift to the surroundings. That’s the girl take on it.

These female perspectives offer one more example of art world marginalization. Not even street artists escape the tiresome trivialization of the man art hierarchy

Sigh. Keep painting, women of the world. On anything you can reach or get your hands on.

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Handmade: Fiber artists take advantage of business idea - The Detroit News

Handmade: Fiber artists take advantage of business idea - The Detroit News | Creative Civilization |
Business partners open a pop-up space for showcasing their own, others' art
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

Glad to see the reformation in Detroit continuing, as witnessed in this article on the Detroit Fiberworks Gallery, founded by Mandisa Smith and Najma Wilson. As a textile person I was especially delighted to read that the gallery's specialty is textile and fiber art work.

There are so many good ideas here! The fact that Detroit makes retail spaces available as pop up spaces for three months - long enough to get as feel for whether the business will be a success or not - without the burden of large investment.

I know in San Antonio, where I live, vacant spaces continue to haunt parts of downtown. Now and then artists are invited to occupy a space - primarily during city sponsored arts events. But wouldn't any city benefit from developing and on-going longterm program for filling space temporarily with art? Would protect vulnerable empty buildings, provide space for projects artists might not otherwise do, and draw an audience to parts of town with which people may not be familiar. Seems like a win-win no matter where you live.

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People Who Feel They Have A Purpose In Life Live Longer

People Who Feel They Have A Purpose In Life Live Longer | Creative Civilization |
Do you feel like you wander aimlessly through life, or is there a reason you're here? Psychologists say people with a sense of purpose may stress out less. Or they may lead healthier lives.
Jane Dunnewold's insight:

This piece immediately resonated with the teacher/guide in me. Working with artists - teaching new techniques and sharing ideas - puts me in touch every day with people who love what they do and are constantly stretching and growing. Even when the art making is a second career - or maybe ESPECIALLY when the art making is a second career - the commitment and excitement are tangible. Whether it's putting pen to paper or dropping lengths of fabric into a bucket of dye, the connection to the creative self is there. It's fun, it often feels magical and it's purposeful! hadn't actively thought of creating as a stress buster, but reading this article reminded me that it is.



I know in the Artist Strength Training workshops I teach there is always a discussion about the commitment we feel, the energy that is engaged by hands-on processes, and the value of writing in tandem with creating. All of it purposeful. Worth giving attention to as a way of staying mentally connected and young at heart and in spirit!



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