Things are going pretty well, lots of pokers in the fire right now… trying to move forward with so many projects is a bit like juggling rabid chipmunks. Because each completion happens at a different pace, it is the only way I know of to keep momentum while I’m waiting to hear back on something.
Above is an illustration for a poem I wrote called Kiddie Pool Kraken. Came out so cool, that I’m thinking of creating a poetry book centered around my silly animal themes. Spoiler- Pretty sure the kraken with the beach ball will be the cover ;) Working on Kraken takes my mind off the fact that I am waiting not-so-patiently to hear back on numerous award and grant submissions. I don’t have any nails left, but I do have a whole heap of nervous energy invested in new projects, just lined up end to end on the diving board.
While the book and art stuff is going on, I’m also knee deep in graphic design this week – redesigning packaging for Creamrite’s Whiprite brand converting their dispenser boxes for a distributer in China and working on the Measure R campaign graphics for Ventura County. Busy. Tired. But all good. Here is my staying inspired playlist:
Dreaming’ – G Love, All is Love – Karen O, Beautiful Day – U2, You Gotta Be – Des’ree, Keep’N It Real – Shaggy, Don’t Take Me For Granted – Social Distortion, Where’s Your Head At – Basement Jaxx, Everybody’s Free – Basement Beat mix, You May Be Right – Billy Joel, Fly – Sugar Ray, Do Something – Macy Gray, Roar – Katy Perry, Applause – Lady Gaga, Galileo – Indigo Girls, Raise Your Glass – Pink
I think part of the real magic to staying inspired is just keep doing. The faster you move things forward the better momentum you achieve. That way when you hit a snag or even a road block, you just kind of plow into it and flop over the top on the same trajectory. Occasionally there is a hella drop on the other side that you’ll need to shake off, but landing and staying in that ditch is not a good thing. If one project starts to fizzle, be sure you have others to work on. A rejection letter (which I get ALL the time) doesn’t mean as much when you are waiting for other submissions to get back to you. I find the more I have submitted at a time – some in art, some on a short story, some on a novel, some on a contest – the less of a deal it is when one doesn’t work out the way you hoped. Keep going.
A bit on inspiration from my upcoming book SPARK (unedited)
The bench. I’m standing in the opera house on Main Street in Disneyland in front of a seemingly ordinary park bench. Above the bench hangs a huge black and white photo in a heavy wood frame. The image depicts a gloomy scene in which an ordinary looking older man is walking alone down a heavily-puddled paved street against a grey sky. But this is no ordinary street, behind him looms the giant theme park icon – Cinderella’s castle. This image struck me. When we think of the success Walt Disney achieved, we stop seeing the roots and the beginnings. On this bench, Walt dreamed of creating Disneyland. To some, that sounds lucky or magical as though the air could crackle around a bench with such magical powers.
The painting also tells a different story. The image symbolizes to me that we are still just ordinary people and we have days where it rains. We have days when we must walk alone. We have days where success looks like nothing more than an uphill battle. The dream and the work hanging together like that, side by side as a tribute to the man that created the empire knocked my goals and aspirations up another notch. In another grand sweep of Universal enlightenment a second after I felt the good juju halo-effect of being in the same space as a treasured object, my three year old daughter climbed under the museum rope and parked herself up on Walt’s bench directly under the “Do not touch” sign. I snatched her up laughing. A momentary collision of two worlds reminding me I have success all around me everyday in love and innocence. No harm was done and I am pretty sure Walt would not have minded sharing his bench with such a mischievous cutie.
Inspiration can come from biographies of those past whom created their own corner of history doing what it is you are working to do. Posters or art on the walls, being around people that lift you up and challenge you to take your ideas to the next level. The natural world around you can be inspiring – the perfection and simplicity in something as tiny as a drop of dew can be a meditation all it its own. Sometimes inspiration flashes before us, sometimes we need to seek it out.