The Art of a Hidden Poem

I love that the trend of meditative coloring books is still a thing. I’ve seen tons of them hit main stream stores like Walmart this holiday season. I’m sure it’s because they make awesome gifts.

If you love this kind of thing – and want to expand your talents, you may want to try this relaxing and creative activity. I call them hidden poems, because it’s essentially a poem that you uncover and create within an existing text like this >>

Just like adult coloring books, the process of a hidden poem requires you to be still, color, and create. And the end result can be just as beautiful and gift-worthy.

A Hidden Poem “How To”

Tear out or photocopy a page from your favorite book, newspaper or magazine. The New Yorker and other literary magazines are perfect for this type of activity, because the language is so rich and lovely. You’ll see why that’s important in a moment…

Grab a pencil and skim through your page of text. Underline individual words that jump out or speak to you as you go.

Next, read each of the words as if they were strung together in a sentence. You might need to find a few connecting words in between to help the flow. What you’re doing is finding and creating a poem within the page.

Once you have your words selected, take a dark colored marker and start coloring and covering all of the extra words around your poem.

You can even decorate the page around your poem like these beautiful examples. >>

After you’ve crafted your message feel free to frame it, stick it on your inspiration board, or even give it as a gift to someone special. The more you practice this art form, the better you’ll become at spotting hidden poems and messages.

I’d love to see some of your works of art, so be sure to share!! Post it on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram @Katejandersen so I can repost it.

Have a creative day!

-Kate

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Friday Wrap: Magazine Gems

Happy Friday, my friends! I hope you’ve had an incredible week. If not, there’s still time.  It was a fairly productive week on my end. I tackled tons of projects at work, made birthday party purchases for next week’s festivities, and finally knocked out the giant pile of magazines on my coffee table. That was a feat.

Real Simple, February

Just a few of the many…

Quick confession: What started out (several weeks ago) as three or four perfectly fanned magazines turned into a heaping mound of business. There were not only magazines, but also catalogs, postcards, a few pieces of junk mail and even some of Avery and Clara’s artwork tucked in there!

Once I sorted through everything, I found a few hidden gems I wanted to share – besides the art from my baby girls.

{ONE} Family Fun: February 2015Family FunCupid Kabobs: Page 18Cupid KabobsValentine’s Day is two weeks away. Eek! Good thing I found a few darling ideas in this issue of Family Fun – including these grape tomato and cheese kabobs. They look easy, too. Super bonus.

{TWO} Real Simple: February 2015Real SimpleArt Caddy: Page 32Art CaddyOne of my favorite things about this magazine is the “new uses for old things” section. This issue didn’t disappoint. I love the idea of using a DVD case as an art caddy for the kiddos. I’m thinking this would be perfect for car rides.

{THREE} Pottery Barn Teen: Spring 2015Pottery Barn Teen, FebruaryBeautiful Bins: Page 27Pottery Barn BinsI don’t officially have teens in my house, but some days it feels that way. (#eightgoingoneighteen) Pottery Barn must know about these days, which is probably why they send me PB Teen catalogs. I will say, there are some seriously beautiful prints and patterns in this edition. You won’t find them in the regular PB magazine, either. These bins are one example. They’re just the right amount of color to jazz up any bookshelf.

{FOUR} Victoria: January/February 2015Victoria January/FebruaryDragonfly Floral: Page 42Dragonfly FloralThis issue was given to me by my mom, who is queen of all things magazine. She might be single-handedly keeping the U.S. Postal Service in business. When this beautiful issue of Victoria made its way over to my house, I practically drooled over this picture of Dragonfly Floral. If I ever own a flower shop, I want it to look just like this gorgeous place in Sonoma Valley, California. Please.

{FIVE} Athleta: February 2015AthletaComfy Clothes: Page 32AthletaLeave it to me to pick the most non-athletic piece of clothing in Athleta’s catalog to want to buy. There are certainly some amazing workout clothes from this store, but when I saw this outfit, I imagined how perfect it would be for pretty much every day of my life.

That’s it for my coffee table discoveries. I have some exciting things in store for next week. If you weren’t aware, National Doodle Day AND National Bubblegum Day are happening. I’m also going to visit my sister in Atlanta. It should be full of adventure, and I’ll be sure to share!

Have a “super” weekend hanging with all of your favorite people. I’ll be watching the big game with my family – and cheering for my favorite commercials. Of course, it will be after I read a few of my favorite blogs:

Fiveonfriday

Visit Darci, April, Natasha and Christina!

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And don’t forget Friday Confessions from Leslie!

Cheers and kisses!

-Kate

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Inspiring Lessons from The War of Art

The War of ArtIf you haven’t had a chance to read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, I can assure you it will be worth every special minute of your time. It’s incredibly motivating – like the kind that kicks you in the couch potato pants and gets you moving in the direction you were meant to travel.

In fact, this is one of my favorite passages that inspired me to write today’s post:


Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action.

Do it or don’t do it.

It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer, write a symphony, or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.

You shame the angels who watch over you, and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.

Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”


Talk about motivation. I don’t know about you, but that last line is a bone-chilling challenge. Let’s accept. What do you say?

If you’re a painter, paint. If you’re a teacher, teach. If you’re a leader, lead. If you’re a mom, mother. The people in your world need you.

For those who aspire to be writers or artists, and who fall near and dear to my heart, here’s an added challenge.

  1. Accept you’re a writer or artist. Another brilliant quote from Pressfield suggests, “If you find yourself asking, ‘Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?’ chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” The more scared you are about a calling, the more you can be sure you need to do it.
  1. Get started. Grab your computer or paper and pen. I’ll wait… Okay, now start writing and don’t stop until you’ve hit at least 1,000 words. What should you write about? Anything. It could be about a crappy day you had, your best friend in grade school who always made you laugh, or your obsession with Snicker’s bars. Need more inspiration? In the movie “Finding Forrester” the character played by Sean Connery, who is a reclusive writer, asks his student to take an existing piece of work as a starting point. The student transforms it into something unique. You could try that, too. Take lines from your favorite song and create characters and a storyline around their relationship. You may surprise yourself with where you end up. The goal isn’t necessarily in the masterpiece. What matters most is that you’re writing – and doing what you were put on this earth to do. If you’re an artist, do the same exercise, but draw or paint for at least 30 minutes. Do this every day, and the great masterpiece will be your life.

Here’s to you and your amazing talents. Now go get ’em!

-Kate

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Creative Tip: Take a Field Trip

One of the best motivators to clean your house is to invite guests over. Am I right? Well, the same goes for visiting nearby museums. Sometimes it takes a visitor to get you out the door.

That’s what happened this weekend. It’s been forever since I’ve trekked (all of 18 miles) up to Bentonville to visit Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. When family came to visit this weekend to celebrate my father-in-law’s 80th birthday, we decided to spend a day touring the museum. #bestdecisionever

State of the ArtRight now CB has an exhibit called State of the Art, which is incredible. It’s only here until Jan. 19th, so I would have kicked myself if I missed the chance to see this American wonder.

To quote the ads, “Over the course of a year, the (curatorial) team logged more than 100,000 miles across the United States and visited nearly 1,000 artists looking for people who haven’t been fully recognized on a national level, yet.”

The result is an exhibition that draws from every region of the country and offers a diverse look at American art. Everyone should have a chance to review and absorb this beauty. The museum feels this way, too, which is why admission is free of charge.

This field trip did wonders for my creative spirit. I didn’t realize how stagnant I was until I saw such inventive and thoughtful art.

I snapped a few pics of my faves to share. It was tough narrowing these down, though.

Compilation

(L to R) 1. Avery & Clara in the crocheted tunnel by Jelia Gueramian; 2. Hand-cut paper moth by Hiromi Mizugai Moneyhun; 3. “Forever” by John Salvest made with secondhand romance novels; 4. “World Map” by Emily Erb made with dye on silk. I wanted to wrap myself in this veil of softness – but that would have ended our visit all too soon.

Forever Books

A close look at some of the books in “Forever”.

crochet tunnel

A wide shot of the crochet tunnel. It was wild and colorful – like a page out of a Dr. Seuss book.

Lottery Tickets

“Ghost of a Dream” by Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was made with discarded lottery tickets. There’s a closeup pic on the bottom. Can you believe someone found beauty in a scratch ticket?

Ghosts of Consumption

Here’s another ghostly image. “Ghosts of Consumption” consists of objects and trash found in ocean water off the coasts of Hawaii, Alaska, Greece and Costa Rica. I spy a bike petal. Whaat?

 

Telescope

A telescope made from holes in the drywall by Chris Sauter. Brandon had to point out how this was made – and it was even cooler once I made the connection to the wall. Thanks, sweet B.

Circle

I was really drawn to this painting by Kelsey Brookes. It’s reminiscent of 60s culture, and the center of the painting “moves” as you walk past the art. Super interesting.

Compilation2

I love this collection pulled together in one picture. (L to R) 1. Emergent” by Isabella Kirkland, an artist and scientist who has documented endangered and extinct animals; 2. Daffodils encased in glass composite by Flora Mace; 3. “Anthropocene 1” by Pam Longobardi painted on copper

Stairwell of String

This pic was snapped in the stairwell where hundreds (maybe thousands?) of multicolored threads were stretched from wall-to-wall creating a gorgeous spectrum by artist Gabriel Dawe. A sight to see!

While the tour ended here, the impact of the outing has stayed with me. I was reminded how important it is to get out of our comfortable homes and workplaces every now and then to see what the rest of the world is up to. I certainly I felt a jolt of inspiration on this visit, and I wish this upon every creative soul out there (and that includes you).

When I started this creativity blog, I told Brandon how sad it is to hear people say, “Oh, I’m not creative.” That simply isn’t true, and I want to help people connect back to their creativity.

If you woke up and dressed yourself today, you are creative. Look at the fabrics, the colors, the accessories, and the way you styled your hair. You made creative decisions all morning! The secret is to recognize and be grateful for your expressions – and more opportunities to feel this way will show up.

It’s okay to start off by following other people’s lead. My daughter Avery came home from our field trip and started painting her own version of Sonya Clark’s “Albers Interaction” series.

Avery's Art

Avery’s painting is at the top. The bottom art is by Sonya Clark who wrapped colored thread around stacks of hair combs. Clark actually makes a direct reference to Modernist painter Josef Albers and his “Homage to the Square”. So it’s like inspiration inception!

Avery started to dismiss her work by saying she just copied what she saw. I told her that her work is just as important because she made it her own. Once she got it, she felt inspired to keep going. That’s the point. Keep going. See what new paths you can carve, and don’t stop there. Even if it takes being inspired by someone else to get you started.

Trust in yourself and your creative voice. It knows the answer to everything. Sometimes it just takes stepping out for a bit to hear what’s inside.

Avery Admiration

Avery contemplating our visit at the museum  – or just looking for some fish 😉

What’s your favorite place to visit for inspiration? Share with us here, on Twitter or Instagram. Use #CreativeTipTues or tag me @Katejandersen.

Most creative wishes to you!

-Kate

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Creative Tip: Collaborate with Kids

Creative InspirationDon’t you adore the carefree nature and creativity of kids? It seems the younger the child, the fewer filters they have for things that are silly or absurd. They’re incredibly open-minded and able to rationalize things that are seemingly impossible.

I remember a conversation with my son, Evan, when he was a little guy. He said the sun warmed the earth by reaching down with its invisible arms and zapping everything with heated light sabers. His complete confidence in the idea was not only adorable, but also inspiring.

It’s good to forget logic every now and then and play the “what if” game. What if the sun did have invisible arms? You never know when this type of harmless exploration could lead to great inventions.

At the very least, it encourages us to see the world with fresh eyes and broaden our imagination.

There’s an illustrator named Mica Angela Hendricks who believes in collaborating with kids to enhance her creative ideas. She pulled out a sketchbook one day and allowed her five-year-old daughter to add finishing touches to her drawings. The result was astounding. She began to work closely with her little girl to create beautiful and wildly imaginative pieces of art together.

A selection of Mica's work is available for purchase at Society6.

A selection of Mica’s work is available for purchase at Society6.

Give it a try for yourself!

I’m not an illustrator, so I might adapt this idea with cutting pictures from magazines and then working with my kids to build out the story. I saw something like this on Artmommie’s blog.ArtmommieAnother fun idea would be to create a book together. Start with a writing prompt, then take turns writing lines of a story from there. Here are Ten Terrific Writing Prompts I developed to help you get started. You can go back and add pictures once the story is written, and then have it published through a site like blurb.

blurb

Blurb is a great site for printing your own books.

I’m sure there are hundreds of ways to collaborate with your kids and ignite more creativity in your life. So be sure to share your awesome ideas in the comments or tag me on Twitter or Instagram with a picture you’ve created and use #CreativeTipTues.

As always, have a creative day!

-Kate

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