Friday Fun Quotes: Imagination’s Elixir

Here ya go. Your weekly respite into the world of famous and sometimes infamous quotes from a variety of personalities. Any one of these could prove motivation for that ad you’re working on, tweak your imagination, inspire you or just plain bring a smile to your face.

Did you ever wonder if Charlie Brown ever felt like he was living in The Twilight Zone or if Snoopy ever wanted to remodel his doghouse from a Frank Lloyd Wright design?

It’s Friday. Have some fun. Enjoy!!

CharlesShultz Quote

Rod Serling-Behind Curtain

 

The writer broadens, becomes more observant, more tempered, wiser… It  is not something that is injected into him by a needle…  It doesn’t  work that way. It’s a tedious, tough, frustrating process, but never,  ever be put aside by the fact that it’s hard.– Rod Serling

 

The scientist has marched in and taken the place of the poet. But one day somebody will find the solution to the problems of the world and remember, it will be a poet, not a scientist. – Frank Lloyd Wright

A great architect is not made by way of a brain nearly so much as he is made by way of a cultivated, enriched heart. – Frank Lloyd Wright

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. –        Herman Melville

There is a muse. But he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer station. He lives in the ground. He’s a basement guy. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there, you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in. You have to do all the grunt labor, in other words, while the muse sits and smokes cigars and admires his bowling trophies and pretends to ignore you. –                Stephen King

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.– Steve Jobs

Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. -                Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

11 … 10 … 9 … ignition sequence start … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3… 2 … 1 … 0. All engine running. Liftoff! We have a liftoff — 32 minutes past the hour — lift off on Apollo 11. Tower cleared. – Jack King

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Friday Fun Quotes: Masters’ Collection

This Friday’s edition of the blog again highlights various quotes in yet a different manner. Their authors don’t necessarily come from the advertising industry but are involved in some aspect of creativity.

Serling, Poe, Van Gogh, Einstein – quite a master’s collection, wouldn’t you say? While I am definitely a fan of Rod Serling and his Twilight Zone series, I also enjoy the works of my relative, Edgar Allan Poe. Yes, I am a writer. I learned years ago in reading a Louisiana history book, that my great-great-great uncle (Poe) was Edgar’s cousin or something like that.

And, yes, I do believe there is some truth to what “Uncle Edgar” (as I call him) says in the first quote below.

Uncle Edgar Quote

Edgar Allan Poe-silhoutte quote

Albert Einstein quote

Van Gogh Quote

Whenever you write, whatever you write, never make the mistake of assuming the audience is any less intelligent than you are.                                                                        –  Rod Serling 

...No matter what the future brings, man’s capacity to rise to the occasion will remain unaltered. Our  potential for tenacity and optimism continues, as always, to outfight and outlive any and all changes made by society. – Rod Serling. Twilight Zone “Steel.”

 

Rod Serling Profile:Quote

Rod Serling-Graduation

So long as you care, so long as you commit, so long as you concern yourself with the human condition, you have it in your power, perhaps twenty years from now, to be called to deliver a Commencement Address against a background of an infinitely finer world. – Rod Serling

Rod Serling-Behind Curtain

The writer broadens, becomes more observant, more tempered, wiser… It  is not something that is injected into him by a needle…  It doesn’t  work that way. It’s a tedious, tough, frustrating process, but never,  ever be put aside by the fact that it’s hard. – Rod Serling.

So, do you have a favorite? Which one really speaks to you? Let me know, and I may pass it on to Uncle Edgar!

Lady of the Living Room

A short, “short” (story).  This “short” came to me in a dream sequence recently. It was so vivid yet I could never identify the Lady, but I sort of recalled the Living Room.

 

I found her standing in the middle of the living room. But whose? This is not my house but for some reason it’s familiar. How did I get here? Who is this woman?

Attractive, stylish, middle-aged woman, dressed like 60’s women, complete with non-bufont hairdo. She’s in a silver-white business suit with dress buttons down front leading to a big belt buckle.

Martha Stewart Silhoutte

Silhouette by marthastewart.com

She’s actually from the sixties. Aside from her appearance, I seem to know that for some reason.

She never says her name.

Gazing intently into my eyes, she seems to know what I’m thinking and wondering.

She then proceeds to undress.

She gradually strips off her clothing, asking for some assistance from me. During so, she openly talks about having black underwear but not like the conservative styles of sixties’ fashion for “women her age.”

She embraces me and coyly purrs that she’s ten years older – – how does she know?

The Lady stands there before me, completely nude except for shiny black dress high heels. She appears to be completely comfortable and says she’s always been very open and passionate about sex, and with men of all ages.

We embrace and have a passionate kiss. Only then do I break away to get a drink when I discover the surroundings have changed.

We’re still in a house but not “that” house. Don’t know what’s happened but now I seem to be back in the sixties.

What power has she? Can I get back to my reality? Have I changed? Why has she done this?

“You told me I looked like a lady from the sixties,” she declares. “Well, you’re right; I am a lady from the sixties. And now you’re back in the sixties, too, dah-ling,” she purrs rather matter-of-factly.

“Where you’ll stay!” she blurts out flatly.

Martha Stewart Silhoutte 2

Silhouette by marthastewart.com

She starts laughing slowly; first a chuckle, then intensifying into full blown, hysterical laughter, all the while having a slight but wicked twinkle in her eye.

Then in a flash, she’s gone. Poof!

Startled, I begin to look around when I notice the windows and how pretty a day it is outside. Maybe my reality still exists beyond that window. As I near the window, however, I’m shocked to see that it’s just a painting. That’s not all; as I look around the room, I notice that ALL the windows are paintings.

What’s going on?

I move toward another window/painting, but as I pass in front of what I know is a mirror, I stop dead in my tracks. The reflection is of myself; yet, it can’t be.

Then I hear, faintly but distinctly, her hysterical laughter once again.

It appears I have now become the Lady of the Living Room.

Discover Your Creative Type With This TED.Com Creative Quiz.

I think you’ll find this little quiz curiously interesting. Though I don’t recall how I came about it, I’m glad I did.

Creativity comes in a variety of forms as does “being creative.” But it’s not like we have a switch that we can simply flick on and off to control our creative flow. Although, at times, I wish it were that easy.

According to writer and professor Meta Wagner, “by discovering what drives you and your art, you can tap into your deepest motivations and achieve your full creative potential”.

Do any of these sound familiar?

— You believe you have a great creative talent, but you think your dreams of pursuing it full-time are childish and impractical.

— You spent months on a creative project. Then, you couldn’t decide if it was brilliant or worthless so you. just. stopped.

— You’ve sold a drawing/song/podcast/story/web series, and you’ve got more under way. But even though you’re succeeding, you find yourself waking up at night, worrying about competitors.

If you can relate to one or more of these scenarios, welcome to the creative life. Any artist you’ve ever heard of has had something besides talent, dedication or luck behind them: Most of them knew why they created. When you know what drives you — and what encourages and discourages you — you’re better able to keep yourself on track and enlist friends and colleagues to rally you during dry times or tough times.

The five creative types here grew out of the extensive research and thinking Ms. Wagner has done for the “Creativity in Context” seminar she teaches at Emerson College. Her students have responded enthusiastically, and she realized she’d tapped into something valuable for anyone creative.

Click the “start” button, take the quiz,* discover your type, and embrace a life fueled by your imagination and art. Let me know what Creative Type you are!

Meta Wagner writes about pop culture and creativity, and she’s been published in The Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, Salon and other outlets. Wagner teaches creative and communications writing at Emerson College and Boston University, where she was a 2017 TEDx speaker.

*BTW, when I took it, the results say I am a “game changer”. . .

“You’re looking to produce something new and different with your creativity. You don’t understand people who churn out variations of the same thing or who imitate other artists. Nothing pleases you more than smashing conventions, and the highest praise you can get is when someone says, “I’ve never seen or heard anything like this before.”
Just remember:You’re going to encounter a fair amount of criticism and rejection, so try not to let it derail you or make you too dejected. When you receive constructive criticism, see if it resonates with you and make changes as you see fit. But keep in mind that what you’re doing may make people uncomfortable or threaten anyone who is conventional or risk-averse. So, when you receive a rejection letter or email, do one of the following with it: burn it, frame it, delete it, spear it or save it so you can later send a note back to the rejecter saying ‘I told you so.’ Just don’t give up.”

TED

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

Can Good Friday Actually Be “Good”?

This blog usually highlights creativity and various aspects of innovation and imagination. On this Good Friday, I’m wondering if we as a society have what it takes to make it, and subsequent days, actually a good Friday.

Are we innovative and creative enough within each of us to make positive for civil discourse? Especially on those topics we disagree?

Though it would be a nice gesture to love our fellow man and woman, many don’t see that as reality. Treating one another with respect, however, is another matter. It’s one in which we should take to heart and do. All the time. Everyday.

Politics and religion don’t mix; at least, that’s what used to be said. Nowadays, one seems to feed off the other. If one person doesn’t like another’s religion, based in part of oft times misguided prejudices, that person ridicules, insults and basically treats that other person, whom he/she may not even know, like a second class citizen, if even that.

That’s wrong. That’s racism. That’s really being stupid.

I’m sure Jesus is looking down upon us all, shaking his head and thinking, “People, people what in Heaven’s name are you doing? That’s your brother; that’s your sister. Didn’t I teach you better than this?”

This is Friday. We’re at the end of the week, and what a week it has been. The sports world was stunned when we witnessed Tiger Woods win his fifth Green Jacket at The Masters (and his 15th major). No sooner than the celebration began did we learn about the horrific fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. And now the Mueller Report has been released, redactions and all.

Emotions have run high and low all week. Plus, this is Holy Week to boot. Jesus was crucified today and on Sunday (Easter) He rose. Let’s not forget Passover this weekend, too.

Given all that has gone on this past week and is yet to come, I pray that as a civilized people we can continue to come together; just a heck of a lot better than we’ve done thus far. It’s okay to disagree, folks; it’s not okay to berate, insult or make fun of someone simply because you don’t like what they said or how they look.

Alas, we seem to stray from true civil discourse and prefer to argue, sometimes violently rather than engage in calm rhetoric. We’re supposed to be creative individuals. Why not think in terms of possible solutions based upon our strengths and commonalities rather than our differences and negativity.

God blessed us with a brain. Let’s use it constructively along with our imagination to better our cause. But when we see injustice or something we don’t understand, it’s also okay to raise questions and challenge the status quo. We will never all see eye to eye.

But we all need to be moving forward. Onward and upward is not merely a catchy phrase, it’s a belief system. We have different and various beliefs, coming from disparate backgrounds and experiences. That’s a good thing.

So let us picture ourselves posing in a multinational, multiracial, multigenerational photo, arms crossed with hands clasped: Christians, Jews, Muslim, Arab, Israeli, Indian, LGBTQ, Martian (with and without antennae), Saturnite. That would make for a nice cover photo of Time’s Persons of the Year.

It would bring about a smile on Jesus’ face and put an extra bounce in the Easter Bunny’s hop. Let’s all try and have a truly good Friday and a blessed Holy Weekend.

 

Dreams . . . Cancer . . . Nightmares . . . Sleeplessness . . . What of Insomnia?

Note: This week begins a celebration of World Creativity and Innovation Week, April 15-21. I thought it appropriate to highlight some intriguing, insightful and, hopefully, entertaining bits and pieces of creativity and innovation from around our globe.

My initial offering deals with Insomnia and how, for some people, it can be truly nightmarish. This post includes information and images from both a presentation on insomnia and select photos by a photographer who has severely suffered from insomnia.

In this excerpt from an issue of Adobe Create Magazine, the photog takes us into his bizarre world of striking, nightmarish illusions.

And his fight with insomnia.

Photographer Nicolas Bruno has suffered from sleep paralysis since he was seven years old. In Bruno’s case, when he enters REM sleep, his mind becomes conscious, or awake, but his body remains asleep. During these recurring episodes, he experiences shortness of breath or pressure on his chest and the feeling that he’s being choked or is going to be killed. Screaming shadow figures menace him in bed. He’s unable to move, and the state seems to last hours. Sometimes it stops because he awakens; other times he moves into another dream. All of it is out of his control.

And you thought you had nightmares!

BrunoSleepless-3

When Bruno was fifteen, he began experiencing sleep paralysis almost every night. To help process the resulting stress, he kept a dream journal and then turned to drawing and photography. At first, he photographed mostly landscapes and abandoned places. Over time, he started making work directly inspired by what he goes through during sleep paralysis.

“Transforming my experiences with sleep paralysis into artwork not only helps me understand the dreams,” Bruno says. “It gives me a universal voice to speak about something almost impossible to describe with words. After I complete a photo shoot and see my final image, I feel so relieved to have transformed a once uncontrollable nightmare into something positive and tangible.”

BrunoSleepless-1

“The characters I portray within my work are figures I’ve documented within my sleep paralysis episodes. Faceless men in suits often stand at the foot of my bed, and women in dresses might float across my bedroom to shriek in my ear. Sometimes I’m grasped by hands that attempt to drag me off of my bed. These characters reoccur, transform, and sometimes reveal more about themselves as time goes on,” explains Bruno.

Though Bruno still suffers from regular episodes of sleep paralysis, he has learned to minimize the contributing factors, which include excessive stress, too much screen time before bed, an irregular sleep schedule, and sleeping in unfamiliar locations.

BrunoSleepless-2

“As I’ve become used to the feelings,” he says, “I’ve found that riding out the experience subdues the terrifying nature of the dream and can leave room for analysis, and even a quick exit. If you allow the fear to win, you’ll never have control of the situation. My advice is to build up your courage to face these dreams head on, whether it be through strength, religion, logic, or spiritualism.”

I struggle with sleeplessness and insomnia, too. Strange dreams of partially true vignettes of moments in my past life sometimes intermingle with “newly scripted” happenings, making for a weird combination of mental nighttime gymnastics.

I’m a cancer survivor as well as a caregiver to my wife. No stress here!

When I consider the various meds I take daily as well as the numerous decisions and judgement calls my wife and I make on a daily basis, it’s probably no wonder why I have insomnia. And weird dreams.

I was interested when I heard about a lecture recently given by MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston relative to sleeplessness and insomnia. Here’s a link to a presentation I received that evening so you, too, can gain insight into this all-too troubling disorder.

Please don’t hesitate to share your own insomnia stories, especially if you have learned some techniques to counter or offset this malaise.

 

 

 

 

Special Friday Edition: DaVinci, Einstein & the Chocolate Couple.

Every once in a while I see some sort of art exhibit that I just go “What the . . .?!”

I experienced this again recently and thought I’d share with you. As you’ll see, the exhibit, featuring actual live human beings, is both surreal and a bit unreal. Except that it is, uh, real, that is.

Evidently, this takes place each year in Belgium. It’s called the Statues en Marche festival in Marche-en-Famenne, Belgium. Various real live actors portray different characters. Some are famous as in DaVinci and Einstein, while others are less so, as in the Couple en Chocolat. 

DaVinci

An artist impersonating Leonard De Vinci takes part in the Statues en Marche celebration. REUTERS/Yves Herman

I’d love to know the backstory with some of these actors, given the amount of time some of them have to remain quite still. Regardless and from a journalist’s perspective, when was the last time you sat down and interviewed a couple of chocolate? This festival didn’t indicate what names, if any, some of the actors were portraying. Mr. & Mrs. Snickers?

ChocolateCouple in Belgium

Artists who call themselves “Le couple en chocolat” take part in the Statues en Marche festival in Marche-en-Famenne, Belgium. REUTERS/Yves Herman

 

Einstein Statue

An artist impersonating Albert Einstein in Marche-en-Famenne, Belgium. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Check out the Statues en Marche festival and more.

Creativity takes many forms in many different places. Intriguing!