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Great Advice from Neil Gaiman and Lisa Stewart

If you’re in need of a shot of heady inspiration founded by timeless wisdom, Neil Gaimon delivers a truly captivating speech to the University of the 2012 Arts Class -and we get the tremendous benefit of hearing it, too.

The landscaping of business is changing, we know this. Much of what Neil has to offer are the guidelines I set for myself long ago. We’re both rebels and our approach to life shows that. If you’re a new grad or 20 years into your career, Neil Gaiman will help guide you with relevance from his world no matter where you are in your life map.

Listening to Neil was helpful to me and now -whether he likes this or not – he’s my new secret mentor.

Last Minute Creative Holiday Gifts

Rejoice! You can now shop with your glass of bubbly and look like you’ve sweat over her/his gift. Here are a few terrific last minute holiday gifts that you can give the creative on your list.


Lytro Camera – Get this folks, this is truly FM (freaking magic) for the photo geeks in your life. Best invention of 2011, headaches of focusing each shot has disappeared. A few highlights:

  • With light traveling in every direction in every point in space, you can Capture the entire light field. Imagine capturing Dr. Who in your own little virtual TARDIS!
  • Captures Living Pictures with the press of a single button. By instantly capturing complete light field data, the Lytro gives you capabilities you’ve never had in a regular camera. This is moving in the direction of the Daily Prophet! How cool is this?
  • Allows you or anyone to Focus After the Fact. This will allow you to experience the first major light field capability Focus and re-focus, anywhere in the picture. You can refocus your pictures at anytime, after the fact. Could be terrific for spies like us to review crime scenes. 😉

Spoiler: If you want to know the secret to the magic, is because there isn’t an auto-focus motor. No auto-focus motor means no shutter delay. So, capture the moment you meant to capture not the one a shutter-delayed camera captured for you.

Play with it now! Hover over the image and click anywhere you want to focus your eye. A small square bottom right will appear to let you know that the image is live.

Isn’t this just wicked? After this, you can add another level of argument to the age old question: Is photography an art or science?

Want more photos to play with? Here’s a link to the picture gallery.

Digital Subscriptions

Many publishers are going the route of electronic publications -and it’s about time. Now that they [the publishers] have figured out how to monetize their new business model, a digital subscription to any magazine is a great gift. Did I mention instant?

I know that I’m simply overwhelmed with years of CommArts & Print magazines stored under my desk and there will be more to follow. So what’s an artist to do?

Go digital. If your loved one is plagued with periodicals floating around the studio and they’re eating precious real estate, a digital subscription may be the way to go. The trees will thank you for it.

Many folks, and I’m going to name ages here, folks who are a generation older than myself (boomers) still like the feel of paper between their fingers. But here’s where I really love sorting history of periodicals: the online search feature. Instead of swimming thru a mess of magazines on the floor to find that certain how-to-guide, I can just search for it online thru my new digital magazine or compendium. I can print out the article if I want, but chances are I won’t need to. Many digital resources and platforms (ie iPad) will bookmark your spot. Who doesn’t love bookmarks?

Some digital magazines subscriptions may or may not include a print edition. They may even be more expensive because they’re including lots of amenities like bonus materials, videos, online forums and such. Just take a good look at the price and be your own judge.


The quickest way to a creative’s heart is through her hands. If there is one thing we creatives know, it’s that we love to build and construct, but we never take the time for ourselves –even an hour. A creative’s hands are never pretty. Quick gifts could include a manicure and pedicure to reward her (or him) for those long hours in the studio.

Manicures aren’t just for fashionistas, they have internal benefits, too. Did you know that manicures include a hand and arm massage? Plus, they help moisten cuticles and strengthen nails that prevent them from splitting during the dry months and make her (or him) look professional during the major selling seaon. Also, pedicures include a foot and calf massage and that would be so perfect for after a 3-day show!

Depending on your region, manicures usually run about $25. This includes polish but I always opt out because I’ll chip that polish in a New York minutes. Plus, this grants me a longer massage! If you buy a combo package, you can probably get a great deal.

So, Ms/Mr Procrastinator, enjoy your bubbly and thank me later for introducing you to this no sweat, no drama gift giving list.

Have a great holiday and remember to recharge your own batteries.

Here’s to Cultivating Your Creative Independence


Saul Bell 2011 Design Awards

While the Saul Bell 2011 Design Awards were announced a few months ago, they are now accepting applications for 2012 awards. So much inspiration from these fine artists that I can’t keep from drooling.

Go take a look for yourself. Gorgeous work. Gorgeous.

Here’s to Cultivating Your Creative Independence

Follow your passions, even if the money doesn’t follow

A beautifully shot documentary on a creative who is on the other side of the lens. He continues to follow his passion regardless of income. An inspiration to us all during these bleak times.

He shows us to follow your passions, even if the money doesn’t follow.

An extraordinary example of DSLR cinematography -must watch.

I’d rather be a poor artist with a rich soul than a rich empty and souless shell. How about you?

Here’s to Cultivating Your Creative Independence

Inspiration: Art as Deception

Using three iPods like magical props, Marco Tempest spins a clever, surprisingly heartfelt meditation on truth and lies, art and emotion…

Here’s to Cultivating Your Creative Independence

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