An Exercise In Inspiration | Photofocus

Image Source:  simpleicon.com
Image Source: simpleicon.com

An interesting article on how to take a pretty mundane subject and make it more appealing.

I think that varying the angle of your shots is absolutely essential (and something I need to do more of myself).

Give it a try and show me how it turns out!

Source: An Exercise In Inspiration | Photofocus

Dealing with that Creative Rut | Photofocus

Image Source:  salescoachdan.com
Image Source: salescoachdan.com

It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut.  Especially right now, when RL is filled with the holidays and family commitments.

It’s easy to fall back on something easy, something you’ve done before.  But how do you break out of it?

This article has some interesting ideas, as well as some common sense suggestions.

Source: Dealing with that Creative Rut | Photofocus

Weekly Inspiration at Scribbler’s Cove

Inspiration
Image Source: kickaction.ca

Several months ago (or longer, my memory isn’t what it used to be), my friend Nai started an ‘inspiration’ thread.

The original idea was that he would post a ‘theme’ for the week and anyone interested would create something around that theme – artwork, poetry, a song, a blog post – whatever.

Since I’m often on the lookout for inspiration, I thought it was a great idea.

For several weeks, we had fun with creating and sharing on the Blue Moon website.

Then, as it sometimes does, RL interfered and Nai had to step back from the ‘365’ inspiration.

Bummer. 😦

Luckily for me, Nai’s partner Ailsa stepped in.

Ailsa is a talented artist and runs Scribbler’s Cove, where she has her artwork on display.

She graciously picked up where Nai left off and is now hosting weekly art shows based on themes.

She sent out a note card with weekly themes and encouraged us to create submissions for display.

I’ve had a lot of fun trying to come up with pictures for the themes.

LOTD 125Sometimes I use the pictures I create in my LOTD posts.

Other times, I find myself just wandering around in SL, looking for a great place to capture my take on the weekly theme.

This LOTD was inspired by the ‘Journey’ theme of that week.

It was fun to come up with an idea and then create a picture and a story around the theme.

Often I use it as an excuse to take random pictures, which I don’t do nearly as often as I would like.

I don’t have as much time in SL as I used to, so getting things done on a deadline is challenging.

DecisionsSo far, I’ve only missed participating in one week.

(Maybe two, as I’m still trying to find time put something together for this week’s theme!)

My favorite theme was the ‘Suspend’ theme, because I had a ton of fun hanging off of various things and snapping pics.

I think this picture is my favorite so far – I took it for the ‘Edge’ theme.

Usually I’m fairly critical of my photos.

There’s always something I’d like to fix or do differently.

This one, though, I’m pretty happy with.

And it was the first photo I took – that never happens!

The artists who participate (Winnie, Nai, Beth, and others) are all very talented people and I look forward each week to seeing what they’ve done.

So if you have a few spare minutes, stop by Scribbler’s Cove and check it out.

I Think I Sprained My Brain . . .

brain_sprain
Image Source: injury.research.chop.edu

The last few days have been kind of a blur.

I spent most of the last three days taking a Photoshop class, and I learned enough to make my head spin.

I took a ton of notes and saved a bunch of examples of techniques that I hope to incorporate into my Photoshop repertoire.

But WOW was it a lot of information!

I’ve been experimenting with masks and filters on my own; however, the class gave me much better (and faster) tools for working in Photoshop.

I can’t wait to try out some of the cool things I learned.

Shifting Focus

I’ve been spending more and more time with photography and learning everything I can.

I started out with the LOTD posts for fun (and to clean up my crazy inventory!), but it’s become something I really love doing.

I get stuck sometimes, though, because there is a fine line between showing an outfit to you ‘as is’ so you know what it looks like, versus some of the heavy ‘post-processing’ I want to do on some of the photos.

So, I’ve decided to kind of shift some of my focus to photography.

I want to spend some more time taking ‘travel’ photos in SL.

I spend way too much time alone on my platform – it’ll be good for me to get out and about and explore and work on my photography skills at the same time. 😀

I will still be doing the LOTD posts – I do enjoy them, and I’m getting a kick out of coming up with little stories to tell with them.

Always Learning

As I said before, I am always learning.

Yesterday Becky published a post on SEO and blogging.

I’ve used both WordPress.org and WordPress.com, and I’m familiar with many of the concepts she mentions.

However, I have been kind of lax about paying attention to that sort of thing with my blog, so it was a good reminder.

I knew I could change the slugs on my posts, but I wasn’t really paying much attention to them before.

I will be making some small changes here and there to see if I can increase my traffic.

(I don’t want to say what changes I’ll be making, since I read an article the other day that said if you share your goals/intentions with others, you’re less likely to accomplish them.)

It’s another area where there is a lot of information to digest, so I’ll be referring back to the article, I’m sure.

Social Media

Along with the changes here on the blog, I am trying to educate myself further about social media.

I often am reluctant to share what little I know (mostly because I assume everyone knows it), but after doing some research, many of my questions have yet to yield any easy answers.

When using social media, I am usually left with the feeling that I don’t know enough about the platform to make good use of it.

I decided to do some research on the various platforms I use to see what I could learn.

I started with Twitter, since that seemed like the simplest platform.

As I learn and I discover, I hope to share with you any helpful tips and tricks I come across.

If you have any, feel free to send them my way! 😛

I think ‘networking’ is one of those topics that everyone would like to know more about.

Finding Inspiration

Over the last month or so, I was debating whether I wanted (or needed) to take a hiatus from SL and blogging to recharge my batteries.

I found myself struggling with writer’s block and despairing over finding my ‘muse’ again.

And then – serendipity. 🙂

Ailsa announced her weekly ‘theme’ exhibitions, I took a few classes, read a few blog posts, and now I am feeling energized and inspired.

It could also just be that school is out next week and my children’s joy is infectious. 😛

Either way, I’m looking forward to learning and creating.

“Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~ Ghandi

New Look

Image Source: www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk
Image Source: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Well, I did it!

I finally took the plunge and changed the theme of my blog.

I really loved the old theme, especially the fonts and the colors, but the layout just didn’t work sometimes.

It was an older theme and didn’t have some of the bells and whistles I wanted.

C’est la vie – progress (and technology) marches ever forward, yes?

There are some things about the new theme I’m debating changing – I’m not thrilled with some of the font choices, but I’m not sure if I dislike them enough to shell out $ to change them.

So, I’ll live with it for now.

I’m not even sure how much of a difference it actually makes for some readers – so much of the layout is unseen on a phone or tablet versus what I see on my PC.

But I’m happy with the change – it feels good. 🙂

Now that the blog is under control, I can concentrate on some other projects (RL and SL).

I have research to do, blog posts to write, pictures to take – it never ends.

I love being busy, though – I do my best work under pressure.

And great news yesterday – Nai has been so busy that his ‘365’ inspiration idea took a hiatus.

It’s back, albeit in a different form, and I can’t wait to get started with some of the ideas!

Feeling Inspired

Image Source: www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk
Image Source: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

The last few days have been rather chaotic for me, something I detest.

I’m a planner – I want everything laid out and ready to go. 😀

So when plans change at the last minute, or people are, you know, people, I sometimes find it extremely frustrating.

I have to take a deep breath and remember, ‘Not my circus, not my monkeys.’ 😛

I think I survived the chaos, and this morning I was feeling inspired.

I have become addicted to taking photos now that I can play around with shadows and windlights.

I’ve been visiting all kinds of places, looking for good locations to shoot, for interesting art, and just generally exploring.

Whiskey Monday is one of my favorite SL artists.  I love her dark, yet hopeful, view of the world.

She was granted an LEA sim and I eagerly await her posts saying she has a new build up to explore.

I went and took some shots today – I hope they turn out as well as I want them too!

And since I neglected to post a LOTD yesterday, I put on an outfit and went exploring for that as well.

I find I am loving having an excuse to play dress up and wear all those things that usually just sit in my inventory.

I am trying to go through some of my older outfits first, so that I can box them or throw them away if necessary.

It’s amazing how much stuff you can acquire in 5+ years. 😛

I’d better get busy!

Ideas for Inspiration from Babypea

InspirationCheck out Babypea’s post on the Dance Queens blog about ways to wake up your inspiration Muse – lots of great ideas!

Feeling Uninspired?

I plan to try a couple of these myself.  I tend to pick my music first and go from there.  I’m going to try some of these ideas and see what happens!

 

Finding Inspiration

GoGo Routine
Photo courtesy of Sarah Elisabeth Brenham

This is a topic I think about a lot.  As a performer, I am always trying to come up with ideas for routines.  Sometimes inspiration strikes right away and sometimes it takes a while.

Sometimes you know exactly what you want to do, but it takes time for all the various pieces to fall into place.  Recently, for example, I performed a routine that I have had in mind for probably over a year.  I heard a song that I just loved (still do, even though I listened to it 9 million times while choreographing!) and I knew instantly what I wanted to do with it.  But the timing was just never right for me to perform the routine.

Other times inspiration seems to elude me.  I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with some ideas for routines themed with the upcoming holidays.  I still have no idea what I’m going to do.  In the meantime, I’ve come up with a couple of other ideas (not holiday themed) that I am going to begin working on.

Maybe working on those will lead to some sort of inspiration down the holiday road.

What about you?  Where do you find your inspiration?  When you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, what do you do to recharge your creativity?

Elysium – Creation Begats Creation

Each month, the Elysium dancers are given a challenge.  They create dances/performances based on the challenge.

This month, they were challenged to create performances inspired by the artwork of Toysoldier Thor.  (His artwork is truly inspiring – please check it out if you have the chance!)

6 dancers performed in ‘Creation Begats Creation’ at the Elysium Amphitheatre.  I took a lot of photos, but am just posting one per number for the sake of space.  (I could post them to Facebook, so if you’d like me to do that, let me know.)

First to perform was LilAngels Resident.  Her dance was inspired by a work titled ‘Frost Forest.’  It was a beautiful, lovely, lyrical dance.

Lil - Frost Forest
Lil – Frost Forest

The icy color palette was lovely.

Next up was Bevin and her dance, inspired by ‘The Princess and the Goblin.’

Bevin - The Princess and the Goblin
Bevin – The Princess and the Goblin

This, too, was a lovely, lyrical dance, albeit with a warmer feel than Lil’s.

After Bevin was Jilley, inspired by ‘Spiritual Grandeur.’

Jilley - Spiritual Grandeur
Jilley – Spiritual Grandeur

The sets for all of the dances were simply amazing.  (I’m not a great builder, so I admire those who can!)

Winnie came next.  Her dance was inspired by a piece called ‘Love’s Crush.’  She danced to “Who Wants to Live Forever’ (one of my favorite songs) and did a beautiful lyrical dance, complete with a story about her own real life battle with cancer.  It was very moving.

Winnie - Love's Crush
Winnie – Love’s Crush

After Winnie’s emotional dance, Georgie took the stage, inspired by a work called ‘Killing Field.’  It was another emotional tale, her graceful dance set amidst a field of war.  She had a very cool effect with a scene change, from the field to a cemetery with old soldier’s ghosts fading in and out, but my old computer didn’t render the textures fast enough to get a good pic. 😦

Georgie - Killing Fields
Georgie – Killing Fields

Everything was amazingly detailed, and I loved her costume, complete with dirt smudges on her face.

Last but not least was Babypea with a dance inspired by ‘Hillbilly Airways.’  She had a number of set changes, starting with a phonograph encircled by goats, a giant dragonfly, a hobbit-like house, and more.  It was definitely a hillbilly spectacle!  Complete with yodeling and lederhosen, done as only Babypea could:

Babypea - Hillbilly Airways
Babypea – Hillbilly Airways

I love the idea of challenging others to create, and the idea of using someone’s art as inspiration is wonderful.  If you missed this show, be sure to watch for next month’s challenge.  I can’t wait to see what these amazingly talented people come up with next!

Happy Dancing!