Note: Summoning the muse

I was having a hard time getting through to successful artists. I would send my dutiful email detailing at length why they should exhibit at Studio E Gallery.

It was oh so earnest, that initial contact. Ticking off our years in biz, our affluent area, what stellar people we all were.

But it wasn’t working. Not often enough.

One day I loosened up. More in line with my persona, I decided to throw in a little impishness — and to discard the corporate art speak.

We are besotted with your work!

Crowds are massing outside, demanding to see your paintings. I’m afraid to turn them away, things could get ugly.

My wife is crazy for your artwork, please save my marriage….

Enthusiasm and a touch of goofy did the trick.

The first artist I approached with this lighter touch responded! She was tickled not to be getting the standard entreaty.

We’d been trying to land her for five years and all it took was adding a little humanity, a little levity.

Since then I’ve worked hard at infusing personality into my communications, just as I would with family and friends. It’s refreshing. Even those artists who are overcommitted for the foreseeable future circle back with a response.

When all else fails get lighthearted, get playful, get silly.

. . . . .

You know what summons the muse?

Playfulness —

Evan Griffith
#NotesForCreators



For insights and stories on the connected creative life, check out these bookitos:

The Creative Morning Challenge

Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within

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Note: The wrong way

Have you ever been dumped because you were a jerkhole and you realized you’d better correct your ways or you were going to die alone?

Have you ever turned down a one-way street only to find you’re going the wrong way?

Have you ever insisted on a plan of action that quickly didn’t pan out?

Have you ever tried something new that misfired, tweaked your process and then, voila, success?

The wrong way can be a beautiful thing.

The wrong way means you’re in motion!

You’ve launched!

You’re taking action!

That’s all good stuff — it’s where spirit engages life. It’s where dreams meet reality.

The wrong way can be a beautiful thing. As long as you pay attention to the signs — the feedback — and make adjustments, you’ll be fine. Even better, you’ll find the right way.

. . . . .

The wrong way
quickly establishes
a better way.

Evan Griffith
#NotesForCreators



For insights and stories on the connected creative life, check out these bookitos:

The Creative Morning Challenge

Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within

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Sun thru overhead palms

Pattern interruption: In art as in life

Sun thru overhead palms

We’ll remember this time of coronavirus better than most of our birthdays.

We weirdly and fondly recall physical challenges, though usually only long after we’ve overcome them.

How many times have you heard someone tell the story of a broken leg, an accident or even a minor mishap with a glint in their eyes. I know I tell those stories.

Our son does too. A physical lad, he likes to keep count of all the traumas visited upon his body.

Back of his head gashed open after being thrown on a bed in fun. Who knew he’d bounce so far?!

(That was his Mom, not me : -)

Two broken arms by the time he was five.

Smashed testicles, enough to concern the doctor about his potential to sire children — from an overexuberant leap onto a karate-kicking friend.

And about twenty-some-odd more events that hurt oh so much at the time but are now life stories to be shared.

Every time pop music becomes too treacly, something jarring comes along: rock, punk, grunge, rap.

Think of the art that stuck in your head. It took you somewhere unexpected. It started as one thing, then veered.

Hey Jude

Parasite

The Tropic of Cancer

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Great work establishes a pattern — then breaks it.

It’s the same with work habits. The great ones develop deep focused routines interrupted by explorations in other directions after exhaustion sets in.

Einstein played the violin, taking it with him in his travels.

Darwin, Jung, Freud, Mahler, O’Keeffe, Jobs, Hemingway and thousands more took long walks.

I suspect for Wilt Chamberlin it was sex.

Patterns work for us. From cosmic explosion to matter clumping together to stars and planets to night and day to the routines that sustain us, our existence is enabled by a richly interwoven set of patterns.

Pattern disruption can work for us too.

Without an asteroid to finish off the dinosaurs, almost certainly humankind would not have come into existence.

That’s pattern interruption on such a massive scale it set new life forms into motion. New patterns emerged on our planet as dominant patterns were disrupted.

Michel de Montaigne refined the essay — a new written-word form he invented — during a plague. As life was interrupted, he dove more deeply into what mattered to him most.

Miguel de Cervantes had the idea for Don Quixote — the first modern novel — while in debtors prison, a life interrupter if there ever was one.

More millionaires came out of the Great Depression than any previous time in America.

Coronavirus is the great pattern interrupter of our era.

How will you use it?

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Note: Soul adventure

I was leaving for New York City in a few weeks from South Florida — on a motorcycle.

The woman I was casually dating at the time coaxed me into visiting a museum, the first time I’d ever gone to one not part of a tour arranged by school or parents.

A couple of contemporary artists were featured. Max Ernst was one of the artists, I believe.

I was gobsmacked by the imagery. I was tumbled and tilted by the work, sent in unaccustomed directions.

How did they think this way? I wondered.

It was as if these artists thought from within that space between reality and dream, that place before you fall into deep sleep.

How do they see the world this way?

How do they manage to express it?!

How do you free your mind to imagine what is not seen just beyond what is seen?

What I saw on those walls expanded me. Once in New York City I started visiting museums. Whole worlds existed within a canvas.

Experience itself felt laid bare, in painting after painting. Moments rich with nuance presented themselves to me, almost all within variations of a rectangle.

It was impossible to know that in twelve years time I’d co-found an art gallery with my future wife. Me, who was fresh from working in my Dad’s tire store when I stepped into the Norton Museum of Art.

My puny thinking apparatus couldn’t begin to muster a vision for what tingled in my body viewing these creations.

It was impossible to know I’d befriend artists and creators and thinkers and writers, that they’d become the portal through which I’d experience my life.

It’s been more than 35 years since a date beckoned me to meet her at a museum.

I may have thought it was but a prelude to something flirty and physical later on. Instead it was an invitation to live la vida creativa.

Walking out of the museum that day I couldn’t have told you the trajectory of my life had been changed. That took years more — it was more an accrual of charged moments rather than one pivotal instance.

Yet . . . thank fucking God I followed the pull!

It’s made all the difference. The gulf between keen and dull.

The difference between a butter knife and a samurai sword.

I can’t even bear dwelling upon how life might have turned out had I not followed the pull. If I’d stayed on the conventional trajectory.

Yes, I’d be richer. Monetarily. But the true riches of uncovering a deeper self would almost certainly have eluded me.

That sounds esoteric — vague — uncovering your deeper self. Yet from that pull toward something enigmatic, something enticing, came a thing of paramount value to me:

Meaningful relationships with seekers and creators.

Some people live for fun. Others live for financial success. I seem to live for dialogue: With myself, with others.

I delight in conversation with others as much as I relish self inquiry.

Follow the pull of sharpened experience, I would tell my young self now. Follow it unabashedly. You may never quite figure out why certain situations and certain people tingle you.

It doesn’t matter. I don’t know why I like mango so much, but my life is enriched by uncovering more mangoes, wherever I can find them, in whatever form they’ve been processed.

Follow the pull of charged experience, that’s where adventure lies.

By adventure, I mean a life quest exploring the outermost reaches of your soul.

An eternal adventure of the spirit.

And the coolest discovery strikes you at some distantly later stage — You have no outermost reaches of your soul.

There’s more! There’s always more!

. . . . .

Let your intrigue guide you

Evan Griffith
#NotesForCreators



For insights and stories on the connected creative life, check out these bookitos:

The Creative Morning Challenge

Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within

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Note: You have the gift of prophecy

Granted it might not seem much of a gift — to imagine your way into a better experience, even if only for the next little while.

But really, what more do you need?

It’s not just a gift for you, it’s for all in your orbit.

Let’s say you’re on a freeway and you see someone trying to ease into the flow. You can be that person who lets them in, whose gift of compassionate foresight brings relief in a temporarily fraught situation.

Let’s say you’re in a zoom meeting following the path of entropy. It’s become so low energy the discussion has fallen apart. You can be that person injecting much needed clarity.

You see the trajectory and with a small bit of thought can change its arc into something better.

That could be the tagline to this website:

Notes For Creators — Making reality better

But really, isn’t that the theme of all religion, philosophy and the personal transformation universe?

How to make reality better….

And you — with your gift of prophecy for what is most likely to occur in the next few minutes — can do your part.

For yourself too.

You find yourself in a political back and forth that’s getting more and more heated. You can be the one to jump lanes. Or to seek common ground. Or to acknowledge the stark differences and then disentangle with (genuine) well wishes.

Or maybe you find yourself awash in anxiety. There’s plenty of track to keep that particular train rolling these days. You become alert to the building momentum and like the best of engineers, switch tracks.

It’s a small gift — to peer into the next oh so many minutes and see what’s most likely coming. But it’s your gift. And you can use this power for good.

For levity.

For fun.

For adding value.

For whatever you want to make it.

. . . . .

You have the gift of prophecy in you —
You can see into the next few minutes
and make them better

Evan Griffith
#NotesForCreators



For insights and stories on the connected creative life, check out these bookitos:

The Creative Morning Challenge

Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within

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.

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Note: You impish creator

. . . . .

You impish creator —
soul surfing the waves
that come your way —
with a grin

Evan Griffith
#NotesForCreators



For insights and stories on the connected creative life, check out these bookitos:

The Creative Morning Challenge

Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within

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Share

Life finds a way

 
 

Life finds a way . . .

You will too.  

Where there’s a wall,

Grow through it.

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Note: Blink

Ye God, sometimes it takes eons to alter your viewpoint. Like how long it took me to give up Mountain Dew. Decades.

Then there are those other times, where something changes in an instant. You’ve arrived at a new understanding — it catches your breath!

Oh damn, I think I’m in love with her.

I might just like fish afterall….

Those tend to sneak up on you. You didn’t foresee the shift yet there it is.

I’ve discovered a shortcut too. Let’s say you know a certain thought will serve you better but you can’t quite get there.

I’m going to come through this better than before.

I like veggies. Yum yum.

Play this game with yourself. Tell yourself the preferred thought you’d like to entertain — it takes but a moment — then blink!

Maybe blink twice for emphasis.

It can have a surprising effect. As if you’ve just stated the thought reality you wish to inhabit, then blink, you’re in it.

You’re (playfully) seeing through new eyes.

You’re (playfully) trying on this new thought habit.

You can let this new thought reside within you for awhile — and every time it begins to fade, blink again.

Life has got my back.

I’m coursing with vitality!

I deal with disappointments with humor now, that’s my way.

You may feel like a blinking fool — best not to do this when all eyes are focused on you — still — try it — sometimes the thought you want is only a blink away.

. . . . .

Change your perception —
Blink your eyes —
There — it’s all different now

Evan Griffith
#NotesForCreators



For insights and stories on the connected creative life, check out these bookitos:

The Creative Morning Challenge

Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within

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.

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Share

Note: You’ve got this

Man, more than ever we need this reminder!

The next sale is coming. The next gig is coming. The next project is around the corner. The next bit of relief is on its way to you now.

. . . . .

You’ve got what it takes —
Keep going —
More of what you need will come

Evan Griffith
#NotesForCreators



For insights and stories on the connected creative life, check out these bookitos:

The Creative Morning Challenge

Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within

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.

.

Share

Note: You don’t need a makeover

Truly.

Sometimes that’s all it takes. One simple tweak.

Just make sure it’s fundamental, something that might cause a cascade.

Like exercise

Or going to bed earlier

Or intending to always react with compassion first

Or not eating after 6 p.m.

One change begets a shift, then other elements rearrange themselves and months later you’re looking back feeling…

Spunky

Alert

Compassionate

Lean

One small change I’ve made recently has brought me to near bliss, even during this time of coronavirus lockdown. Even though we’re battling to keep our art gallery alive.

Normally I meditate at night just before sleep. Often throwing in some daydreamy visualization.

Once this crisis hit I realized I needed connection often — with others for sure — but most importantly with a more expansive spirit within myself.

I started connecting three times a day. Upon waking. Sometime in the middle of the day. Then just before nodding off.

These thrice-a-day connections take several forms: Reading something spiritual, reviewing a list of intentions, meditation, appreciation, yoga nidra, praying for someone, and other go-to forms of connection.

The morning and afternoon sessions take 5 to 10 minutes each at most. Hardly schedule upsetting.

It feels so good I’ve found myself taking up to 5 or 6 mini-connection breaks some days!

I feel surprisingly calm and powerful for someone losing thousands of dollars a week.

Because when you connect — often — you know change is a-coming. You know the stream flows in your favor. You know circumstances bend in your direction.

All it takes is one small change–

. . . . .

You don’t need a makeover —
just change one thing —
it will all shift

#NotesForCreators



For insights and stories on the connected creative life, check out these bookitos:

The Creative Morning Challenge

Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within

.

.

.

Share