Celebrating Creativity

Hi I'm Kadira Jennings, welcome to Unfolding Creativity, a portal to Abundance Through Creativity.

I am a creative artist celebrating and encouraging the creative in all of us.

My blog is a discussion, and creativity resource. Please take your time, look around and join the conversation if you would like to.
It is my passionate belief that we all have deep within us a creative genius just waiting for half a chance to get out no matter what field we work or play in.

''There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.''
Martha Graham

The discipline of reflection
The Discipline of Reflection

The Discipline of Reflection is a part of how to excel in Life Balance. Life Balance is something we all strive for, whether we are artists, entrepreneurs or stay at home mums.

Here are four keys to excelling in life balance. In fact these are four disciplines. They are:
1. The Discipline of Reflection
2. The Discipline of Rest
3. The Discipline of Recreation
4. The Discipline of Relationships

In this post I’m going to examine some thoughts around the discipline of reflection.

You may find that you are much better at some of these disciplines than others. This is certainly true for me. I find that when I examine the concept of Reflection, this is one of the easier things to do on the list.  So what is the discipline of Reflection?

We live in a very noisy, busy, world.  This  can suck the life out of us, particularly for creative people,  if we don’t take time to get away from it all.  I’ve spoken many times about the concept of artist dates and this is one form of Reflection. It is essential that we intentionally go away and find a quiet place, a place to pause and reflect alone. Connected to this idea is another problem that we have.  We live in such awa that we seldom find ourselves alone and there is always some kind of distraction going on.

In fact I was only saying to my partner on the weekend, as we sat on our balcony in suburbia, on a fine still winter’s day, that we are never without manmade sounds. I could hear the constant drone of cars far away in the background and a helicopter flying over head. In contrast to this, when we were visiting New Zealand in April, there were many days where we were surrounded only by countryside and all we could hear were the sounds of nature.  Those were treasured, precious days.

Excelling in life balance

The other thing of course, in today’s world, is that we can be alone but we still have our phones our iPads and technological connectors. So as part of the discipline of reflection, we need to leave these things behind. When was the last time you went anywhere without your phone or if you had it, you didn’t refer to it at all. Not only do we have the previous items, we also have things like my Garmin wristband,  that monitors not only my footsteps heart rate and other things but also let me know every time someone ‘Likes’ my Instagram feed.

So I think we can safely conclude that the discipline of reflection is a lot more difficult for us in the twenty first century than it was even 100 years ago, when the pace of life was slower, less complicated and much less crowded and cluttered. Ironically though, now we need it more than ever!

Photo by Moyan_Brenn

Photo: Kadira Jennings

How to find Top interior designers on Instagram…..

Top interior designers and how to find them on Instagram. Since it began in 2010, Instagram quickly established itself as the social media platform best suited to the creative person. Beautiful in its simplicity, the photo-sharing app is now supported by at least 400 million users worldwide. From artists, musicians and photographers, to fashion fanatics and fitness gurus and new fashion designers, Instagram’s platform provides an opportunity to showcase creativity to best advantage.

The app is also a perfect fit if you have an interest in interiors. Whether you’re simply looking for some exciting interior ideas for your own home, or you’re a a world-leading interior designer, Instagram provides the perfect window of inspiration.

However because there are so many daily users and photo uploads, it can be difficult to know where to start! Take a look at some of the Instagram accounts below, to get you started

The first is an Australian interior designer A N G E L A   KO U N N A S – @amk_inspiration

She says of Instagram

“Instagram allows me to be part of an online community that encourages innovation, creativity and a fresh perspective on all things design. For me, inspiration comes in many forms, sharing is one of them.”

Here is one of her design posts on Instagram – a beautiful interior from  L’Hôtel du Ministère

 

interior design

 

 

Grace Bonney, who began the very popular Design Sponge blog, says the following of Instagram…..

design sponge,Grace Bonney9330c3c495303ef6c5c9da659b7d5d53_400x400-300x300

“Instagram feels to me like what blogging used to be 10 years ago. It’s this wild, untamed place for artists, designers, makers and creatives of all types to get their work and their talent in front of millions of interested people. I love feeling like at any moment we’ll get to meet the next great creative in our community.”

Other Interior design Instagrammers you might like to checkout  are –

Bri Emery @designlovefest

Geraldine Tan @littlebigbell

Kate Arends @witanddelight

EddieRoss @eddieross

This Weeks Question: Who are your favourite people on Instagram – please share?

Look For Next Week’s Post:How to excel in Life Balance 

Why being busy is killing your creativity

Why being busy is killing your creativity – this is a question you may not have considered before.

“Many important mental processes seem to require what we call downtime and other forms of rest during the day,” claims a Scientific American article, relating to research on the subject. It seems that doing nothing now and then is is beneficial. In fact it is required to replenish motivation, attention, and creativity.  Science also shows that down time helps us to form stable memories.

.why being busy is killing your creativity

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets,” essayist Tim Kreider wrote in The New York Times.

There has been much research done on the subject of napping. A study conducted by Amber Brooks and Leon Lack of Flinders University in Australia found that the optimum amount of time for a power nap is 10 minutes.  It sharpens responses and doesn’t leave a post nap grogginess to deal with, as in the case of longer 20-30 minute naps.

So who can’t find 10 minutes to zone out now and then during the day. It seems therefore that our brains need some down time to process and that is why being busy is killing your creativity.

Often Salvador Dali would sit in front of his work until he nearly fell asleep! He held a metal spoon in one hand so that if he relaxed too much the spoon dropped and it would clang into a metal bowl he had previously placed on the floor, beneath his hand.  This had the desired effect of rousing him and he would be stimulated to get up  and continue on with his painting. Once at the easel, with his intuition ready to go, he would immediately know his next brush stroke. This is a form of giving your brain a deliberate rest, and is a practice I have often employed myself – without the metal bowl and spoon.

This Weeks Question: How do you give your brain a rest on a daily basis – apart from sleep at night?

Look For Next Week’s Post: How to find Top Interior designers on Instagram

 

 

Photo by Doug Scortegagna

Navigating a New Land

 

Navigating a new land is the fourth painting in my current refugee series.  This work again developed from one of the misty hot pools at Rotorua. See below the photograph that this work developed from. Next to it I have also included the initial drawing up.

 

 Navigating a new land,refugees

navigating a new land,refugees,kadira jennings

 

Walking in a strange land, with new customs, a new language, the refugee is adrift, often homeless and alone. We see here a woman walking with great courage, holding onto her inner strength as she proceeds. She reminds me of the sculptures we sometimes see of women acting as pillars in ancient buildings. There is a certain grim determination to move forward no matter what the obstacles.

The curious thing I found about this work was the creature that appeared on her right shoulder.  Is it a combination of a few different creatures or something entirely of its own species?  What I love about it is the supreme contentment and trust it seems to radiate.  Could it be an external image of her inner feelings?

I trust you enjoyed this peek into my studio process.

It takes time to create a work of art, document it, video it and put it in a blog post. I invite you to make a comment, express your thoughts about this work.  Feedback is always awesome because I then get to see the work through someone else’s eyes.

This Weeks Question: Can you leave a comment  – what are your thoughts on Navigating A New Land?  I would love to hear what you think.

Look For Next Week’s PostWhy being busy is killing your creativity

how to collect art
How to Collect Art

This week I bring you  some tips on how to collect art, for beginning art collectors as well as experienced ones.

These are good reminders for anyone interested in art or already collecting art.

Remember that people collect art for different reasons.  What you need to be clear about first up, is why you want to collect art.  Some reasons people collect art are: they just love artwork, they want to make a long-term investment, some collectors see it as a way of giving back to the world by supporting emerging artists and others see it as a status symbol.

Here are some other ideas on how to collect art…….

  • Buy art because you like it and you feel emotionally connected to it.  In this way it will enhance your life.
  • Visit as many art galleries as you can.  Don’t be afraid to ask the gallery about art you like.  They can be helpful guides in your art education.
  • Get on gallery mailing lists so you’ll be invited to openings and special events.
  • Visit and join your local art museums and non-profit art centers.
    Curators sometimes give lectures on collecting art.
  • If you know any art collectors, talk to them and find out what they know and what
    they’ve learned about collecting art.
  • If you are interested in collecting artists from earlier periods, read books on art history and books about collecting art.
  • Subscribe to a few art magazines or publications like Art Almanac or Art Edit.

 

how to collect art

Ken Done Artist Talk

What about Art Critics?

Another thing you can do is read reviews by local and national art critics, keeping in mind that reviews usually just reflect one person’s opinion.  As a result you might gain a biased view-point if you only read one critic’s opinion of an exhibition. Therefore it is good to shop around so to speak.  Get more than one person’s point of view.

So now we have taken a peek into how to collect art, you can go and get started. Draw up a list of galleries you’d like to visit or just sit down and look at Instagram.  There you will find thousands of artists and some wonderful art.

This Weeks Question: What is the first step you can take towards becoming an art collector?

Look For Next Week’s Post: A new video, vlog  of the painting ‘Navigating a New Land’

Photo by a_marga

Photo by Mosman Council

Vlog – An Exciting New Refugee Painting – flows off the brush

refugee painting,vlog,The First Step,Kadira Jennings

As the new refugee painting emerges, this series of works is proving to have a lot more depth to it than I initially thought it was going to. Not to say that subject of refugees is not a subject without depth. However what I have realised particularly while working on this latest painting is that the painting itself, can be read on another level entirely. In other words it is not a painting just about refugees. As you can see from the completed image there is a figure taking a step into a large dark unknown area, moving towards a bright beckoning horizon.

This horizon might be a new land for the refugee, or the figure could on the other hand be, anyone taking that courageous step into a new land of possibility. This step might be, either a mental or physical journey.  In either case the person taking the step has similar emotional challenges. These challenges might include, overcoming ones fear. Of course can be fear of many different things: fear of the unknown, fear of failure, even fear of success, fear of being alone or fear of not meeting expectations, either one’s own or someone else’s.

I am considering the subject of refugee painting in a whole new light.  Are we not refugees in so many ways and at different times of our lives?  Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to belittle the plight of refugees in any way. What  I am finding is a parallel, in emotional crises. For example, some one becomes divorced, is tossed out by their partner, their house burns down and so on, is now experiencing perhaps a similar level of anxiety and distress – they are homeless, don’t know what the future holds, where will they go or how will they manage? Some of us take these situations almost in our stride while others of us have no tools in our emotional backpack to deal with them well. Of course with  refugees there are the added layers of abandoning their Mother country and war with all its attendant psychological and physical horrors that have to be dealt with as well.

So I suspect that as this series unfolds there are many areas to look at in light of our unravelling societies and how we cope in the rapidly changing 21st Century.

 

This Weeks Question: What can we do individually do to help the refugee crisis at any level, whether it is international refugees, or homeless battered women in our town?  Please Share your thoughts…..

Look For Next Week’s Post: A look at what’s coming up next in the studio.

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