Cool Stuff that Motivates Me

Creative Inspirations, Ideas and Tips (Issue #4)

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Last week’s edition of All Things Creative.

This week’s collection:

  1. Anxiety Doodles
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2. Signature Reads

If you haven’t heard of this website already I suggest you head over straight away, give it a look over and sign up for their newsletter.

Book reviews, articles on writing culture, writing tips, interviews, current events and downloadable writing guides for developing your craft, all for free. Signature is a bottomless pit of resources for writers. This week I downloaded their eBook on writing narrative nonfiction.

As their slogan goes, Making well-read sense of the world

3. Passion that just won’t die.

My 18 year old son hit a bump in the road this week, literally. He crashed on his skateboard, again. This time resulting in paramedics, a brain scan and the gaping crack in his head being stapled closed.

You’re probably wondering, WTF is wrong with you lady? How is this inspiring?

I get it, as a mother I should be freaking out, and trust me I was (and do daily). He appeared 500% more calm at the time of the accident but I think that’s because he experienced extreme memory loss and repeatedly asked an average of every 3–5 minutes why his head was bleeding.

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Here’s the thing, the reality of it. This is one of many OMFG injuries he’s had during his three years of skateboarding. He loves the sport so much he’s willing to risk these injuries, and this isn’t his worst. Two years ago in June 2016 he had clavicle reconstruction surgery after shattering his collar bone.

In between these injuries their has been black eyes, bruised bones, a split elbow joint and road rash as if it were his regular skin tone, but he doesn’t stop and I imagine in five days after the staples are removed he’ll grab his board and be right back at it again. The mom in me would do anything to stop him. The artist in me knows it’s wrong to stifle his passion.

4. 2018, A Year of Living Better

The New York Times is creating a year long guide on living better. Each month they explore a new topic researched and written by one of their journalists.

I’m partial to January’s issue titled, How to be Creative but I’ve also found myself researching and tracking how I tap into my own inner reader after reading the guide for the month of May.

You can read the previous seven months and follow along with the remain five each month they are published by clicking on the link below. Unfortunately, I do believe it’s a subscriber exclusive only but they do allow non-subscribers to read both January and February.

5. Photo Frames

My daughter and I headed to the city this week to hit the thrift stores. We were on a hunt to find photo frames for our artwork.

Feeling defeated on our quest we were ready to give up and go home when we decided we’d make one more stop at Stuff Inc in Iowa City.

In total we were able to purchase almost 100 frames, albums and hanging poster sheets for $53.

Most folks are obsessed with the latest and greatest but in my opinion, thrift stores is where it’s at.

6. Joshua Poh

Speaking of photos, after reading Joshua’s story here on Medium about his experience with falling in love with street photography I decided to check out his Instagram.

Whoa. His photography is on the list of the best I’ve ever seen. His ability to capture life, culture and history is admirable. Black and white or rich in color each photo tells a story of it’s own.

He’s a hidden gem of all around creative talent and inspiration, one that should not be overlooked.

7. The Book Share

If you’ve read my recent story, Why I Want to Shop Locally, Why I Can’t and Why I Should Start a Book Share then you most likely already know I did start a book share group over on Facebook.

I’m inspired by this because we already have 14 members and a poll going for our first swap next week! I strongly believe sharing literature is valuable. Not only do we learn from reading but we learn from engagement with other readers.

If you’re interested in joining The Book Share you can do so HERE. There’s still plenty of time to vote on the poll before we do our first share!

8. ZenFone

Last week my vintage 2015 Windows Phone died. It had been behaving whacked since the recent Windows 10.1 update and finally just stopped running. I was devastated. Oddly, the Windows phone has limited apps and ran directly from the Windows OS browser but with a 22 megapixel camera the lack of apps was worth it.

This week I replaced my Windows phone with a ZenFone V Live, “Your on the Go Streaming Champion.” At first, and it still is a challenge since I’m used to an entirely different OS but I didn’t realize how super cool apps can be until now. I’m able to upload to my Patreon and Etsy from wherever I am, do stories on Instagram and Facebook, and publish on Medium directly from my phone.

Admittingly, I’m excited. As a writer who believes in being a person above persona, I’m looking forward to being more open and transparent with my every day life through Patreon Lens and social media live streaming.

So basically, have my face in my phone more. Yeah.

9. Sunflowers

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The sunflowers are starting to bloom and they sure are beautiful. I believe sunflowers may be the most intriguing plant on earth. They follow the sun, their head literally follows the sun as it travels east to west in the daytime sky and then they close at night, rest up and open again each day in the morning light.

It seems a perfect existence.

This year I researched dwarfing them. Last year they grew so insane. The tallest came in (or up, rather) at 12 feet and produced enough seeds to fill five gallon size Ziplock bags. Gardening in Iowa is amazing. Although this is only my second season I already feel confident I could feed my family through the second coming of Trump, if needed.

Here’s a photo of me attempting to tame last year’s sunflowers.

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10. Intentional Art

Recently I condensed patron tiers on my Patreon (← Sign up here), providing more bang for your buck. All patrons at the $5 + a month tier receive a digital download of my artwork that is specifically created for them only.

This has been an adventure. I’m slowly learning it requires skill to develop an idea and design that will meet the interest and liking of a diverse group.

I feel it’s a privilege to give back to those who believe in and support me. I spent an entire day on July’s exclusive patron artwork and I loved the process. I’ve already begun designing for August.

Erika Sauter is a writer and artist who feels it’s weird when people refer to themselves in the third person. SIGN UP HERE to receive creative inspirations, ideas and writing tips delivered directly to your inbox for free. You can join her Patreon community HERE. She thanks you for reading :)

©️ 2018, Erika Sauter. All Rights Reserved.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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