What about music?

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After finishing writing yesterday, it occurred to me that I left out an important form of creative expression, music. I render my sincere apologies to any musicians. I no longer practice this art, though in the past I sang and played harmonica, guitar, and organ. Occasionally, I consider renewing my acquaintance with all of those. Impatience with practice is probably why I abstain.

As a musician, much that applies to other creative types may be carried over into your discipline. Performers must develop a daily practice to become an expert in the use of their talent. Training can be difficult and painstaking, but the results can take you everywhere. Learning to read sheet music is sometimes akin to learning another language. To write music, there must be an intimate knowledge of every nuance one wants to transmit.

Music is still relevant in my creative life because I often listen while working. I like ambient, atmospheric electronic, and classical best. I find lyrics disrupt my concentration as I am primarily a creature of words.

If you are a listener, like me, it may be advantageous to experiment to discover what most appeals to you. If you have streaming capabilities, both Amazon Music and Google Play Music offer a wide variety commercial free. There is also a program called Focus@Will which has music of various upbeat tempos to help facilitate concentration.

You may find music channels on television that are included in your service. I recommend whatever you listen to, be commercial free because those breaks are designed to disrupt attention and encourage product purchase.

Rarely is silence my preferred choice. Music seems to help the mind transition smoothly thought to thought, idea to idea. That is the goal when working creatively, to bring a masterpiece, or piece, to life.

I hope you found something you could integrate into your life here. I appreciate your visit. The top button on the right allows you to follow Haphazard Creative. Please leave a comment should you like and come back soon. Take care.

© JoAnn Joyce Anita Jordan

Did you create, today?

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Something often overlooked by creatives, including myself, is that the more we exercise our creative impulse, the easier it becomes to continue. 

If we are writers, we need to get some words in written form every day. Thinking about it is not enough, we need to work. It does not have to be 5,000 words, try 100. When doing it, we are allowed to write the most awful stuff ever. No one else has to see it. It is just letting the writer within know work must be done consistently. If it is done for some time, the writing improves, the length increases and projects can be completed. Almost all successful writers spend time writing daily. We can start with a minimum that suits us and add minutes until we find our upper limit.

If we are photographers, we should get our cameras in action each day. We do not have to travel to scenic spots. Take pictures of the kids, pets, yard, objects around the home, selfies, whatever catches the fancy. As I wrote in another post, we should evaluate what we see and work it to the most advantageous position we can. As with the writing, all the photos we take are not for public consumption, some are learning experiments. Editing is something we should also practice often. All editing programs require skill and familiarity to become adept. We cannot expect to be experts without trial and error.

If we are artists, at least doodling is required daily. We learn composition, shading, positioning, vanishing points, more stable lines, better collage, how to use found items to create effects, mixed media, modeling clay, sculpture, and we could fill the day with different art forms, but all require an investment of time for us to make a significant improvement. This does not have to be shown to a living soul. It is our own practice to make us what we want to be. If we do it a while doing art will become easier, and our skill will become legendary.

Even if we create something monstrously wrong, if we do the work improvement will occur eventually. It is hoped that this encourages and inspires you to make creativity part of every day.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative and come back soon. There is a follow button, please use it. Comments are always welcome. Take care.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

All Creativity

I am not the shadow
You might assume is me,
I am a star in this
My own version of reality…

I exist in this time
Willed into this being,
But I am a resident
Of even more, eternity…

My brightness shines greater
Than any farthest star
In even a moonless sky,
Know me in my totality…

I am creator of much
Yet nothing belongs to me,
For I am just a stranger
Hoping for some serenity…

I am not the shadow
You might assume is me,
I am a star in this
My own version of reality…

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan 
Saturday, August 17, 2013

Poetry in simple form

I have written a lot of poetry. I know in some circles it gets no respect, but it does not stop my writing it, and it should not hinder you either.

Okay, I can imagine some of you saying I have not written verse since high school. This is okay. Then some of you are going to say poetry is hard, and I am not smart enough. You should never speak of yourself that way. Poetry only requires creativity and a willingness to try. You must have both because you are reading this.

I generally do not like forms in poetry. Forms are where one is prescribed certain syllable counts, line counts, or rhyme schemes. One of those is hard enough to write under, but some forms require all three, masterminds like Shakespeare can do it, me not so much. I am primarily a free verse poet, but there are a few forms I enjoy.

If you have not heard of the Japanese form Haiku, you are in for a treat. Haiku is an ancient form. Initially, it was developed to celebrate the seasons, nature, or sometimes special occasions. Some still write it that way. I play with haiku when I am stuck or blocked. I have found the act of writing, even haiku, unsticks the gears in the brain so real work can be done.

Americanized Haiku are three lines with a first line syllable count of five, second line syllable count of seven, and the last line syllable count of five. As long as you keep the numbers and use some imagery or proverbial meaning, you will do just fine.

Here are a few examples:

The dog sits alone
Looking out the window while
Rain blurs fallen leaves.

When I see a clown
Outside a birthday party
I tend to shiver.

You cannot produce
An ample creative crop
Without great effort.

Now it is your turn. See how your creative mind can muster up to the challenge. I believe you will enjoy it. If you want to share your work leave some of it in the comments.

Thank you so much for visiting Haphazard Creative. I hope you had fun and will return. Take care!

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Photography: Better than some think

By now you have taken hundreds if not thousands of photos. I bet you have heard or thought that a great camera takes better pictures. If you are an experienced photographer, it can be a bit of a downer, and if you are just starting out, it has you thinking you have to break the bank.

The truth is anyone can take good pictures with a little creativity and some practice. One thing that digital photography allows us is to take a lot of photos. If you watch the professionals that get paid for their work, a shoot may involve thousands of photographs so they can choose the best of the bunch. They usually have spectacular equipment too, but that is a career investment.

Stop taking one shot of a subject, make a bunch. Another thing is to really look at your subject, check the light, angle, distance, and get close. If you are photographing children or animals get on their level. With living things highlight the eyes, that is your focus.

Invest in some editing software, almost no one who you admire displays pictures straight out of the camera. The best is Adobe’s Creative Cloud, but it is pricey and requires a subscription.  Check the web for alternatives.

Join a club or organization that focuses on photography. Watch YouTube videos, especially the ones about your equipment. Books are also good though many overlook them now. Take classes if you feel you need extra help.

You can be a great creative photographer, and you are probably better than you think already.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. I hope you come back soon. Take care!

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan