Monday, July 26, 2010

Getting the "Spark" Back

Hi peeps! I hope your Sunday was all that and a bag of chips like mine! :)

Sunday is always a "rest day" for me, so I woke up early, drank four cups of coffee, applied for two jobs (SUPER-JAZZED!), and made myself an "All Shook Up PBB" protein smoothie...

However, instead of frozen yogurt, I used regular light vanilla yogurt and almond milk instead of skim milk. Just as yummy!

Drank it on the porch with the wuppers.

For lunch, I made veggie quesadillas....

Two low-carb tortillas, packed with cheddar, corn, onion, green beans (YES, green beans!), tomatoes, and a sprinkle of taco seasoning. Served with light sour cream and tomato slices.

...and Wes took me on a "date" to paint pottery. I worked at a paint-your-own pottery studio for almost two years in high school and I was an art minor in college, so needless to say, I was stoked that he wanted to take me there!

I chose to paint this spoon rest/jewelry tray for my Mam (my affectionate name for my mother). If she's reading this, I bet $20 she's thinking, "Oh great! ANOTHER piece of pottery to gather dust and end up in a garage sale!" I brought home an unnecessary amount of finished pottery back in the day :)

Here, I caught Wes intensely painting his bisque ("bisque" is just unglazed pottery that has been fired once already). He claims he doesn't have a creative bone in his body, but he's so cute when he's trying to be creative for me!

And voila! Finished! It looks dull right now, but after it's dipped in clear glaze and fired again, it will be bright and shiny. I'll post pics when I get it back in a week :) It's definitely a fun date-night activity!

This morning on my way home from the gym, inspired by my workout and the previous pottery painting session, my mind raced with a million, rambling creative ideas. I had a sudden epiphany: I'm getting my creative "spark" back! It's not like it went away or anything. But it was definitely pushed deep down to make room for other things over the past two years. It's amazing how much of ourselves we can suppress over time and not realize it.

I've always been art-minded. In fact, my original college major was going to be art, but one of my professors told me that I would never be a great artist (teacher-of-the-year, right?). Pissed off and bitter, I switched my major to mass media communication (journalism, essentially) and never looked back.

Just a sample of some of my photography from "back when I would never be a great artist" (this is soooo six years ago):

I don't ever regret my decision to take a different path. In journalism, writing allowed me to get creative with my descriptions and stories. In grad school, I continued to study communication, but I went a more theoretical route.

In the communication discipline, I could still study art (art IS communication after all). I even did my master's thesis on the persuasion and gender roles of performances of female magicians (I got to interview two female magicians, which was pretty rad).

(Female magician drawing my sister did for me for my thesis promotional items! She's a fantabulous cartoonist!)

But, on the whole, grad school was a creativity-killer for me. I found myself with less time to pursue the artwork I formerly did in my free time. Photography is my passion and I rarely got a chance use my camera artistically.

I also found the world of academia to be very unforgiving of creativity. A witty statement in a 25-page paper could be construed as "biased." In art, you WANT to bend rules and break barriers. In academia, there are certain rules and norms which are non-negotiable. Papers must be formated in a certain way and adhere to certain formalities (sections, headings, hypothesis, etc.).

Since graduating in May and looking for jobs, fitness and blogging have become such AMAZING outlets to draw inspiration. Teaching group fitness, I get to come up with new routines and meet new people everyday! It may sound silly, but documenting the everyday ordinary things in life, has made me more appreciative of them. In additon, blogging has invoked these things:
  • I'm more conscious of the food I put in my body.
  • I'm learning vast amounts of information from other health and fitness bloggers.
  • I'm challenged to come up with motivating and interesting post topics.
  • I'm trying new recipes.
  • I'm trying new foods I wouldn't normally touch with a 10-foot pole.
  • I get to write about whatever and however I WANT to write.
  • I get to meet and connect with other FABULOUS bloggers and blog readers.
  • AND, overall, I get to look at fantastic photography, as well as take my own pictures.
As my creativity is slowly returning to me, and as I continue to look for full-time jobs, I'm being picky about what I apply for. I want to make sure that it's something that will challenge me mentally and creatively. In my short 24 years, I've had about 11 jobs. Some I liked, some I didn't. I'm tired of jobs that don't move me to grow as a person. I want a job that inspires me to go to work everyday. As one of my favorite sayings goes...

Some of my more recent art photography (from the last year). You can see my online portfolio here as well:

Wes says I get a little twinkle in my eye whenever I talk about or make art. I hope this creative spark stays for a while this time! :)

Live life creatively and have a marvelous Monday, ya'll!

Q.O.D. (question of the day): What "inspires" you? Your work? Your children? Your hobby? What is your creative outlet? Have you ever felt like you "lost" your creativity? If so, how did you find it? If you are a blogger, is blogging a creative outlet for you?


  1. Oh I hear you on master's degrees sucking the creativity right out of you. I used to write for fun, now, it's part of my job and a lot less enjoyable. I do think that blogging has given me a new creative outlet for sure. I am finding it enjoyable to be writing, even if it's only journaling, again.

  2. I don't really view myself as being creative at all. I think maybe I am creative with my food when I have time to play around with it. I am always looking for volume foods that taste yummy for low calories

  3. Hi there. First - you are so talented - it is amazing. You have many gifts. Lucky woman:)
    I think people like you inspire me. Seriously. Strong woman with passion. I have a friend that is running the Philly Marathon with me and she runs for the best reasons and I swear - she is an amazing inspriation. My mother inspires me. She is strong and crazy and my 'insane sanity'. The list goes on - my daughter - of course. She is so young and pure. I love your post. Keep it up:)

  4. I love the photo of your husband busily enjoying himself being creative. Awesome Sunday! I included this post on TGIF Links. Come over and give yourself a vote, SITStah! (you should get a ping from me with the link info). See you around the neighborhood :-)

  5. Fitness and blogging are certainly huge inspirations for me as well. And very useful outlets. You certainly have a creative eye that should not be put down.

    And I sooo want a cupcake plate!

  6. Your quesadilla looks so good!!!

    I'm a new reader. Feel free to check out my blog too The Nutritionist Reviews!
    I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  7. @Heather--Yeah, writing for work sucks. It takes all of the "fun" out :( Been there, sista!

    @FoodExerciseExpress--I think you're pretty creative--your blog is anyway! :)

    @Erica--don't make me blush! :) I'm no super woman when it comes to art. YOU are the super woman! :)

    @Thatgirlisfunny--thanks for stopping by! Thanks for the link! I greatly appreciate it!

    @Tina--thank you, I try. I'm not very good, but I try :)

    @ Amanda--thanks for stopping by as well. I actually read your blog, but I haven't yet commented yet. I'm a lurker, I guess! :)