Posts tagged creative
5 Creative Things You Can Do With Your iPhone

This post will help you if you're sick of wasting time on your iPhone and you want to use it in more creative ways.

There are so many recent studies out there that are alarming about how much we're on our iPhones.  I do try to discipline myself at times and refrain from pulling my iPhone out and using it for anything.  I'm actually going through a challenge right now where I don't even OPEN my phone when I get home from work at night.  Let me tell you, it's difficult.  But I've figured out some ways to creatively use my iPhone in my life.  Try them out and see if they spark any creativity in your life!


1.  Use It As A Scanner

I get so frustrated when people send me a document and ask me to print it off, sign it and then scan it back to them.  I started streamlining this stressful, time wasting ordeal by simply taking a photo of the signed document with my phone and then emailing that photo back to them.  It will be a JPG file but who cares because the iPhone photo is large and won't lose detail.  It looks just as good as a real scanner and it will save you a ton of time!

2. Create Home Movies Of Your Family

There are times when I'm like "I will (or my kids will) want to relive this moment one day".   I started pulling out my iPhone, capturing these moments on video and then uploading them to Youtube.  YouTube isn't going anywhere anytime soon so I bet those videos will be around for a while.  This is so easy to do and will be a valuable document to your future self and family.  You can see some of my iPhone home movies here.

3. Let Your Kids Make Some Art Then Print It Out And Put It On The Fridge

One morning my son Harvest was coloring a picture of Hiccup from "How To Train A Dragon".  He did this on a free coloring book app on my iPhone.  It was creative and I wanted to show him how proud of his work I was.   I save the image to my iPhone,  sent it to myself through email or message and then printed it off.  I brought it home, put it on the fridge and when he got home he was surprised and delighted to see his creative art on the fridge that he had made on my iPhone that same morning.  Creative huh!?

4.  Take Photos Of Notes That You Don't Want To Carry Around

If you know me then you know that I love figuring out ways to minimize the steps in meaningless tasks.  I know that when I am handed a piece of paper with important information on it that it will inevitably get lost or destroyed.  Trying to be creative, I now pull out my iPhone, take a photo of the paper and toss it.  That way I don't have to keep up with another thing in my life. 

5. Message Yourself Photos and Videos

If you're like me and have an iPhone, iMac, Macbook, iPad, iToilet (jk) then you have the ability to send and receive your phone messages from these devices using iMessage.  There are many times that I know I'll need an image, video, link or a simple note later in the day or future.  I plan for this by messaging myself the photo or video.  Then when I'm on any of my devices I can access that file simply by opening up iMessage and looking in my previous messages to myself. This is a really creative timesaver if you have multiple Apple devices in addition to your iPhone.

 

So there you have it.  5 Things that I use my iPhone for to be more creative and save time. 

I love hearing from my readers so let me know if this helped you by following and commenting on my social networks!    

How Borderline Personality Disorder Has Helped My Creativity

I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  I've known for the a while but before that I was told that I had Bipolar Disorder (this is a common mistake apparently).  

I've had BPD most of my life but didn't know until someone showed me a list of the symptoms.  I looked at it and said "Yep.  Everyone of those is me."

Since then I've been taking what's know as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).  For me this is like "mindfullness" or "meditation" on steroids.  Daily, I am asked to "look inward" and notice how I feel,  how I responded to people and situations.  I've been asked to change the words I use.  For example instead of using "like", "dislike", "good", "bad" I might say "I notice", "I'm curious", "I feel (insert actual emotion).  This is where the creative change has happened in my life.   

I'm a teacher of creative digital art.  I've been doing this for 6 years now.  I've taught every creative digital art process that you can think of.   It's been so stressful and miserable until... 

I started bringing the skills that I was learning in therapy into my classroom.  I stopped judging how "good" my projects were and actually spent significantly less time on them.  I started questioning my students rather then telling them to "change" or "fix" their art.  Instead of me making all of the decisions I started allowing (and trusting) them to make them on their own with my guidance.  I began to allow the natural curiosity and wonder of the human mind lead me and my students in our creativity.  

I'm happy to report that this had made all the difference in my life as a digital art teacher.  Not just creatively but relationally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.  I was actually told for the first time in my teaching career by a student that I was a "good teacher". BPD and DBT has actually liberated me to act spontaneously and intuitively in my teaching, creative art and relationships.  

If you have (or think you have) Borderline Personality Disorder and want to get some tips click here.  Or if you want to just ask me some questions then leave a comment below or click here.

How Type-A Artists Survive

I was teaching at a documentary film school over the summer and someone said to me "how does it feel to be a 'type-A artist?"

I started thinking about my life and how much I've struggled as a creative person because of the ocean of ideas that I have in my mind, my perfectionistic standards and the constant struggle I have to work with other people.  

Here are 5 strategies that I've came up with to help me on my journey as a "type-A artist":

1. LET GO OF 'PERFECT'

It's so hard to do this!  I want my art and creative endeavors to end up the best they can be. Every time.  The problem is with what "the best they can be" is.  The idea that something can always be "better" is a problem in our society.  Understandably.  We're bombarded with "push-ads" that cram what "perfect" is down our throats on the daily.   When I started as a photographer years ago I was so worried that I wasn't as good as other photographers.  I was right.  It turns out that that was ok.  I ended up doing a 100-day self-portrait project where I posted one photo per day for 100 days.  I started off shooting with my iPhone and then naturally desiring "better photos", I learned how to use a DSLR.  I ended up being a "photographer" to all of my followers by the end of the project.  That only happened because I let go of "perfect" and embraced "process".

2. MEDITATE. EVERYDAY

I have a disorder know as "borderline personality disorder".  For as far back as I can remember I have been a perfectionist, driven, passionate.  Also unproductive.

Meditation has revolutionized my creative life by allowing me to focus or "re-focus" on what's really important in my life and complete the tasks that I value.  Meditation looks very different for a lot of people.  I actually have a lambskin rug in my work space that I lay down on everyday for at least 10 minutes while listening to some guided meditation or calm music.  If you've never done "guided meditation" then I highly recommend that you go to YouTube and search for it.  Or just click here.  You'll feel kooky in the beginning but over time you'll start to notice the life changing benefits in your creative life, personal life and with your family.

3. STOP MAKING STUFF

I got this intuitive (and almost scary effective) tip from the relationship guru, Jordan Gray.  He basically says that if you're an "ultra productive" person then you should practice being intentionally "unproductive".  This seems too simply I know.  I challenge you to "not work" on purpose the next time that you are in the middle of an intense creative project where you feel stuck.  

4. EXERCISE. DAILY

I know here we go.  The old "exercise daily" thing.  If you can get up 30 minutes earlier everyday and do a light (I said light) run and/or yoga-ish stretching then I promise you that you'll see an increase in quality of your day to day creativity, relationship and overall life. 

Go ahead and grab your phone and change your alarm.  You can do it!

5. GET AN EXPENSIVE JOURNAL

I've recently started adding value to this so much that I went out and bought a $13 journal. I use this everyday to write, sketch or doodle out my thoughts, ideas or creative projects.  Before I bought this journal I had a really low quality (picture grade school) notebook.  Since it was cheap I treated cheap.  It had no value because I literally picked it up out of a box that someone was going to recycle. 

The point is you want to prepare yourself to be successful by having something that you value with you so you'll want to use it.  It's that simple. 

You might take these strategies and say "not fore me" or you might try to change them to fit your style or even maybe even ask another "type-A “creative person around you how they survive.  

Whatever you do.  Do something that works for you. Or nothing right! (Strategy #3)

Creatively,

Mark

P.S. Want to talk about this more? Drop me a line. I love helping creative people!