Finding Inspiration to Climb Higher

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I sometimes hear I should find something to do when I’m sitting around puzzling over what’s inspiring me in that moment and which way I should move with it (which appears from the outside to be some sort of boredom or stagnation) but is actually me almost in a living/meditating state. I’m taking everything in around me, iI’m imagining and I’m stalling. I don’t usually move fast with new ideas; In fact I usually move so slow that I tire of them before I even get them finished. I also currently favor the idea that in your worst times (most depressed, most angry, most passionate) you make your greatest discoveries about yourself which in turn shells out some pretty brutally honest and amazing work. (ahem, Eminem)

Why is inspiration such a process? And how do you get inspiration? Sometimes.. I’ll admit.. I actually pull the inspiration and motivation to move ahead with ideas from dreams. I dreamt I finally went to Japan to study which let me to finally decide I would study in Japan while in college. I had to do all of the work to get there; my college didn’t really have any programs in Japan in place at the time. It happened! I couldn’t believe everything went as smoothly as it did (this seems to happen sometimes when you follow your heart — things go smooth and easy). They told me to pick several programs and apply because I might not get the one I want, I chose the one I wanted and didn’t even apply anywhere else. I got accepted.

My host family was the most rad family in the whole program because they also just started so they weren’t sure what to expect either and they had a daughter that was just a bit older than me. So that means lots of shopping, events, festivals, sake and karaoke with friends. They are so wonderful and amazing, I’m glad we’re still in touch. Eri, the daughter, and I practically became real sisters (and our bond is exactly the same after all of these years). That little push I needed to live in Japan as the Japanese do was not just a dream anymore, it was a reality.

Some well-known self-esteem experts, such as Jack Canfield, claim that a way of proving you’re on the right path in life: everything, no matter how hard it at first seems (change is often scary), seems to almost come easily and moves along smoothly. Now I’m not saying you’re likely to avoid obstacles if you follow your dreams. Because, in my experience, often times the harder something is to get, the more worth or value it carries. So whether obstacles get in the way or not, always be prepared for them. I’m only saying it feels right.. you just know it’s the way you’re supposed to go. There will likely be obstacles but not impossible ones, rather they are empowering ones.

I also dreamt (No, I do not live in a Dream Castle.) I started a store downtown (dream come true) and a magazine with friends and found happiness and fulfillment in that. I’m an artist and designer first and foremost. When I finally dropped News/Editorial from my major I felt a little remorse, but sadly not enough. Somehow writing was not something I was after anymore, it didn’t feel right anymore. So what did I do anyway? I took heed from my dream and started this mega blogazine that you’re staring at right now. I opened a connected shop and sold pendants, original artwork, prints and the most random handmade gifts. I (sort of) started working towards making that dream a reality.

If fact sometimes dreams you once had come floating back as if reminding you to keep on your journey but to perhaps try another route. Sometimes to become who you want to be you have to re-harness some of your past, favorable qualities that you let fall to the wayside. For instance recently I was obsessing over these more recent prints and images I was creating (never released) and now I’m considering listing them at the store here. They were pre-falling-down-the-rabbit-hole-again stage but became a pretty big series in my life for awhile and I actually enjoyed creating them a lot. I found again that I work well with dolls as models and I decided to mix typography in more like my web-based designs thus furthering my interest in print making once more. Finally.

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Some other ways I get inspiration are as follows:
Japanese fashion and interior magazines, vintage woman’s magazines, 20s records, having a cup of black coffee or almond tea to get re-energized, taking a bubble bath with or without a book or candles and champagne, looking through my photo albums, looking through my record collection, hanging out with family & friends, taking a walk, swinging, carrying my camera, listening to electro, writing in my journal or any nearby notebook, getting out a pencil and a blank canvas and, most importantly, love and kisses from my husband and daughter. Every time I have genuine bonding time with my daughter I get an instant dose of inspiration.. I guess that’s why I tend to stay up quite late after her bedtime to work.

So want to pump up the process of getting inspiration by reading a few tips about gaining inspiration from other artists? That’s exactly what I had in mind. Also remember I always ask our featured artists to explain where they get inspiration from.

Need Inspiration?

Four Steps To Finding Inspiration, From An Idea DJ – I especially like the idea of video art, collaging video clips with music and/or audio.
50 Ways to Find Inspiration – I’ve done a lot of these and found some of them that I’d actually like to try. There are tons of great ideas here. I really liked: 31. Ask someone you love what they consider to be the most important thing they’ve ever learned., 34. Ask your parents to tell you what you were like as a child, and remember what mattered to you then. and 40. Spend time with children and see the world through their eyes.. Very positive and inspirational.
16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re In a Slump

Creations, Cares & Shop Wares

Usagi by Amber Renee

So I’ve been sketching so much more since I began living with the man of my dreams and realizing life can be comforting in transition, fear, sadness, happiness, ecstasy, extreme business, security, and overwhelming tasks lists. Sometimes those sketches are finally turned into illustrations by yours truly and other times they are filed, colored by the kiddies or lost and tossed. This one made it through to the other side. I was feeling very dark when I sketched this but also very excited about the future, thus she is split into two. Even more curious I died my hair half and half following this drawing. The dark vs cute seems to be a constant theme in my brain.

I’ve also updated my SHOP a bit and fallen in love with some old and new friends also using storenvy.

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I’ve also got my digital life getting back on track with the welcome of a new computer to the office, my new lovely laptop (little MacBook Pro) which was a gift from Mistereducated. It is so happy to both work with me and snuggle in my still-in-the-plastic Lamb case that was gifted to me years ago. Such a princess of a laptop. She runs runs runs and keeps my eyes happy with a screen that is so decadent and color rich like a Japanese candy store. AH! I was so behind.

Also many more blog goodies are coming along.. I was forced by slight-OCD to organize my Gmail via Imap in Mac’s Mail app (if you need any help with this I have ultimate tips as I ripped quite a few hairs out in frustration). I had (no joke) a bit over 100,000 mails that needed to be organized into folders so I could have an empty inbox and get on track. I was living like a computer file hoarder. Mister even got me an external hard drive because like a hoarder I put off organizing my files and deleting un-needed files for so long and now every file I’ve ever cherished (except for that time in the 90s when my old PC crashed and lost all my files) is organized and neat on the hard drive. Such a relief! Everything is smooth sailing on candy seas. So alas, I have not forgotten about or misplaced your emails! After my crazy roller coaster ride and life restart I am still getting important items in order but I am now pretty much on top of a cotton candy cloud ready to welcome you for chats, cats and tea. I never forgot about you, I was only lost in the forest for awhile.

Also — I got a pink 3ds for a bit of fun in the meantime and mainly for Animal Crossing because it has always been my favorite game next to Maniac Mansion. If you’d like to be friends just leave your friend code. Mine is: 0662 4261 5265

See you in digital wonderland! XX

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Mood Board: Lock my Heart and Never Part

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Mew for Today because I really was going through a painfully overwhelming period in my life that I am slowly navigating out of. I am happier and healthier than I have ever been before and I owe it to my one true love, spirituality and sobriety. Thankfully as more time goes on I have started feeling very much inspired and overwhelmed with ideas again and I would love to share some eye candy that is oh-so-Miseducated and catching my attention on tumblr tonight…

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His & Hers: Our Reads of the Moment

his and hers

Once upon a time I met my match. A rock star artist, attractive man, best friend, beautiful person, wonderful father. I found that he brought an abundance of light into my life just by being a friend and mentor to me as a young adult. 9 years later the friendship grew into something unbelievable and now we are a completely inseparable and happy family.

We usually means us, as in this website and our community, but in the case of these new features it actually means Mister and Miss. Educated. This article is about the books we have nearby for reading and the blogs we catch up on often.

Her Books

Good Energy Book

I got this book for free during a promotion at the perfect timing because I was changing my life and my world. After reading it I became really addicted and got rid of the negative energy in my home and life. I knew most of the techniques from my past but this book explains everything in a very attractive way and is a great read even when you’re just feeling negative and hopeless. I highly recommend it if you’re into energy healing.

Blog Inc.

Mom Inc.

Renegade Writer

Achieve Anything In Just One Year

His Books

Surviving the Economic Collapse

I got this book as I was hoping for the best but studying and preparing for the worst. I have a lot to lose and I feel it is my job as a man to be sure everyone will be taken care of. The book is self-published so it’s a little brash and of course there are errors but I couldn’t put it down. It’s the actual account of a man who survived economic collapse in Argentina so it’s not a hypothetic response. It was very informative and I recommend it to anyone who wants to be prepared when the shit hits the fan.

Art and Fear

Rich Dad Poor Dad

The Way of the Superior Man

Think and Grow Rich

Blogs

And while books are rad, blogs are like the newest imagery-stuffed zines, you can visit millions of them over every delicious topic you can imagine. You can even find some not-so-delicious topics if that’s your fancy and with that we’d also love to leave some of our current favorite blogs~

Her Blogs

1. puglypixel
2. Design*Sponge
3. Independent Fashion Bloggers
4. Thompson Family Life
5. A Beautiful Mess

His Blogs

1. Lines and Colors
2. Art21 Blog
3. Design For Mankind
4. The Jealous Curator
5. Co.Design

Make sure you’ve added your blog in the comments if you aren’t listed in the link directory! We’re beginning to get very serious about blogging and active within the community again, now that life has been settling down, and we’d love to see your blog and get to know you, too!

Step into StoopidGerl’s Delicious World of Wonder

Bang Bang

Kim (aka StoopidGerl) is one of my closest online friends. We are both colorful artists that had adorable baby girls very close in time to each other, her Chloe Pearl was born several months before Colette Fawn and we learned a lot from each other along the way. Our pasts share many similarities as well so it’s no wonder that we hit it off immediately once upon a time. I’ve been planning a feature on Kim and her amazing creations and splendid aesthetic for WAY TOO LONG and here it is!

So as you’ve probably noticed I’ve been featuring a lot of my favorite artists and handmade mavens. I feel Kim (stoopidgerl) fits with the Miseducated way of life as much as anyone I know, her work reminds me what earth would look like if many of our rainbow-obsessed, candy-coated brains puked all over the place. Her style is no ones but her own and if you look into her world you’ll never want to leave. Please visit her gorgeously kitschy shop to purchase any of her works of art.

How long have you been crafting your world (your intoxicating-eye-candy photos and dazzlingly-saturated-with-color pieces of jewelry)?
I got started a few years ago. Working from home has been a dream come true!

When did you decide to turn that hobby into a business?
After I graduated from school I somehow ended up working a super crappy job at a Sears Portrait Studio. Going to work there made me want to kill myself! It was HELL on earth. I got pretty fed up with it and ended up quitting one day. I needed something to do and I needed money. I had been selling on Etsy for awhile and then I decided to take the plunge and try to do it for a living. I don’t know how it happened but it was magical! My shop took off quite quickly. I really love what I do and I think that is the key to my success!

All of us reach creativity blocks at some time.. where do you find inspiration when you reach a block?
The nearest candy shop~!

A lot of my inspiration comes from the past… movies I’ve seen, people I used to hang with, places I visited, my childhood…

Sometimes I find that browsing Flickr is inspirational. I love to just get lost in Flickr. I could spend hours browsing photos and adding them to my faves! There is some phenomenal shit out there!

Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry that you have made?
Oh my goodness it is hard to pick just one but if I had to choose my absolute favorite I would go with this~
Rainbow Bright Heart
It is impossible to be in a crappy mood when you surround yourself with so much color. This necklace is a sure pick-me-up when you need one!

Do you have any exciting stories about the purchase of one of your pieces?
I shit myself with glee when Courtney Love purchased a necklace from my shop several years ago.

Miss World - HOLE resin necklace

What inspires you when decorating your space?
…the pursuit of happiness! I love all things that are sweet, rainbowy, clownlike, kitschy, and cool.

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What sort of things are must haves on display in your home?
I have been a collector of cameras ever since I went to school. I took a short break from collecting for awhile and recently got back into it. I have a neat little collection of minty green vintage cameras that sits on a shelf in our living room.

all here

I also have to have clowns… lots of clowns.

Do you have any tips for readers trying to design their world?
Don’t worry about sticking with any sort of theme… just go with the flow and hoard all the things you love!

Eat Cake

You can purchase Kim/StoopidGerl’s amazing creations at her rad Etsy Store.

Caitlin’s Custom Accessories and Footwear

Caitlin is a cute and creative woman that I am lucky enough to share a community with. We met months ago at a local event and have been friends and confidants ever since. We realized we had a lot in common but it wasn’t until recently when I heard someone asking her for custom accessories at our weekly coffee hangout that I realized just how much we really have in common. She is an artistic and crafty woman, stylist and beautician in the Broad Ripple area and communicates a cute and urban aesthetic decadence in every task she takes on. Upon hearing about and getting the chance to look at her creations I realized I must feature her work and give you the opportunity to order your own custom goodies. As I’ve heard from her past clients, the nonstop compliments will drive you bonkers if you decide to have your shoes customized by Caitlin!

What inspired you to start customizing?
Necessity is the mother of invention. I painted my first cowboy boots to cover a spot where I dropped hair color about 10 years ago.

What is your process?
I use sharpie poster paint pens to customize the shoes. I used to paint my vans with sharpie markers in high school 20+ years ago because I was bored in class and the hobby just stuck.

I let the shoe direct the design, they communicate to me the colors and placement of design. I originally started with Uggs after I got my first pair 20 years ago and everyone made such a fuss about how ugly they were. I felt “blah” wearing them so I had to dress them up.

I’ve always “accessorized my accessories”. Whenever an item passes through my hands it ends up painted, patched, ruffled, stickered, personalized somehow.

What are your prices for customizing?
I charge $50 for the shoes. I also sell a lot of denim tool belts recycled from old jeans, for hairstylists or crafters which are also $50.

Get customized
Interested in getting your accessories or footwear customized? Let us know and Caitlin will get back to you immediately about the specifics.

Camilla d’Errico is No Ordinary Love of Mine

As is pretty obvious by my own work and features here, I am involved in and very supportive of the Pop Surrealism movements in Los Angeles and Tokyo. Having seen Camilla d’Errico‘s work at Hello Kitty’s 35th VIP Aniversary Party in LA I just had to promote and feature her work and really wanted to understand a little bit about what makes such a beautiful mind, as communicated on canvas, tick.

How long have you been painting?
I’ve been painting (exhibiting) since 2005.

Did it ever become your main focus?
No, painting has never actually been my main focus, though it took center stage in 2007-2008. I’m a comic book artist, first and foremost, but after I first started showing in galleries, and my work was well loved, I was propelled into the Pop Surrealism movement in Los Angeles and I went with it!

What has been your favorite exhibition?
My favorite would have to be the Hello Kitty 35th Anniversary show in 2009. It was fabulous and so many artists interpreted Hello Kitty (I love HK btw) and it was a very well organized and fun show.

What inspires you most?
I’m mostly inspired by manga and anime.

What has been your favorite painting you’ve created?
No Ordinary Love because it has very special meaning for me. It’s about love, and not giving up on love, but holding onto that hope so dearly … until you are able to be reunited.

Do you have any crazy stories about one of your pieces?
It’s not crazy, per se, but I find it hilarious. My painting, Mountainhead, is a Helmetgirl with the biggest helmet you’ve ever seen. There are bits and pieces of everything on that helmet, completely overpowering her small frame. I painted that for my sister AdaPia because she is always thinking, plotting, planning. In fact, she’s my business partner! So I always like referring to her as Mountainhead.

Favorites
Color? teal
Food? steak
Animal? pug
Music? really into Dubstep right now
Magazine? Shojo Beat
Movie? Spirited Away

Do you have any advice for readers interested in turning their hobby into their main focus?
It takes a lot of determination, focus and willpower to move from hobby to professional. I suggest doing a lot of research about the specific artistic field you want to go into. That’s easy nowadays with Internet, but it’s good to also meet people in person – go to galleries, talk to the curators, owners, directors. Get a good feel for what’s going on. Also, make sure you know and define your own style. Be confident and comfortable with what you are creating. And in the beginning, it’s always a good idea to start slowly; don’t leave your ‘day job’ until you’ve built up a good client base or a collector base. And never give up, even when things seem bad; it’s just a learning phase and you’ll come out stronger.

What do you feel is a recipe for success?
Skill + talent + passion + determination + work ethic and a good dose of people skills!

Are you Miseducated?
Totally! When I was growing up, and even throughout college, everyone tried to persuade me not to go into comics because it isn’t a lucrative career. It’s barely enough for anyone to live off of, unfortunately. But I was obstinate and I wanted to be a comic artist above all else and I persisted in my dream. So first of all, I’m Miseducated because I didn’t do what I was told would be best for me, and also because I’m a self taught painter. Some of my fine art teachers told me I had no skills as a painter, no style … and as much as I am humble, I do get a kick out of knowing I’ve proven them wrong!

Gallery

New Business Cards: VistaPrint is my VistaPrince

I recently had some new business cards printed. It’s been quite a while. I had a box of cards left with a wrong number from 7+ years ago and another box of cards that were simply for design AND not as clean as I’d like. I wanted a new card to promote myself AND mainly Miseducated. I had been featuring many businesses lately and finding new affiliates yet my card did not portray the importance of this whimsical land. Thus, my new cards were born promoting our beloved blog on the front and myself on the back which is really just more Miseducated brand. I’m VERY pleased with them and a lot of other recent orders for my store materials so I had to write a little post honoring their service in case there are others looking for a place to print.

I’m sure if you are a professional of any sort online then you’ve heard of VistaPrint before while scrolling amongst the tons of searches for print companies and inexpensive business cards. I first learned about them many years ago when a friend ordered their free business cards, found out I can completely customize my order in every way and have been hooked since. I use them for most, if not all, of my professionally printed business materials and I have never been disappointed. I have in fact ordered the wrong item before and they fixed it immediately. I have had a slight error in the past and I received the correct item free of charge in a flash. I also prefer MOO cards but with the inexpensive quality and quantity that VistaPrint offers I most often turn to them for basic business printed materials. I highly recommend VistaPrint to all of my art and design friends and have heard very similar reviews. My boyfriend uses them, my best friends use them. If you’re looking for something done right and affordable this is where you go. And here’s a few VistaPrint coupon codes for even better print deals.

If you’re interested in ordering materials from VistaPrint or another print company but need an affective and original design for yourself or your brand do not hesitate to ask me. I’m always open to discussing new projects with readers and helping you out in any way that I am able to.

Fashion. Cut to the left! Cut to the right!

The video and marketing direction behind these fashion and beauty product videos by Juicy Couture is enough to make my heart hurt and my eyes bleed rainbows, glitter and grime. Take in the visual splendor with me and feel inspired to live a life as art. I can never get enough of their saccharine sweet, colorful, serendipitous and opulent campaigns that have always been right up my alley (cat).

Behind the Scenes

Geometric Collages, Crystals and Neon Tribal Art

You might have noticed some familiar yet new styles being tossed around while we continue to be inspired by the aesthetics of the 1980s in all areas of art and design. A few of my current visual obsessions are geometric collages, all forms of crystal shards and neon tribal art. The use of triangles, prisms and neon color addictively draws me in like no other. It’s almost like my brain has been carefully drained and the contents put on display for my complete decadent delight. The use of these styles in design both with artwork and with jewelry/fashion is a delightful rainbow of eye candy, a complete visual orgasmic experience that I find I urn for again and again. I never tire of watching previous styles of expression become revamped and recreated by contemporary artists and designers. Thus, I decided to feature some of their works and designs and my own prints have finally been being re-added to our shop.

I suppose my obsession with neon light, color transitions and geometric collage dates back to my 80s childhood. I’ve had a lifelong obsession with crystals and as a young child I often carefully selected and cleansed my own crystals mainly for visual enjoyment and perhaps also a bit of the health, energetic and spiritual benefits they provide. The current interest designers have with crystals and working them into their jewelry and artwork is exciting for me to say the least. I’ve gotten quite an impressive new collection of crystal jewelry that would have put my former youthful self at shame. I’ve even been both cleansing and moon soaking crystals that will soon be for sale in our shop as pretty pendants for you to adore. So let’s step back to take in the clusters of deliciousness and enjoy the visual adventure that our eyes and spirits are able to enjoy.

Emily Hoy

Kris Tate

Nutcase Fashion

Angel Aura Quartz

Angel Aura Quartz is quartz that is permanently treated by fusing platinum and/or silver crystals with heat and vacuum to give it its gorgeous angelic coloring. Mystical lore counts it a stone of high spiritual energy. It is said that it is very helpful to the aura which it can protect, balance, cleanse and bring an energetic health. Angel Aura Quartz Crystals act to stimulate and clear all of the Chakra Energy Centers.

Intuitive sources say Angel Aura Quartz helps bring one into the higher realms in meditation, facilitating conscious contact with angels, spirit guides and inner realm teachers. It is said to assist one in communing with Angels, accessing the Akashic records, channeling higher knowledge, remembering past lives and gaining insight into one’s spiritual mission in this lifetime. ~ Celestial Lights