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

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!

Your Journal is Your Friend

If I told you what has been going on the past few months (April – present) you probably wouldn’t even believe me. Life-shattering events, depression over both my health (and my shoddy management of it) and many things I may never be able to admit. Let’s just say I have a lot of new and interesting material for that novel I’ve been writing off and on for years. Emotional pain is a horrible inspirational tool but it does tend to give artists new ideas and possibly even better work.

It seems whenever a terrible situation happens I revert back to journaling. I like to journal devastating events and situations because I know one day I’ll look back at those entries and see I made it through them. One day I’ll be in a much better place and it will make me feel so accomplished what I actually made it through — something that at one time seemed impossible for me to do or to handle. I also feel it’s important for one to keep a journal just simply so they can get a glimpse at a past self. We’re always changing and learning — sometimes seeing that change by looking back can help you decide where you’re headed next. Or just show you where you’re never headed ever again. Not only that but when you journal you release your emotions in a healthy way. Remember that no one (therapists excluded), no matter how much they love you, will be willing to deal with your constant venting and/or crying. Everyone faces problems in their life and everyone tends to assume their problems are more serious. Your journal, however, is always ready to hear more.

If there is something going on in your life causing unbearable pain and uncertainty do not give up on yourself or on obtaining your goals in life. Instead use it as a time to grow inside and to eventually become stronger and more prepared. Sometimes we need a shove to become the person we knew we could always be. Grieve, cry, get it all out, but do not give up. The more positive thinking you do (it’s ok to fake it — you’ll retrain your brain to think positive things and to leave the negative ones behind) and the more healthy changes you make will get you that much closer to manifesting your desires.

Soon we’re going to have more journal activities in which you will actually learn interesting facts about yourself and find more manageable ways to change and become the person you want to be inside. I look forward to journaling with you again. Keep your head up!

Hints for Creating Realistic Fictional Characters

Fictional characters are mysterious beings. They have no real life but to us, they can be very real. People talk about them as if they were real and the things they did actually happened. To make a character that will live in the imaginations of other people, they first need to mean a lot to you as their creator. It’s true that a great character is what keeps a story going (and keeps you reading) so if you want to tell a memorable story, you will need to think up a great character. How do you do that?

Combine things you love to make a character you care about. If you’re interested in the Victorian era, maybe your hero/heroine is from this age in history? Be prepared to do some research to make your character believable. If you’re into science fiction or fantasy, you will have more creative freedom, but you will need to do some “world building”, and create your own setting around your character.

Name your character. The name of your character is more important than you might initially think. It gives your reader the very first impression of their age, personality and where, or when, they are from. A character that goes by a nickname like “Chip” or “Bruiser” already gives you a pretty clear idea of what they’re like.

Give them physical characteristics. Not only looks like eye color or height, but individual mannerisms, how they move and how they talk. Look at real life examples that you’ve noticed in other people. Maybe they overuse certain words or phrases or maybe they walk with a shuffle?

What are their strengths? Memorable characters have a lot of inner strength, a saving grace or a talent or two. Make your characters determined in the face of opposition, sad but still strong when they feel unloved. Give them a sense of humor or a need to help others.

What are their shadows? To understand shadows, it helps to look at yourself and the not-so-lovely things about your personality. Don’t make your character a carbon copy of yourself or someone else, but it helps to build ideas from real life. What are your character’s shortcomings and include some quirks. Its important to make your characters saving grace/s outweigh their shadow… unless you’re coming up with a villain. Still they need some part of their personality, a very small one, to be sympathetic.

Give your character loved ones and foes. Most of the time, your story wouldn’t be much without at least a few other characters. Give them a best friend, a mentor, an ex that dragged them through the mud, someone that stands in the way of their goals, or a love interest. These other characters should have a great influence on your main character.

How will they evolve? No character should stay the same throughout the course of a story. Your hero or heroine needs to have learned something and changed for the better, even after you put them through hell.

Audrey Kitching Knows Fashion Blogging

Audrey is one of the sweetest girls I know. She’s always been able to fit in a brainstorm or girl chat into her busily-blogging lifestyle. She’s a cat lover, a fashion addict and a teenage icon. Lately, she has been putting a lot of time and energy into her new lines Tokyolux and Coco De Coeur (if you haven’t taken a peek yet get ready for an eye-candy overload).

If im inspired by something I dive into it without hesitation!

You’re a blogger and always have something new to say, how do you maintain your blog and all of your websites with so little free time?
Its something I love to do. I wake up and I’m thinking of fashion ideas, styles and shoots. I live it. I don’t mind having little free time because I enjoy what I’m doing so much. It’s not a chore by any means, when I’m out of town or away from a computer I crave it.

Ever since we became friends we’ve been totally connected.. is friendship something important to you with your lifestyle?
Of course, I’m just really careful who I let into my life. Living in Los Angeles people befriend you for the wrong reasons and it’s actually hard to find people who just want to order takeout and watch a movie. I have hundreds of acquaintances and a handful of friends.

How do you find new inspirations to blog about?
From everywhere and everything. I’m always watching movies, listening to music, researching, buying magazines. It’s an overload of inspiration everyday. I never have the problem of being uninspired, if anything im over inspired and it makes my head spin!

What’s inspiring you right now?
Marie Antoinette, the ocean, 60s, mods, punks, 90s vogue, japan street style, velvets, lace, tea partys, the germs, cat ladies … I just watched this documentary on cat ladies and it was out of this world. One lady was living with 123 cats! My inspirations are all over the place. Im never inspired by one idea, I take everything and mix it into something new.

Are you miseducated and why?
I’m miseducated because I do things my way. I’m a Leo; I was never a follower. If im inspired by something I dive into it without hesitation!

I’m miseducated because I do things my way. I’m a Leo; I was never a follower.


Changes in Blogging: Blog Schedules and DIY Projects

Oomph! It’s time to start looking into my very-random schedule and see what we can do here to inspire and improve!

Scheduling

After much thinking (pregnant women think a lot) I decided that I would create a loose posting schedule (think DIY Tuesday and Weekly Roundups) that you could look forward to and I could make sure I’m meeting my personal quota. I feel I’m going to have to tighten things up way before Colette makes an appearance outside of my womb! She’ll probably be just the inspiration I need to soar through deliciously sweet and tasty articles. I cannot wait.

Back to the issue at hand!

Things may look a little bit different around here, a little more orderly perhaps! (Although this is Miseducated and orderly is not always our forte..)

DIY and Craft Projects

Not only will DIY projects, printable patterns and tutorials be featured here but we’ll also soon be adding projects which go on for many weeks. Right now we’re working on an art journal set especially for you (I know how much you love art journaling, you tell me all of the time! ^_~) — this DIY project will go on through many weeks of articles to keep you inspired.

Authors & Contributers

I absolutely adore all authors, contributers and guest writers here. I’m changing around the system just a bit over the next few weeks — I adore receiving occasional articles but cannot imagine stressing to already-busy authors to keep up with weekly article quotas here. Especially not until I can offer a nice compensation which is a definite goal in the future.

So, as you might have noticed, I’ve been filling in a lot of the cracks but I still support all of our contributers from occasional to one-time. I appreciate every little gem of inspiration and information you would like to offer us!

Featured Artists, Businesses and Designers

You might have already heard some talk about the upcoming giveaways — what better way to promote delicious artists and crafts than to let you have the goodies for yourself?

If you’re interested in participating in a giveaway, simply contact Miseducated with your shop url or information and let us see what you can do! If you are chosen for a giveaway we’ll scoop up our favorite wares that you’ve created, you will be featured on Miseducated and readers will get a chance to win your stock.

Stay tuned for our second giveaway — I’ve collected creations from a few artists this time to sweeten the pot. When we recieve all participating artist’s goodies you’ll have a chance to win it all right here.

Other News

T-shirts will be back soon, so sorry to have you waiting for another stock! Our paint stock is low but we’ll be creating some more soon! These are hand-painted one-by-one keeping with original indie artwork and will be sold here as they become available.

Get Started Blogging and Have More Success

So blogging is quite a huge trend these days, it’s a hobby many creatives and non-creatives alike can get into. It opens up communication and discussion online, offers anyone the ability to make their own specialty of knowledge accessable to everyone. A new way to share inspirations and ideas alike. (I love blogging.)

If you’re getting into blogging (or are already into blogging) for the business aspect, this is not that kind of website. (I’m sure you noticed when you first looked around!) There are many great websites and blogs online devoted to business advice however, the information highway is in your hands.

We, as you may have guessed, are more of an artistic/personal expression and lifestyle blog — business is not the purpose here but is becoming a large chunk of time — we simply love sharing and creating.

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Comments

As you know, comments do not mean good content but they are a great encouragement to new and seasoned bloggers alike. Readers may contact you using a variety of the methods that you have available and the one that most bloggers obsess about is, you guessed it, comments. Comments do not mean quality or share-worthy content, they simply mean your post has started a discussion for a variety of reasons.

A great way to encourage comments in posts is to ask your readers questions and invite discussion into the topic you are writing about. The great thing about the blogosphere is that there are so many different bloggers and readers alike that opening up discussion is always a great idea.

The Best Way to Generate Lots of Comments on Your Next Blog Post via Problogger

Subscribers

Itching for more subscribers? Make sure that a subscription button is in a highly-visible area and create good content. Encourage your readers to subscribe at the end of your posts if you like, give them a reason to subscribe.

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Bookmark and Share

Content Ideas

This is my absolute favorite topic of blogging! I have this endless list of silly content rolling through my mind all the time, I have a ton of drafts waiting to be finished and even articles I’m too afraid to post. Now that I’ve forced myself to add a post a day, I save a lot of content, ideas and drafts. I often give our writers article ideas and always have a list of inspirations available on demand for all of our contributers.

Content is what is MOST important about your blog, how much people search for it, visit it, read it, like it, share it. That is what makes and breaks blogs because essentially that’s what they are, logs of content. Who wants to read a droning, slow, uninformative article very often?

Create an exciting, visual post of your inspirations or even your day.
Write about a topic people are invested in and offer a new perspective.
Write about a topic you are passionate and knowledgeable about, teach your readers about something or how to make something.
Write a valuable review.

Layout and Imagery

This is something I am often emailed about from visitors and something I really felt should be addressed. By using Google search you can search for free themes available for a variety of blogging platforms, myspace, etc. Customize the theme to suit your taste and don’t forget to give credit to the designer.

Keep it simple, the content is what’s most important and you’ll more than likely pick up skills for customizing your blog further along the way.

..and Remember

Success in Blogging is made of Little Victories also via Problogger

This is Getting Too Personal

Things are changing so fast these days I can hardly keep up — I’ve had to become a new person (mommy) in 5 months and all the while planning an entirely new life, career goal, place I call home. There’s no room to be selfish and lazy anymore — all of my time is now precious as it always should have been, it wasn’t until now that I’ve realized LIFE IS GOOD. You can do what you want, be what you want, have what you want. It’s all just waiting for you to work for it. I used to think working for it was impossible, I shied away. However now I see that if you devote your life to your passion it can really pay off in a whole lot of ways.

doit

Speaking of which.. Did you see I’m actually posting everyday now? That’s right! I schedule them all in advance now so that I’m on top of all of the art/design I need to create and so you’re sure to get your post every morning.

bunnybelly

I’ve started joining my lovely staff and contributers here in the wonderful activity of guest posting. I’ve finally began opening up and devoting much of my free time to blogging/design/marketing. My life is filled with purpose again and I’ve found that I am doing what I love. If you start seeing changes around here this is what is happening because of this realization.. I’m making small changes so that I can devote more and more time to you and your wonderful creativity. If I could eventually offer artist scholarships and grants I would be a very thankful woman, this is one of my dreams. Helping you wonderful women artists achieve your dreams with me.

Do I regret the extreme dry spell as I devoted my time to restudying marketing and all of those hidden goodies in media law and other journalism classes my life was filled with once upon a time? Sometimes I feel I wasted a lot of time and wish I would have realized all of this sooner, but it happens with time.

A sweet friend once said, “You’re preparing for something big in the future.”

I never forgot that and nor should you. What is it you’re preparing for? All of the unique lifestyle experiences you’ve had are shaping you — what you do with it will steer your life.

maternity

To show you how passionate I am, this was GOING to be an awkward, silly, too informative post about my recent discovery in the journey to becoming a mother. My breasts have stopped feeling quite so sore, in fact they were beginning to feel a bit cold. I quickly noticed I’ve started into the wonderful world of breast milk and things are going to get a lot worse. 🙄 However, I cannot wait because my obsession that tops even work is my sweet little girl, Colette. I’ve been collecting the most adorably cute items I can find and storing them for her. I cannot wait to meet the little pixie who stole my heart and pushed me into my passion.

East Meets West Maternity at pingmag