Mommy, Tell Me a Story

Mommy, Tell Me a Story

Recently one of my kids has started to ask me the same question every night before going to sleep: "Mommy? Can you tell me a story from before I was born?"

It’s made me realize that to this little person, my life is a story. Every decision I've made until this point is now part of a narrative. What I view as a bumbling series of random events, decisions and mundane happenings means so much more than that to this tiny being.

When I was a kid, I relished hearing my mom talk about growing up in an old steel town. I loved hearing about...

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Careful the Things You Say...

Careful the Things You Say...

“Careful the things you say, children will listen…” - Stephen Sondheim

One of the most lasting memories from my childhood was when I got a part in my first community theater show when I was 8. My mom sat me down and very seriously told me that I should not brag about being in this show because it would make other people feel bad (that may not have been the exact wording, but it was something close).

Mom was doing her best to keep me humble and polite.

It worked.

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Making Art in the Cracks

Making Art in the Cracks

I’ve come to realize that most of my really valuable artistic experiences have always happened in the cracks.

Growing up I did a LOT of community theater. It was a magical, safe place where I could be myself with a similarly odd group of people and also spend a large amount of time pretending to be someone else. My first experiences with this magical world were in the rehearsal space. It was the top floor of an old fire hall. To get upstairs you had to wade through the downstairs garage which was full of old set pieces and painting supplies. It always smelled of a comforting mixture of sawdust, paint thinner and glue. Once you got to the back you made your way up the creaky wooden stairs to the second floor. The space was...

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What Creativity Looks Like

What Creativity Looks Like

Creativity. It's an awesome thing - right? What does it make you think of? Beauty? Art? Simplicity? Maybe a song you've heard or a painting you've seen? If it weren't for the powerful force of creativity most of the good things we have in this world wouldn't exist. But let's get real for a minute about creativity. While it can be wonderfully beautiful, it is also complicated and messy. What I'd like to address today is the mess behind the beautiful creative outcome. What does creativity REALLY look like (at least from my corner of the universe)?

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"If you build it, they will come."

"If you build it, they will come."

The picture above is of my creative art space. It's nothing special. I set it up about 12 years ago and it functioned as a creative space for about a year. It's made of recycled parts from an old desk, a couple of 2x4's and a stool from IKEA. About a year after setting up the space, I started having kids and I spent all of my time creating memories with them. I completely forgot about the creative space. The creative space got boxed up and it became a tool shelf. Then eventually the creative space became a great place to store our printers (because when printers are within arms reach, little kids like to reach into them to find out how they work. I found that out the hard way). That is where the creative space stayed for a long time: between the tools and the bikes, covered with printers, cartridges, a pile of empty picture frames and some old sheet music. 

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