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Creativity Series: Just Do It! {4}

I’m so pleased to be sitting here with all of you today to discuss creativity and how to better tap into it. I love writing the Creativity Series, I feel like all of us are really connecting through the comments and because I read each one, I’m clicking on your links and learning about your blogs, what you do for a living, and many of the things that are important to you. Thank you so much for your participation in this series thus far!

For those just catching up, the first week we discussed the benefits of tapping into childhood and how mind mapping as a good way to do that. Our second week was all about exercise, and week three focused on the benefits of keeping a journal. So what will we talk about today? I’ve invited Marisa Haedike of Creative Thursday to visit us and share her personal experiences, which she does after my thoughts below, so let’s get started. I also can’t wait to see what you have to say on this topic, Marisa and I will be reading your comments and answering any questions you may have.

Develop a positive support system.

I know, easier said than done since friendships grow and change on a daily basis, often by no conscious choice due to relocation, pregnancy, marriage, and changes in employment. With so many friends on the go, it’s often challenging to schedule a 10-minute coffee break so most of us get little quality face time with our friends. How does one form a support system?

Here are a few ideas that I’ve tapped into. You can reach out to your local community by joining a group with similar interests through a website like Meetup.com. You can also take advantage of the many social networking websites to stay in touch, try Twitter (my current obsession), Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Another idea, join a book reading club or form a knitting circle. (And if you think a knitting group may be boring read Unravelled by Robyn Harding!) I’ve done this in the past, host a clothes swap or decorating swap! I made up the decorating swap idea, it’s where I invite over friends and we trade stuff from our homes, trading a Jonathan Adler ceramic for a design book for instance,that kind of thing.

Another way to form connections with others is to seek those online that you feel a connection to through blog reading. That is how decor8 was born. Comment on the blogs that you love regularly so their authors can get to know you. Find out if they are using the same social networking sites that you do and request to become their friend and follow their work. I’ve had lots of decor8 readers send me cards through snail mail along with their business card, I keep every single one and refer to them often.

Looking for good blogs? For those of you new to the blogworld, you can locate thousands organized by genre at Delightfulblogs.com. There are blogs written on nearly every topic imaginable, the topics span from crafting to interior design, architecture, creative writing, DIY, IKEA hacks and beyond. There is even a magazine devoted to artsy blogs called Artful Blogging and it’s a beautiful, informative publication where I have been introduced to many lovely new faces online.

Once you start reading blogs, you may feel inspired to author your own as yet another way to build a supportive network. You can attract many like-minded individuals once you put yourself out there as either a blogger, a regular commenter on blogs, or both.

A Little Bliss by Marisa Haedike.

For those of you who already read blogs or author your own, how do you take it to the next level and form a friendship?

I’ve invited Marisa Haedike from Creative Thursday to share from her personal experience as an artist and blogger. Take it away, Marisa!

“Just the other day I had lunch with a new friend and the main topic of our conversation was the importance of human connection. And while this particular lunch was in person, my first introduction to her was via the internet.

It is now becoming the norm for me that many of my closest friends here in Los Angeles are actually friends I initially “met” by coming to know them through their blogs. This is when you realize just how powerful the internet is in opening our possibilities to connect in such meaningful ways, becoming a community of support to one another.

It seems obvious that human connection is vital, especially in person. But now we are all fortunate to be part of a time where you realize that human connection has the potential to extend across the continents on a daily basis.

And that is key in building your community online, recognizing that there really is no difference between connecting online and making friends in person.

Which brings me to my first and most important recommendation in building your community of support online. Choose to be yourself. Start connecting from who you truly are, and this way you will build that kind of community that will be the most genuine. The beauty of connecting online is that now more than ever you have the chance to meet so many wonderful people.

Just say hello. It all begins with willingness to say hello to the people you want to “meet”, reaching out to the people who inspire you. Also be willing to offer your support to those who inspire you and do so unconditionally. When you do reach out, or offer support, you may hear back from some and not from others. Remember, if for some reason you don’t hear back from someone, not take it personally, just trust that the community that will resonate the most with you will find you, and you will find them.

And when you do find them, be a friend. Friendships are an exchange between people and it’s the same online. You have to be willing to open up. Of course, I don’t mean revealing parts of yourself that you choose to keep private, but you have to be willing to share who you are.

This is where I can’t say enough about blogging. I don’t think the importance of having a blog or a web presence that you can update regularly, like facebook or flickr can be stressed enough in terms of building your community. A web presence where people can leave comments is especially good. Having a place that you call “home” online is the only way the friends that you are wanting to connect with will have a chance to “meet” you and over time come to “know” you just as you would with an in person relationship. Even if all you have is an about page attached to your blog ~ that’s something, it’s a start.

And you may be wondering why I’m focusing so much on friendships and less on the business connections, because going back to the conversation I had over lunch with my friend, we both realized how business connections are built from human connection, which starts with the willingness to be a genuine friend to someone.” – Marisa.

—-

Building friendships, having a support system with others who ‘get’ you, this builds creativity. Exchanging ideas, a process, a fear, a success.

Now it’s your turn readers. Do you have a support system? Online, real time, or? How did you build it? What is missing that you wish existed? How does a support system help you to feel inspired, to be more creative?

(photo by holly becker for decor8)

Posted by decor8 in inspiration, real talk, textiles on February 05, 2009

Your comments...

  1. ryan commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 4:24pm

    Thanks for this. I have been blogging for awhile but just recently realized how social it can be. I looked at it as a place to store the cool stuff I found online, but now I realize it can be a lot more than that. This kind of touched on the exact revelation I just had. I am impressed with how you have created a real social network on here. Thanks for being so open.

    ryans last blog post: What I’m working on…

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  2. angela commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 4:29pm

    Thank you so much for this creativity searies! It’s so inspiring and such good advise.. best, angela

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  3. cdelphine commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 4:50pm

    Holly, you are so sweet to take the time to read every comment and read people’s blogs. A lot of the time I don’t comment on blogs because there are many corners of the internet where people are snarky or even cruel. While I do find some snark funny, I have lately realized how limiting it is and I think that I will stop reading the crueler blogs and instead put my energy into reaching out and commenting.

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  4. Frida commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 4:51pm

    I really love reading this series! It always gives me something to think about.

    As to my support system, it’s something that I could definitively work on, and I have plans to do so. But the Internet is such a endless source of inspiration, it never stops to amaze me. There’s so many ways to see such fantastic stuff and also to get great feedback from people. The place that has given me most of that is Flickr, and that did actually surprise me at first. People are so friendly there.

    Fridas last blog post: Theme drawing – part 19

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  5. decor8 commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 4:56pm

    I agree cdelphine, I run from negativity on blogs because it does nothing to make me a better person nor does it even entertain me because I find it so time wasting.

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  6. sarah jane commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 4:57pm

    Marisa–LOVE THIS! Love you! Another example of making connections online..I met marisa through her blog, and though I have never met her in person, she is SO herself in her blog, that you feel a certain kind of trust and friendship from reading. connections are everything, and are vital when you are wanting to express your own artistic voice online. I am a mom of 2 small children, and preg with the third. I have so little time for nights out on the town. I have met AMAZING women through twitter, blogging, etc. and we are starting to have local girl’s nights out from the people I have met. It is wonderful. REAL connections are vital, and online is a great place to start those connections, and build them. THanks so much! GREAT post!

    sarah janes last blog post: Interior decorating.

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  7. Kathleen commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 5:00pm

    What a great topic.

    In real life, I have an amazing support system. First, my family has always been incredibly supportive of each others creative endeavors. My sister and I both work side-by-side at an advertising agency as creatives and our brother is a side-show performer out at Coney Island (just google Donny Vomit – ha!) – without the support of each other and our parents we never would have been able to execute our dreams the way we have. Second, I have developed incredibly close bonds with other creatives at work and we hang out outside of work multiple times a week. This kind of friendship with my co-workers has created a very unique and special work environment filled with loyalty and, in turn, good design.

    I created my blog to document the home remodel process Jeremy and I were about to endure with our old home. It was a new experience to the both of us and to our families. I began adding blogs to my blog roll and quickly discovered a world of blogging I didn’t even know existed. How did I go on so long without knowing about Anna from D16, Mrs. Luster from Wanderluster, Design Sponge and Brooklyn Limestone (to name a few). They’ve helped to shape my interior design aesthetic and have been a wealth of information and resources. I’ve mostly been a lurker out of shyness and insecurity but lately have been making sure to comment on entries that resonate with me. I know I love finding new comments on our blog! My blog, for me, has blossomed from a personal documentation to a place I can gather my thoughts, inspiration and share the things I create. I have no idea what’s next for my blog but I do recognize that I’ve just begun.

    Kathleens last blog post: Shelving Inspiration

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  8. anairam commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 5:10pm

    Holly, I follow your Thursday creative series – thanks for the time and efforts to share your insights and the inspiration you offer. I started my blog about 8 months ago and that is my most important creative support system. Creativity, or rather, expressing it in a viusal way, is a very new thing for me, and I love to see what others are doing and reading comments on my own endeavours – it kind of gives me energy to follow through. I like looking for things that ‘challenge’ me – I am currently doing the Thing A Day challenge – and in that way I am also exposed to many others’ interpretations of creation, and feel the confidence to also show my own creations.

    anairams last blog post: T-A-D #5 Valentine

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  9. Miss B. commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 5:20pm

    Lovely! I have always admired Marisa, thank you so much for taking the time to do this series..

    Miss B.s last blog post: THE BRIGHT SIDE PROJECT: DAY 4: JACQLEEN BLEU PHOTOGRAPHY

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  10. Lisa commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 5:41pm

    This is such an amazing topic I had to jump in! I live on a tiny island off the coast of France and it can feel very isolating at times. I opened an Etsy shop a few months ago and began blogging on New Year’s Day 2009. Neither of these wonderful ventures would have had half as much chance of succeeding without the fantastic friends I have made online. They are my support network, offering encouragement, advice and general cheerleading! I met many of these friends via Flickr, which is a great place to begin getting your work out into the world. The positive feedback I received on Flickr gave me the courage and reinforcement I needed to open my Etsy shop. Then of course my blog followed! My friends linked to me on their blogs and visa versa. If you are interested in someone’s work send them an email telling them how much their work inspires you and ask if they have the time to tell you some more about it for your blog. Make contact, it is amazing how generous people are with their time. Comment on the blogs you admire when you can, as a fledgling blogger I know how happy every comment makes me!

    Lisas last blog post: LL&O Loves Makool Too!

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  11. Noelia commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 5:44pm

    I love blogs and internet. The problem i have is that i sometimes feel a little bit outside this “connections” because i live in Argentina and most of the time when you talk about beautiful shops, designers, etc. they seem to me so unreachable…besides, when i write in english i feel i can´t express everything i would like. But as you say, commenting on blogs is a good start, at least for people like me who find it difficult to write a blog…

    On the other hand, i didn´t realize that Flickr could be a good way to meet people too..this could be an alternative for people who don´t like writing like me..

    I studied photography and i´m studying illustration for children´s books…i am also redecorating my tiny house, so i have things to share. And as i read this post i realized that i have no excuse…Flickr will be then!

    Thanks Holly and Marisa for your inspiration!!

    Noelia.

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  12. Marian commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 6:19pm

    I agree with Cdelphine, the negativity in some places around the internet is amazing and unhealthy (celebrity gossip websites anyone? I know I’m guilty). I didn’t think to much about it until a friend of mine said she was trying to stay away from it and now I’m doing the same thing. I only very recently started a blog and I love it. I obsess about my postings :) So far my support system has mostly come from people in real life: friends, family, playgroup moms. But reading several mommy blogs and getting design inspiration has enriched my life so much. I’d love to reach a place where I’m connecting with other bloggers on a friends level.

    Marians last blog post: How to charm me

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  13. Ann Marie commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 7:15pm

    I’d say I have a small support system, and it suits me fine. I’d like to network more with like minded people so I’ve recently joined Facebook. It actually came about because my brother joined and wanted me to join. I wasn’t sure so I posted a question to my readers on my blog, and the feedback was so wonderful. One thing for sure, is that you can always count on your blog friends to help you out with a small decision, dilemma, or even a life changing choice.

    I’ve never been very good at networking because I’ve always got my nose down working on the task at hand. However, as I’ve gotten older, and as I develop my business, I know how important it is and how rewarding it can be. When I think of all of the new and interesting people I can meet if I just put myself out there, I really get excited. And, I genuinely enjoy helping others so I know networking can provide an avenue for me to do so.

    As for my blog, I struggle a bit with how much time to spend on it. Sometimes I know I spend more time than I should since I’m in school and have a business to run. So for now, I take it easy and try not to worry about posting daily. It has been a great outlet for me, and I truly enjoy reading other peoples’ blogs and learning about their lives, art, and work.

    Ann Maries last blog post:

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  14. Sandy commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 7:26pm

    I just want to say thanks so much for the Thursday Creative Series.. It’s exactly what I needed at a time where I thought I was going to go crazy.. My biggest challenge.. I have so many ideas that head spins.. I can’t focus or even know where to begin sometimes. I ironically work in a creative field and in a position that should be creative.. for some reason my career choice is not fulfilling my needs.. This series is bringing me back to basics. THANK YOU!

    I read blogs all day long for inspiration for my job and myself.. I don’t post though.. and now living in LA for only a year it’d be great to get to know like minded creative people :)

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  15. Laura commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 7:46pm

    A positive support system is so important, and unfortunately I feel that I’m lacking in that department at the moment — I did have extremely supportive friends that I spent a lot of time with… in California. But now that I’m on the East Coast, I feel like I’m starting all over again and it’s hard as an adult! I fairly recently started blogging, and even more recently joined Facebook, and I agree that it is surprisingly helpful in building new relationships & maintaining old ones. I haven’t gotten into Twitter yet, but it seems like that’s all I hear about these days, so I guess I should give it a shot!

    I love this series, and I will definitely be checking in later because the readers always have so many awesome things to add ;)

    Lauras last blog post: The Greenest Museum In The World

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  16. Jacqueline commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 7:54pm

    Holly, this is such a good topic! It’s so inspiring! I love Marisa lots too! It is so true how important networking is building friendships and having a positive support system with others. I love meeting and making new creative friends and i have met many amazing friends online and they give me such positive support, love, friendship and inspirations!

    I love visiting other creators’ bubble space! I have quite a lot of blogs that I visit everyday…is always so fun to knock on their bubble space each day and find new creative and inspiration things they share. I also love Flickr. Is also another great place to make friends with others, see new creations and look at beautiful photographs! I’m also on Twitter…oh I want to follow you Holly!

    Thank you once again Holly and Marisa! This is just so wonderful! Love to both of you!

    Jacquelines last blog post: Blackbird fly…

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  17. Deanna commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 8:32pm

    Just when I thought I’d visited every blog there was to visit! Great links.. Just last week I reached out myself in an email to Marisa, and just as I have been by reading this post today I was truly uplifted by her warmth and friendly nature. I find it so encouraging when the more ‘established’ bloggers/artists out there are willing to reach out and give some of their precious time to some of us coming along behind. Thanks Marisa! :)

    Deannas last blog post: Suprise!

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  18. Kirsty commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 8:49pm

    This post is wonderful. There’s so much good stuff to take away from here & think about. Thank you.

    I’m lucky to live in Melbourne where the craft community (online & off) is so supportive & I’ve made some wonderful connections.

    Kirstys last blog post: How to make a simple square pincushion…

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  19. Aimee commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 8:53pm

    I’m glad I forced myself check this post (for tip#4) after work today, even though I felt tired…I have been thinking about my own support system for about the last week. Or, basically the lack of one. Except for when I am at my job, I am a very introverted person. I started my blog just recently (in November 08) hoping to find a community of like-minded artists and as a catalyst for my own creativity. I feel it has been successful on both counts and I am so happy it is a part of my life now. Unfortunately, when people (we’ll call them “organics” …I’ve heard that word 3 times today in reference to non-computer interaction) find out about my blog through conversation (“so, what are you currently working on?”) they want to know why I do it, how many readers I have, and if it makes me any money. I think the money question is what bothers me most. Does something you really enjoy doing have to make you money? And, when you explain you don’t do it for profit does that negate any real value it has?

    I started blogging because I recognized a need, a void in my life that I could take upon myself to fill with creative stimuli, a feeling of community and connectedness with other creatives and yes, hopefully, friendships. I see my blog as a positive place for me to occupy, cultivate ideas and share with others. But when the reaction you get from “organics” is “it seems like a waste of time” or “who are you? nobody even reads it.(with a joking tone)” It can be discouraging.

    I think that is why I felt tired today when I got home, but after reading the post I feel like I have intuitively found the right path and that I can continue, proudly, to participate, contribute and blog, blog, blog.

    Positive things, bring more positive things into our lives and I truely believe that the connections I make online will blossom into meaningful “organic” relationships. Thanks so very much for this post Holly and Marisa.

    Aimees last blog post: put a little love in your heart…

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  20. Aimee Elizabeth commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 8:55pm

    I’m glad I forced myself check this post (for tip#4) after work today, even though I felt tired…I have been thinking about my own support system for about the last week. Or, basically the lack of one. Except for when I am at my job, I am a very introverted person. I started my blog just recently (in November 08) hoping to find a community of like-minded artists and as a catalyst for my own creativity. I feel it has been successful on both counts and I am so happy it is a part of my life now. Unfortunately, when people (we’ll call them “organics” …I’ve heard that word 3 times today in reference to non-computer interaction) find out about my blog through conversation (“so, what are you currently working on?”) they want to know why I do it, how many readers I have, and if it makes me any money. I think the money question is what bothers me most. Does something you really enjoy doing have to make you money? And, when you explain you don’t do it for profit does that negate any real value it has?

    I started blogging because I recognized a need, a void in my life that I could take upon myself to fill with creative stimuli, a feeling of community and connectedness with other creatives and yes, hopefully, friendships. I see my blog as a positive place for me to occupy, cultivate ideas and share with others. But when the reaction you get from “organics” is “it seems like a waste of time” or “who are you? nobody even reads it.(with a joking tone)” It can be discouraging.

    I think that is why I felt tired today when I got home, but after reading the post I feel like I have intuitively found the right path and that I can continue, proudly, to participate, contribute and blog, blog, blog.

    Positive things, bring more positive things into our lives and I truely believe that the connections I make online will blossom into meaningful “organic” relationships. Thanks so very much for this post Holly and Marisa.

    Aimee Elizabeths last blog post: put a little love in your heart…

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  21. Rachel B. commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 11:09pm

    The decorating swap is a really great idea!! Now I have to get my decor savvy friends involved!

    Rachel B.s last blog post: Oh Diana, I have too many of you.

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  22. Heather S Thompson commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 11:19pm

    Thank you ladies for your wisdom and the community you are building here and at Creative Thursday. I have been a fan of Marisa’s no nonsense encouragement to other artists via her blog and podcasts. I am learning slowly the difference between marketing via a blog and making connections to people and featuring their talents. THanks for this series. It has been so inspiring. I want to share with everyone I know.

    Heather S Thompsons last blog post: Sorry for the technical difficulties

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  23. feli commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 11:21pm

    Another great post Holly.

    I have a small network of supportive family and close friends who will support me in what ever I do. My husband is my hero. He puts up with all my crazy ideas. :*)

    I also have an online support group. I met ALL of them through my blog. I have been friends with 2 girls via my blog for a good 5 years now. EEEKKK… I have never met them before and they live on the other side of the equator ( I live in Western Australia btw) but we exchange emails, send care packages and etc.

    I can be myself with all these people and I know I can turn to them when I need support.

    Thanks for doing Creativity Series again. It really helps me. I have started journalling again after last week. I feel so much more creative agian. :*)

    felis last blog post:

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  24. Rita commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 11:24pm

    I’ve learned more about myself and how I deal with life the older I get. I don’t think I could have sanely gotten through difficult times without my support systems. The hardest part for me to realize is that there are certain people that help in different ways. Let me explain.
    My husband is wonderful but when it comes to goals, thrifty shopping, coupons, etc. I meet Claudia (My friend since highschool) for coffee once a month and we tackle those issues. When I need to vent about work or the girlie stuff like what trash to treasure I’m tackling this weekend, I call up Michelle and we brainstorm on our ideas.
    I have different people who help me in my life and more times than none, get me back on track with a smile on their face. And I love each and every one of them for that.

    It is SO important to me to have that personal contact and friendship~

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  25. Jeannine commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 11:26pm

    I so loved this post and cannot agree with you more. Having spawned two of my own, I truly know how isolating it can be. My only interaction with other humans consists of trips to the market or playgroups w/my kids. I depend on facebook right now for some sort of connection to the outside world. I don’t know what I did without it. However, I can’t say it’s a replacement for actual face to face contact with people. It’s very impersonal in a lot of ways. I’m just starting on twitter and haven’t quite caught on yet. I’ve been blogging for a few years now and probably have made a few fellow mommy blogger “friends” through that. I feel I need to start reaching out more when I feel touched by something.
    Thanks for the inspiration and advice :-)

    Jeannines last blog post: A Special Place in Heaven

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  26. lindsay commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 11:28pm

    My blog started as a way to document my work and note things that inspire me. I had no idea what a blogging community would be like. I have “met” so many fantastic inspiring ladies through blogs. I find myself inspired by their writing (and photos), connected through their stories, and moved by their kindness. I have received priceless advice from many other artist bloggers…I have seen many people completely open themselves to an audience that would be intimidating to some.

    With my own blog, I love reading the comments people leave, and I love to go explore their worlds as well. So often I find we have very similar lives. I am curious about the lurkers though. I know how many hits my blog gets per day…so sometimes I wonder why the lack of feedback… shyness?

    lindsays last blog post: blue suede shoes…

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  27. Andy Mathis commented
    February 5th, 2009 at 11:40pm

    I have trouble thinking back to what life was like before websites, forums, and blogs were around.

    My artistic support system then were local artists groups. Now, most of that has been replaced with artists friends online. That sounds so “hermit-ish” to say, but artistically I think I’ve grown much faster because of those interactions with people around the globe.

    Andy Mathiss last blog post: Lola and LaLa

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  28. Rachel May commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 12:08am

    I meant no disrespect in my comment about not thinking it would be read for that giveaway. Thank you for your response, and I’m glad you read hundreds of comments, that’s amazing. I’m a big fan of this blog. Thank you for sharing.

    Rachel Mays last blog post: Office Shopping List

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  29. pearllinds commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 12:49am

    Blogland seriously feels like my personal support network. I am so inspired by the ones I read, and I have two of my own (one that I write for my family and one that is design related) that I love checking the stats for! I wonder who the readers are and feel like I know the authors of my favorites. I know you don’t know me, but I wonder if you remember my comments and recognize me when I request to be your friend on other sites (or if you read my Tweets!)! You all are so inspiring (I check blogs on the comments, too) and I hope to be part of your support system and you a part of mine someday. If any of you feel the same – feel free to drop me a line anywhere (I feel like I have an account EVERYWHERE!) and maybe we can collaborate! Blogland is great for that!

    In person, I do have a great support system but no one I know “understands” it like my involvement. I imported my blog to Facebook and it was really scary for me! But I’ve had a great response so far (mostly from my old interior design classmates) and it makes me feel good that they’re reading!! Thanks for the courage!!

    xoxoxoxo ~Lindsay

    pearllindss last blog post: Functional, yet beautiful!

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  30. Marilyn from Ohio commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 1:15am

    Holly,
    I have loved following your blog and have written to you from time to time in email. You are so very sharing in whatever you appreciate and you inspire me to fill my life with things I love.
    Now you are giving us pointers on how to complete our lives in other ways, which is another way you are showing you care about your readers…Thanks for being so open, honest and caring…

    The biggest lesson I have learned in awhile was when my sister recently died of cancer. In the year she lived with her diagnosis, a friend paid off her car, another walked her dog, still others threw bake sales to pay her bills, a man she didn’t know plowed the snow off her drive, etc. My sister was very social, but she didn’t feel appreciated before her last year. She was able to see how much love others had for her and I was, along with everyone else, reminded of what beauty there is in genuinely connecting with others. Her funeral was on a snowy, hazardous driving day, yet over 100 people drove to our hometown to remember Martha. She was rich in friendships and had a very successful life in my view. I was blessed to be her sister and am hoping to remember what is really important in life.
    Networking makes us know that others are challenged as well and we can pick up inspiration and guidance. Sometimes I feel that these meetings are predestined. So please, open up your heart to others and seek to give of yourself…it’ so very life-affirming.

    God Bless, Marilyn in Ohio

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  31. rebecca commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 1:30am

    I started reading your blog and others probably about a year ago and I’ve been so inspired by the ideas and pictures that are posted and shared. It’s encouraged me as an artist and as a person especially when I find something that I just completely connect with and I think “I didn’t know anyone else felt that same way, that somehow validates me and my ideas!” I don’t think i’ve ever commented, but this post is very encouraging to start becoming a contributor, I just started my blog so I’m excited to see if I can become a part of this great creative support system of the artsy blog world. Thanks for the great advice holly and marisa!

    rebeccas last blog post:

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  32. Lisa Markarian commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 1:54am

    You and Marissa are by far my favorite bloggers. Reading your words are always like hearing my own thoughts. Thank You Always, it’s always a treat.

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  33. Jere commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 2:21am

    Thanks so much for this post and the whole creativity series. It’s great to read that other people are finding it as meaningful as I am. I’m finding new hope here that grows as the weeks go by, as well as practical suggestions!

    This week is especially important to me because I recently moved, and know almost no-one in this new place. It’s rural, which is what I wanted, but it is taking some getting used to after 15+ years in a big city. Looking at beautiful blogs are addictive to me, but I have hesitated to jump in because I haven’t been sure where I “fit” in blogland.

    I had an old blog that became too personal and too negative, both from my own circumstances and responses, and those of others. I am starting fresh and venturing out again with more knowledge and a commitment to creating an online presence that reflects who I hope to meet and become. Marisa, you’ve given some great advice that I think will help with this. Holly, I’m amazed by your generous spirit and ability to inspire. Thanks for sharing yourself with us!

    Jeres last blog post: Phantoms

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  34. Francine C commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 3:15am

    I definitely have a support system. Without it I probably would have given up on my creative pursuits long ago. I formed an online group with six other like minded scrapbookers/crafters and we share with and support each other on a daily basis. They are all based in the US or Canada, I am in France and I have yet to meet them! (They have all met each other though). Without them I would probably lose my mind, we encourage each other when we want to give up, and cheer for each other when we achieve successes.

    My other support system, closer to home is my friend Lucy who also lives in Lyon. We met through our blogs! First leaving comments, then emailing, then we met up and the rest in history.

    And of course I can’t underestimate the importance of other online connections through blogs like yours, twitter, facebook and message boards. It’s so important to know that there are other people out there like you, who are successfully doing the things you want to try. This relates to stuff other than creativity too. As an about to be first time mom, reading the blogs of other mothers approaching childcare the way I would like to is very very encouraging.

    This is a great series Holly!

    Francine Cs last blog post: Take only photos

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  35. Yvonne commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 4:15am

    This is a great post Holly and Marissa. And I’ve read every single comment too. Thank you for sharing everyone. I’ve learned something from every single person.

    I’m working on my doctoral thesis and it’s been a really long and lonely process in terms of a support structure. I have friends and family but I can’t discuss my thesis progression with them. It can get quite frustrating at times. I started blog surfing several months ago and was one of those silent ones who appreciated the creativity and thoughts but never commented. Slightly over a month ago, I started my own blog to connect with the scrapbooking community and experienced genuine pleasure when I got my first comment. Now I take the time to comment…unless it takes a long time to load! I must say I now really really appreciate the effort that goes into maintaining a blog – taking pictures, loading them, writing posts. It’s amazing how a bunch of strangers commenting on your work can be so validating.
    I’m still learning everyday. Even though I’m still the only one who “gets” my thesis..

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  36. Kim Wallace commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 4:44am

    Ever since I started my blog I have met so many fantastic people, either online or in person, I really had no idea what a great social networking tool this is!

    Aside from my family and friends who offer me amazing support, I am also so thankful and excited to meet the fantastic artists that are joining the online gallery. To talk with them and realise they share my vision and dreams of promoting the Australian art & craft scene, has been incredible and gives me so much energy and confidence!

    Kim Wallaces last blog post: Early morning surprise…

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  37. Lisa commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 8:17am

    Once again a great installment in the series, thank you both.

    I just wanted to comment on commenting! I have been an avid reader of blogs for a long time, and started my own blog late last year. Until then I have to admit that I was more a lurker than a commenter. Once i realised the joy and excitement and the connection I felt when people commented on my blog I began to start commenting more on others. I am still overjoyed when bloggers that I admire comment on my little blog, and I do appreciate everyone who takes the time to connect by commenting.

    It’s so nice to feel like a part of a worldwide creative, supportive and inspirational community. I do have my real world support network too and they are both of immense value to me.

    Lisas last blog post: Closed for Opening

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  38. joli commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 9:14am

    I have been loving the Thursday posts.

    I will say, since 2005 I have been blogging, and have developed most of my new friend ships this way through the tango community, and ex-pats of Buenos Aires. It´s been fantastic. Especially now being a SAHM, can be especially isolating. So even though one may not have face to face contact everyday….at least there is virtual support.

    jolis last blog post: Deported

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  39. Laura C commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 9:37am

    This is such a great post because I’ve been thinking a lot about this particular topic lately! I moved away from family & friends when I went to college and ended up staying, so I still feel like a new person in town and don’t have much of a network built up yet. I love twitter as well… it gives me a chance to talk to people that I would probably never have met any other way. I’m in the process of building up my own photography business, but I still don’t really have any “friends” in the business, so that’s one of my goals for the next year. :) It would be really awesome to have someone to bounce ideas off of and “talk shop” to (instead my husband just gets to hear all the mundane details!)

    Laura Cs last blog post: Planning Tips for Brides

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  40. Megan commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 10:43am

    Holly thank you for this series! Especially this post!
    This is kind of how I got into reading and writing blogs myself. I had read a blog here and there from time to time before, but it wasn’t until we started looking to buy a house that I started reading them daily. When we put the contract on our house I was so excited, that I started blogging myself. I’m having a lot of fun with it, but after reading your post I feel that I really must get out there and be more friendly in the online world.
    I have facebook “friends” and people I may chat with on Etsy, but I think its important for me to put myself out there and have more of a personal connection with some of the people I am interacting with.
    Marisa, I love your advice “Choose to be yourself”, I think it is something that we all forget to do sometimes and its important in everyday life as well!
    Thanks ladies!! Loved this post!

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  41. Kelly commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 10:53am

    Nicely said and so true. I try to network and branch out but its hard too… in the sense that I have very little time to read all the blogs I would like too. You have great advice – keep it up :)

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  42. steven commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 11:17am

    my boyfriend/husband once said to me

    “i like your creativity, but not your creations”

    and i know that this does sound a bit harsh but i knew what he meant was he loves me for the colourfull explosion i am, but hes not so much a fan of the chairs overflowing with handmade pillows, and walls groaning with art works and pictures, or the many surfaces festooned with vintage ornaments and books.
    so whilst hes not my whole support system, his reluctance to get excited by ribbons and trims, or the new living etc magazine, makes me even more passionate, so in a strange bonkers way, he is the only support system i need…

    steven
    x

    stevens last blog post:

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  43. Karen commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 11:23am

    What a great series, thank you –

    My fellow crafters and I just started a little collective – we meet every week, light fires under each other’s butts, give criticisms and support, etc. I can tell you honestly that it motivates me and keeps me inspired, it’s almost like being in a college course! I think this is so important when you live in rural parts, sometimes you start to feel like a loner who’s going down some pointless road. and it gets us out of our studios, otherwise we’d be hermit-ing away

    here’s a plug for us — http://www.z-townmade.blogspot.com

    We have a blog “store” and we each blog ourselves, constantly linking to each other, sending out our z-town made postcards in our etsy sale packages…it’s kind of like the power of 6 people vs. one. And we are always looking out for each other’s stuff and forwarding on the word …

    To think that the Renegade group started this way is so inspiring! I’d love to start a craft fair series (not sure how my other members feel about that!)

    Karens last blog post: Bird on Branch pin

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  44. Shanon commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 11:37am

    Holly, this is such a great series, well done! And what a perfect person to speak on this week’s topic– Yay Marisa!

    Support systems are so important, especially finding one online, when it feels like your “real life” friends and family don’t really get what you are doing. Flickr has given me such a great group of friends, that touch base nearly everyday. And I know I can always turn to both you Holly, and to Marisa, whenever I need good advice. Your blogs are the best place I’ve found to renew my belief in kindness, shooting for my dreams, and being true to myself.

    Shanons last blog post: Ruffles

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  45. Sarah commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 11:42am

    I love this blog…I also am new to the ‘blogosphere’ and check in daily with Annechovie, Absolutelybeautifulthings, Allthebest, designsponge, stylecourt and katiedid-I do have a support system but I have friends in England and California so living on the east coast I don’t see them often. I am an interior design student and love magazines but now love the blogs just as much. This is a great place to meet other people who have similar interests and I am just amazed at all the creativity and inspiration! What a small world we live in now where you can make friends in Australia while living in New Hampshire!

    Decor8 has quickly become my favorite blog and can’t wait to start the Unravelling course in a week! Thank you Holly for your inspiration, insight and intelligence for making this so fun! and giving us all a little something to look forward to when the world outside can seem pretty harsh…

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  46. Sarah commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 11:45am

    PS: I forgot to say too how much I’m learning from all these creative people – unbelievable – the art work, photography, jewelry, crafts etc. are simply amazing!

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  47. Lilie commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 11:58am

    I’ve really been enjoying this creativity series; all your suggestions have been ringing true for me.
    Since I moved back to the States from Tokyo, all my closest friends are several timezones away, and more and more I am coming to appreciate the connections I make online — through flickr, twitter, facebook, and my blog. I am constantly touched by how supportive and helpful people are, and for someone like me who makes jewelry at home alone, the feedback and advice I can get online is invaluable.
    I read several wonderful blogs whose authors I would love to know better, so from now on I’d like to work up the nerve to comment more often. Thank you for the nudge in this direction.

    Lilies last blog post: Lace + Blue Roses

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  48. Jennifer Winship Mark commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 12:17pm

    owww!
    I have no support system…I better get busy. I have been so busy following the “old school” art path that when I dropped my last gallery (Princess Cruise Lines on board Auctions) I have left myself high and dry looking for some creative feedback. I am just getting into the swing of blogging. I think I have 2 people that follow my blog but it has opened up an amazing world of creatives for me.
    Decor8 has been a perfect inspiration and kick start for my creativity. It is a real treasure trove of interesting artists.
    I am always looking for artist mothers that have figured out how to do it “all” and do it well. Is it really possible?

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  49. Jennifer Winship Mark commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 12:20pm

    Thanks for providing all this creative inspiration!
    In appreciation,
    Jennifer

    Jennifer Winship Marks last blog post: Artist’s Vision

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  50. Bess commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 12:26pm

    I’m so glad I checked in on your blog! I’ve just returned from an extended holiday (sans computer) and can’t wait to go back and read the previous Creativity Series posts. You couldn’t have picked a better month to get us all thinking about inspiration and our creative spirits, thanks! bess

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  51. Kristine commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 12:26pm

    This is such a great series Holly! I look forward to it each week now :)

    I do have a support system that I has grown in the past year since I’ve started using Meetup.com and visiting other blogs. Over a year ago I woke up one day and realized I was a hamster in a wheel: work, eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep. I had a small set of friends that I’ve had for a while but for some reason I just felt stagnant. Eventually I decided to try Meetup.com which I found was a great place to meet others. I love that Meetup’s concept is “meet online to get offline.” Since I knew I enjoyed paper crafting, I joined a couple scrapbooking groups. Through those groups, I’ve made a network of friends that I chat with on a regular basis and meet up with offline. Oftentimes we get together at eachother’s houses or scrapbook stores to work on our projects and chat. We’ll even take road trips to other stores within the area. We learn new techniques from eachother, look at eachother’s work for ideas–and no one is ever stingy! We all share ideas, tools, sometimes supplies. Ever since I’ve met this group, my life has certainly become LESS stagnant :)

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  52. Jillian commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 12:45pm

    This was another great post! Thank you, Holly & Marisa. I have been lurking on others blogs for almost eight years now and never started my own as a way to further connect with all the amazing people who constantly inspire me. My real life support system is somewhat lacking, and I don’t know who I would be without all of the beautiful ideas and creativity that I have been exposed to over the years. I have always wanted to further engage but never knew how to begin. This post really inspired me to comment more, join in, and maybe start my own blog sometime soon.

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  53. molly commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 1:06pm

    This is such a great topic, and I love the creativity series altogether. I have built a great support system – family, friends, and some wonderful peeps through many online communities. I find the contacts I’ve made to be invaluable both for creative and emotional support, as I take this journey. I do blog (sadly, not as consistently as I’d like to), and love facebook and twitter for keeping up with so many inspiring friends.

    mollys last blog post: {SWAK}

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  54. danica commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 1:10pm

    It’s wonderful the way that you both are putting a voice to the revelation of blogging, and to the immense conduit that blogging can be. It’s so true! And it’s been such a blessing in my life to blog! I have two friends that I met locally through blogging and we get together sometimes on weekends and have “crafternoons”. We also meet for drinks and/or tea and we did one craft fair together. They are two of the most special people I’ve met in years and I’m so grateful for the friendship. Another wonderful experience was going to Sydney with my partner for his job and spending an afternoon with a Sydney-based artist that I met through blogging. She was spectacular. Examples like these are pretty endless. I could go on for hours…..xox danica.

    danicas last blog post: **********************

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  55. decor8 commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 1:14pm

    Yay Jillian. Thank you for de-lurking today and saying hello. :)

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  56. sunshine commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 1:30pm

    thanks so much for this great series! all this mindmapping and writting has made me take time to learn more about myself!

    sunshines last blog post: its hard but i’m stickin to it!

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  57. Tiffaney commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 1:53pm

    WOW — this posting was downright inspired! Please take this as confirmation of your creativity and intuition in action, because this topic has been on my mind all week…your message has given me the right encouragement and information to get started. I’m so appreciative I found you! :)

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  58. Mandy Saile commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 2:02pm

    What a great new series, thanks for doing this…I will definatly travel back and read the previous entries. I think I am still pretty new to the blogging world and according to some I entered it pretty late but I don’t care about that, I love it…and though I am not making the connections as quickly as I’d like to, I remind myeself to just continue blogging authentically and to be myself and that eventually like-minded people will find me and my art, etc and hopefully will then be moved or interested enough to say ‘Hello’ with a comment or two. It is always so very exciting when someone leaves a comment because it is one human stretching themselves out to another and in this very busy world I think that is starting to mean more and more. I espeacially feel so connected and happy when I post about very important things such as buying cruelty-free items and people write me asking for the lists I use etc…its a wonderful feeling and it lets you know your actually perhaps sparking some change. I think it’s a good point you make…to not take it personally when people don’t respond to a comment that you make, I am one of those people sometimes wondering ‘Heh, how come I always comment and hardly anyone is commenting for me?” but I know it’ll come with time, and I think it’s just important to keep yourself open and to keep on extending your own hand and hopefully in turn, eventually people will return the favour and indeed firendships could be struck upon. It’s all very exciting and I am so grateful for my blog indeed. Thanks again…I’ll tune in again next Thursday, Be Well, Mandy Saile of Bijou’s Whimsy.

    Mandy Sailes last blog post: New Avian Painting

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  59. Melanie K. commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 2:04pm

    I have heard of your blog thru several other blogs, and have ‘stopped in’ often, but just happen to see this post yesterday. I just finished reading thru this series … and it is wonderful!
    I have some friends I have met online over the years … I am a digital scrapbooker, and the site I started with had a lot of wonderful people on it that I have kept up with.
    I am now in a state of flux though … I am a scrapper/hybrid/mixed media person now. And I WANT to live off my creativity. That is what I want to do. But how, I don’t know.
    As to how to form a support system? I would love to find art workshops or groups or something in real life, but HOW do I find those? Once I figure that out I assume I could then meet people who are ‘artsy’.
    I have a blog too that I use for journaling and keeping inspiration tidbits on. I like Flikr, but am not an avid follower or anything. Twitter I totally don’t understand … nor Facebook.
    Okay, a rambling post, but I just wanted to say “Hey!” LOL.

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  60. sina commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 2:17pm

    This post really struck a chord in me as i am one of those who feels like my friends and family, although they do try to be supportive of my creative pursuits, they don’t really get what it is i’m doing.

    This is why I’m so glad i decided to blog again (3 months ago) after a real long hiatus and i have started to form a few new friendships that really spurs me on each day, with people of similiar interest. After reading this, you have inspire me to make more effort in connecting with people, in just saying hello, coz that’s all it takes to start a beautiful friendship, isn’t it? :)

    Can’t say enough how much i’m loving this series :)

    sinas last blog post: Hearts and a giveaway!

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  61. Christen commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 2:41pm

    This is really such a great topic. One of my main goals in starting a blog was to find more like-minded people. I have different and interests than a lot of my friends, and it can get a bit lonely. This post has been great for me.

    On a side note, I am actually the new editor of Artful Blogging, so thanks for mentioning the magazine!

    Christens last blog post: Slice, slice

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  62. Kate commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 2:54pm

    Thank you for this creativity series – it is REALLY helping me out. I am in that post college rut where the things that I dream of doing are suddenly becoming more and more difficult without the constant support and motivation that comes with being a part of a big school. Money sucks – unfortunately it is required to survive. It seems to be what blocks me from doing a lot of things. No time because of work, not a ton of money to spend on creative endeavors, bills bills bills blah blah blah. Your blog, on the other hand, is free and filled with inspiration and ideas that help me break free from that rut! Thank you thank you thank you.

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  63. decor8 commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 3:09pm

    Christen – Thanks for your comment, so nice to meet you! I think so many of us dream of being in your magazine, I hope you will refer to my blogroll to find many deserving artists for your mag because there are some lovely ones like Creature Comforts, Yvestown, Kayte Terry’s blog, and more….

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  64. Rita Vindedzis commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 3:52pm

    This is a great post by 2 of my favorite bloggers around. Thanks Holly. Hi Marisa, nice to see you here too!! Since starting my blog I’ve come to realize that it’s very important to have a social network. I’ve made many friends through blogging and commenting on other’s blogs. For me it’s a way to connect with other’s, promote my art, share and grow. I still don’t network online as much as I probably should. I’m on facebook but don’t spend a lot of time on the site. I think I’ll give Twitter a try but when it comes right down to it, I’d rather meet with people to socialize in person. Have a great weekend everyone!

    Rita Vindedziss last blog post: A Fabulous Friday

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  65. Afi commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 3:57pm

    Thank you very much for the great advices, actually I have to say that I’m among those people that usually don’t leave comments, and I really want to change this about myself…I have never thought this way, but when you read other people’s blogs you feel that somehow you know them, and sometimes I talk about you to my husband, sister or my mom! Like the way I talk about my real world friends! But when I don’t leave any commnets you will never know that someone like me ever exists!

    I have started my blog just recently, but it’s really as you said like a home and I would love to make it warm and cozy :)

    Thanks again for being such a big source of inspiration!

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  66. decor8 commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 4:14pm

    Afi hello! thank you for leaving your comment and for starting a new blog for us to all enjoy. ;)

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  67. Marisa and Creative Thursday commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 4:52pm

    Hi Everyone!! I thought I left a comment last night, but I think it I never managed to hit “submit” ~ it was late, last night :)
    I just want to say how much I’ve enjoyed reading through all of your comments ~ Holly’s blog is always such a great place to have these “talks” ~ thank YOU so much for sharing ~ and I’m so happy to learn that we are all managing to find the support we need. Because I forgot to really emphasize that support, especially as a creative, is SO incredibly important. Whatever form you can get it, friends, family, online communities ~ have people you can trust with your dreams. I could not have made it this far, without other artists in my corner ~ I could not have made it this far without the internet and bloggers like Holly ~ I could not have made it this far without the support and encouragement I get on my own blog, and from my customers ~ Simply put ~ I’m here for many reasons and especially because of all the support I have in my life.

    Marisa and Creative Thursdays last blog post: Annual Print Sale!

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  68. gretchenmist/belinda commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 6:10pm

    thanks holly and marisa for the inspiration, support and forum space!
    i still find it incredible that i can get to know people on the other side of the world {and here!} who are into similar things and living similar lives through blogging, flickr, twitter etc.
    before the internet the only access to other creatives {for me} was through magazines and mainstream media and i used to feel a degree of frustration that interviews etc would only go so far and mostly cover glossy success stories! now i feel i can connect with real people and learn about processes/techniques and inspirations.
    and, the thing that i’ve noticed is the more i put in, through commenting and sharing my own work etc on my blog, the more connected i feel!
    thanks again!

    gretchenmist/belindas last blog post: untitled . friday

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  69. Erica@YourStyle commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 8:04pm

    I agree… finding someone to hear our voice is critical, especially for women. We are meant to be nurtured and cared for by each other. We need someone to laugh with, cry with ,and sometimes just to be with. Having someone who supports our creativity is key too. I do think that that person sometimes has to be someone who isn’t a friend though- someone else who is also creative and doesn’t get caught up in the other “daily life” things. Being creative is tough, as we want to be appreciated for our talents, yet we need support and another “creative” is sometimes that perfect person. I am an Interior Decorator and I was just on a phone call with someone else in my field, discussing the fact that we all need a buddy, a mentor, or support system for what we do… it keeps us going and makes the journey even better.

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  70. Allison G commented
    February 6th, 2009 at 8:16pm

    Interesting coincidence that today I should post on my blog about one my creative human interaction activities. I have a group of girlfriends and we meet up regularly for crafty days to do projects and learn new things together. Having others to inspire you, support you, and bounce ideas off of is really fabulous.

    Allison Gs last blog post: Breath in, be inspired

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  71. Lisa commented
    February 7th, 2009 at 11:29am

    Hi all

    First off I guess I just wanted to say I’ve been reading your blog for several months now, so thank you for putting yourself out there in such an authentic way. This is my first post. I have been following your creative series every week so far and it has provided lots of fodder for me. I’ve tried all the assignments so far – the mind map was an interesting excersice which I enjoyed, made me realize a couple of things I felt I had forgotten – (deep down I love to explore!) And I’m still trying to piece together what the excercise means to me. Excersicing I realized a while ago was critical to my sanity, so that one was a no brainer. Journaling is something that I have been on and off on for most of my life. So the entry on it was motivating.

    A couple things I find I struggle with personally and haven’t seen much comment on. Would be interested in anyones thoughts on the following. My dominant personality trait seems to be logical/linear. However, I feel I have always had a creative side. My dominant trait lead me to my current carrer path in life, but I have always had my hobbies – which definately have a more creative bend to them. Given this I feel out of touch with the creative aspect of myself. My job is stressful and mentally demanding. When i get home from work I want to focus on spending quality time with my children – who are still young, plus the normal activities of preparing meals, cleaning and the bed time routine. I find that by the time the kids are in bed – any energy creative or otherwise has been completely zapped and I have a hard time motivating to do anything — I’ve seen numerous posts of people who seem to be in similar situations. How do you motivate to do something creative for yourself at the end of a long day?

    The other thing I struggle with is I feel somehow my projects never live up to my expectations. I enjoy skeching, sewing, coming up w. various projects around the house, cooking, gardening. But I feel like I haven’t found anything that I am “good at” Or good enough. I suspect this contributes to my inability to just create. I’ll start on something and get distracted half way through the project. The end result is a bunch of half finished projects that I am never ultimately satisfied with. They never seem to turn out how I picture them in my minds eye. I am my own worst critic. How did you identify your own personal creative outlet? I don’t believe I will ever settle on just one, but some more focus might increase my skills and make me feel better about the over all outcome. But I can’t seem to pick just one area — interior design, drawing/painting, fashion, writing… The list goes on.

    Sorry for such a long post. Thanks for listening. Does anyone else feel the same? Looking forward to the rest of the series.

    Lisa

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  72. vineeta commented
    February 7th, 2009 at 11:44am

    Holly, you are a genius! If Ever I need inspiration all I need to do is stop by your blog. I just saw this series. It is my weekend & I have sat down to really take a good look at my life & how I want to go & what do I see? Your Creativity series. Its a brilliant idea & is so phenomenally helpful. Reading all the comments in itself gives me such a sense of support. There is a world of women out there who feel like me.
    I started my blog because of you Holly & I can’t tell you what a huge difference it has made to my life, my creativity & the way I look at myself. It also totally changed the way a LOT of people saw me. This hourney has been great for me, I’ve met amazingly creative people online & might soon meet these people in real life. They have been SUCH a support & they feed my creativity constantly. I just want to send you a HUGE HUG for doing what you do so beautifully :)

    vineetas last blog post: Fever 104- Calender 2009

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  73. decor8 commented
    February 7th, 2009 at 2:06pm

    Vineeta hello and thank you for your comment! It’s so important to hear this, keeps me going!!!

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  74. Melanie K. commented
    February 7th, 2009 at 3:17pm

    Lisa’s post resonated with me … I have three kids age 5 and under … I work full time as a scientist … and I want to be an artist. I have all these ideas but I find I get too ‘worked up’ or too critical to start anything.
    My stumbling blocks are these:
    1. having to clean up the mess … and creating is messy, isn’t it?
    2. i am not an artist so why am i doing this? wasting money, time, effort for what? no one cares or wants to see it…
    3. i will get started, but why? in 5 minutes one of the kids will want something and I will have to stop
    4. i don’t know how to do this (ie draw a face, paint with watercolors, work with wax) and I don’t know where to go to learn this or how to meet someone who can show me how
    5. i don’t have to equipment … (the wax thing again, I really want to try wax, but i would have to get a melting pot, an ‘iron’ thing, the wax)

    Does this sound familiar to anyone? This is also where a support group and system would be so lovely to have!
    Thought? Ideas on how to overcome these negative thoughts? I have found a few, but my post is long enough now!

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  75. Coco commented
    February 7th, 2009 at 6:29pm

    Today we went to have dinner with friends of my boyfriend. i call them friends of my boyfriend because it was (is still actually) his bestfriend in high school and they’re still close though we don’t meet that often. He and his wife are lovely people! I really adore her though, she is so sweet and loving. And she is very creative!! I love her paintings and she also photoshops with photo’s, upholster chandeliers, sew things for her home and has a really crazy decorate style that i love… You wont see it in any decorate magazine: she has like four different styles running through her house, she has classic chandeliers and modern pendants hanging next to each other and plastic kitch tablecloth on an ikea table with a big ram head on top of it next to the piano. Although nothing fits on paper it seems to work perfectly!! I love it! And i think she should really do more with her artwork, its very creative…

    I’m feeling totally blessed that I got to know her through my boyfriend. And it looks like everytime we see each other we got more and more things that we share in interest and likes and dislikes.

    She made me creative or made me want to be creative ;) and i’m feeling really inspired by her house…

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  76. Coco commented
    February 7th, 2009 at 6:46pm

    @ Melanie, just read your post and I recoganize some of your thought. I’ve two children from 3,5 years old and 10 months old. As on the time thing: I always do it at night or when my oldest daughter is going to my mother (and sleeping over there) I’ve time to do some painting and sewing in the morning. I prefer the mornings for the light and such but its quite impossible to do anything with the kids arround, i agree.
    I do plan more often to do things at night. I get everything ready just when the children are asleep, but if one of them is sick I’ll call it a night and just do nothing… if I’m being interetupt in my creative work i get very grumpy and i want to safe my children for that haha especially when they are sick they deserve better ;) so no artwork for me then!

    The money issue, all i can say, start first with one thing. I started first with only sketches on paper, then with some painting on small canvases! i got a sewing machine from my mother so that was cheap ;) but you can start by buying a cheap one or see if you can rent it somewhere… then you can figure out for yourself on a cheap way if it is something for you… just buy the most cheapish things and if you like what you do you can buy the more expensive stuff for your artwork.

    Oh and I only make things for my family so far.. I made flags for my oldest daughters birthday with her name on it. I made a painting for my youngest for in her bedroom. I also painted some (cheap) wooden boxes as gift wrapping for a baby present with the name of the baby on it, it was small but because it was a personal gift it the persons were very pleased with it! You would be suprised of how happy some people are with some personal attention to once gift. And for a baby it hasn’t to be perfect, it even can be childish! So that isn’t hard to do a painting for :)

    So step out of your negative circle and get started :-))

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  77. Kim commented
    February 7th, 2009 at 8:48pm

    I stumbled upon your post today and how happy I am to have found it. What a nice and inspiring place to be. I have some catching up to do! Thank you!

    Kims last blog post: Return Address Stamp – JENNY

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  78. Tiina commented
    February 7th, 2009 at 9:20pm

    I am an illustrator/ designer with a love for textiles, paper, and anything beautiful. I am fairly new to blogs, but I have started following a bunch of them (decor8 for example, which is like a little breath of fresh air). It is a fantastic place to spend my time. I have been following the design series, and I have been attempting to do each exercise, each one is very helpful and greatly appreciated. I really enjoyed reading thursdays post and I think it is very important to form relationships, especially with people that have similar interests, for me a coffee session with a friend can generate all kinds of creativity. Since I began working from home, I have discovered that it is harder to see the friends you do have, and form new friendships, it is nice to discover new ways of meeting people!

    Thanks again,
    Can’t wait till next weeks post!

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  79. Gwen commented
    February 7th, 2009 at 10:36pm

    Thank-you so much for your thoughts about sharing with others. I just started my blog a little over a week ago and I am slow at figuring the blog lingo or the “correct” way to post but I am sure I’ll learn in time. There are so many wonderful blogs out there including this one and it can be somewhat intimidating for someone like me. I guess I am afraid that no one will be interested in my blog and if I don’t reach out to others there won’t be that fear of rejection. After reading Marisa’s comments and thoughts I realized that I the most important thing is to just say hello and whatever happens ..happens.
    Thank-you for reaching out….

    Hello to you all!

    Gwens last blog post: Orla Kiely housewares

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  80. ROOM design studio commented
    February 8th, 2009 at 3:52am

    I posted this on the other previous Post of Mind Mapping..

    Holly ,
    Why dont we all share our ” break down for ideas” here on this comment section? For example..
    I want to do consulting ( architect and interiors ) which I’m working on right now..
    But it has its positives and negatives :
    Example:
    Negatives :
    1.In kuwait , a designer is rarely taken seriously. People usually think of themselves as their own designers and would design their interiors the way they want .. even if badly .
    2. People rarely want to pay money to get consultancy service. They would go buy furniture and paint their walls and call it a design.
    Positives:
    1. Very small upfornt payments made by me as the business owner , as I’m mostly selling my ” experience”
    …….
    what do you think of that? discussing what we do and what we face and maybe we can help each other in the flow of thought..

    ROOM design studios last blog post: Feed your Creativity!

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  81. Nicole J commented
    February 8th, 2009 at 9:14am

    This post inspired me to tell you that I love your blog, although I never comment. But I think I’ll start doing that more often now :]

    Nicole Js last blog post: etsy finds friday!

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  82. Chloe Cumbow commented
    February 8th, 2009 at 10:51am

    This has been a great read, since the first week. Don’t have any time right now, but wanted to say (out loud & not be lurking!) that this group of writers has been a wonderful support and inspiration to me personally.
    Love, Chloe C.

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  83. Laura commented
    February 8th, 2009 at 2:56pm

    Can I tel you how much i’m grateful for finding your blog and this series?
    It is really heart warming to read them and expecially to hear what others here have to say, and i must say they all sound like great people. Will you all be my friends :) ?

    Lauras last blog post: Piccolo centrotavola fai da te: in una tazza!

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  84. Margarita Lorenzo commented
    February 8th, 2009 at 4:28pm

    Hello Holly,
    Thanks for your tips on blogging and networking, my friend Kate and me started our own blog just before Xmas and are enjoying it very much. I am addicted to a few blogs that I follow everyday, they are great source of inspiration and I agree with you about the friendship. What a great way to meet people from all over the world and things they do!!!
    Love from London

    Margarita Lorenzos last blog post: Books wish list

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  85. Gina commented
    February 8th, 2009 at 5:05pm

    This is great. I wrote about support and your creative series early Thursday morning before being able to read this post. I completely agree face to face support is very important. I didn’t fully realize this till about a year ago when my lovely sister moved near me. We have a Monday date. She calls it motivation Monday. We stick with it, every week. We whip a supper, put on some music, craft and talk. It has been a huge help emotionally, given encouragement and confidence in what we love to make. I’ve been surround by wonderful friends and family for years but they lacked a creative bone so this support is something I wish I had experienced a long time ago. I think everyone creative should have someone else creative to be able to share it with.
    I look forward to seeing what your creative series will have to offer us next. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Ginas last blog post: Childish memories and support

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  86. Sabrina commented
    February 9th, 2009 at 1:29pm

    I was low on inspiration, and my daughter suggested I visit Decor8blog.
    Thank you, daughter, you are sooo right!

    Your Creative Series is truly inspiring!
    Thanks,
    Sabrina

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  87. Rachel Denbow commented
    February 9th, 2009 at 4:12pm

    I wouldn’t be doing anything creative today if it weren’t for my best friend, who also saw the value of creativity and handmade items. She’s nurtured my talents and been a sounding board for new ideas. We’ve become business partners and love getting to share this lifestyle with someone else who ‘gets’ it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    Rachel Denbows last blog post: Happy Monday To You

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  88. Jennifer commented
    February 9th, 2009 at 4:28pm

    As a military wife that will frequently move to different places, I find myself struggling with the fact that I will have to an extra, extra effort to branch out of comfort zones and meet new people. Thank you for this post. It was inspiring and encouraging.

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  89. Magchunk commented
    February 10th, 2009 at 3:44pm

    I’m so glad you wrote this. I’m a frequent lurker on decor8. As a relatively new blogger, I’m still expanding my comfort zone to comment on other blogs (even though I now realize how exciting comments can be). One of my new years resolutions was to make more girlfriends–mine seem to all be heading off to grad school and new jobs out of state. And I’ve recently begun toying with the idea of shifting to writing professionally. It hadn’t occurred to me that these two ideas could be linked. I started Magchunk as a way to share some of my creativity and store the ideas and images that I loved.

    So please check out my blog, and say hello! I promise to comment more too!

    Magchunks last blog post: Some Grammy fashion and lame excuses

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  90. Dee Wilcox commented
    February 11th, 2009 at 11:57am

    I really enjoyed this post! The social aspects of creativity are so important, yet so easy to ignore or push down to the bottom of the priority list. I also appreciate your perspective because there is a line of thought going right now that your blog and online presence should almost be a pseudo-personality in order to protect your “real” life, and offline connections with online “friends” should be avoided. I disagree, although I see the need for a certain level of non-disclosure and protection. In my opinion, the best blogs are the real, authentic ones, where you feel as if you connect with the author and gain real insight. I think that’s how real connections can form online and blossom in “real” life.

    Dee Wilcoxs last blog post: Art is Everywhere. This Week: Reclaimed Wood in Franklin

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  91. Chloe Cumbow commented
    February 11th, 2009 at 1:01pm

    Yeah, you need other people than just the live ones that you’re in contact with. I have one (1) girlfriend who gets it. She’s called me up crying from work as a graphic artist. Last night at work my boss said that I was a design snob. I handled it at that moment, went home & talked with my(1) friend (who gets it) & went to the bar. I was ‘spozed to be finishing my gift for the Free People swap, but I was so upset I went to the bar. So that meant I was up till 3am making my present, but at least I felt better. yikes. Love, Chloe C.

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  92. Elissa commented
    February 16th, 2009 at 3:23pm

    Lisa (#71) I know exactly how you feel. I have tons of started but never finished projects. Sometimes its because halfway through one project I start thinking of an idea for another and sometimes its because I can’t get what in my head onto the canvas (or paper, or fabric, or whatever…)and just get frustrated. Sometimes I want to paint but I don’t know what I want to paint. The left side of my brain keeps getting in the way. I see lots of cute little whimsical paintings all over, but that’s not me. The problem is I’m not entirely sure what “me” is, though the mind mapping exercise did help.
    I’ve started a blog that I had been neglecting at times. I’m going to try to be more diligent about posting more frequently in the hopes that I will have some readers and start to make some more online friends. Please stop by and check it out!

    Elissas last blog post: Creativity

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  93. Mariss commented
    February 20th, 2009 at 6:56pm

    I am fortunate to have a great support system! I’ve been going to a weekly knitting circle in Philly (we call ourselves the Degenerate Knitters, ha!) that is a fabulous support. I’ve also made some great friends via blogs. I know that wherever I move in the future, I’m sure I’ll have built in friends already, or great recommendations and vice versa. I don’t think I would be willing to put myself out there or do new things had it been for the support of my fellow bloggers! Simply by putting yourself out into the internet, you build the confidence to do it in your “real” life too.

    Marisss last blog post: Oh, February!

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