Posts Tagged ‘“Dave Weiss”’


One of the creative lies a lot of people believe is that they’re just not disciplined enough to do what they need to do. I don’t believe this is correct. Oh I have no doubt they may struggle to get things done, but I doubt it’s because they lack discipline. They have discipline. I bet they meet deadlines at work. I bet they pay their bills on time. I bet the things that are genuinely important to them get done on time. It’s not really a matter of discipline, but rather one of priority. If you’re one of these people, I’m not trying to beat you up here. I thoroughly understand how life happens and how sometimes our creative projects get forced to the back burner. If that’s you, this is not a beating. My purpose in writing this is to eliminate false creative beliefs and lack of discipline is often if not usually one of those.

So let’s start there. If you’re not blessed to make your living from your creativity, there will be times when the necessities of life squeeze out your time to create. This is probably not a lack of discipline. You’re doing what must be done and your creation can’t be priority one right now. It’s okay. Just try to find some time and work it in as often as you can. Break the project down into small, but meaningful steps and chip away at it until its done. Yes this may make for a long drawn out creative process, but claim the small victories in each step being completed and enjoy the journey. That in itself is discipline. I feel the need to do a little aside here. Remember, you need to rest, your creativity and your health will suffer if you don’t. Also remember family time matters. Don’t push the people you love to the back burner to reach your goals. After all, it’s supposed to be them, at least in part, that you’re doing this for.

But let’s suppose that’s not the case, you have the time, you just don’t feel like doing it. I have a couple of questions you need to answer:

1. Why don’t you want to accomplish this goal?
At the end of the day we do what we want to do. So if you’re not finishing it, maybe it’s not your dream or your goal. If this is the case, it may be time to reassess your priorities and passions and lay it aside in favor of something you’ll want to actually finish. Now if you’re saying, “…but I do want to finish my project I do want to accomplish this goal.” then we’ll need to look at the remaining questions.
2. Have you lost passion for it?
Maybe this project really fired your imagination in the beginning, but as time has worn on, you just aren’t into it anymore. Maybe conditions have changed. Maybe you got so far and realized it will never work. Whatever the reason, maybe it’s time to can the project and move on. I can’t answer this for you, but I will say this. If this is a pattern for you, finish that project before moving on.
3. Is it more difficult than you thought?
In our society, people seem to be drawn to things that are easy and things that become difficult are often easy to ditch. Let me try to discourage you from ditching. If it was easy everyone would create what you’re creating. The ones who stick with it and finish are the ones who generally succeed. The rest kick themselves when someone else succeeds at what they gave up. Don’t give up. Enlist help, collaborate, find a few people who believe in your dream and get them to help you.
4. Are you stuck?
Sometimes even the best creatives get stuck. They take the project as far as they can and there comes a point where they can’t move it any further. They’re stuck. If you get to this point, there are ways around it. As mentioned earlier, if this is a creative block, start another project. This is different from giving up in that, this project is what you work on when you get stuck on your primary project. The reason for this is really simple. We often get stuck because we’ve been on something too long. So long that we can’t see our way around the problems anymore. Jumping to a second project when this happens will allow you to think on something else for a while which will generally serve to unblock your mind.
I have a lot more to say on this… tune in tomorrow.

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Wishing you a very blessed Easter Sunday. He is Risen and with Him comes HOPE!


One of the things that has brought me a lot of joy lately is illustrating adult coloring books. I became enamored with the mandala style, but my images have nothing to do with anything but creating multifaceted fun images to color. For that reason, I call mine Kaleidoscopics. One of the things I love about this style is it’s quite mysterious. While I may have some idea what the final piece will look like, I never know until I assemble the final piece. The reason is simple, I only ever draw an eighth of the image, then mirror it over and over again. the same basic thing that happens in a kaleidoscope, hence the title I love to see the final image. I design these to be highly detailed, challenging and fun. The book is available now through Amazon.com and at many of my speaking appearances.
I hope you like it.
Dave
kalbookcovershot2


The last few weeks at church, I have been exploring grace. Of course we have this one form of grace that most people understand. It’s the unmerited favor of God that allows us to be forgiven of our sins and receive eternal life.

But there’s another side to grace. It’s the grace that allows us to endure to get through things. It’s important that we understand this. We do very little in our own strength as a matter of fact you could go so far as to say our strength is an illusion. What we are really experiencing is the supernatural power of God allowing us to overcome.

In 2 Corinthians 11, we see Paul boasting about all the things that he has gotten through. To the average person, this can make us feel very weak. But if we look closely we will see that Paul says that when he boasts like this he is acting like a fool. In the following chapter we see Paul speak about his thorn. “A messenger of Satan that God gave Him to keep Him humble.” While Paul endured my things, the thorn brought him to His knees, begging God to take it away. God in effect said, “No.” Rather he said “My grace is sufficient for you and my strength is made perfect in weakness.” This is another form of grace. We don’t have to do everything in our own strength. We can instead lean on God and depend on Him, and when we do that we start to find God’s way through life.

Paul goes on to say that if he boasts he will boast about his weakness for when he is weak, then he is strong. Maybe we Christians need yo stop trying to show the world how strong we are and show them the One who carries us in our weakness.

Give may get us into Heaven, but the other side of grace allows us to survive this world.

When we are weak, He is strong and His grace pours over us.


It’s been a little while since I submitted an entry to IllustrationFriday.com but I decided today would be a good day to do it. IllustrationFriday.com is a site that provides a weekly one word challenge to illustrators as a way to getting our creative juices flowing. It just so happens I have the perfect entry for this one. It’s a page from my recent adult coloring books Kaleidoscopics Book 1 available on Amazon.
tools of the trade
Get your copy here


YOURENOTCOVERWell, yes. I already listed several proofs on the previous page but the basic proof is pretty simple. If you have every solved a problem you’ve been creative. If you’ve ever had an original thought, you’re creative. If you’ve ever been lost and found your way home, you’re creative.

If as a child you played and used your imagination that was creative, but therein lies part of the problem. So many of us, if we don’t tie creativity exclusively to the arts, relegate creativity to the realm of childishness and act as if we need to put it away and grow up. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes creativity is born in childhood and it should definitely should be nurtured there, but it should never (or at least very rarely) be put away. The fact of the matter is, as we grow up, as we get busier and our problems get more complex, creativity becomes more essential, not less. Oh, and by the way, as much of the developed world’s economy becomes less about manufacturing and more about generating ideas and new products, creativity will become more and more essential to earning a living. The MFA is quickly becoming the new MBA, and the business world needs more creatives than ever before.

Going back to childhood. Do you remember making up your own games, building forts and sand castles, making your own toys or adapting them to be used in new ways, even making toys out of rocks, sticks, our fingers, even making up nicknames and those rude little “…sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G” jingles we all made up. These were the seeds of creativity. We all made art. We all sang songs, Many of us created and acted out our own stories, skits and plays. We played with puppets, made up new songs and just generally found ways to amuse ourselves. No one told us to do it. It came naturally. Essentially, you were born creative, artistic, etc. So what happened?

Well a couple things probably. Maybe you got a bad grade on a project, or you saw someone who was better than you, or someone told you, you’ll never make a living doing that and before long you got the idea that creativity and the arts were the realm of a chosen few that we deemed talented. These anointed few would make the cool stuff and for the rest of us, growing up meant doing something menial or boring, living for weekends and vacations, wishing our lives away until the ultimate panacea, retirement, when we can finally get around to doing the things we enjoy.

But wait a minute. What if we missed it? What if those things we love to do, those things that make life meaningful and fulfilling were actually what we’re supposed to be doing all along. What if the things we enjoy are a window into our souls showing us what we were created to do. You say well there’s no path to that. Maybe there isn’t, but maybe you could get creative and blaze one. What I don’t want you to do is read this and begin to lament over wasted time. No experience no matter how good or bad is wasted if we lear from it. What I want and what I hope to accomplish with this book is to get you to dig up your creativity, bury your fears, burn your regrets, stop believing the lies and start to create the life you have always envisioned.

So yes, you are creative. You just have to embrace that FACT, and start something. Not sure what to start? Go back to that list of ideas you created yesterday and find the one that makes your heart sing. Then take the first step toward making it real.

You know what they call making an idea become real, don’t you.

It’s called creating!


People often ask me how I can painting a painting in six minutes. The short answer is, I can’t. Oh, I stand before a congregation and do that very thing night after night, but the truth of the matter is the reason I can do it is because I’ve done hours of work in advance.

There’s no substitute for experience
The first reason I can do it is because I have been making art for nearly half a century. You might say, “You’re only 52.” Of course, I would then say, “I didn’t say professionally, but all the work that I’ve done has led to what I do now, even the bad, amateur stuff.” I’m not saying you need fifty years of experience, just that you need to make a lot of art, even if it’s bad art, to build your skills.

I rarely paint a painting live for the first time
There have been times over the years where I have painted a painting for the first time before a live audience (never in six minutes though). Sometimes I was even pretty successful, but for the most part I have sketched and then worked a painting out several to many times in my studio before an audience ever sees it. For example, these two paintings are pieces I worked out this week. They are rough sketches for two presentations I am working on.
judasthief
They’re not exactly right yet, but they’re a start, I’m working out composition, getting the facial expressions right, etc. These were not six minute paintings. I spent close to an hour on each, because at this point, I’m trying to get the image right. They’re not beautiful, their painted on old canvasses, I’m just working it out. From there I…

Break it down
One of the first things we learn as artists is breaking things down into their basic shapes. This is crucial for live painting. I don’t do an advance sketch on a live painting, i.e. there are no sketch lines on the “canvas” before I begin (with the exception of a few guidelines on a piece that I do where two pieces come together at the end of the night). All the “drawing” is done with the paint, so the basic shapes are crucial.

The performance is important
When it comes to ministry, people cringe at the word performance, so I better explain myself. People like to watch me paint, but the main reason I paint is to draw people into the message. (Your reason for live painting may vary, but this is mine.) For this reason, I work to make my painting process intriguing. I want the people to be guessing for as long as possible. I’m working on a painting on grace right now, for example, and I am trying to formulate a way to write the word “grace” on the board and use it as the basis for the painting. When I paint a face I line up the eyes and nose by painting a cross on the board. I always want to keep the people guessing as long as possible. I also try to paint something very meaningful but not always totally obvious. I want people wondering why I painted what I painted so they are engaged when I tell the story.

Leave perfection and detail behind
The first step in a six minute painting is “done.” Translation, the first thing you need to do is have a recognizable finished image at the end of your allotted time. Once you have that you can perfect and detail the piece in the time remaining, but the first thing you need to be is done. It’s best to keep it simple and try to be as effective as possible. Remember, this is not the best painting you can do, it’s the best painting you can do in the time allotted.

These steps will help you have a pretty successful speed painting. Don’t do it the first time before an audience. Practice, practice, practice!