0 comments on “Happy #CreativityThursday: Using Creativity to Serve Others”

Happy #CreativityThursday: Using Creativity to Serve Others

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Happy #CreativityThursday!

Have you ever used your creativity to serve others?

How does it make you feel?

When I use my creativity to serve others, my heart opens and fills up with gratitude.

Click here to listen today’s podcast and learn more about how I use my creativity as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to serve others. A poem from my book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery is included.  Enjoy!

PS: The photo collage includes artwork made by military family members at Walter Reed.

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Opening Your Creative Heart Coaching Special Discount:

From February 1 to March 31, I am offering a special discount package on my creativity coaching services. See details below.

My Creativity Coaching Practice: Click here to read more about my approach and background as a creativity coach.

Discount Period: The creativity coaching packages must be purchased via PayPal by March 31, 2014. They must be used by July 31, 2014.

Fees and Services:

1) 1 one-hour session with 2 email follow ups – $99.95 (original price – $139.95)

2) 3 one-hour sessions with 4 email follow ups – $359.95 (original price – $389.95)

3) 6 one-hour sessions with 7 email follow ups – $769.95 (original price – $799.95)

4) 9 one-hour sessions with 10 email follow ups – $1,169.99 (original price – $1,199.99)

5) 12 one-hour sessions with 13 email follow ups – $1,569.95 (original price – $1599.95)

Contact Information: If you are interested in one or more of the packages, please send me an email at kiamshaleeke@yahoo.com to schedule a free 20-minute consultation call (available via telephone, Skype, and Google Hangout).

0 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday: The Power of A Creative Breakfast”

Happy Creativity Thursday: The Power of A Creative Breakfast

My Creative Breakfast
My Creative Breakfast

Happy Creativity Thursday!

This morning I woke up and decided to honor Creativity Thursday with a Creative Breakfast that included oatmeal with cranberries and agave in a cup decorated with Egyptian women and art (purchased during my 1995 trip to Egypt), a banana, a glass of decaf green tea, the Inspiration issue of Poets & Writers (January/February) magazine, and three quotes about creativity by African American artists, musicians, and poets that were published in my book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetical Memoir of Self-Discovery. Click here to listen to my podcast about my Creative Breakfast.

I chose to start my day this way because I needed to open my creative heart with some intentional moments of creativity. Why? I’ve been moving at a pretty fast pace over the past ten days with little time left to nurture my creative heart.

After I finished eating breakfast and reading three articles in the magazine, I took a few more  moments to look through some of my fashion magazines for images I need for a collage I am planning to make to celebrate the spring season. When I finished collecting images, I realized my Creative Breakfast turned into a mini artist date at home. How cool is that?

Have you ever had a Creative Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, or Snack?

What did you eat and do to make it creative?

PS: Check out two of my most recent Vine videos that celebrate creative journey.

  • Video 1 – My creative word mantras I use to write my books
  • Video 2 – The book that opened my creative heart — Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map

12335098133_9894b1f143 Opening Your Creative Heart Coaching Special Discount:

From February 1 to March 31, I am offering a special discount package on my creativity coaching services. See details below.

My Creativity Coaching Practice: Click here to read more about my approach and background as a creativity coach.

Discount Period: The creativity coaching packages must be purchased via PayPal by March 31, 2014. They must be used by July 31, 2014.

Fees and Services:

1) 1 one-hour session with 2 email follow ups – $99.95 (original price – $139.95)

2) 3 one-hour sessions with 4 email follow ups – $359.95 (original price – $389.95)

3) 6 one-hour sessions with 7 email follow ups – $769.95 (original price – $799.95)

4) 9 one-hour sessions with 10 email follow ups – $1,169.99 (original price – $1,199.99)

5) 12 one-hour sessions with 13 email follow ups – $1,569.95 (original price – $1599.95)

Contact Information: If you are interested in one or more of the packages, please send me an email at kiamshaleeke@yahoo.com to schedule a free 20-minute consultation call (available via telephone, Skype, and Google Hangout).

2 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday: Celebrating Photographer Kofi Handon”

Happy Creativity Thursday: Celebrating Photographer Kofi Handon

Photo Credit: TRUE:xpressionz
Photo Credit: TRUE:xpressionz

Happy Creativity Thursday!

I started February with an artist date to the National Museum of African Art’s Earth Matters celebration and exhibition. It was just what I needed to open my creative heart: spoken word, live DJs spinning groovy music, body art performers, African dancing and drumming, live bands performing incredible music, and an opportunity to be photographed by Kofi Handon, Founder and President of Loves Life Photography.

Photo Credit: Kofi Handon, Founder and President of Loves Life Photography
Photo Credit: Kofi Handon, Founder and President of Loves Life Photography

After I had my photograph taken, I spoke briefly with Kofi about his work. As I listened, I was struck by his humility, kindness, and soulful creative energy. The next day, I visited his web site to learn more about him and discovered the beauty of his photography. I also learned he is a fellow Howardite. So I decided to reach out to him for an interview. Read on to learn why I am celebrating him today and be sure to visit Loves Life Photography online, Facebook, and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Kofi Handon, Founder and President of Loves Life Photography
Photo Credit: Kofi Handon, Founder and President of Loves Life Photography

Q: Thanks Kofi for agreeing to do an interview with me today. I am a huge fan of your photography. Let’s start with a six-word memoir that describes your passions.

KH: Life. Love. Legacy. Beauty. Art. Everlasting.

Photo Credit: Kofi Handon, Founder and President of Loves Life Photography
Photo Credit: Kofi Handon, Founder and President of Loves Life Photography

Q: What is your definition of creativity?

KH: Creativity is allowing yourself to develop or mold your inner artistry naturally.

Photo Credit: Kofi Handon, Founder and President of Loves Life Photography
Photo Credit: Kofi Handon, Founder and President of Loves Life Photography

Q: What do you want people to gain from your photography?

KH: I want people to look at my photographs and remember that given the weight of day-to-day struggles, they should seize moments where the load of life is lightened by smiles, laughter, hidden message, and love.

Photo Credit: Kofi Handon, Founder and President of Loves Life Photography
Photo Credit: Kofi Handon, Founder and President of Loves Life Photography

Q: What lessons have you learned from being creative and a photographer?

KH: I have learned five key lessons.

  • There is beauty in everything.
  • There is no limit to what you can create and do if your heart is in it.
  • There is always something new to learn. The craft of photography doesn’t stop. It will continue to evolve.
  • It’s important to network and partner with others.
  • Stay true to who you are.
Photo Credit: TRUE:xpressionz
Photo Credit: TRUE:xpressionz

Q: What were your top four creative moments in 2013?

KH: I traveled to France, Spain, and Morocco, and chronicled my journey through photographs featuring the various cultures, food, people, and places I visited in January and February 2013. I also shared the photographs with my Facebook community. Shooting the sunset in Essaouira, Morocco was one of my favorite moments.

Traveling to New York City with the Andinkra Group to shoot political activist and artist, Femi Kuti was a great moment!

Another moment was covering Sweet Honey in the Rock at The Howard Theatre while First Lady Michelle Obama was there. I spoke to Mrs. Obama’s assistant and told her I would put together some framed and signed action shots for her since she follows the group and that was one member’s last show in D.C. before retiring.

In November 2013, I did a photo shoot for Maimouna Youssef, a Grammy-nominated  singer, emcee, songwriter and poet. I spent eight hours using and learning all of my equipment.

0 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday: Open Your Creative Heart with Artist Dates & Special Creativity Coaching Discount”

Happy Creativity Thursday: Open Your Creative Heart with Artist Dates & Special Creativity Coaching Discount

Happy Creativity Thursday!

February is a great time to open your creative heart with artist dates. Artist dates are scheduled play dates that you commit to on a regular basis (weekly or monthly). These special moments can jumpstart your imagination and inspire your creative juices. They can also help you explore your own creativity and witness the creativity of others and Mother Nature. I learned about artist dates while reading Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist Way in the 1990s.
Photo Credit: National Museum of African Art
Photo Credit: National Museum of African Art
Each month, I schedule several artist dates. I started this month with an artist date to the National Museum of African Art’s Earth Matters celebration and exhibition on February 1. It was just what I needed: spoken word, live DJs spinning groovy music (yes I love the word groovy!), photographers taking photos (will blog about my own experience next week), body art performers, African dancing and drumming, live bands performing incredible music, and a documentary film about Kenyan feminist and human rights activist, Wangari Maatthai.
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What artist dates have you gone on this year?
What type of artist dates are you planning this month?
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Opening Your Creative Heart Coaching Special Discount:

From February 1 to March 31, I am offering a special discount package on my creativity coaching services. See details below.

My Creativity Coaching Practice: Click here to read more about my approach and background as a creativity coach.

Discount Period: The creativity coaching packages must be purchased via PayPal by March 31, 2014. They must be used by July 31, 2014.

Fees and Services:

1) 1 one-hour session with 2 email follow ups – $99.95 (original price – $139.95)

2) 3 one-hour sessions with 4 email follow ups – $359.95 (original price – $389.95)

3) 6 one-hour sessions with 7 email follow ups – $769.95 (original price – $799.95)

4) 9 one-hour sessions with 10 email follow ups – $1,169.99 (original price – $1,199.99)

5) 12 one-hour sessions with 13 email follow ups – $1,569.95 (original price – $1599.95)

Contact Information: If you are interested in one or more of the packages, please send me an email at kiamshaleeke@yahoo.com to schedule a free 20-minute consultation call (available via telephone, Skype, and Google Hangout).

3 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday: Intentionally Living A Creative Life”

Happy Creativity Thursday: Intentionally Living A Creative Life

Happy Creativity Thursday!

The topic of intentionally living a creative life came up during a recent creativity coaching session with a client. I shared how I have developed an intention to have creative moments in my life on a weekly basis and their impact on my artwork, writing, books, creativity coaching services, and work as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. These moments energize me and allow me to explore new ideas. They excite and leave me in a state of awe. They teach me. They often push my edge. Sometimes they console my sadness and help me face fears and doubts. They are medicine for my creative spirit.
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Listening to music in the morning is one of my favorite creative moments. It awakens my spirit and opens my heart. This morning, I began my day with London-based Omar’s new CD, “The Man.”
See photo above. To learn more about him, visit http://www.omarmusic.co.uk.

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Guess what? Omar’s music is featured in my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One. It will also be included in my upcoming novel, Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two.

How does music inspire or impact you?

What music are you currently listening to?

0 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday: Defining Creativity”

Happy Creativity Thursday: Defining Creativity

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Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I had a chance to chat with a good friend about my definition of creativity. For me, creativity is a gift I give to myself and the universe when I surrender and allow the divine flow of energy that dwells in my spirit to express itself. Painting is one medium I use to share my gift of creativity.  See my painting entitled “Karma: Aham Prema” above.

What is your definition of creativity?

0 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday: Breathing Life Into Your Creative Dreams”

Happy Creativity Thursday: Breathing Life Into Your Creative Dreams

Photo Credit: "Kreative Grooviness: That Which Awakens Me " by Ananda Leeke
Photo Credit: “Kreative Grooviness: That Which Awakens Me ” by Ananda Leeke

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Have you ever dreamed of making something with your hands and then allowed your fears or lack of training to stop you?

It happened to me several years ago when I started dreaming of painting. I was afraid to try it because I had never attended art school. My perspective changed after I started working with a master artist during my tenure as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Howard University Hospital. The master artist happened to be a patient I was assigned to work with on creative projects that would help him express his feelings. He transformed our sessions into art workshops where he taught me to trust my intuition and natural creative gifts. He pushed me to paint and gave me numerous painting assignments. This experience helped me create a series of paintings that I used to illustrate two book covers (see paintings above and below). The master artist breathed life into my creative dreams.

Photo Credit: "Be Love. Love Light. Live As the Spirit of Life." by Ananda Leeke
Photo Credit: “Be Love. Love Light. Live As the Spirit of Life.” by Ananda Leeke

Has anyone breathed life into your creative dreams?

How did the person breathe life into your creative dreams?

What creative actions were you inspired to take?

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Visit Amazon.com to learn more about my creative journey and book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetical Memoir of Self-Discovery (2009). My book is available as a Kindle download and a paperback book.

0 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday: Collage Births My Holiday Spirit”

Happy Creativity Thursday: Collage Births My Holiday Spirit

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Happy Creativity Thursday!

Have you gotten into the holiday spirit yet? What was the driving force? Was it a song, commercial, memory, office party, tree with decorations, or a Starbucks hot beverage?

My holiday spirit arrived while working as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts and creating an interactive wall collage for staff at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday afternoon (see photo above). As I cut out images from magazines and asked staff about their holiday season traditions, my heart opened up to the beauty of the season. The beauty for me is captured best in a six-word memoir: joyful gratitude for family and friends.

Do you make holiday art and/or decorations?

0 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday and Happy Thanksgiving: Power of Play in Creativity”

Happy Creativity Thursday and Happy Thanksgiving: Power of Play in Creativity

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Happy #CreativityThursday!  Happy Thanksgiving!

I started my day with the 21 Day Meditation Series sponsored by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra. Today’s theme is “Creative Me.” The message of the day discussed how play opens the pathways for creativity to flow freely. It reminded me of two children I have been playing with in my work as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the past two weeks.

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Our creative play afternoon sessions have been filled with laughter, water color painting,  coloring, clay sculptures, and colored pencil and magic marker drawings (see photos of our artwork above). They have opened my heart wider and inspired me to play more with collages in my life.

How are you adding more play to your creative life?

0 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday: Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Leah Piken Kolidas’ Art Every Day Month”

Happy Creativity Thursday: Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Leah Piken Kolidas’ Art Every Day Month

Photo Credit: Leah Piken Kolidas
Photo Credit: Leah Piken Kolidas

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today’s blog celebrates the 10th year anniversary of of Art Every Day Month.

Photo Credit: Leah Piken Kolidas
Photo Credit: Leah Piken Kolidas

AEDM is the brainchild of Leah Piken Kolidas, an artist who is one of my digital diva sheroes and a 2012 Digital Sister of the Year (Creativista). Leah launched AEDM in 2004 as a month-long challenge that happens every November to encourage creating in all forms. The rules are simple. You are free to make just one piece of art per week or just one for the whole month. Leah says, “The idea is to bring more creativity into your life, not to make you feel overwhelmed, pressured or guilt-stricken.”

Photo Credit: Leah Piken Kolidas
Photo Credit: Leah Piken Kolidas

She is also the founder of Creative Every Day Challenge, a challenge that was launched in 2008 to encourage individuals to add more creativity to their daily lives.  Click here to learn more about the challenge.

Photo Credit: Leah Piken Kolidas
Photo Credit: Leah Piken Kolidas

I discovered AEDM in 2008 when I was in the midst of a serious writer’s block. Making art each day helped me recapture my joie de vivre! It also helped me surrender to the creative process of making art without any judgment. After a few weeks, I was able to return to my writing with more clarity and energy.

The AEDM community is nurturing and supportive. Through their daily posts on the AEDM blog and Flickr group, they taught me how to create art on the go and to leave the judgment behind. I was able to see the beauty and fun in making art just for the sake of making art. The community reminded me how essential art-making is to my spirit. That’s why I plan to join the AEDM challenge this November to celebrate its 10th anniversary. I hope you will join us too.

Photo Credit: Leah Piken Kolidas
Photo Credit: Leah Piken Kolidas

For AEDM newbies, be sure to check out the AEDM Survival Guide for tips on how to thrive throughout this 30 day adventure in daily art-making.

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PS: My new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online discusses Leah and the power of AEDM in my blogging and creative life. Visit Amazon.com to purchase the book.