Secret Poems Of Boston: Raining Poetry Project

 What are the secret poems of Boston?

If you ever find yourself walking the streets of Boston on a rainy day, be sure to look down at your feet because you might just find the secret poems of Boston beneath them. Something beautiful and inspiring appears right before your eyes in the form of poetry.

secret poems of boston
Photo Credit: masspoetry.org

A joint collaboration between Mass Poetry and the City of Boston is appropriately called the “Raining Poetry Project.” The project began in  2016 during Poetry Month and continues to grow and inspire people around the city.

Poetry: A 6 x 9 Blank Diary for Poems

How it works

Water propelling spray is used to stencil poetry onto sidewalks throughout the city. The stencils are created by local artists and applied by the city’s Mural Crew.  Once applied, the poems disappear and only reveal themselves when wet, producing a beautiful poem on a rainy day. The spray is bio-degradable and generally lasts for 6-8 weeks. It’s a non-destructive way for public art to be displayed.

secret poems of boston
Photo Credit: masspoetry.org

The Future

The project continues to grow within the city of Boston and other cities such as Sudbury, Ontario in Canada.   Poems will be written in languages representing the different cultures within the communities, further building a multicultural foundation within the project.

RELATED: The world’s first sustainable city is in China

 

secret poems of boston
Photo Credit: masspoetry.org

Would you like to see this happen in your city?

For more information on the initiative please visit them at masspoetry.org

Donate now to the project or purchase our Raining Poetry Guide for tips on how to bring this project to your own organization or community.

Would you like to see the secret poems of Boston become the secret poems of your city? What do you think of the idea? Share your comments below and please, if you enjoyed the post share.

 

Anders Vanderkool

 

Creative Mindfulness Activities: Meditation

creative mindfulness activities

Meditation is one of the best creative mindfulness activities

This meditation will help clear your mind and allow yourself to concentrate while the body relaxes. Meditation is one of the best creative mindfulness activities that you can do. It will help put you in a relaxed state, as long as you you breath. Now you can visualize and brainstorm new ideas and concepts. You might be able to shed light on a project that you already are working on. It will simply, put your mind into a space of creativity- if that is where you want it to go. I know, that when I find myself up against the wall and needing ideas, meditation is a very good place to start. It somehow is able to find that creative monster inside.

What does meditation do for the body?

Aside from increased focus and imagination for creativity, meditation is proven to have measurable physical health benefits.  These benefits include an improved immune system, decreased stress and insomnia , and helping with chronic pain. If you have any sort of creative block or just have been having problems with focus- try this meditation

creative mindfulness activities
Download your .99 Creativity Meditation!

7 Minutes of pure relaxation

Aside from helping with creativity, I find that listening to this 7 minute track can help calm the active mind after a busy work day. It’s pure relaxation with calm streams and nature all around you. The melody is set to a resting heart rate of the average human being.
Did you download the meditation? Do you regularly meditate in your everyday routine? Do you struggle finding your creative flow? Let’s start a conversation. Can you please share if you found this post helpful or if you believe someone could benefit from it.


 

 

 

Why I Started Blogging | A Creative Boost?

Why I Started Blogging

I thought I knew why I started blogging. Looking  for a creative boost that would help stimulate new ideas and different ways of thinking.

I thought I knew why I started blogging. Looking  for a creative boost that would help stimulate new ideas and different ways of thinking. It did help with that and it continues to. The problem however,  isn’t needing a creative boost. It goes deeper than that. The problem is:

  • What took it away?
  • Where did my creative self go?
  • Why has this happened?
  • How do I get it back?

It’s not the creativity that was lost. The answer is time.  Time is missing. The amount of time that is being spent working at my day job. Most of us work way too much! We don’t spend enough time with our loved ones or ourselves.

 

why i started blogging

We are working ourselves to death.

Working through pain and being motivated by guilt. The guilt of not wanting to let our coworkers and employers down. The guilt of not wanting to let your family down.

We look for ways of creating time but something always gets sacrificed in the process.  For example, painkillers take less time than going to the gym and anti depressants make you numb, so it’s easier to get through the day. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for these medications at all. They definitely have helped me. But maybe we rely on them too much? I say this speaking from experience.

All of our energy is used up at work. And what you have left to give?   Your worst self! Our spouses, families and friends get our worst selves and, in return, we get their worst selves. We are just too tired at the end of day-no more energy. We have evolved to a point in time where our number one priority is work to live. Sure, at one time we were hunter gatherers but lets be honest here… With all the technological advancements we have made? I’m pretty sure we could rid our world of poverty and hunger if there weren’t so many selfish people on the planet. We simply are working towards retirement and hoping to be healthy enough to enjoy it.  To enjoy the last few years of life before we die.

We all are just putting in the years and waiting for the prison sentence to be served.

So I guess I really started this blog as a way out. I want this blog to help me become the person that can share their best self with their best friend. That’s why I started blogging.

We all create in everyday life.

why i started bloggingIn decision making and other things we do, there is always creativity involved. There isn’t a lot of time in life to really enjoy being here. We work so hard just to play the game; to be cog in the wheel of society. It’s not right. I certainly don’t want to live this way. I’m sure you don’t either. This blog is my way out…I hope

When it comes to blogging, I’m learning as I go. I enjoy the process of writing about subjects that I’m passionate about. I have no business being a blogger because it doesn’t come natural. But I’m doing it anyway! And eventually I will succeed at it. I will succeed because I’m not going to give up.

I want to be doing something that doesn’t steal away all my energy.

Being in a creative space doesn’t take my energy. In fact, it creates it. That’s how I feel when I blog.  It’s my answer to happiness. So I guess that’s why I started blogging. As I learn about the wonderful world of blogging, I’ve found some common ideas for success and also words to live by:

  • Be patient
  • Be true to yourself

Well this is me, myself and I putting it out there. I’ve made this my life goal because it create more room for happiness and experience.  More time for my family. More time to live life.

RELATED:  Books that promote creativity

Conclusion

In closing, let me share a cliche statement with all of you.

“Be the change you want to be.”

It’s as simple as that. There will be obstacles and stresses to get to you there. But I believe that you can find your happiness by changing something in your life. What’s your plan?  Let’s start a discussion below. Please share and subscribe in you enjoyed the artical.

Much love

Vanderkool

 

Traveling Increases Creativity

traveling increases creativity

By Anders Vanderkool

How does travel affect creativity?

Traveling is the best way to help increase creativity. Immersing into the ideas and traditions of another culture helps influence new ideas by adding a new layer of mindfulness. This mindfulness allows you to think differently and really experience something new. It scientifically changes your outlook and actually rewires your brain. Traveling literally expands the mind.

 

The wiring or neural pathways in the brain are influenced by a number of factors including our habits and the environment that we are exposed to. These environments and habits include all your senses and linguistics.

Integration into a new culture into forces yourself to think in a different way

When traveling in a new place, it’s a great opportunity to be creative, as your seeing the world in a different way. You’re experiencing it in a open minded setting where all control that you have had is longer present. It gives the world a new perspective. In a way, changing your mental clarity. This isn’t effective if one isn’t intentional about integrating themselves into the culture and traditions. It’s also important to journal about your adventures. Don’t forget to journal all about your adventures- you never know what sort of ideas will come out.

Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places

Pulls you out of your shell

Local customs, food, and personal space can definitely pull you out of your shell. It challenges you to do things that seem less ordinary and it will test your boundaries. When traveling, particularly in a culturally different place, you will be out of your comfort zone and introduced to a new version of yourself. A piece of your personality that you never knew existed. A whole new place to explore and generate new ideas. It pulls out the personality and turns off the autopilot button.

Further, when there is language barriers- one must use more visual communication. As a result patience is exercised allowing for more presence in the moment and having to explore creative ways to communicate.

Booking the trip gives you something to look forward to

It’s important to plan a trip and set a date. This will keep you focused on the goal ahead. Studies have shown an elevated mood in people that have their trip planned than those who don’t. Having something to look forward to elevates mood, increases positive energy into something. It adds an element of curiousness and often drives people to be more physically fit and more responsible with their finances as they are working towards and end goal.

As mentioned in previous blogs, I talked about how routine makes life move at an increased rate. This is problematic to our perception to time. Your not experiencing new things, thus not creating new memories. It all becomes a blur. Getting distance away from the daily routine allows for more abstract ways of seeing your life. New ways of thinking and creating.

RELATED: Secret poems of Boston

Conclusion

I know many people that don’t travel for a number of reasons. Most of the time people say they would like to travel and experience the world, but they always have an excuse. There is always a reason to why they can’t do it. There is always a way, just think creatively and search for that solution. Traveling increases creativity and I hope that you plan your next vacation soon!  Please share if you enjoyed this post and get involved in the conversation below!

 

Save

Build A Guitar Out Of Junk

build-homemade-guitar

Take Your Junk And Build A Guitar!

I didn’t know how to build a guitar or where to start.  I had some old wooden boxes in the garage and thought just maybe I could create something out of it. After research online and scavenging for parts that could be used in the project, I got to work building a guitar.

build a guitar

Anyone has the ability to build a guitar. It’s easy.

Firstly, I’m not going to share step by step instructions on how to build a guitar out of junk because there are tons of blogs already online about this very subject.  Check out The Art of Manliness for detailed directions. What I am going to give you, is a glimpse into my creative process and show you the final project.

“Building a guitar is rewarding because you can play it and be creative!”

My hope is that it may inspire you to build your own guitar and that it allows you to continue creating into the future.  You don’t need woodworking experience-just a few tools and a strong imagination.

I do not have strong woodworking skills or tools that make the job less difficult. I used various hand tools such as a drill and an electric sander. What I do well at, is planning and being creative.

And this project is pure creativity. Using what you have for hardware is the fun part. This provides a problem for a creative thinker. I gathered random pieces of hardware such as nuts, bolts, hinges, and nails and tried to figure out how they would become part of the project.

build-a-guitar

I started off by picking up a piece of hobby wood for the future neck of the guitar. The wood needs to be a hard wood that is capable of supporting the tension of the strings. 1×2 Oak is easy to come by at any building supply store. The only things I need to purchase were guitar tuners and strings from Amazon listed below.

What I Used

6pcs 3L3R Acoustic Guitar Tuning Pegs Machine Head Tuners Chrome Guitar Parts

Elixir Strings Acoustic Guitar Strings, 6-String, Light-Medium NANOWEB Coating

I laid everything out and mocked up my future guitar on my floor. This gave me an idea of what Was needed to do and what it might look like as a finished project.

Take Your Time And Enjoy Building It

The neck was the most work and most difficult to produce. I decided to scarf cut the neck to give the headstock a more authentic guitar look. (See pic). I also added a spruce build your own guitar-fretboardtop to the neck and installed fret markers with some doweling.  Finishing nails were used for frets and I must stress that when laying out your frets- that you calculate the correct spacing.  I recommend going to StewMacs fret calculator.

The rest of the guitar was a ton of fun to figure out.  I made my own organic aging stain out of vinegar and added corrosion to some of the hardware that was too shiny with a mix of bleach, salt and baking soda.  It needed the old and handmade look for it to really stand out.

I went into the build with only one expectation -to finish the project.  And finish it, I did.

“Building a DIY guitar was just what I needed. Building something that is a tool to be creative-is a reward every time you play it.”

This was more of an exercise in of seeing if I could actually be successful in building an insbuild-guitartrument that actually plays, rather than a guitar of quality sound. I learned a lot of things that I would do differently next time.

In the end I am super happy with the result. It sounds better expected, though, I didn’t have very high expectations. It looks cool, sounds great and is a great conversation piece for even non-music lovers. But lets be serious-who hates music?

 

 

Playing music on something that you created is an experience that can’t really be explained. I have many great sounding guitars hanging on the wall but there is something about playing a guitar that was built with your own hands. In essence, its your own voice. It’s opened up my mind to playing and thinking differently in a music sense.  My song writing is more pure and very raw and rugged. These are the values that are missing in much of modern music in my opinion.

In closing, I hope you choose to build a guitar.  Please comment and share your projects with me. I’d love to see what you come up with. Please subscribe for updates and be sure to share with your friends.

Much Love

Anders Vanderkool

Creativity Can Reduce Stress and It’s Easy

5 Free Design Tools For Every Creative

Since this is the first post of this brand new website, I though I’d share some of my favorite resources that I use regularly in my design and art projects. These 5 free design tools for every creative are mostly in regards to graphic design,  but there is no reason they wouldn’t translate and be helpful in any creative environment.

Here are 5 free design tools for every creative that I use and they won’t cost you anything.

1. COLOURLOVERS

COLOURlovers is a website where you can discover colour palettes that are created and shared by a community of users. It’s a great website to get inspired or get new ideas flowing when you’re stumped. You can search keywords and filter different combinations of colours. They also offer a number of tools for designers and artists alike.

Aside from the simple user experience, the site offers a great amount of information in the forums page and in the trends menu.  Head over to their website here.

How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul

2. VECTEEZY

Vecteezy.com is a really great resource for stock vectors. They offer a large variety of quality content that is free to use. If you’re a graphic designer doing a lot of mock-ups for clients or are simply needing vectors for your project, this is a great resource. Check them out here.

3. PIXABAY

If you’re looking for a large amount of good quality stock photography, Pixabay is that source. Over the last few years, this user generated stock photography website has grown into a very reliable resource for designers and artists. With this the introduction of their new mobile apps, they have become an invaluable resource for all my projects. Their search filters make it fast and convenient to find what you’re looking for. It’s free to download images but if you want to download the highest res image you need to register or sign in with Facebook.

 

4. FONTS IN USE

Fonts In Use is a valuable website for anyone that is creating something involving typography. The website is an indexed public archive of examples of good typography. The goal of the creators of the site is to:

Document and examine graphic design with the goal of improving typographic literacy and appreciation.

If you’re trying to find the perfect pairing of typeface, head over to their archive here.  If your interested in learning more about typefaces check out: Just My Type: A Book About Fonts

5. CREATIVE MARKET

Creative Market is a platform for handcrafted design content from independent creatives and designers from around the world.  The content that is offered is top notch and is really a designers dream environment to be in. It’s a neat way to collaborate with other designers and even get inspired. Get this, every Monday they give away 6 items for free on their page. They could be any design asset, for example, typefaces, website templates or vector packs, stock photo collections. You name it, this site is full of design assets that are created by over 20, 000 designers from around the world. You are supporting other designers directly by using this market. I  highly recommend it.  Click here to enter the market.