Take Back Your Life!

Be A Bad Ass Artist

July 8, 2017 by Giulietta Nardone

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. ~  Sir Cecil Beaton

Like many people, I have seen Wonder Woman at the movie theater. I’d watched some episodes of Wonder Woman when it was a TV show starring Lynda Carter and knew it was based on a comic book character created in 1941 by psychologist and inventor of the lie detector William Moulton Marston. Early feminists and a lover that lived with Marston and his wife provided inspiration.

It was fun to see a woman other than Angelina Jolie be a fearless bad ass. My favorite scene was the one where WW/Diana bursts into No Man’s Land, while the men are cowering in the WW I trenches.

Wonder Woman took a risk because she didn’t have another choice that sat well with her. She showed those around her how to get over their own fears and take action.

Some artists — and I’m grouping all kinds of creatives in here — can get frightened to try something new, especially if they are getting “the applause.” They get used to the applause or think they need the applause and get scared to deviate from the kind of work that gets the applause — even if they are bored to tears with their own work.

Creatives might consider challenging themselves more often. Trying a different medium if they are painters, a different genre if they are writers, a different story architecture if they are screen writers.

Otherwise, they can get stale and uncreative. Almost turning into a robotic creative, or even a non-creative. Sure, they might still get the applause, but inside are they feeling “on fire”? Are they pushing themselves in new ways into new territory?

When I was pursuing a graphic design certificate, I tried something new for every project. For some reason, I kept thinking in my novice design head, “I don’t want all my designs to look the same.” About a month ago, someone contacted me about a logo design project. The first thing he said was, “All your logos look different.”

For me that was a neat compliment! Sometimes I look at other designer’s portfolios and immediately notice how similar all the logos look. Similar fonts and flourishes and symbols.

Yes, it takes a bit more energy to keep trying new things. It would be easier to get lazy and do the same thing over and over. If I did that, I’d feel lazy, not creative.

Take a look at your own creative endeavors. Is the applause keeping your from venturing out into new territories? Are you playing it safe or taking a risk? Are you still in love with your own art, music or crafts?

Muse Thx, G.

ps Check out my new upcoming painting program, Get Over Your Painting Fears. Click HERE for more info.

Live At The End Of Your Comfort Zone

May 15, 2017 by Giulietta Nardone

In May, I went to the memorial services for a fine young man who died too young in a motorcycle accident.

As grieving friends and family got up to speak about the contributions he made to the world around him, the same refrain kept coming up. He was known for saying, “Live At The End Of Your Comfort Zone” and by all accounts lived his life that way.

It is indeed a fabulous way to live your life. A way to feel alive and enjoy every morsel life has to offer.

I wish more people adopted that creed of living. Instead, most of us are terrified to leave the comfort zone we draw around us at an increasingly early age.

My grandfather came to the US from Italy at 17, to find a better life. Alone, he worked hard, saved money, opened his own company and paid for the passage of many of his family and cousins. That took courage and guts!

Today, I think he would be talked out of doing that, which would be a shame.

We are all so concerned about living safely, that we have forgotten how to live at all.

Sometimes to live a life with meaning, you have to live what others might call dangerously.

Dangerously might mean travel or it might mean challenging the status quo. Or talking to strangers. Or standing up for the defenseless. It can mean physical danger or it can mean emotional or financial danger.

The men and women who have successful companies usually put everything they owned on the line to get their business up and running. They knew that taking that risk was the only way to get where they wanted.

How often do we have the courage to tell someone what we really feel? We say, “Oh, it is nothing.” When it is anything but that. If you think about it, sharing your feelings isn’t that big of a deal, but we’ve turned it into something huge, something we should not do. And it has serious consequences down the road.

I entered life living dangerously, forging streams, climbing small hills, exploring the woods, expressing myself, telling the truth about how I saw things. Today, kids are pretty much  forbidden from doing the childhood activities I took for granted. Life has inherent risks, my husband always says, “It is the price of admission.”

There is a quote by Charles Lindbergh, “A life without risks, is a life not worth living.”

Ask yourself, do you live a safe life, do you live a dangerous life or do you live something in between?

And is that okay with you? Is there anything you long to do, but do not because you are afraid to venture out of your cozy comfort zone?

Muse thanks, Giulietta

ps, in honor of this fine young man, I have started a painting called, “Live at the end of your comfort zone.”

pps, if you want to write, please join me in July for Writing Under The Stars. If you child would love to paint whatever they wish, please have them join me for Wild Expressive Painting for Children.




How Do We Find Each Other And Feel?

March 27, 2017 by Giulietta Nardone
“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”   

~ James Thurber, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Okay, I finally watched the “new” Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, recommended by a good friend three years ago. .

I loved it! From the soundtrack to the story to the acting to the scenery and most importantly, to the message — it all spoke to me.

Walter works at Life Magazine, where there is the coolest quote in the lobby.

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

And it flashes up many times. At first, I had to rewind a few times to read it over and over. (The glory of the rewind button of second chances.)

I love all of the quote. Today, I decided to zoom into the later part, “to find each  other and to feel.”

People seem to be afraid to feel today. I remember when Princess Diana died in 1997  and everyone was crying all over the world, mainly people who had never met her — I immediately thought — it is a chance to feel something, to openly weep — things we are not encouraged to do.

In all my writing classes in person, there has always been one person who sheds a tear or even students who will not read because they fear shedding a tear. I always say the same thing, “It is okay to cry, it means something needs to come out through a tear.” (more…)

Refuse To Live A Boring Life

February 26, 2017 by Giulietta Nardone
“Boredom is a pleasing antidote for fear.”  ~ Daphne du Maurier

A lot of American appear to be bored, especially in the work arena. Studies report that 70% of Americans are not engaged with their jobs. Just long, long days spent getting to 5 or 6. The lives most of us are encouraged to follow don’t have a lot of purpose or meaning. Buy that next “simon says to buy” thing. Get that next bigger thing. Shop for that even next bigger, bigger thing.

My twenties were filled with boredom. There I was young and attractive with the world at my youthful fingertips, yet everything bored me. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t know how to take a hobby and pursue it. Sure, I went to the gym to work out so I’d look good, but doing something because it felt good, because it made me want to get up in the morning. That didn’t exist.It wasn’t until I hit my mid-thirties and began taking acting classes and singing at karaoke clubs that I sparked back to life. Finally, I had a purpose! (more…)