My Lollipop

“Count your blessings name them one by one, count your blessings see what God has done…”

That is the song that awoke my heart this morning.

It’s Thanksgiving and as each year unfolds the complexities of life, I have found many reasons to be thankful. I have learned to savor God’s goodness in all of life as a child savors the sweetness of lollipop as he licks the juice off of it. That’s why I call this illustration “my lollipop.”

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God‘s goodness to me is like candy to my soul. Though it doesn’t determine my commitment to Him, it sure sweetens the deal.😁

I’m thankful for a life of purpose.
I’m thankful for the gift of Creativity and the transformation it brings.
I’m thankful for my wife, and the gift of love.
I’m thankful for the gift of family.
I’m thankful for friends who have become family and we’ve sharpened each other.
I’m thankful for life’s challenges because I see and know him who is able to guide me in this uncharted terrain.
I’m thankful for the joy and strength that comes from God’s presence.
I’m thankful for the health God gives to his earthen vessels!
I’m thankful for Hope that comes from faith.
I’m thankful for direction and discretion.
I’m thankful for Grace that teaches me to give my best yes!
I’m thankful for a whole lot more!

Savor your lollipop and be thankful!

“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭103:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As you Count your blessings, name them one by one, may you have a joy-filled Thanksgiving and a super end of the year as well!

Happy Thanksgiving from @studio1352

Toluwanimi

My Inktober Story

A couple of months ago, I purchased a couple of sketchbooks, a set of pencils, pens, and brushes – all I needed to create art. For some reason, the pens and brushes have sat on my desk for months, like many wonderful unfinished ideas, begging to be completed. But it’s time to go, so I’m finally joining the Inktober challenge. I’m telling you this so you can hold me accountable. After this post, I’ll stop talking about it and just do it.

My goal is not perfection, but completion, because after 31 inked sketches, I will become a better artist. After a complete first draft, I will have a completed body of work ready for the next round of editing. After a finished video, I will have one more in my portfolio. After a completed project, I will have the experience and the motivation to do more while improve on the last.

The mantra is “finished, not perfect.” When I’m done, I will fill my creative bank account with the testament of the practice of diligence and consistency.

This is my Inktober story. Join me as I’ll be sharing my 31 day journey on my Instagram @Studio1352

Cheers!

Creativity tips for a productive 2018 (II)

Read part 2 of my two-part series on productivity in 2018.

Hello readers,

I’m sure you’re excited about the new year 2018!

Did you see yesterday’s post? Okay, it was not yesterday and I apologize for that. However, it’s great that we are here today. I’m excited to share this productivity tips with you and this part will be plastered with infographics you can download and share. The previous post of this two-part series can be viewed here.

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Today, I’ll continue by debunking the myth of the “Once in a Lifetime Opportunity.” Heard that one?

I think a “once in a lifetime opportunity” happens more often than we are told to believe.

Imagine a world where you are banned to a life of misery if you do not take a once in a lifetime opportunity at 23 or 15 (because I heard that when I was 15). I guess whoever coined that term was just trying to get his kids to be serious and not play away their lives. He wanted to say “do not waste your life!” with a bit of drama.

There are many opportunities to do deep work, share your passion and create masterpieces so do not be rushed. However, there’s no better time to prepare and hone your craft than now!

And if you missed today’s opportunity, start tomorrow.

I perceive that the reason why the idea of a once in a lifetime opportunity seems widely accepted is that, while opportunities abound in life, you may not always be prepared to walk into them. Often, when the so-called door of opportunity opens, many writers do not always have the assurance of mastery and a box (or hard drive) full of first drafts but are full of mere intentions.

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Start today. then repeat tomorrow.

Stop thinking that “consistently and “daily” are two separate words.

Why do you think most people bathe and brush every day? The simple but elusive answer is that most people have been doing it for most of their lives. I am one of the hundreds of millions of people who find it difficult to hold my brush and hit the showers the second time (at night.) Why? Is it because I have unhealthy practices? No, I do! I think it’s because this is something most people try to learn after they are formed. Give that same person some motivation and time – and it will promptly become practice.

You surely remember a drill that you had to undergo while in elementary school – the multiplication table. Why do you think we were able to all memorize up till 12 X 12 by the time we graduated from primary school? Were we all smart? No!

Well, yes – because we did it every day! Smart move!

I  discovered that unlike 1 to 12, we were not required to learn 13 X 13 onwards and as a result, only a few people do know the multiplication table from 13. We were not required to read and learn it every day but introduced to calculators! So mastery is curated in the furnace of consistent practice.

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Consistency is a great virtue to help 2018 be a productive year. However, I must be quick to point out that writing consistency is not the same as publishing frequency.

Stop feeling like you need to get out your message right now!

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Write consistently, but you do not have to publish what you write a few minutes after you do. A few cases may differ, but for 99.99% of writers including me, we can wait a few hours to edit, scratch that – and rewrite; show our peers for critique before sharing if we choose to. While publishing frequency depends on your purpose, writing consistency should always go on.

Take copious notes.

Most of my completed works started as paper clippings, ideas scribbled into sheets, several journal posts and in recent years Google Keep, Apple Note, and Evernote entries. Sitting down to write or create is what you must do, but the short insights that come to you on the go as you practice daily life often become the spice that infuses realness into your work. They will seem sketchy at times, but only until you sit down to flesh them up.

Keep a notepad handy or download a note-taking app!

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Stop giving people permission to gauge your dreams

I met more people that did not believe that Donut could be produced and distributed free without debt than those who cheered me on. But it didn’t matter to me because, at that point, the passion that prompted me was too strong to be checked by expectations or peer pressure. I wish I have that pump every day!

Not everyone will understand or agree with the magnitude of your dreams, and surely not everyone will encourage you to take the steps to achieve them. In fact, in my experience, more often than not, you will find you are surrounded by well-meaning loving but complacent family and friends, who would rather play it safe. Often these people have put out discouragement not from a place of contempt but a place of fear  – they have dreamed but have not been courageous enough to pursue or stay on track.  They dropped out of the race and their misery only loves company. Do not join the band!

Step out of the judgment zone. Step out of the pressure. Let the expectation that compels you to be internally generated. Do or Do not. There is no try.

Record your voice and try writing prompts.

This is one huge productivity hack I have found useful. Sometimes, when ideas for work in progress hit me while engaging in an activity that makes it difficult to put a pen to paper, I simply pick out my voice recorder app and pour my mind. Then I can transcript later. Hearing your own voice boosts your morale and gives you hope for what’s possible. If you hit a block of ideas, try writing prompts. You can find great ones over the internet.

Unplug.

You cannot create masterpieces in front of the world. Trust me, distractions were present in the creative life before technology, and internet only makes it worse. Remember that for every one of the planned writing time you spend on the internet (except for research), you are shortchanging yourself. You are basking in the transient delights of internet communication, wallowing in self-pity when you view the plastic pictures of your fake virtual friends and making zero progress. Only deep work becomes a masterpiece and I have learned from experience that the greatest secret to creating deep work is to completely engage your mind in the process – this made possible when you unplug.

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Create a community

I have found creative communities help boost motivation. While I can’t always reach my mentors I have creative friends who are always available to add stokes to my fire. By their critique, my work becomes better. This year, find friends who you can learn from, bounce your ideas off of, share insights with and enjoy mutual edification. Sometimes, they are all you got, and all you need to supercharge!

The next step

While life is a continuum and the yearly demarcation of time merely serves to give us a framework to structure life, there’s so much to look forward to in 2018 – Yes, YOU can start fresh and intentional!

Happy New year!

Toluwanimi