Close your eyes and imagine this... No wait! Open your eyes and read this. You're an artist. You have unbelievable talent. You're portfolio is unprecedented and your use of colors is unmatched. The words that flow from your pen illuminate unimaginable worlds that future leaders will attempt to construct. Your music inspires woodland creatures to join in chorus. Your art makes hearts stop, children laugh, and elders cry tears of joy.

This is the age of absolute opportunity for artists and creative thinkers to share their work with the world. There has never been a greater time to reach so many people. The doors are wide open and all you have to do is step through them. Creative people have an unfair advantage over everyone else. We have the ability to find unique ways to bring life to our art. All we have to do is dream, create, and share. And here are the top ten reasons why you should be doing exactly that.

1. Dreaming. Everyone loves to dream. I dream all the time. Day and night. Dreaming helps us escape from daily monotony and dreary politics. Dreaming stimulates our creative minds and opens up new possibilities and new thought processes that can change the world. Dreaming is creating.

2. Creating. Since dreaming is creating, I suppose creating is dreaming, right? Possibly. Creating is the ultimate human experience. We create masterpieces, symphonies, societies, cultures, and life. We create some form of art every day of our lives. We just have to open our eyes to recognize it.

3. Sharing. ...is caring, right? Even if we dream for selfish reasons that lead to creating something for ourselves - there is no greater joy than sharing it with someone else. We innately seek out approval, acceptance and compliments. We can't get this if we don't share a little bit of ourselves or our art.

4. Doing. You can't dream, create and share if you don't do anything. You could be the most incredible artist of all times, but if you don't actually "do" then nothing will be "done" and no one will know you existed. So "do" often and with exuberant frequency so that we can all know you are one of action. (and have a pulse)

5. Didn't I just stress the importance of dreaming? Dreams drive us and move us. They flow through us like a river of life-giving inspiration. Our lives are built upon our dreams. Your future relies wholeheartedly upon them. Dream of doing and then make it so.

6. Your art is your life and the manifestation of thoughts and visions and dreams. Flowing from you is an incredible gift not only to you, but to the world around you. Without your art, you would not be you. Without you - there would be no art. How will we know you if you don't share your art?

7. The world's a stage and we are all performers; some good; some bad: but all a part of the same theater company called life. It's our duty as creative individuals to make our work available to the world. We have an opportunity to break through global barriers in this golden age of social networking. Our art can reach people all over the world, so long as we "do" and "share".

8. It's not just a pretty picture or an interesting song. We want to know more about you, more about your process. We want to see inside your brain. The days of the enigmatic, impersonal, eccentric artist are passing. The world wants to know you are just like everyone else, but with a kick. Share your thoughts and dreams with your neighbors.

9. Don't just sell your art. Remember what it's truly about. Give away your art. (But not for free) Don't be afraid to post, tweet and update your world, your work - to everyone. If you hide from everyone, fearing they will steal your work or ideas - they probably will. But if you stand atop a mountain and declare, "This is my art!" - Well, then we will all admire you and say, "Look at their art!"

10. Without your dreaming, creating and sharing - the world would be a truly barren desert. No matter what your level of skill, position or part you take in the world, artist or not; your dreams are important to our life together on this planet. The creations you share (whether thought out or spontaneous) will build our future. Without these three simple things, your voice is simply a whisper.

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.


About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

I have entirely too much to do this week. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining at all. I really don't mind so much. The only challenge for me at times is - deadlines. We all have them, call them what you will – goals / objectives / workloads / deadlines - they must be kept! And if you're anything like me, you've just waited until the eleventh hour and this blog is now due.

Sometimes we all hit a brick wall. We can sit before our blank canvases, white screens or hopelessly empty notebooks waiting desperately for creativity to manifest itself. I’ve spent hours upon hours coming back to the same blank sheet of paper, always expecting something to be there each time I return. Is this blog written yet? Poof! Unfortunately we can't wave a magic wand, wiggle our nose or blink and nod with folded arms to make our art complete. Art in all its forms takes patience, motivation, inspiration and dedication. And sometimes we just can’t break down those walls.

Fear not! Better days will come!

Don’t let a shortness of enthusiasm or impetus rule your art! These uncreative moments often yield greater insight because they are born from frustration. "Angst makes for great art" (or so I've been told) I know plenty of artists who swim in anguish to create truly intense compositions. It’s most certainly true that some art can spawn from sorrow and unrest; however I personally prefer peaceful creativity over anxious inspiration. But we all know how hard that can sometimes be to come by.

Our busy lives are filled with deadlines, appointments and rushing about. An overabundance of activities and thoughts can often crowd our creativity. Occasionally just by "doing" our inspiration comes. Any art form requires at least starting somewhere until creativity takes hold. (By the way, not everything will be a masterpiece and some things may in fact be quite... well there sometimes aren't any words to describe it!) But that's okay, because we can learn from mistakes. Instead of staring at that empty screen, I'll type words in random order. I find that if I write thoughts, ideas and pointless phrases down, they evolve into prose, instruction or personal masterpieces. I only get there by actually "doing" - once I've procrastinated to the eleventh hour plus fifty-nine minutes, of course.

And so by simply taking action, I am able to paint symphonies with words that were tossed together from a once hopeless void. I can then imagine the coarse wind on my face as bitter tasting silence falls from me. I can remember words I've written before to reuse, revive, renew and reinvent my inspiration. And that's when I become my own muse. That’s when my inspiration flows through my own blood and my art emerges.

So if you've hit the proverbial brick wall, go ahead and pull a David Copperfield and walk on straight through. The other side is not far off, even though it may be difficult to see.

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.


About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

Bravo! Last week, Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey spoke on behalf of the Arts. And he wasn’t the only one! Alec Baldwin and Hill Harper spoke on Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to not cut funding to the arts. I’ve written countless times on how cutting funding for public programs such as the National Endowment of the Arts and PBS is preposterous. Well, I have to say it’s nice to see others step up and raise their voices in protest.

 

Some argue that such programs should be self sustaining like commercial television, but in a culture where young pop art flourishes, by the time we get to appreciate the finer expressions (and not all do) of the arts, the programs, the artists who have dedicated their lives to perfect these may long be gone and forgotten. PBS offers programs on subjects in history and the arts that help us to understand where we came from and where we are going. Programs like these provide hope and guidance for future generations.

 

The National Endowment for the Arts is a life support for programs of every ilk. From Sesame Street to PBS biographies, forgotten history to exotic places of the world… like Sedona! And this latest battle against the arts funding by some of our political leaders is far from over. With a little research, you’ll soon find that some presidential and political hopefuls still describe the arts as ‘frivolous’ spending.

 

"We are not a poor country. We are a wealthy country, but our real power comes from the power of our ideas," Kevin Spacey said "This is not about saving money. This is ideological."

 

This is not the time to cut the arts and squash creativity. During this slow rise of the economy as we get back on track we need more art, more creative minds to find better, sustainable ways for us to live and move forward. The backwards thinking of cutting creative programs needs to end now, so we can grow to be a more culturally mindful peaceful nation.

 

Go to nea.org to support the National Endowment of the Arts and write to your local representatives and let them know you want to preserve the arts above all else. And don’t forget to thank Kevin Spacey and all the others who rise up to share in their support of the arts!

 

We are not poor, but rich in art.

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.


About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.



I've had a quote stuck in my head all week. This quote inspired me to write in 'The SCENE' last Friday about how the Arts Center's philanthropic outreach builds a community. It gave me a sense of 'hope' for humanity and it's even helping me to write this blog.

But first let me tell you about my job. It's a dream job. That’s why last Friday I wrote, "I have a rare and wonderful gift. I am privileged enough to work at Sedona Arts Center, Northern Arizona’s oldest not-for-profit organization." -And boy did I mean it. Every day I am inspired and surrounded by creative thinkers, master artists and caring teachers. I overhear plans and dreams and visions of art. I get to silently observe the fantastic dreams of emerging artists. I am one part of a creative heartbeat that benefits all of us.

The positive reach the Arts Center has to our community stretches far beyond the walls of this broken art barn. It's true: as a nonprofit we rely wholeheartedly upon the kindness of strangers, but that kindness doesn't stop here. Those who have helped the Arts Center have helped to bring creative instruction to Navajo honor students, community support to other deserving nonprofits, art to children and adults, culture, diversity and so much more.

We are the heartbeat of the community. We are here to raise awareness, give hope and share culture within the world we create. We give back and support our community with everything that we do. We craft bowls for charity, combine classical and contemporary music with art and place the manifested visions of local artists on display for all to enjoy. We teach thousands of creative people to express themselves share their art and grow as artists each year.

Sedona Arts Center is an organization of national presence. We help to enrich not just local programs, but expand nationally and internationally with our field expeditions and workshops abroad. Our members show their works, emerging artists become recognized and students find their muse with us. We are an important anchor in Sedona’s community and have a foothold in its history.

And we love what we do.
And I love what we do.

Each year hundreds of volunteers join us and together we help others experience art and culture. Some are motivated by altruistic values; others see their service as a way to enrich their own lives. Whatever motivates you, we are grateful for you.

Oh, the quote you ask? It's about hope - Bob Hope. For it was Bob Hope who said, "If you haven't got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble." - And my heart keeps getting better as I grow into roles to help humanity. How about you?

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

 About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

We’ve all been there, whether you are an artist or not... You’re in the middle of a project and you feel inspired, creative, and full of energy and life and then without notice, poof! It’s gone. Your motivation, inspiration and drive are shattered by a mistake; a blunder; a mess. But wait! Don’t despair! Times like these can be the greatest moments of your life.

Don’t fix it! Mistakes can be a magnum opus. Sure you feel like you have to start over sometimes. Just take a look at artists like Van Gogh, Picasso and Rembrandt, who all painted over their own work. But as we see when x-rays bombard these famous artists’ paintings, those mistakes are now being called masterpieces. So before you quickly cover your tracks take a moment to breath and see if that’s truly what you want to do. It is a painstaking process revealing layers upon layers of hidden works of art. So save us the trouble of x-ray vision and start fresh, leaving your work to evolve into what it was meant to be.

I know that dealing with creative frustration can be maddening. I often find myself performing various rituals to inspire the muse within me. I’ll light some incense, play some Dead Can Dance and flip through countless books just to try and stir the pot. But that doesn’t always work. Sometimes I need something stronger, something more powerful...

I need mistakes.

Life’s imperfections are inspirational and can make our art truly unique. I’ve often found myself on paths I never would have taken with my art thanks to the slip of a brush and the bump of my canvas. I habitually thank my son for in-house projectiles and sudden screams of joy, because of the masterpieces that are inspired shortly after. Thanks to the lighthearted view I take with my art and writing, I can truly embrace my shortcomings - and so can you. It’s a lot easier than you think.

We are not perfect beings and the perfect creators of our masterpieces. The world around us bumps and prods us into our perfect ends with absolute and unexpected accuracy. The trick is to move and sway with the world and see where it will take us. When the perfectionist is extinguished, the true creative genius is ignited. Let those little nudges guide you to a more free-flowing style or in a brand new direction. Brush off your mistakes and laugh at yourself. What you think is a blunder could in fact lead you into a field of freshly mowed motivation.

If you can do this, then you can see that imperfection is perfectly wonderful.

What was your best mistake?

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

 

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.

This week I spent some time photographing, cataloging and admiring art for various reasons and purposes. I enjoyed interpreting for myself the thoughts and feelings each piece inspired within me, but was left wanting more. I wondered what the art meant to the artist who created it. Was he sad to paint such pale blue strokes; was she incensed when splashing those deep reds so aggressively onto that canvas? What was their story behind what I was feeling in their work?

 

You see, my art is for me. When I raise my pen, smooth my charcoal or caress a canvas with my brush, I am opening my soul to paper, cloth and canvas. I don't think about what a potential buyer, admirer or passer-by will think. My art is an extension of a feeling, moment or place I am at in my life; ever changing, evolving and transforming to its perfect end. My interpretation will always be different from your own… so how do I share that with you?

 

I recently partook in the ‘Process of Art’ Faculty Exhibition at Sedona Arts Center. I shared one of my paintings as well as a short paragraph about the ‘process’ that inspired me to create and complete the piece I showed. It was poetic and somewhat elusive – but it shared what I felt, including a little bit about me. When people viewed my art, they were able to experience for a brief fleeting moment a little more than just eye candy. They were able to swim within my vision, a description of scent and the every changing process I took. To me, this makes the experience so much more fulfilling. Because now we’re not just viewing art – we’re experiencing it.

 

The most common view on gallery exhibitions is, “you are not well-versed enough to understand this art.” That’s where an attendant comes in and tells you how much you don’t comprehend and you write your check. Or is it?

 

Art is truly subjective. I’ve said that a thousand times. You will not see what I see in your art and I will not feel what you feel in mine. But… we can experience art together, in a shared moment. And that mutual understanding can be even more rewarding if we knew just a little bit more about your intentions, interpretations and desires that helped you create the art you present to us. So tell us how you felt when you painted that portrait. Describe in one sentence what it was that forced you to painstakingly carve each intricate line on a worn solemn face. Share with us your muse – and our appreciation will be unique in that we will join with your art experience… not just the visual of your art.

 

What inspires you?

What would you say about your art?

 

Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.


About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.