Intro: How to Make Your Creative Dreams a Reality: Strategies to Cultivate Your Talent

 How to Make Your Creative Dreams a Reality:
Strategies to Cultivate Your Talent





I am an artist/craftsperson whose art work is in more than 75 museums around the world and the recipient of National and International awards. I’m self-taught in the way of art making. 

At the beginning of my career, my goal was to move from crafting production scientific glass to the creative side.  When I started my creative journey, I had no idea what path to take other than crafting inexpensive giftware. 

Over nine years working in glass, I upped my game by pursuing quality, building on past glass traditions, while at the same time striving to craft my floral designs based on a personal response to native flowers. Because there was no pre-existing roadmap that I knew of, I relied on self-directed learning, designing a curriculum and charting a path that was complemented by discussions with fellow artists and gallery directors.  

This collection of lessons, crafted as individual essays about ways to lift you to the next level in your creative endeavors, will inspire you to chart your own path.    

What’s offered in this book is an outline based on a journey that nurtures personal and professional growth. My self-directed learning not only allowed me to advance to new levels of art making but to build scaffolding on the foundation – a process that continues to this day.  

This is not a book focused on the techniques of individual media. Rather, it’s a guide for nurturing personal creativity and the formation of a curriculum to reach your full potential. 

The book starts with advice on how to identify your true interests. In the case of an artist, you will be encouraged to survey museums, even if it means expense and inconvenience. If you are a writer or musician you will identify respected masters past or present and learn about their challenges. 

In the process, you will find that your interests expand and cover an area far wider than you initially supposed – in fact, your interests may expand to areas you did not know existed, and that is the key to self-directed learning. 

Truly innovative and creative people must educate themselves in the areas that are not only of immediate interest but must also study all great creative works that touch their soul.  

For example, I’ve enjoyed, and professionally grown from, many years of experiencing the nuances in the floral paintings of Morris Graves.  Why did I study Morris Graves when I had no intention of being a painter?  His paintings – which glow with nuanced beauty -- inspired me to find ways to inject into my own work a higher level of spirituality as inspired by my idea of excellence.  

My personal growth curriculum was not confined to what we generally regard as fine art.  Because I had difficulty reading due to dyslexia, I listened to classics on audiobooks, a process that expanded not only my world but my artistic maturity.  Among the most impactful books was James Joyce’s Ulysses,which introduced me to how a masterful writer could take an ordinary subject or scenario and reveal the extraordinary depth of human emotion compressed into what at first glance would appear to be a mundane day in the life of the main character.  

I realized that my work could have that same depth of feeling articulated visually in glass, and I labored to create that illusion. 

If you feel the need to do significant work, this book will challenge you to grow intellectually and emotionally in ways that will complement your creative passion.   

When I started my artistic journey, I had no guide such as the one you are reading now.  Perhaps one existed, but I was not aware of it.    

This is the book I wish I had possessed a half-century ago.

What you are reading is my legacy to you.  Mine was a hard-fought journey, and the goal through the information offered here will guide you towards your authentic interests, and will encourage you to compete with revered works from the past and present. This will challenge you to bring your work to the next level. 

You won’t find technical advice in this book.  Rather, you’ll learn the foundations upon which you can build towards the higher echelons of your career as a creator in any endeavor. For example, we explore a wide range of themes such as obsession, spiritualty, learning from failure, embracing positive thinking, labor, and the nuances of art, craft, and design, among others topics.  

Ultimately, this work is aboutyou. The way you relate to it will advance your creative goals. I am not a wizard waving a wand to advance you to the next level, but rather a teacher who will help you chart your own course. 

I have grown from my hard-won battles, and this advice is anchored in the reality of self-directed learning and success.

In the final analysis, your career is your creation, and this book will offer concrete advice that will direct you along your journey.