Welcome to the Creative Thrive!

Angi Shearstone, creator of BloodDreams comics, discusses the creative process in her debut post.

Welcome to The Creative Thrive!

You are now reading a blog on creativity that I’ve wanted to start, in some form or another, for something like 10 years. It’s never too late, right? In my defense, in that time I have created a great many other things instead.

Panel from my comic book, BloodDreams Issue 1.
Panel from my comic book, BloodDreams Issue 1. Henry, a vampire who hunts vampire hunters.

My name is Angi, and I paint paintings, write novels, edit video, and write, illustrate & publish comics. I also design things, but only when I absolutely have to. I have aspirations of making this a podcast, or better yet, a videocast. For now, I’ll just keep my expectations reasonable and obligations manageable – a blog, twice a month.

My primary threads these days include turning my comic book project BloodDreams into prose, and fine art painting with subsequent promotion and sales. For those who wish to see the products of my creative life, I’ve provided links below.

I’ve battled creativity over many years, in many different ways. I’ve reached for many books, read numerous articles, and listened to many a podcast to help me along the way. I will draw on some of these as I make my way through here. These sources include but are not limited to:

One of my paintings of Bamboo.
“Stories All Around Us.” One of my paintings of Bamboo.

The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron
The Accidental Creative – Todd Henry
The Creative Habit – Twyla Tharp
I Should be Writing – Mur Lafferty (podcast)
The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
Imagine – Jonah Lehrer
You Are a Badass – Jen Sincero
Getting Things Done – David Allen

The concept here started around 10 years ago, when my friend Mur Lafferty started her podcast “I Should be Writing.” I remarked several times I should start something called “I’d Rather be Painting.” I never did a thing with the idea because, well… I spent my creative time painting instead. While I will still speak to painting very much, I now write a lot more, and create in other ways as well.

Why am I jumping on this now? Well, a few omens converged to make it happen: The opportunity came up to blog here, I’ve been accumulating material for ages, and I have my life arranged as such that I can fit this in pretty well, and consistently. I’ve also experienced a recent and significant shift in my relationship with my creativity, and feel I can speak from more solid ground. I’ve spent a lot of time pursuing a reliable “creative drive,” and – knock on wood – think I’ve achieved something in this. Now I work beyond that drive towards actual thriving, and so, “The Creative Thrive.” With all that in mind, balance is key. I’m not going to over commit – I aim for two posts a month until I’m confident I can boost and maintain production.

You might be thinking: Does the world really need another creativity blodeocast? That’s blog+video+podcast=blodeocast, woo-hoo, cheap creativity! What makes me think I can contribute something to the discussion on this subject that hasn’t been said like a hundred times over already?

Well, among other things, it’s my personal take, and not that of those other people. This here will have my personal perspective on the problems and solutions of creativity, and my filter on the topics presented by the creators listed above. I’ll also mix it up – I’ll get into my own specific experiences with both writing and painting, my personal creative process, and sticky details like promoting and publishing and copyright and such.

I have many topics and posts in mind, of course. I’ll cover the usual suspects, probably a few times and from different angles: Inspiration, motivation, blocks, all of that. But I’m happy to hear any suggestions or requests. Feel free to ask me anything that pertains to creativity, the ways I create, or the things I’ve created. Among the things I do or have done:

Fine art
Painting illustrations & commissions
Painting & illustrating comics
Hanging art shows
Writing comics
Writing & posting serials
Publishing comics
Offset press printing
Book Covers
Logo Design
Video Editing
Voice Over
Book Trailers
Portfolio reviews
Social Media
Conventions – as an artist, as a writer, behind the table and lurking around
Member of the Broad Universe
BFA in Illustration, MFA in Sequential Art
… and of course: Struggled with creativity as part of my life for more than 3 decades!

To see specifics and examples, you can check out BloodDreams in prose form at JukePop Serials: http://jukepop.com/home/read/7429, and in comics form at www.blooddreams.com. If you still want to see more, www.angishearstone.com displays my fine art, www.paintedcomics.com shows my other comic book projects, and www.shearstonecreative.com offers a look at my graphic design and video skills.

I hope you’ll join me and join in these creative discussions!  See you next time!

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