2018 Paper Palaces Pen and Ink Art Contest (Fantasy)

This autumn, I'm hosting an artwork contest through Paper Palaces for any artists interested. Here are the details: Seeking the most engaging artistic interpretation of the fictional scene below. . . Whether your a long-standing artist or simply building your portfolio, this is a contest for you! The winner and runner-ups will be featured on PaperPalacesBlog.com, … Continue reading 2018 Paper Palaces Pen and Ink Art Contest (Fantasy)

Marcus Aurelius and Quotes from His Meditations

Marcus Aurelius was once emperor of Rome, a philosopher, and a military leader. He practiced Stoicism, a branch of Hellenistic philosophy.  He is a great inspiration.   A Time to Sit and Think Years ago, I was on a trip with my fiancé that took me through London, Oxford, and Whitby (photographs available here). We made … Continue reading Marcus Aurelius and Quotes from His Meditations

How would ______ do this? Three more questions to ask yourself when experiencing a creative block. . .

I knew I had an idea . . . I knew it was great, but where did it go? The blank screen had no answer for me, and only the sound of my cat meowing filled the air. What happened to that shiny object I was chasing? Luckily, I had an answer. This is the … Continue reading How would ______ do this? Three more questions to ask yourself when experiencing a creative block. . .

How to manage your time when everything seems important…

We all know what it is like to be overwhelmed. Our parents, siblings, or friends may have events for us to attend. Our bosses, colleagues, customers, or clients demand a certain level of performance. At work, home, and in our relationships, we commit ourselves to activities and tasks that seem important. Sometimes, significant people in … Continue reading How to manage your time when everything seems important…

Are you depleted of ideas, or do you just need to re-energize? Three questions to ask yourself when experiencing a creative block.

It was Saturday morning, and I stared at a half-written scene in the all-to-familiar agony of writer's block. My usual urge to craft a scene had left me, and my cat, Horton, made a bed of my forearms. The time had finally come to do something else.

A Lightning Storm in My Brain – Navy SEALS, Dark Magic, Middle School, and a Secret Worth Sharing

On my way to work, the sun is rising, I look across a snowy field, and a flock of birds scatters into the air like flakes of debris from a campfire.  I hear a navy SEAL sternly recount the horrors of war. He talks about discipline in everyday life, and I absorb his words through my headphones.

A Beginner’s Guide to Geeking Out About Medieval Armor

Swords, Shields, Armor   My interest in swords, shields, and armor started when my father took me to the Art Institute of Chicago. Their exhibition on medieval metalwork featured artifacts that would make any knight-obsessed kid happy. As a child, I gleaned much of what I knew about medieval weaponry and armor from movies, television, … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Geeking Out About Medieval Armor

How One Children’s Fantasy Book Inspired Me to Rethink My Artistic Process…

Lyra’s Oxford Philip Pullman published his trilogy, His Dark Materials in 1995.  The three main books in the series included: Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the U.S.) The Amber Spyglass The Subtle Knife Lyra’s Oxford is a companion novel to the set, along with Once Upon a Time in the North. When I was … Continue reading How One Children’s Fantasy Book Inspired Me to Rethink My Artistic Process…