Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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08/04/2008: "Get Your Geek On!"

So, I've been away in San Diego at the ACRL Immersion Institute, where I was working on an action plan for my university to embed information literacy assessment into the curriculum. Everything was about learning outcomes...this was the first email I sent to my new husband:

"One of the things I'm working on here is an action plan for assessing programmatic learning outcomes (relating to Info lit) but it got me excited about the possibility of doing something similar for the two of us in our new marriage. It's hard to explain, there are 5 steps in which you try to do something in order to get a specific outcome. You list the criteria by which you'll judge whether or not you were successful in meeting the outcome. You will assess how successful you were, and find ways to improve. And based on the feedback, make changes to create improvements. It's something I think we already do rather naturally as a couple, but I think the librarian in me would enjoy creating our own first year (of marriage) action plan."

Romantic or what?

At the institute we did a lot of brainstorming exercises etc. that really helped me tap into my creative "Source" for lack of a better word.

Right now I have so many ideas and so much energy that I feel like I'm going to explode. Sure, some call it "Mania"...but I call it Awesome Goodness!

I am going to start painting tonight. I don't have any specific images in mind yet, but I know they are there. It's strange, but I know this super high voltage feeling and what will come next. I've always wanted to tap into it at will, it has been a looooooooooong time since the last time I felt it.

It's been frustrating in fact, I've always felt I'd never really make it as a professional artist because I couldn't be consistent. I either had the joo joo or I didn't. If it wasn't there, there was nothing on Earth I could do to force it. Some artists are machines and they can just churn it out day after day, but for me, not so much.

Now I'm wondering if all it takes to tap into those stores is brainstorming with a group of creative people, even if it's on a topic totally unrelated to art. Maybe it's getting your thoughts out of their normal patterns that alters our brain chemistry and brings on The Change. I call it, my Chemical Muse. Not drugs, mind you...but if bi-polar or whatever is a chemical "problem" then perhaps there are behaviours we can do to encourage them?

Well, I'm going to look into that more. Maybe in biofeedback or cognitive behavioral therapy. Maybe there are applications for artists?

Replies: 3 Comments

on Tuesday, August 5th, john kaay said

Hi Elise,
I've noticed the same thing in staff meetings at work. Other people will be reporting on what they are doing, and all of the sudden I'll have half a dozen unrelated ideas for improving my work.
Keep a pen and paper with you at all times! Maybe we need regular brainstorming sessions with other artists - isn't that what coffee shops and pubs are for?

on Sunday, August 10th, berry connell said

OK, well, Mrs. Elise!
Congratulations! (remember now, I get a smooch when I see ya, so, don't let your jealous husband drop me when I get it!)

As for biofeedback and similar stuff for artists? Dang! I could use some of that stuff now. Been a terrible week and it's not going to get any better any time soon.

On the other hand...Grabbing the Bull has grabbed its last bull, and now, my address is
Trying to create a site with all my stuff is a headache plus, though.
Oil paintings, watercolors, writing, music, videos, pen and ink....even comedy. I thought I'de keep them all seperate, but, wow. That's what's hard, eh?
Speaking of which, back at it...
Again, congratulations!

on Sunday, August 10th, Elise said

Hi John!
It's funny because I think there's a lot of creative energy generated when a bunch of creative people get together socially and talk about art but many artists tend to be less than social.

We had a chance to go to a big party last night that would have many creative types at it, but chickened out at the last moment.

Oh well, I'll keep trying.

And Berry, will this be your last blog!!!????

I will update my sidebar again...thanks for letting me know!