Creativity

My Latest Hobby to Unlock Creativity

Creativity can be unlocked in many different ways. You can craft stories, write poems, draw things, create an app, write codes, etc. But one of the latest addition to this long list of ways to unlock creativity is 3D printing.

3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing. In this form of manufacturing, objects are built layer by layer starting from the ground up. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about it before, probably even saw videos of it in YouTube. Perhaps you even have a 3D printer at your home!

I was browsing Reddit when I stumbled upon a post about 3D printing. After reading it and reading people’s comments about it, I started to get curious. However, it’s not as easy as it looks so I had to do my assignment. I looked up about it online and read tons of articles and even books in my local library. Every day after work, I would open my laptop and browse different forums and websites, participating in any discussions that have something to do with 3D printing.

I learned that 3D printing is basically a step by step process:

  1. Create or obtain a 3D model.
  2. Convert the 3D model to STL format.
  3. Convert STL to G-code by using a slicer.
  4. Print the model from the G-code generated by the slicer from the STL file.

Good thing I already have a background in 3D modeling and this is where I can boost and unlock my creativity. In case you are wondering, yes, you can theoretically 3D print anything that comes into mind! All you have to do is to create the 3D model by using your favorite 3D modeling program, convert it to STL, then convert it to G-code and finally print it! And boy it feels really good to hold your virtually crafted model in the palm of your hands! And also, finally you can have non-tech savvy people see your magnificent computer-generated 3D sculpture work of art displayed in your living room. Now they will not ask about what you do the whole day locked up in your room in front of your computer. You can proudly tell them that you are a modern Michelangelo.

3D printing actually began in the 1980s. However, it was limited to industrial uses and costs literally hundreds of thousands of dollars per machine. After the patent for fused deposition modeling (FDM) expired (this is one of the most popular 3D printing technology), 3D printers slowly become available for home consumers with prices dropping from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of dollars. Today, many people have started their 3D printing hobby, including me.

Now back to me. After learning about 3D printing, I thought about how my creations can now be turned into a real-life object. I can create 3D fanarts of my favorite TV shows and use them as a decoration or print a keychain of unique design or even print fully customized, specially-made-for-you toys for my kids! This opened up a new vista to expand my creativity.

3D printing, however, is not just about turning my creations into reality. It can be applied in many different ways. In fact, it’s already applied in manufacturing, medicine, architecture, and custom art. Some people even use 3D printers to create more 3D printers!

Now I hear you asking. What about us who are not good in 3D modeling or art in general? Fear not. There are many websites out there where you can download ready to print or ready to convert 3D models. You can find a list of free 3d printing sites all over the internet.

Now you don’t have to worry about creating models of your own but try to learn 3D modeling. You can easily get started by downloading Blender, a free 3D modeling software.

As for the 3D printing machine itself, there are tons out there to choose from, prices at least $200. You’ll need filaments, they act as the “ink” for the 3D printer. There are many places where I buy filaments in Canada, but I make sure that they are compatible with my 3D printer and with my intended output.

Keep in mind when 3D printing that the slower the printing speed is, the higher the output quality of your final product.…

Morning Routine to Find Your Zen

Wake Up EarlyEarly in the morning, you will find the environment peacefully asleep. Noises are greatly reduced and it is easy to focus in doing something such as writing, workouts, meditation, etc. In addition, waking early in the morning allows you to feel something so unique and peaceful. Therefore, we can infer that waking up early in the morning is one of the best thing we can achieve. Why? Because if you wake up earlier, you can have plenty of time to prepare for your day ahead and you will easily accomplish everything with a peaceful and calm mind.

Benefits of Waking Up Early

You will be able to have more time to prepare yourself with the obstacles and work that you have to face throughout your day. By waking up, say, at 6 AM, you will be able to meditate effectively, reflect and focus in writing something. In addition to that, you’ll be able to finish things earlier and you’ll avoid rushing and doing things with adrenaline rush.

The Routine to Find Your Zen

Exercise

Exercising is a great way to tone your body for the harsh day that you’ll face. In addition to that, you’ll be able to awaken your body to prepare it for anything. You can easily execute anything with a fully awaken body.
I like to jump on my foam roller first thing in the morning. This gets the blood flow going and places me in a dynamic place! Once I’m done with the foam roller I’ll do some light exercises with resistance bands.

Waking Up Before 6 AM

Yes, or at least exactly 6 AM every morning. After that, just stay awake, just sit and reflect about yourself and what you want/need to do today and you’ll be able to execute them smoothly.

Meditation and/or Yoga

Meditation and/or Yoga is a great way calm yourself and it’s perfect to do early in the morning where there only a few distractions around you. Also, the calm atmosphere of early morning will help you calm down.

Be Grateful

Upon waking up, be grateful and have a peace of mind. If you start your day with a moody feeling, you’ll feel sluggish throughout the day and you’ll be having a hard time doing tasks, socializing and even enjoying.

Waking Up Earlier – How to Do it?

If you’re having difficulty waking up early, then all you need to do is to adjust your sleeping routines as well as some of your habits. The first thing that you can do is, of course, sleep earlier, but how can you do that? There are several simple ways to achieve it.

The first one is to make sure that you cut off any electronics away from you at least 2 hours before you sleep. That means if you want to sleep at 10:00 PM, make sure that at 8 PM, all of your electronic devices such as your PC, laptop, TV or iPhone are turned off or in sleep mode.

If you’re a coffee, tea or caffeine lover, the last drink should be at least four hours before you sleep. Caffeine is at peak after one hour and will stay in your blood stream for up to six hours and we know that caffeine is literally a way to stop us from falling asleep.

There you go, I hope you enjoy adopting your new lifestyle.…

Branding Your Small Business: Critical Steps to Success

BrandingYour small business is underway – you have a great service or product, a solid and unique concept. How do you brand yourself to ensure success? A great name and logo are a good place to start, but there’s much more to a successful brand.

 

Critical Step 1: Choose a name a logo that expresses your small business’ voice, and display it.

 

Depending on your products or services, and your ideal customer, you’ll need to think about the overall tone and voice of your business’ name, logo, and storefront. A boutique jewelry shop and a used sports equipment store will have very different branding voices. Once you’ve determined what kind of expression you want your store to make, you’ll need to design elements of your storefront to convey that message. Signage, inside and outside the storefront, is the first thing your new customers will see when interacting with your brand. Make sure you spend the time and money to display the same level of quality as your own product has.

 

Critical Step 2: Get your brand out in public with business cards, flyers, and other inexpensive print methods.

 

Get your brand recognized in your community. Approach other local shops and ask to display your business cards or flyers with your business information. Offer to do the same for them, and build up a small business network or supportive owners. In today’s electronic media-driven age, business cards may seem outdated, but they are still crucial to interacting with other businesses. It never hurts to send a customer home with a business card or two, as well. Having a physical, solid piece of your brand to hold on to makes a much larger impact than a simple post on Facebook.

 

Critical Step 3: Develop your Social Media presence.

 

That’s not to say that social media isn’t an extremely critical component of small business branding. The instant access for you and your customers to communicate is priceless, and virtually cost-free. Having a well-designed Facebook page, website, Instagram, and Twitter account are increasingly necessary for any small business trying to make it in the local scene. Targeted promotions, limitless availability to your customers, and instant updates of your business-hosted events are just a few of the ways you can use social media to increase your small business’ development and reach.

 

Critical Step 4: Promote more than your product – promote your brand.

 

Getting your customers to recognize and value your brand isn’t just about a quality product. You must invest the time and effort into having a recognizable and memorable brand, unique to you and your business, if you want to succeed at competing for your customers’ attention. Contributing the effort on the front end isn’t enough – continued maintenance and upkeep ensures your brand stays relevant as times change.…

Getting Creative – Redecorating Your Home

It’s is truly amazing how you can change the look and feel of an entire space simply by making small changes. For example, when you move furniture around it can give the room an entirely different look and feel. It is pretty remarkable. Whenever I host friends or family (which is a lot, I love entertaining) I usually mix up the room.  It’s amazing how many times I’ve been asked by friends if the couch is new, or if we got a new TV stand just because we simply made some small but powerful changes.

Buckets of Paint

Small Changes, Big Impact

One thing did recently, which has gotten rave reviews is change the door. I found an antique door and a really cool door knocker. Sometimes you can find really cool knockers on Etsy. This really helps set the stage, an impressive door makes everything else feel widely more impressive. If you don’t have the budget to do this I would suggest re-painting your front door. I had professional Vancouver Painters, re-paint the exterior of my home this summer and I had them repaint the door that I had just purchased. A new door, fresh paint and a knocker really goes a long ways. You could even repaint your existing door, just make sure you prep it correctly.  If you’re not going to hire someone to do make sure you get the right tools. You’ll need  a high quality foam roller and a good paint. I recommend an oil based paint for doors, it’s harder to work with but leaves a better finish.

Speaking of Painting – How About Changing The Color On the Walls?

One thing I do every spring is repaint at least one room. Now that might be a bit crazy, but it doesn’t take that long. I enjoy doing one or two rooms but if you’re planning on re-painting your entire house consider going with professionals. Remember that company that re-painted the exterior? I hired those same Painters in Vancouver to re-do the interior of my entire house. Let me tell you, if you’ve never re painted an entire house I would suggest you keep it that way. It starts out fun and after about the third room it becomes a massive chore. Hence why I stick to a feature wall or one room at a time.  Splash a bold red or burnt orange on a feature wall, you’d be amazed by how effective this can be.

Change the Furniture

I’m not talking about buying an entire living room worth of new furniture. I’m simply suggesting that you mix it up, swap the love seat and the sofa. This will give the room an entire new feel, you’ll be amazed. Best of all, it’s free!…

Creative Cosmetics & Cosmetics for Creatives: Adding Your Own Style to Makeup

 

eye shadowWith so many different makeup products, it can be hard to figure out just how exactly to use these cosmetics, and while most of us aren’t professional makeup artist, we look for the Internet for help. To learn technique is one thing, but if we only stick to the techniques taught through YouTube tutorials or style blogs, we’re all going to end up looking exactly the same!

What’s the fun in that? Makeup in some ways is a like a paint, and we are the canvases. We should use the makeup to express ourselves creatively; all while achieving that desired look to is unique to our personalities.

First, let me say that extremely creative or out there makeup is usually not what’s in trend. The girl who is wearing a natural look is going to get fewer stares than the girl who isn’t afraid of an eyeliner or eye shadow pigments. While there is a time that “out-there” makeup is desired, however, sometimes you’re done with the typical application process and want to add your own touch to every day makeup styles.

Color choices and application styles and techniques tell whether the look belongs to someone bold, shy, natural, sophisticated, modern or old-fashioned. Makeup allows us to have self-expression and individuality. Yet, often, makeup wearers get caught in a rut even though they may want to change it up. Breaking out of this rut can easily be accomplished by getting creative with makeup.

An easy way to first change up your look is take a look at your color choices. Choose colors that will make your eyes pop, or just choose a color that is your favorite for the day! Break away from neutral, beige tones that will seem washed up or overlooked. Eyeshadows with more pigments will offer color that will hold true all day.

If you’re lost for what colors to use, think of themes instead. Feeling tropical? Use tropical colors like pink or teal for eyeshadows, and a pink/ orange hued blush to create a warm effect.  Colors aren’t the only way to change up a look. Application of the color can give a creative feel as well! Usually, eye shadow colors are applied in a horizontal pattern, from inner to outer corner of the eyelid; a more creative choice may be to apply the shadow in a vertical pattern, from top to bottom of the lid.

And for the days you want to truly stand out from the rest, don’t be afraid to play with your eyeliner. Create longer wing tips and extend lines to create butterfly wings, cat eyes, or more definition. Adding eyeshadows and face concealers with glitter can add an extra shimmer.

Really the possibilities of creative makeup go as far as the imagination of the applicator! Don’t be afraid to explore and allow your makeup be as unique and different as you are!…

Unlocking The Right Side of The Brain

Left Versus Right

 

left versus right

 

Have you ever heard of the right side versus left side of the brain theory? To sum it up, the left side of the brain is the analytical side. It’s the side we usually operate in, when we make decisions we analyze and we’re objective.

If I do X, the possible outcomes are A,B,C,D, however if I choose Y the outcomes will be E,F,G. We do it all the time. Even the most trivial decisions often come from this type of thought processing.

Should I attend my friends birthday party?

Yes, because if I don’t she’ll be really mad at me. But I’m not really in the mood to spend the evening in a loud bar. I can’t really afford it either. But she came to celebrate my birthday even though she was sick. It wouldn’t be very fair of me to not attend.

Even, simpler decisions go through this process. What you eat for breakfast is often weighed and calculated.

Right Side of the Brain

 

The right side of the brain is where our creativity lives. When we tap into the right side of the brain we can often have realizations and ideas that otherwise wouldn’t have come to us. Elizibeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love did a wonderful Ted Talk about creativity and our muses or genius. If you haven’t watched it you should. Seriously it’s really good. She discussed a famous author who would be out in the field working and she could literally feel an idea coming to her. She described it as though the entire ground would shake, and she had to get a pen before it passed her. If the idea swept through the area before she could grab her pen, that was it, she’d lose it.

Where Ideas Come From

 

Have you ever noticed that ideas come at the strangest times. It’s as if they were ushered from some higher plane to you by some divine entity. There is no logical thought process, it just appears. That is the right side of your brain working. And it’s been argued that the only time, the right side of the brain is allowed to work is when the left side is quieted. This could be during yoga, or meditation. Perhaps, while you’re walking, clearing your mind. A lot of my best ideas occur while I’m relaxing. I lie on a foam roller and gently massage my muscles. It’s essentially a form of meditation for me, I quiet the left side of my brain and allow the right side to drift into thought.

We all have access to creativity, and for some it comes easier than others. But, the critical take away is find an activity to turn off the left part of your brain. Allow logic and reasoning to drift away. Find an activity that allows you to do this. For some it’s doodling, for others meditation or yoga. Allow yourself the time to not think, and you’ll find this is where some of your greatest ideas come from.

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