Sunday, January 29, 2012

Begin At the Beginning

There comes a moment in everyone’s life when things just don’t work right, the coffee doesn’t perk, the car won’t start, the dog won’t go out, the cat won’t come in and the inspiration won’t come.
So what do you do? Well you could run around in little circles screaming, “The sky is falling,” or you could look for a way to start things back on the right path.

Show of hands please, how many for right path? And how many for the sky is falling? Oh come on it s not that bad. No matter what you feel at this moment, the sky is not falling.

Okay rule number one, I learned this years ago when I was a telephone support person for HP, is it plugged it? Have you checked? Do you have kids, pets or spouses? Cause of you do odds are they’ve come along and changed things without so much as a sticky note to warn you.

The Long Suffering does this to me all of the time. I sit down to watch TV and the remote is missing or the lamp won’t turn on or I set my glass down on empty air. You’ve really never set a glass down without looking to see if the table was still there? How do you know the table has moved if no one tells you? What do you think people actually look at the rooms they live in?

Okay, okay I should have looked and I did clean everything up, cause the Long Suffering was muttering about Lorena Bobbitt while tapping her foot on the carpet. (Actually we don’t have carpet any more. We pulled it up and replaced it with composite flooring and the house ahs been much cleaner ever since not to mention moving furniture around has been so easy even the Long Suffering can do it without my help, which she would never do cause supervising me is one of those hidden things that are included in the marriage vows like “love, honor and take the blame.”)

So the very first thing you should do when things don’t work is…let’s not see the same hands every time, yes, see if it is plugged in.

This works for almost everything and is a universal rule.

Next, if it doesn’t work try changing the… You have to fill in the blank. It’s not all that hard, like this if the lamp doesn’t work, try changing the outlet where it is plugged in, the bulb, the breaker, etc, etc.

Computers are particularly fond of this sort of thing; they won’t work unless they like the thing you are trying to use.

USB, this stands for Universal Serial Buss or Useable Sucking Bleeper! When the USB works it is a marvel, just think of all the times you have downloaded pictures from your camera and how quickly and easily it went and then remember the bad old days back in 99 when it might work or it might not. Sony made a killing with the Mavica digital cameras which used floppy disks and CDs for this very reason, floppies and CDs always work.

Most of the time now it does work, but if you are having trouble, try using a different USB device. Sure you probably just have the one data chord for the camera, but you can pull the memory card and use a card reader and get your pictures that way.

Printers are notorious for doing this thingy, ever hook one up and it won’t print? Is it plugged in? Is the USB chord connected? Did you read the instructions? HP printers will not work if you plug the USB line in before you load the software and power up the computer. But if you load the software and power up the computer before you try to connect the printer then when you connect the USB line the machine will instantly recognize your printer and all is well. Read the instructions.

Read the instructions. This is one of the ones that everyone skips and pays for, if you don’t read the instructions you won’t know what the maker had in mind for you to do and because you didn’t do it that thingy won’t work. Or the picture won’t come together.

It is amazing how many people believe that art is something you can just sit down and do.

Aside* There are thousands of people in this world who really and truly believe they know more about what you are doing than you do and they are willing to tell you and then shout and scream if you don’t do it their way. If they are teachers or successful artists or business people specializing in art listen, consider and then decide if you should do it their way. If they are not one of the former, ignore them, politely.

You and I know that art is not something that just happens even if you are Jackson Pollack and have a ten square foot canvas stretched out across Highway 101 and slosh paint across it every third car.

Even that took insight and inspiration. And those two things are hard to come by. So, take every chance you get to find inspiration and insight. Talk to other artists, read art blogs, hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, go to shows and read, read, read.

Take inspiration for poetry, music, food and dance, these too are arts and they can be instrumental in kick starting your “little grey cells.”

Is it plugged in? Use another device, outlet and take inspiration where you can find it.

Did you ever wonder why it is so many talented people do so many things well? The artist who cooks, then paints, then runs a business, all with seemingly endless energy and creativity. How do they manage? One thing feeds another. Remember the part about using a different outlet? It works for people too.

So instead of whining about the cold and the wet what are you doing to kick start your brain and why are you still here? Go plug something in and then tell me all about it you mechanical genius.

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