use the voice

Calling the authentic Creator out of hiding

Category: Uncategorized

The Watcher – Book Trailer Reveal!

I’m happy to support Lisa Voisin’s fantastic new book The Watcher by being part of her book blog tour and sharing with you the book trailer we worked on together. Take a look!

The trailer: http://youtu.be/ukoCDlW05-Y

 

The-Watcher-Trailer-Reveal-Alt-FINAL

About the Book:

Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her.

Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings—soft and silent like snow—and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them—but not from any textbook.

In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?

Ancient history is only the beginning.

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Inkspell | Kobo

Book Details:

Title: The Watcher

Author: Lisa Voisin

Publisher: Inkspell Publishing

Publication date: March 4, 2012

Pages: 508

Format: Available to pre-order in Paperback

 

About the Author:

A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love

of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction.

 When she’s not writing, you’ll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains to counter the side effects of drinking too much coffee.

She lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiance and their two cats.

 

Find her: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog

 

The Excerpt:

Instead of saying more, he brushed his fingertips along my cheek, and his halo glimmered. I could hear the waves slapping the rocks behind us, the wind driving them in. That same wind whipped against my skin, but the touch of his hand on my face was all I could think about. It sent a current through both of us and filled me with longing for something I wasn’t sure I understood.

“I’m sorry.” He stepped back and shoved his hands into his pockets as the light around him faded. “You don’t know what it’s like. Being near you now, remembering those moments we had…” His hair blew into his eyes, but this time he didn’t move. I wanted to brush it back, but I didn’t know how he’d react. Would touching him be bad?

“You want to know who you were?” he asked. “You may look different, but you’re the same. I look into your eyes and see you.” He took in a deep breath, fixing his attention on the horizon. I’d seen and heard so much now that the logical part of my brain had long since given up arguing with me. I could feel what he was saying was true. All of it.

 

 

Cogs and Wheels

Dancer getting ready to move. July 2012

There has been a lot going on. So much that I have found it difficult to write a post for a while. I realize it can be difficult to talk about the creative process when you are so IN it, especially when you may not realize what you are indeed IN.

It’s been a month of getting things off the ground, building a fundraising campaign for my next short science fiction film Merus Breach, working on the second draft of my feature screenplay and well, being 5 months pregnant. Needless to say I’ve been a bit consumed by the embodiment of it all.

The other night, with small legs and fists in my abdomen keeping me awake, I reflected on how much of the creative process is really made up of mechanics, just like life. No matter how much freedom we are able to build into our days, the human mechanics of eating, sleeping, transporting our bodies, forming sentences and schedules, all consume and structure our relationship to space and time. As the years go on in my artistic career, I realize that I can still become fraught with the feeling of being bogged down or trapped by the mechanics of my craft.

As a filmmaker, this is almost humorous, as so much of what we do relies on well plotted logistics and technology. It makes me laugh when people see the end result of a campaign launch or draft of work and commend me on my latest burst of “creativity”. Creativity?! More like tenacity, discipline and focus. Perhaps those are sisters and brothers of what I define as ‘pure’ creativity, but rather they feel like servants. Servants to the cause of the original impulse, to the Voice that calls to be heard.

For a long time, I resented them, for taking time away from the wild fever of pure inspiration, but now I’m learning to love them. To praise the underlying drive that moves us to write the emails, re-edit our work for the 100th time and pay the bills, because above all else, they help make the work accessible and real to the rest of the world.

If there is any lesson in the mechanics of creativity, it’s growing a small person in your body. Excessive eating and sleeping, along with re-learning your body all over again are big pieces to feeling those precious little kicks in the night, to knowing a whole new person is going to be changing your world very soon.

The biggest lesson I am learning? Let go – the process has a wisdom that is far beyond what I can even imagine.

check out my latest campaign here

Peach Pie epiphany

Pies cooling. August 2012

I admit, I’ve never been someone who is domestically inclined. Even my now-desceased Grandmother, who was a distinct culinary artist herself, told me once “I just don’t see you in the kitchen”. Not that I don’t cook, in fact I’ve always been very passionate about health, so have cooked whole-foods style for years. I know ingredients, I know flavours, I know what  feels good in the body…It just has simply been a part of my practical life that has stayed, for the most part, in the “you feel better when you do it” category. Along with laundry, working out and writing thank-you cards (though I admit I’m still terrible about the latter).

Until this last week. I think I have been caught for the first time in my life, by the muse of the culinary arts. The particular sweet-voiced, topped with ice-cream muse who specializes in baking. With a grain-free diet, baked goods are basically off the radar. Until I found Elana’s Pantry. 

With almond flour goodies galore, I’ve become obsessed. Along with my own enjoyment, its been the unadulterated delight emanating off of those who taste the bounty that has created the true inspiration. I become that magical person who knows how to make things sweet and good, just cause.

Just cause. That’s what 2 hours on peach pie brought me to today. The Voice was singing as loud and clear through me as it has through any stint of writing, filmmaking or photography. In the heat of the Quest of my delicious vision, covered in flour and oil, doubting myself while riding the high of the possibility of it actually working, I realized it’s all the same. It’s all the same, no matter what you are doing. The fundamental notion behind the idea that art can be everywhere.

I know this as a concept, but today it landed in a new way. Even though some of us might have our professional priorities, in the world of the muses and of the Voice, all outlets were created equal. As long as the song is being sung – or in this case, tasted, it is good. Glory be to all the million of outlets on this planet…we will never have an excuse not to be creative again.

9 steps to starting

Still beside torrent. Spring 2012

After a beautiful week holidaying by a lake, getting back into action has felt awkward. Finding motivation to get back to my various projects, it occurred to me to look at how I do that, how I get back to it without being to harsh or violent or heavy. I don’t know about you, but for me cracking the whip only creates rebellion and fatigue. Passion is required, but how do we get it back when it feels like it’s on the other side of a barrier? Observing myself I’ve broken it down to a simple step-by-step process:

Step 1 – Have the idea or acknowledge the need to get the work done.

Step 2 – Think about doing it

Step 3 – Think more, feel like it’s going to be hard, distract yourself

Step 4 – Come back to the thought, try not to feel pain

Step 5 – Try to find desire, distract self

Step 6 – Trick self by placing self in front of work, distract self

Step 7-  Start, promise no expectations

Step 8 – The second you get engaged, push yourself over the barrier

Step 9 – You’re in. Now try and pull yourself away!

Each step might include a  few more or less distractions, depending on the day and your dynamic. It’s just that simple!

(proof: I just wrote this blog post!!)

Featured Creator – Bree Zorel

Living as a creator is rarely isolated. I don’t know where I would be without my fellow creators and artists who I share this journey with. Collaboration, support, solace and yes, even whining rights is all a part of what we give to each other. More importantly, I’d say we teach each other too, often without realizing it. Who better then to learn from those who are fighting the fight alongside you?

This is the idea behind a series of shot videos I’ll be featuring weekly of “Featured Creators”. I’m so excited to kick it off with Bree Zorel, an amazing Visual Artist and Arts Educator.

Check out her at http://www.breezorel.com

The rest of life

It is a bit humerous to me that after writing two heroic posts about hiding being an illusion that I dissapear for almost 2 weeks. Funny how we process what we write about, funny how life gets in the way.

Life, the rest of life. You know:  eating, drinking, cooking, technical problems, jobs, feelings, hot weather, bad days, good days, television…you name it, everything that isn’t the art. It is all the necessary parts of being human and as artists it can sometimes feel like our worst enemy.

How many times have you said to yourself, “If I could just do this full time I would be ______” Fill in the blank. Happier, healthier, saner, calmer, cooler, smarter…maybe even richer. The funny thing is that even the artists I know who do it full time still spend a lot of their days dealing with the rest of life. I think sometimes we can get caught by the illusion that necessities take away the purity of what we have to say, of who we are. If only we lived in a world that would leave us alone to be our genius selves, then harmony and brilliance would reign.

And it probably would. But maybe not. Maybe we need the rest of life to ground us, to make us reach for the truth in the present moment. I love getting obsessed with my work, but if I do it for to long, it gets one dimensional. When I can extend my perspective, my ‘artists eye’ in my day to day life, everything gets better. On the bus, walking the dog, in a lineup at the post office, the Voice is seeking out it’s references to tell me what it wants to say. The strange look of a woman’s hair, the alignment of a city landscape, a flash of connection between strangers…Moments are seeking us out everywhere, but often we are to caught up in just getting by and surviving that we can’t see or feel it.

What if art starts by how we are, not what we do? Perhaps then the rest of life could be a part of the creative life. After all, it is the one thing we have in common…

A work in progress. How is the rest of your life?

Become a focus heavyweight

I have a theory that it isn’t talent, purpose or even passion that makes a creative practice thrive. While all these things are behind what makes it meaningful and fufilling, it’s been my experience that there is one major factor to seeing your work through:

Focus.

Focus, it’s an enigma in our digital day and age, where we are granted stimulation every 15 seconds to make us think we are busy, productive and socially engaged. And maybe we are, the problem is when it comes time to partake into a creative process (note the word process and not “job” or “task”), we must allow our internal ideas to penetrate our action in what is often revealed as an illusive and non-linear experience. It takes a different kind of attention span to be creative, not only in time spent, but also in doing our work consistency.

Every time I take on a new project or I am learning a new method I know it’s going to be bumpy until I build my focus. The first burst is awesome, I am filled with the momentum of inspiration and vision and I’m certain I’m a genius. Until, inevitably, I slam into my first block. Or second, or third…What happens then?  What happens when you can’t get the right soundtrack to your day, or you feel tired, discouraged or “out of sync”?

While the romance of art is essential and important, I think it’s like a one night stand if you don’t have your method down: when push comes to shove, having clear focus will see you through.

I see it like a muscle, you have to build it, even if it means being mechanical sometimes. When I was writing the first draft of my Sci-Fi feature last summer, I got up at 6am every morning for months until I finished the draft. There would be days where I was nodding off at the computer, or my writing was totally useless, but I knew the dicipline was key – building the focus would assure me that the project would get done. And it did, after many failed attempts of getting a first draft done, I saw it through, and built the focus to work on the second draft without having to get up early.

Building focus is a testament to your original inspiration: the Voice. It’s the way to build a type of structure for your impulses to see themselves through. Maybe it’s a time of day that you devote daily or weekly, maybe it’s a group you meet with or a room you go to. Patiently, consistently building the muscle is one of the best ways to honor the Voice that wants to be heard.

How do you build and hold your focus?

It begins by starting

The beginning of any new project is daunting, there is no question. The blank page staring at you, waiting to be pierced into being-ness by a stroke of your words (or lines, paint or image, depending on your medium). The great passage from idea into action, risking it all to make manifest what would otherwise remain an impulse, an idea.

Why is it so difficult? It has been my experience that when something is simply a spark in your brain, it feels pure, protected. You can control every edge of it, ensure it’s remains untainted and even predict its undeniable success, as long as it doesn’t touch ground.

So what happens when it touches the ground?

Usually it becomes less perfect. Like when blood meets the oxygen of the outside world, it changes colour. It doesn’t match the original image or the feeling, it takes on a life of its own often with unforeseen challenges and questions. For some, they react by abandoning it, interpreting the lack of control as a fault of their ‘talents’, which have failed them due to an inability to render the original intention.  For others, they will forget the original impulse and let the creation run amock, not offering it the proper guidance as it meets the eyes and ears of the world and moulds to their pre-set ways.

Either way, the Voice can be lost. When I say the Voice, I mean the essence of the original impulse.

Thus I introduce this blog.

Use the Voice is about coming out of hiding and being our authentic selves as creators. After years as a practicing filmmaker, artist and spiritual teacher, I’ve learned a lot of what it takes to build a consistent, empowered creative practice. I also still feel like I am restarting everyday, re-commiting and confirming that the artistic path is valid, worth it and essential. Both sides of the coin have created a passion for the process, leading me to seek new insights and tools around every corner from fellow adventurers. Now, more then ever, with the world in the tenuous point that it sits, I feel a pressing in of this truth:

It is our time as creators.

I believe the world needs us and we need each other. By practicing my own feat of being seen by showing up everyday on this blog, I hope to inspire and learn with you how to get even better.

So…let’s begin…