Meet Stella. She loves books and tolerates humans. (Much like some humans I know).
What does a cartoon cat have to do with Elizabeth Gilbert, the phenomenally best selling author of Eat, Pray, Love, you ask? Well, Stella showed up on my computer screen a couple of months after I listened to Gilbert’s TED Talk, “Where Does Creativity Come From?“, part of a must-listen four-part series on “The Source of Creativity.”
As someone who has a lot of interests, but no overriding passion that catapults me out of bed every morning, Gilbert’s advice around minute 10 of the video really resonated with me:
[I]f you don’t have an obvious passion, forget about it, Gilbert says. Follow your curiosity because passion is sort of a tower of flame that is not always accessible. And curiosity is something that anybody can access any day. Your curiosity may lead you to your passion or may it not. It may have been for, air quotes, nothing, in which case all you’ve done your entire life is spend your existence in pursuit of the things that made you feel curious and inspired and that should be good enough. Like, if you get to do that, that’s a wonderful way to spend your time here.
Ding ding ding! That was the just the right piece of advice for me at the right time. I have been mulling “next steps” in my life for some time (haven’t we all?) and that one piece of simple advice instantly made the path forward clearer. I did not sit down and immediately start drawing cats, of course, but I did start some serious daydreaming about subjects that provoke my curiosity. It’s pretty exhilarating, really, especially, when you don’t reject any ideas out of hand in fear that they could not possibly be a vocation or a career or even a long-lasting hobby.
So, as you can probably guess, after much daydreaming and considering which topic of curiosity to explore first, I started spending a lot of time learning how to… code. “What?!” you may be thinking, “Still no cartoon cats?!” Nope. Coding. Or, more accurately, (still) learning how to code. It’s pretty tough for me the further I go, but coding is a world of creativity and problem solving that I really enjoy exploring. I have a number of ideas for entertainment and productivity apps and Stella and the rest of the Trivia Cats clowder (I know, “clowder” is a weird-sounding word for a group of cats, right? Just a dash of trivia for you…) are early steps down that path.
Cracking myself up drawing silly cartoons is a ton of fun, but getting others to laugh is the best! A huge bonus is that I love learning the technical and marketing side of creating and sharing my work. I’m a big fan of “how-to” content and always appreciate it when artists and marketing pros share tips and tricks.
So this blog will share a lot of things… Trivia Cat comics, how-to tips, sparks of inspiration, Internet bits that crack me up, and more.
Hope you’re curious enough to come back! Just enter your email in the Subscribe box to the right and you’ll never miss a post 🙂
P.S. Big Magic: Creative Living without Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest best-seller, goes well beyond her TED Talk on creativity and the power of curiosity, and it’s wonderful. Love listening to Gilbert narrate her work. Her musical voice and feather-light, irreverent humor perfectly prime my brain for soaking up her inspiring words and practical advice. Everyone is creative. Read or listen to her work and you’ll be sure of that too.
P.P.S. This is the hopping “Hour of Code” video that first sparked my interest in coding as a creative pursuit. My son’s elementary school shared this with students as part of an introduction to coding and it really helped kids — and some parents, I’m sure! — think, “Hey, I can do that!”