Artists.  Musicians.  Writers.  

We must all work to cultivate our creative livelihood.  To know that we can make it – we can build a life around art.

Some of us work a “day job” to support our art.  Some of us manage to make art profitable.  

No matter where you fall, this page is for you.  

Welcome, artists and creators.  I’d like to introduce you to a few of my favorite cultivators.  

“I act, I direct, I write, I talk and I travel.”

Given name:  Angela Wren

Professional name:  Angela Wren

What people call you: Angela, they also call me Scary because I’m so very, very organised!

Favorite book: That’s a really hard question to answer, there are so many. Today I’ll say ‘The Lost Girl’ by D H Lawrence.  Tomorrow the answer will undoubtedly be different!

Favorite album: anything by Adele, I loving her album 25 at the moment and have it playing on the car stereo everywhere I go.

Favorite work of art: A charcoal drawing called ‘The Reliable Fish Company’ by my brother.  It hangs on the wall in my lounge and I never tire of looking at it.

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite cookie: Triple chocolate chip

Did you always know you’d paint/sing/write/create?  I kind of fell into creativity at the age of 6. I had a stammer and my parents sent me to speech and drama lessons.  I loved the drama bit because I’d finally found something I could do that my brothers couldn’t.  I’ve been working on stage ever since.  As for the writing, I remember telling an elderly aunt one Christmas that I was going to be William Shakespeare when I grew up.  As you can probably guess I’m still working on that one!  But I also remember having a serious conversation with my parents when I was about 14 or 15 about becoming a writer.  They took on board my idea and then over the following weeks very carefully and subtly guided me from the rose-tinted, flowery and meandering path that I had imagined for myself onto the more, well-trodden, tarmacked and straighter road called The Law.  And I dutifully followed it, for a while until I strayed when their attention was more focused on my younger brother.  I don’t regret their interference at all.  It has allowed me to develop a serious business mind in a working environment (not the law, I might add) that was pressured and demanding for a number of years.  But having escaped, I now revel in the very different world of writing.

Tell us what you DO: I work as an actor and theatre director in a small provincial theatre in Yorkshire in the UK.  I also spend 3 months of the year travelling in France and in between I write novels and short stories.  I run a Writers’ Group which meets twice a month and I undertake author talks and presentations etc. as and when required in libraries and schools.

Day job? I act, I direct, I write, I talk and I travel.

Hobbies? France is definitely a hobby.  I also love to read when I can find a few moments to myself and I’m an avid book collector – always have been.  I could spend a lifetime in second-hand bookstores but I think I might get done for trespassing!

Do you share your creativity with the world? Yes, have done that all my life through the characters I have played and through the productions I’ve put on stage.  Now I share my creativity through my books and stories.  I have also had two one-act plays recorded for local radio and the same station has asked me to voice-over ads and to read stories for National Short Story Week.

What do you do to cultivate art in your life?   Read as much as I can, visit Art Exhibitions and attend author and writing conferences.

Where can we find you (if you want to be found):  You can find me here at the links below :

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Website : www.angelawren.co.uk

Blog : www.jamesetmoi.blogspot.com

Facebook : Angela Wren

Goodreads : Angela Wren

Contact an author: Angela Wren

 

 “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and honestly didn’t see myself as creative.”

Given name:  Jessica Moore

Professional name:  Jess B. Moore

What people call you:  Jessica or Jess

Favorite book:  As if I could name one!  Off the top of my head, Gone with the Wind/Margaret Mitchell, Tuck Everlasting/Natalie Babbitt, anything Maggie Stievfater, anything John Green, all of Penny Reid’s wittiness, plus Susannah Nix and Sally Thorne.

Favorite album:  Again, this is far too difficult to narrow down!!  Quick answer is Ben Harper/Live From Mars, Alanis Morrisette/Unplugged, First Aid Kit/any and all albums, Counting Crows/the fish bowl one, Nirvana/Unplugged, The Tallest Man on Earth/the one with 1904, Avett Brothers/Live II, Greensky Bluegrass/Written, Shouted, Whatever, Old Crow Medicine Show/all … I could go on, but I’ll stop myself here.

Favorite work of art:  I adore the illustrations of Arthur Rackham (and I mean to a level of obsession).  Really like Sofia Bonati.  Egon Schiele’s Two Women Embracing is beautiful!  Nan Lawson is my go-to for illustration inspiration.  Loui Jover is brilliant.

Favorite color:  usually a shade of pink, sometimes mint

Favorite cookie:  shortbread

Did you always know you’d paint/sing/write/create?  No.  Growing up I played flute, and I loved band, but I didn’t see it as my future.  There was a time I thought I’d be a writer – but somehow forgot by the time I became an adult.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and honestly didn’t see myself as creative.  Only in the last ten years have I started painting, writing, and embracing my creativity.  Now I foster it and want for it to grow!  We’re raising our kids with art and music, hoping they’ll incorporate it into their adult lives.

Tell us what you DO:  I homeschool my kids.  I’ve been staying home with them for a good fifteen years now.  I write.  I paint.  I think.  I create.  I’ve just gotten into digital art.  I listen to music ALL the time.

Day job:  Not sure.  Does staying home with my kids count?  Professionally speaking, I’m an author.

Hobbies:  knitting, walking, easy hiking, talking, coffee drinking, reading mostly

Do you share your creativity with the world:  Yes.  But I didn’t always.  My first drawings and writings were hidden away for YEARS.  I was much too scared to share them.  Now, I post my art, and I’ve had several books published, and I’ve made my peace with fear.

What do you do to cultivate art in your life: Take time.  Make time.  I read to infuse my writing.  I draw and paint to awaken myself.  I listen to music to feel.  I make an effort to see, hear, feel, be artsy.

Where can we find you (if you want to be found):  right here, of course.

Instagram 

Goodreads

Facebook 

“I am forever a student to not only myself, but to music, writing, spirituality, and the goal of finding self-enlightenment.”

Given name: Garrett Graveline

Professional name: Garrett Graveline

What people call you: Depends on where in my life we crossed paths!  Haha   Garrett, G, Codeine, Keyz, and Code are the most common from each era of myself that they might have met.

Favorite book: That’s a tough one.   What genre?  I mostly read non-fiction books.   I enjoy autobiographical, philosophical, and self-help books the most.  Some of my favorites are Rza’s “The Tao of Wu” ; Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy” ; Miyamoto Musashi’s “The Book of Five Rings” ; Mark Wolynn’s “It Didn’t Start With You” ; John Maxwell’s “Invaluable Laws of Growth” ; Both Rhonda Byne and Esther Hicks books based on The Law of Attraction ; Kiera Van Gelder’s book on borderline personality disorder (BPD) and how the study of Buddha helped her titled “The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery From Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating” ;  and the numerology book by David A. Phillps “The Complete Book of Numerology – Discovering the Inner Self”.   As far as fiction, I’m from Florida and it’s an absolute sin if you are from Florida and don’t know about Tim Dorsey.   Out of all his fantastic novels featuring Serge A. Storms, my favorite would have to be his first “Florida Roadkill”.   We really need a TV series based on his books, they are sooo Florida and sooo great! 

Favorite album: Now you’re getting even tougher!   Coming from a world of music this is just impossible to answer.   I’ll name a few of my favorites, but there’s no way I can place them.   Outkast / Aquemini ;  Squirrel Nut Zippers / Hot ;  Tom Waits / Entire Discography ; Carole King / Tapestry ; Gary Clark Jr. / Blak and Blu ;  The Notorious BIG / Life After Death ;  Tupac Shakur / All Eyez On Me ;  Curtis Mayfield / Superfly Soundtrack ;  Stevie Wonder / Talking Book ;  Fleetwood Mac / Rumours ;  Joshua Redman / Freedom In The Groove ;   Wu-Tang / Enter the 36 Chambers ;  Garth Brooks / No Fences & Ropin’ the Wind ;  Goodie Mob / Soul Food & Still Standing ; UGK / Ridin’ Dirty ; Eminem / The Marshall Mathers LP ; D’Angelo / Brown Sugar ;  Billy Joel / Piano Man & The Stranger ;  The Big Chill Soundtrack ;  Masego / Lady Lady ; J. Cole / KOD ;  Eric B. & Rakim / Paid In Full ;  Yelawolf / Love Story ;  The Beatles / Entire Catalog …    I could do this forever.   I’ll just stop there but there are sooo many more that have played a role in my life and been very important albums to me. 

Favorite work of art: As far as painting?   Lora Zombie’s “Red Riding Hood”, “Rainy” and “Cross Dissolve”.  Every piece by Laurie Lipton.   Every piece from Chiara Bautista as well, especially the ones featuring the wolf and the bunny girl.  As far as classic pieces from the past, for many personal reasons my all-time favorite is Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist” from when he was in “The Blue Period” in relation to him sinking into severe depression.  I’ve been there and like it did him, it forces me to produce some of my most intense art – whether music, drawing, or writing.      

Favorite color: Green

Favorite cookie: It’s all about those White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies!! 

Did you always know you’d paint/sing/write/create?  Yes.  Always.   I come from a family of music and have been around it all my life, so it was natural to pick up instruments and learn them.    It’s a great outlet for me.   Writing, short stories, and poems are something I probably do better than anything (or enjoy the most).   There’s a paradox of being a good (or even great writer) –  One must have to LIVE, and if you’re out there LIVING, there’s no time to be sitting around cooped up WRITING!!   Most of my best work, both in music and writing, is produced when I’m in my darkest moments and dealing with depression and self-doubt.    I think we all deal with a certain level of this, so I’m an advocate for seeking help for mental illness.   Even being an empath can have extreme negative effects.   Finding balance and searching within yourself is where we find that enlightenment and ease the pressure that brings us into those dark moments.  This may be why I’m so into reading about spiritualty and self-help books.   No one being has the answer, but it is on us individually and internally to put all the pieces we have been given together in their own special way to find our own personal answer.   The pieces fit, and each one of us fit in this world perfectly, it’s just on us to figure how to make those pieces fit.     

Tell us what you DO: I strive to encourage people.   To show them that it is possible to go from being a former drug dealing criminal who most family turned their back on to changing my situation and transforming my life by abandoning my former self and becoming a good husband, an empathetic human, a Summa Cum Laude graduate, and someone who continues chasing down my dreams until I have them grasped.   I strive to showcase it’s doable and it’s never too late to start the process.   I am forever a student to not only myself, but to music, writing, spirituality, and the goal of finding self-enlightenment.   I am also a strong advocate of learning from your mistakes and having the ability to look back at yourself and where your mind was back then in order to learn more about who you are now.   My wife helps with this, as she has a degree in Psychology and understands that we should never forget our mistakes or where we came from, we should be able to smile when we look back and admire our evolution.   

Day job?  I have a split position.   I am A&R (Artist and Repertoire) for a major record label and A&R Admin for that same record label.   In short, I do really cool things with amazing music and artists and put the projects out for the world to enjoy.

Hobbies?  I like to play poker at casinos.   Reading people and their habits is something I also work on and playing poker is the perfect place to practice this specific set of skills.   It’s not about the money, it’s about figuring out the person – the stranger.   I also love to sit alone in restaurants, usually in the back corner and observe all the people there eating.  The family who can’t get their kid to sit down.   The disgruntled employees complaining about work.  The troubled married couple who are losing their relationship due to non-communication while they both look on their phone the whole meal.   The old man sitting alone with a newspaper, fully equipped with witty lines for the server when they ask if he would like more coffee.    The girlfriends gossiping about how cute the cook is.   The married elderly couple who help one another get up when they are finished and lovingly hold hands when they walk out the door.   I find inspiration to write about these observations.  They intrigue me.   I also like playing darts and bowling.   I also consider music to be a hobby, though I have a career in it.   

Do you share your creativity with the world?  I use Facebook like a blog.   So that’s where I share most of my stuff.   I created a website that housed everything: short stories, music, graphic design, album reviews, and my personal story but I took it down after a few years.  Now, creating projects for the label I work for is what I consider sharing my creativity with the world.   To see someone across the country hold a product that originated as an idea in my head is quite rewarding and fulfilling.  

What do you do to cultivate art in your life?  I’m an opportunist that understands art is everywhere, it’s just how we choose to soak it in and either hold on to it or release it in another format or fashion.   As much ugly as there is in the world, if you look just a little deeper you will find how vibrant and amazing things are if you just learn a different perspective on how to view it.   It’s there, I promise.   Even when I’m at my lowest, I’m creating my best art.   So, was that REALLY my lowest considering such good came out of it?   That’s for me to decipher.   I encourage everyone to learn their own personal way to decipher those situations. 

Where can we find you (if you want to be found): Reach out to you, then you can reach out to me and I’ll be more than happy to share that information for the intrigued.   😊

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