Are YOU on the list?

Once again, Time Magazine has brought out its list of the Top 100 Most Influential People of 2015. Not only is the list interesting, but the pairing of the writers who put together the pieces on each individual is often inspired. There are actors, politicians, singers, artists, activists, scientists and more.

time100covergrid-finalThese people are not necessarily the most well-liked people in the world (Kanye West appears, as does his wife, Kim Kardashian West), but they are certainly the people who shape the world just by being who they are. Controversy might be seen as a negative, but it makes people talk about someone and what they stand for, and that’s influence.

Take a few minutes to drop by the site and see everyone on the list. The blurb about each person on the list is fascinating, and many are accompanied by a video. Of course, you can read the entire article in this week’s issue of Time magazine.

The covers, photographed by Sebastian Kim, can be found right here.

 

Bad Art Night at the Library

This past Tuesday was our first ever BAD ART NIGHT at the library! We had a LOT of interest in this program, and I don’t know if everyone was prepared to have as much fun as we did!

The whole idea around Bad Art is to allow adults who want to be creative, to give themselves permission to make things that are imperfect. In this world of Pinterest and Etsy, we’re bombarded by perfect photos of things that people have made. It isn’t something all of us can do. So, Bad Art Night was the antidote.

badartnightcollageAfter explaining the concept–that we wanted participants to create something ugly on purpose–we got down to work with a simple ice-breaker.  We drew ourselves.  But it wasn’t as simple as picking up a pencil and sketching out our features. I wanted to make sure any “hidden” talents wouldn’t surface just yet. So, we used paper plates perched atop our heads, and we drew without being able to see exactly what we were drawing. The results? Hilarious!

Then, we got down to the concept of Folk Art, along with examples from an extensive collection to let these budding creative-types understand the difference between art created for sale, and art created out of love.

In the end, we worked on ugly creatures, some of which you’ll see displayed in our library soon. I think they turned out very…well, bad! Participants were encouraged to Instagram or Facebook their experiences throughout the session, and I must say, some of the photos I found later were quite creative.

Hopefully, this won’t be the only Bad Art Night we’ll have. I think it was a great success failure!

Adults are Colouring!

As a child, I loved colouring. Even now, I’m a constant crafter and I enjoy creating things. But once in a while, it’s nice to be able to “make” something that doesn’t require a lot of head-space, or effort. Colouring is just that.

More and more adults are getting back into the world of colouring. And one of the latest books to head up the best-seller list is SECRET GARDEN by Johanna Basford, followed up by her most recent, ENCHANTED FOREST. And surprise, they’re both colouring books for adults!

enchantedsecret gardenEach book is filled with page after page of elaborate outlines…so all you have to do is grab those markers or coloured pencils and get creating! Great to do in front of the TV, or during a relaxing afternoon in the park. Her books are so popular, they’ve been translated into over 14 languages. Wow!

You can read all about her story here. But if you’re looking for a great Mother’s Day gift, or a cheer-up present for someone in the hospital, this might be a great choice. Or just grab a copy for yourself and let your creativity shine!

Everyone Has a Story

I love watching TED talks. I think some of the most fascinating ideas and people being presented in this format. So, when I came across StoryCorps, the idea appealed to me on so many levels.

It began when founder David Isay found out his father was gay, and began looking into an interesting story about gay rights in the 1960’s. After doing several interviews with people who were once banished from acceptable society, he found talking to them and asking questions about their lives was not only rewarding, but fascinating. So, he decided to start a project where people could record stories with important people in their lives, to be kept for posterity in the American Folklife Centre at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. All artwork, photos and other important memorabilia are scanned and returned to the owner, but the recorded interview and a wonderful cartoon are uploaded and available for access through the StoryCorps site.

Isay wasn’t sure whether anyone would want to participate in his project, but he created the recording booth in the heart of New York City’s Grand Central Station to see what would happen. So many people….children, teachers, soldiers, grandparents….delighted in the idea of having their voices and stories saved for generations to hear. It was so appealing, the project expanded.

It’s not only the wonderful short stories in a question and answer format (often) that are appealing, but the artwork depicting each interview. I could sit for hours and watch each of these short works and never get bored. Sometimes, they’re heartwarming and will bring a tear to your eye, and other times they’ll make you laugh. But it proves that everyday people like you and like me, all have stories to tell.

The best part is that YOU can participate as well. You can drop by one of the locations, or request a special recording. How nice would it be for your children’s children to hear their great Grandma’s voice many years from now? Or to be able to access a long-forgotten family tale. It’s amazing how easily family stories can disappear from our memories.

I love the fact that this site also offers up a series of questions based on the person you want to talk with. There is a list of general questions that you could easily use at a dinner party or business conference where you might not know a lot of people, or find making conversation difficult. Give one a try! A bet you’ll have people talking about themselves in no time.

You can see Isay’s TED talk below. Take a few minutes to go through some of the great stories on the StoryCorps website, too. You won’t be disappointed.

March Break Success!

We had such a fun March Break last week. It was busy, but it was also very successful! Now we’re recovering. But what did we do? Lots!

march.jpgWe had THREE young writers sessions, where we wrote poetry, learned about mysteries, and made up some fractured fairy tales

  • We had a very loud and exciting session of Crazy Library Bingo! (All right now everyone…switch cards!)
  • Although we were scheduled to paint with Coke, it worked better with Kool-Aid.
  • And our Big Hero Drop In was one of the busiest afternoons we’ve had in a long time. (I think everyone was satisfied with our care.)
  • On Thursday, the great people from Radical Science visited and helped us dissect diapers, and make slime! How sublime! (Yes, that was a leftover from the Poetry Party.)
  • And our first French Storytime was a great success. We can’t wait for the next one! (Even though I promised to learn French songs for the occasion.)

Thanks for donating cash and groceries for the Food Bank, for sharing your Shelfie Selfies with us, for drawing cave art and searching for all of the fun I Spy items in the library. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Bad Art Night!

IMG_4645While this little gem was done by one of our young patrons, it sure isn’t any stretch of the imagination to think that an adult might not be even quite as skilled as this at art. Well, we hope there are a few creative-wannabes in our community because we’re holding our first “BAD ART NIGHT” for adults at the library!

With everyone creating and selling at craft shows and on Etsy, the un-gifted crafter can feel left out in the cold. Maybe you try really hard, but something always goes wrong. Maybe you have the vision, but no skills to back it up. We don’t care!  We want YOU!

That’s right, we’re looking for people who have always wanted to create something great, but it never seems to work out. Join us on Tuesday, April 14th from 5:30-7:30pm for a few hours of hilarious artwork, trials and tribulations, and best of all, something ugly to leave with us to put up in our display windows! That’s right….we want to showcase your bad art! (Don’t worry, it’s all in good fun.)

This is not an event for anyone expecting to make something great. We want it to be UGLY. Yes, ugly. The uglier, the better! No skills, no creative ability, no genius required. In fact, if you’re colour-blind, we really want you! Registration begins today, so give us a call at the library if you’re interested in joining us next month. It’s going to be fun, I promise.

To inspire you, take a look at the “Museum of Bad Art website, or MOBA, to get the creative juices flowing. I promise, you’ll get a kick out of this site. Take time to wander through the “collection”. Most pieces were picked up at thrift shops, if that gives you any indication. Folk art? Probably not. But someone tried, bless them.

See you next month!