Creativity Inspires Creativity – SFMOMA’s Sugary Sweet Art Confections

los angeles writing services let creativity inspire creativity

As an art enthusiast with a sweet tooth, I felt as though this cake inspired by Piet Mondrian’s block composition came to me in a dream. There’s nothing more intriguing than art inspiring art — especially when the final masterpiece takes a sugary, edible form.

baked goods inspired by famous works of art

As the NPR story goes, the fusion artist behind the Piet Mondrian-esque cake is photographer-turned-baker Caitlin Freeman, who runs a café inside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art with her husband. The idea started with her insatiable desire to recreate Wayne Thiebaud’s Display Cakes piece, which features — you guessed it — cakes perched on traditional round displays. Now, each time SFMOMA gets a new exhibit, Caitlin crafts confections to match. Her’s art-inspired-baked goods are as much a staple for patrons as the museum’s permanent exhibits.

We’ve talked about the concept of art inspiring art before on Write In Color, back when a local LA band covered one of Tina Turner’s iconic singles. We’re big believers in paying homage to other artists by letting their work inspire new forms of creativity. Whether we’re talking about cover songs or cakes, there’s a lot of merit to imitation inspiration. These baked goods aren’t mimicking the paintings, sculptures and sketches at SFMOMA; they’re reimagining them.

Every time we create, we’re sending new ideas into the world and expanding the body of creativity that all our fellow artists draw from. So go out and let art inspire your art. 

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Wine and Writing – Does Alcohol Make Us More Creative?

alcohol and creativity studies research writing tips

Thanks to writers like Ernest Hemingway, alcohol has become a legendary agent for getting brilliant words flow out of one’s pen. But as it turns out, alcohol also gets the words flowing in a more literal sense — as a key ingredient in the ink used to pen some of the world’s most famous writing.

According to NPR, wine was one of the main ingredients in the ink that our filled pens from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century. The most common type of ink used by the world’s writers, iron gall ink used the vintages to help stabilize its pigment. The Magna Carta and a lot of other famous documents may never have been penned had wine not entered the equation.

Wine was literally one of our most important writing tools until steel pens came along in the early 19th Century. Then, formulas had to change to prevent corrosion, leaving alcohol to its more figurative — or mythical — role in the writing process.

Wine may not be infused into our ink pens anymore, but does alcohol still play a role in our creativity? Hemingway famously told F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Of course you’re a rummy. But you’re no more of a rummy than Joyce is and most good writers are.” Other writers with penchants for hitting the bottle include Hunter S. Thompson, Edgar Allen Poe and Jack Kerouac. Despite what these writers, and many others, say about the elixir’s creativity-enhancing qualities, science has mixed results on the relationship between booze and prose.

In one study, people who drank alcohol before a freewriting exercise were more likely to use figurative language and wrote a much larger quantity than their sober counterparts. But that study had some major flaws, and other research has shown alcohol has the opposite effect: in one case, it caused competitors in a word-association game to be defeated pretty handily. In another, liquored up subjects couldn’t come up with nearly as many creative uses for an object as their sober friends could.

So, the verdict is still out on whether alcohol has any real benefit for our creativity — that is, aside from its use in our not-so-distant pens. Even Hemingway didn’t see the relationship as black and white. He famously offered this four-word verdict on the subject of writers and their alcohol: “Write drunk, edit sober.”

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Think (Or Don’t Think) Before You Write – Writerus Plannerus vs. Writerus Doerus

writers los angeles resumes ghostwriting copy editing branding

Whenever I talk to a fellow writer about his or her latest masterpiece, the conversation always ends up at the same age-old creative crossroads: is it better to outline first or to simply write? I’m a doer, and for some reason — maybe it’s the universe’s way of sharpening my debating skills — the other person always seems to be a planner. I like to think of these two creative camps as distinct writer subspecies, each with a different mechanism for ensuring their writing’s survival. Writer, meet writerus plannerus and writerus doerus.

Writerus plannerus is a creature whose creative survival is all about planning and order. When an idea strikes, the primal reaction of writerus plannerus is, “think, then do.” This creativity mechanism can take many forms: in some cases, the writer outlines down to the smallest detail. Other times, writerus plannerus limits the planning on paper to major plot points and character arcs, or might simply jot down notes on the story’s starting and ending point. A less common type of writerus plannerus will commit these details to memory rather than expressing them on paper. Writerus plannerus is biologically hotwired to believe that thinking through a story before committing it to paper will yield the greatest chance for its creative survival.

Writerus plannerus’ natural predators are disorder and time constraints. This writer subspecies reacts to sudden changes in creativity by calmly retreating to the proverbial drawing board. Writerus plannerus is typically be observed in its natural writing environment taking frequent pauses, leaning away from the computer or notepad in contemplation, and appearing deep in thought. Famous writerus plannerus include John Irvine, Jack Kerouac, J.K. Rowling and Joseph Heller.

The other major branch of the writerus is the subspecies writerus doerus. This is a creature whose creative survival hinges upon doing. Writerus doerus is biologically hotwired to write first, flesh out the details later. In order to carry out this creativity mechanism, writerus doerus engages in heavy freewriting that is revisited and reworked substantially. In some circumstances, writerus doerus embarks upon a writing project with the kernel of an idea. In other situations, this creature’s writing is fueled merely by the inspiration of the moment. Writerus doerus is driven by the belief that allowing an idea to develop organically as one writes is the best way to ensure its creative survival.

Writerus doerus fears outlines and concrete details, viewing them as constraints that hinder the innate creative process. Writerus doerus is typically observed in its natural environment writing at a frantic pace without pause, often neglecting to take breaks, hydrate or properly nourish itself during an inspired streak. The subspecies adapts naturally to changes in creativity and inspiration, and prefers to address flaws or incongruences later in the writing evolution process — typically during editing. Famous writerus doerus include Margaret Atwood and Ernest Hemingway.

Although these writer subspecies may seem to come from different biological branches and have developed different adaptive writing traits, they have one common trait: the motivation to consistently work on their writing. Whether you’re a “think, then write” or “write, then think” type, your ideas won’t come to fruition without a little dedication and work on your end. So, writer, go out and ensure your writing’s creative survival using the method that works for you.

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Five Tips for a Better Resume – Los Angeles Resume Writer | Write In Color

how to write the perfect resume

Should I include an objective on my resume? What about references? Is a classic resume design the most professional? How many years of experience do employers want to see? Write In Color hears these questions a lot from our resume clients in Los Angeles, and for good reason: crafting an effective resume isn’t easy.

If you’re unsure of how to make your resume stand out in the stack, Write In Color is here to help. Here are five strategies we’ve discovered while helping countless people around Los Angeles and Southern California develop resumes that get them the job.

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1. Get rid of your objective.

The objective of a resume is always to get the job you’re applying for. In our experience, an objective statement is generic, redundant and a poor use of your resume’s limited space. You’ll get a much bigger bang for your buck if you get rid of your objective and instead devote a little extra space to the concrete accomplishments and skills you’ve gained throughout your work history.

2.  Include your computer skills.

Whether you want to be a computer technician or a chef, your technology prowess will come into play. That’s why Write In Color recommends all our clients in Los Angeles and beyond include their tech skills (PC and Mac, as well as programs such as Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Suite) on their resumes. Even if you think your dream career won’t require you to use a computer, include these capabilities to show your future employer that you’re well rounded and up to date on technology.

3. Take out your references.

Write In Color’s resume clients often send us existing resumes that include statements such as “References available upon request.” Because you want your resume to fit onto one or two pages, every line is valuable. It goes without saying that you will provide references if a prospective employer asks for them. Remove any mention of your references and use the extra space to include more information on your job-related skills.

4.  Proofread, proofread, proofread.

Writers and editors aren’t the only people who should have clean, grammatically correct resumes. Many employers say they immediately toss out any resume with a spelling or grammar error; avoid this pitfall by having a resume professional like Write In Color polish your resume. At the very least, have a friend with an eye for English review your verbiage. Take it from us: Spell check won’t catch all the errors on your resume!

5. Choose a modern, easy-to-read design.

If you’re anything like a lot of Write In Color’s Los Angeles resume writing clients, you take one look at your resume and feel nothing: no pride, no excitement, and no burning desire to send it out into the world. A lot of that is because your content doesn’t reflect your value to potential employers. But the other piece of the puzzle is the way your resume looks.

Your first resume design consideration should be readability; your resume above all should give an employer a clear picture of who you are and what you bring to the table. If it’s a lot of work to read your resume, it likely won’t get read at all. Achieve a welcoming resume design by selecting fonts that are easy (and large enough!) to read and a layout that clearly divides information into work experience, education and other important sections.

Whether you’re looking for your first job after graduating from USC or UCLA or are an industry veteran with decades of experience in the Los Angeles market, Write In Color will craft you a custom resume that lets your unique skills and abilities shine. No two people are alike, so no two resumes should be alike, either. We’ve helped people at all stages of their career (young professionals, executives, CEOs, entry level workers, people undergoing career changes, individuals in technical fields, freelancers, and more) achieve a resume that resonates with them and with employers.

Contact Write In Color for more information about our resume and CV writing services in Los Angeles, Orange County and Southern California and make sure to read our reviews on Yelp.*

*PS we love working with clients remotely. Feel free to contact us if you’re anywhere from San Francisco all the way to New York (or abroad). We can even conduct interviews on Skype.

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Archer Pro – Typography’s Golden Child

archer-pro-font-typography-

What do Martha Stewart, Wells Fargo, Father’s Office, the NFL and Bare Escentuals have in common?

Archer Pro.

In case you haven’t noticed, this little slab serif has taken the design world by storm. Maybe it’s the way its j, g and y have those whimsical dots at the end of their descenders. Maybe it’s the way its 6 and 8 are nudged ever so perilously above the baseline, making a string of numbers appear as though a rug was shaken underneath it. Maybe we’ve all fallen in love with the way the little line in the capital Q doesn’t strike through the circle. Or maybe it’s Archer Pro’s elegant-yet-hand-lettered feel that has us helplessly head over heels.

modern trendy types 2011 2012 2013

Whatever the case, it’s time to become formally acquainted with Archer Pro if you haven’t already been introduced. Here’s what you need to know about this trending typeface:

Proud typography parents Hoefler & Frere-Jones brought Archer Pro into the world in 2008 after being commissioned to create a font for the magazine Martha Stewart Living. The publication needed a font that was well mannered, easy to work with and easy to read, even when used in lists, recipes, calendars and graphic elements. But this was Martha Stewart, after all. That meant the designers also needed to make it pretty or, in their words, “friendly without being silly, and attractive without being flashy.” Starting with a carefully selected slab serif (a font that has those blocky marks at each end of a letter), Hoefler & Frere-Jones incorporated some aspects of old typewriter fonts and added the “ball terminals” to the ends of lower and uppercase letters. Then, they crafted Archer to range from the full-bodied extrabold all the way down to the ultra-delicate hairline (Write In Color’s personal favorite). The result? The quirky, functional, effortlessly charming font we’ve all been talking about ever since.

variations on archer pro font typography

A lot of typography geeks say Archer Pro isn’t meant for all the uses the world is finding for it. After all, how can a bank, a sports team, a DIY magazine and a nonprofit all possibly embody Archer Pro’s intended personality? We agree. But we also see the silver lining. What Archer Pro does best is add a little whimsy and color to otherwise drab design, and couldn’t we all use a little more of that?

And if nothing else, at least it’s not Papyrus.

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Homonyms – The Fraternal (Not Identical) Twins of Grammar

Homonyms. You’ll know them when you see them, but not when you hear them. They are words that sound identical but have different spellings and different meanings. Think of them as the fraternal twins of grammar.

holey-versus-holy-versus-wholly-writing-services-los-angeles

There are hundreds of homonyms floating around in the English language ether, tripping up even the most well-trained wordsmiths with their confusing aural and oral qualities. Sure, some of these homonyms we can write around. But others — the dreaded affect and effect, than and then, and the rebellious duo illicit and elicit — are words we run into pretty frequently. Even more confusing than those pairs are the triplets — words with three forms that sound identical but have different uses. Here are some of the main homonym trios to ingrain into your brain:

Aisle – I’ll – isle

Aisle refers to the passage or enclosed area you walk through.
Meet me in the chip aisle.

I’ll is a contraction for I will.
I’ll be home for the holidays.

Isle is the old French word for a small island.
I’m counting the days until our trip to the isle.

Cite – sight – site

 Cite has to do with quoting or referring to something as an example.
Did you cite all your sources?

Sight is the ability to see, or something being seen.
You’re a sight for sore eyes.

A site is a location.
We toured the ancient burial site.

Holey – holy – wholly

Holey is an adjective for something that has rips or tears or needs mending.
Why do you always wear such holey socks?

Holy has to do with religion.
It was a holy experience.

Wholly means all parts.
I am wholly yours.

Reign – rein – rain

To reign is to rule.
A king reigns.

Rein involves steering something, whether it’s an animal or an idea.
You take the rein.

Rain refers to the weather.
When it rains, it pours.

Their – they’re – there

Their shows ownership or possession.
They have their cake and eat it, too.

They’re is the contraction of they are.
They’re going to take care of the bill.

There indicates location
Can you meet me there?

They’re going to be over there near their car in a few minutes.

To – two – too

To expresses motion.
To grandmother’s house we go.

Two is the number that’s one more than one.
I took my two dogs out for a walk.

Too means very, also, or more than needed.
You’re too smart for that.
I should join the gym, too.
I’m not too thrilled with my tax return.

And just like that, you’ve got a few fewer homonyms to hide (not hyde) from!

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Roger Ebert – Remembering A True Story Connoisseur

famous movie reviewers

“Citizen Kane and vanilla Haagen-Dazs ice cream.”

That was Roger Ebert’s immediate answer when he was asked years ago what movie and food would be abundant in heaven. It provides a bit of solace to think that the legendary film critic is enjoying his Citizen Kane and Haagen-Dazs at this very moment, as writers across the world put onto paper how much he meant to journalism, film and the written word. The reviewer died Thursday in Chicago after a long battle with cancer.

Roger made a career of granting his proverbial “two thumbs up” to worthy films and unleashing his wit and humor on unworthy ones, either in The Chicago Sun-Times or on Siskel and Ebert at the Movies. He famously saw more than 500 movies every year. Half of them live on in the form of his critiques; the other half, in his unparalleled knowledge of the cinematic arts. Throughout this life, Roger taught us a lot about film. (“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions never lie to you,” he offered when we asked him how to judge a movie.) He taught us the beauty of reviewing art, pushing us to be both critical and unapologetically enthralled with the work that moves us. But what Roger taught us most was to value story above all else.

Roger wasn’t just a movie reviewer; he was a story connoisseur. Throughout his career, he treated each film with care: taking the time to understand the characters, the plot, the dialogue and the true nuances that brought a good narrative to life on the big screen. Roger’s reviews are a running history of our generation’s greatest cinematic stories, and the man who made it his career to thoughtfully absorb and contemplate each one of them — good or bad, two thumbs up or two thumbs down.

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Want, Need, Get, Forget | Escaping the Consumer Manifesto

the consumers manifestoFellow consumerists, it’s time for reform.

A few weeks ago, I was watching a TV show (House of Lies, to be exact) when a song played during the closing credits that I fell in love with. It’s a feeling I haven’t felt for a long time. So I pulled out my iPhone (which was in my hand anyway, because who watches only one screen at a time these days, really?) opened my Shazam app, located the song, hit purchase, and downloaded it through iTunes.

You know what happened next? You would think I listened to the song I apparently couldn’t live without. In fact, you’d think I’d listen to it nonstop for the next few days, weeks, months (like I used to do back in the 90’s when I purchased a tape or CD single).

And you’d be wrong.

I still haven’t listened to it on my phone. When I expressed guilt over buying it but never listening to it, my employee pulled it up on Spotify.

Want. Need. Get. Forget.

I wanted it. That want became an urgent need. I got it. I forgot it. All in sixty seconds or less.

Has this happened to you? I bet it has. With instant gratification only a few clicks away at any given moment, how many of us are actually getting gratified? How much do you actually enjoy the things you thought you couldn’t live without?

The way in which we consume is changing. It’s becoming faster, bigger, and not necessarily better. Make sure you’re not losing the pleasure of consumption in the process. Because that’s the point right, pleasure?

So next time, before you click and buy, take a breath. In fact, take a week. If you’re still thinking about it a week later, go ahead and get it. And once you have it, make sure to enjoy it. Otherwise you’re just cycling through possessions you don’t exactly want or need.

So, in honor of the song that inspired this post, take a minute and enjoy it — Shift to Reverse by N*Grandjean:

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The Art of the BCC | Learn From Craigslist Joe How to Properly BCC Mass Emails

Craigslist Joe himself -- a scene from the movie

Craigslist Joe himself — a scene from the movie

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone sends out a mass emails but doesn’t BCC (blind carbon copy) the email addresses. With one click, not only do they share your email address with the world (making it susceptible to being adding to other people’s mass email lists) they also expose you to a potentially endless barrage of reply all emails. Yikes.

Here’s how you should send a mass email:

1. In the TO field, put your own email

2. In the BCC field, put the email addresses of the intended recipients

Here’s an example of mass email done right:

When Joey Garner wanted to promote the fact that his awesome film, Craigslist Joe (which I’ve written about previously here — it’s an inspiring documentary about Joey living for a month exclusively off the kindness of others through Craigslist), is on sale for .99 cents on iTunes, this is the email that he sent:

From: Joseph Garner <hisemailaddress>
Date: March 20, 2013, 2:35:50 PM PDT
To: Joseph Garner <hisemailaddress>
Subject: Craigslist Joe on iTunes for $.99

Hello friend.

Hope all is well with you. Did you ever finish that project you were
working on? It sounded pretty cool. I am writing this email to you and
only you. I put you in the Bcc field because I thought it would be
fun.

For a limited time, you can rent Craigslist Joe on iTunes for only $.99!
Check it out and help spread the word to all of your friends (even
though I’m only sending this to YOU!)

http://bit.ly/1612EYu

Joey

So buy Joey’s movie on iTunes (you’ll love it, I promise!) and support the BCC movement. Your friends, family and colleagues will thank you for it.

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Something Treasured by Maram Nassar | Creatrepreneurism is Contagious

Something treasured by Maram Nassar

wedding belts and sashes by something treasuredMeet Maram Nassar. Up until last year, Maram was working at a big, corporate entertainment company doing marketing and promotions. And she was great at it. And she didn’t even hate it. But she wasn’t quite passionate about it. Always interested in event planning, when it came time to take the plunge into wedded bliss, Maram decided to do the planning herself. Part of that process was finding a way to make her wedding dress a bit more unique. She designed her own wedding dress belt/sash, and a little over a year later, Something Treasured, her custom dress belt/sash company was born.

Of course, making this transition wasn’t easy. Maram’s biggest fear is failure. (“FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION,” she stressed to me in all caps.) What makes the risk, fear, and hard work worth it? “Seeing [her] creations come to life. To watch an idea go from a thought to a product, and seeing the consumer’s reaction. Priceless.” Maram not only creates her sashes by hand, she’s in charge of sourcing the fabrics, conceiving the designs, and handling all the nuances of running a business. And of course, she’s using her marketing background extensively.

To spread the word about her Etsy shop, Maram is embracing social media, creating beautiful content and sharing it. She’s also taking the grassroots approach, showcasing her work at a local bridal show in San Jose this Friday. A creatrepreneur’s work is never done, which is why Maram is living and breathing Something Treasured morning, noon and night. And she’s loving every, creative minute of it.

Want to connect with Something Treasured, visit Maram on Facebook!

Have you transformed a creative passion into a business? Let us know about it. We’d love to profile you. Creatrepreneurism is contagious.

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