Entries from March 2013

Weekend Watching

March 31, 2013

Varanasi, India: “Beyond” from Cale Glendening on Vimeo.

Okay, I’m cheating a little on my new Weekend Reading series – instead I want to share this documentary with you. It’s 45 minutes long – so this movie is perfect for a lazy Sunday. Grab yourself a pot of tea (I’m enjoying some Yerba mate with coconut milk) and give your undivided attention to the magic this documentary holds.

“BEYOND” is an exclusive documentary featuring photographer Joey L. Set in Varanasi, India. The documentary by filmmaker Cale Glendening follows Joey and his assistant Ryan as they complete their latest photo series- “Holy Men.”

Almost every major religion breeds ascetics; wandering monks who have renounced all earthly possessions, dedicating their lives to the pursuit of spiritual liberation. Their reality is dictated only by the mind, not material objects. Even death is not a fearsome concept, but a passing from the world of illusion.

I love the way the photographers become friends and build a relationship with the sadhus and monks well before making them the subjects of their photo essays. Technically speaking, I really dig the juxtaposition of the images they take – using modern lighting and technology to highlight people with ancient roots and understandings. It’s a brilliant reminder that we live in this world together. And what a small world it is. Finally, the message itself is inspiring. It makes me want to find detachment from my own things in order to find a little liberation. To live a bold life without the fear of death, to seek connection by traveling the world, and to find a little liberation right here at home.

Thanks goes to Rory for sharing this one with me. She always sends me the best stuff. 

Love and Robots

March 29, 2013

JeremyKathleen

Tuesday night Jeremy spent the night down at OU putting the final touches on his robot. He grabbed four hours of half-assed shut-eye in a sleeping bag under his work bench while other students desperately hurried to finish their bots. Meanwhile, I managed to give myself Texas Chainsaw Massacre style nightmares all night.

I met up with Jeremy on Wednesday afternoon, before his robot competition, in the lab as he put the final touches on his bot. The room smelled like college – the odor that comes from all-nighters and stale pizza. Everyone was rocking some red eyes and unkempt facial hair. After a few final tweaks and tests, we headed over to the competition where Jeremy’s robot came in second place by just 1/2 a point in the final round. I looked around and found myself completely out of my element. In a moment of self-consciousness, I considered that I might even be a bit embarrassing to my other half.

I shared this moment of insecurity with Jeremy on the drive home. He grabbed my hand and said “Nobody could possibly understand the whole story of who I am until they meet you.” It goes both ways, and I couldn’t have said it better.

P.S. Yesterday we celebrated four years of marriage. 

Braid Workshop Scholarship

March 28, 2013

I was recently talking with my good friend Dave about the struggles working artists face. I would describe my friend Dave as a catalyst and dot-connector and, aside from my sister, he is my very favorite person to talk shop with. He is philosophical and aspirational but also rooted in what’s real. He describes himself as a skeptic but I’ve found his worldview to be nothing short of inspiring and optimistic.  So we were recently chatting about “the starving artist” when he described a triangle of three components that make up the culture and a new kind of capitalism for working artists.

CapitalforCreatives

Creativity: This is the “genius” that moves through artists and compels them to write, draw, design, make music, take photos, craft jewelry, sew, dance, etc. Sure, artists can experience painful “creative blocks”, but this corner of the triangle is usually the most natural place for them to hang out.

Society: If we don’t have the courage to bring our art to society then we’re doing ourselves, and our community, a disservice. But it can be scary to put your neck out there – to show up and be seen.

Marketplace: The marketplace is the part most artists struggle with the most. This corner of the triangle is where you get paid for your work. The starving artist is a concept I’d like to put to rest already. Art is not only valuable – it’s an essential component to a thriving society.

This triangle got me thinking about what Tara and I have chosen as our higher purpose – the meaning behind our work – which is to help creative entrepreneurs live what they love. We do this through the lens of branding. But the “why” behind good branding is so these creatives could better share themselves and sell their work. Soon the “why” began to dominate our attention. We love good brand identities and brand stories but we also recognize that an authentic brand comes from the inside out and is so much more than a kickass logo. That’s when we started sharing 10-minute brand exercises, developing our Braid ECourses for creatives and now a workshop.

So our Braid Workshop is going to specifically address the two corners of this triangle that can feel scary, icky and overwhelming: sharing yourself to society (that’s what we call personal branding) and selling your work to the marketplace.

Braid Workshop Introduction from Braid Creative on Vimeo.

BRAID WORKSHOP SCHOLARSHIP 
The International Arts Movement (IAM) has generously sponsored the Braid Workshop and is giving one creative entrepreneur the opportunity to attend for free. IAM is a non-profit arts organization that is dedicated to inspiring a global community to create work that is “rehumanizing” and re-imagines what the world “ought to be.” You can learn more about International Arts Movement here.

To apply for this scholarship simply comment answering these three questions: 
1. What is your art? (I use the word “art” loosely – this can apply to everything from writing to photography to graphic design to crafting to even something more service based like life coaching).
2. For you, what is the scariest part about sharing yourself? 
3. For you, what is the hardest part about selling your work? 
Be sure to include your email with your answers and confirm your availability to attend the workshop in OKC on May 4th, 2013. This scholarship is worth $500 and can only be redeemed as your workshop fee. This scholarship does not include the cost of travel or accommodations. Tara and I will review the answers and pick a scholarship attendee by next Friday, April 5th.

EARLYBIRD REGISTRATION

If you enter this contest and don’t win but still want to attend, I will honor early bird pricing of $425 for you through April 8th. After that the workshop price goes up to $500.

If any of you are interested in sponsoring a creative entrepreneur to attend the Braid Workshop contact me for details at Kathleen@braidcreative.com. 

Rustic Banana Muffins

March 26, 2013

BananaMuffins

BananaMuffinsB

I don’t have super awesome memories of my mom’s cooking growing up. I was a picky eater who pretty much lived on chicken nuggets, Cheetos and chocolate milk. Plus, both my parents worked full time so slaving over dinner after a long day of work just wasn’t a priority. My mom would throw together something like pigs in a blanket or Rice-A-Roni and we’d all eat together in front of All My Children on the VCR. One of our favorite dinners was mac and cheese from the box – but my mom would make it extra special by adding real cheese, that she’d shred herself, to the mix. So, okay, maybe I do have fond memories of my mom’s cooking – but it certainly wasn’t Pinterest-worthy.

That said, I do have especially fond memories of my mom’s baking. Chocolate chip cookies (she mastered that Tollhouse recipe), lemon merengue pie, sugar cookies, oatmeal lace cookies, German pancakes, drop biscuits (which I insisted she make them from scratch even when the out-of-the-can kind came on the market) and finally, banana bread. We’d go through these phases, and still do, where we’d bake one kind of treat every weekend until we completely burned ourselves out… banana bread seemed to make it into the rotation every six months or so.

I’m going through a banana bread phase right now. But since going mostly paleo, sugar-free, and gluten-free my mom’s bomb-ass recipe full of refined sugar and bleached flour is out of the question. This recipe is based off of the last banana bread recipe I posted  – but I’ve modified it even more since last time to be completely grain free and sugar free. I also made these muffins and I love how they’re a little rough around the edges like drop biscuits.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Rustic Banana Muffins (Gluten-free and Sugar-free)
6 very ripe small bananas, mashed
6 tbs. coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup full fat greek yogurt
2 eggs
1 tbs finely grated ginger root
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almond flour
1 cup coconut flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 bar dark chocolate, chopped (I use 88% dark chocolate)

Preheat your oven to 350F. 

Mix all your dry ingredients together in a large bowl (almond & coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt, dark chocolate). Then blend all your wet ingredients together in a stand mixer (bananas, oil, yogurt, eggs, ginger root, vanilla extract). Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix until all the flour is incorporated and not a second longer. 

Prep a muffin tin by oiling the bottoms and edges of the muffin cups. Drop large spoonfuls of the banana bread mix into the muffin cups. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let the muffins cool almost completely in the muffin tin on a cooling rack before attempting to pry the muffins out. But you can totally eat one with a fork straight out of the pan if you can’t wait to get the muffin in your face (I couldn’t). 

Yields 12 muffins. 

NOTE: If you eat sugar these will not be sweet at all. If you would prefer them to taste more like dessert add 1/2 cup of maple syrup to the wet ingredients when baking. 

Jeremy Is An Engineer

March 25, 2013

Untitled

Untitled

“So … Jeremy … what do you do?”

This is what new friends and acquaintances ask Jeremy after he’s politely given me the spotlight. After I’ve managed to explain what I do (creative entrepreneurs! branding! business visioning! coaching!) and over share my most recent embarrassing moment (I accidentally yelled “F*ck the Oxford comma”* at an awards banquet that I wore a ROBE to),  they will turn towards Jeremy and ask him what he does. What does this guy, married to a girl who wears dreadlocks and outfits for the post-apocalypse in public, do?

I can’t really talk about his work on this blog, but I can tell you that Jeremy’s job title is electronics engineer. Right now he’s being paid by his job to work, full time, on getting his masters degree in electrical and computer engineering. And even more specifically, right now, as I type this, he is building a robot. A 6lb. sumo robot. Last semester was more about 40 page math problems in which the infinity symbol and greek letters were in his equations. I can’t even begin to comprehend his genius.

But it’s not just his work that impresses (and mystifies) me. Jeremy is zen. Like … totally chill. He’s the kind of chill that people, like me, spend hours upon hours of yoga and meditation and journaling trying to achieve.

So pretty much Jeremy is the left brain to my right. The Greg to my Dharma. The calm to my crazy. The engineer to my artist. He’s the grid to all my crazy colorful wires.

Copyright © 2017 Kathleen Shannon LLC. Photography by Greer Inez and Sarah Becker Lillard. Theme by Maiden Sites. Privacy.