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mayBE 2015: twenty-nine.

Today I am spreading some love to my family.  Part of my childhood growing up was spent making up games, performing plays, and using my imagination with my cousins; cousins that contributed to my childhood that made it less lonely.  In some ways, they added to my vision of having a big family. To this day, my extended family is a safe place where I can be myself and where my kids can be themselves.  We still have some crazy adventures together.  

Our family hikes are quite epic.

I have also been very fortunate enough to raise my children alongside them.  A few of my cousins have had children early in life and it has been such a blessing to parent along side them.  My eldest daughter always had cousins around and I always had cousins with whom to commiserate.

I can’t feature all of them here today but I’ve chosen one family that pretty much represents what I am surrounded by when I talk about my extended family.  Radley Dioso is actually my first cousin on both sides so I think he gets precedence as far as guest posting his concerned. Our dads are brothers and our moms are sisters.  (Yes, take a moment to think about that one and no, not all my cousins are double cousins.)  I also love his wife, Trish, dearly as a sister.  Their family of five is creativity at work.  

I want to share their story today because they are amazing and because I don’t think they know how creative they all are because they see what they do as just part of normal everyday life – paying the bills, taking care of the home, and just going about their business.  

Introducing Radley, Trish, and their eldest son, Ryan.

trish_family

 

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RADLEY

My name is Radley Dioso and my official title at work is UX/UI Designer.

(Rozanne: Let me interject here a moment.  Sadly, I had no idea exactly what he did with web design.  When I saw his official title, I googled it. Here’s a quick definition of what he does: He designs the USER experience.  For more info on what this means, click here.  Think about that for a second.  For every client, he has to put on a new pair of shoes and walk around that product as the end user.  Back to Radley…)

All my life I surrounded myself around creativity. I took art classes all throughout my childhood and teenage years, both inside and outside of school.  I took both graphic design and digital media arts courses in college.  And now in my “adult” years, I’m called upon to provide creativity as my profession.

A 24 hack-a-thon with my colleagues:

radley_hackathonjpg

I work for a company called Audatex which creates claim management software (boring, I know…).  My role is to envision and map out user flow,  as well as design the interface for our software. Although the description of my title and place of work suggest that I’m a geeky computer nerd (which is true), I appreciate and enjoy many forms of art.

TRISH 

Hello!   I married my high school sweetheart, and I am a lucky mom of 3 beautiful children aged 15, 3.5 and 2.5. I used to work full time as an Office Manager for over 13 years until our second child was born.  I LOVE being home with my kids. I especially adore nap time where we all snuggle on my bed. But, I have never worked harder in my life! The days are longer, there are no breaks, and showers are a luxury. Whenever time permits, I either sew, knit, or make various crafts like simple homemade toys for the kids. It makes me happy to sit and create something.

RYAN

I am 15 years old. Basketball, piano, and photography are three passions of mine. They demonstrate my identity in an athletic, musical and artistic fashion.

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ON CREATIVE ROUTINE…

Radley: Because I deal with a lot of client work, my routine always starts with requirements gathering.  For me, it is very important to know everything the client wants and envisions. From there, I can start to think of ideas on how I would like to see the project formulate, while working within the parameters the client has set.

Trish: I have very limited free time (I’m usually creating something late in the evenings and sometimes when the kids nap) so I do not really have a routine.  I generally have an idea as to what it is I want to make, gather supplies, and go with it.  I like to come up with activities we can do indoors during rainy and winter seasons. Sometimes a piece of painters tape can go a long way! I also like to keep meal times interesting by presenting snacks in a fun way.

trish_tape

trish_snacks

Ryan: I don’t really have a creative routine, normally when I decide to go on a shoot I just let myself explore and use what’s given to me to take the best shots, in terms of lighting and location. Photography gives me the opportunity to share my artistic vision and the beauty in nature. Music is another example of my creativity because I love to learn songs on the piano by simply listening to the song and watching someone else play it. My methods are unorthodox but they give me the freedom to learn songs however I want, and be creative when using either hand.

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photo cred: Ryan Dioso

ON CREATIVE RUTS…

Radley: When I am in a creative rut, it is very frustrating.  I almost feel angry that I am unable to perform (get your mind out of the gutter!).  It’s almost like Steph Curry unable to shoot 3’s.  But like Steph, he keeps shooting until he’s out of his shooting slump.  For me, I continue to try different creative strategies until I’m out of my creative slump.  This can be done by viewing other people’s work, engulfing myself with design and graphic inspiration, and getting peer feedback.  I’m also blessed to have two very creative people in my life, which help and encourage me when I am in my rut, my wife and eldest son. I feel VERY rewarded when I get out of that rut and steer myself on the correct path.

Trish: I don’t worry about it too much…Sometimes all it takes is to put whatever I’m doing down and come back to it the next day. I’m also very lucky to be married to an amazing artist, who helps me figure out alternative solutions whenever I get stuck.

Ryan: When I am in a creative rut I look at images that relate to whatever topic I am using. The connection between the pictures and my topic helps me visualize what I want my work to look like, or what I want to discuss. I’m usually very frustrated when I can’t come up with ideas quickly or express myself coherently, so I usually just take a break for awhile to find inspiration.

ON CREATIVE INSPIRATION…

Radley: Anything can inspire me!  I often examine everyday objects, and ask myself, why were they designed this way?  What was the thinking behind the design?  This often gets me thinking about design, and inspiring me in the process. This can be anything from an Arizona ice tea can, to my most recent visit, the architecture at McGill University.

Two great books that have encouraged me to look at design in its simplest form are: The Design of Everyday Things and Emotional Design, both by Donald Norman.

Trish: I have made my own version of certain items seen in stores, like a diaper clutch, tablet case, and pacifier holder to name a few.  I also love to shop at second hand stores for vintage pieces that can be recycled into something useful, like the Elmo dress my daughter is wearing in the picture. That was actually an old pillow case.

trish_elmo

Ryan: The majority of my creative inspiration comes from artists that I follow on various social media accounts. For example, when I first got into photography I had numerous abstract pieces because my favorite artist on instagram at the time was @heleqtionr. My pictures and edits were heavily influenced by her work, but I have moved on to urban landscape and a perspective similar to the group f/64 after taking a photography course last semester and discovering many amazing artists online.

ON CREATIVE PROCESS

Radley: Creative process would be the same as my creative routine.  I’ve had many failures, but I try to learn from my mistakes, and not make the same mistake twice.

Trish: I like to browse inspirations online and make it my own using whatever materials I have access to. I like to make notes, especially as I’m knitting. I have attempted to make my own patterns, simply by trial and error.

trish_knit

Ryan: I don’t really have a creative process. When I go on a shoot or if I just see something that might make a nice image I take out my phone and snap a picture. The Rule of Thirds is a method used by photographers to fill up the frame in key places. It is made up of four intersecting lines, and I guess you could say that those lines are kind of engrained in my mind when shooting. Also, lighting is another important element of photography that I keep in mind. Lighting can be manipulated in many ways to enhance an image but if isn’t good then I don’t even bother taking out my camera. A lot of photographers tell amateurs like myself to “stay true to my vision”, and I think I’m still trying to find out what I want that to be. My subjects vary but my editing is consistent, in my opinion. I love to bring out the detail in my work by enhancing the sharpness, saturation and contrast by manipulating the light and colours.

ryan_HORIZON LINE

photo cred: Ryan Dioso

GENERAL THOUGHTS ON CREATIVITY

Radley: I think being creative in anything you do will always get you ahead in life, especially when you apply creativity to your profession.  To me, I think it separates someone who can do the job, to someone who is talented at their job.

Trish:  I think every child should be given the opportunity to create.  From painting to playing around with the piano, the possibilities are endless.  Let them make a mess. There is so much joy in the process.

trish_mess

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Thank you guys for sharing your collective story today!  (And thanks to my entire family who let us all take risks and fail because we always have each other as safety nets.)

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Today, celebrate creativity with your family.  Today’s prompt is inspired by a photo of Radley and Trish’s family painting together….

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You can leave a comment below or join my top secret life explorers group on Facebook if you want to share any discoveries or explorations.  Friend me  and I will send you an invite!  You can share your thoughts or your creative expressions there.  You can also post on Instagram using #may_BE2015  

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