Tag Archives: art

Publish Outside The Box!

When Amazon democratized publishing, they did a lot more than just turning publishing on its ear, they threw out the box for anyone ready to put some thought into it.

The traditional publishing world created a box around books. They had to be this size, this number of pages, all text, and even limited formatting to ensure offset printing efficiency.

Today, your job is to figure out how your passion can be published.

I’m blessed to have many friends who are wizards with pens, brushes, and styluses. Others with cameras. Funny thing about fine artists, they all have some IP floating around in them. IP, for the uninitiated, is Intellectual Property. Ideas that are all their own. Maybe they are ideal for movies, cartoons, merchandising, radio shows, and other media channels, and I agree.

They are also grist for books.

Wait, wait, when you hear the word “books” are you thinking 200 pages of text? Maybe you’re thinking of traditional picture books.

The truth is, the medium is ripe for reinvention. I’ll be the first to admit that Amazon doesn’t enable 3D popups, but art and words have been going together in some form or another forever. Memes are a new form of words and graphics. Who says comic books have to be 6 – 9 panels per page? Who says they have to only use word balloons?

I’m not a graphic artist, I’m not the one to define what those new designs should be, but I’d ask my artistic friends not to limit themselves.

Amazing Art wallpaper | 1680x1050 | #15211
If they can create a lion with lasers, you can create something equally amazing!

I know a young woman who doodles the most amazing art while she listens to a sermon. The art is drawn from the sermon, which is drawn from the Bible. I’d love to see her share those doodles (you and I would call them high art) with a paragraph or two about what they mean. It isn’t narrative, it might be a wonderful twist on a devotional, or maybe an amazing snapshot of a young artist’s mind.

Do you love to cook? What’s your twist on a cookbook? Going on a trip? What’s your take on a craft book for the kids?

A last thought for my friends sitting on strong IP; there’s nothing new under the sun (hard to believe after I’m preaching on the new, but even that’s based on what’s come before, just without the same limits). It just takes one published media piece to cement your copyright on the IP. You need to do it before someone else is too close to your idea.

Prevail Press is your gateway to publishing!

Writers are Artists Too!

Who says writers aren’t artists? Well, no one, I hope. But in case you have doubts, and you’re in the Orlando area, several Prevail Press authors are participating in Metro Life’s 2nd Annual Art Show THIS SATURDAY from 4-9!

Metro Life Church is in beautiful Casselberry, FL, at the juncture of Red Bug Lake Road and Winter Park Drive (if you know where Buffalo Wild Wings is in Casselberry, you’re almost there).

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Be there or be a Philistine

Metro Life is an amazing church that is all about growing the individual in all aspects of development, from spiritual, emotional, physical (if you like basketball), and the creative arts.

Metro has opened their doors to artists of all kinds, from fabulous painters, sculptors, photographers, folk artists, fine artists, and authors. This year, performing artists have a gallery of their own.

And of course, there will be Author’s Row, a book signing with local authors. Our Prevail Press heroes will be:

Bonnie Anderson (ask her about her new book that will be coming out soon).

Bill Hufford (brand new book on culture change).

Tom and Debi Walter (fresh from the airport. Or not so fresh, you tell us).

Aron Osborne (ask him about his podcasts related to his book).

Robert Alexander Swanson (that’s me, with my newest book about creativity… at an art show, don’t you love the synchronicity?)

There will be cheese, punch, cookies, and ART!

If you’re in Orlando, come join us, you’ll be glad you did.

Discourage Discouragement

Speaking to a friend who embodies confidence, it took me by surprise when he expressed discouragement. “I don’t think anyone’s interested in what I put out there.”

My inner critic is bold all the time. Pssst, the lion is the critic, the lion is you. Live like it!

I went through a fit of discouragement recently. At work, something I built from nothing was taken over by others. Hard not to take that personally. The same day, I looked at my book sales and found them… tepid. Discouragement took my breath away. It was short lived. I told myself it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and refused to accept the emotion (you can do that, you know).

A few days later, a friend gave me an encouraging word. “Aren’t you excited about what you’ve done for others?” She didn’t know of my bleak moment, but I think she guessed it when I blinked at her comment and stammered a response. You can refuse to accept emotion but it can still linger in the green room of your thoughts.

In Aron Osborne’s book, So Many Mountains, Which Ones to Climb?, he has an entire chapter devoted to Encouragement, that is, “to give someone courage.” He has many wise words in that book, take a look.

You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t face discouragement, often during the writing of the book, certainly after, and again when it’s for sale. Funny isn’t it? You can have 20 great reviews, but it’s the 1 negative that gets you down, isn’t it?

One of the reasons I started Prevail Press is to encourage people. I’ve found that when you’re discouraged, you can overcome it by sincerely encouraging others.

Another method is to understand the truth of what we do is a long-haul proposition, there are no shortcuts. A snapshot of a lifetime is no insight to that life. “Count your blessings” can be trite, but it is also true. Everyone has them, even if it’s just drawing a ragged breath each morning.

What you have to say is important. Learning any craft is an emotional roller coaster. My latest book, Creativity Wears Boots, describes the creative process. Knowing where you are in your pursuit can help dispel the monsters.