Enter your work into the official 2014 Adobe Youth Voices Awards


If you’re an artist, musician, photographer, designer, or otherwise creative person between the ages of 13 and 19, this is for you.

For the third year in a row, Adobe is running the Youth Voices Awards. They want you to enter a digital piece of art that drives social change in your community, whatever that means to you.

This is your chance to not only win some really sweet prizes from a global creative powerhouse like Adobe, you’ll also have the ability to get your artwork seen by the entire world.

20 entries will be selected in seven different categories to be featured on the Adobe website, where a panel of international professionals will then pick three winners to take home a ton of great prizes. Including software from Adobe, hardware, and the ability to say “I won first prize on an official Adobe contest!”.

This is pretty damn neat. I don’t typically post things like this, but when Adobe reached out to me to help spread the word, I couldn’t say no.

Past entries have been pretty inspiring. The cause is great, and if you participate you’ll be getting your work in front of the entire world (even if you don’t win).

Head over to the Adobe Youth Voices Awards website to get all of the really important details, learn how to submit your artwork, and see past entries. Deadline is April 18th to get something submitted, so get over there now.

Then be sure to like, reblog, tweet, and share this post so your friends and fellow artists can have a chance at entering too. The more artists we get involved, the more of an inspirational powerhouse this contest becomes for all of us.

What if you started with ‘what if?’


What if you wrote daily about your struggle to become a professional artist? Then published those entries as a small ebook on Amazon for $5?

Or what if you recorded a short video explaining your struggles as a budding writer? You could syndicate it to writer communities and invite them to your blog or website to follow your journey.

What if you offered to do a lecture at a nearby University on the topic of working a full-time day job while compiling avant-garde poetry into a small book at night? Then invite students to read the book for themselves and tell their friends about it.

What if, instead of complaining that you don’t have the right tools or connections to do what it is that you want to do, you took those feelings and those constraints and made something completely different? Something fast, tangible, that you could benefit from making right now?

The worst case of following-through with such “what if” scenarios is that you end up with something you can sell for money to fuel your dream, or something to giveaway and start making more of a name for yourself. The result could lead to gaining a following that might, if you’re smart, pay you to follow your dream later on.

The best case is you learn something in the process of making or doing that other thing; you find some hidden inspiration or motivation and get back onto the path of doing what you wanted to do in the first place.

But you can’t simply ask “What if?” all the time. You have to follow through, or at least try to.

You’ll find, I think, that most of the time it doesn’t matter what types of “What if” questions you’re asking. All that matters is that you are asking them as you go, and that you’re following through with answers. This natural curiosity and experimentation often leads to creative insights. You benefit.

Start with ”what if.“

Art made of human bones

When creative photographer and artist Francois Robert won a collection of old school lockers at an auction for $50, he didn’t have a clue as to what his creativity had in store for him.

Inside one of the purchased lockers, Francois found a human skeleton wired together. Immediately Francois didn’t know what to do with the skeleton, until more than a decade later:

The skeleton lay hanging in his studio for over a decade, until a lack of work due to the recession encouraged Francois to turn the bones into art. But because the parts were wired together for educational purposes, Francois decided to trade his skeleton in for a box of real human bones.

Francois has since created a set of images for a collection of artwork titled “Stop the Violence,” in which he painstakingly spends hours arranging bones from a human skeleton to produce simple designs. The designs he creates depict words or symbols, a machine gun, the word “WAR,” a skull a bones.

For this collection of work, Francois has received many awards and recognition through‒out the world.

If you were to ask him today whether or not he knew what would become of the $50 bid he made at that auction so long ago, Francois would certainly tell you that he had no idea. It’s a powerful lesson on the power of creativity: wait for it, and when the timing is right you could be creating award‒winning and avant-garde works of art.

Be sure to check out more photos from Stop the Violence for some unique creative inspiration.

Organic art, natural and cheap?

Natalie Angier explores the rising popularity of organic art ‒ work that depends on natural and organic materials such as hair, compost, and even cockroaches ‒ in the New York Times article: Of Compost, Molecules and Insects, Art Is Born.

Natural materials allow anyone to be an artist, with a little creativity. When you work with natural supplies you are working with more than cost‒effective methods, though. As stated in the article:

Mr. Peña likes the medium of cockroach aesthetically, the way he can use the different tones in the wings as his palette to convey light and shadow. He likes it metaphorically, how we are disgusted by something with which we have so much in common … “Cockroaches are a witness to our daily lives,” Mr. Peña said. He also likes his medium pragmatically. “It’s a material that I can easily find,” he said, “and it’s cheaper than buying paint.”

Organic art is not only natural and cheap, it’s creative by definition…because it can be so unique.

If you want to be an artist, all you have to do is look around you for a medium you can use right now. Want to be a better writer? Find inspiration in the natural world. A painter that has no money to buy paints? Consider natural alternatives such as mud. In‒fact: all of us can create organic art for whatever our profession or interest may be.

Look around you today, at everything you encounter but often overlook. What could you use to create art? How could you creatively use organic materials to help you with your next project or hobby? Read the full article on organic art and then try to create something organic yourself today.