Arts Awareness Monthly E-Newsletter | December 2014
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Welcome to the December 2014 edition of Arts Awareness E-Newsletter delivered to your desktop each month. If you know someone who may be interested in receiving this newsletter, please let them know how to sign up through


Artists create unique masterpieces and, although they sometimes get stuck or experience moments when they’re uninspired, they have learned ways to expand their creativity and keep their art fresh. Song writers often change the structure of a new song, possibly starting with the chorus or even eliminating the chorus altogether. Painters may change their environment to express something fresh about an old idea. Musicians discover new things about a score and create inspired performances of works they have performed time after time by studying the score as if they have never seen it before. Guitarist Mick Taylor said, “I do…keep things sounding fresh. Sometimes just changing the running order of the show is a good idea.” These artists don’t blindly follow convention but instead take the time to look at things with new eyes, unspoiled by previous experiences.

You have to be displaced from what's comfortable and routine,
and then you get to see things with fresh eyes, with new eyes.
~ Amy Tan, American writer best known for The Joy Luck Club

We’re into the holiday season, and unless you can mix things up a little, it’s easy to fall into a tradition rut. Are you going into the season offering a sense of “wow—that was unexpected” or has it become a yearly period when you settle into a comfortable chair and watch the time pass conveniently and predictably? Do you go back to your daily life uninspired or tired? How can you keep traditions and still keep things fresh? Part of the charm and excitement of the holidays is the tradition, but counting on that doesn’t mean you ever get an exact rerun of the previous year, and the year before that, and before that. In fact, even though you might try to replicate the season exactly, things are different from year to year. People change and come in and out of your life, you’re in a different environment, your financial situation might be different; and so trying to force the exact same thing year after year can be frustrating and prevent you from enjoying every moment of the season. Part of the excitement is the unexpected.  We often make assumptions about past experiences that, without our knowing it, stop us from truly seeing creative opportunities.
Barn’s burnt down—now I can see the moon.
~ Mizuta Masahide, seventeenth-century Japanese poet
Approaching the holidays with the skill of an artist means you can create a memorable experience year after year using the creativity of the artistic process to blend tradition with something new. Mixing it up can enhance your experience, and you can leave the season feeling refreshed and deeply moved by what you discovered. Our ability to be resourceful, use our imaginations, and be creative is important in our lives, just as it is for painters, sculptors, composers, musicians, dancers, actors, conductors and others who create great art. It does take a concerted effort, but it is well worth it.

How do you avoid the same-old, same-old and still honor traditions?
  • Change things up a bit.
  • Collaborate with others.
  • Try something you’ve never tried before.
  • Keep an idea notebook or journal.
  • Be open to the unexpected.
The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition performed around the world at this time of year. Yet, while there are always traditional performances, many companies interpret the ballet with fresh eyes and ears. This nine-minute PBS trailer for a documentary about the Urban Nutcracker in Boston gives you a glimpse of one example of the re-making of this holiday tradition. People walk out of these kinds of performances saying, “That is not what I expected,” and “Wow, that was really good,” or “That was refreshing and delightfully untraditional.” The performance juxtaposes “Tchaikovsky’s classical score with Duke Ellington’s jazz interpretations and original contemporary music.” Since 2001 it has thrilled audiences with a unique blend of artistic styles, including ballet, hip-hop, urban tap and flamenco.
Each holiday season can bring fresh insights and growth from past experience. With a little inner effort and openness, we can all enjoy an experience that is fresh and surprisingly more rewarding.

Interesting—check it out:

  • Holiday Pie Pizazz. This article gives us a recipe idea to take a traditional holiday pie recipe to another level. “Sometimes you need to shake things up a bit—not completely overhaul favorite dishes—but give them a little something new” says author Caron Golden.
  • Although this interesting article from the Denver PostSanta Fe Opera upsets Mozart, and Chinese history, to keep things fresh—is not about the holidays, it is an excellent example of how artists often take risks to innovate and mix things up a little bit.
  • No matter how you feel,Ten Tips for Enjoying the Holidays from Johns Hopkins can help you make important plans and decisions to enjoy your holiday year after year.
  • Making Happy Changes in Your Holidays by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker offers three rules for making changes in family holiday traditions.
An essential first step in being creative yourself
is to question your own way of looking at things.
~ Sir Ken Robinson

Contact Dr. Patricia Hoy for media appearances, to book her to speak at your event, or to engage her workshop or consulting services—

Guest Speaking—Corporate, Education, or Arts Events—that provides motivation for launching the beginning a project, keynote theme inspiration, or setting the foundation for a goal to be achieved.
Customized Consulting; In-Service Workshops; On-Site Training Institutes; Seminars; Conference Sessions; Seminars; and Round Tables—all specially designed for Businesses, Companies, Educational Institutions, Organizations, or Arts Groups.

About the Arts Awareness Newsletter:

This newsletter is meant to spark ideas and develop a deeper understanding of artistic processes and their use in leadership, everyday life, and work. Content, which comes from personal experiences and a variety of sources, is based on the Arts Awareness concepts developed by Patricia Hoy. Questions? Comments? Contact Patricia at or 901-229-1955, N. 93rd Way, Scottsdale, AZ.

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