My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #534: Two Videos About Creativity in Today's World

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-26-2011 02:00 PM 2197 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 533: Back to WORK!!! Part 534 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 535: Preparing for Germ Warfare »

Yesterday I saw a couple of interesting videos. Although they are not directly about woodworking, I think that they pertain to many of us who are involved in not only creating woodworking projects, but also those who design their own patterns for furniture, boxes and all other projects.

My brother was the one who sent me the links. He said that they made him think of me and how when watching them he wondered how differently my life may have been if everyone thought more like the guy who was lecturing. It made me think too.

As I watched each one, there were many things that came to mind as to how true what he was saying is. From the time I was very young, I wanted to be an artist. I was only 13 and I painted a replica of the cover of Elton John’s album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” on a 16” x 20” canvas. That was in 1975. I was living in the suburbs of Chicago at the time and I had heard that Bernie Taupin (Elton John’s lyricist in the early days) was going to be at a radio station downtown one day. My girlfriend and I took the day off of school and several busses to get to that station, and we waited for hours until Mr. Taupin emerged from the elevator at the building where the show was broadcast from. We did finally see him and I presented him with the painting for Elton. It was quite a thrill. (I have a picture of Bernie Taupin that I came across recently, and I will post it later if I can put my finger on it!)

Looking back, it seemed like a silly thing to do. But teens are silly and I was no exception. I loved Elton John and had pictures of him plastered all over my bedroom wall. I also loved art and loved to recreate things through painting. Creating is part of my life and part of me.

Of course my parents weren’t as thrilled about this I was. I am sure they worried about my future. My sister went on to receive a master’s degree in business from DePaul University Business School (with honors, no less!) I suppose it was quite disappointing to them to hear my own ambitions.

I am not close with my own family for many reasons that I will not get into. Let’s just say that we differ on many basic views and values and leave it at that. The point that I am trying to make is that sometimes it isn’t easy to be true to yourself and follow your own dreams. There are many obstacles and pressures along the way that try to push you into directions that may seem unnatural to you.

I was surprised at the feelings that these videos brought up from deep inside me. I suppose it stirred up many memories of my own childhood and my own struggles in finding my place and doing what my heart dictated. It has been a life long struggle to get here, but never have I felt so comfortable and happy in my life as I have since I began to actually LISTEN to what my own heart was saying.

I think my own children feel much differently than I did as a child. I have always made a conscious effort to support them in any decisions they have made. Of course, I advise them, but I also allow them to not only follow their own paths, but to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them and refine their plans. So far it is working for them both.

As creative people, we need to find support from those we choose to have around us. I believe that is why this forum here at Lumberjocks is so popular. We think somewhat alike in the respect that being creative is an important factor to our own happiness. We seek support from our peers and it feeds our creativity and lets us know that ‘it’s ok’ to want to make beautiful things for the sake of making beautiful things alone.

There are different degrees of success here, but I think it depends on what you define the word ‘success’ as. Myself, I think that just by being here and creating is success in itself. It has nothing to do with financial gain or status. It is feeding our souls and it is the immesurable amount of satisfaction and peace we feel within ourselves when we are being creative. No money could ever equal that.

I hope you take the time to watch these videos. They are about 20 minutes each and they are full of some valuable observances that really make you think about things. (Both of them can be translated into 50 languages, for those of you who don’t speak English as a first language) I believe that most of you will see yourselves in some of the examples. I certainly did.

Here are the links to them:

The first one is called Schools Kill Creativity> .

And the second one is called Bring On The Learning Revolution> :

I hope you take time to look at them. You may not agree with everything that is said, but I think that it may make you aware of some things or even validate some of the things that you as a creative person may feel or have felt over the years. In any case, I think they send some important messages to all of us.

I want to thank my brother Bob for bringing this to my attention. I also want to thank him for the support he has shown me these past several years. I love you, Bob!

I hope you all have a wonderful and creative day.

(I had a difficult time posting the video here. I couldn’t get it to link and embedded it. If you want to read more about Sir Ken Robinson, you can click HERE to go to his page)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

9 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3087 days

#1 posted 11-26-2011 05:47 PM

Sheila, I can’t see anything wrong with giving your painting to Elton John. He obviously did a lot for you and you were returning the favour. I, too am not close to my family. With the exception of my mother, who died in 1988, none of them encouraged me and both my father and brother wanted me to conform. The former silently with disapproval the latter because he wanted me to be like him. How tedious. We are all different. We should go our own way. I am lucky nowadays in that Sue gives me the time and space to do my own thing, which is to synthesise my technical, creative, making, challenging way of making boxes from my various life experiences. I’ve passed the videos on to Sue but I think she may have seen them already. Anyway her style of teaching is very much of the same as Ken is encouraging.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View huntter2022's profile


275 posts in 2667 days

#2 posted 11-26-2011 05:47 PM

Thanks Sheila for the video . Take the time and really listen he does make alot sense

-- David ; "BE SAFE BE HAPPY" Brockport , NY

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2971 days

#3 posted 11-26-2011 07:20 PM

Yes, it took me a little bit of time to make the time to watch them, but when I did, I really thought that they should be shared here. There are so many people here who can relate to what is being said, I think.

Martyn – that disapproval from those close to us – either silent or otherwise – can be devastating to us on many levels. As children we all have the need for approval from our family. We want to please those we love. Often we bypass our own hopes and dreams and try to do the ‘right thing’ so we fit in. As we get older, we seem more and more resentful and unhappy when the choices we made were not really what we wanted them to be.

I am very lucky that I stepped away and decided to ‘rebel.’ It wasn’t easy to do, but like you, I have found someone who is blindly supportive of what I do and it makes all the difference in my life. I truly believe that is why I am so happy and productive.

I have never been accused of being a ‘conformist.’ I am quite proud of that.

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View David 's profile


81 posts in 2685 days

#4 posted 11-27-2011 05:49 AM

Sheila thanks for posting this. My grandson is 8 yrs old and this opened my eyes to my way of thinking.

-- David, Center,Texas

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10147 posts in 4103 days

#5 posted 11-27-2011 07:48 AM

”... but no one knows what God looks like”... “They will in a minute!” What a RIOT! LOL

Very very interesting mind probing speeches!

I was glad to hear what he said about Wrist Watches…!!

When I started spending most of my time Telecomputing, data processing systems design programming, etc. over the phone lines instead of wasting a good part of my day on Freeways (roads) to get to/from work, I stopped wearing my wrist watch and have NOT put it on since! For the most part, when I need to know what the time is, I can ask… see a nearby clock, radio, TV, computer, whatever… I DO NOT NEED A WRIST WATCH!... In summer, I don’t fight the sweat around my wrist… either…

Thank you for posting that… it was very good…

I knew that I loved what my life’s work was and truly enjoyed every bit of it… sometimes a little too much of it… robbing my Family of time they needed from me too… but, we made it through it… and I still just love computers, how to make them do what I want, to help someone else enjoy what they’re doing… It’s a good feeling.

Hey, we have a weekend now!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

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Joe Lyddon

10147 posts in 4103 days

#6 posted 11-27-2011 09:31 PM

Just to add a little more to the subject…
... I GOOGLEd Sir Ken…
...and found his website... and his Watch Page.

Now, you can watch some of the other videos he has made… He’s quite a guy!

Thanks again!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2971 days

#7 posted 11-27-2011 09:36 PM

Thank you so much Joe! I thought he was pretty good too. I am one of the fortunate people that also loves my job. It doesn’t matter how much I do it or how many hours I work because the people and the projects and being creative is all so special to me.

I think it is so important for all of us to follow the path we want to take. Having support from loved ones, teachers and those who are around us is also very important. I liked the way that Ken put this into words and I did enjoy the talks.

Again – thanks for adding the web site. I am sure it will benefit many.

Have a great day! Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Steven Davis's profile

Steven Davis

118 posts in 2965 days

#8 posted 12-01-2011 01:48 AM

Sheila -

Thank you very much. Education has been on my mind a lot with my new daughter!


-- Steven Davis - see me at

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2971 days

#9 posted 12-01-2011 02:59 AM

You are very welcome Steve! I thought the videos were very profound. Sometimes the simplest things we do or don’t do can affect others greatly. It is good to be aware how we come across to our children. They sure made me think. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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