Collaborator, peacekeeper, risk-taker. I lead the Hot Shops Art Center, an arts organization that provides educational opportunities to explore creativity through a variety of artistic and creative processes. For the makers/artists, we give them a place and the opportunity to be creative. For the public, Hot Shops lets everyone see and experience how the art is made. You can see the tools, the ideas on sketchpads, scale models, mistakes and do-overs. You can feel the heat from the glass furnace, watch the potters bring a lump of clay to life or the sculptor pour the molten bronze.
Our greatest pride comes from putting sparks in minds of people young and old. The looks on their faces when the glass blower pulls the 2000-degree glass out of the furnace are priceless. Our values are to celebrate the individual through education, inspiration and creation, providing a place to share and develop ideas and creative expressions. One of my proudest achievements is the role I played in developing We Don’t Coast, a brand for the Omaha region. I am a graduate of the Colorado Institute of Art and Bellevue University.
The Omaha community and We Don't Coast.
Details. And saying no.
If it was easy, everyone would do it.
Dave Nelson. His support and kindness to others goes above and beyond.
Every soup recipe I've ever attempted to make.
How to use a Wacom Pen/Tablet and ditch your mouse.
Kim ’s CreativeMornings activity
Discovering my mom’s advice to be true raised some real issues because if I’m not, at least to a certain significant degree, the sum of what I do, of what I create and achieve, what am I? Who am I? What part of me is really unalterable? Foundational? Unchangeable? Yes, if you actually bothered to read the title slide – immutable? And in the end, does it even matter? I don’t mean to shock you, but yes, I would argue, it does.
As a cartoonist, even though I am drawing in silence, my world is filled with noise. It’s all this noise coming in through the media – TV news, radio news, Internet video pop-ups. It can all be very helpful, but it’s also very, very distracting.
‘Love Letter’ is about being tired of being negative and just wanting to be confident and knowing that it’s okay to be confident. When I sing the words, I am reminding myself and I am reminding other people that it’s okay to want to love yourself and be confident in yourself, no matter what.
To simply put it, I love connecting people to their purpose. Whether you’re a recording artist or an entrepreneur or you’re a creative, I like talking to you, figuring out what it is that you’re into and how I help you connect that with the world or with other people to further help you get that out there.
Over and over again, I said, ‘I can’t.’ ‘I can’t make change.’ ‘I’m not good enough.’ But then I changed the ‘can’t’ to ‘I can’t not do something.’ I have to do it. I have to do something.
I’ll break down “Hustle like an Immigrant” into five different steps. One is about what’s your ‘why’ – why are you doing what you’re doing? Two is your goal – do you have a goal that has been formed by your why? Three, do you have the discipline to see your goals through? Four – perseverance. Hardship is going to come, obstacles are going to come your way, can you get through those? Five, I call it ‘the blank check.’ Are you a risk taker, are you willing, at any given point, to sacrifice who you are for what you can ultimately become?
Wonder is the key to the door beyond which lies awe. And ego is that door, and it’s either open or it’s closed.
For me, there was just this spark inside me and it became so crystal clear that saving endangered species is all about people; it’s about community-based education and nobody was doing it. I knew this was my truth.
Certainly, there are a lot of moments in this exhibition where you will catch your breath or you will want to cry or you will want to curse, or you’ll want to walk away; you’ll want to rage, but there really is a layer of hope embedded in the concepts that course through this exhibition. There’s this idea of celebrating America’s hard-fought successes in the battle for equality while also advocating for the fact that we need continuing reflection, conversation and action to grow as a nation and build a more just society.
Chasing dreams may force you to make some very difficult decisions. It means taking risks, stepping outside your comfort zone, doing tough things to make you grow.
I think just being alive is an accomplishment – you know what I mean? It’s super huge. And a lot of people don’t realize that because they have all this work they need to be doing and they’re not doing it and they’re feeling depressed, feeling like I can’t do anything. ‘What am I doing? I guess I’ll just do telemarketing or something.’ The thing is – just being alive at any point is a big deal. I don’t know… It’s hard to express that… it’s like do you understand this? Do you? Do you?
We have a city that you don’t have to take your talents to New York, to LA, to Chicago, you can do things right here and that’s one of the things I wanted to in terms of film. I wanted to show that you can do really excited things and you can do them right here in Omaha.
“Honestly, the entire topic of public art is a ‘soapbox territory’ for me. As far as I’m concerned, more art should be accessible; more art should encourage us to participate in our communities; more art should bring people unexpected joy.”
Michelle Bazis: “When I restarted my thinking and stopped being afraid of making mistakes, discomfort or the unknown, I was able to pursue my creative passions and experiences without limitations.”
When you live honestly, when you understand where you come from, when you understand who you are, when you are living your life with your passion, and the various purposes that may find yourself in in life, when you are living in that authentic way, you’re giving people the best version of yourself – always.
“I want to design my life in a way where my kids can grow up and look back and think of me as someone who showed them by example and being present for them and showed them that, when things get hard, to not just worry about it, but to be concerned about it and then to take action to make things better. And at the very least, I just don’t want my kids to think of me as the guy that always forgot their lunch.”
“The reason that I love community – and the reason I love people so much – is because all of this (the Highlander Neighborhood) has happened because of really community-focused, forward-thinking, and if we’re honest, brave early investors. It involves actual artists, artists who live across the street, artists that are from this neighborhood who have helped 75 North in this community, in this effort to revitalize that involves the City of Omaha, educators, committed parents and stakeholders.”
“When you first start out as a creative, you think, ‘I have to be original. Everything has to be totally original.’ That’s a bogus idea to start with. The idea is – everything evolves from something else. I like to go to conferences. I like to hear other artists that are doing things that I admired because I could learn from them. I don’t want people to say, “Oh, you’re wonderful” because there is no benefit in that to me. But if I hear people talking about what they’re doing and talking about their own ideas, then that is very stimulating to me. The idea that something is totally original has always been a myth. The more you work – it’s stimulation around you; it’s what other artists do; it’s ideas that are floating in the air that just seem to land here and there. That’s what you’re really looking for and that’s what drives you forward.”
“People are confronted with problems all day long, every day. Or at least I am. Most of the time a problem you’re trying to solve has already been solved by someone else. And when somebody solves a problem, they’re typically very excited to talk about how they solved that problem and share that information. And if you’re excited to listed to them, and you’re not too far up your own butt, chances are they probably have made your life easier by solving that problem for you first. So just listen to them.”
To improve commitments, to love them more, feel great about them more, you want to love the work and be flexible with the outcome. And the best way to love the work and be flexible with the outcome is to develop connection and develop perspective. And the way towards connection and the way towards perspective was to let my damn imperfect life right into the front door and ask it to walk me up and to the right. Imperfection creates connection and perspective, creates love of work and flexibility of outcome.