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4 Tips to Jump-Start your Creative Process

If you are a creative person, you know all too well that your creative process is at the heart of what you do. I use the word “process” because that is exactly what it is. People don’t understand how important that process is to whatever it is that you create. Whether you are a writer, […]

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4 Tips to Jump-Start your Creative Process

4 Tips to Jump-Start your Creative Process

If you are a creative person, you know all too well that your creative process is at the heart of what you do. I use the word “process” because that is exactly what it is. People don’t understand how important that process is to whatever it is that you create. Whether you are a writer, musician, or artist – your brain and heart have to be aligned to let those creative juices flow. It is amazing how the smallest distraction can completely derail the creative train. There are days that I can’t string 2 sentences together, and then there are days when I will write for 18 hours straight.

That manic nature of my creative flow was killing my productivity. I really started focusing on finding a routine that helped jump-start the creative process no matter what was going on elsewhere in my world. These are some simple tips that can help you regulate that creative process to get the most out of the time you put into your art.

Method to your Music

Music can be one of the most powerful inspirational tools in your bag of goodies when it comes to sparking creativity. I literally listen to music just about every waking hour of the day. What I found was that different types of music worked better for different activities. Kind of obvious, I know. I took that concept a step further and starting structuring my music selections based on what tasks I was doing. For instance, when I was plotting out what I was going to write and taking notes, I listen to slower, deeper, more lyrically driven music. Stuff that I would actually stop on occasion and really listen to.

When it came time to actually write, I switched to something much more upbeat, less lyrical, and more tempo-driven. For instance, while I am outlining what I am going to write I’m more likely to listen to The Civil Wars. When it’s time to write, I switch to Tupac and early 90’s hip-hop. The shift in music is almost like shifting gears in my brain. I will also shift back and forth if I start struggling with something, or have an idea that is stalled. Something about that shift in music seems to separate the prep time from the actual work time.

It’s all in the Prep Work

Speaking of prep work, it is critical to the creative process. If you are a painter, you’ve got to get your paints, easel, and medium all set up to get ready to paint. If you are a musician, you’ve got to tune your instruments. The point is: no matter what kind of art you produce – there are preparations to be made. In my opinion, this prep time should almost be a ritual. Taking the same steps, in the same order, and in the same manner. For instance, before I sit down to write, I review notes from the previous day and see if there is anything I haven’t covered yet.

Then I flip to a fresh, clean page in my notepad and start outlining whatever it is I am going to write that day. Then I go through tentative titles and lay out the articles in outline form in a document on my laptop. From there, I shift gears into writing mode and fill those outlines in. No matter what I am writing about, the process is always the same. Sure, it can seem monotonous at times, but in reality – you are almost conditioning your brain to focus on the structure before the creative side kicks in.

Don’t let your Setting get Stale

One important and sometimes difficult aspect of the creative process can be your setting. When you work in the same place all the time, every day, your setting can get stale. I make it a point to move my laptop around throughout the day. I love my setup at my desk, but I know there is a complete change of pace that can come from moving to another room or especially going outside. The problem is: not every artist can just change their setting.

For instance, if you are a painter and have a studio, it’s not like you can just adjust your setting like I can pick up my laptop and move to a different room or location. If you’re an artisan who makes blown glass, changing your surroundings would be next to impossible because of the equipment involved. You can change your setting, though. Little things like scented candles that you change out on a regular basis, lighting changes, and even just re-arranging the workspace you spend your time at can make your environment seem completely different.

“Homeostasis”

Homeostasis seemed like the best way to explain the concept of getting yourself in a consistent physical and mental state to be creative. For example, I work best on an empty stomach and a liberal dosage of caffeine. If I’ve just eaten a big meal, my brain is slow. For some people, their brains work better after physical exercise. If your body is worn out, sometimes your brain actually works better. The important thing is to figure out what works best for you and repeat it. Everyone is different in what gets their creativity flowing.

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The Infinite Wisdom of Morgan Freeman https://iheartintelligence.com/wisdom-morgan-freeman/ Tue, 03 May 2016 06:48:40 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=17177 The post The Infinite Wisdom of Morgan Freeman appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

The Infinite Wisdom of Morgan Freeman

Chances are, you know exactly who Morgan Freeman is. In the business of show business, there are very few awards that he hasn’t won. His voice is one of the most recognizable voices in the world. In fact, if I had the money I’m pretty sure I would hire him to narrate my life for […]

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The Infinite Wisdom of Morgan Freeman

The Infinite Wisdom of Morgan Freeman

Chances are, you know exactly who Morgan Freeman is. In the business of show business, there are very few awards that he hasn’t won. His voice is one of the most recognizable voices in the world. In fact, if I had the money I’m pretty sure I would hire him to narrate my life for at least a day. Freeman is a rare talent, one that we have been blessed with for more than 30 years. One thing that has alway amazed me about Morgan Freeman is his love for his work and his outlook on life.

The other day I came across a quote that I found was attributed to Freeman that said, “I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away the part of you that knows it was a win to lock them up does rejoice.” That simple sentiment touched me, so I decided to put together some of the best quotes from “The Golden Actor” himself:

“The best way to guarantee a loss is to quit.”

“When you have made your choice, it is providence that is your guide. Good, bad, or indifferent. Your fate lies in that.”

“I only get one life, and I will not let Fibromyalgia take the joy from living it.”

“We humans are more concerned with having than with being.”

“How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”

Related: Mind of the Dragon: 31 Quotes from the Master, Bruce Lee

“I always tell my kids if you lay down, people will step over you. But if you keep scrambling, if you keep going, someone will always, always give you a hand. Always. But you gotta keep dancing, you gotta keep your feet moving.”

“I can say that life is good to me. Has been and is good. So I think my task is to be good to it. So how do you be good to life? You live it.”

“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.”

“And some places you been before are so great that you don’t ever mind going back. Some places you been before you don’t ever want to go back, you know, like Montreal in the Winter.”

“People need to start to think about the messages that they send in the movies.”

Related: You Will Be Missed Professor Snape: 15 of the Greatest Alan Rickman Quotes

“One of the things you can always depend on – this is one of the truths of the universe, and you heard it first from here – whatever we decide we want to do is what we do.”

“Attacking people with disabilities is the lowest display of power I can think of.”

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3 Things the Creative Mind Should Stop Expecting from the World https://iheartintelligence.com/creative-mind-world/ Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:29:30 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=16940 The post 3 Things the Creative Mind Should Stop Expecting from the World appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

3 Things the Creative Mind Should Stop Expecting from the World

One of the hardest things for me in life has been accepting the fact that my mind doesn’t work like everyone else’s. For the people who really know me, they know that is an understatement of epic proportions. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my brain is just wired differently. As someone with […]

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3 Things the Creative Mind Should Stop Expecting from the World

3 Things the Creative Mind Should Stop Expecting from the World

One of the hardest things for me in life has been accepting the fact that my mind doesn’t work like everyone else’s. For the people who really know me, they know that is an understatement of epic proportions. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my brain is just wired differently. As someone with a creative mind, you’ll understand what I am talking about.

The creative mind can be one of the most chaotic and beautiful things you can imagine. I spent a dozen years in an industry that allowed for little to no creativity, and now that I have embraced my creative nature I find myself frustrated with other people who don’t understand what it is like to have a wild, free-flowing, creative mind. Feeling misunderstood in any sense can be ultra-frustrating. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are just some things that I need to quit expecting from the world when it comes to the way my brain works.

If you consider yourself a creative mind like I do, this is a list of things that you should just stop expecting from the world. Embrace your creativity and let the rest of the world stand around and cock their eyebrows at you.

People to “Get” You

One thing that bugs me the most about embracing my creativity is when people don’t understand the way my brain works. I used to push people away because I thought they just didn’t “get” me. Well, the problem with that mentality is the fact that I don’t get them either. We are all different, and that’s okay. I used to try to explain myself to people and finally just got to the point where I say, “that’s just the way my brain works.” No more explanation. No excuses. Just me being me, and being okay with that. Just like I can’t understand how someone can be an accountant because I don’t like math, I can’t hold it against them for not understanding my creative mind because they don’t feel the same way.

Understanding the Creative Process

One thing I learned early on in writing for a living was that I definitely have a “creative process”. There are days that I stare at my keyboard for hours and can’t manage to string three words together. There are days that I write 3000 words before I realized that my hands have even moved. People don’t understand that it is just that: a process. If you happen to be the one creative person in an office of workers, you know this struggle all too well. A creative mind has to be in the right mindset to create. I know that sounds redundant, but it’s true. You mix in things like stress and worry, and it can completely derail the creative process. We can’t expect people to understand how our brains work but we can at least be honest about it. If there are things on your mind that keep you from doing what it is that you do when you are creative, address those issues first.
Research Shows that Keeping a Journal is Great for the Mind, Body, and Soul

Validation

One thing I’ve really had to deal with in working in a creative environment is that the results aren’t always tangible. I can pour my heart and soul into something and not see results. When I was working in the IT industry, there was constant validation by being able to fix something that was broken. When it comes to creating something you don’t always see that instant validation. Sure, I can see how many people have read something, or how many likes a post gets on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve actually made a connection with anyone.

It could mean they like the title or the picture and didn’t even read the article. The same goes for musicians and other artists: art is subjective. The important thing is that YOU are proud of what you produce. YOU are the only person you need to impress with your work.

In the end, I’ll never regret embracing my creative mind – and neither should you. Yes, it can be a difficult transition to make. People aren’t going to understand some of the things you do, but if it feels right in your heart that is all that matters. This is your life. Live it.

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21 Recent Bestsellers That Every Woman Should Read https://iheartintelligence.com/bestsellers-woman-read/ Tue, 19 Apr 2016 09:08:24 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=16794 The post 21 Recent Bestsellers That Every Woman Should Read appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

21 Recent Bestsellers That Every Woman Should Read

Have you ever been stuck as to which book to read next? Maybe you want to take a few on holiday with you or to curl up with just before bed time? When I get the reading bug it becomes an insatiable thirst not easily quenched. At the end of each book I am hungrily digging […]

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21 Recent Bestsellers That Every Woman Should Read

21 Recent Bestsellers That Every Woman Should Read

Have you ever been stuck as to which book to read next? Maybe you want to take a few on holiday with you or to curl up with just before bed time?

When I get the reading bug it becomes an insatiable thirst not easily quenched. At the end of each book I am hungrily digging around for my next literary hit. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by book reviews and bestseller lists. I often spend as much time trawling though the recommendations and reviews as I do reading the books themselves. Sometimes I just want a list of tried and tested excellent reads to tick off one by one.

Ta-da! Here is an amazing list of incredible titles from the past few years that you should add to the pile on your bedside table. These books by women, are just a few of the incredible titles published recently.

They are some of the most-discussed, thought-provoking and life-changing books from a diverse group of . They make you rethink what being a feminist means, offer life advice to women of all ages. The novels are some of the finest writing from woman authors. From lighthearted memoirs to harrowing thrillers, there’s a genre here for everyone.

Here are 21 books published in the past 5 years that all women should read:

1 Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s fourth book, Americanah, is so smart about so many subjects that to call it a novel about being black in the 21st century doesn’t even begin to convey its luxurious heft and scope. Americanah is indeed a novel about being black in the 21st century — in America, Great Britain and Africa, while answering a want ad, choosing a lover, hailing a cab, eating collard greens, watching Barack Obama on television — but you could also call it a novel of immigration and dislocation, just about every page tinged with faint loneliness.” — NPR

2 Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

“Everything I Never Told You is an engaging work that casts a powerful light on the secrets that have kept an American family together — and that finally end up tearing it apart.” — The LA Times

3 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

“The Goldfinch is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind….Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction.” —Stephen King, The New York Times Book Review

4 Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

“Through the voices and lives of its native people, Yanique offers an affecting narrative of the Virgin Islands that pulses with life, vitality, and a haunting evocation of place.” — Publishers Weekly

5 Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

“In sharing the gritty, heartbreaking details of her own experiences and unrealized desires — in showing us how, exactly, she is a ‘bad feminist’ — Gay reminds us what feminism can and should be: A space where women can realize their difference and their nuances.” — The Huffington Post

6 Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

“In her manipulation of a succession of overlapping triangles of which the book’s title is only one, Oyeyemi suggests the possibility of a kind of redemption; that identities eventually settle, configure, cohere and that we all learn to live with the life that we have fashioned for ourselves. In an intriguing, sinuously attractive book full of jeux d’esprit and lightning skies that often part to reveal pain and turmoil, it is a welcome hint of stability and optimism, if not one that we should trust in entirely.” — The Guardian

7 Her by Christa Parravani

“Add the twin mystique to a drug-fueled reality drama and you’ve got the recipe for double the intoxicating read in Christa Parravani’s memoir, Her, a sister book. Parravani offers a sinuous, startling, and intimate look at what it means to be share someone’s DNA by playing on the reader’s fantasies and stereotypes: confirming some—think Doublemint Gum commercials, Mary Kate and Ashley—while setting others straight. Here, we hear two distinct voices as Christa weaves italicized excerpts of her sister, Cara’s, journals both within and at the end of chapters. As Cara explains: ‘People think having a twin means never being lonely. Nothing is lonelier than being separated. Cut yourself in half. See how that feels and you will stop wanting a twin.’ Ouch.” — American Literary Review

8 Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston

“That mysterious terrain of the soul drives the narrative trajectory in Ann Dowsett Johnston’s Drink. Her approach is not strictly reporting, nor is it a full-blown memoir. Rather, she creates a hybrid of the two, weaving back and forth between research and raw confessions as she untangles the messy realities behind women’s rising rate of alcohol abuse. A past editor of Maclean’s magazine in Canada and former vice principal at McGill University, Johnston makes awful sense of it all. ‘We live in an alcogenic culture,’ she writes, ‘where risky drinking has been normalized.’ Increasingly, it is women who are suffering the consequences.” — The Washington Post

9 The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan

“Grace Winter – new bride, new widow, apparently unscathed after 21 days drifting at sea in an overcrowded lifeboat – is a survivor. And survivors, as we all know, can be the most dangerous people of all. Charlotte Rogan’s terrific debut novel opens with a bang, when the ship carrying newlyweds Grace and Henry back to New York after the outbreak of war in Europe suffers an explosion and sinks. Somehow, Grace is squeezed into a departing lifeboat, captained by ship’s officer Mr Hardie, and along with a motley crew of passengers, mostly female, they push away from the wreckage, beating off drowning men and beseeching infants as they go.” — The Guardian

10 NW by Zadie Smith

“Smith’s novels are notable not just for their social acuity, but also for their ability to absorb philosophical ideas. Her last, On Beauty, managed to be interesting about aesthetics as well as about race and compassion, and the prose was well turned and sweet-natured to match. The themes in NW are more radical and the language more fractured. Though it remains absolutely rooted, stuck to the map, contexts change and narrative styles shift. This is a book in which you never know how things will come together or what will happen next.” — The New York Times

11 Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

“An alligator theme park, a ghost lover, a Styx-like journey through an Everglades mangrove jungle: Russell’s first novel, about a girl’s bold effort to preserve her grieving family’s way of life, is suffused with humor and gothic whimsy. But the real wonders here are the author’s exuberantly inventive language and her vivid portrait of a heroine who is wise beyond her years.” — The New York Times

12 Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson

“Henderson’s fierce, elegiac novel, her first, follows a group of friends, lovers, parents and children through the straight-edge music scene and the early days of the AIDS epidemic. By delving deeply into the lives of her characters, tracing their long relationships not only to one another but also to various substances, Henderson catches something of the dark, apocalyptic quality of the ’80s.” — The New York Times

13 How Should A Person Be? by Sheila Heti

“A raw, startling, genre-defying novel of friendship, sex, and love in the new millennium—a compulsive read that’s like ‘spending a day with your new best friend.’” — Bookforum

14 Room by Emma Donoghue

“Room is in many ways what its publisher claims it to be: a novel like no other. The first half takes place entirely within the 12-foot-square room in which a young woman has spent her last seven years since being abducted aged 19. Raped repeatedly, she now has a five-year-old boy, Jack, and it is with his voice that Donoghue tells their story.” — The Guardian

15 The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a remarkable feat of investigative journalism and a moving work of narrative nonfiction that reads with the vividness and urgency of fiction. It also raises sometimes uncomfortable questions with no clear-cut answers about whether people should be remunerated for their physical, genetic contributions to research and about the role of profit in science.” — NPR

16 Bossypants by Tina Fey

“If nothing else, Bossypants should make any profile of Fey unnecessary, since it provides, in abundance, everything readers want from a story about a performer and none of the ‘clever’ observations about food intake/absence of makeup/appearance of child art upon which celebrity profiles are so dependent. In chapter after chapter, in a voice consistently recognizable as her own, Fey simply tells stories of her life: How a nerdy but self-confident half-Greek girl entered theatrical life (a wonderful community theater, lots of gay and lesbian friends), what Second City was like “back in the day” (cultish, hard, unbelievably fun), how ‘Saturday Night Live’ works (a chemical compound of Harvard grads and Improv people), what it’s like to be a woman in comedy (harder than you think but not as hard as coal mining) or to run your own show or to satirize a vice presidential candidate when she’s standing right backstage.” — LA Times

17 Behind The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

“This National Book Award-winning study of life in Annawadi, a Mumbai slum, is marked by reporting so rigorous it recalls the muckrakers, and characters so rich they evoke Dickens. The slum dwellers have a skillful and empathetic chronicler in Boo, who depicts them in all their humanity and ruthless, resourceful glory.” — The New York Times

18 The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin

“William Talmadge is the titular orchardist. For most of 40 years he has lived alone, tending the orchard where he grew up with his mother and sister. His mother died when he was still very young, and his sister disappeared as a young woman — a loss Talmadge has never quite recovered from. And it may be that secret pain that prompts him to take care of two pregnant teenagers who wander onto his property looking for food. They’re running away from a brothel run by a brutal drug addict who traffics in young girls. Talmadge’s decision to shelter the girls changes his life forever, exposing him to both the pain and quiet joy of love.” — NPR

19 Wild by Cheryl Strayed

“A vivid, touching, and ultimately inspiring account of a life unraveling, and of the journey that put it back together.” — Wall Street Journal.

20 The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

“This gripping and poetic novel explores themes of loneliness, isolation, family secrets, political will, and the power of unconditional love. Lahiri understands that unresolved conflicts from one’s past can cause us to create the kind of life we most want to avoid. Someone who wants to find a lasting romantic connection may play a tremendous role in creating a life of romantic isolation. To this end, unresolved conflicts can lead people to choose unsuitable partners and deeply unsatisfying relationships. The Lowland demonstrates in meticulous detail that facing painful dimensions from the past and acknowledging family secrets is often the key to finding true happiness.” — The Huffington Post

21 Yes Please by Amy Poehler

“Yes Please is a memoir in that it contains some memories, many of which are offered as hard-won — advice seems too preachy, so we’ll go with helpful suggestions. (A chapter called ‘I’m So Proud of You’ should be required reading in high schools.) Also featured are: haiku about plastic surgery, a chapter by Poehler’s mother, a satiric birth plan, a chapter by Seth Meyers, an annotated history of ‘Parks and Recreation,’ a letter from Hillary Rodham Clinton, sex advice, a truly hilarious list of potential books about divorce and a moving account of an apology.” — LA Times

What would you add to our list? Comment below

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Life Lessons from “The Duke” – John Wayne https://iheartintelligence.com/life-love-duke-john-wayne/ Wed, 09 Mar 2016 12:49:47 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=16180 The post Life Lessons from “The Duke” – John Wayne appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Life Lessons from "The Duke" - John Wayne

In my day-to-day life, there are two quotes that I find myself using all the time. The first is: “I’m responsible only for what I say, not what you understand.” I think we can all identify with that sentiment. The other quote that gets used on an almost daily basis with me is: “Life is […]

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The post Life Lessons from “The Duke” – John Wayne appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Life Lessons from "The Duke" - John Wayne

Life Lessons from "The Duke" - John Wayne

In my day-to-day life, there are two quotes that I find myself using all the time. The first is: “I’m responsible only for what I say, not what you understand.” I think we can all identify with that sentiment. The other quote that gets used on an almost daily basis with me is: “Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid.”

What is funny to me is the fact that with all of the quotes from all of the famous people I’ve read about and watched – these two are from the same guy. I don’t throw around the word “icon” but if ever there was a pure example of one, in my opinion, it would be John Wayne. I mean, the man is basically synonymous with manliness. Throughout his movie career, he personified what it was to be a good, strong, man. Sure, he played some less savory roles here and there, but overall he was a real hero. I think the thing that made John Wayne so special was that he was the same man on and off screen.

Even he said, “I suppose my best attribute, if you want to call it that, is sincerity. I can sell sincerity because that’s the way I am.” I think we can all learn a little from The Duke in that regard. Here are 10 more of my favorite John Wayne quotes:

“A man deserves a second chance, but keep an eye on him.”

“Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.”

“When you stop fighting, that’s death.”

“All battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be some place else.”

“Nobody should come to the movies unless he believes in heroes.”
Read: “I Have a Dream”: 25 of the Greatest Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.

“I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please.”

“A goal, a love and a dream give you total control over your body and your life.”

“I define manhood simply: men should be tough, fair, and courageous, never petty, never looking for a fight, but never backing down from one either.”
Read: 16 Bad Ass Quotes from Motorhead Frontman Lemmy Kilmister

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”

“I define manhood simply: men should be tough, fair, and courageous, never petty, never looking for a fight, but never backing down from one either.”

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Inside The Institute Of Illegals Images: Over A Millions Hits Of LSD On Display https://iheartintelligence.com/institute-lsd/ Wed, 24 Feb 2016 08:23:19 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=15883 The post Inside The Institute Of Illegals Images: Over A Millions Hits Of LSD On Display appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Inside The Institute Of Illegals Images: Over A Millions Hits Of LSD On Display

Have you ever heard of Mark McCloud? He has a collection of over 30,000 sheets of LSD in his San Francisco home which the DEA has tried to confiscate more than once. 15 years ago was the last time the feds tried to arrest and permanently sentence McCloud, and that attempt was just as unsuccessful […]

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The post Inside The Institute Of Illegals Images: Over A Millions Hits Of LSD On Display appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Inside The Institute Of Illegals Images: Over A Millions Hits Of LSD On Display

Inside The Institute Of Illegals Images: Over A Millions Hits Of LSD On Display

Have you ever heard of Mark McCloud? He has a collection of over 30,000 sheets of LSD in his San Francisco home which the DEA has tried to confiscate more than once.

15 years ago was the last time the feds tried to arrest and permanently sentence McCloud, and that attempt was just as unsuccessful for them as their previous ones. How can anyone have millions of hits of acid in their home and be allowed to keep them? Well, it’s art. It’s on display, and most of the sheets are ineffective due to “exposure to ultraviolet rays of light and oxygen which have neutralized the psychotropic chemicals,” says Mark. Although he has been arrested a few times for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute narcotics, he is always found innocent due to the tabs being inactive.

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He calls his home the Institute of Illegal Images. Tens-of-thousands of framed images on blotter paper cover his walls from top to bottom. There you’ll find some well-known designs like “sorcerer Mickey”, and Grateful Dead logos, but you’ll also see works of art that can only be described as masterpieces. McCloud has put some of these images on the website Blotter Barn for those with a curiosity to browse through what he has been collecting since the 1970’s. “When I first noticed the blotter prints, I said, ‘Boy, this is fascinating, and maybe I should try to collect some of these so our children know what happened to us,’” McCloud says.
Read: Studies Find Psychoactive Drug Safer Than Alcohol When Driving

The history of blotter art is something McCloud is very familiar with. In fact, he is a treasure-trove of knowledge about this kind of stuff. At one point, he was on the board of the San Francisco Art Institute and art has always interested him. Blotter art happened to be the next evolutionary step for him after becoming a huge advocate for LSD.

1968 marked the first commercially available acid. It was simply drops on paper and was out of New York City, done by an underground chemist called Ghost. These sheets were called 5-by-20s and they were on a small card that was the size of autochrome film; they came out wrapped in Kodak packaging.
Then the 70s brought about illustrated tabs. The first sheets were printed on paper the same size as an LP so they could be shipped in vinyl records. In the early stages of illustrated sheets, a single image would be printed then divided into tabs and would usually be a single colour as well. It didn’t take long, however, for those simple images to become something much more elaborate.
Read: St. John’s Wort is Better Than Antidepressant Drugs

Blotter art has been evolving and is still a relatively new form of underground art. Erowid, a site for documenting drugs, says blotter art has led to “an array of creative and stunning designs,” insomuch as “it is likely that a few of the blotter designs shown have never been dipped [in LSD] and were created purely as art.” This site has its own digital collection of LSD blotter art, and some of the artwork from the Institute of Illegal Images can be found there as well.

When asked how many trips he has taken, McCloud told Vice, “Half of one. The full trip is when you’re happy playing harp in Heaven and your job is done. That’s the full trip.”

Written by Raven Fon

All images via Blotter Barn

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What Type of Intelligence Do You Have? https://iheartintelligence.com/type-intelligence/ Fri, 19 Feb 2016 18:05:03 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=15852 The post What Type of Intelligence Do You Have? appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

What Type of Intelligence Do You Have?

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What Type of Intelligence Do You Have?

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95% Of People Can’t Get The Perfect Score In This Basic Memory Test https://iheartintelligence.com/basic-memory-test/ Fri, 19 Feb 2016 17:33:15 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=15847 The post 95% Of People Can’t Get The Perfect Score In This Basic Memory Test appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

95% Of People Can't Get The Perfect Score In This Basic Memory Test

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95% Of People Can't Get The Perfect Score In This Basic Memory Test

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The Timeless Brilliance of W.C. Fields https://iheartintelligence.com/timeless-w-c-fields/ Fri, 19 Feb 2016 17:06:25 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=15795 The post The Timeless Brilliance of W.C. Fields appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

The Timeless Brilliance of W.C. Fields

As a kid, my parents used to take my sister and I to this little retro-styled diner in Dallas every Sunday. It was our tradition. I remember the food being good enough to instill my life-long attachment to breakfast fare, but more importantly, I remember the menu. There wasn’t anything overly fancy about it aside […]

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The Timeless Brilliance of W.C. Fields

The Timeless Brilliance of W.C. Fields

As a kid, my parents used to take my sister and I to this little retro-styled diner in Dallas every Sunday. It was our tradition. I remember the food being good enough to instill my life-long attachment to breakfast fare, but more importantly, I remember the menu. There wasn’t anything overly fancy about it aside from the back of the menu being covered in quotes from W.C. Fields. As young as I was, I had no idea who Fields was, but I swear, over so many trips to the diner I must have memorized the entire collection. As much as I knew what he said, I never quite understood who he was.

W.C. Fields was one of the most prolific comedic minds of the early 1900’s. Think of a turn-of-the-century Jerry Seinfeld, if you will. He was known for his ego, his drinking, and his wit. Fields was a master marketer and began his career in comedy at the age of 20. He would go on to perform with the likes of Charlie Chaplin on some of the grandest stages in the world. Fast forward 25 years and the quaint little diner still sits in the suburbs of north Dallas, and the menu hasn’t changed.

Neither has the brutal humor of W.C. Fields.

It’s almost like he says the things we think but don’t say. Here is a collection of some of my favorite quips:

“I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally. ”
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.”
“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”

“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”
“I never hold a grudge. As soon as I get even with the son-of-a bitch, I forget it.”
“Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.”
“I don’t drink water. Fish (have sex) in it.”

“Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.”
“A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money”
“Fell in love with a beautiful blonde once. Drove me to drink. And I never had the decency to thank her.”
“Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. ”

“A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.”
“Ah, the patter of little feet around the house. There’s nothing like having a midget for a butler. ”
“Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.”
“No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it’s only a question of degree.”

“Never try to impress a woman, because if you do she’ll expect you to keep up the standard for the rest of your life.”
“Take me down to the bar! We’ll drink breakfast together!”
“Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against.”
“I always keep some whiskey handy in case I see a snake…which I also keep handy.”

“I spent half my money on gambling, alcohol, and wild women. The other half I wasted.”
“It is funnier to bend things than to break them.”
“The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.”
“Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.”

“I once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday.”
“You can fool some of the people some of the time — and that’s enough to make a decent living.”

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Can You Find The 6 Words Hidden In This Picture? https://iheartintelligence.com/words-hidden-picture/ Fri, 29 Jan 2016 14:35:09 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=15381 The post Can You Find The 6 Words Hidden In This Picture? appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Can You Find The 6 Words Hidden In This Picture?

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Can You Find The 6 Words Hidden In This Picture?

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