Creativity, Bulldogs and You

23 Feb

The Westminster Dog Show has crowned a Pekinese as its grand champion for 2012.  It may be a great dog but as a viewer of the show and a creator of animal jewelry it is a selection I do not get. I own West highland Terriers and as an artist-jeweler I have some great Westie jewelry.

However, the jewelry I sell most are my Bulldog personalities. Bulldogs have a special persona.  More high schools and collages in the United States have the Bulldog as their mascot than any other animal.  Corporations too.

Yale University has “Handsome Dan”, University of Georgia has “Uga” and Gonzaga University has “Spike”.  The bulldog has personality, swagger and an endearing quality.  Marine Corps personnel are often called “devil dogs” and their mascot is “Chesty”, a bulldog.

When you see a Mack Truck you often recognize it as a “Mack” because of their hood ornament, the bulldog.  Fellows Shredders uses the bulldog as emblematic of how tough their product is.  No disrespect to the Westminster Dog Show and their Pekinese selection but if you ask most people about a breed with personality and panache, my guess is that a bulldog will be at the top of their list.

As I create my unique sculptural jewelry I will continue adding bulldog personalities.  I also would appreciate any comments you may have on the Westminster Dog Show winner for 2012, shared pictures of your bulldog, dog or cat or ideas for animal personalities to add to the fun of this blog and creative inspiration. 

Talk to you soon,


Creative Communities

21 Feb

In Dallas I was part of a group that considered and called itself a “Creative Community”. It was a low-key collection of writers, poets, visual artists, actors and musicians.  Most had careers in the 9 to 5 work world, some were retired and a few were constantly looking for work.  But all were interested in the pursuit of self-expression.

What made the group work was simply a supportive audience.  We could talk about our ideas, share our work, and basically get validation or constructive comments without a sense of competition.  Creativity tends to be a personal process that has the desired goal of connecting us to one another.  You know when that connection works because your body feels the music and you have this visceral reaction or the book you are reading you can’t put down.

As a visual artist I shared my mobiles, jewelry and wood sculptures.  The fun was to see the reaction and get a sense of what worked.  But I also learned quickly the real joy within the group was gaining insight into how others process their creativity.  

Being skilled at working with my hands I have a sense of how things are made.  I spent much of my time talking about the construction processes involved with my work which made me realize how disconnected we are with how things are made.  Creativity starts with an idea or  problem to solve and those involved find their fulfillment in the journey.  In the end what my creative friends wanted to know most often was how things were made.

Your challenge is to find your creative muse and share what you are doing with a supportive group and this is what helps creative people find personal fulfillment.  Most of us have great creative ideas but what holds us back tends to be the skills side of the process.  Based on my creative community experience, encouragement is vital to navigating the waters of learning something new.  We learn more by sharing than working alone.

Talk to you soon,


Silent for Too Long

14 Feb

My wife and I are adapting to our new location in the Northwest near Seattle.  It is a major change from many years in Dallas, TX.  New roads to travel, friends to make and of course art to see.  The views are spectacular when not obscured by clouds and rain.  Mt Rainier is spectacular when present and about a two hour drive away even though it looks like it is in your backyard. 

As Keith Livingston Design I have been blog silent for too long but I still am making jewelry and art.  Studio resources are limited at the moment but that is a short-term problem with a fix on the way. The art gallery scene in the Northwest is very active and supportive of area artists.  I am in the process of finding a match for my wood sculptures.  I have a new wholesale account in La Conner, WA for my mobiles and jewelry and a few more are in the works.

A snapshot of my new Northwest home is that people truly enjoy the outdoors regardless of the weather, scuba diving in 50-degree water is popular, boating, sailing and fishing are common place and snow sports are easily accessible.  Recreation is nature driven but we have tasted lots of local micro brews and visited a few small local wineries.  Our kayaks are ready and waiting to help us explore our new home.  Creativity and inspiration are everywhere. 

Talk to you soon,


Hello world!

9 Dec

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