Creativity Coach - Artist Desiree East

You want to THRIVE and live in the PRESENT MOMENT. You want to CREATE THE REALITY YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED through CREATIVE LIFESTYLE HABITS.You want to tap into that hidden, CREATIVE POTENTIAL that is ready to be UNLEASHED to the world. When your inner voice, your intuitive heart --- YOUR creative genius --- is nourished and pampered, you know you can create profound changes in your LIFE that is the art.

Desiree East is a Soulful Entrepreneur, Certified Master Transformational Coach, Creatively Fit Coach and Visual Artist. Desiree facilitates live creative workshops and retreats, as well as, online art programs focused on personal and professional development. She inspires her clients to create meaningful change in their lives through creative ritual, using art-making as a modality for creative wellness and deep transformation (no art experience required). 

Filtering by Category: film

WAY OF THE OCEAN: a film by Matt Kleiner

[vimeo w=400&h=225]

WAY OF THE OCEAN - Official Trailer

Directed by Matt Kleiner

Produced by Circulate Motion Pictures

santa barbara international film festival

WORLD PREMIERE: Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Saturday, January 29th at 1pm.

2nd SCREENING: Metro 4 Theatre, Monday, January 31st at 1pm.

SYNOPSIS: "Way of the Ocean: Australia, SYNOPSIS: explores the connection between man and sea through a visual feast of poetic motion. The world’s largest island provides a breathtaking backdrop to some of the best surfing found on the planet. Since it was first introduced in the early 1900′s, surfing in Australia has become a mainstream pursuit and for this country devoted to the ocean lifestyle, it is more than a way of life. From the tropical paradise of the Great Barrier Reef down through the frigid Southern Ocean and up to the arid desert of the west, the film captures an intimate portrait of this unique land. Vibrant super 16mm and High Definition cameras bring to life the stunning visuals, set to a heart thumping original score. Welcome to the odyssey of your life. Welcome to Australia."

STARRING: Asher Pacey, Josh Kerr, Taj Burrow, Adam Robertson, Jordy Smith, Dane Reynolds, Craig Anderson, and Kelly Slater


Words of Wisdom by filmmaker Matt Kleiner

Q&A by Desiree East

We are surrounded by a growing number of aspiring and talented artists, especially here in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties with the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara and Brooks Institute of Film in Ventura. I've seen a handful  of student-turned-professionals from these schools, whether it be through word of mouth, coming across their portfolios online, or even through friends and family (like my brother, Art Director, Kalae Gam and his crew of colleagues).

There are also many blooming self-taught artists in the area, and I've seen first hand, the hard work and long hours that these young artists dedicate themselves to. Whether it's blindly scouting a location for a shoot, designing and building a set with a five-hundred dollar budget, or losing faith or motivation in between projects, being an artist in the photography or film industry takes patience and diligence, and you definitely have to pay your dues while building a growing what do you do?

As an educator (and a life-time learner), I constantly look up to other professionals for creative insight and solid advice, and if given an opportunity, I will ask them questions about what 'drives' them...what makes them tick? How do they come up with solutions to problems? Where do they look when they need more inspiration or motivation?

Because no matter what field of work you are in or what type of business you are running, you can always learn from those who are successful. And if you surround yourself with successful people, then you will be successful. AND then, when the time comes, and the opportunity presents itself, you can become a mentor to others (in direct and indirect ways) and have a profound and positive effect on someone who needed that extra push.

So, although these might be a similar set of questions (my favorite ones to ask, can you tell?), the answers are all very valuable, because the people and mentors that we look up to always have a different answer from a different perspective, and if you ask the right questions, they may have a few words of advice that we can all learn from.

Without further ado, here is some valuable insight and encouraging words from surfer and film director Matt Kleiner of Circulate Motion Pictures. (Oh, and by the way, don't forget to check out their blog at Way of the Ocean ... the photography is insane, and Art Director, Ryan Kleiner, is working on a hard cover book which will consist of the photography and art behind the movie).

DE: There are a growing number of young film students (and self-taught filmmakers, for that matter) breaking into the indie film scene. As an independent filmmaker, what advice would you give to the next generation of filmmakers?

MK: It's pretty exciting right now with new technology making it more affordable for emerging film makers. There are a lot of really creative people that finally have the tools necessary to share their vision. One of the main things I would say as advice to up and coming film makers is to be patient and enjoy the film making process. If you really put your heart into it and spend the time to do it right, people will notice your work and things will happen naturally. Dont ever let budget restrictions stand in the way of your goal, get creative and if there is a will, there is a way.

DE: Budget, Budget, Budget...If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what is one piece of advice you would give yourself regarding the challenges of working on a limited budget?

MK: Well I wouldn't have to go in a time machine to discuss the challenges of working with a limited budget. Ha. I think no matter what, you are always going to be working with less than you would like to have and for me, I like the challenge of having to make things work. It forces me to get creative and find ways to do things I wouldn't normally have thought of. It gives you a great sense of satisfaction to create the illusion of a giant budget and in the long run it makes turning an actual profit into a much closer reality.

If I had to give one word of advice to myself when I was starting out , it would be not to get discouraged and be ready to be extremely resourceful.

DE: As artists, we tend to fall 'in and out' of creative mode, kind of like writer's block. When you feel like you have a creative block, what do you usually do to get motivated? What is your biggest source of inspiration?

MK: For me, I find that taking breaks is really important. Almost as if to let the creative part of the brain refill and refresh. Traveling always inspires me. No matter how much of a creative slump I seem to be in, once there is a change of pace and new scenery everything seems to flow.  Surfing has been a huge part of my life and has taken me to some amazing places and it always seems to help keep my mind on the creative side. It keeps your imagination going and there is always somewhere new to discover whether in or out of the water.

way of the ocean

A DEEPER SHADE of BLUE: a film by Jack Mccoy


A DEEPER SHADE of BLUE - Official Trailer

a film by Jack McCoy

santa barbara international film festival. click for more info.

Arlington Theatre

Tuesday, February 1st at 8:00pm

(Please note the schedule is subject to change)

SYNOPSIS: Master surf filmmaker, Jack McCoy ventures into a new realm with his latest feature, A Deeper Shade of Blue. This is not a surf movie, it's a film about surfing's deepest roots: in the subconscious; in ancient lore; in the craft of surfboard building; in man's perpetual quest for a joyful relationship with the natural world.

"In eleven interwoven chapters, today's leading surfers are linked to those who came before, for a deeper appreciation of what it means to be a surfer and the soulful underlying power of modern surf culture. This is a big picture of a memorable story, beautifully told. It is a film about feeling good to be alive...and it will make you feel good." Aloha ~ Jack


Words of Wisdom by filmmaker Jack McCoy

Q&A by Desiree East

Legendary surf photographer/filmmaker, Jack McCoy, has twenty-plus films under his belt, including surf classic "Tubular Swells" (1977, co-directed with Dick Hoole). The film featured the likes of Gerry Lopez, Rabbit Bartholomew, Sean and Michael Tomson, Peter McGabe and more, exploring surf in Australia and Hawaii and untouched waves in Indonesia.

My husband and I - I'm sure, like many other surfers - have a stack of Jack McCoy's films stashed in our library, that includes Bunyip Dreaming, The Green Iguana, Occy the Occumentary (...well, pretty much anything with Mark Occhilupo, as my husband is a huge fan - and a goofy foot, for that matter) and Blue Horizon, featuring the late Andy Irons.

McCoy's latest film, A Deeper Shade of Blue, encompasses good company from surfers that we have all loved and been inspired by, including: shapers, Rabbit Kekai, Gerry Lopez, David Nuuhiwa, Joe Quigg, Barry Kanaiapuni, Phil Edwards, the Marshall Brothers, and Miki Dora; Australian legends, George Greenough, Wayne Lynch, and Michael Peterson; some of modern's surfing's best talent, Jamie O'Brien, Manoa Drollet, Jordy Smith, and 10 times world champ Kelly Slater; and influential women such as Hawaii's beloved Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn , television's legendary Gidget, and today's current champ, Stephanie Gilmore.

I feel very fortunate to ask Jack if he had a moment to share some sage advice with us in regards to his long career as a cinematographer, and here is what he had to say. (And thanks again, Jack, a million times over, for your never-ending generosity and embodiment of the Aloha Spirit. I know that we, as people - filmmakers or not - can learn something valuable from the experiences you share).

DE: There have been a growing number of aspiring and talented film students...what advice would you give to the next generation of up and coming filmmakers?

JM: Nothing comes easy. It's all about commitment, hard work, and passion. Set yourself some goals and challenges at the start of each production, usually something you really want to understand or learn. That way, at the end of each production, you will have grown as a filmmaker. I also believe you get a better education by going out and doing it, learn along the way...we used to call it the school of hard knocks.

Also, Jim Freeman, the legendary partner of Greg MacGillivray told me before he passed away, that I should make the people around me, the people you bought your film from, the lab you worked with, the people who ran the editing facilities, thru to all of the people you met when you distributed your films, right down to the guy who you bought your lunch from, to make them feel like they are a part of your production and include them in as much of the experience as possible with you. Take them on the journey and of course the credits section in your film doesn't cost you anything and do your best to try and not forget anyone. They were the ones who are the pieces of the puzzle that make the whole. Then, when you go make your next film, people will know you and put that extra bit of effort in to make your next film even better. Jim taught me that before I even picked up a camera and I'm still working with the people that are still around 35 years later.

Jim would sleep at CFI (the big Hollywood Lab where you'd process, work print, and create your release prints) during his entire production of lab work and got to know everyone from the prez to the janitor, and when I went there years later to make my own film, when they knew I was making something on surfing, everyone there would ask me if I knew Jim and I was always proud to tell them he and Greg got me going and were my inspiration and friends.

DE: Travel, Travel, Travel...If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what is one piece of travel advice you would give yourself regarding the challenges of traveling and working with your gear?

JM: Hummmmm  The challenge for me in 1975 when I started to make my films was that my 16mm film and 35mm camera gear was so big and heavy and so much of it. We were making our first films and also publishing a surfing magazine that we'd write and shoot stills for, as well as other magazines around the world.  You could say we had a few balls in the air at one time.

I carried with me two 16mm Bolex camera bodies, an Angeneaux 12-120mm Zoom lens, a 230, 385, 500mm Century lenses, and metal lens brace.  About 4/5ths fit in one big Pelican Case.  The 2nd Bolex, wrapped into a T-shirt, a Kernn 10mm, 25mm and 75mm, 17-85mm lenses fit in a little carboard box, wrapped in a T-shirt, assorted pieces and parts, all wrapped in T-shirts fit in another big Pelican.  This Pelican also held two Nikon 35mm camera bodies with motor drives, one for Color slides and the other for B & W, in T-shirts.

(As a note, after a big days of shooting, I would not go to sleep until every bit of gear was wiped down, lens spit cleaned and locked and loaded for then next day so I could wake up and immediately start shooting).

For a tripod, I had a big heavy Miller fluid head, with big, heavy wooden legs that fit in a canvas Army surplus bag, that was wrapped up in clothes and wetsuits. A large backpack for 35mm lenses and tons of 16mm film stock and 35mm Kodak slide film. Back in the day you had security screenings at gates that were X-Ray machines that could zap your stock and turn it into a foggy mush if it went through. That was always hand carried. I also hand carried a 650mm Century telephoto still photo lens in a secure tube with shoulder strap, and a large plexi glass waterhousing for the Bolex that fit in a canvas custom made bage with rubber padding.

I guess you could call me the human pack mule when I'd turn up at the ticket counter. It always gave me a stomach ache when approaching the lady in uniform as to what her reaction would be. My partner - who had just as much gear as me - and I tried to put on my "meekish sheepish dumb American traveling film maker" look and then wait for the reaction. Most of the time we'd pull it off, a few times we were sent into major debt to cover the overweight we'd get slugged for. Even though I travel today with about 1/3 less gear, I still have to go through the stomach aches at check in since the weight limits are about 1/4 of what they used to be.

The one piece of advice I'd give myself then, and to some extent up and hire an assistant!

DE: As artists, we tend to fall 'in and out' of creative mode, kind of like writer's block. When you feel like you have a creative block, what do you usually do to get motivated...what is your biggest source of inspiration?

Nature. Tom Blake had a motto,  "Nature=God".   Everywhere I look, the land, the sea and the sky, I see pictures and movies that bubble the juices.  The challenge is 'how do I tell the story' and for me, the hardest part is starting.  Once you start to lay the images, music and words down on your timeline, the rest follows.  You can always go back and change it if it's not working later, but for me, getting started really gets  the ball rolling.  The other source of inspiration is to not make the same film twice. Once you've made that sort of film, move onto a new challenge, keep the faith and hang on for one crazy ride.

A Deeper Shade of Blue was inspired by Blue Horizon. My objective was to show where surfing was at the turn of the century. For this film, I wanted to go deeper, pardon the pun, and share what I lived as a kid growing up in Hawaii. About surfing roots, about being a waterman, how surfboards evolved, about the loving and giving creed of Aloha. As I've gotten older, I've really focused on living Aloha and I'm humbled to be able to share what I've lived with other through this film.

I keep rewinding in my mind's vision library the day I met the Duke, his giant hand, and his big smile as I finally had the nerve to look at him and into his eyes. I've had that moment with a lot of my indigenous  brothers all over the world.

a deeper shade of blue a film by jack mccoyMy good friends, Derek Hynd and Garth Murphy have the same spirit within them and this film has kept us all super excited and stoked through all the ups and downs of this almost 5 year effort. Some days we'd discover something and jump and go nuts and tell each other how much we enjoy what we are doing. Even though a lot of you will know the story of ADSOB, there are millions of surfers out there that don't and everyone comes away saying they were entertained and had learned something.

A friend told me early that if you and get just one person to take away some sort of feeling from watching your film, then you've been successful. I really feel blessed having made 25 films, each one a period of time that I return to when I watch them years later. For those who have seen them and taken something from them, I thank you for watching and sharing a part of my life, I'm very grateful and humbled. Aloha to you.


a visual life of the sartorialist


It's amazing what we can learn from other photographers and how they influence us to look at things from a different perspective. Thanks to photographer Chase Jarvis for sharing this inspiring short documentary on Scott Schumann of The Sartorialist.

I've come across so many perfect, random 'moments' when I am out and about, camera in hand, and I see people from all walks of life, doing their everyday thing. That perfect moment is visually stunning for some reason or another: the available light is just right, the composition and lines are strong, and the subject is usually doing something that just moves me emotionally.

And I think to myself, "What a beautiful moment..." or "Wow, that would be a cool shot..." or "He/She is an interesting character, I'd love to get them on film..."

But...being as shy as I am, I don't always get those marvelous shots. Why? Rejection? Liability?

It's kind of ironic, that as a teacher, I have no problem standing in front of an entire class of students. I lead them through lessons and activities, and answer questions (that I don't always have the answer to). And as a designer, I have no problem meeting clients for the first time. Inspiring them and sparking 'thousand-dollar' creative ideas for their beautiful homes is like second nature to me. But when it comes to snapping a simple photo of a stranger, I freeze up. So what gives? Is the element of the unknown?

I hope that as I grow as a photographer, I can learn how to overcome these little hurdles. It'll take some time, and a little more effort than just using my telephoto lens to get that great shot. (And yes, I will be sure to have model/release forms handy in my hot little hands).

So how do you do you do it? Any photographers out there have any simple tips they can share?

I am breaking ALL of the rules (but not really, probably)

[youtube=] Rules are meant to be broken. Or maybe I am just too lazy to follow them.

So this post has nothing to do with any related DailyPost topic thingamagigs from Wordpress (or does this count?)

I probably spelled thingamajig wrong (how do you spell that word, anyway?)

And I know that - at least on twitter - music is usually reserved for Music Mondays...but because I can't wait for Monday, Happy Music Friday!

I don't know about you, but my Fridays are just as - if not more - crazy than Mondays. It's my day to tie up loose ends from the work week. It can get kinda crazy, finalizing last minute design work, re-organizing art supplies and lesson plans from teaching, driving to and fro across the county, spotting plant material at job sites that needed to go in yesterday, going for end of week bank run, and if I'm lucky, setting a lunch date with a girlfriend or my name it, I'll squeeze it in.

But, as you probably already know, music always makes the day flow so much better.

(Oh, geez, flashback!) Did I ever mention that back in the day, in a land far, far away, I used to be a DJ for Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo? I was studying Mass Media/Journalism at the time...and I was the only girl DJ (I know, right? High five). Funny how some things in life come full circle.

So here it is. Something to inspire (or distract) you...a little ditty from one of my fave, fave FAVORITE artists, Pheonix. A cool acoustic version of '1901' to start your weekend off right...

And if you haven't seen it yet, don't forget to check out the trailer for the film, Somewhere, featuring music by Phoenix. Enjoy the tunes!

1901 from album wolfgang amadeus:

Counting all different ideas drifting away Past and present, they don't matter, now the future's sorted out Watch her moving in elliptical patterns Think it's not what you say, what you say is way too complicated For a minute thought I couldn't tell how to fall out

It's twenty seconds until the last call You're going, "Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey" Lie down you know it's easy Like we did it over summer long And I'll be anything you ask and more You're going, "Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey" It's not a miracle we needed No, I wouldn't let you think so Fold it, fold it, fold it, fold it

Girlfriend, oh your girlfriend is drifting away Past and present, 1855-1901 Watch them built up a meteor tower Think it's not going to stay anyway, think it's overrated For a minute thought I couldn't tell how to fall out

It's twenty seconds until the last call You're going, "Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey" Lie down you know it's easy Like we did it over summer long And I'll be anything you ask and more You're going, "Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey" It's not a miracle we needed No, I wouldn't let you think so Fold it, fold it, fold it, fold it

transformational creativity coach desiree east

Desiree East is a Soulful Entrepreneur, Certified Master Transformational Coach, Creativity Coach and Visual Artist. Desiree facilitates live creative workshops and retreats, as well as, online art programs focused on personal and professional development. She inspires her clients to create meaningful change in their lives through creative ritual, using art-making as a modality for creative wellness and deep transformation (no art experience required). 

desiree east - certified creativity coach - master transformational coaching method - creatively fit coaching - creativity coaching association.png

All images, illustrations, and artwork on this site are copyright © Desiree East unless otherwise noted, and may not be edited, reproduced or sold by any party without written permission. You may have permission to distribute and share posted articles and content, although credit would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to purchase or license any images, illustrations, or artwork, please contact Desirée East directly for more info.

Amazon Associates Disclosure: Desiree East Studios is a participant in the Amazon Services Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to