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 Tag: Arts

i finished a painting marathon...whew!

Yay! I finished a painting marathon! Never thought I'd say that, but boy was it fun. That was about 3-1/2 weeks of painting straight. You can read more about how my painting adventure unravelled in these two posts:

Have You Ever Tried Painting, Marathon Style?

Totally Addicted

And tonight, I am prepping for an Art Show. I have lots to do, so I am going to leave it at that. If you live locally, I would love to see you and chat about how I can coach you through the next Painting Marathon. Crossing fingers that it doesn't rain, as I plan on doing some live painting demos and inviting YOU to help throw paint on the canvas!


dec 1_art show_sandbox coffee house_desiree east_charney and friends

Q&A with Choreographer Devin Fulton of ZINGDEED: a dance film


ZINGDEED: A Dance Film featuring The Pin-Down Girls

Produced by Devin Fulton & Jamila Glass

Director & Writer: Jamila Glass

Choreographer & Creative Director: Devin Fulton

Soundtrack: AWOLNATION - "Sail" & "Burn It Down" (InnerPartySystem Remix)

Premiered at the Sweat Spot in Los Angeles, CA on January 14, 2012

SYNOPSIS: The Palashakopians are the native, estrogen-powered people of ZINGDEED, a mystical land of otherworldly deer-like super beings. Their world is dramatically altered when their leader sends the pack to a planet called Earth to rescue a lost soul.

zingdeed photo by James Scolari

The Palashakopians: Charlene Bittinger, Genevieve Carson, Devin Fulton, Jamila Glass, Chereese Mackey, Amanda Meyer, Jaime Randall

The Earthling: Estefano Suazo


Featured Artist: Choreographer & Creative Director, Devin Fulton

Q&A by Desiree East

One word: Phenomenal

That is what comes to mind while watching Zingdeed.

And you might say that I am a teenie-bit biased solely because I personally know the mind-blowing talented Choreographer, Devin Fulton. (Or, perhaps it's because I became a fan of Awolnation's music after I had learned that my brother, Kalae Gam, worked as an Art Director for Awol's production of  'It's Not Your Fault' and 'Sail'...)

So yes, I am proud of my family and friends. I am always inspired by Influencers in society, and yes, even though I am a little biased toward (absolutely loving) the work of the people closest to me, here's the reality: the world is filled with pure, creative geniuses.  And their creative intelligence is quite contagious. The dance film, Zingdeed is proof of that. It is evident in everything - from how the dancers interpret the storyline through their movement and emotions to how the allure of post-modern costumes fit the mood of the narrative.

They say if you share your love and talents with the world, then good karma will come back to you ten-fold. Well, Devin has been a huge influence in my (dancing) life for several years, and I feel very grateful and humbled to have the opportunity of being showered with her ingenious bits of choreography in the studio.  I am pretty sure she has shared the same drive and inspiration with other dance students, as well as company members at LACDC (Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company) and in her own company, The Pin-Down Girls. Devin has been blessed with a successful career as a professional dancer and choreographer for many years, and her generous spirit and passion for dance is contagious. And now, after partnering with talented dancer and filmmaker, Jamila Glass of The Cutting Room, it will only open the door to bigger, spectacular opportunities for these truly gifted artists...

Zingdeed. Dancer Devin Fulton. photo by Abby Darby

Desiree East: What was your inspiration for Zingdeed and how did you come up with the concept?

Devin Fulton: The choreography from ZINGDEED was something I originally created for a live fashion show called Urban Odyssey. One of my company members in the Pin-Down Girls, Jamila Glass was part of the cast, and when we exited stage that night she said, "I think we should turn this piece into a dance film, whadya say?" She is a USC film school graduate and an incredible talent, and I trusted her whole heartedly with my work and my vision. I simply answered, "Lets do it" and we immediately started the pre-production process. We wanted this to be more than just shooting dance for the sake of shooting dance, but with a storyline and concept. We locked ourselves in my house for 4 days, until we had a cohesive idea. She wrote the treatment and we sent it off to our dream team. We got all yes replies and were shooting two weeks later. 

DE: From Costumes to Photography, Choreography to Production, and everything in between, it sounds like you had an amazing group of artists to collaborate it safe to say you are hooked on the process of combining Dance Performance with Filmmaking?

DF: Jamila and I are still completely overwhelmed by the 42 person cast and crew who donated their time and skills to make this thing come together in the incredible way that it did. This was so humbling and inspiring and we are absolutely thrilled about keeping the ball rolling! There is not enough dance film making happening in the U.S. and we are excited about being pioneers, if you will, in getting people thinking and producing more in this way. We have started pre-production for the next project, and have about 3 more concepts in mind to follow. It is indeed fair to say, that we are totally hooked :-)

DE: As a professional dancer/performing artist, what do you think is the biggest challenge in the industry? 

Dancer and Choreographer Devin Fulton. photo by James Scolari

DF: I think that there are two main challenges in pursuing dance as a career. 1) Figuring out a way to pay your bills and survive. 2) Being respected in the same way that artists in other forums are. These two things go hand in hand really. I will fight to my death about dance being by far the hardest art form to go after. I am still trying to figure out why we are so under appreciated and how to help in making changes in the right direction. 

DE: As a choreographer, what is your creative process like? How do you get motivated and where do you draw your inspiration?

DF: My inspiration first and for most, comes from the 9 insanely talented dancers in my company. I work with the most unique and versatile women, which makes it so easy to create dances and shows that have many layers, and different tonality that is constantly changing and evolving. I believe in hiring dancers who can do a whole lot of everything, which keeps it fun for me because I am then able to apply all of my background and training, and also keep trying new things and pushing in new directions. When doing these things, I believe as an Artistic-Director that you must create a safe environment for your dancers. Also, a balance between a fun and productive work space. Second to all that, music of course is a huge part of where my motivation comes from.

DE: Do you have any advice for young, aspiring dancers for overcoming any of the challenges they may face?

DF: No matter what path you pursue in your life, there will always be challenges that come along with it. It is so important to do and go after what YOU love, not your mother, father, or Sally Joe down the street. I am scared to death every time I try something new. That is never a valid reason not to try it out though. In the brilliant words of those Nike ads..."Just Do It!" Trying not to give a shit what others think about you is a perfectly normal battle that I think most people face. I am still learning how to not give a shit, and Just Do it. The result in doing so, is usually incredibly fulfilling. 

ZINGDEED. photo by James Scolari

Producers: Devin Fulton & Jamila Glass Director & Writer: Jamila Glass Choreographer & Creative Director: Devin Fulton

The Palashakopians: Charlene Bittinger, Genevieve Carson, Devin Fulton, Jamila Glass, Chereese Mackey, Amanda Meyer, Jaime Randall

The Earthling: Estefano Suazo

Music: AWOLNATION - "Sail" & "Burn It Down" (InnerPartySystem Remix) **We own the rights to the choreography, not the music. This falls under "Fair Use" as no revenue is being generated from this film. Purely for entertainment.

Associate Producer: Jessica Bodner Cinematographers: Brad Haskell & Ben Clarke Costume Designer: Kellsy Mackilligan Headdress & Harness Designer: Kittinhawk Sculptor & Boot Designer: Jessica Bodner Set Designer: Kathi Leineke 1st ADs - Connor Casavan & Tiffany Sweat 2nd AD - Estefano Suazo Editor - Jamila Glass Camera Operators: John Kennedy & Raymond Demeritt Makeup & Hair - Michael Kelley Salon Sound - Taylor Quinn Set Wardrobe - Sara Duarte Set Photography - Abby Darby & James Scolari Catering - Duke Gervais

and now, for a brief intermission...

[vimeo w=500&h=360] An old favorite. Directed, shot and edited by Ross Harris (aka Rossangeles). Featuring his beautiful daughter, Maya Harris, as the balloonatic. This family's got talent, yo!

"Is it true that you only become famous after you die???"

[youtube] One of my 10-year-old art students recently asked a question in class the other day, "Is it true that you only become famous after you die???"

To be quite honest, I wasn't quite sure how to answer that question. As I was trying to think of a sincere answer, my thoughts were interrupted by another young student who innocently added, "Yeah...I heard that you're only famous if your artwork is really, really old..."

(Ahem)...where in the world do kids learn these things???

The idea that artists are 'ahead of their time' and not fully recognized or appreciated for their art during their era, until much later after their death --- for instance, 'posthumously' famous artists such as, Vincent Van Gogh and Emily Dickinson --- is one that is widely accepted.

(However, this idea is debatable - and a whole-nother story - because the definition of fame and success have very different meanings from one artist to another. Not all artists create art for the sake of being famous. Also, many great artists' talents have been and are recognized and appreciated while still alive...just like my young, beautiful, and wonderfully talented art students!)

This brings us to my latest obsession, the late (posthumously famous) photographer, VIVIAN MAIER (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009). As we approach the 2nd anniversary of her passing, it is just absolutely astonishing how her images have almost instantly revealed a culture from the past - more like a time machine, if you will - and one that the world will learn from in the days, months, and years to come.

(Alright, so let me back up)...I don't know if any of you have been following the story of Vivian Marier, but the more it unfolds, the more intrigued I am.

FIRST, let's talk about photography (I'm kind of working backwards, here, so please bear with me). The fascinating thing about capturing images, is that you get a glimpse of what the person behind the lens is viewing. It's how they interpret the world as they see it.

Now, I'm not talking about specific assignments that professional photographers are hired for, and I'm not talking about a project that was assigned to you as homework in Beginning Photography 101. I'm talking about raw, candid shots. Shooting from the hip. Street photography. Urban photography. Whatever you want to call it.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT AN IMAGE, ask yourself:

What was it that motivated the photographer behind the lens to take that shot?

Is there a compelling story on the other side of the lens?

Perhaps the lighting had casted the perfect hue on the subject...

Or maybe the objects presented a strong composition in relation to each other...

It might have simply been the quirky expression on a child's face or the crow's feet extending from the sparkling eyes of an eldery person.

"Okay, so what's your point?" you ask?

Most artists have an opportunity to express what their intent is. Reading an Artist's Statement along with their work is the norm. It invites the viewers into their world in a compelling way, explaining the style of their work, or perhaps, the intent or message of the series of artwork that they are featuring.

Then we have the late Vivian Maier. Not a world-renowned artist (at least not, yet). Just a nanny. No artist statement. No nothing.

Except for the astounding images, of course. Oh, and the mystery audio tapes and documentaries captured on endless reels of film.

No one knew who Ms. Maier was until the random bulk of prints, negatives, and undeveloped rolls of film was acquired at an antique auction by historian, John Maloof, in 2007.

Since then, the story of her mysterious past have been unraveling before our eyes. Hundreds of thousands (literally) of negatives and rolls of film have been carefully dodged and burned onto photo paper. As each print is currently being rustled through, we are slowly starting to learn about this amazingly gifted artist.

As an educator and art lover, I am very excited and very thankful that John Maloof and Jeff Goldstein and their amazing network of support have decided to share this process of this project with the rest of the world. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU...

This is ART HISTORY, people. It is unfolding in front of our eyes, and WE are part of it. This is the moment to appreciate the unveiling of a great artist --- the Emily Dickinson and Vincent van Gogh of photography, the hidden world of VIVIAN MAIER.




To learn more about this fascinating project, please visit the official site of Vivian Maier.

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do you ever feel a sense of nostaglia when you listen to certain songs?

[vimeo w=500&h=281] Mike McCarthy (of the Stoked and Broke soundtrack), Coral Latella, and Sean Cashin perform "Missing Person". Behind the lens is independent filmmaker, Nathan Oldfield of Freefilms

I fell in love the moment I saw this clip.

No seriously, I did. I grew up surrounded by music. Music was the center of gatherings (oh wait, I lied...actually, food comes first). And then we had jam sessions. Nothing fancy. From Hawaiian to reggae and blues and anything in between and beyond. It's just what we did. We got together, we cooked, we ate, we played music, we sang and danced. Uncles, aunties, cousins, my mom, dad, brother, friends of family, friends of friends, whomever, whenever, and whatever instrument was laying around was played. Guitar, stand-up base, ukulele, drums...and if there was anything missing, "no worries!" We made homemade instruments on the fly.

And that's what I love about this video. In the kitchen. In the raw.

Home Sweet Home.

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

new year's resolution tip #5: how to hang out with celebrities without totally looking like a stalker...

santa barbara international film festival 2011

Just kidding (about the stalking part) and I'm not sure what happened to tips #1 through 4...I must have lost my notes somewhere. No but seriously, you can rub elbows with the big wigs, as well as up and coming aspiring film makers, at the 26th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. You might have an opportunity to see some celebs on the Red Carpet, at the ever engaging and revealing Industry Panel events and at special screenings or tributes.

My Mom and I volunteered in 2010, and it was very exciting supporting artists in the culture we like to call 'the cinema'. The intimate setting of Santa Barbara combined with its quaint historical theaters made it even more memorable. We are volunteering again in 2011 and hope you can make it......TOTALLY worth it, rain or shine!

:)Oh, and just a friendly reminder: please say no to pirated movies, because (on a more personal level) the end result trickles down and affects artists that work tremendously long hours behind the scenes like my brother, Kalae Gam, an incredibly gifted and hard-working Artistic Director (I've got your back, little bro!)

Click here to buy tix for the festival or view the video below if you are interested in volunteering behind the scenes:

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.

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