Blue1

Creativity secret from the masters: dare to be unremarkable

betty ming liu Art, Inspiration 8 Comments

Until recently, I looked for inspiration in great work by great writers and artists. Do my best! Unleash my uniqueness! Be a star! But creativity’s flip side might be even more helpful. In reality, geniuses fail to be genius all the time. If anything, they spend most of their lives churning out stuff that’s forgettable. This is true whether we’re …

prince

The night I met Prince, or, the coolest moment of my life

betty ming liu Art, Inspiration, Relationships 19 Comments

Dear Prince, I am writing my first-ever fan letter, to say “thank you.” Three decades ago, we met in a fleeting New York moment that gave me faith in my nerd self. With your death, I see the memory through fresh eyes. By staying fabulously purple your entire life, you’ve shown me that cool is possible at any age. The …

Giverny flowers

The price of freedom: My $9k dream vacation

betty ming liu Art, Food, Inspiration, Relationships, Travel 12 Comments

Running away from home for a 10-day painting vacation in France came with a price — $9,079.80, to be exact. But it’s what I wanted to do. I had a great time. Plus, I learned the value of letting go. “Me first” is my new mantra! Everything was new. I’d never gone on a vacation by myself before. Never went …

unnamed-1

What I’ve learned about abstract painting & life

betty ming liu Art, Inspiration, Travel 4 Comments

The sun is setting on my 10-day dream vacation in France. When I fly back to JFK tomorrow, I will be packing a ton of new experiences, insights and concrete skills. Learning to paint abstract is all about simplifying what I see down to the elements that matter most — to me. Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I just …

Buying fish in Honfleur

Shopping for memories from my French painting vacation

betty ming liu Art, Food, Travel 7 Comments

Oh, this French vacation is zooming by, making me feel nostalgic. So I went shopping for souvenirs — memories to take home as I explored Honfleur during a very rainy day. Weather-wise, we’ve been lucky during this 10-day painting trip in northern France. It’s been sunny until now. The downpour started last night and it was crazy noisy. This morning, …

unnamed-4

My day of creative reckoning

betty ming liu Art, Relationships, Travel 13 Comments

This 10-day painting trip to France is more than a tra-la-la fun vacation. I say this because we just went through the first critique of our work — and it felt like a deep therapy session. As you know from my daily postings about this adventure, our instructor Frank O’Cain, a master¬†teacher with laser vision. Even though I barely know …