Business and EDU Creativity

How To Improve the Look of Your Office

Our office is where we spend the better part of our days. Eight or nine hours a day, five to six days a week are spent sitting in an office chair staring at a computer screen. The things we surround ourselves with can have an impact on our mood and general outlook. A cluttered but boring office can be chaotic, but a clean, well-organized work space can bring us into a happier head space  One can make us want to scream and run out of the space, and the other makes it a delight to sit down and begin working in a creative way.

office improvement


The first step to a more organized, efficient office is a clean office. Every few weeks, take the time to remove everything and wash down the desk’s surface. Before putting the computer, phone and files back, wipe them down thoroughly. Dirt and dust can accumulate in hidden spaces on the desk’s surface. Drawers should be cleaned out. Consider vacuuming and dusting behind the desk too. Even the chair material can be brushed or vacuumed to remove dust or allergens that can accumulate.


Papers, notebooks and files should be neatly stored in drawers or file cabinets unless in use. If they are being used, they should still be stacked in an organized way. Papers strewn about are more likely to fall to the floor or get lost behind the desk. Nothing can get us scrambling and panicked like an important file that gets lost. It’s hard to be productive in a chaotic environment too.


The modern office is full of technology and with technology comes wires. Unless the newest technology is wireless, there are clumps of wires cluttering the office. Wires connect the computer, monitor, mouse and keyboard. There are wires for calculators, modems and routers. All these wires can equal a tangled mess behind the desk and wires that trail across the surface. Ties can be used to keep the wires organized. There are special ties that can be purchased for wrangling disorderly wires.

Personal touches

Once the desk and surrounding areas are dust-free, it’s time to think about personal touches that reflect personality and a sense of fun. A mouse-pad that reflects personal interests or hobbies can be a fantastic way to make us smile throughout the day. If we are a lover of golf, we can use a mouse pad shaped like a golf ball. A love of Sponge-bob could be reflected in a pineapple pen holder. A pen holder in a bright color can be purchased to match the mouse pad to create a splash of color in an otherwise dull office space. These items are essential in an organized office space and let the personality of the occupant shine through.


While it’s valuable to have a productive work environment, there is no reason that decorations and personal touches should not be added, or to worry that it will distract from the job at hand. Aside from essentials like pen holders and mouse pads  the space can be decorated with framed photos of family and friends. It reminds us that not everything has to be about work and helps us reflect on why we are working in the first place. Another addition to the office space might include a lamp, plant or calendar. This gives the office space a feel of comfort and reflects personal style. A vending machine can add personal style to an office and has the added function of bringing nutritious snacks to fuel a productive work environment.

Creativity Home Improvement

Starting Off With Your Oil Painting Projects

We all have our creative sides; some people just discover and develop it earlier than others. Creativity is a medium for people to express themselves. If you are trying to express your creative side, oil painting would be perfect.

Painting in oils can be a messy business. It is smelly and the mess and paint spills are hard to clean up. The smell of turpentine or thinner could be very discouraging. Most of the new artists prefer to work using acrylic paints because it is more convenient and the texture is better. However, oils are more durable if properly taken care of.

Oil paints are very versatile and could be applied in a variety of ways. There are thick impasto’s and thin glazes. The consistency can be experimented with. It’s a great medium for persons who are just recently discovering their feel for art.

Knowing the basic composition of an oil painting helps the beginner to understand the concepts behind a great oil painting. Composition, color, values, texture and edges are important. Composition is the arrangement of lines, forms and images ion your canvass. It is how you foresee your picture. You can make visualization easier by making a sketch of your painting. The composition should be thought of prior to doing the actual painting. Color is what draws the observer to a painting. The hues and the shades must match. Value is the 3D aspect of your painting, the contributing factor to how realistic your picture would look like. Texture refers to the thickness of your image while edges are the point of intersection of two colors.

oil paintings

After understanding the basics, you can now start off with your painting. There are many techniques used in oil painting. Alla prima is painting directly on a canvass without the application of under-paint. This is used by artists who want to finish a picture with just one sitting. Impasto is the application of a thick layer of paint using a brush or knife, the thickness retains the texture of the brush or knife. Knife painting is the usage of a knife in applying a textured layer of paint. Toned ground is painting on a tinted surface thus enhancing color contrast. Glazing requires patience. It involves applying a thin layer of translucent paint over dry paint. Then a glazing medium is added to increase transparency. Dry brush painting is painting with a brush that contains a very small amount of paint.

Further tips include; avoid over-mixing colors, limit the colors to less than a dozen and work on these colors alone. Start off with student grade materials but move on to higher quality materials when your technique and style develops.

Oil painting is a diverse form of art and is favored by many artists because of the different techniques that could be used. It is great as a start off project for new artists.

At we not only create oil paintings from photos, but we can combine photos into one beautiful work of art as well. We can create a wonderful painting from different photographs so your entire family can be included. Contact us if you want any help with your oil painting reproductions today.

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Creativity Top 10 Lists

Top Five Singing and Dancing Tough Guy Actors

There are a lot of versatile actors out there, managing to perform magnificent portrayals of both action packed tough guys and sensitive characters who can sing and dance the night away. The following is a list of the top five tough guy actors who can pull off singing and dancing their hearts out.

Number Five: John Travolta

John Travolta was well known for his soft roles as a sensitive and smoking sing and dancing machine for a very long time. He is remembered well for his role as Danny Zuko in the timeless musical Grease, as well as his role in the hit disco musical Saturday Night Fever as Tony Manero. It wasn’t until the early 1990’s when he showed the world that he could change things up and become a super tough gun wielding gangster, drug dealer, and criminal in Quentin Terantino’s movie Pulp Fiction. He starred in action packed movies such as Get Shorty, Broken Arrow, and Face/Off. In 2007, he yet again showed his musical side when he dressed in drag for the hit musical Hairspray, showing a whole new generation what a dancing music man he really is.

Number Four: Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler is a definitely hit in both tough guy roles and as a mysterious and deep dancing phantom. He has displayed amazing valor and ruthlessness in his action packed roles as Atilla the Hun and as the King of the Spartans, Leonidas, in the movie 300. Gerard Butler then took on the deep, emotional role as the singing and dancing Phantom of the Opera, in the movie adaptation of the magnificent play. His vocal performances in the movie showed us that Butler indeed does have to chops to pull off a singing role, and his acting showed us a deeper, gentler side of this tough guy actor. The Phantom of the Opera is a wonderful show, and you would be wise to see it. Check around for the phantom of the opera discount tickets.

Number Three: Patrick Swayze

This muscle clad actor was born to be a dancing star. His mother owned a dance studio, meaning that before he was a tough guy actor he was teaching dance and playing Danny Zuko for the Broadway production of Grease. Of course, everyone remembers his epic performance in Dirty Dancing, sexily teaching Baby all those moves. He also played in several tough guy roles in movies like Point Break, Road House, and Red Dawn.

Number Two: Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman, known for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men series and as the intimidating vampire hunter Van Helsing is definitely a tough guy actor. Although this tough guy had already preformed in several stage productions such as Beauty and the Beast, Oklahoma!, and The Wizard of Oz, he just recently brought his epic singing and dancing into the world of film with Les Miserables. This tough guy actor even has a degree in journalism to boot.

Number One: James Cagney

James Cagney earned his tough guy street cred during his roles in The Public Enemy and Angels with Dirty Faces. He had a huge gangster persona for the times, and was even idolized by Tony Soprano. Before his tough guy debut, his resume consisted of singing and dancing roles, along with some comedy roles. He also won an Oscar for his portrayal of George M. Cohan, a musical composer, singer, and an actor, in the movie Yankee Doodle Dandy, which was released in 1942.

All of the actors listed above have shined playing both types of roles, proving them to be excellent and versatile actors.

Image Credit: twm1340