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plus: $10 back issue sale ends tonight at midnight MDT
Inspirations and musings on building a life (and business) in creativity

Dear Reader,

I’ve spent the better part of a decade searching for inspiration. 

At its heart, everything I make and do with UPPERCASE is curated and designed to inspire me—and by extension, you, my reader. By sharing the stories of talented creatives in a wide variety of disciplines, each magazine issue or book is full of inspiring people, places and things.

But the word “inspiration” is so-often employed these days, that I hesitate to use it. “Inspiration" is diluted. When it comes to creativity, what is truly inspiring? 

the good
When something you see or experience triggers a switch to “yes!” in your creative heart, that’s the best kind of inspiration. The kind that motivates you, that fires you up, that kicks you into action. It creates a desire to do something, to harness that inspired feeling and see where it leads you. It’s joyful, pure, instinctual. It has no judgments, no preconceptions, no deadlines: it simply is. yes!

the bad
One can be inspired by another artist and while it’s ok to admire, it is never ok to copy. Imitation is not flattering for the one doing the imitating. The phrase “taking inspiration” describes this darker side. If you find yourself relying too much on other people’s work when making your own, stop. If you’re judging your work against someone else’s work, stop. Step back and look at it objectively. Make a list of all the things that you love about that person’s work and all the traits that you aspire to achieve in your own work. Going forward, use that list as your guide and your motivation. 

the pretty
I think we’re overloaded by so much generic “inspiration” that we’re becoming desensitized. We pin on Pinterest, like on Instagram… but this infinite scroll of images—however gorgeous they may be—is training us for snap judgments and short attention spans. It’s a millisecond of inspiration that burns out nearly as soon as it began and you find yourself scrolling for another hit. Sometimes a good dose of pretty is just what you need, but the next time you find yourself in a hangover of pinning and liking, revisit your selections. Was any of it inspiring in a lasting way? 


With the twenty-fifth making its way into the world now, my hope is that I’ve done my job well and that UPPERCASE falls into the best category of inspiration.

May you come away from reading the magazine feeling joy and optimism, with a flicker of a new idea whispering, "yes!"
 

Here's my studio today. It is full of things that I love, from typewriters to loose beads to vintage tins, old camera and pretty staplers... and lots of books and magazines.

Thanks to the following folks on Instagram: @inkloungedenver, @mammalchupie, @brickandmortarliving, @chrismul74, @maricfinegoods and @cbmdecker


Thanks for all your orders this past week! The $10 back issues warehouse sale ends TONIGHT at midnight MDT.  If you subscribe or renew starting with issue #25 and purchase back issues, everything will ship together. 
 

Submission deadline is April 15 

Your stories of doilies and lace have been absolutely wonderful! I'm so impressed with your personal and well-written stories and look forward to sharing many of them in the summer issue. If you're stilling planning to submit, the deadline is tomorrow. Likewise the call for Creative Postage Stamps Crafts and Projects ends tomorrowSorry, no extensions on these entries.

The stamp design call remains open until April 25. For that call, I'd really love to see more designers and typographers enter their stamp designs. And remember, you can be whimsical with the stamp topic and country... if you could have any stamp issued from any part of the world (real or imagined) what would it commemorate?
 
Inspire others, please share.
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Who and what is UPPERCASE?

UPPERCASE publishes books and magazines for the creative and curious: products that spark the imagination and inspire creativity. The eponymous magazine was founded in 2009 by publisher, editor and designer Janine Vangool who continues to wear pretty much every hat imaginable. The quarterly print magazine is loved by subscribers around the world. Truly an independent magazine, UPPERCASE is supported by its readers through subscriptions and by a roster of stockists.
Copyright © 2015 UPPERCASE publishing inc, All rights reserved.


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