Art Tricks, Money Traps (Work-Life Balance)

We did it dear readers. We finally got through it.

We made it to the end of my series on the Wellness Factors of Life, AKA addressing the OECD index, or if you prefer, the Postconsumers series. What started out as a wild bid on my part in considering how to live a life with less and yet fuller than you could ever imagine, is now closing out with a topic more then fitting – work-life balance. The last factor that can directly effect your over-all state of being in this world of ours.

Because let’s face it, the average global citizen doesn’t even realize they have a creative component of who they are. Creativity that should be nurtured like all of the other things.

Your creative spark absolutely needs to be considered, and it connects quite well with areas of health, spirit, work, family/friends, environment, and personal fulfilment. When all of these things come together, your life will sing with excellence. Or maybe it’ll all fall apart if you ignore any one of those things for too long.

Yikes, that is a depressing thought to fathom. But I’ve been there creative cuties, and yes I may share that story in full one day. The story which led to one of my greatest theories on the importance of pursuing your purpose, it could be a campfire theory even, but not today is not that day friends.

I’ve got a different kind of wisdom to impart.

But first, let’s put a cap on that pen, and bring out the fundamental of life once more.

The Bare Knuckle Necessities

I’m going to make a bold statement.

You cannot achieve the perfect balance of life:
career (work),
spirituality (spirit, creativity),
space (home, studio, environment),
relationships (romantic, family, friends),
health (exercise, meditation, reading),
and fulfillment (hobbies, recreation)

All of these are noble pursuits, and completely attainable, but most definitely not all at once, and never more then two or three at a time. I know you’ve tried to accomplish this on your own, and you may have even fought against the theory because you wanted to disprove it. But like many idioms, adages, and metaphors of life, life hits back, over and over.

It’s not about besting life friends, it’s about taking it all in, giving it your best shot at a few areas at a time, and then continuing onward.

So for you that might mean getting a grip on health, and career for quite a while. At least until you’ve seen some positive gains and have set up some new healthy habits for yourself. I’m not going to devolve this post into going over theories I’ve discussed before on health, productivity and habit setting, but those topics do exist on This is about you being okay with striving for progress in certain areas, and then moving into progress in other areas.

Automation Station

Effectively you are creating rhythms and routines for yourself that your body, mind, and soul will be grateful for. Think about it for a minute, we are so comfortable falling into the same shitty habits every day after work? Ever wonder why we do that? Hint: it’s not because we want to.

Instead of beating yourself up because you didn’t do everything on your list today, focus on a few things to accomplish each day and follow through on them. Once the systems are in place to make those good decisions a reality every day (usually after a 90 day commitment), you will eventually create your own ideal, and balance will now have a new meaning.

It becomes less about having everything in equal measure, and more about shifting attentions on these areas of wellness as needed. So put the time in, build your lists, schedule tasks, and make one concrete action towards your area of focus each day. As Rocky says, that’s how winning’s done.

For me, what that means right now is making art every week, and marketing my business. Those are two simple things, but I’ve been neglecting them for relationships, work, and health. It’s time to focus back on the art and my own purpose.

theories Summarized

Artists of all stripes have to face the same pressures of work-life balance as do those that ignore the creative path. There is nothing wrong with going one way or the other, but when you make art, never assume your failings at balance are due to the pursuit of creativity – we all struggle with this. Skill, determination and a commitment to improvement are essential in moving towards success within the arts, as is true of any field.

The difference is that your path is not set in stone, therefore the risks and rewards are much greater. But I have a theory that you already know what you need to chase.


Make Your Own Damn Popcorn (Life Satisfaction)

Sometimes it’s important to ask the hard questions, evaluate your life, and how you feel about the direction its headed, considering options along the way. For instance, the following questions are almost always on our collective minds. How can we be satisfied in life? How do we feel content? How do we be happy with what we have?

Not because it’s an impossible task, but because life “seems” to throw obstacles in our way constantly, people don’t understand us or are actively trying to prevent us from succeeding, relationships are built on false ideas, dreams misunderstood.

This is yet another post inspired by the considerations of the OECD index. And yet, this one feels like its at the core of series.

So today, I’m going to attempt to answer these questions, knowing full well that you’re creative professionals, and you’re already chasing happiness. Hopefully that’s the right idea to have!

How To Be

The first question to the theme of life satisfaction is surrounded by possibility. Can we be satisfied in life? Is that a realistic goal to even have?

Well, I’d like to think so. We all have things that bring temporary joy to our lives, meeting up with good friends that make us laugh can be a great example of this. Whenever you’re down, you need to think about something that makes you calm down and begin to smile. I hear that baby and animal videos can work wonders.

And you might say, well timotheories, that’s just not me. In fact, baby and animal videos MAKE me angry.

And to that I say, you can absolutely choose to be angry and frustrated or you can choose to be consumed by anger. It’s not an easy habit to break though, so you need to find relaxation techniques to replace your anger with, like meditation, affirmations, and reflecting on the things you are grateful for already.

Another item which is ever so important is expectation. You cannot life your life the same way as other people have, do or tell you they plan to. You are a unique individual with a one-of-a-kind set of experiences, that means that life will not play out for you the same way as anyone else. Granted, you do have access to many of the same tools as others, and you are limited to some basic principles of life, ie breathing, sleeping, eating, having a physical body, and making a living.

But maybe you need to pare it down and live more simply?

The World Happiness Report

Have you ever read The World Happiness Report before dear readers? Well I have, briefly. Essentially its a way to measure happiness based on the country you live in, and it was developed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a few years ago. The idea being that if countries can measure the happiness of their populace, it might help guide their policies in a more constructive direction.

According to the 2017 report, Norway is the happiest country in the world, followed closely by Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland. Rounding out the top ten are Finland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden.

The principles of freedom, generosity, and trust are what drive these countries to remain at the top of the one hundred and fifty plus sized list. I mention it because I think those concepts are key in happiness at an individual level.

Let me elaborate.

How To Feel

Contentment is important in having trust and generosity for sure, and I would also argue that freedom affords that state of mind as well.

Happiness is really about feeling good about your own life. Enjoying what you have, avoiding negative thoughts about what you don’t, holding your personal relationships to a standard of happiness that makes sense for you, and never comparing your life to others.

I’m going to share another really cool article with you that explains it well. Life satisfaction is about your life, so if you are satisfied, then you are in a state of satisfaction. Past, present, and future included.

So what are the things needed to achieve present happiness? Well I summarized the theory for simplicity:

  1. Friends. Have a circle of close friends, it’ll boost your happiness a lot.
  2. A Life Story. Meaning comes from explanation, and telling stories about our lives accomplishes just that.
  3. Goals. A consistent and evolving list of achieved goals is better than one big dream.
  4. Immaterial Living. The more material(s) you chase, the less satisfied you are.
  5. Keep Growing. Letting your mind stay open as you age pays off.

theories Summarized

I really do believe that you should keep growing as you age. I make a habit of reading at least one book a month, listen to a new album every week, and watch movies that I care about while avoiding activities that don’t inspire me to follow my passions as an artist. Even my closest friends share interests with me and enjoy that the story I am writing includes them.

timotheories is about community for artists, and I live my life that way, you should too. One last final theory, I make popcorn because I enjoy the taste, it has almost no calories, and it can be made around a campfire, right along the stories being told. Make your own stories, and make your own popcorn while you live your life.



The Price To Not Pay Is Steep (Health)

Holistic health has been on my mind as of late dear readers.


You see, I have this theory that there is a strong connection between art, healing, and health. And I think holistic health holds the key to that connection.

Holistic health is a type of healing process which considers the whole human being and not just the body parts and/or symptoms. As we strive towards optimal health and wellness, considerations of the body, mind, spirit, and emotions are all relevant.

I like to believe that we can address each of those aspects of ourselves with some basic activities. For the body, there is exercise. When it comes to the mind, reading things and a variety of things covers it off, emotions are founded in both positive relationships and pursuing our passions, but spirit is the most difficult to address.

To put it simply, I think that art is key to addressing the spirit, and if we ignore this part of ourselves, we suffer all the more for it.

Medicine For The Heart


The interesting part of this theory is that there is evidence out there which suggests a healing connection between art and the spirit, but it is not given nearly as much research as other disciplines, but it certainly can provide value. The point we need to consider most in this discussion is that each of us is drawn to different forms of art, so what heals me might not heal you as easily. And I think that has to do with our preferred learning styles.

  • Visual learners prefer two dimensional forms of art like drawing, painting, and photography.
  • Kinesthetic learners should look towards performance arts, like dance, magic, and theatre.
  • Auditory learners are best served by music, writing, and narration.

Now, outlining the reasons why I think art has the power to heal our spirit will take up far more time than a single post can give, so rather than diving deeply into it today, I will share a few of my favourite videos on the power of art for affecting the spirit.

Namely this one.


And also this one.

And definitely this one.

Health Matters

If it hasn’t been made clear yet, the aim of this post is to address health as it relates to the OECD index, making this the eighth entry in the Wellness Factors of Life series inspired by Postconsumers.

Artists matter, and I know in my heart of hearts that I will always advocate for the arts, no matter where I am or whatever the context that I am making the argument in. But timotheories isn’t just about me, it’s also about providing you with the resources you need to fight the good fight. As art makers, art facilitators, art collectors, and art enthusiasts, each of us has a responsibility to share with the world the merits of working on creative projects, from economics, to health, to politics, to entertainment, you creative cuties know that art has the power to heal. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

The spirit is the key in all of this.


theories Summarized

It is absolutely essential to reconsider the notion of the starving artist, and start to consider the notion of the starving souls who do not support the arts nor make room for creativity within their lives, it takes time to establish yourself creatively, no different than any other specialization.

Doctors, engineers, lawyers, scientists, politicians, professors, and teachers, I’m looking squarely at you.

So let’s invest in art, because it’s good for us.

And yes, I am theoried out for the night, so I’m gonna settle into bed with a good book, after a night of exercise, writing, and communicating with my lovely girlfriend, and know that I met all of my wellness needs. Another day, another theory satisfied.


Spring Thaw (timotheories March 2017)

Spring is in the air, winter is on it’s way out the door, and timotheories has a freshly picked purview of posts to share with you!


Are you excited yet friends? Because I’m not even going to give you preamble this month… we’re going to dig right in and pull up some fun. These topics have been hibernating forever and they need the spotlight – now!

*Disclaimer* As always, every week I purchase an album and movie one week ahead of the actual review release and while I have the best intentions, I don’t always get what I want… so if you follow me on instagram (@timotheories) you can actually see what’s coming.

timotheories summarized – March

Stimulating Sundays – (03/05) Cross Talk Ep. 19, (03/12) Cross Talk Ep. 20, (03/19) LOGOS, (03/26) Amanda Wall interview
Melodic Mondays – (03/06) The Flaming Lips, (03/13) Crystal Fairy, (03/20) The Shins, (03/27) Valerie June
Theatrical Tuesdays – (03/07) Moonlight, (03/14) Moana, (03/21) Fences (03/28) The Love Witch
Wisdom Wednesdays – (03/01) The Ongoing History of New Music, (03/08) Self-Portraits, (3/15) Women’s History Month, (03/22) Health, (03/29) Li Kunwu
Timely Thursday – (03/02) timotheories March, (03/09) Daylight Savings Time, (03/16)National Nutrition Month, (03/23) HMV, (03/30) Muttart Conservatory


After dropping the ball last month on interviews, I managed to do share some cool theories about defining meaning for yourselves, so I’ve decided to keep that idea going and explore LOGOS a little more deeply this month.  But interviews are back with a vengeance! Amanda Wall is my first artist who is also a parent, which means that she and I will dive right into the nitty gritty of how she manages to keep up with both responsibilities so well.

Plus she’s a friend, so no pulled punches!

Of course I have a couple of neato episodes of Cross Talk lined up as well, and I’m betting you aren’t expecting what’s due on arrival. First we’re going to explore some common themes which show up in films regularly, no matter what the genre, and then we’re going to look at films which seem to be better after a second viewing for one reason or another.

It’ll be interesting for sure, and heck, you just might learn a thing or two.

Also I’ve got some great albums lined up, and now that I’m direct feeding into Amazon, I’m 100% certain that these are the records on the docket, so I just may have to do away with that disclaimer now. And if you can’t tell, there are a string of Academy Award winning films lined up for review this month too, but I won’t go easy on any of them!

As for wisdom and timely matters, well, I guess you’ll just have to consider the fact that health and politics are the themes of this month. Also spring. As always, let’s keep the theories growing creative cuties and I’ll be there to curate them.


Grey Matter (Governance)


Decision making is hard, dear readers.

And sometimes implementing an easy decision really is the wrong thing to do, while implementing the complex decision turns out to be the right one. Unfortunately for all of us, life is not quite so simple as those black and white principles, and even Luke Skywalker is probably going to realize that going grey is the most pragmatic solution. But don’t take my word for it, read this theory about why jedi and sith are likely old news, and that by Episode IX’s end, we’ll likely see a new type of force user emerge victorious.

I hold that this theoretical decision making on Skywalkers part will come down to good governance. We cannot have light without dark, and if you increase one over the other, the secondary element must evolve in kind. But when we combine elements of light and dark, the contrasts give way for subtle shifts in grey and a much stronger range of tonality.

I personally believe this applies to how governments should operate as well. Well as much as I can say in 1000 words or less.

When public funded institutions conduct their public affairs and manage public resources in a responsible and effective way, they are enacting good governance. Those actions cannot be conducted only out of selfish needs nor can the patrons be so altruistic that they never stand up and fight for their people.

But what is governance anyway?

According to wikipedia, governance refers to

all of the processes of governing, whether undertaken by a government, market or network, whether over a family tribe, formal or informal organization or territory and whether through the laws, norms, power or language.

That means working with many different people of many different functions to organize and operate all of those functions in a way that benefits those people.

Not Just A Liberal’s Fancy-Free Dream

What this means to me is that we HAVE TO work together to ensure everyone’s voice is heard, and that decisions are made which always put safety and welfare FIRST and which are for the aid of as many constituents as possible. Good government operates as a sum of it’s parts, the light, the dark, and everything in between. The grey matter of the body.

As an example of support by representation, The Canada Council for the Arts exists primarily to ensure the Canadian people are given a range of public art projects regularly, by investing in the arts through grants and services which bolster the broad range of cultures which make up Canada.

That and they help to raise awareness for the arts too.

But this is just one example of many types of programs which exist in modern day governments, and which are key to the success and development of our communities in a state of global communication.

Programs exist for the disabled, for impoverished, for sports, and for education.


But, and I hesitate to share this, there is this notion out there that a great many conservative supporters like to say fairly often – creative types are bleeding hearts, and successful ones are supposedly so far removed from the real world that they cannot see the forest for the trees – but I strongly disagree with this notion.

And I don’t share this point lightly, because it is true that we can’t all be movie stars and music geniuses, a great many of us live our lives in the working class, and that ain’t so bad. But good governance should see through classism and recognize the issues at hand first and foremost, no matter what voice an issued is raised with.

Ashton Kutcher – Smart Cookie and Model Citizen

I originally planned for this post on governance (inspired by the Postconsumers response to the OECD index) to be about how artists can uniquely contribute to our communities in the voting process, and where supporting local initiatives and pitching in in ways other than with our pocket money DO make a difference… But then I ran across a tweet about Ashton Kutcher this morning.

In case you aren’t familiar, Ashton Kutcher got his start as a professional model before eventually breaking out into television and film as an actor, and then working his way into investment opportunities as a venture capitalist. He’s been involved in numerous startups over the years including Skype, Foursquare and Airbnb. He’s a smart cookie, though he plays a dummy on TV.

Probably the most impressive thing about him though, is that in 2009 he established an international human rights organization called Thorn with now ex-wife Demi Moore. It’s goal is to address the sexual exploitation of children and human trafficking on a global scale. I mention this because in the tweet that twitter user shared, the author acknowledged how ludicrous it was that Kutcher had to defend his profession as an actor before he could address a US senate committee on the successes of the software his company has developed to fight human trafficking.

He then explains how his technology will helps save thousands of lives, and how investing in it is necessary for us to commit to good governance.

I’m going to share a clip of his speech because I cannot do it more justice than Mr. Kutcher did himself.

theories Summarized

When we practice good governance, we are using our grey matter appropriately. And my hope is that by recognizing all human beings have the capacity for light, dark, and grey actions in-between, that creative professionals are not limited by their hearts, rather their strengths of language allow them to communicate what good governance is. At least, that’s the theory anyway.