Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Lisa & Yolanda

Hi Guys
Welcome to todays TAT post, but before we get into it it's CONFESSION TIME! I have had these ladies (yep today you get two lovely artists!) TAT interview for a shamefully long time, due to placing it in a wrong email folder (see technology isn't all that, filing issues still happen when we go paper-free!), so I want to publicly apologise to these ladies who I first met on online what feels like aggggeeees ago now & who are lovely not to mention talented. Sorry, sorry, sorry, with puppy dog eyes & trembling lip on top!
Please enjoy their interview =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
Our names are Lisa and Yolanda, and we are lionpaw55 on YouTube. We are a married lesbian couple who love to create art using different multidisciplinary approaches. It is a common sight to see us crafting together in our scrap room as we enjoy challenging ourselves with the different colors, papers, techniques, and themes. That being said, "who are we as artists?" Lisa is a multimedia artist. She is also a bookbinder and paper crafter. Her art style is Impressionism, and she loves to draw buildings and villages.  As for me, Yolanda, I am multimedia artist too. I enjoy creating multimedia on canvas, encaustic wax painting, 3D animation skits/plays, and some bookbinding. My style is influenced by a mish mosh of various art movements.

Mixed Media Canvas by Yolanda

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?

The biggest challenge Lisa faces is not to put everything on a project. When she begins a piece, she doesn't even want to stop crafting until she is finished. It is also hard for her to stop thinking about future ideas while she is working on a current one. I really don't know if I have one as I look at everything I do as a learning experience. When I begin a project it is difficult for me to choose which idea I should try to do. I decide upon my direction, generally, when it feels right to me. 

Bookbinding by Lisa

Do you ever lose your mojo, and if so, how do you get it back?
No, Lisa doesn't lose it at all. She feels that she doesn't have enough time to create and craft because she already has the next project or two planned out. Do I ever lose my mojo? No, I don't. At best, I am usually very distracted by a new art technique or mediums that I want to incorporate into my artwork.

3D Art by Yolanda

What other issues to you overcome to accomplish your art?
Other issues Lisa overcomes to accomplish her art is broadening her spectrum of colors that she enjoys using in her projects.

What is the best thing that art has brought into my life?
Lisa discovering and sharing her enjoyment of creating mixed media with me.

Mixed Media Tags by Lisa

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
You can find my art on our YouTube Channel: lionpaw55
We would like to thank Jennibellie for giving us her support, and a chance to introduce ourselves and artwork. Until then, we hope that some of you will stop by and say "hello" on our YouTube channel: lionpaw55.

Thank you so much ladies, and again I'm so sorry for misplacing your interview I feel so awful, but thankful I didn't actually delete it lol thank you for sharing and you know what? I think you guys are one of the first ever to say you don't lose your mojo, and for both of you to say it it made me think that you guys probably have a huuuuuge advantage by having your partner interested in the same hobbies as you...or at least even if you are working in completely different mediums at times, it's still similar enough so that both of you are interested in what the other is creating. Completely awesomesauce thanks guys =)

Do you want to be TATed?
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)

P.S We're now into day 3 of my 7 Day Art Journaling Challenge
 which I haven't mentioned on here except to announce it so here's the video of where were currently at - come join us anytime =)

Friday, 14 November 2014

Ready, Set, Go!

Okay, I've only got one thing to post about for this week's ramble, and I might as well explain in via this video:

So I shall see you tomorrow

To join the Monthly Challenge Group:
1. Sign Up to Journal Workshops if you haven't already - http://journalworkshops.ning.com/
2. Once approved (I try to be quick creating your account) you just need to hit the 'Join Monthly Challenge' Button that is at the the top when you click into the Monthly Challenge Group (http://journalworkshops.ning.com/group/monthly-challenge) & you'll get to see all the fabulous stuff that's in there immediately =)

Much love

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Penny A. Bragg

Hi guys
Welcome to todays Tell All Tuesday Artist Interview, whoop!
It's Remembrance Day and today always make me feel like it's a day to be thankful. Of course for those people of past that we perhaps never even knew, but who may have had a great impact on our lives as we know them today, but also to be thankful for today, and everything in it. I am grateful for you guys, for artists who want to share their stories here and for other artists who want to listen. I am grateful for artists, for people, who get me, and for people who just get each other who may not (or even need to) meet.
Everyday I am feeling this appreciation grow & grow, stronger & stronger, I am thankful for you. 
Thank you for being you.

Tell us a little about yourself and what kind of artist you are.
I was born and raised in northern California, but now reside in Florida. While I have always had my hands and feet in creative endeavors, it was a recent tragedy in my life that somehow unearthed my work as a mixed-media artist. After battling mental illness for years, my younger brother took his own life in December, 2011. As a way of grieving and healing, I picked up my brushes, pencils, and pens and began to work through my pain and loss.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
My greatest challenge as an artist is rooted in experiences from my past...when I was told, in so many words, that my art (and my writing) wasn't “good enough”...and that no one would ever really want what I created. It has taken me a long time to forge ahead and believe otherwise. The encouragement of friends and fellow artists have been key. This year I have also participated in LifeBook 2014 and that has greatly encouraged me. I also had to learn to fight off old feelings with prayer and verses from the Bible that encourage me.

What is your greatest personal achievement either in your art, or because of it?
I feel that an essential achievement has been learning to grieve and heal from the pain of losing my brother so traumatically. It takes a lot of hard, intentional work to find peace and hope. One specific thing I have almost completed is the writing and publishing of a grief response journal entitled, "For Those Who Weep," which contains my art and writing. In addition, through my local hospice and the non-profit organization my husband and I started, I now facilitate free art classes for people who are grieving traumatic loss from either suicide, murder, or accidental death. All the proceeds from my Etsy prints and cards are used to fund these free classes.

What do you most wish your art to achieve?
Through my art I long to offer hope to those who, like me, have lost a loved one. I want to help those whose hearts are broken to find healing and strength and to honor my brother's life. I also want to bring glory to God and to make scripture come alive on the canvas.

Tell us where we can find out more about you and your art?
I created a blog in my brother's memory at www.ForThoseWhoWeep.com
My Etsy Shop: (all proceeds are donated to fund free art classes)

Thank you Penny for opening your heart to us and sharing your art and your love, which I think is very evident in the route you have taken since your loss. You have created something wonderful from something devastating, and I hope you manage to bring much healing to many people through your free classes. I am again thankful that there are people like you in the world.

Do you want to join the fabulous 
list of Tell All Tuesday interviewees??
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)

Friday, 7 November 2014

Ramble in Pictures

Hi guys
Thought I'd do Weekly Ramble in pictures this week, as I am falling asleep at the keyboard! Soooooooo my arty week has looked like this:

Return to the 'Wall Project'
(new walls were cleaned and cleared so I reappeared to cover them up again):

Sneaky Peek at the next fabulous Challenge
as hinted at in the Monthly Challenge Group:

Rearranging of my indoor art space:

And last snuggles of the year in my outdoor art space
(nooooo winter go awwwwwwayyyyyy!):

TTFN, off for a loooooong chillax before I really do fall asleep at the computer and delete this post lol, but you'll see me before next week on here, as I'll be releasing arty goodness that is the mid-month challenge I've been working on, whoop! =) laters

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Denise Cassano

Hi guys
Happy Tuesday =) tuesday here means TAT day but I'm not gonna lie to you, I feel really funky junky funk today! Not sure what's going on, tried numerous ways to get out of it/shift it/ignore it completely and just enjoy myself. Nada! I'm honestly telling you this TAT interview has been the best thing I've come across to lift my junky mood a lil and get me motivated! 
Serendipitous you may say.
I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did =) 

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
I am an illustrator & art teacher in New York and mommy to two adopted dogs. I am personally interested in narrative art- telling a story through pictures and words, details, textures and mood. I lean towards dark, ambiguous images that may be interpreted in different ways. I primarily work in oil, but have had success with graphite and watercolor. Working with children for the past 20 years, I see how they intuitively intertwine words and images, which lead me to investigating transmediation. It means seamlessly moving between symbol systems, i.e. images and words. Coincidentally, that’s what you do with your beautiful journals! More recently I have been working on painting dog sculptures. I have two rescue dogs and I volunteer at a shelter, so dogs are very important to me. My new series will include dogs and Art Deco motifs. Maybe that’s the influence Downton Abbey is having on me, who knows!

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Producing a body of work that is cohesive and that I am proud of. Most people want to sell, as I do, but what is much more important to me is that I have produced many pieces I can stand behind. This is probably the challenge most artists have, regardless of the medium or style. I remember an art professor I had in Venice, he said, “We all have 24 hours in the day: 8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep, you have to decide how to spend the other 8.” I think that is the point. If you live with purpose and are aware of how you spend your time, you will make time for making art. My wake up call was this spring realizing that it was many months from the last time I finished a painting. I made the decision to work every day. What does that mean? For at least one hour every day I work on my blog, paint, clean my studio, try new materials, draw in my sketchbook, etc. Something creative. In my opinion it is much more important to have small but steady incremental steps than to have fits and starts, with no direction. But that doesn’t happen unless you intentionally make a commitment to make art. Until I can make art full time I have to be careful how I make my schedule. That means I may have to say no to other things, and that’s ok. Think about it, in your final days, what will you regret: Not having spent more time on Facebook, or not having made more art? I have never regretted a minute I spent creating. It’s like anything else- you have to make the time.

Do you think you have achieved a uniquely recognizable style as an artist, or do you find it a struggle to find your own style?
Yes, I think this is common problem. You can see from my art that there is a range. One reason is that there are too many materials, options, new ideas, and techniques that pop up all the time. It’s the Shiny Penny Syndrome- you are focused on thing, and then get distracted by some other ‘shiny’ object. The problem? Nothing gets done. It is easy to be distracted. I don’t think you can ever be prolific at anything unless you narrow down what you are doing. That doesn’t mean to close yourself off to other artists or ideas or materials- but if you keep changing your mind as to what you want to do, you’ll never be at the highest level you can. In a nutshell, I’ve realized I need to focus on less things, but do them better than anyone else. I need to see it through. The other reason I think it is difficult to narrow down a style is as soon as something is difficult, or does not turn out the way you intended, our tendency is to shift gears, give up and go in another direction. Maybe that is the exact time we should push through and see what happens. I made an analogy to a musician friend of mine. I said, “ Do you think you have to write a lot of bad music before getting to the really good stuff?” He laughed and said, “Yeah I do, tons, but you just have to get through it.” Bottom line, art is a work of love, but work none-the-less. So I have to tell myself what I tell my students, “Less talking, more working.”

What inhibits you most from being the artist you want to be?
I call it ‘negative speak”, you know, the voice in your head that needs to get a life. I have an artist friend of mine who went back to art school at the age of 42, after working in banking (ugh!). She is a little insecure about her ability. I said to her, “Look, when you see an amazing piece of art, remember that the artist was once a beginner and it took years to get to that point- you didn’t see the 500 bad versions he made.” I think about that when the voice calls. I have a quote posted in my studio, “What one man can do, another can do.” Immerse yourself with positive, creative people. That’s why I like Tim Gunn so much. All of us can learn from him- don’t be intimidated by others, be inspired!

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
My Facebook 

Thank you so much Denise, as I said at the beginning you really motivated me with your interview. I'm so glad that I now of one more encouraging art teacher on this planet (I was not blessed with one myself), you've inspired me enough to put in a lil time arting this eve (when I might have just buried myself in chocolate instead) so I'm off like speedy-gonzales, thank you xx

Do you want to see your work here?
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)

Friday, 31 October 2014

Creative Project Breeding...like Rabbits

Hello Beautifuls, 
My ramble today will be a bit on the fly, as I have many mini deadlines to do and all that really keeps rolling around in my head to talk about today (rolling around is my sure creative sign that I have to act on it....otherwise it just continues and I go crazy...er) is Creative Project Breeding!

....yeah I like that name, think I might trademark it hehe

Anyhow this concept in my head really revolves around this quote by Picasso:
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

I love this quote. I have loved it for years. It helps put my butt in the chair & create when 'I don't wanna, I don't wanna, I don't wanna' (but secretly know it will really help!). It helps me keep the faith in knowing that if I turn up, so will my mojo - especially when I sit staring blankly around my studio, waiting for a pencil to spring to life and jump into my hand for me. It helps me loosen up and not expect something brilliant to evolve the instant I put paintbrush to paper & above all to remember that creativity is a process.

What I never understood about this quote before is that Picasso might not actually be talking about the project you think he's talking about. (Yeah I know he's not really talking to us, or about any of our creative projects, but wouldn't it be cool if he were, if he were a little Picasso buddy sitting on our shoulders? Much better than that damn annoying inner critic!) What I mean is this...at first glance this quote appears to mean all those things that I just mentioned - basically that if you turn up to create, then inspiration will turn up afterwards and join you. 
what if you turned up to create because you are already inspired? Does this 'afterwards' inspiration then disappear? Does it then say 'oh I see your busy with another inspiration right now, I'll come back later?' Does inspiration then stop once that initial burst to get you creating has been given and not grow, evolve or meet up with the 'afterwards' inspiration to have a *p*a*r*t*a*y*?? Not in my experience. 

What I have realised this quote by Picasso might mean is that
Creativity Breeds Creativity
That it means when you are working, with inspiration flowing or not, that more and more inspiration will flow, and flow abundantly, crazily, even overpoweringly. This ties in a lot with my uber popular (thanks guys!) blogpost I did last week 'How to Get On *& Stay On* a Creative ROLL' which is all about MOMENTUM, which is essentially what I now see Picasso saying here, as:
Action inspires Creation. 
Creation inspires Action. 
That is the simplest way I can think to put it.

This has been happening to me A LOT lately. And it's kinda annoying, because while I'm busy busy busy working away on one project I suddenly get ideas & desires to start another, and then another aaaaaaand then another. Mostly I just write the ideas down, and allow them to still have room in my head to incubate, but continue on with what I am creating...

making my weekend creative action list fun, even if I deviate from it

But sometimes the inspiration is so strong I have to act, and when I do this the projects themselves just seem to come together so swiftly and easily it's like someone else did them. 

And what is more I don't feel like they are taking anything away from the other projects I am creating, in fact quite the opposite, I feel they are assisting them somehow. May be by allowing the original projects some rest-bite to cultivate and accumulate better and better ideas for making their own progress better. I also feel that going off on this inspired action adds fuel to complete other projects too, because of the Creative Roll I spoke of last week - basically it's keeping the creativity muscle well and truly flexed.

My 'Daily Gratitude Journal Kit' above is one such project. At the beginning of this week this kit had not even been thought of, and now by the end of it, it is finished and available in my shop:

So what I'm hoping all this inspiration and action
(and inspired action)
means is that by next weeks Weekly Ramble I'll be announcing one of these projects, then on, and on, and on, for all of November =) lol I guess we'll have to wait n see.

Love you all, thank you for listening to me ramble
PS want something from me before next week?
I'm posting an IMMENSE video tomorrow for Novembers Challenge in the Monthly Challenge Group on Journal Workshops - it's epic & you're welcome to join us =)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Miranda Degenaars

Hello Lovelies
Tuesday again, and the last of October - ouch-chiwawa!
But that does mean I'm back with another Tell All Tuesday. Think you'd like to take the hotseat?? Details for being featured are below the interview. 

Enjoy meeting this weeks artist =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
My name is Miranda Degenaars, 53 years of age and I live in the Netherlands together with Ronald and our 8-year-old son Daniel. I have always been a creative soul and as long I can remember I was drawing and coloring. Always wanted to make things more beautiful. I like different kind of styles, techniques and because I like a lot of things it’s sometimes difficult to choose…and to keep focused on one thing at the time. I am a designer for several stamping companies and shops and a writer of some books. I am an artist who wants to make the world more beautiful with my art and to inspire other people to get connected with their creativity. A long time ago I started with drawing and painting, did some courses and for a short while I followed education on the school of arts. I love the effects of water coloring because it’s always a surprise what is coming out…Than the art of stamping came into my life and I became an ‘ addict’ of beautiful designs pressed into rubber. I am still trying to combine different techniques and mediums together to create my own style. At the moment I am trying to ‘ go beyond’ cards’ doing more mixed media and wanted to combine it all on larger surfaces as boards or canvas

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
To say YES to everything and everyone that comes my way because I am a very enthusiastic person. But afterwards I realize that my time and energy is limited and I can’t do it ALL. So I try to be less impulsive and think about it first before I make a decision. And that has also to do with choices and setting boundaries. What is giving me energy and energy means in this way besides a good vibe also money. Don’t like to think about that but I have to.

Do you think you have achieved a uniquely recognizable style as an artist, or do you find it a struggle to find your own style?
I think I have a recognizable style but maybe the people who look at it can better be the judge of that. I think I am still developing myself in my art and hope to find the style I’ve always envisioned.

What is your heart’s greatest desire for your life as an artist?
To be able to create and work in a peaceful environment and to combine art with guiding other people to get in touch with their creative source! That could be in many forms and as well in groups or individual. I have two quotes that inspired me very much:
“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation.” (Aristoteles)
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." (Howard Thurman)

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
I have two blogs; here and here and where you can see my drawings and paintings from some time ago. I don’t maintain this blog very well at the moment. Then I wrote these three books: Miracle art inspirations, Start the Miracle and More Miracle art. These are links to the publishers website. At this moment they are working on a translated version….so I hope to go overseas! Also you can find a lot of me on Pinterest, a great media to find inspiration!

Thank you for sharing Miranda, I appreciate your story and art =) I also have issues saying no to people and setting boundaries, and I think perhaps that has a lot to do with being an artist, like it's in the genes lol. I'm not saying every single artist in the world is completely that way or entirely selfness but I think half of art is wanting to get out what is inside of us, and the other half is then wanting to enrich others lives with it, or at least that is what I see a lot within the online creative community we are a part of. But I am personally getting better at saying no (as it would be impossible for me to bow to every request now anyway, as 2400 hours in the day would not allow me to achieve that) because when we serve ourselves first, we can then really serve others. The other way around is how society teaches us it should be, but as you are told when flying on an aircraft, you MUST put your air mask on first, before you can attend to someone elses!

Do you want to be a featured TAT artist??
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)

Friday, 24 October 2014

How to Get On *& Stay On* a Creative ROLL

Hello Creative Comrades
I'm currently in the midst of a *major* creative roll -- YAY!! 

I am working on several things at once, but not feeling any of the strain that I might usually while creating things that are quite big for me. I am always super excited about what I am up to, which I might usually lose part way through a big, or even little, project. I am always feeling up, up, up, even when I have been sick or other things have happened, and I have not able to create as much as I'd have liked. And the main reason I feel up is because this creative roll feels different, they all feel good but this one is super good, super sweet, super satisfying (I have had plenty to compare it to) and best of all I truly feel it is sustainable. So I have been taking note of my behaviour patterns etc to see what 'tips' I could share as to how to get on, and stay on, your own wonderful creative roller-coaster.

So you guys probably know by now that I share my creative ups and downs openly, and while I expect that at some point I may be down again, I also...don't - because I have learnt a few creative truths recently. The main one is to accept that we are ALWAYS creative, even in our down times.
I mean to really, REALLY accept that.
To understand that our down times are usually just inspiration gatherers, idea incubators or accumulated hours of neglect for our other interests/hobbies or general rest and relaxation - and to understand that these are valid parts of the creation process too. That they are in fact as much a part of the creation process as the messy-hands, frantic creativity, studio chaos times, if not more even more so because
you cannot drink water continually from the same cup, without never needing to refill it.
Your creative cup is no different.

So you may be saying 'yes, yes, Jennibellie but how does accepting that down time is helping me to refill my cup help me to get in, and stay in, a creative roll?' Because if you accept that we are always creating, even in our down time, then it removes this stop-start, stop-start mentality that we have in regards creativity. It has taken me a loooooong time to release this! In fact I have only just discovered this truth and I want you to really listen to it because my word the proof that this works is in the pudding! My creative pudding I mean, that I am currently making in this creative roll right now all because I released this mentality.
So why is it important to remove this stop-start, stop-start mentality? Because shedding this is almost like taking off the creative blinkers. It restores our understanding that our creativity is one long sinuous circle, or cycle if you want to think of it that way. It restores the understanding of our creative MOMENTUM
If there is no stop-start, then there is continuous motion, 
if there is motion then we are in action, 
if we are in action then we are in control of our own creative power.

Momentum is *p*o*w*e*r*f*u*l*
It makes you feel *good*
It makes you feel productive
It makes you feel like you are creatively flying, creatively courageous, creatively ON A ROLL

Isaac Newton's first law of motion
(also referred to as the law of inertia) is mostly surmised as:
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

In terms of our creativity that unbalanced force (sometimes also surmised as an external force) is always, always ourselves.

(A physics lesson on my artsy fartsy blog, who knew?)

and contrary to the beliefs that we often hold when we are out of motion it is not difficult to regain. I know I have previously fallen under the 'it's so hard to start now I've stopped' trap, but in truth it isn't, this is just a nontruth we tell ourselves. It's a nontruth because if we accept that even in our down times we are creating, that there is NO stop/start, then we also accept that through this continuous creation we will always have momentum working in our favour, you see?

However here are some tips for achieving that feeling of momentum just in cases you don't/can't take my word for accepting that we are always creative (I don't expect you to either, you have to feel it, and feeling can only come from experiencing, not from words, so here's some tips for feeling it)

1. Create something everyday
This is hard for some people because 'I'm too busy', 'I'm too tired', 'I'm not in the mood', 'I haven't got the time'. Guess what? These are all excuses. Truly, and we all know it. Because creating something can be a simple thought. It doesn't even need to be an action, just a simple thought of a project you want to do or are doing, it does not need to be this HUGE undertaking we commit to (which many of us, myself included, can fall into the trap of when starting a new habit). We all know the 'I must do fifty sit-ups daily', 'I must cut chocolate completely out of my diet' all-in tactics rarely work for long. Take the pressure off of this tip - doodle while on the phone, slap paint down mindlessly for 10 minutes or write down that new idea while on the bus, do something small daily, but DO something (even if it's only a thought!)

2. Journal your momentum.
I wrote a top tip once in this blogpost all about how to evapourate the rubbish feelings of unproductivity. It's simple, all you do on days when you feel yucky, like creative momentum has long since been lost, is list out ALL those things you did do that day. This could take a while, because until you do this exercise you do not realise HOW many things we do do everyday. If you have had some creative thoughts as mentioned in tip 1. write those down too. Seriously this seems so simple that it could never actually work but it really really does. Even on your least productive days this exercise will make you realise how much you have actually been ON IT with all those little things we never give ourselves credit for doing. Then breathe in deep as that feeling of momentum is restored.
PS the last item on your list can be 'I wrote this list' =)

3. Understand Mircomovements
Here I am quoting SARK's book Make Your Creative Dreams Real, which I picked up yesterday. It is all about recognising that big projects happen through little iddy bitty movements - which any project manager, mother or anyone who ever created anything ever, all of us basically - can understand and get to grips with if we want to. SARK gives the timeframe of 5 seconds to 5 minutes for each one, only having one days read of it I cannot give too much else away but it is exactly the same as the principle I shared in last weeks 'Dirty Water' post:
'constant dripping hollows the stone,
no matter what little creativity you think you are putting in
...every drop of effort counts'
So plan out your big projects, break up your creative desires into iddy bitty little pieces and then use tip 1. to do them, and tip 2. to track your progress, until you have produced wonderful creative projects faster than what you could ever have imagined. 
Until you feel 100% in and on your fabulous creative roll =)

Thanks for reading,
Happy, joyful, momentous creating =)
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