About James Thomas Canali

I live in Denver, Colorado. I work out of a studio in my house on the east side, near Bruce Randolph High School. I believe in living a life of ecstatic expression. This is seen in the artwork on the site, I live for and in my Creator.

Doodling into the Mystic Perspectives

mystic Owl

A little teaser from a doodle I started last November. 

Just looking at this makes me feel a bit more like the Mad Hatter leading people down the rabbit hole into wonderland…

Which perhaps is why doodling has been a way I process thoughts, perspective and ideas.  Sometimes I even as an artist need to sit and ponder my creations, not fully realizing what I have created until some reflection has taken place.  This is one of those pieces, full of story, expression, meaning…What do you see?

This doodle is showing a picture of the spirit of wisdom and the gateway to knowing the times and seasons of life.  The Hebraic word on the owls head is a word for the eternal spirit as a door and gateway.

I’m thinking of picking up this summer where I left off with this sketch. More to come this summer.




“Coro De Vita” Doodle

skull doodles

It’s been a great season of left brain, analytic work in the marketplace, as I grow and expand as a entrepreneur and learn new skills. So when I have time off I try to take time to train my brain to move between both the left and right side, as I do, my hope is to make good art at a moments notice, or near enough.

Today I took a walk to the local whole foods, grabbed a breakfast burrito, played some peaceful Indie Ambient music, read a Red Hood and Arsenal Comic and started browsing google images and off I went to do some crazy doodle, what I call “Croodles!”

skull doodles

The tools of my creative work


My Favorite sketch song of the day came from Lotte.  https://lottekestner.bandcamp.com


Weaving Principles Together – Leadership Quip 04

calvin and hobbs sketch

‘The power of principles explodes exponentially when you are weaving multiple principles together.’

Consider the above statement as you read my leadership quip.  In this article I reflect on my first year launching my art design, event, and video production company.  It was 2012 and I was creating art daily. I was painting multiple pieces of art a day on average and I was starting to get a name for myself in my local community and abroad.  I was a freelancer expression artist.  By that I mean I did the technical work for hire, I began to create web designs, shoot photography, and run video production.  I was learning at an accelerated rate by gleaning from others, by talking with other more experienced artists, photographers, and videographers in the field and educating myself on basic web design and Final Cut Pro X editing on www.Lynda.com (a resource I highly recommend for tech and business classes, @25$/Month for unlimited access it’s a great deal).

The principles that made me successful as a start up artist, were really just the raw materials in front of me at the time.

Those raw materials were found in three areas:

  • Emotional Energy – It had been a lifetime dormant dream to be a creative artist and I was finally not only pursuing the dream but also doing the work. I found a near limitless high expression energy that would come forth when painting.  *The principle of passion needs to be married with production and then purpose to find it’s full potential.
  • Production/Finishing Projects – I produced something daily whether a painting, a blog, an event, a teaching, a creative audio, video production, photos, I was prolific, I made something, I took action and those products sooner or later would ship, sell, be given as gifts or find place at a venue for display (marketing). The law of movement, action, and averages were all in my favor, or I was in theirs. I put what I had in my hands to work. This is a principle we can all use all the time.  *Another way to see this is by taking your production on a project or art piece to it’s conclusion.
  • Relationships – I had built community in diverse areas for the past seven years working on event ranches in the Colorado Rockies, guiding back packing trips, volunteering in Denver for different organizations, and spending extended time investing in communities of people across the USA and Canada in creative ways. These relationships were the accelerator to my momentum in the inaugural year of running what I was calling Ecstatic Expression Studios and Canali Studios. *The principles of relationships are multifaceted, occasionally seasonal, but when used can create explosive dynamics for products and purposes that one cannot achieve on their own.

The lethal combo of passion, production and people were all part of my success as an freelance creative producer in 2012.

The principles you apply to work might change from one setting to another. Learn to adapt to the landscape and the context of which you work in and must circumvent problems in.

Feel free to write in the comment section what principles you live out of in your current work and life setting.

The expression art center of my 2012 works and energy was right here at www.EcstaticExpression.org.  This is still a active part of who I am as a entrepreneur and artist, but there is now more to that story as I have expanded my skill set and business acumen the past couple years in Starbucks and other endeavors.  More to come on that in future writings.

Dialogue over leadership issues and con­nect with Jimmy at LinkedIn.com.

Principles of Leadership – Leadership Quip 03

mid west fallMastering principles is part of leadership and understanding those principles is a key to unlocking big parts of our wiring and style of leadership.

A principle is a fundamental truth that serves as the foundation for reasoning and action.  We apply principles to a situation to get results.  I apply force to a door that won’t open and it opens.  The principle is force.  A good principle gets a result without damaging assets or people.

When you start any endeavor from an average work day to an important project, a sales call or a painting you are applying a core set of principles.  Continuing to think through examples of different areas of leadership we can see that there would be different principles applied in each area from a high performance athletic coach, captain on the sports team, military officer working with those under his/her command, even in a circus show, or a great expedition, like Lewis and Clark led.  In each each example there are different contexts, different settings, and different principles that will be key to overcoming in each sphere, as well as principles that could be applied universally and yield great results.

Three notable principles:

The principle of bodily awareness – It’s like spider man’s – spidey sense (maybe not so dramatic)- your reflexes and control of your body are in tune with your environment.  If changes happen around you, you adjust physically.  This principle can be caught by watching others, and can be trained – a must need for those in demanding physical environments.  This leads into other principles of awareness (self-awareness), and empathy.

The principle of hard work –  Most of us start with sweat equity.  Putting in demanding hours into a project, job, training, where we find the return on investment coming in over time.  The ROI can be immediate for those on time cards and are paid by the hour, or when someone is training to make a career move, win a championship, there might be a constant application of hard work, while they train intensely, but there will also be a big ROI in the season to come.

The principle of resilience – This is an internal principle, that’s built in character growing moments when your circumstances are challenging, and/or the feedback being given to you is critical, yet honest.  Resilience is a must for those who want to be world class at anything. Resilience is sparked through great desire, perhaps a vision to see culture change, or your sphere of society influenced for the better. One thing is for sure, you can’t have resilience if your vision doesn’t extend past your self.

What are your thoughts on key leadership principles?

Can you relate to the three principles shared?

Dialogue over leadership issues and con­nect with Jimmy at LinkedIn.com.

Culture of Communication – Leadership Quip 02

brittish phone boothCommunication is the foundation of good business, simplifying further, it’s the foundation of good transactions, interactions, and is something we must understand as leaders.

We communicate with our bodies, with our tone, with our words, written, and spoken.  Language is something to be shared, to inspire, not to destroy some one.  A challenge we must continue to face, is to lead with brave communication, and challenge the status quo to leave gossip behind, and learn to challenge each other in a space of respect and encouragement, and growth.

Being a leader, not just in position, but in our words, our actions, our tones, can be demanding.  Yet, this is the endeavor we have before us.

Take some time today today to fill a blank page of paper to write down things you would like to communicate to those in your sphere of influence.

Dialogue over leadership issues and con­nect with Jimmy at LinkedIn.com.