get started


QuantumSparks, Animal Assisted Inspiration, is a blog dedicated to helping people find and build upon their own natural creative impulses through the interaction and observation of animals of all kinds, real and fanciful. It is a series of programs and activities designed to ignite imagination. It is among the passionate pursuits of Marti McGinnis, a successful and prolific artist and designer. An animal lover from birth, Marti has honed her appreciation of the lessons to be learned from and with animals throughout her life’s adventures. She reads copiously, attends clinics, trainings and workshops and spends quality time with animals wherever she is. What she gleans from her continuing education will be passed along throughout these pages. A veritable goldmine of information and inspiration. Couple that with your own access to animals and information and we have here a platform for excellence unequaled in other more static media.

Your Guide

As an artist who is largely self-taught Marti has discovered ways to embrace the creative impulse that are not typically taught in schools. A natural champion of the creative spirit Marti encourages others to find their own original manner of expression through experimentation and free form expression using a variety of media. Feel free to start with the basic (listed below) and add media as you like.

Get Ready

To participate in the activities suggested throughout this blog be ready to goof around with a variety of tools. Everything Marti suggests is open to interpretation. Materials you choose to use to record your experiences don’t have to be of the highest quality. For some it will be better if they are not. Though for others your results may seem more valuable to you if they’re made in nice sketchbooks using pencils and pens that feel right to you. Let your own intuition be your guide on that.

design think tank

Holistic Design Think Tank

Suggested Materials

Quick List
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • felt tip pens
  • a ream of copy paper
  • a spiral bound sketchbook
  • a lined notebook
  • an easy to use camera (hello camera-phone, lol)

Keep your materials handy. Pick sizes you find are portable so you’ll actually bring them with you. A great place to record your sketches or notes is in a nice comfortable coffee shop. Why? Because you won’t let regular home-based distractions insert themselves into your thought process.

Some activities will offer an idea that uses other materials. These will be listed. In most cases they will involved stuff that’s easy to find, inexpensive and otherwise simple to deal with. The idea isn’t to intimidate you with a bunch of specialty items but to help expand your thinking using tactile objects that can then serve as reminders for your new thoughts..

Finally be ready to share what you make by posting photos in a place you can share the links in the comments portion of this site. These photos don’t have to be print-ready slick – just in a form we’ll actually be able to see. Flcikr and Facebook are two places you can have public photo albums where you can link to individual photos. Creating your own blog and posting photos there is another fantastic option! Then we can add your blog to our blogroll and you’ll be able to inspire others with your work too.

Order of posts

Activities will be posted and can be searched via the archived posts search bar on each page. Additionally they will be categorized by type or animals so you can focus in on activities that way should you chose to do so.


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