Inspiration: Sister Corita’s Rules

sister coritas rules

Starting any new business – let along a genealogy business – isn’t easy and I often look for inspiration in various areas. While the typical sources include looking at similar businesses and looking at many blog posts, articles and online content, every so often you stumble upon something that makes you go “whoa.”

We’re not talking that cute inspirational saying that you re-tweet or a motto graphic you share with your Facebook friends or pin to a board on Pinterest. We’re talking something you take to heart, you study constantly, you actually order as a poster for your office . . . and you marvel at not only its complexity but also its simplicity. Such is the case for Sister Corita’s Rules (click the image above to embiggen).

Who Was Corita Kent?

Corita Kent was an artist and a nun in the order in the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She was also an educator and taught art at the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, California whose work in the field of serigraphs had a profound interest on modern art in the 1960s and 1970s. It is likely that you’ve seen work by Sister Corita although you may not realize the name of the artist.

For more information on Sister Corita, see How a Screenprinting Nun Changed the Course of Modern Art (via Gizmodo).

Sister Corita’s Rules

Rule 1

Find a place you trust and then try trusting it for a while.

Rule 2

General duties of a student:
Pull everything out of your teacher.
Pull everything out of your fellow students.

Rule 3

General duties of a teacher:
Pull everything out of your students.

Rule 4

Consider everything an experiment.

Rule 5

Be self-disciplined. This means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them.
To be disciplined is to follow in a good way.
To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

Rule 6

Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.

Rule 7

The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch on to things.

Rule 8

Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.

Rule 9

Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.

Rule 10

“We’re breaking all of the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that by leaving plenty of room for x quantities.” John Cage

Helpful hints: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything it might come in handy later. There should be new rules next week.

Where do you find inspiration?

Whether you’ve started your own genealogy business, or you’re an amateur genealogist – what inspires you and where do you go for inspiration?

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About the Author

Thomas MacEntee
Thomas MacEntee is a genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community. Utilizing over 25 years of experience in the information technology field, Thomas writes and lectures on the many ways blogs, Facebook and Twitter can be leveraged to add new dimensions to the genealogy experience. As the creator of GeneaBloggers.com he has organized and engaged a community of over 1,100 bloggers to document their own journeys in the search for ancestors.