I’m signing off for a week’s holiday, during which time I am (mostly) unplugging from my internet life in order to revel in the joys of the real world - family time, reflection time, good food, fun, sleep and, quite likely, quality time with my latest project (which may very well reach first draft stage by the new year, if my characters behave and I don’t find too many sections...
I am Santa
My daughter’s recent question, “Are you Santa?” reminded me of this: “I believe in Santa. I don’t believe in Santa. I am Santa.” This progression is often used to describe how an individual learns, and also how new ideas become assimilated into the mainstream. It’s basically a seasonal version of “thesis, antithesis, synthesis” or “idea, counter, integration.” What’s that got to do with the...
the "real artist"
I’m always fascinated by how often people use the term “real artist.” I’ve noticed that it rarely has anything to do with the artist’s process, productivity or even the quality of their work, and is more likely related to relative levels of suffering. The term artist seems more linked to lifestyle (or perceived lifestlye) than art. For some people, a “real artist” is someone who gets paid to...
“Pragmatic” is the Merriam-Webster “word of the year” for 2011. Yaay! For the first time in my life, I can claim to be trendy! (Which is, after all, my greatest goal in life ;)) The way they define it is: “relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters: practical as opposed to idealistic.” Obviously, given the...
Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About... →
From Michael Michalko, author of Thinkertoys and a range of other books about creativity, published in Psychology Today earlier this month. Some really worthwhile ideas here. My favourites are: - Creative thinking is work”. That doesn’t mean it’s not also play at times, but that it can be exhausting and frustrating (which explains why a few hours of creative work can leave...
Tim Brown on Creativity and Play →
Tim Brown’s Ted Talk on Creativity and Play A huge amount here for designers, but a lot of great big picture ideas for other creatives too. The ideas that I particularly latched onto were: - “our desire to be original can be limiting” - we can use fun and play in very pragmatic ways - “play is not anarchy” - it has rules. There are not only rules about how to...
Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.– Anna Freud Where to start on this one? For me, this quote is like telling someone who works in the Emergency department of a hospital that cars never do any damage. Yes, creative minds survive bad training, but in the same kind of way that seagulls survive dipping their wings in oil. It’s...
Someone was talking about my daughter tonight and said that she’s a conceptual thinker and very creative, adding “she might be an artist when she grows up.” My daughter is very young, so her future vocations or avocations are not a huge topic of concern for us yet and, anyway, I’m too much a believer of people following their own paths to consciously impose my interests on...
Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to...– Scott Adams, Creator of the Dilbert comic strip
Tonight, and for several weeks now, I have been chewing on this mental cud: “Who knows how many artists fail because the light that shines through them is refracted in a thousand directions and not concentrated in a single beam? Pick projects and complete them! It is not really possible to work on a thousand things at once.” -...
I inhale the world and exhale new things. It’s an exchange.– Alex Beim, of Tangible Interaction, at Creative Mornings Vancouver last Friday. He also says that creativity is not magical - it’s just problem solving - and that it’s much like a chemical reaction: mix two distinct things together and you get something new.