The meaning and value of physical spaces becomes easier to overlook with each passing day bringing us further into the digital fold. To bring the focus back around, there is Where They Create, a project by photographer Paul Barbera. Where They Create brings the workspace back to the forefront, showing us the spaces where creative professionals and artists bring their work to life. Cluttered, clean, minimalist, eclectic – every space has a distinct personality that speaks to the process and thought-space of each individual artist.
For a quick peek into the lives of other creators, and perhaps a shot of inspiration, check out wheretheycreate.com.
As one of my absolute dream jobs, I will frame these eight lessons of creativity from Bernhard Haux, a Pixar Animator, on my bedroom wall. If you think I’m kidding, I’m not. Pixar Animation is a creativity hub full of brilliant, imaginative minds. Their collaboration produces the breathtaking animation and detail-oriented storylines. Bringing together vastly different creative energies allows there to be a good mix of voices and ideas on a project. Creativity builds on creativity, and mingling ideas can spur inspiration and better development on ideas. Check out what other lessons this guy uncovered from Pixar at LifeHacker.
What do you do while waiting in line, sitting in class, or even laying in bed at night, before you fall asleep? Most people would say they reach for their iPhone and check social media, play a game, or even check email. The smart phone was the ultimate cure for boredom. But what effect does this cure have on us?
A recent post on Read Write explores the possibility that the iPhone is killing a person’s creativity. The average user spends more than two hours a day on their phone, with the majority of that time being “wasted” on surfing the web, checking social networks, and playing games.
While spending your free time on your phone may not seem all that bad, this post reminds us that boredom may be a good thing. “Psychologists from the University of Central Lancashire have conducted research into the potential upsides of boredom and found that the time we spend daydreaming could improve our creative ability.”
The verdict is still out, however, as many users argue that phones can also help enhance creativity. Do you think the cultural phenomenon of the smart phone is killing creativity? Let us know @msuwrac.
In November, radio host Julie Burstein did a TED Talk. TED Talks, for those of you who don’t know, are various speakers giving “talks” (or speeches) on various topics. The tagline on the website is “Great talks to stir your curiosity.” Burstein discussed four lessons she’s learned from various artists about what spurs creativity.
Experience: Burstein explained that for experience, we must pay attention to the world around us. We must embrace experience, which is “hard to do when we have a lighted rectangle in our pocket that takes all our focus.”
Challenge: She said that the artists she’s spoken with have said that some of their best work comes out of the parts of their lives that have been the most difficult. As hard as it is, we must embrace challenge and change in our lives.
Limitation: Richard Serra, a modern art sculptor, said he once saw a painting that moved him so much, he knew he would never be able to do what that particular artist did. When he returned home, he threw all his supplies away and said he would not be a painter. This did not, however, discourage him from giving up on art. He continued playing around with art, and soon became a sculptor with work showcased in the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim in New York City. Burstein explained that artists speak about how pushing upon the limits of what they can and can’t do helps them find their own voice.
Loss: The last lesson – or embrace, as Burstein calls it – that we must allow ourselves to experience in order to help our creativity is loss. It is the hardest, the oldest and “the most constant of human embraces.” We must see the world and take what we hope for while facing rejection, heartbreak, war, and death, and turning that into something that we can use to help funnel our creativity.
Burstein ended the talk with something I thought resonated very well. She said, “We all wrestle with experience and challenge, limits, and loss.” Creativity is essential to all of us whether we’re scientists, parents, artists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or students. It doesn’t matter if we’re a writer or a painter or a sculptor or a photographer, but we can all use these lessons to help bring out whatever we need for our creativity to flourish.
Boulder Book Store in Boulder, Colorado (via Huffington Post)
In a turn of good news for independent bookstores, Huffington Post reports that there is increasing interest in purchasing books locally. Now, it has become about more than just buying the novel; it’s about going to a place where you can tread across the same brick floors that William Faulkner walked on, or see quotes by Kurt Vonnegut and Flannery O’Conner in the sidewalk outside the shop doors. People are investing in the experience of buying, much in the same way that they do reading. In this comeback of local booksellers, these five bookstores in particular set themselves apart as some of the best in America.
Co.Create recently released their list of “The 15 Best Ads of 2012.” This list, they said, “is intended to showcase what brand creativity can be beyond advertising, or, if you like, demonstrate that advertising means many more things today than paid ad units.” The list is shown in reverse order, with the number 1 ad being the Red Bull Stratos campaign that saw daredevil Felix Baumgartner freefall 128,000 feet to earth.
Ever think that the way words are displayed doesn’t matter? The lover of neon signs who wrote “Neon Lost and Found: Where New York City Still Burns Bright” would beg to differ. In the article, Kirsten Hively is interviewed about the dying art of neon signage and the iPhone app she created to share the neon signs with others.
Nikhil Goyal proposes a new style of classroom learning in “Why Learning Should be Messy”. The article touches on ideas of creativity through case studies of innovative schools that have redesigned their curriculum to try a different style of learning in the classroom.