“Where I create, there I am true” — Rainer Maria Rilke
“Where I create, there I am true” — Rainer Maria Rilke
Surely the propensity to “fall asleep” as we function is more common than anyone would care to admit. How easy it is to catch ourselves mechanically slogging through the motions from time to time – left unchecked and our work turns dismal. For this reason I offer a gentle injection, a nudge of sorts, and pass on a few “secrets” to ignite artistic inspiration in your journey as an artist.
Actually, the following are less secrets than gems hidden in plain sight –often overlooked by aspiring artists, while indispensable among the accomplished.
So, what are these gems?
Although advice on fostering creativity is not hard find, it often falls short to dig deep into the reservoir where creativity germinates.
In her book, The Artist Within, Betty Edwards explores a force that propels creativity. She stresses the need to recognize and develop this force, or mode, to enhance creativity and solve every day problems…. [Read More]
One of the greatest challenges for any developing artist is not only painstakingly discovering their own voice, but then courageously taking the risk of stepping into the unknown to share it with the world.
Numerous studies, books and workshops on the topic of finding a distinct voice reveal this raw nerve has always existed. Do we find our own voice by going it alone and striving heroically to be original? Or do we simply copy someone else?
As an artist, Frederick Franck is concerned with more than drawing solely for the sake of pleasure. He views it is as powerful tool in learning to truly see. Seeing, he believes, correlates to being deeply present in everyday life experiences. He writes about awakening through the practice of drawing directly what the eyes perceive, and no more. As a by-product, he finds inexplicable aliveness in all things, and the capacity to communicate that aliveness to others.
Anyone who is engaged in creative work has inevitably experienced the ebbs and flows that come with it. But like weather, even the most turbulent spells eventually pass, and though we can’t will them away, we can work with and through them until sunny skies return. So what can we do when the clouds that darken our eyes are Creative blocks, the common culprits that keep us from taking pleasure in our work?
While there are probably hundreds of ways to tackle the age-old issue, the following are a few possible approaches. They are bite-size and practical since overcomplicating things can sometimes reinforce what keeps us stuck.
It’s about removing clutter, both external and internal so creativity can resurface and blossom. We can do this through creating space while becoming vulnerable, still, gentle and self-forgiving.
Let’s start with the obvious:
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Elicia Edijanto combines nature and adventure capturing a child like innocence in these whimsical black and white watercolor pieces. View more on her Instagram.
Beautiful work worth sharing. Susanna Bauer creates these works of art from sticks, leaves and pieces of wood together with crochet woven ornately and with delicate balance.
There is a fine balance in my work between fragility and strength; literally, when it comes to pulling a fine thread through a brittle leaf or thin dry piece of wood, but also in a wider context – the tenderness and tension in human connections, the transient yet enduring beauty of nature that can be found in the smallest detail, vulnerability and resilience that could be transferred to nature as a whole or the stories of individual beings.
Could the key to creativity be multitasking in slow-motion? Not only are successful people found multi-tasking several projects at once, they’ve also found time for hobbies. Studies reveal how mixing it up can be surprisingly beneficial and can help us sharpen our senses and change perspectives.
What can we learn from the world’s most enduringly creative people? They “slow-motion multitask,” actively juggling multiple projects and moving between topics as the mood strikes — without feeling hurried. Author Tim Harford shares how innovators like Einstein, Darwin, Twyla Tharp and Michael Crichton found their inspiration and productivity through cross-training their minds.
Just a little reminder…
Read Design Culture for an insightful interview with Vignelli; his story and thoughts on design, type and advice to budding designers.
This made me laugh. People are great…
Zebrapets asked our team at Robin Design Studio to create a visual language, concepts, packaging and identity for their brand. The goal was to introduce the new pet brand to the German market in a fresh, bold and minimalist way. We used two basic main colours: black & white, because there is a serious colour-chaos in the shelves of the pet shops (and we all know the Von Restorff Effect).
How do you get creative? Writer Madeleine Englis at Thrive Global says “start acting like a beginner, a child….”
What happens when we remove our narrow definition of creativity, and accept that we are all inherently creative?
We will come to see that tapping into creativity equates to harnessing our power to create, rather than to imitate. That is it! How that shows up for you is up to you. You could build something with your hands. You could list out 10 really bad ideas, but hey, they are original and they are your creative ideas. Who cares. It’s a muscle. You need to stop being a victim of creative perfectionism and start acting like a beginner, a child. That is the first step, to leading a creative life. Read On…
Creating a minimalist white coffee shop in Hong Kong is sheer genius from a marketing stand point. NOC is a popular coffee shop that aspires “to remove distractions, so you can connect with the things that matter.”
Brilliant Design and Branding by SuperUnion
Hong Kong is all about more. NOC is a coffee company that believes in less. Less of what you don’t need or never asked for. Less irrelevant choice. Less cutting corners.
In a world that is obsessed with more, NOC decided to put a stake in the ground for believing in less. Nobody needs dozens of types of flat white – all you need is a good one. We created a coffee experience to give a moment of calm amid the chaos of a busy city.
What artist wouldn’t love this job? New York based studio, Obvious State combined their love of books with their talent for illustration. Now partnering with Boxcar Press, they’re able to produce high quality prints on letterpress. Lovely!
The Bibliophilia collection is inspired by an obsession with the underlined passages in our favorite books. Snippets of text from authors, philosophers and thinkers are used as a springboard for a new idea and illustration.
Austin Kleon’s little, yet powerful book, Keep Going, is making the rounds, and I can see why. It’s clever, inspiring, and full of insights from artists who’ve battled long and hard in the unknown territories of themselves. He says, “to change is to be alive.” And yet, culture is harsh with those who are struggling upstream, vouching it’s weak to change your mind, or defend your current view points till death. But, nothing alive is stagnant, and the inability to bend is to be dead in the water.
When was the last time you changed your mind about something? We’re afraid of changing our minds we’re afraid of the consequences of changing our minds. What will people think?
…Uncertainty is the very thing that art thrives on. The writer Donald Barthelme said that the artist’s natural state is one of not-knowing”
…You start each work not knowing exactly where you’re going or where you’ll end up. “Art is the highest form of hope,” said painter Gerhard Richter. But hope is not about knowing how things will turn out –it is moving forward in the face of uncertainty. It’s a way of dealing with uncertainty. “Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable,” write Rebecca Solnit. To have hope, you must acknowledge that you don’t know everything and you don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s the only way to keep gong and the only way to keep making art: to be open to possibility and allow yourself to be changed.”