“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]
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:
View this post on Instagram
The Original Folk & Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm • The Complete First Edition Translated by Jack Zipes • Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö • 2014 • Princeton University Press •The Frog Prince • available where books are sold #andreadezso #jackzipes #princetonuniversitypress #grimm #brothersgrimm #grimmbrothers #bookillustration
A post shared by Andrea Dezsö (@andreadezso) on
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).
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.”
Paula Scher, designer of the Citibank logo, takes us on a journey of her career pointing out that her greatest successes came when she was having fun and taking risks. She noticed her work became “solemn” after gaining notoriety and consequently being obliged to keep up certain expectations. She shares the secrets to her greatest design, and encourages designers to gamble, play, and enjoy the ride.
My work is play, and I play when I design. – Paula Scher
Here’s a beautiful book about living in the present moment by illustrator, Coralie Bickford-Smith. Coralie is a U.K. based Designer who loves working with patterns and bold colors, primarily creating book covers for Penguin press.
About her own book she writes,
This is a fable about being in the moment and how the smallest encounters in the day are often the most beautiful. I can be guilty of ignoring these tiny beautiful slices of time because I am too busy getting on with the next task. And like the worm in the story I need to remember to stop, look and cherish these moments. This book is a timely reminder to enjoy the wonders of the world around us.
Gorgeous … Bickford-Smith’s life-affirming artwork raises The Worm and the Bird to the stars – The Times
Absolutely stunning. A very sweet story with a touch of dark humour too. Wonderful. A fantastic book. – Chris Haughton, author of ‘A Bit Lost’
I love love love it, just beautiful. – Millie Marotta, author of ‘Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom’
I love it. A book to buy and treasure, for yourself or others. – Marion Deuchars, author of ‘Let’s Make Some Great Art’ and ‘Colour’
The vintage inspired logotype and hand illustrated rooster, a significant symbol for time and dawn, became the backbone for the branding and different print materials.
Beautiful logo and branding for Mark Spencer, a Forensic Botanist, field botanist and public speaker. Brilliantly created by Fieldwork Facility, They were asked “to create an identity for Mark that was intelligent, simple and memorably executed.” They’ve done it well!
To help you refocus today: The Holstee Manifesto. Holstee offers creative life inspiration and art for living mindfully.
Yes, I’d like to try one. I’d like to try one in Iceland. Hat’s off to Auston Design Group, they do amazing branding and package design for beer, wine, and spirits.
Just got the new book, The Art of Noticing – It’s a fun, down-to-earth book chock-full of ideas on how to see and connect more deeply to the world around you. Here’s a few lines from the beginning:
Imagine… devoting just one hour a week to consciously directing your attention. How would that affect the way you see, perceive, and think? How would it shift the way you engage with the world? How much might that not only change but also improve your work and your life?
…Let’s stop trying to be so productive all the time and make an effort to be more curious. Do you want to look back on a life of items crossed off lists drawn up in response to the demands of others? Or do you want to hang on to, and repeat, and remember, the thrill of discovering things on your own? –Rob Walker
The Art of Noticing, hot off the press May 2019
Ever wondered if some of your favorite writers were early or late risers? Ever wanted to justify your own bizarre sleep schedule? I’ve always been fascinated with the routines of famous creatives. Check out this cleverly illustrated chart from Brainpickings.org and observe how sleep routines may or may not correlate with productivity.
(Created by Maria Popova, Wendy MacNaughton and Accurat)