"I have lots of ideas. How do I pick the right one? Execute on as many as possible. The right idea will pick you" – @jaltucher
— Topsy Taiwo (@topsytaiwo) June 17, 2019
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.
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…
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.”
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.
A good reminder for those of us who still think too much and drown out the creative voice within…..
The men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use. The reasoners resemble spiders, who make cob-webs out of their own substance. But the bee takes a middle course; it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own. – Francis Bacon
And, a bit less poetically, Guy Claxton writes about a study of creativity in “Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind”:
The study of creativity in many different areas shows that what is required for optimal cognition is a fluid balance between modes of mind that are effortful, purposeful, detailed and explicit on the one hand, and those that are playful, patient and implicit on the other. We need to be able both to generate ideas, and also to evaluate them. Intuition is the primary mode of generation. D-mode [deliberating mind] is the primary mode of evaluation.
From an excerpt by English poet Alfred Edward Housman as he articulates his creative process using a balanced mix of intuitive and conscious effort (applicable to all artists, of course…):
Having drunk a pint of beer at luncheon… I would go out for a walk of two or three hours. As I went along, thinking of nothing in particular, only looking at things around me and following the progress of the seasons, there would flow into my mind, with a sudden and unaccountable emotion, sometimes a line or two of verse, sometimes a whole stanza at once, accompanied, not preceded, by a vague notion of the poem which they were destined to form part of…When I got home I wrote them down, leaving gaps, and hoping that for their inspiration might be forthcoming another day. Sometimes it was, if I took my walks in a receptive and expectant frame of mind; but sometimes the poem had to be taken in hand and completed by the brain, which was apt to be a matter of trouble and anxiety, involving trial and disappointment, and sometimes ending in failure. I happen to remember distinctly the genius of the piece which stands last in my first volume. Two of the stanzas, I do not say which, came into my head, just as they are printed, while I was crossing the corner of Hampstead Heath between Spaniards Inn and the footpath of Temple Fortune. A third stanza came with a little coaxing after tea. One more was needed, but it did not come: I had to turn to and compose it myself, that was a laborious business. I wrote it thirteen times, and it was more than a twelvemonth before I got it right.
As creatives, it often seems we try and forcefully recapture creativity or an idea when faced with the famous white canvas or blank screen. Maybe it’s during these times that we get off our duffs and go for a thoughtless stroll, or make a tea and play with the cat in order to allow something deeper than the intellect to percolate and bubble up in its own time.
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
Find the thing that looks like work to others, but feels like play to you, and then go all in on it.
Naval Ravikant, on the Joe Rogan podcast.
The most powerful money makers are individual brands who themselves are leverage. They have knowledge that nobody else has. They’re knowledge is the knowledge of themselves. Knows all these people. Can’t replace them. Have to pay what they’re worth.
Naval Ravikant, on the Joe Rogan podcast.