Freddie Mercury chocolate cake

IT'S PERFECT. Read the rest

John Cage's ten rules for students and teachers

John Cage liked to share a list of rules for creativity developed by artist Sister Corita Kent. That list was then typed up and popularized by Cage. They are: Read the rest

Fine art finger painter Iris Scott talks about being "gifted"

When Brooklyn-based artist Iris Scott begins a new piece, she doesn't get out paintbrushes. Instead, she simply puts on gloves when she starts on an oil painting. Scott is a fine art finger painter.

This 10-minute long mini documentary on her from a couple of years ago shares how she got started and what she thinks of her "gift." She's quick to point out that it's not a natural talent, that it's the result of a lot of time and practice:

I do not think I was just gifted by any means. I think that I just practiced a lot. The only gift you might say I have is a tremendous interest and willingness to put tons of hours at it. I definitely don't believe people are born with the gift to paint. I know I wasn't. I just practiced a lot starting at a very early age. And anyone can pick up painting at any time of their life and as long as you throw a ton of hours at it, you will improve in ways you just never thought you possibly could. Just watch what happens, go throw 10,000 hours at one subject or one art form and just watch what happens, suddenly everyone will start telling you you are gifted.

Here's a how-to video she made that shows her process a little closer:

Do go check out her site. I was blown away by her work.

(The Awesomer) Read the rest

Drummer documents 13 years of skill improvement

Adam Tuminaro gathered clips from his earliest days of drumming to the present, and comments on what he learned at each point. It's a great motivational template for any creative endeavor. Nobody starts out perfect, and staying focused on improving along with putting in the hours will eventually yield rewards. Read the rest

The myth of the "genius creator" requires that we ignore the people they build on, or insist they don't matter

The wonderful Copy Me project (previously) has revealed the first installment in its new three-part series on The Creativity Delusion, which takes aim at the "myth of genius," which picks a small subsection of creators, scientists and entrepreneurs and declares them to be "original" by ignoring all the work they plundered to create their own and erasing all the creators whose shoulders they stand upon. Read the rest

Charles Darwin spent most of his day chilling out

Spending too much time at the same place doing the same thing all day is no formula for success, as Charles Darwin and many other great minds of history demonstrate. Nautilus looks at the history of highly productive slacking. Read the rest

Woman uses her vitiligo as a template for body art

Ashley Soto used to be embarrassed about her vitiligo, which started at age 12. Now she uses her vitligo as a sort of stencil to create all kinds of interesting body art pieces. Read the rest

Fanciful embroidered typography and birds

London-based designer Katheryn Benedict-Perri takes embroidered text to the next level with intricate overlapping letters using multiple colors. Read the rest

Inspiring ad for a Toronto children's hospital

"Sick isn't weak." Toronto's Hospital for Sick Kids has a perceptual challenge with "sick" in their name, so they created a great new ad called VS. that presents their patients and employees as heroes. Read the rest

Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Wheelchair Costume

Ryan Scott Miller outdid himself with this terrific wheelchair costume that Jeremy will be sporting this Halloween: "This year we put it to a vote and our friends choose the Ghostbusters Ecto-1!" Well-played, sir! Read the rest

Photochrome: keyword-generated impressionistic color palettes

Photochrome is a nifty algorithm that generates a color palette based on a keyword you enter. It compiles all images in their database tagged with your keyword and averages the results into RGB and hex values. Read the rest

David Lynch on catching great ideas

"Ideas are like fish. You don't make the fish, you catch the fish." A lovely animated version of David Lynch's musings on where to find great ideas. Read the rest

Your Idea Starts Here: 77 Mind-Expanding Ways to Unleash Your Creativity

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Your Idea Starts Here: 77 Mind-Expanding Ways to Unleash Your Creativity

by Carolyn Eckert

Storey Publishing

2016, 224 pages, 5.1 x 7.2 x 0.9 inches

$10 Buy a copy on Amazon

Art director Carolyn Eckert originally wrote Your Idea Starts Here for artists and designers who needed a creative boost, but soon realized that the book can actually help any inventive soul. This hardcover pocket-sized book pops with fun images along with 77 exercises to dislodge the blockages that are damming up your creative juices. For instance, Exercise 19 suggests changing up your routine (inspired by a Steve Jobs practice). Exercise 35 says to “Stop Whatever You’re Doing.” In other words, “If you were using blue, use orange. If it’s square, make it round…”

Interspersed between the idea-generating exercises are inspiring stories about inventions (such as the potato chip, Slinky, and windshield wipers) and what sparked them. More brainstorming tool than self-help book, Your Idea Starts Here is fun and simple yet super inspiring for anyone who looking for new ideas.

Read the rest

The truth about writer's block

Studies have found writer's block to be a simpler problem—unhappiness—than the legends around it suggest. But there are different kinds of unhappiness, and it's the blockee's job to be honest about which one they're suffering from.

The first, more anxious group felt unmotivated because of excessive self-criticism—nothing they produced was good enough—even though their imaginative capacity remained relatively unimpaired. (That’s not to say that their imaginations were unaffected: although they could still generate images, they tended to ruminate, replaying scenes over and over, unable to move on to something new.) The second, more socially hostile group was unmotivated because they didn’t want their work compared to the work of others. (Not everyone was afraid of criticism; some writers said that they didn’t want to be “object[s] of envy.”) Although their daydreaming capacity was largely intact, they tended to use it to imagine future interactions with others. The third, apathetic group seemed the most creatively blocked. They couldn’t daydream; they lacked originality; and they felt that the “rules” they were subjected to were too constrictive. Their motivation was also all but nonexistent. Finally, the fourth, angry and disappointed group tended to look for external motivation; they were driven by the need for attention and extrinsic reward. They were, Barrios and Singer found, more narcissistic—and that narcissism shaped their work as writers. They didn’t want to share their mental imagery, preferring that it stay private.

I bet group 1 (self-critics) account for most, though. Turn off your inner editor—and if necessary, move to a medium (longhand, typewriter) that deprives you of editorial tools Read the rest

Bowie, Eno and serendipity

Tim Harford (previously) writes, "My TED talk just went live - among other things it's about Bowie and Eno's creative process on the Berlin albums. It's rather sadly timed but I hope you like it." Read the rest

How imaginary friends went from a parental worry to a badge of honour

For a long time, kids' imaginary friends were a cause for concern: Dr Spock recommended taking kids to "a child psychiatrist, child psychologist or other mental-health counsellor" to figure out what kids with imaginary friends were "lacking;" while Jean Piaget saw imaginary friends as a sign of failure, not of an active imagination, because "The child has no imagination, and what we ascribe to him as such is no more than a lack of coherence." Read the rest

What "Star Wars Minus Star Wars" says about creativity

Rob beat me to the blog this morning with a post about Star Wars Minus Star Wars, a stupendous video in which Kyle Kallgren retells the entire story of the first Star Wars movie with footage that either inspired George Lucas or was inspired by him after the movie's release. Read the rest

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