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The Creative Process: What An Artist Can Teach Us I was at an art gallery this week doing some research for a program we are running. I absolutely love spending time in galleries. I find them so inspiring not only as an artist but also for the sheer amount of self-expression that you see. We were all created with the ability and need to express ourselves (but that is another post) I came across this explanation of the inspiration of a Jeffrey Smart painting Central Station II and I thought it really summed up the creative process well. His words about the background to the painting were: “In the morning, a friend took me for a tour around those strange parts – strange architecturally – in Sydney. We went to Glebe, Annandale….. then Balmain and the houses on the water there, and Leichardt finally. By this time my imagination was stirred to such an extent that when Michael Ramsden, who drove, stopped near Central Station to run off and buy a paper, I saw him and those hoardings in such a way that I thought I should like to have it forever…it was a moment of hallucinatory beauty”. The notes for the painting went on to say ‘Returning to the spot early the next morning, Smart made a number of sketches and drawings from which he developed the final painting when he returned to Italy’  Smart stirred his creativity that day. He stirred it mightily and then most importantly, he went and acted on it. How did he stir it? He really opened his eyes to all that was around him. He thought about the world around him in a different way. We could even say his thinking/actions was out of the box (or out of the studio). He provided his mind with a whole load of stimulus and freshness. He didn’t just look at one building. He looked at loads. He moved. He didn’t restrict his stimulus to a conversation, a text book or a meeting room. He moved and engaged with his environment. All of these things stirred his imagination. Importantly, he was open to it being stirred. He was open to being inspired. He was a sponge ready to soak it all up. He then did something about it. He could have so easily not gone back in the morning. He would have had to change his plans, miss appointments etc. but he went and did it and harnessed his creative drive at the moment. For me, it sums up the creative process really well. You have to allow your imagination to be stirred. You do...

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I met with a new business partner last Friday. I have plenty of people always ringing up and wanting to meet with the view of collaborating (getting some work) with Visualfunk. These mostly don’t go far (for many reasons) but this particular time it did. As Visualfunk is a business about creativity, I always look to see how the people we ever partner with practice this. I had my meeting at the clients office space. When I walked in, I was blown away. Buy MU Online Legend Power Leveling Not because of how corporate slick or expensive it was but because it was creativity central! It had artifacts from all over the world, a number of physical projects that everyone was working on, loads of art, music and home made furniture from things they had found and converted. There was something cool going on everywhere that you looked. This doesn’t mean it was cluttered, it was just very funky. He showed me a number of things that they had made and the current projects. This place was alive and living. When I left I was massively inspired. mu legend zen for sale How could great things not happen in an environment like this? My point? The environment that you create for yourself has a massive influence on your creative output and energy levels. If you sit in a communist era grey cubicle each and every day, how can you expect to produce amazing work, come up with amazing ideas and most importantly, have the energy to put them into action? Ignoring your environment is a great way to stifle your creativity. I immediately knew from the environment that we met in that this person valued curiosity, had a great imagination, plenty of motivation and walked around with eyes that were open to the world. Buy MU Online Legend Power Leveling All essential attributes for developing your creativity. Whatever you want to achieve creatively, before you start worrying about the output or what thinking process you will use, create a fantastic environment that will stimulate your creativity and keep this space alive. Put up a painting. Make something. Paint a wall! Change it, add to it and have some fun. Go nuts and great things will happen for your creative...

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I read this nice article by Julie Plenty today and I loved the first line “Creativity is your birthright.” Exactly, its what we were born to do and what separates humans from all of the other animals wandering the earth. We are all creative yet we stop practicing creativity and behaving creatively. I have spoken about this many times before. Kids are great, they let their creativity pulsate through their veins on a daily basis. Tapping back into the wonderful creativity is actually really easy. It’s like fitness, there are a few really easy steps you can take to improve your fitness. It was another reason that I loved this article – the actual simplicity of what Julie suggests to give your creativity a boost. It’s not about devouring an academic text book on creativity, it’s about taking some simple, fun and easy steps. These are below. 1. Look after yourself. Sleep well/Eat well/meditate/do what you enjoy and do it more often (if it is life enhancing!). Creativity is reduced when your senses are dulled. 2. UGG Boots For Sale Do something different. We do so much on auto – the route we take to work, newspaper we read, TV programmes we routinely watch. Vary one element of your regular routine for a while. If feasible, take a different route to work, read a different newspaper (especially one you would never read!). 3. Be curious about your world around you. It always amazes me when people don’t see what’s around them. See the area you live/work in as a tourist would. How would you explore it if you were a tourist? 4. arcteryx down hoody Read a book on something you previously had no interest in. …and see if you can create interest whilst reading it. It is my belief that no topic is boring or uninteresting if it is enthusiastically and creatively presented. You know what you like – or you like what you know? 5. Do something childlike once in a while. …and you don’t have to have the children there as an ‘excuse’ to do it. Sit and play on swings/draw/paint ‘silly’ pictures – have fun. Children are incredibly creative and as adults we could learn a lot about how they view the world. 6. Create/prepare quiet time for yourself every day. Not to do anything (unless it relaxes you), but just to clear and refresh your mind. We are human beings, not doings. There are times when our crowded schedule and minds don’t allow space and time for the creative to be welcomed in. Einstein liked to go sailing in the afternoons after working in...

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I read a great short post from Seth Godin today. It said: Wasting time is not a waste In fact, wasting time is a key part of our lives. Wasting time poorly is a sin, because not only are you forgoing the productivity, generosity and art that comes from work, but you’re also giving up the downtime, experimentation and joy that comes from wasting time. If you’re going to waste time (and I hope you will) the least you can do is do it well. Downtime and experimentation is a key part to being creative. The moment that you start to take restrictions off your time and expected outcomes you should have, you can start to truly play and experiment. When we are all so busy, it’s hard to do but the joy of taking the weight of expectation off your shoulders, silencing the internal critic and just playing is wonderful. Artists do it. Kids do it all day and are the most creative people that I...

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I am always getting asked by clients who are companies that are leading the way in innovation, how they do it etc. So when I saw this list, I thought it worth sharing. The list is based upon the innovation premium which is:  “a measure of how much investors have bid up the stock price of a company above the value of its existing business based on expectations of future innovative results (new products, services and markets) . Members of the list must have $10 billion in market capitalization, spend at least 1% of their asset base on R&D and have seven years of public data” Sounds pretty heavy and I am sure it cuts out many smaller companies but innovation and creativity in the corporate world must be measured on results. The top five on the list are: Salesforce.com Amazon.com Intuitive Surgical Tencent Holdings Apple It makes me really glad we use Salesforce! Check out the rest of the list...

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I am a huge fan of Salvador Dali. Some of my favourite travel memories are visiting both the Salvador Dali Museum in Figures and then his house in Cadaquez. His taste for mixing absurd abstraction with haunting realism is amazing. One of my favourite quotes of his is “each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure – that of being Salvador Dali”. Creatively, he was open to anything. When I saw this article by the company Gijima, I couldn’t help but be interested. There is so much that the arts can offer the corporate world in both thinking and acting creatively. This is why our corporate team building programs enbrace the arts. The article states “the innovative thought process draws many comparisons in surrealism. Both challenge the norm, take an alternative view and use the element of surprise and unexpected contrasts to the point of being absurd, dissociative, confusing and unpredictable and in so doing come up with previously neglected associations.” At the very least, the moment you engage with anything that challenges/changes/ignites/smashes your usual thought process, creativity and freshness starts to happen. It doesn’t have to be art: You can walk, read a magazine, go to a cafe –...

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