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Creativity #40

Immerse yourself in the medium and the message will emerge. (This is the converse of #12.)


3 June 2015
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Creativity #39

Children who are allowed to are always making things and adventures. Ask a child why they make things and adventures and they won’t be able to give you a PROPER REASON. That’s because only adults are stupid enough to need a reason for making things. The fact that you are human is the reason to make things. (For lots more good thinking in this direction, listen to this conversation between Rob Bell and Elizabeth Gilbert.)


3 June 2015
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In which Neil Gaiman explains the quick and easy way to become a writer

Someone asked Neil Gaiman for writing advice because he found it difficult to get his thoughts onto paper. Gaiman replied:

Write the ideas down. If they are going to be stories, try and tell the stories you would like to read. Finish the things you start to write. Do it a lot and you will be a writer. The only way to do it is to do it.

I’m just kidding. There are much easier ways of doing it. For example: (This is where you click to go to Gaiman’s Tumblr and read the brilliance contained therein)


14 January 2015
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Creativity #38

Reject the idea that your identity is ‘consumer’. Become annoyed whenever you are referred to as a ‘consumer’.


14 November 2014
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TRUE

A comic by Richard Thomson about trying to think of a funny comic

By Richard Thomson. Found at Illustration Art


1 October 2014
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Cooking tips 1: introduction

Now that I’m halfway through my final year of a culinary arts degree, I would like to spend a few days writing about cooking. I don’t know much about cooking – it’s more a restaurant management degree than a chef’s degree – but I really like to cook and I really like to eat. I think I’ve stumbled across some useful things over the last few years, both at home and in the college kitchens. I think you might like to know what those few things are. I will be offering them daily until I run out as short little posts, similar to my Creativity series. I will write about cooking in general, about equipment and about how to cook some specific things. Maybe some of it will be new to you. There will be at least one technique that I think I invented. Also, you can add tips in the comments. Onwards…

Cooking is like any other creative endeavour, the better you understand your medium the more freely you are able to create. Recipes are really helpful. I use them all the time. But once you start thinking about what’s going on in a recipe and why and how you can adapt it to better suit your tastes and circumstances, then you are properly starting to cook. I learned this from my wife Christine and from Nigel Slater’s Appetite. If you want to get past recipe following and learn how to really think about food, Appetite is an excellent place to start. If you live in the UK, your library probably has a copy.

Appetite by Nigel Slater


26 January 2014
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Life is hard enough without people asking you to do things, but they ask you to do things anyway, so here are 111 handy excuses you can use when they do

  1. I have to walk my dog
  2. My dog ate it
  3. My dog has to go to the vet
  4. My dog died
  5. I’m depressed
  6. The economy is terrible
  7. We have to make austerity cutbacks
  8. It was the coldest March on record
  9. Spring’s coming late this year
  10. The kids are still in school
  11. The holidays are coming soon and the kids won’t be in school
  12. I’m not old enough
  13. I’m not as young as I used to be
  14. The potato harvest was terrible this year
  15. I’m tired out from lambing season
  16. I have to milk the cows
  17. I have to plant the corn
  18. I have to plant the beans
  19. I have to plant the apples
  20. I have to plant the horses
  21. I have to plant the evidence at the crime scene to divert the police’s attention away from me
  22. I have to flee the country
  23. I’m saving for my holiday
  24. I’m saving for my retirement
  25. I’m saving for a rainy day
  26. It’s too rainy
  27. It’s sunny now, but it might rain later
  28. That’s not how we do it in Britain
  29. This is Wales. You can’t do that here
  30. Foreigners are taking all our jobs
  31. Cutbacks are taking all our jobs
  32. Computers are taking all our jobs
  33. Robots are taking all our jobs
  34. Unicorns are taking all our jobs
  35. Vicious kittens with laser eyes riding on robotic unicorns are taking all our jobs
  36. I’m living in a fantasy world
  37. I’m waiting for Scottish independence
  38. I’m waiting for the Tories to get kicked out of government
  39. I’m waiting for that man to come to his senses
  40. I’m waiting for my operation
  41. I’m waiting my ship to come in
  42. I haven’t got a ship
  43. The shipping is too expensive
  44. Have you seen the price of petrol lately?
  45. Have you seen what they did to that poor girl just because she was different?
  46. People are jerks
  47. I have to look at photos of kittens and other cute animals
  48. My internet is too slow
  49. I’ve lost my internet connection
  50. I can’t get through to tech support
  51. I’m restarting my computer
  52. I’m not sure if I want to log off
  53. I might miss something on Twitter
  54. I might miss Game of Thrones
  55. I might miss some deep existential insight
  56. My pores are clogged
  57. I have to exfoliate
  58. My hair’s not ready
  59. I need a new outfit
  60. I need to get dressed for success
  61. I need to listen to my 80s records
  62. I don’t have a record player
  63. I can’t do anything without my music
  64. I’ve got back problems
  65. I’ve got knee problems
  66. I’ve got emotional problems
  67. I’ve got 99 problems
  68. My ice cream just fell off the cone
  69. I’m hungry
  70. I need a snack
  71. I need dinner
  72. I want dessert first
  73. I need to lose weight
  74. I have low self esteem
  75. I have low blood sugar
  76. I have a low white blood cell count
  77. I have to stay in and count my blood cells
  78. I don’t know how
  79. I tried it once and I wasn’t any good at it
  80. The other kids will laugh at me
  81. I’m scared
  82. I’m scarred
  83. I have emotional issues
  84. I’ve run out of tissues
  85. I don’t know what fish you should use due to depletion issues
  86. My carbon footprint is too big
  87. My shoes are too tight
  88. My bum looks big in this dress
  89. My husband has no tact
  90. My husband refuses to talk to me
  91. My wife is always nagging me
  92. This kitchen won’t clean itself
  93. No one appreciates the work I do
  94. No one listens to me
  95. No one cares
  96. I already signed an online petition
  97. Nothing I do makes a difference anyway
  98. That man is looking at me like I’m stupid
  99. That man looks suspicious
  100. That man is probably a mass murderer
  101. Most people are probably mass murderers when they get the chance
  102. I have phobias
  103. I’ve had four beers
  104. I have a drinking problem
  105. I have to go because I spilled my drink all over myself
  106. I have to go because I hear nature calling. Quite urgently.
  107. I have to go because I left a cake in the oven
  108. I have to go because I left a cat in the oven
  109. I have to go because I left my wife and she is pursuing me for child support
  110. I have to go because sometimes when the humidity is high my elbows swell up and I get embarrassed
  111. Would you excuse me? I cut my foot before and my shoe is filling up with blood (03:27)


28 April 2013
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Of course, Jesus isn’t around to do this, but maybe someone else could?

Religion News Service photo: gay marriage demonstrators debate.

I imagine Jesus going to the Supreme Court building and setting up a long table between the two sides of demonstrators and laying out a really nice picnic. He invites everyone to sit down and eat. That’s the rule: you have to sit down. No takeaway. And it’s food that you eat with a knife and fork – or chopsticks – so you have to set down your sign to eat. All the food is in big dishes, no individual servings, which forces conversations with people on the other side of the table. ‘Could you pass the casserole, please?’ At first, not too many people sit down, but the food smells so good and we are so hungry from our demonstrating that it doesn’t take long for more and more and more people to sit down. Just when some of us are shifting in our seats, thinking about getting back to our signs and our deeply held convictions, Jesus serves another course or passes around another basket of fresh rolls and another bottle of wine. When the meal finally ends, everyone is too relaxed to pick up the signs, and anyway they look a bit garish now, so we all wander off home or back to our hotels. It’s only as we are drifting off to sleep that we realise we shared communion with the enemy.


27 March 2013
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-ness

On 2 January I listed my planned trajectories for 2013. How it’s going is I haven’t spent much more time playing with family and friends, but I’m making tiny bits of progress. I’m definitely being sillier. I’m drawing a lot more, even though I haven’t managed to get back to The Reverend and Amy.

In my drawing I’m concentrating, quite by accident, on giving my drawings -ness. What I mean is when I draw a cat, I don’t try to make it look like an actual cat, but I try to give the drawing ‘catness’. The drawing below doesn’t really look like a kakapo, but I think it does have ‘kakaponess’.

drawing of a kakapo


4 March 2013
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Don’t have a hobby. Have a second job.

If you spend some of your free time doing something creative and you want to become good at that creative thing you do, don’t do it as a hobby. You don’t have to do a hobby. Do it as a job. You have to go to work whether you feel like it or not. You have to go to work whether you are inspired or not. You have to produce when you have a job. A job is more important than a hobby. If you really want to become good at that creative thing you do, treat it, at the very least, as if it’s as important as the thing you get paid to do.


8 January 2013
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2013 trajectories

  1. Draw every day*
  2. Be sillier
  3. Spend more time playing with family and friends

*Yes, this does mean The Reverend and Amy will be happening again, but not until February. I have big college assignments due this month.


2 January 2013
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Jack White talks about working when he doesn’t feel like it, deadlines and doing things the hard way


27 August 2012
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Only me!

I have written before that I’m not a fan of today’s church music. Apparently a lot of other people aren’t too. Today Christianity Magazine posted an article asking Has Worship Music Lost Its Soul? (Short answer: yes.)

In the article, some church music industry mavericks point out how boring church music has gotten, some pundits explain why there’s a problem, the established superstar defends the status quo – so far it’s what I expected, especially since most of the stuff in the article happened elsewhere on the Internet months ago – and then (this is where I get depressed) a solution is offered. The solution is have a play around with some other styles of music, i.e. Why stick to bad parodies of Coldplay when you could also be ripping off Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, some whale song and Snoop’s rap break in California Gurls? If the kids like the dubstep, do some dubstepping for Jesus. C’mon everyone! This will be fun! (I’m paraphrasing a little bit.)

THIS ISN’T A SOLUTION! THIS IS THE MUSICAL EQUIVALENT OF APPLYING A DIFFERENT INSTAGRAM FILTER TO THE SAME LAME PHOTO OF YOUR COFFEE MUG AND HOPING THAT THIS TIME IT WILL WIN FIRST PRIZE IN THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO COMPETITION. NO! IT WON’T WIN!

Ranting is easy. Let me try to say something positive now.

I’m a church music observer, not a practitioner, which means I’m that guy. Nevertheless, with apologies, here are my suggestions to help church music people find the soul again.

  1. Don’t change anything publicly yet. You don’t know what needs changed.
  2. Except for essential church band duties, ban church music from your ears for at least six months. A year would be better. You need a musical detox.
  3. Get to know the giants on whose shoulders you are standing. Find out who the musical heroes of your musical heroes are. Listen to their music. A lot. Find out who their musical heroes are. Listen to their music. A lot. Go back further than that. Follow the detours. Explore your history. Listen to the greats of every genre, even the stuff you don’t like or don’t get. Listen to understand. (This is not expensive anymore thanks to YouTube and Spotify.)
  4. Sing and play your instrument every day. Learn songs (not church songs) and make up new stuff. Do it alone and with others.
  5. Read great writing, especially poetry.
  6. Watch great performances of all types.
  7. Read your bible. Untranslate.
  8. Find a way to immerse yourself in your local community’s life. Find a place to serve nonchurch people in a practical way. This probably means volunteering somewhere. You need to spend time outside the Christian bubble.
  9. After a year, see what starts happening. It will probably be interesting. After two years, it will probably be amazing.

You are already full of soul. This list is only my suggestion for how to let it out. You may know of a better way, but there aren’t any shortcuts.


11 July 2012
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Teller, of Penn and Teller, explains how to be amazing at something

Love something besides magic, in the arts. Get inspired by a particular poet, film-maker, sculptor, composer. You will never be the first Brian Allen Brushwood of magic if you want to be Penn & Teller. But if you want to be, say, the Salvador Dali of magic, we’ll THERE’S an opening.

I should be a film editor. I’m a magician. And if I’m good, it’s because I should be a film editor. Bach should have written opera or plays. But instead, he worked in eighteenth-century counterpoint. That’s why his counterpoints have so much more point than other contrapuntalists. They have passion and plot. Shakespeare, on the other hand, should have been a musician, writing counterpoint. That’s why his plays stand out from the others through their plot and music.

You should definitely go read the whole thing.


27 June 2012
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John Cleese on creativity

This is, despite what Mr Cleese claims, extremely useful. If you (would like to) do creative things, find 36 minutes and listen to this. I have been doing his open and closed mode stuff instinctually, but starting today I will be much more intentional about it.

For those of you who prefer to listen to listen to things on the go, I made you an MP3 of the talk.


31 May 2012
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Creativity #37

Master your tools so that they become an extension of you and you can use them unconsciously.


18 May 2012
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Creativity #36

You probably don’t know yourself too well. A designer in an interview that I read said, I don’t feel like I have a style. But his entire portfolio was made of work in the mid-20th century modern style. Maybe he meant he didn’t have his own style. Maybe he needs to ask someone what style his work is so he can be aware. Ask people about what you make, so that you can see it through different eyes.


17 May 2012
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Creativity #35

Constraints are better catalysts for creativity than complete freedom, so stop wishing for complete freedom.

Comic by Randall Munroe, who is very creative, even though he has to work with the apparent constraint of not being able to draw people.


16 May 2012
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Creativity #34

Show your work to people. Larry Shallenberger wrote a good thing about this.


15 May 2012
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Creativity #33

Be out in nature. You are part of nature.


14 May 2012
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Creativity #32

Take walks. My brain is a busy, distracted place. I find that steady physical activity keeps it occupied enough to open up some calm space for real thinking.


13 May 2012
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Creativity #31

I took up running a few weeks ago. The first ten steps are euphoric. The first half mile is horrible. After that, it’s pretty good. Creative projects tend to be like that too.


12 May 2012
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Creativity #30

Don’t listen to criticism.


11 May 2012
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Creativity #29

Listen to criticism.


10 May 2012
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Creativity #28

Read the War of Art and Do the Work by Steven Pressfield.


9 May 2012
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Creativity #27

I make these creativity tips really short so you can hurry up and stop reading and start making.


8 May 2012
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Creativity #26

There is nothing wrong with drawing fan art. It seems to be fun for a lot of people. But unless you are using an established character to say something different or new* or you are Frank Miller, the world probably doesn’t need to see your picture of Batman. Why not create something that someone else might want to draw as fan art one day? (On the other hand, your Batman drawing will probably be more popular on Tumblr for the next 15 seconds.)

UPDATE (11 June 2016): I think I was wrong about this for at least two reasons.1. Copying is an excellent way to learn. 2. The fact that Batman was drawn by you rather than any of the thousands of other people who have drawn Batman means that something new has been created.

*Wonder Woman with bigger breasts in a skimpier costume isn’t new. Neither is your cover of your favourite Coldplay song.


7 May 2012
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Creativity #25

When you find a thing you really want to do, make an ambitious but realistic production schedule and keep it. Don’t make excuses. Just keep the schedule.

‘But … … … … …’

No, that’s not a good enough reason. Keep the schedule.


6 May 2012
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Creativity #24

Your brain is naturally good at making connections. Always be giving it lots of different kinds of experiences. The fun and new ideas will happen all by themselves.


5 May 2012
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Creativity #23

Look at what everyone else is doing, then do something different.

Example: several years ago a powerkite shop hired me to do an advert in a kitesurf magazine. I looked through a copy of the magazine. Everything in it was blue. Lots of water. So I made an orange ad. It got noticed. Within a few months the magazine was full of orange and red ads, and I had to think of something different to make my client stand out. That’s how it goes with creativity.


4 May 2012
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Yes, you are creative

This scene from Dead Poets Society lives in my head. I have replayed many times over the last two dozen years.


3 May 2012
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Creativity #22

There are exceptions to every rule, but don’t try to break the rule until you understand how and why to keep it, except for sometimes.


3 May 2012
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If you had the choice of making one perfect thing or 1,000 terrible things, which would you choose?

I would (hopefully) choose 1,000 terrible things. Because if I made one perfect thing, it would be beginner’s luck. Everything that followed would be a disappointment. If I made 1,000 terrible things, I would learn how to make things. I would become skilful. And after 2.7397 years (if I made one thing every day) I would know how to make things. And then I could make a good thing whenever I wanted.


2 May 2012
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Creativity #21

Don’t use kits, unless you are going to make something other than what the kit tells you to make.


2 May 2012
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Creativity #20

Start making with the stuff you already have. Get the right equipment later. If you want to be a cartoonist, start with the pencil and notebook paper you already have. If you want to be a photographer or a filmmaker, start with your phone. If you want to be a musician, start with the Casio keyboard that has been under your bed gathering dust for the last 10 years. Just start. You don’t need a new pair of go faster shoes yet.


1 May 2012
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Creativity #19

Look at things more often than you look at things about things. Example: I do read books and tutorials about how to make good comics, but I spend a lot more time looking at good comics.


30 April 2012
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Creativity #18

If you must draw a fantasy webcomic, don’t give your characters pointy ears. 10,000 webcomic artists have already done that. (This advice can be applied to most areas of creative endeavour.)


29 April 2012
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Creativity #17

You will make a lot of terrible art. Don’t worry about it. That’s the only way you will learn to make good art.


28 April 2012
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Creativity #16

Most recent Christian art is terrible. By ‘recent’ I mean since I’ve been alive. By ‘art’ I mean any creative work. By ‘terrible’ I mean so godawfully full of mediocre banality that I want to renounce nonviolence and rip some faces off, so the so-called artists will actually feel something and then maybe make something interesting out of their pain. If you are a Christian and want to make good art, don’t just look at Christian art. If you are not a Christian, you may find that your own subculture has similar problems. I made a diagram about this once.


27 April 2012
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Creativity #15

Be silly. Be more silly than that. ‘Life is too important to be taken seriously.’ —Oscar Wilde


26 April 2012
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Creativity #14

Push your audience farther than they were planning to go, but not so far that they won’t go with you. People change very slowly. Nothing you say or do will change that fact. Getting angry about it will make them change even more slowly.


25 April 2012
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Creativity #13

Use a medium that your audience can understand.


24 April 2012
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Creativity #12

Obsess over the message. The right medium will make itself obvious.


23 April 2012
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Creativity #11

Do what you enjoy enthusiastically. If you care about being cool or relevant, you can pretty much guarantee that you are less cool and relevant than you could be.


22 April 2012
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Creativity #10

The solution is in the problem. The layout is in the content.


21 April 2012
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Creativity #9

Be offensive about the right stuff. If your zinger isn’t the main point, it’s detracting from your main point. Scoring cheap points is only useful if you enjoy preaching to your choir.

Two examples:

When I’m talking to or writing for Christians, I avoid swearing. This is because often as soon as I swear the people I’m talking to can’t hear the point I’m making; they can only hear the swear.

Doug Giles doesn’t understand this. I’m not entirely sure what his point was because I could only see him working for easy points from his choir by being repulsive to people he probably claims to want to convince.


20 April 2012
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Creativity #8

Try lots of different way of creating lots of different things. Keep doing the ones you enjoy. One or more of them may turn into a hobby or a job.


19 April 2012
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Creativity #7

When you have an idea, do something about it immediately, even if it is just writing a note to yourself for later. I started work on this series within 15 minutes of coming up with the idea.


18 April 2012
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Creativity #6

Don’t think outside the box; go outside your box.

Three examples:

I am a Christian, but some of my most helpful insights about the Christian faith have come from reading the blog of the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America.

I am a Christian, but the best explanation of St Paul’s admonition to speak the truth in love that I have read is a little book called Lying by Sam Harris, an avowed atheist.

The best before-I-became-a-vegetarian soup I ever ate was fish in a black pepper broth. I ate it in a dimly lit restaurant in Awka, Nigera that the only the locals knew about.


17 April 2012
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Creativity #5

Take baths. Baths give you time to think.


16 April 2012
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Creativity #4

If you are going to watch TV, watch something that isn’t cool or popular or something that you would normally watch. If you watch the same things that everyone else watches you will think like everyone else. This is also true about websites and books.


15 April 2012
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Creativity #3

Instead of watching TV or refreshing Tumblr 9,000 times on your computer, read a book. Books make you use your imagination. (Yes, this is blindingly obvious, but how often do we actually do it? Like, actually?)


14 April 2012
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Creativity #2

The next time you want to buy something, make something instead, even if it’s just a sandwich or a phone call.


13 April 2012
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Creativity #1

Don’t try to think differently. Instead, expose yourself to lots of different things. This will give you the tools you need for different thinking.


12 April 2012
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Creativity #0

I have a life that requires me to be creative on a schedule and often on demand. Sometimes people say to me, ‘You’re quite creative, Jeff.’ The way I got to be creative was by being creative. I’ve been being creative long enough to have noticed some things about how being creative works. I think some of the things I have noticed would be helpful to people, so I have decided to post a tip about being creative every day until I run out of tips about being creative. This may last a whole week. I’ll start tomorrow.


11 April 2012
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O


15 December 2011
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We notice our own team’s crap and everybody else’s good stuff.

I don’t do much explaining here. The main reason I wrote this post is that I was tired of this paper with the diagram cluttering my life, and I wanted to put it in the recycle bin.

The sets are not drawn to scale. The subset GOOD ART is vastly larger than the set ALL CHRISTIAN ART. The subset GOOD CHRISTIAN ART is probably not much smaller proportionally than the subset GOOD ART, but in absolute terms it is orders of magnitude smaller. (No, I don’t know how many orders of magnitude.) We notice how much bad Christian there is because we compare ALL CHRISTIAN ART to GOOD ART. This is the wrong comparison. We compound our mistake by comparing absolutely instead of proportionally. It’s like being annoyed because a ginormous beach ball the size of a house isn’t as big as the moon. I am, of course, still annoyed.


29 November 2011
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You are as pretty as you can get inside the shell, so you might as well come out and do some stuff

Comic by Hugh D. Crawford.

I have not learned a lot of things about success, but one of the things I have learned is: just start. Stop planning, dreaming and waiting on whatever and do one thing today to start making it real. Do one more thing tomorrow. Repeat.

It’s true your idea is not good enough yet. You will find out the ways in which it is not good enough as you go. Your idea will become good enough as you go. You may find that you end up with a completely different idea than when you started, but it will be the right idea. And it will be made real.

Here is the parable of the pottery class:

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot—albeit a perfect one—to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work—and learning from their mistakes—the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

(Source: everywhere on the Internet)


14 August 2011
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Dear Christianity, ... Look forward to hearing back, Creativity

… At best, our relationship has been bumpy since the late 1950s. And we’ve gone our separate ways a few times. You spent years revitalizing fundamentalism. And I spent time in London discovering the Beatles. …

Go read the whole letter from Creativity to Christianity by Matthew Paul Turner.


16 June 2011
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2+2=4

Most every week I write two classes for young teens, a comedy(ish) sketch, work on at least two graphic design projects, and draw a picture or two. This is my starting point: The solution is contained in the problem.

In graphic design the most elegant work is based on the geometry of the content. That’s my opinion anyway. An example: when I worked for Halen Môn, the Anglesey Sea Salt Company, my designs we all based on squares, because salt crystals are square. For me discovering self-sorting internal order is more pleasing than importing a grid from Switzerland.

I think the same is true in most of life. The solution is already contained in the problem. The skill of the creator/problem-solver/parent/counsellor/&c. is to See.

Two plus two is obviously four.

Is it? Imagine being faced with this unknown symbol: 2, then a cross, then another curly-on-top-flat-on-the-bottom symbols, then two parallel lines. They look like they mean something, but it’s hardly obvious that they mean an angled line overlapping a straight line. That’s why we teach little children to add with objects. We help them to see:

When you are creating or solving a problem, maybe the first thing to do is to spend time seeing what you are working with in a bunch of different ways. Understand its geometry (actual or metaphorical, depending on what you are working on).

Here’s a different kind of example from Tommy Barnett, pastor of a big church in Phoenix, Arizona. One of the reasons why his church is so big is because he understands that the solution is contained in the problem. He wrote a book worth reading called There’s a Miracle in Your House that introduced me to this way of looking for ideas and answers. (I can’t help but think that if the designer had understood the contents of the book, they would have done a better cover.) The central story from the book is from the bible, 2 Kings 4.

The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.’

Elisha replied to her, ‘How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?’

‘Your servant has nothing there at all,’ she said, ‘except a little olive oil.’

Elisha said, ‘Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.’

She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, ‘Bring me another one.’

But he replied, ‘There is not a jar left.’

Then the oil stopped flowing.

She went and told the man of God, and he said, ‘Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.’ (TNIV)

If you have a problem to solve or a thing to create, you get to play the role of the prophet Elisha, and see the potential of the oil.


1 April 2011
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