Tag Archives: creativity

friday blinks – 8/17/12

17 Aug

FRIDAYBLINKS The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life. 8/17/2012 // PMS 112 // quote by Jessica Hische

Here is a list of sites we’ve come across throughout the past couple weeks that we think are worth sharing. We call it friday blinks.

Cardboard Bicycle

Israeli Inventor Izhar Gafni challenges himself to create a complete, fully-functioning bicycle almost completely out of cardboard.
(via Timbuktu Magazine/twitter)

Jack Hughes’ scotch sipping, cigarette smoking illustrations
Lodon-based illustrator and designer Jack Hughes draws with a TON of style and grace. The subtle colors, shading, and beautiful textures make these illustrations even more alluring. Wonderful work, Jack.
(via It’s Nice That/twitter) (via Jack Hughes/twitter)

RJD2 AMA on Reddit
RJD2 is one of my all-time favorite DJs/producers/beat makers and although his career is based in the music industry, the create process is something that is essential in producing his music. The creative process is so different for some many people and you can find inspiration in just about anything and music is definitely a go-to source of inspiration for me. My friend Chris described AMAs as “celebrities, cool people, people with crazy jobs, people who have been through interesting circumstances come in and basically answer questions asked by the community.” The quote below was taken from RJD2’s AMA (link above):

“creative process often starts w/ sheer boredom, and resources. no planning. just doing. do do do. then throw away 90% of what you did. then do more. repeat process. then, you either have a good song or piece of shit. trash POS. release good song. easy as that.”

I realize this isn’t a music blog, but quotes like the one above is why I love RJD2’s style, music, and take on his work.
(via Chris Gustin)

20 Best iPhone apps for designers
The folks over at Creative Bloq have compiled a list of 20 sweet iPhone apps for designers, from time-management and typeface-finding to color palette collecting and simple and stout checklists.
(via Creative Bloq/twitter)

Dr. Seuss’ early advertising work
Interesting how Dr. Seuss’ style transfers pretty seamlessly into advertising.
(via Design Taxi/twitter)

Jeff Staple

22 Mar


Jeff Staple is a creative director, designer, and founder of NYC-based Staple Design Studio, which isn’t just a creative agency. It’s a multi-faceted beast of a company that also houses clothing lines, apparel collections, a retail store, an art gallery, and a magazine. It would be an understatement to say that Jeff is a busy guy. He’s been doing his thing for 15 years now, day in, day out and it seems like he is quite comfortable wearing many different hats. Just watch these videos and you’ll see why he’s so successful. He’s super bright, talented, and very driven. Jeff seems like a great motivator and I can’t wait to hear him give a lecture tomorrow at Virginia Tech with NYC-based designer and illustrator Sophia Chang. The lecture is called Creativity vs. Commerce: Getting In and Staying In, sponsored by Virginia Tech’s AIGA chapter and the Virginia Tech Student Hip-Hop Organization. If you are near by, you really should come and check them out. It’s bound to be great.

Jeff and Sophia, thank you so much for making a trip all the way to Virginia Tech to talk to us and our community. It’s really inspirational to know that people out there willing to take time out of their busy lives to talk with the Tech students and other local creatives.

PressPausePlay

1 Mar

I went to a viewing of PressPausePlay Tuesday night, hosted by the Virigina Tech AIGA chapter. It is a fantastically filmed/edited/designed documentary, talking with some of the world’s most influential authors, musicians, directors, creatives, and entrepreneurs. Over the past 10 years, our culture has turned into a technological grab bag of sorts, where you can create just about anything in the comfort of your bedroom. The points and counterpoints from those who were interviewed for the film were asking if this flood of content, ranging from ‘trash’ to ‘excellent’ content (whether that be music, design, video editing, etc.) is a good or bad thing? Is the crap work choking out all of the great work, not allowing it to be seen? Does great content only available through the big production companies, or can equal-quality work come from a guy sitting in his basement?

The take-away from this film (that I got from it, at least) was that yes, there are a ton of creative people out there. Some professionally trained, some not. Some have natural talent and others don’t. Most of the time, the ones that seem to be able to wade above the sea of crappy work are the ones that have a good design sense, have some sort of basic knowledge about design/music/rhythm. Basically, a strong foundation. That might be attributed to formal schooling, hands-on training from a mentor, industry experience, a combination of all or some of these or whatever. My thought is if you have that solid foundation, you have a better chance of being found and excelling in your respective industry. No matter if you are up-to-date on the latest software out there, with all of those fancy tools, you still need a firm grasp on the basics. It certainly will help if you are well-versed with the latest and greatest software and other gadgetry, but it’s not a must.

After the film was over, Tim Austin, a student in the Visual Communications Design program at Virginia Tech, asked the other students if they thought they were at disadvantage because they were brought up in a digital age and surrounded by technology in their formative years? There was a general consensus that as long as you knew your stuff, you’d do fine. Being in the design industry for 10 years now, and having done some hands on non-digital “stuff” (screen printing, film development, offset printing, old-fashioned paste up), I can say I respect the history of the craft. I’m not sure if that’s an advantage or not, but I don’t think it hurts to know how certain processes used to be done.

So, if you haven’t already seen this movie, download it and watch it. Do you think the glut of mediocre work out there is overwhelming the great work? I’m interested to see what others think on this topic, so add a comment below.

creative exercise – creature derby

19 Jan

As I have mentioned in a previous post, at my current job, with the help of our team, I run a weekly “idea meeting” on Fridays.  Since our dear colleague, Katie Gehrt, was leaving us for an awesome job opportunity in Kentucky, we decided that we needed to do something special for her last idea meeting/last day in the office.  I put a call out to think of something good for her last idea meeting with us. We decided that since Katie was headed to Kentucky, that a Kentucky Derby theme was in order. I had an idea, shared it with the team, and we ran with it. I broke out some painters tape and a giant straight edge, measuring ever four inches for the “track” game board spaces.

Now, for the creative part: create a horse, paper monster, or whatever your heart desires and name your creature. There was a wide range of creatures: a super-accurate realist horse and racer, an animal cracker-sized horse, a daisy duke jort-wearing bear, a cubist horse, a piece of toast with a long tongue, a Scooby-Doo-looking horse and racer, a pink slime monster, and a green horned monster.

From left to right: ClipArt™ (Katie), Tongue Lasher (Jennifer), Run On Sentence (Rachel), The Gobbler (Sara), Happy (Emily), Bearly Legal (Brian), The Blob? (Suzanne), 2 Cute 2 Lose (Dylan)

I also encouraged everyone to make a derby hat, tie, or any other derby accessory with whatever we had around the office.

Dylan brought some “Pick your nose” cups, which are always funny.

After the decorating was over, we got down to business and raced our creatures along the track. There were conspiracy theories that I somehow rigged the paper die to keep rolling sixes. Whatever the case may be, I won, with Katie in a close second, and Sara rounded out the top three.

Although there was no direct connection to design, sometimes activities like this one get us away from our desks and refresh our brains, allowing us to renew ourselves and keep fresh.

creative exercise – let it roll

26 Oct

At my current job, I have been given the opportunity to hold weekly “Idea meetings.” These are held late Friday morning to cap off the week with any work-related idea farming, or just to share what anyone is currently working on or has recently finished. Then, if time allows, we do some sort of an activity, usually pulled from my Caffeine for the Creative Team book. A few weeks ago, I had an idea that I thought I would try out.

I brought a bunch of empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls in and asked our team members to bring a pair of scissors with them. The instructions were as follows: Create anything out of these rolls using only scissors (no tape, glue, etc.). The concept behind this challenge was that we are given very little to work with on a daily basis, and expected to turn it into something great. This is something we deal with all the time, granted our clients don’t bring us a bag of cardboard before we start a project for them, but the overall concept is the same. You could use any type of raw material to do this type of activity, too. I would like to do this again using a completely different medium, but similar parameters.

The team seemed to enjoy the activity and the creations turned out great. Here they are:

Castle by Leah

Totem Pole by Suzanne

Moustache Dude by Dylan

Aviator Glasses by Brian (me), Aviator helmet by Melanie

Brooch by Jennifer