Friday, January 29, 2010

On creativity in our educational system...or not

In my quest to learn more about creativity, I came across this TED talk done by Ken Robinson at the 2006 TED convention. It is as relevant fact I instantly thought of four students as he was describing the dancer.

Watch's worth it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Fast Company article...October, 2008. Click on Creativity...change is good AND according to Fast Company can lead to enhanced creative thinking....check it out.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


A challenge from a good friend and co-worker has resulted in the topic for my blog over the next few months. Since not taking classes this semester, my free time is not so limited. With time on my hands and a “Why don’t you?” from my good friend Maria, the blog topic Creativity was born. She and I have been talking about team teaching a course on creativity for some time. Creativity is integral to both our lives (and to all others in my opinion.) For a graphic designer the ability to create on demand to solve a client’s design problem is a necessary component of our jobs. As an instructor, creativity is essential to developing interesting, learning experiences and course materials. Creativity in business operations has been a valuable commodity for years. As a team facilitator and trainer for a Fortune 100 company years ago, we were reading and training from the likes of, A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative and A Kick in the Seat of the Pants both by Roger von Oech. The intent? To teach, learn and develop creativity in a business environment and capitalize on our company’s creative genius.

So, exactly what is creativity? The next few blogs will be written on creativity…what is it, how do we get it, why do we want it, if we had it once how do we get it back? Does everyone get some? Why is it easier for one (to get it) than others? Is it quantifiable? Can it be taught? Can it be learned? And the list goes on.

Let’s begin by doing a brief survey…bloggers, tweeters, fb’s respond! What does the word creativity mean to you? Is it a noun, a verb, an adjective? What is it and do you have it?

Here is what it means to me…
The ability to think without borders
The courage to act on or to develop, design, and innovate based on this thinking and new ideas
The strength to accept resulting criticism and learn from it
The resilience to go back and start over…again, and again and again

And do I think I have it?  Sometimes. And why the cows? I ran across an interesting website while doing some research for this on creativity title...take a look.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thinking about type...a great Abbott and Costello

For all of us designers that like to see type in's one that's kind of funny, too. Click on the above Thinking about Type to see a great Abbott and Costello on type.
The first couple of sessions in typography (GRD 140 - Intro to Type) were spent discussing and practicing using expressive typography. Giving a voice to our written words. In this clip, the designer has attempted to visually display A&C's witty banter. With dancing type and turning the sound off, we still get a pretty good sense of the emotion going into the conversation. You think?

Now, without sound, without visuals...what do you see and hear with this 1961 ad created by George Lois?

Geez....the wonder of type!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Decision making by critical incident theory...

Huge decision...whether or not to take personal classes this made. I've toyed with the idea of taking a break last semester, in fact took only one class. Signed up for two this semester...what was I thinking?

Which brings me to making decisions...I know all the right ways...making pros/cons list, mindmapping, sourcing the experts, etc. And which method did I choose? Well, it's called critical incident theory (anyway that's what I call it.)

As mentioned, I've mulled over taking a break but was really trying to get to a milestone (Masters + 30 hours) and I'm currently at MA +25 so it is really within reach. MA + 30 gets me to a new pay level (in addition to a lot of great learning.) Signed up for classes, did the first week's worth of homework and got it in ON TIME and reasonably well done. That I think is a kicker...I don't have time to do it REALLY well. And I hate that. But anyway, was even starting to live with that issue, when I woke up yesterday morning with blurry eyes and couldn't focus on the computer screen! Yikes! I panicked! What? Without my eyes focusing where will I be? In a nursing home...walking with a seeing eye dog...very thick lenses on my driver's license...can't get to work...lose my job....lose my income...lose my house...and with THAT train of thought, the decision was made.

And that's what I call a critical incident theory!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

First homework assignment..Design this quote!

“I fill up a place, which may be better…when I have made it empty.” —William Shakespeare

Need to show this quote visually...with type decorative faces. First step is to analyze the about these?

1) Death by suicide?
2) I have overstayed my's time to leave!
3) Choices in design...shapes versus spaces...maybe I need more open space in this design.
4) I take a spot in a line (any line) that would be better filled by someone else.
5) Environmentally...leave little behind when you go...small footprint.
6) Gas tank...fill 'er it out (opposite of 5.) least they're a start...I'll let you know how it goes. Now I need to do some thumbs and roughs!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

THAI Rooster...

Here it is...not so happy with it but have run out of allotted own classes start this week so I'm on to other priorities.

Speaking of which, I'm going to try to continue blogging, but it is one of those things that when I'm in a time crunch I eliminate! And the crunch is coming...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What to write about when there's nothing to write about...

The problem of keeping a blog going, is coming to terms with writing something daily. Almost a journal...a public journal...of my activities and thoughts. I've written and erased two different topics on composition (needed to do more thought in preparation than I wanted to this am) one on procrastination (procrastinated until I bored myself on the topic) and finally this one...a nonsensical blab on blogging.

Then I got a brilliant of the items on my list of to do's (procrastinating by lists is a fav habit of mine) is a pastel of a Thailand rooster...I've promised my Thai traveling buddies for the last three years this artwork! Maybe if I commit to finishing this thing in public, I'll finally do it! So here it process...I'll let you know tomorrow how it goes! I'm going to paint!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I love this time of year!

Steven Heller has a great article in December's AIGA about the origins of Santa Claus. Since my grandchildren are becoming very aware of the old bearded gent, I found this article (a reminder to all of us who have studied advertising design history) interesting and thought-provoking. He takes us through a quick history of the popular icons of Christmas and their origins.

Thought all might find interesting where some of our current customs originated. Click on I love...and check it out!


Road trip 2021

 A picture review of 2021 Sister Trip. As baby of the family, I’ve committed to visiting my three older sisters as often as possible, before...