Posted by: Liz Massey | February 7, 2013

Surf’s Up, Condensed: Top Creativity Links for February 7, 2013

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Photo courtesy SXC.

Why Creativity Is Like A Slot Machine | Brain Pickings
Maria Popova discusses the book How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer by Debbie Millman, paying particular attention to her interview with branding and identity goddess Paula Scher.

Scher admits her creative process has some elements straight out of Las Vegas:

It’s so hard to describe how things happen intuitively. I can describe it as a computer and a slot machine. I have a pile of stuff in my brain, a pile of stuff from all the books I’ve read and all the movies I’ve seen … It’s all on one side of the brain.

And on the other side of the brain is a specific brief that comes from my understanding of the project and says, okay, this solution is made up of A, B, C, and D. And if you pull the handle on the slot machine, they sort of run around in a circle, and what you hope is that those three cherries line up, and the cash comes out.

I found Scher’s description of creative cross-pollination quite intriguing.

Boost Your Creativity With Simple Acts Of Mindfulness | LinkedIn Today
Steve Rubel interviews author Maria Konnikova, whose book Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes posits that greater creative thinking comes from following one’s curiosity, taking time to concentrate, getting into a flow state, drawing comfort and inspiration from the natural world, and learning how to filter an avalanche of data.

Photography Is The Art Of Our Time | The Guardian
A powerful and provocative essay by Jonathan Jones about photography’s place in the modern art pantheon.

Jones is unequivocal in his assessment of the medium:

Moving or still, and however it is taken, whether by pinhole camera or phone, the photographic image is the successor to the great art of the past. It is in pictures by Don McCullin or films by Martin Scorsese that we see the real old master art of our time. Why? Because photography relishes human life. The greatness of art lies in human insight. What matters most is not the oil paints Rembrandt used, but his compassion. Photography is the quickest, most exact tool ever invented to record our lives and deaths – 17th-century painters would have loved it.

Do you think his assertion goes too far?

What Innovators Can Learn From Artists | Design Mind
A wonderful list of a dozen parallels between the strengths and characteristics of successful artists and innovators. Some of my favorites: artists are craftspeople; artists are comfortable with ambiguity; artists are great storytellers; and artists are contrarians.

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