Posted by: Liz Massey | August 5, 2008

Surf’s Up: Creativity Links for August 5, 2008

A feature on how our eyes perceive photographs, an opportunity to make art that may just save the world, and a tip on how to record your next great idea are this week’s harvest from the creative blog-o-sphere.

1. Popular Photography’s online site has an interesting article relating to eye-track research being done by vision researcher Laurent Itti, an associate professor of computer science, psychology, and neuroscience at the University of Southern California’s iLab.

Although the research is being done develop “machine vision” for robot eyes, the article has bunches of information relevant to photographers and videographers. Especially useful is a sidebar that provides a quick summary of the research and give tips for applying the principles directly to one’s photography.

2. The Creative Construction: Life & Art blog passed a long a tidbit recently about the website 350.org’s ongoing art contest to get more creative folk involved with the planet-saving work of reversing climate change.

Quoting the 350.org website, Creative Construction reports that organizers want visitors to…

“Think of 350.org not as a campaign, but as a global collaborative art project to promote knowledge of the number 350…. So far people are making 350.org t-shirts, quilts, paintings, and more – show us what you can come up with to get the word out in your community! Just be sure to share your creations with the rest of the 350 community by uploading a photo of it on our website and tagging it ‘art.’”

There are also several contests being held related to this initiative sponsored by Craftster, so if competition motivates you to do your best, have at it!

(Wondering what the big deal is about the number 350? It turns out that the most recent science indicates that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. We’re above that now, and the 350.org site organizers want to use every avenue available to let people know what needs to be done to get it back below that “red line” level.)

3. The Innovation Tools blog has posted an intriguing tip gleaned from innovation expert Ed Bernacki about how to record one’s ideas.

Innovation Tools reports that in Bernacki’s new mini-book, “I Am An Idea Factory,” he suggests recording only one idea per page.

“(Bernacki) compares an idea to a painting. Over a period of days or weeks, the artist focuses all of his or her creativity on the canvas, adding color, texture, detail and nuance to it. It’s a gradual process, which relies heavily on one’s creative flow. Some artists, he says, work on several pieces at one time, moving between canvases depending upon where their energies and creativity are flowing at the moment. And so it is with ideas: ‘Consider each page as a working canvas for one idea,’ (he says.) ‘Move between ideas until one is ready, then act!’”

While I have not given as much in-depth thought to the recording of ideas, I will say I think Bernacki has a good point. I always have a bunch of ideas in some stage of development (from first insight to waiting for the check!) and the gestation for some of them is measured in months, if not years. I have made any number of mad dashes to my personal library to retrieve old notebooks and track down a salient point I made on an idea two or three notebooks back!

The questions to you…
How do you record your ideas? Do you have any sort of system that you follow? Have you ever struggled to track down information about an idea that you know you recorded previously?

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