Posted by: Liz Massey | April 22, 2009

Surf’s Up: Top Creativity Links for April 22, 2009


Photo courtesy of SXC.

Why Self-Directed Learning is so Hard
From Sue Smith, blogging at Ancient Artist. Good in-depth discussion of a painting (Tangerine Tango) that turned out to be a learning experience for her. She demonstrates with images of the emerging picture the different iterations her creation went through, and discusses the ideas she had to let go of in order to finish the painting the way she wanted to.

If you want to keep up with art that’s being created and shown in museums, you’ll want to check out this site, which is an art video aggregator. It features videos from institutions that range from the Museum of Modern Art to the Smithsonian American Art Museum to the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

“Play Art Loud” is their tagline, and site creators say, “ArtBabble was created so others will join in spreading the world of art through video.” We hope others do join them!

Four Conversations to Boost Productivity During a Recession
Mark McGuiness, writing on his Wishful Thinking blog out of the UK, recently posted a nice summary of how to balance collaboration with productivity at work.

Mark covers a lot of sensible ground, including the wisdom of running a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) vs. a “look busy” office or studio. However, I found the section on the cost of interruptions, in which he quotes a disturbing New York Times article, to be the most compelling bit of his post.

“It’s hard to quantify the cost of such interruptions, but the NYT article included the following estimate:

The productivity lost by overtaxed multitaskers cannot be measured precisely, but it is probably a lot. Jonathan B. Spira, chief analyst at Basex, a business-research firm, estimates the cost of interruptions to the American economy at nearly $650 billion a year.
That total is an update of research published 18 months ago, based on surveys and interviews with professionals and office workers, which concluded that 28 percent of their time was spent on what they deemed interruptions and recovery time before they returned to their main tasks.

Of course, interruptions can also create value — provided the interruption is about a genuinely more important issue. So it’s everybody’s responsibility to make sure that the company’s overall ‘balance of trade’ for interruptions is not in deficit.
Before interrupting a co-worker, encourage everyone to ask themselves: ‘Is this important AND urgent enough to justify interrupting?’”

Overall, the post is a great conversation-starter for teams tasked with creative or innovative missions. When money is tight and ROI cannot be assumed, retooling work practices to actually work really matters.

Bonus Link!

KCNN: The Freebies List
From the Knight Citizen News Network. List of free tools for setting up an online multimedia news site, which could also be used to build a comprehensive artist portfolio or a “worthy project” arts site.


  1. Great selection of articles, thanks for including mine.

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