creative room 4 talk An international magazine for creativity
NOVEMBER 2015 1
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Zorana Vukomanović email@example.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Ljiljana Kužet firstname.lastname@example.org creativeroom4talk.com @4creativeroom www.facebook.com/acreativeroom4talk
Dear Creatives, Welcome to the month of November! Have you been diving into your creative endeavors, working long hours and produced fantastic new ideas for upcoming projects? As well as enjoyed the transition from summer to autumn, and slowly started to walk into the winter? We’re here to walk with you, and do everything we can to make it a pleasant, giving and fun experience. Negative attitudes will always exist, but simply choosing to move away from them puts a direct restriction on their influence. Connecting with creatives is probably the best way of finding out how to proceed with any creative endeavor in life, and doing so in a positive environment enables a more cooperative and friendly starting point for making great things happen. Negativity is pure bullshit and giving even a little bit of your time to focusing on what not to do, how not to do it, and why not to do it is a bad investment. It doesn’t pay off, it is plain un-fun. In our magazine as well as in life, we will always focus on two things – quality and constructive communication. This is why we have started to include selected creative minds for advice through their own experience, on topics of interest to many people. We’re strong believers in the power of sharing knowledge, provided that what is shared is actually informative and real. In this 7th ISSUU, you will find 20 fantastic creative minds sharing their knowledge on how creativity and productivity is combined. We’re thankful for their openness and fantastic stories, contributions from which we can all learn several ways of intertwining two important aspects of life. But nothing comes easy. Why is this “easy” so desperately wanted anyway? Creativity isn’t easy, but it’s fun, giving, interesting, fantastic, intense, brutal and brilliant. And well worth it. Likewise, positivity isn’t a bunch of fancy-pants words rolled in glitter, or ten easy steps or whatever, but a conscious process of constructive thoughts and life choices. It is real, a way of life, and it requires a lot of strength and reflection. It is exactly this “real” that so many people are attracted to, looking for in every interest, hobby and relationship. Now, we would like to invite to quality communication and many creative people out there seem to believe that this is a good idea. Topics involving cross-creativity are awesome, various aspects of creative work and thinking are awesome, being able to use social media to talk is awesome and having so many of you getting involved in making all of this happen is even more than awesome! For this issue, we’ve got the honor to present Mr. Eyal Policar – a leading innovation and change specialist, skilled lecturer and researcher, highly creative mind and passionate entrepreneur. He is also a business man in Agriculture with a 5 hectare farm and extensive knowledge in production of foods, food security and medicinal herbs, and we’re tremendously grateful to have him with us.His expert article is fantastic, as he introduces several academic definitions of creativity and the nuances they highlight, perspectives with which scientists have researched the fantastic topic that creativity is. This is a chance to dive into the diversity of creativity and gain massive inspiration, knowledge and insights – and test your own creativity profile. See this as an invitation for you to get involved as well, whether it is about initiating a new project, getting in touch with our fantastic interviewees or someone else who you find to be inspiring, or embracing your creativity in some other way. We’ll walk with you, step by step. We’re happy to welcome you to our 7th Creativeroom4talk issue!
Articles Community: Mixing Online & IRL life for the better: Trying out new foods 22 Mentorship – when creatives help each other and how that’s a great thing 43 How preparation work happens for successful creatives 44 Kicking some serious b*tt: Social media – What is it and who uses it? 62 How do you maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Leonardo Porrés 66 Interacting in a creative way 78 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Kei Murauchi 80 Play with your food – you might discover something amazing 96 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Cor van Drieberge 102 Community: Mixing Online & IRL life for the better: Inventing 116 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Mrs. Deborah Williams 120 3 Ways to make new friends now, now, now! 135 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Zebastian Hunter 136 What being positive is about 141 Kicking some serious b*tt: Social media – Why is it such a great thing? 148 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Liz Jagla 152 Scratch the itch – the need for investigating new creative things 162 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Veronica Mereuta 164 Make schools interactive – street art for kids 175 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Patrice Moniz 176 Our senses and creativity – Sight 188 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Liesbeth Leysen 198 Startups and creativity – Throw out all of the boxes 208 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Žana Korolija 210 Saying“yes” is the best way of initiating a creative process 212
Kicking some serious b*tt: Social media – What is to expect for the future? 226 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Sonal Shah 235 If you haven’t tried to use your creativity now’s the right time to do it! 252
Featured expert article Creativity - literature Review, Quiz, and What is your Creative profile? By Eyal Policar 254
How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Aleksandar Sofranac 270 Open questions – The powerful way of teaching (and learning about) creativity 284 Our senses and creativity – Smell 286 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Melissa Benedetti 302 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Ashish Gor 314 Whenever you want to feel good, feel good – How to know if your job is good for you 338 Unstuck yourself – What to do when you get stuck in a creative block 342 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Ebru Erman 346 Spaces for creative learning and how to make them happen 362 How do you maximize Creativity and Productivty? – Marta Serrano Gili 366 3 great food ideas – Eat good things to feel good things 382 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Vivek Jain 384 Connecting creative people through online communication – We’ve always done it 400 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Mark Stach 404 Our senses and creativity – Taste 412 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Xiao’an Li 423 Positive influence vs. that other one 438 How do you Maximize Creativity and Productivity? – Eric Sonnenschein 442 Leading a new way of seeing creativity 444
Interviews Information on contact details: If you enjoy our fantastic interviewees and contributors really very much and would like to get in touch with (some, or everyone of) them - we’ve got it for you. Just go to our website www.creativeroom4talk.com and you’ll find their direct contact details by simply searching with their names. Every single one of these awesome people are more than happy to talk to you, so if you’re inspired by their words – do let them know.
Anna Pirkola 11
Du Haihang 7 Jafarov Nadir 47
Marta Cerdà Alimbau 123
Katrina Asfardi 167
Teraiza Mesa Rodríguez 67
Nizar Khalili 273 Gea Madhi 83
Shauna Cheney 407
Maria Simonelli 351
Igor Šćepanović 105
Michael Driver 215
Rana Khudhair Abbas Ahmed 179
Bruno André da Silva Lavos 143
Bruce Tulgan 155
Andjela Stamenković 305 Luciano Biondo Karlos Hill AKA Mac 369 Sauce 201 Christopher Abraham 425 Clément Pavageau Kokopako 387 Tom Slotten 317
Tweet Obsequio (Maria Romera Malabuyo Obsequio) 237 9
Name: Anna Pirkola Where do you live: Helsinki, Finland
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? Almost 10 years ago when I graduated.
Known for: I’m an interior stylist, designer and blogger.
What do you do at the moment? Can’t be happier being part of this new Finnish interior magazine called Asun, Currently working with: founded by former Deko-magazine’s head Right now working full time as interior stylist for various companies and magazines. Ob- editor Ulla Koskinen. Just finished shootings for issue number two. Also happy and very sessed with listening to music, making wall hangings, spending time with my family and honored to have my wall hangings in an exhibition in Gallery Lokal in Helsinki. Lots of dancing (ballet). new exciting projects coming up. When did you realize that you were going A recommendation for those who think to work with this/in this area? about starting and running a creative busiWhen I was a kid, I used to organize and ness? decorate my parents’ house, so I guess it all starts from there. I graduated as a textile Trust yourself, do what you love and be patient. designer, but my six years of studying included a lot of interior designing. After that I started working for magazines and I guess it just grew from there. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? Tough one. But if I have to pick just one, it definitely has to be near the sea, so let’s say Helsinki. Stockholm would have been great too, or Melbourne, or New York, haha... How would you describe your creativity? I’m quite spontaneous and ideas just keep on popping in my head. Nature, everyday life, people, music, different cultures, you name it, you can pretty much find inspiration everywhere. 12
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? Clear space with a lot of natural light, plus good coffee and Macbook. What is your favorite film? Haha, I think I have to say “To have or have not”. Such a classic and old-school film. We used to watch it so many times with my sister when we were younger. She’s a really big fan of all those old films. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? My big sister who lives in Brisbane, Australia. How do you like to spoil yourself? No rush anywhere, a glass of good wine,
piles of magazines or a good book you just can’t stop reading. What is luxury for you? Just to live everyday life with my family, and all those little things like a picnic in the park or bike ride to the nearest forest. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? Just a week ago I got such a great compliment when Asun magazine’s head editor saw our newest work for the magazine and told me that she expected something awesome, but this was beyond that. Of course it felt really good. I think that people should say compliments more often to each other and not only work related, about everything. What do you fear most? The world is a scary place. Watching the news it’s easy to think that how come we can even still be alive. People are so self-centered, but I guess that comes in our genes. But according to the question I’d say that my worst fear is that something bad would happen to my family. What is a happy life to you? Healthy and loving life with my family and the dearest near me. What does a regular day look like for you? Our younger daughter usually wakes up before six so that’s pretty much when the day starts. Then coffee and some breakfast and
after that it’s time for kids to go to their day care. It depends of a day if I’m going to the photo-shoot or back home to check the emails and start planning next shooting. After four o’clock it’s time to pick up the kids and start having some quality family time with them. On evenings I might do some weaving or just read a book or watch a film and hopefully before 12 pm we are in the bed ready to get even some sleep before it all starts again. Luckily I happen to love it! Tell us about your dream project. The best thing for the stylist is when the client trusts you completely and you get almost free hands to design the shoot, do something different and original. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? Can’t really name only one, just talented people with a view. As a woman I look up to other women who are strong and just do what they love. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? One thing is that I’m very pedantic and strict and want everything to be done just as good as it ever can. But at the same time I want working to be fun. Believe me you can easily put these two together. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? My family. 13
What inspires you? All the things that are surrounding me. It’s really hard to pick just one or few things, it can be my friends, music, the world itself, kids, nature, good restaurant or even a floor of a hardware store, you name it. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? There are so many. When I was 15 years old I read Peter Singers “Animal Liberation” and since that I’ve been a vegetarian so that really changed something. But there are so many good classics in the world, “How to kill a mockingbird” is of course one too. Haven’t read the sequel yet, but really looking forward to do that.
Mixing Online & IRL life for the better:
Trying out new foods
Making good things happen ta ple and creating new stories is
Food is always a reason for which to connect with people, this has been the case since forever. Sharing food with people initiates conversation, and conversation in such a nice environment leads to eliminating any sorts of prejudice or false assumptions â€“ about people, traditions and customs. As people today travel quite frequently and get in touch with various cultures, this is a great way of guaranteeing such an introduction to be successful and constructive. Also, in many cities today, people with roots in many different cultures live together. Their children attend schools together, they work together and they are shaping that city with the influence of personal experience and knowledge. Since people quite often 22
akes effort, so using food as a means of connecting peos a great way to go in neighborhoods all over the world. seem to have an easy time disagreeing on many subjects of interest, food isnâ€™t one of them. Thus, taking some time to really learn about the most common recipes and veggies used in cooking in one particular part of the world, getting to know it and maybe even try it out, is an absolutely great way of getting that positive introduction to other people and make conversation possible. Connecting to people online is a great opportunity to share such interesting things about cultures, and it enables you as well to share yours. Today, people are even using discussion forums in order to share their absolutely best advice on how to make a dish extra delicious, with clear influences from other food cultures from around the world. Such new insights in food preparation and
mixing flavors often also bring along knowledge in the story behind a given dish or recipe, enabling people to take part of the traditions and historical aspects of creating such a dish in the first place. Various families often bring along one or two recipes which they have developed through generations and these types of stories were practically impossible to get to know more of before online communities happened. With food also comes drinks. What kind of drinks people enjoy while eating varies a lot and exploring this is as great as the food part. Also, another great idea when it comes to children and what they like the most, arranging such a community initiative where childrenâ€™s best dinner choices are prepared and then enjoyed, 23
discussed, with laughs and other interesting topics. Absolutely fantastic and simple and preparing the ground for potential new friendships and guaranteed stronger communities. Create a blog as well, or a Facebook group, or a website, where all of that beautiful progress is documented and can inspire other communities around the world to act in order to make good changes come to people around them. Now, the fascinating part, as mentioned before, is that in any larger city there are people with various cultural backgrounds and there is a pretty huge chance that they do know how to prepare some of their favorite dishes. So in order to get to know each other better, how about arranging a mini-get-together where every family or person invited gets to bring along their favorite food. Maybe there could be themes, so one time it could be only vegetarian, the next only those dishes that have only one or two colors, or only desserts, soups, cakes, barbecues etc. The list could be a mile long and that means that there are thousands of great themes over which you could invite people to meet and eat. As these meetings get more and more frequent, the people involved will build up relationships based on food, positivity, great stories and fun conversations â€“ and this is what makes communities flourish. Doing this also serves as an example for communities from all over the world to do 24
the same thing, leading to happiness and deliciousness spread to more people. This could maybe even lead to Skype-calls where these groups of people have a chat and show off their creations, talking a little about them and about how great it is that theyâ€™ve finally got to know their own neighbors. Making good things happen takes effort, so using food as a means of connecting people and creating new stories is a great way to go in neighborhoods all over the world. As inspiration, online communities offer so much knowledge and positive energy with regards to both cultures in general and food cultures in particular. Combining online and IRL and taking the best parts from each of them will create a highly positive and constructive environment in any community â€“ the choice to initiate something like this is pretty easy to make and the results will be fantastic.
Name: Du Haihang Where do you live: Shanghai, China Known for: Interactive design, web experience and crafted pixels tackled by advanced web technologies. Currently working as: Semi-independent interactive artist on digital side-projects and initiative stuff, while working as creative partner at a leading digital agency in China. When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area? In college period, I partnered two peers to run local design business in Wuhan when I was totally fresh, I was just way intrigued in various design verticals. It was kinda amateurish but insanely passion driven at that time. Then the intention of deeper involvement with this medium pushed my pivotal move to Shanghai back in 2009. I thoroughly opened my arms to what I do and realized I was already in the curve afterwards. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? Geez, how could I give you only one single place… I prefer Nordic cities, like Stockholm, Copenhagen, I’m fond of all the art & design atmospheres there, and the cold tone of colors in sky and mountains. Los Angeles is an ideal city too, live in the California sunshine combined with movies, art, handmade coffee and foods. In fact, I feel very comfortable living in Shanghai as well. 28
How would you describe your creativity? Sophisticated UX and perfect pixels always excite me. I design visuals and code them alive in subtle details. I always leverage technology integration and care interface animations very much throughout the whole creative process. How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? Around 2008, I was in a pain turning myself from a purely visual designer to interactive designer by consistent learning of Flash Action Script. Flash was such a thing and it took over the whole interactive stage back to that time. That pain was my serious beginning. What do you do at the moment? I’m working on an agency website. Visuals were got done recently, it’s right in the process of archiving materials, and I’m thinking about some UX flows, then I’ll pass to coding phase. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? Know yourself well. Tell us how it all started. It started naturally since the day I jumped into graphic programming. It led me to see a more integrated horizon in digital sphere. I just followed it and never look back. What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
Experience in my former international advertising agencies helped me to broaden my angles in creative business, strengthen idea prototyping skills, and I was fortunate to get to know dozens of true creative talents. On the other hand, those days also made me to know myself better: I’m not purely an idea person, but a hands-on designer/developer more, so I finally left that field focusing on interactive design. What is your favorite film? Too many to answer…, I almost watch two movies each week. I like Gus Van Sant’s work, e.g. Good Will Hunting, Milk. And the films with great photography will attract me too, for instance; The Grand Budapest Hotel – the art direction is out of world … to name but a few. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? My maternal grandpa. Just miss him a lot.
someone I met with for the first time. What do you fear most? Lose motivations to many things. What is a happy life to you? A wonderful life should allow me to have enough time on sports, offer me a healthy yet slim figure. Most importantly, I can make decisions of every minute in daily life. What does a regular day look like for you? Wake up later than my alarm ringtones, then grab a taxi to office. After answering some emails in the morning, I will take 2030 mins to judge daily website nominees at Awwwards. Catch up with some latest work worldwide through dozens of online platforms.Then go have lunch and coffees. Around 2:00 PM, I get back to work with another cup of flat white. I only call it a day when I feel today’s load is enough. It’s up to what project I’m working on, usually 8:00 at night.
How do you like to spoil yourself? If you mean rewinding or relaxing, I have perfect coffee-sunshine-gym Saturdays as regularly as I can. But spoiling myself, I want to quit everything, and go travel worldwide for a whole year, without any distraction.
Tell us about your dream project. I had been working on it for a while, in some squeezed time, off and on. It’s about traditional film photography which I have always had a passion for.
What is luxury for you? Time, no doubt.
Who is your professional role model/inspiration? It could be everyone and no one.
What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? “I knew your work.” sort of. From strangers or
How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? 29
I don’t have any academic design backgrounds, so I guess it’s hard to define a specific style. In terms of style, one thing in common is that I always would like to combine up-to-date web technologies into visual and graphical output. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? Family in general. What inspires you? Human beings, movies, music, food, novels, conversations, typeface, animations, graphics and whatever has appealing visuals, just like many others. No surprise here. Mostly I don’t push myself for inspiration, I enjoy the moment when it hits me. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? As speaking of books, I’m a big fan of Lawrence Block, I followed all of his Matthew Scudder series.
– when creative that’s a great th
Even a quick exchange of thoughts can be highly meaningful to someone who is stuck and can’t find a way out of it.
Have you ever been stuck in your creative work process, really intensely stuck, just to be lift out of it by the help of someone who you see as very skilled and wise? At that moment, having someone to simply reach out to is great and saves a lot of time spent on negativity and destructive thoughts in general. Therefore, investing some of your time in finding those people and communicating with them before these situations occur is a very good idea. There are so many great things about communicating with other creatives, and the means of communication is also very helpful. Mentors on distance is a fantastic opportunity as we are able to communicate despite living on different continents. This means that if you have found an amazing
es help each other and how hing person from whom you would like to know certain things the only thing left to do is to get in touch with that person. Introduce yourself and tell them why you are contacting them, present your suggestion and wait for an answer. Most people like to help others, so arranging one initial Skype-call will definitely not be a problem, quite the opposite. Also, a good idea is to figure out what kind of assistance and exchange might be needed. Is it something which needs to happen on a regular basis six months from now? Is it something that requires more than one mentor, structuring a parallel, multi-channel communication? Is it something that is needed until your current project is finalized? Or, is this communica-
tion needed to gain insights in how to solve something which has been bothering you in your personal life? Even a quick exchange of thoughts can be highly meaningful to someone who is stuck and canâ€™t find a way out of it. Regardless of the details, it happens to all of us and that includes the ones we reach out to for advice. Deciding what kind of communication is needed, when and for what, is the only thing required in order to start reaching out to potential mentors. Do you find mentorships to be a good idea for creatives in general?
preparation work happens for successful creatives Have you experienced moments where you’ve been so very inspired, writing down what you want to do and spending hours thinking about doing just that, even planning for the time needed to do so? When actually initiating the process, you are suddenly struck by how much time it all takes and how much more effort it requires, far more than you planned? Join the creative minds’ club. But let’s have a look at preparation in itself. Preparation work is what you do until execution of any sort of project, regardless of the creativity level. It includes phases of inspiration, brainstorming, definitions, development, and planning of execution – which includes scheduling and acquiring resourc-
es. Highly creative people do just that, but in a much more frequent way than people who are limited by inflexible structures and rules. A creative will most often feel inspired and develop his or her ideas constantly. What creatives at times feel a little insecure about is that concrete put-it-on-paper-phase (the last one), making these ideas structured and clearly defined. Many times, the clarity happens during the creative work itself, whereas a blurry image of what is to be is what’s available before that. Here, it’s important to understand that preparation work doesn’t mean to define the results precisely, but an approximate way of reaching potentially great results, regardless of the specifics. Speaking of the specifics, they really need to cover the necessary resources, the rest will be defined along the way. Now, why it’s important to always use preparation as means of success for a creative mind? Because this is what will keep focus on a specific project, while simultaneously allowing for flexibility and inspiration for other ideas to happen during this time. Having something to reach out to, some goals to keep in mind and some restrictions of which to be aware, including a time frame, is going to make the creative ideas manageable.
The alternative, to not prepare, is to actually make life harder than it should be. Successful creative projects happen when the framework is somewhat defined, although allowed to be broad and inclusive. And yes, preparation is to scribble things down on Post-It’s, on the phone, tablet, computer etc. Sometimes, it looks like a mix between a piece of art, coding, an extra-terrestrial written language or a recipe but regardless, it is just that which makes creative work successful. Are you using conscious methods for preparing your work? What tools do you use?
Successful creative projects happen when the framework is somewhat defined, although allowed to be broad and inclusive.
Name: My name is Jafarov Nadir. Where do you live: I live in Baku, Azerbaijan. Known for: I’m known as an artist-painter, graphic, artist on carpet material. Currently working with: Currently I work in the Museum and exhibition complex in the Azerbaijan Academy of Arts as an artist, teacher and methodologist. When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area? I decided to work in this field when I served in the army. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? I would like to live in Antarctica near the penguins, because they are, unlike people more close-knit and friendly with each other. How would you describe your creativity? I must express my view of the universe, the Renaissance, the meaning of humanity, the end of all started and in general of good and evil in my works, using the language of philosophy, psychology, science and art. How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? Seriously, I began to work with my work in 2006, studying academic drawing, painting and carpet. What do you do at the moment? 48
At the moment I’m working on a project that will impress all and bring the art world to a new direction. Already I have 15 sketches of my new works. In my project, my work should be exhibited in renowned museums and galleries worldwide. Also now, to implement this project, I evaluate the proposals of these sponsors and wait for the best deals. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? For beginners I recommend first to check their fantasies if they have a creative imagination. Secondly, they should seriously engage in academic drawing and painting, and thirdly to pool their knowledge and create their unique work. Also, always continue to advertise their work. Tell us how it all started. I used to be not serious about this art and didn’t know that I have the talent and therefore of little interest to me was the direction of creativity. It all started when I was in the army. Once I very seriously got ill and I had a very high fever. At night I thought I saw some kind of spark that moved around the hospital room. And then this spark suddenly grabbed my index finger and pulled me out of the room to an endless solar hot desert. I felt like I was flying over the desert. From afar I saw that I was gradually getting closer to some kind of building, which was located in the middle of the desert. The
closer I approached the building, it was more and more increased. When I came to this building, the spark hanged me up against the wall of this Palace. The Palace was unique, but on the walls there was not a single pattern. She was grey and flat. Suddenly in my hands appeared a sharp chisel and a hammer. And from somewhere I heard a voice instructing me to hit the wall tools. And from those blows I inflicted in the wall, began to show unusual patterns. From one blow the entire wall of the Palace was decorated with unusual pattern. After that I again heard a voice that told me that I should be doing this work. At the same moment I came back to myself and saw that I was in the hospital. It all happened in reality. After this incident I tried to start drawing and whatever I wanted to draw I did it very well. Since this it all began. What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? In my work studio most importantly for me is cleanliness, neatness and bright atmosphere. And every time I paint a new work in the Studio everything should be as if all is new. Because in my opinion, every new work is a new case in the history of art. This story, like a new baby, so all should be clean and innocent. What is your favorite film? My favorite movie is “Black Swan”.
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? I would like to invite to dinner the Emperor of Japan Akihito. Because for me there is a very interesting preserved centuries-old success story with wisdom, culture, science, the development of the Japanese people. In my opinion behind it all correctly calculated the Imperial administration. How do you like to spoil yourself? I love to buy for myself artistic tools. What is luxury for you? Luxury for me is creating in my Studio of the great works and also when I am surrounded by wise people. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? One of the best compliments I received from my teacher, the great master-of-thecarpet Mrs. Zahra. She called me her best student and appreciated my work as the Golden period in art. What do you fear most? I’m afraid to get lost in life’s maze. What is a happy life to you? To fully reveal my inner talent. To find myself. To find out why it was created and what we strive for in life. What does a regular day look like for you? My days are all unlike each other. Every new day for me, as a huge orchestra per49
forming unique and unexpected notes. Tell us about your dream project. One of my main project to show the world my inner world through my works and put them up in the most famous galleries in the world. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? My inspiration is the inner self. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? My style is close to impressionism and post-impressionism, but gradually when I create a new style, they become motivated, style and value to more philosophical, scientific, psychological ideas of composition and move to complex ampoule. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? My soul can’t live without art. What inspires you? I am inspired by science, philosophy, psychology, people, religion, myths and legends. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? My favorite book is Nasir al-Din al-Tusi’s ”Akhlaq-i-Naseri” – a work on ethics.
â€œHuman communities depend upon a diversity of talent not a singular conception of ability. and at the heart of the challenge is to reconstitute our sense of ability and intelligenceâ€? Sir Ken Robinson
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela
Kicking some serious b*tt: Social media – Article series
What is it and who uses it? Most people who have any form of online presence today use social media, many of them do so on a daily basis. But ask these users to define what social media really is, and they would struggle provided that simply giving an example of a social media platform isn’t enough of an explanation. We’ll sort it all out in this mini-series, starting off by simply defining what it means and seeking out who are the main users. So, what is social media? Well, according to the Mariam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of social media is “Forms of electron-
ic communication (as Websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)”. The Oxford Dictionary takes on a slightly different definition, stating that social media consists of “Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.” Investopedia on the other hand, has yet another perspective, explaining social media as an “Internet-based software and interfaces that allow individuals to interact with one another, exchanging details about their lives such as biographical data, professional information, personal photos and up-to-the-minute thoughts.” As explained above, social media consists of tools, means, and platforms for communication. To expand it even further, social media tools such as apps are expanding their outreach among users on a global scale. As mobile phones and tablets have become more and more popular the past few years, so has the need for social media, or social networking tools, to adjust to have a responsive design and user friendly outline. Likewise, websites providing any form of information with the aim of engaging a broad public have to incorporate interactive techniques to gain the readers’ attention and their will to read the material on a regular basis.
Think about it. If you choose between a platform which you have used for years but hasn’t got a nice feeling about it when you open it on your smartphone, and one which is new but really works well on all of your devices – which one are you going to prefer? Probably the second one. In other words, the responsive and interactive mindset has become critical for any social networking platform’s survival. In the growing numbers of social media platforms, there is a continuous need to innovate the infrastructure through which people are communicating. Video streaming platforms enable a broader and deeper exchange of information, as body language and tone of voice can be presented in real-time. The real-time aspect of social media has gained a lot of attention recently, making older versions of online networking losing market share to the benefit of better adapted developers and web entrepreneurs. The power that social media has today is tremendous. Quality seems to be more demanded than quantity in terms of marketing on social media and advertising is perceived by users as an annoying, unrequested addition on their platforms. Recently, there have been several new applications with the sole aim of excluding all ads from websites, making businesses who highly depend on that sort of marketing to change focus. Mildly put, this is revolutionizing the whole concept of online marketing, in which customers and potential customers 63
In other words, the responsive and interactive mindset has become critical for any social networking platform’s survival. have an overwhelmingly larger amount of power to influence. Now, who uses social media then? Well, according to The Pew Research Center, which has statistics for Social networking in 2014, throughout 2005-2013, more and more people of all ages have started to use social media for networking. Above all, the youngest group (aged 18-29) has had the largest total activity (90% using social networking sites per September, 2013). These numbers are fascinating and explain a clear shift from limited activity to actively seeking out opportunities for online networking over time. In January 2015, according to statistics from We Are Social, there were 2.078 billion active social media accounts – also pointing out the increasing shift in using mobile devices. The increase in social media activity reached 12% in the period from January 2014 to January 2015, meaning that there 64
were 222 Million new active social media accounts created during that time. This statistics also shows that the top social media platform globally is Facebook with 1.366 billion active users. Businesses are also highly involved in social media. Their marketing campaigns have had a transformation, from being focused on television and IRL magazines to using YouTube and Instagram to market their products and services. Instagram recently celebrated a milestone of 400 million users – which are highly attractive numbers for any business wishing to reach out to a lot of potential consumers. As for YouTube, more than a million advertisers are using Google Ad Platforms, of which the majority are small businesses (Startuppers included). Likewise, institutions and universities use their social media profiles actively to promote courses, programs, educative seminars and other important events. The game and entertainment industries are also highly active in their direct communication with their current group of consumers as well as by constantly expanding their outreach through campaigns and initiatives. NGOs and organizations, investigative journalists and reporters seek out to produce information on current issues around the globe, seeking out to activate people and reach out with opinions not always that attractive to all parties. This process isn’t flawless, but a shift towards democratization of social
media is present and active. Job seekers and job providers are all over social media, and LinkedIn with its more than 380 Million registered members proves just that. B2B action has a significant presence on social media, especially when looking at Startups and solopreneurs. Crowdfunding businesses have popped out like crazy these past few years and according to the Massolution Crowdfunding Industry Report, the global crowdfunding market will reach 34.3 billion US dollars in 2015. In sum, the definition of social media depends on the specific views of the observer, but everyone agrees on that it includes platforms and/or applications for communication and interaction, for spreading and gaining information in real-time. As for the users, they vary widely but in each group there has been an increase in active users and members the past fifteen years. Did you like this article? Then youâ€™ll probably like our second article in this mini-series, where weâ€™re having a look at why social media is such a great thing.
How do you maxim
Visualizing the next events. I begin with taking notes, defining my goals, and setting deadlines. Short notes of what I plan to do, and how I will reach them. The notes help me significantly, not only to be organized on my duties, but also, to document the ideas I have in mind. I take note of everything I consider can inspire me or help to improve my performance. As well, any picture, melody, title, word, lyric, that triggers my attention to a new conception or creative drive, I don’t let it escape, I record it immediately, so I can easily return to use it in the near future. I once watched on a TV interview, how Al Pacino prepared himself for playing a role. Fascinated with this word, “osmosis”, he stated, absorbing as much information as he could, letting pass only the essential to apply to his character. In fact, in every creative position or idea, the more you research, read, see, listen, or experience, summarizing, the more immersed and culti66
mize Creativity and Productivty? vated you are about the theme, the more chances you will have to get to a richer and innovative result. I collect as much material as it is possible, taking the time to analyze it deeply, and exploring it creatively, ever establishing relationships in every possible direction.
during the day, personally I prefer doing the hardest or more elaborated tasks during the first hours of the morning. That way, when they are complete, it will give me a new breeze of motivation to continue with other things that require less effort, attention, or simply are more mechanical in their type.
In order to be focused, and keeping oneself more productive, it is important to find one’s own mental space, to be in complete tune with the task one is doing. Keep-
Finally, a motto I have acquired long time ago, in the quest for creativity and productivity to function better, is represented by a quote of Gustave Flaubert – “Be regular
ing distance from distractions is a must, if the objective is to maximize the productivity and reach the goals on time. The music, in my case, is a great ally at the time to let my creativity flow, but remaining myself on track. So depending on the task, grade of complexity, or kind of work I am doing, this sets outto which music I will listen. As I wrote once, “Different results require taking different actions. Start thinking Diferente”.
and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work”. – Leonardo Porrés, Creative mind, photographer and web designer
As it is known that performance decreases 67
Teraiza Mesa RodrĂguez
Name: Teraiza Mesa Rodríguez Where do you live: Venezuela Known for: Dr. Psychiatrist Currently working on: Private Practice When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area? I wanted to be a psychiatrist during my internship as a doctor at the general hospital.
appear in hard times when we most need them. It is difficult for me to define my creativity, but in one word, I would say it is a “spark”. How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? I am passionate about my profession since long before starting my university studies. What do you do at the moment? I research, I write, I publish.
If you could choose one place only to live, A recommendation for those who think where would that be and why? about starting and running a creative busiMadrid. It is called the capital of joy and ness? of contentment. There terms mean that it is welcoming, cordial, free, peaceful and Be an expert in one thing. universal. Its forcefulness and personality turns Madrid into an unforgettable city, and Know the score, know your patch, its plentiful resources of interest to tourism know what you’re good at – and – nature, art, history – are rounded off exfocus on it. Don’t try to conquer the traordinarily well by a series of cities in its surworld all at once. roundings which are full of sights of historic Create a plan... change the plan... interest, some of which have been included get a new plan... by the UNESCO in the list of places considered “world heritage”: Ávila, Segovia, Tole Develop a clear vision for your busido, as well as the Monastery of El Escorial. ness and articulate a sense of where All of them lie within about 100 km from the you’re heading, even if you might square La Puerta del Sol. need a couple of diversions en route. How would you describe your creativity? Creativity works in mysterious ways and often paradoxical. Creative thinking is a defining and stable feature for some people, but it can change depending on the situation and the context. Inspiration and ideas usually come from nowhere and sometimes 70
Roll the dice.
If playing it safe is what everyone else does, then do the things others wouldn’t do and be a risk taker. Break the cycle. Change the conversation. Get noticed. The bottom line: your bottom line.
You’re running a real business and employing real people. And profit definitely isn’t a dirty word. So remember to keep an eye on the numbers and always watch your cash flow. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. Engage the brains around you and build a culture of collaboration and partnership in your business (and with clients and suppliers too) to help stimulate and evolve new ideas. Great ideas are worth protecting.
doesn’t feel like fun, find the fun in what you’re doing. Tell us how it all started. With a little dream and a great desire! What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? The satisfaction from what I do. What is your favorite film? Birdman.
Ideas – and your expression of them – is everything. They’re the value you’ll be building up over the years to come, so protect them... And be prepared to defend them.
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? My friends and family, I enjoy the time spent with them.
Start digital, stay digital. Connect. Engage. Like. Post. LinkedIn. And don’t just think and act like a business from East Anglia. Or even the UK. By putting digital at the heart of your thinking, your market can be the whole world.
How do you like to spoil yourself? Sleep in an extra hour, plan a trip, get active, take time to give back, take time off at odd times, reading a good book, listening to music.
Be tenacious. If at first you don’t succeed, curse under your breath and keep at it. Business success is as much about perspiration as it is inspiration. Don’t give up. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. Failed pitches, bad client meetings, prototypes gone awry, IT foul-ups... They’re the stuff of every business, not just yours. The trick is to find out why things went pearshaped and move on... Find the fun. You’re running a creative business, remember? So don’t forget, if it
What is luxury for you? Take time to rest. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? The best compliment I received was from a friend: “I love your work, it’s great”. What do you fear most? Fears are simple inner fears. What is a happy life to you? We all want to be happy. But we sometimes think of happiness as a thing that happens 71
to us — something we have no control over. It’s easy to link the idea of happiness with the situation we’re in. We might tell ourselves, “If only things were different, then I’d be happy”. Part of happiness depends on personality. Some people have a naturally happy nature. We all know people who are cheerful and optimistic most of the time. Their upbeat personalities make it easier for them to be happy. A big part of how happy we are depends on our mindset, the habits we practice, and the way we live each day. Happiness is more than a good feeling or a yellow smiley face. It’s the feeling of truly enjoying your life, and the desire to make the very best of it. Happiness is the “secret sauce” that can help us be and do our best. I am a happy person. What does a regular day look like for you? A typical day for me starts at 4 in the morning with meditation, rich coffee, kissing my family, my social networks ... checking out the work. Tell us about your dream project. A psychotherapeutic clinic. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? Dr. Juan Jose Lopez Ibor (Psychiatrist-Spanish), Dr. Craig Malkin (psychologist and professor at Harvard University). 72
How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? Academic field. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? My family, friends and absolutely – I could not live without the Internet. What inspires you? A productive and useful life. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? Too many books that inspire me. Every time we close a book when you finish reading it, something changes in our inner being, we are not the same as before reading the book.
In any way, interacting unofficially, spontaneously and sincerely means to do so creatively. Fun is allowed, everyone likes fun.
Interacting with other creatives having interests and worldviews different from yours is basically to multiply the level of knowledge for everyone involved. If a medical doctor hangs out with a pilot, they might start talking about dance, cupcakes or a great book. They might even speak about interesting event happening in their professional fields, connecting those to each other and seeing how completely new cooperation can happen. Do you like to get inspired, but feel like the inspiration you’re currently experiencing is a bit shallow and at the end of the day, quite useless? Well, using that first ignition in conversations with other people will turn it into useful and strong inspiration, together with new insights from the person with whom you’re speaking. Getting in touch with someone that you know briefly, and maybe even meet on a regular basis, but don’t really speak with that much is great for creativity. Ask for something totally unexpected, catching their attention and then simply enjoying a nice chat.
ing them for a coffee + talk. Nothing overly fancy, no business meeting, no official UN dinner, just a plain and relaxing talk. Having no pressure on delivering high-value ideas, structured models for success and quickand-easy 10-step guide to success, conversations like these are quite likely to produce the kind of insights we all look for. And this is awesome, simple as that. You can meet these guys on a fairly regular basis, as a way of staying social but with the benefit of walking away from it when you don’t see it as giving anymore. In any way, interacting unofficially, spontaneously and sincerely means to do so creatively. Fun is allowed, everyone likes fun. And while at it, leave all those preoccupying thoughts somewhere else, this is a relaxed experience. Do you interact in a creative way? How is it working out for you?
Unofficial mentors can also be quite a useful way of interacting as well. By this, we basically mean to go get in touch with anyone that you find interesting and ask79
How do you maxim (a) to understand them, (b) to master them, and (c) to get expected results. Regarding “maximizing creativity and productivity”, let me share a traditional Japanese concept for peak performance, “shuha-ri”;
During the “shu(守), protect” period, you mainly flourish your productivity. 2. Ha(破), detach
Break what you learned during the “shu(守), protect” period.
Challenge, adventure and innovation.
Observe things with curiosity, ask why and change frame.
Understand self deeply, “trial & error” and reflective learning are required to realize “ha(破), detach”.
1. Shu(守), protect
Learn basic theories, principles and techniques about what you would love to master.
Apply them to your own reality.
Experience the following 3 phases,
During the “ha(破), detach” period, you mainly flourish your creativity. 3. Ri(離), leave 80
mize Creativity and Productivty?
Create your own way of doing, totally different from “shu(守), protect”.
Heart, mind and body are naturally integrated.
During the “ri(離), leave” period, your creativity and productivity are gradually maximized. It takes long time with effort to reach “ri(離), leave”, so choosing what you really love to accomplish initially is the very key from a long term point of view. Let me share one related Japanese proverb – “What one likes, one will do well”.
nition of “shu-ha-ri” concept, if you find it to be a great idea and would like to know more – please simply Google it and you’ll find much, much more information. I’m so happy to have an opportunity to feel and think about the relationship between creativity and productivity and “shu-ha-ri”. Thank you for your time and I really hope that a part of this message will inspire you. Let’s enjoy this journey together :) – Kei Murauchi, Creative mind, photographer and coach.
Your life long journey will last, which means new challenges are waiting for your visiting after “ri(離), leave”. These are just my ideas about maximizing creativity and productivity based on the “shu-ha-ri” concept. Regarding the defi81
Name: Gea Madhi Where do you live: Tirana, Albania You are known for: Exploring different creative fields which I find challenging. I love engaging in creative solutions to communication problems across brand identity, print & packaging. Currently working as: Currently working as an Art Director at ATIS, a web agency in Tirana. When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area? Until 3 years ago I was a fully qualified architect. Deep inside I always knew I could do something else better and would love it more. So I studied graphic design for one year right after 5 years of architecture. And I loved it. I find this field more creative, more challenging, and at the same time it’s related to marketing and arts, which I’m also very fond of. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? When I was younger I couldn’t even think of leaving my country. It has thousands of problems but then again every country does. Now I think it’s the right time for me to move. Where? Any place, no matter where. I have visited a lot of places in Europe but 6 months ago I got the chance to visit Hamburg, in Germany. If I had to choose one place only, I would definitely live there. I was raised in a city where the 84
sea is just a short walk away and there is also a small harbor with splendid views. Maybe Hamburg created in me a reminiscent feeling of my hometown. But I would move anywhere else. By doing so I’ll get to know new people, colleagues, improve my communication skills, and for sure explore new working techniques. I think the more you see the more your mind expands and you become a better person. How would you describe your creativity? I do not think that creativity occurs accidentally or emerges suddenly. Design requires a great deal of energy and constant work on my part. As a designer I often find myself influenced by everything around me.I’m fond of arts in general so when it comes to designing, all your knowledge and all your senses and intuition should work together as one. It’s a process that requires a great deal of energy (except when you are a genius) because it rarely happens to have a quick idea pop in your mind as a problem solution model. It would be great, I know, but it doesn’t happen that way often enough. How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? While in high school, I loved making realistic pencil drawings. I had friends asking me to draw their portraits. There were people telling me that I was really good at what I did. But I didn’t want to move people only emotionally. I think graphic design is a way
to move people both emotionally and engage them rationally. What do you do at the moment? I work as an Art Director and also as a freelancer. We live in knowledge based society and I’m eager to know more. My biggest fear is to get stuck in one place. I find it mind-numbing to see a designer with one style, one viewpoint, and essentially one solution to all problems. Technology will constantly be changing and evolving and graphic design will continue to evolve at a similar rate to reflect these changes. So a graphic designer needs to be up to date and self-developing all the time. Tell us how it all started. For the first 7 years of my life my grandmother in Tirana raised me. Her husband, my grandfather, passed away 6 months before I was born. He was the happiest man in the world when he found out he was going to be a grandfather for the first time. He was a famous painter (his name was Guri Madhi) and his studio was (still is) huge; 4 meters high and full of paintings covering entire walls from the ceiling to the floor. I used to spend entire days in his studio trying to replicate his paintings and signing songs to the gentle guitar sounds of my uncle. There was and still is some great energy in that magical place. I go there time after time whenever I feel the need to reflect and think. Since those days I never stopped creating.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? A sketchbook, and an ink pen. I also want my workplace to be clean and everything to be in order. When I sketch I don’t want to be distracted from anything. Some good music in the background would be fine. What is your favorite film? Is this a date or something..? Lol.. David Lynch movies. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? Good old friends which I’m not seeing as much. Sometimes you need to give up on the things you love in order to succeed. Without sacrifice there is no reward. How do you like to spoil yourself? I go to Durres, my hometown, and do absolutely nothing except from watching movies all day long and indulging in junk food. This is healthy once in a while. I have this theory that life is all about balance. What is luxury for you? A house in a quiet village with a big garden planted with fruits and vegetables. Then sipping a glass of wine in the balcony, reading Murakami, while my man is cooking dinner for two. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? A recent one: an Italian client told me he couldn’t choose between the three logo
versions I had made because he loved all of them and he wanted me to choose the one I liked the most. What do you fear most? Losing interest in life. I believe we come to this world to grow spiritually. What is a happy life to you? Always having people around that share the same interests in life. What does a regular day look like for you? I push myself everyday to become a morning person. Early bird gets the worm. There are many more things you can do if you wake up at least at 6 in the morning. I wish I could do this every day. But having a full time job sometimes I can’t sleep early in the evening. I wish one day I could organize my day just the way I want to. There is something I never skip though: the gym. Tell us about your dream project. I love music. And I wish one day I could work on the cover of an album or poster of any of my favorite bands/artists. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? Everybody who is a fixer. I get inspired by people who always find solutions to problems. People who negotiate and try to simplify problems. People who think clearly in stormy situations. Basically people who don’t look back. Professional role models I have a lot. I could 86
name Strom Thorgerson since he worked for some great music bands. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? What has worked for me is to feel free when I’m creating, have fun doing it, and this somehow comes through to the viewer. I depend on my intuition and feeling, but I am also careful to be rational at the same time. I think with what I’m doing there is a good chance to train the audience’s visual experience: It’s kind of an educational tool. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? Physical activity and rest. We necessitate both in our lives. People often neglect them. What inspires you? Life. I have to keep the senses working during the times when the world decides to tell me a secret. There are hints and there is beauty everywhere. As cliché as it might sound, it’s true. But mostly I think inspiration comes from working. Once I read: “Learn all you can. Try all you want. See what there is to see. Explore and experiment. Make mistakes. Climb vast peaks and plunge to hidden depths. Be decent, be depraved, be boring, be radical. Fall in love, wallow in hate. Smell like a flower, stink like a fish. Laugh and cry. And then forget it all and find your own way — to create”. So as a conclusion a designer has to live life to the
fullest and work hard at the same time in order to get inspired and create beautiful things. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? I can’t name one so I’m listing a few: Les Paradis Artificiels – Charles Baudelaire Steppenwolf – Hermann Hesse The Tartar Steppe – Dino Buzzati Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
with your fo – you
something a Getting off of the ridiculous traditional “advice” on things like these means freeing yourself from a heavy load of BS. This is something that people should really teach their kids as well – to be relaxed at home and to try out their creative ideas. Have you been fed up (oh, snap) with those meaningless rules you learned while little, some of which are stuck with you till this very day? Like the one on not to play with your food, because it’s “inappropriate”? Well then, you’re not alone on this one, and we’re sure that as many people live by those kinds of rules, they miss out on some really good parts of life. 96
As creating a volcano with your meal during a lunch break at the local restaurant might not be that much of a useful idea, nobody says that you can’t do it at home. Actually, you can build pizza cakes, mini societies with chips, veggies and meat, a cute bear face with rice, sauce and salad, and a complete masterpiece with whipped cream, chocolate and fruits. Why would you do that? Because. Because you’ll eat those things anyway, so you might as well have fun in the process. Getting off of the ridiculous traditional “advice” on things like these means freeing yourself from a heavy load of BS. This is something that people should really teach their kids as well – to be relaxed at home and to try out their creative ideas. If it includes building a tower with food, then so be it. Join them and make it a really huge tower. It will be a fun experience, it will teach you both a thing or two about physics and it will be much tastier. Compare that to people who restrict themselves continuously, without any good reason but because “it should be this way, it has always been this way”. NO. No. Not in life, not in playing with food – not in anything that doesn’t make sense. If you’re unhappy with your boss, then let him/her know, don’t sit around there and collecting all the cr*p being sent your way just because “well, s/he’s the boss”. Say no. If you’re unhappy in a relationship, say it. If 98
you’ve got a lot of issues with someone and it occupies your mind, talk to that person and sort things out. It might not be a beautiful experience, but walking around with a massive amount of stress for days, weeks or even years isn’t fun either – you’re worth Happy. We’ve made a 6-step guide to make things simple – here’s exactly what to do: 1. Take a deep breath 2. Grab some paper and a pen 3. Draw three vertical lines on that paper and between those lines, up there, write “Work”, “Relationships” and “Hobbies” 4. Now, in each category, shortly write down the things you do in a day, or week, directly related to the categories (take 5 minutes, it shouldn’t be an essay) 5. Then, draw circles around all of those things that make you happy, but really, truly happy 6. Check your circles – this is what’s important, the rest on your list is pure BS. You can easily follow this little guide on your lunch break, and then check up on it every day until all of the things you do on that list, are within circles of Happy. You’ll probably need more paper, because there will be a lot of changes going on. Stop doing those
non-circle things, or try out other ways of doing them. In about two weeks of using this guide, you’ll find that life is a happy place when there’s no room for BS. And there is no room for BS. Ever. In any situation where you’re doing something repetitively without really feeling good about it, stop and figure out why exactly this is happening and how it could be changed. Then start changing it. These are not the times of looking at oneself as the victim of the surroundings anymore, but moments of which many you actually directly affect. Things you put yourself through, which aren’t giving you anything positive back in return, are all BS so stop it and stop it right now. But back to the food – using that sort of rule-breaking behavior at home is a great way of starting small with acknowledging all the stupid things that people go through because of whatever. And on top of that, did we say that it’s fun? Do you play with your food? Do you encourage other people to play with theirs? And do those who choose not to have fun actually understand that they themselves are making that choice?
â€œIf you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.â€? Haruki Murakami
â€œIt is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.â€? William James
Cor van Drieberge
How do you maxim Guiding the creative tiger – keeping the end in mind
As a coach and trainer I have multiple activities. Writing, training and structure (intelligent) minds from chaos. Combined with my variety of interests and people I meet, I have to guide the creative tiger in me. Or else I will possibly chase everything I like (possibly ending up hungry). To save (a lot of) time I came up with the following simple rule: Empty mind – Selection – End in mind – Structure – Action – Result. Empty mind is nothing more than what mainstream calls brainstorming. Putting everything on paper. Really put every thought there! If not, some thoughts might pop up and will hinder your productivity. Selection basically what you think is relevant and connecting concepts together.
The end in mind is a concept from the late Stephen R. Covey (7 habits of highly effec-
mize Creativity and Productivty? tive people). You envision your outcome. For example, when I prepare my workshops I already have the idea how it will be given and what the results are. Depending on your end in mind, a Structure can be multiple things. It can be a plan of action, time schedule, overview of concepts or guide to follow before taking Action.
will keep you getting your necessary food. It is a great time saver. Life is a game… Play! – Cor the Coach, Young Professional & Executive coach/trainer
Action is basically doing everything that fits within your structure to come towards a result. From my workshop example: Preparing the knowledge, materials, jokes and games/assignments. My result is the outcome of my actions and end in mind I have provided upfront So remember: Empty mind – Selection – End in mind – Structure – Action – Result. Become the tiger that has a broad vision, create and expand, but never forget that you need to eat. So structured guidance 103
Name: Igor Šćepanović Where do you live: Beograd, Serbia Known for: Flying, flight instructing, peacekeeping operations, academic work in the field of conflict and peace studies. Currently working with: Experimental test pilot in Flight Test Center/ Technical Test Center/Planning and Development Department J5/Serbian Armed Forces General Staff. Currently in training and education process. Also working on doctorate in political sciences, as a hobby and free engagement. When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area? Speaking about flying, it was since I was 6. First I wanted to be a garbage collector, working on a garbage truck (I found it to be very funny to hang on garbage trucks), then I wanted to be a waiter (it seemed to be quite nice looking smart with tie and jacket, serving guests in the bar) and the third thing was to become a pilot. Since then, I didn’t evolve too much. Speaking about PKOs, it was witnessing the deadly conflicts which pointed me to that direction. I had a very rare chance to see deadly conflicts from both sides, as a participant of one of the belligerent sides and as a participant of de-conflicting or peace keeping/building forces. That was very interesting, if the word “interesting” can be ap106
plied for conflicts and human sufferings, to be an UN military observer in East Timor and Liberia hardly couple of years after having similar conflict in own country. After that experience I decided that it would be a shame to not to try to systematize that knowledge and experience through academic work, which resulted in my magisterial work dedicated to the East Timor conflict. Beside academic work, I dedicated almost 10 years working in national peacekeeping center and Department for Civil-Military Cooperation, mainly during establishment and developmental phase of before mentioned departments. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? Generally, I believe that the people build their happiness wherever they are. That comes from inside and from the family. Actually, I have a secret wish to spend a month in every country in the world, living a regular daily life of local people. Speaking about one place to live… It should be a small city at seaside or on an island. Somewhere in Mediterranean or Australian type of the coast. How would you describe your creativity? It is tricky to speak about creativity when you work for someone, for an employer. It is even harder to speak about creativity when you work in the military. But, there
is no place or situation where you can’t express creativity. My creativity comes from demands I put before myself, trying to make things perfect or, at least, working, with problems solved. Also, as a strictly technical field, flying and especially flight testing has a quite narrow creativity frame and creativity is primarily based on perfect knowledge of procedures and technical features, as well as the theory. Academic work in political sciences field and especially in peace studies is a different story. It allows you to think, speak and write about everything which comes from your knowledge, experience or even imagination. The creativity frame is very wide, limited only by scientific truths which can be even moved by yourself, if you are creative enough. What do you do at the moment? My main activity at this moment is attending the experimental pilots’ course as trainee. It is a unique chance to see what flying really is and “why birds actually sing”. Also, I’m working on my doctoral dissertation “Responsibility to protect: humanitarian military interventions and conflict resolution after the end of Cold War”. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? Don’t accept “impossible”, “not acceptable” or simply “no” as an option.
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? My wife, of course. Beside her, I would like to have dinner with Mr. Noam Chomsky and Mr. Johan Galtung, to have chance to exchange thoughts and to learn something about presence. How do you like to spoil yourself? To travel around the world, with my wife and son. For months. And whenever I want. What is luxury for you? Doing nothing i.e. wasting time. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? That was from Creativeroom4talk, inviting me to do this interview. And, from time to time, from my wife, e.g. for good assembly of IKEA furniture. What do you fear most? Death before death. To die intellectually before physically. What is a happy life to you? Happy life is to wake up in the morning, hardly waiting to spend all day doing something in which you see a purpose, challenge and joy. Tell us about your dream project. My dream project is, actually, going on. I do exactly what I always wanted to do regarding flying. 107
Regarding academic work, my dream project is to contribute to the process of reconciliation and de-confliction in this region (ex YU), re-establishment of all kinds of ties and to make ex-Yugoslavia a decent place to live. Before that it is very important for me to understand and describe the process which led to one of the deadliest conflicts in Europe, in which, unfortunately, me and the whole of my generation, took part. Through that, I believe that many conflicts around the globe can be understood more properly. That is what I try to do through my academic work, and I will do that with even more passion after I stop flying. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? It is hard question for the pilot as all of us are “the best in the world”. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? Be creative inside the box and consider expanding or transforming box sides. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? There are actually two things which are actually not things: my wife and my son. What inspires you? Doing something completely new, with no previous experience. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? 108
It is hard to say. Recently, I quote “Catch 22” very often. I read that book when I was 16 and I found that book to be with moderate and not always understandable humor. Next time I read it after my 40s and realized that it is not humor at all, that was reality in a humorous way.
Mixing Online & IRL life for the better:
Inventing Pick one important
We are all creative super heroes whensomething isn’t working correctly at home or at work. The amount of creative ideas emerging when the fridge stops working and the food in it needs to be cooked will make any professional chef stare in awe. In the office on the other hand, the technical experts will most likely stay completely amazed by the elegant moves required to make any stuck printer start working again. You know what kind of elegant (karate) move we are talking about, it does seem to reflect a tiny earthquake actually. There are thousands of other situations like these mentioned, that require such an imagination as to “fix” them and this is where online assistance comes handy. Did you know all of the things you could do with ketchup? Or how you can do all of those 116
question and let’s do it, guys! other interesting things with basically anything that you have at home? Not to speak of the office and how many lists there is to find on how to make it a little more, well, interesting so to speak. Office Bingo? Or maybe a game of hot lava (you know the one where it is absolutely forbidden to touch the floor – yes, that’s the one)? Now, how does innovation happen? Through ideas and knowledge, by people with a positive, constructive and heads-on attitude. And of course at times when any creative person is really, truly bored. That can be used and it has been used for creating smiles and at times confused facial expressions, but also to make communities better. For this, taking a good look on the community as a whole or certain parts of it (parks, schools, cultural centers, smaller
neighborhoods, associations etc.) is the first step in the process. Ideally, this should be done by a few people living in that community, and include as many phone calls to other residents as possible. Asking for what can be improved there, or what is really wrong at the moment, or what they would like for that place to look like in five years, would give clear insights in what people experience as being difficult. When that first phase is done, moving on to doing online research is great and will highlight other similar projects, giving details on the operative side of the projects as well as the outcome. In order to collect the different kinds of expertise, experience, creativity, will, ambition and problem-solving mastery that is needed – creating a community just for that is what needs to happen next. 117
In innovating your community, you are finding ways of making things better. People all over the world do that every day, and there is so much information and support to gain from joining online communities with innovations as the main topic.
Also, for the financial aspect, turning to crowdfunding or angel investors or at times even the state, presenting a project idea and concept ready to be initialized and with all necessary competencies available and ready is great. If there is a huge interest and demand from the residents, then there is a good chance of getting a â€œyesâ€?. In innovating your community, you are finding ways of making things better. People all over the world do that every day, and there is so much information and support to gain from joining online communities with innovations as the main topic. There are hundreds of ways in which to use as little resources as possible in order to make a big, positive impact on the environment, to give an example. Creating sustainable communities build a more sustainable world, and this is from what everyone benefits. As individuals, we all have that choice to make each day, and many of us do â€“ by choosing healthier foods, better means of transportation and by refusing to buy products with weird production principles
(in which treating people is the worst one). As communities though, making the decision and coming together brings a stronger and more noticeable effect, making it our responsibility to do the absolute best we all can to actively initiate that sort of communal cooperation. Pick one important question and letâ€™s do it, guys!
Mrs. Deborah William
How do you maxim
Creativity is something that you have to allow yourself to feel and be, productivity on the other hand is easy. Growing up in a small town in south England in the late 50’s, children were not allowed to be creative, it wasn’t nice as it is today. It was seen as being lazy and misbehaving, so we grew up learning to suppress all creativity, which was only shining through when we were outside playing. Being productive on the other hand, was something everyone had to learn – it was encouraged, even. But to answer your question – getting the most out of your creativity starts with determination. You can do anything you want, as long as you are willing to work hard for it. Make up your mind, write that one thing down in a notebook and then go out and get whatever it might be. And age isn’t a problem, you’re about as old as you set your mind to be. You are all young, and you have the technical advantage no one could even dream of when I was your age. 120
mize Creativity and Productivty? This is a terrific time to be alive, and you can deserves to be seen and heard, and what you do is wonderful. do anything you set your mind to. I’ve always told my children to never stop being creative, and to try out anything they want to do, to make their dreams become reality – and this is what I would like to tell all of the readers of this magazine as well. Life is very short, and you can do anything you want and become successful if you make up your mind, start working and never stop dreaming! Take this advice from someone
– Mrs. Deborah Williams, a fantastic lady with a beautiful garden and beautiful mind This is a transcript from a phone call.
who is certainly older than each and every one of you – you live once, and you have to cherish that life, you must live it, actually and really live it. Remember this; be creative, don’t simply think about being creative, and the rest will fall into place as you start moving ahead. I wish for everyone to be creative, because everyone actually is! Thank you for this fantastic opportunity to be a part of your magazine, my dear. Everyone who is creative 121
Marta CerdĂ Alimbau
Name: Marta Cerdà Alimbau
one I would have today.
Where do you live: Venice, Los Angeles, USA
What do you do at the moment? I have the honor to be working on a typographical cover for one of my favorite book publishers in Spain. I am also working on two letterings for Vanity Fair magazine, I am designing a wine label for Club W, I am designing a guide cover for the OFFF festival in Barcelona, I am helping a friend designing the brand for a Flamenco Festival in Miami, I am preparing an online workshop for Domestika, and I am also preparing another workshop for next month at the university where I used to study in Barcelona, Elisava.
Known for: Being a graphic designer focused on the boundaries between illustration and typography. When did you realize that you were going to work with this? When I began to enjoy the art class at school and realize after the years that those moments when I was drawing were one of the happiest I ever had. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? The more I travel, the more I like my hometown Barcelona. I think it is one of the world’s most livable cities, plus it has a big design and cultural scene, there is a lot of talent in there. How would you describe your creativity? I find it very difficult to find a thread through my work, because as a graphic designer, I try to adapt the way of approaching the design to every project’s needs. How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? In 2004 I began to work with a teacher at a university. I myself took care of the complete design of a book for the first time, and I was very excited. My approach, the way of confronting the project, was similar to the 124
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? I will quote Anthony Burrill here: “work hard & be nice to people” Tell us how it all started. I began my training as a psychologist, but soon I took a drastic turn that led to the world of design. I studied graphic design in Elisava and worked in different studios and agencies in Dusseldorf, Munich and Barcelona. In 2004 I joined the studio Toormix, where I stayed for two years until I joined the ranks of Vasava. When at the end of 2008 I won the ADC Young Guns award I decided to start up my own studio. What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? To share it with people I admire. Being a
freelancer and working alone can be hard over the time, so having the chance to share your work and have different opinions is a very valuable thing. What is your favorite film? I don’t have any particular favorite film. But just saw Basquiat again last night, it made me smile because it was my favorite film when I was 18, and it touched me nearly the same way it used to back then. I wouldn’t say it is my favourite, but I love the topic. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? I would love to have a dinner with Thom Yorke. How do you like to spoil yourself? Buying lots of books.
Living life free, meaning being able to face fears and be brave with decisions. What does a regular day look like for you? I get up and go by bike to the studio around 8:00. I have a coffee while I answer emails and then start working until 7 or 8. If I get stuck, I take a walk on the beach. I listen a lot of radio and music. I usually bring my own lunch. At the end of the day I go back home. I like to cook a good healthy dinner everyday, so I spend a while doing this. Watch a film or surf on the internet and go to sleep. Tell us about your dream project. I would love to work for any of the music artists I admire, doing a record cover and then doing a video or something that would bring the graphics into life.
What do you fear most? The death and pain of someone I love.
Who is your professional role model/inspiration? There are many, many designers nowadays that have a model/inspiration role for me, there’s so many people doing good work out there, inspiring and pushing graphic design forward so that it wouldn’t be fair to say one name. But from the past, maybe Herb Lubalin would be the most known for me. He had the energy and bravery to start with his own career when he was quite old, and he didn’t lose the spark and motivation for design in all his life. I think this is key, never to lose that little spark.
What is a happy life to you?
How would you describe your work style
What is luxury for you? Being able to live from doing what I love. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? I feel very grateful for every single compliment, I can’t say there is a best here. But compliments are a polite thing to say, I don’t like to listen much to them, I prefer when it is a critical constructive thing.
(academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? For my work, type is a tool of communication and overall, expression. I am not a typographer, I am a graphic designer customizing letters, usually for short sentences or words. Personally my interest lies in the boundaries, where illustration begins and typography ends, and the other way around. I am also fascinated by all typographers that find expression at its minimum. Also, by the flexibility that typography has with expression, with the most subtle and poetic thing to the most extreme and abstract thing. I tend to lean towards a more expressive style, through a digital type of lettering, rather than hand written. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? Without me. It looks obvious but it took me a while to learn and understand this :) What inspires you? Music, it helps me to keep moving. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? Can’t say one. But I read this one a couple of months ago and I can’t keep it out of my mind – “Culture Crash: the killing of the creative class”.
People most often like to meet new people – and sometimes, that can be a hard thing to do. Either it’s because of long work days, thousands of things to do, tight laundry schedule, family things happening or basically any other appropriate excuse. Even that dog insisting on eating those documents really does have a great timing, meaning that you actually have to stay at home writing new ones. No one really ever says anything about how the dog’s doing. Now, these excuses are sometimes an alternative – as for when you’re really about to fall asleep from all the work or as that dog really did eat your homework. For all other occasions, excuses don’t apply. Instead, here are three useful ways in which to make new friends:
When at a coffee shop – ask someone sitting close to you if they usually go there and what they would recommend, and the conversation is
new friends omake now, now, now! on. Maybe not every single time, but surely most of the times. Even if they are new to that place themselves, the topic could be about where there’s great coffee and how come they decided to come to this one today. Maybe you’ll meet up there some other time? Or maybe go to another coffee shop some other time?
See someone who seems interesting on a bus station/stop? Ask them a question, on which bus to take to some place, or maybe something (nice) about their appearance, phone, smile or anything, really. Tell them that you’re going to some restaurant/coffee shop tomorrow, around X o’clock, and hope to see them there for a conversation, fun topics and great company. If you do any form of sports activities,
then there you go – talk to someone interesting while there, about other things than sports. Chances are that you’ll have a few things in common, and what’s a better idea than going to grab a bite after the activities?
Making new friends always starts with a first step – someone really does have to say something. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be a recitation from Shakespeare/scientific paper, but could be pretty much anything about anything. It really is a lot of fun and really isn’t that hard at all – it might be a little unusual, but it’s well worth it. And besides, your friends will appreciate to hear about all of this and become part of an even larger circle of friends. Because real friends don’t let friends be without new friends. That’s a fact. Have you made new friends by trying one of these ways out? 135
How do you maxim Creativity is triggered by inspiration. Our job as artists is to ensure that we are seeking out sources of stimulation that challenge and encourage us to reflect on our place in the world. There are three main ways I use these stimuli to guide the production of my new work: 1. Researching: During this phase I collect images, watch videos, listen to music, read books, visit galleries
and other creative sites to immerse myself in the world I am introducing my audience to. 2. Conversations: Finding those artistic souls that understand you and challenge you. Certain people have a creative synergy that feeds each other. Recognizing the people and establishing a collaborative process that celebrates their contribution is integral for my specific artistic practice. We rarely ever create 136
mize Creativity and Productivty? alone, relying on other people is easy when you share a vision. 3. Dreaming: Day and night I allow my mind to wander abstractly over the final outcome of the work and exercises that will provide the right environment to foster the appearance of magical ideas. This is the hardest phase to clarify and relies upon the individual mind/soul of the creator. I try to follow threads of ideas and make sure that I write them down. If we don’t understand our ideas enough, if the image of the work we want to create is not resolved in our own minds then we will struggle with our frustration. We can solve this through research, thought and experimentation. An artwork isn’t the vague imagination in our head made manifest, it is the fallout of an epic confrontation between this fantasy world and the constraints of the physical world. This finished product is
a culmination of corrected mistakes, surprising discoveries from the process of doing and the rough edges of challenges still to be resolved. If the world is clear, if you do understand what you want to create but still can’t then uncertainty and fear are to blame. Overcoming this and liberating yourself from real or imagined expectations is the most exciting part of our creative world. It is impossible to know whether a work of art is subjectively “good” or “bad” until that piece is finished, in this sense we are always taking risks and it is most important that the fears generated by this risk do not inhibit or prevent the creation of the artwork. Creation is the process of inspiration, reflection, experimentation, fabrication, alteration and subjugation of our dreams and fears. – Zebastian Hunter, Artistic Director and Circus Performer 137
â€œThe smarter the journalists are, the better off society is. For to a degree, people read the press to inform themselves and the better the teacher, the better the student body.â€?
“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign that you’re not doing anything very innovative.” Woody Allen
Well, positivity has been commercialized, and because of that, many people reject the idea of using any sort of tool to become positive.
Let’s just start this off by making one thing clear – It’s not bat shit crazy hysterical optimism pouring out of your every pore that we’re talking about. But actual positivity. Today, you can find all sorts of courses, books, videos, infographics, happy cards etc. on positivity and how to become that positive guy. They’re all over the place, and if you sign up for a newsletter of that kind, be sure to receive massive amounts of positive positivity, spamming your inbox like chicken pox rashes would if they could. What does that mean? Well, positivity has been commercialized, and because of that, many people reject the idea of using any sort of tool to become positive. Which is both good and bad as the consequence of such a mindset could be either to try figure out what makes you specifically positive, or on the other hand it could lead to a negative, ignorant mindset. We like the first alternative much better, and making that choice means deciding to give the world another chance by looking inside for answers and knowledge. Being positive is actually about feeling it in your everyday life, it should be the neutral state of mind and not something to remind yourself of every fifteen minutes. This way
What being positive is about of being can’t be bought, it requires work. And how does that happen? By going through situations in life with the aim of learning more. If you feel a certain way in a certain situation, instead of going bananas all over the place, a better idea is to try to become conscious in the moment and understand what is going on, why these thoughts and feelings occur. Doing this continuously for a week will show you how much negativity you’re actually experiencing in a day – meaning how much of your time and energy is wasted on bullshit. Instead, consciousness, being present, seeking knowledge and balance is the absolute way of becoming positive – the real positive. And you’ll have a lot of energy to delegate to fun, creative projects! Do you have experience in seeking out ways to become more positive? How did that work out for you? 141
Name: Bruno André da Silva Lavos Where do you live: Barreiro, Portugal Known for: Make others think about what they are thinking and how they are thinking. Reaching people and connecting them with each other. Currently working on: I’m starting a new Conceptual Art project series called Outward Sense of Living. I will mix Social Psychology, Expressive Therapy, Experience Design and Conceptual Art. The point is to expose people to urban installations that will make them think and rethink about the way they are living and how would it be so much easier if we just collaborate and cooperate. It’s a reminder that we are not alone in this planet and that literally we cannot exist without other people (and plants and other animals). When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area? When I had the urge to help my community with some ideas and gathered a group of creative people to design a collaborative project, and suddenly, I had an epiphany and realized that more important than “what and how to build!” is “who are the persons that will use what you’ve built! What will they feel when they use it?” Human-Centered Experience Design came to me naturally, because I was already doing “it” all my life…but didn’t call it by that 144
name. I just had to adapt my previous experience in Expressive Education, Expressive Therapies and Social Psychology and combine it this new cool thing called Design Thinking. I didn’t come out from a Design background: I’ve came out from the fields of Social and Community Education and Mental Health. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? I would love to move to Aarhus, Denmark or Budapest, Hungary. All things creative are bursting on those places. Many exciting projects, insane ideas and social development are really taking shape in these hot places. How would you describe your creativity? My creativity is extremely centered in “people”. The humans, the needs, the motivations, the expectations. My leitmotif main tones are always Empathy, Communication and Collaboration, and the projects I love the most, always have the Collective Mind as the main focus. Urban projects, group dynamics, creative collaborations, city innovation, communication, resource sharing. That’s why Social Psychology and the Expressive and Artistic disciplines where for me, very important to combine with Design Thinking: in the end what comes out is just a holistic framework that defines itself as Human-Centered Experience Design. It’s always about the “people”. It’s all about breaking the walls that are keeping us from
evolving together. How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? Since 2009 when I post-graduated in Expressive Education and Expressive Therapies. It gave me the tools to interact with people and communities. The virus was installed! What do you do at the moment? At the moment I have a few projects that revolve around creating a network of creativity, innovation and collaboration in the city I moved into: Barreiro. This is an historical city with a huge potential, filled with talented people with good ideas and resources, but due to the “bad mood” in Portugal (the economic crisis), people are kind of “down”. So I wish to create an upbeat city movement where we all can generate a collaborative effort to value our community with new businesses, tourism, events and culture. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? Sometimes the most unexpected outcomes are the ideas that have less followers. That’s the cool thing about Experience Design: sometimes people don’t know that they will love it until they experience it. It’s all about preconceptions and sometimes, fear of the unknown. We are biased to like what we already know. But we don’t know if we like “that new thing”, until we experience it.
Understand emotions and feelings and build your own empathy from scratch. The more you experience and go through, the more emotions and feelings you will have in your emotional encyclopedia. Empathy is the key for this mission. Get out and live! Tell us how it all started. It all started from that social project I talked earlier. I gathered a group of creative friends to start a social project in my old town, and we were progressing along with the community, getting all the feedback they would daily provide to us. We asked questions. We helped in their daily tasks. We invited them to our space and they shared stories, needs and motivations. From then on it was all just a matter of prototyping and iterate, iterate, iterate. What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? Along my professional path, I’ve stumbled in several workplaces where humans could not express themselves, as we normally do in our daily lives. That’s bad! That makes us sick. So, the most important thing for me in a workplace/studio is to have a friendly human ecosystem where people can express themselves as they wish. No bossing around, no time chains, no deadlines. Just let people create and do their jobs. They will feel happy and do it faster, with more love and care. And be more creative to! Their creative confidence will skyrocket! More production! Voilà! 145
What is your favorite film? Seven (by David Fincher). Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? Jiddu Krishanmurti. He is my all-time mind-blowing hero. What he achieved with his mind was extraordinary (as in “out of the ordinary pattern of normality”). He is a true creative and innovative thinker, and he took the human experience of thinking into a new level, most of us still don’t understand today. He’s just saying for us to stop repeating what others said or say, and start having your own unique thoughts. It’s a matter of practice and this practice is the basis of “thinking out of the box”. How do you like to spoil yourself? Playing music and singing. My all-time favorite activity. What is luxury for you? Be able to integrate “work” and “hobby” in the same activity. That is an awesome privilege and luxury. One day! One day! What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? To be able to see a street kid get his thing straight and start producing his own creative material (music, writing, lyrics, dance, painting, sculpting, whatever…). To be able to help someone with “mental confusion” to stop, breathe and understand what’s going on. To be able to help communities to 146
get up and start helping each other collectively. All of these are the nicest compliments for my creative work, because it all means we all get a better world to live. Isn’t that the greatest thing ever? What do you fear most? That good people stop and give up on this insane world. What is a happy life to you? To be able to experience beauty and wellbeing and share with the people you love most. To be able to create something of enormous value to humans and share it with the whole world. What does a regular day look like for you? Read, listen, make, create, do, walk, get up, get down, run, stop, think, write down, share, record, paint, hug, touch, give, take, repeat. Tell us about your dream project. My dream project would be a school where kids could experiment with everything they wish to, in order to create real Human-Centered solutions and ideas to their communities and the entire world. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? My grandfather, José Bernardes da Silva. My mentor. A great man he was. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or
something entirely different)? I’m kind of a Psychologist-Philosopher-Artist. I really center my work in the several Human Sciences, because in order to work “with” humans, you need to understand how “we” work in our brains and minds and with each other. But the next step comes into shape when I throw unexpected questions at people, in order to make them think and rethink, in order to break their preconceptions and perceptions about the world, so they can start thinking from scratch. Like they were learning for the first time (the beginner’s mind, the best mind for creativity and imagination to flow naturally). And then my artistic persona pops out and starts co-creating and playing with others, combining and mixing the hypothesis and possibilities of what could be. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? My wife and music. What inspires you? People creatively confident. I’m not very focused on “perfection” or “technique” or “virtuosos”. I really get inspired when I see and feel someone having fun and loving whatever is being done. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? “The Glass Bead Game” by Hermann Hesse.
Kicking some serious b*tt: Social media – Article series
Why is it such a great thing? As explained in the previous article of this mini-series, social media includes platforms and applications used for sharing and gaining information and knowledge, with various forms of communication methods and by individuals, groups, businesses and institutions. Highly interactive, and continuously evolving, the importance of social media in people’s lives grow bigger each day. But why is social media such a great thing really? Relax, we’ll explain it. How many of your connections would you have had if it wasn’t for social media? How
much interesting knowledge would you have gained if it wasn’t for social media? How many inspiring ideas, photos, videos and initiatives would you have known of if it wasn’t for social media? How many international trends would never have reached you if it wasn’t for someone sharing that information on a social media platform? How many new recipes would you have tried out? How many new artists would come across your online way? The questions are endless. Many hours each week are invested in social media by people from all over the world, seeking to share their own work, check out what other people do and simply interact. Several new platforms have come along the past few years, enabling an even more simple way of transferring and exchanging information from point A to point B. Whether seeking to present new revolutionary research, statistics or fascinating trends from a specific professional field or societal sector, there’s no better way to do so but through social media. There are various ways in which social media is used today and much of that use is constructive. According to The Pew Research Center’s website social networking sites, or social media, is used for a number of different reasons; keeping up with friends and family, businesses keeping up with their clients and customers, initiating potential new friendships, forming new ideas and
new creative concepts, and several other things. What’s even more interesting is that there seems to be a large amount of people actively seeking ways in which to support different social initiatives, getting familiar and actively involved with helping to find solutions to local, regional and global issues. Through the use of social media, a whole new set of communication methods and patterns are evolving, which has made it much easier to communicate with people who aren’t too familiar with the English language. Through sharing inspiring photos of creative work, a sunset, people, happenings and all other things, the receivers and potential receivers see what doesn’t really need to be expressed in words anymore. Post a selfie and you communicate a set of different things visually, with the whole world or with your closest friends. Also, sharing fun visual photos on sites like 9GAG brings together youth from all over the world, through humor and fun. Likewise, the use of pretty awesome new video applications such as Snapchat, Periscope (which is owned by Twitter by the way) and Blab to mention a few, has become a huge success among people and businesses seeking to reach out through a deeper communication channel. Filming and streaming that live is genuine, spontaneous and inviting, which creates space for people coming together to share view149
points on a set of different subjects. Twitter also recently enabled a video sharing addition, again inviting to yet another level of communication and interaction.This is great because finally body language is involved in online, real-time communication, giving viewers, listeners and writers another dimension to understand each other – the one they use mostly IRL. Bringing people to actually communicate and exchange knowledge is a great thing, and businesses have figured this out as well. As much of the exchange online is done by them in order to reach out to real and potential customers, they have realized the value of actually interacting with people as opposed to be serving as a one-way information sharing channel. Now, businesses who wish to survive on the market place actually have to build relationships with people online, investing time and money on maintaining good communication and promoting more quality through these relationships rather than classical marketing campaigns. Even more important, social media has enabled customers to share their views on products, services, businesses and customer service openly and with a large audience, leading to a level of improvement in customer relations over the past years. Customer feedback is highly valued and as it can be produced in real-time, a more balanced division of power distribution is 150
happening. If a customer is treated badly, try sending out a message about it through any social media channel and see what happens – they will start working to sort things out ASAP. This shift has had a massive impact on how customers relate to businesses and marketing in general, leading to them bringing their two cents to the table in actively communicating how to conduct business properly for all parties to be satisfied. As classic campaigns aren’t attractive to customers anymore, using social media to introduce a new way of campaigning has shown successful. An example – last year WWF launched a campaign with #LastSelfie in which they aimed at showing the disaster to wild life and endangered species by our way of living. They used Snapchat for this campaign and it was shown to be highly successful reaching out to thousands of people and institutions around the world. Using social media for this type of global action and knowledge raising is continuing to be used by institutions and NGOs all over the world, adding another sphere to social impact and making good changes happen. Recently, hospitals have seen a gain in introducing social media tools for easier communication and health checks for patients. This is great news for people wishing to have more control over their health and be able to reach out to their doctors
whenever they need to do so. Also, having direct access to oneâ€™s own medical profile simplifies any treatment follow-up, because the real-time observation is extended drastically, making each treatment much more receptive to feedback. This has also made changes to medical drug producers as they too are dependent on online reviews by users and patients. Any and every side effect is outlined and discussed on different platforms, and its material is quickly shared via social media, potentially having a serious impact on a global scale.
with constructive and creative things can do so by using social media. So many tools and applications are provided, and simply learning more about them can make a huge difference â€“ whether youâ€™re using them for business or as a way of connecting with interesting creatives from all over the world.
Social media has also created platforms through which people from all over the world have a chance to attend webinars with internationally recognized specialized physicians and scientists. Seminars were restricted to physical visitors only a few years back, while there now are more and more available to a global audience. Professors and internationally highly ranked universities share their presentations online, and there are platforms such as Coursera and Khan Academy offering lessons to everyone who is interested for free. This is a huge movement in how knowledge is shared and open up for the possibility of creating a much more educated world population. There are thousands of other ways in which social media is used, which all contribute in making it such a great phenomenon in the online world. Clearly, everyone active on social media who wishes to reach out 151
How do you maxim I work as a behavioral change implementation consultant for Expressworks where I focus on the practice of adoption of IT and Information Management solutions, such as Microsoft SharePoint. In other words, helping organizations get real value out of the IT solutions they deploy. We often use the tagline, “We are the People Side of Software Solutions”, because if people don’t use what you implement, or understand how to use the solution well, what’s the point of deploying it in the first place?
But enough about me. To answer your question, I would say… Many people erroneously feel that creativity and productivity are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in the business world. Too often people in management positions think there isn’t time for people to be creative; they just want the work done. Counter to that, people working in the creative process often need focused time to think, 152
mize Creativity and Productivty? ruminate, collaborate and brainstorm to do their jobs well, and aren’t necessarily spitting out deliverables at the speed of light. I come from the school of thought that feels that productivity isn’t about how much work you get done, but rather, how much of that work adds or creates real value. This to me is the true intersection of creativity and productivity – How do I meet the needs of the target audience and provide the right level of insight to the task at hand? How do I provide a unique perspective that resonates with people and allows them to easily grasp and understand what they now need to do from the work I just completed? How do I create something not in a vacuum, but rather inclusive of the ideas and insights of others before I consider my work version 1.0?
like this. You need time to involve the right people, collaborate, make mistakes, rethink your hypothesis and test your solutions before you can consider something done well. But in the end the solution you create often hits the target, instead of flying right by it. And hitting the target is what productivity is all about. – Liz Jagla, Change Management Consultant
I’m reminded of a famous quote of presumably unknown origin that states, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter”. The creative process is much 153
Name: Bruce Tulgan Where do you live: New Haven, Connecticut, USA Known for: Back in 1993, I started the research that led to my first book, MANAGING GENERATION X, which was published in 1995. Ever since, I’ve been running three longitudinal research studies: One on the generational shift underway in the workforce. The second on the human capital management implications of that shift. Third, I’ve been conducting in-depth interviews about leadership/management/supervisory relationships in the workplace. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of individuals have participated in my research. I am probably best known still for helping companies plan for and adapt to the great generational shift in the workforce and the rising global youth tide of the Millennial Generation. Currently actual with: Me and my firm, RainmakerThinking, Inc. ® have been operating out of New Haven, Connecticut now since 1993 and I work with leaders and managers in organizations of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the United States Army to Wal-Mart and everyone in between. I conduct custom workplace research to help clients measure their own human capital management risks and opportunities, especially in relation to what I call Generational Shift Planning and Millennial Readiness. I also spend a huge 156
amount of time helping organizations adjust their leadership culture and recommit to the fundamentals of strong highly engaged supportive coaching style management. When did you realize that you were going to work with this? It has been an evolution. I go where the research leads, and we go where clients ask me to go in order to help them learn from my research. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? New Haven Connecticut – because that’s where my friends are! Plus we have great theaters and restaurants and libraries and music and parks … and people. How would you describe your creativity? I try to learn every day. The more outside data I am taking in and considering and trying to make sense of, the more creative I am. It is a dialectal process. After all, one has to know something real in order to think critically – otherwise what is one to think about? Fantasy? That’s false creativity in my view. How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? When I was working as a lawyer at a Wall Street law firm in the early 1990s, I started interviewing young people (at that time, those of my own age, since I was young) and that led to my first book. What do you do at the moment?
My firm RainmakerThinking has been conducting in-depth workplace research now for more than 21 years. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? Creativity for the sake of creativity runs out of steam very quickly. What are you trying to accomplish? Start with that question. What outcomes will result from your creativity? What is the impact? That’s the key. Tell us how it all started. I was troubled by the impression that older more experienced people seemed to have about the new young workforce – at that time I was part of that new young workforce. That made me very curious. Why do the older more experienced people so misunderstand where young people are coming from? And where they are trying to go? Over the years, I have learned that
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? President Obama… Because he is the President of the United States (we only get one at a time!). How do you like to spoil yourself? I work out what my wife says is “an irresponsible amount” – does that count? What is luxury for you? Free time. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? When it comes to my work overall, the compliment I hope to receive is that my work has helped someone improve their outcomes in the workplace either because I’ve given them good advice for doing more work better and faster with a better attitude; or I’ve given them good advice
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? Enough room to sit on the floor in a good stretching position while I work.
to help the people they manage do more better faster with a better attitude; or I’ve helped them solve a problem or leverage an opportunity. Beyond that… I guess, when it comes to “creativity” per se, art, probably the most per se creative aspect of my work is the comedic aspect of my public speaking: So when people say that they are entertained, that my presentations are fun, or when they laugh at my jokes, I guess that is when I feel most complimented.
What is your favorite film? Rocky.
What do you fear most? That’s a tough one. Suffering?
business leaders in every industry are very concerned with the new emerging workforce. So I have continued answering those basic questions for years now: Where are young people coming from? and Where are they trying to go?
What is a happy life to you? Peace and prosperity; meaning; service; prayer; satisfying work; and plenty of free time spent with my wife, family, and friends; lots of Karate practice; bike-rides and walks; fireplace and hot tub; chocolate chip cookies and other good snacks. What does a regular day look like for you? Mostly the answer to the previous question I am happy to say. Tell us about your dream project. The book I am writing now… But it’s a secret. So I can’t tell you. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? So many: Ken Blanchard. Stephen Covey. Marshall Goldsmith. Tom Peters. Jim Collins. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? Obsessive. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? My wife. What inspires you? Generosity. Strength. Intelligence. Insight. Kindness. Speed. Power. Love. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? The Bible would be number one.
itch â€“ the need for investigating new creative things
Do you ever experience that need, urge, to figure something out? Maybe you’ve read about an interesting topic briefly, and that awoke such an interest that you spent the following hours researching it like crazy? You could find those curious creatives all over the place. Have you ever seen someone being really intensely involved in reading something on their phone/tablet/ computer? Or writing a thousand words per minute, trying to keep the movements of the hand as quick as the thoughts and ideas needed to be written down? This is what happens when you’re really interested. For creative people who tend to be open-minded, this sudden passion for new concepts, books, movies, projects etc. is ever so present. What’s great about this is that you always have a lot of ideas, there’s simply no such thing as an ideas block. Not even a little. Regardless of your profession, being able to produce that many ideas is highly useful, and not to speak of the after-work life,
in which you can divide your time for exploring more about all of those awesome things. Staying away from researching all of that simply doesn’t happen for long. The only possibility is to postpone that until you have a little free time. But that doesn’t hold it for very long either. The biggest gain from having such a mindset is that you develop the way in which you think and reason, you connect all sorts of dots thanks to the continuously added new knowledge, and you feel great about it too. Yet another fantastic consequence from having this mindset is that you challenge your analytical skills every time you look for something new. Which develops it. All of the gains from allowing yourself to figure out all sorts of things about things is well worth the effort, the only thing required for that to happen being a strong sense of “I need to know more about this!” Do you often scratch that itch? 163
How do you maxim
Creativity is bounded with the urge to express yourself, to dig deep into your soul and let behind a fragment of what and who you really are. It is the one and only place where everything is possible, and it is in your mind. This is where everything begins. This is why it is crucial to keep an open mind, to keep alive our inner child, thirsty and curious of life. Everything can be of inspiration, people we meet, music, colours, life situations. I observed that the absolute worst moments can give life to a masterpiece, because the artist is sincere while creating, the purity is there. For me, being creative also means “going against the stream”, or kind of a protest to certain life situations or social thinking – being creative is being yourself.
Productivity on the other hand depends on strong will and a lot of work. Again, it is in your mind, and if you are really willing to see things done well, then you’ll have to do it by yourself. As long as you give it your
mize Creativity and Productivty? best, no matter how difficult things are, you will find a way. Believe in yourself and give yourself a chance! â€“ Veronica Mereuta, Independent Entertainment Professional
Name: Katrina Asfardi
Where do you live: I live in the Italian part of Switzerland. I’m originally from Riga, Latvia
What do you do at the moment? I work in Ibiza in one Beach club. It’s not a nightclub. It’s a daytime beach club where they have entertainment shows.
Known for: My performances around the world, and for being a multi-skilled artist. Currently working with: I had an aerialist contortionist show in Ibiza in June/July this year. In august I had yet another show scheduled. When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area? At the age of 20. I discovered a circus world. And it became my passion.. Later after I graduated the university I began working abroad with various companies. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? Thailand maybe.. It’s always warm there.. But I like Switzerland too. We have beautiful nature. How would you describe your creativity? I am always trying to create something that is “mine”... It can be simple but as long as it’s original and not boring – I think it’s better than to steal ideas from somebody… How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? My first aerial choreography I did in “oriental” style... Also the costume.. Simple but it was very “me” because I love oriental music and in the past I’ve learned how to 168
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? Work hard... And don’t expect to always have the best gigs.. Sometimes you’re at the top… Sometimes not… It’s normal. And that’s why this job is challenging. Tell us how it all started. At the age of 12 I started to train my body. First year I did not do a regular training, just 2-3 days a week in one aerobic/dance studio. Then, at the age of 13 I started pushing myself because I became a big fan of rhythmic gymnastics, but it was already too late for me to do that... So I had to proceed with aesthetic group gymnastics and modern dance. What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? The studio should not be empty. There should be a pole or aerial equipment. At least one chair, mats, sometimes towels, toilet access. And water of course. What is your favorite film? I have many. Comedy – “Heartbreakers” (with J. Love Hewitt and Sigourney Weaver), “Bad teacher”, “Sex and the City”. I also like old movies. I watched “Back to the fu-
ture” like 100 times when I was a child... Action – “The Island”, “Catch me if you can”, “The Beach”, “Gladiator”, “Alien”, “the Day after tomorrow”, “Showgirls”, “Resident Evil”, “Avatar”. “Traffic”…. “Titanic”, “The pianist”... “Devil’s double”.... So many! I like to watch movies at home lying on the sofa. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? President of the United States maybe… Because we need to protect the environment... Stop massive consumption, and stop provoking conflicts, we need to control birth rate on a very high level as we are too many on this planet... We need to act. Imagine if every single person on this planet has a car, a house, uses electricity, air conditioning, water in a massive quantity – the way our society is used to – our planet will die..... We need to change the way we think and the way we live… And put other priorities in this life –protect & respect our planet! Just imagine how unique it is in our Galaxy at least! And it needs the space for itself… Forests, lakes, landscapes, ocean and ice caps – play very important role in regulating the temperature on earth! The earth is warming up too rapidly now.... And we all need to act together...I think that only if USA starts to act first... Others will join... How do you like to spoil yourself?
Cofffee... Chocolate... Ice cream... I like a good wine too! What is luxury for you? Stay in 5-7 star hotel... Drink Dom Perignon at some expensive club/restaurant… Join VIP yacht parties or something similar... Buy very expensive clothes and jewelry... Drive a very expansive car – Lexus, Ferrari, Aston Martin... Maserati, Bentley, whatever... What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? From show-business people, who are artists too. What do you fear most? I am afraid of accidents.. Or hurting myself.. Especially – because of Rigging... I hope to stay healthy.. Always! I know my job is a risk... But I am also afraid of taking risks. It’s normal. I’m a bit afraid when on a plane, because I realize that even if the possibility is small.. Still anything can happen.. And something can go wrong.. I love life too much.. So I am afraid to lose this adventure. What is a happy life to you? Do what I love to do and how I want to do it. Be surrounded by my closest friends. I love nature. So to have access to parks, gardens, forests – is happiness. Sunshine with access to the beach and the sea is a big joy of life! 169
Also one of my biggest joys – is practicing! In the future for sure – I wanna have a child.. And I know it’s one of the biggest joys of life to see him/her growing up…
entrepreneur – and to motivate others to consume less, protect the environment as we do not really require as many things as we think we do…
What does a regular day look like for you? I wake up around 8 am. I run almost every morning.. 1 hour –more or less... Then, I take a shower, do some exercise. And then I have my first coffee! Usually around 11.am... I like cappuccino.. Or caffe latte.. With banana... Haaa I know it’s funny... But I love that! Then, I eat my brunch. Do some office work – emails.. If I have to go somewhere - I go there.. If I am on the contract – I go to work.
Who is your professional role model/inspiration? Leonardo da Vinci, Stephen Hawking… Einstein... Those who dedicate their lives to science… Or those who save lives – doctors, or those who work for the Red Cross in very dangerous places... And risk their lives to save others (also police, firemen, special military forces etc).
If I am at home in Switzerland – I practice every afternoon/evening. After that, dinner at home or somewhere outside. I like to walk. At home I like to watch some movies. Tell us about your dream project. Festival cirque de Demain.. I wish to take part in it before finishing my carrier. Probably to take part in some short project with Cirque du Soleil (just for my CV). I want to work in Theatre with my own show. Also maybe produce some shows in some cool places or on TV… To enter the American market too. So it would be cool to get some sort of engagement in Las Vegas or Los Angeles... One day... I want to release at least 3 books... Hopefully bestsellers! After finishing my artistic career I would like to be a spokesperson – an 170
How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? Arts. Performing arts. Yes I am wearing fancy show costumes sometimes.. So yes it has something to do with fashion too.... But it’s more about athletics and body work.. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? Freedom... What inspires you? Nature… A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? Well... I have read a book – an auto-biography of one Russian journalist. She was openly writing about her life experience. So it inspired me to start writing my own auto-biography... I still need time to complete it though…
Schools are great, and since thatâ€™s the place where kids spend most of their time as being kids â€“ they really have to be great to suit them well. They need to provide everything necessary to develop an interest for learning different things about the world. Besides that, they will have to develop team work and communication skills, together with body language and respectful behavior in general. As schools do have the responsibility to provide teaching for kids, and considering the amount of time they need to spend there,
street art for kids
e schools interactive this needs to be on top. Maximum quality. The time they (the kids) invest in schools as opposed to investing it in playing should not bore them, but the opposite â€“ and we have an idea for how to do just that. Arranging regular street art sessions for kids is what will give them the tools for having fun, describing their thoughts about different subjects through arts, and develop their analytical skills as well. Simply reserve some space outside the school for painting, get them some crayons and light their interest for any school subject by having a theme for each such session. It could be history, mathematics, physics or anything â€“ just make sure to let them know that the only important thing is that they should draw what they think represents that, and do so together. If they are many, then dividing
them into groups is a good idea. Scheduling these types of interactive activities on a regular basis is far more effective than planning to sit still forever, without room for connecting reading, listening and writing to creating and physical activity. Teachers also benefit from this because they are human beings too, and they like to have fun as well. Especially when they see their class acting as teams and actually learning a lot of useful things. The best part is that this goes perfectly in line with the startup trend, where creativity and team-building skills are far more attractive than, well, sitting down and being quiet. Have you had the chance to try something like this out? Were the kids happy and did they have fun? 175
How do you maxim
The best way to achieve my goals while I’m on creation is to be totally immersed into the project. For weeks, I live, I eat, I breathe what I’m seeing in my mind.. But in general, everything will start in my head. Especially when I’m choreographing a piece ordered by someone, for a specific project – I’m listening to the music I’m given every single day, hundreds of times per day, and at least two weeks before starting to create something. It can sound a bit obsessive but that’s what I need to do.. Because, when the time comes to be in the studio, by myself or with the dancers, for long hours, long days – I know where I am, I know that world, I’ve traveled in it and through it weeks before, I’ve discovered every little corner. I know where I’m going, I know how to get to that point or to anoth176
mize Creativity and Productivty? er.. And now, I just have to guide you into my Universe. â€“ Patrice Moniz, Dancer, Choreographer and Model
Interview: Rana Khudhair Abbas Ahmed
Name: Rana Khudhair Abbas Ahmed Where do you live: Baghdad, Iraq Known for: Lecturer at Alrafidain University College. Currently working on: Writing a chapter in an international book and a scientific research paper and teaching college students in Alrafidain University College. When did you realize that you were going to work with this? I thought about it from the age of 8, I wanted to be a teacher and love to learn and teach. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? I would love to live in Australia where I spent my beautiful childhood. How would you describe your creativity? My passion, talent and working hard in a comfortable environment all creates creativity. How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? I started teaching college students in 2001 and still do to this day. What do you do at the moment? I am in several tasks like editing, reviewing papers for some international journals and I am now working on a scientific research paper and books. 180
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? Think of a goal and go ahead to accomplish it and be patient and never give up and stay positive. Tell us how it all started. It started at a primary school, where I was the top student of my class and my teacher asked me to teach the pupils some subjects. I loved that task and wished to move ahead and work with this type of job as a grown-up. What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? Having much solitude time for working with scientific journals and publishers. What is your favorite film? Any comedy, romance, dramatic films are in my interest like A Patch of Blue/Be ready with bells and drums, by Elizabeth Kata. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? Bill Gates is someone who accomplished so very much and I would love to listen to his achievements and creativeness. How do you like to spoil yourself? I can spoil myself by shopping and traveling. What is luxury for you? Having enough time for everything in my life (work, family and friends) without exhaust-
ing myself. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? An amazing professor called Dr. Prittam Shah who said that I have a lovely mind for scientific research and who encouraged me so much. And compliments like “we have learned a lot from you, thanks” from my students.
out? My beloved family. What inspires you? Family, music, nature, a comfortable environment and good friendships. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? “The power of positive thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale.
What do you fear most? I fear not working and deep water and elevators. What is a happy life to you? Being with my family (my husband, children, mother and sisters) and spend happy times with all of them. What does a regular day look like for you? Each day is a new day for creative and challenging work. Tell us about your dream project. My dream is to go forward towards big scientific achievements in several aspects of computer science and attending new scientific opportunities. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? My primary school teachers in Australia were such professionals and understood children’s needs and talents. Which is the one thing you can’t live with181
Our senses and creativity
Sight everyday decisions, interpretations and choices. What is sight? How do you define it? Well, according to the Merriam-Webster Medical
When you think of seeing, do you even? Probably not too often, although using our sight is what we do all of our awaken time and it has a tremendous impact on everything we do. Sight is one of our five basic senses, and it being that is argument enough to have a better understanding of what exactly it is and how it affects our
Dictionary, sight is; â€œthe process, power, or function of seeing; specifically: the one of the five basic physical senses by which light stimuli received by the eye are interpreted by the brain and constructed into a representation of the position, shape, brightness, and usually color of objects in space.â€? In sight being one of the five basic senses, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that it has a significant role in our lives, contributing to a broad sense of perceptions, influencing most things in our time of interacting with other people. Objects that are visually
appealing catch our attention more than others, the surface of things being the first thing anyone interacts with initially. The nature in all its beauty, rural and urban environments, buildings, vehicles – anything and everything is at one point or another visually interesting. This interest doesn’t necessarily have to be positive or constructive at all, and in only relying on our visual sense as a guide in life, things would most likely have ences or sudden realizations. been different. As in a lot.
At times, and when seeing more than just the eyes of another person, these signals can be pretty simple to catch.
But we’ll dive more into that later. We’re attracted by the colors we perceive, the visual expression portrayed in art, design, even technology. The visual beauty of a perfect line, a silhouette; the environment in which objects and subjects interact, in which the surroundings play a far bigger role than the items or people themselves. Moving things, or people in movement; the patterns of those moves and how they can be abruptly interrupted by external influ-
Then there’s the human interaction aspect of sight. Think about the eyes specifically and what they can tell you. During any form of interaction in which you can see the other person’s eyes, your communication is also expressed directly through the eyes. At times, and when seeing more than just the eyes of another person, these signals can be pretty simple to catch. But, when having visual access only to the eyes of another person, things get tricky. There are so many tests available online where you 189
can try to figure out how many expressions you can actually pick up, only by the gaze of other people’s eyes. In line with this is also plenty of ongoing scientific research aiming to investigate which and how many different emotional states human beings are capable of reading, a fascinating scientific approach to understand more about the depth and complexity of human communication. Often, we as human beings look at (well, hi there) other people’s eyes to connect, gain attention, show that attention is being given, approve or disprove, like, flirt, not like and all other things possible. Although almost always through the help and assistance of other basic senses, attraction is perceived by a gaze, a certain movement with the eye lashes (you know the kind that Lola Bunny gives Bugs Bunny, that kind). Such a conscious use of the mechanics behind our eyes can be what determines whether a successful conversation will take place, or not. Eyes are expressive and depending on by which intensity they are gazing, a wide set of emotions can arise.
So, if you have one of those important meetings heading up, take a minute and Google some visualization techniques. 190
We adjust our own behavior to go in line with the movement of others, whether conscious or not. We constantly observe our surroundings, environment, and body language – and it doesn’t stop there. We adjust our own behavior to go in line with the movement of others, whether conscious or not. Colors and fabrics as mentioned before – you can even see how they feel – your first look at those things gives you a whole picture of how that experience would be, what you would feel and how you would react. By observing other people, there is so much to learn. Whether in real life or through videos, the movement of people, the interaction between them, the exchange of non-verbal information and the tremendous amount of variety in states of mind, is a fan-
tastic learning experience. But thatâ€™s not all. Sight has also been quite useful in revealing where danger might be hiding, and as our senses interact so does the ability to make better decisions so as do to anything possible to avoid dangerous situations. A feeling of fear might occur after seeing another person in the eyes, or watching a photo or video of them. A frightening situation watched on TV often awakes the same instinctive sense of danger and drives your visual sense to be even more alert, simultaneously enhancing the other four. Likewise, when in real life situations of danger, your visual alertness and quick information processing, together with a nice dose of adrenaline, will assist you a lot in doing the right thing to get out of there alive and safe. Many people dream and think in pictures, still or moving, their imagination consists of putting pictures together, or information in models which can then be transferred to other people via some of the other senses. Our ability to visualize things in life can also help in this aspect of dealing with difficult or directly dangerous situations, as can it help with making great things happen. By visu-
Likewise, interaction with anyone anywhere is mostly determined by the surrounding factors, which state the norms and traditionally accepted behaviors for that particular setting. alizing, you are using your previous perceptions (in which you yourself werenâ€™t necessarily an active part) and in this way training your brain to feel comfortable in a certain environment, or situation. After a few times, although you have never been in that situation IRL, you will find yourself much more comfortable as it happens. So, if you have one of those important meetings heading up, take a minute and Google some visualization techniques. All of these things matter from a creative perspective. You can look at one object or street or person a million times and each time find something new, something you havenâ€™t seen before. As the light is changing during seasons, so do people change 191
their appearance and looks, some of us doing so quite often. As you observe your coworkers and manager in a work setting, you see one side of them, a set of attributes and behaviors exclusive for that setting. If something unexpected happens, you could observe other. New forms of expressions – another way of speaking, moving and working. Likewise, interaction with anyone anywhere is mostly determined by the surrounding factors, which state the norms and traditionally accepted behaviors for that particular setting. Quite a few great photographers have managed to bring out that intensity through non-moving photos, as have film-makers, artists, designers, architects, performers, managers and professors through their use of visual expression, in which there is a huge variety. Think about it – even though you 192
are reading words from a paper, your eyes are still moving, observing, processing information. Depending on how information is visually presented, you will find it as interesting as you find the visual presentation relevant and intriguing in the first place. The rapidly growing use of computers and smartphones for interactions worldwide have further confirmed this phenomenon – enabling much more rapid development of visually appealing information systems in all possible fields. Now, we can all improve our visual presence, the ability to get the most information out of every interaction, every observation. Here’s our simple way for what to do
Think about it – even though you are reading words from a paper, your eyes are still moving, observing, processing information.
Do you remember that blue/ black gold/white dress incident a few months back? in order to test your own visual information gathering capacity; 1. Go to a coffee shop and have something nice to drink 2. Sit someplace close to a window, where you can observe people walking by 3. Try to see how many things you notice, simply by looking at someone as s/he passes by How many things did you observe? How deep did they go? Did you notice the choice of clothing, hair style and color, walking style, hand movements, body size and shape, accessories, interaction with other people, which cars or buildings were nearby, maybe buses or a bicycle, and how all of it shaped your whole world during those few seconds? We tend to notice moving things more than those that are still, did that happen to you as well? Did you notice the details of that building nearby, its windows and doors? In the corner
of your eye, did you happen to also notice anything about the coffee shop, even though you were supposed to focus on the outside? Which brings us to the other side of the table – the deception aspect of sight. Many times, we do have pre-handed data which we tend to use as a given in times when new data isn’t available, or perceived as being available. We fill in the gaps with things that we think or assume that we know, but we don’t. Depending on the situation, this can create a wide range of positive or negative consequences, and staying aware of what is happening most of the time is crucial in order to avoid the negative ones. Assuming things to be true without being aware of the assumption being made, or the science behind them, is most often the reason for why a visual perception turn into a conflict or intense debate. Do you remember that blue/black gold/ white dress incident a few months back? As for the positive consequences – imagine that you have an assignment, something really important to do, and there are so many restrictions and new data so that no current way of working could be applied. On top of that, you know what the budget restrictions 193
If working on becoming aware of this sense, and its interaction with the other four ones, there is much knowledge to access and many new insights to be gained. are due to another similar project, and you also know that your manager doesn’t want to hire external consultants. Even more, you are aware of the fact that there will indeed be negative tones when you present these ideas, because you assume that things will be as they have always been in the office. So you prepare. You take all of these things into account and after working some extra evenings, you’ve got a plan set out. During the Monday meetings, you’re asked to present your idea and when you’ve done so, everyone’s silent. Drop-the-needle-and-
it’ll-sound-like-an-explosion silent. You look around, observing your coworkers who seem speechless, and then your boss who is in complete shock. Why this reaction? Because your coworkers noticed that this sounds like a plan that could actually work, and your boss because s/he didn’t expect such a detailed plan from you. When s/he asks what made you so motivated, and how you managed to get such a great budget for it, your reaction is to look at her/ him as an idiot, because you clearly received all of that information beforehand. Except you didn’t. This is a good case, a great example despite some misunderstandings (and low expectations from certain individuals). On the other hand, there are times when seeing something could lead to drawing completely wrong associations between
incidents, which could get a catastrophic results for the people involved. Being called in to court to witness, yet quite some time passed and the memories are fading, could be gained. be what determines an innocent personâ€™s Have you been reflecting on our sight and future years in life. Personal relationships how it affects every little thing in your life? can get an abrupt ending simply by seeing Drop-the-needle-and-itâ€™llsomething happen and then building up sound-like-an-explosion silent. all kinds of stories around a couple of seconds. This is also associated with where our focus lies in the first place, which in turn is directly related to the persona and character of each individual. Which is something that is constantly evolving, in some people faster than in others. Itâ€™s a continuous process and the more we stay aware of it, the more we learn to understand our own mind and senses, how they interact and react depending on each other and the overall external situations. In sum, sight is a very powerful sense, one which initiates processes of association, connection, assumption, creation and figuring out new ideas. If working on becoming aware of this sense, and its interaction with the other four ones, there is much knowledge to access and many new insights to
â€œAnyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum. The creative explorer looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport.â€? Robert Wieder
â€œCreativity is intelligence having fun.â€? Albert Einstein
How do you maxim True love generates the power to maximize creativity and productivity C reativity is all about complete surrendering R aw ideas fly like free birds in the air E nabling most beautiful constructs A nd when they decide to settle T ransformation has started I n a glimpse the eye sees
V ital parts of a whole E lected to be the best R ebuilding a new constellation O pening the heart and the mind O xygen can enter the productivity room 198
mize Creativity and Productivty? M anufacturing invites the process to grow F lexibility touches generously the outcomes O ther inspiring guests leave their prints on the heart R ising the level of creation requires to be in the flow of now T hinking must be left aside so that channeling can take it over A ll what was meant to happen arrives naturally at its destination L ove is the highest vibrational level needed to produce deepest beauty K ings and queens of creativity are in ecstasy when their gem is born in reality. â€“ Liesbeth Leysen, Global Business Professional and Author 199
Interview: Karlos Hill AKA Mac Sauce
Name: Karlos Hill AKA Mac Sauce Where do you live: Los Angeles, U.S.A. Known for: Music production Currently actual with: A.O.P. ENT. When did you realize that you were going to work with this? When I discovered I was a control freak... If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? I would live in Sedona, A.Z. The scenery and the red rocks are beautiful. That would be like living on a vacation. How would you describe your creativity? I would describe my creativity as absent-minded. There can’t be much on my mind. When I’m fully present, that moment all that there is. There is no thought. I look at thought as a filter. When I’m creating, I don’t like filters. How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? I’d say 2013 when I started investing money in myself. If you don’t believe in yourself enough to invest, no one will take you serious. What do you do at the moment? I own a music production house as well as a publishing company. I’m also getting into publishing books. I just signed an author by the name of Mattie Sawyer. She is a very talented young lady. 202
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? You have to know that people get into business to make money. Figure out where you’re going to monetize. Also, don’t to be discouraged if you’re not profitable immediately. It took Amazon 8 years to turn a profit. You just have to fight and stick it out. Tell us how it all started? I got started with music playing drums at my mom’s church as a kid. That’s how I learned time signatures and rhythm. I had a friend in high school named Lawrence who did music and he had a brother named L-Train who made beats and wrote songs. I used to see him on the throwback FL Studio back in like ‘04. When I saw that, I was amazed that a computer could do everything it was doing. I realized I wanted to produce and I didn’t need a studio to be creative. I first downloaded a demo version on my own back in ‘05 but the sounds were wack and you couldn’t save anything. I started honing in around “06-’07” and started learning scales and chords. Everything just grew from there. What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? Organization is number one. I can’t create in a space that isn’t clean and orderly. What is your favorite film? The Godfather. I’m a big Al Pacino fan. Not many people can play a man in his twen-
ties and two years later play the same man looking much older and pull it off like that. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? I’d invite Mark Cuban for dinner. That would be a billion dollar conversation. How do you like to spoil yourself? I like having a comfortable home. I’m not into the flashy stuff but I like well-made things. I really like deep tissue massages and good food. What is luxury for you? Luxury for me, is a mindset. It’s when you satisfy a spontaneous whim without taking thought of how much it cost. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? The nicest compliment was my wife wanting to invest in my musical career. She’s a very, very, very shrewd businesswoman and a lot of people wouldn’t invest in music. For her to believe in what I was doing enough to cut a check was the best compliment I could get. What do you fear most? Complacency, not forecasting trends, getting to a point when I’m no longer innovating. What is a happy life to you? Happiness is relative. For me it’s being around my great-grand-kids someday and
setting up my family to take over what we’re building. It’s having your kids’ love you and be proud of you. It’s loving your mom and dad for who they are regardless of how you were raised. It’s when your best friends with your wife and you get along well. What does a regular day look like for you? I’ll wake up early with a cup of coffee and check my email. Get the kids up and ready for home school. I might hit the studio and make a couple beats. Eat lunch and listen to some new releases. I might make a couple more beats or start mixing whatever I’m working on at that time. After that, I’ll have some dinner and watch the game or Love & Hip Hop or Real Housewives of Atlanta. Then I’ll catch the news on RT and turn it in for the night. It seems boring but I get a lot done. Tell us about your dream project. My dream project would be an album with Dr. Dre, Battlecat, E-40, and Suga Free. Those mixing sessions would be crazy. They come from the analog era so that’s an opportunity to learn about the nuances of outboard gear and how the VST’s try to emulate them. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? Dame Dash is one of them. Watching him on the Backstage tour helped shape in my mind what kind of business model I wanted. Also, the concept of equating manhood
with ownership is one that made me respect him. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? My work style isn’t rushed. I take my time and do it right from the start. Back when I was a barber, my clients would tell me that I took my time, but they appreciated it because it was more detailed and depending on the haircut it lasted longer. Fashion wise I’m a simple man. I like cargo shorts, 501’s, and Air Maxs. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? My planner... I don’t use cell phones like that so I keep a phone book in my planner with the Wi-Fi password. What inspires you? The melody or song that gets stuck in your head. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? Napoleon Hill’s “How to Think and Grow Rich” is the front-runner, Robert Greene’s “48 Laws of Power” is one of them, and Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” are the top three.
Startups and creativity
Throw out all of the boxes
You don’t like the 9-5 business days for your particular business? Then don’t apply it. There are times when rules apply, like making sure to pay the right amount of taxes and have someone who can make all of that happen. And then there is this other thing called “everything else”. In this category, there is plenty of room for flexibility. We’re talking about the need for broadening perspectives in business in general, and especially when making Startups happen. The trend of starting your own business is in208
creasing all over the world and today, more people than ever are selecting the entrepreneur way of doing things. This is a great thing, leading to more personal responsibility as well as more freedom to choose what to work with and pick a smaller team of people in order to create a solid culture. And success! As more and more people do just that, they also quite soon realize the need for some sort of structure. Whether we speak of scheduling and planning, meetings and responsibilities, financial planning and investor pitching, some sort of structure is required. After quite a short while, the workload builds up pretty heavily and unless there’s structure – there will be chaos. That’s where the business models come in, and well-defined ideas on how to run businesses are applied but without adjusting them to suit that specific business. This could easily be described as a total jungle in which thousands of different business models are available, and they’re all “just the right one for your business”. But they most often aren’t, unless you choose a few of them and then create your own, to suit your specific business (size, goals, outreach etc.).
a business model doesn’t by any means demand a total dedication to that one model. Use broad patterns from that/those models and then build your own – long gone are the days of standardized anything really. So you don’t want to have desks in your office space? Then don’t. You’d rather have a really comfortable couch on which you can put the computer an all other things? Then go ahead. Your project plan requires additions specific to your company’s needs? Add them. Meetings every Sunday doesn’t really work for you? Skip them. You want to combine two marketing research models for one project, and then add an extra section for scheduling-within-the-schedule for your employees? Do it. You don’t like the 9-5 business days for your particular business? Then don’t apply it. You would rather have a set of goals to reach each day, or a set of tasks with which to go through? Then plan it that way. And this list goes on and on. And on. Summing it all up – throw out the boxes and build your own pointy, messy, round, weirdshaped things. Have you applied several different business models, mixed and adjusted them to suit your specific needs?
Hence, being inspired and influenced by 209
How do you maxim
direction. Each time that happens, it opens up two new possibilities. This is how the mind and creativity expand. This is how I grow. Ideas are moments of inspiration and great timing, from which the complete creative process is then developed. For my creativity to evolve, the most important thing is that my work, first and foremost, is being conducted with great enthusiasm, with great love and dedication. At that point, my energy is flourishing and nothing seems hard or difficult to do. I get do much strength and will to work endlessly, night and day. And, the more I work, the more my creativity is evolving, moving into an unimaginable
It does not mean that you should overload yourself with work, because that could quite easily lead to saturation, fatigue and kill your will – the latter which is the essential ingredient of creativity. For creativity to evolve, it is important to maximize your senses in order to better understand reality and our imagination and being attentive along the way – all of which will contribute to developing the initial idea which you had at the start. As Njegoš once said; “the one who stands even a little up a hill, sees much more than the one who is at the foot of the hill”. You reach all of this by developing your
mize Creativity and Productivty? awareness and consciousness of the mind, by seeking to be in the present moment. Because work of any kind, regardless of whether it’s a sculpture, story or bread, is created here and now. There aren’t many differences in the procedure, as people who view others from outside would think. If you are present, you can hear, feel, watch and see all aspects much better than other people who frantically go through their lives without even scratching it on the surface, and include them in your work. I’m not exclusively talking about the concept of artistic work because what is art is not up to the creator to decide, but to the subjective perception of viewers and receivers of the creative product – which yet again brings you back to the present moment and circumstances. And within the next moment, this can all be changed – as
we have seen many times in history. Another key ingredient of creativity and creating is meditation, through which work is formed and creativity developed. Creative work are created through silence. Only when you can calm your mind, from within an undreamed of creativity is starting to form. Sometimes, even those things inside of you, of which you are not conscious. And yet, on the other hand, creative work is the easiest way in which to reach a meditative state of mind, all of these segments being interconnected and without which none of them can’t be. It all begins when you manage to quiet your mind. When everything else stops, creativity is developed and the creative work starts to unfold. – Žana Korolija, Author and PR Expert 211
“yes” is the best way of initiating a creative process Have you ever had a really great idea, or heard one, and then just left it there all alone? Because of [insert appropriate excuse]. We’ve all done that, sometimes not even noting that idea down somewhere so as to be able to go back to it and try it out some other times. Many potentially awesome ideas have ended up that way, forgotten or put aside somewhere never to be looked at again. Sometimes, this happens because of an already pretty overloaded schedule, other times it’s because of the lack of self-confidence to pull such an idea off, and at times the reason could be simply having too many great ideas being tried out at the moment. At times, choosing safety before risk also leads to this loss of ideas and opportunities. Fear of failure is yet another highly used concept, as is the ignorance of possibilities.
What actually happens is that all of these negative responses to (potentially) good ideas basically means saying no. creatives fall into this at times too, much so due to indirectly saying no, or better put – acting no. Not reaching out to a new potential contact, not booking a meeting with an interesting individual, not attending interesting workshops or events, not getting active online etc. All of this contributes to those ideas, or potential ideas, to never happen. There’s a pretty easy way of minimizing this negative outcome and that is by saying yes. Google things, say yes to interesting meetings, webinars, opportunities to meet new people and hear new ideas. Even though they are completely out of your creative comfort zone, take that step and you will find that there’s so much knowledge out there yet to be explored. And included in your own creative process. It’s cross-creativity in its purest form and it works really well. Have you tried to say yes much more, to ideas and meeting interesting people?
Name: Michael Driver Where do you live: London, United Kingdom Known for: Illustrator, Animator Currently working with: Currently working full time as a freelance Illustrator on lots of top secret projects. When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area? I’ve always been really into illustration. It wasn’t until I was around sixteen/seventeen that I got into alternative music and collecting stuff which really naturally lead me into a career path geared towards illustration. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? I currently live in London and really love it however I would also love to spend some time in both Berlin and New York. How would you describe your creativity? My Process is really digitally lead but I try my hardest to continue to make physical things. I think it’s best to have a nice mix of digital and analogue, I find that there is something exciting about making physical things like making mistakes and discovering new processes but I also find that the safety net digital offers is really important to my process. How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? I’ve been trying to chase really paid illus216
tration work since I was in my first year at University. Only very recently have I tried to treat everything more seriously. I’m starting to deal with a lot bigger clients that expect a high quality finish delivered on deadline. It’s scary and demanding but it certainly helps your professional practice. What do you do at the moment? I’ve got a few jobs in the pipeline at the moment I’ve just started doing some work for a wine company, designing a few t-shirts and I might be work on an animation over the next few months. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? For anyone wanting a career in any sort of creative field I think it’s really important to be obsessive about what you do. Having a genuine interest in the creative field you’re interested in can really propel you forward. Tell us how it all started. I’ve always loved children’s books and toys and comics and cartoons. After my A levels I dropped out of school and worked as a chef. Eight months in I stopped enjoying it and started to think about how my life could feel more fulfilled. I’ve always been in creative things and thought I’d enroll on a foundation course and try and make my way through the world of illustration. What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
I think it’s really cliché and boring to say but my computer and internet connection is pretty important. I recently moved to a house and not being able to check my emails has been pretty painful! Apart from that I think books and prints are pretty important. I like being surrounded by visually nice things, it’s like a constant source of inspiration. What is your favorite film? That’s a real tough one! I’m a real sucker for old movies that make me feel nostalgic. I love a lot of the old Disney movies that have a real immersive feel to them. Heck I’m beating around the bush here. I love Flubber. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? I’d love to have dinner with Charlie Harper. I’ve always been a huge fan of his work and how he makes very natural things graphic. How do you like to spoil yourself? I’m a very indulgent person – if it’s a good day I’ll buy chocolate for myself. If it’s a bad day but I have spare money to burn (which isn’t often) I’ll buy a record or a t-shirt or some sort of expensive collector toy. What is luxury for you? I think Luxury for me would be, being able to afford my own place, being able to eat nice food and listen to good bands and not
have any money worries. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? I recently got a really big feature on “It’s Nice That”. The whole team is really lovely and it’s such a good platform to be on. What do you fear most? My biggest fear is that I won’t be able to afford rent next month and I’ll have to move back in with my parents. What is a happy life to you? A happy life is a good work balance, working for people I want to work for. What does a regular day look like for you? I wake up early around 7.30 make myself a cup of tea, read my emails and start to do roughs, have breakfast/lunch and work until dinner time. I probably spend too much time working but I really love what I do and I think that’s redeeming. Tell us about your dream project. My dream project would probably be some sort of graphic novel. I love the idea of designing a fully immersive world that people can read and feel involved in. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? I think this is a really tough one, I have so many people that I take inspiration from that it’s really hard to pick one and say that they are my role model. I think if I had to 217
pick one though I’d say Keaton Henson. He was very successful early on and I truly admire that. Other than Keaton Henson I really admire my father who has always been really hard worker and has always been behind me in all of my life choices, as soppy as that may sound. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? I suppose my work is geared to an editorial field. I think previously when I got into illustration I was interested in all the things illustration could be printed onto and I liked the idea that illustration itself could be a commodity. However, now I feel that illustration is at its best when it is interacting with the rest of the world. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? I don’t think I’d be able to live without my Wacom tablet. It speeds everything I do up and makes my life so much easier. What inspires you? Things, lots of things, toys, prints, books, art, other people. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? I think reading “Where the wild things are” was a really great experience for me.
Kicking some serious b*tt: Social media – Article series
What is to expect for the future? In the previous two articles we set out the basics for what social media is and who is using it, as well as why it is such an awesome thing. In this last article for our mini-series, we’ll dive into questions touching on several aspects of future projections and theories. What will social media look like in the upcoming years and in the future? What is going to happen with social media platforms, how are businesses going to use them, and what do geniuses see when speaking of the future for social media? Chill, we’ll give you some insight into these questions in just a moment. Most people who have any form of online
presence today use social media, many of them do so on a daily basis. The current availability of huge amount of platforms and applications used for sharing and gaining information and knowledge, with various forms of communication methods and by individuals, groups, businesses and institutions. As our preference to communicate shifts more and more towards a quick, convenient application communication pattern, so will businesses have to adjust accordingly. They will have to learn about what social media is, and how to use it successfully through all levels of their operative work. In practice, this means that what has until recently (and still very much is) been seen as being online wasting time, will have to shift into being understood as the most powerful marketing tools available. Since like, forever.
What is most likely also going to be a shift is the internal communication between coworkers, in which applications aimed for their communication specifically will be more used than email, making calls or even worse – noting things on Post-Its. Also, since the Millennial generation is a bunch of lovely, kind, competent and simply beautiful people (could you try and guess to which generation the writer of this article belongs?), Mr. Bruce Tulgan who is an internationally recognized leading expert within the field of young people in the workplace, leadership and management, has some interesting points to make. As he states on his website, the generation entering the workforce this very moment; “… are both high maintenance and have higher expectations, both on themselves and on others. They want to invent new things, make current things smarter, faster and better…”
This young, large group of young professionals will continue to raise the bar for competition, completely normalizing the use of social media for communication, critique, marketing and customer relations.
As amazing as his statement may seem for this new lovely generation, it implies a whole new level of competence available for businesses. As well as it puts pressure on other generations to learn about new tools for communication, making a shift into the future ways of interacting. This young, large group of young professionals will continue to raise the bar for competition, completely normalizing the use of social media for communication, critique, marketing and customer relations. 227
Sustainable choices will be easier to make, encouraging managers to make more intelligent choices when deciding where and what to purchase and under which conditions. With plenty of room for problems and less productive workplaces, a future which enables simple, open and more equal communication will continue to impact the structure of relationships between state economies. We’re currently experiencing the initial phase of a transition in economy, in which labor force isn’t really required to move physically to be able to work for interesting businesses. This trends expects to continue, which means that the insurance segment of business and state will have to change. Financial transitions and wages will have to adjust accordingly, as most 228
banks already today have applications for payment and direct communication. More people will have access to information about these changes and they will have the ability to respond directly through social media – having a much larger impact on economy politics and the private financial sector overall. But this is not everything, let’s go back to the customers and power of things. Customers have already gained power since the introduction of social media platforms, which has resulted in a more equal market place. This being far from perfect, it will continue to develop in the direction where buyers have insight in how corporations conduct work and how they don’t. Sustainable choices will be easier to make, encouraging managers to make more intelligent choices when deciding where and
what to purchase and under which conditions. Being the very basis for young professionalsâ€™ communication, they will most likely continue to use social media intensely â€“ market through it, share, like and dislike, as well as expand their circle of use. At the moment, several health applications are currently being presented, developed and although most of them are being in their initial phase, this is something which will transform the whole health industry. Incorporating health into social media will help good medical advice to be more specific and have a more efficient outreach â€“ while at the same time securitizing the information source to be reliable and true. Having an overlook of current state of health and individually created programs for gaining better health and overall wellbeing will hopefully lead to
Thus, integrating social media as a serious channel for communication and data gathering seems to be here to stay.
a healthier world population. Also, creating and using more sophisticated social media platforms for conducting research on a large scale and with much better accuracy is definitely going to be transforming the way in and speed with which analytical studies are being conducted. As Perificent writes on the evolution of social media in healthcare, the three main points of focus for the future are private networks, social patient portals and social analytics and patient data. Thus, integrating social media as a serious channel for communication and data gathering seems to be here to stay. Scientist will have access to even larger data profiles and tools, opening up many new doors into understanding human health and behavior. Patients, doctors and scientist will be able to interact much more
effectively, and the possibility of actually having access to a medical doctor based in another geographical area will grow and become more popular. The ever so huge risk of losing reputation, work and money by being incompetent â€“ and getting it all documented and spread on social media within seconds, will hopefully lead to competence and knowledge being promoted much more frequently in the upcoming years. The ever so apparent and steadily growing use of smart phones and tablets is also going to transform personal relationships. As social media will step into becoming more sophisticated in the forthcoming years, and as it matures and grows along with its users, the potential within is huge. People who would have never interacted will now
be able to do so more and more, through better and more trustworthy channels and with less risk of identity theft as online security evolves rapidly along the way. They will have the ability to discuss interesting topics and do so on a deeper level, building trust and shaping friendships with much less prejudice present in the initial phase. A more structured and inviting social media platform would enable such open conversations and lead interesting themes that are relevant to people from all over the world. But with great power comes great responsibility. Politically, using social media more frequently and with a clear goal in mind, could lead to more equal power distribution, more real time access to current events, and more influence delegated to the population. With this growing access to all sorts of international issues, regional conflicts and local verbal/non-verbal battles, there are risks of adding fuel to the fire by escalating discussions online. Likewise, social media platforms bare a huge responsibility in maintaining their non-political role and promoting online communication. How this will turn out in the future, is yet to be seen. In reasoning around voting systems for the future, there are several different social media applications currently being tested to enable a much broader outreach for voting and simplifying legislative processes.
Social media is definitely here to stay. Pia Manchini and her team are currently developing and testing one of these applications in Argentina, with the hope of making the voting process simple and thus strengthening democratic value in that country as well as all over the world. If this fantastic trend continues, more people will be able to participate in solving local, regional and global issues â€“ gaining more knowledge about democracy and human rights. Measuring polls will be even more accurate, and information on sensitive issues will be much more available to people who arenâ€™t directly affected, however local and secretive. This is a massive step for democratization, allowing for people to talk to other people directly,
without state issues and political strategies coming in their way of communicating. In education, the most awesome evolution would be one in which open source courses are made even more available for people from all over the world. A future online university educational system in which social media is the main communication channel could potentially lead to fantastic outcomes. Currently, there are thousands of courses available online, many of them for free, and if this trend continues it could lead to a gigantic knowledge sharing process. Being able to educate people regardless of their income level, country of origin or any other form of privilege will help evolve the economies, and also make the internet a place for everyone. In combination with the previously mentioned abilities of having access to so much new data, social media based educational systems would naturally be more sensitive to new research findings, which in turn would bring new knowledge directly to the population faster. Of course, none of the above is possible un231
less social media security threats and issues are being dealt with seriously. Infrastructures aimed at enhancing online security, minimizing risks of identity theft and fraud, as well as dealing with legislative issues related to conducting business online will simply have to be ever so present in this evolution of social media.The potential threats to social media, and misusing it for terrorism or criminal activity, will continue to be a strong reminder of the obvious connection between online and offline life – connections worthy of respect and attention. Highly interactive platforms enable propaganda and illegal content to be shared rapidly and with much less risk for the people sharing it – which yet again highlights the importance of having a detailed, structured and intelligent security assessment. These are just a few of many projections on how social media will evolve in the future, its role, form, use, capacity and challenges. Could we expect all of that to happen? Nobody really knows – yet at this current 232
moment in time, the will to use and develop social media in a positive, inclusive and constructive direction seems to dominate the minds of worldwide social media professionals and developers. Threats and issues occur today and will do tomorrow as well, yet with the enormous amount of competence, genius coding pros and software developers – we’ll be just fine. The fantastic potential of social media lies in bringing generations and cultures closer to each other, throuh search for understanding and – whether using written, verbal or video communication – or all of them. Social media is definitely here to stay.
Could we expect all of that to happen? Nobody really knows â€“ yet at this current moment in time, the will to use and develop social media in a positive, inclusive and constructive direction seems to dominate the minds of worldwide social media professionals and developers.
How do you maxim For me this is about incorporating creativity into my work and life as much as possible. And the way I do it is to allow my imagination to flow and be guided by my inner child. Some of us may be doing this naturally without being aware and for others itâ€™s just about being mindful of how to make it work more so. Having an eye for detail and colours I tend to see art and beauty in everything. For me colours are fun, I do not think in black and white. My thoughts are like a rainbow in fact. Instead of typing things up on the computer I prefer to write freestyle in my journals where I use different coloured pens to write and draw ideas which flow on paper. I also match this up with wearing bold colours and colourful make up! If I feel good, then I want to look good too. Which = productivity too. Some of the best ideas by the greatest 234
mize Creativity and Productivty? thinkers and scientists have occurred in dream states where imagination takes over. So the quirkiest ideas actually prove to be fruitful too. What comes to mind is one of my favourite artists Salvador Daliâ€™s work for example. During break times and out of work hours itâ€™s about doing something fun and different. Activities that get us experimenting, self-expression, brain boosted functions where novel ideas may pop up. Being by nature, dancing, painting, singing, debating about topics not work related, sports, these are all natural ways to refresh the mind and energise the body which enhances productivity for me. So in essence it is about letting imagination and that inner rainbow to shine from inside out. â€“ Sonal Shah, Holistic Therapist and Spiritual Advisor 235
Name: Tweet Obsequio (Maria Romera Malabuyo Obsequio) Where do you live: Manila, Philippines Known for: Handmade Artisanal Chocolate Pralines Currently working with: Chocolate production for Selling, Buffet setup and VIP Room Amenities of a five star luxury hotel. When did you realize that you were going to work with this? In 2012, when the hotel that I am currently working opened a Chocolaterie Atelier showcasing my creations. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? Philippines, my birthplace! The country with 7107 islands, worth exploring! How would you describe your creativity? My creativity focuses in crafting artistically palate pleasing chocolate by combining delectable flavors and aesthetic craftsmanship to give people exquisite chocolate experience.
(as the competition is held every 2 years), I realized that this is the skill that I have and that I am being recognized for it therefore, I need to work on this seriously. What do you do at the moment? As the hotel’s Chocolate Chef, I continue on creating different kinds of chocolate bonbons and chocolate showpieces for display. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? If you have the passion in your heart, go for it! Pursuit your dreams, fulfill your destiny and commit to excellence. Tell us how it all started. Being a Financial Management graduate, I was working mostly with paperwork, usually auditing daily cash flow. I was so bored and I wanted to learn to cook so I decided to take an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts. After graduating at the top of my culinary class, I think I owe it to myself to become a chef. In 2006, I had my internship in the Pastry kitchen of a luxury hotel and I was hired after my training as a casual/agency employee, then after a year, as a regular staff for a cook helper position. After my duty hours in the pastry, I often stayed in the chocolate room to practice and learn skills in chocolate.
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? When for the second time, I won the Gold Medal and The L’Assiette D’or Trophy for the Professional Division of Chocolate Pralines. The first one, I considered as first timIn 2009, when the time came that the hoer’s luck but when I did it again after 2 years tel needed a regular staff in the chocolate 238
room to make a new line of pralines to be presented to the General Manager, I was assigned by the Executive Chef to do it. It was day and night of constant experimenting, trial and error of combining various flavors. It went on for a month that every Friday, I had to present different pralines to the General Manager. Both the positive and the negative comments stretched me to work hard in what I do. After that, I made the new line of pralines for the hotel. When a new Executive Chef was hired, noticing my skills and knowing that I don’t have a formal training, he made a program for me to have some training with French MOF expert in the field. What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? I want a quiet workplace with a temperature of 18°C and the humidity to be less than 50%. What is your favorite film? Chocolat, the movie shows how a delicious chocolate bonbons can breakdown a customer’s resistance. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? My Mommy and my Sister. Being with both of them will make me happy. How do you like to spoil yourself? Watching in 3D, Marvel movies with my 2 boys. What is luxury for you?
Luxury for me is going back to school and taking some short courses to upgrade my skills. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? Recently, I got a letter from the Honorable Prince of Malta thanking me for the box of chocolate pralines that I had given him during his visit here in the Philippines. I also received a lot of commendations from Chefs from different parts of the world and it really means so much to me. “Are those made of chocolate or how did you do that?” are the usual reactions of people when they see some of my creations and I like the big smile when they’ve tasted it. What do you fear most? Public Speaking. What is a happy life to you? To wake up in the morning knowing that God has given me another day to live my life with the passion in my heart to fulfill my dreams and to see my children becoming successful in their chosen field. What does a regular day look like for you? A regular day for me would be waking up at 4 am, do some stretching, eat breakfast, read and prepare myself to work which will start at 8 am. Though my work is a 15-minute drive from home, I want to get up early because I don’t like rushing in the morning. I
spend my whole day in the hotel, doing my job as a chocolatier. Tell us about your dream project. To have a playful chocolate class for kids. I donâ€™t know why, but being with kids relaxes me and makes me comfortable. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? Chef Stephane Leroux, Chef Stephane Treand, Chef Ewald Notter, and Chef Jean-Francois Arnaud. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? My style is intricately handcrafted chocolate incorporating the beauty of nature especially the Asian Flora. Which is the one thing you canâ€™t live without? My Family. If it is material thing, a quiet place to be alone to relax and re-charge. What inspires you? Artworks, flower arrangement, almost everything that I see around me, sometimes I imagine how some things would look like if it is made of chocolate. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? Books by Joel Osteen, it made me look at life in a better way.
If you haven’t tried to use your creativity
now’s the r to do it!
There are so many people out there who are creative in one way or another, yet instead of looking for opportunities where that could be used, they choose to neglect that state of mind. Instead, they keep doing what they’ve always done, listening to confirming surroundings and standing in that line of doing things like everyone else, because that’s what life’s about. It’s not. It’s not about that at all.
ing a part of who you are is a good thing to do to make variation happen, or that you should leave that part out although you would really, really like to explore it. But you won’t because nobody in your closest circle of friends and acquaintances has done such a wild thing either.
Life is about many things, including expe-
For some reason, many people who feel that they might be creative don’t actually try to do anything about it, pursue their creativity simply to see what will happen.
riencing all sorts of situations, both tough ones and great ones. That’s called variation and it happens thousands of times, which is great because without it – life would be a straight line of boring and nobody likes that. However, this does not mean that suppress-
The overall notion on risks and fear may have something to do with this behavior, where being safe is better than sorry. Although that theory is definitely true and it is better to not be sorry, the question is whether it really is better to play it safe all
right time the time? Or maybe taking a chance once in a while could be the right thing to do, at least when speaking of pursuing something creative? So, how about doing just that this very moment? Take a minute and reflect on what kind of creativity you think that you have going on in your mind, and then identify where and when you could try it out. Find your form of creativity and go for it, try it out. The least great thing that could hap-
For some reason, many people who feel that they might be creative don’t actually try to do anything about it, pursue their creativity simply to see what will happen.
pen is that you figure that what you thought was you creative field, isn’t really that at all. Then it’s simple, keep trying creative things out until you find yours – it’s out there somewhere. Have you had to go through this process of admitting to be creative and then trying things out? 253
Featured expert article
Creativity - literature Review, Quiz, and What is your Creative Proﾏ進le? By Eyal Policar
It is the hustle and bustle the flurry, fuss and
Defining creativity is a creative act within
It could be sparked internally in our mind,
itself. Mackay (2010) defined creativity as
imaginary or fantasy or external because
coming up with and expressing, new ideas
of our surroundings, usually a concoction
and perspectives. Expressions can take
of both. It is always accompanied with
many forms. It is any act, idea, or product
emotions; the individual ego. Is it possible
that changes an existing domain, or trans-
that the process is always fun? I am not
forms an existing domain into a new one
sure. Whatever the case may be it rarely
(Csikszentmihalyi 1996). Von Stamm (2008)
happens in a vacuum. There is always an in-
passion that stir our imagination to create.
took it one step further. She believed it is the sight, or stimulus, a provocation, or a probtendency to generate or recognize ideas,
lem to be solved which starts the process.
alternatives that may be useful in solving
Moreover, creativity is primarily an individu-
problems. It is about grasping and creating
al act, whether acknowledged or not.
opportunities and adding value (Sherwood 2006).
Under what circumstances, and for what reasons will people expose their creativity?
We are not talking about an act of creation
It maybe the need to communicate new
in the biblical sense, something out of noth-
ideas and values (Franken 2006), and when
ing. The more familiar the parts, the more
assured the novelty will be recognized not
striking the new whole (Koestler cited by
ridiculed, when it has a sense of reality and
Sherwood 2006), or as Hadamard explains,
monetary or other worthwhile values. It is
seeing things differently, but not in any
rarely clear sailing and most often accom-
different way, and that no one has seen
panied by much confusion, and struggling,
it before (Hadamard cited by Dorfler et al
until it becomes clear. Since emotions,
feelings and egos are involved disclosure is always complex.
In order to be creative one has to see things from a different perspective to be
In summary; Creativity demands talent, al-
unique, to tolerate flexibility and be unpre-
ternative thinking, diversity BUT within some
dictable (Franken 2006).
orderliness. As such, creativity sits well with the complexity issue.
A plethora of ideas as to how to coax cre-
Employ people that can think differ-
ativity has been investigated. Csikszent-
ent, behave differently and not be
mihalyi believed in familiar comfortable
afraid to voice their ideas.
settings (Csikszentmihalyi 1996). He also dif-
Initiate and encourage a working
ferentiated between creativity and Creativ-
environment that stimulates creativity
ity (capitol C): the former personal the latter
and failure coupled with honest criti-
for the organization, community or society.
Contrarily it is possible that taking a person/ people out of their familiar surroundings will
This is the driving force for transforma-
tion in an organization. The very basic essence and we can define it as the
Creating creative value
discipline for creativity, another great
Creativity becomes important when it
becomes reality and creates commercial value. Some will argue this point however
Transforming creativity in an organization
the literature is very clear. Creativity for the
According to Kotter most major change
sake of creativity may have internal value
initiatives, whether intended to boost qual-
for that person, but going unnoticed has
ity, improve culture or reverse a corporate
little meaning for society.
death spiral… fail miserably (Kotter 1996). It may be the day to day pressures, econom-
It is not something where someone who
ic constraints, lack of leadership, or poor
has never worked in that domain suddenly
insight that entangles the situation. Under-
gets a marvellous idea. Should that happen
standing Organizations means understand-
it will probably fail economically? Failure
ing both what mangers do and how it can
is an important part of the creativity value
be structured (Carnall 2007). Pfeffer and
mechanism. Fail, learn and create, suggests
Sutton (2006) were very dramatic when ex-
Jablokow (2014). Matson (2014) insist this
plaining the difference between a routine
be done in what he calls the IFF principle,
management that rewards success and
intelligent fast failure, meaning move on
punish failure and inaction versus a creative
and don’t harbour if things are not working.
management that rewards success and
Organizational success concerning creativi-
failure and punish inactivity. Kotter (1996)
ty will need to
believed that it is a process advancing 257
through stages that built on each other not
dedication and commitment (Isaksen-Tidd
2006) for success to reign.
Is there a proven recipe for successful trans-
Indeed the challenge of any organization
formation of creativity? The scholarships
is moving forward. According to Handy
points to no.
(2002), “we are victims of events far beyond our control”, whereas Leadbeater (2005)
Senior believed team creativity is essen-
argued that big cooperation’s have a built
tial to improve and develop new prod-
in dependency to reinforce past success.
ucts and services (Senior & Fleming 2006).
The more often you do something - partic-
Brainstorming is a popular way to combine
ularly if you are successful at it - the harder
ideas into new ways, if certain rules such
it is to find new ways of doing it. We be-
as restricting criticism, freewheeling, and
come trapped by familiarity, programmed
synthesising critical analysis are observed.
by habit. To find new ways of doing things
(Osborn 1953). Isaksen mentioned dichoto-
- to innovate - we have to break out of
my of the creative process… whereas some
the familiar; we must “unlearn” our habits
of these conditions require suspension of
(Sherwood 2001). Kotter stated that “it is
control (Isaksen-Tidd 2006). Organizations
management’s responsibility to set process-
with a knack for creativity apply the differ-
es that can keep a complicated system of
ent atmosphere policies such as giving free
people and technology running smoothly,
think days, encouraging employees, to go
including planning, budgeting, organizing,
someplace, or at given intervals work on
staffing, controlling and problem solving”
anything but your designated workload.
(Kotter 1996). If we accept this statement,
The idea is to encourage and enhance the
we understand why many organizations
creative process. Johnson used the meta-
falter. Keeping a complicated system of
phor of slow incubation moments (Johnson
people and technology running becomes
2001). . The process of creativity could be a
the crucial challenge. Handy believed that
multi shared type process in which case the
the real energy for change be it personal
new idea/s may differ substantially for the
or in an organization comes when you are
individuals involved, sparking new dimen-
looking disaster in the face (Handy 2002).
sions. Whatever the case may be there has to be a general atmosphere of devotion, 258
All and all, scholars in the field agree that
creativity is the foundation of innovation. Creativity and innovation are related but separate concepts. It is the matrimony of the two that breeds success. Creativity is about having ideas. Innovation is a much broader concept it involves using the creative process for gains. Von Stamm provides a useful distinction between creative and innovative people: creative people think differently and innovative people behave differently (Von Stamm 2008). But letâ€™s talk about innovation another time. Creativity is something you can learn and that means that practice makes perfect. So letâ€™s practice. Have a look at the picture below. It shows a person holding a block of wood. What will happen to the piece of wood when the person lets go of it? Try to think of some farfetched creative answers.
Answer at the end of this artic
your creative profile? Everyone is creative. Some are more divergent others convergent (Jablokow 2014). Some will be good in giving creative answers within the box others will look outside of the box. The truth is that some situations demand the former other times the latter. BUT if you are more an adaptive character you will more likely look for answers within the structure and vice-versa. So who are you? Answer the questionnaire and you will know: (Derived from Kirton diversity model)
1-Select a radio button to indicate which statement describes you best and to what degree.
2-Select a radio button to indicate which statement describes you best and to what degree.
3-Select a radio button to indicate which statement describes you best and to what degree.
4-Select a radio button to indicate which statement describes you best and to what degree.
5-Select a radio button to indicate which statement describes you best and to what degree.
6-Select a radio button to indicate which statement describes you best and to what degree.
7-Select a radio button to indicate which statement describes you best and to what degree.
8-Select a radio button to indicate which statement describes you best and to what degree.
9-Select a radio button to indicate which statement describes you best and to what degree.
10-Select a radio button to indicate which statement describes you best and to what degree.
Step 1: Add all the even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8, 10) from right to left ďƒ&#x;Step 2: Add all the odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, and 9) from left to right -ďƒ Example: If in question 1 you marked the first button (just like me) you have 1 point. If in question 2 you marked the third button (somewhat like me) you have 7 points And so on
Use your result and the table below to determine your estimated creative style
10-21: Strong Adaptive Preference 22-34: Moderate Adaptive Preference 35-50: Mild Adaptive Preference 51-65: Mild Innovative Preference 66-78: Moderate Innovative Preference 79-90: Strong Innovative Preference In the graph below you can see where you are according to your results. A person with a mildly creative style prefers more structure (adaptive) than someone with a strongly innovative creative style, please remember its relative! To find out more you can contact me.
Some myths about Creativity: The smarter you are, the more creative you will be The young are more creative than the old Creativity is reserved for a few – the flamboyant risk-takers Creativity is a solitary act
And now for the answer to the Quiz picture:
On earth the wood will fall
Under water the wood will go up
In space it will not move
Eyal Policar: Eyal is a leading innovation and change specialist, skilled lecturer and researcher, highly creative mind and passionate entrepreneur. Besides being a business man in Agriculture with a 5 hectare farm and extensive knowledge in production of foods, food security and medicinal herbs, he has also developed the FEST (Framework for Evaluation and Solution Technique). In order to know more about him and his work, please do contact him at email@example.com. Bibliography Carnall, C. (2007). “Managing Change in Organizations”. Pearson education press Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). “Creativity”. Harper Collins Dorfler, V., Baracskai, Z., Velencei, J. (2010) “Understanding Creativity Transactions on Advanced Research”. [Internet], 6(2) July, pp.17-25 Available from <http://www.viktordorfler.com/webdav/papers/UnderstandingCreativity.pdf> Franken R. E. (2006) “Human Motivation”, 3rd ed., Brooks/Cole Publishing Co. Handy, C. (1985). “Understanding Organizations” Penguin Jablokow, C. (2014). “Coursera course on creativity innovation and change “https://class. coursera.org Johnson, G., (2001). “Mapping and remapping organisational culture: 2001 A local governments Example” Kirton, M., J. (2011) “Adaptation-Innovation”. Routledge press. Kotter, J. (1996). “Power and Influence”. The Free Press Mackay, J. (2010). “Creativity power point”. York St. John University, leadining Innovation and Chance MA program. Matson, J. (2014). “Coursera course on creativity innovation and change”https://class. coursera.org Leadbeater, C. (2005). www.ted.com/talks/charles_leadbeater_on_innovation.htm Osborn, A. F. (1953). “Applied Imagination”. New York: Scribner, Pfeiffer, J., Sutton R., I. (2006). “Hard Facts”. Harvard business school publishing. Senior, B., Fleming J., (2006). “Organizational Change”. Prentice Hall Sherwood, D. (2006) “Smart things to know about Innovation and creativity”. Capstone Publishing, Kindle edition Von Stamm, B., (2008) “Managing Innovation, Design & Creativity”.2nd Ed.San FranciscoWiley
How do you maxim I am a freelance Desgner and Art Director, with 12+ years in the design industry.
My daily work is to come up with the designs and creative solutions for the projects ranging from web and print to video and animation. That being said, I often have to bring my creativity and productivity to the highest level. Creativity, for me personally comes from observing the world and being curious. I am very passionate about what I do. Thinking out of the box and being disruptive will take me to some design/creative solutions Iâ€™ve never would have thought of. Stay curious and not knowing often makes my experience really unique. Iâ€™m not afraid of exploring new ideas. If some designs looks crazy, I just say 4 words to myself Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I like to surround myself 270
mize Creativity and Productivty? with likeminded people. It is a great way to feed of each other’s inspiration and spark the creativity. I like working on several different projects at the same time. That helps me to keep that edgy creativity. Juggling between the projects gives me a fresh and clean vision about the project. Also, when I “hit the wall” with one project, I can always switch to another, and come back later for the previous one with “fresh eyes” and finish it. Over the years I’ve found that an essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. “Finished is better than perfect” – someone once said. That brings me to the question of productivity. To keep my productivity level at maximum I stay focused and organized. Being goal oriented and professional is the way
to go. At the beginning of every project I would set the goals, break them in to smaller tasks and prioritize them, and go from there one step at a time. Over the years of freelance work for clients from all over the world, I’ve found out that having good communication skills help a lot. At last but not least are the tools! I’m investing a lot of time to learn the new software and different workflows. Always reward yourself, after a job well done. At the end of the day it is all about work/life balance. Never forget that we all share one same currency – TIME. – Aleksandar Sofranac, Designer/Art Director 271
Name: Nizar Khalili Where do you live: Dubai, United Arab Emirates Known for: Art Director and Visual Effects Specialist Currently working on: Currently working on three personal projects, “Little Adam”, “Niz.co”, and “Lost On Earth”. When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area? At age 20. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? That would be in nature away from buildings and technology, because Earth is a very beautiful and peaceful place to live in a healthy environment. How would you describe your creativity?
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? Value time by hiring creative minds who can create original unique ideas in less time because they have the experience, and value quality, most important thing to get the best quality is specialization, what i mean in specialization is to divide your team to departments, don’t go cheap and hire one person to do five artists’ work – 3D modelling needs a pro 3D modeller, 2D cartoon needs a pro 2D sketch artist.. And so on... Tell us how it all started. I used to be a good pencil artist, drawing cartoon characters when I was 10, I loved Arts class in school. Then, I was dazzled by the realism of the dinosaurs when I watched Jurassic Park in 1993 – that’s when I transferred my art to a whole new level.
It is a mixture of Ideas, rhythm, and imagination, all combined to form a creative masterpiece.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? Light ambiance and music.
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? At the age of 22 I discovered that what I was learning in college was very basic and I skipped college to work in the field that I love the most.
What is your favorite film? Avatar.
What do you do at the moment? I am currently working with a TV Station as Head of Creative Department. 274
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? My wife, because she is a great support and inspiration to me and has a lot of patience to handle my mood and working hours. How do you like to spoil yourself?
Watch a new exciting block buster movie and enjoy a large popcorn. What is luxury for you? A peaceful and relaxed clear mind. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? The nicest compliment was, “you are a life saviour” and it was from a client who was hopeless to fix a really damaged visual effects footage in a very short notice.
The Great Filmmaker James Cameron. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? My work style is all about managing time, staying organized, stick to the time table that I create for each project, maintain speed, quality and accuracy. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? Knowledge.
What do you fear most? Losing time.
What inspires you? Music and Movies.
What is a happy life to you? There is no such thing as happy life, happy is an emotion that comes in a specific period of time, you want to live a happy life? Try not to be sad, or stressed, or angry as much as possible.
A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? The Secret.
What does a regular day look like for you? Wake up in the morning for a nice hot cup of coffee, go to work, create new ideas and face new challenges, come back home, enjoy my time with my wife and son, work on my personal projects, and then watch a movie to fall asleep. Tell us about your dream project. My dream project…is to be the founder and owner of the largest film-making studio. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? 275
The powerful way
(and learning about)
Question? Answer. Right or wrong. Question? Answer. Right, or wrong. Question? Right, wrong, whatever. And answer once again. This is the story of teaching, whether we speak of schools, universities, workplaces or organizations, and is that really a great idea if the goal is for the students to learn something? In a time where we have access to so much data and information online, is it really necessary to be able to recite all sorts of things on exams and tests, as opposed to actually think? Of course, at some point there are no other options but to ask those very informative kinds of questions, but well – let’s talk about the times when there are other options. In cases when creativity is highly attractive, creative skills and ways of thinking have to be continuously developed. How does that happen? Well, first of all there needs to be plenty of space in which to try stuff out. Do you have ideas, new ideas? How will you know if they work? Reading about other people who’ve tried them out? Well, absolutely, if there are such cases, but often there isn’t, not if the idea is really unique. So space is important. What else? Freedom. The freedom to ask questions with rather broad possible answers, all depending on a set of circumstances influencing your own idea.
Open questions are important for any creative work to happen. Ideas are ideas, and in order for them to be realized, this must be tested. Testing by defining clear, solid questions to which there are a narrow line in which to answer, isn’t going to bring much success in creative terms because you don’t know what you can expect. Having an open question is far more suitable for potentially really great, creative outcome. Have the courage to ask these open questions and try ideas out. Be confident to trust your potential and your capacity to ask open questions and strive to learn as much as possible in the process of testing ideas. What’s your opinion on open questions? Do you feel that you teach/learn more by asking/answering them? Do they contribute to a better outcome?
Our senses and creativity
Smell of the times during one day, in which you are affected by smell, how many can you think of? Are you aware of the way in which these experiences interact with each other and what that means to you? Our senses are the main gateways for understanding the world – they are the tools which we use to process and understand external influences. As we talked about
According to the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, smell is;
sight last time, this time we will be diving
“..to perceive the odor or scent of through
into the amazing world of smell. Yes, smell.
stimuli affecting the olfactory nerves: get
When someone says that word, what is the
the odor or scent of with the nose”
first thing that comes to mind? If you think
Let’s start with the basic definition of things.
Making sense, yes. Now, if we think about it a bit deeper, there are some fantastic and interesting levels of consciousness to reach. We sniff pretty much everything and anything. Do you remember that time when reading print newspapers was cool? Do you remem-
was packed in smelly newspaper? If you’ve tried it, then you know what this is about.
The point is, the smell of wet dog will not be limited to him only, but to your couch, carpet, bed and if you’re lucky – your clothes as well.
Now, have you had the chance to smell
ber the smell of freshly pressed news? Yes,
yes you do. And all of the people who
a wet dog? “Stinky situation” would be to put it mildly, and your nose may never forget you for allowing that to happen. The intensity with which this smell slaps anyone and everyone right in the face is a call for bathing action – which in itself is yet another story. The point is, the smell of wet dog will not be limited to him only, but to your couch, carpet, bed and if you’re lucky – your clothes as well. Pulling a positive aspect out of this is that if you’ve had a dog ever before, maybe as a kid, you will most likely find that smell of wet dog convenient, reminding you of those stinky days with your
still choose to read printed newspapers
Which conveniently brings us to the re-
out there – there might be a semi-con-
lationship between smell and memories.
scious level of actually enjoying the smell
Do you know how many of your memo-
of it. Maybe it brings back nice memories
ries have a direct or indirect association
of spending time with some older family
to smell? Try to recall any of them. Was it
member, maybe it sends out an authentic
a positive memory, a happy experience?
feeling in the whole body, maybe it’s something completely different. Wasn’t there some sort of candy which, back in the days, 287
Probably. Our senses leave quite an intense memory for us to associate good experience with something to look forward to once again, or something which is OK, even encouraged, to do. Do you associate being over at a friend’s house as a kid, with a certain smell? Or staying at your grandparents’ home, with the scent of freshly baked cookies and maybe some nice flowers reminding you how fun it was to spend time there?
Nothing beats familiarity in business, and time is the main investment, folks. highly influencing and determining the whole experience of that stay. The slightly different fresh air, the sea and sand, the mountains and forests all have their impact.
The smell of coffee in the morning, or from
Other people too, and the very simple
newly mowed lawns nearby, or scented
movement of them all, customs on how
candles, cookies, shampoos, soaps, you
close or far a distance is best to keep when
name it – everything smells and all of it has
talking – even that is directly affecting how
an impact on your life, on a daily basis.
much data will be processed through this
When traveling abroad, the new scents
and smells of a new place, new nature, new environment and new culture are all 288
At times though, we’re biased. If we perceive environments and people as inter-
Likewise, if someone you know uses a certain perfume, you associate this person directly with that fragrance.
esting and fun for any reason, the way in which we receive data from them will be processed accordingly. Standing in the middle of a crowd of people, while it’s June and they all smell like they just left the fitness center is not describing one of those times. Likewise, if someone you know uses a certain perfume, you associate this person directly with that fragrance. If you happen to meet someone else who is wearing that scent, one of two things will happen – either you’ll find that person to be something extra, or you’ll feel as though s/he has hijacked someone else’s scent. Now, that depends on how that single scent factor interacts with the other senses. As we speak of people, there probably aren’t too many of them who dislike to smell good. Fragrance is a multi-million dollar business in which big brands make sure to, 289
And we’re down to attention. As in people-meeting-each-other attention. in any way possible, associate their assortment of sniffs with the feeling of luxury and status. That’s why there’s even a hierarchy built up by businesses and supported by consumers – since smelling good is adding
with what is visually expressive on a smartphone or tablet (mostly now, since TV is out), activating people’s smell sense without producing any scent at all. Which is genius and beautiful if you take the art behind marketing into consideration. Add a dose of awareness and you get an experience every time you watch an ad of any sort, as for its shallow invitation through deep knowledge of senses and receiving attention.
value to the first impression of people who
And we’re down to attention. As in peo-
meet in real life, that’s simply a given prod-
ple-meeting-each-other attention. Smell is
uct. Likewise, any other consumer products
said to be how we human beings find our
involving scent and fragrance are highly
matching mate, however subconscious
dependent on creating memories with
that might be and this is very interesting.
those specific chemical mixes of scents, so
As we mammals may not acknowledge
as to implant a convenient set of emotions
our partner’s scent as strongly as any com-
in people over time.
mercially produced fragrance, the pher-
Nothing beats familiarity in business, and time is the main investment, folks. In commercials, these advertising geniuses do their best so as to associate fragrance 290
omones we all produce is what is said to
be behind this great self-match-making process. According to the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, a pheromone is: “a chemical substance that is produced by an animal and serves especially as a stimulus to other individuals of the same species for one or more behavioral responses— called also ectohormone” This subconscious smell producing attribute
will most definitely be a continuation of exposure to this kind of high-tech fragrances. Then there’s food.
of ours therefore is yet another way of com-
The out-of-this-world experience of scenting
municating things, of which several busi-
something tasty from the kitchen about to
nesses have tried to find out more. Monetiz-
be eaten in a matter of minutes, at times
ing the very concept of pheromones hasn’t
when hungry, is beyond awesome. Spices,
been too easy though due to the pure
the familiar mix of foods that you like, the
complexity of biology, but the scientific
combination of oils and the knowledge of
research investments lately prove that there
what that certain smell indicates is pretty
Maybe that specific food was connected to an event at which bad things happened, maybe it was associated with a negative talk, a sad occurrence, a moment of questioning the self.
priceless. Even when you’re not that hungry, sensing the smell of that magic being prepared will most likely get you in the right mood, a while after which you’ll be enjoying a nice, tasty meal. Likewise, the same idea applies for untasty (it’s a word) food, that kind which you’ve never enjoyed for various reasons and which you can sense from a mile away. Maybe that specific food was connected to an event at which bad things happened, maybe it was associated with a 291
negative talk, a sad occurrence, a moment of questioning the self. With a consequence that might change your whole mood for that moment, hour or even day, constantly referring you to those previous memories
Our culture shapes our mindset quite a lot, and growing up in an atmosphere where food was associated with quilt is enough for anyone to react on it quite differently.
of others kindly suggesting that you should eat “everything on that plate”. Our culture
breath. It doesn’t. Likewise, vanilla from a
shapes our mindset quite a lot, and growing
big, nice cup of vanilla scented tea will not
up in an atmosphere where food was as-
smell the same as vanilla from a cake or
sociated with quilt is enough for anyone to
vanilla from a perfume. The scent and how
react on it quite differently.
the reception of smell happens depends
No, no, you shouldn’t. Speaking of food, how you process smell also depends from where it comes. Garlic doesn’t smell the same if you receive it from a delicious pasta dish versus from someone’s (who has been eating that dish) bad 292
highly on the interaction that smell experiences with other senses, such as in these cases sight and taste. Also, too high of a concentration of scents (have you been to a fragrance store?) might overwhelm the smell sense and instead of giving pleasure, lead to headache and other negative con-
of “that person has the wrong scent, this is not him/her”, which is pretty funny if you think about it. All of our senses are interconnected and work together, and when building such a strong connection between scent and let’s say, touch – you’ve got sequences.
plenty of room for misunderstandings.
But then there are times when things aren’t
Now, if we move along to nature and
fantastic – as when you’re having a cold.
outdoors, the environment and our larger
Suddenly, things don’t smell the same,
chocolate might be smelling like something out of this world and the last thing you would want to do is be around someone who has even a little dose of perfume. Speaking of which…. There are those people who lack all sorts of limits, marinating themselves in (insert brand name) fragrances like there’s no tomorrow, spending half their paycheck on building a monthly stock of smelly products and without necessarily using water as means of getting rid of it all once in a while. Which has been proved to be quite useful. Then, there are those scents which you might directly associate with a love, someone important to you, someone who you respect a lot and even maybe admire. Lo-
Anyone spending even a short period of time out in the woods, or in a garden – anyplace with nature – is also quite intensely struck by the different scents of trees, leaves, grass, flowers, and even the air itself. The smell of rain after a hot day, the fresh air on a snowy one and the dry air during summer time all feel different, your response to them all is different and uniquely
calizing this scent on another person could then prove to be such a confusing moment 293
All of our senses are interconnected and work together, and when building such a strong connection between scent and let’s say, touch – you’ve got plenty of room for misunderstandings. adjusted to the given circumstance. Flowers, the intensity of scents as you pass by a garden with roses – so many little smelly things are going on almost on a daily basis, which we might not acknowledge but which are likely to change our mood from the not-nice one to a happy one.
Smell matters. Chemicals in processed foods also affect us a lot, although in a much more negative way than those from nature. Have you tried to smell Coca-Cola or any other soft drink? Or highly processed, sugary foods like cookies and hotdogs? When you get the chance, take a deep breath and try it out – they don’t smell nicely at all, which might come as a surprise considering that most people would agree that they don’t taste that bad. Well, the taste sense has an advantage on food questions, naturally,
This misuse can also take unfortunate turns. Imagine this scenario – you walk into a restaurant to get some food. You’ve been there hundreds of times and you know that and this might explain the reason for why
the food is absolutely fantastic, as the staff
we decide to eat badly smelly, vitamin free
is great and friendly and the ingredients
foods over the healthy, natural ones.
are fresh. As you walk in, you’re suddenly
As seen above, smell can be highly misused as well, and marketing experts are quite aware of that – which they call “a part of the marketing strategy”. Have
you ever entered a shop which smells so good, like cinnamon and chocolate and coffee and herbs all mixed together? And then your
other sense, sight, observes a room filled with colorful fabrics and things, furniture, plates – you name it. You walk around and basically look at everything, although not having an initial thought of buying something, you’ll walk away from there with a thing or a scented candle – which was the
struck by the intense smell of toilet, and as you hardly make it to front desk, you’re not as interested in buying that food anymore. And you’ll probably go there much less often than before this incident. Likewise, even if this restaurant changes owners, renovates
You don’t have to see it or touch it or taste it or hear it to believe it – smell is enough.
very first reason for why you walked inside in the first place. This is so successful in retail stores’ marketing of products because it speaks directly to a sense – which for most of us is much more influential than strictly rational channels of communication.
and completely change their concept – that smelly situation will stick around in your mind. Maybe this is a self-defense mechanism, a way in which to make sure that your nose never has to experience such a traumatic event.
Sometimes, quite often, the senses aren’t responding to what is actually going on externally, but from memories, thoughts, ideas and concepts that might have very little to do with reality and the real world.
Smell is also a fantastic detector mechanism of disaster and other negative occurrences. Think about it, if you smell smoke
The above examples and situations tell us
from something on fire, you’ll probably
something else as well – your expectations
become alert and speedy until you figure
lay the ground for how your senses will
out what exactly is going on. You don’t
process data, and sensory habits go a long
have to see it or touch it or taste it or hear
way in leading how we live our lives. What
it to believe it – smell is enough. Confirming
we mentioned before on smart market-
it though, might need some of the other
ing pros using their knowledge to create a
senses to be processing input as well, as in
sense of expectation, luxury, familiarity – this
the case of a fire and several other notions
is further confirmed by the many, many
situations like the above described. We tend to develop a preference for certain scents, associating them with a certain situation, delegating a set of attributes which we consider to be a “natural part of that
Many people who have been in wars to get flashbacks and irrational reactions from the smell of fireworks, others might associate the rain with a bad experience outdoors. These responses to external data (scents, in this case) can at timesprove to be difficult to deal with, making interaction with other people impossible or very difficult. On the scent”. However subconsciously. If you smell other hand, realizing that some reactions coffee when you walk into a store, you will associated with certain scents are irrational immediately think of coffee, maybe urge
or unreasonable is the first step of erasing
for one, get a sudden idea to visit a coffee
them and becoming more aware of the
shop later – but you will not associate the current shop’sproducts (screws and tools) with the coffee, despite the level of exposure. Sometimes, quite often, the senses aren’t responding from what is actually going on externally, but to memories, thoughts, ideas and concepts that might have very little to do with reality and the real world. A great example of that is the immediate fear that occupies a mind when exposed to a smell which is familiar, but for the wrong reasons.
On the other hand, realizing that some reactions associated with certain scents are irrational or unreasonable is the first step of erasing them and becoming more aware of the self. 297
Nevertheless, underestimating this important sense isn’t an option, because of its tremendous power of influence. interest in understanding yourself as much as possible – to be able to understand the world. Now, there are situations in which irrational sensory responses occur and this is where self-awareness comes into the self.
picture. By seeking to understand yourself
To round this up, smell is a powerful process-
to external influence, you will be able to
ing tool for turning data into creativity, and being aware of the many ways in which smell affects your daily life and choices paints a thinking pattern and a behavioral pattern. This is unique to you and highly dependent of your previous experiences, previous level of awareness and general
and your thoughts, responses and reactions learn more about the world as well. There’s a complexity within the interaction of different scents, and our ability to consciously understand them and be aware of how they affect us. Nevertheless, underestimating this important sense isn’t an option, because of its tremendous power of influence. Mixing two scents (coffee and cake) is awesome, while mixing two other scents (shampoo
Bring this wisdom with you and explore the smell dimension of human interaction to be able to understand the world’s complexity and have fun along the way. and cake) isn’t. It’s simple.
Have you been reflecting on smell and how it affects every little thing in your life?
â€œToo often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.â€? Leo Buscaglia
â€œA creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.â€? Ayn Rand
How do you maxim
It may seem that in Human Resources or Recruiting, there are very few “creative” ideas left. We generally do the same thing in different places or in slightly different ways to accomplish a result and hire an employee. However, in this process, we may lose sight of making sure that we are hiring the best fit for our company and culture. Obviously, we want people with the right skills who will also enjoy being a part of our organization. On that note, one way of utilizing the creativity of the entire team is to have the different groups create a blog to attract people to their group and not just to their “job”. They blog about their working environment. They blog about their unique challenges. They blog about the amazing results they achieve. They blog about the way that they collaborate as a team and 302
mize Creativity and Productivty? the fun things that they do together. They may even blog about the ways that they volunteer in the community or give back to the world, as a group and as a company. This level of creativity allows me to accomplish my goals while making my work fun and collaborative while leveraging my own and others creativity and ideas! â€“ Melissa Benedetti, Global Strategic Talent Acquisition & Management Professional
Name: Andjela Stamenković Where do you live: Belgrade, Serbia Known for: Acting, being a casting director, and founder of a casting agency. Currently working as: As a casting director in my casting agency “Savtajglumac”. When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area? As an actor you don’t have much space for any initiative, all you can do is sit around and wait for your opportunity or go to the opening nights, parties, meet people but not much depends on you. A few years ago I figured that I am a person who likes to follow her own idea, to cooperate with people, to make something on her own. So I decided to investigate the fortune of actors from a different perspective and with a friend of mine opened a casting agency which takes good care of actors. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? I still haven’t decided that. In a few months I’ll be visiting Tokyo and who knows… For now my city is Belgrade and I live with it – sometimes I hate it, sometimes I’m in love with it. How would you describe your creativity? As a sudden rush, I cannot resist it; it has to be done fast and perfect. 306
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? The serious manner has come to us by itself. It just happened and in time when we have realized that we were working, we already had our office in the center of the city. The actors are coming in day by day, productions are calling us. Everything has started as an idea to make some space in Serbian media for actors. At first we wanted to make a TV show in which we would be talking to actors about everything, and we did a pilot and tried to sell it to a few Serbian TV stations. The problem was that no one of us had watched TV for a long time because of its content. So while we were trying to get to the TV stations one day we looked on our papers where we wrote goals for our firm and the steps by which to achieve them, and we suddenly realized that we have completed more steps towards making a casting agency than to sell a TV show and everything was clear – leave the show for later and start working on a casting agency. What do you do at the moment? At the moment I am trying to establish my agency so I could have more time to work on creative projects that I have in mind, in which to start an independent production where all the beautiful actors that we have found can act. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative busi-
ness? Just believe in yourself and everything is possible. Of course you have to work hard as well.
whom? I think the best compliment is the one that moves you. I was taking analog pictures for years. I have a few analogue cameras that I bought every time when I traveled, bringing cameras with me all the time when it’s sunny going across the town to take pictures. I was begging my friends and family to bring me the film from abroad but never
Tell us how it all started. It all started in my kitchen. I and my friend and colleague were trying to figure out what we should do with our lives. Being mothers and actresses, thus not being able actually thought I should do something to participate much in night life, we wanted more with those photos than put them in to do something on our own, so we did just frames in my kitchen or post it all on Facethat. book. And one day a friend of mine asked me “why don’t you make an exhibition of What is the most important thing in a workit?” In a week I did it. place/studio for you? Energy. Plants. Light. What is your favorite film? Oh, there is more than one – Mulholland drive, True romance, Amarcord. It’s so lovely…. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? Hm… John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands... Don’t know why… They inspired me a lot in my life. How do you like to spoil yourself? I am already spoiled enough if you ask my husband. What is luxury for you? Luxury is a calm and happy life. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from
What do you fear most? Don’t think of fears. They’re small and stupid. Except rats. They’re not. What is a happy life to you? Filled with love and creativity. What does a regular day look like for you? No way that I can describe it – daughter, dog, husband, love, work sometimes from my kitchen table, sometimes from my office, run here, run there… Go to the bank… No real routine. Tell us about your dream project. My dream project would be to establish some actors union in Serbia that would protect the actors’ rights. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? Jessica Lange.
How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? Authentic, sophisticated, emotional. What inspires you? People and nature, people who live like one with nature. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? Hopscotch by Julio Cortรกzar.
How do you maxim Hello, dear friends, I am Ashish Gor â€“ an Artist, Photographer, Interior Designer, and working at the School of Architecture since 1990. Based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. As we all know that a relaxed mind generates more power. So, in order to maximize creativity and productivity, I do meditation â€“ that is relaxing the body and mind and slowing down the brain frequency to 7 to 14 cycles per second.
This is the Alpha state of mind. At this level, the Sub-conscious mind or the right part of the brain is more active and left and right brain both function at centered axis. This is a creative realm. 314
mize Creativity and Productivty? As we all know, it is scientifically proved that at this level, right brain gets activated and visualization, imagination, intuition, sensing without the senses (All five physical Senses) are the main facilities of the right brain. This helps to enhance creative energy, focus and creative ideas, solutions or remedies and thereby functioning creatively, efficiently at an outer conscious level to execute the ideas comfortably, peacefully, and successfully without any struggle. This is what I do regularly to maximize creativity and productivity. I hope this will help you too, if you keep trying. I would love to know your feedback. Thanks â€“ Ashish Gor, Artist & Interior Designer 315
Name: Tom Slotten Where do you live? Pasadena, California, USA Known for: Costume Design Currently actual with: Designing costumes and teaching at Occidental College. When did you realize that you were going to work with this? After exploring several different career paths, in my late 20s I finally had the opportunity to “try my hand” at theater design and have been at it ever since. If you could choose only one place to live, where would that be and why? As they say, “home is where the heart is”. So, wherever I can be with my husband is good enough for me. Of course it would be nice if we had studio space (which we do have now), close proximity to creative stimulation (museums, etc.; which we do have now), and wonderful scenery to enjoy (water, mountains, beautiful buildings; which we have most of now — more water please!). How would you describe your creativity? I am lucky enough to have multiple, ongoing creative challenges throughout the costume design and construction process. Initially reading and analyzing the script — seeing the play in my imagination is wonderful. This phase is all about dreaming with 318
no restrictions. Then the dreaming becomes more “practical” through discussions with the director, set and lighting designers. This leads to specific choices regarding setting, time period and characters. For me the most enjoyable phase is next — researching the period and characters. I have always enjoyed history, so I try to immerse myself into the world of the play through research, whether the story is contemporary or set in the past. My goal is always to help create believable characters. I try to create designs that are grounded in some type of “reality”, even if the characters are fantastical or exaggerated. Studying images of clothing and people from the past, looking at current fashion, goggling paintings and sculpture, watching a lot of movies and learning how people have lived is the best part of the job for me. Now comes the challenge of putting ideas inspired by the research into some type of visual presentation for the rest of the design team to see. Creating the costume sketch is an especially challenging part of the job for me. I guess I am one of those who are not very confident with their ability to create sketches meeting their own expectations. For me, the sketch should convey several things simultaneously — the look of the costume on the actor, as well as how the costume could be used by the actor, to help tell the story — creating a character. This is a major difference between costume and
tion skills and craft makes all the difference. After graduation from graduate school, my husband and I were looking for projects we Over the years, I have developed a sketchcould do together. We started to make fine ing process that begins with a computer art dolls together. This was back before very collage of images for each character. Then many people were doing this. He sculpted a pencil sketch follows. This step allows me the figure and I did the costume. We both to make both design decisions â€” what are love movies and he is a fantastic caricathe proportions, what should the fabric be, turist, so many of the dolls we made were what should the accessories be and conof movie stars. This was great construction struction decisions â€” where will the opening training for me. We would pick a costume be, where should the seams be, will there from a favorite film. I would study every anbe gathers, pleats or tucks? gle I could get from the video, and then try to figure out how the costume was made. The sketch is then scanned and colored in Photoshop, if time allows. Generally we are We ended up making over one hundred art dolls. This turned out to be great help in the so pressed for time that the best I can do is future! staple a piece of the proposed fabrics to the sketches. How and when did you start to work with Sketches are then reviewed by the director, this in a serious manner? My post-graduate education was the first for either approval or notes. Once apreal opportunity to gain some training, skills proved, the sketches are used as the blueprint for either constructing a new costume and experience. I took some community college theater design courses before or altering an existing one. being accepted as a graduate student in The construction phase involves a new set theater design. of creative decisions. The ideas from the sketches are interpreted and tested. Hope- What do you do at the moment? fully they work. If not, new solutions must be I am the costume designer, costume shop manager and a lecturer for Occidental found to make the ideas from the sketch College. a workable reality for the actor on stage. fashion. For fashion the clothes lead, for costumes the character must always lead.
Building the costumes is, for me, just as creative as designing them. There are innumerable choices to be made and challenges to be met. As with design, practicing your construc-
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? When I was a freelance designer the two key components were: a strong emotion-
al and creative support system and trying to get enough rest. I found that “when it rained, it poured”, so juggling several projects at once, running from one theater to the next took a toll physically and emotionally. Sometimes it just gets to be too much, but usually it all worked out just fine and then there was a bit of a rest. Then it is on to the next project. In my experience, freelance costume design is for the young! Tell us how it all started. As a kid, many years ago, I had a dream of being involved in making epic films. I loved watching swashbucklers, romances and historical dramas on the TV and even more so when we would go to the movies. The outdoor movies in the summer were the best. But living where and when I did, I thought that could only be a dream. This was semi-rural Pennsylvania in the 1960s. I had a great childhood. I was not interested in sports, like my older brother. Even so, although they probably didn’t know what to make of me, my parents were the best. My Dad made me a frame for our red wagon that my imagination transformed into a Conestoga or possibly a medieval wagon or a WWI Ambulance. He taught me the basics of working with wood, so I could create projects on my own. Mom made me all kinds of historic flags and costumes for my GI Joes, while I recreated movie sets for them out of cereal boxes. She taught me the basics of sewing. I played and exper320
imented with ideas. I made armor for my younger brothers out of brown paper bags and masking tape. I was always pretending to be someone and somewhere else. School was not the nurturing place that home was. I did give my dream one shot during my undergraduate years. I went to the theater department and asked about how to begin as a designer. I was told that I needed to submit a portfolio. Since I didn’t know what that was, I figured the dream would remain just that — a dream. Eventually, after several career choices, I happened to be managing a summer camp and one of my staff members was a stage manager, when she could get work. She was my entrée into the world of theater and film. I took theater design classes at a local community college and learned what a portfolio was, and created one strong enough to be accepted as a graduate student at California Institute of the Arts. After graduation we moved to Hollywood. I did a variety of jobs, most of them costume related — Western Costume Company, a rental house for film and theaters across the country, assistant to the costume shop manager for the Ice Capades, when they were still in Hollywood as well as freelance design work. I was on set for some small films and for an HBO pilot that never got aired. But these experiences taught me that I was happier in designing for theater
than on set for a film or helping others realize their designs. There was too much waiting around on a film set for me, plus there was very little “period” film work at the time. I would rather be a part of a small operation doing my own thing than a small part of a big deal. My freelance work became centered on educational theater — college theater departments, which I discovered is the best fit for me. I have been doing this type of work ever since and am lucky enough now to be working full time designing and teaching at one school. This is my home base, which keeps me plenty busy, with no need or energy for freelance work. I get to do many period pieces at school, so my dream of making “historical epics” has been happily met. What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? The costume shop at our school is one of the few that I have worked in that has windows. This is a huge “plus”. Costumers are traditionally prioritized below the set and lighting folks, so the amount of space and equipment usually reflects that. I am lucky. I can quickly be reinvigorated by simply looking up from my work and look out the window. What is your favorite film? I have many — some are favorites because they have opened new worlds for me, others because the costume work is inspiration-
al. If I had to choose one to take to a desert island, I would have to choose “The Sound of Music”. It has always given me joy since I was a child. I love the clean design choices and it introduced me to my personal avocation, Austrian history. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? I would like to be a fly on the wall for any dinner held in the past. How people dine says a lot about them, their society and culture. I would like to watch the manners, gestures and conversation of any time or place to learn what makes them tick. How people moved, gestured, conversed and interacted is extremely important to a costume designer. How do you like to spoil yourself? Buying books and making the time to read them is my general way of spoiling myself. I don’t have much restraint. Art, history, costume, film, and novels are my “go to” choices. I do enjoy my library. What is luxury for you? We love to travel. Places with wonderful people, scenery and museums are at the top of the list, which we are making our way down. Italy is next up. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? I don’t know who it was, since this came to me second-hand. The costume shop 321
manager at one of the schools I was freelancing for told me the following story. Soon after their production of “Oedipus Rex”, for which I designed the costumes, she answered the phone in the costume shop. Someone who had seen the show was calling to ask if they could come in and look at the costumes “up close”. The woman said they had captivated her and she wanted to look at them one more time, to remind her of how they had affected her. What do you fear most? “A life lived in fear is a life half lived” — Strictly Ballroom What is a happy life to you? A personal happy life for me is to have loving family and friends. A happy artistic life for me is to feel that I am helping others see the world in new and interesting ways. What does a regular day look like for you? I have two kinds of “regular days”, school days and non-school days. Both usually begin with some type of exercise (walk or swim) at 6 am. Breakfast and prep for the day, 7 am until 9 am. During school days 9 am until 4:30 pm: classes, meetings (production and academic), collect and create the costumes for productions while supervising workers in the costume shop, meet with students who need assistance. 4:30-6:30 pm Home, break and supper. 6:30-9 pm Design work and grading assignments. 9-11 pm is time with Bob — TV, card games, whatever. Weekends I try to take 322
one day off, the other is spent on class work or production work. Non-school days, the summertime is when I recuperate and prepare for the next year. This summer I hope to do a little research and beginning writing a book I have planned for a long time. Tell us about your dream project. Many years ago, Bob sculpted the prototypes for a half-scale male and a half-scale female figure for me. A local company cast these and created half-scale mannequins. The dream has been to create a resource for directors and costumers that utilize these mannequins to illustrate period fashions with 360-degree turnaround views. I would use reliable patterns to replicate the basic fashion silhouettes as they change through time. I hope to also provide my “take” on how various periods could be used to help with visual storytelling for theater or film. This is beginning this summer. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? There are many designers who inspire me — from the “Golden Age of Hollywood”, Broadway and foreign films. If I would have to narrow it down, I would have to say the Italian designer Piero Tosi. His appreciation of period fashion, combined with his wonderful sense of style has helped create many memorable characters. I especially admire several of his collaborations with Visconti: “Senso”, “The Leopard”, “Death in
Venice”, “Ludwig”, and “The Damned”. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? These are the key elements of my design style: My mentor in graduate school once told me that I didn’t have a sense of humor. Well, I beg to differ. I might not have a broad sense of humor, but I think there is often a sense of humor in my designs, when appropriate. I can do “broad”. “Lysistrata” is a play about war and sex. At one point or another everyone is supposed to be naked — this is important for the plot, as it happens. When we did “Lysistrata” I did not want to do the typical, which is to put everyone in long underwear to represent nudity. So we built twenty body suits that fairly convincingly portrayed nudity in a very comic way. They were spandex bodysuits with oversized foam muscles, bellies, breasts, and penises. We had beer bellies and sagging breasts, studily guys and “hot” chicks and everything in between. We also had some males playing females mixed in, and also the other way around. They all got “naked” and we sold out every performance. Someone else once told me that costume designers are either “color designers” or “texture designers”. I am definitely a “texture designer”. Most of my design work is very muted color-wise. But I do love texture.
As I said before, one of my goals is authenticity — being true to the character and as true to the time period as the script allows. This striving for authenticity probably has a strong patina of nostalgia. It seems be a constant theme in my work. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? My life is centered on the love and companionship of my husband. I consider myself a craftsman. He is an artist. I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other, but he could not live without artist output. For me, costume design is something that I seem to connect with, people respond to my work and I enjoy. This is the best thing I have ever done. But, I have done many other things that I have also enjoyed, so if I could no longer be a costume designer I would survive. I don’t think I would do very well without him. What inspires you? Stories inspire me. On TV the other day a character said, “We are past the Time of Stories — now is the Time of Moments, everything must be quick and instantaneous”. I certainly hope this is not true. There is nothing better than to spend many hours involved in the lives of others, through stories. I love long novels, long movies and long conversations. Learning about others inspires my craft, art and my life. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
As I’ve said here too often, I love books. So this will be awkward. It wasn’t the book per se, but what someone said regarding the book that made the most impression on me. I grew up fairly naïve and innocent, I guess. I had to read “The Great Gatsby” for one of my undergraduate college courses. During the class discussion I ventured to say (I rarely said anything), that I wasn’t sure if Fitzgerald wanted me to like Gatsby or not. The instructor responded: “Haven’t you ever both liked and disliked someone?” Funnily, I had never thought such a thing was possible. I suppose that was the moment of my loss of innocence — the world became a very complex place in many ways after that.
Whenever you want to
How to know if your Do you remember the last time you felt really good? The real kind of good, as in “I can take over the world this very second because of the awesomeness I possess”-good? And if you try to remember a few of those moments, did one ever happen at your workplace? After a meeting or after speaking with your boss? Did you have a moment where you felt that you got inspired, finally realizing how much capacity you do have to do basically anything you want to do? And the freedom to do it? As it often is, these moments tend to stay that way – as moments. They have a short life span and most of the time, the feeling you initially experienced leaves as abruptly as it appeared in the first place. You might have had an educational day with awesome motivational speakers lifting you up, 338
inspiring coaches letting you know that you can do anything you put your mind to, and exercises in which you’ve had the freedom to speak up and really get your “creative” working. You might have received great feedback from these individuals – and despite all of this, it all stopped there. Or, during that same day, you might have chosen to be silent, despite knowing that you had a lot to say, and a lot of useful input to present. Your creativity was on full speed throughout the day, but for some reason you didn’t say those words bubbling inside. You might have heard coworkers put out their minds right on the table, discussing and debating anything and everything having to do with the theme of the day, but your silence was there to say and although you could speak about these topics forev-
o feel good, feel good
r job is good for you er, you simply didn’t. Now, why is that? You might find yourself in a pretty good workplace, having a nice title, great coffee and performing totally in line with your CV, even with opportunities to climb a little in the hierarchy. But if you don’t get those moments of awesome, good feelings, on a regular basis – it’s a sh*tty workplace. Embrace reality, take a deep breath and keep reading this. Where you spend hours and hours each day, for weeks, months and years needs to actually provide something to you which is more than just a paycheck and stuff to do. That’s right. Look at it as an adjusted form of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – the workplace edition (you know, the original being that triangle with five levels of human needs for motiva-
tion). We’ll explain the new workplace edition here briefly (as we’ve just made it up): 1. As an employee, the most basic need would be having a job and getting paid. 2. The next step is to actually want to be there, and feel good spending time there. 3. Then, you would need clearly defined tasks, assignments, duties and responsibilities. 4. Next, is to have the flexibility to think, speak up, bring ideas and for all of this to be taken seriously. Simply put – to have plenty of room for using your creativity. 5. And finally, the last step would be the 339
freedom to implement those ideas that could bring this business to another level. Have a look at the above list – are all of the five needs fulfilled for you at your current workplace? No? Stay cool, we know what to do. There is basically one thing you need to find out first though, and that is why – why is this the case and why do you feel this way? Now, answers may vary but they usually fall into one of these two aspects:
Either you’re stopping yourself from speaking up when you feel like you have to, because you think that your words have no value, or
You know very well that your words could contribute a lot to what’s happening on your workplace – but you also know that management will do anything to stop any and all sorts of new input and this goes for most of your coworkers too.
Pick one and start looking for ways in which to solve the problem. In the first case, you need to boost your confidence – simply by approaching things you find to be uncomfortable slowly, but actively. Speak up a little, talk to your coworkers, friends, anyone about those creative ideas that you have, and you will find that pretty soon on, they will start asking for your feedback and input without you having to continuously initiate it. 340
If the latter is the case for you – then start looking for another work alternative. If management is being a real [insert appropriate word], then things will probably not change anytime soon (until all of the awesome, talented coworkers have left the place, and even then it’s a question if they will actually do something). You don’t have to tolerate a disrespectful attitude, constraints all over the place, working in a weird atmosphere and wasting your time on someone who doesn’t appreciate it. Feeling good, and doing so a lot of the time at work, should be the normal state for everyone in any workplace. If you’ve noticed that this is not the case, then ask yourself – is this how you want to spend a lot of your time? It all starts right there. Have you found yourself in such a notfeeling-good situation at your workplace? What did you do about it?
You donâ€™t have to tolerate a disrespectful attitude, constraints all over the place, working in a weird atmosphere and wasting your time on someone who doesnâ€™t appreciate it.
Unstuck What to do when you stuck in a creyourself get ative block Have you ever heard of the concept of “creative block”? Or any other kind of block existing simply to make the work process stop for a while, appearing without any sort of warning? You know, like a surprise you didn’t really ask for, not even a little. We’ve all experienced that at least one, and by understanding more about how it works, you can find great ways in which to unstuck yourself. Experiencing a creative block is quite common and it means that your creative process abruptly stops, paralyzing you from continuing with your work. Your mind freezes and although you are well aware of that
things need to get done, and with great results, you simply don’t know what to do to make that happen. This is not a question of lacking knowledge or not having enough information on how to do your job, because it happens to everyone regardless of all of that. You just get stuck. A switch simply goes off and it’s like you’ve never worked with what you do, ever. You have no ideas on what to do about it, how to proceed, how to make it happen. Even trying to do something immediately reveals that this is not a good idea. This common phenomenon is not reserved for one professional field specifically – it happens to everyone, and most often at times when you need it the least. In order to deal with it, there are a few things to understand:
First, understand that nobody really experiences this at a convenient time. Never.
This common phenomenon is not reserved for one professional field specifically – it happens to everyone, and most often at times when you need it the least.
Next, accept that the block/stuckiness itself is there, it has happened to you and it’s there. OK.
Finally, understand that it won’t go away if you don’t deal with it.
Now, there are many ways in which to deal with creative blocks incorrectly and you might have tried one or two of them – all including ignorance, stubbornness, negativity and anger. As a block always happens when you really don’t need any more 343
challenges in your life and it can stay there for quite a while if you don’t do anything about the situation, it’s fine to be a little upset – initially. But “initially” lasts a short while, and then you have to get down to some serious business. So, what to do when this happens? Find out the source from which it came, because something triggered it and it wasn’t magic. Did you feel stressed out or overwhelmed right before it happened? Did someone upset you? Did anything other than the usual happen? Did you read something which completely shifted your mind in another direction, far away from your creativity and work? Whatever it is, or might be, figure it out and write it down somewhere.
tional state just makes it appear that way. Experiencing something intense, especially when it’s combined with something negative, often leads to these blocks. Accepting it is a big thing, because it disconnects the emotional chaos you’ve built up with what is actually happening. Without it, you’ll just prolong and intensify this block by adding fuel to the fire. These suddenly appearing states aren’t that sudden, and understanding reasons for why they happen make them even less sudden, less frequent and have less impact.
The simple steps described above will stop the vicious circle of triggers > emotions > block > more emotions > more triggers > After that, accept the state of mind in longer and more frequent blocks etc., each which you’re currently in. Accept being time you use them becoming more effecstuck at the moment, accept why that tive in doing so. Also, this will add knowlhappened and accept that it will disapedge on what triggers you specifically, pear – not this very second, but quite soon. minimizing the risk for future creative blocks Acknowledge it happening, and put it overall as you learn to deal with those triginto perspective. So you’re experiencing a gers as they appear and long before the block, yes, and it’s because of this and that. block happens. “This and that” isn’t really the end of the Even when you’re in the middle of such a universe, it’s not even that serious, the emoblock, accepting what’s happening and figuring out why will distance emotions from that block, making it last much less longer
and focus on understanding yourself and what ma 344
and with less impact on your creative work. Once you do this, you will see pretty quickly on that the emotions get back to normal levels of intensity, and with this, the creative blockâ€™s impact on your work minimizes. Inhale good things, exhale creative-block-bullshit. There are many circumstances which, when repetitive, create triggers. They, in turn, trigger stronger emotional reactions which basically means taking your time and energy away from constructive behavior and investing them in the total opposite. Even the most block-experienced individual will at some moment fall for one of these triggers, but having much less impact than with someone who hasnâ€™t yet reflected on what these blocks do and how they work. Anything perceived as stopping your development, whether personal or professional is a great candidate for becoming the trigger leading you into a creative block. In any project, these blocks are prone to occur if the planning isnâ€™t related to reality. In per-
sonal life, being stressed because of ignoring something (health, dreams, plans) might be what triggers you into blocks. In relationships (family, friends, coworkers), misunderstandings and less developed communication skills are most likely what will cause them, the latter often having quite a complex structure. Unstuck yourself, simply do it. Concentrate and focus on understanding yourself and what makes you go bananas, resulting in a creative block. It gets easier each time you decide to deal with it, and will add knowledge, confidence and create a habit for preventive work rather than waiting for the block to happen. Unstucking yourself will also put things into perspective, and this will let you go on with your creative endeavors with less bumps in your way. Have you experienced a creative block lately? How did you unstuck yourself?
akes you go bananas, resulting in a creative block. 345
How do you maxim I always create a source of inspiration for my own creativity. It’s similar to how the bees are collecting honey :) A lot of things inspire me; books, science, other artists, movies, life, animals, nature, children, music, travel, people…etc. They are the universe to be discovered, so it is for me.
My brain works like a machine, my thoughts constantly producing the interest in all things in life. If you do not live your life, then I think you can’t be creative. Because your life is yourself. If we have the awareness of life our creativity will be endless.
I always have new ideas, my ideas never end. I’m doing so many things currently, which are all improving my productivity. I’m writing some of the ideas in my book and can realize or start realizing some of them straight away. Sometimes I’ve changed my ideas when I read them in retrospect. I also
mize Creativity and Productivty? love to live this cycle, of creativity, writing, gaining new ideas. Because I’m learning a lot about myself.
– Ebru Erman, Sr. Art Director and Imagineer
When I was 4 years old, I tried to learn how to read with the help of my sister’s school books. I finally learned to read, at age 4 – I managed because I really wanted to read books on my own. It was very important to me. I always have to set a certain target to reach and I don’t plan my goals. Adapt to life what life offers me a way – this is my life philosophy. I never give up dreaming. I keep dreaming even in the worst case. This is my biggest motivation at work. A world without imagination s a dark world for me. I do not believe to be hopeful, but I believe that the dreams can and are changing the world.
Name: Maria Simonelli
phase of my wanderlust.
Where do you live: Melbourne, Australia
How would you describe your creativity? Hmm not sure I can… Maybe it’s both the practical and theoretical application of creating. I’m definitely the sort of person who is imaginative and can turn ideas into a creative stream of thought. The next stage I’m working on is how to make creativity thoughts into innovative action for social good.
Known for: I provide creative and energising approaches to build individual and organisational capacity. Currently working with: A “portfolio” that includes: Creative Catalyst/Author/Trainer/Artist/Partnership Facilitator/Community Builder/Sustainability Advocate When did you realize that you were going to work with this? I’ve had a couple of quite significant life changing things happen to me over the past 15 years… The passing of my dear dad, losing 2 very close friends from illness, being in New York on Sept 11 (while on a Churchill Fellowship). I think all of this had a slow burn impact on me. It builds up until you know you have to follow your own truth. That time has come. Spending a lot of time with my ill mother has also reinforced the power of now, of not wasting one precious moment – that’s her gift to me. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? I could live anywhere – depends on what stage of my life I’m at. Happy to be in Melbourne so I’m close to my mum and support base – I’ll then think about the next 352
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? I think when I started my career I went for positions in government departments that may have been known for quite conservative/linear bureaucratic approaches. For example the public sector by its very nature have quite linear procedural approaches to program management. I think what happened on reflection is that I offered an alternative approach to program design and implementation that was successful. So once I was promoted into a senior role in the federal government, this positivity about my approach had been rewarded and reinforced (at least by my mentors) so this encouraged me to keep refining these approaches. I didn’t frame them as creative approaches at the time. But I became known for the ‘out of box’ thinking or approaches particularly around how to achieve long term behavior change, this is so essential when working on environmental issues.
I was awarded a few scholarships that also reinforced that I was on the right track. These were focused on the science behind what motivated organisations to take on environmental behaviors and systems. This was a new era back in the 1990’s that has got a lot of support and traction now. So in the early days I was just practicing, just trying to work out which end was up. But once I got into senior roles, it became more about how to create social change and exploring what creative approaches could assist to create this. What do you do at the moment? I’m joyfully working in my slash or portfolio career. I’ve hit my 50s and decided that given my genetics, I’ve probably got another 30 years of useful contribution to make (touch wood!). So I’ve decided I will do everything I want to do and not waste one precious moment. So I seek to work in areas that fulfill my passions, adding value to others and give me reward. While some may have a higher proportion in one or more of those spheres, I always seek to have an intersection of those three areas. That means working in my long term passions in facilitating partnerships, building programs that will create the social change that we need, supporting the non-profit sector to become more stable, sustainable through strategic/business development and utilizing creativity as a process/method rather than an endpoint.
So currently I’m working with an interesting foundation. I bring to this non-profit, over 25 years of business and program development experience and a different way of partnering with others in the sector, their clients and corporate bodies. So finding ways to align the different missions that drive these organisations, so we can achieve an end point that will make a meaningful impact. I’m also working in my own startups focused on areas I’m passionate about, supporting women in the mid-life who may have lost their way and not fulfilling their own passions, not adding value or not being rewarded, hence the Sweet Spot Careers program. This really allows me to work on areas I love around facilitating, empowerment and providing a strong method to enable their journey of self-discovery – to see the changes, accumulate knowledge and wisdom, measure progress and create an endpoint to strive for. Also working in a very exciting exploration space (my 2015 side project) where I’m bringing together the science and art of creativity. It’s called the Creativity Catalyst. So rather than thinking about creativity as an abstract skill that only special people are born with, how do we assist others to use program logic and method to enhance their own creativity? I’m curating materials and research and hope to turn this into a program method in the near future. The 353
program will dispel the myth of creativity. It’s aimed at those seeking to create catalytic creative change in their own lives, workplaces and the universe. I also have my own art and sculptural practice. One is called Project Reclaim which uses discarded materials to create soft and delicate pieces that one wants to keep and nurture. The other is my exploration of urban contemporary issues, most vividly demonstrated by the Hoody series that focused on how we judge the “other” rather seek to understand them. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? Go back to first principles, if you want to live from your creative endeavors you must have business acumen. Start with asking the question – are you going to be selling a product or service that is solving a problem? Consumers want their problems solved and this is what motivates the whole business cycle. I do believe the creative arts can be aligned with a business model that does this as people will respond to aesthetics. We see “beauty” as a criteria in urban planning, designing cities and urban landscapes, or on the micro scale making our environments (house, garden, workplace) more beautiful. There’s also so many ways of getting your 354
art practice known and sold now, through online selling forums. OR if you’re thinking about creative approaches, I see the most extraordinary creativity now through IT, technology and just more innovative approaches to solving everyday problems. I’m inspired with the social entrepreneurial movement solving medical and poverty issues for developing countries. Enhancing how a disabled person may live more comfortably or bringing solar lights to shantytowns in Africa, truly inspiring stuff.Soccer balls that have a generator that stores energy that lights up a tent at night, or creating artificial limbs for poor people who have suffered from land mines… These innovators will forgo immediate reward (though I do believe in Karma) to do something good. So what problem are you solving through your creative business? Is your product or service offering a viable, affordable alternative that people will buy? Consider if it’s on trend and is the timing right? Have you got the right people around you, have you got the finances to start and then cash flow to make it happen? Tell us how it all started. I don’t know how to answer this, other than to point to my upbringing. I’m first generation migrant in Australia, my parents came from Italy post WW2 to create a better life. They didn’t have much but were resource-
ful. They wanted to give their growing family a chance to have a more comfortable life. You can’t underestimate the impact of knowing your parents dislocated themselves, left everything they knew behind for this vision. They may not have been called artisans, but were definitely from a generation that know how to make things. My mum was an excellent seamstress and taught me to sew, knit, cook and my dad was a tinker, who taught me to make things from nothing and appreciate growing our own food. A very earthy, practical and grateful upbringing that meant I was always making things, drawing and creating. This has stayed with me and is in my DNA. What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? Natural light. My home/studio has only natural light from the west side, a lot of sun in the afternoon. I follow the sun throughout my small apartment. I also walk a lot to ensure I get sun during the late afternoon. I walk my mum around in her wheel chair or walk home from work. We have very dark winters in Melbourne so it’s essential to get light… And now there are studies to show how we can decrease depression by ensuring light hits the back of our retina in winter… Go figure! Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? Dead or alive? I’ve always been inspired
by Nelson Mandela – and the concept of right time right place – he was the catalyst for such an extraordinary period of history. While I appreciate that the abolishment of apartheid in Africa was a collaborative effort (including the effort of de Glerk), Nelson he was an extraordinary man. Especially that he was so willing to forgive – where does that come from and let go and please teach me! Also inspired by the great masters – Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. But living I think Oprah – while I don’t agree with everything she says – I have such respect for how she turned around her up life and created such a movement of empowerment. What is luxury for you? Long hot baths. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? I recently sold a sculpture called Slumber. The man who bought it was so enthralled and captivated by it – I was so moved by his interpretation. The piece depicts an isolated motionless figure wrapped in a blanket. The blanket provides a secure cocoon to protect the figure. He chose to interpret this as a homeless man and is going to place this piece in his garden under a tree. I was thrilled he had thought about it so much. What do you fear most? 355
I think seeing my mum struggle with dementia over the past 5 years has really heightened my understanding of how the brain works. But more importantly how our memories shape us. If we don’t remember, then who are we? What is a happy life to you? Having choice – this is not so about much control but more about influence over my destiny. That comes from making choices, overcoming fears and remembering how precious our time here is. I wake up with gratitude and frame my day to get the most out of it… That’s when I’m happy. What does a regular day look like for you? I’m a very disciplined person and have a schedule for each day. I work in a number of workplaces so some days I’m up early and in the office by 8 am, other days I’m in bed reading until mid-morning. Each day includes time to move and stretch/visit my mum and make a nutritious meal. When I travel to work on public transport I listen to an interesting podcast… At the moment it’s all about brain science podcast! I then block out half days to work on my arts practice. I’m in bed as early as possible and respect my body’s need to rejuvenate each night. Tell us about your dream project. I’d say it’s the Creative catalyst side project – it’s been a long time getting to this point but I love that I can combine my science background and love of creativity
and the arts to bring this together, using my program and methodology skills…I’m very excited about this and the potential new approaches it will provide. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? It varies so not an easy one to answer. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? Being curious. What inspires you? The cycle of the sun and the earth – it’s really amazing. Each day I look out the window almost like I need to reaffirm we have a new day. And we do and I love that certainty. I’ve learnt from Dr. Martin Seligman the value of being grateful – so every night I have a few minutes listing what I’m grateful for that day, seems to help me sleep too! A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? The last one I think was “Becoming a Life Change Artist” by Dr. Fred Mandell and Dr. Kathleen Jordan – essential reading.
Spaces for creative learning
and how to
make them happen
When you think about the idea of learning, what exactly comes to your mind? Is it the usual “back to school” thought, or do you look at it from the perspective of being a process? Is it maybe more related to reading something, and this “something” having a scientific structure? Is it physical exercise and if yes, is it so only until you’ve figured out to do some sort of exercise, or it is a continuing process? Learning is many things, depending on the situation and circumstances. If you’re in traffic and there’s a really important meet362
ing happening, to which you’re not sure if you can make it, that could be seen as a space for leaning. Provided that learning actually happens. In this situation, you could learn when these queues happen and which other road might be more suitable for next time you need to get somewhere. You can also learn more (probably much more) on anger management methods and stress management so as to avoid a complete meltdown right there. You can also gain knowledge in how to communicate with people, as you’ll most likely have
experience. This is creativity – to be able to seek out new ways in which to use information.
to make some phone calls to let people know what’s going on. Think about it. Learning, as in what happens when you actually reflect on something which then leads you to pretty accurate conclusions, could become a quite frequent occurrence. This is completely up to you though, if you choose to stay in the moment of constrained-worldview-wishing-to-stay-negative, or drawing something useful from each
Some situations can be described as almost created to provide space for learning. Writing a shopping list on things you need from the grocery store, then going there and find that there are many, many alternatives to what you wrote down, will initiate a new learning process. You will find yourself reading the list of contents in those products, making decisions on what to buy based on the quality printed on those little notes, exploring what food actually contains and if that content seems legit. Even then, you’ll probably be surprised over the amount of crap mixed in groceries today, either resulting in being really angry but going for those products anyway – or accepting the knowledge and choose other products. Maybe even informing people you know about your newly gained knowledge (maybe even start a social media movement on that topic to raise awareness). Likewise, negative situations also create space for learning. Dealing with conflicts on a regular basis, either as an active partici363
Having your mind set on learning comes pretty handy in many situations. pant or mediator, is a goldmine for learning things about the human mind, behaviors and communication. Not to speak of diplomacy. If you tend to find yourself in a space of conflict, maybe even initiating it – then understanding yourself and why this needs happens will make you turn to more effective ways of expressing yourself. You might try out new communication methods next time you’re in a conflict, or pay attention to body language so as to know when a conflict is about to get solved, and what happens. If you’re a mediator, developing all of these skills will make you understand the conflict itself better, as well as the participants and external circumstances influencing the outcome. Having your mind set on learning comes pretty handy in many situations. 364
When you go for that first cup of coffee in the morning, spilling it all out on the floor and your clothes, just to give an example. That incident gives you the choice to flip the F out or to realize that you might need to chill out for a while, throwing whatever stresses you out, out. Hence, learning is a conscious process in which you choose to actively seek to understand something better, separating false information from real and relevant such. Now, if learning is a process, then naturally every other process becomes a space in which you can learn stuff. Hence logic. And, when thinking of physical exercise, learning could happen as a sequential long-term process, in which new knowledge is gained and adding up to a complex structure of both physical and psychological gains. Not only do your muscles gain strength, but they also memorize how much strength is needed to perform each
fantastic cultural influences. task, and how different muscles interact with each other. And for the psychological gains, your mind clears up from distracting thoughts, you learn how to focus better and how to become more aware of your physical impact on a healthy mindset. Any situation can be a space for learning and it is up to you to choose which ones are going to get that lucky meaning given to them. Creative minds do that pretty consciously at most times, whereas other peo-
Painting, dancing, writing, holding a speech, being stuck in traffic, mediating in a conflict, cooking, baking, drawing, interviewing, hiring, firing, loving, needing, wanting and all other things anyone could possibly think of, creates a space for learning. Now you know. Do you seize the opportunity to learn new things, making space for it in everyday situations?
ple have plenty of room for improvement in this department. Not for anyone else, but for themselves â€“ to become happier, calmer, more focused and to create their life the way they really want. Reading a fiction book for relaxation, having absolutely nothing to do with your reality, might ignite a little creativity, and lead to a new perspective on how to make something happen. Traveling can help too, often times offering a space with many opportunities for learning â€“ linguistic misunderstanding, new interesting encounters, visual inspiration and 365
Marta Serrano Gili
How do you maxim
Creativity and Productivity look like they cannot match in the same connotation. Years ago creativity was undervalued in some ways â€“ maybe that was just an impression around me which I felt, but it was always difficult to be a creative person. Nowadays the coin flipped totally, people have started to think differently. In the business world, creativity started to get more prominence and the people see it differently now. In addition, right now if creativity and productivity are connected, this leads to the perfect combination in order to create and innovate something. Designers and illustrators have always been creative, but we had to convince the world somehow that itâ€™s really a great thing.
The most important part of being creative is always the space. Where you are, people you are surrounded by, colleagues, fam-
mize Creativity and Productivty? ily, etc. Every detail counts when we are talking about creativity. This coffee place that you like to go to because it has the best decoration in town, this space near to the beach with a view of the sea, industrial factories which you could rent as a co-working space, this friend who is always talking about what should we do next, concerts, museums, etc.
quickly, related to what you’re thinking about, which leads to better productivity. Everyone knows a little bit themselves, knowing what motivates you to squish your brain to get the best of yourself. The mood is important in productivity and creativity too, so only when you feel motivated for something is the only moment you can get the most out of you.
In my case I get inspiration and creativity from experiences. Travelling inspires me a lot, hanging around the city, meeting my friends for a drink – it all helps to get inspired fast, which is important in my field. I am a user experience designer, so I need to have experience with others, right? By talking and talking you start boiling an amount of ideas or concepts that helps in creating something. Solving problems faster.
– Marta Serrano Gili, UI/UX designer
In this case, it helps you in getting ideas
Name: Luciano Biondo Where do you live: Milano, Italy Known for: Creator of innovation in training and education (new methodologies and new contents); researcher in psychology applied to working people. Currently working with: President of Mind University (formally Università Popolare Costantino Clerici). If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? I like to write and I like nature. I don’t need more than this. I spent my youth in Trento, near to Dolomites. Maybe I would live there. But a lot of other places would be well enough, too. How would you describe your creativity? I don’t describe it at all. My creativity must describe itself, otherwise what kind of creativity would it be? :) What do you do at the moment? I’m working the final version of my new book: “Psychology: User Manual” (a draft version was published in a few copies last year). My aim is to write “the best book in the world about psychology of sane persons”. Of course not always the purposes are achieved, but I will try! The book describes the way human mind works, intended as a “mechanism” which 370
produces thinking efficiently and effectively. Throughout history, psychology classified a significant number of dysfunctions, but had not yet defined the perfect behavior analytically enough: this is an essential reference point to make science fully usable for practical purposes. The book debates a lot of arguments, so I didn’t write a text, as usual, but a slide collection. The book teaches people how become more clever, how to teach other to become more clever, how to win stress and depression and to discover new forms of happiness. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? The best way is to start, to run, to think, to be creative, to make business and overall to be recommended by somebody richer than me. :-) If this is not enough, you can remember that a working life can be a happy life even if some business go wrong. The important thing is to start, to run, to think, to be creative and over all to work doing what you like. I like my job while I’m replying to this interview, for example. I’m hoping that somebody will read it and will become my friend. I like friends. Tell us how it all started. When I was a student in high school and in engineering university, I was interested in communication, teaching techniques, journalism. Once I read about a research
group working in the new learning technologies field, in a university in a town 150 km far away from the one I lived. I asked them for a meeting and there I learned that Olivetti (at that time the second Italian firm for employees’ number) had hired a great American expert to teach to the inner trainers the new multimedia learning techniques. This happened in 1970, it was the first time I heard about “multimedia”, a very new magic word.
couple of hours; the same day I was introduced to the chief of the training department then, and I was dismissed. Two months after I received a letter with formal hiring. Only then I discovered that the personnel chief was a so important manager that almost nobody in the whole company was allowed to meet him! And that everybody else that was seeking for a job was compelled to many job interviews with lower level technicians before to be hired!
Before coming away, I asked to the leader of the group the name of the personnel chief of Olivetti and a presentation card for him. Returned home, I spent all the money I was saving for summer holidays to buy a new suit, I wore it and I went to a photographer and I asked for a professional colored photo (at that time there were not any selfie and the colored personal photos were a very new thing), I wrote to the chief of all the personnel of Olivetti asking for a meeting to be hired. In the letter, I explained why I would be hired by Olivetti and not by any other company and enclosed my curriculum with the colored photo (at that time no one was putting any photo in his curriculum!). Instead, I didn’t enclose the presentation card,because I wished to first present myself as a man that doesn’t need any help.
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? Of course my wife. The advertising must be paid! (Please, read my answer to the second question after this.)
I obtained the meeting, where I went – obviously! – with the new dress and with the presentation card. I spoke with him for a
What is luxury for you? To have a lot of people who enroll themselves on my website. I would feel myself wonderfully rich. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? My wife wrote a book titled “I Married a Genius”. What do you fear most? To lose my memory. But I don’t mean to lose my mind’s faculty. I mean to lose what I wrote and created in my life. If application versions evolve, if operating systems change, if no more used storage tool has any driver anymore… Will I be able to open my files in the next years? For example, the 371
J-work suite (the “Office” by Apple) doesn’t open properly the files made with the PREVIOUS version: programmers seem to me to be really reckless! You could think that a Nobel Prize is a man who had one thousand of great ideas. His ideas will be certainly saved. But a thousand unknown men could exist and each of them could have one greatly worthwhile idea: the result is the same. Will their ideas be saved? They could be on old files, might be in some 5” floppy disk… I believe that, every year, many hundreds of “Nobel prize equivalents” are lost. From this point of view, I fear that everyday the world is going to become worse. Tell us about your dream project. Win the Nobel Prize, of course! About 400 persons believe it would be right. In the world there are 7 billion people. The only thing that lacks is that 6,999,999.600 persons should believe the same. I trust on this interview in order to get the objective. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? Replying to this interview. I was asked very hardly to do it! :-) What inspires you? You, my reader, do it (at least now). A book that has made the most impression in your life? Only once I refused to read a book, because it was too much impressive. It was
Il Mondo Visto da Sinestra (The World Observed by Lefight – Lefight is “neither left nor right”, meaning totally new point of view). I did write it, really, but this book of mine is so much innovative that I refused to read it and the book was published with a lot of misprints! :) Instead of look at matter, the book looks at brain looking at matter. When you say that a table is large 70 cm, you are looking at the meter, not at the table. The right scientific approach is to look at the instruments, not at the universe, and the brain is the right instrument to discover the physical laws. The results of this approach is astonishing. You can demonstrate the same relations you can find in physics (Newton laws, Maxwell laws, etc.) but the meaning of the quantities appearing in formulas is different. And you can discover some interesting physical formula too that is not present in “normal” physics. Finally, the book shows that physics, psychology, epistemology, sociology, linguistics and even theology are an only one science that obeys to the same few postulates. But maybe you were asking for a book not written by me, it’s really possible! Well, at first place is “The Johannes Gospel”, which explained how Jesus Christ wanted to change all the means. But maybe you were asking for a book for managers or generally work people. As I operate in human resource development, I liked very much Ed-
ward De Bono’s “The Mechanism of Mind”; Susan Meyer Markle’s “Good Frames and Bad”; William J. Bowman’s “Graphic Communication”; Joseph LeDoux’s “The Emotional Brain” and Miguel Nicolelis’ “Beyond Boundaries”.
great food ideas
Eat good things to Sometimes, everyone needs to have someone who could light up their day. Well, now that an (objectively speaking) awesome magazine exists everyone has just that! Serious business has to be dealt with by serious means, and what else could be more serious than eating and health? Healthy eating. Eating good things means to get the vitamins, minerals, fats, carbs and proteins necessary to build your body â€“ this includes healthy, strong muscles, bones and all other parts you could name, as well as your mind. Blood sugar is a bad thing to play around with, and so are hormones. Messing with those will give anyone a temperament requiring emergency evacuation from the meeting-this-person-high-risk areas and it wonâ€™t be a fun experience for the affected individual either. Hence, highly processed foods with tons of weird ingredients and a
decorations on a big, shiny plate. A little cream cheese on the side? Yes please. Mayo? Sure. Fun-shaped cut out tomatoes all over? Mhm. With some fried potatoes and veggies drenched in butter? Oh, bring it on.
Batman mix: Take your favorite meat and chop it, fry it, add veggies, oil, salt, a little rice noodles, wok it (meaning fry the living ---- out of it) and viola – colorful, creative, healthy, quick awesomeness on a plate. We imagine that Batman would like this because the man has pretty high standards.
Peace Soup: Garlic – chopped, green peas, salt, pepper, heavy cream – cook it all, then blend it, then eat it. Totally OK to go with a steak on the side.
o feel good things lot of sugar should be avoided as much as possible. Now, taking all of this into account, there are still a lot of different foods which are absolutely super-tasty and perfectly healthy for human beings. However, since we all have some sort of life beyond making meals 29348 times a day, we like to go for the quick kind of meal the most. Can it be quick and healthy? Yes. Can it be tasty too? Yes! Can it be prepared by a complete cooking-skills-free individual and still be all those things? Oh yes it can. As we’re not even trying to fake food/ cooking expertise skills here, we’ll just lay out three great food ideas for you to enjoy whenever and as much as you want:
Healthy Tapas: Take a little bit of everything you like (not sweets, the good stuff), and use them as tasty
See? It’s all very simple, very tasty and very time-conscious. Which means that you’ll have plenty of extra time to do fun, creative things. Go save the world now, speak with someone interesting, research a new subject of interest, and enjoy every single second of it! Do you make sure to eat healthy foods and easy-to-make meals?
How do you maxim
“Creativity & Productivity” is such a great combination and question, which has been merged by your kindest regards on your humble curiosity to know about its great combination. I appreciate your gesture to know about this combination. If we think and follow them together. So, they cannot be followed together, because of this notion that we do not do the two or cannot be doing the two together. This is put in a simple language through a successful businessman and it goes… “A painter cannot do business and a businessman cannot do painting” – This is what has been said by a non-creative mind. But, it’s not the truth. If we follow Leonardo Da
Vinci’s thoughts towards productivity, so, we can do everything, whatever we want in this world as productively and creatively with both as bases or starting points. We just need one thing which is art of presentation and knowing the skill of serving; that is, how we can serve our ideas through production and presentation in front of people, auditions and the served. Until we do know this kind of skill and presentation of art, we cannot do anything as productively. Because productivity comes from the production and production comes from our efforts, hard work and prominently our presentable methodology. Art, music, dance, literature, poetry are all the parts of creativity and we all live in a world of philosophy, creativity, innovation and imagination. We think, we imagine, we design and that is called “innovation”. We need to know the actual meaning of productivity and we must tend to work on our ideas and apply our
mize Creativity and Productivty? thoughts, “Because creativity demands passion”. Today‘s world of the internet world and the real one is a great junction, where we meet with each other on various various social media platforms. Such kinds of platforms, which can support you to extend your ideas broadly and give the opportunities to introducing your ideas with people, seekers and the public. Through the internet and social media we can connect with such a people as the team at Creativeroom4talk, who are seeking to extend creativity one mind into another mind and doing a great job to connect creativity and productivity with each other. If we support each other, we can easily extend creativity with productivity on a broader level and also support needs, because many creative minds still have been deprived from the technologies and from the opportunities to produce
their creativity. If we accompany and support each other, we can definitely change this world and create a world of creativity, imagination and productivity. Being a historian and painter, I would say that art, music, literature, dance involve such a various kind of talents is not only about the talents – however these are our civilization, our culture and our countries’ soul. We ought to be tending to protect them as a creator. Being a designer and founder of an advertising agency, I should say that technology is a resource to innovate the new ideas and a converter of our imagination and creativity in a production that is called “innovation”. And innovation has been created through the combination of “Creativity & Productivity”. – Vivek Jain, Founder, Historian, Painter & Researcher 385
Name: Clément Pavageau Kokopako Where do you live: Los Angeles, USA Known for: Being a human (and a designer). Currently working with: I’m currently working with a bunch of ninjas on confidential digital projects as a pixel samurai at Watson DG. When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area? It came pretty late compared to some other people who were playing with Photoshop before to start walking. I first said “I want to be a graphic designer” when I was around 13 years old. Without even knowing what it really was. I think I realized that because at that time fine art lessons were my favorite at school. I liked the freedom and the imaginative aspect of it. I had fun. Back in my childhood, I was not this kind of kid who was always drawing or stuff like that, what I was always doing though was inventing stuff, all kind of stuff. I think it has been my strength since the beginning: my creativity. I was more fascinated by Leonardo Da Vinci machines rather than The Birth of Venus by Botticelli.I still am. I’ve never been very technical and good at drawing. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? It’s hard to say because I should first go everywhere to see where is the best place 388
to live. But so far I would say New York. I like big cities and for me this city has everything. Firstly for her atmosphere and spirit. Secondly for her urbanism, architecture, cultural events and food. And finally New York perfectly combined nature and city. This is also a really great city to live in if you are working into the creative industry, so many talented and passionate people over there. Sometimes I also think it would be nice to live on an island far from the craziness of big cities, to free your mind of stress, enhance creativity, be more adventurous, etc. Just take more time to live and enjoy it. Like Hawaii, it sounds like a great place to live. New Zealand too. Still so many places to explore! How would you describe your creativity? This is a hard one! It’s not easy to put words on something as abstract as creativity, especially to describe it. I would say my creativity is part of my personality, I’m curious and an observer, so when I observe things (it can be anything) I guess my brain will analyze it and translate it into a creative way which will bring ideas, or not. How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? I found myself pretty bored when I was in high school, I was just doing the minimum and was probably one of the worst students in my classroom. And to be honest I didn’t really care, at this time I just wanted to bring
OK notes at home to avoid blames from my parents. After high school, I started to study fine arts for 1 year. It was probably the hardest year of my student cursus. I’ve never been particularly good at traditional art techniques, and didn’t really like it, so I needed to work really hard to become better and improve faster. Then, I switched to print design and later digital design. I realized it was what I was good at and passionate about. It involved design problems to solve and this is what I love. Sleeping nights became shorter and shorter through the years, but passion always kept me on track. What do you do at the moment? Besides Watson DG projects I’m always busy spending a lot of time doing my own projects. I can’t have nothing to do, it’s not in my nature. I’m currently writing articles about game design process on Medium,working on a musical digital experience, a creative online platform called Snygt, an innovative super hero hybrid game and some other smaller projects. Side projects permit me to do what I truly love without any constraints. It’s 100% fun. This is also the best way to keep learning and experimenting with new things. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? Just get in mind it’ll involve a lot of investing knowledge besides your core skills. Start-
ing a creative business requires to have some strong business management skills and knowledge to be sure to think about everything. I think being well surrounded is very important too, like partners, people you want to work with.A business is all about people: find the right employees and choose your clients well. Be ready to work really hard to manage all of that. Last thing, there are so many creative businesses outside that you should ask yourself what your business will do differently from others. You need to have strengths and a vision which will make you stand out from others. You need to be unique and the best at what you are doing. Tell us how it all started. As I said before I always loved to invent things. When I was a kid, I created my own board games, I invented the rules and crafted them with paper, carton board, color pencils, scissors and glue. I think it’s when it all started! What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? A good atmosphere, not too serious, with people who share your vision and are passionate about what they are doing. Coworkers who care about quality and high level details, as well as innovative concepts. A place where there is trust. And finally a studio where projects are fun to work on, ambitious and unique. I don’t really care about the physical place, I just need a pen, 389
a notebook and a good computer. Preferably not an open space. I don’t know why everyone think it’s cool to share a huge open space. It’s the worst thing to focus and get shit done. It literally kills your productivity (and creativity too). What is your favorite film? As a movie lover, it’s hard to pick only one, but if I should pick one it will be Babel by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? If he was still alive probably Leonardo Da Vinci, so many things to learn from him, such a creative mind. And we could take his first selfie with a selfie stick. How do you like to spoil yourself? Rides on the PCH, nature explorations, go surfing, taking sunset pictures, go to exhibitions. What is luxury for you? To have time. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? Probably some people who told me they wanted to use an app that I designed just for fun, it was only a concept. The app allowed users to share their daily life moments through pictures with their close family. It’s actually a really great feeling when you receive feedback from people who wish this app existed. It meant there was a need
for it. Designing products, websites, apps to make everyone’s lives easier and/or more fun is definitely something I care a lot about. What do you fear most? To lose all my external drives with my project backups and after-effects plugins, and then to have both of my hands chopped off. It would be a pretty bad day. More seriously, to not have enough time to do all the things I want to do in my life. What is a happy life to you? A happy life for me is a life I choose to live, a life where I’m not afraid to make my own decisions to follow what I want to do, to follow my dreams, to take risks, to step out of my comfort zone, to explore the unknown. Happiness is not something we have or don’t have, it’s something we choose to have and that need to be cultivate. So a happy life can have many different faces. But most of it, a happy life is a life we control, not a life that is undergoing, or dictated by others. Trust yourself, be passionate by everything you’redoing, be good to others and a happy life should naturally follow. What does a regular day look like for you? Routine is something I try to avoid as much as I can. But when you have a full time job you can’t really do otherwise. So yeah usually I woke up at some point around 7:30 am (still too early for me), I’ll snooze for like 30 min to have the feeling I sleep
more (which is in fact the opposite). Then I’ll check Instagram, Facebook, emails. A good breakfast is the key for a good day. I’ll ride to the office on my scooter. It’s so relaxing as it’s always sunny and warm here in LA. I also use this time to review in my head what I’ll focus on during the day. Sometimes I even come up with new ideas for the projects I’m working on. Then, the day at the office is usually 10% meetings, 20% working together with the team on projects, 55% projects production on my own, 5% lunch, 5% twitter feed and 5% drinking water (stay hydrated like your mommy said so yeah 5% restroom too which makes a 110% office day!! Great). I’ll of course ride back to my place around 8 pm. Yeah it’s a lot of driving in LA, and traffic is crazy. When I’m home safe, I’ll usually take some time to relax by reading a book, taking a nap (always good for the memory,creativity and to boost your energy), do sports and then I’ll work on my personal projects until midnight, around 1 am. I can’t go to bed before midnight, it’s too boring and I’ll have the feeling to not have used the time I had. I’m definitely a night owl. I’ll always end the day by watching a movie or a TV series. It’s my entertainment of the day. And finally, Morpheus will come to meet me. Tell us about your dream project. I think I have 2 main dream projects. The first one will be to be part of a concept/VFX
team working on futuristic movie, where my role would be to create interactions which doesn’t exist yet and bring them to life through visual design and motion graphics. Perfect example is the movie Her. I’ve always found it fascinating how things could be in the future, to think about how technologies could make humans live into a better, more intuitive world, more adapted to their everyday needs. Futuristic machines and mechanics are also something I’m fascinated about. The second one will be to redesign a global experience, like redesign the global train experience for instance. Every time I’m taking the train when I’m going back to France, I’m thinking of how much better it could be. I would like to design the whole experience, from when you book your tickets, until you arrive at your destination. I mean not just an app or something like that, but also the whole physical train spaces and design. Like how the passenger could efficiently use this space into the train related to his current needs,know more about landscapes, cities he passes by, etc. So many things could be done to make a lot of everyday experiences better. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? A lot of people inspire me for sure but I don’t have one in particular. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or
something entirely different)? I like to think my work style is not something which can be categorized. I think everyone has (or should have) a unique work style.
the story with complex human interactions and true feelings, the illustration style and the universe. And guess what, it’s all about futuristic worlds and robots!
Which is the one thing you can’t live without? Internet (yeah it sounds pretty nerdy). This is crazy how I find myself so dependent of it! I mean it’s part of my job too so it makes sense. But for example last month, I just came back from France to LA, I went to Ralph’s to buy some food but totally forgot that I had no more credit on my phone. So I bought all the things I needed, but when I wanted to order an Uber I faced the hard reality: no internet! And it was of course impossible to find a free wifi, so I had to walk 1h with 10 kilos of food to go back home. So yeah, I think Internet definitely makes our lives easier, in a lot of different ways. Even if sometimes I wish I could be totally disconnected, like when Internet didn’t exist yet.
Another one which had an impact on my life, How to stop worrying and start living by Dale Carnegie. A really good reading, based on true stories, which highlights different ways to avoid unnecessary stress. One of the sentences I like about this book is “Crowd worry out of your mind by keeping busy. Plenty of action is one of the best therapies ever devised for curing ‘wibber gibbers’”.
What inspires you? Life in general: nature, travels, riding, art, architecture, people stories, movies, books and of course THE Internet! A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? I would definitely not say it had changed my life but for sure inspired me, it’s a manga called Gunnm by Yukito Kishiro. I’ve never been especially attracted by Asian cultures in any ways, so I didn’t really read mangas except this one. I loved everything about it: 392
Connecting creative people through online communication People have always connected, long before internet, long before phones and letters. We, as a human species, like to share our experience and thoughts with each other â€“ and this has never been easier than now. Just pick one app of your choice and get going, there are so many awesome ones aimed for communicating, either through text, videos or pictures. Besides, thousands of popular websites provide information about topics which many people care about. There, they interact, exchange ideas and get influenced from other people sharing their hobbies and interests. And they could be thousands of miles away from each other. This brings so many opportunities. For creatives working in business and management, those in the arts, all of those in technical/science sectors, the possibilities 400
Weâ€™ve always done it of connecting with like-minded, future-oriented visionaries are right in front of them. Likewise, managers in small businesses are able to connect with those from multinational corporations, asking for an exchange of thoughts in specific work-related issues. Input is more than likely shared throughout hierarchical structures, making the importance and relevance of those structures
fade away more and more every single day. Those with little or no experience in a specific field might get in touch with those who do, adding a massive amount of real-time knowledge in building their own solid creative framework. This initiates a cross-creative reaction, making fusion of topics and ideas never before connected, to become just that. In line with this is also the possibility to shift professions completely, as connecting with people who work in your field of interest can share good advice with you. And the list just keeps growing longer. This connection doesn’t even have toget too personal. Commenting on articles around the web is a conversation invitation, and here starts the fun part – opinions are delivered, strong ideas articulated, thoughts and misunderstandings mixed together, delivered in slightly aggressive online tones. In any and all fields. This fantastic way of stating one’s mind and interacting with other people wishing to do that same
Sometimes, things get a little mixed up but that’s just part of our human nature. thing, might many times prove to be the initial stage of a really nice time of connecting. If you agree with each other, or disagree but would like to continue talking, then doing so by moving on to a more convenient platform is the next step. And there you go, you just got yourself a connection! Since connecting is pretty natural to all of us, shifting worlds to do so won’t (and obviously hasn’t) lead to less communication, 401
Curious individuals from all over the world connect, no national or geographical barriers apply here and this is fantastic. quite the opposite way around. Itâ€™s made simple for us to connect, even divided so that those who would like to discuss different types of garlic have their space, and those who would like to find their potential soul-mate have theirs. Sometimes, things get a little mixed up but thatâ€™s just part of our human nature. The important aspect is that communication and connecting is here to stay. For the visually expressive, there are many ways in which to share photos, art, and anything visually interesting. It could be your own work or a collection of other peopleâ€™s 402
work which you find appealing for all sorts of reasons, being yet another way of expressing who you are and what draws your attention. Which is a great way for other people to have a look at and see if they might have something in common with you, or if there might be a way of liking, sharing, connecting.
nophobia, nationalism and all other kinds of extremist views based on using false ideas as truths. People meet up, because they want to, and they start talking because of their own choice. Nothing builds strong relationships like doing so through your own will, your active efforts and your decision to invest your time and thoughts into it all.
Curious individuals from all over the world connect, no national or geographical barriers apply here and this is fantastic. Having the opportunity to freely speak out and share your viewpoints does a lot of great things besides the obvious personal ones â€“ it restricts the room for misunderstandings, xe-
Do you connect with creative people from all over the world? Howâ€™s it going?
How do you maxim
Today’s businesses are confronted by new and changing hurdles to growth. Digital technologies are increasing customer expectations and creating new competitive threats. The regulatory environment continues to shift. And the world gets smaller and smaller. Today’s leaders must not be paralyzed by uncertainty and should step forward and explore the unknown with creative solutions for growth. How Do You Maximize Creativity? Start with the “Why behind the What”. Many executives spend their careers executing the same routines over and over again. I refer to these leaders as COG executives – those who turn the corporate machinery but lose sight of the “Why behind the What” they do. Focus on customer pain points along your business value chain. Throw out the play book and identify the Why. 404
mize Creativity and Productivty? Recognize Patterns. Creativity is recognizing and applying patterns to break the institutionalized rigidity of more traditional models. My c-suite experience has been in very traditional industries like Benefits, Human Capital, Health Management and Insurance, but my early career was spent in pioneer business environments in digital strategy and E-Commerce. I constantly look for patterns from these earlier environments and apply them in traditional settings. Lessons from B2C E-Commerce are very applicable as Healthcare in the US shifts from B2B to B2C via health exchanges. Google is entering Insurance; because they can solve the Why behind customer acquisition and upend the broker model. Get your team to collectively look for patterns from various sources.
team must execute with a pioneer mindset. Pioneers are those who are first to apply a new model, method, team structure or skill. I’m a fan of the TV survival show personality, Bear Grylls who looks at the resources and assets that surround him and creatively combines and repurposes them to survive and thrive. Your team must do the same. Focus the sun’s energy through a lens on a pile of cow dung and you have fire! Root Your Creativity. Creativity and Productivity can be mutually exclusive concepts. Creativity must be rooted in sound reasoning, structured planning, disciplined execution and measured outcomes. Partner your creative with your analytic talent for maximum results. – Mark Stach, COO/CFO/GM
Execute with Pioneer Ingenuity. To generate maximum productivity from creativity, the 405
Name: Shauna Cheney
are on the right path.
Where do you live: Sacramento, CA, United States of America
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? 2014 is when I started working with this in a serious matter. I have worked with it in tidbits for 12 years. I have been guiding others to make healthier lifestyle choices for a very long time. I just didn’t have a business name attached to it.
Known for: One on one coaching and loving others and listening intently with empathy, compassion, understanding and with a heartfelt desire to help. When did you realize that you were going to work with this? I have known for many years but didn’t formalize my passion until I allowed myself to dream of the possibilities and take risks to move forward and progress to be fulfilled and happy. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? I would choose a little town in CA called Loomis and live out in the country with a small home and lots of land. This would be my dream because I want an enormous organic garden, all my own fruit and nut trees, beautiful greenery surrounding me and peace and quiet. I find great tranquility and nourishment when in nature and love the country. I dream of a small home with a wraparound fence where people can sit out for hours and talk about the things that matter most in life. How would you describe your creativity? I would describe my creativity as very feeling oriented. If it doesn’t feel good it isn’t right. When it feels great then you know you
What do you do at the moment? At the moment I am a Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Certified Corporate Wellness Coach, Workplace Ambassador and an Internationally Certified Health Coach. I am pursuing my education to receive my degree to broaden my opportunities to reach others in different ways. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? Follow your heart, what you are passionate about and what energizes you instead of depletes you. At the end of the day you want to love what you are doing and find work to be fun. Tell us how it all started. It all started with the first step.....literally. One step at a time takes time and patience but we all learn to walk and run at some point. It all started with just making that first move or decision to make it happen. It starts with a dream, a hope, a determination and a conviction that you can and will accom-
plish what you set out to accomplish.
I care about believe in me as well.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? The most important thing in the workplace for me is harmony. There must be peace and harmony for true success to take place. Where chaos, discontentment, contention or negativity are present there is no growth.
What do you fear most? I fear fear itself. Fear is the great stumbling block to true happiness and anytime we let fear take control or become stronger than faith we get out of balance and are not happy. I fear feeling fear and it is generated by the thoughts we are thinking and telling ourselves about any given situation.
What is your favorite film? Cinderella. Who doesn’t love a prince charming story!
What is a happy life to you? A happy life for me is being with those I love forever. A happy life is being with them and seeing them happy.
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? The unloved. No one famous. Those who need to be invited to dinner are those that feel no one would want to invite them. True joy comes from making a difference in the life of one person’s heart and to remind them that they are cared about and remembered. How do you like to spoil yourself? Long bike rides more often and regular massages. I wish! What is luxury for you? Sitting still with nothing to do. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? My family telling me I will accomplish my goals and that they have no doubt about that. It means a lot to me when the people
What does a regular day look like for you? A regular day always looks like a morning routine of Spiritual nourishment, Physical Exercise, Healthy eating, work and quite time to wind down at the end of the night. A regular day looks like an opportunity to make it not so regular. To try and do one simple thing to make it a better day than the one before for yourself and for someone else. Tell us about your dream project. My dream project would be raising a family. I have no children yet but to me that is the ultimate dream project!!!!!!!!! Who is your professional role model/inspiration? I am still formulating who is my role model. I think I have small pieces from a lot of people. I can’t choose one person who is my mentor or inspiration. They each touch my
life and inspire me in different ways. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? My work style is very task oriented. I love crossing things off of a list and find great satisfaction at completing tasks. Which is the one thing you canâ€™t live without? I canâ€™t live without green power shakes. What inspires you? Spirituality. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? The Book of Mormon.
Our senses and creativity
Taste Our senses are the main gateways for understanding the world â€“ they are the tools which we use to process and understand external influences. As we talked about smell last time, this time we will be diving into the amazing world of taste. When you first think of that word, there are probably a few things great dishes or flavors that come to mind. Or maybe coffee. But there is much more to taste than just eating something nice. Conscious or less conscious choices of taste, what effect that has on the
person enjoying them, and the surrounding impact of creating flavors and encouraging a certain set of taste experiences are all just a few of the aspects associated with this sense. Are you aware of the way in which these experiences interact with each other and what that means to you? Letâ€™s start off by defining what taste means. According to th1e Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, taste is; â€œ: the one of the special senses that is concerned with distinguishing the sweet, sour, bitter, or salty quality of a dissolved substance and is mediated by taste buds on the tongue : the objective sweet, sour, bitter, or salty quality of a dissolved substance as perceived by the sense of taste : a sensation obtained from a substance in
Our senses are the main gateways for understanding the world – they are the tools which we use to process and understand external influences. the mouth that is typically produced by the stimulation of the sense of taste combined with those of touch and smell: flavor” As seen above in the description, taste is the main sense, working together with smell and touch, to form our perception of which foods we enjoy to eat. This interaction sets our preferences at an early age, but then changes quite a bit as we are acquainted with more variations of foods and drinks. Gaining more information about macroand micronutrients, how our bodies react to certain choices of intake and what that particular mix does in a long-term perspective all affects this varying approach we
have to some tastes throughout life. Do you remember what your preferences for taste were as a kid? Probably sweet, as in: “I could live on ice cream and candy for the rest of my life and you old people are crazy, you have no sense of taste!” Also, you probable remember that there were certain foods then, which you just couldn’t understand how anyone could eat – in most cases, that was some sort of veggie. Regardless of the power of avoidance or the master plan on how to elegantly send the plate over to the dog as no one is watching, you pretty much ended up contemplating life through these often long moments. Candy, on the other hand, wasn’t a problem to consume at all, and basically any form of candy was a better choice than these bad-tasting avoidance foods. So, as the young diplomat you were, if your parents let you know that there would be dessert after dinner, provided that the dinner is eaten – suddenly the bad taste wasn’t that bad anymore. Hence the invention of dessert. We’ve got no idea if that’s the truth but we’re sticking with this story. 413
The trickiness comes in when seeking to balance reason with senses and emotions, and here’s when long term perspectives always win the game. So going through these dinners with all sorts of non-candy, day in and day out, did much more than just leading to a candy-bar afterwards. They sharpened your determination skills, they made you a professional knowing that in order to reach a goal, you have to go from point A to point B and stick to the plan. As time passed, this tremendous challenge became less so, and you found yourself eating veggies like a boss, even at times exploring if there could actually be some taste pf value. The external positive feedback from parents was also highly motivating and you probably, at least to some extent, realized that a reward in words is actually important to you, lessening the importance of the relative sensory reward along the way.
But let’s get back to taste. As the interaction between taste and other forms of input occurs most of the time, there are many emotions attached to a taste, and how does an emotion taste? Here’s the tricky question and going back to the kid state – when having sad emotions and receiving something sweet for comfort, the connection between sweet and comfort slowly starts to form. This connection may then lead to become that path of choice when dealing with being sad, or having any other emotion which creates a state of “weak and small”. Now, if the preference for a certain taste was a done deal without much consequence, this wouldn’t be a big deal. But it is. We’ll talk about it more in a moment.
And that’s why you carefully read through all of the benefits of working at a potentially new work place…
Have you thought of all of the changes in taste preference that you’ve gone through so far? When reasoning gets more developed, evolving into including facts and sci-
entific evidence, and creating the choice to listen to the whole body – pretty great things happen. Suddenly, you’re finding yourself to understand why you shouldn’t eat unhealthy foods too often, or at all. And with understanding often also comes great ability to act. Acting then, leads to creating habits, which leads to a way of life, a pattern of life which is perceived as recognizable, comfortable and “how it should be”. The trickiness comes in when seeking to balance reason with senses and emotions, and here’s when long term perspectives always win the game. If having a long term view on life, because it is one and it is complete, then making bad choices this very moment means that its consequences will indeed have an impact further down the road. This insight, or knowledge, makes rational choices (which might not be as tasty) much easier to make
and stick to, as the positive consequences of them are acknowledged. This does not equal paranoia though – the choice of taste preference is a choice, and it is something each individual is uniquely creating. Meaning, is someone chooses short-term thinking combined with promoting one set of tastes only, and timing the consumption of those with emotionally challenging states – then there’s a big risk to develop taste extremism. Yes, we just invented taste extremism. But all of this is pretty complex. Sweet is not sweet if you’ve tried something sweeter. Eat some cake and then have a banana – it won’t taste the same and it won’t be as sweet as it was when you tried it on a hot summer day as a kid, after playing around for hours. Likewise, eat a grape and then immediately have some candy – the candy
This insight, or knowledge, makes rational choices (which might not be as tasty) much easier to make and stick to, as the positive consequences of them are acknowledged. 415
This magic is created though the complex interaction between much more than just different tastes, but what is served will have quite a significant impact in that experience.
Thinking about that certain dish will immediately lead to thinking of those times, what happened, the emotional states and how big of an impression the whole atmosphere contributed to make. Attending events and having new taste experiences will make the connection between these tastes and the people invited, subjects for conversation, thoughts, emotions and lead to strong and biased associations. This magic is created though the complex interaction between much more than just different tastes, but what is served will have quite a significant is going to taste like a sugar explosion. If you impact in that experience. Try having the have something spicy for dinner, then this same food at home while watching your will usually not mix well at all with sour foods. favorite TV show – it probably won’t be as Also, mixing carbs like bread, pasta, rice much of a taste experience at all, with less and potatoes in the same meal won’t taste value added to tasting and more to just as nicely as when eating these things sepa- eating. rately, together with other foods. Which brings us to another perspective – the memories and meals. Often, people tend to associate certain foods with a happy event, when meeting someone interesting, hanging out with friends or spending time with some family members. 416
Then there are those sacred family recipes, oh yes. Do you know how some people have the best recipe for a set of dishes, which they have inherited over several family generations? Let’s say it’s a pasta dish, let’s say Bolognese. Now, imagine going to a pasta restaurant with that person and out of the blue making the choice to order some Bolognese. What the result will most likely be from that nice dinner, is a long monologue of what’s missing with this pasta dish and how it’s not a real Bolognese, because a real Bolognese has more of this and less of that etc. The best part of this is that you will have to listen to it, and the words will affect your emotional state, and the atmosphere, which will then affect your taste experience. You will probably remember that occasion for the next time
You will probably remember that occasion for the next time you visit that place, or any other Bolognese place, and well, maybe try out some other dish which isn’t connected to talks about famous family recipes?
you visit that place, or any other Bolognese place, and well, maybe try out some other dish which isn’t connected to talks about famous family recipes? Moving on to another side of taste. Imagine how vanilla tastes. To understand the various flavors of vanilla highly depends on consistency, context and smell – imagine trying out vanilla cake, vanilla tea, vanilla liquor, vanilla pudding and vanilla flavored. They won’t taste the same and you will be absolutely confident that there are big differences. Although at the end, vanilla is still vanilla. Different ingredients interact in various ways, and they create a taste experience to which several parts contribute, although one may be dominant. In the case of vanilla cake – is it really the vanilla itself that makes it the tastiest? Or is it the sugar? Which flavor is dominant and if you had to choose, would you let go of vanilla or sugar for the rest of your life? Also, in the case above, the consistency 417
The globalization has made it possible to export and explore a rather large set of dishes and in each region where it’s present, it has evolved with local customs. Is a pizza really exactly the same in the USA as in Italy or Sweden? is important to the taste experience too, but this is where interaction and touch go hand in hand. Solid, crunchy, spicy, liquid, together with mix of spices and neutralizers – it is all one big game of interaction. A chocolate chip cookie tasting like chicken doesn’t seem too inviting? Or soup with the taste of banana, or cake tasting like spaghetti Carbonara, or a potato tasting like a candy bar? The mental confusion would be too much to take for most people, because suddenly the visuals don’t go along with the smell, touch and taste. Even though you really do like chicken, the cookie doesn’t really walk in line with the notion of how chicken should taste. Again, because of 418
previous experiences, forming habits, memories and habits associated with positive states of mind. Despite all of that, there are cultural differences when it comes to foods, food preparation and taste preference. The globalization has made it possible to export and explore a rather large set of dishes and in each region where it’s present, it has evolved with local customs. Is a pizza really exactly the same in the USA as in Italy or Sweden? Are potatoes used the exact same way in Canada as in Hungary, or China? When traveling, what becomes a very
interesting taste challenge is to try out dishes and see if moving beyond learned taste preferences could be relearned, or adjusted, or even expanded. Breakfast foods in one country or even city, might be seen as typical lunch alternatives in other places, sweet tastes may be seen as head dishes and snack alternatives depending on the culture. Gaining understanding for how people use and prepare foods always goes with a story of how that all started, and in these stories there are a lot of interesting clues to find. What made people even try out to create such a taste? How did they then evolve it? What made them choose that specific set of ingredients? In asking these questions, it also gives insights into your own food culture and how it evolved,
Gaining understanding for how people use and prepare foods always goes with a story of how that all started, and in these stories there are a lot of interesting clues to find.
and sets cultures in general into perspective in a new way. What is a culture? A set of customs constantly evolving through internal and external influence â€“ the exact same thing goes for food culture within any local, regional or global culture. Things can happen to taste though. Have you ever tried your favorite food when having a cold? It probably didnâ€™t taste as well as it does when youâ€™re healthy. Even the ability to sense the texture of food, as well as the smell, changes massively when your body is busy fighting off intruders.
Depending on the early introduction phase of tastes and flavors, as well as memories in which foods and flavors are significant, all lead to a framework through which understanding and preferences are mapped out.
Likewise, the change in how you perceive what you eat or drink depends on a lot of different circumstances. If you have a coffee in the morning and you like coffee, then the taste experience will be rather great. But, still assuming that you love coffee, if having that cup of that pure magic directly after brushing your teeth, things will get weird. It’s as if though your suddenly drinking a cup of toothpaste, switching between being hot and cold. Chewing gum, after which you eat anything sweet, will make you seriously question your choice of diet. And the list goes on. Now, going back to speaking of the state where taste becomes a direct connection to dealing with emotions…. Who is the bad guy here? Junk food. Ingredients used for taste manipulation or fancily called “taste enhancement” do just that – enhance the experience and connection with that specific choice of food. This is why sugary drinks and sweetened meals in junk food restaurants appeal to many people – and the more they choose to eat that, the stronger the good memories and rewarding emotional states are associated with these
To sum it all up, interaction between the senses is what determines the outcome of any taste experience. choices. Manipulating the senses leads to significantly restricting the value of thinking and reasoning, so although you do know that junk food is bad, the choice to go for it is still made quite often. This invites to a vicious circle in which the sense of taste is massively manipulated while the health state is deteriorating. Luckily, it can be reversed. Then there is the other perspective. Taste combinations are constantly made without additions of artificial taste enhancements – this art involves several highly creative professions and/or passions. Perfectly combined taste experience is one in which the flavors complement each other, support-
ing the best outcome form each ingredient (dark chocolate and wine – perfect match). And making that happen requires knowledge, talent and effort. It is by far what master chefs and chocolatiers do the best, although many people do try out their creative skills in the kitchen – and they should, it’s well worth it! To sum it all up, interaction between the senses is what determines the outcome of any taste experience. Depending on the early introduction phase of tastes and flavors, as well as memories in which foods and flavors are significant, all lead to a framework through which understanding and preferences are mapped out. These preferences are constantly evolving, and new influences affect the next memory associated with a certain food and/or drink combination. Simply being aware of the influences, and understand the context in which taste is developed for you specifically will lead to a healthier choice of food and drink intake, and a lot of other benefits to go along with that.
How do you maxim
In the field of music, it is quite common for individuals to be so focused on the art and spirituality of what they are creating that it is easy to ignore the fact that it is very much a craft. This can result in an excessive reliance on inspiration without the discipline to craft something out of nothing when the muse deserts you. While perhaps not always maximizing creativity and productivity, I definitely find that I can achieve a more consistently acceptable output by constantly reminding myself to study and revisit the tools of my trade. It could be as simple as critically listening to a recording of orchestral music and picking out composition or orchestration techniques that I may have not used for a while and buried in my subconscious. Alternatively, I could write a simple 1-2 minute musical invention where I am limited to the use of a couple of writing techniques. The array of 422
mize Creativity and Productivty? methods available for us to use in self-study is an endless one. As a result, any time a client request for music comes in, I rarely find myself lost, and my turnaround is always quick. Inspiration is a wonderful thing, but if you work in commercial music, you do not always have the luxury of time to wait for music to manifest itself in your brain mysteriously and of its own accord. We have to push ahead even on bad days, and a steadfast dedication to the study and application of the technical aspects of our craft is absolutely essential. â€“ Xiaoâ€™an Li, Composer & Recording Orchestra Contractor
Name: Christopher Abraham
too daring for my taste haha.
Where do you live: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
How would you describe your creativity? I’d go with emotional. If I feel a strong connection to the subject material, or my mood is in a certain place, that’s when I produce my best work.
Known for: Being a Junior Graphic Designer as well as an Indie Author. Currently working with: I’m currently working at the Hockey Hall of Fame as a Junior Graphic Designer for an upcoming installment. Additionally, I’m working on promoting my first novel as well as gathering what I need to start working on the sequel. When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area? Hm, in regards to Graphic Design, I realized I had a knack for it when I was in High school, however I only began pursuing it after my initial first choice in my post secondary education didn’t pan out. As for writing, I’ve had it on my mind since I was 14 years old, but I’ve been writing in some fashion for as long as I can remember. If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why? Anywhere that’s different and embraces that. Maybe somewhere near the water or surrounded by trees. If I can stay connected to the world while also being on my own, that would be sweet. I could just look at the globe or a map and point my finger at a place, but that’s a little 426
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner? For both passions, I was around the age of 18-20. What do you do at the moment? I’m currently working towards promoting my first novel, writing the sequel, and working at the Hockey Hall of Fame on a contract position. A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business? Work with those around you. No matter how much talent or knowledge you might have, things are much easier with a helping hand. Not to mention everyone sees something differently, so it’ll help you grow and achieve your goals. Tell us how it all started. I was born. Jokes aside. When it comes to writing, I’ve been doing that since I was very little. I would write stories based on my favorite TV shows, creating untold adventures. Eventually that moved towards creating my own personal characters, based off of my imag-
ination. I wanted to connect with others with something I could create. What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you? Sunshine. I like to zone out and look at the outside world every now and then when given the chance. Helps me relax. What is your favorite film? This is a tough one, mostly because I love watching movies. Seriously, love. I’ve gone through phases off what I particularly enjoy but in terms of genre, I like Sci-Fi, Horror and anything that gets you thinking. I also like my fair share of Comedy, which brings me to my favorite movie, Grandma’s Boy. I’d say look it up if you don’t know what it’s about. I still get a laugh out of it to this day, in a good way. Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why? No one comes to mind… Hm! Of course family and friends are always a nice treat. How do you like to spoil yourself? By spending quality time with those I care about. Oh, and sneaking in a nap here and there. What is luxury for you? Living a life of passion, not work. Spending my time comfortably while I seek out new adventures both in the world and inside my mind. What is the nicest compliment you’ve re-
ceived for your creative work, and from whom? Well, my answer to this will be a tad strange. Recently one of my friends started reading my first novel, and as she started chapter 1, which is titled, “The Sound of Rain” it began to rain outside, at that exact moment. I think it’s interesting how things like that happen. It gave me Goosebumps. What do you fear most? Not being able to finish what I started. What is a happy life to you? Living comfortably off of the things I enjoy doing while being with those whom I love. What does a regular day look like for you? I wake up around 5:30 am and after getting ready, I take the Go train to work my regular shift in Toronto. Once that is done I head home, have dinner and either work on my book afterwards or spend time relaxing. Then I sleep and repeat. It’s a bit of a cycle but it’ll change with time. Tell us about your dream project. I’m doing it right now! It’s my first book series called Dreams of Youth. I just released the first one called Dreams of Youth: The Vindicated, this year and am currently working on the sequel, Dreams of Youth: Twisted Hearts. I’m pretty excited. Who is your professional role model/inspiration? Truthfully, I’ve never been one to follow 427
names all that well, but unique pieces of work, stories and the like, those stick with me. There are people in this world who’ve shaped me and I don’t know even know the first letter to their name, but, I know the meaning behind what was done and given to the world to enjoy. The creative, the hard workers, those with a passion, they inspire me. How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)? I’d say…dark? With a light at the end of the tunnel, but the path, is split into numerous twists and turns. Which is the one thing you can’t live without? I guess, if I were going to be completely honest, I’d say it’s the Internet. A lot of what I do requires its existence in regards to finding inspiration, connecting with others and even pursuing my career as an author. Now, if we’re talking food…it’s Kraft Dinner. What inspires you? I seem to find most of my inspiration through manga and anime. It’s something with how the stories are told that syncs with me. More so however, music inspires me. I can be relaxing and a song will play in my headphones, which creates imagery in my head and before I know it, I have this crazy book idea, all because of a few words said 428
by an amazing band. A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life? Hm, well it wasn’t a book that inspired me the most. It was a video game. It’s called Xenosaga. To this day, that’s what I look back at and smile knowing it was what gave me my first push forward.
Have you noticed how much time people spend on positive things? Whether through their behavior, reasoning or everyday living, these people have made the choice to invest time in what is important. Their mindset is shaped through perspectives resulting from choosing by what to be surrounded. As every interaction affects everyone directly or indirectly involved, to some level, actively selecting in which interactions to participate minimizes those which might have a negative outcome. People who do great things, who are kind and open, who seek to understand, who wish to become the best that they could be â€“ those are the ones who have a positive influence in their surroundings. Being it having a conversation, watching the news, baking, buying things, reading 438
a book, writing a book, meeting people â€“ anything and everything affects the person being involved. The level of influence depends on how susceptible one is, adding to that the level of influences during that particular time in life. People react to these influences differently, and some might need more intensity in order to become susceptible whereas others might react on even the slightest indication of potential.
As interaction is simple today, and input from several sources is proceeded among individuals faster and more easily than ever, influencing each other has also become much more convenient. Even more so, interacting is simple – all it takes is a click and you’ve got the world in your hands. As positive influence becomes much more available, so does the ability to be that positive influence and reach out to more people. The freedom to share thoughts and constructive ideas is out there and simple, small actions which previously only reached out to a few people can now extend their audience by, well, a lot. This can manifest itself through your closest friends, people around you, the ones you work with every day, your online acquaintances and basically everyone you inter-
Then there is the kind of influence which comes from critique. act with. It all starts with how well you seek out to understand yourself – and with this comes a calm, positive attitude towards those around you. Regardless of how you choose to become an influence, the amazing potential boost that may give to other people is well worth the effort and time. There’s one catch only – it has to be real. Walk and talk simultaneously, you get the point. Then there is the kind of influence which comes from critique. Critique aiming at highlighting where there is a lot of room for improvement, together with suggestions on how to do so. Constructive conversations often include a substantial sequence of this method in analyzing the world and its different aspects. Naturally, such a discus439
sion is often very giving and may continue for hours, with so much positive influence gained so as to keep reasoning around these issues for quite some time. Even better, seeking out those sorts of discussions consciously, emphasizing the value they bring will make your strengthen you own influence â€“ again; talking, walking and all of that. Now to the last part, that other kind of influence is the one with which we all hap-
Instead, choose to surround yourself with positive influence, with the kind inviting you to become a better person each day. pen to get hit by at some point. It could be someone close to you insisting on destructive behavior, and especially behaviors in which you get directly involved. It could be people with a negative attitude killing every single idea any person has ever presented. Ever. It could be really bad habits, negative news reports, financial circumstances, unhealthy foods thrown at your way, and other things. A professional whiny person could turn anything to whine material, and even though they produce small concentrates of
whiny each day, being exposed to that on a regular basis is going to have a negative impact. This negative influence could have an energy-consuming impact if you donâ€™t separate yourself from it, affecting basically everything you do and making it more difficult than necessary.
Have you tried to minimize the impact of that other kind of influence? Is it awesome?
Instead, choose to surround yourself with positive influence, with the kind inviting you to become a better person each day. Join and encourage conversations aimed at seeking to define constructive critique, regardless of the topic of choice. Choose to be a source of positive influence yourself, by acting in accordance with your values and goals. The choice is very simple to make if you think about it.
How do you maxim A writer must be resourceful.
Maxmizing Creativity in Writing
Writing is a practice strengthened by character. Talent is necessary, but to optimize talent, you must be resourceful, accountable and consistent. I used to give myself reasons NOT to write. Gradually, I gained discipline. Now it feels wrong if I don’t write. Writing is my refuge from uncertainty, anxiety and discomfort.
I knew an artist near Taos who served guests cracklings made of fried pork blood. He said he used every part of the hog, like the Plains Indians did with the bison they slaughtered. I have applied this approach to my writing. I use everything, including fears, illnesses, inconveniences and poor sleep to help me write. If I have no computer, I write by hand. No paper? No problem — I scrawl on my skin. If I can’t sleep, I write until my eyes won’t stay open. When I wake up prematurely, I get up and write before I can see clearly. In this way, I turn weakness to strength and build self-esteem. If I do nothing more that day, I am happy because I worked before
mize Creativity and Productivty? dawn. I do the same thing if I awaken in a panic or with flu-like symptoms. A writer must manage his time. Someone asked me; “How do you know when you’re working?” I always know when I am working because I record the number of pages I write each day. This keeps me accountable and marks time. Otherwise, one day can be lost among the rest. A writer must be consistent. I knew a writer who wrote an hour per day. A year of hours “chunked together” equals two weeks, which does not seem like much time. However two weeks of writing can produce a novel. Jack Kerouac wrote a draft of On
the Road in a fortnight. And if you stretch two straight weeks into an hour per day for a year, you can still accomplish a lot. It works like “the spacing effect” in memory. Pacing your creativity can get better results. But when your brain is hot, don’t be greedy and write too much. If you do, your brain may overheat. A hot brain may feel like an adrenaline high, but you should not abuse it. Stop writing. Step away from the desk. Take a walk. Writing too long can be like writing drunk: you think you’re in a zone, but it’s the twilight zone. – Eric Sonnenschein, Novelist, Poet, Medical Writer
a ne way
Take a moment and think about this question â€“ what is creativity? There are thousands of definitions out there, both academic and highly individual, as there are even more interpretations directly linked to situations rather than the objectivity of things. Remember when you woke up that day and didnâ€™t have anything for breakfast, only maybe 3-4 groceries available and no energy to go to the mall and get something else? And, remember when, instead of using what you had, creating a fun experience, you chose to bitch about 444
Instead, recognizing and admitting the creative potential is going to contribute with a much more positive life in general and work life in particular. VoilĂ it and get back to bed for a while? Whilst bitching. In such a situation, creativity could have come in handy, and even though you consider yourself to be creative, you would never have thought about that situation as the right place for it. Likewise, do you know people who are highly focused on every single phase in their work, enjoying the process all the way
of seeing creativity through its final stages, and never ever thinking of changing anything about it? This is the same person who will then get back home after work, continuing to work on his/ her personal creative project enthusiastically â€“ whether it be a book, boat, dancing lessons, painting, conducting research or any other thing which they find fun and interesting. This starts to unfold the complexity of creativity and how it probably should indeed
include a broad definition in order to be understood by every creative out there. Artistic creativity is one thing, but it is not in any way the whole concept of creativity and being creative. Mathematics is creative too. So is being a medical doctor, scientist, teacher and bus driver. Broadly speaking, it comes down to a mindset in which Happy is a vital part of the whole. Each specific professional field has plenty of room for creativity, and this is why some individuals enjoy their jobs more than others. If having 445
the room for creativity and constructive experimentation at the workplace, while also being intrigued by the many possibilities of making things better, then this is what makes creativity happen. Destructive behavior can also be shown in several interesting ways, and although it might be tempting to call those behavior patterns creative – this isn’t the case. Any destructive behavior stems from a destructive mindset, one in which sabotage and negativity are the only two options when defining goals and processes – both in life and work. Sabotaging things for co-workers or family and friends, isn’t creativity. Blaming other people for one’s own miserable state of mind isn’t creativity. Choosing to see the world through negative, limiting perspectives is definitely not creativity. The above paragraph is not to be confused with trying out new creative ideas and failing. Or, seeing an outcome which wasn’t at all what you expected. This is a natural way of testing creative ideas and turning them into reachable goals and well, many times those goals will have nothing to do with the 446
Choosing to see the world through negative, limiting perspectives is definitely not creativity. real outcome. There will be times when the creative outcome will have exceeded all of your expectations, leading to a chain of positive reactions and having given you a big smile. Then, there are those others who will be a giant pain in the you-know-what but still a great source for learning and once again understanding that control doesn’t actually reach that far. In offices, schools, universities, hospitals, restaurants, art galleries and all other places there is plenty of room to be creative, with all that this implies. The size and scope of creative ideas don’t matter, nor does the
places where the answers could be, the ability to mix different sources of knowledge and producing a new one, and the positive attitude which it takes to be able to go for it all.
timeframe, nor the resources. All that matters is the right mindset to make something creative actually happen, to try it out and see what happens. The planning aspect is there, and a certain structure is always included in creative work, no matter the level of consciousness behind the planning itself. Meanwhile, there is indeed a level of spontaneity in the creative process itself, as it is every external factor contributing to that process. There is a playfulness, the ability to seek new forms of answers and new
For creativity to happen, creative ideas must be put into practice, which is yet another creative phase of every creative mind.
This is not redefining creativity, but finally acknowledging the complexity of it and to what extent it is spread. Is it in the medical field? Yes. In management? Yes. In the arts? Yes. In tech fields? Yup. It’s there. It isn’t in negative behaviors, in destructive thinking and sabotaging one’s own and others’ development. For creativity to happen, creative ideas must be put into practice, which is yet another creative phase of every creative mind. Creative people seem to think that they aren’t creative at all at times, making their actions incompatible with their persona. Instead, recognizing and admitting the creative potential is going to contribute with a much more positive life in general and work life in particular. Voilà! Have you changed the way you look at creativity and the value that brings to you and people around you?
Stay creative 449
creative room 4 talk An international magazine for creativity creativeroom4talk.com
Welcome to the 7th Creativeroom4talk ISSUU issue! We’re so happy to be able to present to you 20 FANTASTIC interviews with creative professi...
Published on Nov 2, 2015
Welcome to the 7th Creativeroom4talk ISSUU issue! We’re so happy to be able to present to you 20 FANTASTIC interviews with creative professi...