Archive for June, 2013


70 year old Creativity Technique That Is Still Relevant Today

June 18th, 2013

An interesting 70 year old book is gaining popularity again in the creativity and innovation fields …
What is most valuable to know is not where to look for a particular idea, but how to train the mind in the method by which all ideas are produced.
James Webb Young

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Art opens windows as dementia closes doors

June 14th, 2013

The light-filled room is replete with remembrances, some unwittingly captured on paintings scattered across the tables, others flitting in and out, coming close, teasing their owners but then darting away.
The eight men and women, in their 70s and 80s, work intently, dipping brushes into Styrofoam cups of water, swirling them into the chosen hue of their watercolor paints, then stroking the color onto paper. Intermittent conversation and laughter interrupt the tranquility.
They are grandmothers and grandfathers, a hydrologist, a children’s vocational nurse, a dentist, an FBI secretary. All in varying stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s, they share the painful reality of a fading mind. They’ve come to their weekly painting class, where they sometimes discover lost memories, but always find companionship and joy and moments of peace.
“So much of this disease is hard and sad,” says Sara Spaulding, spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado, whose husband died at 63 in 2010 of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s after battling the disease for 10 years. “This program, however, offers light and laughter … not only to the participants but for their families.”

 

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7 Ways to Spark Your Creativity

June 11th, 2013

1. Read Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis

A rabbit sits in a cardboard box and uses his imagination to transform it into a racecar, a mountain, a robot. The lesson? “Anything can be anything,” Anna says.

2. Go outside
Nature informs most of Anna’s designs: “A pinecone, a caterpillar, some gnarled gourds from a pumpkin patch—the natural world is full of bizarre, beautiful stuff.”

3. Start a collection
Curating your own little exhibit of similar objects makes you more attuned to what’s special about each one. “Try to figure out why the designers made the choices they did, and you’ll get a peek into their creative process,” Anna says. “I collect toothbrushes. They have to do something very specific—and it’s not a very exciting something—but their simplicity is an opportunity for imaginative design.”

4. Touch stuff
Everywhere Anna goes, she picks up objects she sees. “I get acquainted with a thing’s thing-ness. I experience it with my hands, not just my eyes.”

5. Travel solo
“Once in a while, go somewhere alone,” says Anna. “It’s much easier to experience everything around you and to cover lots of ground. I decided to be a designer at the top of the Antoni Gaudí cathedral in Barcelona, because I was so moved by the architecture.” But you don’t necessarily have to cross an ocean. “You can get inspired by traveling practically anywhere, as long as you’re open to what you see.”

6. Go analog
“Don’t check your e-mail when you’re creating,” Anna says. “Nothing earth-shattering is going to happen in an hour or two.”

7. Grab every opportunity
Hosting a group of friends? Make party favors. Received a gift? Write a handwritten note. “If you’re having dinner at home tonight,” Anna says, “why not make something you never made before?”
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Maya Angelou on How to Write a poem

June 11th, 2013

“Like a pianist runs her fingers over the keys, I’ll search my mind for what to say. Now, the poem may want you to write it. And then sometimes you see a situation and think, “I’d like to write about that.” Those are two different ways of being approached by a poem, or approaching a poem.

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