Archive for the ‘creativity for life’ Category

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

Article here

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?”
Read more


How to make life colourful?

April 13th, 2013

how to make life colourful

Just add some colours!

Top five regrets of the dying

March 7th, 2013

What’s your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?

A nurse has recorded the most common regrets of the dying, and among the top ones is ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’. What would your biggest regret be if this was your last day of life?

There was no mention of more sex or bungee jumps. A palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. And among the top, from men in particular, is ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’.


Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,” she says, “common themes surfaced again and again.”

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

“Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

What’s your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?


granny knitting on line

The Art Spirit

March 6th, 2013

“When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it and shows there are still more pages possible.” Robert Henri –  The Art Spirit, 1923

The FORTH Innovation

March 6th, 2013

The fuzzy front end of innovation confronts you with a lot of questions on how to start innovation. I like to inspire you with 20 practical tips.

  1. Create momentum for your innovation project. There must be urgency otherwise innovation is considered as playtime and nobody will be prepared to go outside the box. If this is not the case: create urgency and wait until the organisation is ready.
  2. Manage the expectations of your bosses and of the line management before you start your innovation project.
  3. It is essential to start your innovation expedition with a clear and concrete innovation assignment. This forces the top management, from the start, to be concrete about the market/target group for which the innovations must be developed and which criteria these new concepts must meet. This forms the guidelines underway.
  4. Use a team approach to get both better innovation results and internal supporters for the innovative outcomes. Invite people for whom the assignment is personally relevant. Invite both people for content as for decision-making reasons. Invite also a couple of outsiders as outside-the-box thinkers. Get a good mix between men and women, young & old, et cetera.
  5. Let the internal top problem-owner (vice-president) participate in the innovation team.
  6. Use a structured approach. To think outside the box is a good start. But you have to come back with innovative concepts, which fit the ‘in the box’ reality of your organisation, otherwise nothing will happen.The FORTH innovation method connects creativity and business reality in five steps. FORTH is an acronym and stands for Full steam ahead, Observe and learn, Raise ideas, Test ideas and Homecoming.
  7. Great ideas for innovative new products or services fit 7 criteria. Use them actively in your project: 1. Very appealing to customers. 2. It stands out in the market. 3. It has great potential for extra turnover. 4. It has adequate profit potential. 5. It fits management’s personal goals. 6. It is (somehow) considered quickly feasible. 7. It creates its own internal support.
  8. When you brainstorm unprepared with the usual colleagues hardly anything new appears. That’s why it is essential to get fresh insights before you start creating ideas. Let all team members visit customers and others that serve as a source of inspiration for innovation opportunities
  9. Winning new concepts give potential customers a concrete reason to change. It will solve relevant problems of customers. If you want to create innovative products or services start with discovering relevant customer frictions to solve. There are several ways to discover them, like personal visits, focus groups, web searching and crowd sourcing.
  10. Be aware of the fact that a new product idea is not only ‘a creative product’ but also must comply to all the regular business criteria of your organisation too.
  11. In ideation workshops, apply creative think techniques in the most effective way and monitor all participants and involve them in the process at the same time.
  12. Time box. Work with strict deadlines. They help you to get people outside the box. And to make choices.
  13. Be open to ideas or suggestions from your ideation team to adapt the process. Do not always try and keep to the programme for the workshop series you have set.
  14. In brainstorming sessions, spend twice as much time on the convergence processas on the divergence process.
  15. Allow people to choose which innovation opportunity, idea, concept board or mini new business case they want to work on. If you allow them to do this then they can choose not only that which they have a passion for but also what they have knowledge of which will lead to good results.
  16. Hire visualisers, cartoonists or make a movie to visualise your ideation process and the results.
  17. Keep the pace of your innovation process going; otherwise it becomes long-winded and boring.
  18. How attractive are the new product or service concepts really? That’s a legitimate question. Therefore you reflect on the concepts immediately. And you should check the strength of the ideated new concepts among potential customers. Use the voice of the customer internally.
  19. Return with mini new business cases instead of post-its or mood boards. And substantiate, in a businesslike and convincing manner, to what degree and for what reason the new concept can meet their criteria.
  20. Make use of the specific expertise of others from within the organisation as much as you can in an early phase.

So, I hope these tips will stimulate you to ‘unfuzz’ your own front end of innovation.

I wish you a lot of success in your own innovation projects. Do you have other tips for successful innovation? Please share them with us!

by Gijs van Wulfen
Founder of the FORTH innovation method, Author & Speaker on Innovation


Discover the 7 advantages of FORTH:
1. Concrete new concepts in 15 weeks
2. The innovation assignment gives you focus
3. You discover customer insights yourselves
4. Concepts are checked at the target group
5. 3-5 Concrete mini new business cases
6. Teamwork creates internal support
7. Faster implementation period



Amanda Palmer – The Art of Asking

March 5th, 2013

Young-ha Kim: Be an artist, right now! (TED)

February 20th, 2013


February 15th, 2013

Seven exhibitions are presented by apexart every season, each accompanied by a full color brochure containing reproductions of the works in the show and an essay by the curator. Our seasonal exhibition program is generally arranged with three exhibitions organized by invited individuals, two exhibitions selected from our Unsolicited Proposal Program and two exhibitions organized outside of New York through our Franchise Program.
More info


A Book Review

February 15th, 2013

The Creative License By DANNY GREGORY

Back cover copy:
Do you dare to be creative?
Somewhere deep inside, we all have a longing to make things – be they drawings, music, hand-knit sweaters, or loaves of bread. Then why do so few us consider ourselves creative?

For years, author Danny Gregory told himself he wasn’t, couldn’t be an artist. But when a crisis made him re-examine his priorities, he saw he’d been speeding through life and missing the view. So, in his late thirties, he picked up a ballpoint and taught himself to draw. The result was a whole new perspective on life – which he now shares in this beautifully illustrated program for reconnecting to our own creative energies. He gently instructs in the art of allowing ourselves to fail, giving up the expectation of perfection and opening our eyes to the beauty around us. The result is The Creative License, a wild celebration of amateurism, full of humor, passion and encouragement, sure to inspire every doodler, frustrated writer, wannabe musician, and midlife-crisising executive – in other words, the artist inside every one of us.

Find out The Creative License here

The Creative License is an excellent book whether you are at the beginning of your creative venture, well into it or already comfortable in your ‘creative self’. So how does the book achieve that? …

Danny, in effect, approaches the ideas from two different directions:- first of all by suggesting techniques for developing your ability and secondly by offering support against the fear of inadequacy and failure. The techniques covered include contour drawing, the concept of ‘negative spaces’ and proportion. These are all very well explained but actual technique takes up a very small part of the book; what is more important is that it demystifies the ‘art’. source and more

creative lisence