Tag The Creative Habit

So, Design

‘’Before all else, I learned all these playthings were not mere idle trifles invented by manufacturers and dealers for the purposes of gain. They were, on the contrary, a little or, rather, a big world, authoritative and beautiful, many sided, containing a multiplicity of things all of which had the one and only aim of serving love, refining the senses, giving life to the dead world around us, endowing it in a magical way with new instruments of love, from powder and scent to the dancing show, from ring to cigarette case, from waist buckle to handbag. This bag was no bag, this purse no purse, flowers no flowers, the fan no fan. All were the plastic material of love, of magic and delight. Each was a messenger, a smuggler, a weapon, a battle cry.’’ ~ Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

The League Of Disreputable Office Animals

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They threw a party — a party with snacks, drinks, smoke sticks, and gambling — and told none of us!

From left to right: Angus (drink tester and erstwhile leader), Lucky (lucky), Project Glowyrm (official snack laserer), The Mache Giraffe (taking meeting minutes), Outlaw Cat (treasurer).

(Had the idea for this piece a few weeks ago. It’s nice to finally see it realized.)

4 Years, 15 Notebooks

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Not pictured: The notebook in which I’m currently working.

A Design Observer post regarding Michael Beirut’s notebooks, Kate’s amazing photographic retrospective, and Merlin Mann’s thoughts on creativity recently got me thinking about my own growing archive of work.

Like Mr. Beirut, my mind fills with questions when re-examining the worn pages of these tiny notebooks — filled as they are with hurriedly scribbled notes and half-finished sketches. Recorded within them is a kind of personal renaissance, an arc of experience, the daily curation of a creative habit.

The first few — dating from 2005 — are filled with jotted notes for kung-fu classes (written in a particularly shaky I’m-too-worn-out-to-write hand), games of Ravenloft played with friends, sporadic, tiny, humorous illustrations made as time permitted. Throughout 2006 and 2007, a greater and greater portion of these notebooks are given over to personal illustrations and unsent letters.

By mid-2007, I am drawing — more or less — every single day. Escaping into one story or another. Reviewing those images now, I clearly recall everything about them and the setting in which they were created: waking at 5AM into the darkness of the little apartment, the comforting smell of wood smoke from a bakery across the road, the brilliant light and heat of summer afternoons, isolation and loss, a terrible flu, a circuitous resurrection through online communication, Planetes, and new stories.

I feel such chronicles are important. They’re maps of our internal territory, a perpetual well of inspiration and guidance, a reminder of what we’ve survived, what we’ve accomplished. A testament to the fact we just keep showing up.

Project Glowyrm

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The eyes.

The terrible eyes!

Fearsome, isn’t it? Originally constructed to crush the aspirations of other art students and laser their snacks, it guarded a hoard of Legos within an old box until a day ago. Now it freely surveys the desk of the fool who freed it… dreaming of electric flame.

It does not sleep. It does not eat. It complies with all FCC regulations… and it will never give up. There is no escape.