Monday, January 31, 2011

Unleash your creativity

Not everyone is the creative type, right? Wrong. Peggy Orenstein uncovers the roots of imaginative thinking.
According to James C. Kaufman, an associate professor of psychology at California State University at San Bernardino and author of Creativity 101, a majority of Americans don't consider themselves the creative "type." This wouldn't be a big deal if the self-assessment didn't tend to become self-fulfilling, but it does: We think we're not creative, so we don't cultivate our creative potential and—voilĂ !—we're not creative.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Te Rangi Creative Team Building

Te Rangi is small festival held on the property of Mary Kippenberger, Peter Charlton-Jones and their expanding family.
Mary and Peter are full-time creatives making them living from storytelling and music

At the festival a 'Blind Date' concert takes place. It happens like this. All festival goers are put into groups. Each group has a limited time to choose a song or item, practice it and perform it at a
Because Mary has a large supply of dress up clothes for her storytelling workshops all participants were encouraged to dress up - with somewhat frightening results!!
I'm sure I could encourage senior managers in the businesses I work in to do this - YEAH RIGHT!

Unlocking the origins of creativity

This from Anne McIlroy in the Globe and Mail.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Creativity for Kids

Star Wars Storm Trooper helmet made from recycled plastic milk containers - cool!!

I love the title of the blog - Filth Wizardry

Pure New Zealand Creativity

Creativity in Education

I have mentioned Gever Tulley and the Tinkering School before. Here's more directly from the Tinkering School Newsletter. It is exciting stuff!!

Dear Friends,

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, we're opening a new K-12 school in San Francisco: Brightworks

Because of the tight schedule between now and September when we open, we are regretfully unable to offer our sleep-over camp here in the Bay Area. There are great Tinkering School programs offering full summer schedules in Chicago and Austin
These are programs that are as unique and engaging as our usual summer program and I cannot recommend them enough.

As much as I am reluctant to interrupt our six-year history of amazing camps here in California, I am proud of the new Tinkering School programs appearing around the country and excited to be creating a new kind of school. I hope you'll stick with us; we're going to be back next summer, and I think that Brightworks will justify the interruption in our Tinkering School offerings.

All the best,

P.S. if you haven't heard, I have a new book just out this week on Amazon: Beware Dangerism!

Gever Tulley

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Harnessing the Brain’s Right Hemisphere

When inexperienced chess players sit down to play against experts, they probably wonder what it is that makes the experts so good that it seems they are almost playing a different game. New research suggests that one difference is that the experts use more of their brains.

The fate of originality

SOAR to Greatness

Amanda Horne suggests we should SOAR rather than SWOT.
More here:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The key to creative success

I have featured the work of David Parrish before in a blog. His focus on the business of creativity is probably the best around. I have recently come across the work of Mark McGuiness who David recommends in his most recent communication. I have copied the email below. Be sure to check out the links to Mark's material as well as the link to David's free e-book T-Shirts and Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity.

''Freedom, Money, Time - and the Key to Creative Success' is the title of an excellent new free eBook from Mark McGuinness.

You can download it here:

Mark reckons that creative people need three things to be happy:

1. Freedom - to do what you want, when you want and how you want it. Not just in holidays and spare time - but also doing meaningful work, in your own way.

2. Money - to maintain your independence and fund your creative projects. Of course you want a nice place to live, but you’re not so worried about a bigger car than the guy next door. You’d rather spend money on experiences than status symbols.

3. Time - to spend as you please, exploring the world and allowing your mind to wander in search of new ideas.

Usually, you’re lucky if you get two out of the three. But if one of them is missing, it compromises the other two.
Without money, you don’t have much freedom, because you have to spend your time chasing cash.
Without time off, money doesn’t buy you a lot of freedom.
And if you’re doing something you hate for a living, it doesn’t matter how big your salary is, or how much holiday you get.

This is the premise of Mark's free ebook: Freedom, Money, Time - and the Key to Creative Success.

It's full of practical advice you can apply to your own situation, if you want to earn a living from your creative talent, or if you're a freelancer or small business owner and want to make your business less stressful and more profitable.

Mark and his partners have also prepared a training programme to accompany this eBook - the Creative Entrepreneur Roadmap course. (The free ebook gives you a preview of the training programme.)

Mark's writing and coaching business complements my own work as a creative industries business adviser, trainer, speaker and writer helping enterprises in the creative, cultural and digital sector worldwide.

'Freedom, Money, Time - and the Key to Creative Success' sits nicely alongside my book (and free eBook) 'T-Shirts and Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity'.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Toyota Ideas for Good

This is worth checking out.

Hamilton Gardens

I like gardens but plants by themselves bore me so I was delighted to find the Hamilton Gardens a feast for both the plant and the non-plant enthusiast.
Hamilton is a city in the North Island of New Zealand for you overseas readers. There are superbly designed and planted gardens from all parts of the world but the two that took my fancy were the Maori garden and the sustainable backyard garden that included some great sculptural elements. I love sculpture in gardens - even in the vegetable patch. Well worth a visit!

Chris Meek - Creative Recycling

Whilst in Raglan on our holiday adventure I visited a gallery established by the JET Art Collective.

The works that immediately took my eye were created by one of the collectives members - Chris Meek. This what he has to say about his art [from the JET Art Collective web page]:

"I have been producing and exhibiting my artwork for the past 10 years. I describe my work as panel and paint, as I come from the trade of panel beating. I enjoy working with the uncompromising medium of metal and work intuitively on each piece, letting the qualities of the objects dictate the end result. I describe my scrap yard as an overgrown garden, having an endless supply of discarded materials waiting to be reincarnated into artworks. My ideas come from everyday life, especially the moment . I believe the world should ” make do with what it’s got.” This is my way of making a difference. Reuse, reduce , recycle."

Upon enquiring I found that he has a workshop and gallery open to the public.

We visited and were made most welcome by Chris who showed us through his workshop and gallery and talked about the creativity that goes into his work. Thanks Chris.

Habits for Creating

In my book The Creative Edge Workshop I identified what my research has suggested are the 6 habits of creative people. Creative people:

1. are OPEN


3. CHALLENGE themselves

4. SEEK out new experiences

5. SURROUND themselves with interesting people and environments


We tried to incorporate these habits into our recent Christmas holiday adevntures. The next few blogs try to capture some of what we experienced.

We slept a couple of nights in a Tipi at camp called Solscape in the beautiful seaside village of Raglan [above]

We met up with our friend Denis and spent time at his hand crafted house and played a bunch of music.

We went sailing in his trimaran - not to mention time spent in Raglans many cafes.

Our journey north took us through Kawakawa where Fredrich Hundervasser designed the local toilets. These would have to be the most creative toilets around.

More to come!

Seven ways to get inspired

Instant inspiration, courtesy of designer Anna Rabinowicz

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Combining education and technology for creativity

"Imagination and creativity, integrity, a sense of wonder and truth, persistence of inquiry--these keep us above the turmoil and herd mentality of the Internet. They allow us to profit from the inexhaustible information resource of the Internet if we keep our sense of perspective and good judgment."
This according to Larry Kilham.
Larry is a speaker and consultant specializing in new product development for high tech companies. He is the author of the forthcoming book, "MegaMinds: How to Create and Invent in the Age of Google."
More here:

How AHA's really happen.

This article by William Duggan in Business+Strategy puts the case that the theory of intelligent memory challenges the acceptred conventions of brainstorming and that companies relying on conventional creativity tools are getting short-changed. More here: