In the late 1800's and early 1900's, there was a wondeful subculture of folks hitching rides on trains and bartering for food with inventive crafts and works of art. Some people call this genre of art "tramp art" or "hobo art", but I like to call it "freakin' awesome."
I'm not gonna lie…I haven't been this excited about a table in a long time. Don't get me wrong, I am often excited by tables and other assorted pieces of furniture, but this one, which is made from an antique door, is different. It's something I could actually make!
Cinder blocks are quite possibly the most boring material ever. And really, when's the last time you saw someone make something creative with them? Well as it turns out, it actually doesn't take a whole lot of effort to transform boring old cinder blocks into a work of art.
Daniel Ting Chong and Jordan Metcalf joined forces to create a playful, but sobering, series of objects that examines crime and violence in South Africa, committed both by criminals and law enforcement.
If you've ever agonized over the precise kerning and leading of a few stubborn letters, just be thankful that you didn't have to do it with over 160,000 3-dimensional letters that are then embedded in concrete. For most people, such a daunting endeavor would be a one-way ticket to an acute case of typography-induced psychosis...
"The Carpenter," is a beautiful two-minute short by Greek design and art studio Deep Green Sea. This entry is "the first of a series of short films regarding the art & science of professionals working with their hands."
It's really lovely stuff, and has got me feeling super motivated to clean up my workshop (still devastated from a recent major build, which'll be posted next week), and make something amazing.
Click play to watch the video:
Whether you're a full-time creative professional, a passionate pastime artist, or simply a dabbler, it's gonna happen. The creative block - that blank page, empty canvas, one-line melody, uncut yard of fabric, that time where all you wanna do (or have to) is create something, and you just can't get started...or worse, finished.
But not all creative blocks are equal. They could come from a lack of ideas, but also from your own health or emotional wellness, work habits, or even communication. So, in order to become more productive, you first gotta understand what sort of block you have. Which, to me, recalls this classic interchange from Empire Records:
Mark: Hey, Lucas. I've decided I'm going to start a band.
I'm just gonna say it: If you can, at least, safely and accurately wield a pair of scissors, it's simply unacceptable to have a plain, straight from the store memo board: either cork, magnetic, or dry erase. There are so many easy ways to make it interesting: make it woodgrain, turn it into bold graphic shape, build a handprinted inspiration board from scratch for way less than the office supply store, or create a double duty DIY dry erase board.
Or, take a cue from Michael, and go straight up vintage map-y.
It comes as no suprise that many artists and creative types are introverts. Creativity is all about ideas, and artists connect to others on the basis of ideas. Which is, basically, the definition of introversion - one views the world from the inside, and draws energy from being alone or with a small group of people, and then uses that energy to operate within the outside world.
The concern is, most introverts don't know they are, and so they don't do the work that restores them and take the time to reenergize. Creative work allows for that rest to happen, even if we're crazy busy.
These days, our supermarket aisles are saturated with images of celebrities posing in the same places. Some reality TV contestant with some heiress, some basketball star and R&B singer smooching, etc. So many, in fact, that we forget the cool things that can happen when actual cool people know each other and hang out.
If you read ManMade, its likely you consider yourself a creative person, or at least a connoisseur of all things awesome. And as all creative types know, inspiration comes from darn near everywhere. Photographs influence songwriting, movies translate into poetry, philosophy makes for amazing sculpture, etc.
The folks at Mat Dolphin agree, and they've constructed a list of inspirational people modeled after the Periodic Table of Elements. "In the list are Film Directors, Musicians, Designers, Artists, Writers and anyone else that has inspired us."
Click through to see the expanded version and find your favorites.
When you're pushing the conservation and restoration of the environment, rather than some new product or service, the inspiration must just keep on coming.
Whoever the WWF (World Wildlife Fund or the World Wide Fund for Nature, depending on where you live) has on their ads, they best keep them around. This is advertising at its finest.
Julia Rothman's "Book By Its Cover" blog regularly features some incredible things bound in book form. But these from German Illustrator Lars Henkel simply leap off the page (screen?) in their pushing the boundaries of what "sketchbook" usually conjurs up.
"Lars Henkel wrote me wondering if I’d be interested in sharing his sketchbook. I am more than thrilled when an incredible artist such as Lars even has heard about the site, let alone wants to contribute to it. Lars work is interesting and impressive in every way.