Have you ever marked out a board, went to cut, and re-checked your measurements after hearing the words "Measure twice, cut once" echo in your ears? It's remarkable how nuggets of shop wisdom can stick with you and save you a ton of trouble on a project.
At ManMade, we're big on collecting aphorisms, witticisms, and maxims that deliver helpful lessons in tidy packages. Sometimes, they're just what we need to stay productive, and get motivated to try something new. So, we're providing a few of our favorite in the form of free downloads: printable artwork to hang in your home, office, or wherever you create your DIY projects.
You know how when you're an artist or creative type, you're just so bursting with ideas that you can't possibly even write them all down, let alone execute them all?
Yeah, I don't either. The truth is, that old thing about inspiration and perspiration is kinda true. Sometimes, brilliant ideas do just hit you, but it's pretty rare, and likely, the outcome of lots of prep work. So, what to do in the meantime?
Stay creative. Create even when it's not your best work, if you're uninspired, or don't have the time or energy to do your best work. It doesn't matter. You just gotta keep at it.
I've never been a morning person. Or rather, I've never been a waking up person. I've recently been trying to work my schedule forward because I've discovered firsthand how immensely more productive I can be when I take advantage of those early hours.
The To Resolve Project is a different take on the New Year's Resolution: well-designed and inspiring creative mantras that give you a beautiful reminder everytime you switch on your smart phone or tablet. Whether you wanna read more, eat better, meet an exercise goal, or just be generally more creative and productive, you'll be good to go for the next fifty ringtone/wallpaper changes, at least.
Perhaps the most essential tool for any ManMaker is your mind. However, if you're like me, it can be really hard to keep your mind on track. That's why I have to write everything down!
Guess what. Being at the office all the time does not impress your managers. In fact, it's exactly the opposite: getting away from work can actually increase your chances of a raise or a promotion. Truth.
Look, we know you're a grownup. You know it's essential to eat breakfast, and to never be late to work. But that doesn't make hearing that damn alarm go off any easier. So, no matter what time you have to wake up, here's how to make that first hour of the day go smoother, mean more, and set yourself up for success.
The act of making an intentional cup of coffee in the morning - not just pressing a button or grabbing a to-go cup from your neighborhood shop or street vendor - has, no doubt, benefits to the flavor of your coffee. But, like many good and simple things in life, it could have a positive impact on your creativity and productivity as well.
Despite advances in technology, most projects still begin where great projects always begin: with a pencil and a piece of paper.
When researching his book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, author Mason Currey discovered that many great writers, thinkers, and authors kept specific records of their daily schedules, and how they handled the work, administrative tasks, leisure, rest, and exercise balance that will always characterize the creative lifestyle.
Good news! Your body has built-in, uh, "app" to help you maintain or regain focus, stimulate creativity, and remain engaged in whatever tasks are at the top of your to-do list.
You're likely to see this all over the craft and design blogosphere over the next few days, but I loved it too much not to share.
Matthew Schuler has been reading the scholar's Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi book Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People, and has had a few reflections based his own creative experience. Matthew quotes
Growing up, we (well, at least I) learned that creativity was a facet of one's artistic talent: if you can sing or draw or make up good stories, you were creative, and encouraged to develop it. But, thankfully, we've learned that creativity is more than just a "one size fits all" kinda thing, and more than just your ability to use a pencil to make realistic looking objects or even solve problems.
Ecuador-based graphic designer Javier Pérez uses Instagram's simple image-sharing format to wonderful creative effect, looking at the shapes of common household objects and using simple black lines to bring them to life.