Flying Mushrooms now on sale half off this week only.
In my Creativity in the Workplace Graduate class we read an article that the professor wrote about what he learned while designing hats for the Cirque du Soleil in 1996. The article is called “The 8 Lessons for building a creative workplace.” This is my reaction reproduced here and shared.
Reading about working in a circus and a fun environment had me reflecting on my own shift in my business. I once had more of a counseling business for people and their animals. It was serious, rewarding work for the contribution I was giving and how I was helping, and I adored the animals, but emotionally weighing in my psyche, and after many years doing that type of work I focused back onto designing and creating online classes that were fun. I look at that progression in my business from one extreme to the next and it’s interesting and revealing for me that my latest creation is an imaginary mall that teaches design and thinking creatively. It’s fun and entertaining like a circus. Your workplace should be fun and feed your creativity, the article suggests.
I established an Instagram account to test-drive my creations from my mall. It’s an experimental place to try out what works and what doesn’t, much like the new acts in the circus, and like the Professor described, with others witnessing and hopefully, being inspired. I see that when I am most excited, I am most successful in my posts. The other day I happened upon a creative fashion design app, Pret-a-Template. I could draw on my tablet and design clothes for my imaginary mall. You would think I just won the lottery! I played most the morning, lost in what Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi called deep in the flow. I was apprehensive about sharing my new shoe design on Instagram, but when I did, there was an outpouring of support of comments, the opposite of my last few lackluster shares.
Teresa Amabile, a creative theorist, describes intrinsic motivation as what excites and drives you. You are rewarded from within. Can others feel your deep intrinsic motivation then through your work? As mentioned in the article, leading to more innovative creations? I believe so. It’s that spark that we are attracted to in others’ work. I watched an episode the other day of the new season of World of Dance. There’s a group of LA youngsters called The LAB, back from last year. They dance with passion, fire and motivation. I could never get enough of watching them perform as they command the stage. Perhaps that is an argument in being excited about what you are doing vs. creating only what the market seems to want. That route doesn’t lead to innovative work or work with heart, although it can be profitable. I live near Sedona, Arizona. There is one artist that makes these standing deer figure sculptures. They have a funky, Native American, symbolic feel. I imagine his first sculpture was filled with heart & deep expression. Many years later he now simply replicates the deer in different costumes and they sell like crazy. They are devoid of spark. Can others see that or only other artists?
The other part of the article that fed me was the idea of rewarding your efforts vs. focusing on your failures. The idea of failure causes anxiety throughout my body for most even small efforts. I observed how this idea would be applicable the other day. My husband is also going back to school to finish his Bachelors degree in Business. His latest online class in Finance has challenged him to spend many hours after work struggling away on calculations, sometimes, late into the night. After getting through an intense problem there is noticeable relief. His upset was obvious when his professor graded his exercise by what was wrong or right leaving very little credit for all his work done the night before. He explained to me that his prior teachers always graded his effort giving him full credit. Why was this teacher different? His whole demeanor shifted in this class. I could see the air drain from his tires. This was a real life example of what I do to myself when I work so hard but a project doesn’t have glowing reviews so I discount the effort. I was squashing my creativity and poisoning my creative workplace, in this case, studio.
How will you reward your efforts? Where do you dive down deep in flow?
It’s been a while. I hope to share more soon and my journey through learning animation and attending Grad School.
Until next time,
Kantor, R. (2018?) 8 Lessons on Building a Creative Workplace. Retrieved from Drexel University website 9 June 2018.
Other Innovative Teachers Who Think out of the Box:
More jumping off points for your creativity and imagination that float my boat and I hope, will float yours too.
- The book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is the artist’s bible
- Herve Tullet’s Art Workshop
- Technical Classes on Skillshare that teach with fun
- Jill Badonsky’s universe
- Doodle your way at Doodleanonymous
- Read Somerset Studio magazine (especially the issues my essays are in!)
- Watch My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away
- Check out the Bosch parade
- Lynda Barry’s Syllabus
- Learning with Heart by Corita Kent
- Ed Emberley books
- The Kitchen Art Studio by Peter Jenny
Wow. What a crazy year. Seems like every morning I check the news feed and I learn about a natural disaster happening, a crazy person driving into a street of people, or some fundamental right taken away from me. It’s easy to be down and discouraged. The one thing that helps me feel hopeful and back on my feet is to remember about the Magical: the awe, the serendipity, the divine and imaginative. Here’s a big dose for you this holiday season of the Magic that is out there folks all over that are designing up the Magical.
The Holiday Windows in New York City bring to life magical desinations. Check them out here.
Genie Lamps $30 aisle 4, the Invention Room, Idea Emporium
Oh my goodness! There’s an Ice Cream Museum! Are you kidding me? Toppings are toys? I’m so on board. Here’s the link to locations in California. Road trip!
Formula to grow taller, I could use this. $200 in the Invention Room
There is this thing called Ring Ring Wonder Christmas. Have you heard of it? There’s a series of videos on YouTube and it’s magical times three!
Rose Fishes need good homes. See Zozo for information.
Then there’s the land of Pip and Pop. I’ll smoke what they are smoking! Their worlds feel like stepping into bubblegum and dime store toys. Cool blog post here.
Cupcakes with cloud frosting in the Bakery $3 each
I wish the mall was a real mall I would be making lots of money! Ha ha ha, sigh. But in the meantime until that becomes a magical reality, for 2018 my goal will be to put the Idea Emporium Activity Book into form, now that it’s complete thanks to all of you who have cheered me on and interacted with the posts and prompts, etc. May your holidays be bright, love-filled, and of course, Magical.
Preorder my first Idea Emporium Zine 101 exploring and wrapping up 2017 with the theme AUTHENTIC filled with Reg Tips, creative prompts, drawings, sketchbook pages…
- What if it’s simple?
- Resource for Sensory Overload
- Go Where You Are Valued story
- I lost myself story…
- Cecile’s class
- Music for the Invention Room
- Multiple Intelligences quiz
- Your place of Power
- When you share in the wrong place
- What I learned from Project Runway
- Movie suggestions
- etc. etc.
Buy here at Preorder Price $9.00 (Available in January)
Until next time,
It’s Blog Tuesday! Woot! And I’m tired of my Facebook Feed of Gloom and Anxiety. I like to think when you step into the Idea Emporium you are transported into a magical mall. We visited the Phoenix Art Museum not too long ago and the whole family loved the Infinity Rooms! They are pure magic and you are immersed into a magical world. This interesting artist creates with mirrors and sculptures whole new mind destinations. Ready to hug your imagination?
Visit a Field of Pumpkins
A giant pumpkin is at the beginning of your museum tour created by the 88-year-old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. You can peer into the holes for a “whole” new different perspective. We saw this one in person.
She also has a work that is a field of pumpkins. Trippy, eh? It’s sculpture and mirrors. Now that’s a Pumpkin Patch! Don’t see Snoopy anywhere. This exhibit is over at the Dallas Museum of Art.
What is interesting about this artist who loves creating art installations she calls Infinity Rooms, is that 1/ her parents and family discouraged her path into art which caused her much anguish and solidified her path, and 2/ she suffers from mental illness and channels her anxiety and obsessions through her artwork. You can read more about her here.
I found this pumpkin sculpture she did on the Internet and now all I want to do is make life-size pumpkins out of clay.
The part we visited in the museum was the Firefly Room. A little scary at first when you walk in for those who don’t like the dark or small spaces, but then enchanting and deeply magical once you are inside.
Yayoi Kusama’s You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies (2005)
She brings a fairytale to life about fireflies. You walk among a dark room and tall trees are simulated in the middle as if you are deep in the forest. Fireflies (small LED lights) light up the entire room as you walk the edges of it. It’s a tranquil yet magical experience.
For Further Exploration I Found These Links of her Other Infinity Rooms:
Trippy! Love Forever room
Until next Blog Tuesday,
Here at the Idea Emporium the imagination is celebrated and design ideas are born. The store manager saw this book today. Have you read it?
From Amazon.com: “Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?” I found the book here.