"We gather knowledge faster than we gather wisdom." - William Bell

Kids Learn Fast

Posted: December 17th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Random | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

A good ad for a good cause. If you don’t know what to give someone this Christmas, why not one of these? The ad hones in on a really good insight: kids learn fast.

What do you think?

- Christian


Keep Moving

Posted: December 17th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: , | No Comments »

Creativity doesn’t always work. It’s not something that you can just turn on and off – everyone gets stuck with the “writer’s block” at some point in time. So the next time this happens to you, here’s a simple solution: change something.

You need to create movement and change in your daily routine. Do anything that breaks your standard life pattern:

  • Sleep upside down on your bed
  • Throw everything out that you haven’t used in the last 12 months
  • Talk to a stranger on the bus
  • Work at someone else’s desk
  • Deprive yourself of your greatest passion for a whole day then binge on it the next
  • Drink only water for a week
  • Go to dinner with someone new
  • Go commando

But if you try the last one, be sure not to tell me. The truth of the matter is that creativity flows from experiencing something new and different. Sometimes it will go wrong and fail spectacularly. If this happens … who cares? JUST MOVE ON! If you get stuck on one technique, do something else.

The point is that the movement and momentum created by changing your routine will help you break free.

And freedom = creativity.

- Christian


Looking Back

Posted: December 11th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

I was reading David Trott’s blog and came across this letter from an 84 year old. Interesting and inspiring.

“If I had my life to live over again I would try to make more mistakes
next time. I’d try not to be so perfect.
I’d relax more, I’d be sillier than I’ve been on this trip.
In fact, I know of very few things I’d take quite so seriously.
I’d be crazier, I’d take more chances, I’d take more trips,
I’d climb more mountains. I’d swim more rivers, and I’d watch more sunsets.
I’d eat more ice cream – and fewer beans.
Sure I’d have more actual troubles, but fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I was one of those people who lived sensibly, and prophilactically,
hour-after-hour, and day-after-day.
Oh, that doesn’t mean I didn’t have my moments.
But if I had it to do all over, I’d have more of those moments.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing but moments, one after another.
I was one of those people who never went anywhere without a thermometer,
a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute.
If I had it to do all over again, I’d travel lighter next time.
I’d start barefoot earlier in the spring and I’d stay that way later in the fall.
I’d ride more merry-go-rounds, I’d pick more flowers, I’d hug more children,
I’d tell more people that I loved them,
If I had my life to live over again.
But, you see, I don’t.”

So get off you ass and live your life.

- Christian


The Best Present Is A Story

Posted: December 10th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Random | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

I was reading AdJoke and came across this post. Basically, it showcased a commercial from a company called Red Ballon that allows you to give awesome experiences as presents. Fly in a fighter jet. Drive a race car. Get a makeover and a modeling photo shoot. Go to spy school. These are the types of things that you can give people.

And it got me thinking. The best presents that you can get someone is an awesome story. A diamond or jewellery will always look nice. But it’s a cop out. You can directly peg how much your love is worth. It’s on the price tag. It’s got a resale value. But an experience can be different. What you are really giving them is a story. A story that can grow and be embellished and be told to hundreds of people over decades.

So remember, if you’re giving something this holiday season, make sure that it’s got a story attached.

- Christian


Pretty Pictures

Posted: December 3rd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

When you get the right snowfall it’s peaceful. It muffles the sounds of the city and covers up all of the ugliness with a fresh white blanket. You can view a vast landscape of visual stimulus, but only hear the thoughts in your head. I find that it’s very conducive to creative thinking. On that note, here are five awesome photographs from Smashing Magazine’s exhibit on winter photography dubbed “Winter Wonderland”.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Which one is your favourite?

- Christian


The Beauty of Time Pressure

Posted: December 2nd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: On Ideation | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Tinker Hatfield feels like he designs his best Nike kicks when he’s under pressure. It’s an interesting juxtaposition, because most creative folks are looking to gain more time, more opportunities, more white space. He’s looking for less. He’s trying to design in a constrained box of time.

“I am most driven when the chips are down and the timelines are short. I thrive in chaos, when problems seem insurmountable.” – Tinker Hatfield

That’s a bold statement. But for a creative professional, it makes sense. Short timelines give a goal. You can see the finish line and know what you need to accomplish before time runs out. The time constraint limits your team from over thinking the problem (or their solutions). It allows you to settle in on the good ideas in their pure form … not kill them with a thousand little changes.

Of course, even when you are faced with immense time pressure, to be truly successful you have to do one of the hardest things: remain calm. You have to approach the problem solving with a calm mind that can think clearly. And then you buckle down and get it done. The time pressure allows you to cut all of the fat from the creative process and streamline everything to exactly what you need.

And the real beauty of a quick deadline is that once it passes, it’s over. You’re done. If it doesn’t sell, you can always release another product, another design or another film next week.

- Christian