posted by Ian Summers on August 10th, 2012

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.Chaos  - Mixed Media on Canvas – 72″ X 72″ -© Ian Summers 2011

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I have spent a lot of time defining the creative process. I thought, if there was something in common with the ways we create and there was indeed some kind of process, then it would make sense to know where we are in the flow when performing an act of creation whether it is a photograph, a painting, a poem, a novel, a piece of music, new technology, a piece of fine art or even an advertisement. Perhaps, if we knew where we were in the process, we could become ‘more’ creative. To a large extent this has been proven to be true in the process of problem solving – certainly in the corporate world. Much has been written about how important it is to introduce creativity to seemingly non-creative people where creative problems come from the outside/in.

However, when we create from the inside/out the approach changes dramatically and the energy emerges in a different place. Heartstorming methodologies use this definition: Creating is causing what you love or what matters to you to come into being. While this is a truth, and I have built a career as a coach behind this theory, I recently had a recollection while in the middle of making a painting. I looked at my painting table which seemed to be cluttered with sketches, newspaper clippings, books, tools, tubs of water, brushes, spills, rags, newspapers, and what not. It appeared chaotic.

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posted by Ian Summers on August 8th, 2012

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The generous and always interesting folks at Design Taxi just released an article at their site called Early Advertising Artworks by Doctor Seuss. Did you know that Doctor Theodore Seuss Geisel was an illustrator before he found fame as a children’s book author?

Decades ago, I was the Executive Art Director at Ballantine Books which is an imprint of Random House. On my first day, I rode up in the elevator with Dr. Seuss. What a trip! When I left for lunch, I rode down to the lobby with Gore Vidal. I was too scared to make eye contact. Working for Random House was the best job I ever had.

Design Taxi’s post led me to The Advertising Artwork of Dr. Seuss. Give yourself a treat and see the early work of a man whose work entertained generations of children. So many of his characters and stories have entered the popular culture of people around the globe.

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posted by Ian Summers on June 28th, 2012

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I have long been an advocate of diversity. As an artist I cannot imagine doing one thing for an entire lifetime. Artists have a wide variety of interests and a natural curiosity. The 1980s were the error of specialization. For example commercial photographers were taught that they must choose a specialty and style. They were told they must do the same thing for the rest of their careers. It was not enough to shoot food. One had to specialize in liquids, spills and splashes. Food was not a specialty. Things that are fried — now that was a specialty.

The availability of information, visual stimulation, ideas, and so much more at the click of a mouse gives us the opportunity to vacuum clean the universe for ideas and ways to execute them. A big part of the creative process is to synthesize. The more we have to synthesize the greater the possibilities of creating something new present themselves.

Shea Hembrey’s TED talk entitled How I Became a Hundred Artists demonstrates diversity in a tongue-in-cheek way that is interesting, entertaining, and motivating. And is all good fun.

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How do you stage an international art show with work from 100 different artists? If you’re Shea Hembrey, you invent all of the artists and artwork yourself — from large-scale outdoor installations to tiny paintings drawn with a single-haired brush. Watch this funny, mind-bending talk to see the explosion of creativity and diversity of skills a single artist is capable of.

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