Creative Thinking

Creating Pioneers at WdKA.

One of the most important lessons I learned in art school was not how to draw, paint, sculpt, photograph, etc. I already had a pretty solid handle on that, which is probably why most students get accepted to art school. The big lessons were, learning how to be creative every day. Learning how to see. Critical thinking. And in graduate design school, learning how to collaborate. The thing is, when most students enter art school, they think they are going to learn some magical thing that will transform them into the next Picasso. Make them famous. Expose their genius. The thing is though, making art and being creative on a daily basis is tough. It’s hard work to get the ideas in your head out into the world in a way that is appreciated by others. That is the subject of the video below.

Created by  for the Willem de Kooning Academy, the video follows the creative process of an art academy student; the highs and lows, postponing a project, insecurities, working late, failing and starting over. It has a great look that is complimented by a solid narrative voice, and it really does summarize the creative process in a fun way.


The Creative Class.

Creative Class is a new website that is dedicated to a curated series of interviews of today’s influential people within the creative industry as seen by WeTransfer. The inspiration for the series of short videos comes from Richard Florida’s book by the same name. In Florida’s 2002 book, he talks about a group of individuals that would become the driving force behind the social and economic development of our post industrial cities. WeTransfer is producing the series not to promote the file transfer system they are known for, but instead to showcase designers, musicians, scientists and other creative individuals that have adapted to and embraced technology to further their creative ideas. Currently there are a total of five videos that are available on the website as well as Vimeo. Below are Tom Dixon and Stephan Sagmeister. All of them are worth watching, and I can’t wait for this collection to grow.

The Drawing the Process.

“Drawing is a thought process, not a means to reproduce what you see.” this quote from Daniel Weil in the video below, is a a comment that surfaces about 3 minutes in. It arrives as Weil shows off his sketchbooks, and talks about his process, why he draws, and how it helps him resolve problems, and complete ideas. I have said for years, you can’t design if you can’t draw.

This is fundamental to every aspect of the design industry from graphic to industrial to motion and beyond. It is also something that seems to be slipping away from many designers entering the industry today. I say this, because less than 3 years ago I sat in a meeting with a junior level designer that actually said “What if I can’t draw?” after being asked to sketch out some ideas. At the time I remember thinking, “How did you get a degree in design if you can’t draw”, and then moving on.

Over the last few years, the “I can’t draw” phenomenon has surfaced again, and again. This video, shows you why as a designer, you need to, and should draw, sketch, and visualize with something beyond your computer.

Agile Creativity from Google.

If you are a software or web developer you are probably familiar with Google’s “Agile” system of development. If you are in the creative department, you probably aren’t. Google has plans to change all of that with one of their latest ventures “Agile Creativity“, where they take the best Agile practices and apply them to agency workflows.

There are 7 tips and tools on the Agile Creativity homepage that you can apply to your creative process right now, and if you dive deeper into the site there are planning tools, a research library, facts, forums and testimonials that will help your creative team move at the pace of digital as well.

Some of this feels like common sense, some of it is a new approach to creative development. All of it is good to review even if you are using Agile practices in your creative firm right now.