Year: 2014

6 Locations to Inspire Creativity

Seeking inspiration for creating something can be hard enough. For some it is easy, for others it’s a long and winding process of research and discovery until thoughts and ideas transmute into the perfect idea. Certain locations and settings have been found to spur creativity. When preparing for a creative day, it’s always paramount to find the best location that is conducive to better thinking. Here’s a list of creative places that can help in producing just the right creative alchemy. 1. Old Libraries There is just something about stately old libraries with their grand interior, dark wood bookshelves lined with leather-bound books. The scent is always the same: old wood and secret histories. The dimness is always the same: just enough light to see the feint margins of your notepad. These old libraries usually contain the best mix of silence, background noise, space, and lighting. The sense of space is replicated in your mind, allowing for more and more ideas to creep in there. It’s a freeing quality. In the library you don’t feel like your …

gin, scott fitzgerald

Literary Eats – F Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald

Writing about the past is like looking to cook something. Firstly, rediscovering and researching history is almost a never-ending scavenger hunt for the right recipe. Then to write, we need the best ingredients and sources, finally the preparation and the presentation. Coincidentally this is what has inspired the search for recipes from the past, but with a twist: recipes from the lives of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Here is what I found: Zelda Fitzgerald’s Breakfast See if there is any bacon, and if there is ask the cook which pan to fry it in. Then ask if there are any eggs, and if so try to persuade the cook to poach two of them. It is better not to attempt toast as it burns very easily. Also in the case of the bacon do not turn the fire too high, or you will have to get out of the house for a week. Serve preferably on China plates, though gold or wood will do if handy. — Stratton, Florence 1925, Famous Recipes of Famous Women  Main …

Routines of Successful Writers

Although I’m pretty certain there is no answer to it, I sometimes secretly tend to question whether there is a panacea for good writing. This got me thinking about the habits of successful writers and what kinds of routines they go through to produce work that they deem valuable. Here are some writers’ routines which I found by digging through the wonderful The Art of Fiction Archives from The Paris Review: Haruki Murakami keeps to a very tight routine when writing. He explains that he attempts to keep himself mesmerised, so he can stay wholly immersed in his work and state of mind. When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at nine p.m. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a …

Melbourne in the 1920s

Melbourne, Melbourne. What a city you are. You’ve been touted as the best city to live in for the last 4 years, your alleyway restaurants and cafes are some of the best in the world, and you look pretty good on a rainy day. But how did you look before? I’ve trawled the internet to find photos of Melbourne from the flapper days of the 1920s. Going through all the images, even the ones from Edwardian times, it creates a feeling of nostalgia for a time you may have never lived. You also realise how strange a phenomenon time can be. When you think that along the paths you walk to get home, to work; the houses you live in and the buildings you work in, these places have existed for hundreds of years. Millions and millions and footsteps have pattered along the same streets we walk along now. And yet how often do we stop think about it? That we live in this ever changing world and it’s so brief yet so elongated at the …

selfie humour

The Multiple Uses of the Selfie Stick

Oh, how lovely, you’ve gotten yourself a selfie stick. What’s that? Of course it’s terribly inconvenient to ask people to take a photo of you, and yes, they can be dangerous criminals who want nothing more than to steal your phone. Those 97 snapshots you took this morning of your omelette are incredibly sought after on the foodstagram market. So yes, having your selfie stick is much more trustworthy. But there are many other applications for your selfie stick. Your selfie stick kind of looks like an antennae from an analogue television set. Perhaps you can glue it on your head. You can make a career as a mobile reception unit. People needing better reception could call you up and you could spend time in their homes while they adjust your antennae till they get their set picture right. Expelliarmus! You could channel your inner-wizard and use it as a wand. Those annual tri-wizard tournaments your frat-house hosts won’t know what hit them. Plus you can take photos the entire time.  And if there just so …

Picasso’s Light Drawings, 1949

When two creative minds unite and create something, the results are always more than likely purely fascinating. This is exactly what happened when LIFE magazine photograhper Gjon Mili showed Pablo Picasso his work. It sparked something in Picasso’s mind, and then suddenly like a quick lightning strike, they cam up with the idea of drawing with light. Picasso to draw, Mili to capture. The results were extraordinary. But how were they achieved? In the LIFE magazine feature, it explains: This series of photographs, known ever since as Picasso’s “light drawings,” were made with a small electric light in a darkened room; in effect, the images vanished as soon as they were created — and yet they still live, six decades later, in Mili’s playful, hypnotic images. Many of them were also put on display in early 1950 in a show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. All images via LIFE magazine by Gjon Mili

reading, books

6 Things To Do on a Quiet Night In | Introvert Dear

It’s well known by now that the introverted personality generates energy by being alone. The virtues of solitude have been extolled by many with benefits including freedom, creativity, and psychological well being. However, for some reason, society seems to fear, even chastise, the solitary individual: the person having dinner in a restaurant alone, the girl reading alone in the park, or the man strolling through the streets of a new city, is viewed as lonely, rather than free.

Outsiders and Creative Thinking | Warhol’s Children

In a 2012 study it was found that social rejection propels creativity for those with an independent self-concept. That is, people who place less of a premium on sharing more similarities with major social groups, rather than opting for a more individualistic approach. 3 studies were conducted. In the first, participants were rejected outright and informed they had to work on their tasks individually. They then indicated how they felt (pretty rejected). In the second rejection was primed by requiring students to circle pronouns (“I”, “my”) and vice versa for the interdependent version (“We”, “our”). Results showed that the participants who had an independent self-concept, and who were rejected, produced more creative responses for their test, more so than included participants. The final study showed how these variables influence idea generation by completing a space alien drawing — the more the drawing diverted from conventional structures (nose in the middle of the face etc), the more creative. Again, independent thinkers generated more creative drawings following rejection, than following inclusion. “Rejection relative to inclusion appears to …

The Empathy Deficit and Books: Why Reading Books Can Make Us Better People | Warhol’s Children

In 1909 psychologist Edward Titchener introduced the term empathy into the English language as the translation of the German term Einfühlung, meaning “feeling into”. At this time in the 19th century, however, the term pertained to the thinking of philosophical aesthetics. Romantic thinkers viewed empathy as one’s ability to “feel into” nature and art, proposing that it was a remedy for the scientific attitude of impassively dissecting nature into its elements. It was then the work of Professor Theodor Lipps which transformed empathy from a concept of philosophical aesthetics into a more psychological concept.

Quietly Happy: 15 Quotes For Introverts | Introvert, Dear

I find that people tend to forget that introverts have as much value as extroverts purportedly do. That’s why when Susan Cain’s Quiet came out, it was such a poignant moment in introvert history. Well, for me anyway. I never really considered that introverts were really thought of in such a gloomy way.  And in many ways I can’t really grasp why people even mind if someone is a little less talkative. Perhaps there is too high a premium on being a chatterbox, and too low acceptance of people’s silence. There is just as much value in saying little as saying a lot. It’s just a more efficient way of expression. Introverts just have a different way of dealing with and experiencing the world. I think it’s important for reminders about the goodness of the introvert’s personality to appear constantly, so we don’t all forget and lapse into an unfair judgment and criticism of an introverted personality.