Seven Secrets to Unleashing Your Inner Genius

Embrace Opposing Forces 

Highly creative people tend to welcome paradoxes, melding two seemingly contradictory ideas that lead to greater innovation.”There are a lot of so-called dichotomies that aren’t really dichotomies at all,” says Kaufman. For example, when it comes to the creative process, there’s no sharp  demarcation between work and play. Other lines blur as well.  “People who are really creative are good at trusting and having faith in their intuition but also at being rational in their analysis of whether or not something is correct.”  Strength  and sensitivity also seem contradictory, but the distinction may not always be so clear. ” Creative people tend to have extraordinary sensitivity but also are capable of staying true to their values, even in challenging environments.” Highly creative people have a tendency for post-traumatic growth, an ability to learn from distressing experiences.

Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

Courtney Mifsud

Advertisements

Seven Secrets to Unleashing Your Creative Genius by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

BE OPEN TO NEW EXPERIENCES

According to Kaufman you need to create a space where you can discover things about yourself, and that is most likely to happen when you leave yourself open to new experiences. And what exactly does that mean?  At the core it’s ” the drive for exploration and curiosity, and the constant temptation to get outside your comfort zone and embrace the unknown, ” Kaufman explains.  “In your everyday life you could be open to new experiences in any moment.  Try as best as you can to keep your prior stereotypes and anxieties to yourself and try not to impart them into the world. Try to see things as they truly are and be curious about everything. Be curious about ANYTHING.

A CREATIVE EXERCISE TO TRY

I teach drawing and design and one of the first sketchbook assignments I give to the students is to pick a shape and draw it 50 times 50 different ways. This gets their imagination flowing and allows them to address different design concepts we’ve discussed; line,value,variety , etc.

I myself engage in this exercise often, making a several variations of a shape . I have posted the many variations on a shape….. there are definitely more I could come up with.. color being an additional aspect I have even touched yet. try it yourself with a shape of your own choosing.

Do you see the basic shape I started with and it’s variations throughout all the sketches?

Art Quote for the Day

I was cleaning out my storage shelves at school today and came across some handout sheets I’d forgotten about. I read over them and found them pretty interesting and helpful as far as painting goes…. I will post the information here hoping it will be helpful to others.

FYI – COLORS AND WHAT THEY DO

1. White mixed with other colors dulls their brilliance

2. Ultramarine blue  + white,viridian green, barium, naples yellow  = delicate atmospheric greens

+ ochres                                                                      = dull greens

+ cadmium yellow, zinc yellow                              = vivid greens

+ umber, white                                                         = grays

3. Prussian blue   + cadmium yellow                                                         = greens of great intensity

+ white                                                                             = silvery, bluish greens

+ burnt sienna                                                                = deep green

+ iron oxide reds & white                                             = grayish distant greens

+ naples yellow                                                               = cold luminous greens

+ ochre                                                                             = dull greens

+ umber, white,                                                              = all variations of warm or silvery grays

4. Naples yellow  +  black                                                                             = neutral greens

+ venetian reds,cadmium red , vermillion                =  warm pinks

5. Cadmium yellows + blues, blacks                                                          = greens

+ burnt sienna                                                          = more “fiery” sienna

6. Cadmium reds & vermillion + umber                                                   = duller reds

+ alizarin crimson                                  =  intensely fiery reds

GLAZING TIPS

1. Black and alizarin crimson make a deep velvety color suitable for glazing.

2. Pure viridian, alizarin crimson & burnt sienna are the most useful glazing colors”

3. The area to be glaze should be lightly moistened with painting medium.  Apply medium to surface and wipe with hand or brush to a thin layer

4. If dried layer is too shin ( oily or varnished) use FINEST  abrasive steel wool, or cheesecloth moistend with thurpentine – rub in parallel, horizontal strokes.

Art Quote for the Day

“I notice that students often start laying in colors and paint just to cover the canvas, without being very attentive to what’s going down–colors and values all over the map! They are feeling they want to get started and hope to refine it later. The problem is, the surface of the picture plane is so alive and active that every inattentive mark you put on it is taking you away from what you had intended to paint faster than you can possibly realize . It makes a lot of sense to try and get it right the first time as if it really mattered, moving intelligently right now toward your idea. And it really helps to have an idea. But just laying in paint as an unhelpful foundation completely confounds our ability to see what we’ve accomplished and where we need to go next. Every part is now reverberating with every other in a chaotic and confusing jumble, and trying to dig ourselves out of that mess may be too much for any painter.
This brings up 2 points.First, so much of what we do while we paint is a reflection of our character and shows us, for better or worse, and if we choose to perceive it, our true nature. Not taking time to lay in a strong and meaningful foundation may be something that manifests in other areas of our life. Art can be a remarkable feedback mechanism for our life.
This is not the same as trying to get it perfect. It justs means trying to get it as right as you can as you go along. “Right” means being aligned to your idea. Trying for perfection takes the life out of expression. to be continued………..

Creative Authenticity- 16 Principles to Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision by Ian Roberts

Art Quote for the Day

“I know alot of students who are distracted by an artist’s color or painterliness. They want to paint like that.Yet what isn’t always clear is that, if the artist is any good , the color and bravado is embedded in a foundation . Jon Carlson, the landscape painter, said, “confidence of execution comes from practice and long experience.”

We can run into trouble comparing ourselves with another artist’s work when our temperament is completely different from his or hers, which means that we could never do what they do.

We can admire all manner of art and artists. We can learn from all kinds of paintings. But it is unproductive to compare and evaluate ourselves againt someone else’s work. What we’re trying to compare doesn’t. and it can be harshly discouraging to try.

Certainly it’s foolish to compare what you accomplished in an afternoon session at a painting class with a model whose pose you didn’t set, with ten other artists vying for a decent view with decent lighting, with a painter who was moved by an idea, hired a model specifically for achieving the idea, and set the stage, model and lighting to reflect his vision nd then had a week of six-hour days to accomplish it. The same would apply if you tried to compare a two-hour-on-location landscape with something that was done in the studio over several weeks with far more planning and adjusting than you can ever afford with a quick sketch.

Creative Authenticity by Ian Roberts

Art Quote for the Day

WHEW!!!!!!!

I just finished another Winterim session at my place of employment, Edgewood College in Madison WI. This is a 2 week long period of time that students can take classes and get a full semester’s worth of credit. We meet EVERYDAY  for 3 hours and I had one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon.  Six hours of classtime,  2 hours of prep-time, I was out of the house everyday at 7 am and home by 4:30 pm……. with maybe 30 minutes to gulp down some kind of lunch.

I’M EXHAUSTED!

4 days off , and then, the real semester starts and back at it!

I LOVE IT !!!

The Winterim is proof of  how much can actually get done in a very short time if that time is concentrated and focused. It is proof of what students are capable of learning and doing in that same amount of quality time.

The morning class I taught was in Figure Drawing. Drawing the nude…. everyday a live model, everyday a new set of skills to be learned: proportion, measuring ,bone structure, musculature,modelling 3-dimensional form, gesture/motion, media,patience, focus, imagination. We ended today with a 2 hour long pencil drawing of 2 poses in one drawing that related to each other in some way. Students had to draw a sitting pose and a standing pose that would relate to each other , switching back and forth about every 5 minutes….. After only 9 days of intense instruction and LOTS of practice they all managed to complete a pretty accomplished drawing! Some of the students had never had a drawing course before so I’m pretty proud of them!

The afternoon class was called Art Structure and it is specifically for NON-ART majors. Again, everyday , a new set of skills and information: drawing, color theory, design, painting, abstraction, printmaking, sculpture….. total chaos everyday…. CREATIVE CHAOS! And , once again, the work completed was fantastic.

Some of the work is posted here Enjoy!….

Art Quote for the Day

And once again, the time has gone by SUPERFAST and I find myself at the end of another semester. Projects DONE, grading DONE,cleaning up the art room messes, almost done! A few weeks of a much welcome break where I can really focus on my own painting , and then back at it again!
I was thinking the other night,( while attending a senior seminar where students I had as Freshman and are now about to graduate, had to present their work to an audience and talk about it), that it’s a great thrill to watch these individuals come into our school as these young Freshmen, watch them make it through all their trials and tribulations and then  see and hear them be so articulate about their work at the  end of it all. Somewhere deep down inside I’m always hoping that maybe, in their talks, they’ll mention me…. that I made a difference and when they don’t I have always felt a little sad. BUT, after seeing this presentation the other night I realized there are no thanks needed. My job is to instruct them in the basic foundations courses that are required . In return they inspire me in so many ways , I ‘m never bored. My own personal mission is to create for them an atmosphere of creativity and fearlessness so that they can INDEED go on to create a fantastic portfolio of work . I’m a small part of a bigger picture that includes all of my fellow faculty members, all doing the hard work that it takes to get these young people ready for the real world. And I’m so very happy to be a part of it.

Now, with the holiday break starting, I will take off a few days to do stuff other than school stuff but I’m already sort of thinking about new assignments, projects, and visual examples. I’m looking forward to the first day of classes when I get to meet new students and re-connect with old….

I just Love this Life of Mine!!!!

Art Quote for the Day

I bought a new sketchbook a few months ago. It’s a larger format than I usually use so I decided I would divide each page into small squares. It’s been an interesting process…. depending on the size of the small squares, depending on how many I put on one page, I find myself exploring themes and variations of a single theme. sometimes I’ll start a page by filling all the squares with a similar shape and then start doing different things to each one. sometimes it’ll be certain set of colors I want to work with or a different media. Every single little square is a future painting I think. There are more small squares than I have time left in my life to paint but it’s going to be fun trying.