Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ingenuityfest: A Study in Contrasts

After almost 5 years of trying, I finally made it to the Ingenuity Festival, a three-day long extravaganza of technology and art held each year here in Cleveland.

I say, "trying," because I really have had good intentions of going to the fest the last several years.  Arriving back in Cleveland, shortly before the second year of Ingenuity, I signed up to be a volunteer, thinking it would be a cool and easy way to get a free ticket. Of course, I never actually ended up volunteering and for the next several years life seemed to get in the way during the annual weekend of Ingenuity.

This year seemed to be no different, with a planned trip to Pittsburgh falling on the same weekend as Ingenuity. When one of my instructors mentioned that we could receive 5 extra credit points for going and writing about what we saw, I knew that was the motivation I needed!

I arrived early on Sunday, the third and final day, and was instantly greeted with the contrast of the location: a bridge. Yes, that's right, a bridge. Actually, the fesitval is located on the obsolete trolley level of the bridge, while cars sped along the upper span. The bridge connects the east and west sides of the city above the Cuyahoga River. Yet, more contrast.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Doodle Diary Not Just for Girls

Last week I introduced you to uber-creative Dawn Devries Sokol and this week I want you to meet her latest book, Doodle Diary: Art Journaling for Girls. I am a twitter follower of Dawn's and when I saw this book was being released, I begged for a review copy. I guess I just knew that with a title like that it would be good and fit right into the theme of my blog.

Anyway, after receiving the book, I giddily flipped through it and quickly realized that not only is this book not just for girls (women of all ages will love it too!) but also it is the kind of book I wish I had had when I was growing up.

The introduction features a host of how-tos for getting started doodling, as well as tips for using the book and getting the most out of it. My favorite part includes a statement about how mistakes often make better art! If only, I had read that as a young artist, I wouldn't have had to learn it later in life, but I digress... Dawn also includes a list of tools, which include suggestions beyond a simple pencil. She mentions gel pens, sharpie pens, and crayons among others.

The rest of the book is filled with brightly colored and creatively laid out doodling prompts with plenty of extra space to well, just doodle. What I really like about the book is not only the emphasis on expanding creativity for girls but also the subtle messages of self-improvement aimed at a group that could probably use a boost of self-esteem.

With that said, I'd highly recommend this book to girls (of all ages) and even to boys. It's an overall magical book that everyone will glean a bit of creativity and inspiration from.
  • Sample prompt: 5 Things That Make Me Happy. Now get doodling!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Five {5} Creative Questions with Dawn D. Sokol

Dawn Devries Sokol is one creative (and busy) woman, so I am happy she took some time and answered my questions this month.

Dawn DeVries Sokol is the author of Doodle Diary: Art Journaling for Girls (Gibbs Smith, 2010) and 1000 Artist Journal Pages (Quarry, 2008), a book designer, and an avid art journaler and doodler. She lives in Tempe, Arizona, with her husband T.J., and dog Lucy.

Her next book will be published by Gibbs Smith in 2011 and Interweave Press just released her workshop DVD titled "Art Journaling: Pages in Stages". She discusses art journaling and doodling on her blog. She also can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

1. What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity is constructing or inventing something and anyone can do it. We are all creative. We all have imagination. It's just how we access the imagination and what we make of it. Whether we paint, draw, make music, sing, dance, perform, craft, crochet, sew, doodle, or whatever...It's all creativity!

2. What is your creative process and what tools do you use to stimulate it?
I'm not really sure if I have a set process. If I feel inspired, I create. As a book designer, it can be difficult to feel inspired on a deadline, but I graduated with a degree in journalism, so deadlines tend to motivate me more than not. I sometimes go days without creating if I've been on a huge deadline or just completed a big creative project. You have to take a break.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Creativity is...Learning

This fall creativity is...learning. As many of you know, I've headed back to school. Yes, after a 10 year break and a BA and MA, I am currently working on an Associates degree. Strange, I know, but sometimes life is not linear!

Anyway, taking classes has made me think how creativity is...learning. As I've mentioned before, you simply can't create without moving forward. That's why creativity thrives on learning. Learning makes it possible to add new ideas and then merge them with what you already know to create something new.

For me, that means broadening my focus this fall and taking 2 technology classes and 2 design theory classes.
  • Take a class this fall and see what new ideas you create.