Everyone deserves to be able to re-invent themselves; to decide the person they want to be, and become it; to transition from one life chapter to another. No wonder artists in the past have spent so much time creating self-portraits, for how can you reinvent something that you can’t see, or don’t understand?

#creativity #fav

Creative Constraints

One of my favourite classical works is Franz Liszt’s piano remix of Beethoven’s nine symphonies (here’s Gould playing No 6). He filters what what was created for an orchestra, squeezes it for two hands and one instrument. For me, it created a bridge to access and appreciate the original; a way in…

Black pen on white paper.

It’s a creative constraint that I’ve grown to love. Boil it down, then let it evolve.

Created whilst reviewing Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom by Amy Burvall and Dan Ryder.

#creativity #learning

Wikipedia – Active vs Passive learning

Horrible Histories? Absolute genius. I’m sure it’s creation needs deep understanding in order to use the weapon of humour around a topic. I’ve found the same is true with imagery (indeed Horrible Histories uses imagery so well), and so I love it when my son is able to deploy his own Visual Thinkery in school homework – which often contains humour too, if he thinks he can get away with it. Teach to learn…

This off-the-cuff comment by Lucy Crompton-Reid at the recent OER conference resonated with me, and it illustrates one of the simplest techniques of creating thinkery: to draw out the contrast between two things.


Have bag; can work…

I carry around a lot of stuff in my bag, and as such I can work from anywhere. Some of my best work is done on the hoof, and if it weren’t for the legroom, I’d probably buy cheap train tickets and travel the country, stopping somewhere different for lunch and heading home for teatime…

This thinkery was created for the book Emergency Rations, curated by David Hopkins.


Stickerful People

What’s the collective noun for doodles? An infusion? A gung-ho of doodlewry? I thought so. One of the highlights of the recent stickery campaign was trawling through some supporters social profiles and turning them into a doodle. Each was like a puzzle – with some easier to figure out than others. Needless to say, I couldn’t keep up, but thoroughly enjoyed the sleuthing. Thanks again to these lovely now-stickerful people.


My Workspace

Whilst slacking in the Creative Commons Slack channel, a few people were sharing their remote working setups (or for distributed organisations, their normal working setup). So I thought I’d create a quick sketch of mine. On reflection, I seem to have acquired a few boards: White, Chopping and Dart. The Chopping board has been one of the best work-hacks I’ve discovered (costing all of £8 from IKEA). It allows be to work at an angle to my desk, giving me more leg room, a healthier posture, and works a treat with an apple wireless keyboard hooked on the top of the board.

#creativity #thinkery

Changing your mind – Ten Learnings

I recieve Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings by email as I’m sure many of you do, and I’m often drawn in by both the imagery and insight she shares in and around other creatives. A couple of months ago, I came across her Ten Learnings from Ten Years, which I thought immediately demanded to be brought to life with some visuals of their own. So I thought I’d give it a go. Here’s no.1…

#creativecommons #creativity

Fruit of the Commons

Before I started drawing, I was only remotely aware of Creative Commons – if at all. I remember coming across it a few years ago. Ah! Some people have taken a complicated thing and boiled it down so that people can use my stuff in an appropriate way? For free? Creative Commons is now central to my business model: Let others use your stuff. Every once in a while someone sees something out there I’ve created and thinks “I wonder if he can help us visually capture…”

This image was created for Olga Belikov at Creative Commons as part of #CCquest

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Creative Commons – which role do you play?

In my experience, the awareness of what exactly the Creative Commons is, and what rights it affords you with respect to other people’s creative works, is at best patchy. During a conversational thinkery session with Alan Levine, we started to think through some of the roles people can play. I could give examples of all these roles, but I have a deep gratitude to those Defenders of the Commons – who understand it’s value, and why it needs protecting.

Of course, the best way to learn about the commons, is to share some of your own creative works…

#creativecommons #creativity #fav

Creative work has DNA

I had the recent pleasure of doing some conversational thinkery with Alan Levine about what Creative Commons means to us both. When I create something, it’s an outpouring of my self, both consciously and unconsciously, which is one of reasons I sign all my work – the ebb and flow of a creation that evolves and takes shape – and who knows how it ends up like it does. Obey the idea…