!nsp!re – Creative Traits

I’m not certain that I’ve ever subscribed to the belief that “creative” people are inherently different. For the most part, I agree with Sir Ken Robinson – creativity is nurtured.

That said, this is an interesting read, about 5 creative traits that most people won’t understand. I think one of the more salient observations is that “creative people see the world differently”. Whether that’s by nature or nurture is debatable, but I do believe it’s true. When one considers the paintings of Jasper Johns, the writings of Roald Dahl, or the songs of Nina Simone; what they share is a specific and unique perspective on the world. I would posit that HOW we see is the key differentiator between those who are creative and those who do not consider themselves to be creative.

One of the questions I get in workshops is, “As a creative, where do your ideas come from?”. To me, it’s not a mysterious process: It simply begins with seeing, but seeing in a way that filters the field of view through my experience, sensibility, and aesthetic. The design work that then emerges from that process is my own; even though it’s informed by what I’ve absorbed through art, architecture, music, and design. But it’s also more mundane than that. Inspiration is, quite literally, everywhere; from the way the light streams through the breakfast room window on a December morning, to the way the tomatoes are displayed at the grocery store; from the striking layout of a beautifully designed website to the repeating motif of a pattern in a hotel lobby.

EVERYTHING is input. Is all of the input valid? Maybe not for the project immediately in front of me; but ultimately, yes, much of it will be. The moment a creative loses their ability to truly see (and feel, experience, hear, and absorb) might as well be the equivalent of an artistic death; because that’s where it all begins. The challenge is to continually maintain that openness; that ability to look at the world with “new eyes”.

That’s the challenge I’m setting for myself – to do ONE thing differently each day to keep my vision fresh. Turn left instead of right. Take a walk during lunch. Watch my favorite movie on DVD in a different language. You do the same; and watch how your world can change.


!nsp!re – The Best Projection Mapping of 2014

Katy Perry, with projection mapped floor.
Katy Perry, with projection mapped floor.

If you saw Katy Perry’s half-time performance at the Super bowl, you saw a pretty good example of large-scale projection on a giant surface that covered much of the football field (similar to Madonna’s half-time performance several years ago).

This sort of large-scale 3D projection presentation has become trendy in recent years; used most often on the sides of buildings or in stadiums for large sporting events like the Olympics.

However, It’s important to distinguish between 3D projection and projection mapping.

Katy’s setup allowed for content that was created to look three-dimensional to be projected onto a flat surface.

By contrast, projection mapping uses lasers to map the specific surface being projected. The surface is often comprised of different shapes and sizes, not all of which are on the same plane. That laser map is then used to place content (still or animated) into very specific locations. Using specialized software, multiple projectors are stacked together and all of the edges are blended together to create one gigantic image. Combining the mapping software with custom created content allows for eye-popping imagery and great depth. Mapping 3D content into an actual 3D surface increases the dimensional effect and creates jaw-dropping imagery. Of course, it’s more difficult (and FAR more time consuming) than my cursory description would indicate.

To give you an idea of what can be done in this field, check out The Best of 2014 – The Year In Projection Mapping over at The Creators Project.