Tag Archives: creativity

The 51 Coolest Side Projects We’ve Ever Seen

We talk a lot about inspiring careers here. But what often gets neglected as we’re talking about all the cool things people are doing during their day jobs is all the cool things they’re doing outside of the 9-to-5. So today, we’re fixing that in a big way.

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I was pretty excited to read this article, and there are a lot of blogs I have bookmarked to read later. But before this post got any further out of date, I wanted to share it here– on one of my side projects! Much like these enterprising people, I found some satisfaction in sharing what I do outside of my office…namely during my commute and lunch hour. 

The Science-Backed Benefits of Being Bored

One morning during my commute, I found myself without my usual literary distractions. Instead, I had the rare opportunity to observe my fellow New Yorkers in their most natural and probably most frequented habitat: the subway.

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Another article that touches on the connection between boredom and creativity (they use “genius” here) and not turning “not busy” into a shameful thing. There are historical records of boredom, words that we don’t use anymore that describe that mindset of not really being interested in what’s around you, but still taking in the distraction. My favorite: doldrums. It reminds me of The Phantom Tollbooth, by Jules Verne.

This article, from Greatist, also focuses on the health ramifications of boredom. That said, being bored until the moment strikes isn’t the best way to coax some creativity forth, but there’s nothing bad about indulging in some mental wandering every now and then.

Watch Kermit the Frog Explain How to Tap Into Everyday Creativity

We often assume that creativity is something only artists need. However, as notable artist, producer, and amphibian Kermit the Frog explains, keeping your mind open to accept and play with different ideas can improve anyone’s work.

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This is the third post in the last few months that has focused on creativity. What they all have in common is the premise that everyone has the capacity to be creative. The first, on the myths surrounding creativity, visits the all-too-celebrated image of the lone creative genius. The second, on the connections between distraction and creative genius expands on the benefits of productive distraction.

This TEDx talk by Kermit the Frog includes a lot of the same refrains, that creativity is within everyone’s grasp. And most of us who don’t profess a creative side, still have one. Within the first five minutes, Kermit cites a ‘conspiracy of craziness’ that enables a theater of people (and many more online) to sit and listen to a frog talk about creativity. What is suspension of disbelief, other than an extension of creativity?

Watch the whole 25 minute video, and if you have more time after that, do some research about Jim Henson and the development of the Muppets.

Trick photography – how to take multiplicity photos

This is a great trick photography technique – multiplicity photos. You make your subject (usually a person) appear more than once in a photo. It’s easy to do, trust me! First off, if you don’t know what a multiplicity photo is, have a look at the example below.

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Everyone likes trick photography! There are some great tips for doing multiplicity panorama photos in an earlier blog post here.

Endlessly Distracted? Blame Your Own Creative Genius

Creativity is linked to an inability to filter out sensory information, a new study says. Endlessly distracted by the sounds of your open office? Blame your own creative genius.

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This is a great article and I enjoy the tie in to the common misconception of creatives as reclusive people (something I posted about last month). That was totally inadvertent though! It might be worth it for aspiring creatives to take some time and get distracted.

If you’d like to get a jump start on distraction, I wrote a post last year just about distracting websites! Another completely inadvertent tie-in…and since I limit myself to two of those, I’m going to post this and look at pictures from corgi beach day.

LA’s Proposed Parking Signs Are Brilliantly Simple

Ken Husting was circling downtown Los Angeles one day in 2013 trying to find parking when, all of a sudden—Hallelujah!— he found a spot. Then he looked up to see six signs attached to pole telling him that he maybe, possibly could park there.

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There’s no arguing that a lot of municipal signage could use a dose of additional clarity. The adage a picture’s worth a thousand words must never have occurred to the original sign designers – or maybe it wasn’t as important as simplicity, visibility, or cost. Still the current signs are not clear and are usually compounded with additional signs that are in effect at other times. The proposed sign removes a lot of ambiguity and introduces a more universal set of symbols. It uses a lot of design sense, and in a world that’s becoming more aesthetic, design sense is good sense.


You’ve heard of the Cult of Apple. But did you know about the Sacred Order of Photoshop? “At Adobe we are all about our customers—they’re filmmakers, illustrators, designers, photographers,” says AJ Joseph, the executive creative director at Adobe who spearheaded the “Dream On” video.

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Happy 25th birthday to Adobe’s Photoshop! I’m happy to be able to count myself as a user for around half of that. Cheers to layers and layers of learning for (more than) a few more years to come!

Make sure you check out the “Dream On” video, it’s definitely worth a look.

Demystifying the muse: 5 creativity myths you need to stop believing

This post originally appeared on the Crew blog. There’s a letter from an 1815 issue of General Music Journal where Mozart describes his creative process as instantaneous: no struggle or writer’s block. The muse simply showed up and he was ready.

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Creativity for all! Sometimes it’s awfully hard to get started, sometimes it’s hard to follow through. Creativity is a lot of work. This is a great article about what creativity isn’t…it’s not a gift bestowed on the lucky few…it’s not a solitary process…and it certainly isn’t just an easy thing.

Creativity can seem to be those things. It’s easy to have a brilliant revelation in the shower, but the work by many to realize the thought often gets looked over.

There’s a fantastic feature of language that means that words can be combined in completely new ways, to make new meanings, without end. Since we’re all communicating and language is changing, updating, and growing, how creative must we all be?

How to Tell a Great Story

We tell stories to our coworkers and peers all the time — to persuade someone to support our project, to explain to an employee how he might improve, or to inspire a team that is facing challenges.

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I cannot recommend this article enough. Beyond having clearly outlined takeaways for effective storytelling, there are some great case studies to draw inspiration from. There is always time to tell a story, and there’s good reason to utilize storytelling in more scenarios. Just think about modern marketing, there are many more stories than you would anticipate; they simply take the core message of the story and make it about the product.

A very worthwhile read, you could probably apply it in a lot more ways than you expect!

7 Smartphone Photography Tips for Enviable Instagram Photos

You’ll never need another filter to fix your lackluster Instagram photos. The Cooperative of Photography collaborated with photographer Lorenz Holder to demonstrate some easy tips and tricks to bring your smartphone photography to the next level without purchasing pricey add-ons.

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I’ve already included a video of Photography Hacks from COOPH, and they have not failed to provide another brilliant video. This one, geared towards Instagram (and other mobile phone) photography, certainly gets the mind humming with other ideas. Doubtless, this landed in my reading queues because of Instagram’s new app: Hyperlapse. The hacks may not completely apply to the new technology (which harnesses a device’s gyroscope to stabilize time-lapse videos) but some will.

Go, set your phone in a glass underwater, it’s kinda funky! That’s my favorite hack of the video. Not sure if I’ll get a chance to do that this weekend though, the rumour is rain.