Categories
Creativity Productivity & Work

Maira Kalman on walking

I walk everywhere in the city. Any city. You see everything you need to see for a lifetime. Every emotion. Every condition. Every fashion. Every glory.

Wonderful things happen when your brain is empty.

Maira Kalman
Categories
Arts Creativity

Curation is the new creation

Curation is now a desired profession, mostly because it has shifted from unearthing rarities in libraries and music crates to digging through the plethora of online content to find the most remarkable stuff.

Curators spend hours vetting material so the rest of us can save time.  But that’s also why self-discovery is so gratifying.

Often times we find something that hasn’t been curated yet and we love it for that very reason.  The discovery is our own.

Most of the time we’re surveyors of art and merely pin, tweet, and Facebook what a curator has already plucked for us.  We curate for our friends and followers.

Curators are not creators but get appreciated the same.  Curators have a good eye for art and how it gets displayed. It’s an art.

But we need curators to educate us beyond museums and into online.

Whether you’re creating or curating, innovation is recognized no matter where it comes from, how it’s found, or how it spreads.

Categories
Creativity Science

A visit to NYC’s International Flavors & Fragrances

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of participating in a fragrance tutorial at International Flavors & Fragrances in NYC. One of the most important tips about smelling fragrances is to move the test strip back and forth under your nose. Our teacher taught us that our nostrils alternate between open and closed so the only way to capture the true smell is to waft from both sides. The second lesson in fragrance testing

One of the most important tips about smelling fragrances is to move the test strip back and forth under your nose. Our teacher taught us that our nostrils alternate between open and closed so the only way to capture the true smell is to waft from both sides. The second lesson in fragrance testing is to use our right brain. The right brain is responsible for emotions and gets highly activated when we smell.

Our instructor never told us the ingredients to the fragrances. Instead, we smelled the fragrances with our eyes closed and announced the colors we saw. It’s magical how our brains always associate the unknown with an image. Our brains crave certainty. Sometimes I smelled light green, Vietnam, and saw castles and mountains; other times I smelled black licorice. When one sense promotes another it’s called synesthesia. This is how blind people can paint. Music too conjures up images in our head.

When one sense promotes another it’s called synesthesia. This is how blind people can paint. Music too conjures up images in our head. A fragrance is our dreams, not words. The ingredients, nodes, distort the pure magic of the emotional experience in smelling fragrances. Smell is too easily commoditized. Our teacher passionately vouched for a return to the dreamy quality of fragrance. Colors mean something but words used primarily for marketing purposes distort what fragrance is for in the first place. The essence of a fragrance is in the emotion.

Categories
Arts Creativity Life & Philosophy

Leonardo Da Vinci: “Art is never finished, only abandoned”

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Art is never finished, only abandoned

Leonardo Da Vinci
Categories
Arts Politics & Society

Ai Weiwei: Art through suffering

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You can push a creative man into silence but all this does is fuel his creative output.

China held artist and “dissident” Ai Weiwei in captivity for 81 days. He nearly died.

Weiwei is now turning his jail time experience into a piece of art. For Weiwei, creative expression is more about storytelling than profit.

“Very few people know why art sells so high,” Mr. Ai replied. “I don’t even know.”

Still, his art sells for hundreds of thousands at Sotheby’s in New York.

Weiwei lived in New York for 11 years before heading back to China. The creative freedom he learned in New York shines through WeiWei’s work.

Weiwei teaches us to make something lasting, in good times or bad. As Neil Gaiman said in his commencement speech this week:

“When things get tough, make good art. Make it on the bad days. Make it the good days too.”


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Categories
Photography Tech

The Conformity Crisis

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If everyone has access to the same tools then everyone will become a producer. And all the art will look the same.

Take Instagram for instance. All you need is an iPhone and some cheap Camera+ editing app to clean up your images before you upload them to Instagram. You can also edit images on Instagram itself.

Since we all have the same tools we all produce similar-looking photos. This is why anyone that wants to stand out on Instagram should pick a style, theme.

First, choose an object or location that inspires you. Second, pick a consistent filter like black and white. Three, be different. Set your follower expectations in this step by step process.

One of my favorite Instagrammers takes a picture of a picture, a Polaroid over his object. You see his hand holding out the Polaroid covering the same image he’s capturing. Simple yet genius.

Stand out from the crowd

That’s the only way you’ll keep your identity on Instagram and in a world where creativity has amassed around the ease of tools and sharing.