For humans, screen time is the default. For robots, they plunge inside analog.
The cyborg is somewhere in that gray space in the middle.
What if the four distracted Beatles never looked up during the Abbey Road album shoot? This cartoon presents a funny, modern-day interpretation of the iconic The Beatles Abbey Road album cover. The only thing missing, besides Paul McCartney’s shoes, is the Abbey Road zebra-crossing. Chances are the driver also works for Uber.
Walking didn’t use to be this hard because we didn’t think much about it. But now we’re all walking zombies, staring down into our mobile screens. We use our ears and narrow field of view to warn us of impending danger.
Thankfully, designers are creating smart powered pedestrian pavement to save our lives from distraction and tunnel vision.
Walking used to be a sensory experience, a way of thinking with our steps. Now, we just walk for the steps, leaning on Fitbit to validate our activity levels. We replay snaps and photos when we get home to remind us the things we “noticed” on our journey.
“Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” – Henry David Thoreau
We used to walk with books and dream into the blue skies. But now those things are primarily viewed through our digital screens. We’ve sacrificed daydreams for an enhanced reality.
One way to generate good ideas is to produce a lot of bad ones first. Focus on quantity rather than quality so you have a lot to play with.
New Yorker’s cartoon editor Bob Mankoff says coming up with good ideas starts with asking yourself “what if?”
‘Ideas breed ideas’..He’s always amazed by the people who tell him they have a single great cartoon idea. One idea is never enough, and it’s rarely good. “The way you get good ideas is to get a lot of ideas,” says Mankoff“
Part of being a creator is learning to cope with failure. Not everyone is going to like your stuff. Mankoff sent the New Yorker thousands of cartoons before the magazine bought one.
No art gets wasted, though. Some cartoonists like Carolita Johnson recycle rejected cartoons. She’s a tweaker, combining ideas to see what else works and then she resubmits. She tries not to overthink it. The New Yorker bought one of her cartoons because it was more clever than funny.
“A rejected cartoon isn’t a dead cartoon.”
Creativity works like a muscle. If you want to strengthen it, you have to practice your craft every day. As Maya Angelou says, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Discipline is how cartoonist Matt Diffee skips inspiration and gets to work.
“The idea being blocked is the norm.” To get the juices flowing, he begins his weekly two-hour idea brainstorming sessions with a full pot of coffee and a blank sheet of paper.“As I empty the coffee, I fill up the paper,” he says.
It took Matt thinking over 40 unique concepts before he landed on the one to represent writer’s block.
There are no hacks to the creative process other than putting in the work and learning from your mistakes. The willingness to accept feedback is a lesson in disguise. As an artist, you have to enjoy your craft and be crazy enough to keep going even when no one believes in you.