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White Space Creativity

Aug 11, 2014

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In visual arts and graphic design, white space is fundamental to allowing a creation to exist, by creating delineation and focus. Similarly, in our lives, creativity often sprouts from the "white space" of time: the moments in our increasingly busy schedules between activities and thoughts that allow the subconscious to better absorb and connect information. Clearly, in order to be more creative, we need to open up this "in-between" space in our lives, but once we've done so, how can we best capitalize upon the brain's natural creative capacities? In this talk, we'll explore several counter-intuitive and potentially subversive methods for leveraging this "white space" to foment innovative thinking creative productivity.

  • white space Denise R. Jacobs Skissernas Museum University of Lund Lund, Sweden 6 November 2013
  • @denisejacobs #skissernasmuseum #whitespacreate
  • My own blocks caused me to binge-create
  • But I was still afraid: am I truly creative? Photo: Denise Jacobs
  • After writing this
  • I had an epiphany http://www.flickr.com/photos/44085287@N05/4055814772/
  • In terms of http://www.flickr.com/photos/designandtechnologydepartment/4771136128/
  • We ALL hold the power http://www.flickr.com/photos/assbach/267598910/
  • Its highly valued http://business.time.com/2013/04/26/the-time-creativity-poll/
  • Ive decided its my life work Photo: Derek Kearney
  • THE CANVAS The State of the Create
  • Whats our most important tool for creating? http://www.flickr.com/photos/ogil/1507585665/
  • Precisely. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3APSM_V14_D495_Side_view_of_the_brain_and_spinal_cord.jpg
  • Time http://www.flickr.com/photos/33909700@N02/3159761620/
  • Attention http://www.flickr.com/photos/copperfeesh/147493122/
  • Focus http://www.flickr.com/photos/lambdachialpha/203904103/
  • However, what happens is this http://www.flickr.com/photos/7693102@N07/2536807562/
  • And you run http://royhoes.deviantart.com/art/Out-of-Inspiration-85588391
  • Cant access all of your great ideas http://www.flickr.com/photos/anieto2k/8156999698/
  • When we are in the creative flow http://www.flickr.com/photos/myfear/289257055/
  • We are alchemists http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Faust_image_19thcentury.jpg
  • Creativity is newness produced. - Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds
  • It feels like http://www.flickr.com/photos/torley/2761300969/
  • Creativity is magical, but it is not magic. - Dr. Charles Limb, Your Brain on Improvisation TED talk
  • NEGATIVE SPACE Perception & Lies
  • It starts early http://www.flickr.com/photos/barretthall/3036598475/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/carbonnyc/3135103537/
  • Age 6
  • Dad Photo: Deloria Jacobs
  • Mother & Sister Photo: Deloria Jacobs Photos: Deloria Jacobs
  • Me? A graphic artist Photo: Deloria Jacobs
  • Age 10
  • Oldest friend in the world Photo: Deloria Jacobs
  • Age 12
  • Camp Whip-poor-will Photo: Deloria Jacobs
  • My genetic heritage Mom: 511 Dad: 63 Photo: Deloria Jacobs
  • Taller than everyone, all the time
  • Age 24
  • Happy graduation! Now what? Photo: Deloria Jacobs
  • First airplane ride! Photo: Deloria Jacobs
  • Internalized the critical voices http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeapalooza/553545517/
  • These lies that we tell ourselves http://www.flickr.com/photos/emayoh/4589881812/
  • Leave parts of us paralyzed and imprisoned http://www.flickr.com/photos/b3ni/2990601183/
  • Adds up
  • GIVE & TAKE Creativity and Power
  • Power
  • Afraid? Photo: Denise Jacobs
  • Were powerful http://www.flickr.com/photos/89927155@N00/2144275209/
  • Overwhelmed http://www.flickr.com/photos/freeflyer09/7574540716/
  • Instead of using it fully http://www.flickr.com/photos/h-k-d/3310336516/
  • Try to contain it http://www.flickr.com/photos/gc_photography/4662878037/
  • We give our power away https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6D-O5ECr5EUow5jrck2A2A
  • NOISE & CLUTTER Distracting Complications.
  • Internal http://www.flickr.com/photos/boojee/4457378697/
  • Look outside ourselves http://www.flickr.com/photos/jtcatbagan/1557200142/
  • Distractions http://www.flickr.com/photos/generated/2084287794/
  • Addicted to hyperconnectivity http://www.flickr.com/photos/andersdenken/2082816707/
  • Intermittent reinforcement http://www.flickr.com/photos/kristoferbjorkman/6910216819/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/jepoirrier/422469526/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/foreignoffice/2671039488/
  • Unclosed mental loops http://www.psychwiki.com/wiki/Zeigarnik_Effect
  • Hyperconnectivity gives us the perception of getting more done. It makes us feel like we're doing more, because we're using every free moment of every waking hour. - Jonathan Fields
  • Unleash it? http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanekemp/6152286326/
  • Multiple places at once http://www.flickr.com/photos/figliodiorfeo/2393269886/
  • Bored = http://www.flickr.com/photos/irrezolut/2311904560/
  • Seeking distraction/entertainment http://www.flickr.com/photos/modenaroid/4103509077/
  • Something else http://www.flickr.com/photos/djgarage/3680441291/in/photostream/
  • The in-between http://www.flickr.com/photos/aguslepe/5512044294/
  • Allows creativity to blossom http://www.flickr.com/photos/beigephotos/16139685/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/beigephotos/16139686/
  • Genius is the offspring of the in-between. - Jonathan Fields
  • CLARITY Changing Focus
  • Maximize http://www.flickr.com/photos/cblue98/7254347346/
  • A balanced brain http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=left%20brain%20right%20brain&order=9&offset=48#/d10qlpq
  • Integrate http://www.flickr.com/photos/47691521@N07/4639590640/
  • Neurons firing well http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorelei-ranveig/2294885580/
  • Know your Brainwaves
  • Alpha: the gateway to creativity
  • Spacing out http://www.flickr.com/photos/frinthy/4680321558/
  • Daydream http://www.flickr.com/photos/fuzzylittlemanpeach/4633972431/
  • Mindless activity http://www.flickr.com/photos/rabi/2499381396/
  • Being prone http://www.flickr.com/photos/snazzy54/4581347651/
  • Showers http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3761878381/
  • Get physical http://www.flickr.com/photos/miguel77/2728104156/
  • Breathe to refocus http://www.flickr.com/photos/guiniveretoo/1573049301/
  • Laughing http://www.flickr.com/photos/wickenden/3644297054/
  • Playing/Fun http://www.flickr.com/photos/kkendall/3613416741/
  • When you are playful, you are activating the right side of your brain. The logical brain is a limited brain. The right side is unlimited. You can (do and ) be anything you want. - Madan Kataria, The Laughter Guru
  • Instead of this http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielsilliman/4489863368/
  • Intend Alpha http://uniteunderfreedom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Brain-waves.jpg
  • When your brain is supposedly doing nothing, its really doing a tremendous amount. Marcus Raichle, Neurologist
  • THE INVISIBLE Aid from the Unseen
  • Sometimes dabbling in mysticism can be a fun way to understand and solve a problem. - Carl King, So Youre a Creative Genius, Now What?
  • Natalie http://www.flickr.com/photos/barretthall/3036598475/
  • From the mind of a 4yo Photo courtesy of Laura Bohill (@LauRARbee)
  • A little help from (imaginary) friends
  • Travel our internal lands http://archivingthecity.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/maps_of_the_imagination.jpg
  • Your subconscious http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Themuse.jpg
  • One form of a genius http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Albert_Einstein%2C_by_Doris_Ulmann.jpg
  • Another form of a genius
  • Daemon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babel_fish_(The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy)#Babel_fish
  • Muses http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:NAMA_3_Muses.jpg
  • The Three Original Muses Mneme Memory Melete Practice or occasion Aoide Voice
  • Muses were thought to be the true speakers for whom an artist is merely the mouthpiece. Muses were also thought to inspire people to do their best.
  • Mneme (Memory) Photo: Denise Jacobs
  • Melete (Practice/Occasion) http://www.flickr.com/photos/kayray/4069381837/
  • Aoide (Voice) Photo: Denise Jacobs
  • The spirit of the idea http://www.flickr.com/photos/generated/3152875826/
  • Ideas want to take form
  • The world is being circled by ideas and creativity that wants to made manifest and are looking for portals to come through - Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Ideas use us (not vise-versa)
  • Listen http://www.flickr.com/photos/theory/3193684688/
  • Converse http://www.flickr.com/photos/tojosan/181249465/
  • Trust is everything. - Scott Berkun, The Year Without Pants
  • Voila! http://www.flickr.com/photos/bohman/174718774/
  • CHOOSE How will you move forward?
  • The choice is yours http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasoneppink/80772661/
  • How you use your creative brain power Untitled by Americo Morales
  • Creative flow lies in-between http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgeithner/5290115839/
  • True. http://www.flickr.com/photos/stealingsand/5563317146/
  • Reclaim our power http://www.flickr.com/photos/anieto2k/8216666102/
  • Value yourself, ideas, and process http://www.flickr.com/photos/pocait/2847866615/
  • Moving forward http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/6005503875/
  • Creativity makes day to day experiences more vivid, more enjoyable, more rewarding. When we live creatively, boredom is banished and every moment holds the promise of a fresh discovery. - Mihali Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity
  • Leverage white space http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdoublew/2663137942/
  • The End? http://www.flickr.com/photos/imuttoo/232100469/
  • Resources! delicious.com/denisejacobs/getunblocked delicious.com/denisejacobs/unfoldyourbrain delicious.com/denisejacobs/creativityhabit delicious.com/denisejacobs/brainoncreativity Always being updated as I find new relevant articles! Great Resources almost daily: @denisejacobs on Twitter
  • My articles for further reading netmagazine.com/features/ four-secrets-enhancingcreative-productivity alistapart.com/articles/ reigniting-your-creative-spark/ alistapart.com/articles/ banishing-your-inner-critic/
  • Art & Inspiration: Americo Morales Untitled 1 Mind map AmericoMorales.net
  • How to find me DeniseJacobs.com denise@denisejacobs.com Twitter.com/denisejacobs Facebook.com/denisejacobsdotcom Slideshare.net/denisejacobs Photo used with permission: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aarronwalter/4629078087/
  • WANT MORE? Sign up for news on my upcoming book, projects, other announcements and whatnot at the brand-spankin new DeniseJacobs.com!
  • THANK YOU! Tack!
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