Water Displacement and Distractions

Distractions and creativity

Water displacement and distractions: An analogy for creativity

Imagine a glass that is full to the brim with water. The water represents “creativity.” Beside the water you have an assortment of pebbles. Each of those pebbles represents a distraction in your life. As you start adding the pebbles one by one, the water displaces and spills out of the glass. Distractions take the space of creativity and the creativity spills over and disappears.  There isn’t room for both.

However, there is a difference between a distraction and doing something purposeful. Mindless channel surfing or swiping your phone screens with no intent is a distraction. Doing something to “kill time” in usually a distraction. When you’re distracted, you are giving up a possible creative opportunity. This example of water displacement is a simple way of giving creativity tangible characteristics.

water displacement and distractions

Technology blah blah blah

Firstly, lets talk about technology. We all blame innovation and sure, we look at our screens a lot. That is simply, the world we live in. I don’t see this a problem for the most part. The problem, is in fact,  when we mindlessly swipe through Facebook because we are bored. Every swipe is another pebble in the glass. Another missed opportunity to be creative. Distractions are important when we don’t overuse them.

Are people really entitled or just impatient?

Instant gratification has become the new global currency. I’ll admit I’m just as guilty as everyone else. I enjoy likes and retweets. I like that I can buy anything I want from the palm of my hand and have it delivered to my doorstep. But is it that entitlement? Or is it evolution? We create our own destiny and evolution. This entitlement is simply, the effect. Is it an oversight? More than likely it is.

We are creatures of habit and we are getting into dangerous territory. We are becoming more and more artificially connected and less emotionally connected to the people around us. We aren’t entitled at all, we are just impatient.

water displacement and distractions

There needs to be balance

We are becoming smarter but sacrificing social engagement in the process and in my opinion. In fact, we are creating a world of introverts and de-socializing from the world. Filling up our schedule with no room to experience “nothing” and just be. No time to ponder or create. No time to imagine. If we do find time, we are watching our favorite Netflix series. On our 15 minute coffee break we check in on Facebook or Twitter for gratitude. We need to start looking around and become more purposeful in our engagements.

Conclusion

In closing, first of all, thank you for reading my post about water displacement and distractions. I also recommend reading about Imagination and creative thinking. I’m not at all suggesting that there isn’t a place for distraction. I’m suggesting making those distractions more meaningful when you can. Take moments to be intentional in everything we do. Please weigh in below in the comments section. Let’s start a discussion.

Anders

 

Real Enchanted Forests to Inspire Creativity

real enchanted forests

There is nothing more grounding than being in the forest. I’m going to share with you some real enchanted forests that you should visit. We have all imagined amazing places from the dark fairy tales we were told about as children. There is something instinctual and primal about being in the forest.  It’s a place where creativity begins. There an underlying energy that every human can understand: The connection to nature. We are all part of an interconnected ecosystem, though urbanized populations have long forgotten it. When in the forest, it’s an energizing feeling.  A place to reset your day, week, or even year.

I talked about he benefits of traveling on creativity previously.  It can literally change you. When was the last time you traveled?  When was the last time you visited the forest? Here are some real enchanted forests to check out:

Wistman’s Wood

Real Enchanted Forests

Wistman’s Wood has been mentioned in writing for hundreds of years. It is likely a left-over from the ancient forest that covered much of Dartmoor c. 7000 BC, before Mesolithic hunter/gatherers cleared it after around 5000 BC.  Wistman’s Wood is one of only three remote high-altitude oakwoods on Dartmoor, Devon, England. The wood has been the inspiration for numerous artists, poets, photographers and appears in hundreds of nineteenth century accounts. One tradition holds that it was planted by Isabella de Fortibus (1237-93). The wood is described in detail and discussed as a point of great interest in The Tree, a 1978 essay on naturalism by English novelist John Fowles. (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

 

The Crooked Forest

real enchanted forests

The Crooked Forest , is a grove of oddly-shaped pine trees located outside Nowe Czarnowo, West Pomerania, Poland. This grove of approximately 100 pines was planted around 1930, when its location was still within the German province of Pomerania. Each pine tree bends sharply to the North just above ground level, then curves back upright after a sideways excursion of three to nine feet (1–3 m). It is generally believed that some form of human tool or technique was used to make the trees grow this way, but the method and motive are not currently known. It has been speculated that the trees may have been deformed to create naturally curved timber for use in furniture or boat building. Others surmise that a snowstorm could have knocked the trees like this, but to date nobody knows what really happened to these pine trees. (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

 RELATED: What China’s forest city can teach the rest of the world

Caddo Lake

real enchanted forests

According to Caddo legend, the lake was formed by the 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes. There may be some truth to the legend, as Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee was formed by that earthquake. Most geologists feel the lake was formed, either gradually or catastrophically, by the “Great Raft“, a 100-mile (160-km) log jam on the Red River in Louisiana, possibly by flooding the existing low-lying basin.

Caddo Lake has been utilized by Native Americans for thousands of years, but substantial commercial development would only begin with invention of the steamboat and US annexation of Louisiana and Texas by treaty (Texas is the only State in the United States to have joined by treaty instead of annexation) in the 19th century. The cities of Port Caddo, Swanson’s Landing, and Jefferson in Texas, and Mooringsport in Louisiana, had thriving riverboat ports on the lake. Gradually as the log jams were removed in the lake and the Red River, the lake changed shape and eventually fell over ten feet, destroying the East Texas ports and their riverboat industry. Since 1965 Texas’s Caddo Lake has had hundreds of alleged Bigfoot sightings according to the North American Wood Ape Conservancy (NAWAC), as reported in the Travel Channel 2006 documentary Bigfoot. (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

Ancient Beech Forests of Germany

real enchanted forests

Ancient Beech Forests of Germany is a transnational composite nature site. The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians include ten separate massifs located along the 185 km (115 mi) long axis from the Rakhiv mountains and Chornohora ridge in Ukraine over the Poloniny Ridge (Slovakia) to the Vihorlat Mountains in Slovakia. The Ancient Beech Forests of Germany include five locations in various parts of Germany.

Most of the Slovak components of the World Heritage site are situated in the Poloniny National Park in the easternmost and also the least populated part of the country. The National Park was created on 1 October 1997. (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

Hallerbos

real enchanted forests

The Hallerbos is a forest in Belgium, covering an area of 552 ha (1,360 acres). It is mostly situated in the municipality of Halle, in Flemish Brabant and has also a little part in Walloon Brabant. The forest is known in the region for its bluebell carpet which covers the forest floor for a few weeks each spring, attracting many visitors. (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

Conclusion

These breathtaking forests not only inspire creativity, they reconnect you with nature. Do you have any favorite places that inspire you? Have you ever visited one of these real enchanted forests? Share in the comments section below. If you found this post inspiring or helpful, please share it on your social media and don’t forget to subscribe!

 

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Why I Started Blogging | A Creative Boost?

Why I Started Blogging

I thought I knew why I started blogging. Looking  for a creative boost that would help stimulate new ideas and different ways of thinking.

I thought I knew why I started blogging. Looking  for a creative boost that would help stimulate new ideas and different ways of thinking. It did help with that and it continues to. The problem however,  isn’t needing a creative boost. It goes deeper than that. The problem is:

  • What took it away?
  • Where did my creative self go?
  • Why has this happened?
  • How do I get it back?

It’s not the creativity that was lost. The answer is time.  Time is missing. The amount of time that is being spent working at my day job. Most of us work way too much! We don’t spend enough time with our loved ones or ourselves.

 

why i started blogging

We are working ourselves to death.

Working through pain and being motivated by guilt. The guilt of not wanting to let our coworkers and employers down. The guilt of not wanting to let your family down.

We look for ways of creating time but something always gets sacrificed in the process.  For example, painkillers take less time than going to the gym and anti depressants make you numb, so it’s easier to get through the day. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for these medications at all. They definitely have helped me. But maybe we rely on them too much? I say this speaking from experience.

All of our energy is used up at work. And what you have left to give?   Your worst self! Our spouses, families and friends get our worst selves and, in return, we get their worst selves. We are just too tired at the end of day-no more energy. We have evolved to a point in time where our number one priority is work to live. Sure, at one time we were hunter gatherers but lets be honest here… With all the technological advancements we have made? I’m pretty sure we could rid our world of poverty and hunger if there weren’t so many selfish people on the planet. We simply are working towards retirement and hoping to be healthy enough to enjoy it.  To enjoy the last few years of life before we die.

We all are just putting in the years and waiting for the prison sentence to be served.

So I guess I really started this blog as a way out. I want this blog to help me become the person that can share their best self with their best friend. That’s why I started blogging.

We all create in everyday life.

why i started bloggingIn decision making and other things we do, there is always creativity involved. There isn’t a lot of time in life to really enjoy being here. We work so hard just to play the game; to be cog in the wheel of society. It’s not right. I certainly don’t want to live this way. I’m sure you don’t either. This blog is my way out…I hope

When it comes to blogging, I’m learning as I go. I enjoy the process of writing about subjects that I’m passionate about. I have no business being a blogger because it doesn’t come natural. But I’m doing it anyway! And eventually I will succeed at it. I will succeed because I’m not going to give up.

I want to be doing something that doesn’t steal away all my energy.

Being in a creative space doesn’t take my energy. In fact, it creates it. That’s how I feel when I blog.  It’s my answer to happiness. So I guess that’s why I started blogging. As I learn about the wonderful world of blogging, I’ve found some common ideas for success and also words to live by:

  • Be patient
  • Be true to yourself

Well this is me, myself and I putting it out there. I’ve made this my life goal because it create more room for happiness and experience.  More time for my family. More time to live life.

RELATED:  Books that promote creativity

Conclusion

In closing, let me share a cliche statement with all of you.

“Be the change you want to be.”

It’s as simple as that. There will be obstacles and stresses to get to you there. But I believe that you can find your happiness by changing something in your life. What’s your plan?  Let’s start a discussion below. Please share and subscribe in you enjoyed the artical.

Much love

Vanderkool

 

Elon Musk’s Boring Company

elon-musks-boring-company

Nothing Boring About Elon Musk’s Boring Company

Elon-Musk's-boring-company

Elon Musk’s Boring Company is an ambitious idea that makes sense. Elon Musk, is known for his innovation and very ambitious ideas that are quickly driving change around the world. The man behind Tesla and Space X has introduced The Boring Company. The company’s goal is to build a tunnel system under cities to transport cars at high rates of speed. According to Musk, this type of transportation, in a tunnel system, could be the future of transportation in big cities. He suggests that moving the transportation system underground rather to the air, is a more viable solution.  If you go deep enough, you cannot detect the tunnel below the earth.  The earth is very good at absorbing sound and vibration, making the system almost undetectable.

“The challenge with flying cars is that they are quiet noisy and that is not anxiety reducing.”

Trips traveling at 125 mph or 200 km/h through tunnels.

The idea is to create a network of underground tunnels that integrates entrance and exits points at various points around the city.  These points would only use the space of a single parking spot. The elevator delivers the vehicle onto an electric platform from the street to the tunnel system. Trips traveling at 125 mph (200 km/h) through tunnels would deliver vehicles to their predefined destination in minutes with very little risk of accident.

 

Elon Musk: Elon Musk’s Best Lessons for Life, Business, Success and Entrepreneurship

Watch Elon Musk talk about The Boring Company

 

Elon Musk’s Boring Company has branded itself as a drilling company, however, it’s more than that. It’s an idea of ​​transforming traffic and infrastructure in major cities. Cities in the United States and around the world. There are currently plans to implement a network of tunnels in Los Angeles to function as an alternative to the main highway systems.

“It’s easier to go down than it is up with a 3D tunnel network,” says Musk. “As layers of tunnels get used up we can continue to go down.”

Tunneling has always been expensive, but not for Elon Musk’s Boring Company

Cost per mile costs have always been a roadblock in the tunneling world. Musk has an ambition goal of achieving a 10 fold reduction in the cost of tunneling. But he is putting his money where his mouth is. He suggests that this can be achieved in two ways:

  1. Cutting down the diameter of the tunnel decreases the cost in half.  Musk is attempting a 12 foot wide tunnel.
  2. Using a tunneling machine that reinforces the tunnel wall continuously.

elon-musk's-boring-company

What about autonomous vehicles? That’s still a thing, right?

Musk is already working towards autonomy with his innovative electric cars. But he believes that when transportation becomes fully autonomous. It’s an absolute that there will be more vehicles will be on the road. Thus, creating more congestion on the streets of an already stressed infrastructure.  Further, the electrification of vehicles will become more affordable as most automakers already, have some sort of electric program in place.

 

Musk is trying to solve the impacts of innovation before they happen. You’re seeing this with The Boring Company and his renewable energy ventures such as the Solar Roof Shingles. He is a true futurist in that sense and is taking this project very seriously by already building the system in the parking lot of SpaceX.  Please share comments below and get involved in the conversation.

-Anders Vanderkool

 

RELATED: Creativity in the workplace

 

 

Finding Something Authentic: Sifting Through Junk

Have you ever noticed yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media looking for something authentic that catches your interest but in reality nothing is grabbing your attention? I’m generally looking for something authentic. Something accurate and of quality.

I have caught myself doing this a lot lately and I’m sure many of us can relate. Looking for something that has substance but having to sift through a ton of generic, uninteresting posts can become mind numbing.

The average attention span is 8.25 seconds compared to a goldfish at 7 seconds.
Our attention span is increasingly being diminishing and without a human element behind a brand, it gets lost in the inter web of information. You need to give your audience a reason to be engaged. Give them a reason to read your update. Ask them questions like how and why to make your posts relevant to your customer. Give your brand a PERSONALITY. Speak from the heart.

Related: Creativity in the workplace

Social media can be a drag and for people and businesses, simply for the shear amount of time it takes to keep up your brands social media presence and relevancy. It often becomes a popularity contest and a person can start to feel resentful and burned out but we MUST remember that the Internet is a vast world of free marketing for your brand and it’s a missed opportunity to not take advantage of it.

AUTHENTICITY WITHIN YOUR BRAND CREATES TRUST FOR YOUR CUSTOMER.

Lastly, I want to talk about why authenticity is important to your social branding. Simply speaking, being true and authentic to your brand will bring more meaning to your brand and people will be more trusting of your skills and products that you are offering. Engage with your customers and be involved in the conversation. People want to simply feel heard and it’s a great opportunity to show your customer why you are the right choice. It’s important to be true to yourself within your brand just as it is in your personal life.

The digital world can start to feel fake, entitled and often overwhelming , but if you can simply insert yourself into the shoes of the viewer, you find success in your branding and digital marketing experience.

Much Love,
Anders Vanderkool

 
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Creativity In The Workplace And Why It’s Important

Creative office space

Creativity is important in the workplace

In modern business, employers that don’t embrace creativity in the workplace, aren’t nearly as successful as those that do. As competition grows in a world of “survival of the fittest,” companies are required to be more innovative in their business model.

Staff Meeting

Encouraging creative thinking in a business environment leads to employees’ seeing the larger idea with an increased focus on productivity. While the creative process can seem less productive than the standard

systems, workers that have more input and creative freedom are simply more productive. The work is meaningful to them.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Employees should be rewarded and their ideas encouraged. As managers, being approachable and allowing your team to share their ideas without feeling the fear of being rejected, will build and strengthen the relationship between the employer and the employee. Managers need to provide an open environment for creativity to succeed and become a normal practice in the workplace.

RELATED: Driving Creativity

How to encourage your team to be creative? 

Motivate them and gipeople socializing at workve them a reason to be excited. Humans thrive on motivation in one way or another.  Without a reason, life becomes unfulfilling and in turn, creates a workplace of unhappy workers. Every action we perform has some sort of motivating factor behind it. Think about that for a moment.

Embrace the idea of innovation and collaboration.

Collaboration is quickly becoming a popular model for innovation. It allows people to build meaningful relationships with their coworkers and managers. By allowing people to interact with other people, good ideas will grow into innovation and productivity.

Listen to the people

I was once the “young guy” promoted to manage a team of longtime employees. They didn’t respect or like me. They were great employees, loyal and hard working, yet full of resentment.

People want to be heard, so I pulled each one of them aside and listened to their ideas and suggestions. How can we be better at what we do? I implemented most of their ideas and in return, I not only earned their respect, I gained a happy and fun team with increased, meaningful productivity.

When people are allowed to be themselves, creativity will thrive

Just a few thoughts grown out of frustration that I wanted to share. Maybe you don’t agree and that’s okay. Let me know what you think.  Please follow me for creative updates, ideas or just random writings, It’s always a surprise.

Anders Vanderkool

5 Free Design Tools For Every Creative

Since this is the first post of this brand new website, I though I’d share some of my favorite resources that I use regularly in my design and art projects. These 5 free design tools for every creative are mostly in regards to graphic design,  but there is no reason they wouldn’t translate and be helpful in any creative environment.

Here are 5 free design tools for every creative that I use and they won’t cost you anything.

1. COLOURLOVERS

COLOURlovers is a website where you can discover colour palettes that are created and shared by a community of users. It’s a great website to get inspired or get new ideas flowing when you’re stumped. You can search keywords and filter different combinations of colours. They also offer a number of tools for designers and artists alike.

Aside from the simple user experience, the site offers a great amount of information in the forums page and in the trends menu.  Head over to their website here.

How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul

2. VECTEEZY

Vecteezy.com is a really great resource for stock vectors. They offer a large variety of quality content that is free to use. If you’re a graphic designer doing a lot of mock-ups for clients or are simply needing vectors for your project, this is a great resource. Check them out here.

3. PIXABAY

If you’re looking for a large amount of good quality stock photography, Pixabay is that source. Over the last few years, this user generated stock photography website has grown into a very reliable resource for designers and artists. With this the introduction of their new mobile apps, they have become an invaluable resource for all my projects. Their search filters make it fast and convenient to find what you’re looking for. It’s free to download images but if you want to download the highest res image you need to register or sign in with Facebook.

 

4. FONTS IN USE

Fonts In Use is a valuable website for anyone that is creating something involving typography. The website is an indexed public archive of examples of good typography. The goal of the creators of the site is to:

Document and examine graphic design with the goal of improving typographic literacy and appreciation.

If you’re trying to find the perfect pairing of typeface, head over to their archive here.  If your interested in learning more about typefaces check out: Just My Type: A Book About Fonts

5. CREATIVE MARKET

Creative Market is a platform for handcrafted design content from independent creatives and designers from around the world.  The content that is offered is top notch and is really a designers dream environment to be in. It’s a neat way to collaborate with other designers and even get inspired. Get this, every Monday they give away 6 items for free on their page. They could be any design asset, for example, typefaces, website templates or vector packs, stock photo collections. You name it, this site is full of design assets that are created by over 20, 000 designers from around the world. You are supporting other designers directly by using this market. I  highly recommend it.  Click here to enter the market.