When I was thinking about what to use for Harmony the first thing that came into my mind was the Bell Tower.  I like how all the lines and shapes are designed for the one thing and move your eye along it so that it leads up.



Variety was something that I was stumped on honestly till I took the bus to campus so I could take pictures.  I noticed the texture of the fabric first with my hand before looking at all the dramatic lines and colors that gave it a very unique appearance.



For Balance I had a couple of other ideas but like Variety the inspiration come on my way to photograph something else.  Actually what is interesting is that I am slightly obsessed with manhole covers.  I was obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and how they lived in the sewer so on my way over I stopped to take a picture of the manhole.  I was stuck by the balance of the lines and aside from some of the text if you divide it in half at any point the manhole would be perfectly symmetrical.



I think this might be my favorite picture.  I was stuck on some of the others but I honestly had no idea what I was going for this one. If I hadn’t stopped to just enjoy how nice the weather was I would have never seen these trash cans. It was also on the way to photograph this that I found the manhole I used in balance. Look at the way the yellow sticks and demonstrates it takes different stuff than the other ones.



I was directly inspired by Dr Crissman’s rhythm post with this one.  I saw the pattern repeated on the new library and thought about the repetitious nature of the buildings in my apartment complex.



This is simple but effective in my mind.  With one line that curves the bike rack draws the eye along a visual roller coaster slowing down as you go up and speeding up as you drop down.



I was initially going to do a patterned hand towel from my kitchen and even kept that picture in reserve just in case but I thought the repeat of the different shaped windows spaced evenly apart was a nice pattern and more tangible pattern for the eye.



I was concerned about being able to find Graduation when brainstorming more than some of the other ones. I felt confident of finding ready examples of the other ones if I looked enough but I thought this one might be a little difficult to find naturally. Little did I know that I would find the answer right under my feet.



This was another favorite photo of mine.  I think in part because I created it from scratch.  I thought about the way the different size bottle climb in size and how even though there was no plan it looks like the size increases gradually and seems to do it by a formula.



What is design? Design is one of those things we encounter every day all day without realizing it. We take design for granted more than we do everything that our parents do for us. Take for instance the chair you’re sitting in as you read this.  Someone came up with the perfect design for us to be able to sit in and maximize comfort.  The first chairs were from nature. They were the logs and the rocks that our ancestors sat on.  When they went on to design chairs they took what was best about those and eliminated the bad till they were successful.  The design followed from nature’s design as many elements do.  Not all elements of design follow from nature.  Some are born from the great imaginative minds of human beings.  We designed the skyscrapers that slice clouds in half. We came up with language, symbols that on their own would be arbitrary have meaning and give off sound. As you read this you hear voice or if you are familiar with me you can hear mine but that is because someone designed these symbols with a spacial relationship so that they could be repeated in a way that lets them mean the same thing over and over so that they can be taught.

Design starts with the simple and moves to the complex.  The beginning of a masterpieces begins with a stroke of the brush or the drawing of a line.  Great masterpieces begin with geometric shapes arranged together. We begin as kids without realizing it. My first wagons I drew were a line with two circles between them becoming wheels.  What it comes down to is that design comes from the ability of man to shape his environment to suit his needs.  Like Daniel Pink said, Designers are Alchemists.

So how can design help me? Besides allowing me to understand the elements of design that other people have it allows me to bend the world and create design of my own.  It allows me to make a cover for a book I want to be published.  It can mean that I establish something as a sign post for a revolution.  I could design the next peace sign or high five.  I could invent a new smiley face to show happiness.  I could design something equal to the american flag to symbolize freedom to cause people to rise up. Or I could design a new chair to make sure I am comfortable when typing to you!

Comfy chair

Critical review

With my first daily create I had a very easy time.  I decided immediately that I wanted to go with The Juliana Theory song If I Told You This Was Killing Me Would You Stop right away.  I think the thought is when you are going to do air guitar you need to go with something big and anthemic that will allow you to really get into the song and enjoy yourself.

The second daily create assignment was the picture for the sites’ birthday I went with a copyrighted image of the dog.  I think at this point I had yet to understand the Daily Creates and as a result thought they just wanted me to search for an engine online.  I also felt that idea was a little constrictive when it comes to being creative.

Here kitty
Won’t you let me pet you
Or are you too busy
Across hot tin roofs

Here kitty
I hear you fall sometimes
But they also tell me
You land on your feet

Here kitty
If I can please you
I can please her
So won’t you tell me
How to make someone purr

I thought that the third daily create was really successful because it allowed for me to be creative in my own writing form while also challenging me because I am not cat person.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/91983545@N02/8368653796/&#8221; title=”006 by johnnylegends, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8331/8368653796_748b296b9e.jpg&#8221; width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”006″></a>

I liked the fourth assignment but I thought it was really hard trying to get the technique down.  I did think the road running by my apartment would be the perfect place to capture something moving at a fast speed to try to create the blurry picture.

Awoken by the impolite intrusion of the sun’s rays on that early morning Carl realized that uselessness of setting his alarm. He had never needed it to awake and it was foolish of him to think he might need it this day just because he was graduating college. As Carl lay on his back he could not help but to feel the bitter sweet feeling rising in his stomach. Today he would be cast off from the safety of his college environment, the shield of academia, the womb of knowledge. Something told him that dressing in a robe and being conferred a piece of paper that says you are ready to step into the world wasn’t enough to actually to prepare one to step into the world. Carl wanted more assurance. He needed to know that he would be able to find a job and start to pay off his student loans. He could continue to rise high in whatever accounting firm hired him so that he might have a new car one day. He wanted to be able to afford the hip bars in town and impress the clever women in their tight dresses in hopes of taking one home and making an honest woman out of her. Carl’s thoughts stopped and then shifted to the humorous nature of making an honest woman out of someone. Any woman that decided to go home with him would be honest enough with herself already. Honest enough to admit her desires and to acquiesce to them accordingly. No he didn’t need to make an honest woman out of anyone. He just needed to find one honest enough to admit that he was what she wanted. Carl heard the commotion in the other room. His parents were up and busy. He chuckled quietly at the tangent his mind had went on. He was graduating today and spoke out loud to no one in particular, “I should get my diploma first before I worry about anything else.

Once again something right up my alley but this time fiction.  I haven’t flexed that muscle in a long time so in a sense it was like coming home to something familiar and being glad that I can still find my way there.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/91983545@N02/8382280412/&#8221; title=”002 by johnnylegends, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8184/8382280412_0e9d2e091e.jpg&#8221; width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”002″></a>

I work at home a lot right at my kitchen table.  It is good because you can’t see the TV from it but it is also next to a window where I get a lot of natural light. I also have room for snacks and am close to the fridge and the bathroom so it doesn’t distract me much for those ventures.

This was a fun and creative device that let me flex me story telling muscles.  I wanted to give it a sense that it was a story passed down by my family but have it also be ridiculous so that everyone could laugh at the story.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/91983545@N02/8387676745/&#8221; title=”grocery shopping by johnnylegends, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8370/8387676745_4a8a990ef5.jpg&#8221; width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”grocery shopping”></a>

If you know me really well then you know I love to grocery shop.  This picture sums up that along wit hopefully showing my love for a deal.  I only intended to buy two things when I went.

1. gun
2. snack
3. boomerang
4. elaborate trap
5. fake phone
6. earplugs
7. potential drumsticks
8. juggling tools
9. Hat
10. As a supremely appropriate partner with peanut butter
11. wallpaper
12. compost
13. something to slap someone with to challenge them to a duel in the absence of a glove
14. monkey attractant
15. monkey currency
16. monkey business
17. the answer to what a plantain is
18. back scratcher
19. perfume
20. vital smoothie component

I think this was my most difficult one.  I had a hard time coming up with creative uses for a banana that had not already been used in comedies.

For some reason my last picture never showed up on daily create but it was a picture of my niece and I.  She is not even two years old yet but she is so amazing and has so much personality that just shows in her face I wanted to use her. Plus it is a rare picture where I am smiling.

I think the assignment overall was worthwhile.  A lot of people including myself think of themselves as a creative but when forced to think outside the box and direct your creativity to a place someone else dictates is another beast all together.  A lot the ideas came spontaneously to me so that reinforced that I am creative as well as versatile.  I really enjoyed the assignment.

Cleese please!

I really liked reading and listening to what John Cleese had to say about creativity.  I often think when it comes time to be creative I run into all of the issues that he sets forth.  In particular when he mentions all the things you invent to do when your mind is racing I could really feel like he was talking directly about me.

Let me try to break it down a bit by the 5 aspects he discusses.

Space – I agreed wholeheartedly with this one and have problems finding the space that is perfect and comfortable for me to be creative in.  It is not just the matter of the distractions present in the space but also the fact that the chair needs to be comfortable I need to be able to fully extend my arms.  I need perfect light. In other words I need the perfect space to go crazy.

Time -As he mentions it is the time involved in creating the perfect space and allowing oneself to exist within it long enough to produce something without distraction.  I have to agree with this as well. I not only need the space but the time to go crazy so that I can be creative,

Time – this time is a little different.  This is the time spent focused on particular problems within what one is creating.  Allowing oneself the time to focus on that individual thing as opposed to what others allow themselves give the potential to produce something more and completely creative.

Confidence – It is a battle that I fight constantly.  Is what I am going to produce going to be good enough.  Sometimes I get to hung up on the thought of having something be perfect the first time so much so that I don’t end up producing anything at all because I don’t think I can obtain perfection.  I also worry will people like what I write.  I have faced very little negative criticism in the course of writing and in fact it has been quite the opposite but I still have a lack of confidence born from other facets of my life that bleed their way into my creativity.  It is something that I need to work on the future.

Humor – One needs to be able to laugh at themselves and not to take things too seriously if they want to be open to the world of possibilities to rush into them.  It is like how a wall will hold back water but if there are holes in it there can be a waterfall.

Like I hinted at earlier part of true creativity for me is to go crazy.  What I mean by that is to get myself into what Cleese would call the open mode.  For me it is a wild place full of rushing thoughts and spontaneous creativity.  It can be beautiful and overwhelming.  It is like taking a bath in liquid sun where one has to be careful not to be burned by it.  If I am to harness it properly though I need to provide a structure for it to exist and by following some of what Cleese posits I believe I can do that.