Taking Charge of the Creativity Brainplosion

Drawing by Santiago Ramón y Cajal of two types of Golgi-stained neurons from the cerebellum of a pigeon
Drawing by Santiago Ramón y Cajal of two types of Golgi-stained neurons from the cerebellum of a pigeon

Cross-Disciplinary Creativity

I’ve been working on a number of different creative things in the past few days –

  • writing poetry
  • turning my novels over in my mind
  • starting a short story
  • how to depict myself in a comic strip.
Andreas Vesalius' Fabrica, published in 1543, showing the base of the human brain, including optic chiasma, cerebellum, olfactory bulbs, etc.
Andreas Vesalius’ Fabrica, published in 1543, showing the base of the human brain, including optic chiasma, cerebellum, olfactory bulbs, etc.

It struck me this morning that these are not all separate projects at all: these are all part of a larger work, and feed into each other. A larger, modular work. I’m creating the Ikea of creativity…or stories or something. If that makes sense.

I have no idea why it took me so long to realise this.

I have no idea how I didn’t realise before that I think in collage.

I’m always finding or making connections between disparate materials or scraps of information.

An ad on TV, a panel from a graphic novel, a topic to write for a client’s blog posts, a scene from my novel…the shape of the trees outside my window, someone’s photographs on tumblr, a piece of quantum mechanic theory, the shape of computer code with the visuals all stripped away. My mind moves at a billion miles a minute but that’s how it is and I’ve just realised that I should embrace this fact.

These constant connections and ways of making and of being make me and my work who I am and what it is.

And maybe that’s a great thing. Continue reading “Taking Charge of the Creativity Brainplosion”

How To Get Started with Adobe Illustrator CS6

adobe illustrator

I love learning. I’m always learning (everyone is, whether they know it or not).

Due to a few different things I’ve become very interested in web design – the 3 top reasons being:

  • ESC zine (and Adobe InDesign is my thing, which I guess made Illustrator a lot easier for me in many ways)
  • An ongoing interest in typography and typeface design
  • An ongoing obsession with Creative Market. Check out my favourites there for some cute (possibly bordering on the kawaii) design goodness.

And so, with some time on my hands due to my very recent move to Belgium, I’ve been sitting down and watching tutorials on Adobe Illustrator. It’s amazing! This software can do so much stuff, such as make digital illustrations, create or modify fonts and whole typeface families, create logos, and much more. Check out this blog for an inspiration gallery that will give you a taste of the fantastic stuff that Illustrator can do.

Some observations on Adobe Illustrator that I’ve made already are:

  1. It’s way better if you use a digital drawing tablet such as the Wacom
  2. It’s hard at first but you speed up once you get used to using it. There’s millions of shortcuts and cool tools to remember, and sometimes it’s hard to remember where exactly those tools are within the interface … so, like most things, practice makes perfect.

Now, I’ve had a little bit of grounding in Adobe Illustrator from Áine Belton and Eileen O’Neill, and they’ve been so patient and helpful that launching into learning such an initially-daunting piece of kit has been really quite pleasant.

With no further ado, here’s the first video that I’ve watched today.

How To Get Started with Adobe Illustrator CS6 – 10 Things Beginners Want To Know How To Do, by Terry White