Biases. We all have them.
We deal with them, we silence them, but there’s no denying how much they affect our creative judgment.
Our creative journey is always filled with highs and lows — days when we feel the flow; someday nothing inspires us. Some days we hate everything around us and there are some days when everything around us inspires us.
We have bundles of stuff we go through each day – some intrigues and some inspires. Biases have the power to shape our judgment, make us see things in a new light, and can set the tone for our entire line of work.
There is a Wikipedia page for biases. Attentional bias, lesser-is-better bias, pro-innovation bias, belief bias, choice-supportive bias, confirmation bias, curse of knowledge bias, hindsight bias, illusion of control bias omission bias, optimism bias, pessimism bias, reactive devaluation bias, selective perception bias, survivorship bias, triviality bias, actor-observer bias, group attribution error, and projection bias.
Expressing a creative concept on a blank paper calls forth a mysterious meeting point for all our deep-rooted biases. Our biases – born from our constant aim for self-actualization remind us of our past while we try to create something new in the premise of something unknown and new.
These biases dismiss the distinctively new idea from being birthed or shaped on the blank page. A self-serving bias which is basically “The tendency to claim more responsibility for successes than failures” often stops us from creating more ideas that we fear might fail.
Our past shores up all the experiences and validates a new idea against various standards it has set. The standards of perfection, of being safe, of being culturally/socially right, of seeing the idea through its completion, of being the first of its kind.
History sets the context for the present. Unfortunately it also sets context to ideas that we work on and those that we don’t. While our creativity and art belong to the future, our past is already setting context to it.
Blank paper is where this confluence lies.
A number of mental processes of retrieval, association, synthesis, transformation, analogical transfer go into a creative process. Retrieval of what we have seen, earned, learned. Not that we can dismiss it. But we can reorient our ideas to see that they stand to be real and minus the flavors of our mind’s biases.
I am reaching out to more and more artists whose work makes me believe in truth, beauty and aesthetics. The way they juggle between their design projects and day jobs while adapting their introvert nature to grow and become business owners is so inspiring.
Last week I picked up a beautiful sketch book made of handmade papers. The keen sense of playful patterns got me curious about its creator. There was something bright, airy and child-like about it. What I loved about this cutely threaded bounded book was that, unlike the kitsch ones you find in market, these sketchbooks were not trying hard to make a point.
Later during the day I emptied my shopping bag and quickly leafed through the pages of the sketchbook. On the back-end of the cover I found the website address http://www.salonelfi.de.
Here is an interesting sneak peek into her design project and inspiration I found at http://blog.grassi-museum.com.
Verena Schätzlein initially studied textile and surface pattern design at the Kunstakademie Stuttgart, before moving to Berlin where she established her own studio. In 2000 Verena was commissioned for a fair trade carpet project in India; a project which was to be the start of a long-term relationship with the land, its people, and for all its craftsmen.
In the intervening decade+ Verena has undertaken regular projects and commissions in India and makes at least one trip per year to the land. For all the variety of crafts techniques still being practiced in the country is a constant source of wonder and inspiration for Verena.
When you are there and spend all day working with the locals, she enthuse, you get completely different view of both life and your work.
And so it was perhaps not surprising that four years ago Verena decided to start developing and producing her own products in co-operation with a workers collective in India. All the wooden elements in the Salon Elfi range are turned and constructed in India and then hand-painted in Verena’s Berlin atelier.
In addition to the wooden objects, Verena also creates delightful screen printed paper and textile products. For us the Salon Elfi products have a certain child-like innocence, a certain timelessness. Is this deliberate?
“I suppose I tend to think about what impressed me as a child, and about what I used to like playing with. And I have never been someone who has paid much attention to fashions or trends, which has allowed me to develop my style. “
Today’s Writers on a Blank Paper post comes from Khushnum Mistry. Khushnum is a writer and the greatest food connoisseur I have ever met. Her home is a beautiful abode of warmth and sweetness and you are privy to some enviable finds and treasures in every corner.
Khushnum’s many interests include photography, trashy reality tv shows, painting, travelling, singing and painting her pet turtle’s nails. You can follow her writing at http://dreamingangel86.blogspot.com/
Do share your thoughts on a blank paper here: https://blankpaperproject.com/what-is-blank-paper-project/
I might be late to the party, but reading Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea has really opened my mind to the new sights and sounds of a nautical prose. After reading few wayfaring short stories by other notable writers, I prefer Hemingway’s timeless and deceptively simple narrative art.
Hemingway was passionately involved in deep sea fishing and the fable crafts a story set in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Havana.
While reading the book, I wondered…is blank paper to me, what sea is to the old man? It challenges him and tests his resolution, time after time. “The old man knew he was far out and he left the smell of the land behind and rowed out into the clean early morning smell of the ocean.”
To buy the copy of this book click here: http://www.homeshop18.com/old-man-sea/author:ernest-hemingway/isbn:9780099908401/books/juvenile-fiction/product:23535403/cid:10412/?it_category=hs18bot&it_action=moreBooksFromAuthor&it_label=23535403&it_value=0
A glass pane that allows a faraway stare, a soulful playlist and a warm cup of coffee – while watching rain drops run down the window – monsoon is here! And it’s the time of the year to start romanticizing about everything. Even the city looks like it is sipping on whisky with a solemn loneliness in its eyes.
This is just the season to fill our pages with meditative writing, reflective doodle and artistic randomness. So I bought this Paperkraft diary yesterday and the pages call out to me to fill them with words, illustrations and dummy ideas.
I am starting a series on Blank Paper Project called the “Diary chooses the owner”. Here you will get a sneak peek into different sketchbooks, diaries, and notebooks of writers and illustrators. Wish me luck. I am quite excited as you are. We all are sucker for all things stationary. So this will be quite a gratifying journey for us. Please tell me how you want these series to shape up as time goes.
Nothing ring me in the mood and restores my faith in humanity than getting a mail from one of my colleagues at work enclosing her views on Blank Paper. Such a delightful surprise! With our busy schedules, the thought of writing something that requires ethnic cleansing of many voices in our head is challenging. Special thanks to Mansi. Well, since I am sucker for everything post card, greeting cards, note cards, hand-written cards I am sending her a little thank you note which i hope is keepsake worthy.
Mansi is a kook who believes in Angels, but is skeptical about God. She is a backpacker of the mind and places, when at a pit-stop she reads, watches, dreams, drinks chai and clicks.Some of her travel tales sit at http://chaiaroundtheworld.wordpress.com/. All this might be a lie, because according to her hero, House MD, everybody lies.You can follow her https://twitter.com/mansipal
If you are a writer or an illustrator and wish to be featured on the Blank Paper Project do write to me! The project is a special little place to store all those soul-warming views on Blank Paper.