Weekend Creativity Challenge #10

Since this is the last installment of laNeva’s Weekend Creativity Challenges, a recap of the last nine weeks is in order.

We have focused on bringing you ideas to spark your creativity and get you to think outside the box. This freedom of thinking is a benefit in so many areas of life, problem solving being just one.

CalendarWeek #1: How does it make you Feel?

Week #2: Fun with Paper!

Week #3: Dictionary Diving

Week #4: Combinations of Color

Week #5: Naming Color

Week #6: List of 100

Week #7: Child’s Play (for Grown ups)

Week #8: Look Up

Week #9: Creativity Journal

In their simplest terms:

Weeks #1, #4 and #8 asked you to observe and evaluate things that you may never have before.

Week #3, #6 and #7 asked you to think creatively with words.

#1, #4 and #5 were about color

#2, #7 and #9 had to do with paper (folding, drawing and cutting/pasting, in that order.)

Most were easy, just taking a few minutes. The exceptions are #6 and #9 which are techniques that are more lasting and ongoing. Since discovering the list of 100, I have made several and have found that a very valuable brainstorming tool.

All have challenged you to think about the world around you in a different way. We at laNeva have gained useful tools through the process and we hope that you also have a clearer vision of some techniques to call upon should you need them. Thanks for following!

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Weekend Creativity Challenge #9

Creativity Journal:

As the world moves paperless, a physical creativity journal seems more luxurious than ever. I urge you to consider creating this one small luxury, though.  It’s not wastefulness, but resourcefulness and a lot more engaging than a list of bookmarks on the computer.

We all need a place where we can keep photo or article clippings from magazines that inspire us.  Then, when we need a boost of creativity, just open up this book and see the items that you connect with on an emotional level.

When starting a new interior design project, I urge my clients to look for photos of spaces, items or colors that inspire them- or even the opposite, that they do not like – in an effort to pinpoint their style.  Even if they cannot actually verbalize what they are looking for in a space, the visual cues help the process immensely.

So, when you pick up a magazine and something really speaks to you, cut it out, paste it into a book or put it in a 3-ring binder. Be sure to write why you like a photo or object, as I have done.  This really helps you connect with the emotion you had upon first finding the photo.  Try it.  A Creativity Journal  can be a beautiful little window to your psyche.

Note: Next week, week #10 is the last Weekend Creativity Challenge. Stick around for our next series to be announced shortly.

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Weekend Creativity Challenge #8


looking up

Photo by Olbetsy

Look Up:

So simple.  Look up this weekend.

We are all so hung up on our everyday lives that we walk through the day looking straight ahead, or even worse, at the ground.  Well, you’re missing 180 degrees of perspective.

Look at the trees.  Note the individual leaves and the shape of the branches.  Notice the color and texture of the wood.

Look at the sky.  What color is it?  What type of clouds do you see?  (Do you remember the names for the types of clouds? ) What do the clouds look like?

If you’re in a city, look at the buildings.  Are there balconies or windows, fire escapes or solid walls? What color and texture are the buildings?  Imagine what happens inside of them.

Inside? Look at the ceiling.  What color and texture is it?  Is it grand or low, detailed or plain? How about the light fixtures?

Look up.  See what there is to see.  Acknowledge the things that you are too busy to notice most days.  Look up.

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Weekend Creativity Challenge #7

Child’s Play (for GrownUps):

We had a great response after our List of 100 Challenge last week, but this week we’re switching gears back to a simpler concept that is doable on a daily basis, in just a few minutes.  These are so easy and so attainable that we’ll give you two ideas.  The goal, to think simply and let your mind wander, which is so easy for a child, but increasingly difficult as we age and the stresses of everyday life creep in.

1.) The Line Game (time: <5 minutes)

Materials: Paper and writing instrument

Take a piece of paper and draw a line.  It can be a squiggly line or an abstract shape.  Better yet, have someone else draw a line for you.  Your job is to use that line as the starting point for a drawing.  Is is a car, an animal or a building?  Maybe a tree, shoe or a newspaper. Let your mind see the line and complete the drawing for you, before you ever put pen to paper.  The mind has an incredible ability to make order where there is none. The work is done automatically, you just have to tune into it.  A really nice, albeit more professional view of this exercise can be found here, or maybe you can create something like my personal favorite, the wine fairy.

2.) Silly Stories (time: 5 minutes+)

Materials: None

Silly stories are fun to do with kids, but can be even more fun with a group of friends over dinner or drinks. One person chooses a character, another a setting, another a problem, supporting characters, etc.  Then it is your job, or possibly a group effort to create a narrative around those people and situations. This can also be done really well when one person begins by making up a sentence or two and then the story is “passed” to another person who adds a line or two, and so on.

Of course, your stories are bound to be VERY different depending on if your helpers are kids or adults, but fun nonetheless.

As always, the goal of the weekly creativity challenge is to get you to think outside of yourself, re-capture some of the freshness of childhood thinking and lose your inhibitions. There is no wrong answer, just a hell of a lot of fun to explore and the possibility that you may just see things in a new light.

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Weekend Creativity Challenge #6

I Dare You to Write a List of 100

To celebrate our 6th weekend of creativity challenges, we are breaking out the big guns and exploring an idea that may just completely blow your mind. That is the point of this creativity-challenge-thing, right?

The concept is described in depth on the litemind.com site in an article by Luciano Passuello. In a nutshell, the list of 100 is just what it says. Write a list of 100 reasons or ideas to solve a certain problem or question. It seems so simple, but completely ridiculous. One hundred, really?

The beauty is in the repetition and quantity of answers. There is a pattern with how your mind works. With the first 30 answers, you will find the normal expected solutions. The next 40 are the toughest, with the mind still trying to hold onto the logical first 30. The final 30 are the goldmine, where your subconscious takes over and you start really thinking outside of the box.

Check out the article here. It is a fascinating concept to get past the mental hurdles of over-thinking things and let your mind run free. The article even has a list of “100 Things to Write a List of 100 About”.

A few favorites:

#10) 100 Things I’d Do if I Had Time

#20 ) 100 Ways to Make a Difference

#68) 100 Things I Could Carry in My Pocket

#87) 100 Principles to Live By

#80) 100 Tasks I’ve Been Procrastinating

and of course:

#67) 100 Ways to Be More Creative

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Weekend Creativity Challenge #5

Naming Color:

Everyone seems to think the job of naming colors (whether it is paint colors or cosmetics) would be so easy.  I beg to differ. Sure, you could come up with a handful of names, maybe even 100, but thousands? No wonder why the names get a little crazy sometimes. What colors are Briarwood, Pilgrim Haze or Victorian Trim?? All found in my Benjamin Moore Color Preview paint deck.

This weekend’s creativity challenge: Choose a color that appeals to you.  (Possibly the same as Week 1′s Creativity Challenge).  Think about naming that color. Define it first, if needed.  Is the color warm or cool, happy, meloncholy, fresh, rich, enveloping?

My color from week 1 is a retro lime green.  How would I name it? Start off simple and get more complex: Lima, Key Lime, New Grass, Brady Green, Galactic Green, Neon Goo… you get the idea.

Now, it’s your turn. How many names can you develop? How unusual can you get while still describing the color?

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Weekend Creativity Challenge #4

Combinations of Color

This weekend’s creativity challenge is to think of color in various and unusual combinations. Which colors feel good together and which feel dissonant?

The basic color wheel is made up of  three primary colors, three secondary colors and six tertiary colors.  It gets better though:  If you draw a line straight across the wheel, you get complimentary colors that seem to make each other stronger and more vibrant.  Think red and green for example.

In the upper midwest of the United States (and in other geographical areas I am sure) we tend to shy away from color.  I have seen it numerous times in my Interior Design business where a homeowner will “love” color, but yet is only comfortable using vibrant colors in kids room, or when combining as an accent against a more neutral backdrop.

This weeks challenge is to consider some different combinations of color within interiors: orange/blue (complimentary), primary colors, tertiary combinations. Think outside the box and BE CREATIVE! Do you like the following photos?  Why or why not?

Photo from ecohomeresource.com

Photo by Wesley Rose for Elle Decor

Photo by Wesley Rose for Elle Decor

Photo from traditionalhome.com

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Weekend Creativity Challenge #2

Fun with Paper!

Remember how much fun you had as a kid playing with a piece of paper? You don’t have to be a Japanese Origami master to have some fun and create inspiring shapes.  If you can fold a crane, more power to you. If not, try a paper airplane or a hat.  It’s probably been a few years since you’ve done that. How about channeling your inner child a bit further and creating a football, fortune teller, paper chain or string of paper dolls?  The possibilities are endless! What can you do with a simple sheet of paper this weekend? (Spitballs don’t count!)

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Weekend Creativity Challenge #1

While the Creativity Challenge was started on the laNeva Facebook page, after the first week, it grew too large to host there- thus the move to laNeva’s blog. Here is the first Creativity Challenge backdated to the original post date.

Creativity Challenge for the weekend: (I’ll start off easy) Look around your house and choose one color that you really love. What makes it “feel” so good to you? Leave a comment when you’ve found it!

Comments included:

“Brick red, pretty much the same shade we had in one room in our condo in SF. Earthy, rich, warm…” from Heather M.

“My dining room & kitchen are a very pale sage green. I can sit in my living room and just look at the walls. They are so peaceful.” Marita R.

“My foyer is a color that I think is called ‘Blue Heron’ and I love it! It feels summery, colorful, elegant, and cheery all at the same time.” Mary Ellen G.

Excellent- Thanks everyone!! My favorite is a lime green. I am partial to greens, but this one is a spectacular mix of kitchy retro and summer freshness. It makes me feel energized yet comfortable. It’s been a favorite of mine for the last 10 years.

The “Weekend Creativity Challenge” is going to be an ongoing feature here. Stay tuned for the next challenge!

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Is it Modern or Contemporary?

What really is the difference between “Modern” and “Contemporary”? Even within the design community these words are often used interchangeably. The truth is the two are inherently different.

A trade resource (ie not available to the general public) from Moen discusses the fundamental differences between the terms “Modern” and “Contemporary” and how knowing the difference/clarifying their clients wants can help a designer’s success:

“Modern isn’t a style. It’s a way of thinking,” says architect Bryan Russell, a partner in the Atlanta-based Dencity Design. He says that modernist designers seek creative solutions for design problems. By contrast, contemporary is just a style and differs from traditional only in looks, he says. A good illustration of this is the traditional Cape Cod house: a simple box with symmetrical windows topped by a gable roof. A contemporary house might replace the gable with a shed roof, or with a flat roof surrounded by a parapet, and lose some of the detailing. But, because it’s basically a distilled version of the traditional home, major elements and proportions remain. Inside, the design will call for the same materials as a traditional, but with less trim and molding.

The modern home might be radically different: a box cantilevered over the top of another box with large corner windows, for example. That’s because the designer is more concerned with views to the outside than with composition. “Modern thinking is based on asking questions about how to solve problems and not necessarily following the tried and true,” says Russell.

Are you modern or contemporary or somewhere on the spectrum in between? To read the Moen article in it’s entirety, click here.

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