How Creatives Work: John Cage

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John Cage is one of the most controversial and important figures in the history of music. He made his mission to redefine how we think about musical composition and performance, creativity, and ultimately life. The important conclusion he reached about music in particular was that it could be anything. Any sound we hear in the course of our daily life could be enjoyed and appreciated in and of itself in the same way as we appreciate a Mozart sonata. We just needed to turn up our ears and our brains, to train and stretch them in order to experience the world around us in a different, more active way.

Dancers Among Us: Photographs Inspire Us to Appreciate Each Moment

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“BE passionate joyful euphoric intense angry present ALIVE” – that’s the advice from world renowned photographer Jordan Matter. His project Dancers Among Us carries that spirit with it, transforming everyday situations into dynamic, and often nearly unbelievable scenes that capture the human body ALIVE. From the graceful, to the comical, to the intense, Matter has photographed dancers of all sorts in locations around the world – but especially in his home New York. Each image is an encouraging treasure, one that calls us to enjoy the beauty of life in each moment.

Embrace Your Limitations & Share Your Story

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After years of pointillist drawings, Phil Hansen developed nerve damage while he was in art school and his hand began to shake. He stopped doing art all together and felt lost, until he went to see a neurologist who told him although the damage was irreversible, he should “embrace the shake.” Hansen took this advice to heart and found new ways to create art. He began thinking of limitations he could impose upon his art- one piece using under $1 of supplies, another series of paintings on his chest rather than a canvas, and a spiral portrait created by the words of other people’s inspirational stories. He made a portrait of Jackie Chan using Karate chops with paint on his hand for each stroke and his creativity and inspirational story landed him a TED talk (see below). Now Phil Hansen has started a Kickstarter to create a new motivational, collaborative piece by having people call him to share their stories of facing a limitation and he will hire a team to help him create a documentary of the process.

Inspirational Minimalist Poster Designs

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I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a good quote. In fact the photo library on my iPhone is probably 40% inspirational quotes that I’ve found through various forms of social media. So when I came across these minimalist posters by Tang Yao Hoong with a beautiful design and awesome quotes I was hitting “save” like crazy and thought I would pass them along! His simple, clever designs are as fun as they are creative and each image matches the quote flawlessly.

Intricate Illustrations of Inspirational Icons

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After fleeing his birthplace to escape the civil war, Vedran Misic and his family relocated from Sarajevo, Bosnia to New York City in 1994. He was old enough to remember the horrors of grenade showers and shootings outside which kept him and his family inside of their apartment building, unable to go to school. Experiencing the terror of war made Misic particularly drawn to Gandhi’s non-violent teachings and through art he found a way to “express [his] emotions tied to the war memories and the culture shock of [his] new life and in America.” His latest series of illustrations are colorful portraits, done in marker, dedicated to admirable heroes who spent their lives uniting people, the first two being Gandhi and Bob Marley.

We Love Friday! – Be Inspired

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In this journey through life, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Every time you think your day is bad, there is always someone who has it worse, and there is always someone who has been through something similar. That is why certain quotes can be so inspirational- they seem to speak to exactly what you need to hear to help you keep moving forward. With the internet, it’s easy to search for a quote about anything you imagine, but here is a collection from Instagram that are universally helpful. If you have a quote that inspires you that is not shown here, please add it to the comments section below.

Gravityless: A B-Boy Takes Flight

I have to admit that when I saw the title of the new dance film, Gravityless, I fully expected it to be something with high tech CGI visuals. Instead what I got from the piece by David Olkarny, was something far more subtle and uplifting at the same time. It’s a film which follows b-boy dancer Karimbo around the city and countryside as he throws himself into almost gravity defying moves. As he hits the apex the film slows, revealing the poetry of each instance: Karimbo floats above sky scrapers, wooded glens, and sandy beaches in his dress pants, white shirt and thin black tie.

Compendium of Shapes You Forgot From Geometry Class

The folks over at Pop Chart Labs have done it again, producing another extensive, poster-based charting of beautiful information. This time though, rather than focusing on beer breweries or even celebrity hairstyles, they are getting geometric. Their new florescent design, The Synoptic Scheme of Shapes, points out just how much we all slept through geometry class… or maybe it just shows how much fun shapes can be when you aren’t getting tested later. My favorite part? I finally figured out the name of my long-time favorite shape: a superellipse.

Visual Bits #255> Writings On The Wall: Quotes & Types

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Pop-Up Restaurants: They’re Here to Stay

People are aware that the restaurant industry is massive — to the tune of $372 billion a year — but, what they may not be aware of is that a quarter of these restaurants fail within the first year, and 60% fail by their third year. This rate of failure has driven some cutting edge chefs and restaurant financiers to seek out new investment opportunities.  The pop-up restaurant trend was inspired by supper clubs, and first started in London in the mid-2000s as “happenings”. A cheaper investment upfront coupled with the opportunity for constant reinvention and chance-taking make pop-up restaurants ideal for restaurant financiers and chefs looking for a new investment.