Each year as the leaves fall and the days get colder, I can’t help but reflect on how quickly the days add up. I watch the colors change a little every day and reflect on how easily nature follows its natural cycle and it tunes my sense of simple order and renewal.
Creativity is a guiding force in my life and I wanted to reflect on how little and big innovations have changed the way I create, interact with and perceive the world around me. We all take so many little things for granted and don’t often reflect on how they came to be. Let’s just take a minute to talk about creative advancements in everyday objects and how technology has changed the way we are inspired by and connected to the people and things around us.
When I got up this morning, I was so glad I didn’t have to light a candle to see my way into the kitchen where I easily microwaved water for my tea. I flipped through a magazine while I was waiting and began to focus on the fonts, colors, and designs on the pages and thought about the number of people reflected there. If you have ever created an ad, written an article, published a design or invented a new product, you know how much creative energy flows to get you to that point, so imagine how much it takes to put together a magazine or newspaper for us to enjoy. Now these forms of media are also easily available online so you don’t even have to go to the store to grab the magazine, it waits for you on the Internet!
I approached my computer with thoughts of how much my design and research processes have changed since the introduction of the PC. I remember writing pattern instructions on a word processor, taking pictures on a roll of film and then the terribly long wait to get the pictures developed. Those things took so much time and the results were not as beautiful as what I can now put together with a digital camera and some layout programs on my computer. We’ve come so far since I had to put my first book together. I turned it in on floppy discs! I still have them in a giant bundle of stuff that I had to send through the mail, another service that has become easier with time. Today I am thankful for the digital age and the ease in which I can send an article or packet to my publisher via e-mail or DropBox, not to mention the ability to digitally retake as many pictures as I need to get just the right look!
I appreciate the ability to search through online libraries and Google my way around the internet to find research articles and historical inspiration with a stroke on a keyboard--another beautiful invention! Advanced technology has certainly increased our ability to stay in the loop of trends, see the newest manufacturing processes and textiles and stimulate the minds of future inventors and artists.
The digital age has brought our world closer together and keeps me in touch with so many people that I never would have had the opportunity to know. Social networking has done so much to get us talking and sharing with one another. Think about the number of people you touch with Facebook, blogging, e-mail, Twitter and LinkedIn and how much you have learned from using each of them. It’s so exciting to “friend” my favorite artists and keep in touch with students and friends from years past. I belong to several groups that correspond and chat online and feel like I know some of the members better than some people I meet face to face (and I get to talk to them in the wee hours of the day and night wearing my pajamas!!). Being able to take a look at what other people “Like” and the inspirational things they post is a daily boost of global creativity that you just couldn’t get before social media connected all of us.
As I head down to my studio and turn on my radio, I grab my iPad and draw a couple of little pictures in Draw Free to get my mind warmed up. I send birthday and anniversary cards using another App and send up a silent “Thank you for making that so easy!” to the inventors who’ve made it possible for me to have these types of luxuries at my fingertips!
We recently had to reprogram a garage door opener and I was so thankful for the YouTube video that walked us through the process. Think about how many new things you have learned from watching online videos and how easy it is to drop by your favorite brush or paint company online to see the newest products and how to use them. I love seeing what people are painting and designing and spend lots of time dropping in on my favorite artists and websites. Don’t even get me started on Pinterest or Evernote and how much my journals have grown with ideas generated from following a blog or tag.
Creativity and inspiration come in many forms. I am in awe of and have sincere gratitude for the minds it takes to keep our lives so simple. But as I glance outside at the beautiful gold and red leaves that dangle from my trees, I am also thankful that I can just enjoy the beauty of the falling leaves and think about just what I will be doing with all of those amazing pinecones I see on the ground. Maybe Pinterest has some ideas??
Be Ye Thankful!
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