“Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.” …Chuck Close
I had my students write this quote down, and introduced them to the idea that typical high school excuses look pathetic to what Close overcomes everyday to chase his passion. In this same week I also showed them the evolution of one of Gene Roddenbery’s dreams.
I joked with my students how my Yoda like instructor at Hartford, Murray Tinkleman would wink with eyes of tiger about to eat you and say, “Inspiration is for amateurs.” Is he right? Yes and no, we need inspiration, just not excuses to find it. We as designers should be immersed in inspiration. Ideation is part of the discipline required to be what we are. Actively seeking, researching, adding new visual ideas consistently to our visual vocabulary should be just what we do. Many of the Ideation concepts had the idea of breaking down an idea and seeing how to reapply it. Being uninspired is dangerous. Saying you have a block means you may not be able to put food on the table. So I believe we must take an active role in how we are personally creative.
A great way to harness your ideation abilities is to actively seek out creative people. I love scifi because the field pushes the boundaries of thought combining philosophy with science creatively to envision the future. Gene Roddenberry was definitely vision of a future where humanity had fixed many of its ills. Part of this vision was technological. While we haven’t fixed most of our problems, our future is being enhanced by the vision of Roddenberry. While his ideas inspired such technology as the modern cellphone he also inspired what would become one of my favorite devices…the ipad. The above photo is a device called the PADD ironcially enough, and Apple like the idea so much they tried to create a similar product in the 1980′s called the Bashful.
This product was never released to the mass public, but it later serve as the inspiration for the Newton.
This would be the precursor to the ipad. Apple was inspired though originally by Gene’s Vision. Inspiration comes from finding sources…wells to draw from. Once those wells run dry find new ones. Chuck Close doesn’t make excuses. He works as a quadriplegic and creates enormously fantastic visions despite learning and physical disablities. Chuck is an inspiration. One of my ideations…How can I be more like Chuck.