Cirque du soleil: The Spark: Igniting the Creative Fire That Lives Within Us All


„Well, think about it,“ he says. “If I’m playing cards, I’m going to start thinking about every nut and bolt we put together that day at work. But when I jump off a cliff at ten thousand feet, I cannot think about anything else now, can I? The world below melts away.“

Dieses Buch hab ich offenbar aus irgendwelchen Listen kreativer Bücher heraus bestellt, wo ich ja immer wieder zuschlage und mich dann, wenn ich das Buch aus dem Regal nehme, nicht mehr erinnere, warum ich es überhaupt gekauft habe. Diesmal geschehen, weil Kindle an meine Mutter verliehen. Inzwischen hat sie ihren eigenen eBook-Reader, es musste leider der von Weltbild sein, weil der um 40 Euro billiger ist …

1995 habe ich Saltimbanco in Wien gesehen, ich hatte damals gerade Musicalfeuer gefangen und Saltimbanco hatte so ziemlich alles, was Musical hat und noch Artistik dazu. Die Musik war mitreißend, die Kunst der Artisten faszinierend, die gesamte Atmosphäre überwältigend. Auch die nächste durch Europa tourende Show Alegria habe ich besucht, ich erinnere mich aber nicht mehr genau, warum hier der Funke nicht so übersprang wie bei Saltimbanco. Dass dort hochkreative Menschen arbeiten müssen, muss jedem klar sein. In diesem Buch ist viel versammelt, was man wissen oder können sollte, um kreative Projekte zu verwirklichen, viele Tipps von erfolgreichen Menschen, die ihren Job lieben, die tagtäglich Grenzen überschreiten und trotzdem ein normales Leben führen. Vieles, was man sich als Spruch ins Stammbuch schreiben könnte, um Tag für Tag auch das Besondere an seinem eigenen Job zu finden. Oder den Mut, zu einem neuen aufzubrechen. Kreativmotivation auf kreative Weise sozusagen.

Al Hirschfeld, the cartoonist, put it like this: ‘Everybody is creative, and everybody is talented. I just don’t think everybody is disciplined.’


Lou Manna – Digital food photography


Lou Manna gives a nice overview of food photography. Lots of practical tips are included and lots of examples fabulously illustrate the mastery of his photography. The lots of pictures make the book easy to read and visually appealing. He explains in detail what is needed to create a stunning picture. How to start, which equipment you need, how to find the right people to work with …

An example tip for composition I found very interesting:

Spiral: People in Western cultures read from left to right, and we’ve trained our eyes to scan other things, including images, in a similar left-to-right sweep. Our eyes naturally tend to scan pictures in clockwise fashion and then spiral in to the area that has the whitest and brightest colors at its center.

Other possible composition options include lowercase a, bullseye and the almighty rule of thirds.
Another thing that i got acknowledged by Lou Manna is the fact, that I definitely need to buy a wide angle lens to get on with my photography ambitions. This lenses with sharp depth of field create the look that I like best in low distance food photographs.

NOTE: Wide angle lenses make elements in the foreground appear larger than those in the background, and exaggerate distance and perspective. Telephoto lenses, on the other hand, have an opposite effect. They compress distance and make objects in the background appear similar in size to objects in the foreground. Remember that depth of field is shallower with telephoto lenses.

Amateur food photos often look boring and fail to transfer the feeling of taste. Not only lighting is important to increase the quality of your food photos, Lou Manna also gives important tips for highlights:

Using mirrors and backlights helps to add dimension, gives more shadow detail, and creates specular highlights on the food or setting. Without these highlights, food photographs lack life and dimension. With them, food can sparkle like jewels. Specular highlights attract attention to the food’s freshness, color, and texture, giving it appetite appeal.

Of course a book can never teach you all the techniques to achieve great food photography results (I’ve already been trying to learn photography through books and video training for a long time and it doesn’t work, believe me). But Lou Manna’s books gives a great overview of the topic and increases the appetite not only for great food but also to become a great photographer. It definitely inspired me to plan the purchase of the wide angle lense that has been sitting on my list for years. Maybe you’ll see some of my own photographs on this blog soon.

More information: Lou Manna’s website (where you’ll find a collection of wonderful pictures, newer and I might say greater than the ones included in the book) – Lou Manna’s blogFood photo libraryWikipedia

English Sachbuch

Lisa Sonora Beam – The Creative Enterpreneur

First Visual Journal Experiment (c) Eva

This book is neither a touchy-feely self-help guide nor a technical dump of business concepts. Each topic is presented to engage both the heart and mind while teaching practical action steps that can be taken now, whatever your level of experience.

It sounded like a nice little experiment and I was eager to try it out and create my own artworks. Unfortunately it turned out I’m not the one for this kind of art. My first visual experiment looks more like a battlefield than work of art.

In theory I really liked the idea, to scribble out business ideas on paper and get a vision of what can be achieved through creative planning. All the example pictures of visual journals look really nice and appealing but I just can’t figure out how to create such a nice-looking piece of art. I have to admit my creativity might be limited to creating on the screen. It could as well be possible that it was just the wrong moment to start it, right now I feel another absolute creativity-free moment rushing in.

Es könnte aber auch sein, dass mir einfach nur die englischen Worte fehlen. Das Buch war wirklich schon zu lesen und auch herrlich illustriert und genau das kann einem schön Respekt einflößen. Es ist wirklich inspirierend zu sehen, welche schöne Ergebnisse andere mit dieser Technik des „creative journaling“ erreichen können. Gleichzeitig bring ich aber selbst sowas definitiv nicht zusammen, wie man an meinem erbärmlichen ersten Versuch sehen kann. Entweder mir fehlen die Werkzeuge (wobei ich sowieso erst farbige Stifte kaufen musste) oder mir fehlen einfach die Techniken, wie man diesen Collageneffekt hinkriegt, wie er im Buch so ausführlich zu sehen ist.

Muster, Bilder, Ausschnitte aus anderen Bildern, ich wüsste auch gar nicht, wo ich das alles herbekommen sollte und Zeitschriften zu zerschneiden ist sowieso nicht meins, schon gar nicht irgendetwas zerschneiden, was eine längere Halbwertszeit als eine Cosmopolitan haben könnte.

Trotz allem empfehle ich allen, einen Blick auf dieses Konzept zu werfen, wer Lust hat, sich malerisch und bastlerisch zu betätigen, der könnte aus den Konzepten vermutlich enormen Nutzen ziehen.

Weitere Informationen: Lisa Sonora Beamflickr group visual journalVisual Journaling

English Sachbuch

Twyla Tharp – The Creative Habit


Most people can’t recall much more than three notes in any context. Think about the last lecture you heard or business meeting you attended or book you had to read. How many of the important take-away points could you recall if you didn’t memoralize them in writing?

Twyla Tharp is a well-known choreographer in America, one of her recent works „Movin’ out“ (a dance evening based on songs by Billy Joel) was a veritable success on Broadway. Choreography might not be a discipline many of us have experience with but Twyla Tharps creativity tips work throughout all possible disciplines.

All I know for sure is that they are trapped in a the box. But do so with the faith that nothing is lost, that you haven’t put it in all this effort for naught. Everything you’ve done is in the box. You can always come back to it.

This box system might not be usable for all of us, we don’t have enough space to store lots of boxes for all projects. Also many of us will store a lot of the material digitally. We are trying to get rid of pyhsical media like CDs or DVDs and it’s just not possible to put everything in a box. The good thing with that is, that you don’t need a lot of space for digital boxes, you might also store your notes for every project in a Yojimbo folder (or any other program of your choice). And you can always access your material for later reference, which is even easier, if you’ve named and archived it digitally.

Without passion, all the skill in the world won’t lift you above craft. Without skill, all the passion in the world will leave you eager but floundering. Combining the two is the essence of the creative life.

All of us sometimes get stuck in our projects, you can’t go forward with constant speed all the time. Your passion and a good system will help you get out of your blockades. Twyla Tharp knows her stuff and is giving practical tips for everybody in the creative business. Creativity is not only talent, it’s also a habit you can learn and use every day of your life.