Looking at Things Differently

Last Monday, I started the week by painting an aubergine, the humble eggplant. Over the years, I have painted this unusual vegetable many times, continually amazed at the depth and changeability of the colour. At times almost black, but then a deep bluey purple and at other times, a crimson-purple, and always sort of iridescent.

One of my favourite quotes from Albert Einstein is:

Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no-one else has thought.”

As one of the critical aspects of creativity is looking at things differently, and the humble Aubergine is excellent to study as it does half the work.

I picked up this little piano man in Venice in 2004, made from bits and pieces from the workings of a piano. It was from the back streets in the west of the town away from the Venetian mask shops and overpriced cafes. It was a dusty little shop of a piano repairer, and he made these great little pieces reminiscent of drawing mannequins.

Besides a reasonably unique souvenir, I love the mystery of the providence. Could have the bones of this small sculpture at sometime transmitted the genius of Puccini, Vivaldi or Paganini?

I love the ingenuity of the piece, and the Einstein quote resonates with me.

How this tinkerer looked at things differently.

This is some of a beautiful set of Carlo Moretti Murano glass tumblers from Venice. I often have a Montenegro digestive with ice and orange in these glasses, but set them up with colouring from my palette, with brushes as swizzle sticks and one can look at them a little differently.

For me, one of my favourite thinking tools is a pencil, and so what better image to illustrate this than this Venetian mask?

Drawing is an excellent way of thinking, whether it be doodling, design or just visually thinking.

A big part of looking at things differently can step back from a problem or challenge to view it from a different angle.

In my work around Creative Leadership, and its companion program for teams, Creative Fellowship, I often use drawing to both build confidence, but also to tap into different parts of the brain.

How do you step back from a problem to look at it differently?

Do you reserve time to tinker with a challenge?

Take some time to look deeply at an object. What do you see that you haven’t seen before?

Do you draw to think about a problem? If not, try it some time.

I’m always happy to have a conversation about Adaptive Pre-Thinking, Re-invention, and the intersection between creative and pragmatic thinking, and doing!

I’m here to help, whenever you’re ready!

Here a couple of options to start the conversation:

  • Sign up for “Be the Architect of your Future” weekly email. The emails are short reflections on applied creativity, along with a couple of illustrations for the week, no more than a couple of minutes Please use this link. (if you are received this email directly from me, you are already on the mailing list)

  • Contact me via my website. Please use this link.

You can also contact me at paul@paulfairweather.com and let me know how you think we can work together.

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