Art & Design Magazine

Birthday Candles, Creative Thinking and Alexander McQueen

By Dianefergurson
Birthday Candles, Creative Thinking and Alexander McQueen
I was at a friend's birthday party recently.  Her teenage daughter had baked her a cake.  When it came time to put the candles on the cake and sing "Happy Birthday", the only candles the daughter could find in the house was a number 8 and two 1's.  Since my friend was in her 40's, this was not going to do.  I sat at the table, quietly sipping my drink.  Not saying a word as the family stumbled around the house visibility upset, trying to figure out a way through their candle dilemma.  I kept thinking to myself, "If this were my kids and our house, I would have issued some sort of creative challenge.  Something like...OK, well it's up to you to come up with something cool from what you have and what you can find".
We were always doing things like that with our kids when they were growing up.  Teaching them to think creatively during the most inopportune times.  To create something from what they had around them.  Encouraging them to pursue an idea even though the results may not turn out to be successful, or conducive with an adult sensibility.  To think "out of the box".  Figuring out interesting solutions to everyday problems.  How to choose and act upon the most viable of their ideas.  Our attention to developing their creative thought process was probably why one of our kids grew up the be an artist, the other a design coordinator.
At a used book sale the other day I smiled as I picked up and purchased a copy of "You Are Special.  Words of Wisdom from America's Most Beloved Neighbor" by Fred Rogers.  From the chapter on Creativity and Play, as only Mister Rogers could put it...
"One of the most important things a child can learn to do is to make something out of whatever he or she happens to have at the moment".
"One way to think about play is as the process of finding new combinations for known things - combinations that may yield new forms of expression, new inventions, new discoveries, and new solutions.  I like thinking about play in this way because it gives play some of the importance it deserves".
"What I have heard from creative people over the years is that their early urges towards unique self-expression were respected and supported by some loving adult in their young lives - someone who would even let them paint a tree blue of that's what they felt like doing".
This past weekend my daughter and I went into New York City to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  This exhibit, and it's presentation, has exceeded just about everyone's expectations.  Each garment alone is a true visual feast and a definite creative joy for the imagination. As we began walking through the show the second garment that was presented was McQueen's razor-clam shell dress.  As I stood there, totally gaping at the dress, the only thing I could think was "Boy... I bet he never had an issue with birthday candles".

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Practicing Empathy

    Embed from Getty ImagesBrené Brown is a researcher who has specialized in studying shame for most of her career. Her recent book, I Thought It Was Just Me (but... Read more

    11 hours, 2 minutes ago by   Candacemoody
  • Chilli Update

    Chilli Update

    You might recall that about a month ago I sowed seeds of 20 different varieties of chilli. They germinated at different rates, keeping me guessing (and... Read more

    11 hours, 53 minutes ago by   Mwillis
  • Sophie & Scotts Wedding at Athelhampton House

    Sophie Scotts Wedding Athelhampton House

    Athelhampton House Wedding Athelhampton House weddings are regular features scattered throughout our diary. A familiar venue that keeps giving fresh imagery as ... Read more

    12 hours, 4 minutes ago by   Linusm
  • "I Am Worth More Than My Self Doubt"

    Worth More Than Self Doubt"

    Top of the Monday morning to you! We're finally back in Atlanta today after getting in early yesterday, grabbing the kids and then running home, unpacking, had ... Read more

    12 hours, 10 minutes ago by   Cait
  • Signs of the Times

    Signs Times

    America’s phallic affair with guns should give us pause to wonder what the true motivation is. My wife sent me an NPR story on the World Peace and Unification... Read more

    14 hours, 47 minutes ago by   Steveawiggins
  • Heart Valve Replacement: How to Prepare

    Heart Valve Replacement: Prepare

    Overview Before you undergoe the heart replacement surgery to replace a heart valve, you will need to prepare for your hospital stay. Read more

    15 hours, 19 minutes ago by   Allyson3james
  • Blood and Tourism in Kashmir

    The previous summer, amid an overnight transport trip from New Delhi to Srinagar—the mid-year capital of the Indian-controlled condition of Jammu and Kashmir—I... Read more

    15 hours, 26 minutes ago by   Amar Rana