My Utopian Art Studio – searching for ideas

Following on from my previous post, I have researched more into the topic of Utopia and grasping the concept of an ecological utopia.  This could incorporate concepts such as organic architecture or lifestyles that are both more a kin to living in harmony with nature, and less dependent on western urbanization and into a more traditional way of living. Now this, I can resonate with.

Intentional communities all over the world are generally based on the utopian concept, which is improving the way humans live together. Members of these secular communities consisting of communes, farms, retreats and gypsy travelers of society have intentions of living the ideal lifestyle, in hope of peace and harmony with their neighbours and the land that provides for them.

When asked to imagine my ideal art studio within the sub-brief given in this project, my mind quickly led down a path that resonates with the utopian values of these traditional ways of living.  I considered how I might like to step into my teepee each morning to begin the day’s creative work in meditative communion with my creator, or a tree-house loft where I can retreat completely into the natural surroundings that nourish and sustain me.  However, my creative self preferred the idea of having a gypsy caravan wagon converted into an art studio and parked permanently in my home garden.  This utopian vision is influenced by my love of the bohemian style, colours, textiles and the simple life that gypsies embrace.  After being inspired by the eclectic vintage, rustic and contemporary designs of wagons and small dwellings (my favourite aspects seen above in these examples), I set off to design and build a model of my first visionary structure using wood as the media.

Small rooms or dwellings set the mind on the right path, large ones cause it to go astray – Leonardo de Vinci


Richardson, P. (2007). XS Green: Big Ideas, Small Buildings. London: Thames & Hudson.


An Inspiring Read – author Paul Arden

This is a must read for anyone wanting to break out of self-limiting beliefs around creativity and succeeding in life. The world’s top advertising guru, Paul Arden has complied a pocket bible full of motivating and insightful messages that have changed my thoughts towards my own negative thought processes and ability to succeed as a creative practitioner.

This read came to me at a very crucial time, as yesterday I had the opportunity to present a three minute digital ‘showcase’ on me as a creative practitioner. Having came away with the feeling that I had missed the mark completely, and more than likely failed to meet the brief requirements, I most definitely needed ‘a kick in the backside’ pep talk from Paul Arden.

The chapters that really stood out for me were:

It’s right to be wrong

where Arden suggests that when we avoid focusing on trying to be right, many other possibilities become available. In my case yesterday, I developed a great ‘left field’ concept even though it didn’t relate very well to the topic. I’m far from perfect, and I probably never will be, but I can make the effort to become better than I currently am. I can certainly give myself credit for taking a risk and I also must hold on to the courage that propelled me to put myself out there in the world.

Do not seek praise, seek criticism

Yesterday I felt deflated when other class colleagues were praised for their efforts individually, and my name wasn’t mentioned. Considering the benefits of seeking out and accepting criticism enthusiastically rather than seeking praise, has lifted my spirits allowing me to be prepared for another insightful lesson and learn from my mistakes. Again none of us are perfect, and we are all different people with our own set of potential weaknesses and strengths. Which brings me to the next pearl of wisdom…

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative

I often need the reminder of this obvious truth.

Don’t give a speech, put on a show

Had I not failed to introduce my topic and how it is a creative suggestion of the brief outline, I would have certainly put on a show rather than given a speech. I enjoyed being the story teller in my presentation, it was just a shame that not many people had a clue why I was saying what I did.  I then adopt another tip from Arden…

Fail, fail and fail better

And all is as it should be in my world, and I can…

Achieve the unachievable

By aiming beyond what I am capable of and pushing through the barriers where my self-limiting beliefs put an end to things.  I need to define where I want to be in reality, and visualise it happening. Before the end of the week, I intend to have a clear vision in mind, for what and where I want to be as a creative practitioner, and how good I want to be in this reality.

Watch the Score!

a prime example of the wise words of Paul Arden

a prime example of the wise words of Paul Arden


Arden, P. (2003). It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be. London: Phaidon Press.

Lisa Duddington. (2011). Usability and UX Blog. Retrieved on 17 April, 2013 from

Free Will they say. But really?

free will sqFollowing a lecture on Subjectivity presented by Wellesley Binding (a master mind and artist) I was asked to comment on in my blog, any thoughts that came up for me. The after thought that continues to linger in my mind is the concept of free will.  I find myself asking: For a society of free people, why do I still feel so caught up and influenced by what society dictates and readily determines for me?  Is the concept of free will all but an illusion?

Freedom of thought, thankfully in the country I live in, is permitted. However, I still will most likely be judged and discriminated for my opinions and beliefs, which somewhat squashes the pleasure and feelings of liberation that I may have experienced when expressing such notions.  I believe that I am led to assume that I am free to make my own choices, however certain circumstances are set in place to ensure that I have a pretty hard time doing so.  Do I embark upon a career in this or that? Where in the world shall I live? What food shall I buy this week for my meals? Which self-help book or workshop should I enroll in this month?

In this century, it has become possible to choose from an array of alternatives, satisfying our human need to have free will. However, I am left thinking that it would have been simpler (and certainly less confusing) if when a few hundred years ago, my life was pre-determined by the circumstances that I was born into.  I would have lived in the place where I was born.  I would have followed in my foremothers footsteps. I would have eaten whatever was growing in my garden or whatever I could have traded for my crops. If my roof needed fixing, my neighbours would help me fix it.  I would belong to the religion of my forebears.  I would be betrothed to the boy next door. I would go to the only healer of the village, and be advised of how to heal my aliments and when to be initiated by the spiritual ‘quest’.  Apart from marrying the boy next door (whom I’m sure would have been a great hunter at least), I think I would have been pretty happy with my lot of determined fate!