Why arts matters for everyone

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“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”

                                                               — Kurt Vonnegut, American writer

When you work in an office, it’s tough to find the time to practice art: As a kid, we explore and practice arts, we create! As adults don’t do that much anymore, and that’s a shame.

> We spend most of our time at desks, thinking, processing but hardly creating.

Over the past 3 years, I’ve been writing a lot on notepads, practicing writing and making a finished products by putting thoughts on paper.

Picking up new tangible skills help many people with their personal growth, giving an increased sense of purpose. For example, cooking classes are increasingly popular globally.

I really love the feeling that you can keep picking up new things, improving at all times! Yes, I have an achiever mentality). Anyways, let’s look at Dave’s story to see what I’m talking about:


Visual arts and calligraphy are two things I love. Yep, I can’t draw, but I’m a very visual person and love sharing what I find. That’s why my friend Amaury and I created a curation page “Oh I Like That” on Google+.

While feeding Oh I Like That with awesome new things, I came across Dave Foster’s work, he’s a twenty-something Australian, one of the most gifted calligrapher I currently follow.

Dave created the work below for an article opener for Australian Geographic (Issue 116), showing 380+ Aboriginal tribes and dialects in their respective locations, tens of hours of work, if you like what you see, his work can be shipped internationally!

Dave sometime teaches workshops at a brilliant venue named The Distillery based in Darlinghurst, Sydney. I started looking around what they do, I was amazed:

“The Distillery is all about an idea: Heritage soul with modern minds. As craftspeople, we engage this through speciality design and production services.”

They combine modern design and branding with traditional hand-craft, what a talent! They produce logos, business cards, wedding invitations…

Creativity meets handcraft, vintage, ecommerce, typography: This business really resonates with me.

Even better, they don’t stop at producing great work, they go as far as teaching it. Folks like Dave Foster will share what he knows: Anyone can sign up for weekend classes and learn the basics of Letterpress (18 hours, € 450). Not the cheapest, yet you get to learn from one of the best in the world.

(Want to see more calligraphy work? Follow Oh I Like That and Go to Behance and find thousands of creations)

Errrr, how do we do this again?

> Practicing arts & Learning new skills is just like everything else: you need to make time for it. Once you’re set on learning, the rest is easy.

More and more venues are opening globally to help people create, such as the FabLabs: “A fab lab (fabrication laboratory) is a small-scale workshop offering (personal) digital fabrication.[1][2]

Those places help you get things going by letting you tools and infrastructures, just the same way a library would lend you a book. They started at the MIT (Boston) and form a fast expanding network. Ultimately, you could image going to your local FabLab to 3D print a spare part for your car, your bicycle or a shirt of your design!

Think about all those slow-dying retail shops, and FedEx copying centers or local post office, they loose customers and relevance everyday, they could turn their premises into spaces allowing for creativity by providing the right tools.

Many office spaces have already been turned into coworking space, where people of all trades join to collaborate in the same space while working on their own thing. I foresee the same thing happening in the creativity / creation space. More about this on Chris Anderson’s book, he’s the former editor in chief at WIRED magazine.

I’ve been wondering for a while how to help people find what they are missing, in terms of arts and realizations. Of course, we have busy schedules, but I’m convinced that everyone can pick up hobbies, activities on the side.

Ideally, I would like to help people finding their own experiments by creating a platform listing many different experiences. What did you want to do as a kid? What did you wish to become when you were growing up? Putting together a common place where folks can list and explore all sorts of experiences just feels right. It could be a 2-hour exploration, a week-end investigation or a week-long immersion where you could learn the trade from the best… What do you guys think?

PS: Calling all Frenchies: In Paris, you can learn wood work, metal work, cooking… outside office hours (nights & weekends). Folks, you can probably get your company to pay for it, using DIF.

PPS: Hat tips to both Derek & Garr, they both blogged about Kurt and inspired this article.



One thought on “Why arts matters for everyone

    […] time, I wrote a short piece about art, giving advice about creativity. This time, I want to share what I’ve done about […]

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