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The 3-D Alphabet Way of Seeing the World
As an only-abstractly ambitious high school senior, I eschewed useless topics such as science, math, and whenever possible gym, in favor of the practical-life-skills-building Advanced Placement Art. Auspicious, I know. And yet, thanks to Facebook, I know that two of the girls (well, women now) from my class have gone on to support themselves as straight-up artists. They were both talented from the get-go, but they weren't the only or even the most talented artists in the class. They were, however, the most driven. Now, one was an excellent draftsman (draftswoman?). She was the only person I ever knew who could draw a horse. She makes her living as a graphic artist, and she's very good at what she does. The other girl, in my teenaged estimation, not the best at drawing. Her stuff didn't look like stuff. She couldn't really draw a horse. But she had ideas. She had crazy, amazing, creative ideas. She would tweak the assignments we were given and create, well, works of art. And, you guessed it, she is now a real, honest-to-god, gallery-showing painter. She's one of those painters with ideas, with vision, with Creativity with a Big C.
Even as a student I knew that though my paintings of cups and things were sort of nice, I did not have what this girl had. This ability to innovate, to really see things in a whole new way. Because that's the nature of creativity, isn't it? It's not strictly creating something to paint its portrait; to truly make something new you must see things in a unique way, which is a harder skill to learn than, say, shading something to make it look round. Which leads me to this: the 3-D Alphabet.
Ji Lee's site Please Enjoy is full of projects as clever as they are masterfully handled, and most have this element of, dare I say, genius -- that strange combination of being at once so unique you would never think of them, and so deceptively simple-seeming that once you've seen them you suspect you might have almost thought of them once... though you never actually would. It's that whiff of inevitability that makes the 3-D alphabet such a delight. Of course! Each letter rendered in 3-D! Why didn't I think of that? Reading a word "written" in the 3-D-ized letters becomes a brain-twisting pleasure; the whimsical space-age robot world created from the 3-D word building blocks becomes the most fun kind of puzzle.
The 3-D alphabet is fun for what it is. But it's also fun for what it reminds us: that a creative mind can transform anything.
The Creative Commandments
Unblocking Your Creativity
Quotes to Inspire Creativity
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