Tag Archives: #creativity

I’m reading “The Bullet Journal Method” by Ryder Carroll, creator of the bullet journal notebook.

He kept a journal! A Sketchbook! A to-do list all in one. Why? It was his method to be focussed because of his ADHD.

On Pinterest, I’m inspired by many BuJo (bullet journal) devotees. It combined my desire to sketch as well as my need to be organised.


Read more about famous people who journal on his blog:

What’s your weakness?
Don’t hide it. What’s your method to deal with it?

Perhaps its your answer to the next discovery.


Photo credit: Taken at Tsuruga, Lake Akan of a sculpture by Ainu artist, Hokkaido.

We met the late artist’s wife, the muse for this wooden sculpture.  The beautiful serenity on her face, embracing the sun.

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.


By sculpture I mean that which is fashioned by the effort of cutting away, that which is fashioned by the method of building up being like unto painting.

Michelangelo in a 1547 letter to Varchi, summed up the distinction between sculpture and painting. Sculpture, like editing, chisels away at the unnecessary, in pursuit of the truth and beauty within.

Painting, like writing, is the process of adding layer upon layer to a flat surface until there is something where before there was nothing. (Nils Parker)


Marie Kando too is someone who made a career out of removing excess. Her brand of house cleaning – thank the object for its usefulness. Keep only what “sparks joy”. Remove what no longer brings joy so we can breathe better.

Alex Honnold, the free solo climber chiseled away the unnecessary, including living out of a van, to focus on what gives him joy – climbing. He visualised free soloing El Capitain for 6 years before doing it, he reminds. Imagine. An athelete without a coach, yet his brain goes to mental gym every day.

What do you have to chisel away in 2019 to let joy come through?

玉不琢,不成器 (Yù bù zhuó, bù chéng qì)

I have to chisel away at my negative emotions, fears of other’s opinion, pride.

How can I make weakness be my strength? Can it?

What do you spend most time thinking about?

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things …

and the God of peace will be with you”


The Japanese are masters in creativity. Here leveraging on tradition of Kabuki tradition, entertainment for common folk and make performance as part of your beauty care. Beauty face masks with Japanese stage makeup printed.

Kumadori is the stage makeup worn by Kabuki actors. Its designed to reveal the personality of a character at a glance. Red depicts a good character, those coloured blue, black and brown are wicked.

Himself gifted me this pack wrapped origami style with the wrapper doubling up as information pamphlet that is at once informative as well as functional and great marketing. No doubt a winner of a Tokyo Midtown Award.

To lend credibility, a Kabuki actor born into a family of Kabuki actors served as Pack supervisors.

Marketing as play. Get into character with a Kabuki Face Pack and transform your mood with a special play time.


Sunbird on my balcony

Sunbird on my balcony

I’m interested in the subject of creativity. Singaporeans are known to be uncreative. Can we teach creativity?

We look at the entertainment field where creativity is de rigeur, the Korean drama and pop stars are today ruling the entertainment scene where the Japanese once reigned. Next in line would be the Taiwanese/ Hong Kongers.

Those of us who are old enough to remember, will recall, that not too long ago, the Japanese were the source of cheap manufacturing parts.  [In those days, we buy German products if you want quality.] Then, came the Koreans.  You go to Seoul for cheap, imitation Coach bags.  Then, came the Taiwanese. Today, of course, China rules the counterfeit market. Will China move out of this stigma and develop their own range of products.

In “Creativity – the psychology of Discovery and Invention” by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, from interviews with exceptional people, biologists, physicists to poets, artists and business leaders, he puts forth that the “tortured genius” is largely a myth. There’s a description on Anthony Hecht, a lyric poet, who among many awards, won the Pulitzer in 1968. 

“Like all other writers, Hecht learned to be one by reading extensively. He memorized poems until they “became part of my bloodstream”. Then he spent years writing in the voice of various poets he admired: John Donne, George Herbert etc.”

“Poetry is whatever poetry has been, with any new inventions that a new poet cares to add to that. But he can’t add to it without knowing what it has been.” 

Stephen King’s “On Writing” shared similar points about his journey. 

In Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”, he discussed at length the same point, but named it “The 10,000 hours rule” citing Mozart.

Nothing is original, says Kirby Ferguson, creator of “Everything is a Remix”. From Bob Dylan to Steve Jobs, our most celebrated creators borrow, steal and transform and [put a trademark logo on it?]. Listen to his TED talk:

So how does one enhance personal creativity?

Some suggestions by Prof Cz:

1. Cultivate curiosity and creativity.

2. Cultivate flow in everyday life

3. Practice Habits of Strength

4. Internalise traits into your personality


Photo credits: Photos of sunbird outside my balcony. Taken by my husband, L who spent quite some 1000 minutes building rapport with his model.