They say Invention is the mother of necessity, but i had no idea that it might actually apply to the simplicity of creating new tools for what is a basic process - the brainstrorm.
While I am really enjoying the perpetual snowfall and all the family time with the holiday season, a portion of my mind, the creative part, feels like it is a racehorse locked inside a box.
I wish I knew “why?” I am like this, but I didn’t sleep a wink last night. I tried my best to sleep, but I didn’t succeed until the sun came up. Despite being tired, my brain did not slow down at all, so I think I have about a week of things to talk about that I will program in and find some images of snow for you to read.
There are some interesting cultural differences between Switzerland and the USA, one of the more fascinating is how one sketches or brainstorms. You can have rigid linear progressions, or abstract and spatial ideas. The later one is what I am far better at processing – call me weird – but I have the most difficulty living in the normal world where the term change, or actual change is not something looked upon as a fun challenge. Many times it appears I am living in a world that wants to create a comfortable and cozy space that is insulated from any of the harshness of the world, and keep it as a static space, in a very dynamic world.
While the last sentence will probably piss off someone in either the USA or Switzerland for simply making an observation about the difference in styles to solve a problem, remember that this blog is a guy simply firing off his thoughts post morning brainstorm, with no real plan or motive – he is writing for himself and hoping you find it strange or amusing enough to laugh at some of his life.
So the problem I will talk about today arose from four fronts.
The first is that I really dig these photo books you can print up for any occasion – call it my love of photos and then there is nothing better than the feel and tactile response of a hard covered book in your hands. 30 years ago, I would have loved to have the technology today – but in those days, I would have to typeset, make plates and go to a four-color printer and make a few thousand copies to justify the cost of one book. Today, upload really bad photos to a site where you can crop and do whatever you want to layout in a template, hit print and in a few days or weeks the really slick book arrives. Very cool indeed! The price also is not a few thousand dollars to set up the process.
The second portion of the way the problem presented itself in that for the past 30 years, I have had a real love hate relationship with finding sketchbooks that I like, that don’t cost $25 a book. While you might say, “what is the big deal with a sketchbook?” The problem is that when I hit on some idea, I can go through them like a crack addict probably can use drugs. Usually someone would come out with a great idea for inventors, I would love it; buy cases of them and then a year later find out the product was discontinued. I have no idea “why” the market didn’t like them, I can only surmise that there aren’t a while lot of dorks like myself.
The other portion is that there was only one sketchbook manufacturer that took into account that you might want and need a different type of paper for different applications. Instead of three sketchbooks, you ideally only wanted one.
A third solution is that a few months ago I wrote about the digital pen and the moleskin notebooks and asked, “has anyone actually used one of these?” In the past I would have just bought them and tested them, but today, I guess I need a high resolution 3d printer here more than anything else as space and tools cost so much more – and I really don’t need another “tool” for the toolbox. (Tomorrow I will be writing about how to get good at many things and why? As an inventor/basher)
The moleskin idea looks like the best thing I have seen in a while, an actual sketchbook with a digital file. You write on the paper, and get to import it into the sketchbook. While this is great for someone who knows what they are doing in a linear progression. If you are doing abstract spatial progressions, you will end up with mindmaps heading in 40 different directions. What I have found is that the mind map comes as a second step – the first is still the raw brainstorm on paper with a pen or pencil.
While I love moleskin books – I found I could spit one out in a day if I had a good idea. The problem isn’t the quality, feel, and look of the product – it is that I could not find a distributor that could make a price reduction for quantity that would make me justify in my mind, “this is worth it.”
Now we get to the fourth point, which was my big Christmas wish this year. I asked for some inexpensive plain white paper sketchbooks with a hard rigid front and back -and some good coffee and hario v60 O2 filters – I got sketchbooks with grids, and a pound of what looks like delicious African blue coffee - and no coffee filters. I am touched that someone went through the trouble to “try” to get the gift order to what I liked, I was unaware of how difficult the process to find “plain white paper” sketch books in an inexpensive form, and the idea of a rigid sturdy back is available for about $40 usd per book.
Bored yet? Enjoying me ramble about a problem? I guess the idea is that you can look at the obvious and take it for granted rather easily unless it breaks and you suddenly find you needing the product or solution it provides.
I never thought a simple “sketchbook” where one could deposit ideas would be a problem. While I technically can simply plug in the digitizer and brainstorm directly into the computer, then mind map and make 3d concept models – it simply is not as fast as what I can do staring into space, thinking, holding a pen and having a pad of paper in front of me (a good cup of coffee is a nice bonus)
A few days I joked about getting an industrial sewing machine and making some idea for the ultimate inventor/creative/designer road bag. After spending a few days being the odd person that doesn’t speak the language and spending hours listening to people while I nodded my head to not look too much the fool – I must have been noodling this idea in my brain.
Now I will go see about prototyping with off the shelf goods, the idea for a sketchbook that fits the needs I have and will allow for all the aforementioned problems to be solved.
As a bonus, I get to work on and design my first piece of luggage or fashion accessory -new frontiers are simply exciting because you get to learn how to make different things and play with new tools!
The sketchbook is a no-brainer and with the exception of one area of the “thing” I will have that done in a day. The other is really just an idea that looks cool. Like most ideas, it could complete waste of time and failure, but the things you learn about along the way will never be wasted…
It is amazing how you use everything you do at the oddest times into the future, usually when you least expect it – like a man finally saying after 30 years, “Why can’t someone invent a sketch system for inventors?”
As for the Hario V60 O2 coffee filters that some guy in Japan created my favorite pour over coffee method – I will order those on Amazon, i only have a desire to drink a cup of coffee, not figure out a new way to make one.