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The Journey of The Creative Brain

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Chained to its desk in Cubicalia, The creative Brain is at its lowest point — until a mysterious stranger beckons. Together, they embark upon a journey where The Brain’s creative talents are solely needed and put to the test. The Brain discovers how to function optimally to generate ideas and solutions, and you’ll discover what fundamentals are needed to foster a supportive environment where everyone is at their creative best.

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The Journey of The Creative Brain

  1. The Journey of the Creative Brain Denise R. Jacobs From the Front / Bologna, Italy / September 2012
  2. Tweeting tall tales I am: @denisejacobs We’re at: #ftf @fromthefront I’m telling a story about a: #creativebrain
  3. I have a question for you… How many of us are working at odds with our primary tool for creating and producing?
  4. No, I am not talking about your gadgets, computer or the groovy apps contained therein…
  5. I’m talking about your brain.
  6. Once upon a time… upon a time..
  7. …there was a brain, who was There was a brain…
  8. Who... …who was oppressed.
  9. 1 emancipate
  10. Welcome to Cubicalia Another day sitting chained to its desk in Cubicalia….
  11. (The BossMan) “Um, yeah. You’re lagging behind, bigtime. I need you to come up with something brilliant and innovative – and for, like, today….”
  12. the pressure! Pushed to its limits with no respite, little to no information is getting in, and certainly nothing but steam is coming out.
  13. A wise woman once said: “Make awesomeness. Do good.” - Leslie Jensen-Inman, MAP4 Awesomeness
  14. “Check your chains.”
  15. “I can show you what you are capable of. Check your chains.”
  16. (empty desk) The next time the BossMan passed the Brain’s desk to bark out more orders, the Brain is nowhere to be found.
  17. 2 embark
  18. Fleeing Cubicalia Fleeing the squat, gray, windowless buildings of Cubicalia, the Brain didn’t notice the obstruction in its path.
  19. Meet the RaynMann It tripped, and tumbling to the ground, the Brain realized that it is a man in a trench coat, with the head of an umbrella.
  20. He Hands his business card “Allow me introduce myself: I’m RaynMann: Holistic Cerebralist and Purveyor of Actualization – at your service.”
  21. Labyrinth at their feet …For the first time, the Brain noticed that they were standing at the entrance of an enormous green and gray labyrinth on the ground.
  22. Starting along the path… As they took their first steps, the RaynMann coughed…
  23. Cough, Rumble, Flash! With a 3-pronged flash of light and a “whoosh!” they whisked off to their first destination.
  24. 3 integrate
  25. Moving too Fast… … It was overwhelmed by the bright flashing signs, the noise, and the constant feeling of things whipping past him.
  26. “Ouf!” A women appeared out of thin air, falling to the ground with a thud just behind the Brain’s outstretched arm.
  27. I’m looking for my brain… “My brain always seems to somewhere just ahead of me, and my soul always seems be lagging behind…”
  28. She Smiles… “She drops the phone to her side and gazes off wistfully across the surrounding scene of blurred shapes and colors of people rushing about …
  29. Beta v. alpha “That poor woman – in fact all the people of this land as far I can tell – are stuck in the beta brainwave state.”
  30. “They could use with a more of what you recommended: slowing down. When you relax, the brain actually works better and you can create more…”
  31. Close your eyes… “Can you get into alpha on purpose?” “Absolutely. Close your eyes…”
  32. But relax! “…No, like that – stop scowling and relax.”
  33. The Alpha Brainwave state “Being in alpha also helps your brain hemispheres work in a balanced synchronized manner, with electrical impulses jumping easily back and forth between them…”
  34. The Left hemisphere “The left hemisphere is made of neatly stacked vertical columns, much like pancakes, which allows the clear differentiation of separate mental functions, but less integration of those functions.”
  35. The right hemisphere “Creativity comes from giving the right brain a chance to leverage the axons in the brain (aka “white matter”) to access all of the information stored in other places of the brain and putting it all together in a new way.”
  36. The satori moment “Expanding those in-between moments is often the source of ideas.”
  37. A Wise man once said: “Genius is the offspring of the in-between.” - Jonathan Fields
  38. Communication Addiction “Indeed. She’s suffering from a very pronounced case of communication addiction…”
  39. Lo-fi time “The anecdote? Lo-fi time: time away from technology.”
  40. A wise man once said: “Don’t force creativity. Allow it to come to you.” - Erik Ford, To Sketch or Not to Sketch
  41. 4 collaborate
  42. It looked like an assembly line… They landed in a huge room of tables with countless numbers of people sitting at them, doing rote actions over and over again.
  43. Man with no name A man who appeared sad and lost, with a round belly wearing a saffron-colored robe walked amongst the workers looking like he planned to interject some useful information…
  44. The Land of Paravel “I hear that there is a land called Paravel where the people there work with their best friends, using their complimentary talents and skills to create amazing things…”
  45. The importance of play “That land has shown that friendship can be a shortcut to productive play – that creation amongst a group of people happens in a secure, relaxed, and encouraging environment.”
  46. A wise man once said: “When you are playful, you are activating the right side of your brain. The logical brain is a limited brain. The right side is unlimited. You can (do and ) be anything you want.” - Madan Kataria, The Laughter Guru
  47. Disposable prototypes “…start with disposable prototypes so that they can think with their hands and work out the problems of the item as they make it…”
  48. Soon the room was abuzz People shimmied, mash-potatoed, cabbage- patched and thriller-danced through the aisles…
  49. Infectious laughter But the laughter and joy was highly infectious, and he started to laugh himself. In a short time, he was laughing uncontrollably…
  50. Aha moment “…it's during the let-go period that that gamma spike is most likely to arise, along with that "aha!" moment.”
  51. A wise woman once said: “Bursts of creativity and insight are just like bursts of laughter: surprising and delightful.” - Denise Jacobs, The Journey of the Creative Brain
  52. 5 unify
  53. An epiphany The moment the Brain stepped foot in the center of the labyrinth, it realized why it had suffered so much in Cubicalia…
  54. There is an alternative Indeed, there is a road less traveled; an alternative way of being that the Brain had only hoped for.
  55. Embrace paradox In order to do so, however, it has to embrace paradox.
  56. A wise man once said: “Creativity is the merging of two incongruent ideas: creativity is about embracing paradox.” - Frank Chimero, Build Conference Nov. 2010, The Shape of Design
  57. RaynMann was no longer at its side… It turned back to see the RaynMann, still in the center of the labyrinth, starting to fade away behind a wall of light drizzle.
  58. 6 transform
  59. return to cubicalia Upon its return to Cubicalia, the Brain, now feeling fairly fearless, went directly to see The BossMan.
  60. I have just one thing to say: "BossMan, talk to the hand!"
  61. Practices that encourage alpha It instilled practices that encourage alpha, like deliberate unstructured time for walking, changing context, daydreaming…
  62. Incorporate play Playful collabation, improvisation and plussing…
  63. Seriousness sucks Taking oneself seriously is verboten – everyone must practice unselfconscious creation…
  64. Seek problems to solve The brain was on a roll, and eventually added practices for leveraging eustress by encouraging people pursue problems to solve…
  65. Transforming diffused focus… Turning distraction and inefficient work …
  66. To creatively productive focus …into focused creative productivity and flow states!
  67. 7 innovate
  68. Changes from Bettah Balancia The balanced and now wildly productive creative brains of Bettah Balancia caused the land to become prosperous and abundant beyond measure…
  69. Not only that, but… …and were an endless fount of inspiring products and services that were not only innovative, but that also contributed to the greater good.
  70. Questions abounded Word traveled swiftly to the other lands, and soon, many were clamoring to know the secret of the land of Bettah Balancia: “How…?!”
  71. WTF?! …Whaaaaat?
  72. The End (Or is it just the beginning?)
  73. (My) Articles for Further reading netmagazine.com/features/ four-secrets-enhancing-creative- productivity alistapart.com/articles/ reigniting-your-creative-spark/ alistapart.com/articles/ banishing-your-inner-critic/
  74. Shameless Self-Promotion #1 Smashing Book #3: Redesigning the Web Smashing Book #3 1/3: The Extension My chapter is “The Missing Element of Redesign: Story” SmashingBook.com
  75. Shameless Self-Promotion #2 The CSS Detective Guide CSSDetectiveGuide.com twitter.com/cssdetective
  76. Shameless Self-Promotion #3 InterAct With Web Standards: A Holistic Approach to Web Design InterActWithWebStandards.com twitter.com/waspinteract
  77. Original cover art Americo Salas Morales AmericoMorales.net (sister) twitter.com/nivims
  78. This presentation is Dedicated to My Grandmother, Robbie Mae Lowe (aka “The Bug”) My Grandfather, William James Lowe, Jr. (aka “Lowe”)
  79. I tell stories. I design. I teach. And I evangelize creativity. DeniseJacobs.com denise@denisejacobs.com twitter.com/denisejacobs
  80. Thank You! Now it’s really The End!