It’s one of those questions that everyone asks but no one has a definitive answer for. How do you think up creative ideas?
For some it’s a half-cut musing down the pub (legendary agency adman Ogilvy professed a brandy or two made him better able to write). For others it’s a doodle on a restaurant napkin (Einstein sought his creative genius through drawings rather than words). But whilst we all arrive at creative ideas by different means, one thing is certain – for our imaginations to run free, our minds need creative spaces.
Here are some of my personal favourite creative spaces in Edinburgh, from an otherworldly garden to a down to earth studio. They are places where I seek out the new and feel inspired by the old. Where my head is emptied of certainties and filled with possibilities. Places where I think creative thoughts.
This contemporary sculpture garden has all the whimsy and adventure of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland – from the giant psychedelic ‘Orchid’ by Marc Quinn and manicured grassy ‘Life Mounds’ by Charles Jencks to the eerie ‘Weeping Girls’ by Laura Ford, seemingly alone and lost among the woodland.
The sculptures were commissioned by the garden’s owners Robert and Nicky Wilson and are all inspired by the surrounding landscape. Out with the confinements of stark gallery walls, nature breathes life into these pieces and that is makes Jupiter Artland a majestic creative space.
When you’ve hit a creative block and the deadline is tighter than Beth Ditto’s leotard, you only have to look up at Martin Creed’s neon sign to feel reassured that ‘Everything Is Going To Be Alright’. And if a little bit of Andy Warhol or Tracy Emin’s creative success rubs off on you when you’re there then it probably will be just that.
The Filmhouse is Scotland’s most prominent arthouse cinema and, as well as being home to the Edinburgh International Film Festival, it plays host to events where knowledge is imparted, ideas are shared and creativity is expressed.
Playing with the Past was one such event – where movies from the past and music from the present came together in a foot tapping, crowd whooping kind of way. Local bands FOUND, Meursault and Eagleowl provided live soundtracks to short films from the Scottish Screen Archive dating from the 1930s and 40s, including ‘Granton Trawler’, ‘Night Train’ and ‘Begone Dull Care’. Music can be a compelling force in communication and this event was a master class in audiovisual harmony.
The National Museum of Scotland is an architectural marvel filled with art, scientific wonders, and archaeological artefacts. My favourite piece is the Millennium Clock Tower, a 10meter high kinetic sculpture created by furniture maker Tim Stead, sculptor Eduard Bersudsky, glass artist Annica Sandström, and clockmaker Jürgen Tübbecke, and illustrator Maggy Lenert.
The sculpture reflects events throughout the 20th Century and speaks as much of life, compassion and hope as it does of death, persecution, and despair. The museum has recently undergone a £46 million pound transformation and will soon boast 16 new galleries housing nearly 8,000 objects.
Interactive Creative Director at Disney, once described design as ‘learning by making’ and that’s exactly what The Printmakers studio is all about. The studio is a paint-splattered melting pot of artists, designers, students and anyone with a creative curiosity who wants to experiment both long established and innovative printmaking practices.
The open-access space provides you all the equipment and help you need to print, etch, and book bind your way to being a better designer.