Here's another way to approach the idea of a "connective environment" and the way that many different disciplines can inform each other in ways we didn't expect. I sort of enjoy that most of the connections actually go straight to the cup of coffee in the centre.
Wow, okay, first off let me just say thanks for the amazing comments. I haven't had a chance to look at all of the links yet, but I plan to. Thanks for all of your great insights and suggestions.
I liked the concept of puzzle pieces that didn't fit - but I was having a bit of difficulty working that into the concept of a "finished" or "complete" invention without it looking like the invention was flawed. So I tried mismatched, and made them look like they didn't fit as perfectly. Gaps, and holes, and such. Thoughts?
I felt I also needed to make the connection to the printing press / grape press / Gutenberg bible to really drive this idea home. Hence the way more detailed image. Too much? Too much pattern and detail?
(And to answer Stephanie's question: it's all a digital collage. I have scanned a whack of pretty papers and I colour them in Photoshop and "cut out" shapes ad nauseum. )
After reading all of your comments, I think I might be inspired to try a new image about this idea of what a "connective environment" means in the present day. I mean, Gutenberg is awesome and all...but that clothing? It's so passe.
Here's another image I'm working on that was once again inspired by an interview I heard on the Spark blog. This one was with Steven Johnson, the author of Where Do Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, a book that explores the conditions needed for innovation and invention. We all love a "Eureka!" moment, and many stories of some of history's greatest inventions are just that - a bright flash of insight that could only come from the mind of a genius. Or are they? Mr. Johnson explains in the interview that many of the greatest inventions - Gutenberg's press, for example - were more likely the result of seemingly random connections, and years of work.
I am particularly attracted to this idea, because I always seem to approach things in a roundabout way. I also really liked Mr. Johnson's idea of a connective environment being the necessary condition for real innovation. An interest in a wide variety of things, an eclectic circle of acquaintances and friends - all of these things drive innovation and creativity in ways that sometimes seem accidental.
In this image, I chose to use Gutenberg, since his story of visiting his friends at their winery and realizing that the wine press they used to crush the grapes would be the right model for his printing press was, I thought, a great start. The light bulb is to represent the "Eureka" moment, but I thought that carving it up into a puzzle was showing that the process is slower and much more painstaking. This is where I've stopped - I'm thinking about images for each puzzle piece to show different elements of the printing press. I feel like I'm missing the "connective environment" - but I also don't want to over-complicate the image. Simple is best.
As always, I love feedback, and I love hearing from you!
This is an illustration that I started today that was inspired by an interview I heard on CBC Radio's program Spark. It was inspired by a question that was asked about how we use our social media communities to get our news, find new music, and get recommendations.
This is still a bare-bones image: I'm still trying to figure out what the guy should be holding to clearly communicate this idea, but I like the feel of the piece so far.
If you get the chance, check out Spark. You can download free podcasts of the program through iTunes, and it's a really interesting look at how technology is changing the way we live our everyday lives.
So, when you're late in posting the previous week's Illustration Friday drawing, and then are super-duper early in posting the next week's, then you get TWO Illustration Friday drawings in TWO days.
Which is almost unbearably exciting, I know.
When I began brainstorming about transportation, I immediately tried to think of an object to be transported. As soon as I got the image of a letter in the mail, it just clicked. I suppose letters are nearly archaic now - just see how many forms of transportation are skipped with a simple click of the "Send" button - but it's hard to deny how much pleasure I get when I see a letter in my mailbox. A letter that isn't a bill or a statement, I should say. I don't get much pleasure from those at all.