Sketching on Napkins

April 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

Sketching on Napkins

Written on the back of an envelope from a received payment. The postmark, printed on the back side, almost looks like a stamped chop.

If I were to sum up my father’s character in one image, it would be of him at the table of a restaurant, discussing an idea, in conversation, sketching on a paper napkin to illustrate a design. He would be using his Monte Blanc fountain pen. Incidentally, this is the same image that I would use to describe creativity.

Creativity isn’t the bold use of colors and shapes. It’s not using all the crayons in the box to color a picture. Creative force flows like fountain pen ink onto a white paper napkin. It doesn’t wait for conditions to be perfect: perfect materials, perfect venue, or even perfect audience. (As often as not, we kids were my dad’s audience over brunch.) It’s inspiration landing on any surface. It’s the active mind moving the active hand. It’s about creativity being part of who you are, not a hobby.

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