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 Letter no. 8 — November 2022

Editor's Note

Dear reader,

I’m considered by many to be a very creative person, but in fact, I just have a hard time thinking like I’m supposed to think. Doing what I’m supposed to do. Or rather, what I assume is ‘normal’. I need to solve my inabilities. Or that’s what it feels like to me. I also know I’m not alone in feeling that way. 
 
We are part of systems and made-up constructs that drive our collective behaviour. Those who fit in have it easy. Those who do not fit in have a more difficult time. On the edge of that spectrum, you need to become more creative. You need to pretend to fit in and often go through life feeling or being treated like an outsider, misfit… outcast… 
 
On the other hand, creativity is a human survival skill. It helps us solve small and big problems. We use it all the time, every day. When are you considered a creative person anyway? Is that a label you can also give to yourself or is it always awarded by others? Not sure how that works. But I think we are all creatives on some level.

So, I hereby award all of you that label. Someone has to do it.
 
Enjoy your creativity and the newsletter!

Warm regards,

Arne

This newsletter is brought to you by the Blue Sky Republic's Editorial Team: 
Arne van Oosterom, Maarten Jurriaanse, Pak Chiu, Hope Seidman, Morgan Duta, Wouter Smeets, and Mimp Jiamton.

"The Story of Sam Furness" 

Sam Furness is the Founder & Quest Leader at Channel Twelve. Arne and Sam talk about creativity, life as a work of art, the space-in-between, their shared dislike for the word "hobby" and much more...
Listen to the podcast

"Structure // Serendipity" 

Article by Morgan Duta
There’s a dance inside of me between structure and serendipity. Safety and uncertainty. It holds me close and lets me go, spins me around and brings me back again. Both sides are valuable but what’s the line that divides them? I just spent two hours writing a formulaic piece about the balance between the two things but then I remembered: I don’t want to just make you think. I want to make you feel something.
Read this original article

"The Magpie in the Mind: The Emerging Science of Thinking with the Whole World Beyond the Brain" 

Article by Maria Popova

We like to think our brain is the engine of our thoughts and imaginations, but science is saying otherwise - thinking is actually a full-body phenomenon. Through studying the lives and letters of great artists, scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs, Science writer Annie Murphy Paul explain how our body and the world shape our thinking, even at times without switching on the brain.
Deep dive about this

"An AI-Generated Artwork Won First Place at a State Fair Fine Arts Competition, and Artists Are Pissed" 

Written by Matthew Gault

A man came in first at the Colorado State Fair’s fine art competition using an AI-generated artwork on Monday. “I won first place,” a user going by Sincarnate said in a Discord community post above photos of the AI-generated canvases hanging at the fair. The software called Midjourney used his prompts to create this digital painting and has caused controversy on Twitter where working artists and enthusiasts accused him of hastening the death of creative jobs. 
Learn more about this story

Book Recommendations from the Editorial Team

"How to be
an Explorer of the World"
Written by Keri Smith
Recommended by Morgan Duta

In this journal, we are encouraged to document, observe and explore our surroundings as if we've never seen them before. We will be following guided interactive prompts such as collecting things we find on our travels, documenting findings, noticing patterns, and recording what we are drawn to. 

Check out this book
"A Curious Mind
The secret to a Bigger Life"
Written by Brian Grazer
and Charles Fishman
Recommended by Maarten Jurriaanse

This book offers a brilliant peek into Brian Grazer's “curiosity conversations” with those whose story might broaden his worldviews such as spies, royals, Nobel laureates, scientists, politicians and artists. These conversations inspired him to create some of the world’s most iconic movies and television shows, including Splash, 24, Apollo 13, Arrested Development, 8 Mile, J.Edgar, Empire and many others. He shows how curiosity has been the “secret” that fuelled his rise as one of Hollywood’s leading producers and creative visionaries, and how all of us can channel its power to lead bigger and more rewarding lives. 

Check out this book
"The Comic Toolbox: How to be Funny Even If You're Not"
Written by John Vorhaus
Recommended by Arne van Oosterom

If we ever think we could be funny but are afraid that we’re not, this book will set us on our path to comedy bliss. A workbook approach to comedy writing as creative problem-solving. This book by John Vorhaus offers tools of the trade such as Clash of Context, Tension and Release, The Law of Comic Opposites, The Wildly Inappropriate Response, and The Myth of the Last Great Idea to writers, comics, and anyone else who wants to be funny.

Check out this book
"The Practice - Shipping Creative Work"
Written by Seth Godin
Recommended by Wouter Smeets

Through this book, Seth Godin will help us get unstuck and find the courage to make and share creative work. He insists writer’s block is a myth, consistency is more important than authenticity, and experiencing imposter syndrome is a sign that we’re well-adjusted humans. Most of all, he shows what it takes to turn passion from a private distraction to a productive contribution, learn to dance with our fear, take important risks, and embrace empathy.

Check out this book

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Feel free to send in any of your own works - articles, books, podcast episodes, videos, or photos via the button below, or message Mimp Jiamton via LinkedIn.
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