Environmental Influence

I like to think about how different environments shape our notions of self. For example, a solitary confinement cell and a mathematician’s office may look eerily similar but one denotes dignity, intelligence and creativity and the other denies these same qualities. Meanings attached to space reinforce concepts of authority, autonomy, legitimacy and social status. Years ago, I read a fascinating book that explored the meaning of the art people choose to put on their walls (Inside Culture by David Halle). You may believe your art is merely representative of your taste but a careful look will reveal far more about your character and your socio-economic background than you can begin to imagine.

I think the same is true for gyms and yoga studios. There is a feeling that permeates the space. A Powerhouse gym gives off a very different flavor than a Bikram Yoga studio. One is not better than the other. It is just different strokes for different folks. (more…)

Learning 101

Art is a funny thing.  Not in a “Ha ha” sort of way – but the term is so illusive that it almost becomes irrelevant. Some people define it as a technical reproduction of something that exists, some define it as a sensory and emotional experience, while others say it does not even exist.  The question begs to be asked “How does one teach such an illusive subject?”. From a students stand point – art can be one of the most frustrating subjects to study simply because there is no definitive right and wrong.  There are techniques and proper ways of execution, but ultimately, in order to become a successful artist; a student needs to find purpose and inspiration in order to grow on their own.  It is essential to develop the capacity to ambitiously never stop learning.  After all – artists who do not grow from every project die quickly. (more…)

Happiness, Brain Implosions, and Gigantic Elk Ramblings

I’m on a journey through the ongoing experience that is existence, trying my best to make it an enjoyable one. For me this means making art, being creative, its something I’ve always felt I must do. I’m an illustrator at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. I want to create, that’s all, and to do this I need to scavenge my mind for every chunk of creativity floating around in my brain. I want my art to affect people. I want some kind of reaction. I want my art to make peoples eyes melt in the best way. I want brain implosions. When someone looks at my art I can only hope that the very sight of the work jolts their spirit from their body sending it on a course filled with rainbows and mystical beasts, where it eventually transcends into never never land. It’s a tiny amusement park ride filled with joy and terror. Its Where’s Waldo on acid in a parallel universe. Its Mickey Mouse trapped in the fifth dimension. It’s a wormhole inhaling you and spitting you out with a transcended state of consciousness. It’s the other side of a black hole, and it sure is beautiful. (more…)

ADHD Experience

Prior to practicing TM, being a person with ADHD, thoughts were always raging in my head and it was almost impossible to decide what thoughts and ideas needed to be acted on. Even while driving to school or in the simplest of activities my head was constantly overflowing with unnecessary worries or overloading thoughts that sometimes even physically endangered me. Only 3 days after practicing TM, I was able to see my thoughts very quickly aligning themselves and being organized. It’s as if I had a full chalkboard of information, which has been completely wiped clean and now I can pretty much rewrite my mind and it’s no longer an issue of having too many unsorted thoughts in my life. I can now peacefully drive or walk around and instead of having all of these thoughts, now I am able to notice beauty and positivity in my life. I see that the grass is greener or notice the clouds in the sky or the color of someone’s shirt. I’ve tried medication before, but while using medication, I always got a more robotic sense of mind, where it wasn’t clear, but just very regulated. (more…)

Creative Momentum

My creative process is a jumbled one. While I’d say that I generally don’t enjoy living a dramatic life, it seems that my creative process is the queen of theatrics. I typically start a project with a ton of ideas; concept is my forte, and sketching, making mind maps and figuring out a direction is usually very easy for me. I love when project timelines allow me to spend weeks just trying to understand the background of a problem.

I enjoy exploring to try and find a strong conceptual way to solve the issue, and then coming up with ideas for how to translate that solution into design. But then there is the turning point; nearly every single project I work on fails at the beginning of the design direction. (more…)

The Mind’s Pin Hole

It’s been a long day

A long day of waiting
And a long day of staying

I took my time in meditation
To transcend into my new found consciousness

Time is standing still

I am not moving forward

This picture was taken on purpose
Just to keep me here

My being may be trapped and my body may be getting heavier
While each inhale and exhale brings me deeper

But my mind is still wandering

Wandering into the depths of my brain to find the perfect words
That will be woven later
On the loom of the lined paper

The letters and syllables come together
To create the dialogue of what my mind is always pulling on
My mind is always pulling on me
To sit down
To be here

In the moments of when the shutter clicks
It opens to reveal the burned images

My mind is able to clip away a few words
Of perfect translation


Alicia Stocker
Student, College for Creative Studies
Detroit, MI

A Surprising Twist

I was not a particularly athletic kid. During college I wore pearls, Bermuda shorts and keds to play intramural basketball. The ref had to stop the game because he couldn’t see through his tears of laughter as I jumped down the court holding the ball (I was attempting to avoid a call for traveling). My husband worried throughout my pregnancies that I would pass my “two left feet” gene on to our children. And, so, it came as rather a surprise to find that not only do I love yoga but I am a pretty successful practioner of the art. (more…)

It’s All Relative

The essence of everything we do in life is based purely on a series of relationships. Without creating connections between objects or experiences, nothing would have meaning. There wouldn’t be anything to base a comparison to. Whether it is a conscious decision or an intuitive piece of one’s subconscious, relationships are developed in order to create order within reality.

Organizing my thoughts through a series of lists and groupings create balance not only in my personal life but also through my creative practice. My thought process is mathematical and rational. I like routines. I get up each morning and make my bed as soon as I get out of it. I brush my teeth before I brush my hair. I take the same set of routes to get to my destination. (more…)

It’s All Around Us

My name is Kevin Kline. I am a May 2011 graduate from the College For Creative Studies (CCS). I, like most of you, began my college career straight out of high school and I simply had no idea what I was getting myself into. Having grown up in the motor city around a very automotive-driven group of people and being very creatively engaged in my upbringing, it seemed like the natural progression for me to go to CCS for automotive design. Upon arrival to the school, I quickly realized just how serious my program was. I had no concept of what I was about to go through in the next four years. It didn’t take me long to get knee deep in trouble.  During my freshman year, I became very familiar with the “all nighter”. My time management was poor, my ability in many regards was lacking, and I was struggling to find my way as a creative. Developing as both a person and a creative at the same time is a rather interesting process to go through. It can do some interesting things to your work output, sometimes for the good, other times not so much. After my freshman year reviews, I didn’t make it into the program I wanted to get in to.  I was forced to re-evaluate my goals and question what I really wanted out of my experience at CCS. I became very driven throughout my sophomore year and made the final cut into the program I had missed the prior year. (more…)

A Course for Inspiration

Consciousness, Creativity and Bliss is an inspirational course at the College for Creative Studies that has opened my perspective to new discoveries and explorations to endless creative potential. This course has motivated me to be open to change and step out of my comfort zone with experimenting with different mediums for my projects. Transcendental Meditation has made an impact on my life. It is a stress relief that is the best natural medicine to help me think clearer in my creative process. Transcendental Meditation has helped me understand who I am as an individual. Rather than contemplating decisions in my head of judgments, Transcendental Meditation has helped me see clearly and make decisions with my intuition and feeling. (more…)

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