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Seeing from the mind's eye

Vincent van Gogh said: "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." His comment is a good description of the creative process. It's a reminder that an attainment is not an end in itself, but a step. Not being able to do something does not connote a lack, but a striving. Children should not be seen as failing because they cannot do something yet.

The post-impressionist's comment is among thousands of quotes, conundrums, pictures, paradoxes and challenges included in a big, fat, visual, exciting, multifarious, jam-packed, colourful, surprising, challenging, funny, entertaining, provocative, calming, agitating book called The Art of Looking Sideways by the renowned designer Alan Fletcher (Phaidon Press, pound;24.95). Teachers could not help but find inspiration and ideas for every occasion in it.

Here are some creative teasers from The Art of Looking Sideways.

" Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality."

Arthur Koestler novelist and thinker

" I have trained that man so every time I press this lever he gives me food."

Laboratory rat

" We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are."

Anais Nin writer

" The more distant and distinct the relationship between the two realities that are brought together, the more powerful the image."

Pierre Reverdy poet

" Apparently unrelated things become interesting when we start fitting them together..."

John Kouwenhoven mathematician

" New discoveries in science and mathematics often consist of a synthesis between theories or concepts which have hitherto been regarded as unconnected."

Anthony Storr psychiatrist

" The answer is Yes or No, depending on the interpretation."

Albert Einstein scientist

" The hen is only the egg's way of making another hen."

Patrick Hughes paradox collector

" My mother ses she's cold and then she makes me put on a coat."

Colin age 7

" One of the hallmarks of a creative person is the ability to tolerate ambiguity, dissonance, inconsistency, things out of place."

Ralph Caplan writer and communications consultant

" The ways of creativity are infinite: the ways of formal learning are numbered."

Robert Grudin writer and creativity consultant

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