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."
" 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