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Monday, September 10, 2012

Claes Oldenburg

"Very often I am sitting at dinner and I take out my notebook.  I get inspired when I eat, for some reason."

— Claes Oldenburg
Swedish Sculptor
1929 -

When are you inspired?  When you are eating like Oldenburg?  When you take a shower?  When you are walking or jogging?  When you are talking with friends?  In the mornings?  Late at night?  After a walk on the beach?  Or a short swim?  Inspiration comes in a thousand ways and in a thousand places and we never know when it will appear.

Are you a creative leader who waits until inspiration strikes to work on your creative masterpiece?  Don't!  You might be waiting a life time.  Inspiration is fickle and often unfaithful.  Learn to create each and every day even if it is only for 15 minutes.  

Also, identify the times of the day when you are most creative.  These will vary by person.  For some people the early morning is the most creative time.  For others it is late at night. For years early morning and late evening have been my most creative times, but I am now finding that I can also be very creative mid-afternoon.

Where are you most creative?  In your office?  At the local coffee shop?  On your sofa?  At the kitchen table?  Outdoors?  At the mall?  I have found that I can write almost anywhere if I put my mind to it.  I used to write in the privacy of my office only, but I have learned to write in the noisy chaos of shopping mall.  Technology now allows you write anywhere.  

Creative Practice
The Bottle of Notes
Get out of your office or studio and find a new place to write or paint or draw or sculpt.  You are only limited by your imagination and the amount of gas in your gas tank.

About the Sculptor
Claes Oldenburg, the son of a Swedish diplomat, was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1929.  His father was stationed in Chicago, IL in 1936 where Claes attended school.  He studied literature and art history at Yale University.  He also took art classes at the Art Institute in Chicago.  His first recorded art sale was at the 57th Street Art Fair where he sold 5 pieces for a total of $25.  He became a naturalized citizen in 1953.

Claes moved to New York in 1956 and became a part of the Pop Art movement.  Both his wives, Pat Muschinski and Coosje van Bruggen, worked with him in the creation of his sculptures.   Since 1981, Claes has signed all his works with his name and that of his second wife, van Bruggen.


Quote Source:
Clint Brown. Artist to Artist. Jackson Creek Press, 1998. p. 127.