Creativity thrives best when constrained

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


When people think about creativity, they think about artistic work -- unbridled, unguided effort that leads to beautiful effect. But if you look deeper, you'll find that some of the most inspiring art forms, such as haikus, sonatas, and religious paintings, are fraught with constraints. They are beautiful because creativity triumphed over the "rules." Constraints shape and focus problems and provide clear challenges to overcome. Creativity thrives best when constrained” 

Marissa Meyer, current president and CEO of Yahoo!

Last week, I was working with new client, and fabulous designer, Melissa Davis, and we discussed this exact thought! We were photographing a condo Melissa designed for Asad Mecci while working on Scott McGillivray’s Income Property. As is often the case with design reality-TV show spaces, Melissa was working with a conservative budget. To some, this may be a negative. Intuitively, one would think the best project would be one with an unlimited budget. But, as this endeavor and the ensuing photos prove, that is not necessarily the case. Sometimes, the financial constraints churn creativity, and produce the most imaginative results. One is forced to push the limits, and solve problems in distinctive, and previously un-tried ways.



Asad’s condo and Melissa’s design is a now a resource for creative and budget friendly solutions. Melissa used unique surfaces, such as stained plywood, for  surface coverings such as the on the fireplace and the bedside feature walls; a Huskey tool chest becomes extra cabinetry under the kitchen island. The island itself was made from Ikea butcher block. This same butcher block material was used along with Lee Valley blind shelf supports, to create floating shelves, which book-end the fireplace. I think my favorite budget DIY in this condo is the cheesecloth curtains! Yes cheesecloth! After all, cheesecloth is muslin (it just happens to also be useful for making yogurt).



I love DIY, modifying, and creating things myself. One of the first things that comes to my mind when I see something I love, is could I make that myself? So photographing this project and hearing about Melissa’s process was truly inspiring. Do you have a project where you experienced this phenomenon? Do you like the challenge of creating within constraint, whether financial or otherwise? I would love to hear your thoughts, and see the results of this creativity technique!

© photography stephani buchman photography © interior design melissa davis
 
© photography stephani buchman photography © interior design melissa davis
 

© photography stephani buchman photography © interior design melissa davis
 

© photography stephani buchman photography © interior design melissa davis
 
© photography stephani buchman photography © interior design melissa davis
 
© photography stephani buchman photography © interior design melissa davis
 

© photography stephani buchman photography © interior design melissa davis
 

© photography stephani buchman photography © interior design melissa davis
 


© photography stephani buchman photography © interior design melissa davis
 


 

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