Fragrant drawings

Illustration by Desmond Knox-Leet

Passionate about written forms, Desmond designed the diptyque initials in the form of dancing letters for the candles, then the logo, eventually drawing the labels for the perfumes. He never stopped drawing, filling his travel journals with sketches rather than notes. After his death, his great friend Yves took over and drew the perfume labels himself. Of course, this involved illustrating the perfumes, but these perfumes were born of a landscape, a journey, a vision that the hand could transcribe into an image. They therefore began what diptyque has never stopped doing, associating each perfume with a drawing and graphic artist to present an imaginary substance comprised of a volatile essence and a fleeting vision.

Freedom from follower counts, comments, and ads

“When you walk into a museum, you don’t see the net worth of the artist,” Flory tells TechCrunch. “You don’t see how many people have walked through the museum. There’s not a space for people to write comments and leave stickers. It’s a moment. It’s for you. You get to sit in front of a piece of work, a piece of art. And does it move you? Does it speak to you? Are you able to learn something from it? Does it inspire you to go do something? How can we create a space in which you could do that online? That was our initial insight.”

Inside VSCO, a Gen Z-approved photo-sharing app, with CEO Joel Flory

Start with a scribble

I love love love the illustrations of Sir Quentin Blake, so you can imagine my joy when I discovered this fun interactive book. Start with a Scribble will banish your inner critic and kick-start your inner genius, as you learn to draw with a little how-to and a lot of just-do.

Nature

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

– Lao Tzu

Domino paper

Oiseaux & Feuillage

How beautiful is this handmade domino paper by A Paris chez Antoinette Poisson? Since 2012, Antoinette Poisson has been reinventing the artisanal savoir-faire of the “dominoterie” inspired by traditional 18th century techniques.

Creative play

You don’t have to make art for a living though, to know that the creative process is not what it was when we were children. As adults, it’s common to feel uncertainty when we create. My mind often swirls with thoughts, “Am I doing this right? What does this work say about me? I thought this was supposed to be fun…” And when it is fun, I think, “Shouldn’t I be working!?”

– Rebecca Green on Creative Play

Happiness

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.

– William Morris

Positive emotions and creative thinking

Lately I’ve been thinking about the future of work, and this morning I remembered this excerpt from one of my favorite design books.

Positive emotions are critical to learning, curiosity, and creative thought, and today research is turning toward this dimension. … The psychologist Alice Isen and her colleagues have shown that being happy broadens the thought processes and facilitates creative thinking. When you feel good, Isen discovered, you are better at brainstorming, at examining multiple alternatives. … We have long known that when people are anxious they tend to narrow their thought processes, concentrating upon aspects directly relevant to a problem. This is a useful strategy in escaping from danger, but not in thinking of imaginative new approaches to a problem. Isen’s results show that when people are relaxed and happy, their thought processes expand, becoming more creative, more imaginative. 

– Don Norman, Emotional Design

No matter

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

– Samuel Beckett

Lessons from adopting a four-day work week

I love these five lessons that Wildbit has learned from adopting a four-day work week. My favorite is how the fifth day has made space for problem solving.

There’s something unique about the fifth day being a quiet day. You can ruminate on problems in the back of your mind while you’re working on the deck or walking around the city or taking your kids on a camping trip. That can be hard when you work Monday through Friday, then become a weekend warrior. With the additional day off, we invariably spend time thinking about work problems. When Monday rolls around, we have so many things that we want to get started. It creates additional energy and momentum for the team.