Each month, Miranda van den Heuvel talks to creative people in Luxembourg and says “look, Luxembourg is creative! Here’s how and where!” The May talk is with US-based Luxembourgish designer and founder of Timeless Pieces, Martine Gales.
1. What is CREATIVITY?
Creativity eludes clear definition. One of my favorite quotes is “Creativity is intelligence having fun” (Albert Einstein). To me, it is flexibility and fluidity of thought coupled with curiosity. Creativity is not limited to creative industries or artistic contexts but applies to all professional fields.
2. How are you creative?
I am a designer and founding partner of TIMELESS PIECES ; a website celebrating artistry and multiculturalism. Our collections are travel-inspired and showcase unique crafts by global artisans. I am very fortunate to be able to merge my quest for travel with my passion for design.
I am also the (main) author of GUDDE MOIEN – a lifestyle blog documenting our trips and adventures, sharing our discoveries and recommendations (food, fashion, technology, culture…) at the same time imparting information about Luxembourg (through travel blogs, videos, local news) to an international audience. This is a fun side project. On one hand it allows me to reconnect with Luxembourg; on the other hand my partner and I are able to crowd-source new ideas and projects on a multinational platform.
With GUDDE MOIEN in mind, I created the limited edition “Le Grand-Duché” cashmere scarf, paying homage to Luxembourg, my place of birth (available in Luxembourg at www.denicheuse.com)
3. Suggest a simple creative activity to our readers that can make them more creative
Daydream, let your mind wander, embrace your imagination. It is scientifically proven that you are far more likely to be creative or think innovative thoughts when relaxed.
4. What are your top 3 websites for creative inspiration?
Even though I spend a fair amount of my working day in front of a computer, I usually do not draw creative inspiration from websites.
Travel is my main source of inspiration and my greatest luxury in life. When my creative tank is empty, I book a trip. I am a tactile person; I enjoy nothing more than strolling through markets or bazaars, touching the wares, feeling the textiles and revel in the colors. If money were no object, I would live a life of travel.
People inspire me daily. We collaborate with artists who are dedicated to perfect their craft and create beautiful work that enriches all our lives.
Books inspire me. Stephen King said it best: “Books are a uniquely portable magic”. Reading expands your mind and knowledge increases a person’s imagination. When I was a child, books were my escape from the mundane realities of everyday life (a.k.a school and homework) and to this date I remain an avid, even voracious reader.
5. What are your 3 tips to become more creative in Luxembourg?
Unplug! Disconnect from the digital world for at least one hour per week (that includes switching off your cell phone) and take time for yourself by yourself. Ponder ideas, let go of constraints and dream BIG. The idea of “Pause, Ponder, Play” works every time for me.
Start a small creative project, for example rearrange a room in your house, move the furniture around, re-decorate, it will force you to rethink the layout and expand on your choices.
Visit an exhibition, museum or participate in a workshop. I am partial to the Museum of Modern Art Grand Duc Jean in Luxembourg MUDAM where the public can interact with artworks and artists but Luxembourg has no shortage of great museums and art venues.
6. What’s your suggestion to make Luxembourg a more creative, innovative place?
I suggest some changes to the current public primary school curriculum to nurture creativity and creative thinking in children at a young age (a concept so far only found in some private or alternative schools). A one-size-fits-all curriculum brings stagnation. More emphasis on the arts, art related subjects and hands-on project-based learning where art and science merge into one (rather than seeing them as separate or even incompatible).Children need to be able to find their creative capacities and enjoy what they are doing. This is the key to lifelong satisfaction.
Martine Gales, interviewed by Miranda van den Heuvel, May 2014