Wednesday, August 27, 2014

John Cleese

-By Jesper Ejsing

I recently stumbled on this old lecture or talk, if you want, by John Cleese. He clarifies something I had a vague idea of: That my studio space is extremely important. I think most of us, who paint or draw, realize how fast we get into the right mood by simply showing up at the same spot or table over and over, day after day. When you are all of a sudden forced to draw something out of your everyday environment, lets say at a convention or at the kitchen table or, God forbid, out in nature, it seems harder and strangely off.

John talks about the open and closed mode and how important it is to set a place for yourself in which you can be creative. His talk also very precisely explain to me, why I have a hard time painting great paintings under pressure or stress. Please take the half an hour it takes to listen to mr. Cleese, and I promise you will look different on the way you work after. Or you´ll be self secured in that what you doing is right; win win... Creativity


  1. That was absolutely poignant. I never really thought about this stuff before, but now it is all I can think about it. Thanks Jesper.

  2. Absolutely wonderful. I needed that kick in the pants. We too often forget what creativity is and how to get back to it!! Thanks, Jesper, for this wonderful post.

  3. Wow, Excellent post. This article is really very interesting and enjoyable. I think its must be helpful for us. Thanks for sharing your nice post .
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  5. Nice link Jesper! Wish I had absorbed this 20 years ago at the beginning of my career...

    1. I know Donato. Beeing aware of the switch between Open and Closed mode is raelly helpful. I know I gotta do something to get out of closed mode when I am stuck at something. before I just continued and felt bad for not succeeding.

  6. Great my entire comment just got deleted :(

    Anyway I was saying that it all so true, and I keep coming up with new solutions to create these conditions for me. Also this will help me explain to others that creativity is not the result of "talent", but a manner of thinking. All children have it, and that's why I don't like "teaching" art to children, they will soon enough loose this ability and have to re-learn it.

    And the end nearly made my cry. That's so exactly my experience of 25 years of "side jobs". Last week was particularly rough for some reason, I normally ignore the attempts to crush all creativity and initiative, but this time it gave me nightmares for days. That's why I need the creative side in my life, to balance the inhumanity of "regular jobs" :(

  7. And this too. I work at home in a small flat, and if I work on digital art, I am not physically moving from where I do everything else (paperwork, email etc). I have to find ways to mentally do the transition and find a space that I can call my "studio". For traditional art it's easier, I move to the next room and set up my drafting table there :)

    I'm hoping to find the funds for a laptop where I could install only work software and put up a small table at the other side of the room, just so at least the transition is more physical. People who have a job in an office don't understand this but it's complex.

  8. I was looking forward to watching the video with John Cleese, but it has been removed due to copyright infringement. Do you know what the name of the lecture was called so I might be able to hunt it down?

    1. I found this video, not sure if it's the same one since I just now saw this post.

  9. I completely agree with Mr. Cleese. A good work place should allow its employees to develop their creative desires. It's precisely the reason why I am picky when it comes to job hunting. I always thought that a good pay is just a bonus. The workplace should always be where we can grow creatively. Anyway, thanks for sharing that! :)

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