I get so excited whenever I see well-designed products for children. Good design, for any age, is important to me. I think it makes a difference in how we learn and see the world. I especially love the products created by Kid O. Lisa Mahar's philosophy that possibility promotes imagination is clear in her thoughtful approach to design, and the creative process.
Lisa's Creative Process :
What is the most creative thing you have made, or are most proud of? That would be whatever I’m working on now. When I start a new project I do my best to address the weaknesses of the previous one, so hypothetically each new project should be better than the last one. It doesn’t always work out that way, but it’s very motivating to believe that my next project will be my best.
When you create something, do you follow a linear path? Non linear? is it fluid and organic or planned out? chaotic or organized? For me, initial ideas occur at random times and places. Once things fall in to place, there’s usually a set path to completion.
How does time affect your process? Is your process fast or slow? It depends. For commercial work, the process has to be relatively fast because there are set deadlines. For personal work, I have time to explore and I push myself in different ways. For both, success comes from working at the problem every day no matter how uninspired I might feel. Practice and perseverance make all the difference.
Do you remember how you made things when you were young? Has your method of creating changed or evolved over time? My attitude has changed much more than my method. I’m less judgmental now, and that’s brought greater joy, tension and complexity to my work.
Where or when do you feel most creative? When I’m behind a camera.
What environment did you grow up in that helped foster your creativity? Until I started studying architecture my second year in college, I never thought of myself as creative. I was lucky to have incredibly talented teachers there that gave me a versatile, interdisciplinary education and the skills required to work in a wide range of creative disciplines. I’ve thrived on my diverse work experiences in writing, graphic design, architecture, photography and industrial design.
Where does the initial seed come from? It can come from anything, often from the most mundane and unexpected places. For me, it’s usually when ideas from different disciplines collide.
Whose creative process do you want to know about? I just read an interesting book on this topic - Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. Did you know, for example, that John Cheever would leave his apartment every morning, ride the elevator in his building down to the basement, go into in a storage room and strip down to his underwear to write?
The process of being creative is stressful and I think in many ways we create rituals to help overcome our anxieties about getting to work. I am curious about people who work under very challenging circumstances and still produce exceptional work, people like James Nachtwey for example. It must require incredible focus and resolve.
Go to Kid O Products to see more of Lisa's wonderful design work.