Think Outside the Box

You hear that phrase all the time, especially on job applications  “looking for an employee who can think outside the box.” But is it just an empty phrase? How exactly does one think outside the box? An excellent article on ArtBistro called 5 Wacky Ways to Ditch Your Comfort Zone written by Elisha-Rio Apilado provides some suggestions:

Replace Your Art Supplies –  ” paintbrushes aren’t the only things that can be dipped into paint…  …All the tools you’ll ever need already exist in your own home! It’s as easy as grabbing a sponge, an old toothbrush, or even twigs and leaves from your yard.” Here’s my interpretation – don’t be limited by the actual use of the product (and this doesn’t have to apply to just painting). Pick up any object and try to find at least 3 ways to use that object other than the way it was intended. For example a pen can be transformed into a Christmas ornament, a hair chopstick, or a handy dandy lock pick.

Dare To Enter an Eraser Free World – “Warning: Erasers have become the ultimate comfort zone! Why? Because artists know that mess-ups can be quickly corrected. And we’re quick — sometimes too quick — to grab it.” My take – go with the flow. Don’t always be a total control freak.  Mistakes do happen, but finding different ways to resolve the problem can at times be more rewarding than trying to be perfect and starting over (applies not only to drawings, but to life).

Scanners Don’t Just Copy. They Create! – “A scanner is more than just a copy maker — it’s a means of creating textures and rendering 3D images onto 2D surfaces.” That point is pretty staightforward so I’ll just add: GO WILD! Experiment with any and everything. Don’t be afraid to test the limits of your hardware and software. You may end up with something spectacular or something really really strange (which is good too, depending on how you look at it).

I encourage you to read the article. It has 2 more important points and more in-depth explanations.

Wait! I’m not done. I would like to introduce you to an artist who in my opinion “Thinks Outside the Box.” Martin Pyper is a graphic designer living in Amsterdam that uses everyday objects to create art or recycles old stuff putting it to new artistic use. Featured below are a few of his pieces. The first, made from steel pins,  is a typography piece for a magazine. The second, made from powdered sugar (sweet!), is for a nightclub in Amsterdam called ‘the sugar factory.’ Last, but not least is a font hand cut from an old deck of cards. See more work on his Behance Portfolio. Don’t forget to click Appreciate It!

Leave a comment


  1. Found you through postaday2011. I’ll be back. Here’s another thought which I hope you will think is ‘outside the box.

  2. The last idea, especially is pretty simple to do and is quite different – ‘Out of the box as you say’. You’ve got a nice blog 🙂

    Destination Infinity

  3. I love your image “Think Outside The Box – xoxo” – fun & creative!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: