habit zero #155

the challenge

Our challenge today is combined from a Prism, a Seed, and an Insight Type — the new building block we recently introduced.

The In Straight Lines Prism challenges us to capture an Insight in which straight lines play a significant role. The Insight can take any form… but the random Insight Type I got was Sculpture. And the Seed — the trigger — I got was Cello, which, I have to admit, made the challenge easier this time because cello and straight lines really go naturally together.

So, with this combined challenge in mind, I started to look for ideas…

my Insight


I started by Googling photos of cellos for inspiration. Focusing on straight lines, I knew the strings will be the focus of whatever I’ll create. But among all the images I saw, I was drawn to those in which the cello was being played. It was tilted and the angles between the instrument and the musician and between the strings and the bow were fascinating.

The next step was to decide how I am going to physically realize what I had in mind. I started to look around the house for things to play with. I thought about actual strings or threads or thin stripes of paper. I also considered paper clips as raw material. And then I came across my mechanical pencil. Bingo! I took out a few leads and started to work.

I don’t know if I managed to translate what I envisioned to reality — I am not really a sculptor after all. But the essence of this game is… well, to play. And so I treated the challenge as a game. Deciding how to arrange the leads, how to glue them together, and using light and shadow to complement the atmosphere — were all a different kind of experience. And the side effect of this mini-creation included even more experiences…



Two unexpected things happened as part of playing the creativity game today. The first is physically playing with materials not meant to be played with (or create a sculpture from). From experimenting with how to compose them to make them stand in place long enough for me to take a picture, this was a real experience: doing something I don’t usually do.

But what was even more surprising is that I found myself doing some research before I even started to play with the physical aspects of the challenge. We all know how does a cello look, but when I examined photos and videos of cellos with intent, I discovered beautiful details I wasn’t fully aware of before. Details such as the tension between the straight lines and the carefully curved ones, or the way a cello looks like from the side — the fact that the strings are actually lifted and form a kind of triangle with the body of the cello. These details might be trivial to people who are closely familiar with cellos or just had a chance to examine one from a close distance. For me, however, they were a discovery derived from the game I played.

And while I was doing this mini research, I also came across a duo — two Croatian cellist brothers — called 2Cellos, who are doing remarkable things with, well obviously, cellos. And so, I also experience music I wasn’t aware of before.

What seemed to be a challenge of building a sculpture became an activity involving experience, exploration, and observation.

mental notes


  • You can turn any activity into an opportunity to experience, observe, and wonder.

now it is your turn… be creative!



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