When things are nearby, they’re concrete and you can see the details of the things. On the other hand, when things are far away, they’re much more abstract. So thinking about things that are near and far puts us in different mental states. When you think about things nearby, you see the details, and so when a creative idea comes along, the first thing you ask is, can it work?
[But] most creative ideas are risky and the risks are obvious when you look at the details, so when you think about it with this detail-oriented mindset, you’re more likely to shoot the idea down. On the other hand, when you’re thinking about things that are far away, you’re in a more abstract frame of mind and so the first question you ask is not will this work; you’re more open to seeing the creative possibilities."
God’s Own Junkyard—where Neon Never Dies
God’s Own Junkyard is a little slice of heaven found in Walthamstow, North East London. Newly relocated to a new premises, the unique space on an industrial estate is the workshop and showroom of Chris Bracey, a neon artist who collects and hand-renovates neon signs for art, shows and collectors items.
Chris has been creating and collecting vintage neon signs, old movie props, found objects and waste light for the last 37 years, and his work has developed a cult following. Some of his most famous signs have appeared at Alexander McQueen shows and in Stanley Kubrick films. After a short period of closure, the new site continues to attract Instagrammers from around the world. One of his neon creations is currently on display at Selfridges in central London.
- "Play with your exposure settings: by tapping on different parts of your screen, you can expose for lights or for darks. Neon is so dramatic and gives off such a beautiful colourful glow, it often looks best surrounded by darkness, so tap on a light area of your screen to make sure the rest of the scene is dark.
- "Play with scale and shadow: some of the pieces in God’s Own Junkyard are pretty big! To give a sense of scale, try including people or playing with creating interesting silhouettes against the colourful neon.
- "Get in close: a lot of beauty can be found in the detail—the curves of the neon, the hundreds of tiny lightbulbs and the gorgeous colourful glow that the neon gives off can all make for a beautiful image."