Wendell Castle / RIP

Wendell Castle passed away on January 20th. 
He was a pioneer artist as craftsman -- or vice versa.

In 1996, Castle published “Adopted Rules of Thumb,” his personal guide to creativity, which quickly caught on among other artists; he updated it on the occasion of his 80th birthday in 2012.

  • If you are in love with an idea, you are no judge of its beauty or value.
  • It is difficult to see the whole picture when you are inside the frame.
  • After learning the tricks of the trade, don’t think you know the trade.
  • We hear and apprehend what we already know.
  • The dog that stays on the porch will find no bones.
  • Never state a problem to yourself in the same terms it was brought to you.
  • If it’s offbeat or surprising it’s probably useful.
  • If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it.
  • Don’t get too serious.
  • If you hit the bull’s-eye every time, the target is too near.

  • Distrust what comes easily.
  • You have to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.
  • Bring conflicting attitudes to bear on the same problem.
  • We should never know for whom you’re designing.
  • Always listen to the voice of eccentricity.
  • The whole secret to designing a chair is applying the seat of your pants to the seat of the chair.
  • The problem with taking life in your own hands is you have no one else to blame.
  • If your mind is not baffled, your mind is not fully employed.
  • Imagination, not reason, creates what is novel.
  • Jumping to conclusions is not exercise.
  • Keep knocking – eventually someone will look down to see who’s there.