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The whale jumper

Gregor Novak © Cristian Castelnuovo

Hanging inside Gregor Novak’s flat is a whale. Made from an old pullover. That old woolly jumper had become seriously irritating as it had lost its shape and was unwearable. So Gregor scratched his head looking for an idea and then came up with two – in the drawers marked ‘Fabrics’ and ‘Animals’ respectively. He then handcrafted the old jumper into a whale, which now adorns his flat in Liechtenstein.

For a year the 23-year-old Slovenian lived in a flat-share while working for CIPRA International as part of the Erasmus+ programme on European Voluntary Service. Gregor has thousands of ideas, garnered from the internet, everyday life, and life in general. He likes nothing more than immersing himself in ideas on Instagram and Facebook, in newsletters, blogs, and YouTube videos.

There’s nothing new. At least not for Gregor. In an age of the fast-paced global flow of information, the only thing that’s new is how people combine the familiar. Which is why Gregor is into recycling ideas. He will combine two ideas or inspirations that may be lurking at the back of his mind and then pluck them out depending on the occasion, or his fancy, intuition or mood.

Gregor wants to use his ideas and inspirations to make the world a better place. For Gregor, creativity is the urge people feel to create something new, to keep things moving. And he’s certainly always on the move, constantly fidgeting when in conversation, then sitting down, standing up, sitting back down again, or sketching out shapes in thin air with his hands.

For him, being creative means learning, whether it’s cooking, hobbies or everyday work. ‘Just as people always wish for something new, they always want to learn something new too.’ He says he has high expectations: food only tastes good if it looks good too. Or a picture can only be beautiful if it’s also perfect. And an idea can only be good if it deviates from the norm and takes everyone by surprise. Then he’s happy. And right now Gregor is making the world a better place by painting pictures for his landlady.