Week 12 – Creativity in new mediums

Anyone a fan of old radio serials? For a generation used to having almost all our senses indulged when it comes to our entertainment, its amazing to think that just over half a century ago, most of tha families that could afford a ‘wireless’ would gather around these marvellous devices in order to tune in to the latest episode of The Green Hornet or H.G. Wells latest attempt to cause mass-panic.

But the call was coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE (Mercury Theatre 1938)

 

What is also strange is that many of the television shows that featured at the time would also contain the constant voice over narration. It was as though the producers of television shows were still trapped in the conventions of radio.

Which is exactly what they were.

It took years for the current fiml industry to develop, in terms of technical skill, to the point they are at now. And it took the bravely pioneering work of hundreds of producers, and the production of hundreds of movies in order to achieve that.

This week, we had Andy Siamonato come in to talk to us. It was fantastic to hear about his work on “The Magazine” – an online magazine that aimed to push the boundaries of what we believed a magazine to be capable of. As part of the generation brought up on books – and therefore new to the realm of technology – we can often find ourselves caught in old modes of thinking – especially when it comes to something as familiar as a magazine.

After all, magazines are designed to simply sit there, passively alive with information waiting to be plucked off the page, right?

Wrong! Andy’s magazine contains pages slick with interactivity. A concept that, while slightly mundane now – was near revolutionary a decade ago. It is trailblazers like Andy that forge the path for new ways to utlise the medium.

Another traditional art form that is currently in the midst of change due to the Internet is comic books. Webcomics have grown to become a natural part of the internet. However, one thing tha strikes me about webcomics is that, despite the vast real-estate of space webcomic artists have, very few of them are brave enough to venture beyond the usual conventions used in traditional hard-copy book comic books (although, damn you, Dr. Mcninja rocks!).

Instead, we are left with just a few extraordinarily talented individuals willing to push the boundaries, such as Emily Carrol and her wonderful story of Anu-Anulan and Yir’s Daughter (Look at the way she utilises background colour in her storytelling). And even better example of her ability to take advantage of the enormous digital canvas on which she has to paint her work it The Prince and the Sea. Once again, it is the brave pioneering of a brave few that will no doubt help to shape the look of webcomics in the future.

This weeks tute mostly involved talking about the progress of our creative project. Since I needed to maintain secrey regarding my project in order to preserve the full force of it’s message, I instead had the opportunity to talk to Nathan abouthis project. While we differ substantially on several issues, it was enjoyable to have the opportunity to critically think about another persons work, and make suggestions for improvement.

I realise this post is quite short – which is a shame really since this is perhaps my last post for this semester. I would, however, love to thank both Beth, Matt, Nat and Vanessa for this semester – I had a really enjoyable time in class. If you gain the opportunity to read through my Project development journal, you will see that I have made some minor discoveres during the course thanks mostly to my interactions with my new friends, as well as the informative nature of the readings. I hope to continue this blog into the future – it’s been extremely enjoyable just throwing my ideas out there.

Thankyou

Rehana

 

Recommended reading:

War of the World Radio Broadcast Causes Mass Panic: George Orwell caused mass panic with his “War of the Worlds” radio advertismenet

Anu-anulan and Yirs daughter AND The Prince and the Sea: DO NOT miss out on these fantasticly beautiful little comics. They aren’t very long, but they will stay with you for a long time after you’ve read them.

Kid Radd: Another webcomic that fully explores the wonderfully multi-media nature of the internet. Featuring hilarious eighties references, engaging and likeable characters, and an absolutely phenomenal use to gifs, this is one comic I reccomend setting an entire afternoon aside for. Do not be fooled by the simple art – this is one long-term story that’ll grab you from the inside.

Dr. Mcninja: He’s a doctor who also happens to be a ninja. That’s all you need to know.

 

References:

Mercury Theatre [image], (1938). Orson Welles, American Rhetoric. Retrieved 29 May 2012 from :http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/orsonwellswaroftheworlds.htm

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Week 6 – Eat your heart out, Superman

We all have a super-power. All of us. Perhaps it’s the uncanny ability to always know precisely where your car-keys are. Or maybe you can eat Brussel Sprouts without steadily losing the will to live. Or maybe you’re Batman.

Being insanely wealthy is a superpower, right? (Bobby G., 2009)

Regardless, we can all do something, with seemingly very little effort that very few others can do well.

Mine is sleeping. Anywhere.  Anytime. Regardless of the natural disaster occurring. I once spent a few of the most comfortable hours of my life asleep on the shoulder of a surprisingly accomodating German woman during a delayed flight stint at the airport. I have managed to catch sleep beneath cars, during loud festivals, and once, during a landslide – all of which I slept through.

In fact, I probably wouldn’t have been aware of the landslide for a long while afterwards if a few terrified family members hadn’t woken me up afterwards to ask if I was dead.

I wonder what they would have done if I’d said Yes….(Hoggatt M. 2010)

I didn’t get this power through some chance encounter with an ancient wizard, or a lucky accident with a microwave. I am neither the offspring of a demi-god nor was I the victim of some horrifying radioactive Wiggle attack.

This one (The Wiggles Wikia, 2011)

But rather, it is the result of my noisy upbringing that gives the uncanny ability to shut out most distractions and focus on what I’m doing.

In other words, my family is loud.

Really loud.

And if you don’t make enough noise in my family, there is the very real chance they might forget you were there at all

Because there is no such thing as natural silence in my home.

When is why when it comes to creating a creative atmosphere (one of our tutorial questions – which we didn’t get too much of a chance to answer), I can accomplish one with little more than a few minutes concentration and a very special sleep mask.

No no, go on, I’m listening (Fredflare n.d.)

I’ve been made to create my own in my head for years now. Which is why it would be lovely to one day just get a small ‘quiet’ room of my own in which to just sit down and think.

I had the opportunity to experience this sort of serenity for one precious our over the weekend. Nothing particularly exciting had occurred – I just happened to be at home while everyone else was out – and a remarkable thing happened.

Nothing.

I sat on the couch, and accomplished as close to nothing as I could while also remaining amongst the living.

Which is strange, because I’m a naturally restless person. I find it difficult to reliably sit still for more than a few minutes at a time. Even as I sat there, imbibing the very finest daytime television had to offer,

You mean I can buy this for mere money?!? (Shamwow! n.d.)

I couldn’t help but feel slightly uncomfortable. As though my fingers missed the feel of something to keep them occupied. Which is when I realised this: I didn’t need to be creative, because at that point, I didn’t have to fight with a whole lot of external factors to make something. Perhaps I needed the noise and the busyness to energise me into creating something.

This brings me to this weeks reading on the 9 aspects of ‘Flow’ as described by Csikszentmihalyi’s theory.

I mentioned in a previous week that during the act of creating, I tend to enjoy the discovery process far more then I enjoy the finished product, or subsequent recreations of the finished product. Without the challenge of discovery, I find it difficult to engage with and complete a work. Sure, there are occasions when I may grow frustrated with a project and just give up – but more often than not, the harder the project, the more I will whittle away at it till I’m done.

Take for example, the Snail Shell Bag I will be creating for my Creative Works project. As far as I can see, coming up with the sewing pattern for recreating a snail shell will be challenging. Choosing the correct fabric – one that will render the finished product neither too tacky looking (for example, if I used brown pleather to make the shell as realistic as possible), nor too alien from the original inspiration (by simplifying the shell shape to the point where it is no longer recognisable). And finally, the problem of creating a bag that retains its circular shell shape (a difficult shape to achieve in sewing) is something that has kept me daydreaming while on the bus on my way to work. Even my random doodles have begun, in some way, to explore the possible solutions to many of the problems the bag presents.

Hopefully, I will be able to start it this week.

Another interesting aspect of this weeks reading was the Six Hat method – a massively useful tool I plan to use in another unit – Collaboration. In this unit, we are required to work in teams to come up with solutions, and this method of discussion and the development of solutions seems ideal in really coaxing out the innate creativity present in every one of my group members. So far, we’ve learnt a number of useful strategies to foster clear group communication and effectiveness, but often I’ve had a hard time moderating between the stronger members of our group, and the quieter ones. With luck, I’ll be able to use the Black/White/Green/Blue/Red/Yellow Hat method to encourage everyone to participate.

After all, six heads are better than one.

Especially if they’re all wearing really nice hats.

But not this one. No good could ever come from this hat. (Fusaro K. 2011)

References:

Fredflare (n.d.), “Napolean Dynamite Sleep Mask” [Image], Fredflare.com. Retrieved on the 28th of April from: http://www.fredflare.com/WHAT-S-NEW/Napoleon-Dynamite-Sleep-Mask/?xid=1ffb0d6f37d89e7e7964ebc4a4cd908f

Fusaro K. (2011), “Royal Wedding Poll: Which Wedding Guest Has the Craziest Hat”[ Image], Glamour Weddings. Retrieved on the 28th of April from: http://www.glamour.com/weddings/blogs/save-the-date/2011/04/royal-wedding-poll-which-weddi.html

Gonzales B. (2009), “Batman Comics: Where it all began” [Image], Platform Nation. Retrieved on the 28th of April from: http://www.platformnation.com/2009/08/22/batman-comics-where-it-all-began/

Hoggatt M. (2010), “zombie-walk” [Image], Little Wolf Art and Illustration, Retrieved on the 28th of April from: http://littlewolfblog.com/2010/10/24/zombie-walk/

Shamwow! (n.d.), “Official Shamwow Website” [Image], Shamwow.com, Retreived on the 28th of April from: https://www.shamwow.com/

The Wiggles Wikia, “Jeffdoor.jpg” [Image], The Wiggles Wikia, Retrieved on the 28th of April from: http://wiggles.wikia.com/wiki/File:Jeffdoor.jpg

Week 4 – Download this post

The year was 2006. The summer had been warm, and the skies were still blue, and we were all singing along to this song on the radio:

That’s right. The Anthem of the file sharing generation. It had been less then a year since Napster had filed for bankruptcy under the weight of countless lawsuits that had been filed against it since the late 2000’s. It would be another few months before Apple would finally add the iTunes store to it’s already popular iTunes program. And if only for those few glorious months, the only options we had if we wanted to relive the magic of the genre defining Elmo/Backstreet Boy collaboration, One Small Voice, was to either kidnap Elmo or download it off Limewire.

I chose the option that would make fewer small children cry (Melissa, 2012)

It was a rapidly changing time for the world of music distribution, and the distribution of most creative technology, really. Takes games for example. Suddenly, video games that required at least one extra device in your pocket to play (looking at you, Game Boy Advance) could be loaded up and traded online for all it costs to keep your ultra-fast 56kb Dial-up modem running.

56 kb modem

The Soundtrack to my Teenage years (Upto88, 2009)

I mean, no longer did we have to wait the endless months between Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron disappearing from our cinema screens before we could traipse down to our local video store to watch it again. No longer did we have to pay twenty bucks just to hear that one good song an entire album of mediocrity had to offer. We, the little people, could suddenly demand what we wanted, when we wanted.

For free!

And it took years before larger companies, scrambling in blind panic over the shift in consumer power, to reach something approaching realistic relevance once more. And by then, many smaller, more successful companies had moved in to fill the void.

Steam Logo

Steam: The reason I can no longer build one of these (Steam Website, 2012)

Which is what this weeks reading discussed, amongst other things. The newfound ability of creative works to reach broader and more for flung audiences – whether the creator wants them to or not. It’s a wonderful concept – that art, once confined to the rich and the powerful looking for something interesting to look at while reclining in their tubs of money, is suddenly accessible all (in the first world at any rate). But then, theres the flip side – of artists failing to be monetarily remunerated for their creative effort. Which is what our second reading this week discussed.

How do you put a price on creativity? It’s difficult. Ideas, I believe, are like garden seeds. Many of them will never germinate. Some will stutter and die before their time while others will lay dormant until just the right time to finally burst forth and bloom into something world changing. That is the beauty of many ideas. They can never become stale. They may lose relevancy for a little while, but eventually, someone will pick them up and re-invent them as something new.

But what about in the economic sense? Whether we like it or not, creativity and innovation is an integral part of the modern world. Every company, from Apple to Ikea, is in a constant race to come up with the very latest in their respective products – from both a technological perspective (Apple) or Design (Ikea). Steve Jobs is constantly invoked as one of the key Creatives of our era – and he was worth millions. But how was his salary calculated? If you can remember the reigning rumour, Steve Jobs was paid less then the price of a Macdonalds soft serve cone (Mintz, J. 2010).

Although granted, it does have a flake....

However, he also happened to own a massive amount of company stock, which from between 2007 (the release of the first generation of iPhone) and the release of the latest iPad (this year), went from just over $85.00 to a whopping $599.00 (Wikinvest, 2012). So is that how we value our creative team? By the monetary value of their output? That’s a difficult thing to do, as all to often, much of an artists work only ever appreciates in value after a very long period of time. Results are not almost immediate, which makes it even more difficult to place a value on the pay of a creative. And once again, an idea, however good, will have to wait for just the right conditions to gain wider acceptance. However, I agree that the importance of creative individuals is on the increase. In both schools and universities, the importance of critical thinking and exploration over rote learning and rigid learning models have become the norm. More and more, society is pushing itself towards a more creative environment, where innovation and originality have become the new prize. This is especially true in advertising – an area of study that I am becoming increasingly interested in. Far gone are the days of door to door salesmen pushing their wares, or simple, informative but repetitive ads.

Advertising campaigns have become to wild and diverse, that they’ve begun to blur the lines between entertainment and selling. Between advertising and a way of life.

Iphone hats

Haha don't they know the new iHat 4.0 was released four hours ago? (Smith A. 2011)

They have created entire subcultures of their own.

There are so many new ways for companies to reach their target audience, that in many ways, the modern advertising campaign has become the entertainment. Take for example the massively succcessful viral advertising campaign for The Dark Knight. Explicit care was taken to engage the audience in a variety of mediums, through print, through the internet, and especially through examples like this website (just an error page you say? Ctrl+a says otherwise). The tagline “Why so serious” has become so pervasive in our common lingo, you can find it pretty much everywhere. The bloodied smile of the joker a catchphrase for the damned.

Why so Serious

Why so s- oh hell, you know what I mean (Copyright Warner Bros.)

It’s everywhere.

Which makes future attempts at viral marketing all the more interesting – as markets will have to now find new and creative ways to engage with a generation desensitised to all the blatant advertising we’ve grown up with.

And personally, I can’t wait to be a part of it.

Reccommended Reading:

Dark Knight Viral Campaign Case Study: A great glimpse into the lead-up to the release of The Dark Knight.

Why So Serious: Viral Marketing Website

Sita sings the Blues: A beautiful animated short about gods and goddesses, heartbreak and hope. Distribution made possible only by the technology before you.

References:

Melissa (2012), “Before I knew” [Image], Our Life in Pieces. Retrieved on the 28th of April 2012 from: http://stevensonslifeinpieces.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/before-i-knew.html

Mintz J. (2012), “How Does Steve Jobs Manage To Get By On Just A Dollar A Year?” [Image], Business Insider. Retrieved on the 28th of April 2012 from: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2010-01-15/tech/30017317_1_apple-stock-apple-shares-steve-jobs

Smith A. (2011), “Hail the do-it-all device: buyers get wise to smartphones”, Brisbandtimes.com.au, Retrieved 28th April 2012 from: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/executive-style/gadgets/hail-the-doitall-device-buyers-get-wise-to-smartphones-20111018-1lu7z.html

Wikinvest (2012), “Apple (APPL)”, Wikinvest. Retrieved 28th April 2012 from: http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Apple_%28AAPL%29/WikiChart

Upto88 (2009), “Dial Up Modem Noise” [Image], Upto88.com. Retrieved on the 28th of April 2012 from: http://www.upto88.com/dial-up-modem-noise

Week 3 – Tales from the Pale Blue Dot

The universe is a chaotic place. If you stop to think about the seemingly unrelated series of events that have led, from the inception of the universe, all the way to this point in time where you’re running your eyes over these words on your screen, it seems nothing short of a miracle that we’re here at all. To even attempt to begin to comprehend the sheer magnitude of even our tiny portion of the world is impossible.

Which is why, as human beings, we have developed a singularly unique method of dealing with it.

We tell stories.

I spoke last week of that little voice of mental narrative that we use to thread together the events of our daily lives. To me, it feels like nothing more then a symptom of something that has been happening on a greater scale from the very beginning of the human race: the development of universe explaining stories to combat the reality of our own insignificance.

As human beings, we crave universal coherence. If you imagine us – as we are – infinitesimally tiny specks roaming a pixel of a pale blue dot:

you will realise just how terrifying the thought of cosmic insignificance is. To exist with the knowledge of little control each of us have over the individual specifics of our lives is just…..it’s impossible to consciously live with, really.

Which is why stories are important.

It is only within the realm of myth and fantasy, within the domains of our own fledgling imaginations, that we are given true power over something completely beyond our control. It’s the same effect we inspire when we name something we find terrifying – suddenly we are given a modicum of control over something that would, without the name, would remain completely uncontrollable.

The Mirror Watches

....I think I'll call it 'fluffy' (Black goes Gray, 2010)

Stories allow us to indulge our greatest fears within the safe playgrounds of our psyches, and in doing so, find a means to rationally deal with the fear (whether conscious or unconscious). Which, oddly enough, is a process Carl Jung refers to as Individuation.

Individuation, within the scope of Jungian psychology, is the method in which the psyche, or Self comes to reconcile differences between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind.

In other words, it’s the manner in which we deal with our dark sides.

A sting in the Swamps of Dagobah

That don't involve light sabers or a stint in the swamps of Dagobah (Copyright Lucasfilms 2012)

Our Dark Sides (Or our Shadows) refer to those portions of our ego that have been repressed – through the stresses of socialisation in childhood – and turned into Complexes.

(Don’t worry, let me make things less clear with this chart)

According to Jung, our minds are divided into five different – but fundamentally intertwined facets:

  1. The Ego: the ‘id’ (in Freudian terms) of our Psyches. This facet includes both our positive and negative social traits, free from the restraints of the laws or rules of our cultural environment.
  2. The Persona: The mask that we develop in our childhoods to project out onto the world. Basically, it’s the face we show to the people we meet – formed of the intricacies of social interactions learned in childhood
  3. The Anima/Animus: The opposite gender specific aspects of ourselves. The female aspect (anima) for men, and the male aspect (Animus) for women, and, finally
  4. The Shadow: Once again, the portions of ourselves we dislike due to social conditioning, which has been repressed and stored in our unconscious mind – left to fester with its adjoining archetype to rear its head in ugly and unpredictable ways
The nightmare of PacMan

Yay (Travis Pitts, n.d.)

The development of the Persona during childhood, I feel, is one of the most important aspects of Jungian psychology. To imagine, if you will, the tug between our primal instincts in childhood – counteracted by the socialisation we experience from very young, appears to be one of the major reasons for one universal aspect of everyone’s childhoods that I’m sure everyone will recognise.

The art of Play.

Children at Play

YEAH! (Funny Signs, 2011)

From at least the age of five, we begin, in the infancy of our imaginations, to construct the wild and fanciful adventures that continue to grow and evolve during the entirety of our childhood. (Mullineaux, Paula Y. and Lisabeth F. Dilalla, 2009). It is during out childhoods – during the development of our persona, that the constant act of Individuation through play occurs. We may play ‘House’ to come to terms with the accepted social roles we are expected to play when we’re adults (however much we hate the idea of cooking or cleaning). Small boys will spend countless hours re-enacting the bloodiest acts of war ever conceived between platoons of tiny green men, all in the name of imbuing themselves with the power they do not – in reality – possess in their childhood state.

Toy soldier

Pictured: The hardest working Military in the world (Frederico Foschini, 2008)

All through the formative years of our lives, our fantasies develop – well often into adulthood in fact – as a means of escapism and self-therapy.

And it’s not just on an individual scale – this mode of fantasy making – the creation of stories and myths in order to deal with both ourselves and our daily lives – occurs on a global scale as well!

Mythopoesis refers to the unshakable habit mankind seems to have of creating myths and legends as a means of explaining the unexplainable, and of explaining ourselves. We have always had myths: stories that we one used to fill the gaps in our scientific knowledge, to demonstrate a commonly celebrated aspect of human life, or to even escape the harsh realities of it, we have always created stories.

Thor: God of Thunder (and great hair) (Copyright Marvel)


And we still do – regardless of how far we advance into the rehttps://unwritingrehana.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=46&action=editalm of scientific knowledge.

(The Ring: making the case for never having a television in your bedroom. Ever)

CreepyPasta may, at first glance, seem like a uniquely internet based phenomenon. A collection of tantalisingly short horror stories – often based on technological subjects like video games or computers – designed to shock or scare the people who read them.

However, if you think back to pre-internet days you will realise that they are nothing more then the camp fire stories countless remorseless Fathers would tell their kids – but retold in a different medium.

Once again, we are creating stories for something that most of us, on a certain level, suspect actually runs on magic.

In other words, we never really grow out of playing our fantasy games. We just find new ways of introducing it into the real world.

Recommended Reading:

References

Week 2 – The joys of single person conversations

I talk to myself. In fact, I’m doing it right now. In an unconscious way, you probably are too. I’m sure I’m not the only person I know who experience that constant stream of vocal narration – that person who is themselves but not themselves – watching with detached interest the ongoing cinematic experience that is our daily lives. In times of trauma, it is perhaps the part of you that watches your emotional self with a mixture of pity and distaste, outlining why you are foolish for allowing the trauma to get to you in the first place, but at the same time coming the logical solution to resolve it. And it’s perhaps not the only voice. There are other voices there too. There’s the ever present (or in my case, occasionally present)voice of reason that prevents you from leaping into the pool from the second storey of the house.

The worlds safest diving board

However awesome that may be (Rerun, 2010)

That authoritative voice of arbitration that helps you decide how which pair of batman-themed pyjamas you really need.

Batman PJ's

Trick question: the answer is all of them (JumpinJammerz.com, n.d)

And finally, the soft, whispering sound of the voice that comes to you in the pit of the night, to, with all the crushing realisation of mortality, remind you of all the ways you’ve failed in life, and the ways you will always, no doubt, fail in the future.

Kittens in teacups

Pictured: the medically recommended dosage of kittens after reading that sentence (innocentenglish.com, 2008)

But not often.

In fact a study conducted by the University of Manchester found that, of the possible four percent of the general population that experienced phantom voices, an overwhelming majority reported those voices affected them in a mostly positive way (The University of Manchester 2006)

Which is fine.

If, that is, you don’t start doing it out loud.

We were lucky enough to be lectured this week by John Harman, an author and retired journalist who shared his experiences as a novelist during the late fifties and early sixties with a sort of dry wit and affability that made it very easy to imagine him as one of those vodka swigging, chain-smoking journalistic wordsmiths popularised in a recent, and yet to remain unnamed TV show.

Mad Men Poster

You have two guesses – otherwise we replace the rock (Entertainment Weekly, 2009

He too, talked out loud to the people nobody else could see – a relief for me, because it made me feel just a little less outlandishly weird then I usually do.

So yes, I talk to myself.

And to the other people inside myself. From the cynic John Cleese-esque British bloke that picks on the bland stupidity of everything around e, to the enthusiastic, mindlessly naïve voice of optimism that assures me that sure, the little fuel lights been on for an awful long time, but I’m sure you’ll be able to make it to Joondalup and back again without filling up first.

And that’s just two of them. The sheer amount of noise that that goes on in my mind is deafening. Not to mention that just occasionally, I end up talking back.

I learned very early on in my bus-catching career that this was an extremely effective way of getting extra seats to myself.

Always alone on the bus

Because bus patrons are extra polite when it comes to leaving seats free for invisible people (Ben W, 2011)

but a not so effective way of making friends.

Mr. Harmen also talked a great deal about “The Box”, or the things we allow to stifle our ability to create. One of the ‘sides’ of the ‘box’ he described was the ‘Emphasis on rewards’ aspect of creation.

Now I’ll be honest, I love trying to solve a creative problem more then I enjoy actually finishing something. I have a terrible track record when it comes to completing things. The moment I experience my ‘Aha’ moment, most of the joy of creation flows out of me, and I move on to other, more challenging projects.

One example of that is this doll:

No chance of demonic posession here, no sirree

No chance of demonic posession here, no sirree (Rehana Badat 2012)

This doll is the product of about three weeks of trial and error pattern experimentation. I was, back then, delighted by the idea of a soft jointed doll – one I could sew clothes for an perhaps mass produce to sell online later. I spent hours upon hours drawing and sketching, working a pattern, constructing prototypes and tweaking seams until I got everything exactly how I wanted them. Every tiny detail mattered.

Doll shoes

Every. Tiny. Detail

After awhile my bedroom began to resemble the aftermath of some kind of horrifying act of doll carnage. To this day, I still use a leftover prototype body piece to keep my extra sewing pins in.

Pincushion of the damned

Or as my sister so lovingly refers to it: The Pincushion of the damned (Rehana Badat 2012)

So I finished it. Completely. Right down to the stitches on her tiny Converse shoes, and the details on her designer denim jeans (fun fact: the pockets and buttons are fully functioal). But the moment I completed it I….just….lost interest. My original plan was to make at least three more, all with different outfits and hairstyles. But the moment I stopped having to struggle to create, I lost the will to create altogether. It was baffling. Suddenly something I was willing to spend countless days on became something bland and unenjoyable. It almost began to feel like work by the time I completed the second one (and even then I cut corners where I could).

Which is why I find drawing so enjoyable. No matter how good you get at drawing, there is always room for improvement. You could figure out how to convey entire stories of heart wrenching emotion in a single brush stroke, and yet there will still be some achingly talented fourteen year old who can do it better. It’s the challenge that keeps me going – and the thrill of new discovery, the process of creation itself and not the finished product that keeps me going. Which is terrible because since I barely ever get round to making more then one of anything I produce, I don’t end up making as much money as I’d like to.

Target

In other words, I've yet to quit my day job (The Onion, 2000)

So it’s something I’d like to change. Somehow. It will take discipline, now that I think about it. And time. But it’s certainly something I’d like to work on.

Another challenge.

So far, I’ve neglected to talk about the activities we did in class. I do, first off, have to admit that the reading was a bit dry. Witnessing the clinical dissemination of the creative process – something that before the start of this course seemed like such a magical and undefinable thing, was, well not hard. However, it lacked the stylistic flair most creative topics possess. It basically broke the theories of the creative process into three categories: psychoanalytic, behaviouristic and self-actualisation views. Unsurprisingly, Freud linked it with sex.

Sigmund Freud

Pictured: an eighteenth century sex maniac

An interesting model was presented by Harold Rugg – that of the link between the conscious and unconscious mind containing a special ‘area’ between them in which creative thoughts – manifestations of the unconscious mind coming close to the conscious kind. The distinction between the conscious and conscious mind becomes more important the further we delve into Jungs theories on the psyche – which my group will be presenting about in next weeks tutorial.

A second concept – one less popular in my mind – is that our creativity is merely the result of positive stimulation in response to our creativity. In other words, the Mona Lisa was simply the proverbial saliva of Da Vinci’s Pavlovian response to the positive re-enforcement her received from society.

Finally, there’s Csikszentimihalyi (who for simplicities sake, we will further refer to as ‘C Dawg’) concept of creativity only existing as a result of the environment it was conceived in – and then, only labelled so as a result of society unanimously deciding it was ‘Art’

And Warhol Soup Can

Is it? (Warhol, 1968)

Personally, I’m not yet certain what to think yet. As with the somewhat murky definition of Creativity in the first week, the actual, functional source of our creativity is a thing of debate. I may have to research it further before coming to a decision.

As for the tutorial, the second question in particular brought me problems. How exactly did I come up with, and implement ideas? The truth is, it is usually idle thought – brought upon again by a combination of boredom and the endless chatter of my mind, that first sparks an idea. Often, the idea will just sit there, and do nothing for a long while – the ‘Incubation’ period that John Harmen briefly talked about in his lecture. And then, if the idea is still with me a few days after I’ve had it, I will attempt to sketch an outline of it. If I feel I am moderately incompetent in successfully drawing the subject matter – I’ll begin researching it, and making quick studies from images I’ve found using Google Image Search.

Then, and only then, will I sit down and attempt a completed work.

As you may have noticed, a huge part of my creative process involved trying to bolster both my confidence and technical ability in regards to the subject matter. Once again, it feels as though I gain the most enjoyment from, developing solutions in response to a problem, and carrying them out, as opposed to enjoying the accomplishment of the finished product. Sure, my goal is to have something interesting to look when I’m finished, but my first joy is definitely preparing for the task.

So it is with that that I remind you that Leonardo Da Vinci completed very few works in his lifetime. Much of his genius seemed to lie in the sheer joy he experienced from the thrill of new discovery and study. Take the Vetruvian man below. While certainly not a finished painting by any means, it still retains the sensation of the countless hours of prior study and research it must have taken to complete it. I have no doubt in my mind that Leonardo derived far more pleasure in the study the preceded this image, then the construction of the image itself.

Vitruvian Man

(Da Vinci, 1487)

Enjoy.

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