Saturday, 4 September 2010

Day 89: Day and Night

Last night I woke up and just could not get back to sleep. You know when you've had just enough sleep for your brain to start working again, but it's definitely NOT time to get up? Well, that is exactly what happened!

So, naturally I started thinking about my blog and this came to me; why haven't I spoken about Pixar's new short, Day and Night yet? It was shown with Toy Story 3 and in my opinion, it's the best one so far.

In case you haven't seen it, here's a quick overview, the whole screen is black, except for a little character. His body is made up of a sunny landscape. As he walks along, he comes across another character whose body is made up of a nighttime scene. Throughout the short, the two characters compete to see which is better, day or night. It's clever, funny and really imaginative. Here's a clip for you to enjoy:

It's so inventive and uses lots of elements of day and night, like fireworks verses rainbows. I think the way it's gone with an idea and turned it into an animation takes Pixar's short further than they've ever gone before. It truly is inspirational! If you want to see it in full, you can download it from itunes.

Check out the Pixar website too. It's got loads of info on all their shorts. If you're into animation, story telling, films...shorts are a great way to get into the industry.

So, see what's going on, put your own twist on it and get it out there. That's the great thing about the Internet! All of the greats started somewhere. What are you waiting for?

Friday, 3 September 2010

Day 88: The Arts Council

Today I thought it right to bring your attention to The Arts Council. Basically, every tax payer in the country pays 17p a day to The Arts Council and they give the money to companies and charities all over the country who give the money back to society through the arts. Things like the Tate Galleries get money through The Arts Council, but small local things do too.

It could be anything creative; art, drama, dance, music...Take a look at their website to see what inspiring things they are involved with at the moment. A lot of what they support is up and coming stuff. It may look small at he moment, but it is doing big things for the community. Pretty exciting!

Be inspired by what your money is doing for the country! What a great way to spend tax, eh!

What could you ask for sponsorship for from The Arts Council...?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Day 87: It starts with a girl...

Here is a picture. I found it on the Internet and I know nothing about this girl. She is like an empty canvas for you to work on.

Today I am simply asking you to create her. What's her name, how old is she, etc? But more than that, I want you to give her a future. Where is she from? What is she like? Who does she live with? Does she like her life? What does she want to be?

All of these questions are fun to play with. What I want you not to do is give her a future. Don't write her a new story, just give her a character. It's a lot easier to think about what's going to happen to her (ie, a plot line for a story), but if you stop and give someone a character first, that's when she'll begin to write her own story, which is a lot more exciting!

Characters can appear in all art forms, not just writing. What about drama, music, dance, animations, film...I challenge you all to do this exercise and see where it takes your creativity.

What will this girl become? Well, see what she's like first and then you'll find out...

Try it for yourself. Who knows what she will inspire!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Day 86: Where is right for our creativity?

Wood has long been a material people have used to be creative. Nowadays, you see sculptures in public spaces like parks and forests. You know, the kind of places where you would naturally find wood anyway, even if the sculptor wasn't there.

But the other day, I found myself surprised to see a wooden sculpted plaque by the sea. It was overlooking the sea, next to a road. Carved on it was fish and other creatures of the sea. When I looked at it I thought how beautiful it was and you know why? It wasn't because it was more beautiful than any other carving I'd seen, but simply because there was no other wood around. It wasn't where you would naturally find wood.

All of this got me thinking about creativity and where we expect to see it. Sometimes, I go to an art gallery and think, well, there's nothing here to shout about. Is that because I'm in a gallery? Do I expect to much? I wander if I had stumbled upon one of those painting in a office waiting room, would my reaction be different?

One of the first times I went to Bath I saw a poem which had been carved into the pavement on the high street. It was beautiful and brilliantly creative. Who would have thought the paving slab outside 'Gap' would be the perfect place for poetry!

I encourage you to think about your art, music, dance, animation...where would you, could you, shouldn't you, put it? Is that where it would be the most beautiful, where it would appear the most creative? How could YOU get it out there, get it noticed?

Something to think about...

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Day 85: Wonderings

Today I was walking alone the Plymouth coast line looking out across the sea. The sun was shining with a light breeze coming in from the water. Perfect.

Sam asked me, if I had to describe this scene for a piece of writing, what would I write. So, as we walked I looked at the bobbing specks of sunlight covering its surface, ever changing and twinkling. I wondered whether the number sun spots matched the amount of stars in the night sky.
Sam had this to say; the inlet of the sea to the land was like the tail of an animal or a ancient dragon, arching, trailing, ready...

Wonderful stories and ideas can come out of the simplest of moments. We were only walking back from town. Creativity can come from the most menial tasks...if you let it!

This is your challenge. What are you doing today? Where are you walking, traveling, driving? Journeys are a great time to think, to wonder, to create in your mind. So use it. Create with it. (A note pad is advisable in such moments.)

Nothing is wasted when you're creative.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Day 84: What's the difference?

This weekend, I found myself being entertained by musicians, performing poets and comedians at a small festival called Aeon in the middle of Devon. Although I was really excited about all the creative potential this festival had to offer, I must admit, nerves definitely filled my tummy as I rolled up on my bike. The were loads of people with wicked looking dreadlocks, hippy cloths and face paint. I felt really out of place in my ordinary jeans and blue t-shirt. I thought putting pig-tails in my hair was making a considerable amount of effort but apparently not! I didn't fit in here. This wasn't my creative 'area'.

But, you know what? I had the best time. All of the poets I heard were fantastic. There were tones of bands, a mixture of ska, jazz, gypsy, reggae, hip name it, it was there. I was dancing, singing, skipping and quite frankly, jumping around like I just don't care!

I think the thing I was most worried about was the thing that made it so amazing. It was different to what I'm 'used' to. As I listened to those bands, musicians and poets, I found myself being memorised by all this creativity I knew very little about. It caught me, got my hips moving and I was away...

What do you listen to? Perhaps, more importantly, what don't you listen to? Today I encourage you to listen to something you wouldn't normally. Go to a local gig you wouldn't normally go to. Check out that last summer festival...

The best inspiration often comes from those things you're not used to. So push yourself, push your creativity...I dare you!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Day 83: Calling all makers...

If you are into creating out of ceramics, textiles, wood, synthetics, metal or even recycled materials then I have found the exhibition for you.

Salisbury Arts Centre is calling all artists/makers over the age of 16 to submit their creations by Friday 1st October. Then ALL entries will be exhibited together in November and December. You are even in with a chance of winning £200!

So, what do you make? Don't think it's not good enough. Do you think Michelangelo thought he was good enough to paint the Sistine Chapel? You have to be in it to win it. Leona Lewis would not be doing what she loves if she hadn't started somewhere. Maybe this is your somewhere! Who knows where it will lead...? (Check out Day 69 to see how it worked for me.)

To find out more about it, check out the website and download the submission form.

Start small...think big!