Saturday, 18 September 2010

Day 103: David Nicholls got me thinking...

At the moment I am reading One Day by David Nicholls which I guess you would call an 'adult book'. One of the main characters is called Emma, which I find a little weird. Perhaps weirder is how much she reminds me of myself. Have you ever had that when you're reading a book?

Anyway, it turns out she's quite a thinker and a creative one at that and when talking about her play she's performing for schools she says, 'once again life is failing to imitate art.'

Her irony got me thinking. Unfortunately life doesn't imitate art (that's all forms of art, not just fine art), but should art imitate life?

When I was wandering from painting to painting in London (look at yesterday's post for more of that) I found myself getting really annoyed at how unrealistic some of the paintings were. Would Jesus really have white skin living in Israel? Are medieval science experiments really performed in a darkened room with only one candle creating dramatic lighting on the faces of the onlookers? Was the young Lady Grey really wearing a brilliantly white dress at her execution to contrast the drab clothes of the others present? Would farmers from hundreds of years ago really wear purple trousers to work? The answer is, probably not. All of these are artistic details to emphasize certain areas of the painting, creating mood, depth, colour balance...

Art is escapism, entertainment, meaningful does it have to replicate 'real life'? Not if the creator doesn't want it to. Then again, the creator can make it whatever they want. That's the beauty of art isn't it? Its an interpretation of the world or maybe an experimentation of what the world could be...

What do you want to say through your creations? Do you want to imitate reality, show injustice in the world? Do you want to create a safe haven for people to escape to? Do you want to experiment with boundaries or try something no one has ever done before? You really can do anything! So, go for it. Be inspired by what has come before you and make it your own. Being creative means, when you've got something interesting to say, you have an interesting way of saying it! So, what are you waiting for?

Friday, 17 September 2010

Day 102: The Credit Crunch and BP Portrait Award 2010

It seems to me that the government is cutting more and more creative funding all over the place due to the credit crunch, so how are we supposed to get any inspiration around here? Can we be inspired when we don't have any money either?

Well, I am here to say YES! I spent the day yesterday visiting gallery after free gallery in London. It really is amazing how much free stuff there is to do in London. I mean, just walking around looking at buildings, people and soaking up the atmosphere is pretty inspiring.

First, I visited The National Gallery where I stared at old, old paintings of mythological scenes, aristocratic families and religious iconography. Its so cool how stories feed art and in turn, art feeds stories.

Whilst having my lunch on the steps in Trafalgar Square I watched a bazaar mechanical design piece called Outrace move around, flashing lights and making strange noises (I think it would have been a lot more impressive in the dark).

Then, it was onto The National Portrait Gallery, which had the BP Portrait Awards 2010 exhibiting. Intricate portraits by contemporary practising artists lined the walls with hundreds of people viewing them. Perhaps the funniest thing was the sight of  twenty school girls sitting on the floor in front of one painting , showing a girl with ipod earphones in. You literally had to hop over them to get past. There was also a little photography collection by Jason Bell, showing famous Brits living in New York.

On the way back to the train station (sort of) I quickly popped into The British Museum (which is massive and cannot be 'popped' into!). I only had time to look at the Egyptian collection (briefly), which was awe inspiring! I got told off by a 'guard' for touching this absolutely massive stone arm, once belonging to a Pharaoh's statue. In my defense, I had to touch it, people made that!

Check out this website which lists free comedy, art, theatre etc in London and see what you can do. There is SO much (despite the credit crunch) you can be inspired by, all for the price of a train ticket!

See what's in your local area too. There's bound to be a museum, gallery, local art/writing/dance group or something, somewhere near you.

Feel free to be inspired wherever you are!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Day 101: Dalmations

Oh, what a brilliant film! I remember watching the classic Disney animation when I was about 8 years old. It wasn't until many years later that I realised, Cruella DeVil, is really a, 'cruel devil' (clever, eh)! Disney made a live-action one too, which is amazing as well. Good old Glenn Close, she's soo evil in it!

Turns out, 101 Dalmatians was first a book by Dodie Smith. When I was a kid I thought Disney were the best story tellers in the world, but actually, they 'borrowed' everyone else's stories! But, this isn't about Disney, it's about the doggy adventures of 101 Dalmatians. There's a quest, friendship, love, villains, slapstick, heroes, singing...and of course, a happy ending.

For old times sake, here's a clip for you to enjoy:

If you've seen this, I encourage you to watch it again. It's funny what different things you see in a kid's film when you're grown up. Try it. How is it different? Does the story seem different now you're older?

If you haven't ever seen it, then spend an hour and a half watching it, 'cause it's a great story with great characters.

Oh Disney, how I love you! I'm sure there will be many more entries given over to it's magical kingdom of creativity and inspiration, but for now, I am reeling myself in to just Dalmatians.

How will it inspire you?

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Day 100: Wonderful Words and David Almond

Woop woop! I've reached day 100 and the creative juices are still flowing! Yay!

OK, enough shenanigans. To celebrate the occasion in a properly creative way, I thought I'd give you 100 creative, inspiring words to use as you wish. Say them aloud and give them time. Roll them around on your tongue and appreciate how wonderful they sound:

creativity, languid, stupendous, cheese, catastrophe, endless, time, faces, monumental, considerate, appealing, justification, consequence, aloud, moon, abundant, yoghurt, sunshine, yellow, apparently, despite, brambles, fantastic, crisps, eleven, chocolate, anthology, inspirational, doctorate, ungulating, transparent, enough, glue, toilet, dangerous, tepid, xylophone, punctual, styrofoam, complicated, distance, honestly, banished, tickley, curious, amount, complicated, disease, rainbow, fascination, tomorrow, apple, joy, darkness, grace, liquid, toasted, lolly, bumbled, verity, stupid, swish, crackling, plop, disgusting, correct, handle, saliva, elusive, intrinsic, consider, tractor, temperature, bottle, walnut, kitten, munchkin, obviously, wash, momentum, sing, beautiful, dangle, squeeze, wax, coil, ball, venom, bobble, tug, copy, loaded, flute, cosmopolitan, rumble, illuminate, explain, tuna, stretch, huzzah!

There you have it! One hundred wonderful words. Try them in an accent! For example, you can't say, styrofoam in anything other than an American accent! It sounds amazing (reminds me of Bolt, watch it if you haven't seen it). I do have to give a quick mention to David Almond here, as he inspired this flow of words, so thanks!

Happy 100 Day!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Day 99: Enjoy it

Yesterday, I went to a poetry event in Bristol. The evening was filled with performance poets (which I will elaborate on in a future entry, so watch out for that) who stood up, did their thing and everyone clapped. Some (I thought) were good, others, not so much. That's the way it goes with open mike nights, I guess.

There was a man named Tim sitting on our table who's a poet and performing himself. Before the performers started we got chatting and he said, 'I think the main thing is just to enjoy it, really. What's the point of doing something creative if you don't enjoy it?'

'Exactly,' I said, vigorously nodding my head.

This little comment of Tim's made me view the whole evening differently. Did all of the poets performing enjoy it? Some performers went up, big smiles, hands waving. They recited their memorised poem with confidence and ease. Others tottered up nervous and apprehensive, read out their poem and quickly sat down, embarrassed by the applause.

Perhaps enjoyment of such things grows over time? All of them must love writing poetry, but perhaps not all of them love performing it...yet.

I would HATE to go up there and perform. It's not my thing, hence why I'm writing a blog for you guys instead. Do I love this? Yes. It would be damn hard to write this everyday if I didn't enjoy it...BUT, its still a challenge sometimes.

I think we have to find our 'thing' and stick to it. Sure, try out new things, but go for what you feel drawn to and go for it, enjoy it.

What do you enjoy creating? Music, art, dance, animation, socks...whatever it is, do it because you enjoy it. If you do it because you love it, your motivation will keep it going a lot longer than fame, money or whatever. Besides, you never know where it might take you...

Monday, 13 September 2010

Day 98: Websites

WARNING: Today's entry is a bit of a rant.

Allow me to walk you through my morning. I have spent its entirety on ONE website trying to sort out the simplest thing. All I wanted to do was tell 'them' I have changed my Uni course from Art and Creative Writing, to just Creative Writing. Easy, right? WRONG! Why? Because the website is RUBBISH!

My morning's task was one of those necessary ones like a banking or insurance. I thought, 'I'll do it on the web, it'll be easier.' Why is it that websites for these essential tasks are the WORST websites? It is IMPOSSIBLE to get through it without your blood pressure rising to an uncontrollable level.

You're password is're on the wrong have the wrong form...your entry date is wrong...we need a copy of your passport...confirmation is required...

I literally thought my eyes were going to pop out at one point, they make me sooooo...

I am almost 1000% sure I am not alone when it comes to this issue. Do you get REALLY ANNOYED with poorly layout websites which make, what should be a simple task, a maze of frustration and confusion?

Am I alone here?!

Where is the positive bit? Well, stay with me. If you think about it, the Internet is a relatively new phenomenon. It's been around for (roughly) ten years now, which is still pretty young. Just think about how it will change before its Twenty. How old are you? Could YOU be the one making those amazing changes it so desperately needs over the next ten years?

On behalf of the whole world I am asking all of you who have the remotest interest in websites to step forward and please take the baton from those who are 'designing' them now. It seems that the world needs creative people. YOU can do it better, I know you can. Keep going! We need you!

All I have left to say is, Thank you!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Day 97: Don McCullin

In 1964 a photojournalist named Don McCullin won the World Press Photo of the Year Award for this photograph.

Now, the question I am asking you today is, do you think this is creative? Is this a beautiful photograph? Do you think it has good composition and exposure? What about it's subject matter?

Don McCullin worked for The Times Magazine for over 25 years, photographing wars like Vietnam and the Cyprus Civil war (which the above photo is from). He showed the citizens of Britain what was really happening in these conflicts with gritty black and white photos of people grieving, hurting, dying through war.

I visited an exhibition of Don McCullin's work and started thinking about how we use our creativity. For a creative person, Don McCullin is an inspiration. At the very start, the small boy Don loved photography. What he did with this love as a man shaped much of photojournalism and people's view of war for years to come.

Even though you might think your love of art, film, music, dance isn't doing much at the moment, don't give up on it. If you have the passion to do it, then hold onto it and see where it takes you in your future...