Saturday, 25 September 2010

Day 110: Anthony Browne

Last night I went to a talk by writer and illustrator Anthony Browne. He has won tons of awards for his writing and illustration and he is this years children's laureate for Britain, so I was REALLY excited about seeing him.

Whenever I go and see a creative person, I get so enthusiastic about my own writing and about inspiring you guys to be create with your own talents. There was so many interesting things he said, I'm finding it really hard to chose which one to share...

...After much debate (in my head) I have decided to share this little nugget of wisdom with you:

Think about this, if you ask any child if they can draw or tell stories, they would answer, 'yeah, of course I can.' But, ask an adult and most will say, no. What happened?

Anthony Browne has always loved telling stories and drawing pictures. In fact, he showed us a picture he drew when he was 7 years old. It looked no different from any other 7-year-old's drawing. He claimed creative adults (and teenagers) are no different to anyone else. They just carried on! He was encouraged by his teachers and his parents and other people along the way.

We all need encouraging in out creative pursuits. Even the Children's Laureate was once a little boy drawing stick men. So, be encouraged by me and, more importantly, by Anthony Browne to KEEP GOING! Keep being creative, getting better, learning new skills and techniques. Push yourselves.

Creativity is fun and it brings people who see, hear, touch, taste or even smell your work happy too. I bet a lot of you got enjoyment from people like Anthony Browne when you were a kid. I know I did.

So, go for it. Be encouraged, get out there and do it! Be creative and keep being that way until forever! The world needs you...!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Day 109: Exposed at the Tate

There is only two weekends left until the Tate's latest photography exhibition closes (boo), so I encourage all of you to jump on the train and take a look at Exposed. It's a collection of images taken without the knowledge of those in it. some famous, some not so, all displayed together to make us think. You know how I like to think...

The UK is the most surveyed country in the world now and the exhibition is just pointing it out, I suppose. Why do we have such a need to watch, observe, spy? You only have to look at the success of things like Big Brother to see how obsessed we are. Interesting, huh?

Creativity gives people the opportunity to talk and show these kind of oddities within our society which is great! What a thing to do with your work, make people think!

Look at the photo of Maralin Monroe here (by Weegee). There are millions of pictures of her on a fan like this, but in this one, she doesn't know it's being taken, she's not playing for the camera. It's like we're watching her through a peep hole and it kinda feels like we shouldn't be looking, doesn't it?

If you can, get down to the Tate Modern and have a look around. Be inspired...What could you say with your art?

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Day 108: BBC Blast

I have found a REALLY exciting creative website for you guys to get involved in. It's part of the BBC and it's called Blast.

Blast is interested in YOU and your creative talents. Music, dance, film, animation, art, drama, fashion...everything creative! The website is FULL of info, downloads, competitions and loads more stuff you guys can get involved in. Check out this video which explains everything better than I can:

Add their website to your favourites now! The chances are something will pop up sooner or later which is just for you. Grab those opportunities whilst you can, you never know where it might lead...

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Day 107: Mandy Coe

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting an amazingly inspirational poet called Mandy Coe. She writes for both children and adult, but she's really excited about inspiring creativity in young people. I was so impressed I even bought her new book, If you could see laughter!

There were so many things she said which are exciting and fun and creative...but I will rien myself in!

This is a tip she gave me: don't shy away from something because it's hard (ie, writing poetry, learning an instrument, painting a huge canvas). Why? Because if something is hard, you HAVE to be creative to make it work, which gives you a bigger sence of achievement!

For example, here is one of Mandy's exercises. I warn you, it's pretty tricky, but fun too. Give it a go and see how good you feel when you achieve it!

Choose one of these words: storm, rainbow, earthquake, darkness.

Now, write something about it (a description, how you feel about it/in it...) It could be a poem or just a few lines of prose, BUT you cannot use the letter E.

Here's mine,

Today I got caught,
stuck on my own.
It was raining, you know,
and now I am soaking.

You try. Stretch your creativity further than E and see just how much you can do.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Day 106: Volunteering at the Bath Kids Lit Fest

I have got a really busy week ahead because I am volunteering with the Bath Children's Literature Festival in Bath and with The Write Team (also part of Bath Festivals). It's going to be great. Not only am I likely to meet authors and go to some really interesting/helpful talks, I am also going to help kids learn about it all too. This is basically what I'm about. That's why I'm doing this blog, to encourage young people to be creative.

What are you about? Are you interested in dance, music, animation, writing...a great way to get experience in it is through volunteering. See what's going on in your area. There are loads of activities for children going on at weekends and in the holidays, so get on board. Maybe you don't want to work with children long term, but give it a go for now and see what you learn. Send them an email, ask if you can help. Make sure you're 'pushy' too. If they don't email you back, email them again. People are busy, so make sure they keep you in mind!

Volunteering is a great way to learn more about what you're interested in and meet some people who already do it! I'm going into schools all year (with The Write Team) to encourage young people to be creative, which is exactly what I want to do! I got this great opportunity through talking to someone at another event I went to. (Oh, the importance of Networking, see Day 69 for more of that...) You never know where these things might lead. So I encourage you all to get involved in whatever you can and be creative at the same time. A winner all round!


ps, if you're into writing and you live near Bath, check out the link above 'cause there are some brilliant events on at the Bath Children's Lit Fest this year! It starts this Friday so get moving...

Monday, 20 September 2010

Day 105: Daydream Believer...

Today, I'm not really sure what to write about. I think about something like blogging, putting a picture on, maybe a writing exercise, but nothing captures my imagination, so how can I ever hope it will inspire yours?

So, as I sit here on my bed, looking out the window I see a little spider, shaking in the wind on its web. It doesn't move, trying to be invisible from the world. But when it thinks no one is watching a few of its legs wriggle around. Is it hoping for a fly? Is it thinking about putting in a new web line? Is it even thinking at all?

'Hello, little spider.'

Do spiders even have ears to hear or do they react only to movement? Maybe if you have 8 eyes you don't need ears...Did you know that the web of a spider is stronger than lead, if they were the same thickness? What amazing creatures.

I killed a spider the other day because it freaked me out as it crawled up the inside of my trouser leg. And I ruined a web (which is actually a whole home) by walking through it. I'm not proud of either of these things (as a vegetarian), but I feel better for telling you about it.

So, what has all of this gabble got to do with creativity? Well, I think there is a lot to be said for daydreaming, for spending time thinking about little things like spiders. You never know when a daydream could turn into an idea, something that could be used in your creative works. I get a lot of ideas from daydreaming and I am proud to call myself one. Yes I might miss a few train stops or bus stops whilst doing it, or I might walk into a spider's web but it is worth it and I couldn't be any other way.

You get where I'm coming from?

I hope you enjoyed my daydream today. Feel free to share yours with me too! Give a little time to daydreaming.You never know where it might take you, or me, or anyone for that matter...

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Day 104: IKEA Rugs

At the moment I am staying with my mum for a few days, just before term kicks off again. Because it's just been summer, Mum's got a 'summer rug' in the lounge which is brightly coloured and reminds me of one of those pots you make when you go on holiday, the ones you fill with different coloured sand. In winter Mum has a 'winter rug' which is deep reds and looks like something (nice) from the Victorian era.

So, I found myself thinking about rugs as I sat in the lounge, next to the rug and flicking through an old IKEA magazine. IKEA sell millions of rugs with stripes, spots, ruffles, fluffy bits, leather bits....

My question for you today is just a simple one, if you were to design a rug, what would it look like...?

Just to give you a few ideas, have a look at IKEA. I've found 1933 matches in the search for 'rugs.'