Saturday, 2 October 2010

Day 117: Fancy dress parties

This weekend seems to be the weekend for parties. Not just any parties, fancy dress parties. It seems for students, coming back from a long summer is another excuse to have a party. You know, saying hello to everyone, dressing up as a spaceman. Makes sense. 

Last night I found myself at a Rocky Horror Party where people who extremely high stilettos, black suspenders and corsets. There was a lot of red lipstick on both guys and gals. But tonight I am going to an animal themed party. I am imagining a lot of rabbits and kittens, but we'll see.

All of this play acting got me thinking about what I would choose for a fancy dress party...I've always fancied a Rubik cube party, where everyone comes dressed in one colour and leaves with all the colours (or is it the other way round?) At Christmas last year we have a silver themed party where we pretty much covered ourselves in tinsel and tin foil. Fun times. I think the most crazy one was when I, along with 7 others dressed up as the Loch Ness monster! I was the tail, hence the 'hat'!

The possibilities really are endless, so, have a think, spend a bit of time, what would YOU do for a fancy dress party? Be as creative as you like on this one!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Day 116: David Almond, part 2

Technically, this is part three, or maybe even four. I know you probably think I'm obsessed, but to be fair, I did go to a talk by him the other day and it was great! I HAVE to say something about it or it just wouldn't be propa!

He had some pretty amazing things to say, but this one nugget blew me away, so I wanted to share it with you. (Warning: I may run away with the idea a bit!)

If I say the word, tent, what is the first thing that happens? You get a picture of a tent in your mind, right? If you think about it, words automatically become pictures, visions in our mind!

In my head I saw a bright red triangular tent with one door open and flapping in the wind. What did you see? I bet it was different to mine.

Do you see that stories are everywhere. Just by saying that one word, tent, a story has already began in my my mind. Why is the door open? It must be breezy. Who does it belong to? It's in a forest, I can see that...

If just one word can make all of that, what happens if I add, camel.

Wow, now it's completely changed. My tent is in a desert with a camel tied up and chomping next to it. The door is still flapping and all I can think of is how much sand is going got stick in that tent!

Amazing, huh! Stories are just waiting for us, ready to be made up and changed and used and enjoyed....

...I wonder what yours will be today...

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Day 115: X Factor

You know what? I have ummed and arred about writing an entry about X Factor since the new series started. I thought it was, 'far too commercial for the likes of my blog.'

What a snob!

X Factor might be commercial and corny and over the top, but the truth is, I am actually inspired by it. I've watched nearly every episode of the new series and each time I find myself singing more. I think, 'I want to sing like them.' So I do; in the shower, when the kettle's boiling, when I'm walking down a busy road.

Now the fact is, I'm not a singer. People have told me I'm alright, but I don't want to be a singer. I don't want to win X Factor, or even enter, but every time I watch, I find the need to sing and that's called inspiration! It makes me want to do something. Just listen to this. It gives me goosebumps and makes me want to sing along with her:

I get it all the time. If there's a film about dancing, I want to dance. If I watch a program about Matisse, I want to paint. If I taste a yum cake, I want to bake. If I read an amazing book, I want to write.

What I'm saying is, run with what you feel inspired to do, even if it only lasts a day. Try everything! Do anything! That's what being creative is all about. It makes me feel alive when I sing at the top of my lungs in an empty house. I LOVE it! What do you love?

Be creative. Be everything!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Day 114: Insomnia

I have always had problems getting to sleep. Basically, I'm fussy. Can't be light. Can't be any noise. If there's a clock ticking, well, you can forget it.

Many people have told me (mainly my mum) that I am 'too much of a thinker'. i recon this might have something to do with my inability to get to sleep. Last night for example, I woke at 3.02am. Wide awake and couldn't get back to sleep. This was my thought process:

'Oh, I'm awake. Why am I awake? It must have been a noise. Listen...I can't hear anything. But there must have been something. Maybe it's a burglar. Maybe it was a rat scratching. They might be crawling all over my bedroom. STOP IT EMMA, you're being RIDICULOUS. But what was it...?'

Know where I'm coming from?

This 'thinking problem' has plagued my sleep as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I would creep down stairs and peep round the lounge door. Dad would notice me after a bit and I would go and sit with him whilst he watched Match of the Day. He'd ask why I couldn't sleep and I'd say I was just thinking too much. He would send me back off to bed. telling me to describe to myself where I was and how comfortable I was. So, I would tell myself how cozy my pillow was and how warm my covers were...the next thing I knew, it was morning!

I started my own thing with my cuddly panda Smilie too. I would think up all kind of adventures for him before, eventually, I fell asleep.

Last night, when I was fretting about rats and burglars, I resorted back to that same default: story telling. Why does this work, I wonder? Is it because stories are boring and send us to sleep? NO! It's because they're soothing and familiar. Stories about my bed and my teddy put me if a safe place which make me forget about the world and fall asleep.

Thinking is great, most of the time, but there are definitely times when you need to stop and take yourself away into another world, where thinking is done for you. Try it and see where you end up...

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Day 113: Busyness: how to be sneaky with time!

Ok, I have a question for you all, how do you fit creativity into your busy lives? How do you find time to when you have a thousand-and-one other 'more important' things to get done?

As you have probably guess, I am a little busy this week and I have a feeling it's only going to get worse! I don't know about you, but when I'm busy with stuff, all I want to do is something creative to calm me down, relax my soul (or something like that!). But THERE'S NO TIME! ARRR!

Well, my friends, don't stress if you are feeling like me right now. What we need is...a plan. I warn you it's sneaky, which makes it feel better, I think. The plan is to steal time! It's not as hard as it seems, honest. Basically, there are moments in everyone's day which I like to call 'dead time.' For example, when you're traveling. If you're on a bus/driving/walking your brain is free to think, listen and, most importantly, be creative! So use that time to think, listen to music, an audiobook or download something from iplayer to listen to. You can even read, but not if you're driving please! Sneaky, huh!

Or, if you've put dinner in the oven for 20 mins or your mum/dad shouts up the stairs and says it'll be 15 mins, stop what you're doing and use it to be creative.

Or, get up as soon as your alarm goes off and use the time you would normally spend in bed to do something, that's what I've done this morning and, I have to say, I'm feeling good about the day already!

I have started knitting this week. It's great 'cause you can pick it up, do a bit and then come back to it. I'm not really that great at knitting, but it gives me a little bit of creativity in my busy day. Yay for knitting!

So, be sneaky with time and see where you can fit in creativity for the good of your soul!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Day 112: David Gatward

Hey gang,

Today I went along to a school's event for year 7s. It was a talk by a new writer called David Gatward and let me tell you, it was hilarious! He stood up the front with the brightest climbing leggings you've ever seen, a purple velvet blazer, wellies and a red tie. Why? Well, to illustrate how he became a writer, of course!

He had this nugget to share with everyone; hold on to your dreams. If you want to be a best-selling author, a Pixar animator, a Royal Ballet dancer or even the biggest rock-star ever, hold onto that dream and keep going. David Gatward has been trying to become a published writer for 20 years whilst doing completely unrelated jobs like fish farming! BUT, he held onto his dream and now he's well on his way!

If you guys are into horror stories, you should definitely check him out. He's written 3 books now, The Dead, The Dark and The Damned (out next April). His covers are illustrated by Mel Grant who illustrated Iron Maiden covers! Cool huh! There are competitions on his website too.

So, be inspired by a man who has accomplished his dream job and keep going with yours...

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Day 111: The boy who bit Picasso

No, you didn't read it wrong, today I am talking about the boy who bit Picasso aka, Anthony Penrose. I was lucky enough to sit in on this man's talk today, which was part of the Bath Kids Lit Fest.

He's written a book that is all about how he knows the legendary artist, Picasso. It turns out Picasso came to stay at his house a lot when he was a little boy. Anthony Penrose's dad was also an artist and his mum was a photographer, Lee Miller. Look at any photo of Picasso and the chances are, she took it. Plus he painted her too:

The talk was truly inspirational. It was so interesting to hear about Picasso as a real man who played games, laughed a lot and even got bitten by a little boy. Anthony Penrose was amazing too. He was so enthusiastic about it all that it made the audience feel exactly the same and want to know more. I could have listened to his stories all day! I wonder if there are any stories from your childhood that would make a good story...?

Event like these are great to go to 'casue you can learn so much. But if not, then check out sights like Tateshots or just google your favourite artists/writers/choreographers and see what interviews/videos you can find.

Learn from the people you love and be inspired to do your own thing.

Lee Millar by Picasso, 1937