Saturday, 9 October 2010

Day 124: Creative Research

Today's question is, how can we, as creative people, ever produce anything new if we don't know what's come before us?

If you are a poet and you don't read other poet's work, how can you ever be sure you aren't covering old ground? If you are an artist and you don't go to galleries and look at other's work, how do you know if you are producing an original idea?

Is there even such a thing as an original idea? Some would say no. But, my point is that whatever you are into, you need to know what has come before you. Even if it is only to get inspiration. After all, if something inspires you, you don't just copy it, you make it your own.

My challenge for you today is to do some 'research'. Read, watch, listen, to something that interests you and learn from what has come before.

As a writer, I am constantly reading. If I don't know what's out there, how can I ever be fresh? Plus, it's a great way to learn and I'm doing what I love! David Almond said, 'a book is influenced by all the books the author loves.' So, I better get reading!

Be inspired by what's come before you and put your own mark on it...

Friday, 8 October 2010

Day 123: The imagination of Hollywood

I love the order of today, Day 123. It's like learning to count again...

Anyway, today I wanted to share with you all something I have been thinking about, you know, from time to time. I don't know if you've ever had this, but sometimes when I dream, I'll be reading a book and the words will run out and i'll just be looking at black pages. Or I'll be in a place and then the dream will just stop. It's like my head has run out of imagination. Weird huh? I would consider myself to be quite an imaginative person, but it would seem that even I struggle in my dreams to create a alternate reality.

Can you imagine if this happened in real life? How scary would it be if you were walking down the street and it just stopped. There was only white in front of you. Or you were reading a book and all the letters fell off the page into your lap...

Crazy! I think I have just invented the next Hollywood blockbuster!

My point is that our imagination is a massive tool for our creativity. Even my lack of imagination in dreams has sparked off ideas. So don't take it for granted. Make time to think about things and let your imagination draw ideas from your mind. Give yourself 15 minutes today. Traveling is a great time for it! Try to get lost in your thoughts and let your imagination go wherever it wants...

It's a really fun, exciting place to be....

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Day 122: National Poetry Day

Today is Britain's National Poetry Day and I thought it only right to give it a mention on a creative blog. If it's the day of poetry, then we all better get on and write some!

Luckily for you guys, I've been writing poetry with 10 year olds today. If they can do it, I'm pretty sure you can. So, here goes...

We were looking at William Blake's Tyger, Tyger poem, which asks questions of a tiger and its maker. So here is my challenge for you:

Think of an animal, probably your favourite animal.

Then ask it a question.

Next, answer the question as if you were the animal.

These three things put together make a verse of your very own poem. Here's mine to help you out:

Panda! Oh, panda!
Why are your eyes so black?
I cried and cried for my dearest friend and now I'm stuck like this,
and now I'm stuck like this

Panda! Oh, panda!
Why do you eat so much?
I munch and munch to fill my belly or else I'll surely starve,
or else I'll surely starve.

So, that's my effort. Bit morbid perhaps, but not bad I'd say. I've managed to get a few senses in there and a bit of Chinese legend too (they say Panda's eyes are black because they rubbed ashes on them to mourn their good human friend who looked after them. Fact!).

So, why not have a go, eh? It is National Poetry Day after all! Get creative with your favourite animal. The kids I worked with today made up poems about ants, gorillas, hamsters and ducks! Cool huh.

What will you write about...?

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Day 121: Points make Prizes!

Yay! I won a prize for my blog! Well actually it's an 'Award'! I'm super excited about it and it makes me want to do it even more for you guys!

It's weird really, because I've started back at uni now for my final year (cue the horror music) and I am struggling already, to fit my blog around uni hours and all that jazz. So, imagine my surprise when I check my emails this afternoon. I got one from '' and I was thinking, 'Oh, another annoying junk email.' But no, they want to give me a PRIZE! Look at it sitting there, all shiny and pretty!

I wonder if any of you have ever had that happen. You feel your creative efforts are just going nowhere, when suddenly, something picks you up and say, 'keep going, it's worth it.'

You know why that is? It's because you and I are supposed to be doing this stuff. If you can't do anything without being creative, then be that way. Keep going and do what you love.

BUT, it's like 'me old mate' Bruce always says, 'points make prizes!' You gotta put in the time and effort to get the reward, so get serious about what you love and get on with it.

Music, dance, drama, animation, TV, film, art, writing, singing, making, textiles, fashion, graphics, photography, cooking...and all the rest I can't think of right now. Whatever your thing is, go for it.

It should be you who's winning the next prize! Watch this space...

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Day 120: Dream Jobs

Today, in lesson, we were allowed to talk about our dream job. I find it's one of those things people are a bit embarrassed to talk about, like if they say it out load it will get lost in space or jinxed or some other such nonsense. But, when they do talk about it, they won't such up and their enthusiasm actually makes your own brain hurt.

You know the feeling?

Well, this happened to me today. I was all shy about it and then it was like I exploded and actually almost forgot I was in a classroom with loads of other people who wanted to share their dreams! A little embarrassing, but you can't say I lack passion!

So what is your dream job, I hear you ask? Well, in a nutshell, I want to do exactly what it is I'm doing now in this blog. I want to inspire young people to be creative in whatever way I can. I want to be that inspirational visitor you get each year at school, where everyone says, 'wow, I want to do creativity too!'

Anyway, enough about me! I want to talk about you guys. What do YOU want to be? What's your dream job?

Could you do me all a favour? Can you write it down and put it in a box and look after it, because I am conducting an experiment (in my head). I want to know if dream jobs change. I'm pretty sure they do. Check this out, 10 years ago I did not want to inspire creativity, I wanted to be a paleontologist, then a artist, then a historian, then a nurse, then a youth worker, then a writer (I still want that!) and now an...well, I guess you could call it an inspirer!

When I look at my list, I just get excited about how many things I could be if I put my mind to it. And the same can be said for you. I bet if you made a list of 'past dream jobs' they would be just as adventurous as mine.

We can be anything we want, so go for it! Write down that dream job and do whatever it is you need to get there. With creativity on your side, you can do anything!

Dream big. Think bigger!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Day 119: The Queen's adventrue

Today I want to tell you a story about a friend of mine. She's called Elizabeth and she travels all around the country everyday on the surface of a twenty pound note. I want to say she flies on them like Aladdin, but to be completely honest with you, it's actually just her face! Yep, you've guessed it. I'm talking about the Queen.

Now, on one of these twenty pound notes, along with the face of the Queen, you will also find a number. Not just any number, but a phone number. If you find it, ring it and you will get a spritely 'hello' from my friend Alice!

She has started her own blogging adventure. On 30th September she used her little Queen faced note and began her adventure, but I won't tell you too much. That's for her to tell you. Check out her blog here and see the magic unfold...

What a brilliant, creative and truly inspiring thing to do with the Queen's head!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Day 118: Today's Forecast

Today, in Bath, it is raining. In fact it has been raining here for the past THREE days and, I don't know about you, but I have a REALLY hard time trying to appreciate the rain. I go as far to say, I hate it. It makes me miserable and cold and wet and lethargic and no fun!

Yesterday I was sitting in my kitchen having a cup of tea and watching the rain tinkle down from the sky, covering all it finds, even spaces you thought it couldn't reach. Rain saturates everything. My little garden had been transformed by the rain. The fences and timber beams were darker than usual (by that I mean the odd day it's NOT raining in Britain), almost black and even thought everything was damp, I couldn't help but think it was beautiful.

It got me thinking back to when I went to the beach as a child, so excited about all these brightly coloured stones I'd found. But when I got home, of course, they were dry and had lost their vibrant colour.

So it would seem that wetness does have its plus points. The rain is, after all, why we have such rich, beautiful countryside in Britain. There is something quite nice about sitting in a warm house listening to the rain beat down on the window pane. Cosy, you might say.

So, on this wet weekend, I am asking you to look at rain again and give it a bit of thinking time. Being stuck in doors does have its pros. It's inspired this entry after all, so maybe you could give rain a chance today and see where it takes you.

Just a thought...