Saturday, 20 November 2010

Day 166: Judging the X Factor

I am worried. I'm worried about myself...


Because on Thursday I went to a open-mic-night at uni and I would watch people and think, 'yeah, they've really got the X Factor,' or, 'they had a few notes that wavered...'

What has X Factor done to me?!

I've started critically evaluating my friends, my classmates, my peers. I guess the question is, is this a good thing? Is it distracting or does it give me a more acute ear?

I wonder if other people that watch shows like this have similar experiences...?

Perhaps it's what you do with it that counts. Obviously I didn't start shouting my comments about, but I appreciated their talent and admired their bravery for standing up their and giving a bit of themselves to us. What an amazing skill.

Creativity and how we watch it is infectious! How will you use it?

Friday, 19 November 2010

Day 165: Solving creative dilemmas...

I am currently experiencing another conundrums in my creative work. In case you didn't read Day 146's post, at the moment I am writing a novel for young people called The Secret. It's about two girls, Holly and Jenna, but I won't give too much away...

The problem is this; Holly is the main character and I am really enjoying writing her story, but she finds Jenna's diary and starts reading it. That's kind of where I'm at. The problem is, I haven't written Jenna's diary, so logic says, write that and then carry on with Holly's story, right?

But I don't want to do that! I want to carry on writing Holly's story 'cause it's so much fun and it's exciting and...

Do you ever get like this? Do you get caught between what you should do and what you want to do in your creative work?

I guess the real question is, what do we do about it? In my case, if I carry on with Holly's story, I'm gonna eventually get stuck because Jenna's diary barely exists....yet. So, I need to write Jenna's diary. But what if I lose momentum and get stuck...


Well, that's what creative thinking's about I recon. It's not just what you produce, it's about how you get there. Feel free to share your creative problems with me and I'll try help you out. Or, you can give me some beads of wisdom on my dilemma...

Us creative people need to stick together! Sharing ideas is how things moves forward. I feel better just for telling you all. Maybe you could set up a group at school/college/work where you can all take creative problems and talk about them. That's what I do at uni and it's really helpful. Sometimes other people can see it more clearly than you, because it's not their work.

Who could you help today...?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Day 164: Could you create comics...?

In school today we were animating animal noises like a comic strip. One kid had an, eek, eek really small in the corner of his page and another had the squeel of an elephant growing across the page. They loved creating them and it was really exciting to see how much they enjoyed guessing each other's sounds.

This all got me thinking about comic books and how incredible they are. LOADS of people read comics and graphic novels, but have you ever thought about creating one yourself? Could you animate a story frame by frame? Could you create character faces that tell their emotions just by looking at them? Could you be imaginative with words to describe exactly what's going on in each frame?

If you fancy a go, check out Superhero squad. It's got all the Marvel characters and you get to choose the background, sizes, frame style...I had a quick go and it's heaps of fun!

Or, if you want something a little more advanced, try Pixton. You can have a play for fun and even get them into your school!

There are LOADS of sights like these so have a look around and find one that's right for you. Google's a good place to start. Or if, computers aren't your thing, why not hand draw them...

What story will YOU create, draw, animate?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Day 163: Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2010

For the past four years this new award has been given to the funniest book of the year. There's two categories, aged 6 and under, and 7-14. As this is a blog for teenager, it makes sense to let you know who won the older categories this year...

Well, the announcements were made yesterday and the winner is...

Louise Rennison with Withering Tights.

Recognise the name? Rennison is the author behind Angus, Thongs and perfect snogging, which is now a hilarious film. But this latest teen fiction novel sets out to be a bigger success! It's about a boy-obsessed teenage girl who gets up to all sorts at her performing arts school. Michael Rosen (who invented the competition and is the top judge) had this to say about it:

'This is a witty, wry, inside view of what it feels like to be a gawky, witty girl who knows what's going on around her, is detached enough to comment on it all, but carried along in the flow all the same. There's a gag on every page with loads of funny situations and people.'

So there you have it. If you fancy a funny read, this book is the way forward.

One last thought, if you were to invent a competition, what would yours be...?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Day 162: RCA Secret

Everyone likes a good secret, don't they? Well this one involves famous artists, illustrators and art students from all over. More than 1000 artists have designed a postcard, which go on sale this weekend at Royal college of Art in London to raise money for art students. The catch, you don't know until you buy it who it's by. What a cool idea!

Each postcard is £45 and you can buy a maximum of four per person. It's getting everyone excited about owning their pocket sized Tracey Emin or David Bailey. But you might get work by a student who could go on to become the next Picasso! How exciting!

What a great way to get the community interesting in art. Not only that but raise cash to help creative people like you and me get to uni and do what we love. With the way thing are going in government, we need all the help we can get, so thank goodness someone is sticking up for us, eh!

Check out their website for more info. If you live around London, you can go see them for free before the sale. Maybe you can guess whose is whose!

So, who'll get the postcards worth millions? We'll have to wait and see...

Monday, 15 November 2010

Day 161: Illuminate Bath Festival and Ice Book

Over the past few weeks I've been helping out with my uni's arts festival. Most of this included standing out in the cold, making sure no one stole the projector, but actually, I'm really glad I did 'cause it showed me what's going on around me. There is so much creative stuff happening at my uni by students and teachers. A lot of the time people don't get to see it.

Here's some of the thing that I saw:

Perhaps the most amazing thing I saw was Ice Book made by Davy and Kristin McGuire.  It's basically a pop up book, but animated by light. It tells a touching story about two characters in an enchanted land. I watched it in a dark basement in one of Bath's pubs. Atmospheric! Definitely check it out on Davy's website.

Sam Drew also had his poems projected on a the Bath buildings for all to see and read. They had been animated by graphic students and caught the attention of thousands walking the streets of Bath.

There were so many other things going on to show Bath what talent there is around. These two things inspired my creative ideas and I hope they help you too. Their creators are real people taking their work out into the world and showing it off! It's good to go and see what's around. You never know what might spark your own creative work, so get out there and see what's about in your area.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Day 160: Paint-a-pot with friends

About two months ago me and my housemate Beth went to a paint-a-pot shop and let our creativity rip! This mug is what I produced. On one side is a sun and as it moves round, it goes through the day and into night.

I wanted to decorate a mug that was for both left and right handed people. If you are left handed you know what I mean when I say all mugs are decorated to benefit ONLY right handed people.

Anyway, I won't get into that. The point is, creativity can be used all over the place. I really enjoyed sitting down for a few hours with my friend painting a little picture on a mug. It took us ages to decide what we were going to paint, bouncing off creative idea after creative idea. Every time I use it I am reminded of that day. When I make my cup of tea in the morning, it makes me want to do something else creative with the day too.

See it there's anywhere around where you live to paint a pot, or a bowl, plate, money box. The possibilities are endless. Only you can paint your pot. It will be one of a kind. They make great presents too!