Saturday, 5 February 2011

Day 243: BBC's Human Planet

Have you managed to catch any of the latest documentary on the BBC? It's all about how humans manage to not just survive, but live a life in the cruelest places on earth; the sea, the Arctic, the desert...

I find it all amazing! Yesterday I watched the Arctic one and all they eat is fish (pretty much). I don't even like fish, but I guess it's just because I have the choice not to eat it. If it was that or nothing, I'd love it!

Anyway, one of the best bits of the program is at the end when the camera crew share their stories of how they captured these great scenes. Really fascinating. I don't know about you, but I never think about the fact that this is being shown to me because some stood in front of the action with a big old camera. It's an invisible creativity. I guess that's exactly what they're going for.

Without the camera, we wouldn't be able to see these incredible things. It's someones job to capture them for us. Can you imagine being able to say that you showed the world the resting place of the Titanic, or a clip of the Northern lights or the birth of a Panda bear...? Someone did!

Inspiring stuff! Check out Human Planet on BBC's iplayer.

[Picture from]

Friday, 4 February 2011

Day 242: Barbara Hepworth

In the year 1965, Barbara Hepworth, the artist who made all these amazing sculptures, died in a fire at her studios in St Ives, Cornwall. Since then, her studio has been restored and opened up to the public.

In January, 2010 I had the pleasure of visiting this studio. It was a cold, blustery day, so my boyfriend and I had the place to ourselves. The garden is filled with her sculptures which we spent ages looking at, sharing our opinions.

Perhaps the strangest thing is her workshop, which stands still in history, unchanged from the day she left it. The calender reads May '65. The tools lay on the bench next to the unfinished sculpture, waiting to be picked up again.

Hepworth was 72 when she died and had a lot of help making her sculptors by that time. But her memory is held in that place, held in her sculptors, both complete and incomplete.

If you get a chance, take a trip down there. St Ives is a beautiful place with art, the sea and a cream tea waiting for you!

If St Ives isn't your thing, try the new Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield in Yorkshire. It opens in May 2011 and will be home to rarely seen works by Hepworth as well as pieces by Turner and Henry Moore. If it's British art you're after, look no further.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Day 241: Preparation alert!

Yesterday I had a meeting with two Graphics students, Fleur and Rhea who are designing the anthology for my writing competition and I found out there's LOADS of stuff I don't know about how you make an anthology! Do you know someone has to type up the copyright page and the contents page and the acknowledgement page...seems obvious, right, but I just didn't think about it.

Being creative is sometimes not that creative, you know what I mean? If you're an painter, you can't just paint all the time. You gotta make up your canvas' and blend the paints. If you're a book maker, you can't just make it. You gotta get all the measurements and materials ready...

BUT, at the same time, all of that stuff is exciting. It's kinda like running a race. If you don't do any training, you're be rubbish in the race. It's the same for my anthology. If I don't make sure all the text is the same throughout all the entries that are given in, the book is gonna look pretty shoddy, let's be honest.

So, all this prep stuff needs to be done and it's part of being creative. The exciting news is, Rhea (the cover designer) is going to make a super cool illustration for the prize winner. This project gets bigger and better and I can't wait to see how it all turns out. (But I will wait, of course. Prep and all that!)

How's your creative work going? Do you need to step it up, do that bit of prep that's in the way of starting? Believe me, in the end it'll be worth it.

Keep up the creative work folks!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Day 240: creative make-up

I was searching around the Internet today, trying to find something creative to inspire you all and I found this:

This has been created using make-up. Look how detailed it is. This image was taken from pixiwoo, which had a creative masterpiece competition back in 2009. To see some more amazing entries click here and be inspired to get creative yourself. There's loads of videos you can watch too.

Creativity really is everywhere.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Day 239: Terrific Illusion, eh?

I got this sent to me today and I have to say, it's pretty impressive. Take a look:

I love illusions, don't you? There's loads of this kind of stuff around at the moment, what with Derren Brown and films like The Illusionist and The Prestigue. But is there much creativity involved?

What do these kind of things make you think about? I find myself really concentrating, looking for anything that could give it away. And, I HATE it when I can't work it out!

People must come up with these gags, design them, test them out. You need the right atmosphere, music, lighting...So yeah, I recon there is an element of creativity involved, hence the blog entry. You need to be a creative thinker to come up with illusions...

How do you recon it's done then?? Wanna know my theory? I don't think it's a real person myself. Watch it again, before he gets chopped in half. It's a machine, I recon!

Monday, 31 January 2011

Day 238: Daniel Pennac

As I mentioned yesterday, I've just finished reading a great book called The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac. He's an author and a teacher and it's certainly evident from his book that he has a lot of opinions about how we get taught to read.

In one chapter he talks about reading and how we find time for it. Do we find time for it? Well, it depends if it's important to us. Daniel Pennac says it beautifully, 'time to read is always time stolen.'

Isn't that true of all things we love? I know I should definitely read more, but I'd much rather spend that stolen time doing some knitting!

What do you spend stolen time on? Most people spend it doing the things they love and I guess for many of us, it involved creativity, am I right?

I think creativity begins to take over our time in some ways, not just the stolen bits. Should it take over? Pennac quotes Legend of the Fall by Jim Harrison, whose character, Burlington says, "Yes, when you buy a jacket, it's important the pockets are big enough for a paperback!"

The things we love spending time on do affect other areas of our lives. I've heard drummers say they bought that car 'cause its boot's big enough for the whole drum kit. Or student artist demanding the biggest room in their shared house so they have space to paint.

So what about you? Do you steal time for your creations? Do you customize your life for your 'art'? Should you?

Something to think about...

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Part Two: In other news...

I thought I'd share with you all a good book I've just read. In fact, I might dedicate a few entries to it, 'cause it's got a lot of good stuff in it!

It's called The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac. He's a French writer/teacher and has a lot of interesting things to say about how children read, or don't read.

Do you like reading? When we're kids, people read to us, but as we get older we're left to our own devices. At school we're forced to read books we're not interested in, or are we not interested 'cause we're forced to read them...?

Anyway, there was one line which showed me how powerful books can be if we let them,

''When you don't have the time or means to treat yourself to a week in Venice, why not spend five minutes there?''

So why not? Dip in to a book (of your choice) and see where it take you today...

Day 236 & 237: Oops, I did it again!

Ok, so today there is no excuses. I forgot. I actually completely failed to remember to write my blog yesterday. In fact, it wasn't until about 5 minutes ago that I actually realised I hadn't done it! You'd think after doing something every day for 235 days, I wouldn't forget, but I did. So there you have it. Can I put it down to being a scatty creative person? Will you let me??

To make up for my failings, I will brighten your day with not one, but two entries (lucky you, eh?)

It seems only right to talk about when creativity goes 'wrong'. What do you do when something you're working on isn't going how you want? What if someone else doesn't like it or it's just really hard? Do you give up? Should you give up?

You might be thinking I've brought all this up because I forgot to write yesterday. Well, partly, but I also got my marks back (on Friday) for the open chapters of my novel I'm doing for my final year. They were ok, but not what I wanted. I don't know about you, but I find it really hard to pick myself back up when I get bad grades. My story is a part of me and someone marked it. It's only natural that I feel down about it.

BUT, it's what I do next that's important. Do I keep going, working my butt off to make it as good as Emma Fowler can, or do I put minimal effort in, concentrate on my other projects and resign my story to failure?

I think you know which one I'm going to (try) and pick.

Creativity is a personal thing, but most of us do it to share. I don't know about you, but I don't want to keep it to myself. I do it for others as much as I do it for myself. Not everyone will like it, but some people will. And I'm still learning, you know. I often expect too much of myself. Quite clearly I'm not going to be perfect at writing a novel. I've never done it before!

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't give up. If you're creative, then it's a part of you too and it aint gonna go away! So keep going and enjoy it!

(Stay tuned for another exciting entry on Creative Thinkers!)