Saturday, 12 February 2011

Day 250: Narnia remake

Okay, so it's not going to win any awards, but check out our homemade Narnia adaptation.

It's amazing what you can do with a little bit of fancy dress and some willing students at a party! Creativity really is everywhere!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Day 249: When stories come alive...

Yesterday I spent a good few hours actually writing (not blog writing, but 'proper' story writing.) Usually when I sit down to write, I know what events are going to happen and yesterday's session was no different. I knew that Holly (my main character) was going to go up town and get a charger for her stolen laptop (!), but on the way things happened that I didn't plan. She ends up seeing a job advert in the shop window. No big deal, right? Well, it fed an idea for later on in the story where her brother, Tom, gets a job there and nearly reveals Holly's secret...And she bumps into some 'bullys' from school which sets that up for later too.

Sometimes it freaks me out when this happens, like the story is creating itself. I didn't plan for any of that to happen, but it did. The world of my story invented it!

You probably think I'm going a bit crazy now. Surely those ideas came from me and I guess they did, but it's almost like the story is alive in its own right or something!


Try it yourself. Make up a character, give a bit of back story and then take them on a walk (on the page I mean, not literally.) You'll be surprised where they take you...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Day 248: Just Volunteer

Goodness knows why today's entry is brought to you at 6:25 in the morning! I have been awake since 4:15 and thought, after two hours of rolling around in my bed, it was time to get up.

The truth is, I'm worried. I'm worried about life after I graduate and what anyone creative can possibly do for the world in a time of resession. No one's hiring, no one wants to invest in creativity and I just don't know what to do with all my creative enthusiasm.

But, after two hours of thinking, I have come to this conclusion. Us creative folk just need to volunteer for a while.

Last year I went into two secondary schools to teach creative writing (for free) and I loved it. In the summer I volunteered with the Bath Kids Lit Fest and loved it. This year I am volunteering with Bath Festival's educational department and, yet again, am loving it! It's amazing what people will let you do when you'll do it for free.

All of this stuff looks pretty good on my CV and so, I'm hoping that one day it'll get me a job I really enjoy too, but until then, I'm gonna keep on doing stuff for free. Life's too short to get caught up in making money.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you enjoy being creative, then just do it. Get involved and see where it takes you. What do you enjoy doing? What's going on in your area? Could you get stuck in? Doing stuff for free in a time of global resession is what's gonna make the world keep turning I reckon! I'm telling you, it's the way forward...

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Day 247: Never judge a Julia Green by its cover

So, I want to share a lesson I have learnt this week. It's one we've all been told about a millions times, but I just never listen. I'm going to put it down to the fact that I'm a visual person!

I have just finished Julia Green's Breathing Underwater. My friend, Celia gave it to me and told me to read it, but I've had it for ages. It's been sitting in my room getting dusty and I'm pretty sure it's because I don't like the cover. I don't like the colours, or the image. I think it looks kinda dull and I know full well that if I picked it up in a shop I would not buy it based on that alone.

BUT, it's one of the best books I've read in a long time. Julia Green has a real knack of making the reader care for the characters. As I read I wanted to share Freya's story and see what happened, what she found out, how she changed. For me, that's what makes a good story. Freya has a really believable voice and she felt real to me. Her little tale will stay with me for a good while longer. That's what you want as a writer, I guess.

Have you ever read a book where you think about the characters long after finishing? Do you judge books by their covers? The book that's sitting in the corner with an unappealing cover, give it a never know what will inspire you next!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Day 246: Panasonic Lumix GF2 Camera

''Encourage creativity, whilst keeping things simple,'' says Panasonic on their latest creation.

Panasonic's Lumix GF2 is a new generation of camera with detachable lenses. It's the smallest camera of it's kind and it basically makes it possible for anyone to take a great photo without knowing anything about ISO, aperture or anything 'technical'. The camera does it for you.

Check out this promo video to see just how much you can do with it.

But what does this mean for creative types like us? Is this empowering the people, allowing creativity for all? Or is it taking away the results of true professionals who have studied photography and try to make their living from it?

What do you think? Should creative skills like photography be shared out amongst everyone? Do you think this takes creative value away? Is it a good thing that more people have the chance to produce good quality creative photos?

Should creativity be an exclusive thing? Should it be made easier for everyone to get involved?

All good questions for us creative thinkers to spend some time on...

Monday, 7 February 2011

Day 245: Amazing Animation by Jo Lawrence

Jo Lawrence worked at the V&A Gallery, London in 2007 and used her experiences whilst there within her own creative work. All you animators out there, check out this, Glover by Jo Lawrence on You Tube. It uses stop motion animation (like Wallace and Gromit) to tell it's story. Can you see how exhibitions at the V&A might have influenced her work?

Find out more about Jo and her animations here.

Be inspired by what's out there. What story could you tell...?

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Day 244: Library Cuts

Yesterday saw 'read-ins' and protesting at the governement's plans to close Libraries across the UK. In Oxfordshire 20 of the 43 libraries are due to shut. In Doncaster (Yorkshire) 14 of their 26 will be closed.

So what do you think? Do you think it's a smart move? Is it a good way to save money? I mean, better that than taking it from Elderly care? Do people even use libraries anymore?

What do creative thinkers like us have to say on the matter?

If you ask me, keeping libraries open, you're not just caring for the elderly, you're caring for the whole community. It seems to me like the new government are squashing everything that brings happiness to people. You know, the free stuff. If I'm honest, I don't take out many books from the library, but I do spend a lot of time there. I study in the quiet area for hours, I sit in the reading corner before I start work, I brouse the books from time to time, I use their internet when I need too...

Libraries are free places where anyone can go and just sit, read, think, play, keep warm. The amount of people that gather in Bath's Library is amazing; children, business men, unemployed, homeless, students, retired...where else does this mix of people gather?

I used to get tons of books from the library when I was a kid. What are kids gonna do now?

Famous authors like Phillip Pullman and Mark Haddon have been joining the protesting too. If it's important to them, then maybe it should be important to us.

What do you think about it...?