Saturday, 2 April 2011

Day 299: Carl's Beach Theatre

Today I want to dedicate this entry to a creative friend of mine who is currently developing a beach theatre. Now that's what I call a creative thinker. What better place to harbour your creativity than on a beach in Devon?

Have you ever been to a Devon beach? I have so many fond memories of beach holidays in Devon and the idea of pitching up with just a towel to sit on and watch a performance sound just amazing.

Similar to me with my writing competition at Ralph Allen School (which is going great by the way. Tune in next week for more on that!) Carl is running his theatre-with-a-difference for his final year uni project. It's so cool to do a degree where you can take what you've got and share it with the world. A Maths degree just doesn't give you the same benefits!

Check out what Carl has planned in his blog. Be inspired by what's going on around the UK. Think about what you've got and what you could do with it...

Friday, 1 April 2011

Day 298: Jenny Valentine's 'Finding Violet Park'

You know sometimes you think you've done something and then you realise you haven't? Well that's exactly what I've done with the last book I read. It was so good I thought I must have told you all about it, but, no, I haven't!

Scatty, as ever...

Finding Violet Park by Jenny Valentine follows a boy called Lucas who gets concerned about an urn left in a taxi cab office for over five years. Lucas has a real quirky voice which I really enjoyed getting to know.

The evidence of reading a good book:
You think about the characters way after you've finished, like you want to visit them again or wonder what they're doing.

Lucas' story twists and turns as you get to know all about his family and their dysfunctional dynamics. Can Violet, the dead lady in the urn really link in any way to his strange family? I mean, what do you do with the urn of a lady you never knew?

For me the best part was the ending. I'm usually disappointed with then, but this one was really affective. You'll have to read it to find out why...

Jenny Valentine won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for this story and she's written more since, so check her out.

My cover doesn't have the teeth on it - weird!

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Day 297: Pen-ultimate's, 'A Night on the Tiles'

Last night I went to see a play called 'A Night on the Tiles.' That's scrabble tiles, by the way. Yep, it was a play all about scrabble and the power of words. Placed in a gangster setting, the characters engaged in a violent game of scrabble, full of conflict, death and blood.

Have you ever been to the theatre? Everything's right there in front of you, live, real, not like the cinema. I felt the character's, I understood their relationships. I laughed with them, I was shoked, angry, discusted with them, right there and then, never really able to go back to it other than through my own remembering. That's the power of theatre.

The other cool thing about it was the actors were spoken word performers (live poets) so clever with their words, each one chosen specifically and carefully for that very place. I was literally blown away with their creativity, which seemed to strengthen with every word.

The group, which tour the country with their words, are called Pen-ultimate. Check out the videos below and be inspired. There's loads more on their website...

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Day 296: Feeder, 'Side by Side'

Feeder. You remember them, right? The good old days of, 'I think we're gonna make it...yeah.' Last summer these guys came to my Uni's to perform at our summer ball and now they've made a record to help out with the rescue efforts in Japan. Funny how things come and go in little loops in your life, isn't it?

They've bought out a single you can download from their website or itunes. Here's the video, just to give you a flavour.

Please buy this single for just 79p and make a difference.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Day 295: The art of looking

Check out this photo which I stole (with permission) from a friend on facebook.

I think it's brilliant. What can you see? What do you think it is? What does it remind you of? How do the colours make you feel?

I know it might seem like I'm just practising my counselling skills on you, but I'm trying to prompting you to look, observe, watch. I always find looking an inspiring experience. Not in a hippy way, but in a creative way.

Try thinking about this image in terms of your own creative work. Can you make any connection? Why? Why not? Does it spark any ideas?

If it's still not really doing anything for you, try making a list of all the things it reminds you of.

Here's a few to start you off:
Steam rising from a cow's back in the morning sunlight.
New York Night Traffic
Fireflies buzzing

So, how ever you choose to do it, spend some time looking today and see where it takes your creative thoughts...

Monday, 28 March 2011

Day 294: Have Great Expectations!

So, here is a list of things that popped into my head this morning. Chose one to inspire your creativity today...

Honeycomb candles dyed pink, orange or purple.
Fairy cakes, shaped like black bats.
Umbrellas dripping with rhythmic raindrops.
Salt collected on your skin after swimming in the sea.
Fresh Coconuts filled with sour juice.
The crinkle of new wrapping paper.
Coffee in the mornings.
Talcum powder.
Church bells from the Abbey tower.
The ache of your jaw when you taste lemons.
Somewhere over the rainbow.
Counter clockwise.
After tomorrow we'll be finished.
Laughing until your tummy hurts.
Counting ancient steps weathered by walkers.

Why not make your own list and see where it takes you? Give your imagination a workout!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Day 293: The Fiction Project

So, yesterday when I was 'researching' Takeshi Kawano's Melting Sculptures, I found an advert for this;

It's a project which is fusing words and visual art and making a book out of it, which will tour America, from coast to coast. Just think of your ideas, in a book, wandering around America...what a great opportunity! The cool thing is anyone from anywhere in the world can get invovled, which includes YOU! If you're into art, drawing, writing, graphic design, illustration...then check out their website. Once you're there, you can chose a theme and away you go! You could use an idea you've already got or be inspire here and now by one of the themes.

So, what are you waiting for? Go be inspired and be part of the project.