This weekend we look at creativity with words. Have you ever thought about inventing your own language? Sometimes children do it, but what about adults?
Here’s a look at three grown-ups who have jobs constructing languages for movies, and how they approach their work. From thinking about who the characters are and where they are from, through grammatical systems and sounds, these folks help elves and Klingons communicate.
One of the ways we used to be more creative as a culture was in our ornamentation of buildings. Part of the thrill of visits to big cities is to see the highly decorated and elaborate old facades.
While cost-cutting has streamlined buildings of more recent times, the Washington Cathedral in DC is a relatively new structure that stands as an example of what is possible with carved stone ornamentation. Cats, monsters, frogs, birds, snakes, owls, mules, dragons, pigs, and people are represented as gargoyles and water spouts.
Let's think big.
I’m stretching the concept of creativity here a bit, but I do so under the following argument: one should be aware of the tools available to be able to fully contemplate creative opportunities.
In simple, artsy terms, knowing about paper and pencils are great, but the creative options expand when one knows about crayons, paints, and markers.
Creativity comes in all flavors. This week it involves chocolate, baking, and Julia Child.
Watch this episode to see how common items such as flour, sugar, and eggs can be creatively combined to make an edible yule log.
This week we’ll study some color theory with Scott Naismith, a Scottish landscape painter, and dive into aspects of hue and saturation with him.
I’ve been doing art all my life, yet still struggle with color. I love black and white lines and using pens and pencils to shade things with hatch marks and smudges. The 256 shades of greyscale suite me well, and they could keep me busy forever.
This week we’ll take a look at a film called Der Lauf Der Dinge, or The Way Things Go. It was an art installation/project done a while ago in a warehouse, filmed in just a couple of takes, that creates a large Rube Goldberg-style contraption out of ordinary sorts of things such as tires, trash bags, ladders, and fire.
At times it goes fast and has excitement built in, while at other times the drama comes from patiently waiting for something we know is about to happen to indeed occur.
When I awoke today I remembered a certain calendar and ibrattleboro. Thank goodness the advent calendar is up and running. Thanks, Chris for doing it each year. What a nice treat/gift for us.
Today people are celebrating the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks' civil disobedience.
Long ago, in 1991, while working at the Capital Children's Museum, a four year old girl came to our Animation Lab with her mother and wanted to make a cartoon. Not an easy task for adults, but this girl was on a mission and got to work. She recorded a soundtrack, created artwork, and directed the animation for "The Rosa Parks Story."
Let’s put some things together. We have something we want to get across to an audience - on a stage or screen. We’ve learned a bit about practicing and the importance of learning one’s craft so we have something to say. We know about editing, so it will flow well and make the correct impressions.
What about composition of movement? Can moves help us tell a story?
Well, certainly. We’ve all seen silent films with no dialogue, where all action is done in pantomime. And we’ve all seen the opposite in limited animation, where if we turned the volume down on say, Charlie Brown and Linus talking at the wall, we’d have almost no idea of the story.
Here’s a short video essay on film editing by Max Tohline.
One of its premises is that anything can be made to mean anything through editing. It’s true, and something we should all keep in mind as we go about existing in a world filled with media.
Tohline says that editing acts as punctuation in films, and helps with expressing relationships and new modes of thinking.
I enjoy watching experts explain tips and pointers about their craft, even when it isn’t my field of expertise. It can be useful and thought-provoking to hear about how other artists think about how they approach their work.
There is something similar in the way professionals, be they dancers, painters, animators, craftspeople, stone carvers, or scientists, think about their skills and professions.
Here, Svetlana Todinova of the Moscow Ballet walks us through what we all need to become ballerinas. As an animator and someone who thinks about drawing gestures, I find her discussion of muscles, weight, and posing to be very interesting and useful.
Commander Mark will teach you to draw in 3-D. Just learn the magic words.
Mark Kistler had a few TV shows and books aiming to teach anyone to draw in three dimensions. He’s fun, funny, and a good teacher, plus he has his nifty space suit fully-outfitted with pens, pencils, and markers.
This is an early show, The Secret City, from Maryland Public television. Grab some paper and pencils and follow along. You’ll learn something by the end of the hour.
Paint Parties right here in Downtown Brattleboro
Looking for a fun evening activity? You can join us for a fun night in a relaxed atmosphere, to create your own piece of art. No experience necessary. Teacher is able to take a complex painting and break it down into easy steps. Bring out your inner artist, even if you paint like a 2yr old. :)
The evening cost $35 per person. We must restrict students to age 15+. This is a BYOB event, so no pressure to buy a dinner or drinks at restaurant prices. There are several nights and pictures to choose from. You could even book a private party, email for details.
Here’s the official 2015 Cedar Street Halloween Costume list. Apologies in advance for anyone we missed (the rush of crowds is tough to document), and thanks and congratulations to all the 230+ kids who had such great costumes this year.
Trends seem to indicate wild animals, cats, ninjas, and law enforcement are as popular as princesses. Ghouls and zombies are in a slight decline.
Note: It’s getting so the parents costumes are now almost as plentiful as costumes for kids. This list is almost all just kids.
Cowboy and cow
One of the challenges of being creative is finding space, time, and confidence to create.
Confidence is quite important. We all have to get over fears of making mistakes, including our fears of the blank page, the rough draft, or getting into a rut.
Most creative people I talk to tend to notice their previous mistakes, while those around them don’t see those mistakes. Can we every really be confident about our own creations?
There’s also the question of what sort of mistakes we might feel we are making. In some cases, we should be proud to be at such a high level in our craft to be able to worry about “advanced” mistakes in our work. In other words, it takes great time and effort to be able to reach the point where we are able to make certain mistakes.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is known for his theory of “flow” and how it relates to creativity.
Flow is the state you get in when doing something you love. Time and space drop away. We’ve all had this experience. We start doing something we like doing, then look up and see that three or four hours have passed. That’s flow.
Multiple Intelligences is a theory put forth by Howard Gardner that says that we don’t all learn or think in the same way. Instead of us all having a single, standard brain equally capable of all functions, he says that what we really have is a collection of abilities with our own, unique combination of strengths and weaknesses.
Those abilities fall into categories such as musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. Existential and moral abilities are sometimes included, too.
On a long drive recently the idea floated itself to list timeless and ancient activities, doings that constitute deep down humanness, yet now may be threatened by convenience, sedentary habits, commodification, voueyerism, living through celebrities, overspecialization, and other boons of progress.
Without overthinking it I let reel the first things that popped into my head. My main criteria were: -They had to be skills (not qualities)... -Activites I currently do or have engaged in...-They need to be important enough to feel compelled to share this know-how with my offspring...-They need to have been done by people (and/or animals) for millenia.
The Windham Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) are pleased to announce the Career Social, Thursday, Oct. 22, 5:30-7 pm, at the backroom bar of Duo Restaurant in downtown Brattleboro. Aspiring entrepreneurs, makers, and creators are encouraged to attend. The Career Social will provide a casual, fun atmosphere to mingle and meet with a panel of eight local entrepreneurs, as they share how they have managed to follow their passions while living in Southeastern Vermont. Event goers will gather insights and inspiration for pursuing their own enterprises.
The panel includes
Avery Schwenk, Hermit Thrush Brewery
Natalie Blake, Natalie Blake Studios and Fulcrum Arts
Jesse Kayan, Wild Carrot Farm
We’re going to spend some time with this series looking at how other people create things. Last week we watched an animator work out a scene. This week we’ll look at how a musician thinks about a pop song.
Here, Donald Fagan of Steely Dan discusses and demonstrates aspects of his song “Peg” with Warren Bernhardt. He explains why the song is the way it is, and where he got ideas for creating it.
Music theory is one of those mystical subjects to me. I understand it when it is being explained, and can hear it, but the language and use of it escapes me personally. I find people who can do this sort of thing to be rather amazing, but I know it isn’t really that amazing — it’s what they do, and very possible if one applies oneself.