The Rotten Lemon of Enlightenment


Personal Creative Process

This week’s lecture was by John Harman and entitled “Personal Creative Process”. It’s style, pace and content was quite different from last weeks and to be honest I was a little skeptical. Maybe it was the fact John was older, from the UK and with what appeared to be a very dated PowerPoint presentation. The title page looked much like the blue screen and white text of a computer screen that has just shat itself. I could see the lecture room transform before my very eyes into a private library with floor to ceiling bookcases and a roaring fire. John sitting on an oversized wing backed chair stoking his pipe with a huge dog even by great dane standards between him and the fire-place.

library-books-leather-chair-study-office-interior-design-home-ideas1

Private library for illustrative purposes

I’m having enough trouble staying awake thankyou very much the last thing I need right now is a lecture that’s going to knock me out quicker than a couple of zanax! Why did i get out of bed…bed would be awesome…those soft…pillows…matress… Then John began the lecture the vision faded and it was back to reality.

Much like last weeks lecture this week’s turned out to be quite enjoyable after my initial doubts faded. I must also point out that none of my first impressions were in any way John’s fault but in fact me falling victim to an over active imagination!

What I really liked about Harman, J. (2011)’s lecture was his 5 rules of creativity.

  1. Preparation – Be a sponge. Take in as much information as you can. Read, listen, watch and learn. Be a general knowledge quiz night king! Know your domain/area of expertise in side and out. Make it your life because it will be how you make a living.
  2. Concentration – Be single-minded in your focus.
  3. Incubation – Walk away. Take a break. Meditate and relax.
  4. Illumination – Often comes during the incubation period when you are relaxed and can let your mind wander.
  5. Verification – Breakthrough. Get it down quickly before idea fades!

He basically described my creative process which before now was somewhat unknown to me. I was strongly aware of the preparation and incubation rules/elements but the rest were still undefined in my mind. So for an old boy from the UK with a dated presentation John did alright and helped me learn a little more about myself and my creative processes. Who’d have thought someone who has enjoyed such a successful life would know what they were talking about! Kids today they have no god damn respect!

Extra points go to Harman, J. (2011) for using his real life experiences to illustrate points taking them out of the realm of academia and into reality. Also of importance was his advice to entertain all ideas and if you ever find yourself in “the zone” keep going. You’ll crash eventually but when your hot you’ll melt faces with your awesomeness better than Charlie Sheen ever could! Plus it would be constructive and not a drug induced delussion…so maybe not the best example. I should probably have thought that through a little better but alas I don’t have tiger blood pumping through my veins. I’m only human!

In all seriousness it was a great lecture from a great guy! Come to think of it he made last weeks lecturer Dr Chris Spoors seem a little too slick. Like saw dust in the transmission slick!

Additional thoughts and reflections on this lecture can be found Personal Creative Process after thought…

References

Harman, J. (2011) Personal Creative Process: John Harman. http://sandbox.ea.ecu.edu.au/staffuse/mtmcmaho/CCA1103/CCA1103L3/index.html

library-books-leather-chair-study-office-interior-design-home-ideas1. (n.d) In Google Images [Digital image]. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from;http://eclecticrevisited.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/library-books-leather-chair-study-office-interior-design-home-ideas1.jpg?w=350&h=483

Shmevey. (2010). I am on a drug, it’s called Charlie Sheen! . Retrieved Mar 19, 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrPZY55mX2c



History of Creativity

Last weeks lecture was entitled “Creativity: A Historical Overview” and presented by Glen Spoors. Despite the early starting time and taking my seat mere seconds before the lecture began I was hooked instantly. A lot of information was covered in the short hour and was thoroughly engaging. It will be a tough act to follow! I have attached the download of the lecture made available by the SCA website in the references for this post.

“Creativity: A Historical Overview” is a lecture you really don’t appreciate until several days after it was given. You know it’s good and there was great information within but due to the vast amount of information and the early hour you stagger out wondering what just happened. Kind of like a heavy night out on the drink and waking up the next morning trying to remember if that was the best night of your life or that you had in fact been violated in some way… It’s not until after the emotional rollercoaster of trying to process all that information you realise how profound it was. An odd combination of relief that some of that information stuck (you hadn’t been violated) and the satisfaction that it added to your understanding of the world around you (it was the greatest night of your life and you have photos to prove it!).

There was a particular moment for me this week when I felt the slap of understanding as the information began to settled and find its place. It came while reading Franco’s post “Creative Schmative – Why is creativity important?“. I always find it amazing how subjective we are as human beings and the vast amounts of simular and more often than not completely different meanings we generate from the same situation. So why should creativity be any different? Spoors, G. (2011) illustrates this in his lecture through the various stages of human history and the art from these periods. What is of particular interest however is the ever changing driving forces behind the art and its effects on what it is to be considered creative. From the organic and primal sculptures of the statues of “Venus” which have been found all over the world to the precise and mathmatical representations of the human form in Ancient Egypt.

The Venus of Willendorf

The Venus of Willendorf is a statue of the female form. Simular statues have been found all over the world suggesting all primitive humans shared simular cultural values.

Egyptian Art - Ramses I - Egyptian/Mythology

The Eygptian representation of the human form remained the same for over 3000 years and was based on a grid system.

Both represent the ideals and values of their respective cultures at the time they were created. One could argue creativity is therefore subjective by nature and ultimately being defined by the context of the age. Today it is being shaped by our technology based and consumer obsessed society. When pop culture rules and everyone is looking for the next new and exciting fad creativity is just doing what it has always done. Representing the driving forces behind the culture of the time.

What it is to be creative in 100 years time is anyone guess…

References

Spoors,G. (2011) Creativity:An Historical Overview. Download here cca1103_week_2_lecture

willendorf-large. (n.d) In Bing Images [Digital image]. Retrieved March 15, 2011, from; http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=venus&view=detail&id=E006F95AD06B3FB724BA4EC3ED5D7BE3C2124059&first=61&FORM=IDFRIR&qpvt=venus

egyptian_art_ramses_i. (n.d) In Bing Images [Digital image]. Retrieved March 15, 2011, from; http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=egyptian+art&view=detail&id=8E6A97065E5BA359B543242FE723EF2B2923C6A3&first=1&FORM=IDFRIR