The Rotten Lemon of Enlightenment


The six thinking hats
May 14, 2011, 9:31 pm
Filed under: CCA1103, The six posts for Mark, Tutorial | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The six thinking hats (De Bono,1992) is a technique that has seen considerable popularity in the business world as a way to separate ego from performance. Thinking by nature is a deeply personal and subjective process so it’s not surprising that we become quite attached to our ideas. With this technique teams are able to address problems, ideas, etc in a objective manner. They are able to see the topic from different angles. As the group moves through the various hats the conversation is allowed to run it’s course without resistance or descending into the the inevitable argument.

The six hats are as follows;

The white hat is all about research. It’s the collecting of all relevant information.

The red hat is emotion. Your gut feeling. Your intuitions.

The black hat is reality and caution. Risk management.

The yellow hat tries to address the issues brought up by the black hat. It’s the optimistic look at all the possible benefits.

The green hat is the creative hat. Dedicated time put aside to be creative. Allowing time for creativity is not a natural thing. Just as positive thinking towards an idea we do not like is not natural.

The blue hat is about the big picture. After going through all the hats is it still viable. What is the verdict.

So this is all well and good in the boardroom but how about the individual? These hats represent behaviors that are in all of us. However, some hats are more dominant than others depending on the individual. With this technique you are able to take a more even and systematic approach to your thinking process. Enabling a more balanced approach to your creative process.

References

De Bono, E. (1992). Six thinking hats. Serious Creativity (pp. 77-85). New York: HarperBusiness.
Download .pdf



Theories of Creativity

In preparation for my creative project and with the intention to make strong ties back to the unit I’ll be revising the readings and tutorial activities. I’ll be doing this with particular interest to how I can relate it back to my creative project. First up will be the Theories of Creativity (Davis, 2004).

Creativity is a hard thing to define as I believe it is a very personal experience that can be strongly influenced by the environment the individual finds themselves in. I think this is reinforced by the various theories in regards to creativity itself. All have a little truth to them for the masses but are likely true to the individual. What fits for them doesn’t always fit for others and just as what fits others doesn’t always fit them. For me it’s more about the bigger picture and picking what best suits you and your creativity. A good friend of mine didn’t want to share her ideas for a project in another unit which I found a little difficult to understand at first. Personally I like to share ideas freely and build on the ideas created by the ‘flow’ of the group. These new ideas excite me and push me to further build upon them privately. For reasons unknown to me this very thing I find helpful to my process could stifle hers. She could see it as a dilution of her ideas. However I digress, my point being that while these theories might not fit you perfectly they’ll help you understand your creativity and what works for you.

Sigmund Freud

First up is probably the most famous and controversial, Sigmund Freud‘s psychoanalytic account. Putting aside Freud’s obsession with sex he did have an interesting point about the primary and secondary processes. One that I could possibly relate back to my creative project. According to Freud our thinking process could be broken into two different categories; the primary and secondary processes. The primary being a childlike regression where the mind is free, relaxed and able to fantasize without restriction – an ideal environment to be creative. While the secondary is the adultlike way of thinking where reality and logic restrict our thinking. So I could in corporate a childlike element into my portrait for the right side. Maybe even dig up a childhood portrait of myself. I could also use crayons as the medium.

Ernst Kris

Ernst Kris worked closely with Freud before coming up with his own slightly modified version. Like Freud he was also focused on sex but felt aggression was an important factor too. What an interesting pair these two would have made! Kris believe creativity was a preconscious activity and therefore ideas just happen as an “Eureka” moment and had very little to do with conscious thought. I couldn’t disagree more so on to the next!

Lawrence Kubie

Lawrence Kubie breaks down creativity into three states; the conscious, preconscious and unconscious. He claims the conscious and unconscious are rigid and uncreative. The conscious anchored in reality while the unconscious is vague and meanings hidden or repressed. However through various techniques you can reach the threshold between the two and understand the unconscious while remaining in a conscious state. It is the ability of the individual to access this state (preconscious) that determines their creativity. Another theory I don’t agree with personally. I believe we have a more active role in our ability to create than Kubie gives us credit for.

Harold Rugg

Harold Rugg ‘s theory although basically the same as Kubie’s does have one important difference that make’s it more feasible in my opinion. That the preconscious is a more easily attainable state than what Kubie would have us believe. Much like Freud and his theories on primary and secondary thinking the preconscious is the childlike state and the conscious is the adultlike state. The preconscious state brings the ideas to life while the conscious state brings them to reality.

To be continued…

References

Davis, G. A. (2004). Definitions and Theories. Creativity is forever (pp. 58-73). (5th Ed.). USA: Kendell/Hunt. Download .pdf handout

Ernst%20Kris (n.d) In Google Images [Digital image]. Retrieved May 10, 2011, from; http://www.apsa.org/centennialstatic/Notable%20Psychoanalysts/Ernst%20Kris.jpg

HaroldRugg (n.d) In Google Images [Digital image]. Retrieved May 10, 2011, from; http://www.sandiegoyesterday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/HaroldRugg.jpg

Lawrence%20Kubie (n.d) In Google Images [Digital image]. Retrieved May 10, 2011, from; http://www.apsa.org/centennialstatic/Notable%20Psychoanalysts/Lawrence%20Kubie.jpg

sigmund-freud-med (n.d) In Google Images [Digital image]. Retrieved May 10, 2011, from; http://www.nndb.com/people/736/000029649/sigmund-freud-med.jpg



Creative Project #007

I got some feedback from the class and Mark yesterday in regards to my creative project. I have been bouncing between two different concepts for a while now and not really making much progress. I really liked Nina‘s suggestion of somehow combining the two together. So will be looking at ways to animate the right side of the face to illustrate my creative self. Will start revising the various class handouts and worksheets for inspiration. Finally feels like I have direction again! I have discovered over the course of this unit that being able to bounce ideas around with others is an integral part of my creative process. I need immediate feedback to help my ‘flow’ get moving again when it starts to get stagnate.
 
With all this in mind I wanted to take my project away from standard photography portraits. So the series of portraits was scraped for one self-portrait that was taken two years ago. This I feel takes away the importance of the photo itself in the work. I also really wanted to push my technical skills with this project so decided it was time to finally give my drawing tablet a proper workout. Being a Visual Arts major I wanted the look and feel of the visual arts but the ease of working with digital media. Will also come in handy with the animation side of things I hope.
 
Here is the process I took to turn my photo into a “painting” without actually painting. Early stages so may rework it depending were I decide to go from here.
 
As always feedback is welcome and appreciated. Enjoy!
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Original image

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Getting the base colours down

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Using a brush tool

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Black background

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Finished(?) left side



Creative Project #003

Running with the portrait idea for my creative project I thought a brief five question questionnaire about creativity would add a level of intimacy to the project.

After throwing ideas around with Franco for a bit we were able to get a ‘flow’ going. Bouncing ideas off each other, building on some, acknowledging others and finally refining it to the questionnaire. The whole process lasted about five minutes. The time it took to walk from class to the cafe for Franco‘s regular coffee fix.

I love how the creative process is rarely linear. I thrive in the chaos of refining ideas from a swirling mess of information. I actually had an interesting conversation about this last night. The messy vs neat debate. I represented messy and Peter represented neat. He liked everything structured so it could be put away, out of sight and easy to find. I on the other hand liked everything out, around me and within sight. I like to feel connected to everything at all times. This applies to the physical world as well as my inner thoughts. Might have the neat or messy question on the questionnaire.

The first draft of the questionnaire.

First name?
What do you consider creative?
Rate your level of creativity out of 10
Are you messy or tidy?

More questions to come. Please feel free to leave your responses or suggestions for questions.



Presentations = way too much stress :S

What a crazy day its been today!

For the first time in a month I arrived early to a lecture with time to spare. Even arriving before my good friend Franco, though I am not sure if he was genuinely surprised or resented me for making him look late. Then again it could have had something to do with my continuous gloating and declaration that he shouldn’t have even bothered to come in this morning. After about ten minutes of relentless badgering Franco was rescued as Erin Coates began her lecture.

I had been looking forward to this lecture since seeing the unit schedule for the first time. Mostly because it was specific to my area of expertise; the Visual Arts. Erin Coates’s lecture Visual Arts and Creativity was a great insight into her work but more importantly her creative process. I’ll also point out that I really liked her art and will be heading down to the Fremantle Arts Centre to check out the Chinese Video Art exhibition she is involved in.

As the theories and ideas of the creative process start to sink in it was great to be able to not only see them in Erin’s practice but to start to understand why they work. My notes during the lecture started to shift from documenting the presentation itself to focus on the elements she draws upon from the theories we have been learning. Here are some of the examples Coates, E (2011) gave;

  • …every experience shapes you…
  • …be resourceful…
  • …try something new. try new mediums…
  • …draw all the time…
  • …record what you are thinking…
  • …be a collector of information…
  • …avid researcher…
  • …passionate, rigorous…

I felt these statements really fit in strongly with the idea that the creative mind is always collecting and cataloging information for later reference. For me this cuts to the very core of creativity and something that should be nurtured. This revelation just isn’t specific to this lecture but more the cumulation of the last three.

With the lecture over I would generally continue bugging Franco but today was different…we had our presentation!

Formal presentations have always terrified me. I can get up and talk about my artwork or man a booth at an oil conference no worries but the moment it becomes a structured, formal presentation the wheels fall off. Following those set points one after the other doesn’t feel natural, especially when thinking about the next point. It always messes up your train of though as you try in vain to get the current point across. I really struggle if I have to keep it linear. Maybe my understanding that a formal presentation has to be smooth and linear is unrealistic. Or I worry about the overall message of the presentation and not let the points do the talking. The fear that it won’t run smoothly or the pressure not to let your group members down. What I do know is when I sat down again it was like walking out of my last TEE exam. The relief was so great I have been in the best mood all night. Which is crazy considering I have been stressed all week over reading three pages in front of sixteen people for about five minutes. The worst part being I would have probably done a runner if I wasn’t in a group! The mind is an amazing thing!

Thank god it’s friday and I won’t be doing that again for a very long time…I hope!

References

Coates, E. (2011). Visual Arts and Creativity
Download .pdf

haunted-house. (n.d) In Google Images [Digital image]. Retrieved April 8, 2011, from; http://segmentnext.com/wp-content/uploads/haunted-house.jpg



Creative Process Illustrated

Found some great videos on youtube about how people in the creative industries come up with their ideas. They were very insightful, reinforcing the importance of understanding the creative process and how best to encourage it.


It’s always interesting to learn the source of any idea, concept or product. Nothing is ever created from a vacuum void of information. Some of the coolest ideas come from just putting A and B together or even P and Y.


Found it interesting how they re-worked the brief inhouse to get the most out of it. The constant circulation of ideas through the creative team is also worth mentioning. It’s not always the quality of the idea that’s important but where it might lead.


Really liked the point they made about being in the zone and working around it for maximum effect.

References

YTShowandTell. (2010). Creative Process Illustrated: Benjamin Palmer . Retrieved Mar 30, 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD457Dr1jx0

YTShowandTell. (2010). Creative Process Illustrated: Eric Kallman and Craig Allen of W+K . Retrieved Mar 30, 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD457Dr1jx0  

YTShowandTell. (2010). Creative Process Illustrated: Terrence Kelleman . Retrieved Mar 30, 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD457Dr1jx0



Creative Project #001

The creative process which I have talked about in the post Understanding your creativity: Preparation is being constantly aware of your environment. While categorising this information and applying it to your own ideas and concepts. With this in mind I stumble across this video on another wordpress blog and an idea was born!

What a great way to document the evolution of an idea from concept to final outcome. Or better yet what a great way to illustrate the creative process itself! My creative project might just very well be my own personal creative process come to life in the form of a stop motion animation video. Whether this will be a viable idea I’m not sure but as week three’s lecturer Harman, J. (2011) stated “entertain all ideas” no matter what your initial thoughts and feels are towards it. You never know where it might take you!

 

References

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

The Graphic Side of Life
http://graphicsideoflife.wordpress.com/