The Rotten Lemon of Enlightenment


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/



Understanding your creativity: Preparation

It’s important for anyone in the Creative Industries to understand their own creative process. I’ve already talked in previous posts about the Five Rules of Creativity and how closely they match my process.

Here are Harman, J. (2011)’s rules again as a reminder.

  1. Preparation
  2. Concentration
  3. Incubation
  4. Illumination
  5. Verification

By understanding your own process you are able to map out what limits and what encourages your creativity. In this post I have mapped out the Preparation stage in the diagram below. I call it “Birth of an Idea”. 

How ideas are made

What this diagram does is draw focus on important elements within the process itself. For me the key is how the mind processes and categorizes external information. For me it seems perception plays a pivotal role in the early stages of my creative process. Anything that alters or influences this will have a significant impact of the quantity and quality of my ideas before they have even been formed.

I personally have experimented with drugs (shocking I know) and have taken various medications. All of which have altered my ability to perceive in some way or another. I found with party drugs my perception would often focus on the obscure and irrelevant. More importantly however I noticed that very little of the information was ever processed and categorized. On the flip side I found medications killed my curiosity and therefore the amount of information I processed was also greatly reduced.

I’m not saying all my ideas dried up or were bad because I still was able to create some amazing work. I do however believe it was very restrictive and had an overall negative effect. I was basically handicapping my creativity at the earliest stages. A balance is key and with a clear perception you are really giving yourself the best possible chance to create and do your best work!

References

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



Personal Creative Process after thought…

This post follows on from Personal Creative Process.

I know it’s late but if I can’t sleep and I’m in bed my mind goes into overdrive. I often go to bed during the day just to replicate the effect if I’m working on a creative project. It’s been a pretty enlightening couple of days for me as I’ve been able to see over and over again how spot on Harman, J. (2011)’s five rules of creativity are when compared to my own creative process.

If I had known how my creative process and mind worked in high school I might just have enjoyed my English classes. Much to mine and my teachers frustration I barely passed English tests, in class essays and exams yet would more often than not top the class or even the year with my home written assignments. I remember constantly being asked why I couldn’t even capture a small amount of that success. It was very frustrating for all involved and I found it quite disheartening because I didn’t have an answer. What makes sense now was that the tests, in class essays and exams turned my creative process upside down then shuffled it a couple of times and removed a couple of key stages entirely. No wonder I almost failed every year! That right there is a very profound revelation. Though it doesn’t explain my terrible spelling…maybe next weeks lecture will explain that. I wonder if I can claim this unit as therapy with my private health insurance?

So John if are reading this thank you.

Actually, Mark I know your reading this not because you have to… well actually it probably is because you have to but that’s besides the point. If you could pass the message on it would be much appreciated.

References

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



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