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Week 10- Industry and creativity

Week 10 was my favourite lecture, as we had a guest speaker Simon Allen, who had a career 3d modelling. He had worked for pixar and achieved his dream of working for George Lucas and Lucas arts. Allen showed us the great works of Ralph McQuarrie, the concept artis for Star wars. Allen had worked for Pixar, and had worked on such titles as Ratatouille, Wall-E, UP and Toy Story 3. He highlighted the importance of Finance, creative, and technical expertise within the creative collaboration process; without one, the others will likely fail. The creator process of putting together a massive project involves time, meeting directors, animatics, filming reference 100times (themselves mostly), acting movements, and exaggerated poses. Allen went on to highlight the importance that a workplace should be about creating a safe environment to be open to emotion and creative ideas. In a creative workspace, employees and colleages should be collborating in the same way that you would be with friends; relaxed. For example, Pixar had a policy of never saying no, and some work places try to create areas where people will congregate.

 

Tutorial

During our tutorial, we created a playdough sculpture and had a attempt at collaborative creativity. For our group collaboration we proposed a pitch to screen Australia for kids program. It would be a feature length film about a magical oven that turns playdough food into real food. Late at night, under a bed, toys gather at aplaydough food restaurant. However, one day the oven breaks and the character must go on a search to discover the replacement part for the oven. After a long quest, its discovered the secret missing part was secretly the power of love (*cough). We were estimating a production length of four years, $100 million budget with a three fold turnaround, and we would be using clay animation =P

 

Reading

This weeks reading by John Lasseter highlighted seven creative principles that have helped him realize success within the animation industry, particuly with work at Disney and Pixar.

1. Never come up with 1 idea

Lasseter makes a point of always pitching or working with three really good ideas (Ries, 2009). Its essential that you have three really good ideas that you cannot decide on, and when it comes time to pick which one to use, you will realize which one is best (Ries, 2009).

2. remember the first laugh

A big problem with ideas that you’ve been holding onto for a while is a diversion from its original emotion (Ries, 2009). For example a really funny joke may get old and unfunny during the creative process, so in order to cherish its impact, you must take note of how you felt at the moment of creation (Ries, 2009).

3.quality is a great business plan, period

In any creative industry, a business built around quality is a successful one (Ries, 2009). The audience understands this, but many managers fail to realize it (Ries, 2009).

4. its all about the team

The team must endevor to be honest, direct, and strive to foster one another (Ries, 2009).

5. fun invokes creativity, not competition

The creative process must be though of as a form of play (Ries, 2009).

6.creative output always reflects the person on top

Poor management will harm the creative process, so its essential that management doesnt project their bad moods onto the workforce (Ries, 2009). A workplace needs to be relaxed and at ease to foster the play of ideas between creative individuals (Ries, 2009).

7.surround yourself with creative people you trust

You have to have trust in each individuals abilities, skills and opinions (Ries, 2009). “Yes men” are useless and will harm the creative product (Ries, 2009).

 

Reis, D. (2009). John Lasseter’s Seven Creative Principles. Bangkok Post.

Retrieved From:  http://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-3207606-dt-content-rid-

2990804_1/courses/CCA1103.2014.1.METRO/lasseterprinciples.pdf[/embed]


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Week 9 -Creative Environments

During week 9, we presented to our tutorial information on the reading which dealt with interactions within a creative team environment.  In summary, creative workplaces often require creative collaboration, which will often require one individual to relinquish control to another individual who has differing, but complimentary skills (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). An ability to communicate through a devised language is essential to group collaboration, as this allows creative individuals to communicate in a fluid and coherant way (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002) . Failure to develop this shared language will hinder and/or cripple the group creative process (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). This development of a coherent language ties into the concept of an organisational culture, which is a  set of values, norms, standards of behavior and shared expectations that influence a collective of people within the group (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013).

Human-computer interaction looks at in what ways technology can enhance the creative process (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). Traditional research on creativity focused on the individual and individual’s internal cognitive process (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). Recent research has begun to highlight the importance of social interaction, mentoring and collaboration in creative works (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). This is evident within the video games industry, where teams of people come together with different skill-sets, and try to develop and produce a polished game ready to sell. The assets for the games are created within a digital environment, often using complicated programs bring an idea to fruition. These programs are extremely complicated, and often require years of training to be able to use within a vocational setting. This means that multiple people familiar with the program must collaborate to create enough content to make up a game. The process of creating a video game solo has created a new sort of developer dubbed the ‘indie game developer’. However for high level triple A titles, vast teams of artists, programmers and testers must come together and each contribute their part to a game to make it whole. This research set the basis of guidelines and frameworks for building computer-based tools, which encourage and promote individual creativity.

Today the importance of social interactions, mentoring, and collaboration in creative work is recognized through research (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). This approach realizes that creative products cannot be developed by an individual, but rather a team (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). Creative environments are more effective when a group of people is brought together with different backgrounds, skill sets, and experience level (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). A partnership is when each individual has complementary interests, but the out outcomes from each individual may differ (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002).

By devising a shared language individuals are able to communicate and exchange creative ideas, which is an essential part of the creative process (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). However, the vocabulary needs to be task-dependent, custom or unique to the team and the environment, and developed by the team over an extended period of time and during multiple projects (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). This ties into organizational culture, which is a set of values, norms, standards of behavior and shared expectations that influence a collective of people within the group (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013). Organisational culture is fostered through the communication of stories and language, socialization, ceremonies or rites and the values of the founder/s (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013). When there is a strong group culture in place, the creative members have an understanding of what is required of them, and they focus on what is beneficial to the team in the long-run, which aligns their decisions and actions to the goal or vision (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013). In a creative environment, these stories and languages provide a way for team members to communicate with one another and to help indoctrinate newcomers into the environment (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). It also provides direction and vision to the team members (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002).

Here we have an example of the avengers. They share an organizational culture consisting of values of protecting the innocent, justice, saving the world etc. The stories and experiences they share together strengthens their resolve and fight for justice. Standards of behavior are questionable, but at the end of the day they come together to fight for the good of the universe.

A common understanding of the artistic intentions and vision needs to be developed, but the creative exchange doesn’t need to be verbal (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). Within this phase of collaboration what-if questions and individual benefits will be discussed. By capturing ideas, annotating them and storing them for future reference, it allows the group to build a shared knowledge resource, which will have innumerable benefits (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002).

In creative work it is also important to be able to track the progress of an idea or revisit design decisions(Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). It is also important to revisit core principles and values that the team members have set themselves. For example Blizzard entertainment have a set of 8 core principles. They help remain focused on their values and identity through the reuse of their artwork within the work environment.

Previous design ideas are often revisited and analysed, and participation with fan desires is often carefully considered. Interdisciplinary collaboration refers to individuals looking at each other’s design to learn each other’s approaches without having to discuss them (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). This requires that individuals be highly experienced within their domain, so they may analyze their peers work and gain insights (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002).

Developers of tools for creativity support should be mindful of differences in cognitive styles, which are typical for different disciplines or even for individuals with the same professional backgrounds (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002).

An effective working relationship exists where both parties exchange knowledge resources in order to make progress and resolve difficulties of both technical and artistic nature (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). Parties need to contain complementary rather than identical skills (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). 

 

References

Mamkyina, L., Candy, L., Edmonds, E., (2002). Collaborative Creativity.

Communications of the ACM. 45(10).

Waddell, D., Jones, G. R., George, J. M., (2013). Contemporary Management (3rd ed.). NSW:

McGraw-Hill Education.


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Carl Jung and active imagination

Confronting our unconious self is apparently a effective way to draw out our creativity (Chodrow, 1997). Carl Jung developed the idea of active imagination between the years of 1913-1916, and consists of techniques of unlocking our early expieriences and giving form to them (Chodrow, 1997). Carl Jung himself suffered during a period of inner turmoil a few years prior, and instead of sinking into oblivion, self healed himself through the use of his imagination (Chodrow, 1997).

Jung healed himself through the process of reconnecting himself with his inner child and rediscovering childhood play (Chodrow, 1997). It began when he was thinking about play as a child, and the feeling he felt when deeply engrossed in building games (Chodrow, 1997). It was these feeling which induced a sense of illumination, and he realised in order to heal himself , he must develop an ongoing relationship to the lively spirit within himself (Chodrow, 1997). Continuing with building games, he began to connect more and more with his inner childhood memories, however it was not long before he was overwhelmed by a dark and terrifying dream that he had as a child (Chodrow, 1997).   This dream had led him to mistrust and distance himself from religion at an early age, but unaware of this growing up, he had instead spent his life trying to reconnect to it (Chodrow, 1997). Discoviring this, he was able to look at these long buried fears in a more mature critique (Chodrow, 1997). This nightmare had expressed a long held problem, but upon contemplation also provided a solution (Chodrow, 1997). Continuing with this technique of unlocking fantasies through play, Jung was able to develop his ideas of active imagination and develop rites of entry into his deep fantasies (Chodrow, 1997).

The main ideas that come from Carl Jungs theories is that humans share a collective unconscious which feature core archetypes and are comprised of the self, persona, shadow, anima, and animus (Spoors, 2014). The self is our true ego, our unconsciousness and conciousness in its entirety (Spoors, 2014). Our persona is the mask which we pull over ourselves, to hide our unnacceptable parts of our ego and to project a logical, socially acceptable form of our self (Spoors, 2014). The shadow is our hidden aspects of the ego, which we keep hidden from society and ourselves (Spoors, 2014). The anima and animus are our masculine and feminim aspects of ourselves and ego (Spoors, 2014).

The the cultural archetypes of our collective unconsciousness consist of the king, the great mother, the warrior, the sage, and the lovers (Spoors, 2014). The king is seen as the great protector, for example the strong fatherly figure or Zeus/Jupiter. The great mother is seen as the creator and nurturer, for example the caring mother or Hera/Juno. The warrior is seen as the disciplined aggressor, such as the soldier or knight. The sage is seen as the wise mentor, for example Gandalf from lord of the rings or Dumbledore from Harry potter. The lover is seen as the one with compassion who cares (Spoors, 2014).

Individuation is where the ego accepts and unionises with the shadow, and through this interaction the self desires to interact and unionise with others within society (Spoors, 2014). However projection is where the shadow of the ego is revealed in others. The act of active imagination is therefore to confront ones unconscious shadow (Spoors, 2014).

 

References

Chodrow, J. (1997) Jung on Active Imagination/ C.G. Jung ; key readings

selected and introduced by Joan Chodrow. London : Routledge.

Spoors, G. (2014). Week 3 Mythopoesis.

Lecture given at Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley.

 

 

 


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Week 4- Creative psych

For the creative psych content, we looked at mythopoesis, which is the idea of myth making and myth production (Spoors, 2014). The term is a combination of greek muthus “myth” and poienin “to create” (Spoors, 2014). Humans tend to project their dream life onto the world around them in order to give it structure and uniformity (Spoors, 2014). For example, greek gods were often aspects of human acts, desires or nature (Spoors, 2014). These gods were created in order to make sense of a very unexplained world around them (Spoors, 2014).
Creative individuals have realised this over the years and worked with it, for example William blake, who saw imagination as the “body of god”, and went on to create his own deities (Spoors, 2014). This idea of mythopeosis is evident today with the advent of new age spirituality wherein people generate their own ideas of connecting spiritually on an individual level (Spoors, 2014). However, this individualism of spirituality has become heavily commercialised, and it is common to see people investing into expensive artefacts and crystals which they believe to have mystic energies (Spoors, 2014). Tolkien is an example of present day mythopoesis, wherein his ideas of world creation have formed into a collective structure and formed an intertextuality across a whole genre (Spoors, 2014). This enters into “pop mythopoesis”, where new texts and creative pieces are informed and structured by each other, for example twilight and buffy are both influenced by similar texts, and shows like supernatural are informed by the whole range of intertextuality among pop texts (Spoors, 2014).
identify between 2 or more scenes in movies, books or games that have evoked crying or some other powerful emotion that you felt was odd, unexpected,or significant. Discuss what it was about the scenes(s) that elicited that reaction and try to identify if there is there a pattern in your responses that reveals something about you (e.g. vulnerabilities, anxieties, or desires).
Going back to week 1 of creativity studies, Sigmund Freud proposed that creativity  is born out of socially repressed desires, which are transformed into a socially acceptable form (Davis, 2004). For a period betweeen the ages of 16 -23, really desired to watch movies and cartoons where there was alot of fast paced fighting scenes. This was not a desire for trashy, hollywood fight scenes. I found myself entranced by Japanese animated fight scenes, where you could almost feel the hits and movements in our mind. I feel that this was a period in my life when i was a young man who subconsciously desired to be out in the real world fighting my way through it physically. However at the time I was just playing alot of video games, which mentally had a similar release, but did nothing for a physical release. An example of these are evident in dragon ball z, which i was watching as a teenager, and featured a lot of slow shouting, concentration and powering up, and then sudden bursts of speed and explosions. This interest in fighting cartoons pursisted through shows like Naruto and Onepiece. This interest in fighting shows could reflect a subconcious desire to be fighting and exploding, which is evidently very socially unacceptable, but was released in the viewing of socially acceptable portrayals of superhumans fighting it out.
Think of at least one completely fictional world (e.g. Tolkein’s Middle Earth) or afictional working of our world (e.g. Twilight orTrue Blood’s myth of a world with vampires and werewolves) that appeals to you. What myths, symbols, or subtextsof the world appeals to you and why?
I was hooked on the Harry potter series during high school, and the thing that I believed hooked me was the fact that I was entranced by a world set in the context of a magical high school, while in reality attending a high school. Hogwarts seemed like the coolest highschool. The simplicity of “being a wizard” during a time when I was deciding what I was supposed to do with my life also appealed to me, as I had no idea what I wanted to do. The series also featured a Mythopoesis, for example the lore of the wizarding world, the foundation of hogwarts, the mystery surrounding the dark arts, etc. It also reworked other myths, such as gryphons, giants, mandragoras, basilisks, etc. The beaurocartic nautre of the ministry of magic also refelected a heavily organised society, where the in’s and out’s are hidden from everyday view. The setting of London was significat too as I lived in Edinburagh and London as a child, so everything that was described brought back nostalgia.
Reference List
Davis, G. A. (2004). Definitions and Theories.

Creativity is forever (pp. 58-73). (5th Ed.).

USA: Kendell/Hunt.

Spoors, G. (2014). Week 3 Mythopoesis.

Lecture given at Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley.


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Week 3- The Creative personality

Hi all, I have finally completed my first two waves of assignments, so now I have some time to get back into this blog. I have had a few of these blogs saved as drafts, but I didn’t post them as I was ashamed of their lack of detail. During week three and four, we learnt about the concepts of the creative personality and the active imagination.

The lecture in week 3 was presented by author John Harman. In the lecture the relationship between creativity, imagination and vision was discussed. The goal of creativity is to create something that works, and through creativity, imagination is fostered, which leads to vision and leadership. Vision was described as an anchor in times of chaos. Creativity can be inhibited by lack of faith however, such as perceptual confinements, cultural confinements, personal confinements and organisational confinements. In order to overcome these confinements, one must have faith in their domain relevant skills, which is really knowing your stuff, and having task motivation, which is an intrinsic desire to create. The process of creation involves:

1. Preparation- This is brainstorming and planning.

2. Concentration- focusing your mind on the task at hand.

3. Incubation- Stepping away from the task and letting your mind go elsewhere.

4-. Illumination- The “eureka” moment, when your cognitive pathways lead back to the task at hand and provide enlightenment of the task.

5. Verification- testing your creative piece.

Inhibitors of creativity were highlighted, such as certainty, fear of change, lack of self-knowledge, undue focus on rewards, lack of faith, assuming, snobbery and being a artistic groupie, and cynicism.

The lecture finished on a long held belief of mine, which is fortune favours the prepared.

The tutorial focused more on the set reading, which dealt with the creative personality (The Creative Personality, n.d). While creative individuals are unique and come from all “walks of life”, Jungs reading claims that creative individuals have to ability to move from one extreme to the other, and often encompass two extremes in one personality (The Creative Personality, n.d).

For example the ten complexities of individuals are:

1. Creative individuals have a great deal of physical energy, but they are also often quiet and at rest (The Creative Personality, n.d).

2. Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naive at the same time (The Creative Personality, n.d).

3. Playful and disciplined, yet responsible and irresponsible at the same time (The Creative Personality, n.d).

4. Creative individuals alternate between imagination and fantasy at one end, and are rooted in reality at the other (The Creative Personality, n.d).

5. Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted at the same time (The Creative Personality, n.d).

6. Creative individuals are also remarkably humble and proud at the same time (The Creative Personality, n.d).

7. Both masculine and feminine, creative people pull the strengths from both gender roles (The Creative Personality, n.d).

8. Creatives are both traditional and conservative, and rebellious and iconoclastic (The Creative Personality, n.d).

9. Most creative individuals are extremely passionate, yet can be extremely objective about it (The Creative Personality, n.d).

10. Openness and sensitivity exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also a great deal of enjoyment (The Creative Personality, n.d).

I found these forms of complexity very interesting, as they highlighted the desires of creatives to harmonize differing aspects of extremes. Instead of picking one side and mastering it, creatives try to harmonise in the middle ground and master the principles of both (The Creative Personality, n.d).

The terms feel familiar to the Five fold laws of Japanese martial arts schools. The Goju-ryu style of karate means hard-soft, and most schools follow a tradition of harmonising two contradictory states of qualities (Friday & Seki, 1997). For example, the five fold laws consist of:

-Motion and stillnes as one  (Friday & Seki, 1997).

-Origination and manifestation as one (Friday & Seki, 1997).

-Offence and defence as one (Friday & Seki, 1997).

-Emptiness and reality as one (Friday & Seki, 1997).

– Yin and yang as one (Friday & Seki, 1997).

Origination and manifestation as one are interesting, as they are essentially meaning imagination and creativity as one act. The task must be planned and executed. Without either there is no creative act. It could be seen that practise in these philosophies may help excersise a creative individuals mind and spirit.

An example of a creative individual in Japanese history is Miyamoto Musashi. From the age of thirteen to twenty-nine, he participated in over sixty mortal duels and emerged undefeated in all (Wilson, 2004). However, his later life is dedicated to the study and production of arts and crafts (Wilson, 2004). The kaijo monogatari gives an account that Musashi was tasked with a painting of Daruma in the presence of the lord of the Hosokawa clan, but unsatisfied with his work he retired for the night (Wilson, 2004). However, just as he had nodded off, the solution came to him and he rushed out to finish the painting in lamplight (Wilson, 2004). It came out as he had desired (Wilson, 2004). Over his life, musashi is said to have created countless works, however during the Meiji restoration and the fire bombings of Tokyo they were mostly lost (Wilson, 2004).

Musashi’s creativity is evident in accounts of his fights too. For example, while being rowed to Funa island to partake in a much anticipated duel, Musashi crafted a wooden sword from a boat oar, and went on to defeat his steel-wielding combatant in a mortal duel with it (Wilson, 2004).

 

References

 

Friday, K. F., Seki, F. H. (1997) Legacies of the Sword: The Kashima-Shinryu and

Samurai Martial Culture. Honolulu, HI, USA: University of Hawaii Press.

The Creative Personality. (n.d.). Retrieved from:

http://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_591025_1%26url%3D

Wilson, W. S. (2004) The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi. Boston,

Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications.