Archive for May, 2011


3 Posters

In my pre-press class at Edith Cowan University, I was given the task of creating three posters for a musician. I chose to make a poster for 3 different musical artists, using three different Adobe programs: Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

I wanted to take advantage of what each program was able to do; thus Photoshop would be using a number of high resolution pictures and photo manipulation techniques, InDesign seemed to be a mainly layout and text based program, while I utilized Illustrator as a program to create vector images.

For the photoshop poster, I chose Beethoven because a classical poster seemed ideal. My mind was flooded with ideas of pianos, orchestra and an old classical 19th century theme.

Beethoven Poster

For the InDesign poster, I chose the lyrical genius of the Funkoars; an Australian rap group. My idea was to include the lyrics of their songs on the actual poster; given that they rapped, there was a number of diverse creative lyrics to use. The initial development of this idea was to cover the whole poster with just the lyrics, but as I began the process of actually creating the artwork, it felt as if there was an element missing, thus I later added the group stencil and title.

Funkoars Poster

Creating the Illustrator Poster was the most enjoyable one for me, mainly because I chose one of my absolute favourite artists: LMFAO. One of their most appealing songs to me was “Shots”, so I decided to do a nice simple poster showing a female taking shots; the reason for this is because it seemed to match with their kind of music and also the belief that for something to be aesthetically pleasing or creative, does not necessarily mean that it must be a long arduous task, I feel that once something is at an aesthetically pleasing standard, it would most likely be detrimental to the overall design to continue adding more elements. The poster is meant for the Romanian geographic, being that the colours of the flag are represented in three shot glasses.I utilized the live trace option of Illustrator to create a stencil of the lips and also of the shot glass photos I took. The aim of the poster is to promote the status of LMFAO in Romania, although there is no information text such as a date or place, there is a band name which intrigues one to investigate.

Shots Poster

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Week 9 was centred around the idea of analogical thinking, which is basically using one pre-existing context to describe another (Davis, 2004). Using this method of translation is effective in conveying meaning by breaking through the barriers of communication such as language and limited knowledge. Analogical thinking (aka metaphorical thinking) can be seen as a way to draw inspiration from one idea to translate into another, such as making art from a pre-existing knowledge of a stereotype of a clown.

There is an apparent debate about the degree to which this analogical thinking becomes a repetitive representation of an idea rather than an original thought. In my opinion, the line between pure plagiarism and creative output is incredibly thin and is constantly changed depending on the context and the audience. If we take for example, the current trend in today’s music, which seems to be leaning towards using samples of pre-existing songs to create something a little bit different; we can assume that one can use a combination of sounds to create a song and still be creative but there is a shady transition into copyright, whereby using even one note from a sound recording can be considered copyright infringement (Franzen & Mcleod, 2009). One can draw inspiration from a song and use a small part of it to illustrate a style, but the perception of it’s creativity depends on what the audience thinks and how much has actually been copied; the law can either be a restraint as it constricts an artist to using new and unique sounds but it also is the opposite in that it ensures that no two songs sound exactly the same (Masnick, 2011, April 22).

In class we had to think of at least one ‘creative’ answer/idea/image for a list of questions relative to the subject. Unfortunately the class moved its focus towards the comic activity thus the only answer I was able to gain from my group was that the fiddle represented a cat. I wanted to explore the notion of analogical thinking more by actually attempting at answering the questions on this blog, thus the questions are:

What animal is like a bass fiddle and why?

Apart from the aforementioned cat, I feel that an owl represents the body of a bass fiddle, while the neck of the bass fiddle is a misplaced branch, thus in my opinion I believe that a bass fiddle is an owl that it sleeping facedown on a branch.

What is the colour of shame and why?

Well first I thought, what is the colour of pride and just take the opposite of that, but the only thing that came to mind was the idea that the gay pride flag was a rainbow, therefore I felt that the opposite of pride must be gray. A colour in which is ashamed to show a different hue.

In what ways can coolness be seen?

My immediate thought was to take the literal meaning rather than the colloquialised stereotype of a heightened acceptance within a group, eg saying “he’s cool with us”. The thermal camera, showing a temperature of a surface seemed to resonate quite strongly in portraying coolness, while if we take the slang definition of the word, I seemed to think of the Fonz from Happy Days, the classic sunglasses with leather jacket look.

In what ways can softness be heard?

Lower volume seems to define softness in the audio aspect, thus in my opinion: pretty much anything can be considered to be soft when played at a low volume.

What could have given a cave dweller the idea for a spear?

Thinking that one must reach a target from a distance while also producing a deadly effect on impact, the cave dweller may draw inspiration from jagged rocks, long shadows, random sticks. Although if you take into consideration that the cave dweller had not yet thought of a weapon to destroy a target from a distance, he/she may not have eaten in a while, thus hallucinations are a plausible explanation to the invention of a spear in the mind of a cave dweller (Meerloo & Klauber, 1952), even if thoughts of hallucination are centred around food, depending on the animals in existence; it may in fact aid in the production of a weapon, for example if the cave dweller lives in a cave where the sole known prey is that of a mountain deer, the horns may give some insight towards the creation of a spear.

In the next class activity, we had to portray 2 situations using 2 different contexts from a list of topics. My first chosen situation was road rage and the source was superheroes:

Batman Pulled Over

My second illustration drew from Alice in Wonderland and the drug problem, because it seemed like an obvious choice

Cheshire Cat

References:

Davis, G. A. (2004). Creative inspiration through analogical thinking. Creativity is forever (pp. 145-170). (5th Ed.). USA: Kendell/Hunt.

Franzen, B., & Mcleod, K. (Producers & Directors). (2009). Copyright Criminals [Documentary]. United States: Independent Lens

Masnick, M. (2011, April 22). How copyright law makes sample-based music impossibly expensive… if you want to do it legally [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110414/03271513892/how-copyright-law-makes-sample-based-music-impossibly-expensive-if-you-want-to-do-it-legally.shtml

Meerloo, J.A.M., & Klauber, L.D. (1952). Psychomatic Medicine .Clinical significance of starvation and oral deprivation, 14(6), 492. Retrieved from http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/14/6/491.full.pdf

In the week 6 tutorial, we explored Csikszentmihalyi’s ideas on the flow of creativity and Edward de Bono’s theory of the six thinking hats.

It is interesting to find that the reading starts off by describing the lives of creative people as being basically anything but money-driven, eluding to their careers as containing a certain level of enjoyment rather than just a means of producing money. The quote “… it is not what these people do that counts but how they do it” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996) describes how creativity is not only the exterior stereoptype of jobs such as interior designers and world class fashionistas but rather how an individual plays out a particular task, this can be exemplified in the way in which one worker quit her job.

Csikszentmihalyi outlines the way in which creativy flows in 9 aspects:

1. Clear Goals – Knowledge of what needs to be done

2. Immediate Feedback – One is aware whether or not their actions are correct as soon as they have acted, eg an architect knows immediately if they have drawn a line wrong

3. Challenge and Skill Balance – An excess of skill in comparison to challenge leads to boredom and repetition, while the opposite (Challenge > Skill) leads to frustration, therefore a balance is required

4. Action and Awareness Merged – What it looks like you are doing must reflect your thoughts

5. Exclusion of Distractions – Disregarding the minds natural tendancy to sway away from the task at hand; this may occur when our skill outweighs the challange eg washing the dishes while thinking about the bills

6. No fear of failure – Worry is a chain that holds our mind from its true creative potential, focusing on the final rather than thinking of how to get there

7. Self-consciousness Disappears – Concern about how we appear to others constricts our freedom to think, in hopes that we appear acceptable to society

8. Distorted Time Perception – Uncontrolled by the means of time

9. Activity becomes Autoletic – Learning may be difficult at first but may become a hobby in the long run

I agreed with most of the 9 aspects, such as clear goals where I believe it is important in the creative mind. Once an individual is flooded with tasks and unsure about what their main goal is, it can interfere with their creativity, limiting the possible thinking capabilities, if we take for example a simple university assignment such as representing a given corporate logo in a 3D form, we may easily stray from the main clear goal by focusing on the marks or getting the correct material. It is easy to see how there is an interplay between the 9 aspects of flow, as we stray from a main goal and become concerned with failure in the eyes of another, we become distracted by the thought of time and we start to feel as if it is no longer an exercise of creativity but rather a challenge that outweighs our skill capabilities: this being exemplified in the aforementioned university project.

In class we were given the task of redesigning the campus in a way that made it more appealing (unrestricted by a specific audience) using a given method of creative thinking. My group was given the brainwriting method in which we all had one piece of paper; and we wrote ideas on it for three minutes with no communication, then made a rotation to write ideas on another’s paper, and this continued for about 15 minutes until we finally checked and discussed our results with the group. I found this activity quite fun and it seemed as though the no communication system worked because it freed us from fear of failure in anothers eyes, we did not have to think about what the others would say about it, we just wrote it down.

Ideas from Brainwriting

As we began to pass our ideas around, creativity seemed to flow and we seemed to write ideas regardless of their possibility nor considering their cost to the university, the feeling of thought freedom really seemed to enhance the flow of ideas. Although it may seem pointless to write ideas that are impossible or illogical, when read by another, they tend to flow into a possible idea, as exmplified in the above picture where the highly illogical idea of a giant graffitti wall linked into the idea of more art.

References:

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). The Flow of Creativity. Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention (pp. 107-126). New York: HarperCollins.

Leo [Chive User Name]. (2010, August 10). Girl quits her job on dry erase board, emails entire office [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://thechive.com/2010/08/10/girl-quits-her-job-on-dry-erase-board-emails-entire-office-33-photos/