Category: ECU CCA1103

In this week’s lecture, we had guest lecturer Julie Robinson, a performance artist who had really seemed to exemplify what the reading suggested.

From attending Robinson’s lecture, I learnt many things about using creativity in a career; such as the fact that problems always arise in some form or another, regardless if you work with the people you hate or love. There will always be a difference in each of our aims in life, in Robinson’s case, their art group depended on each to have the same mentality and involvement but as one becomes more concerned with work and less interested in the creative lifestyle, the group falls apart and each goes their own way. This leads to another point that the creative mind is not always heavily rewarded financially.

In one of this week’s readings, the statistics show that artists were generally low-income earners, with approximately half of the surveyed creative workers earning less that $7300 in the financial year of 2000-2001 (Bott, 2003). If this didn’t ruin your perception of the glamorous artist life already; it was found that over the previous 15 years that the survey had been conducted, the overall financial disadvantage in comparison to other careers had seemed to be worsening, this seems to explain the fact that a majority of creative workers have jobs in other disciplines; the need for funding a project usually requires an outside source of income, mainly being that it takes money to make money. If we take for example St Helen’s ‘Dream’ sculpture which cost £1.88 million to construct, a structure that stands at 60 feet and is made of a pre-cast concrete and spanish dolomite aggregate (apparently the whitest marble available), we see that it takes quite alot of money to construct such an artwork (Gavaghan, 2009), if we direct our attention to where most of the money was distributed, which is centred around actually building the sculpture, it becomes interesting to find that it would be more financially advantageous to be a construction worker rather than a designer as the contruction business is constantly in demand, as is apparent in this ‘Dream’ scuplture where an estimated 6160 hours of man-made construction occured (“Drea-St. Helens: Dream Facts & Figures,” n.d.), the creative minds that designed this artwork may get paid more than the average construction worker, but opportunities like this do not always come frequently; the design career is unusual and many things happen unexpectedly, which may make it interesting but also leaves it as a constant struggle to find an opportunity to work (Throsby & Hollister, 2003) and also in most cases there is an inequality in the amount of money put into the work in reference to the financial return (Fly, 2011, April 30), thus becoming an established professional in the creative discipline must involve a certain degree of mental strength as there will always be elements that dissuade.

Money is not the only factor that restricts an artist to a non-creative career, although it is a major part and can be linked to other elements such as food & shelter which cost money. There are many decisions we have to make and we are constantly influenced by outside sources; it is interesting to find that the second restraint of a creative career is the factor of time (Throsby & Hollister, 2003). We are constantly reminded that we have to be somewhere, that there is not enough time, that you need the services of fast food: it seems to me that the modern world we live in now is governed by the idea of immediate satisfaction, you need the job to be done now, you need a coffee to keep your energy going throughout the night, your life becomes a constant strive to finish the next challenge. It is difficult to keep up with the idea of time, and it may dissuade you away from your chosen creative path, but time will always be something that has been decided: while life on the other hand, is something that will always be your decision.


Bott, J. (2003). Commentary on Dont give up your day job. Retrieved from __data/assets/pdf_file/0019/32518/ commentary.pdf

Dream Facts & Figures. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Fly, T. (2011, April 30). The true cost of creating art [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Gavaghan, J. (2009). Huge folly or amazing work of art? Giant 60ft head costing taxpayers £2m nears completion. Retrieved from

Throsby, D. Hollister, V. (2003). Dont give up your day job : an economic study of professional artists in Australia (pp. 33-36). Sydney: Australia Council.


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


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

Meerloo, J.A.M., & Klauber, L.D. (1952). Psychomatic Medicine .Clinical significance of starvation and oral deprivation, 14(6), 492. Retrieved from

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.


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

In week 4, we were required to read Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi’s extract on the traits that the creative individual has. A brief summary of Csikszentmihalyi’s ideas in the text can be explained as: the creative person holds polar opposite traits. Now this immediately brings to my mind, the way in which horoscopes define our personality by broadening the spectrum, creating the illusion that it’s aimed directly at you. Although upon further reading of the text, it is apparent that there may be more to the idea at hand.

The first of the ten traits describes how the creative mind is found in those who portray a great deal of physical energy while also constraining themselves to rest at certain periods. I personally feel that this point largely relates to myself as I find myself at alternating energy levels throughout the day and I do consider myself to be creative. I agree that the mind requires a certain balance between the adrenaline rush of thought and the mental meditation, the individual must have a control over their energy; able to focus when necessary in order to achieve  the most acceptable result. Although I do feel a little unstable about the idea whether energy is not determined by an external schedule, on the one hand I agree that we can be creative regardless of time, yet on the other hand I feel that we are persuaded by our own individual schedule; I tend to feel more creative during the latter part of the day, a time where my mind has allowed itself time to mentally stretch and get prepared for upcoming challenges, some would say that I am an evening person (Plotnik & Kouyoumdjian, 2010, pg 155).

The second point relates to the intelligence of an individual, in that the more academically oriented tend to be constrained by the need to follow specific rules while the plain ignorant does not have the mental understanding of what is able to be done. To have a balance between these two allows one to use their knowledge in combinataion with freedom of thought in order to create something new. I find it quite interesting that after a certain point, a high IQ is no longer a beneficial trait in regards to real life, as the cutoff is apparently at 120 (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996, pg 59); meaning that being the extreme of either end of the intelligence spectrum may hold a lower level of creativity, not being a definitive rule but rather a theory.

Playfulness and Discipline are the third personality opposites, basically outlining the need to have control over the serious and child-like side of a mind. When a task is at hand and there is a time restraint, one must be able to focus on the task, while on the other hand the playful state of mind seems to aid in creative thinking, allowing one to freely experiment in the mind. Personally; I feel that this point is somewhat repetitive, in that it could have been added to the specifications of the previous point.

Alternating between reality and fantasy in the creative mind, seems to me like the ideal masterpiece portrayal of what creativity is; the individual must in fact have a sense of what can actually be achieved but also being able to push the mental limits of imagination; the ability to bring the mind into real life.

Introvert and Extrovert are two opposites which may be difficult to understand how they can co-exist within the same mentality, but upon reading the required text, I have been slightly persuaded to believe that a person must hold the ability to become a ‘solitary genius’, being that they are not entirely dependant on other’s approval nor their ideas. Although there must be a balance as with any of the ten traits; in this case it is the idea that one must also be able to see other points of view, one cannot be soley defined by their own understanding of the world but must also take into consideration the perception of others. In my area of graphic design it is largely apparent that we must take context into consideration, due to the fact that we are not only creating for the eye of our own demographic but rather the entire world. Colours in Culture is an interactive model of how different colours can have different meanings depending on the common ideas of a country and its experiences, in graphic design, this is important to consider that the design doesnt send across the wrong message.

Humble and Proud are two characteristics in which help the creative individual to understand what role they play in society. As with the majority of life’s elements, there will always be an amount that is either too much or too little. When a person is too proud of their work, they tend to overlook the opinions of others and become entirely self-absorbed in the passion of their own work, while on the other end of the spectrum, there is the idea that being too shy may hold back the enthusiasm to show off their work, thus unable to circulate artwork for appreciative purposes.

The seventh point is quite simple and yet can be branched into a number of topics. The two genders have been largely stereotyped over the years, holding back the thoughts of artists; constricting them to the hopes that the males do not appear overly feminine and vice versa. In this point, it is important to consider that we must hold traits from both genders, the strong and brave masculine, but also the soft and delicate feminine.

Pushing the limits of a specific domain is a small summary of the eighth point. One must learn and accept a domain of their choosing but not be bound by it, they must be willing to break the usual understanding in order to create something unique and unseen.

The ninth point outlines the idea that you must be critical of your own work but also passionate. You must feel the need to work on it constantly, but also not be completely absorbed in it that you are unable to criticize it in any way.

The final point is largely dependant on our emotional state, whether we let our own personality get in the way of how we create, emotions can be like a bear trap in our minds, once we touch upon them; it becomes incredibly hard to let go of the feelings. The creative individual is able to feel pain and harm for their work, but they must also stand strong and be capable of understanding criticism.

Our mind is an infinite piece of art that paints our individuality through our actions and creations.


Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). The Creative Personality. Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention (pp. 51-76). New York: HarperCollins.

Hodges, P. (2010). Zoho Lab: Interactive Colours in Culture [Interactive]. Retreived from

Plotnik, R., & Kouyoumdjian, H. (2010). Introduction to Psychology (9th ed.). Belmont, California: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, Inc.

Creativity is normally thought of as “mysterious mental happenings” but a lot of theories “demystify” the process of creativity. Briefly define or describe the following:
 Freud’s Psychoanalytic account – The theory that there is an unconscious interplay between the libido and the ability that one has, the understanding that being creative is seen as directing sexual frustration into an acceptable medium dependant on the socially developed  individual. Freud also outlined that creative thinking had traits of a child, different to childish, rather it was the playful ability and willingness to learn that defined the imaginative personality.

Primary and Secondary process – Primary process relates to relaxation and the mental state of mind where the physical body is at rest; the mind is given time to freely roam into the fantasy dimension of thought, unrestricted by rules and logic. While on the other, the Secondary process is governed by reason and logic, perceived as the realistic adult point of creativity.

Rugg’s Transliminal Chamber – Middlepoint of the Conscious and Unconscious, the preconscious can form ideas that slide between fantasy and reality, playing with metaphorical relationships.

Skinner’s Behaviourist Account – In my own opinion it seems to be a pessimistic view of the subject which suggests there is no such thing as creativity but rather a formation of idea, controlled by a superior eg parent, judge, law official, teacher etc. One’s creativity is limited by the rules and guidelines that he/she has learned from another, such as the singer is told which notes do not rhythmically fit together.

Mednick’s Mental Association theory – One’s ability to be creative is measured by the broadness of mental association, a less creative individual may see the only relation to the word “arms” being that of the human anatomy, while the creative seems to possibly associate “arms” with guns, Australian Research Management Society, tattoos or even robotics.

Roger’s Self Actualization theory – Creativity springs from the psychologically safe environment which aids in the adaptability to experience and the self control of a situation.

Sternberg’s Three Facet model – The three facet model summarises the usual characteristics of a creative person. Intelligence is the first facet which is basically self-explanatory, the Cognitive style is the adoption of one’s own rules; straying from the usual mentality. The last facet is the Motivated personality which drives the idea into possibly being made happen.

Amabile’s three part model – Contains three components: containing the skills within a particular domain eg painting or photography. The second component is the skills one has to allow creativity across a range of domains. The final component is related to the motivation one has.

Csikszentmihaly’s and Gardner’s three-part models – One of my favourite definitions of creativity, due to it’s simplicity.

Basically there is the creative person, of which displays a certain level of talent

Mime sitting on air

The Talent

 He or she recieves formal training in the domain

American Mime Theatre

The Domain

 And finally the verdict is based upon whether or not the observer finds it substantially creative

I find it quite interesting that in this age of immediate satisfaction through internet, anybody can be a creative judge for anything as long as it can be recorded in some way or another in regards to the human senses, in the three examples that I mentioned above, the individual displays an ability to portray scenarios using only the body, while furthering this ability through training in the domain. It is then finally judged by any random human on this earth who comes across this video from searching any of these tags: ART, VS, SCIENCE, Parlez-vous, francais, Art, Vs, versus, Science, Music, Video, Parle, parlie, vous, James, Boyce, dutch, Grumpy, Sailor, Alex, roberts, nick, fogarty, australian, clip, electro, pop, unique, dan, mac, jim, finn, williams, fight, red, best, music, video, ever, camera, fast, edit, relevant, funny, humour, comedy. Which makes me wonder, is there really a measurement to creativity? Where do we draw the line that says it is no longer creative, it is pointless, no mental thought in the process of creation?

I have recently discovered that we need not answer all questions in the tutorial sheet to achieve a minimal passing grade (of which I hope to surpass greatly…… hope being the key word) therefore from this blog onwards, I will be discussing the questions I found most interesting while also relating to the lecture and producing evidence that shall be intended to aid my point of view.

When you are engaged in creative practices, is there a method and/or theory that you use?

My theory is that music largely affects the flow of my creative process, I am a large believer of this due to previous experiences in my life being persuaded by music. The first example of music affecting creativity and lifestyle is the use of fast paced music to increase the likelihood of a adrenaline rush which seems to increase mental & physical activity in my case. The other example is related to my drawings; slow & passionate music seems to help with flow of line and a steady hand as exemplified in this drawing:

Melancholy by AIZ-is-me at deviantART

While on the other hand, the anger inducing music illustrates a fast sketchy style that portrays different figures, as exemplified in this drawing:

Bring it on by AIZ-is-me at deviantART

Consider the following situations, which reflect aspects of the theories above, and suggest at least 5 creative solutions/ideas for each:

You are a hungry student without food or money – My very first idea that came straight to mind was to steal.

My Second idea was to go on a hunger strike (thinking since you are already up 5h!t creek without a paddle, why not make it look like you did it on purpose) protesting the need to pay for food at educational facilities, referencing the prison in Cambodia that provides food to prisoners while also offering development of technical skills.

Prison Food Comic

My third idea was that you could disguise yourself as a contaminations expert and wander around the educational facility that you are attending, in an attempt to convince your target (aka the dude with your favourite sandwich) that you are on an assignment to “test” whether or not food is edible, hinting that there may have been a radioactive outbreak in the food supply.

I'm Only Wearing This because my lab coat is in the wash

The fourth idea was much less radical, it relies on selling drawings or if you are not an artist, you could ask or persuade an artist in some way (maybe pose for them) into allowing you to sell their artworks

Hand Drawing Hand

My final Idea was to distribute I.O.U in exchange for food


(n.d.). T-Shirt Design [Image]. Retrieved from

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

Escher, M.C. (1948). Drawing Hands [Artwork]. Retrieved from

Knight, R. (n.d.). Mime Sitting [Image]. Retrieved from

Roberts, A. [Director]. (2009). Parlez vous francais [Music Video]. Retrieved from

shu0347 [CartoonStock ID]. (n.d.). Retrieved from

To what extent do you think you look at the world in a creative (or uncreative) way?

1.a. I look at the world in a creative way to the extent that everything can be considered to be art, if something is done without a purpose then it may be perceived as creative, basically anything outside the primal needs of survival is what I consider to be creative, ie a mansion with flat screen televisions everywhere is the emphasis of creativity on the needs of shelter and entertainment.

What are the key historical shifts in the history of imagination and creativity discussed in the lecture? Can you think of an example of how earlier ideas about creativity persist today, for example in the work of a particular artist?
 1.b. The earliest forms of imagination and creativity were evident in cave paintings and statues of the ancient periods where life was portrayed in a way that either exaggerated the needs of survival ie reproductive female organs, or an alternate perception of real life struggle ie painting of unfamiliar prey.

Then came the adoption of the classical imagination, which emphasized the idea that creativity seemed to be governed by rules and bound within the system of beliefs unique to different societies, such as the stereotypical egyptian human body painted on the walls which depicted each body part in its most diverse viewpoint in relation to the body as a whole.

The greeks were largely concerned with myths that were passed down through the use of muses. Stories had formed around gods that represented different aspects of life, such as Aphrodite for beauty or Ares to represent the bloodlust war side of reality. The gods were constructed according to a rule that constricted the broad imagination to aspects of life.

Medieval Imagination was the idea that God was the only creative mind and any idea outside the original was thought to be the devil’s work.

The dark ages further developed the idea of the devil in a way, in that the absence of light brought about ideas of demonic mythical creatures.

Where does your own creative ideas or practice sit in the history of imagination and creativity?
1.c. My own creative ideas seem to relate to the romantic inspiration type as I see myself becoming inspired at the most unusual times, whether this be due to boredom or just plain inebriation.
With reference to the reading, what is the relationship between night, darkness, and the imagination? How did the growth of artificial light affect human imagination and creativity?
 1.d. The darkness of the night was a sacred time in which our imagination began to influence our view of reality, we assumed that what we could not see at night could be imagined to exist, therefore many believed in ghosts, witchcraft and pixies (Ekirch, 2005).

The introduction of light into the night, drastically affected civilization and knowledge as the reading explains. The age of reason began to unfurl at the beginning of the eighteenth century, with artificial light introducing night strolls and longer hours awake, it can be perceived that light revealed nothing but the false reality of our imagination.

Discuss the relationship between, night, day, light, the moon, the sun, and creativity. Are there any other daily, weekly, seasonal or other (natural or unnatural) patterns in your thinking?
 1.e. Night and Day, the Sun and the Moon: these have all played a part in the role of creativity, with the sun acting as a way to tell time through the solar clock, the moon became a symbol for the darkness, with the introduction of the werewolf to the imagination, the moon fueled the ludicrous idea of a beast at night.

My creativity does seem to work more efficiently after many hours have passed since waking up (meaning im not a morning thinker). My mind tends to adjust to the latter part of the day, giving it more time to mentally stretch.


Ekirch, A. R. (2005). At days close: Night in times past (pp. 324-339). New York: Norton and Company