What is creativity?

Interesting look at what constitutes creativity and it is the use of technology which allows all these thoughts and ideas to be put together in a fascinating way. Some interesting information about David Bowie too who is , has been and will continue to be a major creative influence in the world.

So how good are you with Adobe Photoshop?

Erik Johansson is incredibly talented in visual art. His videos and web page show how a real master blends real life and virtual reality. Watching his creative process you understand that nothing is too much or too difficult to achieve his artistic ends. You also realise he is prepared to put 123 layers into his Adobe Photoshop creations to achieve what he wants. The blending of real and imagined is seamless. The detail is infinitesimal and he is incredibly painstaking in the way he goes about creating his images. Technology can shift the boundaries and imagination can reach out and use its limitlessness to show itself. What can be imagined now was restricted before but that same imagination has to be very disciplined and precise in its thinking to achieve its goals with technology. Near enough is not good enough and precision is everything.

3D Steam Stretch – Issey Miyake

You have to be able to think in a technological way to create a 3D fabric and then understand how that will then translate into  haute couture clothing. The fashion designer, Issey Miyake, shows in the video the thought process and then the functional requirements of creating such a material. All the while the images focus on form and movement. They also portray very clearly how technology aids graphic design in a fundamental way to take it to a higher level. The marriage of technology and graphic design is extraordinary and you can literally see how different this 3D material is from normal material. This material was created for his summer collection  this year and tomorrow we’ll see just how much technology can inspire and take us to a whole new level of creativity and imagination.

Colour your teaching

If the only thing you do is watch this video, you have done well. It speaks for itself and is beautiful. When my daughter was at art school, one of the first assignments they had, was to build an installation which focussed on one colour. Hers happened to be green. As part of her audience experience she wanted to make a green cake. She went outside and got some fuchsia leaves and asked me if I could make green chocolate leaves to go on her cake like the ones she had chosen. I washed the leaves , dried them and painted them with green chocolate. When her cake was made we peeled off the real leaves and had the chocolate ones for her to decorate the cake. She then took a photo of it on some little camera around at the time which printed up a small photo of the cake she had baked. It was not only a good mother and daughter moment, it was a good teaching a learning moment. I learned that if you focussed on one thing and explored it from all angles it was a deeply satisfying and inspirational way to learn. From then on I applied that in my classroom. With technology you can focus on one thing from all sorts of angles. You can teach content in multimodal ways and bring about a deeper understanding and a much better sense of what the learning is about. Looking at teaching through an artist’s lens means you have the opportunity to truly engage someone’s mind and creativity by immersing them through studied focus which then builds on itself.

My Planet via the scenic route

My planet Well, we got there. Lessons can fall over for the simplest of reasons. Teaching French space vocabulary to year 9s is quite tricky and demanding but I do it step by step and we get there. We had made up an alien and described it. I then asked them to make up a planet and label 10 things on it. I thought they were doing it but when I looked at their iPads there was nothing.

“We don’t know what you mean.”
“I mean I want to make up a planet like you made up an alien.”
“What kind of planet?”
“Well, that’s for you to make up. It’s your planet.”
“Do you want an aerial view? What do you want?”
” I want you to make up a planet.”

We were getting nowhere fast so I shifted the lesson over to some vocab and pattern practice and said we’d come back to our planet the next lesson. We needed time to think. I went away and made a desktop for my laptop by stitching planet pictures together. Next lesson I walked in and got lots of oohs and aahs. I could then tell them in French (because we had done all that extra practice!!) what their planet might look like. Suddenly there was a hive of activity and they went to work and it was interesting to watch how these Year 9s went about creating their planets. Some are very particular and like accuracy. Some like taking a theme and working with that. Some like it to be cartoon style, others like it to be realistic. I marked those planets today and they have done a wonderful job. Our next step is to put our alien on our planet and make a little story in French. The beginning of those planet presentations are looking really great and they are being very careful with their French. I still don’t know why they couldn’t make up a planet. I do know I am glad I have a laptop and a board.

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