Some of you may already know, before I became a full time blogger I wrote a few fiction titles. Because I didn't apply any marketing or after-thought to my products, and because my fan base was mostly imaginary at the time, of course they didn't make me wealthy. Since then, things have improved for me, as you know, with the digital media side of my writing. This doesn't mean that I have lost interest in writing fiction. Not at all, and when I find the time I intend to begin writing it again. As I hope any of you are doing as well, when we need to find our feet in a new world of work, we need to do training and education. For me, being thrown in at the deep-end, this meant taking courses while working. Long term readers of Alternative Fruit can probably remember the days before I had learned much about online media. Thankfully, these days, the blog is a great deal better.
I haven't only been looking into education for digital media. I've also been learning writing. Getting back to the basics and building up from solid foundations has been something I wanted to do. So maybe my spelling is passable and my grammar is adequate, however there is a lot more to writing than that. Some of you may know, the English language has various strains and styles, each one can be applied in various ways. Writing for blogs is not the same as writing for the boss, or for your MP. As well as doing the vital work on business and consumable digital content writing that had to be done, I've also been looking at how to write better stories. Rather than selling you the courses one by one, if you want to take one you will I am sure, I thought I'd give you a fairly wide reaching run-down of the key points that make a story worth reading.
Start With The Essentials
A skeleton story made up of key points is an excellent way of starting. We often have it in our minds somewhere as we write. Get it down and make it a go-to place for inspiration when we need it.
Why These People And Places?
You'll have some characters and a place where the story happens. Why have you chosen them? Remembering this helps to write believable and memorable situations. It's okay to be inventive and create oddballs, weirdos, and strange unreal worlds, but there has to be a reason for it. Make it work in the story, not just part of it.
Did something on TV frustrate you? Did a story in a film or maybe real life feel wrong and awkward? Those feelings are really useful in story telling. You know what you didn't like about your experience so use the idea to create something fictional that still makes use of those arousing sensations.
Be Careful With Magic
Readers can feel cheated when a character does something magical or extremely lucky in order to escape danger. Unforeseen circumstances work well in many situations, except the one that solves all the problems. This robs the reader of a valuable part of the story.
Don't Over Do It
You have to just accept what's done as done and get on with it. Re-arranging and adapting, fixing the not broken and playing with perfection doesn't get us anywhere. Try to accept that sometimes we are too harsh for our own good and just go for it. It'll be okay. If something really doesn't want to feel right, let go of it entirely and come back to it when you're inspired.
Why Should The Reader Care?
Give us a reason to give a damn about what happens next! No-one cares about boring people with boring lives, we read for excitement and entertainment. We want to bond with people who are out of the everyday, people who give us something to escape into. Let's have characters that we can attach to and enjoy spending time with, as well as people we can't abide of course. It's in the mix.
It's Not About You
Not many stories make the author a main character, we have to put ourselves in their shoes. Often we can use our personality in ways to design characters but they're always different people. That makes the dynamics of the story their most interesting. Having said this, the people have to be believable so when we write them, we do have to imagine how we would feel and react when given the situations ourselves. Then simply tweak it to accommodate for the character's own personality.
What's The Point?
You're not just writing this for fun, there's something underneath that makes you want to write. What is it? How does that benefit the reader? Don't put it down necessarily but keep it in mind while writing.
Diversify Your Beliefs
Different people think differently, so each character has to reflect this. Again, it's not about you but fictional people so give them opinions and ideas that make the story seem like it's set in a real society. It can be tricky to write confidently in something we don't personally believe in, however it gets easier.
Try Not To Be Too Obvious
Get over the first idea and move on to the next one. The first thing popping in your head is probably the same thing popping in the reader's head too. You're the author, show the reader why you get to write books by being more creative than they are. Do it every time, no excuses.
If in doubt, write. Once the text is there, it can be worked on and appraised. If you never put the idea down, you risk losing it forever.
Reflect On What Made You Like A Story
There is a reason why a given story resonated with you. It'll be because it feels like it identifies with a part of your life somehow. You can relate to it in a way that feels good. If you can make a note of the times when this happens, you'll be able to make use of that same feeling in your own work. This isn't copying, it's taking inspiration. Don't just copy stories to call your own. Also, try to mix your sources, a pinch of this and a dollop of that.
What Definitely Will Never Happen?
Be mindful of where you don't want to go, what you don't want to happen, and what you decide is not the issue of the story. When these things are down, finding their opposite and equal parts can be much easier.
How Does It All End?
You need to think about the end scene and have it operational before you finish the story. This way you can feed into the final chapters at intervals through-out the book and help the reader to piece together the parts as they go. It also helps when including things like irony and metaphor.
Less Filling, More Cake
Getting to know the characters is important but we can do that while they go on their adventures. We don't need to see them drinking a cup of tea with their mum for half an hour to get to know the lead. Have them doing what they're meant to be doing.
Make It Hard For The Character
What are their skills and attributes? What are they comfortable with? Readers want to see people having a hard time so through in some curve-balls and see how they react. Try to break the flow of your character and get them to respond.
It sounds counter-intuitive however all stories have a certain way of flowing that people expect. They begin with an everyday situation, and we meet the characters. Then something out of the ordinary happens. This causes the situation to change. Something happens again to bring in the rest of the story. A next change happens when we are well into the story, and finally and ending brings it all together.
Don't Hang Up On Key Points
Tell the story and bear the points in mind, don't force everything to make sense according to predetermined factors. Things will work out and factors will make themselves apparent as you go. Something will feel wrong if it doesn't fit your ideals, have faith and just write.
Remember It's Entertainment
People read for pleasure, they want to laugh, cry, and smile. You're giving them the experiences for that to happen. We have to want success for the character, we have to want to pick up the book and read the next bit. Trying to satisfy an inner need to be heard is not the same as pleasing readers. Remember it's not about you.
There you have it, a run down of extremely useful writing tips for creative writers everywhere. Why not bookmark this handy link for Free ISBN and Self Publishing.
Thanks for reading Alternative Fruit!
Since writing about how seeing art can help people with mental health problems last week, it's perhaps time to look at the path of healing through art in a more general scope. Before scientific explanations, holistic healing was said to appeal to the psyche, the soma, and the spirit. This triple headed approach to health enabled people to work through their illnesses on multiple levels. Of course, in modern medicine, a lot more care is taken to understand the dynamics of healing however the evidence for the effectiveness of holistic therapies is continual. The body does indeed carry the feelings, thoughts, and emotions as chemical signals. Sub-conscious feelings and thoughts are there too. Connecting to the sub-conscious allows us to express what is previously unknown to us about ourselves.
Art as a therapy does this job extremely well. By expressing ourselves in a creative way, we open up a channel to our subconscious to guide us in our actions. By then observing our actions, we can determine what the sub-conscious is presenting. Dance and Movement Psychotherapy for example is a specific type of therapy that uses our gestures and movements to express our inner and hidden thoughts. By loosening up and letting go, letting the body do the work and releasing the grip of conscious control, the body will begin to function as a tool of the sub-conscious.
The body is a store-room of feelings that we can keep inside. The more unprocessed and unexpressed feelings and thoughts we have, the more ill we potentially can get. By using expressive therapies we can actually help to clear out the backlog that perhaps is building up through life. Especially in a busy lifestyle, finding time to process everything might not be easy. Doing things like specific therapies designed for sub-conscious expression can help us significantly. The mental health benefits of exercise are also well documented, from a merely physical point of view.
How do we switch off the conscious mind when creating? Whether it's writing or dancing or something in between, we have to stop listening to the inner voices and thoughts which continually judge our potential actions. We have to learn to have faith in our natural ability to act without thinking, and if it's within a safe environment then there's nothing to stop us. The more we think and analyse, the less free our expression becomes. It might be that what first comes into our mind is not pleasant and perhaps we feel that we dare not express such things, but in a safe creative environment we can express anything we like and we ought to.
Want to browse stylish interior design?
Why not cheer yourself and look at some art? It's widely known that art therapy can help us however it usually means doing a bit of creativity ourselves, its a hands on therapy that requires willing effort. I don't know about you but when I feel depressed, I don't fancy getting out the pens and paper. I just like to watch youtube videos and listen to the radio. I do those things anyway but usually as part of a much more varied agenda. But going to see art? Sounds promising. Many museums are not free, so when we're offered an opportunity to go to a paid exhibit for nothing then that ought to be enough to cheer someone up straight away. If the condition truly is clinical and a bit of good news doesn't do the trick, then up to fifty prescriptions are on offer to compliment the more traditional therapies. I imagine this means antidepressants and talking therapy.
Exercise has been a prescription option for many doctors before, however now in Toronto Canada as of 1st November, museum visits are available to hand out as needed. Does looking at art make you feel better? Perhaps not initially however I think the benefit is in the settling in and the subconscious processing of it afterwards. Sometimes to get the brain working we have to warm it up, like a car on a cold day. When we're depressed, our brain is perhaps a little stiff in the places that keep us in high spirits. Perhaps they've been over-used or stressed out in the past which is why they have trouble now. We can relearn how to feel good as long as we do put in conscious effort daily.
Having somewhere to go and a whole plethora of new conversation starters can be really handy to improve our social life and confidence in groups. Have you ever felt that no-one would care if you mentioned your week, or day? That's why we do interesting things, not only for ourselves but to help us get on with those conversations and social occasions we all want to take part in. Perhaps a trip or two to the museum will help to get those cogs into motion?
Even in the UK, the arts are being recognised for their massive contribution to mental and social wellness. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing Inquiry states that:
“We are calling for an informed and open minded willingness to accept that the arts can make a significant contribution to addressing a number of the pressing issues faced by our health and social care systems. ” Rt. Hon. Lord Howarth of Newport Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing.
Sometimes art can be a little out of reach to the everyday person, the prices and the language used plus the cultural differences between traditional art lovers and the interested others can all mount up to a wall of division. Breaking this down is a way of making sure that we all have an equal ability to go and experience art from a variety of perspectives. This whole concept echoes the idea that began Alternative Fruit. I saw a world with a lot of sickness, young people committing violent crimes, finding a sense of belonging in gangs, taking out their frustrations in destructive ways, and I thought that the best thing I can do is to begin opening the art world up just a little more and putting in front of people. Five years later, Alternative Fruit is still here and with more regular readers than ever.
If you live in Toronto then ask about prescriptions to the museum, and everyone else keep reading this site and share the links with your friends. It's good for you. Via BBC USA and Canada.
Want an alternative bookshop to Amazon? Here's a global one.
Society is always changing, even before the digital revolution there was progress every year. It may have started slowly, with thousands of years separating significantly different lifestyles in prehistory, however now things are moving much faster. We can all remember a time before some kind of technology that we know about, and today will be a past moment too in the near future. We will remember back in 2018 when we did things a certain way with a particular style of device. Perhaps it will be disposable plastic that will become outdated, a seemingly mad idea from Neanderthal remnant biped apes who had no concern for tomorrow. Time after time, humans demonstrate the ability to do the wrong thing in large numbers. I'd be hypocritical if I said that dear readers, you must use less plastic. I use it myself, and I should should less. I hope this sets an example.
But what about tomorrow? What do we know about today that can point us in a direction that can help us understand the world at large? There are three virtues that seem to be becoming apparent in this modern age which we will see more and more of as the years roll past. Thinking about life and directions to walk in through this lens may help people who are looking to find useful paths to take. It also helps us, I think, to make sense of what's truly important today, and what will remain so tomorrow. Which is the most valuable of the three? You can decide for yourself.
Firstly, the most important thing about our evolving society is the technology we use. This is everything from the vehicles to the computers, the programs that they work with, and the way we interact with them. It's clear that technology is playing a larger part in our lives all the time, and we discover ways of making life easier, simpler, and more enjoyable with the use of various technologies. Although it remains dynamic and a specialism in one thing doesn't guarantee a life-time role, it's possible to find many roads that can last for life in this area.
As we have changed as society, history has shown that people have pressured those who lead or rule to become more benevolent. We don't know how it was thousands of years ago when we were living in tribes, but when a person rules a large number of people, we've seen that they become tyrannical in many cases. We therefore make rules for leaders to follow that prevent them from acting in ways we don't abide. It's taken a huge length of time to get to where we are now and in quite a few cases, it's not over yet. There are many tyrants who when they die, will be replaced by those who have learned from different peers. This is why it's important to do our best to continue to enrich our society with care, and empathy.
As we grow older, there will be a greater need for care roles. Technology links this with solutions, and possibly AI could help organise a workable care routine for large numbers of people. As resources from the public sector seem stretched, we as human beings have to look hard at what our priorities are. The virtue of tomorrow that will become vital is empathy and care. The environment is a mess, and the number of animals that live on Earth are in huge decline. Something has to change before we end up with a complete disaster. Every new generation seems to be more determined to make a change to lifestyles as a whole, bring in new technology, new methods, and new ideas to help break the deadly cycle of waste.
Jobs have become much more varied in the modern day, trades are blurring their boundaries and the employment market is always shifting. The various types of education for work are becoming more widespread too, from blogs like this one spreading knowledge to charities funding schools in third world countries. As technology improves at an ever increasing rate, and the need to care and consideration becomes even more imperative, this makes the next virtue that of creativity. We need solutions and inventions that help us to move past this grimy and careless chapter of our history. Where there are fishes choking on plastic bags and ducks wading in oily residue, where there are men and women sitting in their houses with nothing but bills and a bag of dried rice, where we'd rather a person slept on the pavement in the city centre than pay public money to give them a home and something to eat regardless of their ability to work, we need to make some real changes. Many people really care about these things and feel so strongly about doing the right thing. It's this passion that drives people to create, and to use the tools available to do something today that makes a difference tomorrow.
Toys and collectables plus lots of other gifts with world delivery - browse the fun!
It may be a childish analogy however despite the interconnectivity of the whole thing, our minds really can be seen as two distinctive thinking tools. One side is good at seeing patterns, listing information, and doing logical thought experiments. The other side is good at seeing things in a non-linear and non-rational way. When we look at the world around us, we see many unique things which could never be repeated and we see many similar things which seem to be repeated often. Sometimes things have both of these qualities together and we can focus on one or the other. Think of plants for example, each one is the same as others of the same species however depending on soil, light, genetics, and things like bugs and herbivores, each plant will have a slightly different and seemingly randomly created shape. Our minds can work with both of these qualities, and it's the creative non-linear side that does it the best.
The first thing to remember is that your dreams and fantasies are based on real desires. There is often a common ground between what you dream of doing and what you can do now. Rather than putting it off or subscribing to catastrophist thinking, we can actively seek a way of doing what we want to do at the degree available to us. Maybe we dream of being a musician, so learn to play. It will be hard, it won't make you famous to begin, but if you begin and then refuse to stop then we all know how far people can get. Napoleon the pig would say I can but you can't but that's only because he wants it all for himself. We're all equal and if we do the work, we can all achieve things.
Curiosity may have killed a cat once upon a time however in most situations, it's actually really healthy. Nosiness and gossip of course don't count, but learning really matters. When we learn things, we increase our power to do things. Sometimes it's a way of looking at a situation that helps us to overcome it, sometimes it's the knowledge of a tool that helps us to use it, when we combine thinking methods with tool application the world is ours. Creative minded people love an opportunity to learn, especially when it's from world class universities like these affordable online courses.
Believe in yourself! It may sound cliché however it's clearly something many people have trouble with. You are here and you are real, just as here and real as the other people you meet. You matter and if you want to take a path, walk in a direction, learn a new skill, improve your outlook, then do it. Don't fall into the prejudicial trap of writing yourself off before you even begin and don't hesitate to see your ideas through.
Creative people are really observant. They pick up on nuances, behaviours, phrasings, subtle dramas, and quirky sayings all with the intrigue of a chef in a herb store. When creative people see a style they think about how it applies to their own work. When they see a method of telling a story, they think about how they can tell their stories in ways like that, what would work best? The local and international soup of ideas and creativity is nourishing when we drink.
Thinking up ideas takes time and care, and all of it happens in what others might call time off. By sitting down with some music or in silence and switching our gaze to the inner world, we discover a huge universe of creative inspiration. Don't be put off by accusations of daydreaming or time wasting when the mind is your office.
Learning how to fail is essential, we all want the best outcome and rarely get it. Any outcome is good and it's something we can work on. Often when we go back to something a few weeks later, we have a whole new way of seeing it. This is the best time to give ourselves an appraisal. Every time something doesn't work out the way we want it to then we must ask why. We have learned first of all that this particular method doesn't work. That's a useful piece of information worth the time taken in learning it.
Creative people have taste and they're not afraid to say when something is in or out in their eyes. They'll say when they love something and when something doesn't go with their tastes they'll say so. It's not seen as ugly or uncaring to disagree and to not just stay quiet for politeness. For creative people, being dishonest or giving the wrong impression is uglier by far.
Creative minded people don't get full of themselves, if they do, they lose something special. Remaining humble and continually assessing one's own work is part of remaining ahead of the pack. It's not a good idea to say to yourself “This is perfect” because it probably isn't but it's okay to say “This is terrible” because if even you think so then most others will too. Learn to be your own nightmare critic and it will keep you on your toes for a good reason.
Do things in the way you want to, in the time you feel most comfortable, and don't get lazy. Dreaming and planning, and looking out of the window only works for the first phase of creativity. At some point we have to get started. A clear and comfortable routine is a big part of ensuring we do our work and do our thinking in the proper amounts. A strong work ethic based around your own creativity and not around a 9-5 lock down is always more productive in the end.
One more thing, never give up! Adapt, grow, make intelligent decisions, and keep doing your best. That way you'll only go somewhere not nowhere.
Thank you for reading Alternative Fruit! Please support this blog by using +/ bookmarking these links to eBay and eBay UK. Thanks so much! You all rock.
As I have been browsing various resources online and making use of the different snippets of information I find, I came across a wonderful idea. It's fairly simple yet I think could result in any number of useful or enjoyable (hopefully both) experiences. It's suitable for all ages, in fact I was reading a lesson plan for 8 year olds which I will link at the end. Anyone with decent self-reflecting skills can take part in this activity. The goal is to work on your empathy, help to connect the neural pathways that encourage us to think about things from the perspective of another person.
First of all, we must make a mask. This can be from a paper plate and a stick that we cut holes in and stick together, or they could be pieces of card from a cereal packet. There are face shaped masks available to buy as well. When making the mask, encourage everyone to be as inventive as they can. Show them some Picasso cubism or some monsters from The Gruffalo. When it's dry, glued, and ready to be used, it's time to take the next step.
Ask everyone to imagine their character, put a voice behind it, a personality, feelings, thoughts, and ideas. What do they like and what don't they like? Then it's time to role play. It might be hard at first, getting into the character and learning to flow as if you were them, but soon enough it will become more natural. Play at being the person your mask represents. Then, something you might like to try is swapping masks with someone else and getting into their character instead.
How cool is that?
Via The Art of Ed
All photographers want to take brilliant photos, and many of us do. However, there is always room for improvement. Photography isn't like a car that doesn't need mending, of course if we fiddle with it under the lid then who knows what may go wrong. Photography is more like driving the car. Most drivers are comfortable going down minor roads, using the signals, and obeying the law, then there is motorway driving, which is a little more intense. We have to use our brain a bit more when going quickly. Then, there's race driving. That takes a whole new set of skills, many of which may be counter-intuitive to the basic minor road A-B journey we grew up on. This is where we have to adapt a whole new mindset and learn new skills. Photography is like this, the more we want to excel at our hobby or profession, the more we have to learn, acknowledge, and take on board. Here are some rules of thumb that help people stay on the right side of fresh and within the boundaries of quality.
Get A Teacher
Find someone who has been doing it for longer and has more clicking hours than you, and listen to them. It's easy to get a free place on a real-time educational photography course, and it may tide you over for the duration. While you're doing that, network and discover people who take photos like you, or like how you want to, and then simply make contact. You'll know soon enough if they're prepared to give any advice or time to you. Take it easy though, no one likes a bull in a china shop or an excited puppy wagging its tail in their face. Be smooth, genuine, and relaxed. Then just mention your photos and see if any wisdom comes your way.
Learn To Spot Constructive Criticism
No one likes to be told they're no good or that they should just try harder. Better luck next time is not a good way of helping someone out. If a person is genuinely your friend or at least has enough decency to be real with you then they will offer constructive criticism. Rather than saying it's poor, or that it's rubbish, or any other negative point of view, constructive criticism is positive. It doesn't put it in a way that takes away from your work, but in a way that adds to it. A well stated piece of constructive criticism will begin with an if. If you change this, or do this other thing, or adapt this method, etc. then you will have this (example). This is a way of assisting without downgrading, and when we can learn to accept positive critique in this way, we will immediately begin to benefit.
Seek Out Fellow Photographers
Now is the time to join a group or a club that takes photos. You will find them online and if you're lucky in your local community. If there really are no photography groups where you live then you've just found a hole in the market. OK it may not be a paid one but that doesn't matter if you enjoy it. A small subscription fee for photography outings may not be a bad idea though, as long as it's not extorting people. Be fair. However, once you are in a community of photographers, you'll find a mentor or teacher figure, you'll find constructive criticism, and you'll find ample opportunity to learn new tricks of the trade. You'll make lots of new friends too.
Don't Just Take Photos
If you're serious about photography then it must be your medium for expression. Choose a project and do it, show your work,and aim for heights not reached before. Think about clever or interesting things to photograph. Choose themes that speak volumes beyond the pictures themselves. It's always worth remembering that with your project, you want it to be seen and explored. This means it will inspire and encourage others to follow in your footsteps. So choose wisely, and think about things that leave plenty of space for further perspectives and discussion. This means that when/if a person chooses to do something similar, likely they might mention your project giving you more exposure. No pun intended.
Don't Go Round In Circles
We all have our local patch and we tend to walk the same routes to various places. This means that we'll likely have loads of photos of the same place or the same thing. This is okay, it's normal to be like this. However we need to expand our horizons a bit more if we want to make an impact. Try to find something new for you and look into ways of exploring something not necessarily what you'd first pick. Be inventive and creative with your destinations. Sometimes asking why a photographer chose the shot is enough to make it a good photo.
Spot A Genius, Stick To The Genius
Masters are the ones to watch. When we find someone who is really good at what they do, we naturally absorb their techniques, methods, and mentality from continually seeing them. We watch and we learn. Being able to do this is natural for all of us however spotting the ones to watch is the real key. Ask what we want, find someone who has it, and see what we can learn from them about how to get it. This could be a style, a technique, a fanbase, or a stall somewhere that people buy from Whatever it is you're looking to grow into, find the person who did it before you. We don't have to know them, or actually talk to them, we just have to pay attention to what they put out, read what they say, and revise their work.
There's nothing that will stifle a career more than thinking we have it all already. We know that there's always something more to learn. People are constantly putting out new ideas, perspectives, and even reasons for being, so we can constantly take on more and more knowledge Read as many books about your subject as you can, keep them and read them again. Check out this article about photographic theory. If you see an opportunity to learn something or try a new style, take it. Complacency is killer for any artist. Go now and find books. And don't forget to grab your free course in it.
The notably conservative world of design theory sets a list of seemingly ever shifting rules that we as designers must adhere to. If we want our product to succeed then we must make sure it ticks many if not all of a set of boxes predetermined by those who designed before us. If we think about this technique, it leaves no room for our own creative invention. If the only way we can choose for ourselves how to cut the sandwich is by the diagram that shows the various styles, we're not left with an option to be creative. Maybe we could spread the jam clockwise for one and anti-clockwise for the other and see which one works out the best but in the world of sandwiches it won't rock the boat.
There is a lot to be said for the benefits of design theory. After all, the tried and tested method is the one we should most logically apply to any of our efforts. There is a place in all of us that needs the experience of those who spent a long time analysing the various ways of doing something right in our field. This doesn't mean it's the only way of doing something right, it just means it's been done enough with success that it's become worth mentioning.
Many designers prefer to work in anecdotes rather than data driven information. This opens up the spectrum of possible, when a loosely defined idea replaces the to-do list of actuality. Much to the dismay of science and engineering types, the creative thinker often chooses to remain one step away from the science side of what makes something worthwhile. Big data decision making can help us to pick what to aim for, who to create for and why, but if we want to stand out in the marketplace then we need a sense of individuality that people can relate to.
It's a half and half equation, in order to get something on the right lines, we need to remember that we're working with people that all think differently. By doing things in the proper way, it makes sure that we apply the best chance possible to our own success. We can show others that we have applied theory and thought to our efforts and it can then help them feel more comfortable with our product. Then on the other side of things, we need to show that we have personal interests in what we do, and that we're excited about and enjoying being part of our project. Theory doesn't cover these human emotions.
We therefore need to apply our own creative flare to a portion of what we do, and sometimes we have to take risks and throw the rules to the wind. Depending on how radical or game-changing we intend our creation to be, we can choose to only stick to the bare minimum of rules. Such with art, we've all seen those paintings that look like nothing else we've ever seen, and the only thing that shows us what it is, is the frame and canvas. That's one example of the bare minimum. Again, we've seen the art which we'd never know was art unless someone had labelled it as such. This then asks the question is the bare minimum requirement for art the notion of it being so?
Save on your printer ink with this online discount store
When you sit down to create, think about the rules and regulations then think about how you can break them.
Music is something that humans have been producing for millennia. Perhaps one of our first exports, our songs, rhythms, instrument design, and theory have passed from land to land. Today with so many styles and proficient artists, the world of global music has never been so connected and alive. Music bonds communities together, gives a common theme to a set of people, and helps everyone to understand the same stories and morals. We of course want a diverse set of songs and pieces of music available to us so that we don't all think the same things. Although it can be frustrating at times, having diversity of thought among similar peoples is an essential part of a truly democratic and free society.
Music is one of the best ways to communicate ideas and how we feel about them. It conveys emotion, masculine and feminine energy, softness, hardness, and all sorts of other human experiences. How the brain processes music is an area of research called neuromusicology. This subject concentrates on themes such as comparing human responses to music with people from different parts of the world. It also looks at the physics of vibration and how this can manipulate the chemistry and biology of the brain itself. The mind hears the music and listens to it while the brain actively responds in measurable ways. We can ask the subject about their mind and physically measure the brain.
Certain themes have been made clear in the study of music and the mind. It is evident that many aspects of listening to music are indeed universal to our entire species and not determined by culture specific nurture. Musical cognition will involve culturally significant processes too, we can expect people's reactions to music to depend on whether or not they have an experience in it and have pre-determined cultural knowledge of it. However, beyond the veneer of societal conditioning are set rules and results that music adheres to with us all.
It's been shown in study that music actively uses every known part of the brain. By correlating responses from each specific area of the brain, various functions and mental effects work together to form an all encompassing experience of the sound. The various parts of a piece of music, including rhythm, instrument type, timbre, amplitude, and lyrics all require various parts of the brain to fully comprehend. Putting them all together requires synchronous usage of all these sections.
It doesn't stop there, either. Because music actively uses all of the brain, those who play music or listen to it consciously with applied thought naturally have brains with more connections. Memory is improved and areas that are responsible for motor control, with playing musicians, are on the whole larger than for the rest of us.
Music really does bridge nations and in such a way that no-body really minds. That is unless we play it too loud of course. We all love our sing-a-longs when the time is right and it's one of the best ways to teach people information. When we can remember a song the words can double up as the answers to a test. Perhaps not so easy for post-graduate material but we were all six once. Make sure you find the time to enjoy some music today, and if not today then tomorrow. Comment below with some music that you like listening to.
Creativity always requires a bit of improvisation, making something fit with something else in order to get some sort of combination of the two. Sometimes its a mental device or an idea, sometimes a physical device or tool, sometimes a combination of both such as using a tool for something other than its intended purpose. When we have a creative process, we always have lots of ideas that we try to insert into our plans. Giving each thought a moment or two to make itself logically useful to us gives us a mental image consisting of many ideas and networks of images which combine to form our projected end result. This is how we generally create anything, either in the head or on paper.
One of our greatest creative minds, Leo Tolstoy, once wrote “There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth”. This is why streamlining our ideas is important if we want them to be truly effective. Finding simplicity among our complicated network of ideas and attachments is as difficult as coming up with the initial plan. Sometimes, it's more difficult than the original creative process. Part of being creative means creating the best way, honing, focusing, bringing everything together. Doing this requires a technique and method which we all have to learn for ourselves.
Just like with music, when we improvise a song with a band, if everyone does exactly what they want to, showing off their best abilities, we end up with a cacophony. True musicians know to keep it simple, allow room for the whole band to do something solid. If there is a true team element to the group then they'll know to make way for each member to shine at the right moment, and only for the right amount of time. No one player steals the show, and although it's being creatively composed on the spot, holding back and keeping things steady is a large part of the experiment.
We can translate this into any kind of creativity, and our minds can contain all the band members. By not allowing the moment to seize you and drag you into creative bedlam, we can stay focussed on delivering the end result people actually want. We know simple doesn't mean great, some simple things are useless. The clever bit really is finding a way to put as much value and purpose as possible into the smallest package doable. Whether its a piece of music which we know becomes boring if its too repetitive, or if the progression is too slow, or if its a comic book that tells a story, we want it to keep moving at a decent pace regardless of the skill in the artist. Balancing effectiveness to purpose with manageable simplicity makes the best possible end result. This is where true creativity lies, in the process of marrying simplicity to value in the best possible way.
The book, The Laws Of Simplicity by John Maeda from 2006 (Amazon) (Amazon UK) goes into great depth as to how creative and inventive thinkers define their products and information by simple and effective rules which ensure the most value in the least possible effort.
This website is made possible thanks to the continued support of its readers. Thank you for your contribution.