Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lavay Smith - "Now Or Never" #cmc11


So I've suppose it isn't as clear as putting in my contacts, but maybe just an improved prescription?

This is starting to make a little more sense now. The MOOC world seemed to be populated with the masses who understand it's complexities and have it wired.

And me.

Not getting it.

After a live session / lecture / discussion, it seems a lot clearer now. I was waiting to see what I need to post, look for, read etc but now I'm putting myself out there and seeing what (and HOW) I can learn about CREATIVITY.

I think that is the basis of creativity anyway. If (insert your most influential artist here) waited to be spoon-fed the framework and guidelines to "be creative" they'd undoubtedly never become the artist they needed to be.

I remember hearing a story about one of those silly art school commercials several years ago. I can't for the life of me remember the name, but occasionally you'll see the adds on television asking you to "send for your free art test!" Call the 800 number and they'll ship you a packet of information about their program. The printed material they showed has a panel with a cartoonish turtle character and another with a stern looking pirate, each next to an empty panel where the hopeful artist tries to impress the school. The actor / artist in the commercial is shown dutifully filling in the empty boxes with a perfect, note-for-note rendition of the silly turtle and the pirate.

The story I heard had the "Hopeful Artist" played by the understudy "Fearless Wiseass With a Load of Talent and a Left-Of-Center Sense of Humour". He called and requested the information, and upon receipt, set out to draw what he saw on the art test. I believe he felt constrained by the small boxes on the pamphlet and used another piece of paper to send back for critique.

It must have been too dark in the room he was working in, as the final product didn't look a lot like the cute turtle or the pirate as they appeared in the school's pamphlet. The two characters were present in his piece, but now they were how HE wanted to show them.

I remember several inappropriate and immoral (illegal?) acts and images depicted in his work, and even though he did it as a goof, it was technically well done.

He shipped it off and didn't think much of it until he received a mailed reply months later. Inside was a cold form letter wishing him well, but saying he should keep working at it and they couldn't accept him at that time. No worries, as he sent it as a joke and currently had a career in the creative field of his choice.

Not long after the letter arrived, he received a phone call from an unfamiliar number. The caller was an employee from the art school who asked if he really was the one who created the piece that was sent in. Confirming that it was, the employee went on to say he was in charge of reviewing the majority of the entries that come in and his definitely stood out. It was against the company's code of ethics for him to directly contact anyone, as it was more of a cash grab to sell their courses, how-to books and art materials but he wanted to speak directly to the artist of this masterpiece.

This guy had to sort through envelope after envelope of mediocre entries, things that looked pretty good, and the occasional perfect copy of each little turtle and pirate drawing. Seeing this bizarre, crass but perfectly executed drawing stood out, and made him belly laugh to the point of needing to chat with the creator. He was assured that it was only sent in as a joke, and was relieved to see the sender was an artist by trade as his 'learning' would have been a waste of time for both parties.

This story really has two points :

1) To show real creativity, never simply copy what you see. It will never be genuine or stand out.

2) Though I cannot remember all of the facts and details pertaining to the above reminiscence, I think that shows my own creativity to be able to string it all together and have it make sense.
2a) Plus, I believe I'd be in trouble if I typed and described everything that was shown in the drawing he sent in.
2b) Or maybe my mind pixelated and fuzzed-out all of the naughty parts as self-preservation.

That's all for now. I smell brownies in the oven and it is extremely distracting.


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