A Little Creative TLC

I’m sure for many creativity, the concept of creativity is intertwined with their daily lives. I know this is the case for me. Granted, it’s not in every single facet of my life, it’s still heavily prominent. But just like with anything, you need a break. This post isn’t about taking a break from living a creative life, more so about having a reprieve from the creative tasks we do. I know I struggle with taking a break from writing and drawing; mostly because I feel unproductive. But there is always a necessity to give your self a break. Here are some of the reasons why

Spread too Thin

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Something I’ve noticed with creative tasks, there tends to be a considerable amount of multitasking. Lets look at the process for writing. It’s never as simple as just typing. A writer has to consider how the scene they are currently on progresses the story over all, if the dialogue flows well, what the character dynamics are and many more things. Doing this constantly could spread any one too thin. This in turn can lead to stress. And with that stress leaves a likelihood to be pushed into a creative block. I know this has happened to me several times.

Story Mixing

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This concept kind of ties into the first one. This is something that happens to me very often. Sometimes, I’ll stop working on one story, not to take a break, but to work on a different story. When I do this, I know I sometimes mix pieces of each story. For me, I want all of my stories to be unique from one another. If I don’t take a break, then they tend to seem the same. This is something that is frustrating for me, so taking a break is definitely a win- win for me.

You Deserve a Break

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If you’ve been on the internet at any point and time, I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase “treat yourself”. This is more than true. Every once in a while, taking a break is a necessity. All of the issues noted above can be remedied by simply taking a break.

What do People Think of my Work?

I’m sure this is a feeling that many creative people who share their work can relate to some of the same feelings I have. Regardless of the medium, many people likely feel these swirls of emotion; satisfaction, apprehension and even fear. The main question that I have is what impression do my works make, and if they make one at all. It’s something that can often stress me out. With this particular journal, I’ll be taking on a different layout for this post. So hopefully, this won’t be too jarring for anyone.

Need for Approval

This topic is one that warrants it’s own blogpost. But this is one of the things that I feel correlates with my questions on the impression my works make. I feel the need  to have my works accepted by the people who come across it. It gives a sense of validation, which boosts my confidence in my work. Is this a bad thing? To me, not necessarily. I think there is some necessity in getting an outside opinion. Criticism is something that I have written about before, and I have some of the same opinions.

Is There a Perceived Meaning?

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The thing that normally stresses me out when it comes to the impressions that my works make is the possibility of it being perceived as meaningless. This is a fear I have more so with my writing than with my art. The presentation of creativity is already relatively subjective. But I worry about my works being viewed a vapid. This mainly stems from the fact that I tend to put quite a bit of effort into my works. With my art (illustrations), though I put a considerable amount of effort and work into creating it, it’s more often than not just an image I’m trying to get out of my head. It’s more meant to convey a feeling as opposed to a meaning. However, for my writing, I am more often than not, trying to give a message or meaning. If that impression lacks a meaning to the audience, it is a definite blow to my confidence.

These are my main thoughts when it comes to the impression that audience members have on my works. I hope someone out there can relate to this. Thank you for reading!

A Little Idea on a Piece of Driftwood

The little idea sat adrift on the worn out, make shift plank. It’s vast in the creator’s mind, so many things swirling about in the vast lake of the mind. There were few concepts that managed to stay afloat, not long enough to give itself some type of foundation. The little idea saw another concept that it recognized. It stayed at the edge of the mind, idly looking between the expansive waters of the mind and the shore that it stood on. The little idea sighed at the worn down concept. It had been a real possibility. The creator had spent so much time with it; developed well past the point of an outline, yet still pushed to the back of the creator’s mind.

The little idea proceeded further on the piece of driftwood without a plan, at least not by itself. But as the days passed, the little idea could feel a fullness, substance. The little idea grew in size, yet never sank in the vastness of the mind. It made it to the shore, carefully getting off of the piece of driftwood. It pushed it away, back to where it had come from so long ago. It let out a breath, hoping that the worn out concept that it had drifted by before could get it and make use of it.

The little idea could feel itself move through the hand of the creator, the ink of the pen bleeding into the paper. It only hoped that all that time adrift on the worn out plank  would result in more than just an unfinished outline.

 

This is just a little creative piece that I wanted to write to personify the ideas I have and what normally happens with them.

When You’re in a Rut

For me, it’s gets very frustrating to feel stuck in a situation. This applies to any aspect of life; from school to your livelihood. Thankfully, there are few places where I’m having this stagnant feeling. But in the places I do feel it, it hits me hard. I’ve written about writer and art block, but this rut feels a bit different. There’s something stifling and suffocating about a rut. Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out how to get out of it.

One major thing to remember is that it’s temporary. There is a phrase that I’ve heard in books, movies and television shows that ties to this; I’m relatively sure the phrase stems from a religious background, but I digress. The phrase is: “This too shall pass”. This can be said about ruts. Now, I know it feels like you can be stuck there for what feels like forever. But, it is a temporary thing. There are several things that I have done to try and push past a rut.

One of the things that I do, may sound a bit strange to do when in a rut. That thing is to just take a break. For me, I feel stagnant and like I’m in a rut when I’m overwhelmed. When too much is going on at once, it can make me shut down, thus putting me in a rut. So taking a breather can help with crawling out of that rut.

Once I’ve taken a break, I don’t jump straight into what was causing me to feel so off. An example is in my novel. I have been a rut with this for quite some time. Now that I feel more ready to write, I focused on other works. This isn’t the first time I’ve been in a rut when it came to writing my novel. The last time this happened, I decided to work on short stories, scripts and even fanfiction. I only dabbled in those for a few months or so, but after I was able to finish the first draft of my novel. I hoping to be able to get through a second draft , or even a final product.

Those are the main things that I do get through a rut. I hope these help someone who may be going through the same issue.

When a Show becomes an Experience

Do you ever watch a show and wish you could pull out your passport and go visit? To breath in the sights that you see some of you favorite characters live seems like one of the most fun adventures.  That is honestly one a show becomes so much more than a show to me. Every aspect of world building is so fascinating to me. It can truly make or break the immersion into the show.

I’ve talked a lot about the Avatar series, and it’ll honestly come up in this post as well, but this series most certainly the only show. Another show that did an amazing job at immersing their audience was Disney’s Gravity Falls. This was a show that mainly played on the channel Disney 😄 which naturally means that it was aimed at children. I saw the show when I was 21, so I well over the age of the intended audience. That being said, I wanted to visit this little town that the main characters inhabited. I felt like I experienced what the characters, Dipper and Mabel, experienced because of how well written the town was.

So what is it that make a show’s world a place you’d want to visit and how does that affect the experience of the show? I’ve talked a lot about world building and character building/ development. What makes a show more real  is how well the characters and their world blend together. It solidifies the real aspects of the show. Let’s look at Avatar: The Last Airbender, specifically at the Water nation. The way that this nation is written, it’s not just an arbitrary area with a set of rules. There is a culture. That culture is displayed by the characters. I’d like to quickly note that side characters are just as important as the main characters, in that they also need to be written like real people as well.

When we get to know the characters in how they interact with their home, it begins to feel like a home to the audience as well. In the Water nation we meet common villagers, royalty, rebels, children, the eclectic and many different types of people. It feels a lot like our own homes. We all have that nice neighbor, the loud neighbor, the super sweet barista who never gets your order wrong, the “It” family and so many more people.

I truly love shows that let me immerse myself and let me experience what the characters do. I’m someone who likes to travel, though I have yet to leave my country just yet. That being said, there’s something about feeling like you’re traveling an unknown world with well written characters.

 

The picture was found here:  http://ghreece.tumblr.com/post/120313243996

Is Success just Dumb Luck?

This topic is something that I have always questioned in my writing and was quite pleasantly surprised to see this as a daily post. For the past few weeks, I had been writing about Avatar: The Last Airbender and will bring this up as well in regards to it’s initial success.

When looking at any successful product, people often question if something comes into popularity through it’s own work or through dumb luck. This is a question for a multitude of creative mediums. This is seen in art, books and movies. Why did the Mona Lisa become so culturally significant? How did the Harry Potter series rise to success? Why is L.A Confidential considered a classic? Can all of these be boiled down to luck? The answer, I would say, is quite clearly, no.

For all three of these examples, there is a clear level of skill from the creators of each of these things. The Mona Lisa didn’t happen to be come a cultural piece in regards to art. It was modeled after the wife of an influential man as well as created by an already established artist. There were also the culturally historical nuances that have to be put into consideration as well. This came about during the beginnings of the art renaissance. The Harry Potter series is another case that shows that success is not just dumb luck. It must be noted that Harry Potter did not rise to the powerhouse level of relevancy that it has today immediately upon its publishing. For starters, it was rejected eight times. There was also a clear level of skill on J. K Rowling’s writing and crafting of characters and worlds. If you haven’t seen L. A Confidential I highly suggest you give it a look. This movie showed an astounding level of skill in pretty much all aspects of film making. Though, seeing that I’m not as well versed in film making, this is the best I can give.

This can be seen in Avatar as well. The majority of the first episodes hit well over a million on their day of airing. It has even gained an extremely loyal following that still praise it over a decade later. Was it all luck? Of course not. My bias aside, there is an abundantly clear amount of skill behind the show. Everything from the writing to the animation was done beautifully. Granted, there were some things that were on it’s side. The year 2005 was an interesting one for cartoons in the West. For one, around the early 2000s was the same time that the first “Cartoon Renissance” happened in which shows like Power Puff girls became highly popular. There was also a rise in the powerhouses of cartoons had a multitude of successful series studios. This was also the time that western cartoons were also being introduced to eastern influence. Avatar had all of this in its favor.

So is success just luck? A little yes and a little no. There is a level of skill that is necessary and apparent in a lot of popular products. But they also benefit from things like historical/ cultural nuances and coincidences.

Gentle Waves of a Fake Ocean

The room is a simple bleak space; a bare floor, four bare walls, a plain ceiling with one bright light and a twin sized bed. I stepped in through the opening. Small squares crept up the space I had entered until the wall was baron once again. My new room was an exact replica of my old room. I set my duffle bag onto the bed. I pulled my legs up onto the bed and closed my eyes. I could see the white outlines of the bed. I furrowed my eyebrows and exhaled evenly through my nose. White lines came from the floor in a rectangle, the longer sides coming straight up. Four more lines connected the four longer lines. I opened my eyes when the lines formed a solid object. I looked beside my bed and saw the black plain nightstand. There was a black slit that opened. I peeked further to see two ear buds in it. I plucked them up and the slit closed. I pressed each one into my ear. I jolted when the sound of the guards outside seeped into my ears from the linked speaker.

“In the cage, rat,” a familiar guard screamed. He was always the meanest; always yelling and even hitting at us. I sighed and brushed my hair back with my hand, gently raking my fingers against my scalp. I tilted my head toward the wall. I concentrated until a small white screen popped up.

Filter Interface Enacted.

Would you like to Proceed.

>Yes

>No

I focused my attention on the word yes. The buffering symbol came up briefly. I felt my lip twitch in agitation. My great grandma used to tell me about her older systems. Some strange rectangular device with an apple on the back. Whenever she tried to use it, there was always a buffer symbol that would show up when simply turning it on. The only reason there was a buffer was because I was in a prison. The “Yes” was highlighted and the other words swiped away to the right. Several pictures came up on the screen. One was a grass field, the grass fluttering in the artificial wind. The second picture was a beach. There was a deep blue ocean, one that I had never actually seen in person. I didn’t bother looking at the third picture and nodded toward the ocean. The picture was highlighted. The entire room went dark briefly. The floor was the first thing to light up, now a tan color similar to sand. The bottom half of the walls were colored with a deep blue that represented the ocean. The rest of the wall and the ceiling was colored with a bright blue sky with sparse clouds. I pointed to the corner for the sun to appear there. The sound of guards and the revolting of my fellow inmates was filtered out by the gentle sounds of a fake ocean. This interface was my favorite. My great grandma used to hold me as she withered away at the hospital. She would tell me about the ocean and how she used to take selfies with her own group of friends, each all of them huddled in the water. She would wave her hand to show me each picture whenever I went to visit. They, whoever “they” are, was supposed to save the ocean, but it had long since dried up before her death. I grimaced. The filter interface would crackle on occasion and I could hear batons smacking against ribs. The gentle waves would never be real, not for me.