The Best Things Happen Whilst You’re…

One of my favourite films of all time has to be White Christmas. Though, yes, it is well past Christmas, one song in particular comes to mind when I considered the blog post for a lecture we have recently had:

The best things, may happen whilst your dancing, in the case of musicals and the nineteen fifties, but what about in the real world?

Louise Bourgeois’ Insomnia Drawings collection highlights something that most creative and students will know a little about. Anyone who has pulled an all-nighter will tell you that the best ideas tend to come at the time you are the most sleep deprived. It seems that at the point where sleep is desired most but can’t happen, captivates a bridge between the subconscious and the conscious. Basically, creative juices flow better when we have insomnia.

The artworks produced by Bourgeois at this time, mostly followed the post modern, futuristic styled artworks that go under the type of ‘free drawing’. Whilst many people can relate, Bourgeois’ artwork seems to describe her state of insomnia, which she describes as like waves of water: the need to sleep will be coming close, but then the wave breaks and you remain awake.

As a person who struggles in sleeping, I can honestly say that I have to agree. Insomnia does feel like the waves on a sea. My best ideas for projects happen at silly o’clock and although this may not be the best of moments to have them, they do. The craziest and most out of the box ideas for me happen at these times. My idea of mind mapping confuses many people, and yet for me, it all makes sense, as there is a key to it: each direction text is written in is linked. This idea was taught to me in primary school, and yet I find it easier to recreate when I am tired.

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Free Writing

Since the beginning of the film industry people have been endlessly disappointed by the films that have been adapted from books. This is because books can only describe so much so the reader is forced to make up their own minds. A writer cannot be expected to describe each and every curve unless they are Davinci or a technical illustrator. Imagist psychologists and propositional psychologists agree that the mind generates its own imagery and will echo a person’s perceived world.

The book ‘The Lighthouse’ by Virginia Woolf, and many books by Frank Peretti, tries to guide the imagination and see what they see. Imaginations are perceptive and subjective so it is all a matter of opinion. But how much can an author actually guide a person without dictating what they should and shouldn’t see word for word, and without images?

The book ‘House of Leaves’ by Mark Z Danielewski is written in a way to describe the mood changes and scene changes in the book, but nothing much else. It is a guided reading text that is laid out in intricate ways and uses typographic designs to attempt to hijack the reader’s emotions and imagination.

The book is a horror book and tries to encapsulate this by not only giving the words a personified nature, but also attempting to confuse the reader. The reader has to not only read deeper and between the lines, but also has to attempt to make sense of it. The decryption is part of the entertainment in the book.

Do All Artists Have a God Complex?

The act and desire to ‘play God’ is one of the main reasons the Sims franchise and its spin offs are so popular. An artist attempts to create a world or at least a thought. They occasionally attempt to manipulate or persuade. Creating art for an audience is done for a reason, whether it is to provoke or inspire. Is this trying to play God, or is this merely a desire to speak freely?

Famous theorist an animator André Bazin believed that reality was God and art and film were trying to capture a ‘holy moment’. With this in mind do artists play God or are they merely expressing and or recreating him. The question and debate will never cease to go around in circles, as there are both points for and against.

Looking into the personality of some artists can give an insight into which they are, but where does that leave atheists and agnostics? Perhaps all artists are trying to do is speak freely. Some artwork may contain aspects that have an intention to provoke, but maybe it’s down to a specific piece and the artist, and not for us to judge.

The Worldly Impacts

On a Monday we have lectures on economics and business. Though many people question the why’s, in recent weeks it has started to fall into context. Having been an economics and business student, I understood the contexts and facts immediately, but to actually put them into the context of the design industry was a new concept.

Having a working understanding of the world around you is important in many ways. Not only does knowing what is going on in the news help you adjust your work to fit in with a key audience, but also to help gain potential conversations with employers when asked ‘Are there any questions you have for us?’. It is a difficult question to answer, as many people will blank.

In a recent interview, many candidates during the presentation side of the interview, failed to mention, or avoided mentioning, a recent loss in a major client. When questioned on it, many people either declined to answer or walked on eggshells. The truth of the matter is, being able to discuss such realities will help move forward. Losing a major client may mean a lack of finance, but it was forgotten was the fact that the company had just branched out into Spain. The loss of one client seemed no real problem when quite a few were gained. Markets will always change.

The main reason for this change was due to the UK’s economic crisis. The government is in far too much debt for the average person like you and me to comprehend. Changing government contracts to cheaper or more efficient companies will inevitably aide in saving money. The main aim of the government is to not only look after their nation, but to attempt to get the country out of debt and boost economic growth. A thriving economy will be one on the road to financial repair. How did we get into so much debt though?

This question has multiple answers, and although we are still paying off about five generations worth of debt, we must also consider other factors. Many people in the UK are in debt. The average student in my year will owe roughly £50k by the time they graduate. Those who aren’t students will have loans, credit cards and mortgages. The collapse of banks was caused by people being declaring bankruptcy and therefore, never repaying what they owed. Banks needed to borrow money to fund their debts that lead to a domino effect on a dangerous level, which inevitably plunged us into a double dipped recession.

On a wider scale, John Maynard Keynes so eloquently reiterated that when America sneezed, the world caught a cold. When things started to head south in America, Europe also started to decline. Greece in particular is still hanging on by a thread. We must realise though that they are in debt to many other countries. If Greece fall many other countries will fall with it, including Spain and us in the UK. We loan money we do not have in order to save our traders.

Moving away from the economic crises, we must also consider other geopolitical futures. Though BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) may one day lead the world in economic power, perhaps the ones that we should focus on are the ones with oil supplies. Oil is a scarce resource that one-day will run out. Oil is one of the main ingredients for several everyday things we take for granted. Of course it is fuel that we use to power our cars, but most people forget that it is also one of the main ways we make plastic. In years to come the design industry will need to find solutions to issues regarding these factors. With a lack of oil comes the need for alternative resources which may, or may not, have been discovered yet.

With a crisis comes innovation and collaboration, so perhaps we should be thankful for global pressures as it will increase our need to innovate and move on.

Capturing the Process

Our eyes are often opened in lectures to artists we have never heard of before. William Kentridge was one of them. His unique stop motion animations highlight a working process.

Though his works tend to be political and very black and white, we must also consider what it is he has produced.

Lecturers often tell us to document our work and or process of getting from an initial idea to a final outcome. Kentridge shows all of his workings as a part of his final outcome. With this in mind maybe it should be considered art in the “making of” videos as opposed to just the final piece.