Creativity: Exposure (Television Part 2)

photo cred: www.sclance.com

To wrap up the Creativity: Exposure mini-series I would like to throw in a simple suggestion. If you’ve been watching American television or British television or Bollywood films all your life – to expand your creative thinking I suggest consuming products from different parts of the world than what you’re accustomed to.

We’ve already talked about the benefit of watching shows from different genres, now we will look at watching films steeped in different cultures. There was a stage in my life where shows like ‘Passions’ and ‘The Bold And The Beautiful’ were a staple. Those soaps and the mostly American and British books I read formed the bedrock of romance in my mind. It was no surprise then that my stories would mirror the themes that were the hallmark of those two cultures (which are more similar than most). Enter Bollywood – and there was a substantial shift. Now it wasn’t mainly about deception or conniving or charming your way into someone’s life but there was all this colour and impressing through talent (mainly musical) that I hadn’t encountered. Relationships were no longer founded just on power and money and beauty but on far much more. Furthermore in the ideas bandied about during the draft stages of my writing there was the introduction of a class barrier and finding love in arranged marriages… or the pursuit of forbidden love – concepts that were rare in Western media but commonplace in the Bollywood movies I watched. Did I mention the use of music to drive home whatever emotions the director wanted the viewer to feel? That was the time my writing rhythm underwent a revolution. Then came the Korean drama era where there was far more emphasis on the spoken word and the way they were delivered than in any other form of television I had seen up to that point. Lastly came the anime phase and there was another complete 180 degree shift with creative humour not only based on crude innuendos or the use of vulgar language (apparently they don’t specialise in Japanese) but the introduction of jokes based on the culture and tradition of the time.

My mind was learning the art of contortion, performing complex acrobatics to cater for all of these different ways to tell the same story… all because it wasn’t limited to watching films from a localised geography. Yours shouldn’t be either.

This concludes our Creativity: Exposure mini-series. I will talk about The Importance Of A Creative Ending and give an example in another double post to cap off the Creativity series tomorrow.

Creativity

photo cred: Mark Schaefer

Creativity is often attributed to being within the same class as talent.

“Some people have to work hard and try to be creative” is how most people think.

I wholly agree. But that is the silver lining, creativity can truly be worked at – it can be developed.

Back in the day my tiny little sister would draw pictures of her favourite female cartoon characters. Without fail she produced truly awful drawings. On a scale of 1-10 they were probably a 3 and this is coming from her biased, loving older brother. They were a 3 out of 10 not in general but compared to those just in her age group. She was around 6 years old. Kim would draw ‘cars’ and they would look like random shapes smooshed together. As her doting older brother I would never tell her that her drawings were an eyesore (and they were). In fact I affirmed her and lied saying they were beautiful every time. I didn’t know at the time what was happening when I did so or the importance of praise in the confidence of a child in her formative years but the comments spurred her on to draw even more, and that in turn drew even more deceitful comments out of me…

One day my sister approached me years older than she was when she’d done her first drawing. “What do you think?” she asked. I glanced up from my work expecting to see a wonky car that looked like a block of lego. I was astonished to find that her drawing was not unsightly, it was downright impressive. “Did you draw this?” I asked incredulously. She simply nodded. Her artistic ability had flourished over time due to the practise she had put in. She then went on to tell me that she was grateful that I had affirmed her when she was young and incapable of drawing simple things well. She confessed that my praise had been the catapult to her drive to continue art. Today I am absolutely certain her art will adorn many a famous wall somewhere soon.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a post highlighting how awesome of a brother I am (even though I’m pretty dope as a brother LOL) but serves as an illustration that something that I always attributed as a talent, art, (which I was terrible at in high school), can be worked at. This sort of creativity can be practised! 

Time to get to work!

See you tomorrow for Creativity: The Day Dream.

 

Personality

My dear readers. That “target” I talked about in my last post has been completed, mostly. As my thanks for reading my posts and giving me positive feedback I have decided to give you a little excerpt from one of the 17 pieces I’ve written. I laughed a lot while reading this, I hope you do too. Be inspired!


PERSONALITY

Alright, let’s do this.

You’re gonna fail.

No I’m not.

Jack looked around to check if anyone was nearby. He didn’t want anyone to witness what he was about to do in case it went awry. Private embarrassment he could take – but public humiliation was a whole other matter. He was pleased to see that no one else was in the cafeteria. Most people didn’t come to school during the summer break. They had lives to live and parents with lots of money to spend… or not, and instead they had to work odd jobs to help their family put bread on the table. Jack hated it when his thoughts went off track like this. It wasn’t his fault but he hated himself for it.

Focus!

With sweaty palms he slowly approached his long-term crush, the beautiful brunette called Emily. “Hey Emily,” Jack muttered as if half-afraid she would actually hear him.

Emily looked up from her book, a collection of short stories by O. Henry. She seemed puzzled, “Hey… sorry, do I know you?”

HAHAHA!

“Shut UP!”

Excuse me?” Emily did not sound pleased at all.

“Sorry… I wasn’t talking to you. I mean – hey, we are in the same Chemistry class. The Mad Cow is our teacher?” When he noticed her confused expression, one that easily gave away the fact that his words didn’t ring a bell, his soul was crushed. Jack nervously fidgeted with his spectacles. “I sit next to you. We’re lab partners.” Was he that unnoticeable?

“Oh… you! Hey! What’s up?” Emily smiled the awkwardness away, or tried to. Unfortunately for her, Jack had noticed that she hadn’t even used his name. She really didn’t know him at all. “How are you?”

“I’m alright actually. How are you?”

“I’m good…” she responded, curious to see where Jack was directing the conversation.

Awkward silence prevailed.

Aren’t you going to say something?

“It sure is very hot in the summer!”

Oh my God! What is wrong with me?

“I guess that’s how the season was differentiated from winter.” Emily smiled then glanced at her novel as if she was itching to read it again.

“I read O. Henry too. He is a brilliant writer.”

She perked up at that. “He’s amazing isn’t he? A shame he’s not around to write more stories.”

Happy to see a renaissance in the conversation Jack exuberantly exclaimed, “A real shame!”

And that was it. That was all he could say to his crush. The conversation didn’t go nearly as well as he’d hoped it would but there was no redeeming the situation because Emily had already started packing her bags.

“Well it was a real nice chat dude. I gotta go now. Stay awesome!”

Jack’s heart thumped like a rock band’s drums in the middle of a solo. Emily thought he was awesome!

You know she just said that because she’s nice right? Otherwise from that incredibly awful exchange even I would disown you.

You talk too much…

TO BE CONTINUED…