Tag Archives: self-expression

From there to here – update of recent activity

Rewind & Fastforward:

  • Last post in January – good vibes for the year
  • Go to to West Wales for research week on a film
  • Come back from West Wales & commence storyboard drawing (ideas stage)
  • In February, continue drawing for storyboards & characters (starting to lose bits of paper with sketches on)
  • Design the programme for Time Zero Polaroid photography symposium (it turned out very lovely – more on that soon)
  • Do a lot of dancing and busting some groovy moves, and then, at the height of contact improv dancing (it sounded like a good idea), injure my knee in five different ways
  • Get cabin fever after two days of immobilisation (patience building exercise can never hurt?)
  • Continue drawing a lot
  • In March, get back to walking again and realising I have a huge list of stuff to share here.

So, here we are. Lots of interesting little bits to come, here’s a snippet from December. After out improv gig at Chapter, which I mentioned in a previous post, me and the genius of Mr Nic Finch did some improv drawing.

Me and Nic Finch doing improvised drawing

Getting closer... what will become of the story?

Laura drawing lots of fishys.

I’d love to do this more, just unplanned, raw drawing out of the blue (well, the blue of the mind). Here’s the final drawing:

The final drawing

I love Nic’s animal collective! My style is more rough and ready, with pyramid-shaped fish, a crumbling tower with a crazy jazz cats blasting out notes enjoyed by deer, and two fairytale characters having tea. Oh, and Mr Moon with mushrooms growing out of his chin.

And also, I designed a poster for the event with an otter in it. Can’t go wrong.

Poster for Your appointment will be yesterday

Creating space for a creative headspace

After a nice break that included no presents, rushing or spending much money, I have been getting back in gear by reading some of my favourite blogs. And I feel particularly warm and fuzzy in my heart as I see the same ethos and sentiment carry through so many people’s minds: to establish better conditions to unleash creativity within themselves.

First lovely Lulu, a creative designer and facilitator beaming with positive attitude, expresses her desire for self-exploration and creation of artistic works:

I believe that by committing to spend some time educating myself about my Self, by using the act of creating to journey from question to understanding, that artistic voice within me will be unleashed. And that the most appropriate mediums of expression will naturally emerge.

Then Olivia, a creative writer and thinker, talks about creative space which she calls “Olivia’s Kitchen”:

This year is about creating conditions that will allow my work to emerge – and Olivia’s Kitchen conjures the image for me of that space. — It is my belief that we are often so focused on worrying about what we are going to do and how we are going to do it, that we actually neglect creating the space which would allow the answers to those questions to emerge naturally.

I also enjoyed reading an ebook about happiness, quality of life and work by Vehmas Assembly (available in Finnish only), in which the author Sampsa coins a nice phrase saying that we all need to “re-educate our inner monkeys”. With this he refers to our evolutionary survival instincts and the unfortunate hoarding and status craving instinct that drives many to a vicious cycle of overconsumption, overworking and unhappiness. I share the point he and many others have made: a process of kindness, love and self-awareness is needed. Channeling these things into everyday life and ways of looking at things will affect everything else, like a chain reaction. One becomes kinder to oneself and this transfers to relationships, work and quality of life.

I felt inspired by all these generous and heartfelt pieces of writing and thought I would simply share my process of creative space. It’s not finished yet and I hope it never will be as things change with the flow. And change and flow I know now to be important parts of my quality of life in general.

I have reorganised my working space at home over Christmas. I have a desk in the corner of our light and cozy living room. It is only when I got rid of lots of clutter that is not related to my creativity (if it’s related, then it’s not clutter), moved it facing the window and allocated a wall next to it for free notes and drawings that I actually feel in my bones I can finally embrace this spot as my own. I have my candle, space for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, a crazy plant, cat per week desk calendar, origami a day calendar, pot with lots of brushes and pens and sticks, a beautiful 50s book of British birds, a shelf with more books, different drawing papers and sketch books, woollen socks to combat drafty floors and the laptop, of course.

I hope you noticed that the laptop was last on the list.

I have now begun addressing the time space issue – to comfortably enjoy spending time here even after a long day at my full time job. Time space is for me really more about the whole sphere of an issue about creative headspace. It’s more about that freedom inside my head, a simultaneous lenience and vigorous drive towards exploring and expressing myself.

The good thing is that I have a perfect project starting up at the end of January, and this project will offer me a framework to help with creative time outside normal working hours. The project involves a workshops with many other great creative people: musicians, actors, filmmakers, writers and me as a storyboard artist. It’s a dream project – I’m going to be exploring storyboarding techniques and hopefully find an interesting way of showcasing the athmospheric moods and even sensuality of a scene. It’s work but it’s firstly more fun and personally rewarding exploration, happiness.

It’s a good start for 2010, a continuity of good things. I wish you all the same.

Inhale, exhale, improvise

You know those conversations, the enthusiastic rants you have with interesting people, often performed over a few drinks in a pub? And the following day, the slow dawn of realisation that you have wholeheartedly agreed to take part in some project or another?

I love those conversations.

Great discussions are often initiated and accelerated by impulse and instinct. They can generate interesting creative collaborations that be simple short-lived sparks or long-lasting affairs. A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation that lead me to take part in an improvised music performance with the PAST collective as part of the May you Live in Interesting Times festival.

I used to sing a lot when I was younger, in indie bands and in plays as part of my theatre activities. Since coming to Britain I haven’t sung much and I had almost forgotten what singing really means to me and what it feels like. I came across a quote, on the Facebook page of the German Krautrockers Popol Vuh, which describes this feeling well:

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

The singing I did for the performance was the first time I used my voice as more of an instrument amongst others. Creating rhythms, simple melodies, whispers of breathing which were looped and layered into the fabric of sound we were improvising together. It was very liberating, the improvisation, and being able to embrace the individual processes of each of the rehearsal sessions we had.

To be able to improvise is to be able to welcome uncertainty and discomfort and allow them to open up new creative pathways. With singing this approach is physical, both raw and delicate at times. This tingling exploration is to be found in other creative pursuits too, but I think it takes more practice for me to find it and apply it to them. The environment has a big impact on this  – the often hectic surroundings do not offer me the almost meditative qualities needed for a fluid and experimental mindset. So next for me it’s about practicing achieving this mindset in everyday life and creative practice and letting it run its course.

New beginnings

Hi there.

I’ve finally got myself around starting a blog and share my inner musings with others. I’m excited about the whole thing, not because of making my thoughts public in particular, but because I see blog writing as a means to express myself and refine my rants. I think it’s also a little therapeutic and healthy for me as a creative professional.

    So things to come include:

  • On chaos and balance, fear and positive change
  • Heart & Hearth – sharing, storytelling and focus
  • London Design Festival – inspiration & other thought patterns

I’ll be back soon – goodbye till then.