The Walkway Of Leaves

My photographer friend and I went out exploring today. Check her images out!

Crazy Rachel

The Walkway Of Leaves

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Creative Journey: Innovators of the Future!

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In DFSA, and many art related courses, innovation is a key element of the course. We as artists/ film makers are constantly looking for new ways to approach and do things, and with technology improving at an ever increasing rate, more and more things are becoming possible to do. It was mentioned some point throughout my course that we were going to be ‘Innovators of the Future‘ and to me this sounded super cool. Kind of like we were becoming superheroes or something, and that got me very excited about the year! Over the past 2 weeks I’ve felt myself changing as well and becoming more innovative in terms of thinking about different ideas during every day life and tasks.

I’ve stated to work on a plan to improve myself. I’m going to work on being able to distinguish between all my ideas, the good and the bad, in order to be a great innovator. I’m always looking for ways to improve my innovative and creative skills, and if you’re reading this, you probably are too! After doing a little research in my spare time this week, I found ’10 Tips to be an effective innovator’ which I personally have found really helpful and will definitely be using as a good basis for being innovative.

Innovation may seem big and scary at first as there are no limits to where your imagination can take you. But in reality this can only benefit! All you really need to have is a simple idea and this in turn can be very effective, more so than you realise at the time of creating it. Remember that Lauren -simple but effective is just fine!

Physical Journeys?

Bit of a random personal post now. I’m bad at public transport. Simply awful. And the fact I have absolutely no sense of direction doesn’t help either. Literally when I see a train time table I’m like:

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I’m absolutely terrified of getting on public transport here and this was a concern for me for a long time before I arrived at UCA. Back home I’d maybe end up 2 or 3 hours away from home if I got on a wrong train. Here I could end up in France…and that would be…well…awkward! For those of you who don’t know me personally I know what you’re thinking. ‘Lauren you’re at uni now…I’m sure you can handle transport now!’ Well lets have a bit of a back story to this…

…Lets set the scene here. It’s 2006 and it’s home time on my first day at high school.  I’m a bit lost as to where to go in order to get home so I ask a random sixth year (NOTE: don’t ever ask random sixth formers for directions. It never ends well). Random sixth year dude points at a bus close by, but it’s just leaving. My two friends and I frantically run after it. Just our luck – the bus driver has seen us and has stopped, waiting for us to board. We sit down calmly. We made it, we’re going home! Oh no wait…things are never that simple. I over hear a girl talking about the next stop….and it’s not where we should be going. First years, scared, panicked and going in the opposite direction to home. What’s worse was the bus driver wouldn’t even let us off once we’d realised! Rude. Oh yeah… we also accidentally  left one of our friends on the bus once we did manage to get off and ended up screaming her name like she’d been murdered…

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into the distance after the bus as it drove away with her. But that’s going on to another story. If you want to know it all ended well. We went to see You, Me and Dupree (now an iconic film that reminds me of this day). 

Okay I get it. Everyone makes mistakes…we were young, innocent, naive, lost. Except the problem was occurrences like this happened frequently through the whole entirety of my high school life. There’s no one to blame but me.

Getting my first train over here this weekend! Let’s hope my friends look after me well and I don’t get lost…if not a few search warranties might be required!

Discovering Artists

Through the 2 weeks I’ve been here I’ve been introduced to many exciting new material from a variety of different artists. Checking out other people’s work and finding other artists who you admire is very important in this industry as you can gain a lot of inspiration for your own ideas, and discover new ways to enrich your work and knowledge. One of our tasks involved researching photographs and finding ones we like, and through my searching I’ve found a 23 year old photographer called Andrew Pearce, from Australia. I instantly was drawn to his colourful pictures and the stories that each seemed to tell. Some of my favourites are:

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Quite a lot of his photographs use people in them, and I think this will be interesting to gain some inspiration when doing my own portrait task. Definitely check out Andrew Pearce’s website as well!

Another artist who I’ve been looking a bit deeper into is Cindy Sherman, due to the fact I love how she creates stories and sets, making her images look like movie stills.

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I really want to emphasise the importance of finding new artists across a wide variety of fields to broaden your knowledge of art. I’m hoping to remind myself this year to make sure I do a lot of research, go to galleries and discover new art forms and other people’s ideas.  Who knows…this may even influence my own ideas and have a big impact on my future work.

The Creative Journey of Others

Rosie spoke briefly during our first induction day in the course about how we need to be models for future generations to inspire them to go into creative careers because artistic subjects are being pushed back. This instantly reminded me of this video that I’m sharing with you now. Sir Ken Robinson asks the question ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ and in my opinion education has a big part in playing how people pick their future careers. Sir Robinson says that everyone is born creative but the problem is to maintain that creativity as we grow up – something that a lot of people lose in this process. It seems to be a common knowledge between people that there is a hierarchy within the subjects (this is also mentioned in the video) with maths and science at the top, with art subjects more so at the bottom. In my opinion this rank of subjects puts a lot of pressure on people to not actually do what they want, but to choose courses that will make them look smart or guarantee them a lot of money. In this, we are loosing a lot of amazing creative people who will never share any of what could have been great work with the world. This is something I’m obviously quite passionate about and it frustrates me that many people don’t actually do what they should be doing because they are too afraid to create anything. It’s sad that a lot of people think they aren’t ‘smart’ or talented just because they don’t fit into an academic world and have been told by society that because they can’t do equations that they won’t be successful. Why judge someone like this? Yeah someone may be poor in a maths classroom, but maybe they’ll shine when they pick up a paintbrush or a camera or a tablet.  An article summed it up like this, Instead of developing passion and curiosity in new areas, students just end up dealing with frustration and failure. Many shy away from entire subject areas, mistaking a lack of foundational knowledge for a lack of talent or ability.’ The list of possibilities and directions to go is endless. In my ideal world, the Arts would be just as important as everything else and more focus would be put on them in general to make them just as equal as any other more scientific subject. Don’t get me wrong, I love academic subjects as well, and feel they are very important, but what I’m saying is that they aren’t the only things that should be important. I have had friends who have told me that their school’s career advisor has told them not to do creative subjects because ‘you can’t make money’ and that there is no point in wasting time at uni doing an arts degree, and this is just not acceptable. Why shouldn’t they do something they are passionate about? Who is anyone else to try and destroy that creative spark if that’s what you want to do?

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My advice : If you’re in a position like this and you feel pressurised to go a different direction than what you originally intended, I highly urge you to think very carefully about what YOU want to do and make sure you don’t loose something you care about because of the work of media, school or someone else.

Thanks for listening to my rant and I hope it’s given you some insight into my interests and opinions.

Creative Journey: New Perspectives

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For this segment I thought I’d let the people that know me best, my family and friends have a little say in my blog and so I asked a few to describe their feelings and opinions on how they think I’m settling in to Uni life, and possibly share some of their own experiences. I thought this would be an interesting approach to the task to look at how other people have been viewing my adventures so far, rather than just me being biased and rambling about myself. Hope you enjoy hearing their views!

Lauren has always been artistic but since going to uni her creativity has come on leaps and bounds. Speaking to her you can see on her face and hear it in her voice how much she is enjoying herself. Her ideas just seem to be flowing. 

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Pauline Fox, Mother and worrier.

I too left Northern Ireland to pursue something creative (music) in London, so I understand fully where she is coming from about wanting to go and become freer to explore creatively. From what I’ve heard about her various shenanigans, Lauren seems to have settled in well! She’s making lots of friends and seems to be thoroughly enjoying and embracing her time there. I would say before she went to England , Lauren was very forgiving and it almost semmed like she was constantly saying sorry for her art and her talent, whereas now she’s completely about her ideas and her enthusiasm. I also think the variety of people Lauren is talking to is cool, back in Northern Ireland everyone was pretty much of the same background and Farnham seems a lot more creatively charged than a stagnant Northern Ireland. 

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Marc Gregg, Good friend and music addict.

When Lauren decided she was leaving Northern Ireland I think there were lots of people who would miss her and she was going to miss a lot of people, but everyone has to spread their wings eventually! `initially I was worried for her because she comes from a town, if Marlin is  town (it’s a village but I’ll let that slide since you’ve been so Kind to help me out 😉 ) and England is so big and so far away but she couldn’t have proved my fears more wrong. It seems she’s settled in well, made lots of friends and is getting in to the swing of things nicely. I’m really proud! I definitely think she underestimates her creativity, but when she gets going she has the ability to make great artistic things, but I don’t think she sees it a lot of the time. It sounds like she’s really enjoying herself from what she’s been telling us, sounds like she’s enjoying her time in class and going out with friends. So I hope she’ll continue to enjoy it and grow creatively while she’s at it 🙂

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Gemma Rooney, Self proclaimed secondary mother back home.

Even though I don’t know how Lauren was creatively before she arrived at UCA, I know that she has become very enthusiastic about all her work so far and she always seems excited about getting more creatively inspired. She’s also very good at annoying all of us by analysing films on our movie nights!  But we love it really. Looking forward to seeing what she comes up with!

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Rachel Hancock, New friend, protector and extended flat family member.

That’s it guys! Hope you enjoyed hearing some other view points other than mine for a change. This is something I’ve enjoyed doing and I might try and incorporate stuff like this in more of my posts in the future as I find it really fascinating to see the opinions of others and realise things that I might not have seen otherwise. Other than the analysing films part…I do that on purpose because it’s funny to see my friend’s reactions! Haha. Thanks to everyone who took time to write something for this – you’re the best! It’s greatly appreciated.

Reflection: Twinkle Lightly (video)

So my friend from back home (who has moved to London to go to university) and I were having a good ol’ Northern Irish chat the other day about our feelings about moving and settling in at uni. He mentioned how he was a bit home sick and missed his friends that are all back in NI with each other. He then proceeded to show me this wonderful video by Nanalew, which reflects on having to leave your friends behind as you move off from graduation or from school (and in our case another country). I didn’t know what exactly about the video that struck me the most…the relevance to our current lives, the superb fitting music or just the general atmosphere that was given off from the story. In the past I’ve concluded that it’s a mixture of many things put in to a film in order to make it strike a chord with someone to relate to it, such as this video did for me. For me, it proved that my conclusion was right. In order to produce a good film you need to be able to find a balance between all the different areas and this video also reminded me specifically of the importance of music. As a film maker you can’t let one key skill slip in any way, and music is something that can change the whole mood and tone of whatever you are showing or trying to convey. I’m gonna make especially sure that in the future I focus on making sure all aspects of my films and other work are good in order to produce great relatable work like this that connect with a specific audience.

But yeah, just thought that this was a piece that struck and inspired me quite a bit and just felt I had to talk about it briefly!

Creative Journey : Work Progress

Since being here we’ve been assigned several tasks to do which have been fun and a great introduction to meeting people and to the course. The first task was done in pairs and we had a briefing to find something in a charity shop and reinvent it, each partner paying £1 towards the object.  This was very exciting with lots of possibilities and the ideas between us where endless.  This is when my partner and I first noticed the amount of creative freedom allowed, something both of us hadn’t experienced before, and this excited us further about what we could do with the project.  After several quite different and strange ideas, including making a fluffy monster out of an old hat, we found an old children’s book about monsters and we felt inspired to continue this further into more of a sinister tone.  We also thought this would be handy as a prop for any horror films or photographs we make in the future, and therefore would be an overall plus. We used a mixture of acrylics and ink in order to graffiti the book and make it as creepy as possible, as well as standing outside in the freezing cold for about half an hour burning the edges! We also had to do some research into frightening symbols to make the horror seem more realistic and thought out.

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As we were planning our designs this picture fell out of the book, giving us even more inspiration to continue with the idea as well as using the photo’s motif ‘A load of mischief’ for a key element of writing. This quote can be found all over the cover, as well as various places inside, giving the story a bit of depth and background.

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We also thought it would be a cool idea to reference movies throughout the book as our own personal touch.

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I’ve always been interested in animation, and in my spare time I got inspired to focus more on character design in a more cartoon style, rather than following my traditional ways of sight drawing. I found this very relaxing and I really enjoyed thinking about what physical traits and personalities to give my characters.

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IMG_2470I’ve been really enjoying doing my own creative projects recently, as well as those set in my course. Doing stuff like this reminds me to stay creative and think about how I can better my work.

Creative Journey : The Big Move

I’m beginning my creative journey story with the topic of moving home to a completely new area with new people and what impact that’s had and is currently having on me. This may possibly be the least important post, but yet it’s been a significant part of my life over the past couple of weeks. I came from Northern Ireland from an extremely small but rather lovely village called Magheralin (I’ve discovered it’s hard to pronounce over here!).

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Despite being apart of the UK, it was still quite a journey to get to UCA, consisting of a long drive to Dublin, a two hour boat journey to Wales and then finally a ten hour drive down to Farnham (we got lost!). Moving may not seem like a big deal to some but basically the majority of people who are in Northern Ireland just seem to stay there indefinitely….well as far as my experience has seen. This factor has been very daunting for me, especially in the few weeks before the big move as I knew this meant leaving a lot of old friends and family behind, and moving somewhere in which I knew absolutely no one. It was quite a scary thing to do and I felt like no one really understood because there wasn’t anybody in a similar position. I get asked a lot why I chose to move away from home…it would have been a safe option, it would have been cheaper and it’s one that I understand very well with a lot of benefits, but the problem is Northern Ireland doesn’t seem to offer many creative opportunities for students. Don’t get me wrong, there are quite a few creative events and productions going on, such as Game of Thrones, but there isn’t really much in terms of getting training for such things, like going to uni. So basically I moved because I had to…in order to improve my abilities and skills.

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Before moving I felt like my creative abilities were at an all time low. I didn’t have ideas, I didn’t draw and I had a worrying lack of inspiration. This made me feel nervous for the upcoming year at uni. How would I fit in with other creative people when I wasn’t being creative myself? It’s fair to say I was worried.

Luckily as I’ve settled down in Farnham, I have felt so much less uptight and worried about what I was going to be doing here. Being surrounded by creative people didn’t push my ideas back and instead of being intimidated I’ve felt a lot more inspired and encouraged by the people around me. Everywhere in the university radiates creativity, from the walls that display student work throughout the building to the sculpture trail located outside that I must travel to get to Waitrose!

I think the journey has definitely inspired me to get out there and work even harder to maintain a creative mind set. It feels kind of like a fresh start and I’m hoping that being here will allow me to share ideas and concepts with similar minds – something that I haven’t really had before.

Free Blogging Numero 2

Here we go again! This time I have to type for 10 minutes. I’m actually really enjoying this rambling…it’s fun! Interested to see where I’m gonna go with this one.

So this post is going to be on me starting a creative degree and my thoughts and feelings over the past 2 weeks. I’ll admit before I arrived I wasn’t exactly confident in my creative abilities, and having plans to do maths at university as well beforehand made me feel like I was set back compared to other people who had no limits on their creative freedom. This made me pretty nervous to begin and I wondered what everyone else would be like on the course. Settling in was remarkably easy for me, and after one night at halls and going to a house party at what seems to be the classic part place here, I had met some lovely people who in tern became good friends and extended flat mates pretty quickly. We have communal meals which is amazing because I am literally clueless in the kitchen, which makes me feel bad because pretty much everyone else is like a pro. Like seriously guys, go on Masterchef or something! But as much as they like teasing me about my culinary skills, they do offer me a lot of help and lie to me that my food’s okay. Thanks guys, it’s appreciated!

In terms of my degree, so far I’ve found it really fun. The amount of creative freedom here is absolutely insane and I’m not used to it yet! I feel like I’ve been contained for so long that now my minds all over the place with so many ideas…because I’m allowed to have so many now! It’s great. Loved the first task with the charity shops and reinventing old things…me and Leanna had a lot of fun making the book creepy and trying to burn it!

I’m running out of time so this may be an abrupt ending….but yeah Uni is so far so good and I’m looking forward to seeing what direction I go. I feel bad cus the majority of this was about my bad cooking skills….haha sorry!