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Tutorial 11

Question 2.

c. Throsby argues that an artist’s career can be divided into stages. The first stage, or the beginning is when the first steps are taking in the direction of a creative career. This might be enrolling in a course and studying their chosen domain. The next stage is what Throsby describes as the period when the artist is the most hard working as they want to become professionally accepted, or established. She also argues that once the artist is established they are not as hard working, but still remain committed to their profession. These stages raise the question, how do you know when you are an established artist? The majority of artists in the survey of the reading said that they considered themselves ‘established’ once that had had their own solo show, or first professional engagement.

d. What factors hold back an artist’s professional development?

I wanted to focus on this question as I find it will become relevant once we have completed our degrees and go off to try establish ourselves in our chosen domain. In the reading Throsby argues that there are two major contributing factors which inhibit the development of an artist professionally, they are financial problems and time constraints. Financial problems include a lack of work opportunities, financial return from creative practice and access to funding/support. Time constraints arise from external pressures and responsibilities, this problem also ties in with the financial problem as a lot of artists find it necessary to have a “day job” in order to live comfortably (pay bills etc) thus there is no time to do creative work.

As a personal experience I find that when telling someone that I study a bachelor of contemporary arts the question that usually follows is “What do you plan on doing after?” I think people don’t really consider art to be a “proper career path” and that there is a stigma associated with it, and especially in Perth, where the arts and culture is not so significant. Even now, I know that choosing this career path is not going to be easy and it will definitely not be financially stable for myself. This raises some kind of fear in me, especially as I know that what lays ahead in terms of a career is unpredictable and it can go either way, successful or unsuccessful. In a way, I guess the fear of not knowing is a factor which could hold you back from developing or even starting, “Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be. For many people, that alone is enough to prevent their ever getting started at all.” (Bayles & Orland, 1993, p.13)

References:

Throsby, D. Hollister, V. (2003). Dont give up your day job : an economic study of professional artists in Australia (pp. 33-36). Sydney: Australia Council.

Bayles, D. Orland, T. (1993). Art and Fear. Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking. Image Continuum.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2011 in Tutorial

 

Week 3 Tutorial

I decided I wanted to go back to week three’s reading on the theories of creativity, Roger’s self-actualisation theory is what I find the most plausible out of all the theories mentioned. From my understanding of this theory, it is about using your creative talent to grow and to become the person you are capable of being, although in terms of a career. I find it to be the most plausible as that is exactly what we are trying to achieve by studying an arts degree, we are surrounded by like-minded individuals which establishes a creative environment, we are responsible for our own success or failure in regards to course work and we all have the opportunity to experience new things. For me that would be different areas of visual arts, such as printmaking, textiles and sculpture, to develop my skills and grow as an artist, which is what I mention in my mission statement.

Having said this though, I kind of disregarded this reading as I didn’t believe more than half of the theories were true or plausible, such as Freud and Skinner. To be honest I believe that everyone is creative on some level, it is just our mind set, whether we want to create just for the sake of creating or want to make a career out of it. I don’t believe that any one creative individual is more creative than the next, which is what, as an example, Mednick argues with his theory of mental associations.

Question 1.

Freud’s Psychoanalytic Account: Freud believed that the motivation to create was from our “unconscious conflict between the primitive sexual urges… and the repressive influences of our learned social conscience.” His theory was that a creative person accepts their “libido-stimulated fantasies” and channels that through their work, while an un creative person represses their urges.

Skinner’s Behaviourist Account: Skinner argued that there is no such thing as creativity, or freedom as behaviour is controlled by our superiors, such as parents, teachers, police etc. He believed that any product of creativity was that of genetics and the environment or surroundings.

Mednick’s Mental Association Theory: Mednick’s theory of creativity was based upon mental associations. A person that can associate a word with many other words is considered to be highly creative, where as a less creative person would have only a few dominate or basic mental associations.

Roger’s Self-Actualisation Theory: Self-Actualisation is the theory that the creative person is using their talent to grow or become the person they are capable of being. There are 4 important conditions of self-actualisation:

1. Psychological safety: A flexible and receptive creative environment.
2. Internal locus of evaluation: Making one’s own judgments, being responsible for your successes and failures. This means to be confident and independent.
3. Willingness to play with ideas and possibilities.
4. Openness to experience:
Generally being interested in experiences and ideas. Acknowledging your wants, needs and habits.

Sternberg’s Three-Facet Model: Focuses on the characteristics of a creative person.

1. Intelligence: Emphasis on verbal ability, fluent though, knowledge, planning, problem defining etc. Having a general intellectual balance.
2. Cognitive Style: Having a preference for creative occupations, creating their own rules and doing things their own way.
3. Personality and Motivation: Drive for accomplishment, perseverance, willingness to grow creatively and risk taking.

Amabile’s Three-Part Model: The first part is that a creative person has the relevant skills so they are competent in their performance within their domain, so they must know the technical skills of their talent. The second part is that one must have relevant skills of creativity. And the third part is motivation, having the right attitude for the task.

Csikszentmihaly’s and Gardner’s Three-Part Models: To produce “true creativity” all three models must work together.

1. The Creative Person: Provides the necessary ability or talent.
2. The Domain: Receives formal training in their chosen domain.
3. The Field: Society judges the creative output.

Simonton’s Chance-Configuration Theory: Simonton’s theory is that chance plays a large role in creativity. He believes that “individuals become “creative” only insofar as they impress others with their creativity.” (Simonton, 1988)

Question 2.

When I engage in my creative practice, whether it is visual arts or photography, I like to write my ideas down in a visual diary, collect pictures and take photos as research. In relation to the reading I don’t find that I have to force myself into some kind of day dream between my unconscious/conscious mind to draw my ideas from, generally my ideas will come from experiences or things that I see or hear. So I guess my own theory is that I create from inspiration.

Reference

Davis, G. A. (2004). Definitions and Theories. Creativity is forever (pp. 58-73). (5th Ed.). USA: Kendell/Hunt.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Tutorial

 

Week 6 Tutorial

Question 1

a. 9 aspects associated with flow:

1. There are clear goals every step of the way
2. There is immediate feedback to one’s actions
3. There is a balance between challenges and skills
4. Action and awareness are merged
5. Distractions are excluded
6. There is no worry of failure
7. Self-consciousness disappears
8. Sense of time becomes distorted
9. The activity becomes autotelic

b. There is a definite relationship between the aspects of flow and creativity, I believe you will achieve some sort of flow when you are really enjoying what you are creating. In relation to my work, I think that when the creativity is forced I will not produce my best work, and it is not enjoyable. Of all the theories of creativity that we have discussed in this semester, I think I can relate to this one the most in terms of my creative practice.
Csikszentmihalyi also states that happiness is achieved after flow, as happiness is a distraction from the task, I agree with this as I find that when I am working I’m not really feeling anything as I am focused on the task at hand. Once there is an end result that is decent, then I will feel happy as I have achieved what I set out to do.

Question 2.

As I still live at home I am kind of restricted in having a creative environment or atmosphere, especially confined to such a small space. Obviously, the ideal situation would be to have a studio, but right now I just try to keep a little space that kind of inspires me or motivates me to be creative. I think if I had a larger space to work with, I would be more inclined to work way more often than I do now.
Other ways I keep a creative atmosphere is by always collecting information or pictures that I can use in my work, even if I don’t end up using them. Frequently I will go to websites such as booooooom!Escape Into Life and Art Sponge to look at other contemporary artists’ work as inspiration. I also use StumbleUpon as sometimes odd/interesting pictures or stories will come up which could inspire my work. So I find that by regularly looking at art and reading books, watching movies, listening to music always contributes to my create atmosphere.

References

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). The Flow of Creativity. Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention (pp. 107-126). New York: HarperCollins.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Tutorial

 

Week 5 Tutorial

Question 1

a. Active Imagination is a method which Jung used to reconnect with his creative spirit and heal himself within. He did this by reconnecting with his imagination and fantasies through play. He was able to reawaken his creative spirit by maintaining a “self-reflectve, conscious point of view.” He didn’t believe that this process could be taught, but believed that it is an inner necessity which is natural and inborn.

b. Individuation is like the maturing of a persons soul, it is a process in which they will find their ‘real’ self and their fulfilment in life. I see this as a stage in a persons life when you just accept who you are, the good and the bad parts, which I can relate to. I think that everyone will go through a stage in their life when they don’t want to be different or considered ‘weird’, especially in high school, but once you reach that ‘stage of individuation’ you are more accepting of yourself.

c. Archetypes are what Jung describes as “genetic blueprints for ideal types of behaviour.”

The King: Provides order through law and is the one who keeps the peace and order.
The Warrior: Possesses aggressive energy and is very sure of himself, he knows his goals and how to achieve them. He is selfless and fights for causes for humanity rather than for himself, although sometimes he is seen as emotionally distant.
The Magician: Is the teacher and initiator.
The Lover: Is the passionate figure, the one connected to others who seeks unity and oneness.

d. The Shadow is a persons ‘dark’ or negative side, it is a side that is repressed and exists in our unconscious. This ties in with individuation as that is when we recognise our shadow self and embrace it so it becomes apart of our personality

e. Jung uses his anima (feminine) and animus (masculine) theory to deal with gender issues, he believes that both men and woman possess the opposite in their unconscious. Men possess an anima and women, an animus. The discovery of the anima or animus is a stage of individuation.

f. Mythopoesis is essentially creation of myths. Mythical worlds include J.R.R Tolkeins ‘Middle Earth’ in The Lord of the Rings, and also C.S Lewis’ Narnia. There are also myths in popular culture, for example, vampires in television series such as Buffy and True Blood and movies such as Underworld and Blade.

References:

OShaugnessy, M. Stadler, J. (2002). Carl Jung. Media and Society: An introduction (pp. 176-184). Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Jung, C. (1997). Jung on active imagination (pp. 1-17, 28-33). (Ed. Joan Chodorow). London: Routledge.

Spoors, G. (2011). Lecture Notes. Retrieved from Edith Cowan University, School of Communication and Arts website: https://lms.sca.ecu.edu.au/units/CCA1103/lectures/week_5_mythopoesis.pdf

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Tutorial

 

Week 4 Tutorial

Attempt to describe yourself in a paragraph

In the tutorial I found this task quite difficult, so I made a list of core personality traits that I thought best described me. They were:

passionate, perfectionist, sensitive, friendly, withdrawn, considerate, a little worrisome at times, observant and that occasionally I can be impulsive, impatient and a little bit sarcastic.

10 Attributes of a creative person

  1. Energetic/Quiet
  2. Smart/Naive
  3. Responsible/Irresponsible
  4. Fantasy/Reality
  5. Introvert/Extrovert
  6. Humble/Proud
  7. Masculine/Feminine
  8. Conservative/Rebellious
  9. Passionate/Objective
  10. Suffering/Enjoyment

I find that because I am a perfectionist I tend to be very disciplined whilst I am working, so I show responsibility through my hard work. As I stated above, I tend to be withdrawn and quiet, I like to be on my own when I am working and I think I can stand being alone, yet I love to spend time with my friends and family, so this shows both introversion and extroversion. I am very passionate about my work, if I think I have a good, original idea I will stick with it, yet I will also seek feedback and criticism from other people so I have different opinions and don’t lose interest in the task.

  1. In terms of creativity I would definitely say that I am very energetic, once I get into the work and I find that I am enjoying it I will work for a long period of time. Yet I will often stop to rest or do something else.
  2. I would say that I am naive, I like to question things, and I am definitely in a state of wonder about the world at times.
  3. As stated above, in my discipline I tend to be very focused on my work once I get into it, and at times very hard working because I want to achieve my best. Although I sometimes stress about my work, I find that when I don’t have anything to worry about I can be very relaxed or have a light and playful attitude.
  4. I’d like to think that I am imaginative, if I wasn’t than I probably wouldn’t pursue a career in art.
  5. I am definitely introverted in the sense that I actually like to be by myself sometimes, especially to do my work. Yet I love to spend time with friends and family and I can be extroverted when I am with them.
  6. I definitely do not take compliments well and I’m very modest when people compliment my work.
  7. I don’t think that I am both masculine and feminine at the same time. I find that sometimes I am submissive yet at the same time if things are not getting done I will get slightly annoyed and take on a bit more of a leadership role.
  8. In relation to visual arts, I like ‘traditional’ forms of art, yet I am open to trying more contemporary styles. Also I am a firm believer in learning the basic and traditional ways of painting and drawing etc to begin with.
  9. I think that if I wasn’t passionate about my work I wouldn’t be in that field, I like to hear feedback and constructive criticism about my work to see if I am on the right track.
  10. Everyone goes through some kind of “pain/suffering.” It isn’t really something that drives me to paint or draw. Although I describe myself as a sensitive person, I can take criticism and just move on.

References

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). The Creative Personality. Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: HarperCollins.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Tutorial

 

Week 2 Tutorial

To what extent do you look at the world in a creative (or uncreative) way?

As a visual artist I find that drawing inspiration from what I see around me is fundamental. I find that when I am observing I will see something that would inspire me to create something, this does not necessarily happen intentionally and what I draw my inspiration from is not necessarily beautiful and catches your eye right away, it could be some rubbish, or the colours of the sky or even the way objects blur when you’re looking out the window of the car or the train. More often than not I will pull my camera out to capture something that I want to use in my work.

For example at the start of the year I was on holiday in Walpole and on the drive there we stopped at a look out spot, and it was the most amazing view over the water at sunset. The colours were what I liked the most, so I took a photo and hoped that I would use it as inspiration for a painting.

What is the relationship between night, darkness and the imagination? How did the growth of artificial light affect human imagination and creativity?

Before the growth in artificial lighting there was a great belief in notions such as spirits, apparitions, witches and demons, night time was seen as menacing and people were superstitious of these notions. As people became more educated they rejected these beliefs “…Enlightenment beliefs steadily led to the “disenchantment” of the Western world…” (Ekirch, 2005, p.325) Night time lost its aura of terror and people began to find it beautiful, …Night even became, for some observers, an object of awe and admiration. The very air at night, once thought perilous, now appeared sweet and refreshing… Inspired rapture rather than dread…” (Ekirch, 2005, p.326)

People’s sleep patterns were disturbed, with the growth of artificial lighting, people were going to bed later which meant divided slumber became less common. Divided slumber is when you have a segmented sleeping pattern and would often wake from slumber. “No longer did most sleepers experience an interval of wakefulness in which to ponder visions in the dead of the night… increasing numbers lost touch with their dreams and…to their deepest emotions.” (Ekirch, 2005, p.335) So by going to sleep later, people had cheated themselves out of their dreams and their fantasies.

Ekirch says that by staying up later into the night people do not experience segmented sleep so they will not wake during the night to think about their dreams. By not pondering their dreams people have lost touch with their deepest emotions. I think that in some way our creativity channels our emotions, or our emotions are what helps us to be creative. So, if people have lost touch with their deepest emotions, essentially it would affect their creativity.

References

Ekirch, A. R. (2005). At days close: Night in times past. New York: Norton and Company

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Tutorial