DS106 on the couch

Insights from the DS106 shrink. A cyberpsychologist joins #DS1064Life and blogs about it.

Of graffiti, rats and talent lost


Graffiti Wars 2011 - King Robbo vs Banksy by alxka

As ever in DS106 land, it started with a tweet.

I hade never heard of King Robbo but I had seen Banksy’s work around the UK. Meh. I follow Ryan Seslow  here on Tumblr and like his art, sometimes. Yet I never got (until yesterday) the recurrent aerosol can in his art, forgive my ignorance Ryan. 

I clicked to watch with a view to ‘scan and go’ as so much of what goes through a daily feed. I never ‘went’. The video was such an education, then Google filled in the holes of my ignorance. Graffiti vs Street art, free hand vs stencil, what legitimises graffiti as art, passion vs economics….yet, what stayed was as deep sadness for a talent lost.

Some people, I learnt as I read, did not approve of the documentary. Yet, I found it compelling. It opened up a world I knew nothing about and showed me people passionate about their art. Blek le rat saying he was a little bit miffed (as we say in the UK) that Bansky had used him as ‘inspiration’. It takes time to find a style, he said. And when you do, you want it to be yours. It takes time to find a style, noted. I will keep trying. 

I learnt content, I learnt useful strategies to help with inner struggles about what the heck is it I am making since I joined DS106 - art, artefacts, or just shit - but once again, the deep sadness for King Robbo’s life. On the edge of getting the recognition he craved, his life destroyed by some random act of life. Deep sadness. Also striking to me was how Robbo thanked Banksy and the their war for bringing him out of retirement and getting him motivated to make the transition to the art gallery. Something I imagine some might condemn as breaking some deep Graffiti art rules. Yet, nobody got the chance to condemn him. As he felt inspired to create again, he left this life. In a coma for 3 years, before dying this week. 

Well, in true DS106 style. I was curious about the art. I never thought twice about this type of art. The film made me think. The Google obliged with a lovely little project to help students create graffiti. I was not tempted to go to my nearest train depot to use one of their trains as my canvas, I must be getting old. 

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creativesomething:

Discover yourself by creating.

creativesomething:

Discover yourself by creating.

It has been a while since I have written a post here. I have been posting my art (See? calling it ‘art’ not ‘artefact’ anymore :) but not narrating the process. The truth is that narrating process is hard and as I get more into making art, I am less able to run the ‘witness loop’ to be able to accurately explain my creation process. This is, of course, natural when creative flow happens. We ‘lose’ ourselves. What this means is that we lose the judging mind and align in activity. 
I want to make an effort to narrate this daily create because I believe this to be my graduation assignment!
There are many goals to set going forward, but for the first time since I started participating in DS106 I have made something that is inherently and standalone pleasing to me. Awesome feeling. I have had glimpses of it when making animated gifs but this time the intensity was different. 
It started with me scanning the daily create site and seeing what others had done for today. The prompt made me go: meh. I am in the middle of another project for our Summer DS106 Story doing a trailer in the style of a silent movie (something that is proving more challenging than I expected). May be I get one with that and forget about the daily create today. Or may be not.
I watched a video today that admonished me: ”The most dangerous thought you can have as a creative person is to think you know what you’re doing.” I decided to make an animated gif, I know how to do that. 
I had the idea of many hands moving and that gave me the slogan you see in the image. Hands were dancing in my head and I started, predictably for those who know me, to make a gif. 
Where to find hands? @cogdogblog introduced me yesterday to the most beautiful resource I have found in a long time The Public Domain Review. Looking for images was a great excuse to lose myself there for a while. Actually, I found what I wanted straight away. The physiognomy of hands in 1917. Use these images in Photoshop and make the hands dance whilst the slogan pops up. Boom. Not Boom. I could not keep the background still whilst the hands danced.
Each time I watched all my layers I could hear a faint voice saying - it looks great as a still image. I ignored it for a while and kept trying to make the hands dance. I knew what I was doing. Until I was willing to suspend knowing. 
I abandoned the idea of an animated gif and looked at ‘what the marble wanted to be’ as they say Michelangelo thought of sculpture. Not that I am comparing the output, just the process. I spent hours playing with Photoshop selecting, blending positioning the hands. I tried many fonts and colours and then I noted that this was a kind of ‘silent film’ poster. 
Off I went down another Google rabbit hole. Find a font that suits the silent era. I have never installed a font, I just use what is there and match it as best I can. Lazy creator. This time was different. I wanted to shape the poster as it seemed to want to be shaped. Worked out how to install font and restarted machine. Boom. Like. Now I thought about the inter-title screens in silent films. It needs a frame. I looked and could not find anything. 
I remembered that Photoshop now has Picture Frame to use. I needed a tutorial for how to use that. I played around until I made something the fitted the style. 
Boom, my poster for today.
It really helps not to be struggling so much with the tools. As Ira Glass reminds us ‘our taste is impeccable, it take a couple of years for the execution to start to align with our taste and we know when we are falling short’. Well, today I did not fall short. There is a big difference between quickly getting something done, and losing oneself in the process of creation. I have known that from writing all my life, but this is the first time I experience it with digital art. Thank you daily create for the ‘boring’ prompt today.

It has been a while since I have written a post here. I have been posting my art (See? calling it ‘art’ not ‘artefact’ anymore :) but not narrating the process. The truth is that narrating process is hard and as I get more into making art, I am less able to run the ‘witness loop’ to be able to accurately explain my creation process. This is, of course, natural when creative flow happens. We ‘lose’ ourselves. What this means is that we lose the judging mind and align in activity. 

I want to make an effort to narrate this daily create because I believe this to be my graduation assignment!

There are many goals to set going forward, but for the first time since I started participating in DS106 I have made something that is inherently and standalone pleasing to me. Awesome feeling. I have had glimpses of it when making animated gifs but this time the intensity was different. 

It started with me scanning the daily create site and seeing what others had done for today. The prompt made me go: meh. I am in the middle of another project for our Summer DS106 Story doing a trailer in the style of a silent movie (something that is proving more challenging than I expected). May be I get one with that and forget about the daily create today. Or may be not.

I watched a video today that admonished me: ”The most dangerous thought you can have as a creative person is to think you know what you’re doing.” I decided to make an animated gif, I know how to do that. 

I had the idea of many hands moving and that gave me the slogan you see in the image. Hands were dancing in my head and I started, predictably for those who know me, to make a gif. 

Where to find hands? @cogdogblog introduced me yesterday to the most beautiful resource I have found in a long time The Public Domain Review. Looking for images was a great excuse to lose myself there for a while. Actually, I found what I wanted straight away. The physiognomy of hands in 1917. Use these images in Photoshop and make the hands dance whilst the slogan pops up. Boom. Not Boom. I could not keep the background still whilst the hands danced.

Each time I watched all my layers I could hear a faint voice saying - it looks great as a still image. I ignored it for a while and kept trying to make the hands dance. I knew what I was doing. Until I was willing to suspend knowing. 

I abandoned the idea of an animated gif and looked at ‘what the marble wanted to be’ as they say Michelangelo thought of sculpture. Not that I am comparing the output, just the process. I spent hours playing with Photoshop selecting, blending positioning the hands. I tried many fonts and colours and then I noted that this was a kind of ‘silent film’ poster. 

Off I went down another Google rabbit hole. Find a font that suits the silent era. I have never installed a font, I just use what is there and match it as best I can. Lazy creator. This time was different. I wanted to shape the poster as it seemed to want to be shaped. Worked out how to install font and restarted machine. Boom. Like. Now I thought about the inter-title screens in silent films. It needs a frame. I looked and could not find anything. 

I remembered that Photoshop now has Picture Frame to use. I needed a tutorial for how to use that. I played around until I made something the fitted the style. 

Boom, my poster for today.

It really helps not to be struggling so much with the tools. As Ira Glass reminds us ‘our taste is impeccable, it take a couple of years for the execution to start to align with our taste and we know when we are falling short’. Well, today I did not fall short. There is a big difference between quickly getting something done, and losing oneself in the process of creation. I have known that from writing all my life, but this is the first time I experience it with digital art. Thank you daily create for the ‘boring’ prompt today.