Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

4 points guide to express your creative calling

May 15, 2010

Nothing just happens, folks. Only ideas come to you out of the blue, but even then they really don’t appear out of thin air.  We usually know the cracks, wells and heavens they inhabit. We go searching for them with a big pasta strainer. We get them and it feels good.

One of the best feelings of the creative experience is waking up and realizing that it’s time to move yourself toward a new level in  your work. Even while still in bed, the mixture of adrenaline, excitement and terror starts to build in your blood stream, softly fondling your veins from inside. It squirrels away through the progression of morning grooming threatening to spill over once you have that coffee and the celebratory dance. However, this ‘calling’ for a bigger challenge,  for higher level of consciousness, and/or the step in the unknown direction in your work,  if you will,  rarely gets to detonate  into a full-blown actions on your behalf. It happens mostly because none of us exactly knows what this ‘calling’ really is. And we don’t have the technique helpful to exercise this ‘calling’ to see what it’s made of.

Confronted with my realization of how good it would be if I had a system for myself to properly respond to those days, I started thinking about developing a program. It’s good for us to open up, to try themes and messages we usually don’t touch in our work. It doesn’t make us inconsistent, it diversifies the thought process. Because I write as well as make art, I came up with this exercise relating both activities together in the critical approach.

Building your idea as a simple structure can be helpful because it calls for a level of clarity. Most times being clear or purposefully ambiguous is a good way to engage with your audience.  Attempt constructing your artwork as a good English topic sentence – with your topic on one side and your opinion on the other side of it.

1. Choose your topic.  The more specific it is, the better.  For example I pick war in Afghanistan; it is still too broad – I narrow it down some more. Going in tighter, I choose – the role of women in the war of Afghanistan. And I thin it down to Russian women married to Afghans and living in Afghanistan during the American invasion….

2. Form an opinion about your topic. It might take some research and some heavy thinking. So I take my topic “Russian women married to Afghans and living in Afghanistan during the American invasion and  I literally place on the left of my topic sentence that has to be complete . It is very important that you write it down and have it in front of your eyes and see it. Now, I will place my point of view on the topic  in the right side of the sentence.

Russian women married to Afghans and living in Afghanistan during the American invasion_______________________.

For example Russian women married to Afghans and living in Afghanistan during the American invasion_ had even less rights than Afghan women.

This topic sentence that you have just made is your  thesis statement. It clearly states the focus of your interest and how you feel about it. You have a clear main point that you set out to show for your viewer.

3. Before you move to the next step, you might want to ask yourself one big question. What is the fundamental purpose of your art work?

Express

Describe

Shock

Explain

Inform

Persuade

Make aware of

Entertain

Having only one or two fundamental purposes helps to make your statement more clear. Try clearly answering that question for yourself.

4. After you’ve identified the topic of your interest and  you’ve formed a clear opinion about it, you are free to engage in the search for your visual language –  images that illustrate  your sentence  in the most universal, uncommon and original fashion depending on what effect you are trying to achieve. Make a list of your imagery and concepts.  For instance, for the topic sentence we have discussed the following images come to my mind.

Burka, tanks, guns, children, blood, long hair, eyes covered, strangers, alienation, contact of skin and burka, mixed children, etc..

Now choose the strongest and the simplest images, that are both strong and full of meaning, and cultural biography

5. Now you  are ready to do your sketches. What medium best represents my topic? Remember  Marshall McLuhan’s “Medium is the Message“, well it’s still works. Do I need color? Do I need collision of forms. Do I need movement? Should I work with preexisting imagery and use collage? Should I use a palette knife or a brush, what medium is going to help the viewer to feel my story?

The  difficult part is uncovering those other topics of interest. As artists we are interested in certain things and sometimes set in our ways and styles. In addition, so many things  are often subconscious and it is not easy to pull them out of yourself  on demand. Carrying a note pad helps jotting down those things that make your heart go zok zok zok.

Now go, get them tiger

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Creative Process is a Beast

April 14, 2010

Our team often wonders about the mechanics of writing or creativity (of any kind). The first stages are very difficult and  sometimes are pure struggle, but once I combat those devilish problems in my work, it becomes a universe of pure joy.

I noticed that every time I  work on something worthwhile and go throw a serious challenge (that at first I can’t even call a challenge because I am unable to even define its parameters  )  I arrive at the place of  an unprecedented clarity. I run with flying colors and I feel I’ve learned a deepest mystery the process of creation has to offer. At that point I am sure of my next work, because I feel I know the technique or certain je ne sais quoi… And then ..bang…..comes a new work – new script, painting, sculpture or a story and I go throw another turmoil again…I would have thought, I’ve attained enough to not get so worked up about those doubts and uncertainty (c’mon  Bodega, it’s a part of the process)… At least remember when the first step of creation is done properly, I will peak again and my creativity will be refreshingly satisfied (!)…but I don’t remember. Every time it’s a big surprise…

After I completed the quest of discovering the work ( the characters, the plot, the formal system, the colors, the shape the subject, the message, the aftertaste, the presentation), and  make it come real to my mind’s eye, (after this is done I usually feel something like I have been laying on a city’s central square and beaten by passersby) , I then acquire this immense energy that could move mountains. This is when the real work truly starts… I call it “when you get rid of all the blanks”… when I’ve painted ( both literary and physically ) over those parts of my work that distract me. Now I can see the script ( piece , work of art) as a whole. I can see the path. This is when I become addicted. My brain pumps dopamine and adrenaline and  I know that I am not going out alone.

The first draft of my new script about ten hours to being complete. In Bodega productions we are getting ready to celebrate and lighting up. Like on a spiral, we have come up high, high, high – and we know that once ( after two more drafts probably ) this script is over, we will descend this beast of a spiral and start climbing it up again.

Notes on Writing: This script is a product of a happy heart

April 11, 2010

We tend to agonize over script pages in current Bodega production. Bodega is not an easy place to be, but we are happy to be here at all. Writing doesn’t come easy, nor is it a pleasure to do, but it is what most of the bodega teamsters want. We want to make films from our stories. And then come painting, sculpture and cooking.

So today we have a sweet piece of info to share.

In the past I complained about the fact that my characters tend to fluctuate in their mood and disposition because I often jump to writing without re-reading. It creates all sorts of complications… But if I re-read I start editing and I forget what I wanted to add to the story, even if I make notes elsewhere.  There is more to it, but long story short – this results in constant modifications to the story and even plot depending on how  I feel any given day. It’s pretty flaky, isn’t it?  It is what it is. It is what I shared with Mr. Sunshine-Dreamboy, the president of Bodega Veterans. Mr. Sunshine-Dreamboy suggested something very important! ‘Make notes of your state of mind’, he said. But of course! Duh! ( he is a president for a reason!) On top of making notes about the characters and plot twists and whatnot it is very important to remember where you were ( mentally  and virtually) when you made that note. It is important because script in a way is a condensation of emotional states. The journey is a constant emotional trip.  (Did I just say, the journey is a trip?…I am going to keep it because it’s fun). While writing I don’t sustain  a feeling  but go through a system of different ones. My visceral landscape changes, only sensibility remains the same. Therefore, when I sit down to fight a blank page again and go through the notes I prepared for the session, it helps me greatly to decide where my notes fit by looking at what I was feeling when I made the note. I am not awfully moody or anything, but I do out-live a lot of things in one day…So to deliver consistent characters I put myself in the state of mind the script was conceived in.

Your story

April 9, 2010

We read James Cameron story-telling advises. I got inspired and felt I knew exactly how to make my script better – by making it more  universal, by talking about things everyone can relate to. Perhaps, it’s the best way, but I find my self not interested in the most important aspects of human nature. I am attracted to the decadent fallen romanticism of the realm of the surreal. I want to explore absurd longitudes no one has gone to. It means i have to tell my story as a true Bodega companion as non-universal as it might be. And my heart aches for characters who are different, who are not to be understood. If your house was burning would you film the flames or the face of a girl next door..?!

Glam Spam Thank You M’am

April 8, 2010

Camera crew, shooters, corn in a cup. Sometimes you have to scream to discover a whisper, as Heath Leger said. Nobody from Bodega team got gainfully employed yet, but we were asked if we had worked on anything interesting and we said yes. Watching the trains and football in Iraq.

On top of everything, we got badly spammed by  shabby network called Vip ocean, those mothers can get hold of one’s gmail and voila – all our friends got five glamorous and sexy invites per day from supposedly us enticing them to join. The reputation the bodega crew is on the line…Harsh feelings, bad reviews and the bitterness of disappointing friends – abuse of their trust. We spent half of the warm like  milk day in  apologizing for oceanic intervention. Some kind soul told us, ” keep you spammy cutties to yourself “, other suggested  calling them mothers and threatening to make a public case of them.  The slimy vips are in France. So we will have to pay for intergalactic to hear their meek voices, but we will. We are fortunate enough to have befriended a group of killer lawyers… so we still might be the last ones laughing.  Alas, Google suspended our bodega gmail for sending mass emails and we couldn’t do anything for 24 hours.

However, it wasn’t that bad since we got reconnected with friends we haven’t spoken to in ages. Spam brings us closer.

Exasperated Pumpkin Seeds

April 7, 2010

This week our team of bodega veterans made a sworn statement not to write about ourselves,  but rather about what’s important. As important as it can get to our subjective shabby selves. We try to pursue and peruse writing careers in new york and it means being born again every week and  regularly turning into ashes. Oh, well. Sometimes the word is all we have.

So this week we read an article about an artist who had participated in the Scope Art Fair – our favorite art fair in the world.  In that article the artist aptly called himself  ‘artist, writer’ and ( attention:) fucker. This, for some reason, got our corn radar and barometer blinking. Why didn’t he say that he showers  everyday or that he is an eater? Why didn’t he say  “I am my-teeth-brusher “, or  at least “I am a-mother-fucker” ? To us, the fucker is not enough, sorry, because we all do it, we fuck.  Had he said something like, ‘I am  a small-animal-tourcherer”, that would get some of us going… Now what keeps hacking at us  is this painful moral question…  Have we done bad to judge him? He sure was just talking.. We sit here drinking our Yerba Mate and eating our pumping seeds for 12 dollars a pop and we think…

Any thoughts?

Hello world!

April 7, 2010

Welcome to Urban Dreck. This is the first post of what is soon to be a detailed account of creative souls! Spasibo! Merci! Thank you!