Tag Archives: creativity

Musing and Mediations re: Creativity (and Rebellion)

Musings and Meditations for Creativity (and Rebellion)
Musings and Meditations re: Creativity (and Rebellion)

Fck Stats, Make Art – Colleague Cameron riffs about Art in Marketing in Squamish

My pal and co-conspirator Cameron Uganec spoke at a marketing conference in Squamish BC and used my riff about Fck Stats, Make Art as an example/inspiration/anecdote for the assembled masses who seemed to enjoy the sentiment. Artifacts follow:

Cameron U talks Fck Stats, Make Art re: marketing at #CIMC2018 conference in Squamish BC - photo by Sandy Pell @sandycanvas
Cameron U talks Fck Stats, Make Art re: marketing at a conference in Squamish BC – photo by Sandy Pell @sandycanvas

“On the Road to Creativity” talk notes (Pecha Kucha NIght, Vancouver, 2010)

Dave Olson - Story Maker/Writer/ Producer (uncleweed.net) speaks at Pecha Kucha - photo by Melissa Gedney

What follows are my notes for a talk called “On the Road to Creativity” for Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver. The format includes 20 slides for 20 seconds each, auto-changed. As such, the pace is brisk and a bit of a high-wire act. No audio/video exists but there is a “roundup” of photos, tweets, and other artifacts including the hand-crafted “paper-point” collage slides. See “Consider Perusing” below.

1 – On the road

I’ve spent much of my life wandering around the globe working odd jobs including mushroom farmer in Japan, grape picking in Germany, beach club host in Guam and even following the Grateful Dead – all these experiences provided lots of time for thinking mostly about the meaning of art and importance of documentation – here’s what i cam up with

2 Art makes the future

while the history we learn is laden with the stories of kings, conquerers, popes and rulers, the only reason we know anything about how people lived, loved and thought is because artists took the time to chronicle the the stories through paint, words, carvings, and song. From the earliest cave painters to bloggers, there is vast evidence for the importance of storytelling.

3 Art Craft Schwag

No doubt today like olden times, there is a tremendous amount of disposable pop culture created to satiate common interest but the best stuff created by diligent artisans rises above the layer of schlock into the territory of craft and then transcends into a rarified area of art which will last centuries rather than 15 minutes. But who decides what is art? And don’t give me that “i know what i like” answer.

4 Craft + Intent

Instead I’ve made a formula to sort out these largely subjective criteria – first off, take Craft – skill honed from thousands of hours of consideration, then add Intent – which, while subjective, can be gauged by heart of the creator, and then multiplied by the artist’s Integrity as seen by an audience. The audience who truly breathes life into a story, no matter the medium. This formula doesn’t work for you? Cool, make another, but be sure to share. Art does not live in a vacuum, art yearns to be shared.

5 Audience / Awesome

But this can be tricky for artists who must balance their internal desire and, dareisay mission, to create authentic art with the often debilitating practical need to make a living. I’ve found that my projects which garner the biggest audience, are not necessarily the ones which i maximize my artistic potential – find where you audience and awesomeness intersect and try to find a way to hang out there.

Here’s how:

6 Upgrade your Heroes

First upgrade your heroes – history is scattered with underknown world-changers, and the present is too. Dig beyond pop culture, politicians and sports personalities to find remarkable predecessors to your work – for me, my heroes range from writer of “Confessions” and “The Social Contract”, Jean Jacques Rousseau, to current day punk rock photographer bev davies. Who are your historical dopplegangers?

7 Personal Archaeology

Next, embark on personal archaeology – dig into your closet to find forgotten dreams from those black white photos you took in yellowstone to graduate thesis to 4th grade book reports to your journals from hitchhiking down the coast. Take the risk to share these artifacts with your small slice of the world and let them breathe life into your work.

8 Embrace Translucency

Transparency isn’t interesting – instead share the parts of you which are compelling and you are capable of backing up – accept risks but protect the parts of you which are too delicate to expose. Create interest through scarcity and self-editing and be prepared to deal with any reaction which comes along.

9 Express with vigour

You are an expert on something, don’t rely on others to create the historical record – everyone has access to remarkable publishing and promotion tools so step it up and dig deep to tell your unfiltered opinions and don’t let cynics bring you down – if you can’t surprise and impress yourself, no way you can evoke emotion from an audience.

10 HST

I think of “Express with Vigour” as the “Hunter S Thompson rule” – while his reputation has been somewhat maligned through hollywood movies, the fake Doctor was the finest social commentator since Samuel Clemens and offered significant discourse about Jimmy Carter, Hell Angels, 9/11 – and did it with a significant buzz – but always had a job because he expressed himself wisely and vigorously.

11 Cross Training

Now sometimes the pressure to create awesomeness can be debilitating – staring at a white sheet of paper and all that – rather than stressing, experiment with other mediums and get interdisciplinary with cross training skillz and your stories will manifest through the other tools – i contend V. Van Gogh c/would’ve made it as a writer if the painting hadn’t worked out.

12 Don’t Get Precious

With all this goodness you are creating, it’s easy to get protective of your thoughts and work. Rather than waiting for someone to make you an offer you can’t refuse, share your work openly and willingly – learn about creative commons, find collaborators, encourage remixing and your work will create a culture of its own. It’s not always fair but it is usually fun.

13 Ignore Gatekeepers

The established business models for artists are relatively modern and designed to create value for the shareholders of corporations. The goal of landing a major label record deal or a big publishing advance are no longer needed or valued – be your own imprint, chart your own course, the gatekeepers may look intimidating but they are made of stone so walk on by.

14 Cross Pollinate

When your work is released to the world to an audience – no matter the size – you’ll see a culture begin to grow around it – In the hills of Japan, I learned that once inoculated, Shiitake mushrooms propagate their culture from one log to the next – as the older logs rot away and stop producing, new logs down the line are fruiting fungus. Ditto with your audience.

15 Get more drummers

One dude drumming alone can make some noise but is not a party – recruit more drummers to amplify your story in their own way and spread your message across continents and oceans while building relationships and playing well with others. More fun, more effective plus you need others to have your back from time to time. Your momma told you are 1 in a million – that means there are at least 30 people just like you in Canada alone – go find em.

16 Formula for creativity

The old Edison maxim suggest success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration – this isn’t my formula – my formula for creative expression is 80% meditation, 10% execution and 10% inebriation – what i mean by that is the real work comes in the white space of life where you contemplate your story – the inebriation part is about pushing yourself to where you get a little scared.

17 Collect notes along the way

Travelling light means not accumulating much – for me gathering ephemeral objects along the way can be a short cut to remembering where you were mentally, emotionally, artistically decades later – a train ticket or dried flower can leap you back to a place in time which can benchmark how much you’ve remained the same while constantly evolving and spark new creative pursuits.

18 make it for yourself

Everyone else is just eavesdropping – this ain’t your job – its for love not money so make it exactly how you want it. Push out the nagging naysayers in your noggin and create something with integrity and for the love of all things decent, don’t cheese out for the quick win. Be sell out proof and make things you’ll want to read when you are old and grey.

19 Reap Rewards

Making stories for the future isn’t a way to gain the material trapping of perceived success. You may never see your reward beyond the admiration of a small tribe of others – but that’s enough. Success will be a surprise you likely don’t expect. Don’t wait for your ship to come in, instead realize it might get lonely out waiting for your bus to roll in so get comfy and settle in.

20 Hang loose

I’m dave, i’m all over the internet – i have a killer job so you can’t hire me but you can buy me a beer – thank you and hang loose vancouver

Art Might Get Lonely

Might Get Lonely - Reap Rewards
Might Get Lonely – Reap Rewards

{With talk these days of the fleeting nature of social media “success” and [purchasing flase attention and affection… i offer these thoughts adding to a conversation sparked by Wayne Shaddow} Take it if you need it, if not, just let it go.

Art makes the future, make for yourself first – if you dont “feel it” dont waste your time.

Channel a mix of joy and anguish and mix with honesty. Dont cheat yourself or any potential audience.

Don’t pander and don’t “give em what they want” – this process might get lonely, you will see other “enjoy” the buzz of immediate attention but this is a sugar-rush which likely doesn’t last long.

Instead, prepare yourself for the long haul of making creations which will inspire the generation behind you. There are wee doppleganger of you growing up, struggling with identity and understanding – maybe in school or maybe in retirement – you seek (unwittingly perhaps) exactly what you are capable of creating.

Visualize them if you desire an audience and then share your work, standing behind your creation with integrity, and let the audience breathe life and meaning into your offerings. Your rewards will come in mysterious way, not unlike the mysterious red envelopes of Chinese New Year tradition.

Personal Archeology of Diligent Creative Endeavours

The things we make in the rapid pace of creativity, often fall judgement to our own perfectionism and subjectivity at the time,… But, one stashed away and preserved, they can become artefacts that show us how we became ourselves. Additionally, by preserving output made by our co-conspirators and collaborators, we can help fill in the gap’s of their stories.

In this case, videos made by my dear pals; Brandon G Kiggins (Formerly of Utah, now of Brooklyn/NYU) “the environmentalist” (award-winning); Eiji Masuda #RIP Japan who was my collaborator on the pioneering digital doc Hempen Road (20 years old this year) “Mistaking the shadow” #Experimental; A documentary about the Russian revolution “The beginning of our troubles” made by my Uncle Mark Bannatyne while at USU doing graduate studies; I film by my mom Lauralee Elliott #RIP with significant assistance from the aforementioned Brandon Kiggins, while at #UVCC “Tattoo”, note: long before everyone had a tattoo :-); a public TV show which broadcast clips from the previously mentioned Hempen Road “Master Weed theater”; and finally the one labelled “giggling piglet co-op” features me and the Japanese girl on the island of Guam demonstrating flower sticks and talking about the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia who had recently died on a show called “Buenas” and might also contain a similar juggling stick performance from Tottori, Japan which appeared on the nationally broadcast morning show “Zoom in Asa”. in some cases, these might be the only remaining evidence of these diligent creative endeavors. Eventually they will be digitized and shared an archived so the hours that one into them and the inspiration which comes out of them, can pass on to others.

What do you have in your closet or shoe box which Will surprise and inspire your friends and strangers?

from Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BSSvCKCh8dK/

Truly, for Jim Henson, money was a fuel that fed art.

{source link lost/unknown}

The dance involves art and money, but not at the same time. In the first stage, it is paramount that the artist “reserves a protected gift-sphere in which the art is created.” He keeps money out of it. But in the next two phases, they can dance. The way I see it, Hyde’s dance steps go a little something like this:

Make art.
Make art make money.
Make money make art.

It is the last step that turns this dance into a waltz — something cyclical so that the money is not the real end. Truly, for Jim Henson, money was a fuel that fed art.

Make Good Art: Neil Gaiman’s Advice on the Creative Life, Adapted by Design Legend Chip Kidd

Make Good Art: Neil Gaiman’s Advice on the Creative Life, Adapted by Design Legend Chip Kidd

Sharing “Oft-Forgotten Vancouver Stories” at Northern Voice 2013

Dave at Northern Voice 2009 by Megan Mallen
Dave at Northern Voice 2009 by Megan Mallen

I’m speaking at noted, long-time personal expression/blogging conference: Northern Voice, this time held at Museum of Vancouver. I’m bringing an old-timey suitcase and possible costume changes.

Details and tickets are at northernvoice.ca but basics are: June 14-15 (my gig is last on Saturday, 15th 3:30-4:30) at Museum of Vancouver (same building as the Planetarium with the crazy metal crab out front).

Blurb: Vancouver, The Untold Stories 

The core of personal expression is in the stories we create. Indeed, we humans are defined by the stories we tell and the people we tell them to. No matter what form your stories take – digital or analog – they come alive when shared with an audience.

By exploring an oft-forgotten and eclectic variety of Vancouver stories, Northern Voice veteran (this is his 10th talk) Dave Olson @uncleweed, will send you on personal quests to discover new heroes, sort out conundrums, and collaborate with other storymakers to and remix artifacts from our local life. Along the way, you’ll explore forms your mixed media stories might take, and ways to share with audiences you’ve yet to meet.

Start your journey by finding inspiration and interestingness in the  history of our own Vancouver, perhaps: forgotten breweries and legendary blues venues, wealthy recluse at the Bayshore, intrepid punk rock photographer, bohemian group of seven painters, storytellers past and future, true heavyweight champ in an unmarked grave, a dead Hollywood star and his grisly autopsy, stoner comedians’ first meeting, Jimi/Janis/Jerry, summer of love shakedown #nofun, Sammy Sr. at the Cave, Jello at the York, everyone at the Buddha,  and a host of our distant forebears and peers.

Your speaker Dave grew up in Guildford > Whalley > Newton and now lives in Lynn Valley and works in Mt. Pleasant – while he’s spent time in 29+ other countries – he takes distinct interest in getting lost in neighbourhoods seeking craft ales, chill gardens and curious tales. You may have caught him sharing at Pecha Kucha, SXSW, TedX or local community clubs.

History:

For the record, my previous talks were:

  1. Blogging your Passion (with Rachel Ashe, Andre Charland and …)
  2. Three Ps of Podcasting (intro’ed by Roland Tanglao)
  3. Crazy Canucks panel (with John and Rebecca Bollwitt, JJ Guerrero, Alanah McGinley)
  4. Fuck Stats, Make Art (dedicated to Derek K Miller)
  5. Story of a Story (Letters from Russia)
  6. Rock n Roll Photo (with Kris Krug and Bev Davies)
  7. Citizen Journalism and Vancouver 2010 Olympics (with Robert Scales, Andy Miah, Kris Krug, Debbie Lander)
  8. Japan photo project (with John Biehler’s photo camp)
  9. Finding your Voice with Storymaking (delivered via video due to hospitalization)
  10. Vancouver: The Untold Stories (with you, i hope)

My blurb follows, perhaps we’ll see ya there? Oh, a load of my pals are spieling too.

 

“Find Your Journey” Spiel at Capilano Changemakers – Roundup

“Art and Tech are Old Pals” at Social Media House SXSW 2011

I shared a spiel called “Art and Tech are Old Pals” at Wordcamp Vancouver in a full version but shared a spontaneous and shorter version while at Social Media Clubhouse at SXSW 2011.

In this spiel, i discuss a “people’s history” of media creation and my tactics and thoughts about how to foster creativity by viewing the past and participating in the creation of the future.


During SXSW Interactive Festival, Dave shares stories of analog arts and crafts, sparking creativity, using technology to tell stories and remaining interesting using examples from historical artists and his own experience.

You’ll see lots of interesting props pulled from an old-timey suitcase and a few laughs along the way plus practical tips you can implement to enhance your own creative process.

Note: Thanks to Social Media Clubhouse for filming. Available also on Vimeo.com, posted here for posterity.

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You can catch a longer version of the similar deal in Art and Tech are Old Pals at Wordcamp Vancouver and you might also enjoy Greeks to Geeks at Wordcamp Whistler.