Find Your Open Mind And Fill It With Imagination
“Expectation is the root of all heartache” William Shakespeare. Our expectations of a certain creative journey or experience can ruin the true purpose of its being made. When we go to an art gallery or read a book, our preconceptions can make it hard to enjoy what is actually given to us. Imagine buying the new album from the band you like and it sounds totally unlike the other one that you enjoyed so much. Without even giving it a chance, you might decide that it's no good simply because it didn't do what you wanted it to. Listening to it again, yeas later when you have gotten over your limiting ideas, you might discover that it's brilliant. Keeping an open mind with every new creative experience will ensure we get the most out of it. We need to be open minded ourselves and of course we need to find open minded people to communicate what we have created with.
It's All On You
A creative exploration in any form is a complete expression of the self. From the things you have learned and practised, the techniques you have adapted, the time you put in, the focus you maintain, the emotional story of your life that determines what you want to do, all of this and more aspects of the self end up in the finished product. This makes art and creativity an incredibly personal and soul-bearing thing to do, which requires a degree of bravery and thick skin in order to manage on any sort of scale.
Becoming Part Of The Story
Society is in constant discussion with itself. We are always looking again at the things we do and creating new things in equal amounts. The direction of change and the focus of our lens is determined on the things people say and isolate within conversation for further expansion. Creativity is essential in this process as we rely on a flux of novel ideas and viewpoints to refocus and redesign the way we live our lives. These personal and formal aspects of life are continually governed by the decisions made by those presented with new information. This means that the language of creativity is an essential tool for implementing the process. The way people choose to interpret new ideas and viewpoints mainly depends on how they are communicated and “sold” to those who they are given to. Art and creativity finds all manner of ways to do this with artistic devices ranging from drama to songs, books, comics, and stills, that do their best to give us something to think about and enrich our understanding of society as a whole.
First Impressions Mean The Most
Because we make decisions based on quick guesses from given information it can be difficult to shake off a bad reputation or image. People are difficult to get through to when they put up their walls so creative people need to ensure they do their best to keep walls down. Creative people are often seen as bohemian and counter-culture. The societal image of the creative is often a white male who dropped out and decided to spend their life doing what they love instead of serving society. This privilege point of view needs to be addressed by ensuring your message is about service and reaching other people. If you're not white, male, and financially stable then art and creativity is equally as valid. If you are white and male then remember this before you start getting yourself noticed. Let people judge you by your character and everything will be as it ought to be. The sacrifice that creative people make in social capital and cultural mobility is often unrewarded and looked down upon, so it's important to have a clear vision of why you do it and who it is for.
It's Ultimately Just Like Everything Else
If creativity is to be successful and long-term then it ultimately needs to have a good business model behind it. This is either done with a separate funding source or it funds itself. Creative output has many faces and the industry of art is heavily reliant on the say-so of peers and established names. Selling art and creativity is highly dependent on the way it is marketed and the people it is marketed to. Reaching the people who matter and finding the endorsements of those who they listen to can be a real challenge. Art is seen as highly lucrative and for many it is, however the majority have to make up for challenging pay with job satisfaction and self-actualisation. Despite the absolute necessity of creative thought in society as a whole, it is rarely given the value it deserves.
Despite The Setbacks It Is Seen As Attractive
Many jobs use the word creative in their description to sell the position when in reality it's being told what to do by someone else. The word creative is seen as a romantic and ideal destination for reasons well beyond the scope of pay. When we understand the true relevance of new ideas and new points of view alongside new technology, being part of this does indeed seem to be very attractive. Industry benefits completely from these new ideas as a popular novelty will be used to sell products and create new ones at the same time. New rhetoric is gleaned by marketers to persuade us to part with our money. This funds jobs and improves society so although it feels like we're on the wrong end of the equation, it's absolutely necessary. We need to work and that means people need to make an income. When creativity is aligned with society and its passage of progress, it becomes a sought-after and powerful aspect. This means we need to be able to continually ensure that our journey involves catching up with the pace of the day. Solving problems and improving quality of life is when the creative process meets the practical world and they begin to get along.
Just Think About It
We're all pretty lucky to be here. Of all the possible things that could have happened, a unique set of circumstances led all the way to you. What are the odds? It depends on how far back you want to go. Before space and time, before light needed somewhere to shine and so made it, before the stuff you're made of was created, the journey up to this moment is truly extraordinary. It's truly up to you how you want to spend your time, however something we are particularly good at and that is typically highly rewarding is creativity. From the time of jungles and caves, human beings have improved life with little steps. They add up over time, and the fruits of civilisation can be found where ever you go. Of course not all the fruits are good ones and with each new solution a new family of problems grows from that seed as well. Creativity is about turning this into something positive. We learn a lot about ourselves as a species when we find out what new problems arise from society and its gifts. With this understanding we can come up with new things and new ways that aim to satisfy the issues of the day.
What Is Creativity?
When we speak of creativity many people immediately think about having new ideas and dreaming things up. This is actually imagination, which is only the first step. The art of creativity is about being about to turn these ideas and mental images into something that's in the real world for other people to experience. It's a form of magic, if you like, in that we produce something from the mind in reality. The only difference is that we have to apply ourselves and not an outside or mysterious force. It's not a simple operation either, to be creative we must apply ourselves in several ways. Thinking of a good idea only works if we actually know what we're thinking about. It's all too easy to extrapolate from given observations and assume we know what goes on underneath. We need to study the entire thing before we can begin using it in creative ways. Otherwise we will not fully understand what our changes will actually do. This means taking risks, and managing them by understanding everything we can before assessing the best action. It involves being open to new aspects and to have your assumptions or misinformed knowledge challenged by new information. We need to be able to observe for ourselves the reality of what is happening without listening to misguided perspectives from those who do not see the full picture. A sense of mental strength is required to have the focus, determination, and fluidity required to be successful with creativity.
It's Gets Personal Too
We often have unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that we wish we didn't have. We sometimes see people in a bad light when in reality we care about them and want them to be happy. Being able to challenge the first thought we have about something is a skill that requires creativity. We need to be able to address new perspectives and new insights that help us to see a different point of view. When we choose positive points of view on as many of life's situations as we can, we experiece a lot less stress. There are times, of course, in which we are being subjected to circumstances that are unhealthy for us mentally or physically. This cannot simply be addressed by changing our thoughts. We are not responsible for other people's behaviour but we are for our own. We can change how we behave in order to remove ourselves from the situation we cannot simply look at in another way. We can plan an escape.
Solving Shared Problems Builds Bridges
Issues and problems cause division. We can find all kinds of opinions about shared problems in our lives and in a democratic society we have to listen to each other. The division is caused when strong emotions about what is happening cause people to feel extremely passionate about it. This passion drives strong words and heated discussion. When discussion gets heated people tend to not think things through and say things that only have the most basic focus on the situation. Solving these problems means being able to see the reality of it and taking a calm assessment without letting your emotions force you into a corner. When problems are solved in genuine and effective ways that benefit everyone in the ways they wanted then the cause of division is eradicated. When people are content with a situation because everyone's needs are being met in a safe, fair, and equitable way, the result is community cohesion and solidarity. Problems are not solved alone, especially big ones that affect society as a whole. When we tackle these big-world problems we find ourselves in a huge army of like-minded people who also want to bring a better quality of life to those around them. By working with these people and building networks with organisations that share the same desire to bring stability and joy to people's lives, our creative life journey can make a serious impact on many lives for the better.
We've all heard of Cheech and Chong, two people who tuned in and dropped out some time in the 70s. They're of course fictional representations of a genuine breed, and when you realise their popularity, the work of the duo undoubtedly continue to influence further generations. Cheech Marin, the actor, is still making a name for himself. He's famous for collecting and highlighting Chicano Art. This brand of creativity exclusively owned by Mexican-Americans demonstrates a genuine cross pollination between two deeply entwined yet vastly separate cultures.
Called “The Cheech”, and situated in the Riverside Art Museum LA, the Centre for Chicano Culture and Art opened its door in June 22. Culminating his 40 year history as a cultural icon, the collection boasts a huge array of artefacts that fully describe the concept of the art form. The Riverside community is around 50% Latino which makes the venue a perfect situation for this exhibition.
Marin's prominence in the art scene lifted off in a serious way when he opened the doors for the first time to demonstrate some of his extensive collection. Chicano Visions: American Painters of the Verge toured for several years around various institutions and galleries. Once the Riverside Museum sponsored the new permanent exhibit and pledged to support the community through apprenticeships and routes to development, Cheech was happy to donate over 500 pieces of his collection to the museum to benefit the whole community.
Because of the vast number of pieces now under ownership of the museum, it's impossible to show them all at once. Not only does each piece deserve a good space for it to be admired on its own, there simply isn't enough wall to put it all. This means that the show pieces will be rotated and it's expected to take four years to get through everything. Who knows how many more items will be available by then?
Via LA Weekly
We all hope that the future is somehow better than the world we leave behind. A lot of us put in the majority of our lives to help this process occur. We each have our own set of skills and passions that can be put into action as part of our daily lives. The future is not just in our hands, but in the hands of everyone all over the world. We all want the best for our own people while giving other people the space they need to thrive in their own way. Finding solutions to the problems which naturally arrive when communities and cultures work together and alongside each other in communities and politics is an ongoing issue. The past has many lessons for us to draw on, inspiration can come from anywhere. The real work is done when we imagine new ways and provide new thinking that does the job even better.
An area of study of particular importance is called positive psychology. This looks at the human condition and examines how society and life bring about wellness and well-being. Our mental landscape is not only a source of 50% of our conscious experience, it also is decisive in how we ultimately progress. According to the field positive psychology, some of the big creative jobs that help to define and produce a more sustainable and holistic future progression can be defined as follows.
We're all from different communities and backgrounds. What matters to person A is different to what matters to person B and person C. Each of these individuals has the ability to understand not only the other person's perspective, they are able to understand the third perspective on the other person too. This is a skill we must learn through practice and experience. It requires an ability to sit quietly and listen without jumping to conclusions. It also requires a degree of tolerance as sometimes other people's ideals and desires may run counter to our own.
We all have an equal share of the world and we all have the right to be treated with the same respect as each other. Class, nationality, wealth, job title, skin colour, gender, faith, sexuality, and more can result in unfair or biassed treatment from others. In a just society, nobody is entitled to more or less because of who they happen to be. In a socially just system, only harmful and criminal acts can result in the reduction of opportunity and liberty. Only work and social contribution can result in an increased amount of opportunity and liberty. Everyone, no matter who they are or what they have done, have a right to enough.
Supportive And Influential Institutions
There are plenty of institutions in the world already with long and winding histories. Universities, schools, churches, temples, and mosques work alongside employers and charities to help people to get along and work for a better world. People who provide services and media also run a thread through the fabric of stable society, providing safe, effective, entertaining, and educational elements to our lives. There is a lot more room on the planet for these things, and modern technology gives us ample opportunity to provide them. We can create working communities and institutions that bond people under one umbrella which helps prevent the ways of the wild world from affecting them. These can be positive and rewarding to maintain along with adapting good business models to ensure they can thrive.
Understanding Positive And Negative Experience
We all know how the world looks and feels from our point of view. We can talk all day about it. What really matters is how it looks from other people's points of view. We need to be able to address the problems of society with a fair and balanced approach that safeguards everyone's right to thrive in their environment. People react emotionally and passionately when their life situation is under threat and this results in tensions across the entire fabric. It's important to address every thread of thinking one by one to ensure that the flow of give and take is balanced throughout. This needs to take into account the lives of those in every corner of the world and from every community.
Ending Malpractice In The Modern World
We're all attached to our way of life and even if someone gives us a great reason to change, it's often not going to happen. We rely on the procedures in place to ensure the sustainability of our own bubble. At the same time we know that the world is full of injustice and the antithesis of the previous areas of thought. A step by step, one at a time approach to the worlds injustices and malpractices must take place in order to put a stop the what causes a great deal of setbacks. We know that people do not live forever and every child is a blank canvas. This means that if we take our time and educate people properly while standing up to the situations that present themselves, a gradual improvement can take place.
Uncovered for the first time in over 40 years, an abandoned ancient city was revealed in a drought. Remarkably, the mudstone bricks were immaculately preserved. The Mittani-period city is from the beginning of the Assyrian rule in Iraq over 3000 years ago. Situated in a Mosul reservoir on an offshoot of the Tigris, this ancient site was fleetingly revealed and relinquished its secrets for those lucky enough to get there in time. Now covered in plastic sheeting to preserve it, the once more submerged ancient site lays in wait for the next time the waters recede so far.
Among the fantastic finds hidden in the stones were found a series of urns containing cuneiform tablets. In splendid condition, these antiquarian writings are thought to shed a lot of light on the history of the period. Work is now underway to interpret and understand the meaning of the words.
Before the water level rose, the city was abandoned because it was destroyed by an earthquake. This has left one portion of the landscape buried beneath the other, and re-wiring the masonry to discover what it really looked like has been a major operation. A large building was hired for the archaeologists and researchers to build a scale model of the city according to the things they find and how they might have fell when the land was shaken apart.
Iraq is one of the nations most at risk of climate change. A fragile water cycle and an expanse of desert means that life is already hard there and managing large populations requires a lot of engineering. This challenge is increasing exponentially as temperatures rise and seasons change their patterns. The ancient discoveries of the past can point us in the direction of change as we learn that situations adapt and shift over time. Perhaps it's too fast now and we simply don't have time to build elsewhere. Where would we go?
Via Art News
The African nation of Tanzania might not strike you as an arts and culture hotspot, yet the demand for African culture has always been high. When done properly, the passing on of art, stories, and ideas can become well-travelled without being appropriated. Placed in the right context, with the blessing of the proprietors who made it, items and ideas of specific cultural value can become treasured items the world over. This is good for the economy and Tanzania is working to ensure this remains integral to their national progress.
With the help of The Tanzania Federation of Arts and Crafts, artists are being given the tools they need to use digital platforms in their selling process. When people have more money because their business is improving, the whole community benefits. This is because these better-off individuals can afford to pay for more products and services. It is an enlightened move to promote the use of digital technology in an industry that traditionally relied on galleries and market-stalls.
The scheme was first communicated during a speech at the Bimdashi Beyond Herself exhibition at the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Center in Dar es Salaam. Including Tanzanian artists from a scope of genres, this Mother's Day themed showcase involved poetry, painting, drawing, digital art, cartoons, photography, and sculpture. During the event, Tanzanians were encouraged to visit as many exhibitions as possible, as “Art Is Medicine” - All Africa. According to a recent survey, the Tanzanian population contains up to 6 million people who identify as artists. The majority of these are painters, sculptors, and potters. This recent exhibition showcased 36 of these artists, and it is hoped the whole can be given the tools they need to sell more online.
Artists like these are exactly the kind of people I intended to help when I began my Lucid Leadership series on Medium.com
Did you get in trouble for daydreaming at school? We all lose track of the moment from time to time and become immersed in our own imagination. We either reminisce or fantasise, playing back what we remember or inventing what ifs and if onlys. Sometimes we put our imagination to use and give ourselves an inventive goal with the information that we know. No matter what the imagination and the mind's eye is being used for, the principles are the same. The skill of using the imagination is how we create new principles and objects. Our ability to create systems with rules and to produce structures and items that do amazing things based on known principles is phenomenal. Doing this is extremely difficult, too.
The imagination offers a genuine respite from unpleasant circumstances or thoughts. Sometimes we can escape a waiting room or an evening of boredom by letting our imagination take us somewhere else. Of course, there are all kinds of things out there to help us do this like music, books, and films but we don't need these things to let our imagination take over. So not only is the imagination a route to new invention, it's also a backdoor to the present situation. We can take it to where ever we want.
Imagination helps us to change the way we perceive things. Sometimes we need to imagine a different perspective before we see it in reality. The way other people look at the world is not always the same as yours and in these cases we must be able to imagine what it's like for them or we we always act contrary to their needs. Empathy is what keeps us together and enables care beyond familial relationships and this is based on the imagination. When we feel another person's emotions, we imagine them from their perspective. Sometimes it is so strong that the feeling is as strong as if it were our own.
Planning and implementing ideas involves thinking about the future and choosing which future processes will be required. By being able to imagine this in full, we can choose the best route for this time even though we are not there yet. We can achieve our results faster because we are able to foresee the work we will need to do. By assessing the various methods available to us we can decide how to best move forward. Daydreaming is the only way we will ever draw this map through time.
So it's not all fun and games. Sometimes the imagination can give us trouble. When we can't control the things we imagine for what ever reason, this can become problematic. We become the boat on the ocean of our subconscious and this takes away our ability to hold our mental processes. The inside influence from an untethered imagination can be extremely harmful. Catastrophism and wallowing with outlandish paranoias can easily push you in every possible direction. Even if you are able to filter this from your outward expressions, the inner work of keeping it in check is exhausting.
This is why the art of using the imagination needs to be paid attention to and definitely not ridiculed when done inappropriately. We need to educate each other in the way to harness this utility of mind in order to use it for our best interests.
A ventriloquist since the age of ten, comedian and performer Lachlan Werner brings his entertainment company to Brighton and Hove in the South of England. Winner of the Culture Connex x Brighton & Hove Pride Bursary, Pointy Finger productions are offering an hour of puppetry and silly voices. Unveiling various horror stories through physical comedy and an array of talking characters, spectators can enjoy the safety of congregation while feeding their morbid fascination.
Expect to meet an ego—centric witch puppet, who goes by the name of Brew, and her light-hearted sidekick Lachy. The pair invite the audience to partake in a cartoonish occult festival which of course goes wrong very quickly. Raising a destructive entity, Brew and Lachy are tasked with handling the situation. Maybe they need some of your help?
Already the act has enjoyed a sold-out run of shows in London last October, and this time the people at Brighton beach are treated to a significant diary from the 6th of May to the 5th of June. The Pointy Finger company are also running an event called Sara Segovia: SUPERNUEVA which takes on a different guise entirely.
If this is something you'd like to see then you can get your tickets online from the Brighton Fringe Website. And, according to Broadway World, you can get two for one tickets with the code POINTY.
An up-to-date field of human psychology is the study of what is termed The Museum Effect. When we visit a gallery or museum, our cognitive processes are involved with a unique environment. Instead of familiar sights and sounds, we are surrounded by something we have never seen before. The layouts and the decorations that frame our journey from exhibition to exhibition all present something unusual for our minds. Instead of being a stressful situation, most of us actually calm down during our visit. What is going on?
Some of us might not find the idea of art and culture being relaxing. It can be intimidating to be presented with an array of unknowns, not knowing what to think or say about what you see can be awkward and embarrassing. When you bear in mind that there is no wrong way to enjoy art, no wrong thought to think about it, it can be less tense. If you have something to say, say it. People value novel input.
When we look at art, we are often reminded of things from our own lives. We are given clues and pointers to various information that we hold or imaginary paths that we explore. The message of the piece is not necessarily the same for all of us, even something as well-known as David and Goliath can mean several things to various people. This process of seeing, absorbing, and inventing personal reference is something that can aid well-being and health.
When our well-being and health are promoted and encouraged, this is called flourishing. What does this actually mean though? Flourishing means that our quality of life is improving and our health is not getting worse, or if we are il, it's getting better. Fitness levels, contentment, financial freedom, psychology, and all kinds of qualifiers all go into the holistic measurement of flourishing.
Museums and art galleries have a proven effect on our quality of life. They help reduce stress and help give meaning to life. The pleasure we get from enjoying art, music, and culture is a direct solution to many minor issues that can cause our psychology to be negative. A positive outlook is essential for a good quality of life. If we let the creations of other people take our minds away from the ever day stressors and concerns, we're offered an escape from what ever might be grinding us down.
According to psychologist Dr. Jeffery Smith “In essence, the museum effect contends that when we enter a museum we are able to enter into a state of heightened contemplation that allows us to reflect about ourselves, the communities to which we belong, and society more broadly.” Therapy Tips.
The safe space presented by galleries and museums alongside the new and interesting provocations within each work, our thoughts are teased from their subconscious yarns and knitted into unique and self-relevant garments. As we explore the new ideas and reminders of things we feel strongly about, we add to our escapist story and allow the outside world to melt away. With a combined effect of new surroundings, new visuals, new sounds, and plenty of things to read and listen to, our entire living space is redefined within the confines of the exhibit.
Attempting to properly understand the principles of the museum effect can help curators better define their process to allow for the most positive experience. Interested?
Recommended read: The Museum Effect: How Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Institutions Educate and Civilize Society
As a person who's job it is to provide media that helps prevent radicalisation, delinquency, and crime (as stated on the Homunculus Media homepage), as soon as I saw this title I knew I wanted to read it. The book is not too long and yet covers a wide scope of aspects within the social phenomenon that is evil. My aim, as a writer, is to develop a style that allows people to fully embrace a positive mindset through inspiration and education. It was natural for me, therefore, to want to find out what professionals are saying about this subject so I can further enforce my own personal values.
As the book begins, we look at the role of the word evil in our lives and what it suggests. The psychology of labels with negative connotations makes the word especially potent. We know that evil things happen all the time, and what one person considers evil is not necessarily the same for another. There is a blurring of lines in what qualifies for this premium spot in the hall of shame. We're given an insight into the most basic element of evil in the way we draw pleasure from other people's suffering. Laughing at the misfortunes of others is the small side of the scale, causing serious harm in order to gain satisfaction can be the top end. Sometimes we feel that a person deserves pain and suffering and we gain pleasure from providing it. Is it evil to lock up a murderer and throw away the key? Is it evil to gleefully watch as they rot away in their cell?
What makes people want to cause harm and death to others in the first place? We get emotional about things and react in ways that society doesn't approve of. Our animal nature is brought out of the human veneer and we take actions without due regard for the future or the other people. We ascribe evil to this kind of behaviour when it would be expected from a rhinoceros or a silver-backed gorilla. What about being a human being differentiates the evil behaviour from natural reaction to pain and suffering? Is it because we feel our pain abstractly in the form of language and metaphor that can be fuelled by the collaboration of others?
There are things out there that we might call evil but are not, we can project evil onto things because of how they appear too. What is it about society that gives us the impression certain things are evil, and is it deeper than our culture? If we are shown a particular kind of face with verbal evil attributions is it to be expected that we learn to associate this stereotype with evil and frame our thoughts accordingly? Or is this in fact an evil behaviour in itself? Why is the unusual person who says different things frightening? Why do we fear the strange? A lot of these questions are looked at with genuine thought.
The author goes into the disturbing reality of bestiality and paedophilia. Sexual deviance has such a wide scope. There is a common thread in modern society that bi-sexual and homosexual people are sexually deviant. In many pre-western cultures such people were not shamed or regarded as wrong. There are behaviours that are universally regarded as wrong. A lot of zoophiles regard their relationships as consensual and loving. Is it right or acceptable to a human to claim this? We know animals can display body language in mating rituals but can we clearly ascribe this to wanting a relationship? It moves the book onto the next part, if a person is attracted to children and the child smiles and laughs with them, is this some kind of consent? We clearly know it is not. Is paedophilia an evil thing? These people cannot choose their sexuality much like you or I can't, so how does one respond if this happens to be you? You can't go to your friends for help. Society has not achieved a state where a person who experiences unwanted feelings of paedophilia can safely seek help without judgement. Because of this, many paedophiles are put off from seeking the guidance and counselling they desperately need. There are too many cries of kill him from people with others cheering them on for anyone who finds themselves afflicted to find the right help.
We get to look into the psychology of group think and the way we accept compromise on our own ideals when it seems the done thing. Eating meat for example is something many do but these same people find animal cruelty repulsive. This dissonance gives us a problem that we cannot resolve when we enjoy our lifestyle but don't enjoy how it is achieved. Rather than make the steps to rectify our situation we make excuses and end up doing what we know deep down is wrong. The world of business has a lot of financial and social incentives and it is all too easy to do morally questionable things in the name of profit.
It takes us to the final section which looks at why we don't speak out. Why do we stand in silence gawping at the suffering? I like to think this is changing in today's world, with more of the new generation choosing to change their ways and lifestyles to meet the challenges of tomorrow. The book draws to a close on the thought that evil people are just like you and me. We know about the iconic criminals who did despicable things but everyday evil is just as destructive. Being silent in times of deception and oppression, following wrongful orders, going along with the crowd, we all end up looking evil from someone's perspective. So how do we close on this? It's action that is evil, behaviour is evil, people are not evil but the well spring of behaviours. Let's make sure we behave our best at all times.
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