Even the title on its own makes one wonder what purpose of this particular post is. Perhaps this is because no individual sees the delight in having a conversation about nothing. Nothing bears with a high level of uncertainty which naturally opposes the undying need from humans to maintain levels of assurance. It has too many unanswered questions. “Did it start with nothing?”; “Does it end with nothing?”etc. The good that comes out of “nothing” is that it is the true test when identifying the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. I say this because, from nothing one has the opportunity to either make something or walk away. This is most important in the world of creatives and so can be noted as an unspoken rule or rather law that governs creativity. Take for example a canvas. Traditionally it is white and there is nothing else on there, yet the artist is required to gestate amazing works that not only inspire but also encourage thinking. In the same manner a writer has a blank page in front of them and from that they have to use a combination of letters, words sentences to entice the reader. Their ability to imagine is what will set them apart from the next writer. It applies the same way for dance, music and all other forms of creativity. Even for photography as some of the best captured moments came from nothing. So as a creative I encourage all to accept an opportunity of taking on the adventure that is “nothing”. That is the root of creativity as there is no avenue for reference. Instead of dreading nothing, embrace it. Get as excited as you did whenever you found the lucky prize that you wanted in the packet of chips that was running a promotion of your favorite childhood cartoon. This also a lesson in life, the glass is always half full. So with that said, CREATE. LIVE. INSPIRE
FOUR RULES TO LIVE BY
1) Learn from everyone.
2) Follow no one.
3) Watch for patterns
4) Work like hell…
I gladly present you with the cover of the second issue, soon to grace your mobile phone. This issue is designed specifically for the mobile, I hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed the write….THE STREETS ARE TALKING.
Creativity, like any other process has its own important influences, secrets and rules. One of the most important in my view is Role play. Role play is an important part of growing up in that kids use it to assume the roles of those they admire. A lot of us growing up have once played house with the girls or played cops and robbers with the guys. At some point in your life you have nagged your parent to get you accessories from your favorite TV show with the sole purpose of impersonating your hero. Role playing is how kids get to discover the world around them, whether it is through assuming the role of a super hero or just playing hide and seek; where one assumes the character of either prey or predator. Life itself has proven to be a series of multiple roles being played by a single individual. One has to play brother/sister, friend, partner, student, son/daughter and the list is endless. The same type of role playing may be considered when dealing with a creative debacle. It is only through the full comprehension of a subject that an individual will have the right to criticize. Think about it, isn’t it society which constantly reminds us to “listen to the whole story” before making a decision? In that same manner, I propose that when a creative is dealing with a certain subject, a creative mind should be able to assume the role of that subject. The transparency between the subject and the artist should be visible in disguise. By that I mean use the upper hand you have which is your unique mind to produce an original adaptation of the subject. Showing a full understanding will only add on to the authenticity and dare I say brilliance of your work. Most creatives seem to take it for granted and rely only on their environment and those around them to influence their work. In the same manner, creative need to understand, learn and embody their audience in order to produce the best level of work possible. I remember in the wake of Heath Ledger’s death, those close to him spoke of how playing The Joker messed with his mind and for that I will forever respect that man as he played that role as if his life depended on it. He took the time to study everything about his role and he got to a point where there was a thin line between the realities of him as Heath Ledger and the character of him as The Joker. All I am saying is, whether you are a musician, artist, illustrator or comedian; the understanding of your audience is what will evolve your work. It is your perspectives of the issue that will see you come out the winner of this race. Only through living out a situation, whether it be literal or just in your head, will you be able to fully grasp the effect it has. By living it out, one is able to answer the important questions of why and how which in most cases leads to a revelation or creativity. So in conclusion I say, learn about the influence behind your creative venture to a point where you are living in the world of that influence. If as a designer you are mandated to come up with a retro line, don’t only reflect the “about” of that error but rather reflect the essence of the culture. Only through imagining life from the perspective of your subject will you be able to produce work that is not only relevant but reflective and innovative to that world of the subject. After all, it takes one to know one…right?!
THE CREATIVITY BEHIND SILENCE
Sound is what most people use to convey their opinions, or at least that is the common thought. What most people don’t realize is that sound sometimes just becomes a cluster of thoughts and the loudest are not necessarily the brightest. Silence has proven to be a better influence on creativity even though it seems to not be getting the due credit (I don’t know why??). Silence is the sibling of reflection and usually that is the cue for most epiphanies or “bright ideas”. Silence communicates with oneself in a manner that no other human can. After all, you are speaking to yourself. Think about it, apart from the fact that most of the most brilliant creative throughout time were on drugs, they often speak of little voices speaking in their head. Almost every individual has a little voice inside their head that dictates their lives in one or another. What I propose is that we use this little voice to polish a diamond in the rough. Instead of having meaningless thought about momentary fixations, rather have an enlightening conversation with yourself. Role play if you have to. Enjoy the endless capabilities that your mind has in store. Become Alice in Wonderland, it is pretty amazing what the mind can concoct when given the leeway to. With that said let us get back to silence. Kind of hard to speak of when the best way to describe it is with no words. People seem to be afraid of silence because of the realities they would have to come to terms with. Some people just enjoy chaos because then they have the opportunity to keep themselves busy fixing stuff. If innovation is what is on the top your agenda, then forget about the meaningless noise. Embrace and silence and reflect on your surroundings. The little things you begin to notice will eventually lead to creativity. The restlessness one gets from silence can only be best described by comparing it to a drug addict suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Don’t be afraid to be with yourself and in the same respect do not become detached from society as a creative. Let the silence speak through your achievements and ambitions. Even old English warns by saying “empty vessels make the loudest noise.” Do not be afraid to be comfortable with the silence in your life. It is possible to create a silence bubble in the middle of the crowd and just become lost in your own world. Most of you know what I speak of. How good was that feeling? Until of course somebody disturbs you with ridiculous conversation. Another example of silence being good to us is the pleasure of dreams, fantasies and nightmares. It is like a 3D movie theatre in your mind. It is courtesy of the silence sleep. The mind wanders the world it just explored and depicts it in a way where you are able to experience it all. The more twisted it gets, the more you know how interesting your life is. In simple terms, embrace the gift that silence shuns upon you. With better understanding comes increased enlightenment, it’s that simple. This one is for all the introverts and of course creatives….
SAPS, what a drag!(R.I.P Mido Makia)
The role of law enforcement in society is generally to protect and serve the country. Ensure that citizens are upholding the law at all times. It seems as though our law enforcement officers have somehow forgotten their role and have taken up the role of the same people they used to take behind bars. I remember after Mido Makia (taxi driver) was dragged in full view of the public; the police commissioner dismissed as an isolated incident and said the media was sensationalizing it. The first thought that came to my mind was, “should the SAPS be having such ‘isolated’ incidents?” Police officers are supposed to respect the oath they took when being sworn in, at least that is what I presume. The way that our law enforcement officers behave, one would think that it was just an easy way to make money while supporting a lifestyle. Now I shall give you a few examples in the lead up to my argument. First one, on Valentine’s Day a male Metro Police Officer emptied his gun on his girlfriend who also happened to be a Metro Police Officer. He then proceeded to running away and taking his own life shortly after. This was after they had an argument. My question is, two cops who can’t control their temper to the extent where both of them end up losing their lives. Second one, in two different locations but the situation almost similar which involves men being dragged by policemen with bad attitudes and no respect for the law. Third one, cops shoot miners who are striking for higher wages but don’t realize that their actions will eventually lead to a crippled economy but that is another story. This footage is still getting enough press so I don’t have to fill you in but now all the witnesses are getting shot left, right and center. Dali Mpofu (lawyer) got stabbed for his role in defending the miners’ rights by representing them in court. Fourth one, a police officer who has been accused of rape twice before finally gets nabbed for the third one and it seems as though the issue got press because it is child protection week. The other two times the case got dismissed because of witnesses not coming to court by why was he not put under tight scrutiny or gotten fired. Now my argument is, it seems as though nowadays the only time you can trust cops is when you absolutely need them. Like if you were to get robbed, you call them just to have a police report. I doubt their expertise allows them be able to solve investigations and their resources. It is worse for the young black male who fits the ‘description’ because here cops interrogate you until you tell them what they were told they would here. It is almost like mob justice, except this one is legal. Oh and of course this only happens in the townships, as the rich people have the luxury of endless investigations being conducted yet the evidence is clear. On top of that they always seem to re appear with inconclusive evidence that ridicules them and it does not bother them. They believe in intimidation over intellect. Anyway, what I’m saying is; I don’t trust cops at all and it seems more of a drag to all them than it is to handle it on my own. You cannot trust them with anything; even snitching for them is dangerous. It seems like it was so easy to hack their website that the “silicon valley pirate” did not even claim responsibility for it. Cops!!! Get yourselves back into our good books and uphold the law. Start by going to gym to boost your self-esteems and then you will be able to take pride in your work. Don’t make it extremely obvious that one does not need to achieve high marks in Matric to become a cop. Stomach in, Chest out!
With the world interacting so readily due to platforms such as Facebook and 9gag, different ideas are communicated prompting innovation. This is good when employed responsibly, but with the current brand of “love me or leave me” creatives it seems to have lost its significance. It is very good and most encouraged for an individual to seek a unique identity for each piece of creative work but it is another when the intention of that piece of creativity is intended to cause an uproar. The word “rebellious” means defying or resisting some established authority, government, or tradition. I will emphasize more on the idea of defying tradition as this is done for progression leading to a better life. Innovation is the oil that keeps the gears working, so it has to be delivered with the utmost sincerity. Creatives are now making the common mistake of using creativity to push an agenda or to publicize their ill-informed opinions passing them on as facts and claiming their rebelliousness. This is sure to mislead future generations as this is not what being rebellious is. When one becomes rebellious it is because they feel so strongly about a certain change that they will do whatever it takes to realize a specific change. Rebellious creativity should inject life into a traditional system by threatening positive change and not regressive behavior. Swearing frequently will not make you a rapper as much as cut and paste pictures of celebrities on Photoshop will not make you a graphic designer. Rebel against tradition and not against authority. By that I mean do it because you want to see positive change and not because you want to piss off people you “really don’t care about”. That is what trouble makers say to rationalize their antics. Use your desire and ability to create change for exactly that and not just for a momentary fix of drama. With that said, rebels continue to create. If it wasn’t for you guys I would not be playing PlayStation in 3D…lol
CONSISTENCY VS MONOTONY
So today I want to speak of the thin line between consistency and monotony when it comes to creative projects. Creatives tend to overlook this thin line in the plight to remain relevant but it is usually the Grim Reaper escorting their careers to an almost inevitable demise. The simplest example would be provided by music. A musician will struggle for quite a while depicting a musical persona that they feel is true to their identity. A new brand of music comes along; they try it out and have a hit album. Don’t get me wrong, reinvention and relevance is very much encouraged but it becomes a problem when two projects later they still sound like their breakthrough album. Here are some examples, Rick Ross, Big Nuz etc. A second, more hectic example would be in the TV production Soapie Generations. Made popular by their perspective and portrayal of the Joburg Media World, it has just become a re-run of what they and other soapies have been doing for years. I swear you can miss two weeks of it and catch up in a single day as if nothing had had happened. Last example would be in the apparel industry (aka shirts). So somebody comes up with one cool idea for a shirt which goes big and they start a company from it. They now get so popular that they can afford to hook up an endorsement with a celebrity and the shirt is available in all the colors of a basic 24 piece crayon box. Can anybody say “AMAKIPKIP”??! Instead of coming up with better ideas on how to grow a brand with a huge entrance like that, they just give it to you in different colors. There is a very thin line between consistency and monotony my fellow creative people. Consistency is the ability to conceptualize quality products at each juncture and elevate the level of your skill set with each production. Monotony is coming up with a great idea and sticking with it until it is beyond played out with the intention of remaining relevant. It is good to be consistent with the quality of your work but be careful not to repeat repeats…get it?
This blog is inspired by a talk given by Young Ha Kim…. With that said, allow me to begin. Grown-ups tend to have a very mean, hostile approach to the idea of lying. The first time a child lies, they are met with all sorts of punishment as a reminder to never repeat such an act. Although this is a logical approach to dishonesty, the basic idea of lying should be a moment where a kid discovers the endless possibilities their mind can take advantage of. Think about it, they are connecting sentence after sentence to form a free flowing, rock solid story that the next person can believe. This is being done with a basic vocabulary bestowed upon them by the influences in their environment. Not only that, this child is talking about things that they have never seen, only residing in their imagination. This right here is the beginning of storytelling, the basic foundation of creativity. This is the same thing writers do; they construct sentence after sentence to eventually create a story that comes purely from their imagination. So instead of being mad the next time a person decides to lie, compliment them on their creative skills. Not only will it surprise the individual, it will encourage their creative journey (who doesnt like a compliment). With that said, dont you think that it sets a different meaning to the old saying “A little lie goes a long way”?!
FREEDOM TO CREATE (VIVA YOUTH DAY)
This month is dedicated to the youth of South Africa who 37 years ago decided to take a stand against Afrikaans being a compulsory language in all schools. They were tired of not being able to not only learn in their own language but also the poor education they were being offered. This was after years of those who came before them accepting the conditions they were faced with ass opposed to questioning them. These kids of 1976 showed us that if one is not satisfied with their situation then they should get up and take initiative. This is important to note as creativity is not encouraged by most parents due to its uncertainty in terms of steady income. Parents will often encourage one to stop fooling around rapping, dancing or drawing because that is not going to put food on the table. Those that know that they are only good at creative thinking are forced to bear with the embarrassment of not fitting into a world where sciences are regarded as the best route to go. I mean, even in school people respect the kid who passes math more than the one who passes arts and crafts. The few creative that are there are not glorified enough for a kid to idolize them. I think music is the only art form that gets enough attention because it is one of the most lucrative and usable by the corporate world. Well, 37 years later there is a new uprising of a different kind. This one has nothing to do with politics but rather freedom to create. On this day the long awaited Street Mobile Magazine is going to be launching at an internet connection near you (yes, even on your phone). This magazine is here to encourage the inner creative bug that society works so hard to curb each day. It is also meant to create a network for creative to communicate. Now by this I mean we do not judge. This is an environment where a copywriter can have a conversation with a rapper. This is an environment where a writer can use a ballerina as his muse. Only your mind can restrict the extent of your creativity so don’t let your imagination be a harbor narrow mindedness. It starts with perhaps one, two or three beings to affect the rest of those around them. Be the one to advocate change, be the one to explore your horizon, be the one to FIGHT for the FREEDOM TO CREATE!!!!!!