Day dreaming

One of my favorite things to do in grade school was to day dream. I enjoyed looking out the window, hearing the kids playing outside, while I made up movies in my head. I would usually get interrupted by the teacher before I could make it to the end of the plot.

As an eight year old girl, I was brainstorming screenplays, there was no budget to consider or any other limitations.

One of my favorite directors and filmmakers is Wes Anderson. I know he’s a popular director with a cult following, but for me he has always had this way of capturing how a child would see and understand the world. Each frame is full of color, interesting details, and camera movement to envy. I recently came across Wes Anderson’s book at the bookstore about how he developed and made his films. It’s full of beautiful behind the scene photos and interviews. It’s an expensive book so I keep going back to revisit and read it. His films have always had an effect on me that it’s possible to make a movie in my own style, he makes it look fun, creative and visually interesting. For the first time in years, I day dreamt a movie in my head. I am allowing myself to play movies directed by me in my head again. I thought of one today that I figured, why not write. As we get older the motivation to do anything is money, but when we were kids our motivation was fun.

Creating a story, drawing the thumbnails, day dreaming.. I don’t need a budget to do that, just pen and paper and a really good idea to play out.

Make a gift for someone you love

 

One of the first things I created was a birthday card for my dad when I was a kid. I enjoyed the process of looking for a photo and putting everything together. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time was what graphic artist use to do before personal computers. I didn’t care about the label, I was making something special for my father on his birthday. 

I learned one way of discovering your creativity can be found when you make a gift for someone you love.  Taking the time to think of something special for them can spark creative ideas inside of you. I found a blank journal at the Goodwill and thought how I could transform this old journal into a gift for my mom. The more I brainstormed about it, the more excited I became about the project.

I decided to document it and to share it with you. I hope you are inspired to make something special for someone you love. And who knows, you might just discover a new piece of your creativity you didn’t even know existed.

Finding inspiring 

One of my favorite things to do as a kid was go to the video store with my dad. We would take our time discovering new movies, and talk about the ones we already saw. Today, with modern technology that experience has disappeared.

Don’t get me wrong , I’m grateful we live in the future where any movie, book or article can be found online. With one keyword you can be connected to everything on that one subject. But how do I find the random things?

Today I decided to go to the library. I haven’t been to the library since elementary school, being in this space again reminded me of having to do boring book reports. I was about to leave when I came across the art section and pick up a book on comic strips.  It was fastening to read about the history of comic strips. They were created for a generation in need of stories when they didn’t have a television or a digital library. Comic strips were in newpapers and today we see how it captured what that generation was feeling, thinking and their great desires. As a modern storyteller, I search to create the same connection with my videos. The art of storytelling is the same but the platform has changed. 

I never realized how we enjoy stories today, all started with a humble comic strip. It is easy to get caught up with the production of a story,  most of us don’t have expensive equipment but what we do have is a pen and paper.

Book: Every Idea is a Good Idea

I look at books as mentors. Its my way of having a cup of coffee with an expert on any given subject I’d like to learn more about. Seems like there is a new wave of books are being written – sharing information.

I discovered, Every Idea is a Good Idea by Tom Sturges while at the book store with my nephews. As they were checking out the toys, I was drawn to this book because of the cover. I loved the simple design idea. It had a retro look to it. When I opened it, I read a small part about how to create new ideas. Since I am collector of ideas, and depend on my found research to create new work, I got the book.

The first few chapters is more about how successful song writers found their ideas. Though, I’ve only day dreamt of writing a song, it was interesting to hear how iconic songs were written or tv sitcoms came together by discovering and collaborating ideas. How one find’s an idea and makes it into something

Here are some take aways that will encourage you to be prepared to do something with your ideas.

–  You sit and focus completely on your creative goal, almost meditating on it and then with a burst of energy give into the entire first draft of your idea, letting it explode out of your intellect.

– Look for a chance to change what you do and how you do it. Think reinvention, not only of yourself and your creativity but of your process, too.

– Show up every day… sooner or later your talent will emerge.

– See what you are not great at and find someone who is as great as your weak links as you are at your strongest.

– Only you can complete your thoughts. What ever it is before you get up and walk away make sure it has a beginning and an ending. Do not let your idea just sit there unfinished.

– Mark that spot with the big X and move on; just keep creating. Do not interrupt the flow of your ideas, the pace of you’re thinking, the tempo of your thoughts…Trust your mind to find the right word or phrase later when you’re not under pressure and in the middle of transcribing a new idea from your mind to paper or computer.

– …if it is something big and long and complicated, a table of contents will be a blueprint from which you can more easily and readily access and evaluate the quality of your efforts… keeps the focus of the peace in view.

– “Even half a good idea could inspire someone else’s even better idea.” Ken Levine, television writer

This paragraph describes creativity beautifully.

 – Creativity is the freedom that comes with believing that there is no perimeter, that there is no stopping, that the possibilities of thought are endless. It is the power to believe that there is no shoreline. Creativity is having faith in the sanctity and perfection of the unlimited imagination and the joy of the knowing that ideas are infinitely available, always being refreshed by some deep underground stream feeding into the pristine lake.

Don’t underestimate your ideas. Be ready to do something with them.

I create new ideas from asking questions, being inspired by a phrase I think of. Usually its my opening sentence. An element that attracts me from another’s design, art work or music. Something insightful said by my pastors, boyfriend, or family member. Books, books and books. Podcast, tweets, and past memories. Movies, commercials, and a comment someone says. Anything that makes me say, “Huh.”

Thanks Tom Sturges, I enjoyed the cup of coffee with you exchanging ideas and talking about creativity.

Creating and Editing Videos

The first time I heard the word foundation was when I read the story of the house that was build on the sand. When the storm came, the house was washed away. The house that was built on the rock, when the storm came, it was unmoved. The beauty about the writings from the bible, the words written long ago can teach you just about anything.

As I was teaching my intern how to create and complete a video, I started to share about how important the foundation of creating a video is. Learning how to edit a video isn’t just learning about the software, the computer, or the other tools. Its more than tricks and tips. Its creating a foundation to build your creation on.

3. The Design

The most consuming element in creating a new video is the design. Playing with fonts, images, and video footage to make it attractive and yet make sense. Making those creative decisions can be time consuming, giving yourself space to step away and return to see what you think about your own creation, noticing your first responds, “Ugh!” or “Mmm..” Being creative takes courage to go against the rules you know, even if it is to try it out. There have been times where I spent hours on a design, have only two hours left in the day to work on this project, and make the big decisions to abounded my previous work to try the new idea I have. Usually my new idea takes less time to create, and I’m done by the end of the day. The first idea just wasn’t working and yes I might have used up time but it wasn’t wasted. I knew what didn’t work, and it lead to me what did work.

2. The Vision

Most times, when a project fails, it can be traced back to the lack of brainstorming. You will be surprise how much time you will save if you take the time to think and ask yourself questions. What is the point of this project? Who will be watching this? What do I want people to do after viewing this? What is the purpose? What do I want to say? How do I want to say it? There is pressure to create when you sit in front of a computer. When you open up After Effects and create a new comp, its looking at you waiting for you to move. When I am stuck, and lack vision, I get out paper and draw or write words. I create a map for my creativity to follow. Just in case I began to go off trail, I can return to my points of the story and get back on track. If the vision comes from someone or something else, its up to you to do the research.

1. Your humanity 

The easy way to create something is to copy someone else. Sometimes this works especially when you have 3 hours to create something. But as an artist, we all know we hate being put in those situations. We want to make something that moves people, that communicates our heart and passion. We want to put something out there we can be proud of. The foundation to creating videos is you. Your unique personality, your perspective, your heart, your style. Just like God breathed into man, breath into your creation. Though your day to day projects might not require your heart, put a little in it anyway.

You are the foundation.

Film Making

A writer, afraid to write

A preacher, afraid to preach

A singer, afraid to sing

and me, a film maker.

The obstacle is fear itself.

The obstacle is indeed myself.

When I was a child, I filmed stories for fun.

Now as an adult, I run from telling the stories I daydream about.

Give me a camera and I’ll take photos of you.

I’ll share them with the world.

Give me a computer and I will edit a video for you.

You will smile at how I made your thoughts come alive.

The stories I have in my heart,

they are beginning to come out.

The first short film I made was to impress a boy.

The second was an attempt.

But the third,

will there be a third?

It’s easy for me to do everything else but what I really want to do.

Film make.

Most will shrug their shoulders and say I’ve seen better.

But it will be worth it when it causes a person to see their reflection.

It will be worth it when a person who has never heard God’s voice in their life,

hear it,

see it,

notice Him.