Xavier le pichon essay
Shakespeare did it. Countless artists and innovators have done it. Discover how to give your own creativity a wild dare. Notice what each character chooses to carry and what that tells you about him. Make a list of the things you carry on your body, in your purse or backpack, in your wallet, etc.
Fragility and the Evolution of Humanity- Ecce Homo- Xavier Le Pichon - Moot
Think of each item as a metaphor, a signpost pointing to something else. Maybe your reading glasses point to your feelings about aging. Maybe your keys symbolize the different compartments of your life, the places you inhabit.
Draw a line from each object to the thing it stands for. Now add to the list the things you carry that are not reflected by physical objects, your preoccupations, worries, hopes, etc. Include any thought patterns that routinely circulate in your mind. Read over your list and circle the things that jump out at you, the ones that hold the most energy. Free write about them for five minutes. As much as possible, include details of time and place.
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Incorporate smells, sounds, tastes, textures, temperatures, colors and patterns—all of the senses. Allow your musings to arrange themselves into lines of poetry or a character sketch for fiction. Tags: prompts Posted in Prompts.
Xavier le pichon essays
But why wait for a disability to open your mind to new possibilities? Whether you are a poet, artist, teacher, novelist or musician, here are five unconventional ways to climb into your creative projects from a fresh entry point.
Use your non-dominant hand. This is a practice I learned at the Art Students League in New York, where I realized that drawing a model with my left instead of right hand made me see the subject differently. Sure, the drawings were terrible though they did get better over time but when I went back to drawing with my dominant hand, it was as if a bit of the left hand perspective had joined in.
If you keep a writing journal, try making every other entry with the opposite hand. Get up and move. Back at her typewriter, she recalls that dream and transcribes it. The scenes in my own novels usually unfold during walks in the woods with my dog. In the classroom, I try to get my students up and moving as much as possible. Physical stagnancy can cause the creative juices to stagnate, too. Employ the power of two. Hemingway and Fitzgerald would not have been who they were without Maxwell Perkins.
I regularly have my students do brief story-generating exercises in pairs or groups of three. Sometimes it devolves into silliness, friction and occasional brilliance. All are worth it.
I meet weekly with writer friends to work in silence together, a practice which strikes some as bizarre, but which helps us stay motivated and on task. Even the lonely work of novel writing can benefit from company. Sleep In. All I have to do is be present and watch the scenes unfold. The trick then is to write them down before the obligations of the day surge into motion. This is sacred time. If your day allows it, take it. Work on more than one thing at a time. Full disclosure: I am terrible at this, but when I do manage to do so, both projects benefit.
My painting teacher, Roy Kinzer , always encouraged us to have multiple canvases in motion concurrently, so that if we got stuck with one, we could move to the other. Often that shift allowed obstacles to get sorted out in the back of the brain. Upon returning to the first canvas, voila, the solution was clear. But working on several projects simultaneously keeps the mind malleable. I invite you to share your own creative insights with me on Facebook and Twitter TessCallahan.
Posted in Prompts.
The elegant, gargantuan birds are constructed of shovels, hard hats, jackhammers, pliers, saws, screwdrivers, plastic accordion tubing and drills. No dice. They withdrew the commission, but the artist forged ahead with the project and the birds have been exhibited in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine and elsewhere. While the limited materials made the sculptures more challenging to construct, they also made them infinitely more compelling both aesthetically and symbolically.
In the process, a new style of Japanese emerged that was entirely his own. He describes the experience as a moment of clarity when the scales fell from his eyes. They complained about the confines of the exercise, but promptly produced great stuff. Material is one way to exploit constraints. Structure is another. Frank Lloyd Wright would not have created his Fallingwater House if he had seen the waterfall as an obstacle to be overcome rather than an asset to be incorporated. In my creative writing class, students first groan over and then feverishly tackle the constraints presented to them.
The ratio of early complaints to eventual satisfaction is gratifying. Great ideas come from pushing against boundaries. The frustration of constrictions can distract the thinking brain enough to allow the deeper work of the creative mind to unfold. Get your students moaning. My teacher Roy Kinzer routinely warmed us up for our life painting class with a series of timed gesture drawings beginning with lightning fast poses. He required us to use large paper and to fill up the whole page.
Our hands flew. Our charcoal snapped. We tore pages from our sketchpads and cursed. When the beauty of a particular pose made me desperate to capture it, I held my breath until the switch.
Fifty Years of Plate Tectonics: Afterthoughts of a Witness
Details impossible to catch abbreviated themselves into lines expressing movement, rhythm and musicality, as seen in this drawing by artist Greta Skagerlind. Once Roy had us where he wanted us, that is, with our thinking brains shut off and our arms in motion, he would gradually lengthen the poses to 30, 60 and 90 seconds.
By the time we reached two minutes, it felt like luxury. He had succeeded in shutting down the part of our brains that wanted to hesitate, deliberate and ponder accuracy. We simply dove in. Here are a few:. Each student reaches in and grabs one, a pinecone, a playing card, a broken watch, whatever.
Using the object as a prompt, they write for X seconds, and then pass the object to the right until every student has written about every object. Sometimes they write pure physical descriptions using the five senses. Other times they write memories or associations the object evokes. In the spirit of gesture drawing, we start with 15 seconds of writing and work our way up to a minute or more.
Next, I set the timer and have them pass nouns to the left, verbs to the right. Inevitably they argue and beg. Another day I might have them pick from a hat a particular location in the school library, cafeteria, gymnasium, etc. I ask them to write down both the obvious ones the sound of a basketball bouncing , and those that normally fall below conscious awareness the clinking of utensils, the hum of an air conditioner.
When they return to the classroom ten minutes later, they share their spoils. Instead of drawing themselves as Barry suggests, students write a description of themselves in the 3 rd person present tense using as many sensory details as possible. It might be a portrait of themselves when they arose from bed that morning or from when they were 5-years old.
Their choice. For example: Who are the people in your life right now, both the inner circle—family and friends—and the outer circle—the gas station attendant, bakery cashier or others you see daily but may not know by name? We go on to list recent life events, projects we are working on, current circumstances relating to our bodies health, sleep, diet, exercise, sexuality as well as the current places in our life, both those we visit and those we think about.
Next comes a brief list of our societal circumstances home, office, school, town, nation, etc. Lump these things together on a page and something is bound to combust. Whether describing an acorn in 15 seconds or writing a life inventory in 7 minutes, the clock we love to rail against is our writing ally. Next, I gave them several prompts to consider and we did a bit of memory brainstorming around those ideas. Finally, I asked them to use their brainstorm to construct a poem in the style of the one they admired.