Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Faking and creativity

Do you ever have moments where you feel something in you brighten, just a little? Days where that light hasn't dimmed from whatever's been happening, but you look at something and feel brighter? Or perhaps hear some music which makes that little inner light glow stronger? Maybe it's something you read, or something that a person tells you... but whatever the trigger is, you feel a spark inside.

I had a moment like that last night. I haven't had a great deal of those moments recently, but I want more moments like that. It was the most minor of things that triggered it - I just happened to be reading about a little gimmicky photography trick, and the next thing I knew, I'd spent an hour googling images which had been created using that trick. Although this trick (miniature faking) tends to be done on computer software, I remembered reading - when I first got my lovely DSLR camera - that it was possible to edit photos on it to give the same effect.

Here's an example: (edited 05/17/11 - I've removed this image and accompanying link as this post was coming up at the top of Google searches for 'miniature faking', and sending far more traffic to this post than I'm comfortable with)

I skimmed over various articles about this effect, and a lot of people seem to quite dismissive of it. Tacky. Gimmicky. Unnecessary. Those were words that kept popping up. Whatever. I think it's a fun little trick, and when I finally went to bed, my mind was racing with ideas for where I could go to take photos that would work well with that effect. Just for fun.

The little light inside us that brightens at times? For me, this happens when I feel inspired, and have creative moments. The creative side to me is a part that has been, sadly, buried a little during my adulthood.

I'm not a writer. I don't claim to be, but I do have fun with it and enjoy it. As a school student, I loved being given creative writing tasks - they were my favourite English class assessments. I relished these. Much more fun than dissecting and analysing novels and poetry. Although my posts here couldn't be classed as creative writing, I'm having fun, nonetheless.

I'm also not an artist, but here's a secret: I'm pretty good at drawing. I used to do a lot of it in my student days, and for me, drawing achieves the same sense of calm that others get from meditation.  I've always intended to explore other forms of visual arts and now I realise intention is no longer enough. I can't remember the last time I picked up a crayon or pencil, just for me. I need to get more creative again.

Part of that is improving my photography skills. I'll admit to being lazy much of the time and using the automatic settings, but I'm slowly understanding the manual settings and busting out of my comfort zone to use them - I just need more 'me' time to do this. For some reason, it's not as enjoyable with a bored toddler or preschooler in tow.

So these little light-brightening moments? I need to pay more attention to them. I had a huge moment a couple of years ago, which had me examining my lack of creativity. I was at a concert - one of not many that I've attended since having kids. J and I were seeing The Presets at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney, and having a fabulous, thumping good time. I was enjoying the music, and feeling a little like the old me who used to go out and dance all night long in London.

Listening to their music, I began marvelling at what a wonderful thing it must be to create great music, and leave that as your legacy. Something your kids will listen to one day, and perhaps gain some deeper insight into who you are or were. I began to also think how that could be applied to so many other forms of creativity too. Painting. Photography. Writing. Sewing. Film making.

I want that. I want to be able to leave something that my own kids will be able to look at. Or read. Something that will help them to feel closer to me. Maybe whatever the legacy is, will be just tucked away in a box somewhere and not for public consumption. I don't know what my legacy will be, but I want one.

So there you have it. Further ramblings from my mind. I kind of feel I've put a little piece of my soul here, just now... but that little light is feeling bright today, and I'm grateful for that.

Did I mention one of my all time favourite artists is Vincent Van Gogh? Well, now you know. I'll leave you with one of his paintings which has also had the miniature faking, or tilt shifting effect, applied... pretty cool, eh?


  1. "I kind of feel I've put a little piece of my soul here.."

    I had that feeling from the moment this piece began. From the opening sentence, I felt the shift in tone, of intention.

    And I loved it! Thank you for sharing it.

    It is always something of a creative nature that sets my little inner fire a-glow. Oh, but time is against me right now. And back when I had the time? Well, time is like youth. Wasted in those who have it.

    I'm not sure I knew about the drawing? But I'm supremely jealous. That is one thing I wish I could do but most definitely have zero skill in.

    And the tilt-shifting is ace. Gimmicky? Whatever!

  2. Thank you, Angie! Love that you loved it.

    I have a feeling that my drawing abilities have somewhat regressed though, so I need to rectify that. On my list!

  3. That would be great. I like that thought :)

  4. Is there anything you can't do? Seriously, you are a clever lass. I like the effect too by the way. Van Gogh is one of my faves. And Dali .. I get excited when I see a clock melting.

    I know a little I think what you're talking about - I get excited about stuff but because it is stuff that nobody else gets, usually I have to keep it to myself. Facebook has been such an outlet for me. I can post crap to my heart's content and get the same kind of mystified silence ... so gratifying.

    Yes, Angie .. youth is wasted on the young!

  5. Um... Mel? I don't have enough space here to list all that I can't do.

    But thank you for the compliment. I always love a compliment!

    Yep, Facebook is great for posting random links for fun. And who cares if no one else gets it? That's half the fun.

  6. "I can post crap to my heart's content and get the same kind of mystified silence ... so gratifying."

    Oh Mel, you do so make me laugh.

  7. I hadn't realised you could draw. I'd LOVE to see something you drew someday...no pressure ;)

    Beautiful piece Mad.

    And yeah i'm loving the fancy camera trick too. Very cool.

  8. Thank you!

    All my old art work is packed away in storage - all the more reason why I should pull finger out and do something.