Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Creative Eden

by Jeremy C. Shipp
on the blog Not Enough Words
about embracing one's own creativity.
A simple lesson, but one that is surprisingly hard to enact.

He starts off by saying, "Early on, I didn’t think about the creative process. I simply enjoyed it. I wrote what I felt like writing. I didn’t hold anything back. I didn’t edit myself. In a manner of speaking, I was living in a creative Eden."

This is a place I would like to get back to sometime soon. Having made the decision to declare myself a capital W- Writer has increased the pressure I put on myself. What was once fun and the thing I did to relieve stress is now the cause of most of my stress! I am easily overwhelmed and paralyzed when I have complete creative freedom.

Recently I had the opportunity to write a chapter following an outline laid out by someone else. It was so liberating. Since I was not responsible for the character arc or plot, and therefore did not feel the same sense of vulnerability, I was free to relax and enjoy the simple act of playing with language. I think I have always thrived when there was some sense of structure; creating a theatrical adaptation of a classic, writing "in the style of" another author, or responding to an assignment. I feel like within limitations I can be at my most creative, perhaps because I love pushing against boundaries and breaking rules.

For me, it is about learning how to set my own structures and honor them as I would those set by another. That will be my path back to the verdant landscape of creativity.

How about you? Are you in your creative Eden now?
Or have you also eaten the apple?

Friday, July 23, 2010

A David & Goliath Fail

I understand that advertisers need to get our attention and that in the past some rather quirky ads have done just that, but I am so disgusted by the recent Kia campaign that I just had to blog about it. Especially because lots of other bloggers seem to think something along the lines of this: "... our collective heads heads have officially exploded due to the sheer awesomeness of this effort from Kia and its marketing firm." What!?!?! Are they being paid to say that? They must be, but I'm not.

First of all it's called the Kia Soul Rapping Hamsters. That alone should let you know this is traveling down a dangerous road. I wish I could have been at the meeting when a bunch of guys in rumpled hipster suits first tried to pitch this to the car company elders who probably just assumed that the fact that they didn't get it meant that it would appeal to the youth of this nation, when the truth is that it is just lame and borderline offensive. Why hamsters? They look like rats, which is not a compliment. It is not complimentary, nor funny, to compare people in the hip hop culture to rodents. They look so much like rats that the commercial even makes a point of saying they are hamsters with all sorts of bad hamster puns. It's like they knew they were treading a fine line and crossed it anyways. The song the characters are using is a classic rap by the Black Sheep, so again I ask, why hamsters? Why not sheep? Or people for fucks sake. Don't you remember your mother ever saying enough is enough; the point being, just because it was funny once doesn't mean it will be funny again.

Trendhunter magazine said, "The Kia Soul ‘Rapping Hamsters’ commercial is the perfect remedy for boring commercial breaks." USA Today says, "OK, this new Kia Soul commercial is summertime happiness on your screen." I say, no. No, it is not. How about just play the song with the company's logo displayed on the screen? That would be more appealing. And make more sense. But, let's say I am willing to suspend my disbelief and play along with the logic that hamsters have disposable income and the need for a vehicle... you lose me completely when you have the other hamsters driving down the street in a toaster. A toaster! In no logically coinsitent world does that make any sense! A hamster wheel, okay. But a toaster or a dryer, no. Just no, people. No.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Gettin' Was Good

Get Your Read On: VP Style was a success!
Check out the Verbal Pyrotechnics blog
to read all about it and see some awesome pictures.