The New Crayons

February 21, 2010 at 4:52 pm 2 comments

Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten .Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with books on algebra etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the creative bug is just a wee voice telling you, “I’d like my crayons back, please.”

– Hugh Macleod

Creativity through technology

One can argue that the advent of tools like web design software allows the mind to be truly creative in more ways than one. In fact being able to create one’s own movies, adding photos and audio (including your own voice if you choose) easily, didn’t exist that long ago and teens now have a different set of crayons; ones that allow expression through sight and sound as opposed to just sight.

As someone who loves to create, and has had the chance to work in a few films, I think technology gives us an even more creative process that goes beyond that one person’s crayon to paper experience. It also becomes a social tool that allows us to include others in the story telling process and a larger audience to share it with. Using the concept of storytelling, even younger children can get an early start in the movie biz and when this means including a little helping hand from mom and dad becomes a meaningful family experience.

The photo below was created by a 13-year-old from Seattle and has obviously been altered to inspire us to make our own conclusion about the meaning of not just the fact that the pencil is broken but what is the significance of the tiny shining lights. There are many conclusions that can be drawn and adds another layer to the creative process, drawing the viewer into their own thoughts on the images. 

 

http://meylah.com/blog/193/Artist-in-the-Making-Shunny-Banai-Photographer

When it comes to Hugh Macleod’s quote above, I think the most telling proof that technology can have a positive experience is from the interview with Shunny Banai herself:

“I’m not completely sure how I got inspired to do photography, I think it really started when I installed Photoshop onto my computer and began using it.  I’ve always liked taking pictures, but when I found a couple good ones in my album I thought maybe I should be taking some more to work with. I’ve always enjoyed most forms of art; drawing, painting, writing and other types as well, but I’ve never been good at most of them. When I started taking good pictures and editing them, I thought maybe this can be the art that can be mine and that I’m actually good at. So I kept taking pictures and looking at others to improve.”

 That pretty much sums it up for my artistic talents as well and looking back at some of my portfolios filled with high school projects I remember the comments from my teachers in reference to my “artistic” talent.  And we all know the effect of positive feedback and respected critique, especially on teens.

Perhaps the greatest gift of these tools is that even those with disabilities can express themselves where words sometimes fail them.   

So perhaps it’s not so much about a box of crayons as it is giving everyone a way to express themselves in whatever format that may take and making sure that all can access them.

Gen

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Entry filed under: ToyBox.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chaitra  |  February 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Hi Gen,
    I love this article. Having super kids like you in our community makes a big difference.

    You are leading kids through your leadership and wisdom. Thanks for highlighting Shunny’s work and inspiring her.

    You have won my heart.

    Reply
    • 2. geninc2  |  May 12, 2010 at 2:55 am

      Hey Chaitra,
      I really appreciate your support. Elizabeth really respects your opinion, perspective, and all the work that you do. I’m really happy to know that a woman like you believes in what I am doing.
      If you ever come across another story you think will particularly interest young girls, I would love to be on the receiving end.
      I hope we can communicate further.
      Take care,
      Gen 🙂

      Reply

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