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Creativity Essay

In: Film and Music

Submitted By DoYouRateKate
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In your own experience, how has your creativity developed through using digital technologies to complete your coursework productions?

Creativity has been defined in several different ways by various media theorists. In 1997, Bentley explained creativity as ‘The making of the new and rearranging of the old’. This is something that throughout the course of the project from the preliminary tasks to the main products I have been able to do. At the start of the course, we analysed the contents pages and front covers of college magazines and had to create our own original college magazine. However, despite creating a new product, we still had to take inspiration and follow codes and conventions from the college magazines we had previously looked at. This included looking at the colour schemes and house styles generally used in college magazines, as well as the fonts, the placement of text and objects on the page and the content to try and create a product that looked new and interesting, whilst still conforming to the norm of what a college magazine typically looks like. I used the colours red and yellow, which I believed as primary colours, if used correctly would look ‘peppy’ and suitable for a college magazine, which I accented with black and white to keep the overall look more simple as unlike music magazines which generally appear to be cluttered, the content on college magazine covers is scattered sparingly. As a result of this, our work could be an example of using pastiche, which is technically defined as an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period. Similarly with our music magazines, we also showed this, as we looked at the codes and conventions of pre-existing music magazines in different genres, targeting different audiences and after planning what our individual genres and target audiences would be designing them in a way that would be suitable to appeal to this audience. I once again used the colours red and yellow, accented with black and white for my magazine, however, I used slightly different tones of the colours, using a more neon industrial yellow instead of the warm sunshine yellow I had previously used. This shade of yellow represents rock music along with the red which connotes violence and blood, something that is commonly shown in the music magazine industry and we could see frequently on rock magazines such as Kerrang! and Metal Hammer. I also selected my use of fonts to be different to the ones I had seen in those kinds of magazines, whilst still being of a similar style and representing the genre appropriately. This is also an example of bricolage, where we created an original product by taking inspiration and components from materials we had on hand. In my case, the objects on hand were several popular rock music magazines, as well as other local music magazines such as toast. Using these, i borrowed the basic style of toast as a local music magazine as the main inspiration and design style for my own magazine, but also took some parts from Kerrang!, for although my magazine was not specifically a rock music magazine, I had stated that rock was the more popular form of music in my locality and as such my magazine would focus more heavily on that then certain other genres such as RNB or rap which are rarely seen at all in the area where my magazine was based. If we consider the theory of post-modernism, stating that everything we consume or interact with is not new, we can see this reflected in our own products. Despite us creating our own original product, we still took styles and parts from other products already in existence. This shows us that our products are still new, but constructed from other things which are not.
In 2004, David Gauntlett stated that creativity is the creation of bringing something new into existence involving the physical making of something, leading to some form of communication. We already know that the products we created fulfil this criterion. All magazines lead to some form of communication, between the creators and the consumers. The magazine is produced and then distributed to its target audience and potentially a small amount of peripheral audience who are not part of their target market as a whole, but individuals who like the product. All magazines receive some degree of feedback from customers, whether this be filling out reviews and surveys on the content, writing in to try and win competitions or even complaining about the use of grammar and the English language, although this is something typically seen more frequently in newspaper broadsheets. The physical act of this communication though, leads us to a theory from Banaji, Burn & Buckingham in 2006. They say that technology allows us to be creative when we are not inherently so, and though I feel that as a species, humans are creative, I think that technology allows us to take this even further. Initially we drew the rough drafts for our magazine front covers and contents pages on paper as an indication of how we wanted them to look. Some of these drawings were creative and interesting; however, actually creating them on a computer, using photoshop, InDesign and photographs that we had taken ourselves, this allowed us to complete the products with a greater degree of professionalism and a more vibrant, interesting look. Also, with the advancement of technology in the 21st century, consumers can be more creative regarding how they communicate with the magazine – something which we had to be aware of when creating it. Where previously consumers would have to physically write in to a magazine to state their point of view, they can now access the magazines corresponding website through a computer and email them, use the magazines app from a Smartphone, send in their own images from their phone or digital camera – the possibilities are endless. As such, we had to make sure that in our magazines, we not only clearly communicate to our audience in a creative way, suitable for the genre of our product and our target audience, but also that we took in to account how the consumers could creatively communicate back with us.

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