Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Creative Focus: Figure/Ground

A learning activity from the program "Developing Creativity"


Purpose:
Make a point by clearly creating a collage with a figure (point of focus) and a ground (background). Build a sense of artistic perspective. Practice shifting fields to create flexibility and possibilities.

Arts concept: Figure/Ground

Materials: Magazines, paper, glue, scissors, pictures.

Process:
In art, the concept of figure/ground refers to a way of looking at a piece so that part of the picture is the main focal point while the rest is the field or background. In some famous optical illusion pieces the figure andP field can shift creating the sense of illusion. Here’s what to do:

1.Gather a set of collage materials.
2.Cut shapes and pictures as you think about a theme. (your theme could be your topic or part of your program/event topic, or the participants could select one such as building relationships, solving problems, leading effectively, staying positive, developing performance, etc.).
3.Play with shapes and abstract cut-outs to create a nearly 50% figure and 50% background combination. This may take some practice.
4.Manipulate the shapes on the paper to see which arrangements sing to you before apply any glue. Take your time.
5.Glue your shapes into a picture.

Expand the Game:
Share your picture with a partner. Tell each other what the other’s picture means to you. Ask questions – explore what the picture tells you about the other person and about the topic you’ve selected. Take your time. Explore without judging each other.

Reflect:
What do you see as the meaning of this activity?
What is  the significance of creating distinctive sets of figure and ground?
What techniques allow multiple possibilities and perspectives in the pictures?

Where can you see the concept of figure/ground at play in your work? In your life? What does that mean to you?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Creative Problem Solving: Certainties

A creative problem solving activity.

Purpose:
Create deep conversations around perceived truths.

Materials: Talking stick or microphone.
Seating: Circle
Process:
As we travel thru life we learn a few things. Things we were once certain about change and feel less certain. Things we did not believe or know emerge as our new truth. Do you believe in lasting truth? Do you hold a few beliefs that you feel will stand the test of time?
Follow the CLUES for Success guidelines and when it is your turn, share 3 to 5 beliefs that you think are certain.
Options:
To prime the pump, share some “certainties” from others in short phrases or quotes. Some  examples:
(Doug’s list)
The truth will always bubble to the top.
God is love.
Everything is personal.
Nothing is ever off-the-record.

Expand:
A.Use recording equipment to create a visual record of people providing their wisdom. As a group, edit and produce a film.
B.Play with figure/ground concepts and paradoxes by finding and exploring polar-opposite beliefs.

C.Create a book built on quotes from the session and illustrations created during (or after) the event.