Monday, March 24, 2008

This is one of several sites I have come across during my research. It is full of links to all kinds of articles but more importantly the description of the term Creative Generalist is what caught my attention.

I have always considered myself to be a jack of all trades, and have been able to put my hand to most things. For example, I can carve wood, plaster walls, sew dresses, design and lay patios and help rebuild my Triumph Stag. I am able to train 5 - 6 pieces of software (Autodesk's Revit, 3DS Max, Combustion, ADT and AutoCAD and Maxon's Cinema 4D) and use them for various design jobs, but am I a master of any one?

They are all creative skills, but that is just it, it is a skill, one that gets better with use and experience. But in order to understand these skills and how to use them, I also need to know how they fit with other areas that will then make a whole - for instance a multimedia project. For example, if I was a Master in Photoshop, would that mean I knew this program inside and out? Would I then know how to use it for graphic design, print, web, textures for 3D or just for one or two of them, or even none, or would I just know what it could do?

In order to fulfil a role as a Web designer, I would also need to know several other areas, Photoshop would be only one of the many tools I would need to be successful in this role. This would be the same for a Graphic Designer or 3D artist.

Therefore, surely most that consider themselves as Masters, are probably jack of all trades as well? There is a need to understand each skill in relation to the whole - such as a jigsaw piece in a puzzle. It is also important to know how these work with each other to be able to create something new and explore new ideas.

I am not sure if this still happens in Industry, but there used to be a time when you started at the bottom and worked your way up through the company, so when or if you reached the top, you had a complete understanding of everything below, giving a thorough insight to the way the company worked, what was expected of each position and the people themselves. Having reached the top, your own experiences may have helped forge new ways / methods in doing things. You have a handle on everything - so are you a Master, or jack of all trades?

Another site, linked from Creative Generalist, is Mark McGuiness's Wishful Thinking which explores this further and pitches Steve Hardy's Creative Generalist theory against that of Scamp - Simon Veksner, a very interesting read.

Finally - there was also this one by Joyce Wycoff A good exercise if you feel like being creative. Have fun!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Catch Up - a very busy February

Great news!

The Micro Project funding application (Research and Development - SEEDA) submitted at the beginning of January has been offered. This is absolutely fantastic news as it will enable The Talking Walls to finally get a project in place, the first one. The development of the existing prototype into a fully working pilot for Beaulieu Abbey will start from the beginning of May and complete by December.

The pilot will allow visitors to Beaulieu Abbey explore what the Abbey used to look like before the dissolution and how the monks worked and lived within the community. It will also help with the research for the PhD, observing how the pilot is used and it's acceptance by the visitor. It is not just the application but also the technology being used that is important. The results next year will be very interesting and will lead to further development for future applications. So, all in all, very exciting.

At the same time, the Creative Industries programme has been launched by the Technology Strategy Board. This is a huge project and is available to creative SME's, technologists and academics to forge partnerships and collaborations, working together to develop projects using and expanding on the skills available in the collaborative partners. This is ideal for The Talking Walls and hopefully we will forge partnerships with other companies to make the most of this opportunity.

It does feel that after years of researching and working hard developing the concept of The Talking Walls, that is is starting to happen. By next year, TW will be in use at Beaulieu Abbey, with hopefully another being built for Bucklers Hard, maybe another for Jane Austen societies and with this new collaboration opportunity, who knows what else.

Thankyou to everyone who has helped me with the funding application for Beaulieu Abbey, and for the current support with the new collaborative funding.