This weeks blog is all about igniting those light bulbs!! Sometimes it's hard to come up with creative ideas for your images, and it's often the case of just thinking about it too much. We thought we'd take a look back at a few past themes, and how some of you interpreted, then executed all those swoon-worthy images. First let's get some think-tanking happening over this coming weeks new theme!
So read on, sit back and wait for your creative license to arrive in the mail.
Starting tomorrow is a new working week, and with that comes a fresh Creatively Squared Challenge! Our sponsor is Modi Bodi Australia, an underwear brand that cares about women, their comfort and confidence. With their new 'seamless' collection just around the corner, we thought we'd farewell all those lines with a fitting #cs _lines challenge. So let's take a look at some different ways we could approach this theme, courtesy of some CS team members.
Stationery - Look at all these lines!!! A neatly aligned flatlay works perfectly with a 'lines' theme. The precise columns, the razor sharp edges, and the lines within and on top of each other all contribute to an overall aesthetically pleasing and completely on-theme image. So get your rulers out and start laying!
Draw - One of the first things that pops into my head when thinking of lines, is pen on paper! Can you draw? Using your artistic talent with a pen or paintbrush, and then styling around your work could give you the extra creative edge over other entries.
Lines? - Not many lines here you say. No, there isn't, you're right about that. Perhaps we could consider another angle to this theme? The sponsor Modi Bodi Australia are launching a new 'seamless' collection - how about an image that flows and is without structure and lines? Another clever way to interpret and evolve your creative thinking, is considering the flip side.
Silhouette - The negative space on this image highlights every line, from the candles to the crisp veins of the leaves. A styled sequence of items will also give off the feeling of order and therefore, lines, rows and columns will be seen more easily. Another reason to get all moody on your pics is that it tends to stand out from the crowd and evoke an emotion, perfect for that visual storytelling.
ABC - The lines in letters. It's not always the obvious choice to use words in your styled images, but it should be! To have something for the audience to notice and to take the time out to read, means they will linger a little longer on your square, making it interactive and relatable. Using letters and numbers is a great idea for this coming weeks theme 'lines' because that is what our language is made up of after all!
Grids & stripes - Let's not over think things! Sometimes being literal and just creating a fun, beautifully styled image is all that's needed to capture the eye of our sponsor. Take this image for example, the idea behind this pic is quite obvious: so the challenge is lines? I'll give you lines! Grids, stripes, checks, tartan and other patterns all involve many lines and make a great foundation to layer.
Structure - More of a organic, rustic kinda person? This image screams lines, but not in an 'in your face' way!! Every item in this flatlay has a composition purpose. To; fill, buffer, add life, or to create tonal balance. Yes it has been arranged neatly, but in more of a balanced, natural way. Even the marble backdrop is fulfilling the lines brief. I would say that the composition process alone has created an image perfect for this weeks challenge.
Ok, so enough reading between the lines. Let's take a look at some previous challenge themes and how a few clever people in our community, interpreted then executed each brief.
Paper with Pol and Pom
Kicking off the week of paper, we knew it would be a popular theme and attract a number of beautiful entries, and we weren't disappointed, so many creative lateral thinking shots came through. Let's take a look at a few and chat to the creators to gain an insight into their thought process.
Cut outs - This watercolour artist is no stranger to working with paper, this theme is Shani's favourite to date! With a large collection of old books she gets from op shops to create her art, she had already painted a few feathers the day this challenge was announced. 'I work on several pieces at once, and then set them aside to allow each one to dry. When I noticed how lovely the repetition of the simple feather shape was, I began cutting them out from various old pages. Lacking a bit of 'oomph', or focus point, I decided to paint some watercolour washes on some and placed them on a white paper background'. This artistic image that evolved in such a natural organic way, was selected by Pol and Pom as one of two winners!
Gift wrap - Desaree has a beautiful collection of vintage wallpaper that she found in her parents attic, so she knew she wanted to incorporate some of this into her 'paper' entry. 'I love choosing gifts for people, but I love the joy of wrapping them even more!', she says. This combined with her natural style aesthetic was all the inspiration she needed to create her image, and we think it's beautiful.
Travel papers - Whilst planning her upcoming trip to Japan, Jen had just two things on her 'must see' list - The pretty pink cherry blossoms and stationery stores. Whilst flicking through her travel books, searching for her passport, and researching stationery shops, she realised that everything she was doing involved paper! 'I created this little flatlay completely inspired by my upcoming travels, the pink cherry blossoms and all the pretty patterned paper I was hoping to find', Jen says. It's such a good idea to subscribe to the Creatively Squared newsletter, and to be the first to know about the new challenge themes, that way you can have it stored in the back of your mind, and bring it out when your feeling inspired by something your doing - that's great creativity!
Oh My Word with Alphaboard Co
This was always going to be fun! We had so many entries in this challenge, and we can see why. Setting the theme as 'Oh my word', really kept the door open for just about anything. We saw - street signs, paint samples, French newspapers, labeled herbs, and a whole lot of love! Let's check out two creative renditions we had come in.
Concept Board - his lovely image was created and shared with us by Martha. For three years, she and her family had been working up to a major renovation of her home, and our challenge announcement just so happened to coincide with the signing off on their builder, finally it was about to begin! 'My thinking process was pretty much based on excitement, and the 'oh my word' it's actually happening, aspect of our renovations'. So, Martha took to her reno concept board to style her samples and enter it into the challenge - and we're thrilled she did, it allowed us to join in on her good news.
Quote - If you're no stranger to Creatively Squared challenges, then you will recognised the creator of this pic as Belinda, a very clever creative., who said - 'Words are a way of expressing ourselves, and our ideas. Combining the power of words and a visual, creates an opportunity for people to take different paths and finding alternative destinations, kind of like a map! I wanted to use the quote, "sail on an ocean not a map", because to me it's about living in the present and diving into the unknown and seeing things afresh. This was a brilliant interpretation of our 'oh my word' theme.
From The Tree with Grimesy & Rat
Any theme connected to nature is always great and 'From the tree' was no exception. Here we have three gorgeous images, each different from the next. How did the clever people from our community come up with these ideas? Let's find out!
Backyard - With her home backing onto a forest of pine trees, Kelly drew her inspiration from the literal sense of the phrase, 'From the tree'. Knowing that she wanted to incorporate the pine needles, she came up with the idea of using her wooden mannequins. 'I had the pine tree made out of pinewood, then staged the image using the people and other things from nature'. So much of what we have today is because of our lovely trees, you could just about use anything natural!
Project - A lot of what artist Claudia of Adi & Bert does is from, or at least about, the trees, so it was no surprise to see her come up with a gorgeous entry into this challenge. We asked her about how it came about, 'Being a keen gardener I have always loved botanical illustration. At the time I was trying to improve my botanical line drawings which I later used as a theme, 'The botanical series' for the 100 days project during 2016'. We loved that Claudia used her drawing alongside the leafy still life that inspired the whole image.
Imagination - Sometimes it might be a good idea to take a leaf out of your child's book, and ask to borrow their young perspective to come up with inspiration for your shots. I did it, and it won me my first CS prize. Staying down in Canberra at my sisters home, I had just stumbled across the Creatively Squared page, 'This looks like great school holiday fun!' We went for a long walk to find some leaves and sticks, then had a play on a lovely piece of marble. It was then that my daughter Kayla, spotted the little oak birdie on the shelf. 'Mum! Let's make a nest and sit the bird in it? It's from the tree'. It was a lightbulb moment - and it turned out to be the cutest pic I had ever taken. Listen to your children and try to understand their ideas, you'll improve their confidence, your relationship, and you may just win!
Hopefully you're all feeling inspired to join in on this weeks 'lines' challenge. You could win yourself some gorgeous underwear. Remember, there's no right or wrong way to interpret one of our challenges, just your way! Happy creating.
- Room colours that induce creativity - By She Knows
- Lateral thinking - A step by step approach to creativity - By Dr Edward de Bono
- How to clear your mind: 7 mental tricks to get focused quickly - By Clear Mind Meditation Techniques