I’ve been thinking a lot about this word. Where does it come from? What inspires us? How can you use it? What defines creativity? What do we learn in the process of creating?
cre·a·tiv·i·ty – krēāˈtivədē/ noun: creativity – the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. (Google)
This past week creativity has been all around me. First, my step daughter is at the age she is exploring things online, living and breathing Minecraft and just very creative in general. She and her dad have decided to do a podcast called Ella’s Entry. The first episode is possibly the cutest thing I have ever heard. I am not biased or anything but I think it is. The podcast came out of her dad listening to podcasts with her in the car and a curiosity of how podcasts are made and why people listen to them.
On Friday night, I was packaging some things I sold on ebay and when I finished I had this overwhelming urge to make something. This year, I want to take my crafting to another level. I want to start creating rubber stamps and I have played around a little but I’m not a professional by any means. So I pulled out some sheets of rubber and started looking around on Pinterest to see what I could find about carving or something that would inspire me. I decided to carve a branch and a flower on a vine.
As I finished carving, I started looking at what the stamp looks when used with ink.
They were not bad but I could definitely see where I could improve. What struck me was as I looked at the inked images I began to think about what I learned in carving the stamps. I tried numerous blades. I moved the blades in different directions. I noticed imperfections in my stamps. The leaves weren’t completely smooth. I even cut parts out I wasn’t supposed to cut.
This is where my creativity really started to kick in. My imperfections did not deter me from continuing. They actually threw me in to a plan of action and excitement about my next steps to improve. Maybe they are not steps but more like guidelines.
Any design is ok.
The more I design and carve the better.
Always draw the design bigger to allow for carving in smaller spaces on the rubber.
Try carving ANYTHING. No theme needed.
I also set two goals:
I want to be able to carve script
I need to carve weekly
All of this came from being inspired to pick up the carving tools when I was sitting in the craft room.
Today, my family and I were walking downtown on a photo walk. It’s one of our “family things” since my step daughter has taken an interest in photography. I find when I am on the photo walks, I deliberately try to see things in a creative way. When we walk around we talk about different ways we can take a photo to show different things. Before we started doing this, I really didn’t think about how creativity wasn’t just something inside you. Creativity can be deliberate. Creativity can be about perspective and lenses (literal or figurative).
So what do you say to people who claim, they don’t have a creative bone in themselves? I think it is awareness and listening to your inner voice. It’s the learned ability to look at things differently. That takes practice. It’s the willingness to try something different.
As I begin thinking of things I want to do in my classroom next year, I turned towards audio and video. I want my class to be heavily intertwined with projects. One of the issues I repeatedly see in classrooms is poor sound quality on student videos. What could I do to help with narration or voice overs in student projects? I did a little research on this and I found a DIY $20 solution. I made my own sound booth from an 18 gallon tub, a twin size “egg crate” mattress pad, and spray adhesive.
Now that I have the booth made it’s time to test it. I have a SnowBall microphone for the booth. My students will have Chromebooks to record their audio. The great thing about the Chromebook is you can connect USB microphones and they work great. If you do not have external microphones to use, you could simply place the Chromebook in the booth to record using the default microphone.
There are a number of apps available to record and edit audio on the Chromebook. For this test I used AudioRecorder. It is a simple app to record and save audio as a wav file. This app also works offline. So here are the test audio files.
I believe there is just enough of a difference for the audio to sound clear and full. If you are interested in taking about 15 minutes to create a DIY sound booth for your classroom, here is the video tutorial I used to make mine.
The only thing I didn’t like the tutorial is I did not cut the hole in the bottom to set the microphone in. with the SnowBall mic there was enough stability that I didn’t feel I needed the hole.
So if you try this, I want to hear from you. Comment below with your experiences. Also, if you use Chromebooks, what apps are you using for audio recording and editing?