the creativity issue
Editorial There is a strange allure about creativity. To be intelligent or athletic is seen as achievable; tough, but people can hone their skills through practice and hard work. Whereas being creative is something that we’re just ‘born with’, gifted to a special few. I don’t agree with this school of thought; my belief is that everyone has some sort of creativity inside of them. Who are we to even define creativity? In this magazine, all sorts of creative works are presented: photography, paintings, literature and more. You will be presented with someone’s opinion on creativity, and others expressions of their own artistic talents. Creativity can come in many different forms; recognizing beauty being one of them. During the creation of this magazine, I have been exposed to wonderful works and new experiences. Although a struggle at times, creating AURORA has been an ulitmately fulfilling experience. As you browse through these pages, I hope you will become inspired to create something beautiful.
feyi adegbite // editor-in-chief BEHIND THE SCENES
adventures in art
1, 2, 3 by Sara Nettle 4, 5, 6 by Caitlin Hazell
Artist feauture Yago Hortal
Return of retro
6. Music roundup 7. Film roundup 8. Web roundup 9. how to... 10. Artist feature 16. Return of retro 20. creativity. what is it? 22. up close and personal 28. document your life 30. blush 32. steampunk style 34. writers corner 38. go outside
Music Roundup This music roundup is one of seconds. As we are presented with a stream of burgeoning, talented artists releasing their sophomoric attempts the only question on everyone’s lips is: did they do better? However the answer is not so clear cut as yes or no. Let’s start with the xx. For a band that is primarily known for its lush soundscapes, and stripped backed instrumentals, Coexist presents more of the
good stuff. Overall, its a good effort; although in the later stages of the record the sparse guitar strings and relaxed voices may leave the listener yearning for more, the band stays sure of who they are throughout.
When Irish trio Two Door Cinema Club stepped onto the scene in March 2010 with Tourist History they were welcomed by indiepop lovers with open arms. Their frenetic, catchy songs were filled with guitar riffs and infectious beats. Featured in adverts and video games, their songs managed to worm themselves into the ears of many. Ardent fans of them will enjoy Beacon, however others may
be disappointed by their efforts. The band seem to have lost the knack for creating the short, lively songs they’re known for, and now the tracks seem to blend into each other. Apart from the standout track ‘Sun’, the album is mediocre at best.
Ben Howard’s debut Every Kingdom was an altogether upbeat affair. With his unique, melodic voice, and beautiful guitar harmonies, Howard produced a record that one reviewer said ‘provided the perfect soundtrack for a sundrenched day drinking Fanta Fruit Twist with your old pals.’ In comparison, The Burgh island EP is a much darker, heavier affair with The Burgh Island EP - Ben Howardhis haunting vocals and power-
ful riffs perfectly suited to winter and coming home to a cup of hot Ribena beside the fireplace. With a slightly more electronic feel than his previous affair, the EP will leave you assured of Howard’s talents. The first track, Esmerelda is a must listen.
Coexist - the xx
Beacon - Two Door Cinema Club
Film Roundup ONE TO WATCH PITCH PERFECT
Beca (Anna Kendrick) is that girl who’d rather listen to what’s coming out of her headphones than what’s coming out of you. Arriving at her new college, she finds herself not right for any clique but somehow is muscled into one that she never would have picked on her own: alongside mean girls, sweet girls and weird girls whose only thing in common is how good they sound when they sing together, in the new out-loud comedy Pitch Perfect. When Beca takes this acoustic sing-
ing group out of their world of traditional arrangements and perfect harmonies into allnew mash-ups, they fight to climb their way to the top of the cutthroat world of college a cappella. This could wind up either the coolest thing they’ll ever do or the most insane, and it will probably be a little of both. With a standout performance from Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy, this fast-paced, edgy comedy is sure to please those looking for some funs, some laughs and some great tunes.
What else is on?
Les Misérables Set against the backdrop of 19thcentury France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption-a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey The Hobbit follows the quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. Peter Jackson’s return to Middle-earth is visually resplendent and features strong performances.
Jack Reacher Jack Reacher is an above-average crime thriller with a smoothly charismatic performance from Tom Cruise.
Web Roundup It used to be that TV was the main form of media consumption. The whole family would sit down, and watch scripted, planned programmes or a small selection of channels. The choice was limited, and if you missed your favourite show, too bad. Celebrities were few and far between; a select group of people who had spent time building a career in the public eye. Now, however, the internet has changed that. Anyone can become a star overnight. And nowhere is that more true than Youtube. Users can upload videos in a day, and reach a million different people in a month. While many have heard of the viral videos that skyrocket (Charlie bit my finger, anyone?), there are some people who are able to use the site to leverage themselves into more long-term rewards.
These stars have regular viewers, and are able to connect with them across various different platforms such as Twitter or Instagram. Jack Harries, for instance, has managed to fund his gap year travels through the website: “It funded my entire travels through Thailand. I never expected that. I try to put most of it into camera equipment, but if there’s some left over to go on holiday and have fun, then why not?” With his twin, Finn, the boys have been able to make a profitable return from the hobby, with Jack saying he earns twice as much through Youtube compared to his former job at the Apple Store. With the ability to connect and relate with their audience, these vloggers are making a real impact on the current generation.
THE NEW STARS #8
From top left in a clockwise direction: dailygrace, jacksgap, danisnotonfire, amazingphil, dicasp
how to... ...get started on youtube So you want to be a YOUTUBE Star? Here's how.
1. Decide what sort of YouTube account you'll have. Do you upload music videos? Do you make funny videos? Are you a stand-up comedian? Do you tell stories? Choose whichever one you like the sound of, or just be a mix up of everything. 2. Gather your equipment. Your camera doesn't have to cost ten thousand dollars, but it should be high quality. A good choice is the Canon 60D with a 50mm lens. 3. It really helps to plan your videos. Storyboard them first. 4. Make sure you edit your videos well; add music, quick cuts and interesting transitions. 5. Upload on a channel you have created with a snappy username. 6. Promote, promote, promote! Make sure people know about your videos. talk about them on twitter, facebook etc. 7. Upload new videos regularly. This really helps you get a strong following 8. Collaborate with other youtubers. This increases the quality of your work as well as exposing you to a wider audience. 9. Have fun! Don't become obsessed with views or subscribers. just do your best and people will come to you.
Spanish born, Berlin based artist Yago Hortal drips, smears, and splashes layers of acrylic paint onto canvas to create these abstract expressionistic pieces of art. Filled with colour, depth and vivacity, his works make an explosive impact on the viewer.
Yago Hortal An artist feature www.yagohortal.com
by feyi adegbite
RETURN OF RETRO As technology improves faster than we can keep up, there are many who have opted to retreat backwards in terms of the things they do, or wear, or use. Subcultures have sprung up, choosing to use the staples of bygone times.
With the advent of smartphones and digital cameras, taking photos has never been easier. They enable the user to capture countless images, look over them, and delete any deemed unsuitable. However, there is something to be said for the charm of a film camera. One can’t look back and correct for an off-kilter shot; there’s no knowing what your pictures will look like once they’re developed. That’s the fun part! The finiteness of film
also makes you take more care with your images. Unlike your iPhone, film exposures can’t be deleted. Using film cameras can help give a different perspective on life; no longer are you looking at the screen, but you’re taking note of everything around you.
STORE SPOTLIGHT Lomography began with a fateful encounter in the early 1990s when a group of students in Vienna, Austria, stumbled upon the Lomo Kompakt Automat – a small, enigmatic Russian camera. Mindlessly taking the shot from the hip, and sometimes looking through the viewfinder, they were astounded
with the mindblowing photos that it produced – the colours were vibrant, with deep saturation and vignettes that framed the shot – it was nothing like they had seen before! Upon returning home, friends wanted their own Lomo LC-A, igniting a new style of artistic experimental photography that we now know as Lomography!
Vinyl With iPods, and iTunes, and countless other things beginning with i, acquiring music has never been easier. A couple of clicks and your song is available for continuous enjoyment on your computer, phone, or MP3 player; easily accessible and portable. Vinyl on the other hard is much more difficult to look after. It is more expensive than downloads or CDs, and requires a bulky record player in order for the owner to listen to music. One cannot play a song on the go; they must be at
home, locate the desired record and then play the whole album, searching for a specific track. Despite all these cons, there are many who extol the virtues of vinyl. They say ‘listening to music is an experience, and a full experience includes putting on the record, moving over the needle and sitting back and rocking out.’ The process of listening through a whole album, relaxed and immersed in the experience, is one that cannot be replicated with modern technology.
STORE SPOTLIGHT Intoxica, London Bringing wild and groovy sounds to London’s famous Portobello Road since 1994, Intoxica is a vinyl junkie’s dream fix. Renowned for its tasty range of collectible and hard-to-find records, this shop plays by its own rules and dances to its own swinging beat. Not the cheapest, but certainly one of the best — opinionated staff included.
The Cambridge Satchel Company is a British company that produces satchels and other leather goods. The company was founded in 2008 by Julie Deane and her mother Freda Thomas. She was inspired by the old schoolbags that she used in her childhood. The leather satchels are all based on an original Oxford and Cambridge satchel design and aimed at school children, but met unexpectedly high demand as a fashion accessory, and became, according to
The Guardian, â€œa cult among twenty-something fashion bloggersâ€?. Fashion is known for recycling past trends, and this is just another example of how an old fashioned object can be refashioned to make it up to date and popular. Numerous celebrities have been spotted wearing the bags at festivals and fashion shows. Among them include Elle Fanning, Fearne Cotton, Zooey Deschanel and Alexa Chung.
CREATIVITY. What is it? by kennie ibikunle
a truly creative person would also have an active and vivid imagination, which often means that the person visualizes things quite differently than the way they appear to other people The creative person is the one who is able to think out of the box, doesnâ€™t see things in black and white but often in shades of grey and mostly with a streak of rainbow across it. Creativity is also a product of exposure and perception. Exposure, because if a person has lived in a cosmopolitan environment or society with great technological advancement then their creativity will be a product of this. Perception however is crucial in recognising creativity when it is not the expected form or norm in that society or time frame but one that is simply an expression of ingenuity. Everyone likes to think that he or she is creative, and as a result the word creative has become somewhat of a cliche. In the ad-
vertising industry it is now a buzzword to capture the attention of the consumer so you see things like creative cooking, creative hairstyling, creative writing that simply means new or different. I believe creativity should be somewhat synonymous with originality as this is more specific and limited in scope. Someone who is creative in this sense comes up with things that no one else has thought of and often thinks in an independent way.
to be enlightened in a way that they were not before. People tend to be in awe of creative people which sometimes makes them have a feeling of superiority while others often perceive them as â€˜weirdâ€™ depending largely on if they have been enlightened or not.
Being somewhat of a pragmatist, I believe that creativity can and should also have a practical side where something is created for the ultimate good of society, hence the practical side of creativity is inventive. A truly creative person would also have an active Unfortunately this is often and vivid imagination, not the case and there lies which often means that the for me the struggle, should it be just creativity for the person visualizes things sake of creativity or crequite differently than the ativity for the development way they appear to other of mankind? people and would have to draw others into that sphere thus causing them
up close and personal
by Sofia Shelton her blog: http://leparcoursinsolite.tumblr.com
Document Your Life is an online video project that will hopefully make you notice the little beautiful things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. The idea is to make a video each month, for which you film short clips of the things you’ve seen and done in that month. It was created by Lauren (she can be found at http://lauren-
hannahblog.tumblr.com) She started this project because she wanted to look back on these times when she’s older, in a way that’s more fun and creative than reading old journals. Since then, it has helped her a lot with her recovery from depression and anxiety by going out, doing stuff, seeing friends, and taking little steps out of her comfort zone.
Some of the Document Your life videos The rules - Everyone is welcome to join. - You have to have a Twitter account. - You don’t need a super professional camera. A small digital camera, or a camcorder will do. iPhones or other phones with HD video are acceptable too. - Background music is obligatory. Try not to use too well-known music, because your video may be removed from YouTube due to copyright violations. Description & Tags - Once you’ve uploaded your video, tweet the link with the hashtag #DocumentYourLife.
- Use the tag(s) “Document Your Life” and/or “documentyourlife” when adding tags on YouTube. - Include a link to the official blog post about the project (you are here) in the description. Even better would be to also include a link to the Facebook page. (Don’t forget to like it yourself too!) - Put the name of the band/artist and song you used in the description, and if possible a link to their website or Bandcamp, as a thankyou for using their music in your video.
document your life facebook page
Videos featured found at: http://bit.ly/10Uwvl7 http://bit.ly/WnOkSI http://bit.ly/136rzIx,
photos by andrea tuton her blog: http://detectivevaudeville.tumblr.com/
These dresses were inspired by my love of all things steampunk. Steampunk is basically when old fashioned things (especially from Victorian England) are taken and modified to be more modern and this is what inspired me to create these pieces. Each dress has a hooped skirt but these skirts are different lengths and there are asymmetrical parts to each dress. I also wanted to experiment with layers so there are many different parts to each dress. They may have taken a long time to make but I love making dresses and outfits as well as coming up with the patterns and figuring out how they will fit together so this was a lot of fun for me.
dresses designed by ruth doulgeris models: sarah prato, natalia sudakova, ruth doulgeris
what inspires you? // nina grossfurthner
What inspires you? A simple question really, something most of us think we could answer easily were we to be asked. And why not? We have all felt that inner stirring of emotions, that sudden inflation of happiness that seems to come from the very core of our being and if only for a short time, lifts up our spirits. But what exactly is inspiration? Where does it come from? And how does it affect our lives? These were the questions I asked myself when I first started my personal project. Eagerly pursuing my goal to broaden my understanding of what inspiration was, I set out to find 10 people whom I could interview about what inspired them. Intending, through the information I collected, to turn their individual account into a short film about inspiration and what it meant to those in my school community. I knew that for a project to hold my attention for several months I would have to set myself a challenge, explore and discover things not only from extensive research on the internet and in books but from a more personal point of view. I figured conducting interviews would be a great way to allow me to find out a more about the people with whom I spent everyday life. The first thing I noticed when I started interviewing people was how broad the subject of inspiration was. I realized that I would have to increase my knowledge on the different types of inspiration, as “Wait, what exactly do you mean what inspires me?” became a dreaded question that was frequently asked and that I only seemed to be able to
answer through enunciating the question. Another observation which was made during the first few weeks of filming was that, those who I perceived as pragmatic thinkers often had more trouble grasping the concept of inspiration than those who were either, creative thinkers or generally more in tune with their emotions. This struck me as particularly intriguing and I decided to look into it, consulting with my faithful friend the internet as well as extracting articles for psychological magazines. I discovered that whereas those who are more creatively inclined, relate more easily to the idea of being moved on a metaphorical level, those who are more prone to thinking in logical terms are more likely to think of inspiration as motivation rather than something inexplicable and mysterious. The idea that inspiration could be seen as not only motivation but also perceived differently for different people, fascinated me. To find out whether these statements applied to the people I was interviewing, I constructed a survey which I sent to those in my video. To my surprise the data showed that although 9 out of 10 people said that they did understand the concept of inspiration, the two that I considered more pragmatic thinkers actually related the idea of inspiration with that of motivation, one of which summed it up perfectly by saying, “Yes, though I think that there is a fine line between inspiration and motivation, and that the two are not to be confused, despite their similarity.”
As I continued to interview people, the project became more than something I was doing to meet some criteria. These people were letting me in on something that was personal. It was no secret that they had each experienced being inspired, but this was more than that. There was something about listening to what they had to say, listening to how their voices became more passionate the more they talked, how those who at first had been self conscience about being filmed seemed to shred their fears, revealing a radiance that illuminated their faces and gave them renewed confidence. I don’t know whether they noticed and I am not sure whether I was able to capture that emotion, but slowly I began to see this film not just as a medium by which I would be able to fulfil the requirements of the personal project , but as something from which I could truly learn.
So what did I learn from this project? I don’t know. In many ways I was able to understand what inspired people and why to them, certain aspects of life were empowering and inspirational. But if I were to be asked to pin point and explain what exactly inspiration is, what it feels like when you see students and teachers with such a ambition, and a passion to experience everything that life has to offer, looking to the things that lift their spirits and fills them with the aspiration and the hope that one day they will live up to their potential, I don’t think I could. If there is anything I have taken away from this project, it’s that sometimes it is enough to simply be fascinated, whether by a person in your life, A song with an unmistakable melody, a piece of art or nature. Sometimes it is enough to just be.
writers corner WRITERâ€™S BLOCK by katie mcpherson
Sometimes I feel so full up with words, but I canâ€™t seem to string them into something meaningful to anyone but me.
idyllic by feyi adegbite ‘Go on and touch it! It won’t hurt you!’ Resisting the urge to bite back a sarcastic remark to the instructor, along the lines of ‘It’s called a stingray; not that reassuring…’ I tentatively reach out and stroke the smooth, grey skin of the animal. Happily all my limbs continue to remain intact and a smile starts to slowly form on my face. Catching the eye of my father, I grin even wider. ‘This is the best holiday ever!’ I exclaim. Two weeks earlier, after endless discussions concerning our family summer vacation – City holiday? Adventure holiday? Relaxation holiday? – we decided to go on an exotic holiday, one filled with sights, sun and the sea. Eventually, we settled on the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman Islands. It is located in the Caribbean, and is part of the island group known as the Greater Antilles. The island is relatively self-contained, being 22 miles long. My family and I were staying at the aptly named Grand Caymanian Resort. The resort is situated right next to the coast; so close I could see the vivid, bright blue of the sea from my balcony window. In fact, this soon became daily routine. I would wake up and change into my swimming things, then recline on a deckchair, toast in one hand, glass of juice in the other and enjoy the view. Then it was time to stroll down to the pool for a gentle float.
However, after two days of doing nothing I started to feel restless. Using my highly developed powers of persuasion, I managed to convince my parents to organise a snorkelling trip. One of the best parts of visiting the island is the close proximity you have to the wildlife. After a few minutes of sailing we reached the habitat of the stingray. The water is shallow in this area and so you are able to stand, surrounded by the beautiful creatures. Once you’ve spent some time with them, you are then transported to deeper waters. Throughout the island, the sea is clear and clean; reaching the snorkelling spot you are able to see below the surface. The water was filled with coral, all in rich and deep hues. Blues, greens, pinks and oranges as far as the eye could see. The high sun lent a sparkling quality to the day; fishes darting back and forth shined like there was electricity coursing through their veins; the gentle lull of the waves provided the soundtrack to a perfect day. The coral was so beautiful, I remember being scared to slide off the boat and swim. I didn’t want to be responsible for the destruction, however unintentional, of such a marvel. After gathering up my courage I was finally able to slip in the cool, cerulean ocean. Peering through the depths was marvellous; an experience that I think everyone should try.
If swimming isn’t your thing, the island has many other ways to cater for your needs. The local cuisine consists of many different foods similar to those of West Indian and Jamaican origin. A mere 5 minute walk away from our hotel was a delightful family-run restaurant. The door paint was peeling and the wooden floor was scuffed, but the atmosphere was warm and friendly. After being greeted by the jolly proprietor, who beared a strange resemblance to Colonel Sanders, we were seated and offered the day’s specials. Curry, jerk chicken, stewed goat, ox tail, turtle, rice & beans and local Cayman Islands seafood were all on offer. Even my sister, who won’t touch food she hasn’t seen before, was in culinary heaven. After the heavy meal, feeling overstuffed and drowsy, we asked a young local for some hidden gems. He was quite a sight; black, almost blue, hair standing on end, multiple necklaces on his tanned chest and striped clothes that would have not gone amiss on a clown. However his advice was invaluable. Following his directions, we ventured down some back alleys to arrive on a secluded coastal
area. By now, it was getting dark and fires were starting to be lit all across the beach. Around the biggest fire was a large group of musicians, playing a delightful blend of African, European and Indian music. The friendly ambiance and beautiful scenery was the ideal backdrop to the performance. Too bad all good things come to an end. Packing my bags on the last day was a bittersweet experience. It was amusing to look over all the things I’d managed to acquire; a sea shell, a bag that I had managed to barter down to a mere 3 Cayman Islands Dollars, kindle wood, the sand that finagled its way into every single crevice of my life. All of them told a story of the trip. A story I doubt, I’ll ever forget.
go outside photos by Olga Kruglova