Back in Toronto I was constantly exposed to all sources of creativity. The food, the fashion, the architecture, the interior designs, and the people that made these things happen. Since I came back to Ottawa, I have been in this creative rut. I still want to put out content of course. But not just content, I want good content. Things that I can actually be satisfied and happy with myself. Not just some rubbish to temporarily fill up this lackluster gap.
So there I was, trying to get my creative juice going again, when I found the pictures I took at the OCAD graduate exhibition back in April. This annual event showcases the final thesis projects of both undergrad and grad students from a wide array of programs the school offers. Looking through some of my favourites from this year made me realize just how innovative people can be. These are the people I had surrounded myself with in Toronto. These are the people who had inspired me and motivated me to do more and do better. I guess that’s why I’m writing this today, to give myself that extra push and to instill some creativity back in myself.
I will take you through my a few of my favourite installations by the order I visited them.
Before & Still
The artist (Peter was his name if I recall correctly) collected ten decades of Toronto’s history and stored them in these custom-made wooden crates. The spot where the Hard Rock Cafe sits in Dundas Square today could be compared with how it looked back in the 1940s. It was astonishing to sort of visually rewind back in history and see how much the city has changed. Peter also brought up an interesting point when he showed us the TTC maps in the 1920s and 30s and noted that though the 1930s saw more development in many aspects, the map of the metro system was a jumbled up mess compared to the previous decade.
(I can’t remember the name of this piece. Sorry.)
It certainly is something we should all keep in mind. After living in Toronto for a few years, I have found that people are more accepting in this city, especially in terms of race and physical appearance in general. Ottawa consists mostly a Caucasian population whereas Toronto is much more diverse when it comes to race and ethnicity.
Like Pixel, Like Paper
Alison’s project must have been an enormous amount of work. She had transcribed multiple books into several creative form: a portal, a traditional sized book, and a scroll. She even presented a video of her working process which shows how she transformed an idea into … well, into something big and solid. And that’s cool. I mean, the girl even marble painted the book covers! This kind of hard work and creativity inspires me. (You can find out more about the project, and about Alison here),
Offline Survival Kit
Oh how I loved this piece. Poking fun at today’s millennial reality, Matthew Flute hits all the right spots with this project. The kit includes 5 “wearable emotions”, which made me chuckle and think back to all the times I relied on emoticons to fill up those yeah-i-saw-your-message-but-i-don’t-know-how-to-respond moments. And the “approval stickers” reminded me of thumbs up buttons on Facebook/Instagram/Youtube etc. Can you imagine a world where we stick paper adhesives on people when they make a contribution to our personal entertainment/level of happiness?
The first thing that caught my eye with Alexia‘s installation was obvious the colors, they are so vibrant and in your face, I love it. She (literally?) highlights the amount of crap and preservatives that go into our food with a witty and satirical touch. From the rosy-pink pineapple to cyan cup noodles, there were a lot to see in one installation. My favourite piece though, was the flavour essence bottles, made with spray-painted, larger-sized cylindrical batteries. Aside from the ‘fried rice flavour’ I was holding here (let’s ignore my chipped nails, shall we?), there was also ‘mushroom soup’, ‘california rolls’, and a few others. The futuristic/dystopian-esque vibe from the packaging and coloring of the food is 10/10.
One Touch Ultra
It’s safe to say that this piece speaks for all of us. This phrase is in the back of all our heads, pushing us to go forward, to continue on, to pursue … something. I believe there are three types of people in the world: the ones working hard to change their lives for the better, the ones that have given up, and the ones that never tried and accepted failure from the get go. How we choose to live our lives is 100% completely within our control, especially those of us fortunate enough to have the opportunities to learn and explore at our free will. Nadia’s installation is a powerful reminder to all of us.
This was so up my alley. It reminded me of the blogs DIY Pinterest posts direct me to. It’s just got that look you know what I mean? Besides the utilization of vibrant colors on the posters, to catch people’s attention she also included a video of the making of her copy of the journal, which started with “draw it”, “cut it”, then “glue it”, and lastly … “WACK IT!” Similar to the Wreck This Journal concept, I like that the artist encourages the free expression of art.
This last one wan’t part of the exhibition, but a sticker I found on the wall while we were doing a photo shoot. The school is truly filled with creativity and inspirations. Thought it was cute, snapped a shot, and here we are. Enjoy.