Open practice with #ds106 daily create: conclusion

In the last post, I exhibited some of the work I’ve produced this week in connection with the Daily Create challenge. It is now time to reflect on this experience of open practise.

How was your activity an open practice in your view?

I shared my daily create artifacts under a creative commons attribution license (CC BY), with the intention of empowering anybody to pick up my piece and make something new and creative out of it. Perhaps nobody ever will, but I want to leave all doors open for this to happen.

Reading through Alan Levine’s entries, it occurred to me that I could have been more open about the process leading up to the artifacts I shared, both in terms of technology and inspiration.

Did you run into any problems or barriers?

I did not feel confident enough to contribute to the video and gif assignments suggested this week. When I opened the daily create page, there were already a couple of gif submissions and I just felt overwhelmed by my incompetence. It froze any idea of things I could do at my own level.

I haven’t overcome this barrier so far: all I did was avoid the obstacle…and I’m not particularly proud of it.

Was this process beneficial to you in some way?

While I wasn’t able to respond to each prompt, the daily create assignments introduced a routine of thinking about ways I could express myself creatively. My preferred medium has always been words and I tend to refrain from venturing publicly into unfamiliar territories such as photography because of how harshly I judge my own output.

Daily Create had a liberating effect on me because the act of creation is repeated every day so failing once doesn’t bite away at your enthusiasm for the next day’s creative assignment. You can check out what others have made, maybe find out how they did it, fiddle with GIMP as time allows. In the worst case, you’ll have spent 20 minutes of your day struggling with a software you can’t bend to your will. You get up the next day, ready to take on a new challenge, knowing you have people around to support you.

Two things happened from there:

  1. I made my first (very imperfect) animated gif
  2. I joined the headless ds106 course starting tomorrow

So, I say ‘yay’:

What did you learn through this process about openness, or about anything else?

On the technical side of things, I tried out GIMP which was a bit frustrating at first, tough well worth the effort. I can’t say that I master all the nuts and bolts of the software but I’ve got the basics down at least.

I also played around with the back-end (CSS) of my Tumblr theme to add the Disqus comments widget, which I am glad to report was a successful operation.

Comment thread on Tumblr. 25th August 2013.

Comment thread on Tumblr. 25th August 2013.

More importantly, I learnt that no matter how lousy you think you are at photography/animation/telling jokes/*insert activity*, that’s no excuse to limit your self-expression to media you’re comfortable with.

Practice makes perfect.

Practice + sharing + community feedback + more practice = still imperfect but a lot better.


Week 3: practising openly with #ds106 daily create

This week in ‘Why Open?’, we’ve been focusing on open practise: less talking, more doing. After doing, back to writing then…

Our group plans on making an interactive youtube video, which is admittedly quite an ambitious project given our time scope. We’re far from reaching completion but Christina was hinting at turning this into our final project for the course. I’d rather postpone my post on the group activity to a later stage as I feel it would be premature to publish anything now.

Instead, I’m going to look back at my recent involvement with the Daily Create assignments which are part of the larger DS106 activities.

Daily create

Aside from the group work, I was drawn to the Daily Create challenge which appeared as an open activity suggestion on the course page.

Daily create consists in responding to daily prompts encouraging participants to experiment with digital modes of expression such as photos, videos, animated gifs, drawings, audio recordings, and written pieces. Contributions are uploaded on various online platforms and tagged ‘dailycreate’ and ‘tdcxxx’ so as to syndicate them on the site. Participants can thus easily comment on each others’ creations.

This week’s creative harvest

I took pictures…

My first assignment was to take a photo of an object representing a colour I love. I chose turquoise:

The walls of my room are all white, except for one which I painted turquoise. It is an energetic splash of colour that illuminates the space. Posing for me was my dear friend Felix, who happened to be around and got a hug for his patience.

Click here to see what others were inspired to share on the same topic.

The next challenge I took up was a little bit more abstract : create a pass or certificate that allows you to not complete this Daily Create.

I opened my sketch book and used felt pens to make an old-fashioned hand-written note. In Preview, I edited the colors to add a sepia effect:

It wasn’t easy to decide what to make of this prompt because there’s obviously an element of absurd embedded in the assignment.

See other examples on this theme here.

My latest photo contribution was a response to the following prompt: Power corrupts, take a picture of something powerful. My train of thought directed me to photograph this:

What do I find powerful about this particular hot sauce? First of all, the taste! It’s a genuine chilli paste which has the power to make me eat up any dish once this is spread on top. It’s that good. Heck, there’s a bunch of red chillies drawn on the tube and it’s no lie!!!

My secret weapon is also multilingual. How many languages can you identify on the picture? (There’s a list of ingredients at the back, with some weird spelling errors in Spanish. The translator in me cringed).

I didn’t quite manage to incorporate the “power corrupts” idea in this shot. See completely different contributions here.

I scribbled once…

As part of Daily Create, I also wrote an advertisement for the headless ds106 course to entice new participants.

The day was foretold long, long ago, in the age of typewriters and cassette recorders. Yes, before the advent of the great html, some had announced the beheading of Digital Storytelling 106, or #ds106 as it soon came to be known. What they hadn’t counted on was its return…

Headless, supercharged with creativity, an army of digital storytellers is about to swarm your timeline. Will you be among them, reclaiming byte after byte of the narrative?

Stack up on inspiration and join this amazing quest spanning across the Internet realm. Make connections beyond the land of your ancestors. Conquer your fears and tell your stories. #ds106 won’t be the same without you.

My ad was so convincing, it even convinced me to sign up for the course!

Looking back

It’s getting late so I’ll keep the following questions for tomorrow :

  • How was your activity an open practice in your view?
  • Did you run into any problems or barriers? If so, please explain what they were and how you tried to address them (if possible). Were these issues related to openness in some way?
  • Was this process beneficial to you in some way? What benefits can you imagine open practices might bring?
  • What did you learn through this process about openness, or about anything else? What did you learn from your peers in your group?

(Stay tuned for more, as they say…)