The Seven Elements of a Creative Personality (Lifehacker)

I’ve been reading an article on Lifehacker about the personality traits normally exhibited by creative people. These include hunger for originality, volatile personal relationships and “being a pain in the ass.”

In other news, bears have begun their protest at being typecast and have started shitting in car parks.

Here’s a few I’d like to add to the list: Continue reading

Be Prepared!: How To Prepare For Exams

Lets face it, I’m not an academic by any stretch of the imagination.

I’ve never gotten consistent grades in anything. The subjects I excelled in throughout High School were things you could argue I had a natural talent for (mainly music.) And despite now having an Honours degree, my University career was inconsistent at best, marred by personal and professional catastrophes which kept my mind off the prize.

No, I’m certainly not an academic. I find studying tedious. I’m an active kind of thinker. I need to be pottering away at something, tweaking and fixing and making, not memorizing. But as much as I hated studying, I’ve learned a few things over the last few years that are pretty useful, especially now in the run up to exam season (if you’re a Scottish High School kid, there’s a chance you’re prepping for Standard Grades/Highers/Advanced Highers and such. University folk are probably in the middle of their exam/assessment diet, so this is less useful to you.)

Pens and pencils at the ready? Lets begin… Continue reading

RE: Julie Bindel on “Fun Feminism” in the New Statesman

I read the New Statesman. There, I said it. I’ve outed myself as a dirty liberal. With that said, I don’t always agree with every sentiment presented in the paper, as is my prerogative, but more often than not I can find something of value in every article if I put my mind to it. Having said that, I’ve long since accepted that anything written by Laurie Penny should be taken as gospel, which I suppose says a lot about my personal politics (i.e. consider the words of anyone approved of by Warren Ellis as being nothing but sheer literary gold). But I found something recently that actually made my blood boil a little bit. Continue reading

RE: Con (pro) fessional

Tony Lee, a graphic novelist of some renown (who, I’ll admit, I’d never heard of till this evening), echoes something I’ve often said musicians should consider.

From his blog:

So I was having a conversation in a bar in San Diego with what I would call an A-list writer, and we were discussing conventions. He turned to me and said‘don’t you hate it when fans come up to you at a convention when you’re off duty and hassle you?’

I said no, I didn’t hate that. And I went on to say how if I was at a convention, I’d expect them to do that. The A lister looked at me like I was insane. And over the last week I’ve spoken to a couple of other creators, asking their opinions on this, and it seems that I’m in a minority of convention guests, in that I activelyencourage fans to come sit with me, drink with me, chat to me.

It seems alien to me not to do so.

Unless it’s entirely impossible to do so – which, in a world of last trains and buses and early rises for work, happens – I’ve always made a big effort to make sure I can stick around and talk to people from the audience after a show. Like Tony and his convention uniform, I go to my shows wearing a suit, mostly cause I think it makes me look like a dapper gentleman and all that, and because it instantly marks me out as being that guy who was up on stage before (as if the rubbish haircut and guitar didn’t make this obvious beforehand).

But I’ve worked with tons of musicians who come off stage, get their gear together and bugger off after every show, never staying to socialise or meet their fans or even to chill out with their bandmates. That’s just ridiculous. Sometimes they just end up buggering off to some other pub for the evening, which is extra ridiculous. I mean, I know people have lives and jobs and families to get home to, I get that, but at least occasionally make an effort to engage with your audience, yeah?

Having said that, I’ve also seen a ton of artists and musicians go the extra mile when it comes to interacting with their fans. Frank Turner, from day one, always made sure to stick around after his shows to meet his fans, even crashing on their couches in the early years. I’m also reminded of the first time I saw the BMX Bandits at the Captains Rest in Glasgow, where members of the band handed out home made baked goods to the audience between acts.

I’m not saying you need to make big huge gestures guys, far from it, but people respect you when you make an effort.

So try it some time.

THQ, Random House Team Up For ‘Transmedia’ Games (Via Wired)

So I just saw this article on Wired about THQ’s new partnership with Random House:

Videogame publisher THQ will work with book publisher Random House to create original intellectual properties, the companies said Monday.

Both publishers hope to create universes that can be expanded through transmedia storytelling, using multiple platforms to explore the same world and characters. They say they will first develop new IPs as “a collection of games and books,” then expand into other forms of media.

So, let me get this straight. THQ and Random House are teaming up to do something that Ubisoft has been doing in-house since they started the Assassin’s Creed series? Wow, walk about late to the game…

I’m wicked and I’m lazy

I’m not one of these kids who feels the need to reinvent themselves at New Years. Far from it. If anything, I make a pledge at Hogmanay to do my very best to stay the exact same, year in, year out. Call me what you will, but at least I’m consistent.

However, I’m now 21, and I’m starting to dislike a few things about my lifestyle. Continue reading

To Academia, but not about her…

We’ve just had the least festive christmas season I can remember.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m grateful for having had some time to kick back and hang out with the family. But with the weather having essentially brought most of the country to a standstill for a few weeks, Christmas just became another thing on the to-do list this year.

Kinda like my dissertation. Continue reading