All that glitters is gold, but as the alchemist proves in Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain, gold can come from your shit.
As I continue to wade through lots of shit work, I find that adding all this up can eventually turn your ideas into gold. The best way to that great idea may in fact have to come through processing all the bad ones first. While preparing for Brandcenter I read a lot of articles and talked to many people about the place and there were two people that countlessly popped up as legends not only in the school but world (Mark Fenske and Don Just).
I have been particularly interested in meeting Mark Fenske and participating in his classes because he teaches the Creative Thinking course all students take here, and that's what I like about the industry. There were cautions about how stern he is in grading and the obscure nature of his courses but that's exactly what I am/was looking forward to. After just two classes and working my way through the second assignment I am astounded by his ability to speak and express ideas. In class I feel like he shits gold, while I am still playing alchemist. Enough scatological humor, but taking classes from teachers like him bring back an energy to produce great work. Something that might have been muddled over a few years of constrained client briefs.
I felt it particularly intriguing to see/read about student's work in other BC blogs of the past, so here I wish provide a couple sample writings of assignments that I wrote: (these may or may not be the aforementioned scat-they're rough drafts)
Assignment-Write an article about yourself in 2050. Any format, but should fit on one piece of paper. I tend to take a little creative liberty with the strictness of the ask, I think it's encouraged in this class.
1. Northern Siberia August 12th, 1950.
Twenty-five years after the blast and subsequent fallout, we've been on the run ever since. Impossible to say who struck first but the sun has never returned. We would have been lost if it wasn't for the fearless leadership. Days and months become irrelevant as the constant struggle for survival keeps life precious and each minute a golden drop of nectar delivered from the gods. It's been a few months since we have run into the horde but our hope is they've starved off. This change has brought back a basic animalistic instinct into our lives, a constant need for change. No more time for trivial objects or blanketed statements, the false prophets of the past contributed to the destruction but it is we who have endured. We only have time for the bold, the now, the ever changing and the present. Our gift will be to transcend the future generations an abrupt switch to post-consumerism. We cannot worship false idols and that is why we should never know who it was who saved the world. How close it was to it all being ended, if only they had known... it was me.
A flash, thud and excrement. I awaken cloudy-eyed and dizzied as I catch my breath. Light-headed I pick myself up from what appears to be my bed. Coming to, I am in an unfamiliar place wearing unfamiliar clothes. I walk over to pickup my Turbo, a virtual reality wearable that uploads information directly into your brain. Then there it is, August 13th, 2050-Colin O'Shea Creative Executive dies unexpectedly while walking on the beach. What?! I re-upload the information, verified correct. It continues, Colin age 60 was profound in the movement shifting cultural thought from unadulterated consumerism to community action, he will be missed. In shock I run to a mirror, I am struck by a much younger unfamiliar face. Carefully touching this strange new countenance, I try to think to remember my past. All I can muster are distant fleeting memories dissipating like fog in the morning sun. I can touch them but no more, a tease into a dream world. What has become of me? I run to flush water over my face, with no change-it's all gone... I feel as far from myself as ever, awakened with a recollection of a past self but no real grasp as to who that was. Has it all been a dream? Stranded in the nothingness there's a jolt a sound emerges and whispers "create." I look around, no one to be seen, "create," I respond franticly "who was that?" But I knew deep down in my heart there would be no answer. I collected myself and breathed, there was only one way and I continued on.
These essays were storylines or scenarios that popped in my mind and stuck for more than the mere minute or two, so I decided to write them down. They also came after the first 15 or so ideas that I had first written down. Do they answer the prompt? Maybe? Not sure, but it helps to flush these out and find ways to get to the gold. It's a small taste of one of my conceptual classes that I have very little experience with but nonetheless can hopefully offer up prospective students a glimpse of what some classes are like here.