Posts Tagged: creativity

Get Your Creative On with Nokia: Photos, Creative Adventures, and Imaging Apps!

The Boy with the Most Cake: Jay Montano and 4 Nokia Lumia 1020s

Photo of Jay Montano and 4 Nokia Lumia 1020’s taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 808 PureView at Nokia House, Espoo, Finland.

This is the summer of great creative contests going on in Nokia-land: from photo, to creative connecting, to developing imaging apps.
1. Let’s start with Nokia US’s #Discover Lumia Photo Contest that has a new theme every two weeks, you, as in a US resident, submit a photo that you have taken that is within the theme parameters, photos get voted on, and then the winner of each theme wins a Nokia Lumia phone! There will be / is 9 themes over the course of the summer and lots of great themes to take photos of – get your camera phones out and start taking photos!
2. Nokia Connects has just started a global creativity and connecting project called Nokia Connects MVC, wherein you submit your creative adventure idea or something you have done with your Nokia Lumia mobile or how you have connected folks to a Lumia, and each month Nokia Connects will pick a new MVC and help you build on your ideas / adventures / connections.
3. Do you have a great idea for a camera / video / imaging app for the Nokia Lumia 1020 and want to see it in the Windows Phone App Store? Then submit your idea to the Nokia Future /Capture Contest before Wed. July 31, 2013. That is two days from now. Get to submitting, even if you are not a mobile developer, if you are chosen they will pair you with a developer and fly you to Lund, Sweden for the Nokia Future/Capture hackathon.
Click on the links for each contest / event and participate in at least one, let this be the summer to let your best creative mobile self out!
The disclosure bit: I am a judge in the first two contests, #Discover Lumia and the Nokia Connects MVC; and I will be submitting one of my image app ideas* to the Nokia Future / Capture Contest.
* This phrase should make my closest friends laugh/giggle, as they know that my computer is a rabbit warren of overly breeding mobile apps in various stages of completion from ideation to testing the last bits.

On Finding Your Medium

“People who work creatively usually have something in common: they love the media they work with. Finding the medium that excites your imagination, that you love to play with and work in, is an important step to freeing your creative energies.” – Sir Ken Robinson, The Element

My biggest surge creativity of the last 10 years was getting a camera phone and pushing the envelope of my long time photography practice with a 1 megapixel wonder. The past six plus years of having various camera phones with me everywhere I go has not just excited my imagination but freed me up to take photos of things or at angles or in lighting that I would not have with my SLR or DSLR cameras.
This summer after many years of coding web sites / apps and a few years of python mobile app attempts, I have fallen for Qt Quick / QML not just to create mobile apps that have been living in my head but as a new way to approach to javascript that has made programming in javascript fun again. The last few weeks have been very exciting because now I can program the camera and resultant photos on my phone. It is been compelling to take my hard won programming knowledge mash it up with my love for designing to create native mobile apps that I can use right then and there on my mobile.
What medium are you creating in right now that is exciting your imagination?

Open Creative

One of the things that I most admire about photography and the internet is that anyone can get involved with both.
Within 15 years of the invention of photography, cameras, darkrooms and nascent photographers had bloomed everywhere even in small towns in the 1850s. One of the very first places that a woman could own her own business legitimately in the Victorian era was a photography studio, and women did. For the last 150+ years, photography has grown beyond a specialty into a life, creative outlet, as well as snapshot hobby for billions of people worldwide.
The internet has been much the same in the last 18 years, the barrier to creative entry has been relatively low: access to a machine that can access the internet. Many millions -> billions have taught themselves the rudimentary coding skills necessary to maintain a website or blog online and are expressing themselves thereof.
One of the things that I have loved most about Nokia as a company and as a mobile culture is that they have brought mobile camera phones to millions -> billions worldwide, and regardless of my own personal feelings of the recent (mis)alliance between Steve + Stephen, Nokia has pioneered the mobile camera phone space and will most likely be on the forefront for a least a couple more years.
Beyond the great hardware that Nokia has created for camera phones in the last six years, I have been very excited about the development of Qt and the open source development platforms that Nokia has been rolling out since 2008. My greatest hope is that they will continue pursuing this space and my greatest fear, due to Mr. Ballmer’s hate on for all things open, is that they will not.
As humans we are at our best when we are creative and when we share with love. We teach our toddlers and kindergartners to share. Creativity is best served openly, with the transmission of knowledge, mentoring, passion, and the art product freely without restrictions.
If you want to give your art and knowledge away, good. If you want to charge for it, good. If you want to share your source code so others can learn how to code as well, even better. If you want to copyright your material, good. If you want to copyleft it, good. Just create and encourage those around you to do so, be it art, music, photography, code, software, cooking, sewing, knitting, hair coloring, web site creation, writing, blogging, bulding, making, creating, etc. etc. etc.
Regardless, create and share creation.
To that end, my goal for the next six months is to finish my Qt mobile app for photographers, to blog here more often, to photowalk more often, and to get involved in an open source community where I can share my passion and learn from others.
And if at all possible, with all the other travel planned for this spring, I will try to get to EuroPython as I do love the Python community and after all that has gone on the last few bits, I think it is time I participate more fully in the community around my favorite programming language.
What about you?

Farewell to NaBloPoMo for Another Year, Unless you are Doing December…

November has been both a good month and a bit of a struggle. The struggle has been family/holiday/death related, as blogged about here, and the Good has been friend/family/art/music/mobile/travel/wedding/baby related.
The three bits about November that were really delightful are as follows:
1) The weather *finally* took a turn for the better. Better in my book is colder. I am happiest when the days are 55-65 F (10-17C) and when the nights are 35-50 F (3-13C). For a lady who loves a good bout of chilly weather, I am not sure why I live in Southern California. The weather here in SoCal will be happy for me through December and then will unfortunately warm up in January. Gah.
I am still interested in working in London if anyone has an opening.
2) Milestones: Lauren and Dave’s wedding weekend in Seattle was lovely. I am very glad to see them married. It was also delightful to see Cindy & Matt that weekend as they were fresh of the married dept themselves. And even more delightful is that Seattle’s weather was in the 40s F all weekend!
3) November has been a very creative month for me, both in terms of professional web dev/coding bits and in my creative art life of mobile photography, writing, and drawing, as well as day dreaming.
It was also inspirational, funny, and heartening to read/watch my various friends and friends of friends daily blog posts or vlog posts for NaBloPoMo or the other variations on the daily creativity theme thereof.
So all of you who participated in NaBloPoMo or NaNoWriMo or NaVloPoMo officially or unofficially, Bravo! Good job and keep up the good creative work!

Nokia N900 : The Artist Phone

Drawing using the Nokia N900's Sketch App Nokia N900 photo using Macro/Close-up mode with no Flash in low light
Drawing and Photo by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N900.

Fri. 11.27.09 – Different folks will approach the same mobile device from a variety of perspectives, and I am here to tell you as a Professional Art Weirdo, the Nokia N900 exceeds my hopes as an Art Phone.
Yes. People. OMG. Creativity. Not. Consumption. This. Phone. Rocks.
I have spent all evening drawing, taking photos and trying out the browser. Tomorrow, I will get on X-Term and download Maemo Python and try some programming out.
The Nokia N900 has a native phone app called “Sketch”, and while other mobiles I have used have had a sketch program, this is the first time that I have found the app to be usable as an actual sketching device. The feel of the N900 in my hand plus the screen ratio, on top of the line control in the sketch app, makes me feel like I am using a wee moleskine notebook. While the N900 is about a centimeter smaller in width & height as my moleskine, it does not need to be opened, instead I can use the stylus to draw with the device comfortably in my hand.
Comfortably after 20 minutes of sketching Scruffy’s paw while he slept. The N900 did not feel weighty or get uncomfortable. I was able to switch between drawing with a fine line and then erasing to get the white space back. A true delight for an artist with small hands.
Then I used the camera on the N900 to take a close-up/macro photo with no flash of Scruffy’s paw and the camera accurately captured the paw in the low light.
This is the mobile phone that I and other creatives dreamed of when I was doing my interviews in 2005 & 2006 for my master’s thesis, ‘Moleskine to Mobile: How Creative Professions Are Using Their Mobile Phones’, has now arrived in one kick ass device. Multi-faceted creativity has returned to the N-Series.
Related N900 Posts:
Nokia N900 : The Artist Phone
Nokia N900 : The Gold Standard Test
Nokia N900 – Views from the Pundit Analysts, Maemo & Python
The Nokia Flagship Face Off : Nokia N900 vs. Nokia N97 : Part I, Night Video

NaBloPoMo 2009, Or November is The Month

NaBloPoMo is back!
November is the original and annual National Blog Posting Month and if you have been making excuses to yourself all year that you would like to get back in the swing of blog posting – here it is starting tomorrow only for 30 days – a good challenge.
For the last two years I have been on the 365 Blog Challenge to post every day, of which most of my posts end up being mobile photo blogged (mo-pho-blo), and on the months that I participate in NaBloPoMo I also attempt to post a text blog post every day.
Tomorrow I am going to start on the November NaBloPoMo and post a text/writing blog post every day for the month. Join me and all the others who are participating in NaBloPoMo and it doesn’t matter if you post text every day or a photo or a video or a combo of your choice, it is good fun!
Thanks to Mrs. Kennedy for thinking NaBloPoMo up and organizing it.

Malcolm Gladwell on Late-Bloomers & Electrolicious on the Stock Market Troubles

Rather than torture you all with more photos of small white dogs* this evening, I am going to direct you to several great articles:
1) The ever fabulous and bright, Malcolm Gladwell has alerted his blog readers of his new New Yorker article, “Late Bloomers: Why do we equate genius with precocity?“.
This is one of the best articles I have read in a while, as Malcolm digs deep into a phenomenon that I have noticed for years: it is not the precocious or prodigies that you want to watch in life, but it is the late-bloomers who are most interesting. Malcolm weaves research into creativity and age v. output with historical references and current anecdotes into the lives of contemporary writers.
Excellent. A must read.
2) The ever fabulous Ariel Stallings Meadows, aka Electrolicious, has the best summary of the Black Mondays & Fridays of the recent Stock Market crash that I have read to date. Her analogy may shock the squeamish amongst us, but it is words to take to heart and live by. Listen to Ariel, Just don’t look down there. Really, don’t look at your stock portfolio until after the new year.
Just don’t look.
div class=”note”* Just so y’all know, I already have it worked out with Erika that if I die suddenly by accident that she will post photos of Scruffy & Belle for 365 days after my death. I am compiling a stock of photos for her. So, y’all should darned hope I don’t die suddenly, as after a year you will be darned glad I am gone. So here’s to the hope that I have the longevity of all my other elderly family members who are currently in their 80s & 90s and doing things like golfing a few times a week (great Aunt Babe, aged 94) or flying to Uruguay for his holiday (what my 86 year old grandpa did on Sunday), etc. Just sayin’.