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Creative Close-Up: Why I Love DC & Marvel….

Creative Close-Up: Why I Love DC & Marvel….

November 30 / 17

With the third installment of Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League, Marvel, and DC are busy whipping up superhero films left and right….well, Marvel is. DC is just catching up. You have people who love DC, like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and then there are those who love Marvel, such as Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman, and the Hulk. Me? I simply love both Marvel and DC. Yeah, I said it. Why? Well….

Both Have Created Complex Heroes

DC has their god-like superheroes with their fair share of problems. Let’s look at Superman. For at least the past several decades this Kryptonian has become the fixture your typical boy scout hero, with the power to destroy Earth, but he chooses to not to. Even though he’s forbidden to get involved with Earth’s affairs, he chooses to do the opposite. He wants to be the solution instead of the problem. While people embraced him, some have not. Even though he has his adoptive mother, Martha Kent and the love of his life, Lois Lane, he still feels alone. You have to remember this man is an alien from another planet, while just trying to do right in the world. Batman, Bruce Wayne, is just your average regular guy, well, a very wealthy guy I might add, who decides to fight crime in the city of Gotham. We all know how his parents died and who is responsible. I think he hasn’t fully healed from that tragedy in his life. It’s an open wound, almost a reminder of why he does the job anyway. Which reminds me of a scene from Justice League. How much longer can Bruce continue as the Dark Knight? He’s not like Superman or even Wonder Woman. Diana, Princess of Thymescra, knows the ways of the Amazons, but she also had to learn the world of men.

While DC has their complex heroes, Marvel has them also. Stephen Rodgers, the man behind Captain America is a man out of his time. He’s adjusting to a world different from the one he left behind. Like Superman, Rodgers is always up to the challenge to do the right thing. I always think that Rodgers is one of those guys who always have morals and sticks to them. That’s why people respect him. Bruce Banner, whose alter ego is the Hulk, is a man I have sympathy for. Banner, who was exposed to gamma rays during an experiment, becomes the Hulk in emotional distress or sometimes against his will. When you really think about it, the Hulk represents an almost dark psyche persona of Banner.

The thing is these heroes have their share of problems no matter how super or tough they are.

Both Have Crazy Cool Villains

With every protagonist, there is an antagonist. That is the staple of a great comic or graphic novel right? Both Marvel and DC have given us plenty of that. You got the Joker, Catwoman, Lex Luther, Thanos, Ultron, Loki….I can only say that these villains have reasons for what they do, but they are just as complex or more as the heroes.  You know their bad, but you want to root for them, well some of them. Lex Luther, that one foe of Superman…a man with a plan. He hates what Superman stands for yet, he’s intrigued by what makes the Man of Steel who he is. Joker, on the other hand, he’s just plain crazy. The polar opposite of Batman, both were created from tragic events. He’s unpredictable, almost one step ahead of the game and downright dangerous. You really don’t want to mess with him or his main squeeze Harley Quinn. Shes just as crazy as he his, a psychopath really, but she does have a heart, in her own crazy way.

Thor’s adoptive brother, Loki has issues…deep-seated issues, daddy issues. He craves love and attention. Magneto, a survivor of the horrors of Auschwitz and Nazi Germany, is willing to use force to protect mutant kind. Thanos, well he’s just dangerous and threatening. Sometimes you just can’t place a finger on to why these guys are just crazy cool. They just are. You do sympathize as to why they do the most despicable things. There is always a reason to the madness.

 

The Best of Both

To sum it up, the world of DC and Marvel have created a universe that will continue to new generations of fans. DC fans, Marvel fans, or both. I’ve followed both from a very early age. Wonder Woman has always been my favorite so to see her on the big screen was a great thrill. I’m expecting the same for Captain Marvel.

Marvel has up the ante with the whole Cinematic Universe. Now that Avengers: Infinity War trailer has arrived, the expectations are high! We waited a good long while for this didn’t we? The solo films of Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor, and Captain America gave us an introduction to the characters. I can’t wait to see Black Panther and let’s hope that Black Widow gets her own solo film. I don’t know how many more films Marvel has planned, but we’ll see how far they can go.

DC has a lot of catching up to do. I was very excited about Justice League. While I thorouly enjoyed the film, I was disappointed that some scenes were left out. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I wanted to know a little more about the Flash and Cyborg, but I can only hope that a director’s cut will be available when it hits digital and Blu-Ray. Again, DC has some catching up do to. The DC Extended Universe still has some bugs, but I’m positive that we can still see some great storyline and character developments coming soon.

In my opinion, there is no such thing as DC vs Marvel. Nope, there is room for all.

 

 

 

Image source: Euro Palace
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Creative Close-Up: Creative Writing

Creative Close-Up: Creative Writing

October 30 / 17

Hey everyone! Hope you guys enjoyed your weekend. I wanted to share with you a few videos about Creative Writing. That’s what this month’s Creative Close-Up is about. I’m sure some of you have always wanted to write, but are not quite sure how to go about it. I can only hope this can help you along your creative writing journey. Some of these videos are a few years old, but they’re still effective.

Enjoy your Monday, be creative, be blessed!

 

 

Image source: unknown

 

Creative Close-Up: There Is Good Music….You Just Have to Look For It

Creative Close-Up: There Is Good Music….You Just Have to Look For It

June 26 / 17

I’m sure most of you are guilty of asking this question, is there any good music out there? Any great music groups, singers, rappers, etc.? Is there any good music at all? I’m guilty of this myself.

Each decade, music has evolved. At times music was good and sometimes it can be bad. We’ve nodded our heads to singers and groups we agreed with and covered our ears in disdain to those we don’t agree with.  I’ve always been one of those people who gave each genre of music a chance. So, what I’m trying to say is that there is good music out there. All you have to do is look for it.

Looking to the Past

I used to have my old records from my youth, but I don’t have them anymore. I do wish I could’ve saved them though because vinyl has slowly made its way back. I grew up during the 80s and do I miss those days. That’s when music was really interesting. I can list many of the songs I grew up with. Let’s Dance by David Bowie, Rock the Casbah by the Clash, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Adam Ant, Duran Duran, New Edition….yeah I can name them and thank God for Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and other music streaming sites. Just to pull up music from the past makes it worthwhile. You start to discover music your parents grew up with. At first, you think it’s no good, but that changes when you start to listen, really listen. I’ve rediscovered Nina Simone and Doris Day. Peter Frampton’s Do You Feel Like We Do from Frampton Comes Alive album is one of my faves that I sometimes play over and over. Discovering songs from the past brings not only the music but the artist and songwriter who put it on the map. It brings back a fresh sound all over again.

New Blood

There are really great new artists out there that have made waves with great music. It’s like shifting through grains of sand. Your hearing all this noise of new music. There are some artists who have me hooked, like Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Disclosure, Rebecca Ferguson, the list goes on. You know that these and other artists will be here for a long time and are not going anywhere.

Yeah, even those that have pushed their talent into TV just to get discovered. If it wasn’t for American Idol, we wouldn’t know anything about Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, or Carrie Underwood. Let’s not forget The Voice. There are many opportunities for singers and musicians who want their talents known.

 

Lastly, Feuds Are Stupid…Focus On the Music

One other thing…I’ve been wanting to say this: don’t let these feuds, beefs, or rivalries or whatever get you distracted. Remy Ma vs Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry vs Taylor Swift, and so on and so on. These feuds are just plain stupid. Period. So high school. There is room for everybody. Everybody. These feuds start to look interesting, but as always, it falls flat. The music doesn’t seem interesting anymore and neither the artists. It’s a waste of time. These artists need to focus on the music and stop worrying what the other is doing. That’s my simple opinion.

So yes, there is good music out there. From the latest ad for a movie trailer, fashion show, the radio, even tv shows (thanks Halt and Catch Fire). The influence is everywhere. Like I said, you just have to find it or let it find you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

featured image: WallpaperSafari

 

Creative Close-Up: Reviving Your Creativity

Creative Close-Up: Reviving Your Creativity

May 30 / 17

There comes a time for every creative person…artist, writer, musician, or photographer, when our creative train makes an unexpected stop. For a writer, people call it writer’s block, an artist, I guess it’s artist’s block. Whatever it’s called, you reach a point where you’re just plain stuck.

This is where it’s time to do a creative revival. How do you do that? Well, there are many things you can do. I can tell you how I managed to revive mine.

Take a trip to a museum, a concert, art or music festival. This helps your brain to take in all the creativity that other people put out. You get inspired by how that artist created that piece of work, the story behind it, and why they created it. Musicians get inspired to write that great song. Going to a movie also revs up some creative juices. It takes a creative village to put a great film out there. A good trilogy always gives inspiration to some great ideas, right?

A weekend trip also clears and revives your head. Your brain needs a breather from all the day-to-day stuff that our brains deal with 24/7, all year long. Just to clear out the stress and anxiety. Not only that, but you’ll also feel more relaxed and more in tune with yourself.

Creative disruption is another good way to revive. I always find that rearranging your workspace or just cleaning your house is a good way to reevaluate your creativity. You may just find a short story you thought you threw away, the one you thought was a waste of time writing? Maybe it needs something different, something new. Or what about that sketch in between some books you found? Something good can come out that, right?

Like I said, there are many things you can do to get out of that artist or writer’s block. Trying new things like a class, workshop, even networking, the list goes on and on. Once that happens, then you’re ready to pick up where you left off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

featured image: WallDevil

Creative Close-Up: Helpful Articles In the Arts

Creative Close-Up: Helpful Articles In the Arts

Jan. 31. /17

Hello! Having a hard time with the wi-fi connection, but I’m pulling through it. You have seen past posts about the Arts Business Institute or ABI. Well for today’s Creative Close-Up, I’ve decided to put the some helpful articles. I hope they are beneficial to you. Here, take a look at these recent three……


cred: arts business institute

How to Deal With Difficult Customers

 

Artist & Maker Pricing Strategies 

 

What Sets Your Work Apart?

 

These are the recent articles that ABI has and if you want the latest post, just enter your email address.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

featured image: unknown

 

Creative Close-Up: Conclusion of Music Streaming

Creative Close-Up: Conclusion of Music Streaming

February 23 / 16

Morning! Did everybody enjoy their weekend? I did…in fact, mine was pretty long and it looks like it will come to an end (boo!). Well, it was good while it lasted.

You guys remember when I was talking about music streaming? Well, I’m putting a bit more cents into this. Now we know that all music streaming services have their pros and cons.

Here’s the load down about each….

Apple Music: 3 1/2 stars. The good thing about Apple Music is the sound. It’s clear and crisp, just as I like it. The price of paying $9.99 a month is not that bad. The only thing that bugs me is that my original iTunes Library has been messed with. When you upload your the cds you’ve bought and spent time to build your library up and then to have changed around is frustrating. Then there is iTunes Match which you would have to pay $24.99 per year is a bit much and to be honest, I really don’t want to do that…..yet.

Spotify 4 stars: Again, it’s all about the sound and Spotify has that. If you want to listen to your music without ads, it’s $9.99. The only thing that irks me is that when you listen to the Spotify app on your phone, don’t expect to listen to the whole album or the songs in order. Again, you would have to pay $9.99 for that.

Tidal 3 stars: Lots of talk about this service. Some like it, some hate it. Well I did give it a try with the free trial, but then I cancelled it. For Tidal Premium it’s $9.99. If I want the Hi Fi, lossless High Fidelity sound quality, the high-definition music videos….$19.99. Of course for if you want the value plan for Premium it’s $8.49, Hi Fi is $16.99…6 months pre-paid for both. For the Family Plan if it’s you and 4 people for Hi Fi, you going to start coughing up $59.95 a month…almost $60! Maybe it’s just me, but Tidal seems downright greedy. I’ll just pass on all of it.

Groove Music for Microsoft: Don’t know…..I haven’t tried Groove Music Pass. Not sure if I want to. The music I downloaded from my cds have been saved on my laptop and moved over to Groove Music, which means I can listen to them, but the sound quality can be better.

Like I said, there is always the positive and negative things about these and other music streaming services, but at the end of the day, we choose the one we think is best for us. I’ll just stick with Apple for the time being.

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo cred: onehdwallpaper.com

					

Creative Close-Up: Diversity in Hollywood, What Can Be Done?

Creative Close-Up: Diversity in Hollywood, What Can Be Done?

January 25 / 16

The award season has already arrived. Golden Globes, People’s Choice awards, etc, etc. We all saw the Academy Award nominees announced a few weeks ago. This has created a shake up. I’m on my Twitter account and the hastag: #OscarsSoWhite is right there in plain sight. Yep, the nominees are all white. No African, Hispanic, or any other minority represented on that list.

Jada Pinkett Smith is boycotting the Oscars, so is Spike Lee, but let’s be honest, will that solve the problem? No. For a long time, diversity in Hollywood has been an issue and it will continue to be an issue unless we as a whole do something about it. What I’m saying is stop complaining, stop moaning, and griping about it. If Jada, Spike and the rest of us don’t like it, then we need to do something about it. Of course it hasn’t been easy. Even though it’s 2015, minorities (not only African, but Hispanic, Asian, Native American…..) and women still have a way to go.

I’m in the middle of reading this report by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American at UCLA titled 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report: Flipping the Script. As it states in its executive summary, it examines relationships between diversity and the bottom line in the Hollywood entertainment industry. They have collected an interesting analysis from the top 200 film releases, broadcasts, cable, digital platform television programs during 2012 and 2013. Take a look at this:

Minorities: Although minorities posted a small to modest gains in several Hollywood employment arenas since the last report, they remain underrepresented on every front:

  • Greater than 2 to 1 among film leads
  • 2 to 1 among film directors
  • 3 to 1 among film writers
  • Nearly 6 to 1 among broadcast scripted leads
  • Nearly 2 to 1 among cable scripted leads
  • Greater than 2 to 1 among leads for both broadcast and cable reality and other shows
  • Nearly 2 to 1 among digital and syndicated platform leads
  • Greater than 6 to 1 among the creators of broadcast scripted shows
  • Greater than 3 to 1 among the creators of cable scripted shows
  • Greater than 7 to 1 among the creators of digital platform and syndicated shows

Disappointing to say the least. Women are also underrepresented as well, even though they a few small gains in Hollywood employment. It’s frustrating, but there it is. An article from Fortune, This Study Totally Nails Hollywood’s Diversity Problem by Erik Sherman has this to say:

But a new study suggests that if Hollywood wants to improve the representation of minorities and women on screen, they better tackle who is hired behind the camera— the writers, producers and directors.

It further reads that television writer Lyle Friedman, data journalist Ilia Blinderman, and co-founder of visual pop culture site, Polygraph, did a study of 4,000 films from 1995 to 2015 through the Bechdel Test. You can read the rest of the article here. Now the Academy is making some changes. Don Cheadle, who was at Sundance Film Festival showcasing Miles Ahead, his biopic film on Miles Davis said this: “I applaud [The Academy’s] attempt to do something about it, which is great, but again,” he said, “this is dealing with the symptom and not starting at the root cause, how we even get to results like this.” I totally agree on this. Yeah, it’s nice the Academy is making changes, but it’s still doesn’t solve the problem. What can be done? Well plenty can be done. As the Ralph J. Bunche 2015 Hollywood Report said, there is no magic bullet for Hollywood’s race and gender problem, nor is there a magic potion to erase racism. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, innovation from actors, directors, writers, all across the board. We as an audience have the power too. We’re the ones paying the too high movie tickets, watching the next great tv sitcom, drama, or comedy. Of course changes will take time, persistence, and patience.

As I’ve stated, instead of griping and complaining, we all need to take a look at the situation and do something about it.

 

Here is a skit from Saturday Night Live’s take on the issue…………

Read the Academy Takes Historic Action To Increase Diversity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo cred: superbwallpapers.com