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  • Antonia Underwood

Curate to Create - The Underscore

Updated: Mar 23, 2021

Empty pages hold a lot of promise but can instill a lot of fear. 'How can I ever turn this into something good enough?' might be overheard should you be able to sit amongst my thoughts at the start of any new project. Granted there will be times I will spend too long wallowing in my self-doubt, and so the empty pages remain. Days might pass where I am quite content with acknowledging there's no creativity today. There comes a point though, where intent and frustration meet. I want to make something - anything, I just don't know what - perhaps I've forgotten how. Ideas can take some time to ignite. Who knows, maybe there are people out there who are given the gift of endless creativity. For most, however, at one time or another, creativity will feel like it has dried up. So try as you might, nothing will come out. In order to jump-start my creativity, one area I always return to reminding myself what inspires me to create art. Curate to Create will be a collection of activities designed to reconnect you with your favourite artwork, and encourage you to seek out new artists too. Activity One - The Underscore An audio-visual exercise You will need a piece of paper, a pen, access to music (such as streaming services, a physical music collection or a website like Youtube).

A small group of people are sat on red cinema chairs smiling. They are all facing in the same direction enjoying the film, however the screen is out of the image. Several members of the audience are pictured dipping their hand into popcorn. A bright light shines from above the chairs.

1. Think of a film you not only love but can easily recall. A go-to film in your collection,

something you may have watched quite a few times. If it helps, write the title of the film down. 2. In your mind start at the beginning of the film and consider important events that happen over the course of the story. Write down as many you can think of then select the five that sum up the most crucial parts of that film to you. By the side of the five plot points, write a few words or a sentence to describe why that moment is important within the film.

A pair of white and grey over-ear headphones are flat against a light green background. A twisting wire connects to the base of the headphones and trails across the backdrop.

3. Next up, access whatever music source you are using. This could be music streaming services, Youtube, your phone, your vinyl collection. Now that your five plot points have been selected, they will be used to shape the rest of the activity.

4. For each of your five plot points, your task is to find a song you like that you already know that captures that moment. This could be something to express the feel of it, a song that directly references the same situation or words/sounds that you relate to it. Interpret this how you will, the only rule is to avoid using a song that already exists in the film. (If you want an extra challenge, use four songs you know and then try and discover a new song that fits what you're looking for).

5. As you collect your five songs, write them down or make a playlist placing them in order of where your plotlines appear in the film. Listen through from beginning to end and remind yourself which plotline it represents and why you picked it. Then ask yourself the following questions:

-What are the similarities and differences that exist across the different songs you picked? (e.g different styles of music, a range of instruments, a progression in tempo and volume). -Is there a song out of the five that most resembles the type of work you want to create? (this can be thematically, emotionally, stylistically, narratively, etc).


Maybe this activity won't immediately fill you with an influx of ideas, but hopefully, it will give you chance to think about some art that you love. Why not try and listen to all five in a row next time you're creating, or if you're working on a project, make your own five-point playlist of how you what that project to feel.


The Underscore is the first activity in the Curate to Create series. Additional activities will be shared in upcoming blog posts.

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