R&D – Artefact 3 – Imagination

This task required me to make an artefact based on the idea of Imagination. Imagination is ‘The ability to form mental images of things that are not present to the senses or not considered to be real (Farlex 2003) For this artefact I decided to write a flash fiction on what I imagine my happy place to look like. I researched into the idea of what a happy place actually is.

SECONDARY RESEARCH

I found that Your Happy Place refers to a state of mind, a tranquil place you can visualize that calms you down and allows you to restore balance. It is a mental vacation spot. It allows you to go there as needed, to be alone, with spirit, or those you may see as here to help you through the rough times we all face. (Anon. 2006)

Imagination makes it possible to experience a whole world inside of our minds, it has the ability to manifest anything we want in our minds. In your imagination, you can travel anywhere in the speed of light, without any obstacles. It can make you feel free, though temporarily, and only in the mind, from tasks, difficulties and unpleasant circumstances.

Late professor of psychology Christopher Peterson wrote a book explaining that when we are acutely aware of the moments in our life that give us pleasure, we can extend these experiences to maximize the amount of pleasure we get from them. He describes happy places as easily accessible, neutral, and without penalty, always contributing to the meaning of our lives. These places outside of work and home are described by Ray Oldernburg as “third places.” (Heisz 2015)

It could be said that a happy place is an escape and a distraction from reality. The main reasons why people have these happy places is because they want to be somewhere else, the want to feel calm in a high tension situation. A happy place could be a physical place like a park or it could be an imaginary place that you visualize in your head.

I came across the website Poem Hunter which feature poems from members on the website. There were many poems about happy places however one stood out to me. ‘This is a happy place’ by Anne Joan can be found below

The Sun hits the water making it sparkle like gems
Blue sky above as the sun peaks through the sky
The gentle sounds of the waves washing up on the shore
This is a happy place

I feel calm and at ease
Feeling the warm gentle breeze
The open wings of seagulls gliding by
Kites soaring high in the sky
This is a happy place

People together with their families laughing, playing and having fun
Picnic on towels
Shovels in the sand
Digging, building, castles falling down
This is a happy place

Splashing, wading, jumping over waves
Boogie boarding, wake boarding, riding waves
Standing up, falling down
This is a happy place

Children smiling having a blast
Wanting these wonderful moments to last
Excitement and joy in everything they do
This is a happy place

As night time appears and the dark sky arrives people walk hand and hand shopping as they walk by
Riding rides, bright lights and music are things to be heard and seen
Funnel cake, french fries and cotton candy are just some of the yummy treats you can eat
This is a happy place

Sleepy eyes, tired feet the night is coming to an end
Jammies on and snuggled in bed, covered up with a book to be read
Ready for a good nights rest
Goodnight, sleep tight for when you wake up you’ll be all refreshed
For it is time to do it all again
This is a happy place

(Jones and PoemHunter 2011)
This poem is great in a sense that I can visualize everything that is written. I assume it is about Anne’s happy place and I thought that writing a poem was a good, creative way of getting across a happy place. This inspired me to write a flash fiction on my happy place.

 

PRIMARY RESEARCH

There are TONS of happy places and each person is different. For my primary research I decided to construct an experiment. I told each person to close their eyes and try to visualize their happy place. What I found doing this experiment was that many people did not have a happy place or that they have never thought of their happy place. I did this experiment to find out how each person is different and how their mind works. I also wanted to explore how age and gender affects this.

Your imagination can depend on your age and gender. Throughout my research I found that the older the person the more logical their happy places were. For example when I asked my mum and dad what their happy places were. My mum described having her own house and having a good well paid job. My dad’s response was that in his happy place he is a millionaire with businesses all around the world.

In terms of gender, when I asked some of my fellow classmates to describe their happy place I found that the males of the group were uncomfortable in doing this experiment. One described it as personal and another said he thinks about it but he doesn’t want to say it out loud. Before constructing this experiment, I did realize that It was personal however I wanted to get a deeper meaning into this artefact therefore I went ahead with it. I found that the females were not as uncomfortable as the guys in the group. While watching these people talk about a happy place I realized that all the people lowered their voice which signified they were vulnerable and uncomfortable.

Knowing all the people I asked, I could tell that their personalities shined through their happy places. For example, Ethan love the idea of being successful, so for him driving a Lamborghini and taking over the world represents success to him which is how he sees his happy place.

In addition to this experiment, I used ‘Survey Monkey’ to construct a questionnaire about happy places as I was curious to find out what people thought. I sent it out on social media and got a range of different answers. I have picked out a few that I thought were interesting, and would help me in my research of happy places

IN YOUR OWN WORDS WHAT DO YOU THINK A HAPPY PLACE IS?

  • A safe place. Safe for expression, ideas, and community. Creates positive feelings due to various things, including environment, people, and context.
  • Somewhere you feel ‘you’
  • A place where you can be yourself and have a good laugh without worrying about anything or stressing.
  • A place of personal peace
  • A place, idea, land etc. you visit in your head when you need an escape from reality.

DO YOU HAVE A HAPPY PLACE?

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-13-50-01-1

IF YES, IS YOUR HAPPY PLACE PHYSICAL OR IMAGINARY? 

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-13-57-17

IF NO, WHY DO YOU THINK YOU DO NOT HAVE/NEED A HAPPY PLACE?

  • I don’t know never thought about it
  • Never thought about having one

HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK IT IS TO HAVE A HAPPY PLACE?

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-14-03-19

HOW OFTEN DO YOU VISIT YOUR HAPPY PLACE?

  • I try to do it whenever I am stressed
  • Varies depending on circumstances
  • When I can’t sleep
  • Not as often as I perhaps should
  • Often, I think my happy place is both physical and imaginary. Sometimes it can vary, I’m most happy when I’m with my family but also with close friends who I am comfortable around. I think when I say happy, I mean that I am content and not having to worry about people judge me in that moment of time. But then with the imaginary side it’s incredible because you can just go to this place whenever you want to. Even though you know it’s not real, it’s actually real for you and I guess that’s all that really matters.

ARTEFACT 3

For this artefact I wanted to do something different. I wanted to challenge myself further. I found that I was having difficulties coming up with ideas for this particular artefact. I came across something that I wrote when I was in primary school. It was called my dream land, which was basically my happy place then. Since then my happy place has changed drastically which made me think of how your happy place depends on your age. I found that it also reflect the kind of person you are. When I found that piece of writing it inspired the idea of writing a flash fiction along with the poem. For this I took my own experiment, I closed my eyes and visualized my happy place. I wrote down what I saw and created a story from it.

MY FLASH FICTION

LINK TO FLASH FICTION HERE

A single ray of sunlight fell in the middle of the room. The warmth on my skin made me sigh. I get up, stretch and walk into the living room where I am welcomed by the smell of freshly baked cookies. I pick one up and pop it in my mouth, it’s still warm and soft. I kiss my mum on the cheek and walk outside.

There it was, the view that was always there but never got old. I inhale the fresh air and take in the scenery…I walk down the stairs onto the golden sand. It feels so soft in between my toes. I dig them deeper so my feet are buried in the sand. The sound of the waves and the birds chirping relaxes me. I hear the sound of music coming from the beach house. Ed Sheeran, my favourite artist is playing. As I walk toward the sea, the music begins to fade until I can’t hear it anymore. I’m a great distance from the beach house now, the wind blows against me gently. I open my arms outwards and take the fresh air into my lungs. This is something I’ve been doing since I was little. My mum always told me I used to just run outside, sit on the sand and watch the waves for hours. The colours have changed now since then. Everything then seemed grey, dull. Now everything was vibrant. The waves are a brilliant shade of blue and the sky is beautiful as the redness fades into countless shades of blue, purple, pink and orange. The calm wind blows and sends a shiver down my spine.

I’m quiet now, I dare not disturb such peace. Could anything be more perfect? I think to myself. The sky stretches out before me, the sun goes down. Its pitch dark now but the sky is studded with bright shining stars.

It’s getting colder now so I decide to go inside, where I am comforted by the warmth. The whole house is lit. The ambience of the house gives a cozy feel to it. I walk into my room and light a candle. I go to my bed, just as I’m about to get into bed, I hear people shouting outside, there is a knock on my door. It’s my mum “PACK YOUR STUFF! WE NEED TO LEAVE NOW!”

As it is a flash fiction I thought I would add a story element to my happy place which is why I added in the last part, I think this worked as for me it represents coming back to reality after you have experienced your happy place.

ARTEFACT REFLECTION

Overall I enjoyed making the artefact it gave me creative control to write whatever I wanted. This artefact was personal to me as it features pictures that I have taken and words that mean something to me. I think that combining the voiceover with pictures and the transparent text scrolling on the top made it look interesting. Creative writing is not one of my strong points however I enjoy doing it and wish to carry on writing as I thoroughly enjoyed writing about my happy place.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anon. (2006) Go to your happy place [online] available from <http://www.crystalinks.com/yourhappyplace.html&gt; [6 November 2016]

Farlex (2003) TheFreeDictionary.com

Heisz, D. K. (2015) Turns out ‘happy places’ are A real thing: Here’s how to find yours [online] available from <http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-21630/turns-out-happy-places-are-a-real-thing-heres-how-to-find-yours.html&gt; [6 November 2016]

Jones, A. and PoemHunter (2011) This is A happy place poem by Anne Jones [online] available from <http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/this-is-a-happy-place/&gt; [7 November 2016]

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