Saturday, 4 October 2008

Creativity on the web

One of the great things about the web are all the interactive websites - many of these were around long before pundits started talking about Web 2.0 and user-generated content. Here are just a few that I've come across:

Drawball is like a huge collaborative graffiti project on the web – it consists of a circular canvas that anyone can apply to draw on (you are allocated a tiny area that you zoom in on). The most fascinating aspect of Drawball is to view the history and watch as artworks are created, edited or covered by further artworks – sometimes it plays out like a huge colourful battle on the screen.

The Visual Dictionary is an attempt to represent words with photos from the real world e.g. by using shop signs , street signs, graffiti, tattoos etc. Given how many words there are in the English language currently it’s not very representative but there’s still an impressive number of words (view the A-Z as a cloud rather than as thumbnail images).

ArtPad is a very simple online drawing canvas – even less sophisticated that Paint. However, the results in the gallery range from the childlike to the highly sophisticated, which demonstrates that art is about the artist not the tools.

The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. has a number of Shockwave art creation tools in its Kids Art Zone. These include the Collage Machine which enables you choose from a range of coloured shapes – reminiscent of Matisse’s torn paper – and arrange them into an artwork.

Mr Picasso Head lets you create Picasso style faces and even sign your name in Picasso’s handwriting.

StyleShake is an online tool for designing your own fashion. Choose the fabric and the style and then buy it!

Seven Stories is the centre for children’s books in Newcastle, their website has a lovely feature that enables you to write and illustrate (in a very basic way) your own story.

My all time favourite site for kids is Make a Mr Men (surely that should be Make a Mr Man?)

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