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My creative project is based on the Ugly Duckling story titled ‘A Boxed Tale’. The basis of the story is a duck’s journey of discrimination to an ending of beauty and belonging. I connected with this story because I felt that in everyone’s life journey they would have struggle with some form of discrimination before emerging out strongly as an individual.

Reflecting back after completing the box, I realised this project fits into the analogical thinking theory. This theory according to Davis in Creativity is forever is “analogically (or metaphorically), taking ideas (or words), from one context apply them to a new concept, producing a new idea transformation”. (Davis, 2004, p. 146)

My intention was to build 3 boxes symbolising the journey with photos of my pregnancy to the development of my baby. I wanted the boxes to be functional also as I do not need to accumulate more JUNK so I thought it would be useful as a keepsake – a concept already developed.  This could still be interpreted by many as dust collector but I’d like to think that form and function serves the purpose of this Ugly Duckling tale!

It started out with some traditional brainstorming of understanding various themes and concepts and coming up with a moral to the story.

Which then lead to experimenting with textures as a form of further grasping an understanding of the story.

Next, was putting pen to paper and drawing different concepts of the box and thinking about what materials to use to make this contraption. I decided to title my boxes “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

I went against making lids that go over the box and doors and decided on simplicity – the less is more option by keeping all surfaces flat but still having a lid that sits flush with the surface so the boxes could stack on top of each other like a pyramid and not take up so much space in the house. I also decided to use felt on the bases to protect the boxes also.

Then, the fun begins… in keeping with the theme of the Ugly Duckling I decided to use the large box with photos of my ultrasound. At the time of my pregnancy, I wanted to keep the sex of my baby a surprise so it had connotations of mystery, fear of the unknown – sex, illnesses, disabilities, appearance, miscarriage. At the time of pregnancy, I felt like I was carrying an alien very much like the movie Aliens and was waiting for it to explode out of my belly so there was this horror movie playing in my thoughts and the black and white ultrasound photos only added more affect to those mysteries.

In order for the lid to open, I source a letter “P” for her first initial and drilled a hole so the lid could lift.

The middle box was from her birth to around 6 months growth.

Last but not least, the smallest box – the stage she is now.

What I enjoyed about this project was an insight to my creative personality and an understanding of analogical thinking. I discovered that I have some of the character traits that Csikszentmihalyi’s points out in Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention (1996). I have this enormous amount of energy, passionate and rebellious and independent or head strong plays a part with any project . Once an idea is set, I will find a way to get it done and I don’t like it when someone says it can’t be done which only make me rise to the challenge.

I learnt through analogical thinking that although this concept exists, my process was different and I utilise different techniques for my end result. I had a different interpretation of what was beauty and the research process of making the box meant the options were diverse. Should I have used the ultrasound pictures on the large box when I could have used a current cute photo but I worked 40 weeks HARD at maintaining the pregnant look and carrying a watermelon inside my belly deserves to be acknowledged.


Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). The Creative Personality. Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper Collins.

Davis, G. A. (2004). Creative inspiration through analogical thinking. Creativity is forever (p. 145-170). (5th Ed.). USA:Kendell/Hunt.


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