Featured Creative: Sara Ana Mejias Pinilla – SAM Art

Medway has a new artist in town and her beautiful paintings of pets will warm your heart! Recently having moved to Rochester, Sara loves painting animals and has an amazing way of making them present personality. I wanted to get to know more about Sara, so I asked some questions about her and her beautiful work!

How long have you been painting for?

I’ve been painting for almost 9 years, I was studying my third year at university when I started to paint dog portraits to raise money for a dog’s shelter.

Why do you love painting pets?

Because I love pets! I think when you are working, it’s really important to love what you are doing. I try to capture the essence of the pet and the magical expression in their eyes.

All the pets are really extraordinary, they give you everything, they make you laugh, help you with sad moments of your life…

I think they deserve to be remembered and with a portrait, you can freeze time and it gives you a memory for a lifetime.

Commissions for artworks of pets are notoriously hard and many artists turn them down, how do you manage customer expectations?

Well, when a person decides to work as a painter, he usually chooses a theme to specialise. Some of them work with landscapes, some of them with portraits of people and I chose animals. My customers always understand my style of painting. I usually show them some of the work I have created already so they can have a real expectations about the pet’s portrait I’m going to do.

What do you love most about Rochester?

Rochester has something special, I love getting lost in its streets and listening to the sound of the wind and nature.

I love its parks and gardens, they have beautiful flowers and they are very quiet so you can relax and enjoy.

I love walking near the Medway River and watching the sunset

Do you think you will stay or are there other places you want to travel to?

I don’t really know, I love living here but I would like to travel to other places to see more of this beautiful country. Time will tell what adventure I am going to live!

What would be your dream project?

My dream project would be to be a freelancer and be able to work painting murals and teaching painting in a studio or academy. I was a painting and art teacher in Seville so I miss teaching.

Whose work and music do you love?

I currently follow many great artists. Some of them are:

Javid Tabatabaei, an Iranian-Canadian water-colourist who paints magical landscapes.

Casey Baugh is an extraordinary painter from New York who makes charcoal portraits out of the ordinary and paintings of the city at night with women as the main character of the scene.

Ruben Belloso is a Spanish wonderful  pastel painter, born in Seville. He paint beautiful and emotional portraits.

About music, I listen to different musical genres. I like to paint with soundtracks, jazz, post rock, grunge, puck, indie, alternative rock …

Antilopez, Polyphia, Mogwai are great music bands and Jeff Buckley, Billie Holiday or El Kanka are great musicians!

Thank you for speaking to Creatabot Sara!

You can see more of Sara’s work on her Facebook page.

Riverside One Studios (Now Closed) – Rehearsal Recording and Gig Space – Chatham

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Started by Nucleus Arts in conjunction with Jamie Johnson, Riverside One Studios is a new music project in Chatham, Kent.

Jamie Johnson is a local singer/songwriter from Gillingham, Kent who appeared on national TV as Kylie Minogue’s finalist on The Voice in 2014.

Jamie’s experience has inspired him to help aspiring musicians. Their plan is to try to help anyone who has a passion for music and wishes to find the next step to building a career in the music industry or just some friendly advice on what they can do to improve. 

Many of you may remember the Riverside One building as the council venue on Dock Road, next to the bus station. A really great location as you can see it from the new bus station and it’s only a 5 minute walk from the train station.

The idea behind the studios is to have a place where anyone can come together to write, rehearse and record music. We are also able to offer teaching, mentoring and other sessions that support budding musicians in Medway.

Riverside One has 1 small rehearsal/writing room, 1 large recording/rehearsal/performance space and 1 main control studio room with the facilities to record a single or an album. 

 

 

Riverside One Studiosalso works with people who may be at risk of social exclusion as part their “Art Inclusive” programme. This currently involves a joint project with The Princes Trust, where together they are offering young people in unemployment the opportunity to learn more about making music and the music industry. Contact Nucleus Arts to find out more.

Riverside One are also able to offer music lessons including guitar and singing lessons through various partners.

Room Hire:

Main Rehearsal Room – 4 Hours £40 Or £13 Per Hour

Small Rehearsal/Writing Rooms – 4 Hours £30 Or £11 Per Hour

Recording:

Full day – 8 hours £200

Half day – 4 hours £120

Recording – £30 per hour

Ep package – 2 full days of recording £380

Live Music Event Hire: From £15ph

If you would like to donate towards the studios it is never too late….. Please visit the following ‘go fund me’ page :

www.gofundme.com/riversideonestudio

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A Slightly More Interesting Interview With Two Cat Inspired Artists

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Slightly More Interesting are a Kent based artist duo who have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new range of brightly coloured cat inspired cards.

I was very pleased when not only did they agree to be interviewed but also created an exclusive Creatabot inspired cat design!

Who are you and where are you?

We are Paul Flood and Matt Hayward and we have lived in Medway all our lives. We work pretty much exclusively from Matts bedroom/office.

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Matt and Paul

Why illustrations and why cat illustrations?

We chose cats as we both have two cats each and when your bedroom is your office then the Cats are your colleagues. We were both huge fans of Garfield cartoons when we were children and so when thinking of creating a cat project, illustration seemed the obvious choice for us.

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The real bosses at Slightly More Interesting…

Are you self taught creatives?

We both went to KIAD when we came out of school but both continued on with self teaching after we had finished our courses.

Matt specialised in digital design and I (Paul) worked primarily in ink. Through the process and other previous designs I have been learning the craft of digital design using Photoshop and Illustrator.

Congratulations on reaching your Kickstarter target! Can we expect to see many new characters in the new year or will moggies stay the focus?

We are already planning the future of our creation that will expand out into film/tv and video game homage designs staring out kitty creation.

We would also love to do an extensive range of ethnic holiday themed cards also. The thought has crossed our mind to include other animals in the future but for now it will be centred, much as our lives are, around the cats.

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Who inspires you?

We have been recently infulenced by Matt Groening, Justin Roiland and Ralph Steadman and would love to do a few future designs showing more influence of other styles while still keeping the integrity of the cat character intact.

Do you have a favourite type of music to listen to while creating?

Our creativity has recently had the soundtrack of many a podcast such as Grandma’s Virginity, No such thing as a fish, Down the line and RHLSTP.

What is your favourite place in Medway?

For us, Rochester castle Gardens is the best place to spend a day sketching and coming up with new ideas along with intermittent rounds of frisbee.


Thank you so much for talking to us and thank you so much for the amazing Creatabot Cat! I think I will be ordering a batch of cards for Creatabot supporters!

Please support Slightly More Interesting and back their Kickstarter by visiting www.kickstarter.com/projects/1337916852/cat-cards and making a pledge in return for some of their wonderful cards to call your own.

By Natasha Steer

Star Wars Day

Creatabot Creative Of The Year 2015 – Xtina Lamb

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Xtina with her award                      Photo by Zara Carpenter

Back in late 2014 we asked the local community in Medway to vote for the person who inspired them in the local creative scene. After the tough task of deciding from the nominations who would be awarded the lovely title, it was decided by the judging panel that Xtina Lamb would receive the award for 2015 due to the wonderful work she does in Medway to support local arts.

Xtina helped to form the Medway Fine Printmakers and was a leading part of a collective that created the arts venue, INTRA, at 337-341 on the High Street, Rochester (the old High Street between Chatham and Rochester).

I interviewed her to find out more about her background and what she loves the most about doing the kind of work she does!

How long have you been doing printing and what made you get into it?

I started printmaking in the late 80s at college, first of all at Ware college with linocut, then on foundation at St Albans doing mono printing and etching and on my degree for a while doing screen printing at Falmouth. I loved it but ended up choosing painting instead for quite a while, and I think that was a good deal down to the lack of prestige afforded to printmaking in the art pecking order. I came back to printmaking when a friend Mark Pawson asked me to join a project he was doing. He invited 10 artists to make a print edition with the cult Japanese machine Print Gocco, which is similar to screen printing but you print with a pressing motion and can use several colours at once. I loved it, bought my own Gocco machine and from there ran courses and took part in several Gocco exhibitions.

From there I got back into screen printing. I’ve always really loved illustrated books and there is something about the quality of a handmade print that I find delicious to look at. I enjoy that there are traditional skills involved, but it’s also a very free medium open to lots of experimentation and an exciting range of marks can be made.

Where did you grow up? What made you choose Medway?

I grew up in Hertfordshire, just north of the M25, but didn’t really like it there much and always wished my family hadn’t moved out of London. I moved to Holloway after college and used an open plan workspace at Craft Central in Clerkenwell for a few years when I first got back to printmaking. I’d been gathering lots of art stuff though and when I had to move to a smaller flat and needed more space for it all, I rented a corner of studio space from Wendy Daws for storage. I had Medway friends through music and small publishing so was already spending time here.

Eventually I moved everything down to my own space at Boundary Wharf (on the border of Rochester and Chatham), when I realised I could have a 600sq foot studio by the river for the price of a box room sized space in London. My neighbour was fortuitously Adam Piper, another printmaker. We got on instantly and between us had amassed an impressive array of printmaking equipment. It made sense to work together, so we formed Medway Fine Printmakers.

What other creative talents do you have?

Before I moved my studio here, I did a week’s residency on Lightship LV21 with my craft gang Seaside Sisters with Gillian Elam and Linda White. We did all sorts of craft workshop events for festivals and craft fairs etc. and ran a giant marquee of craft workshops for the diamond jubilee pageant in Battersea Park. A lot of the activities we like are textile based and I love sewing and embroidery. I’ve also worked as an illustrator, doing book covers, editorial and advertising work. My creative talents don’t extend to music though, apart from I can make some agreeable noises on a musical saw.

Who and what inspires you to keep going?

It’s the people who love coming to INTRA who keep me going in my work. Since moving to this building and setting up an arts venue here that caters for all kinds creative activity, I’ve met so many people who really need art in their lives. I was very lucky to meet Faye Lamb who runs Unravel & Unwind the craft drop-in at INTRA as she brings fantastic energy to the space and has developed a lovely community here.

I spent a time after college where I didn’t make art and it wasn’t good for me at all! The things that inspire me in my art are often related to folklore and superstition. I’ve been making things on a lucky theme for a while and am interested in the ways small superstitious behaviours are so embedded in us we hardly notice them. I love the work that illustrator and curator Barbara Jones did mid last century, and in fact a lot of my favourite artists worked in that period. I can be inspired by a design on a colourful vintage tights packet, or a walk around the British Museum, or a wander in the Scottish highlands.

Tell us something unusual about yourself that most people don’t know?

Something unusual about myself? I have some extra lines on my fingers in between the joint creases. My Dad has them too. I designed a printers fist (the pointy hand symbol you get in old advertising and posters) that has an extra line on the pointing finger to reference my family trait!

Find out more at www.medwayfineprintmakers.co.uk

By Natasha Steer

New Short Film In Production – Super Me – By Sophie Lasson

qxnkfrehupyyrdkmkw1mSuper Me – a story about love, loss and the hero inside all of us.

Super Me is a 10 minute drama written and directed by Sophie Lasson, from Chatham, Kent. The film will be shot by an experienced team of final year students from Bournemouth University, and will star talented Dorset based actors.

Super Me is expected to premier in Rochester in May with a chance for locals to grab a sneak preview of the short film!

More information about the film can be found here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/super-me/x/9539046

The Story…

Heroes can come in all shapes and sizes…

Max has dreamed his whole life of becoming a superhero, but will he realise, that at only six years old, he has done more than he could ever imagine; he has saved a man’s life.

With his mother too busy for him and his father non-existent, Max is often left to his own devices, playing on the same estate where he was born.

He’s a curious boy, always looking for an adventure. When he sees a stranger on the roof of a building nearby, he goes to investigate. What happens next is life changing for the both of them.

By Sophie Lasson

An Interview With Jasper Littman – Savile Row Tailor

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Jasper Littman creates bespoke mens suits and works from his studio on Savile Row. I thought it would be interesting to ask Jasper Littman about his background and creativity.

So what is your creative background?

I didn’t study any creative subjects at university but I was trained at Kilgour (Savile Row) to understand and appreciate the importance of balance and silhouette.

The aim when designing a new cut was always to flatter the wearer, as well as being distinctive enough to look very different to an off-the-peg suit.

What other career paths have you taken?

None.

Who inspires you both locally and universally?

Locally I’m inspired by the old guard on Savile Row – the cutters and coatmakers that have forged Savile Row’s reputation over the years.  Universally I’m not sure.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

I’m aiming to grow the business to the point where my cut is easily recognisable to the sartorially minded and is established as a permanent fixture in London.

Can you recommend a creative website you love?

As an amateur photographer, I enjoy looking at other photographers accounts on Flickr and Zenfolio.

Do you have a “get to work” album? (music that helps get you motivated to create!)

I have to work in complete silence, sadly. Music distracts me.

You can find out more about the personally tailored suits Jasper Littman makes at www.jasperlittman.co.uk

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Featured Creative – Bryony Hacker – Visual Artist and Campaigner

17 year old Bryony Hacker has just completed her Extended Project Qualification. So what topic did she choose to study? Make a short film, like someone I know; study how to make a bridge; write a very long essay about wars in History?

No to all of those actually. She created a National Speed Limit sign out of Deer Skulls that she had collected on the side of her road. This road is the A22 on Ashdown Forest. Her aim was to raise awareness about dangerous driving on this road towards deer. She targeted teenagers at the college who are learning to driving or already driving to talk about her issue.

Bryony currently studies art photography at college in Uckfield and is aiming to go on to Art Foundation next year. This project not only raise awareness, but allowed her to create a sculpture with her artistic skills.

I spoke to Bryony after her presentation to her fellow students about the project.

What inspired you to create your sculpture?

I live beside a road which has the most deer collisions on in the UK. It has around 300 deer that die yearly on the road due to car collisions. Human fatalities happen as well (about once a year), but most people don’t know the figures because every thing is ‘dealt with’ by the forest rangers and the police. I wanted to raise awareness of this, even if I had to do it in a very visual way. All the sculls found on the sculpture have been deer hit on the road literally on my doorstep.

How long did it take to collect skulls and make the sculpture?

My brother and I collected the skulls when we were little.. every few months from about the age of 7, we walked along the road with tesco bags. Every time we went we collected about 3 bags full, so I guess i’ve been collecting on and off for about 10 years. I didn’t use all of them in the sculpture! And I’d say it took about 10 hours in total.

You have much news coverage planned, for example the local news paper, is this helping to promote this message?

I am intending to be in 2 local newspapers in the next few months, and hopefully in time get onto the BBC news. I think this would be fantastic because then people all over the country would know about the danger, and would maybe take more care when crossing the road; instead of driving way over 60mph with no realisation of what could jump in front of them. When the media coverage is finished, I think it will be very memorable still to drivers on the road.

 

Although the project is finished, Bryony’s campaign has not. She is starting a petition to have the speed limit lowered on the road. If you wish to know more about how you can help please comment on this post or email aostansfield@hotmail.co.uk and I will contact Bryony directly.

Thank you for reading.
By Alice Stansfield your friendly neighbourhood vlogger: http://www.youtube.com/user/HisLittleEmo
Feel free to Tweet me if you have any questions or feedback:  @hislittleemoo
Email me for anything extra: aostansfield@hotmail.co.uk

The Assassin, The Grey Man and The Surgeon – A New Book By D C Stansfield

Here is the book cover designed by D C Stansfield, photograph starring Joseph Jameson, photographed/edited/printed by Alice Stansfield.

(Picture above features Joseph Jameson mentioned here: https://creatabot.co.uk/2012/10/09/robin-epq-short-film-by-alice-stansfield-2012/)

D C Stansfield has completed his first ever book – and, what’s this!? HE’S BEEN PUBLISHED! On the new form of ‘book’, an ‘Ebook’ on Kindle! Named, ‘The Assassin, The Grey Man and The Surgeon’ it’s the first book in the series of three which he is hoping to write if the book is popular enough.

Why do I sound so excited? Well D C Stansfield is my father and I am a very proud and inspired daughter to have another creative in the family. So far the book has received 99% 5 Star satisfaction on the UK Amazon store, with only 1% voting 4 stars (which is still high!)

A short summary of the book (adaptation of the blurb):

It was all going so well for Peter Lee’s drug empire. The only small annoyance had come from a little old lady who owned of all things a small corner shop. She had refused to accept any of his little parcels and wanted to go to the police, so she’d been given two bullets, the ‘double tap’, both to shut her up and to send a message to everyone else in the network.

Unknown to Lee she was married to a specialist, a man who, in a former life killed men for a living. He had two friends, one a gatherer of information, the master in his field, one a breaker of men, who was so vicious that it was rumoured that each time he hit a man he cut him. Each of these three men had spent thirty years and more playing the ‘great game’. Inside the security company called ‘The Firm’ they were legends known only as The Assassin, The Grey Man and The Surgeon.

Now living at the edge of the secret world and about to disappear into history, this atrocity had brought them back centre stage but the question is, do they still have what it takes to go up against today’s hard men?

I am currently reading the book and already stuck in, loving it, although can’t get the vision of my dad out my head which it amusing when you follow the storyline. We are a very proud household to say the least.

But how does one promote a book when one knows nothing about ‘publishing and advertising?’ Well, my dad came to the right place. ME. YouTuber/Tweeter/Tumblr/Facebooker/Genereal-confident-girl-in-emailing-companies/Currently-doing-media-work-experience and Creatabot blogger. (Most of the words are made up I will admit, but my point still stands). Therefore I’m spreading the word as best I can. Although, don’t feel I need to as sales have rocketed as one might say! It’s going rather well for it’s first WEEK out on the web!

Here you can watch a video where I give you all the details on the book, and in a couple of weeks I will be doing a full review of my opinion and it won’t be bias because he’s my dad I’ve told him I want to be honest. I am encouraging others to join me, read the book in my ‘by the end of November challenge’ (meaning read the whole book by the end of November) comment or send me your review on aostansfield@hotmail.co.uk and I will be making a Review video with honest opinions from as many people as possible. I’d love you to be one of them.

In return, I will be mentioning your YouTube channel, blog post, website etc on my video so promoting everyone as we go. If you don’t want anything promoted or want to remain anonymous that’s fine too. If you have any questions for the author himself I’m sure I can persuade him (in other words, he’d love to) personally email you.

In summary –

The book is called ‘The Assassin, The Grey Man and The Surgeon’.

It’s available here on Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Assassin-Grey-Surgeon-ebook/dp/B009NUUI8M

Free Sample Sample: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Assassin-Grey-Surgeon-ebook/dp/B009NUUI8M#reader_…

It costs only £1.53 and is available on the American Amazon (.com rather than .co.uk).

My email is aostansfield@hotmail.co.uk for any questions and honest reviews.

Thank you for reading.

By Alice Stansfield your friendly neighbourhood vlogger: http://www.youtube.com/user/HisLittleEmo

Feel free to Tweet me if you have any questions or feedback:  @hislittleemoo

Email me for anything extra: aostansfield@hotmail.co.uk

Music and Lyrics – Creating a Music Video

Here I am, A YouTuber who makes a lot of videos, but never my own music video. In the past I made one in a group of a song I wrote, then again in a group with my lyrics and now on my own I have produced my third music video of my lyrics (music by Joe Humber) uniquely to my YouTube channel.

So what is the story of my new song ‘Our Story’ beside the music?

Before Summer 2012 I wrote a song, originally unnamed but referred to as ‘The Next Chapter’, and proposed it to my friend Joe to record and make into an actual listenable song rather than words on screen. He agreed. One day travelling back from London I checked my Facebook messages and found he had sent me a demo of the song. I listened, and fell in love with hearing my lyrics as music. Immediately I told him this is what I wanted for the video and he set to work improving. Recording also took place with my friend Molly, however due to Joe moving to University his computer got damaged and we no longer have the file of both of them singing. Upset and annoyed by this misfortune I still decided to release the song with the video since we all worked hard.

A few viewers have asked me what the song is about, I say the answer is in the lyrics.

Moving on the the process of making it. When making any production it must go through three stages: pre production; production and post production.

PRE-PRODUCTION: This automatically began subconsciously when I wrote the song. Ideas for what to film were everyone in my mind, bubbling up ideas. Originally my storyboard was to use post it notes (as seen in the video with the love heart Molly draws) as messages that the couple used to send to each other. However, the lyrics didn’t seem to fit as dialogue for post it notes so I didn’t want to use them but didn’t want to add to many words to the screen. Instead I decided to portray the lyrics naturally with Joe and Molly acting as a real couple going through their ‘story’ – meeting, love, laughter, happiness, arguments, tears, missing each other, anger and so on.

PRODUCTION – Unlike most projects, beside vlogs, filming only took a few hours of one day. Stopping in-between shots due to weather conditions (however the rain was good pathetic fallacy) filming was otherwise successful. Most ideas came on set. Often in preproduction I’ll storyboard everything and have a shot list, but with this I decided as the cast was a minimum we could create some unique and improvised. First we filmed the fights in the house; moved on to the scenes in the field after a lunch break; walked along the roads; and finished at another house for more shots. The majority of filming took place in the field with the paper, ripping up the story. This idea came on the day when I was on the bus over to our location and I’d brought Romeo and Juliet book with me, I thought it worked well.

POST PRODUCTION – Editing went well, as I had a new laptop it was more of a practice using iMovie, although personally I prefer and wish for Final Cut Pro, but due to the expense I’ll wait for Christmas. However, the wonders of video editing could still be explored on iMovie through tutorials, but it’s so easy to use you don’t need guidance to be honest. I made different versions of the videos (which I advise when unclear on final outcome) and decided on what I preferred and didn’t.

Your original idea will always be different to the outcome, sometimes this is good sometimes this is bad, you need to find the balance.

With this I feel I found a balance, I came with what I feel it a good outcome for an experimental video.

Attached to this article are other music videos I have made of which I would love feedback to see how I can improve.

Hoping to post more soon!

By Alice Stansfield your friendly neighbourhood vlogger: http://www.youtube.com/user/HisLittleEmo

Feel free to Tweet me if you have any questions or feedback:  @hislittleemoo

Email me for anything extra: aostansfield@hotmail.co.uk