Canterbury Anifest 2014 – Monday 27th October to Sunday 2nd November 2014

Anifest Poster-page-001

Japanese Animation Festival coming to Canterbury…

Anifest is back and bigger than ever! This year it will be hosting a week of Japanese Animation, to include everything from Manga to Cosplay to Anime. From Monday 27th October to Sunday 2nd November 2014, Canterbury Anifest will be at Gulbenkian with an exciting series of talks, workshops, live performances, an exhibition, and films all inspired by Japan’s iconic style of animation.

Film Screening Akira (15) 1

This exciting program has something for everyone; from “How to Draw Manga” workshops for a younger audience, to talks with industry stars such as Andy Frain. The festival will also host an exclusive week-long Studio Ghibli-inspired exhibition called 8-bit Ghibli, created by conceptual artist Richard Evans, alongside a captivating season of films including Akira, Patema Inverted, Perfect Blue, Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Irina Richards Chibi Workshop

In partnership with Gulbenkian, Anifest aims to bring the unique and fascinating style of Japanese animation to both existing fanatics and newcomers alike for the first time. Whether your interest is practical, academic, or simply entertainment, Anifest is happy to provide you with the same kind of quality events that have come to be expected of the festival, as well as some new experiences, including Canterbury Anifest’s first live performance.

For information please visit www.canterburyanifest.com or call 01227 769075.

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Writing for Charity – by Jane Ayres

cover design by Klaus Hartleben

“As a creative I can speak for most of us and say that often our motive is not money, it is to make a difference in the world.” Natasha Steer

This statement, from Natasha’s post on Networking Vs Making Friends, really struck a chord with me about why creatives create.

When I hear about best-selling authors making a fortune I envy the fact they can then give lots of money to charity.  Writing can be a powerful force for change.  But could it also offer a pathway to giving? I thought about how I could contribute more.   I could publish my work and donate any royalties to a charity I cared about. And, rashly, because of my motives, I disregarded a lot of practical advice, believing it didn’t apply.  Of course, whatever your reasons for publishing, if you want to raise money from it, then it is always a business decision, as I have since learned.

Having been traditionally published for over 30 years, and with 20 years plus experience in marketing, you would think I would have an awareness of what is involved.  That’s what I thought.  Funny how you can become blinkered…

I had decided to publish three of my backlist titles for the kindle to raise funds for Redwings Horse Sanctuary, who rescue and care for neglected, abandoned and abused horses and ponies.

I commissioned a professional Medway-based designer, Klaus Hartleben, to create my cover designs as this is the first thing that potential buyers will see.  For a digital book, Amazon is your shop window. Because I was donating all profits from my books to charity, I decided that using the Amazon “free” days to promote the books would defeat the object of the fundraising. ButI have been advised by several professionals that if Book 1 is free for a while (and readers enjoy it) they are more likely to buy the next two books in the series.  So later this month, I will be offering Book 1, Matty and the Moonlight Horse, free for 5 days.

Similarly, I ignored all the advice I read on pricing strategy as part of the marketing plan because the money was going to charity and I wanted to raise the maximum amount from each sale.  But comparing the prices I am charging to other similar titles, my books cost a lot more.  So now I am tweaking the prices and testing the market to see what works best.

No sales = no funds for the horse sanctuary.  So whether your motives are to do something good or to make money to live, I now understand the rules are the same.  Be businesslike.

By Jane Ayres

To find out more about Jane’s publishing experiences, go to her blog www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk

Her trilogy of Matty Horse and Pony Adventures books for pre-teens and teens (and nostalgic older readers!) are available for Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. All profits from these stories are going to Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

Working For An Indie Record Label – Part 2 – By Luke Crook

Hello again!

So, the last article was a bit of a ramble aimed at some of the tech/admin steps you go through at a label to take a release from X tracks on a CD-R or Pendrive and getting it out to digital and physical retailers worldwide.

This time, lets talk about something that’s a little more…well, creative!

Artwork.

Next to the music itself, artwork is in my opinion the next more important part of a release. Before streaming music became so incredibly popular, all you had to go on was if you’d heard it on the radio and how awesome the front cover looked!

So, where do you start?

Well, first things first, you need an idea. Whilst it might sound stupid, you can waste a lot of time if you don’t have some direction, because more often than not, the music is more or less done before the artwork starts, and no-one wants to rush. Following that, you need a designer to put it all together. This can take some time too, so make sure you’re looking out for one. Check out other CD designs you like, artwork, even book covers. Students are good, as they are cheap! Friends are even better! Discussions about whether you can gloss finish, matte finish, pantones/fluros (neon colours), metallic effects, how many pages you want in your booklet/inlay, how you want your digipack to fold and open will follow that. Lots of fun!

Then, once you’ve got a designer working on your great idea, you need to work out formats. CD/Limited Edition CD/LP/Digital/Magical Unicorn Edition.

Now, on the surface, a pack shot (Album Cover) is a pack shot, but format changes everything. CD’s are fairly straight forward and versatile. If it’s a jewel case, your inlay/booklet doubles up as your pack shot! Yaaay! All you need after that is your artwork for under the tray (where the CD slots) and artwork for the back of the case, which more often than not has the track listing. Digipacks are slightly different, because it’s all printed onto one piece of card and then folded. It can be gatefold, 2 fold, 3 fold (Rammsteins latest release opened out 5 ways if memory serves!). You need to remember where the slot for your inlay (if you have one) is going if you have one too!

Now, before I go any further, I’ve forgotten to mention one of the most important aspects of artwork. Label Copy. Label copy is essential the bible for the release. It’s a document containing everything about the album/single. Catalogue number, artist, title, track listing, publishers, copyright and publishing rights, collaborators, thank yous, websites and loads more. Most of this will go into your booklet and back cover for legal and information reasons.

Great, that’s the CD covered. Oh…what about the LP? No booklet there (Unless you’re feeling fancy!). So, you’ve not got to go back and ask your designer very nicely if he/she can do you a whole new template. Front and back sleeve (And center if it’s a gatefold) and stickers for the vinyl. This leads me back to my point about making sure you know all your formats before you go to design, otherwise you’ll: A. Irritate your designer or B. End up having to pay more for another format design. LP’s tend to have a far more stripped down label copy on them, purely for the sake of space.

Digitally, its pretty simple. Just a packshot. Bliss. Through iTunes you can also get a digital booklet to go with it if you want, as an added extra.

All of that, when all most people will ever see is the pack shot, when they walk past it in the shops or scroll past online. That’s your one chance to catch their attention and get them interested. The rest, that’s their reward for picking it up.

Always run it past your artist for approval. They don’t need to see it at every stage, just when there is a significant change or update.

Oh, and don’t forget to proof read it. Lots!

by Luke Crook

Area:   UK   Britain   East of England   East Midlands   London  North East   North West    Yorkshire    Scotland   South East    South West    Wales   West Midlands  

Introducing A New Creatabot Contributor – Jennifer Denty – Illustrator and Designer

We welcome a new contributor to Creatabot – Jennifer Denty is a freelance illustrator and designer from Hertfordshire and we are really glad to have her input on Creatabot. Jennifer will be posting articles about events and creatives in her area as well as the creative subjects that interest and inspire her. We asked Jennifer some questions to find out more about her…

So Jennifer, who inspires you?

That’s a big question!  I’m inspired a lot by what’s around me, people I encounter on a day-to-day basis, bits of conversations, vintage and retro design style.  Illustrators and artists wise, Quentin Blake, Mary Blair and Amano Yoshitaka. Mainly line artists that use bright and bold colours, I remember being awed by Naoko Takeuchi’s illustrative style when I was a lot younger.

Do you have any pets?

I personally have a Hedgehog, not the garden variety, an African pygmy breed.  But I also currently live with 3 cats and a dog (a time-consuming Malamute).

Any claims to fame?

I definitely invented the DVD player. I distinctly remember drawing a CD player that plugged into the telly..then the drawing mysteriously went missing, right before the DVD player came out!

Maybe you can predict the future…do you have any other predictions for future technology?

Haha! I do! I see a future filled with floating holographic signs stuffed full to the brim with advertisements, there will be no escape!

Whats planned in the not too distant future for you?

I’m in the process of creating a ‘Sew-Your-Own’ range, using some of the surface pattern designs I’ve created recently.  So I’m really wrapped up in getting that packaged up and finding stockists at the moment.

You can find out more about Jennifer at:

http://jenniferdenty.com

and

http://jenniferdenty.blogspot.com

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Area – Nationwide, London, South East

Weald Of Kent Craft Show – 5th to 7th May 2012

Held in the beautiful surrounds of Penshurst Place & Gardens, near Tonbridge, this inspiring show will offer some of the finest handmade crafts to spruce up your home and garden.  

Over 250 skilled crafts people from all over the region will bring you the very best in handmade gifts and treats. With unusual wares you wouldn’t often find on the high street, there’s something for everyone from ceramics and glass to jewellery and paintings.

Craft experts will be offering a series of Family Craft Workshops including pencil making, woodturning, paper making, decorative ceramics, drawing and pyrography – there will be something for all of the family to take part in. 

For more details please visit www.ichf.co.uk/outdoorcraftsalive/

Those wanting to exhibit please visit www.ichf.co.uk/exhibitor_zone

Weald of Kent Craft Show Information

Open 09.30 – 17.30

Tickets:

Adult £6.50 (Advance £5.00) Senior £5.50 (Advance £4.00)

Child under 16 free if acc by parent – otherwise £3

BUY 10 ADULT OR SENIOR TICKETS Get One Adult Free (In advance only)

Combined Weald of Kent Craft Show and Penshurst House & Gardens

Adult and Senior £10.00 (In advance only)

Buy tickets online at www.ichf.co.uk or phone Ticket Hotline 01425 277988

Area – South East

Save The Date – Creative Minds Meeting Like Minds – Saturday 14th July 2012 – Strood – Kent

Creative minds: meeting like minds. Interested in art and creativity? Come and mingle with like-minded individuals and share coffee and ideas. Open to all artists if you’re a beginner or someone more advanced. Artists, writers, dancers, actors, musicians or creative crafters. Who knows who you could meet?

Strood library 10am – 12.30 Saturday 14th July.

To book a place call 01634 335890 or email strood.library@medway.gov.uk 

Area: South East

UCA Gallery Workshops – Chatham

The UCA gallery in Chatham – Kent, runs various short creative workshops and talks for the local community.

The best way to keep up to date with these events is to keep an eye on their Facebook page.

For more information please pop into the gallery (Unit 64 Pentagon Centre) or email uca.popupgallery@gmail.com

Area – South East

False Realties – Exhibition by Christina Lai at UCA Gallery – Chatham – August to December 2011

Discover the curious world of False Realities, Christina Lai’s ceramics and mixed media art at UCA gallery near scenic historic Rochester, Kent. Having recently exhibited at New Designers in London, Christina’s work will featured in the newly opened gallery, along with artists of diverse mediums (painting, printing, sculpture, digital art, photography, fashion and textiles) from campuses of University for the Creative Arts.  Continue reading

Mini-Residency on a Lightship Available

Applications are invited from artists to participate in a mini-residency on LV21, a lightship moored off Gillingham Pier in Kent.

Taking place over three days in March and April, artists will collaborate in responding to the space, generating new work and conversations about practising in public. On the third day, the public will be invited to come on board and see the work made, and join in the conversation. Continue reading