Introducing A New Creatabot Contributor – Badge – Artist

Badge is a unique artist from North Wales who has just joined us as a contributor. Badge will be interviewing creatives and talking about what is going on in his area. He was christened ‘Badge’ back in school for reasons unknown and adopted it as an alias for his artwork when he started college. We posed some questions to him so you can all get to know him better…

Badge, tell us more about your creative background…

Art was always by far my favourite subject in school, even in Primary School every project I did revolved around art. Towards the end of High School I’d become a bit disenchanted with it as a subject, it’d become very prescriptive so I never did an A-Level in it, and I almost went to university to study English Lit instead, fortunately I was convinced by friends to check out the art courses at the local college, and that’s where I ended up.

My time in Llandrillo College was amazing, I loved every second of it, and thankfully they prepared us well for the big bad world of art! I completed my Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at Llandrillo and then nearly went onto uni to study something else I wasn’t sure about, so I took two years out from art education again, all the time filling up sketchbooks!

I then ended up back in the same college on the FdA in Art & Design – taking Fine Art as a major, loving every second of my time on the course and made some amazing friends and contacts! I topped that up with a nightmare final year at a university to give me the full BA hons.

What made you start making art?

I’ve always drawn/painted/coloured/made things ever since I can remember, I used to draw a family of teapots when I first started Primary School, and it quickly became second nature to draw and make things, I can remember begging for Skeletor’s Snake Mountain and the Thundercats Lair and never getting them so I built my own versions using cardboard boxes and papier-mache.  Fortunately my folks were both very encouraging of my creative side and approved of my ‘Art Attack’ approach to toy related dilemmas!

I also used to spend hours poring over encyclopaedias’ – usually reading up on things like natural disasters, cannibals and apocalypses – normal kid stuff! But it was also there I first realized that people actually made art for a living – and it was there the idea of becoming an artist set in.

As I got older I started to use art as a way of dealing with all the things floating around in my head, I used to have really bad nightmares as a child [no wonder considering the things I used to read!] and I’ve suffered with insomnia since I was little too, so dream and reality blur – art has been a great way to channel that and has proved a rich source of inspiration!

What career paths have you taken?

I’ve had ordinary ho-hum day jobs since I was 14 [cleaning hotels, retail, gardening etc] when I graduated I was fortunate to be invited to be part of an artist co-operative on the North Wales coast [Oriel Scala Artists Co-operative] complete with an artist run gallery. It quickly became a crash-course and very steep learning curve in maintaining a commercial gallery and community arts projects, I took on the marketing and online publicity – which having no real previous experience of was a true baptism of fire, but we banded together and I came out of it with far more confidence about myself and my artwork, and having a regular space to show/sell my work was a huge boost especially just after coming out of art school!

That experience helped me to secure a temporary position in the Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno working in the craft shop, and then to a permanent position as a gallery assistant, I’m still there as front of house and assisting on exhibition changeovers, and my studio which I share with 3 others from work and two from college is right next door – which comes in very handy! The studio [casc artist studios and project space] has a project space in the front which we use to stage exhibitions and workshops for ourselves and other artists, we’re hoping to develop its profile and make it a hub for the artistic community.

Who inspires you both locally and internationally?

We’ve got some amazingly talented folks in North Wales; I met an illustrator called Karen Cheung last year on the annual open studios trail and fell in love with her drawings of specimens in jar drawn in science museums and her quirky semi-autobiographical rabbit cartoons.

Bedwyr Williams is also a big favourite of mine; he mixes self-deprecating humour and observations of Welsh culture with installations and performances, I was lucky enough to be taught by him as a visiting lecturer in college.

Also…Glenn Brown, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Conor Harrington, Audrey Kawasaki, Frida Kahlo, Goya, Antony Micallef, Jenny Saville, Eelus, Mark Titchner, Derek Riggs, Ian Francis, Egon Schiele, Edvard Munch, the list is endless!

I tend to draw inspiration from a lot of places, music is big one for me I’ve always got music on in the studio, headphones on the bus home, and for each project I’ll make a soundtrack that I’ll listen along to whilst working and more often than not lyrics end up being used as titles. Popular culture, literature, fears and science also inform my work.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

The dream for me is to be in the financial situation where I can just be in the studio 7 days a week painting and making, but at the moment I need the day job, however I’m very lucky to work within the arts so it’s not too bad – I can network and get inspired/sketch whilst in work so it could be worse!

I’ve always said I want to help encourage the art scene in North Wales, we have a real variety of media and styles here it needs showcasing to a wider audience! So if I can somehow aid that I’d be very happy with myself

Can you recommend a creative website you love?

www.juxtapoz.com is a must! The magazine is also somewhat of a Bible to me!

www.myloveforyou.com is also great for finding quirky and unusual creative’s!

We are really glad Badge is working with us and we really look forward to hearing more about the creative scene in North Wales!

To find out more about Badge please visit :

www.badgemakesart.co.uk

Badge on Facebook

Badge on Twitter

Area – Wales

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

Developing Your Creative Writing – Free Short Course – Starting April 25th – Gillingham

Interested in creative writing, but not sure how to get going on your own? Perhaps you would like to join in with others to share ideas? Harness the power of the round and gain inspiration.

These sessions will provide you with some starting points for new pieces of writing, and some suggestions on how you might continue. There will be the opportunity to try out different techniques for writing stories and poems and have a go at creating some pieces, all in an informal and positive atmosphere.

The Creative Writing course will start on Wednesday 25th April, 6pm – 8.30pm at Brompton Academy, Marlborough Road, Gillingham, Kent ME7 5HT.

For further information or to book your place please contact Mary Murison on 01634 583536 or email marymurison@bromptonacademy.org.uk

Short Films of Mr Young – Screening – 26th May 2012 at 4pm – Chatham

To celebrate the release of the new compilation DVD ‘Caged Fire – The Short Films of Mr Young’ – the UCA Pop-Up Gallery, Chatham, UK, present an evening devoted to Mr Young’s short films.

Mr Young has seen 6 of his films broadcast on UK TV and screened at over 30 festivals and screenings over the world.

The event and DVD release draws a line under past achievements for Mr Young who is currently developing two new feature films.

Is this the end for Mr Young’s short film adventures?  Probably not.  Two new short films have already been written and there is a couple of new music videos in the pipeline with up-coming Medway bands.

The DVD release will contain a new version of his very first film, plus a rare chance to see the first ever video by Brighton indie band The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster.

Mr Young will present each film and there will an opportunity for a Q&A with the acclaimed filmmaker and copies of Mr Young’s first feature film DVD East 3, his CD collaboration with 7th Adventure Recordings and the new Caged Fire DVD will be available to buy.

Location – UCA pop up gallery – upper level of Pentagon Shopping Centre – Chatham

Time – 4PM on 26th May

Area – South East

Fashion On Trial – Presentation and Discussion -19th April – Rochester


FASHION ON TRIAL is all set for Thursday 19th April. It will be held at the Good Intent pub, John Street, Rochester, from 8pm (in the back bar, accessed via the garden). Come and join Medway Mutiny in the middle of London Alternative Fashion Week, for an evening of discussion and entertainment on the theme of…you guessed it…fashion. We’ll be talking about clothes, brands and nudity; plus there’s comedy, music and storytelling. Including, of course, the ever popular speed debating. And it’s free!

We’ll be hearing from Marta Patlewicz and Abigail Ziering-Dalmedo (fresh from taking part in Alternative Fashion Week herself) about the downside of the fashion industry. Kevin Elam makes the case for nudity. Sam Hall talks about tattoos, and there will be a rant against retro-ism.  Abigail will also be contributing on the musical side. There will be stand-up comedy from CO Jones and Mat Wills; and storytelling from Philip Kane.

Most importantly though, FASHION ON TRIAL is all about opening up a space for discussion and debate, a place where your voice can be heard.  So come along and take part in the most exciting forum in Medway.  Everyone who came to Love On Trial, in February, agreed they’d had a brilliant evening.  And hopefully we’ll get even better at this as we progress!

FASHION ON TRIAL is organised and hosted by Medway Mutiny, a loose collective formed in broad sympathy with the Occupy movement.  Newcomers are welcome to get involved with the collective, and with planning or participating in the On Trial events – just let us know that you’re interested.  If you have something that you’d like to promote at On Trial evenings – whether it’s an event or a cause – and have material (eg flyers) that you’d like to distribute – please turn up as early as possible so that your material can be included in our Goodie Bags, which everyone can take away with them at the end of the evening.

Look out for the next event after this, too.  MONARCHY ON TRIAL is due on Thursday 21st June – a good antidote to the Jubilee festival of sycophancy and forelock-tugging!  Keep an eye on the blog at http://medwaymutiny.wordpress.com for news and updates.

You can also contact Medway Mutiny direct by emailing medwaymutiny@btinternet.com.

Area – South East and London

Contemporary Art and Craft Fair – Henley on Thames – 22nd to 24th June 2012

The organisers of The Craft and Design Experience are once again staging their contemporary craft fair in June at The Henley Showground within the Hambleden Estate, near Henley on Thames. 

The Craft and Design Experience has earned an enviable reputation for selecting only the very best professional designers, artists and craftsmen and, with the resurgence in interest in designer crafts, the event is expected to be as popular as ever.  Visitors are able to shop for unusual contemporary items in a relaxing atmosphere, view a wide range of demonstrations or take part in various craft related workshops.  For children there will be a storyteller, a make and take area and lots more.

Work will be on sale from exhibitors working in many disciplines including furniture, textiles, jewellery, leatherwork, glass and more.   Design of the exhibitors’ products must be of the highest standard to be selected, and must show true innovation and originality ensuring only the very best in UK design is represented. 

Opening times are 10 am – 5 pm each day.  Advance tickets are now on sale at a reduced price or purchase on the door at £7.00 for adults, £6.00 for over 65s or children 5 – 16 £1.00.  For further information and advance ticket sales contact CDE Ltd on 01622 747 325 or visit the website at www.craftexperience.co.uk

Area – South East 

Kent Filmmaker Enters 48 Hour Film Challenge

Kent filmmaker Mdhamiri Nkemi is entering the Sci-Fi London 48 hour film challenge. Mdhamiri will be filming this weekend – but he will only receive the brief for the film Saturday morning and have 48 hours to script, film, edit and deliver his piece. All the brief will contain is a title, details of props to be included and a line of dialogue.

A number of locations are allowing Mdhamiri to film at their businesses but the crew would appreciate the addition of any more shooting locations including offices, shops, studios or spaceships. If you would be willing to help please email energy333air@yahoo.co.uk

The competition, which is part of the London sci-fi film festival, will give filmmakers the opportunity to have their film screened at the festival and the winner will get a development deal with Vertigo films.

So far Mdhamiri would like to thank the Golden Chippy in Strood and the coworking space @coFWD in Rochester High Street for their help.

To follow the progress over the weekend use  #SFL48HR on Twitter and you can find Mdhamiri on Twitter.

For more information about the 48 hour film challenge please see http://www.sci-fi-london.com/48-hour-film-challenge

Area- South East

Craft In Focus – Canterbury – 13th to 15th April 2012

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Kent based business, Craft In Focus, is staging one of their contemporary craft events in Canterbury from 13-15 April this year at Kent College.

Although exhibitors come from all over the UK, several local makers have been selected.  These include jewellers, Dave Kilford from Deal and Sabine Konig from Herne Bay, silversmith Edward Mahony from Faversham, artist Deborah Packebusch from Barming, ceramicists Helen Rondell from Wrotham Heath and Louise Hummerstone from Canterbury and stained glass artist Brenda Norrish from Ashford.  Visitors will also be pleased to learn that regular exhibitor, Tim Huckstepp from Ashford, will be attending once again with his ceramic ikebana dishes and.  The Kent Potters’ Association will also have a stand at the event selling original handmade ceramics for the home and garden.

Opening times are: 13-15 April, 12 noon – 5 pm Friday; 10 am – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is £4.00 for adults, £3.00 for over 65s.  Accompanied under 14s free.  Free Parking.  For further information contact Craft in Focus on 01622 747 325 or visit their web site at www.craftinfocus.com

Venue address:  Kent College, Whitstable Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 9DT

Area – South East

Attention Film Makers – Virgin Media Shorts Competition 2012 is Here!

Virgin Media Shorts is a leading short film competition for the UK and is open to all to enter. Now in its fifth year the competition is bigger and better than ever before giving even better opportunities for filmmakers. With an extra 13th spot on the shortlist they are ready to uncover the best film making talent Britain has to offer.

Entries will be judged and the top 13 entries will have their work screened at over 200 cinemas nationwide for a year. A Grand prize winner will be chosen by a top panel and this winner will get £30,000 funding to make their next film with the BFI.

There is also a Peoples Choice winner that will by selected by the general public through Virgin Media TiVo boxes, the Virgin Media Shorts app and through the Virgin Media Shorts website. The Peoples Choice winner will get £5,000 towards the making of their next film with BFI mentoring.

Entering the competition couldn’t be easier; simply upload your film (no longer than 2 minutes 20 seconds) to www.virginmediashorts.co.uk between 19th April and 12th July 2012. The concept is your choice so surprise us!

If you enter please let Creatabot know and we can add to the promotion of your entry in collaboration with Virgin Media Shorts!

Every entry will be showcased to thousands on the Virgin Media Shorts website, as well as through the iPad, iPhone and TiVo® apps – so even films that don’t make it to the final will get heaps of exposure.

For those who prefer watching films to making them, there are plenty of ways to get stuck in this year. You can vote for your favourite short, join the debate online, win prizes and come along to our swanky screening events. Plus for the first time ever, you can help nudge your favourite film into the spotlight with the ‘Lucky 13th’ place on the shortlist.

Previous judges for the competition include actor John Hurt (1984, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), director Paul Greengrass (Bourne Ultimatum), director Mat Whitecross (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll), actor Kevin Spacey (American Beauty, The Usual Suspects) and director Duncan Jones (Moon).

The winners don’t just get their work seen by millions in cinema; they turn industry heads, too – 2009 winner Luke Snellin clinched a BAFTA nomination for his winning Virgin Media Shorts film ‘Mixtape’, and is now working on his first feature. Oscar Sharp, 2010 winner, was nominated for a BIFA for ‘Sign Language’ and his latest short, starring Olivia Colman, will be unveiled shortly!

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