Learn More about Medway’s Secret Island During Medway Visions Film Festival – 12th September

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A film documenting the experiences of an artist living on Darnet Island for 6 weeks last summer is being screened at Gillingham library on the 12th of September as part of the Medway Visions film festival.

Otherness; Forty Five Days on the Isle of Beauty, shows the life David Wise lived during 6 weeks camping on Darnet Island in the Medway Estuary. David lived partly off the food he found there and recorded life with a variety of means including a pinhole camera made from driftwood.

The film is a great way to see parts of Medway that most of us have never seen, and learn more about the nature around us that often goes un-noticed.

The free screening will take place on the 12th of September at 7.30pm and will be followed by a questions and answers session with David Wise. At the screening David will also be launching his complimenting book which will be on sale at £15 which includes a £5 discount.

People can book by calling the library on 01634 337799 or email chatham.library@medway.gov.uk with the reference “45 Days Of Beauty”.

A poem dedicated to the memory of Hilary Halpern

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I moved to Medway some time ago

This place inspires me, as you well know

I wanted to help with the amazing creativity

To help it be seen by more, to prevent exclusivity.

 

But fortunately I had somewhere to start

Someone had already helped Medway’s art

This man was someone who needed a studio himself

But was happy to share space with someone else.

 

So he looked for a place that would be just right

And in Chatham High Street he found just the site

There was room for lots of artists, not just him

And this is where Nucleus arts was to begin.

 

He saw in Medway there was a need

So in making studios for artists he took the lead

Him and his daughter made lots of studios and gallery space

At last creatives in Medway could find their place.

 

All that happened in 2002

And the arts centre just grew and grew

And now as the arts scene here continues to boom

Nucleus arts continues to bloom.

 

Over 400 artists have been there to create

The effect on Medway has been great

I know I will never forget what Hilary done

So Medway creatives, let us make sure the work he started, carries on.

By Natasha Steer

 

Dedicated to the memory of Hilary Halpern – founder of Nucleus Arts Centre.

It was Hilary’s wishes that donations should be made to Nucleus Arts  – click here for more details.

Make a Website In A Night – 8th July 2013 – Rochester

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Order tickets via Eventbrite:
http://websiteinanight-efbevent.eventbrite.co.uk/

In one evening Natasha Steer will help you create a simple website and show you the basics of how to maintain it.

There are just a few things you will need –

A laptop

Images for the website

Your bio details for the “About” page

Your email address details

Details of the domain name you own – OR if you do not yet own a domain name (ie www.yournamehere.co.uk) then please purchase beforehand or bring a debit card/Paypal details on the night so that we can go through this process step by step. 1&1 internet are really good – you shouldn’t have to pay more that £10.

Any questions just email natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Location – 161 High Street, Rochester (coFWD)

Time – 7pm to 10pm

Please note: Our venue is a very old bank building that is being slowly shaped by a community of individuals for long-term Community Interest. Sadly the startup project is in its infancy and being run on limited funds so the building currently has some accessibility issues. If you have specific access or disability requirements and would like to participate in an event or activity please let us know at least 5 days before the event date so that we can do our utmost to resolve any potential problems to accommodate.

Chatham Mural Project Workshop Dates Announced – All Welcome

Would you like to be part of an exciting community art project to paint a big mural showing scenes from Chatham’s past present and future? The site is next to Homestyle 206/206A Chatham High Street. Artist Richard Jeferies will develop designs based on your ideas and work with you to paint the mural. Whether you are 9 or 99 years old you are welcome to join in!

Workshops to develop the designs will take place on these dates at:

Nucleus Arts Centre – Conference Room

High Street

Chatham

Sunday 9th June 2pm to 4pm

Monday 10th June 6pm to 8pm

Wednesday 12th June 6pm to 8pm

Painting the mural: Monday 1st to Friday 12th July

Launch – 13th July alongside Medway Open Studios launch

The mural project has been developed by DNA and the workshops and mural are being developed by artist Richard Jeferies.

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Free Talk – The Creative Process: Words and Music – June 17th 2013 at 2.30pm – University Centre Folkestone

Some rights reserved by MarkyBon
Some rights reserved by MarkyBon

When composers and writers collaborate, what comes first – the words or music?  UCF hosts a conversation between Mariam Al-Roubi, singer, songwriter and librettist for the opera Mirabai, and its composer, Barry Seaman.

How does a creative work, such as an opera, develop from idea to tangible form through musical and written language? What is it like to adapt original text to produce a libretto? How do you ensure that you honour the original text (the opera subject, Mirabai, was herself a mystic poet, musician and dancer from 16th century Rajasthan).  How do you integrate newly written poetry? How does a composer work with a writer?  How is it different to working on an album? These questions will be explored and the dynamics of creative minds working together discussed, using musical examples.

About the speakers

Barry studied at York University, specialising in composition, and works have been produced and commissioned in most media, with broadcasts on Radio 3 and his music for silent films Tsar Ivan Vasilyevitch Grozny (Alexander Ivanov-Gai 1915) and The Life of Richard Wagner (Carl Froelich 1913) was widely toured in the USA. He has a special interest in music as a healing process. His most recent project is Mirabai, a large scale multimedia opera that combines ancient spiritual and romantic ideas with astonishing technology in collaboration with Musion Systems.

Mariam is a classically trained singer, dancer, musician and poet.  Whilst writing the libretto for Mirabai, she is also working on a number of projects, including her studio album. She studied BA (Hons) Music Technology at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.

About Mirabai

Mirabai is the third of a trilogy. The first two pieces were large-scale choral works: The Consoling Song (words in Sanskrit from the Bhagavad Gita; commissioned by The Brighton Singers and first performed in Brighton UK 2002) and Bhajans (words by Nimisha Patel and Elizabeth Newman; commissioned by The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton and first performed in Binghamton NY USA 2007).

In March 2013, The Lake, and Petals, two excerpts from Mirabai, were premiered by the Ealing Symphony Orchestra and the Krishna Dance was shown as part of the annual Kinetica Art Fair in London, presented by the Musion Academy. A short film of the Krishna dance scene has been produced, and directed by acclaimed film director, Tony Palmer.

 

This event is FREE to attend but advance booking is essential.

Please contact jane.seaman@canterbury.ac.uk or ring 01303 760600.

Area: South East    Folkestone

Half Term Creative Family Workshops – Sparky Project – 30th and 31st May 2013 – Rochester

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The Sparky Project is hosting hands on making workshops in order to create a series of parade structures as part of this year’s Opening Parade for Fuse Festival 2013.

Families are invited to help with getting the projects two main characters ready for the parade, the theme of which is ‘Time Travel’. The workshops, taking place in Rochester, are open to children accompanied by parents.

The Sparky Project aims to offer a wide selection of creative activities to a wider audience, and these workshops will offer an insight into some of the making processes involved with the parade.

The workshops will be held between 11am – 1pm on both Thursday 30th May and Friday 31st May.

Booking is essential, so please go to www.sparkyproject.eventbrite.co.uk to book a place.

The workshops will take place at the Scullery Studios, behind 376 High Street, Rochester, ME1 1DA.

Flyer Front copy

Area: Kent    Medway     South East

Be Part Of Medway’s New Art Vending Machine – CreataboX

Vending Filter

An art vending machine, CreataboX, is being launched at Fuse festival on the 15th of June in Chatham, and the project needs help from local creatives to produce miniature creations to go inside the machine.

Items can include art pieces, knitting, poetry, stories, music on memory cards and anything inspiring that can fit into a vending machine ball. Creatives are being asked to include information about themselves in the ball as this is a great opportunity for promotion.

The next free workshop is at 6.30 on Tuesday 11th June at 161 High Street, Rochester. Materials will be provided. Book here – http://creatabox.eventbrite.co.uk

The vending balls are 9cm in diameter and you can also bring pre-made work to the workshops, where they will be put into the vending balls.

The workshops are being lead by local artist Richard Jeferies, who is part of the CreataboX project. Richard has taught a wide range of artistic workshops and been part of many local art projects over the last 10 years. Speaking about the project he says “I would like to see the CreataboX building a link between artists and lovers of art. With its pocket money price (£1) I would hope it can bring art into more peoples lives, and at the same time give exposure and inspiration to creatives established as well as just starting out”.

It is hoped in the future that funding will be available to commission local creatives for further vending machine contents.

CreataboX has been developed through Creatabot by a team of people passionate about doing awesome things in Medway. It was inspired by the art vending machine in Leeds, but was altered to be multimedia.

Area :    Kent    South East    Medway

Work Your Way With Words – The Word Shed – Various Dates – Medway

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ME4Writers present their collective, collaborative project ‘The Word Shed’ at Fuse Medway Festival!

Come and visit The Word Shed, where inside, instead of seeds, pots and a lawnmower, and that drawer that’s full of things that you might need one day, you will find yourself in a blossoming, inspirational world of words.

During the festival, visitors to The Word Shed will help create a new ME4Writers’ publication. On the first two days, visitors will have the chance to add their poem or short story to the growing publication, on the third day, the writers will perform highlights from the new, nurtured and fully grown publication, and giveaway a free copy

The Word Shed is a Spark Commission for the Fuse Medway Festival, 14-16 June 2013.

‘ Wordshops’

ME4Writers will also be running some creative writing workshops, ‘Wordshops’, in the run up to the festival, where we will invite attendees to write short prose and poems inspired by Medway, Fuse and festivals!

Wordshops will be held at:

11 May – 1.30-3.30pm – Rochester Library

18 May – 10.30am-12.30pm – Strood Library

25 May – 10.30am-12.30pm – Walderslade Village Library

8 June – 1.30-3.30pm – Chatham Library

Places are free – but please reserve a place with the library concerned, or by phoning 01634 337799.

All submissions will then be added to our website, and a selection will be available from the Shed on the last day of the festival, printed in our new publication.

ME4Writers are known for their innovative, collaborative projects, and guerrilla publishing techniques, and have previously produced a poetry treasure hunt game played around the streets of Medway, ‘Poetrymon’, and the popular ‘Letters Home’ project, which asked people to write about home, culminating in an afternoon of readings and an exhibition at Rochester Library.

Dates: The Word Shed will be at various locations in Medway throughout the Fuse Festival. For exact locations please see their website, nearer the time.

http://me4wordshed.wordpress.com / Twitter @wordshed / http://www.facebook.com/wordshed

The Art of Crowdfunding: Presented by Crista Cloutier – 22nd May 2013 – Folkestone

Image by Rocío Lara
Image by Rocío Lara

The Art of Crowdfunding: A one hour workshop for artists, writers and creatives presented by Crista Cloutier.

Crowdfunding is fast becoming one of the most popular ways for artists and creatives to raise money. But is it as easy as it sounds? What is involved in a crowd funding campaign? In this intensive one hour workshop, Crista Cloutier will discuss the recent trends in crowd funding as she reveals the successes and challenges faced during her recent Indiegogo project.

Participants will learn:
– What is crowd funding and how does it work?
– How to choose the right platform
– How to approach budgets
– The importance of planning and implementation
– The hidden values of crowd funding
– Dealing with failures and setback
– Tips and tricks

Actively involved in the contemporary art world throughout her career, Crista Cloutier works internationally as a writer, artist, playwright, and educator. For more information go towww.cristacrista.com

Host University Centre Folkestone
Start Time Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 at 14:00pm
Entry Fee £FREE
Member Entry Fee £FREE
Location University Centre Folkestone
Mill Bay
Folkestone
Kent CT20 1JG

FREE to attend but booking essential – contact Jane Seaman

The weblink is here: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/events/event-details.asp?eventId=3848

Art Vending Machine For Medway – Lets Do This!

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So…Leeds have recently been featured on the BBC news website  regarding their new art vending machine, and fellow creatives here in Medway think it is only fair Medway and Kent have one too. So lets make it happen.

Included in the vending machine could be art as seen in the BBC link.

Also poetry like this carried out here: http://nicelledavis.com/2013/02/19/we-made-our-kickstarter-goal-poetry-vending-machines-are-on-the-way/

The machine could tour round different venues and events 🙂 it would be so cool!

Any other ideas?

I am apprehensive to start an official crowd funder yet. It would be great to generate interest then ask people to send the money to a certain Paypal address – or just pay in cash at selected venues in Medway.

Ed Jennings has kindly worked out we need around £200 to buy a machine and the initial containers for the machine.

Can people who are willing to support financially, even a few £  –  please add a comment or email me?

Thanks guys! And thank you to Richard Jeferies for the encouragement to do this! 🙂

Natasha x

natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Get Your Application In For Medway Open Studios 2013 – Deadline 26th April

The Hazelnut Press studio - part of The Ridley Road Group
The Hazelnut Press studio – part of The Ridley Road Group

Registration for the Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival closes on Friday 26 April. All artists and makers from the Medway area are being urged to sign up quickly and avoid missing out on being a part of this creative festival.

Now in its second year, the arts festival has increased by 100% since its launch in July 2012. This summer, 30 venues will be displaying work by more than 100 local artists and students, making it the largest independent art festival in Medway.

To encourage more artists to sign up a Makers Market option has been introduced, offering pitches inside the new emerging art venue, Sun Pier House. The art market will be open over the weekends of the festival, with various products and crafts on sale. Apply before Friday 26 April to book your place.

The festival runs from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 July 2013. For more information please visit www.medwayopenstudios.co.uk

 

Area: Kent       South East     Medway

Survived – Chatham Clinic – Open 19th May 2013

Chatham Clinic - Open 19th May 2013

The clinic will be open in Chatham on May the 19th 2013. Book at www.survived.eventbrite.co.uk

A unique theatre experience is taking place at Sun Pier House, Chatham, on the 19th May.

Entitled “Survived”, the event is described as “site responsive interactive theatre”, which means you as the audience get to walk around the performance taking place throughout the building, and engage with the performers.

Set in the distant present, Survived is a clinic for people who have survived a nuclear explosion and need treatment for their radiation poisoning caused by fallout. You, the visitor, are in this case, the patient needing help.

This is the perfect opportunity to see how empty space can be used for unique types of theatre, as well as an example of collaboration within the community. The event is aimed to be inspiring and educational. 

Expect gas masks, steampunk and bizarre medical instruments.

Survival wear is optional.

There are two clinics, one at 7.30pm and one at 8.30pm. Each clinic lasts 45 minutes.

Tickets cost £5 and must be pre-booked at www.survived.eventbrite.co.uk

Disabled access disclaimer: Unfortunately, due to the current nature of the building in use, we are unable to provide access to this event for the disabled.

Fresh Look For Fuse Festival 2013 With New Artistic Director

Fuse festival, a free outdoor festival held yearly in Medway, is back for 2013 with a new artistic director. The festival is also supporting some new exciting projects by local creatives.

The new artistic director, Megan Donnolley, is originally from Australia, where her working life encompassed an exciting variety of comedy, fashion, dance and theatre events including Sydney’s Fringe and Comedy festivals, Megan brings an international flavour to Fuse, together with an absolute commitment to local Medway communities and artists. Based in London, most recently she has curated public art and exhibitions, worked on community art projects in the Tower Hamlets, and is Co-Director of Comica: London International Comics Festival. She has also delivered large scale outdoor events, national open access film and literature competitions and worked extensively in contemporary music as an agent and music festival producer.

MeganDonnollyFuseMedwayFestival
Megan Donnolly

Back in January local creatives were offered the chance to put forward ideas for the festival, and 3 unique projects have been awarded with the commission to carry out their ideas.

Dizzy O'Dare
Dizzy O’Dare

Dizzy O’Dare Presents…. will be bringing ‘The Wonderful World of Mr E,’ an interactive show for ages 5+, featuring puppets, clowning and story-telling.  Mr E travels through the audience’s imagination, visiting strange new lands and going on fun adventures. Mr E and his two assistants will take their audience on an expedition into imagination itself. Between shows the audience will be encouraged to visit Mr E’s intriguing Museum where they can write a postcard, draw some of Mr E’s adventures, or help create a new artefact or creature.

Rebecca Ashton’s
Rebecca Ashton’s

Rebecca Ashton’s ‘The Sirens of Cetham’ will be a visually exciting dance performance on and around The Anchor in Chatham (Cetham being the ancient word for Chatham).  The bustling setting will inspire the costume design and in turn, the choreography. A sewing group will help make the costumes and a local school will decorate a ‘Feedback Fishing Net.’  Young choreographers and costume designers will learn new skills from professionals during the project and the whole performance will be live and interactive during the Festival.

ME4 Writers
ME4Writers

Innovative writers’ group ME4Writers are creating ‘The Wordshed’ – a cosy and intimate base for creative thought.  Guided by visitors to the Festival, the writers will develop and launch a new collection of poetry and stories for (and about) Fuse Festival, festivals in general and Medway. Visitors who wish to take part will be invited to create their own piece of writing to add to the collection. On Day 3 of the Festival there will be the opportunity to hear readings from the finished publication and collect a free copy.

 Other creative projects will be involved, but this is yet to be announced.

FUSE 2013 will take place from 14th to 16th June, preceded by Lighting the Fuse. Visitors to the Festival can expect to see Medway’s streets and open spaces filled with some of the most exciting and inspiring entertainment with lots of free arts events for all the family throughout the weekend.

For more information about Fuse Medway Festival visit the website at www.fusefestival.org.uk, or join them on Facebook or Twitter.

Area: Kent   South East    Medway

Chinese Brush Painting Workshop With Ann Fairchild – 26th March 2013 – Strood

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Artist Ann Fairchild will be running a workshop about Chinese brush painting in Strood on the 26th March. She will be demonstrating how she creates her paintings and then participants will be able to give it a try.

Bring along water pots, newspapers and wear your painting clothes!

The workshop has been organised by the North Kent Art Society www.facebook.com/NKArtSociety

New members/ visitors welcome.

Members £2, Non Members £5. Annual Membership £15.

Location: Peninsula Church Hall, Cliffe Road, Strood. ME2 3DY.

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

7.30pm – 9.30pm.

Enquiries:Tina Woodward 01634 725006 Email:tinwoody21@yahoo.co.uk

or

Hazel Kilburn 01634 250322 Email:hazelchristine1@btinternet.com

Area:  Kent    Strood    South East

What A Young Artist Taught Me About Crowdfunding – By Crista Cloutier

Harrison

It was Day 16 of the campaign and I had only cried in public once. Twice. Online crowdfunding is not for the faint of heart.

I’ve spent my entire career in and around the art world. I recently curated a touring exhibition of new work by Kiki Smith and Valerie Hammond. I have been a gallerist and a fine art print-publisher, collaborating with the luminaries of the international art world. I have sold artwork to nearly every major institution in the USA as well as thousands of galleries and collections.

But about five years ago I had what I refer to as a midlife “correction.” Desperate to become something different, I sold all of my possessions and used them as a ticket to a new life. I left my home in the states and moved to the south of France, devoting a year to discovering my own creative path, before moving to England where I really got down to work and became a writer and photographer.

Throughout my career I have seen how artists struggled and I knew it didn’t have to be so hard. So I began sharing with artists what I knew about how the art market works and giving them the tools necessary to create a successful career. I called my class The Working Artist and I have now spent the past three years teaching it throughout the world.

I’ve long wanted to turn this course into an online educational program, something that could be downloaded so that any artist, anywhere, can have access to this information at an affordable price. After spending nearly a year researching the options and putting a business plan together I decided to launch an online crowdfunding campaign to raise the monies it would take to film and edit the program.

The launch party was a huge success and I exceeded my initial goal in terms of donations. The next two weeks have been a whirling dervish of emotions and bloody hard work. At the computer constantly posting, begging, pleading, thanking. And when I’m not at the computer I am out on the streets handing out promotional materials, chatting with artists, lecturing, making connections, chasing leads. This month, it seems, will never end.

The biggest take-aways have been the lessons learned, the hard way, about staying balanced, about not being attached to the outcome, and about letting go of what other people think. Easy lessons none.

But it’s been difficult to keep the faith. Though I have been blessed with little moments of serendipity that give me cheer, each day that someone tells me “no” can bring my spirits crashing to the ground. And so Day 16 began. I was halfway through the campaign, I’d begged every friend, relative, and ex-boyfriend I knew and had raised just over half my goal. Now what? I was exhausted. Well-intentioned friends gave me advice about how I could be doing it better, but they only served to make it worse. I was having a crisis of faith.

Harrison

I was on my bicycle whizzing down a hill under a bridge when something caught my eye. A little boy was drawing with chalk on the concrete wall. My camera was at home with a dead battery. But I have a phone, I reminded myself. I hate photographing with a phone and I don’t photograph children but something told me to turn back. I asked his mother if I could take a picture. I tried to get a shot of him as he drew, apologizing for not having my good camera. “So do you just ride your bike and take pictures of things that interest you?” he asked. I nodded and he looked impressed, “I want to be like you.” What’s that? “An artist,” he smiled.

He showed me some of his other, earlier, chalk drawings. There was a large piece called “People Pasture” of a unicorn eating people. “But I don’t think that’s my best work,” he said gravely. His name was Harrison and he was 8 years old. His drawings filled the walls with their childlike graffiti, he’d even written poetry. “Faith. Justice. Believers matter,” he wrote.

“Sometimes,” he confessed, “I have doubts about my work.” Harrison wanted to be a famous artist. We spoke for a long time. He told me how it hurts when people don’t like what he does. I pointed him back to his own words, “Believers matter.”

I told him what it is to be an artist, how it’s important to always take chances, to make your life an expression of your work, of your self. I spoke of integrity. He drank my words in thirsty gulps. I told him how fame is a false prophet and how his life’s work, as an artist, is to work hard to develop that which lies inside and to always look for ways to express it, leaving everyplace he ever goes more beautiful for him having been there. “Like you do with these walls,” I told him.

He said, “It’s so good that I met you.” But it was I who was blessed. I told Harrison about my crowdfundung campaign and he encouraged me not to give up. “Look how much you have helped me today,” he said. “This is your work.”

I asked to take his picture with my phone and he made me wait so he could put on his glasses. As I left, he told me that he would be back tomorrow, making another drawing, should I want to visit him. “I will photograph you again,” I promised.

“Bring your good camera this time,” he said.

By Crista Cloutier

Crista Cloutier’s crowdfunding campaign ends on March 30th. Visit www.igg.me/at/theworkingartist to see how you can participate.

Soldering Workshop – 26th April 2013 – Rochester

Solder Iron

Creatabot have organised a beginners soldering workshop for those wanting to learn the handy skill. Soldering is useful for any creative, from artists to geeks, and it is hoped that the workshop will benefit people with various relevant projects.

The workshop will be held on Friday the 26th April 2013 at 161 High Street, Rochester from 10am to 3.30 pm. Tea and coffee will be provided but please bring lunch. The workshop attendees will be taught by Colin Turner, and the event will be hosted by Natasha Steer from Creatabot.

Places are VERY  limited so please book quickly!

BOOK HERE: http://solderingworkshopcofwd.eventbrite.com

Area:    Kent     South East     Rochester

Featured Creative: David Faltrego – Surreal Artist

les citroen

I love surreal art, Dali is one of my favourite artists in fact. So when I discovered David Faltrego’s work at Medway Open Studios last year I was excited to find a local artist creating surreal artwork. I thought everyone would be interested to find out more about David, who lives in Medway,  so here is a little interview with him…

So David, tell us more about your background and how you ended up creating surreal artwork?

Just prior to leaving school I was briefly interviewed by a recruitment representative from Maidstone Art College who wasn’t impressed. I had insufficient supporting grades, my portfolio was apparently of an unexceptional calibre and my “bolshie” attitude probably sealed my fate! I seriously doubt I would have lasted the course anyway as I don’t listen or rather I take on board only what interests me.

Today I paint whatever I please, as and when I please…

Other than an “A” Grade O Level, I’ve no further art qualifications. I have no awards and since I never submit to competitions I never will. Paradoxically my greatest delight in winning any award would be in politely declining it!

As a surrealist it can be a struggle both selling work and gaining acceptance into a gallery, since this particular genre is generally frowned upon and receives little credibility within the art world, particularly in the UK. Never the less I continue to plough a lone furrow quite simply because this is what I enjoy.

cattle of an udderworld

I began painting as a hobby, doing quite a lot of commission work throughout the 1980’s. However, by the end of the decade I’d become thoroughly bored with it all, I never really enjoyed commissions – but it funded some travelling at the time. This coincided with several galleries declining to show my work, leaving me totally disillusioned with the Art world. It was a further 12 YEARS before I picked up a brush, following persistent badgering from an ex work colleague who was into the “arts”. This time I was determined to do it differently – No more commission work and no appeasing others tastes. Self-indulgent? Absolutely!

I gradually amassed a small body of work to compliment my older material. By chance in passing, I stumbled upon the Nucleus Gallery in Chatham and I asked if I may hire their gallery for an exhibition. For the very first time I received a positive response without the stuffy, elitist attitude.

I had my first solo exhibition in May 2010, followed by two more in 2011 and 2012 and the feedback has generally been very good. Of course I cannot hope to please everybody, after all art is essentially subjective. You wouldn’t expect an opera lover to attend a punk rock concert but it’s still all music of sorts.

magic roundabout

Is your art your main income?

I know I’ll never make a living from painting, therefore it has always remained something I do in my spare time because I enjoy it. To pay the bills I have always worked in the printing industry as a Finisher, for a number of different companies in Kent.

Who inspires you both locally and universally?

Locally I would have to say several people connected with Nucleus Arts who have offered me encouragement particularly at the shops in Rochester and Maidstone.

On a much wider scale – since much of my work makes references to my childhood growing up in the 60s-70’s then my parents must take some credit. We certainly never had the material things but we did have everything that really matters, resulting in some of the best times that live on in my memories and sometimes resurface in my works.

Anything that messes with the logical way of thinking, the absurd, random thought process, etc – that’s what fascinates me!

Inspiration maybe stretching it but my art tutor at school could take some credit for allowing me virtual carte blanche to express myself rather than push me into the “traditional” route as he did with most others – although I’d have probably done as I please regardless! Universally, Artists I admire – Dali and Magritte (obviously), also Brueghel, Bosch and Vermeer who weren’t surrealists.

The music of the Beatles (post 1967) and Pink Floyd has influenced my thinking certainly. I’ve long since found inspiration from the surreal humour of Python and more latterly Eddie Izzard as well as the dark tales of the Brothers Grimm. Anything that messes with the logical way of thinking, the absurd, random thought process, etc – that’s what fascinates me!

serving the master

What are your plans for the future?

The future?, who knows. Currently I’m nearing completion of a whole new set of work due for exhibiting in August 2013 at Nucleus Chatham. Ideally I would like my work to be acknowledged with more credibility but I won’t hold my breath. A wider audience would be nice – that’s all.

Are there any other skills you would like to learn?

Other skills – not really. I’ve already discovered what I enjoy most and indeed what I do best. I simply wish to continue improving on what I’m already doing. As long as I have the ideas and desire to paint I will do so, but if or whenever I feel my standards are falling or I become disillusioned again, I will stop.

Are there any website you enjoy looking at?

I view Deviant Art, Red Bubble and Saatchi Gallery from time to time.

Thank you so much David for talking to us, we are really looking forward to seeing more of your work at the exhibition in August!

toys in the attic

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

Craft Central Gets Hitched – London’s Handmade Wedding Fair – 21st to 24th March 2013

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 00.11.20

Wedding coming up? Fed up of sprawling soulless commercial wedding fairs? Get personal at Craft Central 21-24 March 2013! All you need to add a handmade touch to the big day. From the bride herself to guests looking for the ideal gift, there’s something for everyone… and, what’s more, IT’S FREE!

Join Craft Central for a drink at the Special Launch Night on Thurs 21 March, 4-8pm Late Night Shopping on Fri 22 March, 4-8pm

Avoid the high street on Sat 23 March, 11am-5pm & Sun 24 March, 12-4pm

LOCATION: 33-35 St John’s Square, London EC1M 4DS

http://craftcentral.org.uk/craft-central-gets-hitched

More Info from Craft Central

Craft Central Gets Hitched returns for 2013… Give your wedding some character with unique, handmade products by almost 50 designer makers. Browse ready to buy products, commission your own piece or discover a bespoke service. Our designers are as excited as you are about your big day (well, almost!) so come and meet them!

We’ll help tackle those long wedding ‘to do’ lists! From ‘classic’ wedding essentials, to the slightly more unusual, handcrafted products include: Bridal fashion; Invitations; Millinery; Jewellery (rings in particular!); Gifts (such as Ceramics, Interior Products, Silversmithing); Father/Mother of Bride/Groom fashion and accessories; Bunting; Decorations; Floristry; Favours and table paraphernalia. Also, don’t miss hair and makeup demonstrations; scrumptious wedding cake solutions; music from DJs The Wedding Smashers; Rhapsody Road Photography’s pop up photo booth; gorgeous floristry by Flor Unikon and our wedding food market in St John’s Square.

It’s not only future brides and grooms who’ll appreciate Craft Central Gets Hitched. The entire guest list (from family and bridesmaids/groomsmen to the evening guests) will be thoroughly spoilt for choice…

For the Bride… Once the dress is sorted you can relax (well, it’s almost that simple!), so come and meet our couture bridal wear designers who will be showcasing stunning gowns. Not planning a traditional veil? Or fancy a unique headpiece to compliment the dream dress? We have an array of milliners with sumptuous vintage-inspired bridal hats and fascinators. Bespoke handmade shoes are the perfect finishing touch!

Don’t forget the Men… Our designers are on hand for all your wedding jewellery needs! Personalise wedding attire with handmade cufflinks and don’t forget the rings – you’ll find a super selection of wedding bands and engagement rings here!

The look and feel of the day… With beautifully designed invitations, bespoke bunting, favours and table decorations – we’re here to help!

The perfect wedding gift… There’ll be plenty of handmade options, including ceramics, silver smithing and other tempting products for the home.

The wedding party… Seeking a special gift to thank your bridesmaids? Our jewellery and accessories designers can provide affordable options.

Last but not least, the Mother of the Bride… With exceptional milliners on board, the fear of someone sporting the same hat as you becomes a thing of the past.

Almost 50 designers will be cherry picked to assist with your big day.

Area: UK   Britain   South East     London

Made In Clerkenwell – Winter Open Studios at Craft Central – 2 buildings 100 designers – 22nd to 25th November 2012 – London

Craft Central opens the doors to its two fascinating Victorian buildings – start your visit in Clerkenwell Green and then find St John’s Square just 2 minutes away. Go ‘behind the scenes’ and explore the workshops of this renowned design community. Whether you’ve got an hour or a whole day, mingle with the makers in the studios where they work their magic. One ticket allows unlimited access over 4 days, including Thursday’s launch event and Friday’s late night shopping.

Avoid the high street this Christmas and opt for handmade! Pick up jewellery, fashion, interior products, ceramics, accessories and traditional crafts by 100+ selected UK designers. Choose a gift, commission a unique piece, find a bespoke design service or just browse… this shopping treat is topped off by meeting the maker.

Craft Central is famous for great jewellery design – this November, adorn yourself with big names like Sonia Cheadle, Sarah Herriot, Amy Keeper and Mark Nuell. Continuing the fashion theme, milliner to the stars (including Fern Cotton, Dita Von Teese, Alexa Chung and Lily Allen) Katherine Elizabeth is on hand with vintage-inspired hats for the party season and cover up with Kate Jones’ gorgeous knitwear.

Once you’ve decorated yourself, why not focus on your home? The Showcase gallery plays host to a Pop Up Design Shop brimming with gorgeous interior products, including Susan Bradley’s sleek London Landmark bookends. In the studios – find a world of intricacy in Ikuko Iwamoto’s ceramics, Michelle Mason’s London inspired interior products brighten any home, Helen Beard’s hand-illustrated characters come to life on hand-thrown porcelain and spot your favourite London street in Vic Lee’s unmistakable prints.

Go back to the roots of making and discover the fascinating processes… and get your Christmas shopping done too! Refuel with refreshments from Chop’s Cakes and the food market in St John’s Square.

Launch Night on Thurs 22 Nov, 5-8pm

Late Night Shopping on Fri 23 Nov, 12noon – 8pm

Avoid high street crowds on Sat 24 & Sun 25 Nov, 12-5pm

Craft Central has TWO buildings:
21 Clerkenwell Green EC1R 0DX & 33-35 St John’s Square EC1M 4DS

Admission £3 each (under 16’s free)

onshow@craftcentral.org.uk

020 7251 0276

Writing and Publishing my First Book – Talk By Denis Pepper – 29th November 2012 – Folkestone

An accomplished and popular local speaker with a wide range of interests, Denis Pepper began public speaking as a 10-year-old in the CWS Music and Literary Festivals. On joining Folkestone Round Table he became a prominent member of their hugely successful Debate Team. Subsequently he has been in demand as a Rotarian speaker and, since publishing his book Botolphin 2010, which was inspired by the seventh century Benedictine monk, Saint Botolph, Denis has given talks throughout Kent and Sussex. In the summer he spends his time sailing (and writing) in the Mediterranean.  

He has just completed his second book in the Botolph Trilogy.

Denis Pepper will talk about the discipline of organising a writing routine, and technical issues such as the design and printing of book-covers, describing how to bind the trial copies cheaply and easily yourself. He justifies this extra work by pointing out that with self-publishing it is essential to get things right before sending the finished product to the printers, whose job does not include correcting errors; you must either do that yourself or employ the services of a professional.

He will also cover areas of importance that will include reviews, marketing, Amazon, e-readers and battling with booksellers.

The talk is free to attend but advance booking is essential.

This event is open to the public.

Venue: University Centre Folkestone,
Time: 18:00 –  29th November 2012

Contact: Jane Seaman (email)
Telephone: 01303 760600
Url: www.ucf.ac.uk

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

Nesta Call for Artwork – Closes 26th November

Nesta is the UK’s innovation foundation. They help people and organisations bring ideas to life by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills.

Nesta are looking for art to inspire their staff and visitors, transform their busy networking and events space, giving budding artists from across the country the opportunity to showcase their creativity to a large and diverse audience.

So, if you are looking for a space to showcase your work – which could include photography, video, sculpture, ceramics, fashion or fine art – that reflects Nestas core mission ‘to make the UK more innovative’, then they would love to hear from you. Anyone is welcome to apply – from budding art students to passionate amateurs to creative retirees. For more information on how to apply visit the Nesta website.

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

Lucia N°03 – The Lamp Of Inspiration – By Natasha Steer


 
They say everyone is creative. I believe everyone is born creative, but that if you let go of it, it is much harder to get back. Those who are non-creative are known to be more rigid in their thinking; they like rules and like to stick to them. Those who are creative are more spontaneous, like to be different and break the rules – us creative’s have issues with “walls”.

Recently the UCA Pop Up Gallery in Chatham was host to a visit from Lucia N°03 and it’s creators: Dr.Dirk Proeckl – a neurologist and psychologist, and Dr. Engelbert Winkler – a psychologist and psychotherapist.

Dr. Ernst Mussmann also joined them in the Gallery with his newly designed Vibrating chair.

Lucia N°03 is a lamp that contains white strobe LED lighting, when you sit in front of it with your eyes closed it stimulates the pineal gland and causes your brain to create a kaleidoscope of colours and patterns. The flickering LED light is controlled by a computer programme, which can be adjusted to suit the participant.

I read recently that those with more serotonin in their bodies tend to be more creative, whilst those with more dopamine are the non-creatives, as described above. Lucia N°03 not only stimulates the pineal gland but also the release of these hormones.

I asked one of the lamps creators, Dr. Winkler, whether older people found Lucia N°03 had little influence in comparison to younger people. Interestingly he explained that older people had the same results as younger people because they were more relaxed and had less pre judgements. He informed me that the most close-minded people couldn’t stand the results of the lamp and would want it switched off immediately.

We had some very interesting discussions that day, I am fascinated by the mind and having the opportunity to ask these doctors questions is something I won’t forget. We spoke about how the mind is resistant to change, and how there are those who know their life is going a certain way, that it is playing a certain story. I asked “But can they change that story?” One of the doctors replied, “You can” he paused “But, most people do not want to”.

Being someone who happily did change their story some time ago, you can imagine that I was happily the first to volunteer for a session with Lucia N°03.

An area of the UCA Pop Up Gallery had been sectioned off, and behind a black curtain was a comfy lounging chair and Lucia N°03. The chair had been created by Dr. Ernst Mussmann to help the person in it to relax. It emits sound by running the vibrations of frequencies through your body. I lay down and wooden “shoes” were put on my feet. I also laid my hands on wooden panels; these emitted the sound in a soft way to my body. The feeling this is supposed to reproduce is of being back in the womb, the brain is therefore relaxed, safe and your experience with Lucia N°03 will therefore be stronger.

Mussmann explained that the sound currently being played was the noise of the rotation of the earth, sped up. Amazingly he also informed me that if you were to put the frequency of this sound to a colour, it would be green. The Doctors have also been working alongside an aroma therapist, so I had some natural oils put on my hands to inhale and again, help me relax.

I was told that at first I would have a soft session for 2 minutes to check everything was okay. I had headphones put on, was told to close my eyes, and then I waited. I was very relaxed. The light switched on, and to start with I felt like I was laying in the sun. But what was strange was that it felt like the light was changing colour, but I knew it wasn’t. After a 2 minute test run the Dr started a 15-minute soft programme. He said it was very soft, and added to this the sound level I had chosen to have the chair set at was also low.

Again, it felt like I was laying in the sun to start with. Then after about 4 minutes, something happened. Everything started moving, and there were suddenly colours and patterns everywhere. As I moved my eyes around the pattern would move and change even more. It was like looking through a kaleidoscope, with the patterns ever changing. I had a short break between each experience, which I assumed was to give me a rest, but it turned out it was just a softer point of the programme and not everyone gets a break. I was told I could have a stronger session later on in the day.

Each persons experience is unique to them, for some reason my brain appears to love triangles. I spent the day drawing what I saw on my first session, so that you can see for yourself.

The stronger session later in the day was indeed stronger. The sound levels were made higher and the programme was stronger – more strobe patterns. I saw patterns and colours again, but this time with no breaks in between, the patterns just moved and changed continuously. I felt so relaxed. I wondered whether I could control what I was seeing though, so I tried to, I told my brain I wanted to see flowers. What happened? All the patterns stopped! As soon as I was not relaxed and just letting my brain enjoy the experience the patterns and colours were weaker. So I realised that this lamp was an amazing relaxation aid. In order to have a stronger experience I had to relax. It was something that I took away with me actually, I have learnt from it what “relaxing” actually is, that feeling of emptying your mind.

For this reason (and some unexplainable others) the Austrian doctors have found the lamp to help those that have certain issues in changing their life. It helps them to see themselves in a different perspective, which then helps to adjust their thinking and help the brain organise information better. When you are fully relaxed and enjoying the colours and patterns, you see your problems from another point of view, and it can help you to make some changed either mentally or physically to make things better. 

The mind is an amazing organ, and we will never understand the depths of it. One of the doctors spoke about how light and consciousness are so similar, neither can be fully explained and our understanding of them is so small.

The lamp makes someone who maybe isn’t creative; think in a more creative way. And for those who are creative, well it is inspiring and really gets your creative juices flowing.

 To find out more about Lucia N°03 visit: 

www.gesund-im-licht.at

UCA Pop Up Gallery: www.ucapopupgallery.co.uk


 

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

A Self-Hating Bunch (or ‘A Thought Strikes Me’) – By James Bovington

Look! A Cliché!
The Scream (Edvard Munch, 1893)

Artists are a self-hating bunch.

That’s the prevailing notion among the ‘normals’, anyway. By ‘normals’ I mean people who don’t consider themselves artists or ‘creatives’, although I think Mr. Teller, of Penn and Teller fame, put it best when he said art is “…whatever we do after the chores are done.”

The most common conception of an artist is a brooding figure in a dark room, slashing yesterday’s paintings with a steak knife. It hasn’t been helped by the sheer number of artists ‘back in the day’ that committed suicide or spent their lives in self-inflicted exile and hermitage, or the vast number of people these days who seem to think that by pretending to be psychologically damaged or dark they can join some exclusive ‘Artist’ club and their work, no matter how lazy or bad, will be somehow ‘valid’.

Enough inverted commas. All of that is wrong anyway.

What some people see as loathing directed inwards is in fact something entirely positive. Here’s an example from my own life:

I used to be rubbish. I was a terrible writer; an ok poet, but my prose was bad, plain and simple. Reading back through some stuff I found fairly recently proves this to me. I’m not going to post any here, it’s too painful, but trust me. When I see the kind of dreck I used to put out it makes me ashamed and angry. This is where the disconnect happens between ‘creative’ minds and others; the creative doesn’t see that as a negative emotion reflected on oneself, they see it as a negative emotion cast solely on the article in question. It’s a realisation that you used to lack the skills you now have, and that you have improved and, crucially, will continue to do so.

I’m pretty sure a few years down the line I’m going to come across a notebook filled with scribblings from around now-ish and hate them with a passion.

I know exceptional artists who basically refuse to draw because they aren’t ‘good enough’. This might be a confidence issue, but I know these people, so I know it isn’t. It’s a desire to constantly improve. An attitude that is entirely healthy for a creative person. If you have a set point in your mind where you think ‘I want to be THIS good’, you’ll eventually reach it (slowly, I might add) and then stagnate. If your desire is to improve on your work all the time, you can only get better. When struggling uphill the only place you can end up is on top, so to speak.

The most important thing to remember is that people change, and that includes you. You might really like a certain style of painting one year and then find yourself thinking it’s awful the next. Your psychological state is never the same as it used to be because you learn to deal with, or let go of, issues that used to inform your art. Here’s an experiment you can try if you’re lucky enough to have left puberty behind;

Look through some of the stuff you did during that period of personal turmoil. How much of it would you say is empirically ‘good’? 10%? None of it?

Exactly. That’s one of those periods of life where everything that is ‘you’ is jostling with what you thought was ‘you’, or what you think ‘you’ should be. Your personality is testing the waters, as it were, and art is a reflection of self.

As a result it’s going to be all over the place, some good, most bad, just because your whole self is throwing itself around trying to get a feel for the place. I know the majority of my own pubescent scribbling were confused, self-absorbed and downright bad, and it’s a good thing I know that because that has let me fix those habits over the intervening years.

So, in case you skipped to the end for a swift summary, I’d point out that what allegedly non-creative people are imagining when they hear you describe your own work with flippant ‘Oh, that was shite’-style remarks is entirely wrong, but by no means illogical, it’s just that they haven’t grasped the mindset that lets somebody critique their previous efforts.

It’s always worth adding ‘I’ve learned what to avoid’ or something to that effect, to let them know what you actually mean.

And to you ‘non-creatives’ (even though you don’t really exist), just remember; we don’t hate ourselves. We hate our work.

There’s a big difference.

By James Bovington

P.S. I find that it’s probably for the best to think the word ‘Maybe’ after every sentence of this article to achieve the best understanding of what I mean.

Maybe.

Page Fright – by Jane Ayres

Empty space. Empty place.

A blank page on a blank screen.

Fear of the unknown.  Is that what is so daunting about writing those first few words?  Why is that blank space so intimidating?

Page fright.  A writer’s nightmare.  The evil twin of procrastination.  You’ve done battle with the big P and now you are poised to dazzle with your wordcraft skills, your pearls of insight.  But wait – you hold back.  Will you censor your thoughts and strangle your darlings before they get the chance to draw breath?  What are we afraid of?  Being judged, criticised? Not being good enough?

Creation is a mysterious process.

As a younger writer, I would spend ages staring at that white page (we used pen and paper or typewriters in the 70s!), digging deep for inspiration, wanting the words to be perfect immediately.   I would get everything straight in my head before committing it to paper.

I’ve often read advice for writers that suggests writing anything to fill that space, to overcome the self-censoring instinct.  Later, you can edit what you have written and mould it into something that satisfies you.  This works for me.  The advent of technology has changed the way I compose and I can write my novels in whatever order I wish.  If I am in the mood to work on that action sequence in Chapter 9, I will.  If I feel more reflective, I will write the complex emotional exchange between the main characters in Chapter 3.  Oh, the joys of the cut and paste tool on a word processor!

The way in which we work, the medium used, does affect what we produce.  I love the freedom and flexibility that my laptop offers me.  If I want to change the middle section of my story, I can do so without having to type the whole lot out again from the beginning.  Bliss!  I approach the writing like constructing a patchwork quilt.

But when I use pen and paper, my thought processes are different.  I work inside my head more, and will cover the white space with scribbling, diagrams, lines and arrows, visually setting out the connections.  I probably dream the story more in advance.  And I love using white space to create poetry, which for me is both visual and musical.

When I teach writing workshops, I generally get participants to use paper and pen, which for many students is a bit of a novelty, especially the IT generation, because it offers possibilities that may not have been previously considered.  The results are always exciting. Especially when students have no more than five minutes to complete the first workshop exercise.  Pressure, whether real or imagined, can be a useful motivator.

So, after we have slain the fiery dragons of Procrastination and Page Fright, what other obstacles await us as we continue our journeys on the path of creation?

Marketing; An Arid, Lonely Desert – by James Bovington

Atacama Desert (Creative Commons)
Atacama Desert (Creative Commons)

Yesterday garnered an interesting new experience for me, a new aspect of the world of writing that threw me for a loop and no mistake;

Just on a whim I tried to write a little five-hundred word article to use as a marketing tool for my work, basically a little slice of my life involving the product in question, loaded with key words and phrases I could link back to our website. Standard ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ stuff.

That’s not the interesting part; the interesting part is what I felt while I was writing it.

I felt like I was forcing it out, for one, mainly because I was, but I also felt…

Dry, I suppose.

Every sentence I typed felt dry and cracked and empty, almost gritty in my mind. Every time I started a new paragraph I was struck by the mental image of an arid, lonely desert. It was very strange. Almost frightening in fact, in that ‘Have I finally snapped?’ sort of way.

I also got very annoyed with myself, at first for not being able to do the task I set myself with any real passion, but eventually it was simply for even trying in the first place. I felt like I was betraying something ethereal, like I was using my powers for evil. I felt like Superman burning down an orphanage.

I know, I know, marketing is necessary in this modern world, but I’ve conditioned myself through the years to be distrustful of it, bordering on paranoia, and to be annoyed by it bordering on outright hostility. To find myself engaging in it was a little like telling my past self to shut up (although to be fair, he really should have, just not about this), or kicking my inner-child.

I stopped, about halfway into it, and had to go do something silly on the internet for a while just to stop feeling so despondent. I went back eventually and typed a few more sentences, but the feeling came back stronger. It hit me like a blow to the soul.

So now it’s unfinished and squats in my hard-drive like an awful goblin, it’s even called ‘Stupid Marketing Bullshit.doc’, which I don’t remember typing at all.

I’ll get on it eventually. I’ll either continue to force it out or I’ll find a way to make it enjoyable again. I might even have to start over and just write something on a whim, then try to find a way to force links into it in random places. But I’ll get it done.

I don’t know how interesting this was for any of you, but to me it was fascinating that I could have such a powerful adverse reaction to what should be a simple task.

I suppose writing with ulterior motives just doesn’t suit a man who wants to write stories about dragons, crisps, people and THE FUTURE. (‘THE FUTURE’ must always be in all-caps when discussed in the context of fiction. This is a rule I’m establishing right now.) Or maybe I’m being hugely egotistical about my writing and verging on the ‘too deep for you’ mentality that ruins a lot of prose.

Such is life.

by James Bovington

Robin EPQ Trailer – By Alice Stansfield

Here is a short trailer for my EPQ short film based on Dick Grayson becoming Robin.
Music by the awesomesauce music man Harry Volker.

EPQ stands for Extended Project Qualification normally taken at AS level to gain another qualification. If you’ve been following my vlogs (video blogs) on my YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/HisLittleEmo?feature=mhee (which just reached over 100 subscribers) then you will know all about my project.

I’ve been making a short film based on the original Batman comics focussing particular of the character of Dick Grayson, who for you non-Batman-nerds was the first Robin, The Boy Wonder.

I wanted to take the originally screen portrayed camp Robin from cheesy to dark. Therefore I set his story all in one day and his meeting with the Batman’s enemy The Joker in Robin’s early days at college. This is the story of how Grayson becomes Robins.

This is the trailer I recently released on the project to receive feedback to go in my project folder.

Soon the final shot film will be public. If you want to know when and for more updates follow me on Twitter: @HisLittleEmoo.

Procrastination Is Evil – By James Bovington

CC Emilie Ogez

You sit down, you grab your pen or your paintbrush, your finger hover over your keyboard, you say to yourself “Yeah, let’s CREATE!”

Then you check your Facebook. Then you have a sandwich. Then oh dear, it’s time you went to bed.

Procrastinating doesn’t even mean that, deep down in the secret parts of your head, you actually don’t want to do the task you’ve set yourself. I can be really excited about a project and then not start it for a day or two. I can be enthralled by something I’m scribbling down, then just wander off and come back to it later. Sometimes that’s actually helpful. More often, though, it is not.

Procrastination is the murderer of time and for many is almost impossible to avoid. There’s absolutely loads of tips and tricks available that claim to help you stop slacking off, some work, some don’t. You get a different genie each time you rub that particular lamp, so I’m not going to add my own to the legion.

Instead, here’s a handy list of things I’ve done, and you can do too, instead of working on your art; whatever it may be.

  1. Start something else.

This is a good one, actually. A good many times I’ve sat down to write something and ended up babbling about something else. Right now, in fact, I was going to work on my script. So here’s this instead.

  1. Eat something.

Put down your art supplies. You’re hungry. Yes you are. You’d love a sandwich right now. Hell, even some soup. If you’re doing soup you may as well cook up some noodles. Hey, why not make yourself a full stir-fry and watch a bit of telly while you eat it? You can get back to work right afterwards, right? Right?

  1. Check your Facebook page.

Or your Tumblr, or Google+ or whatever it is you crazy kids do nowadays. Go check it. Then check it again.

Then sit there refreshing the page over and over, staring at it as though that’s going to make something new happen. You have no new messages. Keep checking.

  1. Watch the TV.

It’s for inspiration. This show is shot really well, it’s interesting to look at. This show too. And this one. This one is just a really good show. Oh, they’re showing Alien on Channel 4? I’ll watch that then go to bed. I’ll finish my piece tomorrow.

  1. Go to bed.

Cut out the middle man; just go to bed right now. You were up all night working on your art anyway; it’s fine.

  1. Go out with your friends.

You haven’t seen them in days. You have to at least put in an appearance. You can go home early and finish off that article you’re writing. Is that a jagerbomb in your hand? Why are you ordering a gin and tonic? Don’t go to the club, it’s time to… oh, never mind.

  1. Have a hangover.

This is because of 6. You cannot brain today. You have the dumb. Coffee, bacon, telly, bed. No loud noises, thanks.

And finally, my personal favourite.

  1. Do nothing.

The number of times I’ve caught myself just staring at a wall midway through typing a sentence is absolutely ridiculous. Apparently a blank wall is really, really interesting when you have more important things to do.

So that’s that, just some handy suggestions you can use to aid your procrastination and put off working on your art for just that little bit longer.

I hope my little list has helped you come up with new ideas and new ways to avoid working when you really should be, and I hope you have as much fun not doing anything productive as I’ve had enabling your lazy arse.

Now get back to work.

By James Bovington

You can find out more about James at his main writing blog: http://jbovington.wordpress.com

Tumblr account http://burndownthesun.tumblr.com

and Twitter @JBov

Introducing a New Creatabot Contributor – James Bovington

Creatabot has a new contributor on board, James Bovington from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. James is a writer and will be writing various topical articles for the site. We asked him a few questions to find out more…

So what is your creative background? 

Thanks to my mother I was raised on science fiction, basically. I’ve been reading voraciously from a very young age. In fact the only ‘children’s’ book I can recall reading as a child is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, after that it’s all just ‘actual’ books, or books on tape.

Because of that I’ve always loved words, particularly the placing of words into nice lines. I wrote a lot of poetry when I was younger. These days I write a lot of fiction and a handful of articles on various subjects.

Did you study any creative subjects?

I studied radio journalism at university for a little while, then I dropped out; not for me, the life of a scholar.

It hasn’t helped me in my creative endeavours at all.

What other career paths have you taken?

I’ve done the most basic, lowest-rung drudge work in various kitchens; pot-washing and the like. It’s not exactly the most mentally engaging of jobs; gives one a lot of time to think.

Now I sell electronic cigarettes from a kiosk in a shopping centre. For large chunks of the day I have nothing official to do; gives one a lot of time to write. And ‘smoke’. I like it quite a lot.

Who inspires you both locally and universally?

I’m very lucky in that years ago I fell in with a group of people, all of whom are thoughtful, artistic and creative without exception. While we don’t necessarily always take impetus from each other’s work it’s nice to be, and to have been for so long, within that framework of creativity.

In an overall sense I, like everyone, have my influences. A list of names is in order, I think:

Kerouac

Thompson

Asimov

Vonnegut

Clarke

McCaffrey

Adams

Brooker

There are others, but listing them all would take too much room. Those are the main few.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

I’d like to eventually have at least one novel published. I’d like to get my comic script finished, drawn and online, and if I’m allowed a flight of fancy I’d like it to be picked up for an actual print run.

I think all creative people want to be recognised, and paid, for what they love doing.

I just want to keep writing for as long as I can.

Can you recommend a creative website you love?

Actually no, sorry. Everything I see by way of creative stuff comes to me over my Tumblr feed, or links and suggestions from my friends.

Although, once you filter through the endless reams of crap, Tumblr is actually awesome for finding cool artists and photographers and writers. Wimp and YouTube are the same, but for videos.

My advice is ‘You can never follow enough links.’ Keep clicking on stuff and you’ll find the diamonds amid the mud.

Thank you James, we look forward to reading your articles!

You can find out more about James at his main writing blog: http://jbovington.wordpress.com

Tumblr account http://burndownthesun.tumblr.com 

and Twitter @JBov

Music Scenes: Time To Stop Complaining And Do Something About it!

Evening all!

Today I’m veering away from label based shenanigans (love that word) for a personal post to talk about the scene.

Now, for those of you that don’t know what I’m referring to, the scene is what people tend to call the representation of music, bands and gigs in their area. Every county, town and city has a scene, and they tend to have highs and lows. It’s a cyclic thing, music everywhere is like it.

I’m writing this article not as an educational piece (though there may be some good pointers in here), but as an observational piece. To be perfectly frank, I’m hacked off with people in the Medway Towns and surrounding areas complaining there is no scene in town anymore.

“Oh, I wish there were more bands to see”
“I remember when there used to be a gig on 4 nights a week”
“What happened to all the good music in this town?”

When I was working in the record shop I used to hear this constantly. In fact, to my knowledge people are still going in there and moaning to their mates about it, despite the array of colourful posters that adorn the entrance to the shop, informing them of regular club nights, one off gigs and album launches(!) from local bands.

It takes 3 groups of people to create, maintain and evolve a scene. Bands. Fans. Promoters. Now, I happen to exist in all 3 of these groups, so I feel I’m in a pretty good position to talk about it. There have to be bands to create a scene. That’s a no brainer. Following that, there has to be fans. You need people to go to the shows after all! Then finally you have the promoters, of which there are plenty in the towns, believe me!

The issue with Medway, I think, is that no one is ever happy with the music scene unless its uber cool, on the cusp and breaking ground. The problem here is that these things have to be built from the ground up. There are loads of bands that want to play. There are a good group of promoters covering an array of genres to book bands. Admittedly the venue situation is a bit tricky for us but we all talk to try and move forward. But where are the fans?

I, with 2 friends, run a Zing, Bang, Kapow Productions. We put on a gig every Sunday in Chatham with some great bands. We promote it hard, as do the bands, but I still hear people complaining about how there aren’t any good rock bands in town to go and listen to anymore. Admittedly, I know Sundays are tricky, but we start at 5 and were usually done by 10. What are people usually doing on a Sunday about then?! To add to that, you’ve got MotherBoy, Moogie Wonderland putting on Alt/Rock/Punk shows, as well as a few other guys (Even Bar Mojo/Command House!) putting on rock line-ups! And to address the “lack of good rock bands” quite frankly that is a load of BS. Frau Pouch, Z-Stacks, Dog Town, Houdini, Cry Baby Special & The Monsters, The Dirty Vibes, Yokozuna, Fishtank, Rageweed, Iron Iron, Wolfgang Special, and tonnes more that I’ve forgotten, apologies. And that’s just rock/alt bands. The Preservation Society have got some fantastic bands signed up to them, and if I’m thinking right, they’re part of the brains behind getting The Cribs to play in town and ME1, the Rochester Castle gig with PIL! Or have butchers at TEA, a local collective putting on some fantastic gigs in the South East. You have them to thank for Grandmaster Flash at The Casino Rooms.

A few quid isn’t a lot when you get to see 3 or 4 bands play.

I guess what I’m trying to say is GO TO YOUR LOCAL GIGS! Wherever you might be reading this. The only way to make and feed a scene is to keep turning up. Don’t complain when you know damn well there are probably 4 gigs on that week, but you just can’t be bothered to go. Venues are a premium these days. Medway lost Bar M years ago, RAFA club is a shadow of its former self and lets not even get started on what WAS the Tap’n’Tin, let alone what its become (You know INME and The Libertines played there right? NME features and all. What happened?!). We know it might be a bit of a grotty pub but you have to persevere, because once other venues see there’s a calling for places to play, they’re more likely to get involved.

Also, moan at promoters, not the bands. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt recently from being in the industry is that its not the artists fault if they don’t get that gig in your hometown. It’s the promoters. If they’re not playing there, it’s probably because a promoter didn’t think he/she’d make any money from it. So go shout at them and let them know you want to see that band on their club night or line up!

By Luke Crook

Creatabot Presents Their First Workshop: “Expanding Your Creativity” – 26th September 2012 – Chatham

Creatabot are holding a new unique workshop at Nucleus arts centre in Chatham High Street on the 26th September.

The workshop is entitled “Expand Your Creativity” and covers a number of topics that will inspire and support local creatives. Subjects to be discussed include event organising, use of social media, writing press releases and opening pop up shops.

Director of Creatabot, Natasha Steer, who is presenting the workshop said “Medway is fast becoming a unique place of creativity, exciting events and future thinking projects. Some people are not aware of how to utilise this, some people are not even aware quite how much is going on and being planned. Creatabot aims to help people get even more involved”

The workshop runs from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and costs only £5 per person. 

You can book in person at Rochester Coffee Co, Nucleus studios, 272 High Street, Chatham or at http://expandyourcreativity.eventbrite.co.uk

Tea and coffee will be provided.

Location:

Nucleus Art Gallery And Studios

272 High St

Chatham

Kent

ME4 4BP

Any questions please email natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Area: South East

My Experience of Saturday Film School – By Alice Stansfield

Screenwriter?

Film maker?

Camera man?

Actor?

Director?

Producer?

Film lover in general?

Then this video has something for you.

I attended a course by Raindance called Saturday Film School up in London. After taking notes on the all day course last weekend I decided to sum them up in a video to help share the information. Enjoy!


The course was a great way to spend a Saturday. I managed to get a voucher off a website after finding out about the event via Twitter so it was much cheaper. I think I was the youngest there amongst around 200 people but everyone was really smiley and was a great way to get connections by talking to everyone there who had a love for film and a talent in the industry.

I sat next to a women, for example, who loves film and came to the course as a present from a friend. She works at a hospital that is used on film locations often and really loves that side of the industry. It was great to hear from someone who isn’t in the industry but still has a passion for it.

I hope to visit again and attend a longer course to really build up my skills!

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

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

THE BIG DRAW – 1st to 31st October 2012 – Location: The World!

The Big Draw is the world’s biggest celebration of drawing. It has grown into a month-long festival running throughout October in all parts of the UK. Every year more organisers across the world join the Big Draw family and run drawing events to engage their communities in creative activities.

New organisers register NOW

If you are already registered, please add details of your event for publicity purposes

Big Draw organisers include educators at national, regional and local museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries, parks, schools, shopping and community centres. Everyone is welcome to run their own Big Draw.

Find out more about this year’s theme, 2012 in Lines

Big Draw, Big Make kicks off the 2012 Big Draw season at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 30th September. Free pop-up studios and workshops, led by some of the UK’s top artists and designers, will encourage visitors of all ages to become illustrators, architects, fashion or product designers for the day.

Drawing Inspiration Awards are presented to the most innovative and engaging events. They are sponsored by the Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust and NADFAS. Visit Drawing in Action to see the latest winners and exciting examples from previous years.

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

XX:ART returns with Ed Sheeran’s tour support: Lester Clayton – 9th September 2012 – Chatham – Kent

After the success of previous XX:ART events, the organisers are bringing another brilliant line up to town on Sunday 9th September with Lester Clayton headlining the gig.

Part political activist, part love-poet, Tottenham born Lester Clayton has a songwriting wit that’s been gaining fans and winning over audience since performing over 600 gigs in the UK and his nationwide support tour with Ed Sheeran. His reggae-infused brand of “Street Folk” with fiddle hooks and groove bass is fresh, poignant and totally infectious.

Lester has supported the likes of Ed Sheeran, Junior Marvin (Former Bob Marley and The Wailers Guitarist), Just Jack and Peter Doherty.

The main support on the night comes from XX:ART regulars Crybaby Special & the Monsters who since last playing for XX:ART have released their debut EP (produced by Babyshamble’s Mik Witnall) and Es Muss Sein; an acoustic / folk act who has recently supported Glasvegas, Story Books and The Wave Pictures.

Other supporting artists take shape of local favourites Tatterattles, Meg Janaway & Ellie Loft.

Matthew Tillman (promoter for XX:ART) – “After seeing Lester Clayton supporting Ed Sheeran, I am over the moon about welcoming him to our night in Chatham. He’s doing something really cool at the moment and his street folk genre is slightly different. He’s already supported some big names too, so we expect big things for him. Plus the supporting lineup is pretty huge too.”

XX:ART takes place monthly at Club Mojo (below the Command House) in Chatham, Kent.

Tickets are just £5 and available on the door. Further information can be obtained from www.facebook.com/xxartmusic

Area: South East

Solihull Artist Donates Work of Art in Bid to Save The Horse of Tamar

As part of the appeal to save the Horse of Tamar statue, which was damaged by metal thieves in February this year, local artist, Nicholas Logan, has created a work of art in a bid to raise money for the cause.

On hearing the news about the statue, the artist, who grew up in Solihull and acquired his BA (Hons) in Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art, decided he wanted to help Solihull Council raise money to restore one of the borough’s few existing public art works.

I have always found the Horse of Tamar inspiring and when I heard it had been damaged, I felt that it was my duty as an artist to do something to help save the statue and conserve a piece of Solihull’s heritage”, states Nicholas Logan.

The oil painting, which features a dramatic depiction of the borough’s iconic horse and trainer, Malvern Park, the Church of Saint Alphege and the River Blythe, will be unveiled at the Solihull Arts Complex on Thursday, 27 September at 6.00 pm. The original artwork, which will be on show at the complex for several months, is available for sale and the same painting will also be reproduced as a signed, limited edition series of 100 prints, with the proceeds donated to the Horse of Tamar restoration appeal.

Councillor Ken Meeson, Leader of Solihull Council, said: “I’d like to express my thanks to Nick Logan for his kind offer of donating the proceeds of the sale of this painting to our fund. The public have been very generous already with donations, which along with the sale of the painting, will take us some way towards our overall target of £15,000.

The original oil painting costs £2000, whilst the limited edition prints, which are available unmounted, mounted, mounted and framed, cost from £80 to £180. If you are interested in purchasing the original or a print contact Sarah Silver of Bastian Contrarian, on 07971-022369; un-mounted prints can also be purchased at the Tourist Information Centre in the Solihull Arts Complex.

Area: West Midlands

Getting Published: Fifty Shades Style – By Emily Foster

Almost everyone in the publishing industry is reeling at the moment at the success of the Fifty Shades of Grey series. Last week it was reported that it has become the biggest selling book since records began, selling an awesome 5.3million+ copies worldwide. Films and music soundtracks based on the trilogy are now in the making as well.

So, while those of us in the industry are wondering how we can reach those record sales, I’m sure many budding authors are also wondering how they can pull off this major achievement through their own work – the nature of content aside for now. 

One key thing to take away from this success story is its creation. Urban legend has it, the basic framework of the story had already been written as fan-fiction for the Twilight series (another crazy-popular example) and published online by the author. The story was so popular that it got picked up by a publisher and the rest is history.

If you want to attract publishers, one way to go about it is to build an audience for your writing first. Think about it: say you have a blog or a website that pulls in thousands of views every day. There is clearly already an audience for your writing, and potentially those views could translate directly into book sales. I don’t like to talk about creativity and money in this way – but it’s true that the publishing industry is suffering at the moment, and investing in a project that is guaranteed at least some return sounds much saner than investing in an idea with little else to back it up.

If that sounds like a lot more work on the part of the writer, then think of it this way: debut novelists would be lucky to receive an offer from any publisher nowadays, let alone a decent advance. If you start the marketing yourself, and build your audience, you become a much more attractive candidate, and therefore in a better position to negotiate a good deal. In fact, if you do manage to gain a decent audience, and don’t mind putting in more work yourself, you could self-publish and receive a much greater cut of the earnings. The music industry went through the digital transition earlier than we did; just a few years ago we saw artists like Kate Nash and Lily Allen find huge audiences, and eventually record deals, for their music via their independent online presence, initially self-publicising through MySpace.

So, finally, the big question remains: have you read Fifty Shades of Grey yet? 

By Emily Foster

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

Why Superheroes Inspire Me – By Alice Stansfield

Dressed as Robin for my short film EPQ, I took the oppurtunity to make a vlog about superheroes and why they inspire me.

Please subscribe to my channel.

Short film coming soon!

By Alice Stansfield

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

Featured Creative – Eleanor Bennett – Photographer

Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 16 year old internationally award winning photographer and artist based in Manchester who has won first places with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, The Woodland trust and Postal Heritage. Her photography has  been published in the Telegraph , The Guardian, BBC News Website and on the cover of books and magazines in the United states and Canada.

Her art is globally exhibited, having shown work in London, Paris, Indonesia, Los Angeles,Florida, Washington, Scotland,Wales, Ireland,Canada,Spain,Germany, Japan, Australia and The Environmental Photographer of the year Exhibition (2011) amongst many other locations. She was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus run See The Bigger Picture global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010.

We had the wonderful opportunity of speaking to her to find out more…

So what is your creative background?

I am a self-taught artist and started entering competitions as soon as I picked up a camera. I learnt a lot from the rejections I received but also gained experience in getting published in the real world. I have had over 70 front covers of magazines and books within 12 months.

What other career paths have you taken?

When I was younger I wanted to take care of animals or become a stop motion animator. I would still find it hard to pass up the chance to create and animate if it was given to me. When I was younger I never thought photography would become my chosen medium. Until my teens I have had more experience with holiday snapshots than Cindy Sherman. The internet is a great tool to widen young horizons.

Who inspires you both locally and universally?

Everything and all. I like to make the weird into fine art and the dull into splendour. I like to change opinions and minds.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

At least 1000 front covers, interviews and featured artists, I plan to be taking images when I am 70, at this time I am barely 17. I want to retain my style no matter what education I may receive in the future as a professional artist.

Can you recommend a creative website you love?

Duotropes Digest – All markets. Something for everyone you have ever met, loved or hated. A read can be found for all those with minds in the now, future or past.

We love your work Eleanor, thank you for speaking to us. We look forward to seeing even more of your photography and art!

You can keep up to date with Eleanor at www.eleanorleonnebennett.zenfolio.com

All image copyrights belong to Eleanor Bennett.

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

An ebook is for life…..by Jane Ayres

(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) By alienratt

In a previous post I quoted author Jonathan Franzen, and do so again as his views are thought provoking. Regarded as one of America’s greatest living novelists, he is not a fan of the ebook.

“The technology I like is the American paperback edition of Freedom. I can spill water on it and it would still work! So it’s pretty good technology. And what’s more, it will work great 10 years from now. I think, for serious readers, a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience. Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change.”

When I first read this quote I immediately thought, what a strange thing to say.  An ebook is forever.  Once it’s out there, it’s there until the writer takes it down.  A printed book only exists while it is in print.  And paper and ink can rot, burn, fade and be physically destroyed. Therefore lost in that way.

Then I thought some more about permanence/impermanence.  When it comes to matters digital, different formats need different hardware to read.  We have a choice of formats  –  kindle, kobo, nook  – to name a few, that all vary.  But if you can read, you can read a print book without needing some special device.

And of course, some digital formats become obsolete. We only have to think about  Amstrad (my first proper computer!), cassette tapes, video now replaced by dvd (which will undoubtedly disappear in time). Content on these formats has been lost.

When I started writing, my work was stored on big floppy disks, then smaller versions for the Amstrad (not compatible with any other format!), then pc floppies, and memory sticks.  Now we can store data on wafer thin cards and out there in the cloud.  All these changes in the space of a relatively few years.  So now I can get a handle on what Franzen is saying.   And it is so easy and cheap to alter digital content compared to amending a printed copy of a book.

Personally, I am a fan of both formats.  I love printed books and I love my kindle.   I’ve also read extended pieces on my blackberry. I can’t help wondering what the future will hold…….

By Jane Ayres

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