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

‘Creativity, Productivity and Time Management’ by George Langridge

To me, using technology to boost my productivity is almost everything. I’ve spent almost two and a half years searching for a practical, cost free (or very cheap) method of managing my time, boosting my productivity and being creative. I think I have cracked it.

As a student and creative, trying to juggle time to fit everything in, staying creative and being productive is a big task. Since getting my MacBook Pro, I have used nearly every application I could find to see is it could keep me productive and creative. Now, I use a variety of applications, services and methods.

iCal

Versatile, multi-tasking and simple.

 iCal/Calender [Free]

I’ve found that the ability to have multiple email accounts with their individual tasks, events and labels is really handy. I can see when I am due to go to college, work experience or out on shoot. I can also see when things are due, when I need to see family/friends and remember birthday. If you have to manage a company or group – that has it’s own email – you can see what everyone else should be doing or more likely, what they should be doing. You also have the ability to attach notes, files and locations to the event.

Quick search

Spotlight [Free]

Spotlight search is one of the most helpful tools on the mac, you have the ability to find documents, contacts, events, applications and much more. I use this tool to quickly open applications and recent files, Spotlight search learns what you search for the most. For example, if I search the letter Spotlight will put Twitter as the top hit, the same applies to Final Cut Pro when I start to type fin… which makes finding things a lot easier. It may only seem to save a matter of seconds, but over the course of one days worth of use you save about half an hour at least. Spotlight is also configurable to search (or not search) user defined files and drives.

Evernote, Mindnode and Pocket.

Evernote, MindNode Lite and Pocket [Free]

These three applications, to me are my creative trio. Evernote lets you store notes that are synced with as many desktop and mobile devices that I want, similar to notes on iCloud, except with more options, more platforms and quicker syncing. MindNode is an application that lets you quickly create mind maps with no limit to the amount of nodes or characters at all. Pocket is a read later service, however I use it like I -occasionally- Pinterest, to save interesting articles, awesome designs and photography. When they’re used together they really help with creativity, and productivity for that matter.

Wunderlist.

Wunderlist [Free]

Wunderlist is a great productivity application, which syncs across multiple devices on multiple platforms. This application, unlike reminders, lets you add notes, due dates and gives you the ability to easily create lists. I use Wunderlist to help organise work loads, tasks and I have a list of things to buy/do for my house/bedroom. Lists can be shared between as many or few people as you wish, they get to see deadlines, notes and whether or not you have stared  (prioritised) a certain task. I do however, wish that this had integration for notification center and iCal/Calender, the option to attach files would be great too. I am however, told (via a tweet) that these three things are being developed as you read this, or are due to be developed very soon.

Geektool, pardon the back-up.

Geektool [Free]

As many people that follow me on Twitter/Facebook know, I absolutely love Geektool. The simple ability to add the time, date, system specs and more to your desktop is just unbelievable helpful. You can add so many aspects to your desktop via Geeklets and scripts which are readily available on the internet and fairly simple to write yourself. My Geektool set up consists of [left to right]; system information, random/chosen quotes to boost inspiration, time, day, date and month. This is a fairly basic set up, I’ve seen some that have; calender information, RSS feeds, weather and iTunes information.

Google Drive and Dropbox.

Google Drive and Dropbox [Free – standard storage option]

Google Drive and Dropbox, to me, are extremely helpful and essential applications/services. I use Google Drive to easily share and edit files with different people, this allows me to see what they’ve changed, as well as giving me the ability to change multiple options depending on who the file is being shared with. I use Dropbox to store templates, Final Cut Pro/Avid/Adobe workspace files and other files I use across different devices on a daily basis. I absolutely love these services and wish I could afford extra storage space for both Dropbox and Google Drive. Definitely recommend these services.

Labels in the Finder.

Labels in the Finder

Using colour labels within the Finder is nothing new for any mac user. However, in my opinion not usually for the right reasons. I don’t think that occasionally labeling a folder red, in order to grab your attention half way through a project is at all a good use of this powerful tool. As you can see I have labeled all of the possible colours, and I label everything -seems a little obsessive- which, at a glace lets me know which each folder and project is for.

These are just a few things I do to keep productive and creative. If you have any more ideas, comment, tweet or email me.

Twitter/Instagram: @georgelangridge

eMail: georgelangridge95@gmail.com

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

Partition Crazy

Lately I’ve been juggling a huge amount of files, from scratch disks to films to documents. A friend suggested I partition my hard drive to accommodate for use on; OS X, Windows and Linux as well as giving me -theoretically- separate disks/volumes for different file types, categories or recipients (ie. work for clients on one volume and personal work on another). Also, working on a mac, I want a drive to use as a time machine back-up.

Time Machine, looks futuristic.

I feel that, for both creatives, and techies alike this is a hot topic. I mean, do you multiply the amount of drives and lose space with each partition or keep your space and have an extensive folder system to navigate (if you’re as precious about your file and system organisation as I am) or do you just put your hand in your pocket, bite your lip and buy multiple external drives?

Partitioning a hard drive on any operating system is fairly easy, if you want to know how drop a comment below or tweet me. Although please note that when creating a partition in a hard drive, the drive will format itself so copy it all to your computers internal drive.

Disk utility for partitioning and repair.

I have had a play with partitioning an old 320gb USB 2.0 hard drive and here are my thoughts. My initial opinion was “why?” but after a while I began to find it extremely intuitive as I instantly knew which files where in which area and what types of files they would be, this meant it was a lot quicker to find what I wanted. I also tried partitioning based on what the files where (ie. personal, work, college, creatabot etc), I found this extremely helpful as it had a server/cloud like approach to finding files. I’m always pushing to increase my productivity, I found that this really does boost my productivity as it is so simple to find things. If like myself you work across different systems, formatting a partition to be compatible with Windows and the other partition Mac made life a lot easier when transferring files, code and other data. This means you don’t have to rely on services like; Dropbox (which is a great application, that I use daily), Google Drive and Droplr, which are a little slow for transferring files -this is not what they where designed for- but instead can just drag and drop between systems instantly (depending on file size).

Some of the downsides I found were; it took a few attempts to get the partition sizes right as different file types needed more space than others or different categories received more data than others, I could just make folders within the hard drive to separate things out that way which would mean I could rearrange things easily if space became an issue and it adds possibly unnecessary icons to your otherwise minimalist desktop (unless you’re a clutter offender).

Using a partitioned drive as a scratch disk is a really nifty way of staying organised although it does lead to a slight speed decrease (unless you’re running USB3.0, Firewire 800 or Thunderbolt where it is almost unnoticeable), I would recommend using hard drives as scratch disks for important edits as you can set each partition to collate certain data or duplicates. If you’re an ‘Avid’ user then a speedy partitioned hard drive is exceptionally helpful as you can set one partition as the linked volume, one as the linked drive/folder and another to store the rushes (obviously you’d back them up somewhere else as well, wouldn’t you?).

Avid link to volume.

Over all, I would definitely -if you have the space and a spare drive- recommend partitioning an external hard drive as I have found it boosts productivity and gives me the ability (when editing pictures or video) to save the edits, files and metadata on a separate drive to that of the all important RAW images or rushes.

Twitter/Instagram: @georgelangridge

Why Creatives Lose Their Mind : And How Not To – By Natasha Steer

By Hugh MacLeod

I am no physiologist, let me get that straight. And I certainly know mental illness is a real and horrible sickness that affects thousands of people, often from birth. But I want to express my issues with this article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19959565 

 I am very creative, I do not have a mental health problems. I have friends who are creative, who do not have mental health problems. The issue in fact is this, yes, creatives are different. Creative people are biologically different, they are less inclined to fear standing out, being different and creating unique work. But…this argument also stands: EVERYONE HAS THE ABILITY TO BE CREATIVE. Which would therefore mean…yes…WE ALSO ALL HAVE THE ABILITY TO HAVE A MENTAL ILLNESS – should circumstances push it upon us.

The reason I wanted to write this is because I have close friends who are openly creative, and continue to struggle emotionally in this world. Society is not in a place in which it can support creative people, especially not creatives that are sensitive, which most are, because we are generally more passionate about helping to change the world we live in and help people.

Work is generally monotonous and people are not employed for their creativity, or used within employment to generate ideas with their creativity. The situation is made worse when an individual has health problems and again society does not support the idea of working part-time too well. The creative individual is left feeling useless, unfulfilled and not understood – and this generally leads to depression, which gets labeled as “mental illness”, which only makes society support the individual EVEN LESS, and can easily lead to long term mental health problems.

The solution? Creative people need to be supported and used more within society, they need to be able to freely express their creativity, and be employed by people who listen to their ideas. I think we all know how often that happens, and unfortunately I know the UK in particular in not supportive of creatives in the work place. They continue to struggle for work, get pushed beyond all limits when they are employed, and get shut down for thinking, creating and innovating. And what happens when that keeps happening to you? You feel depressed, useless, and give up.

One of the reasons I set up Creatabot is because I see this pattern happening over and over again, and then the media print articles like this saying that creativity is linked with mental illness, and I have to admit, it makes me quite angry, because society cannot see that often these creative people have been pushed away for being “different” and for being “over sensitive”.

The most hilarious part? Creativity is essential to exist, and to succeed. But funnily enough most of the decision makers in organisations continue to ignore this!

So my fellow creative people, before we all go crazy, I urge you to read the following and get the support you need to survive as a creative on the planet that is Earth, because we can make it a better place.

“The crea­tive per­son basi­cally has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, crea­tive kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Some­ti­mes the assign­ment covers both bases, but not often.” – Hugh MacLeod

An awesome book that encourages creatives to keep being creative and not take any nonsense, by Hugh MacLeod.

Based on the hit handmade zine THE ARTIST IN THE OFFICE is an inspirational, interactive book for any artist living in the real world. It encourages small acts of creativity and a simple shift of perspective to help readers bring their artistic selves into the workplace and thrive in all aspects of their lives. Readers are prompted to undertake a wide range of liberating activities, from the mundane to the sublime, that won’t put their nine to five job at risk.

Creative people who spend no time at all with other creative people will start to feel profoundly alone. Connect with like-minded weirdos. Online. In-person. You are not a sad friendless little tugboat.

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/08/07/25-ways-to-survive-as-a-creative-person/

“Seek out and surround yourself with POSITIVE people! Don’t let negative people get you down – it will dramatically alter the way you feel, work and live. We all know them; there is usually at least one person in our lives that is constantly moaning, and telling you that your latest idea won’t work. Creative people are sensitive people, therefore we tend to get sucked in by the negative ones, and before you know it, you’re feeling down yourself!” – Annabel Williams

http://tinyurl.com/d66lwhm

By Natasha Steer

@natashasteer

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

Create Jewellery – Lincolnshire: Jewellery, Tiara, Shoe Crystalizing & Christmas Decoration Workshops

At Create Jewellery, we offer a large range of workshops in both Kent and Lincolnshire. As well as one-to-one classes, we run workshops which typically have a maximum class size of no more than 8-10 learners to ensure you get the support and dedication that you deserve. Not only are the workshops a great opportunity to learn a new skill and hobby, but many use it as a way to start a new business from home! What could be better than sitting at home making jewellery to sell!

As well as learning, you will have fun chatting to others who share your interests, as well as drinking tea and eating cupcakes which is all included in the price! You will also get to make items at the workshops that you can take home with you, with the reassurance that all materials are included in the set price!

We have recently released the following workshop dates for Lincolnshire, held in Grantham:

Sunday 14 October

  • Wire wrapped coctail rings / bangles taster workshop (10.30am – 1pm) – £36 including all materials, cupcakes and tea/coffee
  • Shamballa and friendship bracelet workshop (2pm – 4.30pm) – £37 including all materials, cupcakes and tea/coffee

Saturday 3 November 

  • Vintage inspired jewellery, hair accessories & birdcage veils taster workshop (2pm – 4.30pm)
    £36 including all materials, cupcakes and tea/coffee.

Saturday 24 November

  • Jewellery making taster workshop (10am – 12.30pm) £36 including all materials and cupcakes
  • Tiara making taster workshop (1.30pm – 4pm) – £36 including all materials and cupcakes.

Sunday 25th November

  • ‘Decorate Your Shoe’ workshop (crystalizing stiletto heels or converse trainers)  – (10am – 2pm), £79 which includes over 1000 crystals that you will use plus other materials to crystalize your own shoes / trainers, as well as tea/coffee and cupcakes.

Sat 8 December

  • Beaded Christmas Decorations & Rag Wreath (2pm – 4.30pm) – £40 including all materials

Sunday 9 December

  • Tiara making workshop (10.30am – 2.30pm) – £69 – all materials & cupcakes included

For further information, please email Rachel at createjewellery@hotmail.co.uk or book online at www.createjewellery.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

Folkestone Book Festival Events at University Centre Folkestone – 6th to 8th November 2012

As part of the annual Folkestone Book Festival, the community engagement
team from University Centre Folkestone have once more organised a series
of events with a range of speakers to inspire and stimulate discussion.
All events take place at UCF and are free to attend.  However advance
booking is required.   Events are listed below – click on the weblink
provided for all the details of each event, including information about
the speakers.  Thank you.

Tues 6 November
2.30 – 3.30pm: Celebrated journalist and writer Vitali Vitaliev gives a
talk about his book on Europe, Passport to Enclavia
http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/events/event-details.asp?eventId=3482

6pm-7pm : Panel discussion: “Can a book save your life?”
Panellists include Vitali Vitaliev, Julian Baggini, Carolyn Oulton and
Jane Davis from The Reader Organisation.
http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/events/event-details.asp?eventId=3485

Weds 7 November
6-7pm : The Ego Trick: talk by author Julian Baggini, writer, journalist
and co-founder of The Philosophers’ Magazine
http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/events/event-details.asp?eventId=3479

Thurs 8 November
3pm  – 4pm: A Writer’s Journey.  Author Karen Lesley and Zoe Meyer,
Director of Zoes Books, discuss the creation of Karen’s book Coleman
(Female), with Zoe’s perspective on facilitating the book production and
working with the writer.
http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/events/event-details.asp?eventId=3480

6pm-7pm : Panel discussion: “Should writers be their own publishers?”
Panellists include Zoe Meyer (Director of Zoe’s Books), Martin Latham
(Manager, Waterstones, Canterbury), Mark Swain, (writer and consultant),
Chris Meade (writer and Director of if:book UK), writer and blogger
Katherine May and writer and speaker Jane Wenham-Jones (Chairperson)
http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/events/event-details.asp?eventId=3481

For more details contact UCF on 01303 760600 or email
jane.seaman@canterbury.ac.uk

The Winter Medway Open Studios at the Nucleus Arts Centre – 8th to 9th December 2012

2 buildings. 34 artists, crafts people and designers.

The Nucleus Arts Centre, Chatham, will be opening their doors and studios to the public for one weekend, the 8th – 9th December. as part of the Winter Medway Open Studio and Arts Festival. With such an array of local artists, designers and crafts people on show at affordable prices, you’ll be happy to leave the high street behind and come to Nucleus.

Nucleus Arts Centre and studios will be open to the public on 8th to 9th December from 10am – 6pm, 272 High street Chatham ME4 4BP

Resident artists open studios:
Holly Aird
Angie Berkley
Sian Bostwick Jewellery
Donna Chapman
Nick Evans
Jon Gubbay
Darrell Hawkins
Sophie Jongman
Sarah Langstone
Marissa Mardon
Maggie Osborn
Peter Reeds
Christopher Sacre
Deborah Saunders
Anne Taylor
Chris Van Beck
Alexandria Welch
Obi Photography

Area: South East

Why It Is Important To Write Contracts – By Natasha Steer

When I was 17 I made a music video for a local band, it was my first paid creative job. I assumed the band would help someone so new to the world of business and provide me with some promo. What in fact happened was that the band posted the video on their website and did not mention once who had made it. As you can imagine I was pretty upset and had a chat with the band to try to resolve the issue.

Kindly the lead singer suggest we form a contract, and helped me in putting something together. I learnt quickly how important contracts are, although sometimes I still forget, and then regret being so absent-minded.

We would like to think people won’t take advantage, but sometimes it is just a misunderstanding that can lead to issues. Therefore I highly recommend, even when dealing with friends and family, to have a contract in place where finances or even just recognition are an issue. The band as mentioned earlier, changed their website to give me recognition for the video I made and I agreed that I would not use the video for anything commercial without their permission first.

I personally feel we should always recognise people and attribute them where ever possible, which is why I love Creative Commons licences. For the benefit of others, here is a draft contract layout for people to use for their creative projects. Adjust as necessary.

Contract of agreement in relation to:

Between:

I                                        , in representation of                                             , agree to the following:

To pay                                          the amount of  £                     upon completion of

To acknowledge                               , where ever the work is used and displayed.

That if the work is not delivered there will be no charge/compensation payable by any parties involved.

Signed

Date

I                                      in representation of                                           agree to the following:

To complete the work requested by the date of

That if the work is not completed by this deadline, I agree to deduct the amount of                          for each week of the delay.

If the work is not delivered there will be no charge/compensation payable by any parties involved.

To ask permission to use the work for commercial reasons.

Signed

Date

Signatures witnessed by:

Print Name

Signed

Date

You will need to add requirements as personally needed for the project, and make sure BOTH parties have a copy. Here are some extra notes.

  • A witness is not really required for basic contracts, but I recommend it still. However a contract made with organisations and large authorities actually constitutes as a DEED and does always require a witness. For further explanation visit http://www.freshbusinessthinking.com/articles_print.php?CID=8&AID=1648
  • A witness of a contract must not be a relative or someone legally involved in the project.
  • There will be certain circumstances in which the creator and the person you are creating for cannot fill the requirements, for instance, you may get sick, they may get sick and they also may not be able to pay you! You need to add these details into the contract as to what the circumstances are if this was to happen.
  • I also found this article useful http://helgahenry.com/why-written-agreements-are-preferable-to-oral

p.s I am no legal advisor but realise you do not have to be to create a basic contract, however when large sums of money are involved and with big companies, I recommend taking legal advice.

By Natasha Steer

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

Notes From The Creatabot Workshop: Expanding Your Creativity – By Natasha Steer

For the benefit of those who came and those who could not make the workshop here is a list of the subjects discussed. If you would like me to give the workshop in your area or in your community/creative group please contact me on natasha@creatabot.co.uk

EXPANDING YOUR CREATIVITY

WORKSHOP NOTES

  • Creatabot is an independent website and online magazine for creatives. Its aim is to inspire and support creative individuals. We work closely with the creative community to help develop ideas and try new ideas. We like to make things happen.
  • I work closely with coFWD – a community led work space. Find out more about them by watching this short film. coFWD is based at 161 Rochester High Street, Kent. You can pop by any time to find out more and see the space. Please watch the video before hand so you know what to expect! http://cofwd.org

Event Organising

  • If you want to organise an event, the best thing you can do first and foremost is write a press release. The basic order for a press release is the following:

Headline

Who?

What? 

When? 

Where?

Why?

Contact details

Image

You only need about 3 paragraphs of information for your press release.

Here is an example:

Artist Sarah Maple Launches Major Solo Exhibition

Artist Sarah Maple is to hold her first major solo exhibition at the Aubin Gallery, Shoreditch, London, from the 9th of February to 9th March 2012.

Sarah Maple’s exhibition “It’s a Girl!” takes a slightly controversial, but tongue in cheek look at what it is to be a woman and Muslim in the modern day. The work on show takes a more questioning look at traditionally accepted identity, gender and religion whilst revealing the young artists unique talent.

Currently living in Sussex, UK, 27 year old Sarah Maple has displayed work in various exhibitions in New York, Canada, Israel and Europe. Inspired by her own Muslim background, Sarah Maple uses photography and paintings to get her personal message across about subjects that have become socially acceptable and brings attention to the faults in this thinking.

End

Contact Details of Organiser

IMAGE

Creatabot can set you up with an account so that you can promote your creative related events, anywhere in the UK. email natasha@creatabot.co.uk to make it happen!

  • When you need an image to promote an event, do not use someone else’s images without their permission. It isn’t work risking! Instead go to Flickr and go to advanced search, use words linked to your event and tick the  Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content.

If the event is for profit then you need to tick the “Find content to use commercially”.

  • Find out more about Creative Commons Licences, it could protect your precious work also!

http://creativecommons.org 

All creatives need to know about these licences!

Online Presence

  • The key to social media ( Twitter/ Facebook) is NOT to try and hard sell.
  • Express your personality, whilst also being neutral and professional.
  • People can unfollow you / unfriend you for silly reasons!
  • Post images of your work.
  • Facebook and Twitter can be linked, so that you only post something once.

Pinterest is an easy way to create an online portfolio.

WEEBLY is a great easy way to make a FREE website that can be linked to your domain name.

POP UP SHOPS

Dan Thompson has put together the Empty Shops Network – which is a great resource for people wanting to run a pop up shop. The Pop Up Business of Dummies is brilliant. A PDF is available here:

http://emptyshops.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/developing-your-pop-up-plan1.pdf

But I recommend a hard copy, which can be bought on Amazon.

Pop Up Shop people:

Are willing to embrace the temporary nature of an opportunity, and agile enough to adapt and change as the opportunity does.

Always have an eye on the future, using a pop up to inform or inspire another plan or project, or to prototype a new business. They are interested in the long-term sustainability of their work.

Funding

The two main bodies for funding continue to be your local council and the Arts Council. Out of the two, your local council are likely to be more helpful.

MEDWAY PEOPLE: There is an artist resource centre inside the Visitor Information Centre in Rochester High Street. Inside the room there are folders packed with information about applying for funding with lots of different organisations, its brilliant!

You can book time in the room by calling  01634 338319

  • In the future in the UK, KICKSTARTER will be an awesome way to get funding. Have a look!

www.kickstarter.com

Community Projects

Helping your local community is a great way to expand your creativity, a great way to get people together for a particular project  is by using:

www.wewillgather.co.uk

That’s all for now! Thank you for reading!

By Natasha Steer

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

MAKE – Come and MAKE Things In Rochester – 13th October 2012 – 7.30pm

MAKE is an opportunity to get creative in any medium, in a social setting, and have lots of fun.

Moogie Wonderland are creating lots of Jellyfish for the Fish Disco at the end of October – and need lots of help! All materials will be supplied. Mainly for adults, but children welcome if supervised by a parent.

We recommend an apron or wearing old clothes!

WIFI will be available for those of you working on projects on your computer.

Time : 7.30 pm on Saturday the 13th of October

Location: 161 Rochester High Street

If you going to attend please post a comment below 🙂

Area: South East

Beach Creative Workshops – Herne Bay – Kent


In addition to ongoing exhibitions in their two galleries, Beach Creative in Herne Bay has launched some new workshops.  

  • Tuesday 10am-12noon – Calligraphy, £6 per hour. Must pre-book with Graham 07765 034908
  • Tuesday 7-9pm, £5 per session. Figure drawing (clothed) with Bobi Sanders. Must pre-book on 07512 341112
  • Thursday 10am – 12noon, £10 per session. Introduction to Art and Design (first week of four). Must pre-book with Sarah on 07943 731786
  • Thursday 7-9pm, £5 per session. Life Drawing (unclothed) – untaught session. Must pre-book with Gill on 07545 787955

Please visit the website for updates at www.beachcreativecic.co.uk

Area: South East

Leukaemia Research Charity Gig – Medway

http://www.facebook.com/events/443264375718033/

We hear all the time from charities that cancer effects 1 in 4 or us. For some of us this fact is closer to home than an appeal on TV. Would it surprise you to know that only one charity in the UK is actually fighting blood cancers? Leukaemia Research also boasts a 9 in 10 chance of survival in children because of their hard work and support from people like Andy Spring.

 In 2006 after a 2 year battle with Leukaemia Andy along with the support of his family began to raise money for the charity by cycling 35 miles from Ashford to Medway hospital. Raising £8000 along with nearly 50 other cyclist Andy managed to raise the bar again in 2008 and 2010 bringing a total of £26,000 towards the charity that is helping save lives like his. In Andy’s own words, “I wanted to give back something for the life I am so grateful to have, the whole experience has given myself and my family the chance to enjoy every moment we are together”.

Set for a fourth event, Andy unfortunately was set back when he urgently required a marrow transplant early 2011. Andy says: “I knew I could not cycle for a while but I was more determined than ever to do something, I just didn’t know what”. Next to two wheels music has always been Andy’s other passion. Picking up his bass he started to jam at practice sessions with Hesperian Wave. This gathering over the following months would bring a new outlook  and birth a new band a new style and a very new agenda.

Freshly formed and ready for their first gig The Furry Lovelickers shall be taking to the stage this Saturday September 29th alongside some of Medway’s longstanding and upcoming talents. Taking place at the charity cycle’s finishing line Medway hospital social club will be hosting from 7pm an awesome line up for a small donation of £3 entrance fee. See flyer for details. Also on the night Crybaby special and the monsters will be donating the proceeds of their EP on the night. you can check them here http://www.facebook.com/crybabyspecialandthemonsters

By Obi

Area: South East

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 

Maidstone Film Fest 2012 + Call For Submissions

 

 

The hottest film festival this side of Cannes. This November Maidstone Film Fest 2012 will be coming to Stepping Stone Studios!
STARTING WEDNESDAY 14th NOVEMBER, THE PROGRAMME FOR THE FESTIVAL IS LOOKING LIKE THIS!

Day 1: Cinematic Culture Festival

Day 2: An exhibition of film: ‘The Progression of Cinema’
Day 3: Young film makers day
Day 4: A future in film
Day 5: The Nest
Day 6: European Cinema 
Day 7: British Cinema

Day one will explore international cinema confronting political issues through documentary. Meet the groups behind the documentaries; celebrate diversity and enjoy authentic native West Indian celebration and dishes!

The Progression of Cinema will explore the rich history of moving image. From the progression of audio/video technologies to the evolution of film and narrative storytelling, this day will explore the milestones that have swept the medium of cinema from silent movie to the influential pop spectacle that is today.

The young film makers day will be the chance to view the submissions of talented young film makers from the South East. They are calling for animations, short films, documentaries to enter into the First Film Development Award (for more info please contact Stepping Stone Studios). They will also be holding the Welikewhatwesee party in the evening – a crazy night of the coolest music videos of the last 10 years!

A Future in Film will begin with an 11am brunch networking session. Four industry experts will join us and share their knowledge and experience in a Q&A session, and the winning film makers from the previous days event will be screened.

‘The Nest’ is a chance for people to nestle on down and enjoy a chilled Sunday of film entertainment in its most popular form – Blockbusters! Think Hollywood; think popcorn, think bean bags and classic quotes. You will have the chance to vote on the Facebook page during the run up to this day and suggest a classic film to watch!

Monday will be European Cinema day. In this section they will have a look at independent cinema from European directors. Spanning a wide range of countries, this section is not for the faint of heart! Watch alternative films you never thought you’d see. Screenings will run til late!

The festival will be rounded off with a day long review of the best British film! From classics to contemporary, there’s no better way to round off the film festival than via a celebration of the groundbreaking of British cinema!

MORE TO COME AS THE PROGRAMME IS UPDATED! STAY TUNED!

Area: South East

A TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHER: HANNA – By George Langridge

If you can remember a while back I did an article about going out with a friend and -kind of- teaching her a little about photography and how to use a DSLR.

Recently, we have met up, once again to discuss photography, as is the creatives way. Since I published that article she has come a very long way, she has even developed her own style.

Not like your standard photographer? 

With this photograph I quite like how not all of Faith’s (the model) body is in shot, not only that but I like the way that with the addition of the large sunglasses we do not know whether or not she is looking at us or at something different. I am no fashion photographer but I know that it is keeping me rather engaged with the image. Personally in post production I would have lowered the highlights, however I feel that the highlights add to a possible harvest theme – based on the ideas that the shoot is in a corn field before harvest and very warm).

Hanna’s long term goals are to become part of the engineering industry and work with a top firm. I can’t help but think she’d be a great professional photographer, however, I can understand many of the things holding her back from following a photographers career.

Angles, angles, angles.

One thing I absolutely love about Hanna’s work is her interesting use of angles, I have thought this ever since I first saw her photography. When I’ve seen her shoot I have witnessed her move all over the set/location and find some pretty awesome photographs. I guess I am a little envious of this absolute angular skill. I also like the use of black and white here even though I am not much of a lover of black and white. Truth me told this picture may have converted me (Hanna, it’s your fault). Personally I would have lightened the shadows, added a little grain and pumped the contrast a smidge (what exactly is a smidge?)

I was surprised to discover that Hanna only uses a little Panasonic or Fuji bridge camera, can you imagine what work she could do with a Canon 5d mk 2?

I came across a few of her floral photographs and immediately  became amused.

Looks like film?

When I first saw this I thought Hanna had been at the film. However, she reassures me that all of her -recent, photographic- photography is digital. This photograph seems fairly intimate with the insect. It also has just the right aperture, as to give slight depth of field, many photographers would have just blown the background right out. I can’t deny that I would have probably missed this opportunity or if I had got it would have taken three different shots at different apertures, two of which would have probably blown the background in to space. The crushing of the blacks really works here as it makes the main focus (the insect) stand out subtly, sometimes when blacks are darkened it is done too much as to make everything else appear to bright. Again, here I would have probably dropped the highlights slightly to add some more detail to the insect.

If you would like to partake in a photowalk with Hanna, myself and other talented photographers (both digital and film) leave a commenthere (http://www.facebook.com/creatabot).

I am currently looking for some interesting places to shoot some street photography in London. If you know anywhere good, drop me a tweet or email: @georgelangridge   ,   georgelangridge95@gmail.com

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.

Networking Vs Making Friends – By Natasha Steer

Networking can be quite a scary word to a lot of creatives, it evokes the thought of dressing up smartly and becoming someone they are not in order to secure business. Often at organised networking events you swap business card with potential clients and are asked awkward questions like “so where do you work?” and “how do you make money?” rather than the more interesting question of “what are you working on at the moment?”.

3 years ago I started going to a monthly event in Rochester, Kent, called Tuttle 101 – a relaxed event with a collection of various types of people focused on inspiration, collaboration and learning through doing. First held upstairs in a local pub the event now happens once a month in a local coffee bar. Yes this one single event opened up a whole new world to me, and through it I have made friends, not “contacts”.

Tuttle 101 lead on to the majority of us converting an empty bank into a co-working space, called coFWD. Here we work on our own personal projects, and similar to the ethos of Tuttle 101, we bounce ideas off one another and help each other to do what we do even better. This is not an office space, we even hung balloons from the ceiling to prove this. It is a community space, we hold various events for the local area, and we do things together socially as well. I describe it as working in a place where you have chosen all the people you want to work with.

 

So when did people start thinking that a networking event would encourage creatives? As a creative I can speak for most of us and say that often our motive is not money, it is to make a difference in the world. We want to earn a living yes, but do we want to start discussing how much money we make? No, our inspiration does not come from money, it comes from projects, people and places – to name a few.

I have yet to meet a creative who enjoys “networking” events, however I know many creatives who are happy to meet up for a coffee. Yet people continue to try and connect with creatives by arranging fancy meetings and networking events or workshops with the aim of “expanding business” and “making profit”. A huge majority of the time these type of events never really connect with the creatives invited.

Maybe some money minded people think they are helping a creative by convincing them to become more business orientated. I can tell you now, it isn’t going to work, our whole life’s ambition is to make things much more important than money. So if you are a business reading this, think about how you can help them make a difference, not make money. As Albert Einstein said “Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.”

By Natasha Steer

@natashasteer

natasha@creatabot.co.uk

The next Tuttle 101 event is on Monday 17th September 2012 at 9.30am at the Deaf Cat Coffee Bar, Rochester, ME1 1LX

If you would like to know more about coFWD please email me at natasha@creatabot.co.uk

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

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.

Wild Whispers: Diary of a Filmmaker – Episode 2

You won’t need telling how important social networking is to filmmaking these days.  It has become an essential tool of the trade.  Facebook is great for getting friends and friends of friends onboard with your projects but it’s Twitter where things get really interesting.  I have had a Twitter account for years but only really started using it at the start of the year.  Almost instantly I started meeting all sorts of incredible people.  Yes, people who I might work with but also people who you can learn from.  As the old saying goes, independent doesn’t mean alone; and with Twitter you certainly enjoy a feeling of comradeship with other filmmakers, at all levels, working hard to make projects work.

It’s been a busy year for me full of networking and beginning new projects.  Of course, my main priority is to make a new short film and a second feature film but I also had released a DVD of my short films and my musical project 7th Adventure Recordings had just released a debut CD.  You can see them here: www.themoontheeye.co.uk/onlineshop

Also with new contacts and friends being made left right and centre a couple other projects barged their way to the front of the queue.  As well as this diary I also write a series of articles about the arts scene where I live in Medway, Kent, UK.  You can read them here:

www.themoontheeye.co.uk/articles

After writing about a couple of local musicians it grew into something interesting.  I was asked to make a video for the upcoming single by Medway band Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society.  I listened to the track and straightaway I wanted to work on the 1930’s feel of the song.  I shot, as I often do, very fast and edited within a couple of days or so. You can see the video to ‘Call Me Dave’ by Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society here:

Following this I was asked by Lupen Crook to make a video for the lead single from his new album.  The deadline was very tight on this on.  I worked day and night to pull off an ambitious shoot, people kept dropping out, as is often the way with non-funded projects but, if you have time you can get anything done.  You either need time or money.  We had neither.  In the end the idea had to be shelved.

It was a pity but also a bit of a relief as I could now take myself away from that particular project and get back to the long delayed writing. It was a struggle.  One of my problems (it happens to be a strength too) is that I have MANY projects on the go.  It became very easy to work on different projects but not really the ones I needed to.  Writing is hard, at least for me.  Any distraction would take me away from it.

Mr Young

Then came a family holiday in France.  A secluded little place, no internet.  It meant my online conversations, my networking had to cease.  It worked.  I started to think once more about, firstly, my next short film called Dreamplayr.  I needed to think about those characters, the situation, the problems.  I needed to stop thinking about my other projects for a while.  I needed to stop thinking about Twitter and Facebook and networking.  I even tried to write something but, and here is where it got scary, I couldn’t write a thing.  Well, nothing that was any good anyhow.   It felt like I really needed to get to the bottom, to totally switch off.  So, rather than panicking, I put my pen down and just let my mind sink to the bottom.  No doubt the vast array of French cheeses and wines on offer helped with that.  On the way home I could feel that, somehow, the story was ready.

Once I returned I switched on my computer and wrote Dreamplayr very quickly.  I’m happy with it.  It works.  I will cast and start shooting that very soon.

And so it seems that, for me at least, in order to communicate with the characters I’m writing about the only course of action is to retreat into solitude.   Perverse though it sounds to find out more about life and people we have to retreat from it.  At least for a while.

.Mr Young

Independent Filmmaker

www.themoontheeye.co.uk

www.twitter.com/Mr_Young

www.facebook.com/themoontheeye

This article previously published by The Indie Times (www.theindietimes.com)

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

Art In The Dockyard Competition Returns For 2013

The Historic Dockyard Chatham is delighted to announce the return of its popular Art in the Dockyard art competition. Artists, professional or amateur, aged 17+ who live, work or study in Kent are warmly invited to register into the competition before 4 November to potentially see their artwork exhibited in No.1 Smithery Gallery which has hosted art exhibitions from internationally known artists such as Stanley Spencer and Billy Childish.

The competition hopes to find outstanding and inspirational artists who will capture the spirit  and extraordinary character of The Historic Dockyard, under any of the seven categories  – landscape, figurative/portrait, abstract, photography, sculpture/ceramic, mixed media (including textiles) and a special category for this year called Jubilee, celebrating the dockyard 1952-2012.

Registered artists will need to submit their final artworks, digital image or slides to the competition by 18 January 2013. Those successfully selected at the first stage will go on to exhibit in the public Art in the Dockyard Art Exhibition from February to May 2013. Once exhibited, an independent panel of judges will be awarding prizes in each category and presenting the overall ‘Artist of The Dockyard 2013 and Young Artist of the Dockyard 2013’ titles and prizes.

Artists are being requested to register their interest in this competition now, by completing and sending in the official registration form, which can be downloaded from www.thedockyard.co.uk or requested on 01634 823800. There is a £15 registration fee, which will provide the artist with unlimited access to The Historic Dockyard (this does not include entry into the galleries) to gather research and ideas for their creative works.

 For more information about the competition, including the rules and deadlines, please click on to www.thedockyard.co.uk/artinthedockyard  or email artinthedockyard@chdt.org.uk

Area: South East

 

Feed The Artists At Chatham Zoo – From 27th October 2012

A group exhibition with a difference featuring new work by Christopher Sacre, Marissa Mardon and Mark Barnes will be on show at Nucleus Arts Chatham Gallery from 27th October to 8th November 2012.

The ‘Chatham Zoo’ exhibition presents new work by Artist/Sculptor Christopher Sacre, Painter/Photographer Marissa Mardon and Illustrator/Designer Mark Barnes.

For the education and amusement of visitors the artists themselves will be exhibited in an enclosure, waiting to be fed inspiration and materials to create new work throughout the show. Come along, throw a tube of paint through the bars and watch what happens!

‘Chatham Zoo’ runs from Saturday 27 October to Thursday 8 November 2012 at Nucleus Arts Chatham Gallery, 272 High St, Chatham, Kent ME4 4BP (opposite Iceland). Open 10am-5pm Mon-Sat (closed Sundays). Admission free.

Exhibition preview/meet the animals: Friday 26 October 6-8pm, all welcome.

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ChathamZoo

Area: South East

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 Whitstable Biennale 2012 – Arts Festival – 1st to 16th of September

From 1-16 September 2012 Whitstable (UK) will play host to THE 6th WHITSTABLE BIENNALE 2012, a festival of new and ambitious contemporary art.

Already an important date in the art world calendar Whitstable Biennale has gained an international reputation for presenting work by some of the most important and exciting artists working today. Dedicated to presenting contemporary visual art, film and performance, the festival is a showcase for ambitious and experimental new work. 

New commissions include Jesse Jones, Benedict Drew, Cara Tolmie, Emma Hart, Patrick Staff, Ben Judd, Touch, Tessa Lynch, Tom Gidley, Tanya Axford, Angus Braithwaite, Martin John Callanan, Kieren Reed. The festival unfolds over three weekends and will extend into each Saturday night with a programme of talks, performances and a late night outdoor cinema. 

Full programme details are available at www.whitstablebiennale.com and a NEW Whitstable Biennale 2012 smartphone App will be available nearer the opening date. 

Notable highlights include: 

Ben Judd’s Vast as the Dark of Night and as the Light of Day, a new live work set on a series of boats that positions the audience, out at sea, as both participant and observer. Engaging the grey area between ritual and performance, Judd searches for an unreachable and idealised state of community. 

 A video installation by Jarman prize 2012 nominee Benedict Drew, NOW, THING, is set against the green screen surface of an indoor bowling green, making use of the super-real artificial ‘chroma-key’ green of the bowling surface in his installation.

Emma Hart presents Monument to the Unsaved #2 (M20 Death Drives), a new sculptural video commission, where wing mirror puppets drinking carved wood cocktails are trapped in a fantasy role playing game; amongst them is the character Emma Hart (2nd level visual artist).

Jesse Jones’ The Selfish Act of Community presents a dramatisation of an iconic encounter group therapy session that took place in the US in the late 1960s, aiming to prompt reflection on both the limits of the radical politics of that era and the potential resources it offers to our present moment of similar crisis and rising political dissent. 

 Three main programmes thread their way through the Biennale weekends.

 Programme 1: curated by The Island (Victoria Brooks and Andrew Bonacina)

Stages in the Revolution is presented by curators The Island, and takes its name from Catherine Itzen’s seminal book about the history of political theatre. The programme invites artists and audiences alike to move beyond the walls of the museum and experiment with ideas of community and sharing culture. Works include Patrick Staff’s series of stages constructed around Whitstable’s working harbour area, to function as new sites for performances, workshops and discussion groups, and also as new public spaces made available for impromptu use; Cara Tolmie’s performance in a large boatshed, and social historian and independent scholar Iain Boal’s guided walk through Whitstable, focusing on his research into the commons. 

Programme 2: curated by Jeremy Millar 

Artist and writer Jeremy Millar has selected an exhibition and talks programme, including a new audio-visual symphony by BJNilsen and Jon Wozencroft (produced in association with the renowned production company and record label Touch), and Speak Near By, a programme of artists’ film and video that explores the intertwining themes of rituals, dream, dance, and possession. The work of American film-maker Maya Deren, whose trance-like films and reflections on dance, anthropology, ritual, and Haitian Voodoo have been substantially influential for a number of subsequent artists, is represented by her classic film Ritual in Transfigured Time (1944-6). Joachim Koester’s 2007 film Tarantism revolves around the old southern Italian belief that the only antidote to the poisonous bite of the wolf spider, or tarantula, is a form of frenzied dancing. For his film New Dream Machine Project (2011), Shezad Dawood created a 3m high version of Brion Gysin’s ‘Dream Machine’, a spinning open drum structure said to lead the viewer into a hypnogogic state. Derek Jarman’s Jordan’s Dance (1977) will also be shown. All four films thus engage the body as a means of transportation to both another mental state and another time and place. A series of talks contextualising the programme include Siobhan Davies in conversation with artist Marcus Coates, and Producer John Wyver.

Programme 3: curated by Emma Leach 

Artist, and Whitstable Biennale’s Performance Curator, Emma Leach presents live performances and immersive and performative installations, with many of the works existing at the intersection of performance with other media, such as video, sculpture, writing and music. A strong concern shared by many of these works is the relationship between material things and the magic that makes them function. Works include Tessa Lynch’s Better Times, an exploration of different types of festival tent and the passive or active interaction they invite. Spanning a weekend, Lynch approaches this work as a 48hr festival which celebrates the nocturnal pastime of dreaming. The festival-goers (dreamers) are linked to each other through the geography they share and their collective engagement with the Biennale. The work is in three parts, each offering an experience for a single visitor to step into, including a dream hotline, a T shirt stall and a performance polling station. Angus Braithwaite’s The Sea is in my Veins, is part performance-lecture and part re-enactment, interweaving the artist’s own diving experience with a history of aquatic success and failure.

 The Biennale visitor HQ located on the main beach is a newly commissioned building entitled, Social Sculpture, by artist Kieren Reed. 

 With an extensive programme of performance, films, and events centred around its three weekends, Whitstable Biennale 2012 is an engaging encounter between innovative and experimental artists, diverse and curious audiences, and unique locations. Weekdays also feature new works, including John Smith’sSoft Work (in association with Turner Contemporary, Margate, Stour Valley Arts and South East Dance), and Oliver Beer’s A Philosophy of Education (Piece for two trebles, two grand pianos and an empty concert hall). The festival is accompanied by a lively festival fringe, the Whitstable Satellite.

Area: South East

Devon in Bloom – By George Langridge

Devon In Bloom

Last week I found myself in Devon, although a little overcast.

This first picture is just a quirky shot that I took one evening in the car, I think you will like it.

On a rather long tedious car journey I decided to fiddle with my camera, as aways, and this is what I came up with. I dropped the shutter speed just below what it should have ideally been, especially for a handheld movement shot. I set a wide aperture, held steady and shot with a timer. I am particularly surprised that this shot actually worked at all. In post production all I did was drive the blacks, add some vibrancy and drown the highlights.

This loverly little flower was found in the Eden project’s Mediterranean dome. Whilst still sweating from the rainforest dome, I placed my camera to my eye – rather uncomfortably I should add – and took a number of shots, trying to get them just perfect. This shot, in my opinion, is absolutely beautiful. It is so crisp and vibrant – although that is not usually my editing style – strangely with no bokeh in the background. In post I only increased the vibrancy, crushed the blacks and tinted the whites. I really do like the shot and would love anyone’s opinion on how I could improve my photography further.

You would be forgiven for thinking I have just come back from a rainforest somewhere. This little set up was in the rainforest dome at the Eden project. If I am honest I didn’t really like the RAW image when I imported it to my mac. However, after dropping the blacks, warming it up and dulling the highlights I grew a little attached to this image.

To see more photographs in their glorious high resolution, check out my Flickr.

I am currently facing a couple of issues, firstly I have reached my outright limit for my Flickr account and as a student cannot afford to upgrade my account. Does anyone know of any suitable and similar sites that I can showcase my photography on?

I am always open to criticisms, so please, if you can see where I can improve, do not hesitate to let me know. I am also up for  doing group shoots and photowalks, if this is of interest to anyone, let me know. I am contemplating on running a photography day; this will include a short photo-walk, a tutorial on editing in Lightroom and a group photo editing session. This has the possibility for some of the best/most interesting work to be displayed to the group and maybe even in an article.

Email: georgelangridge95@gmail.com

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/georgelangridge/

Twitter/Instagram: @georgelangridge

All image copyrights belong to George Langridge.

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

Competition – Design a Poster And Win Corel PaintShop Pro X4 – Closes 1st October 2012

 

Each month at a venue called coFWD in Rochester, Kent, Creatabot hold a monthly event calledMy Favourite Things“.

The event aims to inspire and encourage people as well as get ideas flowing. Each person takes a turn to talk about something that inspires them and makes them happy in a friendly relaxed social atmosphere.

We want a poster to use to promote the event in the local area and online, and have a copy of Corel PaintShop Pro X4 up for grabs for the winner  – worth over £60.

The poster needs to be A4 size and have room to enter the different date and time each time the event is held. To get more of an idea about the event please visit http://favouritethings.eventbrite.co.uk

Please can we have your entry in digital format by 1st October 2012. Please send to natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Terms and Conditions: You must hold copyright to all work used. Please add your name onto the bottom of the work so that the poster can be used under Creative Commons licence:  Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).

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

Jeffrey Lewis and The Junkyard Gig – 8th September 2012 – Gillingham – Kent

When Jarvis Cocker hails someone as “the best lyricist working in the US today” you should really sit down and listen. Luckily for the folk of Medway the object of Cocker’s praise, Jeffrey Lewis, is making Gillingham the final stop of his UK tour. Accompanied by his band, The Junkyard, Lewis demolishes the cliché of the angst-ridden singer-songwriter and delivers midnight-tinged, wit-sharpened hymns to the human condition.

On his own, and with his band, Lewis has toured the world, playing with artists including Stephen Malkmus, The Fall, Devo, Devendra Banhart, The Cribs, Beth Orton…the list is packed with illustrious denizens of the off-beat musical underground. And when not making his six strings chime and chatter with everyday tales of the absurd, Lewis is a comic-book artist, having contributed to the New York Times and The Guardian, as well as releasing his own series, called Fuff.

Born in the Big Apple, Lewis made his name playing open mic nights in the city’s Sidewalk Bar with a host of artists that became associated with the antifolk movement. He certainly has stylistic similarities with that scene; off kilter singing, an acoustic backbone that can spark with the riot of punk and a wry, self-deprecating air. However, the magical simplicity and humorous insight of his songs strike such a chord that he sometimes feels like the only living boy in New York.

Since launching in September 2011, Tea Concerts has brought to Medway, Brighton and London some of the finest bands currently shaping the musical underground including: The Tigercats, The Bobby McGees, Darren Hayman and The Wave Pictures. Tea Concerts follows Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard with hip-hop legend Grandmaster Flash, at The Casino Ballrooms in Rochester, on 9 November.

To book tickets and to find out what’s coming up on the Tea Concerts calendar visit teaconcerts.co.uk, or phone 01634 545545. 

Area: South East

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