Sunday, 31 October 2010
Friday, 29 October 2010
Some of these I tried to touch up in photoshop because they're just scans from a dirty sketchbook covered in fingerprints. But somewhere along the line I realised that I am a little too hungover for meticulous photoshopping, so gave up. And so here they are, still rather scruffy. Character developments for my Scott project in pen, pencil and water colour.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
I really like this guy.
Just a quick scan from my sketchbook. Pencil, ink and water colour image of Lieutenant Ernest Shakleton in all his Arctic garb and glory. My main project at the moment is based on Captain Robert Falcon Scott's journeys to the South Pole. The research for this has been fascinating. So many first hand written accounts, photographs, film footage, interpretations, cigarette card illustrations, newspaper articles... Hopefully I can produce something witty and original with this subject. We shall see!
Today I woke up at 6.45am to a pitch black, cold flat. I put the heating on, swanned around for bit, filled my Bialetti and sat with some cereal and fresh coffee, listening to Radio 4. I continued this process of coffee and Radio 4 all afternoon but relocated to my university. And at about 9.45am Stephen Fry came on the radio, reading extracts from his new book.
Every so often on this radio station I hear something from someone I admire, who seems to be talking about exactly what is playing on my mind around that time of my life. Like when Morrissey did his desert island discs and I agreed with everything he said about marriage and loneliness and had been thinking similar things for a while, trying to develop some sort of final solution from it. And so today Stephen Fry, that bloody lovely man, talks about being a jack of all trades. Broadcaster, actor, writer, producer, presenter... you can't tie that man down. And now I'm about to graduate university and people are asking me what I do, and yeah I study illustration but that's not the entirety of it, is it? I take lots of photos, I write, I draw, I am a learned networker and would flourish in PR... so which would I rather persue? How about all?
One thing Stephen said was how can you ever express "regret" at not having narrowed yourself down to concentrate on one thing? To be brilliant at any one of these things takes time, talent and effort, and to say you regret not focusing on one is to admit you think you are talented enough in one area to fully flourish while doing it. And how can you ever admit that?
I've always known I've been a jack of all trades. My concentration span and level of intelligence does not allow me to linger on one subject for ample amounts of time. My art career as such is already cluttered with half finished projects, my photography with half finished internships and commissions never started. But is this necessarily a bad thing? Or can I even change it, even if it was?
We met this fella outside Harvard bookstore in Cambridge, MA. He had the must intriguing instrument, the most intriguing manner and the cutest dog. He gave me his card and told me to let him know when I posted this on my blog.
So, Mr. Hurdy Gurdy man, I hope you enjoy!
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Monday, 18 October 2010
Now I realize why it took me so long to update this blog. Because scanning images is bloody boring. But after an hour or two of scanning, cropping, re-sizing images, I think I have enough to get me through the next few months. I will be doing a collaborative series on the Mint Magazine website for the whole of November with a new image every day, so keep checking that once November rolls around.
Last week I got back from an east coast trip to the states. My 2nd time crossing the Atlantic in 2010, this trip was on the opposite coast and was just as heavily documented as the first. But, with minor projects, dissertations, commissions and jobs in the works, I won't be able to document it on here as thoroughly as the last one. I might just try and let the images do the talking on their own, for once. Zine number 2 is in the works, so if you have zine 1, the next chapter will be ready soon!
Sunday, 13 June 2010
This week I took a trip to Broadstairs in Kent to spend some time with the lovely Emma Day and Ej Miles.
Picture perfect seaside town and a girl who knows her cameras was a perfect excuse to test out my Olympus OM30, which has been playing up recently. Thankfully it was in a good mood and produced these images, which I love. It had been raining all day and we ventured out after dinner, about 6.30pm so it was overcast and getting dark. We spent the rest of the night flicking through magazines like Sang Bleu, browsing blogs we love and sharing inspiration, wine and biscuits.
Getting a feel for the summer and the 4 months off university I have ahead of me. Job hunt, packing to move to my new flat next week and seeing the people who are important to me are essential. Making packages for numerous friends and hoping to get some in return!
Montreal GP has just ended and holy shit was I on the edge of my seat!
Thursday, 10 June 2010
Sometimes I really wish I could be in 5 places at once! I love it here, the people, the job I have, the places I get to go, the parties, the cafes. I love it up in Manchester, the friends I miss, the places I rarely get to visit. The family meals, walking my dog, Lyme Park with my mum. Did I mention the friends I miss? I have promised to spend some time in Brussels, Koln, Monza, Spa, Newcastle, Morcambe, all over this summer. Someone create a drink that allows me to be in multiple countries please!
I believe these grainy images make me want to watch a film noir. Perhaps I shall. They are only scans of negatives, so the size and quality is rather small.
Hopefully it's only 2 weeks before I get to go back to Manchester for a few weeks. Oh how I miss this place and these people!
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
My mind seems to be a tangle of contradictory thoughts. Today I got on a train to Victoria only to get off, get back on and come straight back home. I try to sit and arrange my thoughts and I find myself totally unable to. I try to sit and watch a film without pausing it to do something else and I can't. I try to get 3 different scanners working and I CAN'T DO IT! Scanners and printers are in a technology zone of their own, and none of them seem to want to work when I'm around and I have work to do. I try to be creative every day. It seems to be the only way I am happy, when I am writing, drawing, taking photos, reading Rousseau, Stafford, Jay. So perhaps the best way to complete my day is to finish up this little tour diary.
New York. How to describe this place without living out a cliche. Actually for the first 2 days I hated the place. We had just spent nearly 3 weeks in California and we were not prepared for the change. Dirty, expensive and the first place on the whole trip where we met anyone who wasn't completely accommodating and helpful.
After flying through the night on the most uncomfortable flight imaginable, made even worse when I get home and my dad says to me:
"How nice is that flight from LA to NYC?"
Err, dad, it was awful. Possibly the most uncomfortable flight of my life.
"But you get to fly over the grand canyon and see lots of other beautiful landscapes!"
I flew at night. And I was nowhere near a window.
Anyway, we get in to New York super early, jump into a taxi to our hotel, find out we can't check in until 3pm. We have been up all night and I am so tired I could curl up and sleep on a fucking bench if I have to. Luckily, there is the best bagel place in the world around the corner, Murrays, and also a cinema! So we go in and buy tickets to see Kick Ass, the only film starting when we arrive. I promptly find us seats in the corner at the back, curl up and fall asleep.
We go back to the hotel Chelsea, world famous, a plaque with Leonard Cohen's name on it, features in a song by The Antlers, Sid & Nancy and all that, and get the shittiest service, the shittiest room and to top it all of it's full of mice who eat their way through the peanut butter m&ms I was planning on taking home. That means they have been in my luggage. Not a nice thought. The quality of the service also makes its way on to my bank statement, with a £22 refund for finding mice in our room. Ah, thanks, I could have probably use that to buy more m&ms, if it hadn't taken 2 weeks to clear.
Sans the shitty hotel, the rest of our time in NYC was... amazing. Great weather, easy public transport and an iphone with wifi most places so we could navigate our way to places recommended by friends. East Village, Soho, Brooklyn, Williamsburg... the best places to eat like Lovely Day, Caracas, Veselka, Murrays... Shopping in the likes of Opening Ceremony, A.P.C surplus... We spend the evenings with Holly Stanton and meet her friends, have drinks and scandals in Big Bar, Lit lounge, The Box... it seems like everyone in NYC knows about The Box and the transvestite who does stage shows with a dildo. Needless to say, we being British, were not expecting that on a night out. Not at all. We go to parties in East Village, the Trump Soho... I don't think we could have asked for better people or better places.
I feel that the American Museum of Natural History deserves a special mention. The place was incredible. It's like an art gallery, unlike any museum I have visited. The painted back drops, the perfectly laid out exhibits, the colours and the intricacy of the rooms is just staggering. I couldn't help thinking how much this place gives me the feeling of a Wes Anderson or Noah Baumbach film. They are both obviously influenced by this place (Baumbach directed a film named after one of the displays) but I never realized it until I walked around it.
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
For the longest time now I have been debating with myself whether to upload the screen prints I have recently made on to the world wide web. Not such a big deal to any one but myself, but indeed, to myself it was a pretty weighty discussion in my mind.
What is the point of an exhibition? It's to show a series of works that unless you go to see them, you might not see again in that particular order and setting. This is what creates the most memorable exhibitions. That Rothko one at the Tate with a different room for each series. The Rude Britannia one at the Tate Britain which opened today, with selected works from comic artists all compiled in to one show. The ZineSwap show I went to last week, with all their favourite zines that they had collected over the years, displayed together.
While hand making these cards to leave by my series of prints at the show tomorrow, I was furiously thinking about whether to upload the scans. But I have decided not to. They are a series produced for that show, and for that show only. I have also made a zine of photographs, found objects, drawings and writings called 'The Pilgrimage' that will also only be able to be seen in its original form.
Images on the internet take away a certain quality from some art works. Therefore, I am going to be more select about what I include on the internet from now on.
This is where my work is being shown, for 2 days only.
Sunday, 6 June 2010
It's strange how images become iconic. The final image here of David Hemmings playing the mod photographer in the 1966 classic Blow Up has been recognizable to me for years, but I had no idea for the longest time what it was from. It was only last week when a friend recommended I watch it after he saw me carrying around an old nikon on my shoulder, that I found out where that image was from.
I can't believe it has taken so long for me to see this film. Sparse, intriguing, eclectic, this is a film full of contradictions, cleverly composed dialogue, beautiful panning shots and mesmerizing acting from Hemmings.
Friday, 28 May 2010
Ahhh, Newport Beach. So much more beautiful that I could have imagined. What a great place to grow up. The harbour is beautiful, so laid back, so much prettier than I ever thought. We took the ferry over to Balboa Island, ate Balboa bars, went for lunch at Alta cafe, thankfully recommended to us by Holly Stanton, the food there is amazing. So was the coffee, which was much needed, after getting pretty drunk in a bar in Pasadena the night before.
I have always loved costal towns and ports, but California ones are so amazing. So relaxed, so... Californian. It might be a cliche, but that laid back surfer attitude is palpable at all the costal towns we stayed at.