Monthly Archives: January 2015

Let there be light.

Have you heard of CreativeLive? They do brilliant online training courses in photography, marketing, software and even blogging.

Based in Seattle, they livestream creative classes around the world. You can watch for free if you’re online when the class is live – that’s usually from about 5pm to midnight here in the UK. If you can’t watch live, you can buy the classes as video downloads from as little as $29. You can get three days worth of expertise from $79. Seriously, it’s a bargain. These guys really know what they’re talking about.

I remember one of the first classes I watched was on Adobe Illustrator. I thought I knew it pretty well but, like when I go and freelance in an office with other people, there’s always more to learn. They often have different ways of working or cheeky little keyboard shortcuts I didn’t know.

This time, I’m excited to watch Ben Willmore’s Light Painting class. He takes photographs in the dark with long exposures and paints the light in where he wants it. It’s a beautiful effect. I really want to try it and I’m not even a photographer. I’d love to see what my friends who know their way around a camera could do. I’m going to have a go though and will report back in a future post.


Created by Ben Willmore from

Dagenham Art

Dagenham Art No.1. ‘Juxtaposition’ Aug’14

This piece is reflective of the local culture – the importance of brand labels in an area with limited incomes. The packages are vulnerable and open to the elements, yet sheltered by leafy pillars either side. Each bush has its own paper Primark bag to protect. The Nike box, however, is more exposed. Perhaps, by being stronger and well established, it can afford to exist without such protection. But with its confident orange shell, it draws our attention to the unassuming brown bags which may otherwise have gone unnoticed, thereby exposing them further.

And what of the contents. Is it simply the old and rejected in the discarded wrappings of the new or something more sinister? We’ll never know. This installation was on show for a limited period and is no longer available.


Dagenham Art No.2. ‘Anonymity’ Sep’14

These bags of gifts were left for the taking in early September. Despite claiming to be an anonymous piece, it’s all too brief appearance so early in the year doesn’t fool us. With that infamous red and white branding, this is clearly Santa’s work. We look forward to seeing more from him later in the year.


Dagenham Art No.3. ‘Black and Blue’. Dec ’14

This work has both sobriety and energy. There is something reassuring about the solid black bags sitting so heavily beneath the tree, yet the loose piece breaking free from the 3rd sack suggests drama and an insecurity in its desire to escape. The blue bag on the left juts out uncomfortably. It doesn’t seem to fit at all but despite being smaller than the black bags, demands our attention. Then what of the discarded tin to the right? It is so far removed from the rest of the work, one might wonder if it is even part of it. This is probably intentional and is, in fact, a clever distraction device, placed just far enough away to create discomfort as our attention is torn. This artist’s popularity is declining locally and critics have slated this piece as unimaginative and lazy, but is it simply misunderstood?


My clunkydoodle

It’s been on the wall for a few months now, my clunkydoodle. It’s called Robots and Bikers and I love it. I’d be interested to see one of those ‘Eye Tracker’ diagrams showing my eye journey. I’m sure there’s not a millimetre I haven’t scrutinised but I’m still finding new shapes I hadn’t noticed before.

Find out more about clunkydoodles via the links below.

my clunkydoodle on the wall.

my clunkydoodle on the wall.

‘The camera never lies’.

This is another post rescued from my old blog – well worth repeating.

A few of the papers picked up on this story back in September 2014. Maybe you saw this catchy headline in the Metro?

Student fakes five-week dream holiday using Photoshop and Facebook

The story is about Dutch student, Zilla van den Born, who told her friends and family she was having a five week vacation around south east Asia.

She was, in fact, at home having photoshop fun, creating and sharing her ‘journey’ on social media (Link to the full Metro story below). I love this project. What a great challenge and she’s done it really well! Personally, I’d rather do the retouching than the travelling! So, where shall I go this summer?

In the Metro:

Zilla’s design site:

Desk job!

Here’s one I rescued from my old blog, for my recruitment comms fans.

A business can pay a recruitment agency thousands of pounds to define their brand and target the right people for their company. Or they can take the top off a desk, grab a marker (or two) and create their own recruitment message. They can also advertise for free in the centre of town near their office.

Maybe they can buy some new stationery with the money saved. And I’m sure, if you get the job, they’ll put the desk back together for you.

If it worked (who knows, maybe it did!), it should be up for a RAD.


You can have the world…

…for only £591, oh and did I mention, you have to build it yourself?

There are lots of ads on TV at this time of year, selling us a new magazine containing something we can make or collect in weekly parts. The first issue is usually 99p, then the small print says the other 99 issues are at least a fiver. I once started buying a ‘make your own clothes’ series. I think I only reached issue 6 before I got bored and owned up to the fact that I hadn’t actually made any of them. I felt incentivised by it for at least 3 weeks though (and got a nice binder to keep them in).

They’re called partworks. I wanted to write about it because they make me laugh. The ‘build a model’ types have me screaming ‘Don’t be so stupid – have you added it up?’ and whilst I wonder how many people actually reach issue 100, it doesn’t matter. Research for this blog reveals it’s the fourth best-selling magazine sector so it’s a serious business. And for those that take their collecting seriously, there’s even a partworks model forum.

Ooh, I’ve just spotted a ‘build your own 3d printer’. That’d be cool. If I get them all, that’s £625. How much do actual 3d printers cost? Got to go…

Some links:  the world that inspired this blog

Get out and get inspired

That was a great Friday night. I met a friend at the closing event of ‘Intimate’ by Miss Led at ThePrintSpace in Shoreditch. (Links below)

The exhibition has been on since the beginning of December but for this event, she was doing a live demo, sharing how she works with mixed media and some top tips on working as an illustrator. She had a selection of beautiful portraits on display and an opportunity to buy limited edition prints. What you didn’t get from the prints, of course, was the wall art extending out from each canvas, but they’re still nice pieces to have. Sometimes you just have to be there.

I didn’t get to talk to her as she had quite a circle of fans but it inspired me to go online and find out more.

I really like her site and her work but I particularly liked one of the projects she’s been involved in – Ted Baker: Live Portraiture. In flagship stores around the world, customers had their photo taken wearing an outfit from the new Ted Baker collection (2012). Then, 11 artists sat in ‘Ted’s Drawing Room’ at London HQ and chose the photos they wanted to illustrate. The day was streamed live across the internet and in stores, resulting in great publicity for Ted Baker and the artists involved. Plus 100 lucky customers received a signed and framed portrait created by one of 11 top illustrators. What a great idea. And the greatest result for the lucky customers chosen by Miss Led who received one of her original portraits.


Here we go…

…fresh start and all that. I’ve upgraded my website so let’s get this blog up and running. It’s a new platform for me so I need to explore but this year’s theme is ‘no excuses’ so I’m going to publish and hope it’s not too ugly!