Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A Moving Experience

No, not that kind. Yep, I'm up and off again. This time over to St Leonards, where we've found a great new studio space with more room each and lots more natural light. The light has been a major issue for me, our 'old' studio was a great space, but the lack of daylight was getting to me. You know it's bad when you step outside in January (bear in mind it's the UK) and you are blinded by the sunlight. Yep, you heard right... blinded! The compromise on space finally wore me down too. When you're trying to be creative sometimes you just need to spread out! Well, i certainly do. I can't do it on a couple of desks. I'll stick a few picks of the new space up once it's up and running and i figure out a camera! I don't even have one on my phone at the moment as i'm using an old back up (and waiting to upgrade... what other companies make you wait to pay them more money, crazy contracts!!). Anyway, between moving studio and the mounting pile of work, I'm pretty busy! ... I have been having clay thoughts though... shhhh, don't tell anybody, i thought i quashed all speculation that i might actually make pots. I REALLY want to sort my glaze firing out, so i can actually start making proper pots. To say I've been frustrated is an understatement and I've been seriously thinking that it's just not going to happen. I still fill all my spare time following the clay world though and my brain's always got it ticking away (I cleaned up my space and tools last night, so somethings stirring) Sometimes, though, you just can't take things any further on your own and you need help. I just hate asking and taking up peoples time.... so i keep trying to figure it out myself and then lose heart. Hey Ho, pots, maybe, one day. I have to make this happen. Can I make this happen? Did i ever say i'm prone to uselessness? Oh....

Friday, 21 June 2013

Face Jug Friday... again!

Albert Hodge, Devil.
This is about as extreme as i go with face jugs,
but I like Albert Hodge, he was a late starter too (in clay)

Thursday, 20 June 2013

More than just a clay video

Clayspace Co-op from Horizonline Pictures on Vimeo.

Two posts in one day? I really should be working! Thanks to Ron who put this up on facebook. I wish i had a Clayspace. I love the intention and spirit of this little film and the artists involved. I really liked what Josh Copus had to say about how it was "... necessary to come back into smaller local communities and re-establish value systems that place more importance on small economies". Having said that, i still shop at supermarkets and buy cheap shit that breaks, i should be shot . I really need to change my approach to a lot of my life, my mind has changed, but my actions have yet to catch up (at least i know what i should be doing!).

Listen Up

Thought I'd share a couple of tunes that are hitting all the right notes with me these days. First up is Detroyer's slice of retro 80's pop, Savage Night At The Opera. Perfect track for a compilation/mix. Secondly, an old favourite and a classic in my eyes, Nada Surf's Blonde on Blonde. Enjoy. Now go make a mix tape/cd/playlist... and why not send a copy to someone, share the joy.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Face Jug Friday

Charles Lisk Face Jug

I'm super busy at the moment, in constant drawing mode. Quantity and quality! Clients in USA and Hong Kong make for a long working day, factoring in the wide range of time zones! I'm very fortunate to have so much work, so I'm not complaining... i just won't be making so many blog posts. Lots of drawing, i like drawing... but my clay world will have to wait.... again.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Veedon Fleece

My favourite album, no duds, perfect A & B sides. Just a perfect album whatever mood I'm in it works for me. If you've never heard it give it a listen. Everyone goes for Astral Weeks, a great album, and maybe more groundbreaking for it's time, but I know I'm not alone in thinking Veedon Fleece is THE Van Morrison album.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Circadian Rhythms

...and where mine has gone!

Back in the day, when i decided my own daily timetable (not dictated by family life!) it was totally different. I was living on my own, in my little studio flat and here's roughly how my days went. Well, firstly, I'm NOT a morning person, it takes me a while to function!... and i hate alarms. I'd wake up to music and normally about 10.30-11.30. I know terrible isn't it... well, that's just the time my body wakes up if i'm left alone! I'd start by planning what need to be done, read the mail, look at deadlines etc and do any little tasks, potter about... with a cup of coffee (that was breakfast). Then it would be lunch around midday and i'd then start on work, get the ball rolling. Afternoons were mixed, but mostly I'm just not at full speed, i'd need some fresh input, I'd sit and read whilst listening to music (music played all day, at a decent level) or I'd take a walk, sit and have a coffee somewhere, think, watch the world go by, meet people. Right, time for dinner, buy anything i needed and head back. Now we're talking. I've eaten and I'm ready to go! It's about 6pm and the energy/creativity is moving. This is the period i'd get the most done. Everyone was finished at work, so I'd get no calls about jobs etc... i was off the clock and the pressures were off. Work, work, work. I'd have a break about 10pm, coffee, snack, bit of TV, then it was back to work, completing any commissions for the morning etc. The next phase was fun, after midnight things shift. the world is quieter, a different creativity kicks in, little ideas drowned out by daily noise can be heard. I'd have fairly loose thoughts, lay on the bed and just scribble lots of things, much more free, once it was about 50 little drawings on the idea of batman... doing the shopping, getting a bat signal from his mum, anything, nonsense things, but this was a fertile period, lots of material to develop in those noisy daytime moments. Sometimes I'd just read for a couple of hours. Eventually enough was enough and i'd sleep, always to music, always. It would be about 2am-3am.

...Things change when you live with someone and have kids! You no longer decide when you do things, the World decides for you. Kids don't sleep in until 11am, school likes them there on time. I'm lucky, Jakki sorts most of the morning out, i just have to round them up and take them to school, but it's still not 10.30am! Anyway, i then dash down to the studio, get in and check emails (and blog, shhhh). Then i frantically work my way through my workload, scoffing anything that i've grabbed from home, leftover from day before. Still at my mac, but i'll use the face stuffing time to catch up on other folks blogs, or look over any new/interesting websites. Then crack on, knowing i have to wrap things up by around 2.30pm to walk back up the hill and pick the boys up from school (when work piles up i put them in stay and play and pick them up at 6pm, normally Wed/Thurs when jakki works late). I'll then continue with any drawing etc at home, before making dinner for everyone (2 kids that like less and less and a grown up that can't smell or taste, sheer joy!) Then it's catching up or checking/dealing with late-in-the-day emails, or dealing with any american jobs on a different time zone... or I'll be hanging with the kids. Now it's kids bedtime, and they don't do any of it willingly. It's getting later and i'm knackered. I grab a coffee and we stare at the TV, me wondering why I'm not upstaris making pots, or if I'm really busy with work I will be sitting working, trying to catch up! Catch up!... can't keep up.

Do you see my problem? can you see how far my natural Circadian Rhythm has gone adrift! we're supposed to listen to what our bodies tell us, but mine is being drowned out ; )

I remember reading this in an interview with Dave McKean and he explained his working day and it wasn't far off mine, well... how it was! 

My working day is usually: 10-ish, wake up. 10-11-ish, check email, read the post, check the news (BBC website), read The Week (if it’s Friday) or Time (if it’s Saturday). 11-12-ish, potter in studio, have a crumpet and a banana. 12-1 p.m.-ish, get dressed, start work. 1-3 p.m., lunch. 4 p.m.-2 a.m., work (occasional breaks to eat, drink, talk, answer phone, reply to email, play musical instruments – the worse a job is going, the more breaks I take, and therefore the longer the bad job lasts; it’s a depressing equation). 2 a.m.-4 a.m., watch a film or read current book. - Dave McKean

It's definitely not 9-5, imagine the real work capacity that is being lost, making people sit at their desks 9-5, even if it's not producing much 'actual' work.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Inspiration

Thought I'd put these pics up to follow on with this Wish List/Animation theme. Here's the original charity shop painting i bought for £10 that now hangs in my house... and then there's The Old Man & The Squirrel, one of the early works that developed into the Wish List series. I'll see what else i have with it's original source material. There's also a nice little interview with Griff talking about his working process on this animation.

The Perfect Print

Anyone who just can't get enough of my Wish List animation should head over to my shop and grab themselves a mighty fine print for a very reasonable £25 A3, or £40 A2 (which looks great!).

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Animation Link

For all of you that couldn't watch it on TV last night here's a link to Wish List on the Random Acts site. It seems to have gone down well, even if it did freak a few people out!

Creative Dads...

... take heart from Mr Billy Bragg. I feel better now. Had my Dad down visiting for the weekend and he just cracks on with all the household fixing and i don't even notice half the things are even wrong, or how to fix them. I need a Dad class. Anyone do a Dad class? i want to be useful.... i NEED to be useful!!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Tonight's The Night!

One last post to push our little animation for Channel 4's Random Acts. You can catch all 3 glorious minutes at 11.05 tonight, sandwiched between Gordon Ramsay and Alan Carr. I'll give you links for online viewing later for all you people in other lands.