21 years old, Art Student, Illustrator, Photographer, Writer, Thinker, Existentialist.





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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Ode to William Blake

Boundaries make sense,
Even if they're broken
They were there.

The Fall of Man was effortless.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Jesus and friends

A little bit of Jesus in my life,
A little bit of Moses by my side.
A little bit of Judas what I need,
A little bit of Mary's what I see.
A little bit of Joseph in the sun,
A little bit of John all night long.
A little bit of God here I am,
A little bit of you makes me your man!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Huddersfield University

On Friday 11th December 2009 we quested to Huddersfied University. Upon arriving we were met by Ian and Brent who were very informative and welcoming towards us. After about five coffees I was ready to look around, in order to get a feel for the place it was suggested that we attend workshops in all three departments - illustration, contemporary art and animation. At first I was apprehensive to participate in anything except illustration, but as the day progressed I adapted myself and found that I enjoyed all three subjects.

Illustration
After going in the gigantic lift and through a series of doors we came to the illustration department. We were shown all of the equipment inside the room and then we where allowed to experiment with some of the facilities - laser cut printing blocks, paint and a badge maker.
After a good half hour when it dawned on me that it was just a bit pre-school with the printing blocks, I wandered around the room and met a balaclaved Mexican who was drawing on a wall. A few other people and me assisted in helping him use white pens to finish the illustration. When I had finished I started making badges with the badge maker, as the paper was too thick I used tissue paper; I made a badge saying "I [heart] Adam".
By talking to Brent I learned about the interview process, what is required in my portfolio, tuition fees and what is taught within the first year of the course. In the first year we attend two and a half days a week and just tend to experiment with different materials and illustration techniques. The course sounds like something I would enjoy, although the title illustration seems a bit restricted.

Contemporary Art
We were led into a basement/dungeon setting where we watched a presentation about the course. Personally, I cannot stand contemporary art. After the slideshow we were told about the kind of work produced on the course. We were then allowed to take apart furniture and use power tools, which was exciting. Our group consisted of five people, but we all eventually split up and created individual pieces.
I made an outdoor sculpture for birds; it was made out of a bare wardrobe, a cupboard and a piece of wood. The piece of wood was taped to the top of the inside of the wardrobe - allowing it to become a swinging perch. I called this first part 'The Birdhouse'. The bottom part of the sculpture was made by placing an intact cupboard inside the bare wardrobe - this part was called 'The Nuthouse', as the birds could enter it and eat nuts.
I really enjoyed the oppurtunity to experience this art style as it allowed me to improvise as well as work under pressure to create an independent and new form of sculpture from recovered furniture.

Dinner Time
Two contemporary art students who looked like Mary Poppins and Woody Allen showed us where the eating facilities were; I had chicken kiev, chips and Lucozade.

Animation
The idea crossed my mind to leave, but I felt like giving animation a chance to impress me. I opted to use Lego to create a short film, this developed into being two films that astonished the tutors on the course. I used Lego and a digital SLR camera mounted onto a tripod linked up to an Apple Mac computer. My team were Tom Howarth and Big Z - my job was to operate the camera and insert stills onto the timeline as well as build Lego models with Tom.
The first film showed Lego men building a Lego helicopter car, only for it to destroyed by a Lego monster and the Lego monster to be destroyed by a Lego missile. The second film was co-written by me, three Lego men were lost at Lego sea. One was saved by a Lego helicopter, another by a Lego boat piloted by the King of Lego World. The third Lego man was washed away in a Lego tidal wave.
The tutor who sounded exactly like Chris Moyles said that he first thought we were a bunch of jokers who just wanted to play with Lego, but our combined skills pleasantly surprised him.

Bradford University

On Tuesday 15th December 2009 we voyaged to Bradford University. The campus is a ten-minute walk from the city center of Bradford, it looked like a mix of an urban London housing estate blended with a modern architectural structure. Once we were shown the main attractions and exterior of the building we were introduced to the animation tutor.
The course itself relies on GCSE Maths grade C (or equivalent) and GCSE English grade C (or equivalent), the interview process is equally as relaxed as there is no need to even show up as it operates on giving you a conditional placement based on UCAS points and GCSE's alone. This method seems strange to me because I think if a University were to offer me a place without at least viewing the work I produce I would be slightly confused to say the least.
A PowerPoint presentation was shown to us within the 'lecture theatre' (basically a large room full of cameras and thousands of pounds worth of equipment), this outlined the course, modules and history of Bradford and its University. When we had sat through the 40-minute presentation, a DVD enlightened us to the technological advantages that Bradford possesses as well as allowing us to experience a piece of animation work entitled 'Fisherman'. The animation subsequently had nothing to do with a man fishing, the short was cute but the message it conveyed was difficult to determine.
Afterwards, the animation tutor guided us around the building; there were computers in every single room - each room was equally as generic as the last one we went in. Every room I walked into I recieved the impression that if a powercut happened, chaos would descend. All the tutor could show us was the "state of the art" computers thus creating an even more defunct environment than what was already constructed.
A room that piqued my curiosity was the life drawing room, it contained about seven easels, one skeleton, ten chairs and harboured a look of a GP's surgery. Overall, I felt that the University lacked the variation, personality and tone needed for a comfortable and unique learning experience. What annoyed me the most about the open day was that the tutor was too focused on talking about the advantages of computer technology and advertising his course rather than giving the other courses a fair voice. At one point he said being a photographer was a pointless job, after that he went even further downhill in my opinion.

Leeds Metropolitan University

On Wednesday 25th November 2009 we journeyed to Leeds Metropolitan University. This particular University is based at the Headingly Campus; the location is quite far away from the city center and proved difficult to find. From the outside the building was large and very traditional, based on the exterior it looked like a pleasant place to study.
Upon entering the campus we were guided into a boardroom type setting and presented with comfy chairs, a large projected screen and a tutor who looked like Doc Brown from 'Back to the Future'. The tutor then told us about the animations created by the students and the very many companies born from the University. The animations looked pretty basic, something that would have taken about two hours to produce.
When we had sat through the introduction and the lecture had been concluded we were shown around the campus' facilities. The canteen contained numerous branches of food outlets - a jacket potato type function, a Chinese takeaway restaurant affair etc. After being 'wowed' by the appetising aromas that were on offer we were introduced to the millions of pounds worth of blue screens, recording studio space, computers and video equipment.
The vibe of the University reflected that of a lifeless atmosphere fuelled by money and a mass student population. It all seemed like the staff at the University primarily cared about the money that was invested into the campus rather than the concerns, ability and development of the students themselves.
From the visit I learned that no matter how much money, swimming pools or award-winning physiotherapists were at the University's disposal, it was all in vain as far as the wellbeing of the students is concerned. The onslaught of computers communicated that a severe lack of creatiivity was at play, and the outcome was not something that I would ever dream of aspiring to. My conclusion is that it is the environment and the tutors who make the priceless and fulfilled education that is recieved, not the money.

Batley School of Art and Design

On Wednesday 18th November 2009 we had the privilege of having three courses present to us their presentations on Further Education. They compiled together an overall rundown of what the course consisted of, how it was assessed/applied for and how it worked best for us. In order is what I thought of each course and my opinions on how I feel it would benefit me.

Foundation Degree in Digital Photography
We were welcomed into what would be our study room if we were to choose the course, after sitting down we were each given an example of work that the students had individually produced. The books that we were given all had a them, this ranged from a sports catalogue, a lingerie brochure, a cocktail recipe book, a tourism booklet etc. The books were made by a company called blurb.com, the finished product was a hardback book consisting of both words and images and possessed a look equal to that of a professional photo book.
The next piece of work we were shown was a video about snowboarding, I wasn't as wooed by this so I didn't absorb much of it.
Overall, I enjoyed the presentation that we were given and the examples of work that we had been show were excellent. I feel that although this looks like an interesting course, I would much rather study something that does not have to be mostly digital based.

Foundation Degree in Graphic Communication
We were shown into the room that would be our home for the next three years, if we were to study Graphic Communication. Examples of work were limited, as the course had just recently been revamped. The modules to all of the semesters were clearly explained, they were - rebranding a genre of music, designing badges based on the theme of self, bottled water and company logos. The course favours fluency in digital practices, even though I have this skill I much prefer the freedom to improvise, the ability to use the world around me as inspiration and to be able to involve a wide spectrum of materials to answer a proposed problem.
The presentation was mainly focused on the functions of digital media, experimenting with cardboard was mentioned a few times.

B.A. (Hons) Fine Art For Design
This talk took place in the lecture theatre. As we sat down various examples of work were being passdd around the room - things previous students have made, such as activity books, issues of magazines, badges, books etc. Once everybody had had a look at the items the talk began. A slideshow presentation was shown with narration from the course coordinators, samples of animations were shown; my favourite being a simple illustrated cartoon about a boy named Johnny who shrank, the narrator of the story communicated with the audience on a level that was both charming and heartbreaking. The presentation went on to describe just some of the many things that people had created on the course, they featured a 9-seater cinema, sculpture, self/identity based work, books, gouache paintings, screenprints, clothing design, graphic novels, postcards, furniture, films etc.
This was my favourite presentation of the day (even though the room was stuffy, kind of like being stuck inside a toy box), the tutors explained everything about the course and how they operated. The exhibition show in London particularly appealed to me as it is a chance to plan, organise and showcase your own individual works to a wider audience.

N.B. The day after the presentations I spoke to Richard Gray (a tutor for B.A. (Hons.) Fine Art For Design) and discussed more in depth what is studied in the first year. The variety of projects and the fact that you are at liberty to use any materials is ideal as I can broaden and further my understanding of different types of media, rather than being fixed to one in particular such as a camera or a computer.

And Now For Something Completely Different

I'm belated at writing up these next four posts, but they will give you an insight into what my overall impression was of the Further Education courses I saw. I've dug them out and edited them as my writing back then was rusty and the grammar was nothing short of horrific. They may or may not help you, but they give my opinion and criticism of things as I saw them in November-December 2009.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Coffee Cup Swirls and Cigarette Girls

It was around about late January or early February, New Year had been and gone and I was once again thrust into another year of existence. 'The Roaring Twenties', 'The Golden Era', 'The Jazz Age', the 1920's stained with the dried blood of the Great War. The European economy was booming; for anybody who wasn't me prosperity and money flowed like wine.
I was living in Paris at the time. If you'd have asked my father, he'd have told you I was living out a lie, a delusional fantasy of which no good would ever come. However, if you'd have asked me I'd have told you straight - I was there to fulfil my lifelong ambition to become a writer. I got by on what little I had, my determination and drive were the only things that I could call riches.
The Cafe Laurent was a place I frequented often, it was a hive for people such as I, down on their luck artists with financial constraints. Artists, writers and models gathered in clusters to talk recent publications, latest exhibitions, business, current affairs, lost and newfound loves; half empty coffee cups filled the tables of the despondent clientele. Cold, unnerving and as bitter as the ferocious wind that bit at my lips.
I sat inside people watching, comparable only to star-gazing. It was then that I saw her, my eyes fixed on a distant étoile. Fumée projected from her delicately formed mouth, rouge lips emanated smoke in thick, full of life plumes.
My throat became coarse like emery paper; a human heart that beat with the rapidness, urgency and uncertainty of a locomotive. Lust, need, want, desire, every primal instinct was redundant next to love.
She stood to walk out, as she passed I smelled a pungent aroma in the air - roses and cedar wood. I sat there fixed in what seemed like a lingering purgatory, entranced and encapsulated in an otherworldly bind.
I followed her out onto the densely packed street with the intention of declaring my love to her. Just ahead of me and about to cross the road I saw her...
Absent-minded faces cluttered my path, constricting the blood flow and causing a temporary block in the arteries of fate.
As the clot dispersed I regained my vision and composure, she was gone.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Times They Are a-Changin'

3 years ago I would have considered myself to be immature, annoying and a general nuisance. Now, I am still all of those things, but slightly more so. I was just beginning to start art college after working for a year and a year-long stint of bad and unproductive relationships. It was around this time that I was persuaded (perhaps seduced is a better word) by Tom Howarth to enrol at art college and do what I love and enjoy and hopefully gain some form of qualification from it. In many respects he has helped me to see the light, not in any religious sort of way, but by encouraging me to break-up with my then girlfriend and making me aware that I should persue the thing that I am best at, which is art. The way I think, write and act now has radically changed compared to how I did then. Where as before I believe I put on a front and acted the way others wanted me to act. Now I do what I want, please and feel to be right. I'm not afraid to speak my mind or wear my heart on my sleeve.


N.B Done during the writing workshop, in conjunction with 'Monologue of a Coal Miner's Wife'.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Colour Separation

The world and the monoply guy live as one
He buys and sells; speaks and tells
When he dies there'll be nothing but the sun.

Song for a Son

To a Son
As these things usually start
Cards, letters, greetings

For a Son
Suggests you're willing to provide
Shelter, warmth, love

I'm on my way oh how I'm on my way

The present that refuses to be wrapped
I'm every image that you once were
A permanent reminder that will never stray

From every Son
This is their solemn vow
Hello, Thank you, Goodbye.

Lowry

When I watch the people,
I stop and think.

I stop and think,
when I watch the people.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Odysseus

We died believing we were worthy
of divine intervention.
They wrote mine and your name in
the local paper without a mention.
Sadly and lastly this is my
only real intention.
To be reborn with new working parts,
a work of pure invention.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Dorothy

Follow that road,
then you will find
the keys to peace and paradise.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

In God We Trust

Let me be honest, this entry is a little off topic; then again what I write, say and do tends to lack any continuity at all. I don't expect this post to change anything or alter things in any way, it is just what I think and how I view religion.

Once again we have seen an event which cites religion as the catalyst, more specifically Islam. The motivation behind this atrocity is said to be about immigration and the spread of Islam. What I like about religion is that it encourages people to form a sense of community, belonging and to respect one another - Islam does not differ to this. Yet, we have people such as the perpetrator who carried out these atrocities who spouts fundamentalist ideas and far-right views about how Islam is taking over. I am sorry, but nobody can force you to believe in something, everybody has free will. Islam is not taking over, no religion is. People with the views such as the man who carried out these henous crimes, the EDL, the BNP etc. are wholly and totally wrong. They are ignorant and base their judgements on a very very small minority of people, many of whom were not even Muslim. Far-right groups such as the EDL and BNP masquerade as "against Islamic extremism", but in actual fact they are against anybody who is non-white.

On 3rd September the EDL will enter Tower Hamlets, one of the UK's most Islamic areas; their reasoning for doing so? To protest "against Islamic extremism" of course. I am baffled by this because A) what will this achieve? B) what have the residents of Tower Hamlets got to do with "Islamic extremism"? C) to march through an area of people and condemn their religion is sickening D) this will neither help or change anything (for the better).

Segregation is what promotes paranoia and fear, I understand that many cultures densely populate certain areas and this is an issue which needs tackling. It can be solved through inclusion and encouraging people to come together, i.e through events, street parties and get togethers. This country was built on multiculturalism, it is one of the few things that makes me proud of society. Everybody should have the right to live in any country they wish to; after all, it is only an island on which you happen to have been born on. Multiculturalism is something that should be embraced, not shunned. Why do you think there is so much hatred and prejudice against other cultures and ethenicities? It's because of segregation.

There is good and bad in everybody, should we then suppose that all Catholics and Protestants are violent due to the conflicts in Northern Ireland? - the answer is no, we shouldn't. An individual is responsable for his/her actions and how they treat people, their religion isn't.

Everybody is an individual, regardless of background, sexuality, religion, skin colour, gender, appearance etc. A person should be viewed for WHO they are rather than WHAT they are.

A lot of problems would be eradicated if religion didn't exist, but then again people are happier, friendlier, more spiritual and peaceful with it. It is people who misinterpret it and take the context out of hand who give it a bad name.

The BNP say they want to "keep Britain British" (I suppose they mean keep the things we haven't taken from everywhere else then). The EDL say they want to keep England English. Okay then, how do you explain them just concentrating on Islamic extremism and overlooking Americanisation and Globalisation? The answer is you can't. I'm absolutely all for multiculturalism, but what would be nice is if local businesses, working men's clubs, grocers and paper shops could be kept open without being taken over by huge conglomerates. This is what the BNP and EDL should be campaigning against, not religion.

Monday, 1 August 2011

#624815

There is an age old philosophical question, can money make you happy? I think at some point we have all wondered this, but I can say with much certainty that it does not.

Think about it, what is money? Pieces of paper, useless by itself, it is merely a middle man. If you think money can make you happy, imagine yourself in this situation - you have all of the money that you could possibly ever want, but are forbidden to use it, would this make you happy? Money by itself is useless, it is something that is man-made and designed to elevate people to a higher status than others.

It seems, at the moment anyway, money is what it's all about.

Money = Respect + Power

Having money doesn't make you better than anybody else, it doesn't make you more successful, more respected, more powerful. Did having money educate humans how to survive? Knowledge did that, and in my opinion knowledge is power. Knowledge has helped us to adapt and cope with change and whatever has been thrown at us since humanities inception.

Hapiness doesn't come from little pieces of paper or from what it can get you, after all they are just materialistic things, they're worthless compared to what really matters in life. Love, relationships, hapiness, peace, respect, equality, morals and freedom are just some of the things that money can't buy, they are also essential components to life.