Tuesday, 2 February 2016

UNREMARKABLE: February



Hey 2016-ers! My calendars have all flown the nest now, and to those of you who have turned yours over today to see the leaning typography of February, ben arrivata! (& sorry about the lady's grey face.) As promised I have made this month's artwork available as a desktop background in wide screen (1440 x 900) and full screen (1600 x 1200). Have a fabulously illustrated month and sign up to my Byng Bulletin if you want to know what's up.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

What Bowie Taught Us




3 weeks ago today one of my creative heroes, David Bowie, passed away. I stared blankly at my phone screen in bed on monday morning - crestfallen - in stark contrast to 8th January 2013 when I woke up to find the world talking about his 66th birthday due to the announcement of his first album in 10 years. I guess the news was a hard pill to swallow because true heroes are infinite (not just for one day) and his supernatural properties of reinvention and constant innovation had allowed me to forget that behind all the majesty beat a human heart.

This image is of what Bowie was up to when he was my age (find out yours at supbowie.com) putting the finishing touches to the look of his character "Ziggy Stardust". Like me, he loved a pattern, and I think looking at Bowie's time on Earth as a pretty fascinating, vibrant, otherworldly dude, can teach us a lot. Here's what I've learnt:

Thursday, 14 January 2016

UNREMARKABLE: January


Let me level with you; I've been researching for / trying to produce a calendar for the past 3 years. At the start of 2015 I wrote down CALENDAR: TO PRINT BY END OF OCT, planning to sell my long-awaited creation at a couple of markets before the end of the year. That didn't happen, but I did manage to squeeze out the final artwork just in time for Christmas, sending it to Rope Press on a bit of a wing and a prayer.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Scrambled Mess: Looking After Number One






"Now your mind's a scrambled mess, I'll patch you up with a needle and thread. This, your old skin, you will shed. And, with care, on this new path you will tread."

When I heard Seren The Heron performing at How The Light Gets In festival last year her song 'Scrambled Mess' really struck a chord with me, describing perfectly the tangled web of tasks, internet tabs, meeting notes, ideas, events and self-created / self-adopted pressures that was my state of mind. I cited this brief trip to Hay-on-Wye as "the ultimate cure for my drained soul", but I was shocked to find to what extent my energy had reached such a critical low in the first place, and how necessary and quickly-obtained some brain breathing time had been.

Looking after yourself can not only make you happier, it can also make you more productive in your work and in your relationships. It has been this realisation that has led to a shift in thinking for me. A consequence of the driven sensibility that what you're doing matters is a tendency to stop at nothing to get things done, including missing sleep, meals and defying a healthy rhythm or balance in favour of just keeping going. The trouble with this approach is that it is very taxing to the body and mind, making you less efficient at the things you want to do, and I have found a fed and focused mind can complete tasks more quickly than a weary, overstretched one.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

BFI Film Futures Festival



When cinema wizard Amy Smart sent me this exciting BFI poster brief up on Talenthouse, I hastily signed up for an account and added it to my projects to-do list. In the early am on the day of the deadline, I set about turning one of my Future C U R I O U S kano illustrations into a functioning poster to fit the spec, finding the illustration pretty spot on to reflect my idea of the future of film-making as immersive, imaginative and DIY.

Friday, 27 November 2015

More Than Money: Investing In Your Creative Future


As we prepare to enter the last month of the year I find myself taking stock; looking back on what I've done so far and how I got to this point. I think by often maintaining firm focus on the future - pushing ahead to the next step necessary to further the next idea - how exactly we achieved what we've already achieved can easily pass us by.

After a turbulent few months with plenty of R&R (restructuring & redundancies) at the arts centre in which I work, I've been forced to really look at everything I've done as an independent practitioner and re-assert what I have to offer to whom. This process has been very rewarding, and has led me to a new realisation with regards to my current trajectory. Previously considering the last few years as an organic journey made up of a series of things that happened to me, upon reflection I understand that I also helped get myself here, through investment.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Art of Social Media


This piece is for the lovely Forge mag team to accompany a written piece about the internet (specifically social media) empowering young creatives to get their work out into the wider world. After a few days half-heartedly trying to make an overly complex illustration, I took some time away from it and a simpler concept started to emerge.

Monday, 21 September 2015

(B:) Future FORUM


Yesterday I shared the spoils of my Kano challenge at mac birmingham as part of their Future FORUM, the final component of this year's Future C U R I O U S festival. As detailed in my earlier post about my approach to the TINKER process, the result was a series of images inspired by colour mode RGB made using pencil, a scanner and various techniques of image manipulation on the raspberry pi using free software / Kano OS.

Friday, 18 September 2015

(G:) Byng@Kano ~ $



As one of the artists tasked with creatively utilising a Kano kit as part of the Future C U R I O U S TINKER commission, I have been working my way around the functioning of the raspberry pi and considering its potential in relation to my drawing practice. My initial response was that I would need to find out how to make work by drawing with code and that the raspberry pi was a potential competitor with regards to creating illustrations in the future instead of a tool I could utilise, but that thought process has changed a lot in the last few weeks.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Risography



When I saw Rope Press were running summer school workshops as an introduction to risograph printing, I leapt at the chance to get down there in order to try the process and find out how to get the most out of it. Arriving at the studio building I was met by the friendly Reece and shown up to the unit, which was every contemporary image makers dream. Rope Press are both an artist-led printing press and publishing house, so there was some srsly tasty books lining the walls, along with lots of example prints they have produced, through both orders and workshops.