Sunday, 19 April 2015

Craft Fair Weather Friends

On Saturday 11th April the accolade of my first market of the year went to Three Thinking Collective, a group of small-business-owning ladies from Birmingham who have come together to put on their own craft events. Their debut market took place on a sunny day in The Prince of Wales' beer garden in Moseley; soon bustling with punters looking to enjoy some independent shopping & hot dogs in the sunshine, all washed down with a cheeky pint.

My offerings included zines, limited edition prints, and my new line of silly boyband cards. Not an expert stall holder by any means, my arrangement was a far cry from some vendours who had stands, shelves, vintage suitcases; all manner of professional-looking props to make their products look the biz, also maximising the use of the table space by showcasing upwards and outwards. For me, this was the first time I'd even brought my own table covering and, whilst it was an old duvet cover, I took pride in that. I also managed to prop Bill Murray up steadfast & certain, meaning that, despite the bursts of wind rippling though the patio, he wasn't going anywhere.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Easter Inspiration

I decided to take some of my own advice and forged out some space to go on a little Easter adventure. A couple of days running amok in the capital has reset my mounting stress levels back to a cool 0 and I feel strangely refreshed for someone who spent the majority of the weekend underground. Here are some of the things I got up to.

Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea
Fighting past all the little knee-high monsters queuing to the see the dinosaurs, I visited the temporary Coral Reefs exhibition at the National History Museum. Not usually inspired by natural forms, the different shapes and textures were enchanting, lending themselves to different types of mark-making. Some of the names were also amazing, such as Slipper Coral and Potato Chip Coral. Sounds like a good combination for a night in if you ask me.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

#1.1 HOW TO: Begin Again

It's funny how things work out.

In January 2014 I wrote a post called How To Begin. Some of you may even have read it. The first instalment of a new project; a monthly creative HOW TO driven by things I've learned about the things I'm trying to get better at, I said. Well monthly it was not, despite my greatest intentions, leading to a wonderfully ironic first step; a beginning with nothing to follow it. I should be a little embarrassed about not meeting this public claim, but I have been guilty of setting myself unachievable goals, infinite to-do lists and exhibiting symptoms of too-many-ideas-at-once syndrome throughout my life; half-finished ambitious personal projects being one of them.

Trying hard always has the potential to lead to falling harder. We are particularly susceptible to suffering damage when we truly put ourselves into something as it's all too easy to take the results personally. Creating and dwelling on problems with our very self rather than the specific task or particular instance can really affect our confidence towards moving forward. It's like an elastic band: the more energy put in, the more that can come back and smack us in the face. The thing is, these efforts are also where the sweetest successes could be waiting for us; the deepest loves, the truest passions, the greatest achievements. The rewards, it would seem, are worth the risk. But how do we convince ourselves of that when we are feeling the effects of a personal failure?

Monday, 6 April 2015

Cowboys & Robots & Sharks, Oh My!

Another weekend, another fun-filled workshop with Flatpack. This one was centred around youngsters designing their own film posters, using my illustrated kit sheet, coloured paper and letter stencils. Held in mac birmingham's public space alongside illustration heroes Anorak, it was really busy with crowds seeming to come in waves, filling the space to burst between screenings and crucial family food breaks. It was wonderful to be sat at the table myself, listening to the participants' ideas for their films, what art class was like at their schools and of course, helping with the cutting out, with some kids staying happily and crafting their masterpieces for hours.