Monday, 19 October 2015

New Website

I will no longer be using blogspot as I now have my own website which you can find here -

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Sponsored Head Save

 So, I shaved my head today to raise money for the UK mental health charity 'Mind'.
1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. There is a good chance that someone you know suffers from a mental health problem, but you may not know it as mental health can be a very personal thing and is frequently stigmatized. This is why I wanted to raise money for Mind.

Thanks to the generosity of the customers and colleagues at Sainsbury's Telford, where the shave took place, I was able to raise over £400 for this cause.

Studio Closed

 Unfortunately the lease on the John Rose Studios where I currently have studio space is nearly up. Due to some issues with the studio manager and the building owners the lease wont be kept by the United Artspace group so I will be back to my old set up in my bedroom at home. This means I will probably not be producing many traditional pieces in the near future but will be continuing with my digital work.
 On a lighter note, here is my most recent traditional piece which I think came out quite nicely -

Revolution Auction

 As I mentioned previously, I donated a piece from the Bed Song Collection to ShatterJapan to be auctioned at REVOLUTION: PUSSY RIOT SENTENCING COMMEMORATION FESTIVAL to support Pussy Riot.
 I am happy to report that the piece went for £100! Thank you Mike Smith for the generous donation to a good cause.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Bed Song Project - The long overdue write up

   So, last month I posted about my Bed Song Collection - A set of 20 portraits of Amanda Palmer, each featuring lyrics from 'The Bed Song'. It has been one month exactly since stage 3 of the Bed Song Project and its still going!

The Day
   The day itself was so much fun - I arrived at the venue early in the afternoon and spent the best part of the day in the company of many great people, all chatting, playing uke, singing and sharing art, in spite of the unusual roasting heat and lack of shade. During this time I made friends with a number of wonderful folk, including but not limited to - Nick, first to donate for a piece of the set and selfless protector of the remaining pieces during the gig (as no cloakrooms were available), Cookie, biggest spender and capturer of 'the' moment, Olivia of ShatterJapan (more on that later), Dexter, newspaper skirt and pirate hat wearer and Jade and Emily, photographers and sharpie place holder providers, to name but a few.

Dex recreating the 'Lick my legs' image with my art as a reference - art imitating art imitating art

   The gig itself was out of this world, by far the best live show I have ever been to - which is not faint praise, as I go to gigs frequently and have seen some amazing acts. I really could go on about the show at length, but I wont as I want to focus on the project and I am by no means a professional writer or reviewer so it would probably end up being very gushing and disjointed. All I will say is Amanda really knows how to work an audience, and well, basically if you haven't seen her live before, go, you wont regret it.

Amanda in front of me, holding Nick's hand while performing

left - Jherek Bischoff, photo curtsey of Emily Ember, right - Georgia Train of Bitter Ruin with Amanda performing 'Delilah', photo curtsey of Tish Jarret for Shatterjapan

Me with my usual 'enigmatic' smile and first piece in the set, signed by Amanda

   After the show Amanda came out and signed at the merch stand (which was amazing of her as she really must have been exhausted after her performance and had hit her head toward the end) so I got to meet her briefly. I got the first piece of the set signed (pictured above) and gave her the final piece of the set (which she is holding in the picture below). She really seemed to like the art and later sent me this tweet -

'The' Moment

The Experience
   As I have said before, the point of this project was to create connections and to experience a 'Pay what you want', trust based way of selling my work, which is exactly what I did. It really was something else to have people approaching me about my art, complimenting me on my work and then backing up those compliments by giving me money for my art, at a price set by them, without me having to really broadcast myself or vie for attention in anyway.
   The thing I loved most about this was the interactions I had with people - I am not particularly good at socializing and generally, meeting new people is not an experience I tend to enjoy so going to Birmingham and spending the day among people I have never met before is very out of character for me. But I did it without trepidation because of what I had seen online of Amanda's fan base. And they did not disappoint. Throughout the day I had conversations with people about all kinds of things, ranging from my art to Doctor Who and plenty in between, enjoyed lots of uke covers, traded art for shade, hugs and a flower and met people who not only wanted to pay me for my art but also wanted to help promote me, without me having to ask them to do so.
   And, although it was more about the experience than the money, I had set a rough goal in my head for how much I would need to average at to break even. Even thought at no point in the day did I set a price or turn down an offer I still made a not inconsiderable profit, all through people paying what they could afford. I even had people approach me and tell me they would love a piece of the set but didn't have the money they felt it was worth, and even after I explained that it wasn't about the money and any amount would do, they still didn't take a piece as they felt it would be unfair to me. I also had a few people give me the little they could afford and adamantly tell me they would pay me more later online.
   While I understand this isn't likely to be typical for most none Amanda Palmer events/venues, it has shown me that a 'pay what you want' structure is both more rewarding than a conventional method of selling and that it can be monetarily viable for me, so I will be trying to incorporate it in some way into my future endeavours.

Ross & Stephani with Jherek and my art, photo curtsey of Emily Ember

Stage 4
   As I said in my last blog, stage 4 of this project was to reunite the pieces of the set online and I am still in the process of doing so but below you can see the images I have received so far.

Simon Kayleigh Sarah Ross Stephani Nick Me & Amanda

   I have really loved seeing pictures of people with my art, thank you all for donating to me and sharing my art.
If you are one of the 20 owners of the set and would like to be put in touch with the others, let me know and I will pass on the details I have been given to share
   I still have a couple pieces of the set left, I can take donations online and can post them so if you are interested in owning a piece of the set, let me know.

Revolution - Pussy Riot Festival
   One thing which came about as a direct result of this project and was completely unexpected was that I met Olivia of ShatterJapan. ShatterJapan is an international webzine featuring interviews, photographs and videos of artists in edgy music, film and culture.
   They are launching an event - REVOLUTION: PUSSY RIOT SENTENCING COMMEMORATION FESTIVAL on the 18th & 19th of August, taking place at KRAAK, Manchester. The event itself features a huge array of performers and will also feature an auction, with all profits from the event going to Pussy Riot.
   On the day of the Amanda Palmer gig I donated a piece of the Bed Song Collection to this event, for auction on Sunday 18th August. This piece is signed by both myself and Amanda
   I will be attending the Sunday and I hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Secret Project Revealed - Bed Song Portraits/Amanda Palmer Army!

   Its finally time to reveal the project I've been working on for the last month or so - Amanda Palmer: The Bed Song Portraits Collection!

   The Bed Song Portraits Collection is comprised of 20 portraits of Amanda Palmer, in 4 different designs and 5 different colour schemes. Each individual piece contains a different set of hand written lyrics from the Bed Song and the whole set together makes up the entire song.
    Each piece was hand drawn and painted by me on 10x10" illustration board.

   Stage 3
   So, the set is complete but the project is far from over. And this is where you come in, or more specifically any Amanda Palmer fans who are attending her gig at The Institute, Birmingham on Tuesday July 16th 2013. I will be attending this gig myself and intend to 'busk' in the line with these pieces and some of my digital art, printed at various sizes.
   I am not setting any solid prices and will be accepting donations in exchange for the art, though I will have a rough guide for which piece(s) you can get for your donation based on size of donation in order for me to cover the costs of creating the art, but I will be more than happy to barter and throw in whatever extras I can for generous donations. I may even accept hugs as currency for my smaller pieces :)
   Here are my digital pieces which will be available in a variety of sizes -

Stage 4
   My intention with this set is to create a unique connection between everyone who owns a piece of it. For this to happen the set needs to be broken up and distributed among Amanda's fans (stage 3) and then reunited via the wonder that is the internet (stage 4).
   So the plan is to give out the pieces to generous fans before the gig. On the back of each piece will be a message from me and details of all the places the holder can reach me and I will request of them that they take a photo of themselves holding their piece of the set (in front of their face if they wish to retain their anonymity) and share it with me online. I will then collect these images together and reunite the set (with luck) online.

   I will be keeping the first in the set (seen above) and will be trying as hard as I can to see that the final piece of the set makes its way into the hands of Amanda herself. So everyone who buys a piece will (potentially) gain a unique little connection to myself, each other and Amanda herself.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Secret Project 2

   Almost done with stage 2 (a little behind scheduled but nearly there) so its time for tease number 2

   Can you tell what it is yet?
   I will be releasing the full details on the 9th and stage 3 will start one week later.