David Shrigley at the Cornerhouse

One of the visits I’ve been on while I’ve been on my creative hiatus was David Shrigley’s exhibition at The Cornerhouse in Manchester. He coined his work into a book as well, titled “How Are You Feeling?”

To me, Shrigley has this kind of urgent, messy style, where getting his message across is perhaps more important than how the work looks. I like this idea that it doesn’t really matter if the drawing is basic, as long as you can tell what it is, then that’s fine. Its something I have long preoccupied myself with, striving to get a perfect picture when I don’t have a perfect style. I like messy, so why not stay messy?!

I think that the sheer volume Shrigley has to share motivates this urgency in the work. The exhibition was across two floors; the walls were literally covered with excerpts from the book, and there were even displays in the middle of the floor. He has a lot of messages, but sticks to a common theme, this instance being how people feel about common situations. I admire his work a lot because it reminds me of things I should be doing every day to keep myself thinking as a creative person; whatever ideas he has, he writes down, draws, explains, changes, and this is what I should be doing every day, on my break, before bed, when I’m having my breakfast. Otherwise how can one ever have enough work to showcase in this way. But its also relevant. It’s not random scribbles, each piece makes sense and ties into the next one. It is these kind of messages I want to show in my work as well.

Probably the most influential part of Shrigley’s work for me though is the type he uses. Everything, everything, is hand written, with respect! You will be able to easily tell that he has influenced me when you see my pieces, although they are very different. He keeps his messy, outlining, capitals, use of spacing inconsistent, whereas with my work I need to give myself some boundaries, so have only taken elements and explored my type from there.

Shrigley is currently one of my biggest influences so there might be a few more posts about him and some of his more recent work, but he is a constant reminder that I should care less about what others think but just do more more more (something my tutors always told me).


Hideout Festival

Last week I went to Hideout festival in Croatia. As well as having the best time ever, seeing some amazing DJ sets, soaking up the 30-degree heat and making some great new friends, I was actually working there. We had a body-painting stand in the middle of the festival, where four of us would give the customers whatever they wanted! I’d done it in Ibiza the year before so had an idea of what people asked for, and I took my portfolio with me to give the customers an idea of what we did. I’m still waiting for the rest of the pictures of my work to come through but here’s one I managed to salvage for now.

 I did the work for a company called Purple Paint, you can find them on Facebook and Instagram as purple.paint.us, and it was my first venture into painting in a place not in Ibiza. I’m hoping that as this was a trial as to work out if it would be successful in other places that I can expand and do more festivals and clubs over the next year.

Look Who's Back

Wow. My last post was over three years ago. A hell of a lot has happened to me in that time, highs and lows, all moulding me into the man I am today. Notable highlights have been moving into my own place in Manchester city centre, working a season in Ibiza and holding down 2 jobs, one of which I’m about to be promoted to team leader.

Over the past few years, since leaving university, I’ve always said I’d get back into the creative world eventually. But as is the case with most things, the longer you leave it the harder it is to reconnect. So by jump-starting this blog I aim to slowly re-establish what I have lost in my time away from creativity. Only time will tell if this experiment works out, but I feel like the time is right to stop procrastinating (I’m forever telling people I need a scanner before I start any pieces) and make time for myself (just because I work 50+ hours a week doesn’t mean I cant find a few hours while I’m watching TV or something to add a bit to this blog.

Now, when I was in Uni this blog was used to record what we’d been doing in terms of research and personal development. But mostly research. I think that by instead using it to include simple ideas I have in everyday life as well as looking at artists I will cover a wider spectrum of creativity, and building on it every day (alongside my sketchbook) I might just be able to get back into the mindset I’m looking for.

I’m about to start full time work on top of another job (excuses already) so for the first few weeks I will be doing 3/4 posts a week, but when we hit August my aim is for a post a day, whatever size that may be.

My posts will be quite varied, but I’ll keep them to certain categories (more for my own peace of mind, little boxes in my head and all that), which will include:
  •       Research (artists I like)
  •      Personal (things going on in my everyday life that may or may not be relevant to art but is a factor about me that is worth mentioning – for example, I’m trying to quit dairy)
  •      Creative Review (for when I watch a film, see a show etc. and want to analyse it)
  •     Development (this may not come for a while but will be about the transformation of my own work, something I am excited to start but nervous at the same time)
  •      Work (these will be finished pieces I want to evaluate)
  •      Body Paint (I am now also a body painter so will share my experience of that on here as its something I love doing and want to extend into a business eventually)
  •      Crit (A periodic look at what I have achieved, what I did right, what I would change, what to look for in the future. This will be, like the whole blog, more for my own benefit but might be a fun read)

By sticking to a formula like this I hope to get back into this world that I loved and lost, by being more motivated, by being the yes man I’ve always wanted to be, by not just thinking, but by doing.

Wish me luck!