Friday, 27 November 2015

Thoughts on the year and Fresh starts

I realise I've been neglecting this blog for quite some time and truth be told I've been neglecting my own art practice for quite some time too, I think the reasons for neglecting my art are many and I suppose  most creatives go through it, but anyway here are my thought on it.
The Image a day project which took place during the entirety of 2014, though very successful was very demanding in terms of time and creativity and so it would have been sensible to take a proper rest afterwards, however I did not, I put myself forward for the Lorient exhibition and upped my hours spent lecturing, in hind sight both of these things were a mistake, though the work for Lorient turned out well in the end, I felt I rushed it and let the pressure of the show really get to me, I didn't give the show the time it deserved. Lecturing is another matter really, I originally got into it to pay for my Masters degree, which I completed and have paid for, I somehow had talked myself into thinking this is how I should spend my time , and don't get me wrong I love teaching but I teach based on my experience and my practice, if teaching takes over my practice stalls and I get few new experiences, which is exactly what is happened.

From a creative perspective 2015 has been the poorest year of my career (it's hard to admit that) I've produced significantly less work than any other year of my career, I've felt very down and burnt out all year, all of this because I did not rest between projects and didn't prioritise what was important to me. over the last couple of months I've had 2 bereavements in my family, and as awful as these tragedies were it has made me evaluate what is important in my life and how I wish to spend my time in this life. I love art, I love making art, I love big crazy art projects, this is how I wish to spend my time, this is how I'm going to spend my time!

I know this post has been a bit whiny, but out of this I feel like I've turned a corner, I feel focused, perhaps more focused than I have in may years, so I'm ready for a creative and refocused 2016!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

showing the Lorient work

If you are here on the rock, then please feel free to attend this, a group of us are showing some selected works from the recent show in Lorient:

Monday, 31 August 2015

Strange times and creative block

It's been a funny old year so far, I hadn't realised just how burnt out I was after the image a day project and have felt (creatively) exhausted all year, though there is always a bit of downtime between projects and exhibitions, I've never felt so drained before, I have recently taken part in a group show in Lorrient, France with 3 other Manx artists and 4 Cornish artists. (here is my work and me):

 If I'm being honest I found it incredibly difficult to get motivated to do the artworks required for the show and ended up working right up to the deadline (normally I leave myself at least a month to be finished before a show). I was in France for 10 days and either side of it spent a few days in the Uk visiting friends, visiting galleries and seeing old clients, The show In France was also hugely successful and I feel very proud to have been a part of it, though whilst away I did have a bit of an epiphany, I worked out why it was so hard for me to produce work and why I've done little in the way of art since last December, part of this is due to a little bit of exhaustion, as stated before due to the nature of the image a day project another aspect is due to my teaching role taking up more of my time, so I have less time to produce work (I should note that I love the teaching and find it hugely inspiring and enjoyable) however the main reason why I've found it hard to get going, is that even after 10 years of working as a creative, I'd let myself be convinced that I was no good at it!

It seems silly thinking of it now, but I had let certain individuals (well, one) make me feel bad and inadequate in producing art, my trip away was great it has re-built my confidence as an illustrator, artist, creative or whatever you want to call it. So I feel good again, confident, now I know what the problem was, I know not to listen to certain people as a result I've already started producing new works, I also have ideas for a show, I feel ready to take on a new project now!

Friday, 13 March 2015

a little interview

Recently I did an interview along with a number of other working Manx artists for the artists' spaces project (which can be viewed here) it's a great project mainly looking at how artists' make use of studio space. Since I tend to be somewhat transient, I've never really felt too at home in a studio, so my take on it is a little different, incidentally, since this interview I've moved house again, so even that small space is not my studio anymore.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Back after a break

So I think I've recovered after the image a day project and I also feel that the project was very good for me, I feel like I worked through a lot things that had began to bother me about my work and my practice. I feel far more focused now and I have a greater understanding of what I would like to do with my work next. My time is still a bit split, between teaching, illustration and fine art, all of these are necessary if I want to continue paying the bills (which reminds me, I moved house again).
So as much as I would like to get back on the computer and produce 3D work, I'm still deeply in love with traditional work and as such I'm working towards an exhibition of works based on Manx folklore... I'll update you on that later, here is a work in progress in my new studio:

Friday, 2 January 2015

The image a day project has ended

Looking back at the start of the project I think I was incredibly naive about how big the project would be. The project has been extremely demanding but also really rewarding. I've had the opportunity to work across many mediums and explore a number of themes (which is alway good fun).  In terms of thinking of an image to create everyday I've only really stumbled a couple of times, at the end of January, I had a couple of days where I really found it hard to come up with anything (though I did, in the end) and then a brief spate around TT week, where I wanted to do images that were bike themed without actually doing images of Bikes.

The long duration  of the project ( a whole year) has made the process of creating an artwork every day into sort of a habit, it's become something I just do every day now.  and it's been nice in that I can explore whatever medium I'm in the mood for be it Acrylic paint, print making, digital or drawing. People ask me how far ahead I work? to be honest, not very, usually only a day ahead. 
I've tried to keep the subject matter as light as I could, but I know at times it got a bit dark, I'll not apologise for that as it's all a part of life, though I would like to thank all those people who emailed or asked if I was ok. (I was, but thanks for asking)

Part of the project meant travelling round all the island's high schools and producing an artwork in front of the students, which was nice (and I'd like to say thank you to all the patient high school art teachers who put up with me). The thing I've enjoyed the most about the project is the amount of exposure it has gotten, it's not just the Manx public that have  viewed the daily artwork, but people from the Uk, USA, Canada, Australia, Malta, Bulgaria, all over the world really,I've Even had views from far flung islands in the south pacific and Mongolia. The Blog averages around 100 to 200 views per day with a current total of around 40k views.

I think I'm too close to the project to decide how I feel about it. I don't know what the arts council plans to do with artwork after the project is over, I've heard plans ranging from an exhibition to a book, I guess we'll see in 2015. People keep asking me what I'm going to do next, in truth I don't know, all I really know is that I'm going to sleep in (all year I've been getting up at 7am or earlier to promote each day's artwork) and I'm going to have a little rest.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Island of culture team, the IOM Arts Council for funding the project and to everyone who has viewed the blog throughout the year. it's been a full on year for the island in terms of creativity  and I hope that 2015 will be equally as amazing.