Audiovisual Cultures Episode 120 – Jordan Mode with Jordan Lam

Show notes

Paula Blair speaks to Jordan Lam about being creative and developing a studio arts practice. In this fun and loose conversation you’ll get some insight into studying art at degree level, some details about graphic design and digital collage, and how it is to take a creative approach to life as well as to art. There are some details about Photoshop and other digital creative suites that the uninitiated may find surprising. We also touch on Jordan’s experience growing up bilingual and across two cultures, his interest in rap and reading, and why he likes to dress up as a banana. If you enjoy this chat, please give us a good rating and share with someone you think will like it.

Music: commonGround by airtone (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license.

Edited by Paula Blair with Audacity.

Recorded with Zencastr on 30 May 2022. Access Behind the Scenes recordings and see Jordan in his banana suit on Patreon.

Jordan Mode podcast:

Jordan and Paula connected via

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and though you’re very welcome take audio visual cultures the podcast that delves into different areas FM media and the arts I am your host Paul left prior and in this episode I have a really fun and enlightening conversation with Jordan lamb but studying art developing a studio arts practice and generally being creative and having a good time having fun night if you’re one of our behind the scenes patrons over at Petri on dot com forward slash AV cultures there’s a special treat in store for you because as Jordan mentions he likes to dress up for special occasions and he considers doing a podcast recording like this to be one of those special occasions so for Phil video access to your conversation to look to see what Jordan is wearing do you join us at the behind the scenes here and you can see for yourself massive thanks to our amazing supporters are currently funding the website please see check out our latest audio visual cultures dot com everything you need sire and I updated it significantly back in may so please stay have a good price Orion %HESITATION salutes more stuff they’re noisy big thanks as well to each one of each for some lovely feet back on the seventeenth of may in twenty twenty two H. one that paid in an Instagram story Paul this podcast is full of so much heart and soul for the arts check out her episodes there’s something for everyone I really appreciate that too and I hope those sentiments come three again in this episode with Jordan as we talk by creativity and love for the craft D. enjoy while you can thank you yeah I’m a banana have always love the names you like when ants right from them is their very special very special things in the world yes they are so how are you doing this is Hey I’m good I’m good you know I I woke up today I wasn’t feeling that great I think I’m a bit say but I don’t know I just I remembered I can’t let P. down no I just can’t sell here I am that’s how you say it but if you’re not feeling well we can do this another time that is fine I’m committed committed Anna yes you’re very young as well so you’ve got your sights yeah by what gave it away I really appreciate it we’ll just let me know how you’re doing and if you’re not Feelin secrets we compose we can have a break whatever just whatever you’re comfortable with don’t feel like you have to pay straight because that’s not a good thing I did a lot of pushing straight when I was in my twenties and I aren’t tight catastrophic they so don’t do that to yourself okay okay Elena Fisher I can impart anything to the younger people don’t burn yourself side it’s not fun yeah I I understand I’ve burnt myself a couple times and that did not feel good so it is important to take breaks for sure so you’re very busy banana you got a lot going on which excels but more but the banana as stockholders to what you said earlier that you just love bananas sure yeah there’s a deeper meaning I guess it just represents my creative and find the side and just attitude about having fun and not caring what anyone else thinks because this in a way is a form of self expression now that is my artistic meaning but I also really like bananas so that is when it comes down to it you know I just love bananas that’s it C. love dressing entirely as a banana yeah yeah this very personal it’s door if it’s too personal it’s me going to wear places but do you have things you wear underneath your banana state today also have bananas on them %HESITATION is out for a price cut oh no no I’m just wearing a regular shirt and shorts because the okay the thing about the banana suit right in some kind of hot and stuffy I can’t even lie to you I don’t wear this every day you know I I I do it for important things important events you know warning I just wanna let you like it I guess yeah I like to have fun okay so it’s very hot and there were fights in the world are you Jordan I am in Sarasota Florida in the US of a I imagine that’s quite a warm place %HESITATION it’s really hot so you’re already warm and then you’re putting a really hot thing on your body after that so that its commitment I mean we need to adjust the distress a level of commitment we’re talking about here yeah I mean if AC did not exist I’ll probably have a heat stroke by now but now I’m fine so let’s keep it going you know push forward I’m hoping some of that heat radiates over to me because it’s spring time it’s late may I’m in the north east of England and it’s been very re in the in the cold here you know I’m wrapped up the scope a cardigan and cellphone because idea of dressing the same way as I was dressing most of the winter because it’s really cold here yeah while it’s spring in England it is somewhere here in Florida and is interesting wow yes well we we should be in summer but it doesn’t quite seem to want to test %HESITATION rife just yet okay we’re in summertime is it always cloudy there in England the part of England’s I list then it’s oxy a bit sunnier than some other places but because of where I am geographically we got very cold air a lot of the year the reason that we’ve had today is relatively rare it’s not as rainy as this usually is usually quite sunny but cooler I’m right beside the North Sea at which is a very cold spots on the arse the sort of arctic and Nordic air coming toing so there’s nice sunny weather can meet with the cold breeze sometimes so it’s a bit conflicted in this part but if you go to the northwest it’s really cloudy rainy rain at night a lot of the time okay it’s on the Irish Sea side it’s a lot more humid on that part I see yeah I want to visit one day and I’ve never been the state so I’m learning three people like you you know bumping into people like in the internet I’m learning notes by the United States so it’s great to be visiting Florida this time of mutually in LA or something like that on the internet so Lori this is different spin on things yeah you should visit if you like hot weather beaches Florida wild news I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Florida man but there’s a lot of stuff that happens in Florida that’s pretty crazy if you like hurricanes yes you you would have a fun time here in I think my associations with Florida and recently are from the good place you Jason Mendoza comes from Florida and the good place so it’s not the most positive depiction and then the Florida project as well so it’s like this immense wells decides to institutions so yeah I haven’t had a very positive spin on Florida yet yeah okay okay but if you like oranges that is what Florida has that’s positive right but they grow their own balance I I can’t answer that now maybe well they don’t really need taken several eating yeah I wherever I walk with the cost of one of the managers grows like from the ground CD going to bite and then so you’re saying you write for special things with the performance at TD your artwork and that what it what do you do in the real world in Europe and on the set well that’s that actually you gave me a great idea I should start doing that I should actually do this to create artwork I have a interesting relationship with this banana costume I’m a very naturally competitive person so when I get serious I put on the costume and it just seems like everything falls into place and everything just works out for me and then I win in the end every time S. sounds really weird but it’s like some people have their lucky charm right I have the banana so I do graphic design I’m studying to do studio are in the future N. when creating I don’t like I don’t wear anything not not life will need but like I wish certain into it you know right I wear clothing but not the banana suit because I need to be in a state of mind where I can just be free I’d try new things I think that’s when you create the greatest work of art when you are set with no limitations and you can go outside the your own box so don’t I try to trap yourself inside a box or try to contain yourself in in a cage with all these rules just experiment whether it be to Photoshop or podcasting in everything it all relates to one thing to another I was quite keen to learn more about your studies and what you’re hoping to say but you know what we are doing and you mentioned podcasting and hideouts links with your graphic design and you do make up the cast co Georgian modus alright yeah yes it’s quite fun I’ve listened to a few episodes at you know you seem to have conversations so I’ve been a bit Lacer with you I’ve tried to do mine tiny but like the way you do yours just go straight in the conversation %HESITATION rather than the structures interview it seems a bit more appropriate to just try and just give people a taster of the kind of thing that every day and you know it’s not very comfortable doing that because you know you you turn up and the way the each day and that remain she you don’t have to be serious %HESITATION professional right everything and being creative and I’m being a bit silly about fun it can be those things say so I think that’s a really nice reminder but which I like to tell folks about your podcast right yes so every time someone asked me when they were tells me when they listen to my podcast as find that kind of wild to believe like you really listen to my podcast that’s funny because I I just spew so much random stuff and I don’t want to swear on this podcast because I feel like that would just do whatever you’re comfortable with kids I I tend to try not to you just because I wanted to be as inclusive as possible by desire and therapist it’s where we desire more may be dealing with the topic where you’re coding something or it requires it %HESITATION it just slaps or whatever so just be comfortable just bear south okay my podcast Jordan mode is really just a journal for me for talking to people having great conversations throughout life I started it in December of twenty twenty one or is that yes yes I did okay end every conversation I’ve had since then has really changed me into the person I am now so it’s kind of interesting to think that it’s like a time capsule when you look at episode one you’re like oh I was so naive I was just a child when you’re up to the current episode and you’re like while what happened to me this is wild this is crazy and I I don’t take myself too seriously I just have fun having genuine conversations with people because everyone has a unique personality it is different in their own unique way you know everyone is in a different walk of life and everyone’s going to do something different so it’s interesting to understand how they came to be how they are and you know what they’re doing and you can learn so much from another person you can live through them vicariously you can stay in touch you can make a new friend you know relationships are so important and I learned about that in his speech or psychology class but either way both those classes have influenced me a lot because in speech if I never took a speech class in college I don’t think I would be this outspoken and speaking for a long period of time no I would just wait for the other person to respond or I wouldn’t be as outgoing as I am now so I think definitely more on the story is be yourself take classes if that interest you and just be creative test or not thirty N. I really admire that about eight the American in further and higher education system I mean there’s a there’s a lot of issues in terms of how much it costs and we’re following that increasingly in the U. K. but that you have these allow access classes that you can save quite early on we just don’t really have thought we don’t have those testers so you can share you can do this kind of class and I think that’s really fantastic the you can access something like that because I think here people think that you have to be super focused on what your degree pathway is and they don’t realize the merits of learning about other things like high must sign forms what is your pathway is you know that all these other things feed and slot so that’s pretty crazy here Hey did you go to college I did yeah I went to university articles three degrees %HESITATION while what degrees so my bachelor’s degree was in joint honors English and film studies so’s very traditional English as chair and I did a lot of Shakespeare lot of renaissance mature plays and drama and I did some Irish literature and fiction pieces I did some studies so fairly traditional from studies degree you know it was a lot of the old white European dates similar kind of sauce on it wasn’t tell a go into post graduate so they said it got a bit more interesting and you can go your own way a little bit more into your own research and things really right not timer starting to open up a bit more and people were going I think other kinds of people make films as well so maybe we could have a we look at those so it was starting to open night and get a bit more interesting then %HESITATION I started off saying and my masters in film he started off saying a lot more Asian cinema and a lot more now from cards from all over the world and a lot more women filmmakers use it was just getting a bit more diverse and stuff and then my PhD was summoned visual culture but it was yeah I was looking more assets convergence says between cinema and the visual arts more broadly so I was making more at video installation and live performance mixed media work and that sort of stuff so it really opens it out quite a bit well so you’ve always loved movies or films he had a life long ass to mazing while TV info my think it’s been a mainstay for majors I’ve always been so attracted to screens which isn’t you know necessarily the healthiest thing these days because our lives are just can change based grain culture the likes of a smartphone I mean not just was not a notion when I was a kid to so you know it’s weird to me that so many kids are just almost bored my smart phones in our hands a space right I remember a time when it was just long lines and that was it that made me so I think I spent like what you were saying earlier about conversations I think may face or where I’ve learned about the world and I’ve learned how to have empathy I’ve learned about other people’s stories and I’ve learned to buy other different types of people and because I grew up in such a very white yes and I was in the middle of a civil conflict as well as a young person so we were sure wind chiller we you know we nearby bets in pieces about what was going on in the world but we were pretty focused on ourselves as well it was a great SKF so it was a way of getting away from not but also just learning right this other stuff going on in the world to cease other types of people I fascinating SS no yeah now compared to when you were a kid do you find that you’re watching movies for the same reason I think so yeah I think learning from them is really important to me as much as being entertained by them I don’t expect to be entertained by phone but I hope to learn something from it if that makes sense right like the cinematography and the shots and how they all of that yeah yeah I’m I’m pretty much a nerd about all that stuff how are you I know nothing about making films yeah I I can like every time I watch a movie now I’m not looking so much as to be entertained I’m more looking at the shots and like what the director wants us to see is if you watch lake I don’t know if you watch the new doctor strange movie I don’t know if you’re into those I haven’t seen a memory in a behind on the the whole universe do you knows Sam Raimi %HESITATION yeah I know the summary Nancy I know he’s directed it yes so his like his style of directing like each back to what I was saying when everything’s connected right sorry my brain is literally like a multi verse you can tell it’s a Sam Raimi movie just by his style of directing his like he’s really into horror during the naval data right so and you can see aspects of that in the new movie exactly not a spoiler because he directed the movie but it’s also like you can tell what person created something whether it’s music whether it’s anything whether it’s movies TV anime C. N. do any creative medium you can just help because that’s their style is their personality and they’ve woven that into their creation and I think that’s just chef’s kiss so I love it yes I’m a I’m a real nerd for that safety because I really loved his spider man trilogy a lot of peoples and maybe like cat and spider man Terry I think it still stands up as probably one of the best probably the past spider man film of all of them there’s loads of Sam Raimi motifs sorry I thought I found loads of references loads of horror inflections you know things that are really quite similar to the the people that made base price combo of course getting account managers and stuff hello Hey I love noticing that because it makes you feel I think it makes you feel good to feed of noticing that stuff because it makes you feel quite clever that all yeah go that a lot one and yeah I got that reference the one thing Remy you sly dog so when you notice these references how happy does that make you feel these days it makes me happy because I went I remembered something while yeah I don’t know maybe it’s partly to do with some other personal stuff and party did you rest just pandemic general trauma but I really struggled with remembering things for the past couple of years and it feels good to just go I remember the thing for fifteen years ago I am so proud of myself today you know so it can be as simple as soft you know L. just fire something in me and there’s something deep dying because a lot of these movies when I was younger I watch them on harder Tatian you know they were comforting and the reputation mean gene you notice something different every time it’s slightly different maybe every time because she noticed something you didn’t quite pick up or before so their shot I I find a lot of pleasure in that it’s like a scavenger hunt that you’re you’re you’re finding things in every frame every scene okay I do like that too I think that for me I am so odd because I have a great memory I can’t even lie it’s so in order for me to watch a movie more than once it has to be really good because I I remember the gist I’m so late once the air again I am just feel as though once I’ve seen what a movie once I don’t need to see it again but that’s not for all please there is a a recent Marvel movie that came out was called more biz yeah that’s a movie I’m never going to see again I I thought it was bad yeah because I remembered at all but this time you will get back here yeah it’s you will not get back at you could spend your time doing something that leads me to another question did you ever walk out of the movie I have Sonya there was one by cost something just came from the recesses of my brain I remember walking out it is a short film that was being screened I went to it because some thirty students of mine hi it’s me it at and you I went to support them and it was the most misogynistic loaded on since like it was horrible it wasn’t just like these characters are like that it was the film itself was misogynistic so I think that’s a real big distinction there and I couldn’t spend any more time minutes company so I walked out of class I’m trying to think if there’s any examples from you something bigger mainstream or because usually I’ll I’ll end year or something because yeah you know I want to give it the time I wanna give it a chance cassette I think going to see something and certainly if you pay to go and say something and the sentiments very different from if you’re at home and you just now enjoying it and you give up and the theater I think I mean I don’t think I had since may be I was a kids I was just bored or something I don’t think that kinds as an adult I don’t think I’ve done not waste a feature length film okay so you have perseverance I can respect that I’ll try you know try and see it through to the end because I think you can really with us already say that was ater cock unless you go through it because you never know what’s going on the last twenty minutes you just never know and I returned it arrives you just come on give it a chance although I feel like if it was down to the last twenty minutes that is such a rare thing for it to turn it all around I mean there has been a movie recently that I did want to walk out okay but it wasn’t I don’t know how to describe it it was so I went with some friends he slept the entire movie so does give you an idea it was fantastic beasts three okay I thought that was so funny but I what I really wanted to see how it ended you know what you set up the whole plot I’m one of those people who are just so focused on the movie if I I can’t hear any distractions in the noon so I just but by the end I should have just walked out every everyone didn’t everyone wanted to walk out it just didn’t make sense a plot line didn’t make sense I’m not gonna go into it but you should watch it just over you should suffers a lot Polish yeah you understand what I’m see what I’m saying you know I’m very I haven’t seen any of those films yeah me neither I only lost third one okay think that was part of the problem do you need to have seen the first two of those possibly but at the same time it’s like if you really focus on her if you really like focus on each of the character threads like characters and stories brands even to someone who’s never seen the first two nine thank you can come to a conclusion where nothing makes sense okay you know it just falls into place perfectly like a dream and dreams don’t make sense it’s like that where something just pops into fruition even though it’s a magic movie like magic actually happens right so but it doesn’t make sense I don’t know how to describe it without spoiling it I’m sorry yeah now do you think you you’re drawn set maybe send stuff so much because of your graphic design and trusts you know you you you’re drawn to the veggie ology of things and high images are put together G. thing that’s where things are linking up for EA a start about that well before I got into graphic design as a kid growing up I’ve always loved movies so I guess yeah because I’ve always loved like visual stuff yeah I played a lot of games when I was a kid I was was fascinated by we’ll creating these moving images you know it was so cool only in L. I guess that’s what sparked my creativity the creative side and wanted to make graphics I love movies and my lover movies has played a part in my role in making graphic design and it’s also like spurred my love for other things other all forms of entertainment really it’s just it’s a it’s also a gateway drug really because once you start with one thing you exploring another then another then another so to answer your question I suppose so yes if you find tax useful with your podcasts we’ve got two options for you you can subscribe to the audio visual cultures podcast when you change for captioned videos and you can visit all the visual cultures dot com and click the transcripts top both sites are linked in the show notes along with information like this episode what CG at and your studies say Heidi failure studies are going at the moment I feel like I’m still a fledgling like that young Phoenix who hasn’t been re born yet so this doesn’t mean anything but I am certified in photo shop which basically means you know how to use Photoshop and I feel like I’m not at the level where I can design something as good as someone who’s been using or studying or doing graphic design in the field for analyte five years or something but at this point in my studies I’m still young but I still want to pursue this studio art thing and create R. N. up my skills you know because I wanna see where my potential wise I wanna create cool stuff and then again I’m still in the beginning stages and you don’t know where life’s going to take you and I do want to transfer to another university to further pursue my degree there so that that stage will probably be is so is there like a level after fledgling but before fully reborn that would be that okay thanks yeah in preparing for re first something like that yes like a volcano it worked eruption that’s interesting so should your practice so is this very practical things as well as computer based yeah creation A. K. A. ranges from the last time I looked it up on Google it was late photography ceramics graphic design painting all that stuff just in caps who waited in a broad term studio art and do you feel like you’re zoning tips check your things are you enjoying trying I different things so you still trying to find your way so the funny thing is I have been using Photoshop doing graphic design the visual aspects for not a long time I’ve only just begin and probably August twenty twenty one but I love it and it’s really helped me just appreciate how artists create things like visually and I love videos and films so that’s really got me into trying out video editing in stone S. I love photography to I think it’s cool plus you get so everything’s connected right you can use Photoshop to edit photos that you took with the camera N. you can honestly between video editing and graphic design you can interlace the two things you can edit say for example you can edit something in Photoshop and then put it in premiere pro and then vice versa and even with sound the entire adobe suite has not sponsored by them but they have this entire suite full of programs that you can use to do visual audio audio visual and it’s all connected you can honestly change things between different programs and that’s wild it’s crazy none that’s amazing yeah I think creative cloud is the dream if you can afford it so while you’ve got access to yet use the hallowed of it yeah that is really expensive when you’re on your own that’s great I know I think a lot of people don’t realize that a lot of photographs are added to you know a lot of professional photographs things that appear in newspapers and online articles and even photography competitions they are added its versions of the original image yeah of course I feel like at this point every time %HESITATION that photograph if it’s not edited it would have to be like the really just fresh like I was next to the photographer fresh for that not to be edited but yeah I mean definitely every photograph that’s like in a contest I mean it is not edited why is it there you know like it doesn’t look good yeah they did it because by editing I think remain as well it can just be coloring as you know yeah adding some coloration or just sharpening the lighting or you know it can be just that kind of thing and I think a bit you know a lot of people don’t realize that post production and film visual effects can be that sort of thing as well it’ll take a very realist image and just just tweak a color slightly and you know color great at sight they are out a bit more shadow or something like that that’s all based on the facts as well and we don’t just mean big C. GI Kashi Barney fights and stuff visual effects is a lot broader than all of that is just to make it because it just tweaking the color slightly you can change your major when you’re looking at the image I think so you know it can make you feel like all that C. is so deep and crisp and clear or thought sunset is so orange and red or paying or whatever I’ll just deep in that and that might make you have slightly more of an emotional response right Hey one time I took a class it was called color fundamentals and basically taught you the color wheel and in that class I learned that so each of the primary colors right so you get read orange blue those are probably not the primary colors but anyway either Hicks the point is great each shade of those colours is like invokes a different motion like connotation like light green that could mean that you know nature or something grass in blue you could probably think of water or call home you know it invokes different emotions I think that’s interesting and one other thing I wanted to say that yeah I don’t think a lot of people know how things get created and that’s like between like movies and stuff like that takes a lot of effort there’s camera work lot of production a lot of lighting and a lot of just scheduling also would like art anything with art you know they don’t know the specifics or even behind a podcaster right they don’t know how much Mike is or the shock mount that comes with it or the headphones you know it’s like it’s a lot and I feel like the who aren’t in in our field they don’t know just how artists create and hoping to change that it’s good to talk about it because I think I’m what I’ve listened to your podcast Adam sank thought has come up very much but it’s not something that you sometimes get and she is because she said you journal so do you talk about your pro sass do you talk about hate what you’re learning a month you try and what you feel out what works and that sort of stuff like in life or a lot of artists would say it’s all the same so it’s your artwork but it’s your license also okay folks true I don’t currently but I should not I think about it his arm I don’t really describe my process because I feel like nothing really changes how do I say this I don’t feel like enough changes for me to warrant me talking about my process no matter sorry I’m late really I can get in my head in the words just don’t come out so it’s like me describing my process now I don’t think anyone’s really interested in that to be honest it just short answer yeah in like no one asked me that so I’m I’m just like why should I bring it up thank you now yeah well well if I ask you know why can you give us a quick run through of your creative process what would you say how would you describe it well when I create something like visually like graphic design I just stare at the screen and then I close my eyes and I think what do I want to make today what do I want to do what can I do first of all let’s create let’s did make some layers right let’s put a splash of color let’s make some shapes you know let’s look at the internet let’s find some free images yes that was the term and let’s just build something mmhm and let’s be experimental with it and let’s just have fun with it and when I get burnt out I will take a break and I’m gonna come back to it so when I create R. I am very meticulous yes some people spend several days working on a project I do that as well I feel like once you feel like you can’t do anything more to it and you just you just feel that it’s in good good enough to your taste that’s when you’re finished that’s what I’ve learned about myself I’m very feel type of person I can be logical I guess but most of the time when it comes to creativity and art I just have to feel it C. ever very intuitive approach to what you make yes whether it comes to anything you know when I feel like I’ve done enough or maybe like when I feel that it’s perfect you know even if that night might not be perfect and nobody’s perfect or nothing is perfect it just to me when I feel like I can’t do anything more N. all my energy is just exhausted and I don’t want to work on this anymore because I put all my love and creativity and just thought into it then that peace is finished but signs thank you for calling the digital collage approach it’s not fair yeah that’s fair call us to me is always seemed like a very intuitive approach I knew like have been said collage workshops and people will Brady meticulously planned all right what they’re going to date before the second inning dying and I just rampage and then I go I’m gonna put that out there but not there and I’ll just do something and I’ll figure it out as I go you know and if I don’t like some sun I’ll get something else to cover it over you know on a layer it profits and tear it apart or something you know what I mean so I’m not I wonder if your digital collage approach as some similar but I suppose in digital it’s easy to tests Mason so late and that sort of thing so you know what what are the differences varying between like physically in individually yeah convenience and ease for digital yeah you can copy and paste so you don’t have to like get to more sheets of paper you know so it’s like it’s very easy with the simple keyboard click and the layers are just so easily manageable and you can really adjust the colors all in all you just like I it doesn’t compare to the feeling of actually physically and making a collage which is like really therapeutic but distillate I feel as though it’s just simpler and probably more either as or more time consuming because due to it being more easy or simple you like spend more time with it this could just be me like second guessing was this right what should I do this or do this instead right but at the end of the day both are lake trying to navigate out of the maze because when you reach a dead and you’re like oh wrong way I guess I’ll go the other way yeah so don’t trap yourself in a box pretty much basically %HESITATION N. in a collage physically you have scissors I guess known you don’t use scissors and actually you can cut I think in digital or info shop but don’t take my word on that I’ll probably have to see that when you create something she just leave it there and he just save and move on to the next saying or difficult boxes things and even just select them and go what was going on with me not say this or anything in there Sir that is true I I like add it to my portfolio and I like to look at it sometimes I’m like that and some kid are you know hi this is my own biggest fan and I went that relate to what you said yeah that is interesting what like what was I thinking when I created this most of the time I don’t create based on what I’m feeling I create on late what I can make what my skills at that level can create as weird as that sounds for an artist I feel like when you do different mediums for me when I do like graphic design I’m not doing it based off emotion I’m doing it based off of how cool can this look but you know but like when it comes to like music I feel like you can really get into your feelings when you know you told me before he died he topple and rock are you still saying a word yet still doing anything yeah so try yeah sorry I just sometimes I forget what I do %HESITATION yeah I love wrapping I’ve grown up listening to hip hop and rap because okay so the reason why I love rap is not because of well initially I listen to it because I thought it would make me cool something shall like that but as I’ve grown up I really fell in love with the interest like the skill of actually rapping like forget the B. in the music for a second let’s talk about the lyrics you know lyrics can actually invoke a lot of emotion and while you’re rhyming doing all these complicated rhyme schemes that’s crazy you know rapping is difficult I but I love it so much because there’s the pay off you know when you when you just go on to be to the music it’s almost as if you’re floating in the air because it’s just that it’s just that addicting that in there so much like to learn from their so much content out there and it’s like with the anything you know back to everything is connected when you when you see a person at the top of their game say arm who’s really good at graphic design for again okay okay he doesn’t do graphic design but van Gogh okay he has a great painting starry night okay your leg while that is amazing or Michelangelo you know and is on I can have so crazy like the way they did R. back then was at the top of their craft and the rap artists in the game right now like Eminem like his lyrics he’s been doing it for over thirty years his lyrics are so intricate and complicated it’s almost as though he just does it every day he actually read the dictionary just to come out with new words to rhyme and that’s crazy that’s dedication and I’m just I love this skill aspect of it I love the school aspect of anything that’s why I like to try everything because you never know what you might like and I feel like the more you try everything well you do everything the more well rounded you become and you become the best you can be in everything like contributes to each other right so if you’re good at podcasting you edit your own audio right so then that gives you experience into like making videos and making the audio sound perfect for videos right and then when you have experience in video editing right you could probably edit music videos and films or TV right so everything’s connected graphic design to for album covers for posters movie posters and books you know no one really thinks about books knowing like visually when the last time you read a book well I read quite a lot but yeah good right so it’s like books in wrapping is connected to poetry okay I firmly believe that because poetry is just or wrapping is poetry in motion right is rhyming it can be rhyming but I also cannot and it’s everything is connected is the what I’m trying to say and yeah that’s true New York City right and I’m I mean not point sets graphic design is just everywhere now you’re absolutely right because it covers it up send me pics are absolutely not dying that they their fate physical tics are so very very alive and well and the covers are more and more interesting and I think people and shops when they’re shopping for pics online and in stores retracted to the coverage more and more I think because they are more and interesting and having to get more interesting to compete with each other yeah you know and more expressive pieces of color and damages and everything did possibly the Iran you’ve got so many options open sea and it’s really refreshing to hear that you’re interested in lots of different things and you can appreciate that yes things sold so you can act up when’s that it’s not everything has to be side loaded off and write your specialist nothing that’s all you today because certainly in my academic life previously thought very much what it was like it was right but you’re the expert on thought one thing so you don’t get to talk about anything else but I know loads of stuff but lots of other things so you know it’s really great to hear somebody certainly younger than me I’m thinking and trusted and those to stuff and you know using that and really going for it and trying I stopped because I think that’s the ideal is people need to be able to have %HESITATION set things to figure it all Eyez to figure ites he can I be I want to bait what title for him I get asked and where do those things start to mock shock but knows that I could maybe make a living out of something you know so yeah it’s great to see hopefully on the postulates that journey yeah for sure I’m pretty much like an open book I go with the flow you know whatever it’s also just nice to wake you have something to fall back on you know right you’re just open about everything your interest in everything you know one feel doesn’t work out you go in another because you have experience in that field it’s all about having fun the end of the day and I do enjoy this learning everything on facts right so my podcast used to be called Jordan learns everything but I thought that was too long so I then I changed it to Jordan mode fun fact well there’s something in that suit Jordan modes mode is type of average at set way of playing it can be a type of something can be a way of doing something that is an interesting title and was it just that he felt the previous site was long gone K. or why that particular words what was it about that word the that’s a great question so basically my initial thoughts was to start off I was named after Michael Jordan the greatest basketball player of all time I firmly believe that and I like if you see them on the court weather videos or whatever he goes crazy and that’s why I think he’s the girl N. I just thought that’s Jordan mode right like nine ten plus I’m super competitive right soon if you’re on my team we’re gonna win so when I go crazy I’m also going Jordan mode so then those two aspects just like really brought out that title and I thought it was just perfect that’s very interesting there’s a lot of meaning I like to put meetings like double meanings I think that’s where it like my level rap comes from because in rap their lyrics that can have double or triple entendre sorry so I just started doing this recently but every episode title is modeled after a rap song it’s something little like that but I’d like to do those things because it it’s not fun for me Nina the plays with language that happened did you said earlier you did it a class in speech will say and this language in general something that you think about it do you speak other languages %HESITATION yeah yeah yeah I speak Chinese I am Chinese American I speak Cantonese N. as a different dialects from the main language which is Mandarin a lot of change he was being manner when I speak Cantonese which like the language of the south I’ve always been good at English growing up I’ve always been like terror want math so I think that’s played a part in this me being good at language arts English literature reading I’ve always loved that my parents forced me to read N. at the time when I was younger I was like I don’t want to read but then now I’m thankful because it’s given me so much valuable information and skill into the English language being able to differentiate your different words like they’re they’re they’re just being good at just communicating what else are they gonna say okay and not communicating right now but %HESITATION fun fact Eminem also is really good at English growing up so I believe that reading and being good at English that’s gonna level up your rapping skills it really is all connected and throw a bit of poetry in there right some poetry now therapeutic experience and I’m sorry what was the initial question I went off on a tangent I feel fine tangents are very welcome on the show because I usually have remember where I stay nice so yeah I think I was asking just generally about a language and because it you know because you’re dealing with visual languages as well in your artwork then you know you’re interested rocked and shoot just highly loaded language conveyed and rap and poetry and then I I wondered if he spoke other languages so you know that’s really useful to hear because I think that just expands what you can J. west language and whatever language you’re speaking it can expand it because she can learn other ways of saying things and the other language you know so I’m ready and trusted in hearing it’s also not from fire multilingual speakers all right yes also when you’re like bilingual I don’t think in Cantonese though I never think that I only speak Cantonese when I’m with my family is there Chinese SO like day to day I speak English because I was I was raised English pretty much I pretty much in school speak English day today speak English only time I speak Chinese is like at my house with my parents you gain a sort of appreciation for you have like two different sides of thinking almost great yeah I’d also like to different languages like more opportunities you know you can get by in in a different country and stuff so that’s pretty cool okay that’s interesting I’m a language learner rather than a multi lingual person just fumbling my way three other languages so three so I love hearing from people who’ve grown all bilingual or multilingual because I think he you have a very different mind sets you know and and and my experience when I know people he he have spots there may be more open minded about south there are very creative and the way they can express things can just stop in your tracks sometimes because it it’s a different way of thinking I think now the more Irish I learned to try and tap into pop side of me the mower sayings just open all right Anderson different understanding of a way of being S. out makes sense right is also like you learn about the differences and similarities between your culture and both of them are your culture so for example my Chinese culture and my my American like upbringing you can see the two sides you interact with different people and you’re just like while we have two different ways of life and that’s not bad it’s just different that’s just interesting and the cuisine you know when we have the food eats culture your lake while I know what I like and what I don’t like heck well B. E. definitely like bananas yeah do you dressed as a banana with your family ever no no not not outside of you told interest saying I I’d I’d rather go out on the street address of as a banana and Shania it’s not interesting where version of ourselves wherever we are is not it we’re always forming a version of ourselves and whatever situation we’re in yeah isn’t that interesting it’s like when you’re in front of different people you take L. version of yourself for example in front of your family you act a different way in front of your like close friends or a friend of a stranger you know it’s interesting I think the boulder things so we day we’re more likely to do it completely far away from our funds that he’s yeah it says here today it was strangers it’s not sure I’m okay Jordan is there anything we haven’t touched on that you were really hoping to talk about today how’s your day do you was I spending a lot of editing to say so wasn’t just saying that you brought that up earlier I’ve been seeing a lot of audio editing that is for to be passed on to video so that’s what I’ve been doing all day and %HESITATION almost lost track of time and it’s a really fun and shake projects so yes that’s what I’ve been doing I’ve been quite happy in my work eight a I did a couple of ours this morning and then I realize you know what I’m doing and that’s wrong there’s a better way for me to do this so then I started from scratch well started the added from scratch and it’s not going quite awhile so that’s my day Hey that’s good at least you like found or you like how I say it you found what you thought you were doing wrong and they you took action to find a solution to correct it and save more time yeah well I feel like a lot of people like they’re stuck in this routine right so they could be doing something and this isn’t just like for other people this also includes me as I am I have also been guilty of like doing the same thing over and over when in fact I could have done something different to save time right I could try something new right and that’s just just props you know that takes a lot to just be like I don’t want to do this anymore I’m gonna try something different I think that’s cool so and you’re just barely starting your day R. G. or you’re in the east coast asset so you’re just in the early afternoon hi yeah yes like one one PM right here okay yeah so if you got big stuff on the rest of the day %HESITATION some pride is also going to add it to set the nana Kamal for the editing yes there really is no way I today I will actually die you know so well I really enjoyed speaking with you it’s been lovely to have just to really relax interesting conversation and the see where it goes and it’s just been really good fun and that’s been a definitely a unique experience specially for me so for yeah yeah yeah why the first banana yeah my first banana hello hello I do have them a friend he’s an artist and her nickname is Joanna bananas so %HESITATION but she didn’t wear call shame for me right Jim Acosta information written songs on the electoral banana yes okay cool all right a yes thank you for having me on is an absolute blast you’re very welcome and yes one of the meeting it and ready get doc quests all of your studies and everything in here working on yeah and you too %HESITATION the podcast the key shot out the audio visual cultures podcast thank you yes until you go and check out Jordan moats and I’ll be linking to that and are shown to sparkle awesome


Audiovisual Cultures episode 99 – Pathways to Creativity with Daniel Hess automated transcript

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this is audiovisual cultures the podcast that explores different areas of the arts and media join me your host paula blair and the researchers practitioners and enthusiasts i meet along the way see our website at and other links in the show notes for more information for now enjoy the show

hello and welcome to audiovisual cultures the podcast that explores different areas of creative practice and cultural phenomena i’m paula blair and i’m really delighted to be joined this time by daniel hess daniel has had a really interesting life and career as a wedding videographer and is now exploring more creative outlets in poetry and fiction filmmaking daniel you’re so welcome and it’s really lovely to meet you how are you doing today well thank you for having me and i’m doing quite well over here today great and here is at baltimore is that right yep in baltimore maryland over in the states lovely i’ve had a really interesting day i’ve had a very international day because this morning i was speaking to someone in taiwan and now i’m speaking to you wow that yeah that’s quite the job yeah kovid has strangely made us all very international these days the zoom has has made the world smaller in a way daniel you’ve had quite a range of life and work experiences would you be happy to talk us through some of that give us your overview what do you think we need to know yeah i mean so taking him all the way back to before i was even in college i was originally going to do pharmacology and right at the last minute a friend of mine was actually getting into film but he had kind of been lifelong in the film and the summer before i started college it was interesting because i was doing a lot more writing really exploring my kind of creativity again after not doing it for a little while from when i was younger even younger and he was like you know why don’t you think about doing film you know you can tell stories you can write stuff and you can also have it kind of come to life so i made the last minute decision to switch everything over to film ended up going to film school came out had a few short films was getting a little bit of traction and kind of the creative spaces but after moving out from my parents house money sort of became the driving factor for life as it tends to be sometimes and i kind of fell into wedding videography really by chance a gentleman actually replied to an ad i had way back when on craigslist of all places and was like hey i need a wedding videographer to kind of help out with everything would you want to do it he had a good price so i was like sure and next thing i knew you know i was working a lot with him then i started branching out on my own and then i built up a business through you know my own production company and within a few years you know i was making a net about like close to 100 grand a year just in wedding videos and that was good for a little bit but that sort of work becomes very tedious very fast and i actually had a kind of a wake-up call moment and about two ways the first of which was someone who helped with one of my senior thesis film projects was checking in like hey you know what you’ve been up to these last few years and i explained about the wedding stuff and they sort of had this reaction of wow that’s a shame because you kind of had a lot of talent and i feel like you’re wasting it by doing these weddings and it was one of those like through the heart moments i was like that stings but i think i needed to hear it and then my next wake-up call was around 2017 i had my annual echocardiogram which i usually get every year for my heart condition that i’ve had since i was born and they kind of came back to me and said look you’re gonna have to probably get surgery in a couple years it’s looking you know kind of worse than it ever has before and so that was my second sort of thought of like whoa you know at some point i’m gonna have to get heart surgery don’t know how that is gonna go even though it’s not the most crazy kind of operation i’m gonna need to get and so kind of all these things started coming up and i just realized that like i had to stop you know wasting time and really get back into trying to be creative again so in 2018 i got back on the wagon with everything and made my first short film in like six years and then started writing and everything again and started collecting all the poetry that i was writing up until that point and you know it’s finally just started turning this corner in the last couple years now yeah you’ve had quite a lot going on there i imagine that was quite a formative experience all of those years doing the wedding videos it’s interesting how we think of certain things that people think that your talents are wasted and maybe you can’t be as creative as you would feel an urge to be doing them it’s not something i ever imagined i i’d ever be interested in my life so i don’t really know what clients really want out of them but i imagine you have to do what you’re told and try and achieve what they want so if you’re interested we don’t need to dwell on that but it’s just i just don’t really know anybody who’s worked in that kind of area before so it’s and i think it’s maybe an understudied area of culture because it is something that’s really quite common isn’t it probably all over the world so how was that as your main employment because it sounds like you were popular you were making money you had enough to live a good life you know but it seems like you weren’t fully happy or getting fulfilled by doing that work yeah i mean it’s i i give it credit for that that it really did get me in a really good spot as far as being able to buy my my house that i’m in now and everything like that i mean you can certainly be creative with weddings i mean i know plenty of people who do really amazing wedding videos and really put a lot into it but it takes so much to really get to that level and it’s just one of those days where any kind of wants or needs that you have are completely like out the window you’re really at the mercy of the way in which the couple or the coordinator is really laid out the day for better and for worse there’d be days where you know even trying to take a bathroom break was a big to do and that sort of stuff is taxing i don’t think it’s really taxing on everyone but at least for me personally it just makes you feel a little bit like background noise and it makes you kind of feel a little like undervalued in a sense and that sort of stuff like really after a while kind of started weighing pretty heavy on me and when you’re in in the same place where everyone else is really just having a nice fun day and everything and you’re kind of trapped in that world for 8 10 sometimes even 12 hours it’s just a strange feeling at least for me i can’t really speak for everyone who does it because i do know a lot of people that really do enjoy it just for me just that amount of time just being in a space where you’re usually by yourself and you’re not really you’re interacting with people but you’re not really interacting with people you know it just would cause a lot of strange feelings inside of me and then a lot of anxiety would come out especially leading up to the day because for a long time i used you know i used to have the biggest fear of just missing a moment of the day and so i can remember at like my peak of just paranoia with it i mean i would have five sometimes six cameras all set up throughout like a ceremony space just to make sure i wasn’t going to miss anything and so that was what a lot of it was it was just the build-up to it was pretty intense anxiety-wise and then the day of it was just all this pent-up kind of energy that was sort of coming out but not really coming out in a healthy sort of positive way and so yeah just became draining and then the monotony of it once you’ve seen one wedding you’ve kind of seen them all in a sense there’s little bits of variation here and there but you know you’re pretty much going to have your getting ready stuff your first look if they have one you know the main ceremony reception parent dances toast all that stuff you know it’s just like rinse and repeat after a while too that’s interesting to hear yes i imagine that you must be this spectral presence you’re there but you’re not there and you’re just this observer so yeah quite an odd thing really yeah interesting really really interesting i’ve never really spoken to somebody’s experience i know i have friends who have done it but they’ve done it for a friend you know and they’ve photographed a friend’s wedding and it’s been a one-off commission sort of thing but yeah it’s really interesting to hear that as a job you know as your bread and butter yeah and that’s not really even getting into like the chaos of the days that can come up you know when if you have like a photographer who might not be gelling really well with you or even just sometimes getting food at the end of the day can be a bear so just all those things are just like the little road bumps that could come up throughout the event and would you be in charge of the edit as well yeah so that would be the back end of it so i said photography and videographies have a flip-flop job when it comes to weddings like the day of we’re kind of in the background and they’re leading the charge but then when it comes to editing stuff most photographers it’s like they just put on music and it’s really laid back but when you’re trying to edit a wedding video i mean that’s like you’re talking hours upon hours of footage that needs to get condensed into a story and for what i was offering a lot of it was you do the the highlight reels which are usually about like five to ten minutes but then there’d also be like the hour-long video of just the entire day laid out and i quickly learned that i was not going to be tackling that and luckily i had a really good person who reached out to me that was actually overseas and they ended up doing most of that wedding video editing for me which i was fortunate enough to do because yeah there’s no way i was going to be filming it and then bringing it all together and making into something cohesive because it was just way way way too much that would be an editing suite it seems that there would be a very specific audience as well because realistically who’s going to see it it’s going to be the family of the people getting married and that’s probably it yeah it would be that and i mean occasionally you know they take the video and put it on facebook and i mean you’d be surprised that like the amount of people that that watch that stuff i think mainly just because facebook loves it when people post about weddings so when they would it’d be like blasted all over their their news feed and stuff so you know you would get like that sort of feedback which was always nice when you’d see like friends and stuff saying like this is so great this looks really good but it was to me like a short short answer to like a problem that was just too pervasive to have like a really good outcome in my mind at least so i suppose then when when you can go back to doing your own self-led projects you can have more creative license and how you show things you know and i imagine you’d have to do fairly conventional straightforward camera setups and things you framings and that sort of thing and you have no crazy crash sims or anything like that yeah i mean you know when when you’re doing it on your own it’s a completely different process and you kind of know going in like this is what elements i have and what i’m trying to do with and i mean you know you do have things that come up throughout like a shoot day or whatever but to me it’s that’s the even more interesting stuff because it like keeps your mind going and it really is keeping you on your toes and to me like more of a fun way than like let’s say when you’re trying to do a wedding and you’re basically just trying to make sure you don’t miss anything would you or someone you know make a great guest on audiovisual cultures then email audiovisualcultures to have a conversation when it comes down to your own work so you’ve mentioned your poetry and the short films that you’ve worked on and you’ve been working on screenwriting what are your interests what are the things that you’re saying you know what are you talking about what are you thinking about when you make those more creative projects you know i’d say with the first few projects that i’ve been doing since i’ve transitioned from everything again it’s really just been a lot of processing the things that i’ve been through in my life so i’d like to think of the poetry book and the screenplay i wrote last year as more of the catharsis to sort of analyze everything that i’ve been through especially with previous relationships and stuff because those have been just these big moments that were really tumultuous and really i kind of went through a lot with each of my long-term relationships that i’ve been with up until this point so the poetry is a lot of processing through that it’s a lot of processing through the feelings with the weddings that i’ve been doing and then just dealing with a little bit of grief and stuff over the years so that’s really where the inspiration for all of that has come from and i feel like that was a really good stepping stone for me because you know now i’m starting to think of stories that are really outside of that like the next screenplay i want to work on is something that takes place during like world war one and it’s just nothing that i’ve experienced in my own life so i feel like that was the starting point was really just pulling in everything i’d been through up until now and sort of using that as a jumping off point for trying to tell some stories i mean with your poetry you published that just this year is that right yeah i published it back in january of this year what kind of poetry do you think you write i mean do you do something structured do you do free verse do you have any particular styles or anything like that you know or is it these are the things that have tumbled out of my head for a few years you know what what kind of approach do you take when you’re writing poetry you know i’d say it’s not really super structured i say a lot of it is kind of free verse because usually my process is really just you know i’ll be doing something or maybe just walking or reading and i’ll just kind of have a flash moment and that’s when i’ll grab my phone and you know i have like a little notepad app and i’ll just quickly start with a few lines and then i’ll just keep it growing from there and i try to just find like a natural kind of conclusion for the piece and then just sort of write it all out that’s usually for me like a five to ten minute process when it all kind of just happens with this book that i published it’s really just super free verse there’s really nothing that’s like structured or anything but again like as i’m sort of moving forward with things you know with stuff that i’m writing now i’m trying to have a little bit more structure or at least have an ongoing theme for things a little bit better because i feel like with this first one it’s just been a lot of just brain dumping onto the page and there are common themes that like i structure the book through but i feel like now that i’m thinking about it a little bit more and have had time to digest what i’ve written before has helped me to move forward and start experimenting with different ways of writing and different ways of expressing you know what i’m going through and i’m also just kind of trying to create stuff that’s a little more fantastical i guess is the word not so much just based on my own experiences but just trying to think of different viewpoints on things and then having poems that are focused around that yeah interesting and is it purely on paper or do you ever read them do you ever perform them or anything like that is it a very sort of private thing that you’ve then put out in just print form or how does it work for you yeah i mean pretty much everything was just written down i didn’t really do much performing with any of them but i have done a few like book readings virtually and stuff and it’s been interesting because you know when i’m reading them out loud it takes on a new not version of it but it just sounds different than the way it sounds in my head so it sort of taught me to actually do that more with what i’m writing now is sort of like sound it out better because you know i’ll notice sometimes when i’m reading certain poems it’s like this sounds really good on paper but now that i’m reading it it doesn’t flow very well or there’s certain parts that if i would have maybe changed out a word or two could have just worked a little better so it’s an interesting thing that from the start i’ve known that that’s kind of always what you should do but i’m so notoriously bad for not doing that for myself maybe it’s because i’m just nervous that i’ll read it out loud and be like ah this sucks and i won’t want to do anything with it so maybe it’s my own like mental hurdle protection yeah i do understand i think it’s good practice for any kind of writing is to read it out read it out loud yeah because i i mean even with some of the more analytical work that i do and you writing research papers and things i always read the my lines just to make sure okay that sentence actually is a sentence and it says something you know or if it starts to trip you up you know okay i need to simplify how that’s said that’s too messy you know so yeah it’s a nice idea just i ask because a lot of the poets i know when i’m based in the northeast of england and there’s quite a nice community of spoken word people doing poetry slams and things like that so i think it’s been a way for me to find my way back to poetry because i used to write a lot as a teenager and then i just got fed up with putch i did an english literature degree and then got fed up with reading i could see that but actually seeing people perform it i think is a really special thing yeah even if it is just for yourself or it’s as you say it readings where you’re promoting your book you know it’s a really nice thing to do because it’s your voice they’re your thoughts so you’re feeling so it your voice being attached to it is really nice i think there’s a pretty good scene here in baltimore with that too it’s just one of those things where uh it’s really up to me to put myself out there and actually go to these things more but i’m pretty bad with that as well i think as much as i can peruse online and make connections that way i feel like i need to get a little bit better with the real world thing which i mean last year was a pretty much a wash for everyone but i think now that things are finally starting to get back to normal a little bit i think moving forward i definitely need to start getting out to more of those things and connecting with people in the in the live sense yeah it’s one of those i think you just have to rip the plaster off you know you just have to stop thinking about it so worrying about it i know it’s easier said than done i struggle with anxiety as well and you just have to trick yourself almost into just doing it and not thinking about it oh just send that email and just think about it because i think once you’ve done it once should be easier exactly i mean that’s you know just like anything i mean i remember personally like uh when i first started doing video production work a lot of it was in the city here and i used to have such bad anxiety with driving in cities and now it’s like old hat i mean i can do it all day and it doesn’t bother me even a slightest bit but that’s what it was it was literally just rinse and repeat and you just sort of get over that hump after a little while so i’m totally there with you on that point a massive thank you to our lovely members at forward slash av cultures your continued support is helping me make improvements to the show all the time so would you tell us a bit then about your film work so you said you’ve worked on shorts before oh what could you tell us about those and are they available to say yeah so pretty much everything i’ve done in the creative senses on the website for me or on like the vimeo page it’s been an interesting sort of journey for me in the film space because like i said it was really my my good friend who is a lot more in depth with film i’d always grown up watching films and really enjoying cinema but for me it was wasn’t something i really thought about getting into what was interesting was i feel like what i’ve sort of looked back and found with everything is that for me personally i think that the storytelling aspect is really where i feel like i’ve always had the most depth and success with but i’ve always kind of struggled with the transition from page to screen as far as like visualizing what angles to use and constraining myself to like okay if i put the tripod here with this sort of lens like this is the result i’m going to get i can’t do it in my head so you know for a long time i i really was telling myself okay you know i really want to do writing and directing and i can take on both but with the project that i did in 2018 i really found that you know while i can do it and i can make it happen i feel like it’s better for me to have the right people by my side that can actually translate what i’m writing better than even i feel like i can and again maybe that’s some kind of like weird mental hurdle which in 10 years i’ll figure out that like it was just me sort of protecting myself from actually making the films as a director myself but at least at this stage in my life i’m sort of feeling like where i need to go with things is finding really good directors who can translate the writing in the way in which i can write the writing if that makes sense it’s one of those things where as i’m writing something i almost see it as kind of a stage play whereas like everything’s just kind of a flat canvas and it’s all sort of coming to life around me but i’m not seeing like you know okay when this person is talking like this if if i have this sort of camera movement or something like that none of that enters into my mind even the least bit i think with you know as times going on i’ve just sort of made that mental jump so it’s been nice because as i look back on everything a lot of the films that i’ve made or worked on you know i was either more as like a co-director or somebody that was there just one set helping things go smoothly you know maybe more as a producer or something like that and those have always been in my mind the best films that i’ve made with a good team and not one of those things where you know when i’ve tried to make them i feel like they work and i feel like they have a good message to them but as far as how everything comes out on the screen there’s just not a lot of refinement you know i feel like i’m more of this let’s just have a camera free-flowing and stuff like that and that always just doesn’t work as best as it could for something that’s just more visualized by someone who can make that transition more than i can that’s really perceptive i think it takes a lot of self-awareness to really think that stuff through and go do you know what this is where my interests and talents are lying at the moment and then to be open to learning from other people and really truly collaborating that sounds great daniel yeah i think it was it’s a it’s a little bit of that and i mean it was i think it was honestly just kind of that youthful like stubbornness and pride for a long time uh i think because i’m kind of the first like artist type in my family that’s really gone into an artist’s field full time and i feel like for a long time it was i just had to keep trying to do that because i just didn’t want people to be like well you know he did it and he kind of failed and now he’s doing something else so i would say a little bit was that you know that i didn’t want to let it go because i didn’t want to tell people like look you know i did it it didn’t really work out as well or something like that that was that too i have to be uh fully transparent with that one as well no again really interesting and yeah it’s fascinating how we change as we move through our lives and the things that happen to us and you go do you know what actually i might have really wanted that to be my past but i don’t think that’s who i am so i’m gonna develop this bit of what i do for a bit i think it does take self-awareness to go oh okay look that’s just not quite working so you know let’s just hands up and admit that and develop this thing that is working a bit better you know i think that’s good because there are a lot of people who would just ploy ahead yeah yeah definitely i’ve seen that and it’s just you know it’s one of those things where you try to like steer some people when you see that in a direction and either realize it or they don’t and when it doesn’t happen it can always be a little frustrating because you’re kind of watching the same things happening over and over again with that person but yeah i mean it was it was that and i i’d like to say like for as crazy as last year was with everything that went on with covid i mean for me personally it was a nice refresh and a nice way for me to sit down with the writing and have the time to do that and really realize that like hey i think there might be something that’s here that’s sort of developing because i feel like i just kind of buried it for a long time with the film stuff and distracting myself in a sense with thinking that like this was the answer when really the writing was what was there from the beginning again as i kind of look back i see that a lot more clearly than i ever have and it could well be that the writing is what’s right for you at the moment and maybe that ability to visualize it in a cinematic way it may well come to you it may never but to really develop what you’re doing now and to work hard on that and to really acknowledge and recognize that film is a collaboration it is a team effort and if you can’t see something that’s fine because somebody else will and they know what to do that’s the beauty of such a collaborative medium i mean if you wanted to talk about it a bit more i mean are you working on a screenplay at the minute what sort of things in terms of storytelling are you working through now that you’re you’re more decided that yes i’m allowing myself to concentrate on the storytelling aspect of it yeah it’s a feature film screenplay that i started work on last summer and just this last couple weeks i finally got sort of the definitive version of it finished so it took about like a year process to really go through all the motions with it um but it’s basically you know one of those serious sort of drama film that’s set in like the early 90s and it follows the final day of this relationship of a tumultuous relationship of a young couple so it really started as a piece for me to finally kind of bury the hatchet in my own mind with my first sort of long-term relationship which was about six or seven years long just a lot of craziness went on with that whole experience and you know i kind of just really even at the start of last year kind of just wasn’t over it to be honest so as i started writing the script that was sort of the way for me to finally analyze everything i’d been through and i found that like each version of the script that i was writing and formulating were these different modes of getting over it so like one version you know sort of had an ending that was them having this moment of forgiving each other and so like that was sort of my first step so it was like very interesting for me because i was seeing like a therapist at the same time and you know as we would chat about it i’m like this is so weird that it’s just like each time i’m writing this it’s like i’m getting a different ending but they’re all different versions of things that i kind of needed to hear or go through myself so it was really really informative to sort of get me through all of that and now that i’m done you know i have this story that i’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from it’s it’s been in a couple like screenwriting festival type things where it’s gotten accepted to so you know now i’m in the process of just trying to get it into some sort of production i’ve met with a few like producers that are based in like new york and la i haven’t gotten any green lights yet but i have gotten a lot of really good feedback and you know now i’m really lining everything up talking with a few really good directors who has like work that i really admire so just making the process of trying to get it into some sort of live-action form but again that would be just me doing the writing and then possibly some like producing work to sort of make it happen it’s been a big process and it’s still kind of only at the beginning right now but it’s been a lot of fun and it’s really helped me to really understand the more business side of the industry and how to get things started and how to make things come to life so i’m hoping it by the end of this year all the ducks can maybe be in a row and maybe it’ll get into production sometime in 2022 or maybe even 2023 who knows but it’s been cool so i’m really happy that i have this now and we’re able to use it as a piece to move forward in my life but also have something that is representative of where i’m trying to go in life as well that’s great that’s a really lovely way of putting that as well you mentioned as well that you were visualizing it when you’re writing more like a stage play and is that something you consider as well is writing for theater yeah i mean you know because i was really sort of introduced in theater in my high school years and i always found it pretty cool you know i i thought it was just you’re doing this performance it’s live when there are things that go wrong you sort of just live with it and keep the show going and everything but i find it cool because you’re usually telling things that are a little more grounded you’re telling more smaller scale although you know i have seen plenty of plays where it gets pretty grandiose which is pretty cool so it’s definitely something that i’ve thought about writing for because i think it would be interesting to try to take a medium like film that i’ve been so like entrenched with and seeing something that’s similar but not quite 100 there and sort of having that come to life so it’s something that i definitely have been thinking a little bit about i don’t really have anything specifically that i’m thinking of writing for like the stage but it would be a nice next step for me to jail into that a little bit do you find that the main centers of filmmaking they’re still la new york is there really much scope for you in terms of nd production i mean i learned so little about how it all works in the states beyond those main centers of it yeah so i was just curious if there’s avenues there for independent filmmakers are there any state funds that you can access to maybe do an independent production that sort of stuff yeah i mean those are kind of still the main centers and more recently like atlanta is another city that’s really come up as a hub for film stuff but you know especially after last year i feel like it doesn’t really matter as much anymore i will say like you know if you’re just trying to get into an area that all they’re doing is productions and everything sure those cities are like really great if you’re just trying to work in the industry and maybe try to like work your way up through the ranks but i think as far as just trying to get a production made yeah i mean i think you can really kind of do it anywhere and different states do have different you know local state funding or arts funding but through my own experiences with it and chatting with a few people that are really kind of more vetted in the industry that i am i hate to just say it’s like a fruitless endeavor but it kind of is because unless you really know somebody that’s connected with the board of trustees or things like that you’re usually not going to get accepted to like different arts fundings for these different groups and like i said that was my perception of it and then i had the opportunity to chat with somebody who actually won an oscar for best short film a couple years ago and that was his same exact perception and i was like well you know this is a guy who’s won an oscar coming at me with this sort of knowledge that i feel like there’s some credence to that so the grant funding is there but it’s just it’s a really big wall to climb so the thought is to you know either take more of a crowdfunding approach to things if you’re trying to get financing or just hitting the pavement and sort of finding those investors that are looking to just put some money into a production and sort of chatting with those people because at least from the research that i’ve been doing the last few years on it all that seems to be still the best method is just connecting with a lot of people networking and finding the people who are financing and wanting those like unique indie productions and everything like that so if that person’s out there listening today then uh just send me your email and i’ll send you over my script yeah the hustle of it all you just have to keep putting yourself out there at any opportunity there’s no hustle too small i think in this industry yeah i mean that’s really what it comes down to is like i always say that for film especially you know the the fun part is when you’re writing you know the tough part is the next step which is just trying to find people who are willing to contribute to the project or really out networking yourself with everyone to run like a successful crowdfunding campaign which is just in today’s world especially so so hard to do because that’s the route that i’d say 80 percent of the people in the indie world are still trying to take so there’s a lot of noise with with everybody trying to get money but you seem to have your head screwed on at least and as you say you’ve been doing loads of research you’re not just expecting hey fund me i’m a genius you know yeah i mean i at one point you know i i used to think that it was like okay i’ll make i’ll make art and like somebody will come and it’s just you learn quickly or at least you hope to learn quickly that that’s really not the case the marketing and the networking of it all are just insanely vital because again it’s just there’s a lot of people trying to do the same thing and you’re just trying to kind of stand out from a crowd so really that’s what it is and just you know getting to know as many people have a friend who’s like he’s a published author and he’s gave me the advice of just trying not to say no to anything you know even if it’s something that feels like less than what you’re doing right now if you can make it work then try to say yes to it because you never know what that person will end up becoming or doing that can turn around in maybe a year so say hey well this this popped up and i thought of you and then there’s a connection that gets made and next thing you know it’s like a huge opportunity so that’s the approach that i try to take as much as possible because it’s true i mean you just never know what’s going to pop up from just having a conversation with somebody true and it can take you in so many different directions and directions you never imagined you’d go in but actually it could work out really well for you so it’s great to be open to that and as you say to put yourself out there and to network and to make friends and it’s networking in not a cynical way but in a i genuinely want to get to know these people because someday they might go oh there was that guy daniel he was really nice and he was interested in this stuff and yeah we should have a chat with him about this you know and that kind of thing is it can just open doors for you exactly and i i try to like stay connected as much as possible like right now i do a lot of film like short film reviews and stuff for people and you know i genuinely try to follow them online and really interact with them even outside of just doing the review um because i think it’s i like that you know i just like getting to know a lot of different people and being able to just have conversations with with them because you know i don’t know about everybody but like i find that a lot of times i’m sort of like you know maybe one day i’m feeling like listening this certain type of music and sort of in this kind of mood and i know that this person is like that’s what he’s into or she’s into and i’m like hey you know i was like listen to the song today and i i remember you like this and then you know have a little chat for a little bit but it’s just those sort of things that i just genuinely like really like to do and i just find the more people you know the more kind of cool interesting conversations that you can express to them but then they can share with you with just different stories that maybe they’ve been through in their life because i always find that cool like what you know even where you’re at you know it’s just like it’s all cool stuff to me i try to look at life almost with like a child like sense of like wonderment with things where i’m just like even the most mundane stuff like i could literally have a conversation with somebody who’s just you know maybe he’s just a day-to-day janitor or something like that but i find that cool i’m like what do you do like i know you you’re supposed to do this but like what really is going on and i love to hear those stories from people because i think it’s all just pretty fascinating yeah it’s great to encounter a different person and have the attitude of oh this is a potential new friend that’s so exciting and just be open to those experiences as you say and this has come up on the podcast a fair bit in the past few months actually is that idea of thinking as your contemporaries you know people you’re working around you your peers and everything thinking of them more as potential collaborators rather than competitors again with film again it is a collaborative medium but people are pitted against each other and so many of the creative industries people are competing for the jobs they’re competing for the contracts they’re competing to get their thing made and really we should be trying to break that system and be introducing a new one that goes nowhere all potential collaborators were supporting each other you know if i can’t do this saying that person can you know and we can do it together rather than being fragmented or just that competitive thing you know i think again yeah it’s just been coming up a lot and i think that just from everything from the past year humanity needs to work together a bit better and a bit more oh yeah yeah it’s i mean it’s crazy because you know especially in in film it’s just like nothing really to me shows when somebody’s sort of inexperienced with everything more than when they’re very like touchy-feely about sharing anything that they’re doing i’m like a complete open book you know and that was one of the best things that i was told when i was in my undergraduate in college which is like if you have a script or whatever like share it you know send it out send it to people that you know you know of course like there’s the writer’s guild and copyright to take to protect yourself but once you have that sort of protection like send the thing out you know and share it with anybody who’s willing to read it or wants to read it because it’s one of those things where like even if someone is let’s say like trying to steal something inevitably their version of it in your version of it are going to be two totally different things and what ends up coming out 99.9 percent of the time is not going to be as good as what you’re going to be able to do with your story in your head so i i’ve always had the mentality of just trying to to share and i offer it all time you know again with the the film reviews that i do now one of the things i always tell people when i send them a review of the film is like hey if you’re working on a story or if you’re tr having some ideas and you just want to like chat about it like i’m down like just let me know and i’ll tell you like and i hate it but it’s very rare that people actually take me off on that and i find it a little sad because i’m like that stuff excites me like if somebody’s trying to come up with this story like i love just chatting about that maybe giving them some ideas that they can utilize or something like that but yeah a lot of people just don’t do it because i think on one hand maybe it’s this fear of somebody critiquing what they’re doing and on another hand maybe they’re afraid that like if somebody gives them an idea and it’s not completely theirs 110 percent then it’s of lesser because it’s not who they are a hundred percent or i’m just like you know that’s just not the way it goes you know especially like if you’re working on bigger budget stuff you know network shows and things like that those are all a huge collaboration of people who all share different things that they’re good at and bring it all together and so that’s always what i try to say is like look you know maybe i can bring just one little element to the story that you’re just not seeing because sometimes it is easy to overlook stuff like that when you’re in your own head and that’s the difference between something that’s good and something that’s great so you just never know unless you have those conversations with people but yeah it is way too much of people i think being afraid of collaboration because everybody just wants to do it themselves a lot of times and while that’s great and while great things can come of that i think the majority of the time better things come of just having conversations and collaborating with others absolutely yes because it’s still their idea you’ve just nudged them a bit so that they can refine it that’s really what’s going on so some really great words of wisdom there daniel some sometimes i have them we’d love you to be part of the conversation with av cultures pod on instagram facebook and twitter and we also have discord is there anything we haven’t touched on that you’re really keen to talk about today not really anything as i’ve moved forward with everything with the book it’s been quite an interesting journey because i randomly just decided to self-publish it and had no marketing sense or anything like that so it’s been a lot of learning with that which has been great and i’m excited to you know have a follow-up come out and you know i’m sitting down to my first actual like novel right now too so that’s been a really cool journey so yes there’s just a lot of things coming up on the horizon that it feels like everything that i’ve been messing with and experimenting with creatively is sort of coalescing at this point in my life which has just been a lot of fun great it’s great that’s it’s really lovely to hear that you know and it’s great to hear that somebody’s had that opportunity to really just take stock you’ve worked so hard for so many years you’ve really earned this opportunity as well but to just have that space and time to get all of that out of you you know and then to see what you can make of it you know because you’ve got that raw clay and now you’re trying all these different ways of sculpting it exactly and i always feel like a little bit jealous because uh you know some people it’s just that’s so easy for them at such a young younger age and i feel like it’s just taking me like 10 years of refinement really going through highs and lows and all that stuff to get to this point so i feel like i’m a little bit of a late bloomer but i’m trying to make up for lost time well that’s interesting as well because i think i’m probably a bit older than you and a bit and i feel a bit like that too because i think you know in a way we’re pressured into you need to know exactly who you are at 16 or you’re worthless you know and there’s too much pressure on people to do that and i think we’re in a constant state of self-discovery we’re constantly learning who am i and who what are what am i doing in the world and all of this and some people don’t have the luxury of just knowing who they are and some people know exactly who they are and they’re not allowed to be that person and they have to overcome that you know and there’s all there’s so many ranges of experiences out there and you know even if somebody a bit younger you know it’s come easy to them what you’re saying well maybe they don’t have the life experience that you have you know so everything i think balances out and every experience is important and none of us are behind you know and i think it comes to you when you’re ready for it and hopefully when the time is right and i’m hoping that’s what’s happened with you and it sounds like you this is the time of your life that you were ready for all of this and that’s great well yeah i think that’s a really profound way to put it and uh hearing that through it’s like i agree i think yeah you’re kind of hitting it right on the head with that but i appreciate that hopefully hopefully that’s the case hopefully all the things are the dominoes are in a row now for me so just keep moving forward right yeah it’s never too late people are never too old i’m a real advocate for that we’re in a constant state of becoming i think and we shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves to do with our age because you can’t control the factors of your life it’s very true you just do what you can and you enjoy it if you can exactly so daniel you you mentioned that we can access pretty much all of your work from your website so where do we find your website yeah so the website is uh and that’s t-o-t-o-n-y productions with that’s the name of my production company and so yeah that has all the videos that i’ve done in the past and then all of my writing work and then the blog where you know i do the film reviews and film write-ups and things like that yep that’s kind of the one-stop shop for everything that’s great i will have that in the show notes everybody if you’re listening if you’re watching get down there and hit that link and check out daniel’s brilliant work daniel hess thank you so very much for your time today it’s been an absolute pleasure and a delight speaking with you i’ve really really enjoyed it yeah thank you so much for having me it’s it’s been a pleasure here as well thank you

this is a cozy people production with me paula blair the music is common ground by airton used under a 3.0 non-commercial creative commons license and is available at if you’ve enjoyed this episode please give us a good reading subscribe and recommend audio visual cultures to your friend all of our contact details socials information ways to listen and our mailing list sign up can be found on our website linked in the show notes thank you so much for listening and supporting take care and i’ll catch you next time



Audiovisual Cultures episode 93 – Being Creative with Slayer-1Artwork aka Chloe Gibson automated transcript

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this is audiovisual cultures the podcast that explores different areas of the arts and culture of production with me paula blair visit forward slash av cultures to find out more and to join the pod okay well hello i hope you’re ready for another audio visual cultures we’re going a little bit dark and possibly gothy with this one with my very special guest the artist and shirt designer slayer one artwork who is otherwise sometimes known as chloe gibson a very warm welcome chloe how are you doing today i’m okay thank you thanks for having me on um i love the fact he said about the gothic part as well that gives me a little bit of an internal internal theme great yeah when i was snooping around on your instagram it struck a chord because a younger me sang out there so i think we’ll probably have a bit of common ground with some of your interests where bites do we find you at the moment then i live in leeds art is sort of like my passion project it’s like where is like my actual work i work as like an i.t engineer really oh wow yeah so uh when people ask me what i actually do for a living it’s always quite a drastic change yeah and plus i don’t obviously get all that gothed up before when i’m going into work so like when people at work see that i designed shirts like what well i mean we’re all more than one thing so that’s really great i think oh yeah that bright is a of life in my opinion i’ve done so much i have so many different hobbies and you know it’s important to not see them as like fans or you know like temporary things it’s like you should enjoy your hobbies and if you get really good at them you just should do them just to enjoy them like i’ve done so much stuff in terms of artwork in terms of like other sort of hobbies and i won’t say i’m amazing at any of them but you know it’s about doing it for enjoyment that’s just it isn’t it yeah it’s doing it for your own love of it and what you get out of it and then if other people get something out of that too that’s even better that’s a bonus yeah definitely so you do quite a range of different things and the one that’s probably most bringing to mind and you and you mentioned there that you do design shirts you know you design artwork for t-shirts and stuff so maybe we could start there and then we can sort of unpick all of the things that you do and do your creative life i suppose we can say it that way yeah that would be really cool also um i think to say earlier when you asked me like where i were from i was genuinely surprised that you’re like are you from yorkshire because like unfortunately i don’t have a really nice voice i’ve got such a strong yorkshire accent like it’s beautiful to me oh man it’s just i always get jealous of everyone else because i’m like gosh i sound like a nice girl who’s been punched in the throat a couple times oh don’t say that i get really annoyed when people say oh come from lee’s and i don’t like my accent it’s gorgeous to me i love it i love all reason i mean i’m a nordie from another island but you know i love all the northern english accents they’re gorgeous to me i love it on other people it’s just like when i hear myself over i’m like i’m going to hear myself from this podcast and be like

sorry so like back to the shirts i’ve been doing artwork for quite a while but i think we’ll go into that later but um shirt-wise i started just started deciding to design them in the first lockdown so about a year ago yeah that was when i was like right i’m gonna make shirts and i’m gonna do it properly it’s gonna be really cool i never really had good art software or anything and i think the first ever shirt i did it was based like i’ve not actually posted it anywhere it was based off of a canvas um like a sphinx cat canvas i did and it was like pink with clouds behind it and a white cat in the middle and i read through that design and i printed it onto some white shirts and tie-dyed them just to see what it would look like see how people would receive them and like i still have a few of them and you know a few of my friends like us from and stuff but that was the first sort of drive i had to do shirts and it was like it was only like a little while in that i really came into my own with the designs i sort of wanted to do because i knew that sort of tie-dye wasn’t really me it wasn’t my style or my passion but it was like it was a step forward and obviously from then i was doing so you know i think i started off doing like uh ram skulls and you know different stuff like that i like i like my designs to be quite minimalistic in a way but also like it the sort of like detailed in a minimalistic way like you know there’s a lot of stippling going on there’s a lot of sort of small hints and i’ve always been really into that i just thought i didn’t you know it’s not like a money project for me at all it’s definitely a passion one just the fact that people like my shirts enough to want to wear them the fact that there’s people out there just wearing my stuff is amazing because i’m like oh gosh like you must really like it you know you don’t have to like people who don’t know you don’t need to you know don’t want to impress you just like oh i think it’s really cool and i want to buy it yeah they are quite distinctive oh i spent many hours as a teenager going to quite gothy shops and metal shops and stuff and you know hooking through the t-shirt racks and everything and they can become a bit generic you know and your stuff is so bespoke and although you might say very broadly there might be quite gothic themes darkness death maybe something to do with possibly the occult or something you cats with three eyes and all sorts of stuff there’s something still a bit different there’s a distinction to them i think the drawing element as well like you say there are details there that you can notice where do the ideas come from for the types of content in the drawings that you do and the prints that you do it’s actually quite weird when i say they just come to me it’s not like i’m just like walking down the road and i get a sudden bow of inspiration it’s like you know there’s so many amazing artists that i’ve seen and it’s like it’s sort of you don’t realize but it catalogs in your head really and at that point like you don’t realize you’re taking it in and because it’s sort of like all around you and all that stuff for it’s like you know when it comes to i think art inspires art so you know you have music tv shows actually and all that comes together i could just be doing something completely like pointless or i could you know i could be cooking i could think oh like in my head oh you know it’d be really cool this on this shirt or having this design like this because i feel like especially since i started drawing i’ve always had a lot of ideas just sort of pop into my head or i’ll see like see like a kitten like oh i want to draw a cat oh i need to think about how i want to draw this cat and i’m like oh i want it to have a distinct style with the neon cat it’s not really as gothic i could have turned it into a really gothic design i chose to make it like neon pink and neon blue because i liked the contrast between that and the black it’s just stuff like that mood as well i’ve noticed i get really good ideas when i’m really sad and i don’t have a drive to draw them at the time but i sort of take those feelings and i write them down i project them into my artwork later on you know there’s all sorts of stuff and sometimes i just think i thought i’d look really cool or i think about maybe a tattoo that i’d run i have like quite a few tattoos but i think about a total that i’d want and then i end up making a design instead and i’m like oh no it’s perfect as a design i don’t need that yet there’s a few artists there’s someone called danny rudy on instagram i’ve been tattooed by her a few times and she’s really quite an inspiring artist as well i’d seen her stuff sort of like again like when especially in leigh’s like there’s a lot of eyes who talk to each other and share each other and i just saw some of her artwork and it was really heavily stylized and i thought it was really nice i looked at stuff and i bought you know like a turret card commission from her i got a bunch of different sort of commissions from her when it got to owed by her and just her style in general i thought oh it’d be really cool to do like sort of like a ghost i think it was just like being in a tattoo studio seeing all this artwork around me i was like oh it really caught it like a ghost design because i’ve got like a tattoo somewhat up my wrist and i was like oh i really want to do it with some like japanese writing underneath specifically it’s like a baker which is like um it’s basically a generic term for ghost there’s a lot of different references in japanese culture towards ghosts and specific names so i had to make sure that it was like the correct one and this it’s just sort of like a generalized one it’s just sort of like that in general ideas just sort of come to me sometimes i thought that was a really long-winded answer for it oh it’s all it’s a podcast

it’s great that you have that headspace and just space to be able to play around with those things well um i actually i went to high school with like one of my closest friends called marty he actually does art as well so basically when we used to live together we used to sit and well even before we lived together we used to sit and draw together and his artwork is something that’s inspired me as well if you’ve wanted to look at his instagram or anything it’s like matt is a cop or matt draws he’s got two different ones but basically i’ve seen his artwork develop over however many years we’ve been friends and it’s cool because watching him get better and watching him change his style inspires me i’ve always been quite i’ve seen a lot of my friends like i could name so many amazing artists i’ve seen progress but especially him because i’ve literally sat and drawn next to him there’s endless photos of us drawing together and you know we’d sort of play it we’d put on an album and we’d just sit there and draw them we’d both come up with really cool stuff and something that’s really cool about that is we actually bounced ideas off of each other there was a tie-dye idea the first [ __ ] idea i had i spoke to him about it it was his sort of idea to do like a tie-dye design with like you know something else we spoke about that and that was really cool because that was sort of like his encouragement anyway like even like not really consciously like definitely contributed to like what i’m doing now especially like when you’re friends with someone you think are you know like they’re only saying it to be nice but when you have a genuine creative drive it’s really good because the people around you if they have one as well it’s amazing because i can help you with it gosh i’m trying to think of other like there’s a guy called ben redfield he’s another amazing artist there’s so many i met him at conventions when i used to go like little comic conventions and stuff some of his prints were like these like minimalistic bioshock or pc prints and i remember buying one for my sister and we’re really close friends it’s amazing i ended up going to the same conventions as a seller that i met him at when i was a buyer which again is really cool and seeing his stuff has always been a massive source of inspiration for me he actually it’s his instagram picture as well again he’s just called like ben redfield art something like that he did me like a massive skull piece and it was on a giant canvas and then when i first moved it was like a moving present and he spent hours and hours on it and then it was like half black heart part pink in different places and it’s i’ve recently moved again and that’s like one of the best things that i get to hang it up on there from room wall now like this amazing like sort of abstract skull painting it’s brilliant yeah again like i went like a really long way around it but it just really helps having people around you who are creative and also honest and can help you push yourself in order to like really go forward like my friend ben actually helped me with my latest design and i spoke to him about it because sometimes i think it’s really important to like not be really self-involved and be like oh you know i wonder you know does this look right you know does this help stuff like that yeah that’s so important even if you’re not directly collaborating with each other but just that collective atmosphere because that’s how we all improve isn’t it by speaking candidly with each other oh definitely i’ve actually i’m actually like um sort of an art group with some of my friends um again i have so many art friends from so many different places all of them are amazing artists my friend rich mulholland he’s a really good artist as well and i knew him since i was quite a bit younger and we used to go over and we draw together and then you know start like play guitar with pink war on my stuff and again he’s someone else who like keeps progressing and progressing again i’ll send stuff to him we have like a little group chat that we call our family and we’re all like artists in there and again there was a guy who tired me called matt he’s really good huckleberry hank i think he’s still cold i can’t remember on the you know like when you’re talking like i can’t remember what everyone’s called it but yeah i’ve got so many amazing artists with people in my life to like really help me go forward my boyfriend’s really good as well he’s not like he does draw definitely and it’s cool because he’s like starting drawing on me quite a bit and he’s like oh i’m not that good but like he’s actively helped me with some of my designs i’ve done recently and it’s really cool to have people around you who are creative and encourage creativity rather than eat do adult stuff you need to do this all that yeah that’s it we get untrained quite quickly i think quite early on in life well that’s for kids drawing and coloring pencils that’s for kids now you have to be a proper grown-up and go to university and you can’t do those little doodles anymore and that sort of stuff i think it’s been great that there’s been a bit of a resurgence of adult coloring and people being encouraged to just sit and draw it doesn’t matter if you think you’re any good or not but just do it you know just get that creativity out of you because we all have it we just learn to ignore it i think absolutely definitely because when i started drawing like there’s always this misconception that drawing is natural talent it’s not because when i first started drawing i mean like in like not like a kid doing random drawings like i didn’t draw consciously for ages it wasn’t until the end of high school which like in terms of all my peers it was really lit and i remember being like i really love comics and i want to draw comic stuff i don’t care if i’m bad i want to practice and get better and better and that’s exactly what i did i’m not you know i won’t say i’m a perfect size by any stretch and i’ve got so much to learn and so much i could go into that’s the beauty of it because i never had this pre talent made it was all down to hard work and commitment and just really trying and i’ve done like loads of different progress pictures of stuff i’ve done when i was younger my grandma used to be amazing she used to be amazing for sort of encouraging me like i used to show her really like bad drawings like i look at them now and like they were straight up bad my grandma she didn’t even understand what most of them are because it was sort of like and she black oh it’s amazing it’s the most it’s so beautiful you’re so talented you’ll be a famous artist one day and like like she was probably one of the nicest people i’ve ever met and it’s a it was so cool to be able to have such a light as well supporting me when she could like even my shirt so i mean unfortunately she passed away recently but uh she had managed to see some of my shirts and stuff which were amazing she was saying how great at the war and it’s just it’s so cool like i’ve got you know such great support from people i mean and i have a twin sister and she’s not really into art work isn’t like drawing and stuff but she’s really into comics and she’s always been really really supportive especially when because like unfortunately not everyone is going to support your passions and not everyone’s going to be nice to you because unfortunately it’s not that nice of the world i’ll always make a point of trying to be great so anyone who wants to talk to me you know if anyone have wanted to message me about artwork or message me about anything like i’m pretty open to stuff like that i’ll help anyone but like my sister she’s amazing she’s always supporting me with my work and even then it’s like similar to my grammar it’s like i feel like i could have shown her something really bad and she’ll always look for the good in it and she’s like oh you know this is so good because of this you know she’s even like bought some of my shirts off me and it’s like oh god like you know you’re my sister i don’t want you to buy him and she’s like no i’m buying him but yeah she’s had loads of my art over the years and some of it i’m like oh god i can’t believe i did that no i love it just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean either but yeah i think having people around you who support you and people who really value you as a person and value your hobbies are really good i haven’t known to support you i think especially if you want to start drawing or you want to start you know stuff like that just watch some videos on youtube that’s exactly what i did i watched some videos of just a guy drawing captain america and wolverine i sat in front of the screen and i just sat there and did it myself and it looked i was like oh gosh this actually looks really good i look back at now and i’m like oh maybe not but at the time i was like so blown away that i was like oh maybe i can you know draw and i’d sort of like even now that my boyfriend said through the day i was just i came in and i want to do a design and i sat down in the space of like a few hours like after work i just done a design and posted it and it was like i can’t believe that you just like you did all that just then like you just came in you’re like this is what i’m gonna do and did it and it’s like unfortunately not every day is like that but that was a particularly good day that is so great to hear that you’ve got that support network that really heartens me actually to hear that i’ve spent some time in leeds and it strikes me as well that even just leads as a city is really supportive of art you know and you’ve got some really fantastic galleries you know independent ones you little ones as well as the big ones like the henry moore institute and everything you know it’s just such a vibrant place for art in general you know so it’s brilliant to hear somebody having that kind of atmosphere and really able to flourish and grow in there that’s fantastic definitely it’s i mean i can’t say you know it’s it’s sort of like been easy but um definitely being able to have people who do because i’ve had you know the opposite end of the spectrum where people sort of knock you down it’s awful and you know when i started selling at comic conventions that was a really difficult time because you get like really harsh critics at that point um and it’s like oh you know like i’m just here to sell like my artwork i’m not here for you know for i mean i’m always open to critique anyway it’s just some people are just unfortunately not very nice i think you know especially when you’re around other people you should always want to encourage people because that’s i’ve always believed in like positive reinforcement or positive positive like pushing people you know like i’m always happy to criticize someone in a positive way if someone says tell me everything that’s wrong with this i was like well i will but as long as you let me tell you what’s right with it as well but yeah it’s great and also in leeds as well one of the amazing conventions i mean it’s moved to harrogate now but thought ball festival that was like an art festival and that was one of the first proper conventions i went to i used to go like religiously my best friend and my twin sister and my friend amy as well and we’d all go and just look at all the amazing artwork and it’s something we’d planned for like all year oh gosh there’s all these amazing comic artists and writers coming oh we need to do this we need you know we need to plan this and then we’d go there and just have such an amazing time to see such amazing artwork i actually met such a lovely woman called valentina and she ended up i think i met her at thought bubble and again she was her work was so inspiring that was another artist who’s been amazing to me she ended up designing my first ever tattoo she designed it for me and gosh she was so lovely and she’s helped me with my artwork as well and she’s bought one like she moved back to italy i like i miss her all the time but she moved back to italy and she still bought one of my shirts she was like i need one of your shirts you’re like i need one so i sent one over to her and oh gosh you’re amazing yeah support advisor i think i think it’s really important and personally i try to make sure that i’ll support anyone and everyone i mean i might self-deprecate but i don’t allow my friends or anyone else to create advice to self-deprecate that’s how it works in my arts but yeah i think especially if you’re wanting to start out just don’t be so critical of yourself that’s probably the advice that i’ve given to myself even now i need to follow that advice because people think that they have to be perfect straightaway we’re in a society where we feel like we have to do everything right the first time it’s not like that at all i’m sure if i’d given opponent i’ve done any shirts and shows a lot of people probably thought they were missing out and it’s quite warming to know that people really like my artwork even if sometimes i don’t like it as much like there’s so many people out there think oh gosh you know you’re really really good i’m like ah you know it’s not like um imposter syndrome a little be like oh yeah i recognize it well and it comes up quite a lot on the podcast actually is people trying to get over that hurdle of the self criticism you know and it can be almost to the point of self losing because you’re so anxious about oh i’m not good enough i’m not ready and it’s something even me myself i have to overcome you know you have to just there gets to a point where you have to just stop preparing and planning and you have to just try it and be brave and put it out there and stop thinking about it just do it anyway exactly as you say it can pay off because even if i think that’s a really great way of putting it is even if you don’t like it yourself someone out there is going to love it oh definitely i was always uh what’s the word i was quite apprehensive even now like i only recently started etsy because i thought you know if i started it see i just don’t want to do it and then if i don’t get any sales i’m going to be beating myself up but it’s like right okay you think about this logically like i’ve had loads of sales for a bunch of different people all i’m doing is making it more accessible to more people and so i thought right about again my boyfriend did a little bit of pushing and we got some really cool photos and we’d put it all up and i was like oh actually like i’m quite happy with that and i’ve actually ordered some prints recently if a couple of my designs just to put them on etsy and sell them just see what happens it’s like if i don’t sell them it doesn’t mean the body just means that i’m not getting them out there enough and i just have to keep pushing and keep doing designs and keep going yeah that’s where you have to get into the world of the seos and how to make your stuff findable because there’s so much stuff out there that getting it findable is the issue because the audience is there for it it’s just getting to them is the obstacle but i’ve had a look around your etsy shop and i mean it’s a really well constructed shop and your photographs or fantastic even just down to details like your lighting’s really great and your posing is really great you know and um the shirts look really well on you and stuff the designs just come up you know really clearly you know so it’s a really great looking shop as well so you know you’re putting the work in oh yeah definitely uh my best friend’s mum she’s like super gothy as well and i stayed with her for a while and she was really supportive of all my shirts as well like she’s always been quite um she’s just such a force of nature as well and it’s just amazing to like her support as well like i remember i first sent her like the first sort of photo shoot with my shirt so i didn’t she was like oh you look so beautiful you look so amazing it looks so good again the rehearsal part is absolutely amazing as well with the etsy shop i was quite nervous but with the support of my boyfriend and stuff i got it i was like you know what even if i don’t get any sales at all i’ve had one sale actually recently like i’ve only like recently recently started it but um yeah i got sale through that which were absolutely amazing and i think i’ve got a good review on it but either way it’s just it’s really cool how although i technically like physically did a lot of it myself it’s like just by other people being so supportive and nice and helpful it’s amazing there was a friend of mine called james and i met who saw like roommates and then one of them is called uh mike and he’s i remember he saw my artwork um he just like sort of added around to house he saw my artwork he’s like oh i’m actually working on a on a comic i ended up thinking some comic work for him which was such a big job for me it was amazing yeah because he’s another amazing artist and it was so cool to be able to collaborate with my friends like when people see you can’t work with your friends yes you can like you as always are the right friends yes you can it’s really cool to have had opportunities just this through people that i just know and i’m always about promoting my friends or bringing them up i’ve got i’m really lucky to have a lot of people in my life who are really supportive obviously there’s so many to list but a lot of them like my friend james amy who i used to go to thought bubble with like not all them that they’re all so they’re all really i think i’m just gonna say support i feel that’s the only word i can say that it’s just weird how like incredibly supportive they all are and it’s without taking like they’ll just give support just because they can i think that’s really important and i think a lot more people should try to be like that in terms of motivating the people around you because i you know i don’t have a lot of motivation for myself sometimes but i’ll always try to motivate the people around me because i think it’s amazing like it’s sort of infectious that’s what i found creativity and positive it’s all infectious around people and if you can try and be that sort of force when you can’t it really makes a difference yeah i think that’s a really another really important point socially i think as well as being taught to move away from the kid’s stuff in verdicom is we’re also trained to compete with each other and i think what you’ve said is just so important about actually you need to ignore that because that’s really awful advice and helping each other out and taking joy from each other’s little successes you know and to be a successful artist you don’t have to be damien hirst heights and you know be able to employ thousands of people to make your work for you and be a multi-millionaire you know successful artist can mean you’re getting by people love your work and you love your work or at least you love it enough to want to keep going and that is just so special you know i think you’ve just hit a vein of something so special and it’s so great to hear about it oh man like i’ve seen it in other places as well and then that inspires me like i said about when i was getting a tail by um danny the other other day i’ve met another one of the artists there before called tasha sasha welch is another really amazing tattooist amazing artist everyone there is there’s about four people in this studio called uh craw tahu and it’s like another leads one but i’ve never been to a tattoo studio and seen people so supportive of each other because it was like tasha danny steve lauren and like literally you’re getting tired by one person and then you know other people come over and say oh you’re smashing it you’re doing really good or the last for positive feedback and i’ve just i’ve not seen such a supportive atmosphere like so strongly as well it’s not like all they’re just walking past and looking over and like oh it’s all right so they actively come over and encourage people after doing it saying oh you’re smashing that out you’re doing this really well you know to me i find that really inspiring especially like because it makes me think oh gosh like you know i want to go home and draw like you know these people are all so good like you know i’d really love to you know do something like that myself that sort of thing yeah is that something you’d ever consider because i mean some of your artworks i think if you were into doing finer lines or something i don’t i don’t know i don’t have any tattoos i’m a bit ignorant about how it works but you know is that something that probably i imagine it takes quite a lot of training but do you think that’s something that you’d want to try to do or at least design tattoos at some point as well there was a point in time where i thought you know what i really want to do and i was looking into like apprenticeships and i was making like a portfolio of different stuff and then it was sort of like a thought i can’t really i need to like give absolutely everything like i can’t just because i mean there’s not a lot of funding in terms of talking and i have you know i sort of had bills prepared and i just thought gosh like what’s gonna really make me happy like because if i do this if i do this career i’m gonna have to give it everything like i have so much respect for people who tattoo and not only that with people who are such incredible artists like some of the ones i’m lucky enough to know and god the glitch had to put everything into it they’ve had to try really hard to get where they are and it’s like is that the path that i want to take i’m like i don’t as much as i’d love the idea of it i don’t think i’d be able to do it and i’m not saying that like artistically wise i couldn’t train myself or you know i’m sure that anyone can do anything if they put the mindset but it’s like i feel like for me i feel like it might not be the right path for me i actually want to do concept art for game design oh wow and when i first applied to uni i got into one of them but the other one i didn’t it’s i failed the portfolio stage so i showed him my artwork and they said you know what you’re not good enough to come in i remember that being like such a knock to my confidence i was like oh god this was a few years ago now i was like oh god you know i’ll never be good enough to do anything and end up just getting like an apprenticeship then it turned into a full-time job and just in the it industry because you know i’m sort of like happy in that industry and i thought i can do game design on the side or i can do artwork on the side i just remember i got like a new job in the last year or so last six months and i just thought oh mum it’s so weird how different my life would have been if i’d stuck to art as a full-time career because i don’t i feel like i need lots of different purposes i feel like doing art solely although it’d be amazing i’d love to do that i don’t know if it’d be the best way for me because i feel like i get a lot of creative bursts and i do them because i’m doing other things like they sort of come into my mind as i’m doing other things but plus i’ve always been a fan of like branching out into different stuff i did a little bit of 3d modeling at one point there was a friend of mine called callum calzar he did a really amazing like 3d model of a hammer that i saw recently and gosh like it was like oh man maybe if i put a bit more time into it i could you know get close to that good button i’ve done like a little bit of 3d modelling i did some um clear sculpting gosh i’ve done like paintings on canvases i’ve done acrylic i’ve done acrylic power painting what else i’ve done like quite a bit of digital stuff i’ve done like pixel art i’ve done actually i do a lot of baking and stuff like that and i try and be quite artistic in my baking as well like i did a pokeball shaped like hot chocolate bombs and stuff like that yeah the next step is trying to make a pokemon shaped marshmallows which i did try and it didn’t go very well but you know i mean that was really cool so yeah in terms of stuff like baking or cooking and then um there’s lots of different stuff i could do a bit of spray paint i’ll make stencils i’ve made pokeball terrariums which is like little pokeball with like a pokemon inside it and like the top of it’s clear so you can see it and it’s got like loads of terrain around it and i’ve recently i’ve started doing like little designs for floppy disks and like making them into magnets which is cool my boyfriend got me some of these like floppy disk things for my birthday and i had the sticker on them for like the witcher so i thought i wonder if i could do that and then basically what i did like i got some floppy disks and then i’ve been doing like little designs for stickers and then i’ve ordered some of them in and then i’ve glued magnets to the back of them so you can have them as a magnet on your fridge i just feel like that’s like quite different and i feel like it’s quite cool as well it’s just cool you can get inspired by stuff like that that sounds classy i’m old enough to have used floppy disks back in the old days the whole retro thing i think that taps inside so nicely that’s the sort of thing that probably people would buy as well to be honest people my age it’s really cool branching out i mean i got a friday the 13th vhs like it was like a vhs set of like painted over with like friday the 13th like jason’s mask on it which i found really cool and it had like led lights in it and i’ve always been a fan of like repurposing stuff yeah i make a lot of like lamps out of glass bottles so i’ll clean out a glass bottle i’ll put like a black vinyl sticker on the front and a light in the top and it’s really cool how you can like repurpose old stuff like i’m always thinking about new stuff that i can do or new stuff i can make because i’ve suffered quite badly with depression and it’s been something i’ve had to do for quite a while and i feel like a lot of my motivation comes from doing things for other people what i found is creating things for the people makes me really happy and that’s what tends to get me out of a slump if i’m having a really rough time or like if i’m having a bit of an episode a lot of the ways i come out of it is doing something nice for someone else and motivating myself to get out of bed and do something for someone else like the other day i made a my friend were moving out so i’ve made like a cloud lamp it’s like a lamp it looks like a cloud and you turn it on it’s really cool i just i think it’s really important to like be really creative not everyone wants to be creative and that’s fine but if you want to be and you say no to yourself because you don’t think it’ll be good like that’s the completely wrong thing to do because there’s something really like humbling and some that commit you really proud of trying something new and it working out i was going to go to a pottery class before the last lockdown and all my friends said why would you want to do that i was like i don’t know i want to know how to make a mug like leave me alone you know like blacksmithing as well there’s such cool stuff that’s accessible to people now it’d be amazing to be able to just try new ways to you know how cool is it like because you know i’m used to like doing designs you know i did some designs which i put on mugs although i have shirts on my etsy a lot of times people are oh i really like this design i’d really want it on a keyring or i’d really want it you know on a mug and i’m like that can be done just ask me i’ll do it like i’m more than happy to accommodate anyone there was a lovely woman who ordered a print from me and she actually wanted one of my designs as a tattoo and asked if i if she could show it to a tattoo artist and i was like gosh as long as i’m credited i’ll you know anyone can do anything and that’s amazing the fact that someone wanted some artwork not just as a shirt but as something permanent on the body was just like absolutely amazing like and it was just sort of like a design which i thought was really cool i did it it was like the first coffin design i did like a tree and like a graveyard you know the stereotypical like just it just screams gothic and um gosh that was super amazing to have someone ask me that that was quite recent it’s really cool to be able to be creative and i think people limiting themselves just because i think they can’t do it they’re just missing out massively and it’s like when i say oh you can do anything if you try like obviously that’s within reason but like you literally like i never thought i’d be careful what i’m doing now i’m sure that in however many years time i’ll be like oh gosh i didn’t realize i was capable of doing that or i didn’t realize i’m capable of doing this and it’s just it’s a matter of just like giving it a go if you fail so what it don’t matter you’re allowed to fail it’s part of being human that’s it and if you enjoy it actually that’s the main thing because even if it turns out maybe not quite how you would imagine something might turn out if you enjoy the process of it that’s the thing that matters oh definitely like it doesn’t matter if you’re good or not it matters if you’re having a good time you could spend hours and hours you know making you know you could be sculpting something new and clean it might not look perfect but you know what you’ve put a lot of time and effort into it you should be proud of yourself for committing to something flat amount of time and putting everything into it and i’ve always found the idea of homemade gifts amazing yeah i learned how to make drama and i make sure pulling out make candles loads of stuff like that again like just sort of like a little bit of a creative pull and it’s like oh gosh i’m going to make a massive soap that looks like a skull i’m going to do that and it’s just like which i actually have done i’ve made candles that look like schools and all sorts but it’s like nice it’s that sort of creative stuff where it’s like it didn’t take a lot of talent all it takes is time and effort and obviously sometimes depending on what you wanna do a little bit of money but usually like you don’t need money to have pen and paper and draw like or anything like that and if you’re limiting yourself just because you think you can’t do it man missing out i’m telling you if someone’s listening to this and i don’t think they can do it please do it for me you don’t know me but i want you to do it excellent excellent i need to remember to take that out for the teaser that’s excellent

this is just a quick interruption to say you can find out more at where you can also sign up to our monthly newsletter straight to your inbox and listen to our latest episodes now i keep enjoying this one there is more great stuff to come

as well as your own original drawings you mentioned you you’ve done a lot of comic conventions and things and i’ve seen on your instagram that you’ve done a bit i suppose we could call it fan art or card inspired by other things there’s a lot of pokemon in there but what really speaks to me is futurama and the 1990s x-men and stuff that’s my x-men you know so um i was wondering if you wanted to tell us a bit about that as well that’s got like a special place in my heart there’s like sort of traditional stuff like that there’s comics i started reading were like the classic x-men stuff the first tattoo i ever got was an x-men title yeah i’ve got an x-men title on my right thigh and i’ll wear it with priorities the cosplayers rogue at conventions as well she’s my favorite oh man yeah cosplayed is like the 90s animated version of rock that was super cool yeah it’s like i remember that because that’s what i started doing it was traditional stuff and i never really ventured a lot with colour at first but i remember what i used to do is i need to live it almost draw every night i did it like every day for a year and i was committing to it and all the time i’d get inspired by just looking at other people’s interpretations of artwork i read in a comic and i thought oh i want to redraw that or oh this is really cool and it was really important for me as well when i was learning how to draw by looking at what other people are doing and because essentially the best way to learn is by copying and i mean that in the sense of you look at someone’s muscle you copy it to draw it and that’s how you learn anatomy stuff like that you know you look at how things work together but in terms of artwork in general a great way to find your own style is to copy a load of other people’s and use it you know see how they do things see how you know the way they use the brush strokes see the way they create a drawing how they’re created and stuff is like that’s why today it’s amazing there’s like loads of stuff on youtube you can just get up i’m sure there’s lots of people doing little tick tocks for acrylic paints and stuff like that and it’s amazing how accessible you know a lot of like the stepping stones to like drawing is and like for me is sit there get my sketchbook out like right i’m gonna draw something really cool and obviously not always i drew something really cool but sometimes i do like big comic pieces and i always felt incredibly satisfied because i was like oh man i spent hours and i was on this like piece but it’s like it’s turned out so well like i did a big hellboy one and i did a kick-ass one and it’s like to me i know they’re not perfect i did them like quite early on but like gosh even now i’m like i can’t believe i drew that i drew i got a blank comic like a comic with a blank cover and i drew rug and gambit on it it’s i think it’s still on my instagram it was like referenced off of i think x-men 177 because it was like one of my favorite covers and i redrew it on a different variant of a rug and gambit and even to this day i think it’s one of the best pieces i’ve ever done it’s like hold such a close place in my heart it doesn’t matter however many years have passed it’s like oh man that’s really cool and that’s from like an internal nerdy standpoint rather than like yourself rather than bigging myself up it’s like like personally i just love it just because like i know exactly what went into it how much time and effort went into it and recently i’ve only recently started doing traditional stuff again a lot of it was a way to sort of like try and give gifts or try and get commissions and stuff had some commissions or like you know i did my boyfriend a drawing for like a christmas and stuff you know stuff like that and it was like i knew he really liked pokemon i was like you know what i bet i could draw a bunch of different pokemon unlike my sister me and my sister both of futurama and her for her birthday i got like a voice message from billy west and that was super amazing i thought how cool would it be if i drew i like bender as well and you know then she had you know like she had a bunch of different future armor stuff so that was really cool being able to like flex those traditional muscles again and get a bit of color on because i’ve not colored in ages and there’s something really satisfying about having a physical thing in front here like a physical piece of paper and like drawing on it and don’t get me wrong i love digital art digital art is amazing like you can do so much i don’t want to say so much more but you can do so much different stuff on digital art than you can you know like on traditional like if you you know make a mistake inking on traditional that’s it game over like if you make a big mistake whereas you make one on clip studio pin which is what i use it’s just control z like undo okay i can keep going yeah there’s something really satisfying about having a physical copy and having it framed i’m actually planning on doing some drawings on my skateboard decks at some point and or like wooden chopping boards stuff like that i mean i’m still sort of thinking about exactly which way i’m going to go but i’ve got like so much creative stuff like going on i made it at the minute it’s like oh man i can’t wait to share it with everyone and sure you know hopefully inspire some other people that’d be really cool um i was wondering as well coulee especially with putting your work on clothes and on all the other sorts of things you’re mentioning there is there anything in particular that you’ve learned or are in the process of learning that you think might be useful to share you know what’s that journey been like you know because you’ve you’ve mentioned that you know you’ve the improvement to the development of your time i was just wondering you know if you have anything that might be good for listeners if this ever gets to somebody who is maybe in that starting point or before that even so for me sometimes the most expensive isn’t the best quality i learned that the hard way and i remember i thought when i first started doing shirts i had to get them from this really you know and it wasn’t that it was bad quality at all it was just incredibly expensive and it was completely counterproductive because i mean you don’t do everything for money but you don’t want to be like completely indebted because of it and i remember at first i said i need to go to the best place and get the best stuff you know as long as it’s a high quality print like the place i get and printed from has a guarantee that if it fades or if it you know if anything happens you can get it reprinted and get it sent out which is what you know i’d offer to any of my customers or anyone wants to buy something and that to me is more important than spending loads and lots of money because i didn’t i wanted it to be accessible for people when i say i don’t make a lot of profit i really don’t it’s literally like it’s just enough to sort of like clean it over and for me it’s just don’t think you have to put all your money into it to make it work do your research and don’t be afraid to change you might do a design that you think could look good on a shirt and you could put it on a shirt and think oh it doesn’t look that good now but it might look good on a print it might look good on a keychain or you know i mean there’s there’s so much stuff you don’t have to limit yourself to one thing and try different color schemes i found so each time i do a design a lot of the times i’ll do more than one version of it just to see what it looks like like don’t be afraid to chop and change and change different things and if you’re a traditional artist just copy like as in get a physical copy like you know got a printer copier print off a couple extra copies and color those in or you know do inking on those ones so you can get you know your final design you’ll have multiple versions then and it sounds kind of cliche but don’t give up on things take breaks but don’t give up on him knows me a lot of times i thought oh gosh you know i’m not i’m not any good you know i spent quite a while being like you know i’m not good at i can’t do this i can’t do that and i just i regret it because i was like i was so busy putting all the start of myself i probably missed a lot of creative opportunities and there’s a lot of art that people aren’t going to see because of a result of me saw it self-loathing whereas like now it’s like you know what i sort of accept like i’m going to take a break i don’t need to drive overnight i don’t need to do this it’s like why do people do things like drawing in general they do it because it’s fun to do it because they enjoy it that’s why you should do things and then when it becomes a massive source of stress you need to think right okay i need to take a little break from that and then go back into it with a fresh head and that’s exactly what i did you know i ended up blasting like three designs out really quickly but i did sort of three minimalistic designs in one day and that was really cool because i’ve not drawn in ages i say yeah just for me it was safety so probably in a few days but um just don’t be afraid to give yourself breaks don’t be ashamed to give yourself breaks don’t beat yourself up because those breaks are exactly what you need sometimes like i found it where i could be drawing something and it could just not be going right and sometimes i just start again from scratch i’m like this is what i need to do um it happened with the growlithe drawing i did it and it looked the wrong shape and i couldn’t figure out exactly what it was i was like oh man so i had a brick went away from it came back to it and i was like okay now i’ve redone it i’ve redrawn it it was so destroying there to redraw it but i did it and it looked amazing it looked it was amazing to me it looked exactly like what i wanted which is quite rare for me to see something exactly how i wanted it so that was really cool and obviously like i got a lot of good feedback from other people like you know you draw stuff like pokemon and people get so excited about it it’s great i love seeing people like because that’s something else like it’s not even about people buying my stuff it’s people who message me saying i like my stuff i’ve got friends who tell me they’re like and it’s like that’s amazing to me because it gives me such a boost it makes me feel so good about my work and what i do it’s like oh man you know someone’s seen that and i thought it’s really good and you know it took me so much time or you know put a lot of effort into it and it’s amazing to see that people appreciate what goes into it yeah brilliant that’s really helpful can we thank you so much for that do you want to point people towards where we can see your work so we mentioned your etsy shop so you’re under slayer one artwork is that right so on etsy i’m just slaying artwork basically it’s hard because like some places don’t like certain you know like certain types of digits you know what’s the words i don’t use the word digit but it’s like characters yeah characters that’s exactly it honestly i’m just slayer one artwork no spaces slayer is in the band slayer fun facts behind the name yeah go for it so i mean i’m a massive metal fan anyway yeah i mean more sort of like death metal but that’s that’s not the point you know like player one i saw something to do like scott pilgrim which is one of my favorite comics it was like player one and they changed the name to slayer one i thought oh man that’s so like so funny especially when i was younger i was like oh it’s so cool so i was like okay that’s my name and it’s just sort of stuck but yeah so when it’s it’s slayer on artwork on um instagram it’s slayer underscore one artwork and i also happen to have a facebook page which is just like slayer dash one artwork which again it’s all it’s annoying because some of them are different but some of them don’t have certain characters but yeah that’s that’s where you can find me my instagram and my one instagram is the main place that i posted because sometimes i’ll post working progresses on my story or you’ll get to see some of my cool goth stuff on my story or i do share a lot of other art pages on there and i think it’s really important and some advice for people if you’re feeling uninspired watch a really cool film as in like watch like an animated film like you know into the spider-verse or watch some studio ghibli stuff if you’re not into that like read some comics or read books or watch a tv show there’s so many things where you could get ideas or play a game or listen to music you know there’s some of my designs which are directly based off of music that i’ve heard or you know there’s one there’s a design i’ve been thinking about for ages and i tend to think about my designs a lot before i do them and then one day i’m just like i’m doing it and then there’s a song called um possession by white chaplain that’s something where i want to do like a really cool piece of sort like a girl saw it cloning her face and it’s like again a really sort of like dark dark and but yeah i’ve got loads of stuff that i’m sort of planning on doing i just think if you’re feeling really uninspired you don’t have to draw just watch things it’ll inspire you write it down there’s no pressure the world’s not going to end if you don’t draw that night just if you want to be inspired you want to feel creative just do it just do it everything you can because if you’re going to sit and stop love it’s just you’re just limiting yourself then yeah i think you said something earlier as well about it’s quite easy to have a pen or a pencil and a bit of paper and you don’t even need to think about it just have them in your hands and just see what comes out exactly start messing about i find a lot of artists have the same problems where it’s like you sit there in front of a blank sheet of paper three ages and you’re like gosh i just want to draw i just wanted and you’re like oh man i’ve been sitting in front of this blank piece of paper for hours or you know i’ve rubbed out so many different stuff and if it gets that point my best advice is to take a break take a break make a brew that’s what i try to do or go talk to someone even though i don’t live with one of my best friends anymore my a lot of the time when we’re drawing together it’s like i’d always say to him and we say to each other take a break just take a break and then we’d come back and we’d do some artwork it’d be exactly what we wanted or be even better than what we wanted and if you don’t want to take a break if you’re lucky enough to have an artist you know friends who are out it’s like i am sending a photo of it and say does this look right because it’s not you know it’s not about like fishing for compliments or you know what anything like that it’s like something looks wrong with this and i can’t see it can you you have a better one just like you know my friend ben or he’s got a much better understanding of anatomy than me and i could draw a face and like ben there’s something wrong with this face and i can’t figure it out and it’s like oh yeah it’s this it’s like it’s not about criticizing in a negative way it’s a really positive word they want you to do well which is why they’re telling you how to fix it yeah and there’s just fresh eyes on something isn’t it yeah i mean if anyone voted to message my art page for help at all i’m really open to like helping anyone who messages me you know if anyone wants to talk about art comics i’m always i’m quite an open ear for stuff like that and if anyone’s like oh you know they want advice and i want to talk to her directly just give me a message pretty cool about stuff like that i like to really support people because i think you get the best results that’s really generous of you it’s been such a joyful hour i’ve really enjoyed this so much chloe to be honest he i’ve had a pretty tough week just personally it’s been uh you know i’ve had a few knockbacks and confidence has been quite low and stuff and i just feel so positive and so energized just from talking to you for an hour and thank you so very much for this it’s been really enjoyable for me i hope it has been for you as well oh it’s been amazing thank you i’m really glad to hear that that’s really cool and again you’re more than welcome to message me anytime as well if you’re in but super lovely i’m really glad i’ve had such a good time as well i’ve been so excited i’ve never been in a podcast before so i’m like great well for your very first one you’ve done incredibly well yeah i hope this helps get you out there a little bit more yeah it’s just so nice it’s been a lovely thing to do to meet people like you through this i’d feel like you’re another one of my little gang that i’m compiling for the coolest gang that’s what it is it’s been really lovely speak to you thank you very much for having me on i can’t wait to hear it

this has been a cozy pea pod production with me paula blair the music is common grind by airton used under a 3.0 non-commercial creative commons license and is available at to find out more listen to episodes sign up for our free monthly newsletter and to get in touch visit for extras and previews see forward slash av cultures and to support us go to forward slash audiovisual hyphen cultures hyphen podcast thank you so much for listening sharing subscribing and reading take care and i’ll catch you next time


Audiovisual Cultures episode 86 – Art and Community with Clinton Kirkpatrick automated transcript

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this is audiovisual cultures the podcast that explores different areas of the arts and culture of production with me paula blair visit forward slash av cultures to find out more and to join the pod hello thank you for tuning in to another audio visual cultures podcast my guest today has been mentioned before if you recall episode 77 with joanna leach talking about the amabe project today’s guest is one of the contributing artists and i am really very pleased to speak with clinton kirkpatrick very warm welcome clinton how are you today i’m very well thank you how are you i’m not too bad you’re joining us from belfast is that right i am yes i live over in east belfast um so i’m at home today yeah lovely yeah i’m from east belfast and i’m a bit homesick for it at the minute clinton could i ask you to be so kind as to give us a bit of an overview of your work because you work in a lot of different ways and with different media and lots of things so could you just give us a bit of an overview of how you would describe your practice yeah sure so i’ve always kind of like said that i i’m first and foremost like a painter and whilst that still comes into my mind every time i’m asked this question i know i do a lot of other things within my practice as well so there’s a lot of printmaking a lot of drawing and then more recently lots of collage in my work really since like last summer and then this year i’m hoping to kind of take my work into a slightly different direction again and introduce animation and moving image into my practice so i’m next week actually just beginning to learn around animation because i’ve always been able to kind of see my work uh moving in my mind like you know i create lots of characters so i kind of can always see them moving in my minds i kind of want to you know actually see what that might look like so yeah so my work is um it’s quite broad my interests are quite broad you know fundamentally really interested in the human i’m really interested in how we function both individually but also collectively within society so if you kind of look through my work there is a lot of character that come into that there’s a lot of strange situations or lots of play lots of absurd notions and i know i kind of have on my chest i almost kind of like soak in everything around me and then chew it all up and then sort of like spit it back out and that’s kind of what you see with my work yeah and lots of color i love color very bold color i think is a good way of describing it i think it’s fair to say that your work is distinctive it’s really quite um i want to use the word weird but i’m meaning in a really positive sense and i i love weird it takes the body and fragments it but yet you know so you’ll take feet or legs or eyes and you’ll put them in different positions i mean there’s something harking back to surrealism but it’s not quite that and it’s not reproducing that it’s there’s a hint of it but it’s doing something different and what do you think about those sorts of ideas i’m an advocate of the sort of weird and wonderful and yeah certainly i would agree there is a touch of like surrealism in my work but i kind of i almost like look at myself as an artist in a contemporary climate where i know it’s like i think we live today in a space where you can kind of pick and choose and take whatever you want and you know you don’t have to fit within one genre or the other i think that’s what my work is i mean if you look through some of my work you’ll see that i do quite detail portraits or drawings of people and then on the flip side my work would be quite cartoonish and i don’t want i don’t need myself as an artist to be recognized as any one thing you know and i think within me all of this exists so you know that’s kind of what i want to kind of put back out to the viewer i think also you know as an artist you’re always kind of like grappling with what it is you want to talk about what it is you should be talking about or how you your work should look and certainly you know i think that things identify you as an artist but i don’t think it should be definitive if that makes sense i don’t think it should be something that you know is uh so written in stone that you don’t have room to move so yeah so i really love to play with the work you know you said there but kind of taking pieces i mean it’s literally kind of like stripped the body apart rip the body apart eyes are a massive thing in my work i think years ago i first really started noticing the introduction of eyes and my work and it wasn’t really until other people started to comment like oh why are all of these eyes in your work and i was like oh you know there’s lots of eyes in my work it was sort of like done on a more subconscious level and then i started to really notice that i was always going to the eyes and i guess i kind of see the eyes as like an entrance you know it’s almost like a you know it’s a window into whatever is going on and the rest of the image it gives a connection to something human and even you know when you look through my work characters can appear alien-like or they’re so strange but there’s always the nod to the human it sort of gets back to like i like the weird i like the absurd i use i use the word absurd and my work all the time and it can be as absurd as it needs to be so i’m okay with that yeah you seem to have a lot of beings shall we say that our maybe legs join together and then they’re just covered in eyes there is something a bit i suppose it’s almost like maybe a child’s drawing of an alien or something you know when we would imagine creatures from outer space and things that’s quite fun it could be me and my research background but when i see lots of eyes i think of surveillance and i think of watching and the paintings looking back at me and things i mean what would you say about that yeah i mean i think it’s an interesting comment i mean i am a watcher i am somebody who looks at people you know i look at the world i look at the different spaces that we kind of all cohabit um i watch and perhaps it is a little bit of a nod to you know that sort of idea that within my practice like i’m looking at all things all the time that sort of gets back in my mind at the minute to kind of the ideas of identity and stuff and whilst we can define ourselves as one thing of the other i sometimes find that very problematic because we live in a world with so many different types of people what i mean by that is like i like looking at all of those different types of people i don’t need to be in one space or the other it can be right down to kind of like the most hateful people i also enjoy watching that because i feel like i learn a lot from that and i feel like i can take into my work and it’s the power of the artist i guess you have the ability to talk about challenging things or strange things or you know whatever you have the power within you to put back out whatever you want and have a real conversation with society and with people you know the world you mentioned as well i had a good day around on your website and you do mention that about you’re looking at the individual but you’re also trying to look at broader society in that work would you maybe have any examples from your work that demonstrate that kind of idea that do both at the same time you mean looking at like an individual and looking at a scenario i guess yeah yeah what are you getting at when you point out that you’re looking at society and as you say there’s so many different kinds of people and you’ve got so many different shapes of being in your work i look at them a lot on instagram and i think well oh that’s a funny looking creature oh but it’s looking at me and maybe it’s thinking oh what a funny looking creature yeah maybe they are live somewhere i don’t know yeah i guess you know the a lot of kind of my work will come from a lot of it does come from my own experience and i guess i’m thinking now back to 10 years ago i first went overseas and i started talking about this a lot and i’m moving away from talking about it now because it was a period of my life where it happened and i had a remarkable kind of like introduction and learning around my work but you know that very kind of explicit white man role within a black society really became a prevalent conversation in my work because i went to kenya originally as a volunteer but throughout that experience i became entirely connected i mean i looked at what i think originally i didn’t understand the i was naive i guess because i was just like oh i’m in a new part of the world i’m meeting amazing people and you know i’m seeing an amazing space without really understanding the intricacy to do with black white culture and you know white man or you know uh whatever privilege means you know but indirectly a lot of that started to come into my work so it’s a huge conversation for eight years of my life was this massive learning around you know me as a white man in a black society and what that might meant and white privilege and then of course today we’re seeing huge you know it’s always been there but like that really huge black lives matter movement which is so important and you know this so kind of my work would comment and has commented on sort of things like that you know and also you know i’m gay so like my work kind of quite often you know looks at homosexuality or identity you know for uh for of a better kind of term there and like right now um it’s the february 2021 it’s our february each year is lgbt history month so i’ve decided this month i am actually going to explore avenues around what it is because i don’t know if i necessarily think about it all the time because i’m i don’t care to think about you know the fact that i’m gay it’s just not a for me it’s like not something that is an issue but it’s like for me i’m like i want to learn i want to kind of put in so like yeah so i’m creating kind of i’m also kind of like doing a bit of research at the minute and then i’m imagining that lots of characters and situations might come out of that but we’ll see but yeah so i kind of dip in another as sort of as and when or whatever’s presented i mean i think that’s kind of a great thing about the world today is you know you’re reminded quite often of what’s going on because of social media or if there’s a specific time you know that is being celebrated or commented on i will link into things like that as well sorry i kind of maybe went off in a bit of a full up that’s fine that’s what this is all about take a walk with your ideas so just to try then to tie that in with the different approaches to practice that you make so if you’re dealing with those kinds of ideas quite big ideas about human and identity and seeing and and looking and watching and then you’re working across painting drawing collage print making and you say you’re going to move into animation which will be amazing because if you can give life and kineticism to those images because some of them do feel like they’re in mid-stride or something you know so it’d be amazing to see that come to life i mean do you have any ideas on how the different media that you work in how that informs maybe the sorts of things and topics that you’re getting into in your work yes i mean i think early in my career early in my thinking i was like i’m a painter i’m a painter i’m a painter and early on i mean i’m still in love i’m actually probably more in love with painting now than what i’ve ever been i think part of that is to do with now that i’m really starting to understand the material really understanding what i need to do on a canvas and i’m also reaching much better results much more quickly so like there’s just this fundamental love of paint that kind of exists within me and i knew that early on i mean going through school i gravitated towards painting and drawing i love drawing as well um and then i left and of course through college and through foundation it was painting and my my own shoes were always painting and i was like right i have to go for a painting and drawing degree because i didn’t want to go back into like find applied art degree because i don’t want i don’t need to waste another year so i went into a painting my degree was actually in painting and drawing it was one of two left in the uk at the time so i went to england for that part of me always kind of put that label on myself at the beginning so i don’t know if i was as open or as receptive to other avenues within my practice continued with that you know painter painter painter and then it wasn’t literally until i went i was over overseas i was in kenya and sort of been in kenya and i think was the second time i was in kenya i literally went to an organization to introduce myself called kuna trust and the next day i got an email through offering out this printmaking course to the public which was like in woodcut print and i was like i’ve been really wanting to introduce a print technique into my work and therein lay my introduction to print and it was uh and it was good cut and i just absolutely fell in love with that process which made me then go and investigate other types of printmaking so now within my practice i you know also i have i still use woodcut funny it hadn’t been one in a while i was literally said on myself yesterday that i really want to do a new woodcut so i would sit and downstairs i’m kind of thinking around that night but i still do the word cut monotype because it is very painterly you know so gain gets back to that kind of notion of painting you know and then things like a little bit of etching or a dry point and that would be kind of what i focus on i’ve learned other things as well but i’m just not as interested in things like screen print or litho or things like that so that was my introduction into print and then as my practices started to grow i just naturally started to become so much more interested in other things last year collage became this massive part of my practice where i was just like this is really cool just like ripping stuff up and sticking it down and building layers i’m sorry cyanotype printmaking was another process where i really became attached to that but i was using cyanotype in a very very painterly way so i was actually making the solution and painting with the solution and exposing my drawings or my paintings to the sun and then that’s what kind of creates the center type and then i would work over the top and that’s kind of how the collage came in i would work over the top of that in drawings and then i was like starting to rip stuff up and then i made this massive this time last year i began making this like 28 foot piece of work it’s rolled up in a room there but uh yeah so it’s kind of like it’s led me on and then yeah and then also with the animation now i’ve always been able to visualize my characters moving and i’ve almost wanted to be able to look around them i’m making them from the side of the front but i’m kind of like what do they look like from behind i don’t know my mind’s eyes like what way is this going to go i don’t know but in my mindset it’s kind of you know i’m going to see them from all ankles or spaces you know which would be interesting yeah that sounds really exciting exploration to do you seem to have been really prolific in the past year certainly i mean following you on instagram you’re always putting up new things that you’re working on and exploring and stuff and it’s so great to hear that you’re still energized and you’re moving into these different areas with it i mean i was wondering because it’s come up a lot of course it has with people i’ve been speaking to recently how anybody’s had to adapt their work in the past year and i know that you’ve done a lot of community work in the past would you like to talk a bit about that you know because your own practice seems to be really ticking off lately but the other part of your artist life how are things going there with that sort of work yeah it’s i mean i think the whole chronovirus experience for all of us has been so remarkably individual and different for everybody and i know for me it’s been a very interesting time but you know i like the rest of like dipped in my mood i had an extraordinarily difficult year last year in many ways but what i realized was one of my main difficulties is when you’re an artist and you’re making the other side of my work thankfully is community arts and i get to be able to pay my bills usually through community arts and then i get to spend the rest of my time in the prep so my whole life is consumed with art and i love the community arts having that kind of stripped away last year so abruptly was a kind of shocking and i was like wow you find yourself in this space that is just so unusual and i realized that for me you know when you don’t earn heaps of money and you’re kind of like keeping things going along on a very thin line than wire as it is and then you have that stripped away it was extraordinarily difficult to come to terms with like how am i going to be able to cope through this period of time because i literally find myself with no income and not getting any reduction in rent or anything it’s just like so like the bills need paid your grant needs paid you know you need electricity or food so for me i was like right well how are we going to kind of like how am i going to do this thankfully the arts council came out with their support and i appealed of their first round of funding and i literally wrote a project that was to be delivered online so it was exploring these new ways of working and looking at hard work as an artist and i am glad to say that i delivered over the space kind of three four months a remarkable project i mean i’d introduced into my own practice previously the idea of what i call sky drawings that are kind of like i’ve been making cutouts basically and they’re little pieces that you would find in my paintings of characters or eyes or whatever but i had been photographing those so they are cut outs i color them black or spray paint them or i have used kind of like an oil stick and then i drop those i hold out at arm’s length and i drop those but i photograph it at the moment where the sky is literally kind of framing the drawing and they turn out to kind of be like they look just so impactful and so interesting and i was this is great so i could maybe try and do this as a community project so i wrote a community project and thankfully you know eastside arts helped me to advertise that and i managed to get about 15 people onto the program and over the space of the few months i delivered this really class like i mean really class project where they all made quite large drawings and then one so what what i did was i got them to all create i did the sessions like this at home on zoom and then when they finished their drawing i either collected or got them to post me their drawing i took their drawing and i made the cutout from it and then i went around places right they spell fast and photograph them it was just lovely look like i mean i’m still in love with lots of the imagery that kind of come out of that and i would like in the in the future when things have been up to you put on a little bit of an exhibition around it or things like that so for me it was like looking for ways to kind of do stuff and then start it up with a little bit of work again towards december but then that’ll cancel with new lockdowns around christmas and well that came in a boxing day so i find myself still with like work now although february is looking like we’re going to try and do some more online stuff with the likes of c chord down in bangor to talk about kind of my work as an artist through that and kind of my um i’ve always been somebody who is making so i have tried remain busy this year i’ve had my moments of like you know there’s been times where i’m not but i find for me that you know my studio like i think as an artist you have to make the work if you are if you’re a mecca if you’re a creator i mean you have to do the work you know if you’re calling yourself an artist but you’re not making the work i don’t really get it it’s okay look i know i know we all work at different speeds i don’t mean to kind of like i’m not trampling over people there but for me i know that my approach to my thinking around being an artist is that if i don’t make this work the work is not going to exist you know or what’s in me is not going to be out where it needs to be so i kind of try to keep myself active am i trying to be there but also i have been very fortunate to have my studio space which is private so i’ve been able to go there i’ve been able to work and not see anybody i come back to the house and not see anybody just being this kind of like exchange where it’s isolation but i had my space to work because i would not have been able to work in this house so i’m quite you know i’m somebody’s always making and i draw every day and you know i i kind of think i like to keep myself busy because there’s a lot going on in this brain you know so i have to try and do it somewhere gosh that’s brilliant it’d be great to then hear if those new projects work out okay for you i really hope they do it was a real joy seeing a lot of the images again on instagram of the sky drawings and i really recommend people go and check those out because they’re really lovely thing to sit and look at i think would you like to talk a bit about some of the exhibitions that you’ve had in the past in the before times because you mentioned being in kenya and you have had some collaborative exhibitions is that right in nairobi and then you’ve exhibited quite a lot in northern ireland as well in different places so would you like to talk us through some of those and i’ve written down borrowed tales and life and other fictions and i ask you do you believe in miracles just even the titles of your exhibitions are quite intriguing i love titling my exhibitions i really do it’s like do you know i literally just the other day i have decided that i’m gonna i’ve started compiling the list of every title of my exhibitions because i wanted to have a look at what i i went back to the very first exhibition i put on which is through university and it was called unprotected and then i came home when i had a first exhibition in belfast in 2009 and i can’t really remember the title of it but the next one was called yesterday’s news and then that one i asked you do you believe america so that it’s nice to kind of like look i love titling my exhibitions but the title is always in reference to the work that i’m making or what’s going on in the work or my mind at that time it’s not always kind of like the title of a painting or whatever it’s just sort of almost like generally summing things up i love putting my work on in exhibitions i always organize two events with openings because uh well the first one is the opening which is kind of like that you know that you have to do that and then the second i always organize now um i organize a talk with my exhibitions and i love to talk because you get a group of people there that actually want to hear about the work and they want to ask you questions and i just i love that experience i don’t really enjoy openings and i don’t even really enjoy openings of other artists work you know i would prefer everyone spend time with the work later on but don’t get me wrong i do go you know and support my friends and support people but i think just that you know the preference in me is to go and really enjoy the work or enjoy hearing about the work i’ve showed ever since leaving university i threw myself into my practice whenever i came home so i actually lived away for like six years and then finally came back and i’ve been here ever since i’ve been home like 11 years now and decided to move home and get roots and get a space here where i was grinding myself a little bit but i right from the year after arriving home i had my first exhibition and a gallery it’s like clues called safe house gallery which was on donegal street in uh in belfast there and wonderful eccentric man called donnie burke was the guy that kind of uh offered me the first space then i did live the help of that gallery but that was kind of a nice thing it was nice right i’m going to put on work my work was really terrible you know like it was really bad painting hands up you know we all go through these kind of process but the ideas were great paintings were bad the ideas were great i had that show and then i had a second show in that scene gallery in the next year and then it was the year after that 2011 that i first went i had just this mad year of just people dying jobs ending i had a car crash you know i’ll not go through everything that happened was just like this year’s stuff and i kind of cleared off then i was like right i just want to go and do something for somebody else so i kind of went and did some volunteering in another country which happened to be kenya but what that did was it ignited in me everything about what i loved in the world and everything about what i loved in people and ignited this kind of like real investigation into who i am and where i am so ever since then i was back and then i had my first big exhibition in belfast which is in the waterfront hall and that was in march 2012 so 10 years next year and i filled that whole upstairs space with work and i was making like five and six foot paintings i still met large paintings now but it was just so lovely to be making the size of work that i wanted to make and it was all about kenya it’s all about my experience there a real mix of work and i did portraiture and i did you know abstract pieces in that and then lots of figurative stuff too that began in this real interaction and play with me in and out of kenya and it was like i went back as an artist and then i came home and i made another exhibition which went on display in lisbon in the island art center and that was 2013. and i applied to the museum in kenya so there’s the national museums of kenya to display the work that i had made over the previous number of years that was accepted and then i found myself back in kenya in 2014 for my first exhibition in the national museum there which was a really wonderful experience just wonderful every time i was there it was very very different but taking the work that i’d needed and you know i always remember like lydia galavu who is the curator there she still works the most wonderful woman she came up to me after had hung the work in the show and she said you know looking at your work it’s like you wouldn’t necessarily think that you were a white artist that always kind of stay with me because like i’m always interested in this idea of what identity is and you know i think it’s like there is color in my work and boldness and character and whatever and i was like i find it such a compliment and it was just such a it’s such a lovely time and i had a lovely you know lovely feedback from that show and it was just it was nice it’s validating for me like this is the type of artist that i am and this is what i need to be doing so yes i continued with shows then both at home here looking sort of more local sort of spaces and then john patrick and then arts art center and lots of spaces like that then i went back to kenya i ended up organizing an exhibition at home here with my woodcut teacher who uh was kenyan so john kamani and off the back of that lydia at the museum had wrote this very brief message under some posts on facebook saying kenya 2.0 question mark or something like that and i was like so there’s the seed that’s all i needed for to plant that seed which grew into another wonderful flower for me so then i went back and found myself back conducting more research so i went back the year uh what year was that 2016. i went back to kenya again and this time i removed myself from the investigation so it was nothing to do with me so i took a camera i went for a month two well i think two months but a month i spent a month and a half i spent kind of collecting imagery or not imagery imagery and oral voice recordings and i recorded stories so i went around people i knew loads of people that i didn’t and i asked them to tell me a story there’s no prescribed theme it’s interesting kind of watching how people struggle with kind of some people like i’m going to tell you the longest biggest story and then someone like what do you want me to tell you you know it’s like it was interesting kind of like watching that but it was so open but what i wanted to do was on purpose remove me from i wanted this to be entirely yes it was going to be a white man’s kind of visual remaking of stories but i just wanted to listen to stories and that made me realize my interest and love for storytelling and storytelling through my work so yeah so i went back then had joined exhibition in kenya in 2018 which was that show a game of john comany but i put on that show with all of that work with the oral kind of stories and then i came back and i had a show here called borrowed tales which you mentioned and that was all those wood cuts so i actually made 88 i recorded idiot stories and i made 88 pieces of work one piece of work for every single story that i recorded and i put them all on display so it was lovely it’s a lovely exhibition that’s such a lovely thing to hear about really i think i saw on your website you’ve described your painting process as a process of storytelling as well so it’s really lovely to hear about how you reach that do you think that’s something that comes through right across your work that their stories contained in your images yes i think more so now than ever because you can look back at my work from 10 years ago and see everything that’s going on night i’ve started to create this world and everything that i make is contained within that world you know i’m recalling certain images of yours i’m thinking it’s like you’re getting a fragment of a whole landscape and a whole thing that’s going on in this how would you respond to that you know how would you flash out some of those ideas i’ve realized now that storytelling is much more integral than what i maybe even really understood it to be i view my work as this world that i’m creating and that everything that i make and put into that is adding to that or a discovery of a new piece of that world i mentioned earlier on but it’s a very broad world you know so it’s almost like i’ll make things and then all of a sudden there might be crossover years later or i’ll revisit so i kind of make lots of characters in my work that signify certain things and then they’ll come back into my mind or they’ll crop up later on i mean there’s been a couple of characters so that there’s one that i call rainbow wife he’s this kind of blind character i don’t even he’s blind in the original one but he’s been blind later on but the original character was just this very kind of solemn not beautiful character you know he’s just kind of very dull in a sense but inside his mouth was this rainbow space and then he sort of existed at a show that i put on in the offer a show i put on in the ulster museum not the austin museum sorry the ulster hall years ago and that was his introduction but he’s always kind of cropped back in so i then couple years later took him on a journey and actually explored who his character was so still today you know i i’ll revisit him at times he’ll kind of like come in there’s another character called all eyes i mean i did this um other drawings recently that were incorporating this character and just covered in eyes and that kind of character wasn’t born out of this idea of being able to see all things at all times and i’m not saying these characters are all me but they certainly can be sometimes a reflection of me um or of elements of my psyche or the way i see things so i’m somebody who i feel i’m able to look at many things and hold many things even i don’t have to agree with them all but i’m able to see them if that makes sense um quite a perceptive person so a lot of my work is kind of i’ve realized that there’s this overarching kind of story behind a lot of it and i don’t need it to be some i don’t need to be a story book where it is like this is what the story is i want the viewer and i need the viewer to see and deal with things how they need to deal with them i in the last six months have i used to title i thought i’m just this morning like editing images for a new book and i realized that last halfway through last year a mentor i had a couple of years ago was like you’re titling all of your work and you’re giving the viewer everything the viewer needs you know he was like what about untitling your work presenting your work in an untitled kind of way so that sat with me for a while and then i began to introduce that into in my work halfway through last year where i was like but i’m just not putting a title with this so what it did was kind of like take away you know my meaning and just allow the characters of the situation to stand on their own so it was an important kind of moment but i’m also ready to be titling the work again but also to kind of like start to not be as direct with the title or to give a nod something where it’s not as specific or it is not as definitive as kind of giving everything that you need does that make sense to sort of yeah so it’s kind of like for me you know there is a lot of i’ve realized a lot of power in storytelling and even what i’m doing now in my research and in my own investigation as i’ve gone right back to what mythology is and then within mythology what creation myths are and i’m actually in the process of investigating various creation myths that have existed throughout human history in all different cultures and what i’m doing is i’m taking pieces of that you know whether it is modern day creation myths or egyptian creation myths or whatever the creation myth is i mean these slug characters keep coming into my work and i read this creation myth recently where you know these slugs fall from the sky and they create this foggy marshy area and then from this the first humans came to be and i’m just like this is thrilling you know it is the part of storytime is the power of art for me that is what my work is people will look at my work and they’re like what is that or you’re mad or i’ve had i’ve listened to it all over the years i don’t really care either but it’s like i’ve listened to it all but i always think if you take the time with any artist you have to be interested obviously in what they’re doing to want to invest it up but certainly for me when you start to investigate what my work is and what my practice is there is a whole lot there you know there’s a whole lot of world and you know a whole lot of world to see and there’s a whole lot more still to come out of me you know but we’ll see hopefully i do love your slug and space images i think they’re really cool and i read the other day bugs have four noses um or four kind of like things to smell from so i just like loving that it’s like i started the painting last week you know with a slug with like and i’ve taken a human nose but obviously yes that does not have a human node but in my painting so it’s like that’s what i do i hear things or i see things or i read things and i just if it resonates within me in some way i kind of like to kind of spit back out in a fun way i take the piss i think a little bit you know a lot of you know i do jest but i think with that humor it’s a way for me to navigate this world that we’re in and i like to laugh and i like you know i want i guess a little bit of that to kind of come through in my practice as well yeah i think you definitely need the bit of joy in there and i think to embrace the strangeness the absurdity and let it make you smile and put those blockers to that stuff away i think it’s really important so you mentioned there that you’re working on a new book project what big projects have you done before and can you tell us a bit about what’s coming in the future absolutely so um partially kind of through this lockdown thing i was like right i don’t have access to you know our normal kind of way my normal way of doing things where sort of putting exhibitions on or traveling with my work or whatever obviously that’s all on hold and it’s very difficult to sort of plan so i was kind of starting to think in my mind just like well what other things can i do through this time that’s a keeping me busy keeping me active so i have been drawing every day now since the beginning of 2017 so i’m actually into my fifth year of drawing every single day i have not missed a day maybe one day but i have not really missed any you know many days and actually now i kind of i do a couple of drawings a day and that is kind of a lot of what you’re seeing through that kind of feed on facebook or on it on instagram you’ve got this sort of like it’s almost like a digital gallery for me and it’s a space to kind of do sketches and put ideas so the book project this will be my second book so my first book it’s called world view from a white picket fence and that first book was drawings from my first year of drawing with digital media because i moved into using an ipad to draw with never used digital media before always was pretty anti-it and then i was like we’re living in such a digital age why am i not beginning to introduce that into my practice you know it just seemed silly but then i realized that i was making all this work and it was getting lost so there’s something really ephemeral or transient about things get lost in instagram or forgotten about or they become some sort of like old dusty relic in the bottom of the basement for me that i find that i started to find that very problematic so i did this first year of drawings like i really want to make a book and put some of these different drawings in the book so the first book was all black and white images and then the second year from 2018 i started to introduce with black and white images and color images into that digital drawing so i’ve realized it’s been three years since i made that book and i was like can i make another book so it’s trying to get the money those these things kind of cost money and things are kind of always they’re quite tight at the moment but i’m looking for ways to kind of bring this into life and i’ve literally just gone from 2 000 images 2000 images to 88 images maybe slightly more about 90 images and i am like i was like how do i out of this time because then what i did was i went through back through that history that catalogue and i laughed and i thought these are great drawings but nobody gets to see them and i don’t get to hold them so i kind of really wanted you know i want to be able to hold the work you know i resonate with books my books everywhere in this house i love art books i love reference books i love being able to kind of like delve into different artists in different days so that’s for me you know i kind of want my work in that sort of format as well so they’re self-published i’m self-publishing a self-published uh the first one i’ll be doing the same with this one but yeah so i’m kind of just cracking on so doing a written piece for it myself i’ve invited inviting another artist to kind of do around the piece as well you’ll get a bit of text and thinking behind the work of the drawing but yeah so hopefully later on this year i might have a digital launch party for a new book but we’ll see how exciting i love that idea of holding the work that’s so nice such a lovely way of thinking about it keep us informed if you do have a digital launch that’ll be so fun when you’re talking earlier about gallery openings and things it just made me realize that i missed that you always need to go back and look at the exhibition again but it’s about being with the people isn’t it and i i do miss a good belfast opening oh it’s such strange times yeah and i just miss being able to go and do those things anything cultural you know like we know that kind of the culture is like just one of the things always the hardest hit but it’s hopefully something for the future for all of us yeah definitely we’ve got through a lot and you’ve been so so generous about talking about the personal aspects of your work and your practice and everything is there anything that we haven’t touched on yet today that you would like to mention maybe kind of thinking around advice or you know what it is for younger people i certainly think for young people even going through university at the moment what a very difficult difficult difficult time it is it’s difficult for everybody but you know i know i have friends went and doing masters at the minute and you know we’re in the mainland uk and i mean it’s this storm you know of uncertainty maybe do a little bit discussing around kind of like what it is to advise artists or you know or advise people i always kind of think make your work which is a big advocate of really encouraging people to kind of like make and do the work that they need to be doing so you can if you’re in somebody like you’re in university whatever just make the work i think you can become so consumed by what’s happening and how that’s affecting you that you forget that you’re an artist you forget that you’re making so make the work you don’t find your way in your pathway through that maybe i’m walking no i think that’s really so helpful that’s a really excellent point to make is just do something every day just try to do something even if it’s just a little sketch or cutting up bits of paper whatever it is just do something that proactivity i think’s really really important and i think even just in terms of your mental well-being yeah absolutely yeah i think for anybody even not just anybody at school or college you know it’s engaging in the arts and engaging in that kind of activity is extremely beneficial and it really is a form of therapy you know when you kind of engage in something for 15 minutes half an hour a day and it really really helps so yes i mean there’s a real power behind the arts and unfortunately we’re all too aware that uh the arts get are the first to get shafted but anyway it’s an interesting time for sure but just keep making i think everybody should be making or find a space to make that’s a really excellent point so clinton do you have websites and socials that you’d like to point people towards yeah so i um i actually have two websites tonight i realized so i’ve got my main website which is clinton it’s almost like that sort of showcase of a little bit of history of my work and then i started a new website this year called orange paint books and it’s going to operate as a background to a selling platform for me so it’s a space night where i’m putting up all my work for seal because i realized through this time as well you’re relying quite often on galleries or other spaces to be doing a lot of the work for you and i was just like do you know what why is my work why am i not in charge of my work being for sale so i created and that is going to be where you can find everything i do from courses to the paintings to the drawings whatever and then pretty much the main one that i use is instagram so my social handle is clinton underscore kirkpatrick underscore artist but just type in my name there and you’ll find me that’s the main ones oh that’s brilliant thank you clinton kirkpatrick thank you so very much for your time i have really enjoyed our conversation it’s been so lovely to speak with you properly and to meet you like this and to hear all about your work because i’ve so enjoyed following you on instagram for the past a lot of months thank you thank you thank you it’s been brilliant thank you very much i got introduced to your podcast um from joanna’s one whenever she was doing the movie project so it’s been lovely to kind of follow when i’ve linked in so thank you for having me and uh all the best for the year ahead okay yeah same to you thanks we’ll keep in touch this has been a cozy peapod production with me paula blair the music is common ground by airton used under a creative commons 3.0 non-commercial license and is downloadable from episodes release every other wednesday subscribe on apple podcasts spotify amazon music or wherever you find your podcasts see the show notes for a video link if you need auto captions be part of the conversation with av cultures on facebook and twitter or iv cultures pod on instagram as well as patreon membership one-off support is appreciated at buy me a forward slash pei blair i produce and edit the show by myself and i am grateful for any support for this work for more information and episode links visit thank you so much for listening catch you next time



Audiovisual Cultures episode 72 – Creative Recovery with Rachel Brook automated transcript

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hello and welcome to audio visual cultures i’m paula blair and today i’m catching up with rachel brook who i hope you remember organized a special international women’s day event that we recorded for the podcast back in march and she also appeared in the late shows episode back in 2019 rachel has been using creativity both as a means of working through trauma and in developing her career as a practicing artist and these are topics that she’s going to take talk us through today huge thanks to our members at forward slash iv cultures for your much valued support you might know that i’m managing persistent technical difficulties lately so memberships or donations to paypal dot me forward slash pei blair or buy me a coffee dot com forward slash pei blair are hugely appreciated we’ll connect now with rachel in her studio and just so you’re aware we are going to get into some tough issues as well as talking through rachel’s experience and developing body of work i hope you find this really fascinating

hello rachel how you doing

i’m good thank you and it’s lovely to see you uh i’m just um in my studio at the moment um i’ve been painting this morning or touching up some paintings should i say i’ve kind of been working on some stuff for a while that i’m kind of trying to just tweak and yeah i’m i’m setting myself a bit bonkers with a few things you know when you you’re trying to get something exactly how you want it and it’s not quite going the way you want it so i’m great but i’m also in this sort of little like oh [ __ ] space where i’m trying to achieve something and i’m not quite there we could just about see behind you you’re doing some very precise geometrical work at the moment yes i am um i’m uh yeah in fact i i obviously i’m gonna hold something up which will be on the video um obviously if you want to uh see anyone who’s listening to the podcast um you can uh check out the the youtube uh video but this is this is one example of some little bits and pieces that i’m working on so um for anyone who doesn’t know what this is it’s a tesseract um or a four-dimensional cube and so what what essentially this consists of is um there are eight different cubes that sit within this space and they share um multiple kind of dimensional space so for example there’s a cube here and a cube here but the end of that cube shares that same space um then you’ll also have a cube here and a cube here um and a cube here and here um and that yeah when the more that you look at it the more that you can sort of and this is all of the different cubes within it and what’s even more interesting and actually when i first started drawing these i um i was really obsessing over it because i couldn’t figure out how to draw one i knew what like what i wanted to draw and i understood the the kind of the the theoretical makeup of it um with with kind of access space i suppose um and it wasn’t until about a week or two ago that i realized that actually the entire thing is just squares so there’s a square here and then a square here but there’s also a square here and here and so actually what i now do originally i was drawing them in a different way but now i’d just draw square square square square square and because of the but once you get so far along it you actually the the the points that the the next squares sort of join up you you already have a reference point from the first few squares that you’ve drawn and so it’s just fascinating that the eight two-dimensional squares presented within an octagon creates this um this this tesseract shape

yeah a weird obsession that i’ve had during the lockdown period um and i think something i don’t know whether it’s something that’s come from it or it’s something that i was already obsessing over and maybe kind of resulted in me sort of learning how to to produce these shapes but being inside a flat um that’s quite small um and kind of being limited about how much time we can go out and do things um and sort of you know

feeling uh isolated or alienated by or both um and i guess maybe like somewhere in my subconscious this idea that you know like if i could actually um understand how four-dimensional space works then technically that would allow me to have more space because if if this cube here is my living room and this cube here which shares the same dimensional space as this cube is like extra space that i don’t currently have access to if i can access the fourth dimension then essentially i have more space inside the the area that i exist um so that’s kind of maybe where some of it comes from i i i’m still kind of making sense of it all and hoping that at some point i’ll have some sort of i mean i think maybe the you know the the sci-fi nerd in me is is um is hoping that you know i’ll eventually be able to understand um what four-dimensional space is but i think that’s highly unlikely um because this technically this only is a

it’s it’s a theoretical framework that helps you understand four-dimensional space but of course because we only live in three dimensions it’s impossible for us to ever really fully understand what it’s like to live outside of three dimensions because it’s all that we know and it’s all that we have the ability to experience so if i go completely bonkers at the end of this and at least we’ve documented it

it’s a i don’t know i it feels like i’ve been finding it very therapeutic actually watching your videos of you actually coloring them um it feels like you’re taking us a bit on your voyage of discovery of the these dimensions so it’s just kind of nice yeah and i mean that to a certain extent that kind of comes from i suppose from being at home and also learning a bit more about how i can use the the digital realm the age of information to my advantage in all of this um and but also to share you know it’s not just purely narcissistic but like the the you know that there’s so many platforms out there that you can share visually and and like i recognize that you have to be careful with your like artistic property your intellectual property when when you’re dealing with you know the digital realm because you know it it’s so easy to kind of um yeah put something out there and essentially lose it whether it’s you know whether you lose it emotionally or whether you lose it and it’s something i’m really fascinated about maybe it’s a conversation for another time but just kind of what it means to to kind of to be an artist within the the you know the age of information and not just a visual artist you know a musician or you know a performance artist or you know um and yes it’s definitely something i’m kind of thinking more on and would like to discuss more in a future day for sure yeah yeah yeah um so

so you’ve been you’ve been working a lot on this kind of work a lot in the past few months and um if it’s okay could you take us back to where do you think the kernels of those ideas are coming from and how that process of of the of the working uh of the creativity hi that’s uh you know what what’s the genesis of that so are you happy to take us through some of that sure yeah and i think that’s yeah really significant to what i’m doing now and and you know why i’m doing what i’m doing now um so if i’ll i’ll give you a bit of um a kind of introductory background to sort of i guess the last um the last eight months or so so up until january i was working in a part-time job and i’ve been in that for about a year and a half after being made redundant from full-time work um and basically um the um the first week of 2020 i saw out the last hearing um in a tribunal case and that had been ongoing since well since before my redundancy actually um and it was yeah really exhausting process um massively debilitating really impacted my mental health and my relationship and basically towards the end of 2019 my partner suggested that i leave the job that i was in um and essentially he said he would support me through the process um of transitioning to basically making my artwork a professional endeavor and so i’m using um this is something i’ve only come up with in the last sort of week or so but um which is influenced by a few other things as well i’m using a hashtag creative recovery um because i think that you know while what i’m doing isn’t primarily therapy i am finding this work therapeutic um or if not therapeutic at least you know i’m doing work that also feels like self-care yeah um which is very very important um but yeah like i mean i massively took a a leap of faith um and i genuinely thought that by this time i would be you know having to get a part-time job to pay bills um and that was that was kind of obviously something that’s that’s um you know been uh an issue because what i found when i when i was working my last part-time job i thought oh i’ll work part-time and that part-time work will allow me the time to focus on these you know creative practices that i’ve wanted to focus on for a while but actually um you know it’s that the job was you know it consumed a lot of my energy um it was it was a great job and and uh and i loved where i was working um and so i do want to talk today about um you know these sort of problematic work situations that i’ve been in um but i do actually i think it’s really important um to mention that the last job that i was doing i was working for um good space which sadly is is no longer um running um in the form that it was when i was there um due to covert 19 and it was a great job and i loved it very much and with that being my most recent job i want to make sure that when i’m talking about problematic work situations today that that doesn’t get um mistaken for for one of those environments because it absolutely was a wonderful place to work and i love my colleagues um and you know it’s uh it probably helped me uh transition from you know being in that kind of full-time work life that was you know quite problematic for me um to to actually come to you know to where i am now and you know i’ve been um i’ve been a visual artist my whole life like since i was a child i’ve always you know in involved myself in in in creative expression um you know and and maybe like hadn’t hadn’t ever as a child like had never thought that it was something that i could do as a you know as a job or you know and and like i think that i’ve really struggled to say the words that i am an artist essentially and like my brain has tried to sabotage this process and and like really struggle to say it out loud and then like i think oh it’s only been in the last few months where i feel comfortable just saying i’m in awe it’s like oh what do you do rachel oh i’m an artist like you know and some people it’s crazy that some people still sort of are like what do you do like you know my partner was trying to explain it to his nana the other day and and she was like so just just sell paintings and it’s like i mean sometimes i do but that’s absolutely not everything that i do and i guess there are two branches of of work that i’m focusing on the moment one being kind of community project work um and then this more personal journey um which uh you know that are crossovers um but yeah this this the painting um i do make artists film although i admit we haven’t made one for a while um photography sometimes um but yeah and creative facilitation as well i mean the last film-related project that i worked on i was facilitating a group of people to make a piece of film so um it was i definitely had some creative input into it but but it was very much about them and their work um it was with a group of people who were um living with grief um cross-generational the youngest person was 12 the oldest person was and essentially i i worked with them um and an ex-colleague of mine a girl called hannah mcpharlin who runs polaris film um and we uh yeah we spent six weeks with this group of people and essentially supported them through expressing their experiences of grief through a piece of artist film um it because of the nature of it all the film’s not available anywhere because it’s for them and it’s for their personal use and you know i think that unless they all were happy with it being exhibited um you know we won’t get to show that to anyone which is fine because you know at the end of the day when you’re facilitating or you’re facilitating creative processes it’s really hard to to kind of make sure that that process is not about you and it’s about the people that you’re working with um and so i’m trying to get i haven’t got anything else like that lined up at the moment but i’m i’m like looking for more opportunities to do that sort of thing as well um so so yeah that’s kind of where i am um was made redundant had this employment tribunal um that kind of came to an end and then i just made this decision to yeah to to transition um and you know that’s kind of brought me to where i am now um brilliant so i’m i’m really interested in that idea of transitioning in terms of life and career because it’s so similar when why i even started this podcast um

would you would you be okay with telling us a bit more about what spurred that need for change than you yeah yeah absolutely and i think the word the really important word that you use there is need um like it it wasn’t just something that i wanted it was something that i needed to do and like i think i spent i spent you know a large portion of 2019 um either conversing with my therapist or thinking about my conversations with my therapist about kind of how like i just knew that i wasn’t doing what i wanted to be doing um and that almost like i feel like in in many ways some of the jobs that i’ve worked over the years where i’ve been in like a structured working environment you know full-time hours uh you know large organizations that it can really sort of gaslight you out of thinking about you know what actually works for you and what’s best for you and what you know and and i recognize that like you know i’m in a a position of privilege in being able to do this um although i did take some big risks and you know like i didn’t know if if this was going to financially work um so you know i recognize that it’s not as straightforward as just being like oh yeah quit your job and you know do something fabulous because it’s not like that at all and it has taken a really long time to kind of you know decide what it is that i want to do and look at what i can do to make those changes and look at who’s around me who can support me to make those changes and like i mean i think one of the key things is empowerment um you know i’ve been empowered by some really excellent people yourself included paula like who who’ve you know talked to me about creativity and about all and about you know culture and and and made me kind of realize that there’s an incredible community of people in newcastle that allow me to be able to do the things that i do um and so you know i’m i’m i’m here and i’m doing it but i also recognize that like basically you know while i went through this tribunal case um which had a massive impact on me anyway it was actually like one factor in a much larger experience of work-related trauma that i’m sort of still recovering from and you know where i’ve experienced abusive management dysfunctional workplaces poor ethics outright bullying and discrimination and you know just just really toxic working environments um and i feel like i escaped my last full-time job um despite being damaged and exhausted and the irony being is that i was made redundant like it almost reminds me of you know that you i’ve been in an abusive relationship before where like i’m miserable and i hate the relationship but yet i’m devastated when it ends and that was kind of you know i used to describe this job as an abusive relationship all the time this sort of idea that like you know i was miserable every day and i hated it and and i saw things going you know i knew that i wasn’t the only person experiencing um these sort of negative things and like you know but you sort of when you’re in something like that you kind of you you you get lost in it i suppose um and like i think the thing that really shook me up was just sort of how how much my professional confidence was not you know like 10 years ago i was in london i was working in marketing um in television post-production industry and you know then moved on to uh some film festival work also in marketing and like to think that i was in a certain place 10 years ago and and then i’ve kind of found myself back in newcastle for various reasons you know first job that i got when i moved back to newcastle knocked my professional confidence so much that i just i like i still i still feel the effects of it now absolutely um and i found it really hard to talk to people about or really hard to find the sort of the right dialogues to to to discuss all the right kind of environments to discuss it because you know there’s a point where like you’re sitting in the pub or well not at the moment well or you know you’re sitting in you you’re with your friends and you’re like oh you’re whinging about your job again it’s like you kind of like i got sick of hearing myself talking about it um and so i had to change how how i talk about it and how i think about it and how how it is how that dialogue works in my life and and it kind of has to be for me it has to be a positive thing in some way there has to be something positive that’s coming out of it and it’s taken the absolutely incredible bravery of a few select people who are also ex-colleagues of mine um who are either previous or president well i think previous now uh employees of the tyneside cinema um who’ve spoken out um about how they’ve been abused and was treated and then silenced um and and that those kind of conversations that have been shared have allowed me to feel a lot more comfortable talking about these negative experiences and especially within a professional environment because i think there’s definitely you know there’s this whole i guess it’s a i suppose it’s an etiquette isn’t it that around you know you’re not supposed to talk about it you know the bad thing happens at work and everyone you know everybody knows but nobody talks about it it’s an elephant in the room and it’s always there um and actually no you know these things have to be discussed and they have to be made public they have to be brought out into the open um and so i’m really grateful to to the people involved in that campaign um for reminding me of uh collective strengths and the power of having a voice basically i’m just gonna um share with you some information if anyone’s not familiar with what’s been happening at the time side cinema and there is a website that’s been set up and it’s and that has a full overview of what’s been happening there it also has a petition that can be signed and i think some more things are going to be coming on there in the next couple of days as well so yeah um head over there to to read more about that

um yeah it’s been it’s been it has i’ve been following it closely and it’s been such a an angering very bitter disappointment um because i think especially because it’s a it’s a cultural organization that professes to uphold diversity and inclusivity and um it’s so frustrating that what should be the flagship cultural organization of the region really um has been just just to find out that not just that abuses have been taking place but they’re so intrinsic and endemic and devastating you know it’s been yeah it’s been really hurtful and you know this it’s an organization that personally and professionally i’ve tried really hard to support and you know you know so it’s yeah it’s been a it’s been a strange one and um you know it’s really frustrating that you know um even before a lot of this broke on social media um when people took to social media because they weren’t getting any answers um you know even before this you know when the closures happened with lockdown and there were the drives for funding and that sort of thing i just find it quite frustrating to see all these messages that look we welcome the gays we welcome all read we welcome all religions welcome all abilities and disabilities and all of this we welcome working-class people and and as somebody who’s sort of from a working-class background but sort of made good people i mean i’ve never felt that it’s a welcome space for working class or per people um and it’s an incredibly white clientele and you know so on and so forth you know so i i felt that there was hypocrisy there anyway that needed to be called up then just the absolute craft of stuff that’s come out um that’s so painful for people and again just the idea that it’s a cultural institution where we should be using ideas and moving forward and um you know it’s we we shouldn’t can be trying to do better but when there’s an organization that’s saying we do all these things and we’re brilliant there’s alarm bells so yeah yeah yeah and and i think that one of the one of the things that i’ve seen um within the the conversations is very much about this sort of so these things have come out in the open and and you know these people are you know putting themselves in in potentially vulnerable situations by sharing some really really um triggering information for themselves you know and other people but doing it because it’s all that they know what to do and and and doing it because they’ve been silenced and and that’s the thing that really scares me about these sorts of things happening and i know that that you know this happens everywhere or not everybody happens a lot and that you know people have these encounter these issues and they’re silenced they’re either paid to be quiet you know i mean i guess you know with my own tribunal situation like the thing about the tribunal process is that you know it’s public and you know you have a panel of experts who are there to listen to you and to listen to your voice um but but it’s also really like arduous long stressful process that you know you can do without legal representation and i entered into without legal representation and i did represent myself but that had a whole load of you know i mean i spent something like like 150 pound on like buying a printer and and sitting printing out all my tribunal documents like something like 700 pages and like sitting and putting them all together and you know putting the page numbers on them and making sure you know making little mistakes and you know i guess maybe uh you know i haven’t done anything like that since i was at university where you know when i was you know when i was uh studying um you know we still did everything on paper and you have to get everything perfect it’s just submit i’m i’m sure you you you know um in just that whole like yeah arduous awful process um but there’s so many people who have experiences where they literally just there isn’t any evidence and and i think that you know there’s something really problematic

societally when you know if somebody says like i have experienced this and just because there’s no evidence doesn’t mean that that it should be ignored um and this sort of idea that you know i i think as somebody highlighted a response in in the in that situation which was something along the lines of we’re sorry that you feel that you have been harassed or we’re sorry that you feel that you have been and that just not we are sorry that this has happened and not like you know

it’s it’s very much like we’re sorry that you feel that way but it’s not an acknowledgement of what these people are actually saying and in the use of use of words like claim didn’t claim this they you know they feel this it’s like you know does that mean that um you know that people put out uh sort of it during the the kind of the the surge of of coronavirus um from uh pretty patel the sorry that you feel you have died um you know and that that’s that that’s come to mind when seeing all of this like it’s yeah it’s it’s such a it’s such a really problematic way of apologizing and it essentially it’s not apologizing it’s a non-apology as they say you know um but it just it what that does is that puts the onus back on the person who is i don’t want to use i hate to use the word victim because you know there’s not everyone wants to be called a victim not everyone wants to be referred to as a victim but but the people who have experienced these negative things you know that lack of acknowledgement that silencing that that you know inability to make an apology what that does to people is it is it is it essentially says this is not our burden this is your burden you will hold this burden but i think you know what’s happening with this particular situation is that there’s so many people who’ve had so many negative experiences um within you know this these sort of past working environments that they’re actually all coming together and supporting each other in solidarity which is is is fantastic and and hope it empowers more people to to do the same i hope so too yes because i know in my own scenario of an abusive workplace it was very much a divide and conquer and it’s actually quite amazing to see people come together and say no we’re not going to let you divide us we are going to talk to each other we’re going to talk publicly about this and as you say it that in itself is empowering for other people to see especially if they’ve had have been through something you know um in a similar vein um yeah and i mean it’s yeah because it was all bad enough anyway and then just the the whole situation the whole the you know the pandemic happening the world going on fire everything having to shut down it’s another thing that’s used as an excuse to oh well no we can’t deal with that because there’s this whole other massive thing that we have to do um it just keeps your you just yeah growing up in a civil conflict that’s not in peace time that’s been the narrative always it’s like oh we have to deal with the legacy of this and we can’t you know deal with you know godly autonomy or or marriage rights or whatever um and it just feels a very similar kind of it’s a systemic the abusive narrative of no this is this other massive yeah and we can’t deal with that right now you know you’ll just have to yeah you know um so yeah but it’s just so wonderful it’s painful and it’s hard it’s really hard to read the stuff but i think it’s an important read with all of these different people and all of their different threads and daily they’re pushing it because they’re not letting it go and these are people who are trying to do phds they’re trying to get on the jobs they’re trying to raise their children yeah they’re trying to get on with their lives but it’s neither thing they have to do because what if there is a chance here of justice you know because it’s not not just an issue of acknowledgement it’s an issue of justice now it feels as well yeah absolutely um i’m just thinking maybe it’s important to mention that yeah that the anyone who hasn’t followed this and does go into like kind of um you know delves into it and actually you know there’s a lot of information on twitter and a lot of these people these incredible people have shared a lot of really really personal information and then yeah there is some quite um you know upsetting stuff to read um so you know anyone who does read it just be kind of aware of that because it is really really really upsetting um and and it’s yes it’s a strange feeling as you say like this it’s wonderful that these people are kind of coming together but at the same time you know that solidarity like you know it’s you you kind of wish that you didn’t have to have solidarity uh you know you you don’t want to be in that position in the first place but you know once you’re there that solidarity is so important you know um and yeah i mean i think the thing that that i worry and i recognize that different people have different resilience um but i also something that that i’ve you know researched um is the is is like the you know mental health statistics um both in the region but also within within cultural sectors and so the you know there’s a significantly higher percentage of people who um report mental health within the arts and within the cultural sector um and the northeast has the height is the highest you know the uh number of cases of mental health in the country like by region so the chances are that that you know there’s going to be people who you know who who are less resilient and who are going to really struggle and they’re going to find this really hard to to come through and you know this you know my own tribunal situation for example was something that um was a you know was triggering for my mental ill health but it was also about my mental ill health so i um i brought a a claim for disability discrimination um and failure to make reasonable adjustments um to my ex-employer because i was discriminated for my mental ill health and i was you know that wasn’t supported and so that the sort of that like spiral of um of kind of oh wow like i’m already really low like my you know my my mental health is already bad and now i’m having to you know put myself in a position where i know that it’s going to have a detrimental effect on my mental health when my mental health is already so low and so like across all of the different places of work and all the different people i’ve met over the years who’ve had you know negative experiences or had experiences where they probably could if they wanted to take their employer to try people don’t because the the process is so so difficult um and you know it’s not for everyone and you know just comes in different forms but i think that like one of the things that i’m only just so finding myself to start to feel differently about is not being angry all the time um and it’s very when you’ve when you’ve you know when you’ve been mistreated and when you’ve been who it’s you know that angus often there and it and it kind of affects everything for you knows any you know any and if you’ve been if you’ve experienced this um this type of uh like workplace abuse essentially every time you enter into a workplace your brain is being reminded oh work like oh so you know if you you know like you if you step on on you know sharp stones with bare feet it hurts and so the next time you you know the next time you see you’ve got bare feet and you just the pebbles are sharp you know oh that’s going to hurt like your body is naturally wired your brain is naturally wired to to like to learn from from both positive and negative experiences so if if your place of work is the thing that makes you you know sad or angry or exhausted or miserable or suicidal then every time you go to a place of work you’re going to be reminded of that and that’s always going to happen and and you know i really worry for the the people that i’m seeing at the moment who are who are going through these awful things because like there’s a long process ahead that they’re going to need to you know adapt how they feel about work again because that’s the site of trauma that’s a sight of you know of of um of negativity for them and and and you know i i really um i guess it’s something that i’m sort of i’ve been thinking about for a period of time and that’s something we’ve discussed as well i think is is this sort of um you know kind of how how do how do we support each other to be kind of stronger through these processes and and you know i mean maybe something that i’d like to do in the future when i’m ready is is you know set up some sort of network for people who have experienced these sorts of things to help them kind of you know rehabilitate back into into a positive working environment yeah yeah i i totally hear you and it’s something i’d certainly love to be involved with because um you know the more people i meet or reconnect with and we realize gosh we have this shared story of surviving an abusive workplace and edit and very often it’s usually somebody who is also a survivor of uh an abusive romantic relationship or an abusive partnership as well so yeah um uh it’s it’s unbelievable how many of us there are right there and yet it’s you know i’ve seen this on twitter as well recently there’s not a lot of it doesn’t seem like anybody’s the abuser or anybody’s the rapist but yet there’s all these people who’ve been hurt badly where where where is this coming from um yeah so actually you’ve hit on a really interesting point there sorry and if i interrupted you not at all um if you wanted to finish i can wait not at all you work away it’s because it’s something i hadn’t kind of prepared to talk about but it’s definitely been something that’s been going through my head and i think that you know as you say there’s lots of people talking about these experiences and yet not you know not people coming forward i mean you know i mean you know be really a breath of fresh air for someone to come vote and say wow like i was that person at work you know and and i think that you know when you actually break down like what the definition of bullying and harassment is in a workplace environment it’s not it’s defined by how the person experiences it not by necessarily exactly what someone does so someone can be doing something that they don’t necessarily even realize is a problem and that’s why you have you know companies have like basic policies and procedures at least they should anyway but many of them don’t to to have you know so that someone you know because someone does something once and then you you speak to your you know in theory that the ideal is that something horrible happens you speak to your manager your manager speaks to them and they go oh wow i didn’t even realize that i was making that person feel uncomfortable i didn’t even real and you know but what happens often is that you get people who are allowed to behave a certain way and nobody questions their behavior nobody questions how they treat people you know and they stay in companies they get promoted they become people’s managers and nobody’s gone hang on a minute like this you know all you know what as what appears to have happened in in some situations that we’ve discussed today is that you know people do try and highlight to their managers and of course nepotism has a huge um part to play in all of this and at the end of the day like if you know if you’re a manager and your you know friend is accused of doing something horrific like you would hope that you would do the right thing you would hope that you would you know but it appears that often that doesn’t happen um but i think the yeah the thing that i’ve really really thought about over the last few days is so so for example in in the in the stuff with the um hindsight cinema um the the i think they’ve actually set up a twitter account which is calling for the resignation of the chair of the board of trustees and the ceo and now the thing that’s occurred to me more than anything is like when all of this is over are they going to be okay as well you know and and the thing about um someone asked a question to a group chat that i was in the other day about like what what does it mean um to be an empowered woman and i think it’s this you know an empowered woman empowers other people um and doesn’t you know take all of the empowerment for themselves and not share it amongst everyone you know or whatever and i think that like i i like there are in my own cases and in my own experiences there are people who i am angry at individual people that i’m angry at and there is absolutely um a need for accountability when it comes to these situations but i do wonder like you know what you know are these people also going to need their own you know trauma um uh kind of process after this as well um and and then i recognize how problematic that is because you know you think well there are people whose actions have inflicted you know trauma on other people but then you know they’re also part of that same toxic entity and you know if i can say oh i’ve been in places of work where i haven’t been able to see the woods for the trees um i you know haven’t been able to see outside of it then you know it’s possible that that the people you know the the people who are um you know coined the perpetrators in these situations may also it’s not as black and white as that’s a good person and that’s a bad person and that person’s experienced something horrible and this person is evil you know i don’t believe in that kind of binary um you know i believe in rehabilitation and you know i i really dislike the way that you know we um prosecute people in the way that we punish people through through our you know and the prison system and things like that i mean that’s a whole other conversation to have another day but like you know there is you know there’s always room for people to change and there’s always room for people to to recognize the things that they’ve done wrong and i think one of them like the the most defining moments for me like as a as a um i guess as a as like a person who values intersectional feminism um is that you know i have i’ve not i’ve not been kind to people in the past yeah and i’ve i’ve you know i i can look back to like times in in my early 20s where you know i could have been that person at work i could have easily been that person um and or recognizing that like i was bullied at school really badly but that doesn’t change the fact that i know that there were times when i was at school that i didn’t make people feel very good either and you know the i have this this really vivid memory of um having a conversation with someone at school and i said to them that they said like oh i said something like you know you know why don’t you talk to me in this class or something like that and i said oh because you bully me in in design technology and she’s like do i and i’m like yeah um and she had no idea that she made me you know she did her actions were bullying towards me um and then what i realized like much later on in adulthood that actually i probably you know was that person at times too where i didn’t think about my actions and i mean i think the difference is that that you know that when someone highlights to you what you are doing is wrong and you have the opportunity to change and you don’t then there’s a problem there and that that’s something that you know is is damaging definitely yeah because it’s you need that moment of reflection of humility to go oh that’s not okay what i’ve been doing um yeah whereas i think the knee jerk reaction is to go it was just messing about you know or it was just joking or you know or you’re taking it too thick or you know things like that and i completely i’m completely with you you know certainly maybe it’s a use thing maybe it’s an arrogance of use type thing but yeah i don’t remember being very high in my day when i was younger at times and then learning more humility as it got older and especially you think about well look that action really hurt me and it’s just developing empathy isn’t it it’s that’s why yes you can care about the people who directly or indirectly have done harm to you or have allowed harm to happen to you and not stood up for you you can still be worried about how it affects our lives eventually because you know because you have a capacity for for empathy and that that is it it’s just how much of a capacity for empathy do any of us ever develop and then you can look at yourself and go okay the way i spoke to that person was uncalled for do you know i need to get better and future yeah you know it’s it’s things it’s checking yourself it’s because we all have hardwired prejudices we all make mistakes but it’s are you gonna own that mistake and absolutely become a better person from it you know that’s the difference whereas i think a lot of abusive behavior is perpetrated by people who believe themselves to be victims they believe themselves why is everybody ganging up for me all of a sudden i have no doubt that there are certain people who are asking those questions right now at the middle of all of the time side stuff you you mentioned empathy uh just now and that made me think about kind of um how workplaces you know rely on these hr manuals or hr policies or hr consultants who come in and say this is how you do things um i know and i recognize that you know these policies and procedures are meant to protect a company primarily you know but like you’re dealing with human beings at the end of the day and you can’t you can’t like i don’t believe that a person can pick and choose when to use embassy like empathy should exist whether you’re in your personal life or whether you’re at work um and you know putting like a basic hr process in front of you know how somebody thinks feels is terrifying and i know that companies do it um and and i know that you know big corporate companies do it especially and they and like they make it work um but when you’re dealing with arts organizations i don’t think that that’s it’s just not the same environment and you know i like there’s all these sort of dialogues around oh it’s so you know there’s no money in the arts but actually like these you know these arts organizations like a lot you know for example the times cinema is a national portfolio organization receiving like you know money every year from the arts council from the bfi from all of these different funding bodies um and like you know the the i respect that the arts are massively underfunded in many areas but i think that often that you know the people who are struggling in the arts or people who are down at my level like trying left right and certainly trying to get funding to be able to do things like a big a big company that employs 100 members of staff should should not be in a position like that if they are being given money to run they should be running properly and they should be you know if things are dysfunctional if things aren’t working there should be you know you know they should be going well why why isn’t this working and what can we do to change it um and i think that that you know one of the biggest issues in all of this is is kind of how you essentially you get these dysfunctional workplaces that are micromanaged from the top down and they’re not people focused and so they they impact everyone you know who works there’s and unfortunately the people who have experienced trauma or have mental ill health or you know have additional support needs for example you know they come out of these environments like needing respite they need recovery and you know often they end up backing work too soon because i don’t have a choice you know you know not everyone is in a position to to to you know like you know be as lucky as where i’m at the moment where you know i’ve got a partner who can help me um kind of transition into what i’m doing like you know if you’ve got bills playing you’ve got bills to pay and you have to figure out how that’s going to happen and so you know and i’ve definitely found myself like coming out of a traumatic work experience and then going into another job and just feeling um completely like lost and and miserable and i mean my biggest workplace trauma is led me to have extreme feelings of disassociation you know finding myself like getting up going to work coming home from work having my tea going about getting up going to work and just being in this like this routine of just feeling completely trapped and miserable and when i mentioned earlier like feeling like i’m in an abusive relationship and that’s just sort of that’s that’s bonkers to me that so many people find themselves in these situations um and i think this leads to something that we’ve discussed previously um which is imposter syndrome um you know this idea where you’re in a professional environment and you’re employed it will position within that professional environment and yet you feel like literally like an imposter like maybe you’re not it’s it is experienced as the people around you or you know like everyone else seems to know what they’re doing and you don’t like you know and that that sort of has to say that that’s led to me definitely feeling like you know things like disassociation like just feeling really and really struggling to do you know participate in like you know work social events and you know feeling really and almost like even like having a almost like use like self-deprecation to you know to get through it and and like actually put myself down or not believe in myself or convince everyone else that i’m you know not good enough or you know not capable of doing what i’m doing and um i mean i guess the thing is that that actually the the you know i can there’s one particular incident in in a you know in a past job where you know that there was something that made me so angry that like i went home and i painted and i painted and i painted and i painted it and i spent the whole weekend painting and and like actually that that feeling of anger towards that situation almost um fueled the resurgence of the painting that i’ve been doing and so it’s a it’s a very i mean a kind of complicated emotional space about it because um like i actually um you know started waving my hand in the camera there and i’ll start that sentence again so you read it there but yeah like actually um you know

feeling like these experiences of anger and and persecution and you know and like it’s like going back to what we’re saying before like you can’t really be angry at a company you know there are at the end of the day there are people who make these things happen and you know um like you know they there are people who have power and they have the power of silence people they have the power to use nepotism they have the power to use elitism and and you know like this affects your like your identity and it affects your you know who you are as a person and then in some weird complicated messed up way if i hadn’t gone through some of these things i might like potentially found myself now like in a in a job that i don’t really like that much but it’s fine and you know it pays the bills and you know i live for the weekend or whatever um but actually having these traumatic experiences made me have this such an extreme like visceral like defined response that no i’m going to do something that makes me feel better and i’m going to do something that works for me and i’m going to completely adjust how work like what work means for me how i approach work and what i do to to to pay my bills essentially and and i feel like it’s such a it’s such a complicated emotional situation of being because i i sort of almost in a way like needed that push um to to you know needed that kind of anger to go no this is not this can’t keep happening you know yeah i completely understand yeah because i’ve there are times when even nights um about three and a half years since i left academia and even now there are times when i first i suppose that the lockdown it was this period of enforced contemplation um because it’s made me feel like i’m still really angry i’m still really really angry at all of those years and years and years of really hard graft just taken away from me you know yeah because it was a push and it was um it was one of those where i jumped before i was pushed yeah you know where i i was the one who resigned but they were going to fire me anyway and i just wanted to get through it with some dignity yeah and um you know but i still now you know i still see who i could have been and him and what i probably still could be capable of being in that career path but it’s it’s maybe a bit like the arts it feels like a very parallel conversation because academia is a very similar industry in a way where there’s just so much systemic abuse there’s so much nepotism there’s so much elitism there’s you know very likely arts there’s very little space for people from working class regional backgrounds to make a space for themselves um and to be taken seriously and all sorts of things you know and so much of it’s very meal driven even though you know i think you know it’s it’s the working structures are in place that keep women out of it more so than men and that sort of thing um you know so we really really i’m on board with you you know i really get what you’re saying you know totally in those areas

um but yeah it’s it’s really fascinating as well just that idea of the the artwork yeah having a difficult relationship with it because yeah i think with certainly with academic study and studying culture studying filmmaking art that was always for me my my escape my release and horrible things going on in my life and then work where i did those things primarily became the horrible thing in my life and so it’s a really strange association but i still love all these things i’m still a total nerd for cinema and for art and i love learning new stuff and you know making this podcast means that i get to speak to people like you and explore things and learn stuff um and find all this common ground and yeah it’s um but it’s it’s trying to reconcile with so you’re doing this thing because i i have found certainly during the lockdown period doing anything creative it feels necessary and yet frivolous and i think that’s just such a societal thing that yeah it just feels quite silly to and i i’ve heard of so many other people who who’ve started painting or have picked something up again who have been learning musical instruments or learning languages and all sorts of stuff you know i’ve been doing a lot of crafts a lot of sewing and and things like that these are fine things i find really restorative and they’re so important for your health and there’s you know like you were saying when we began you know you’re always a maker creator an artist as a child and where in our lives do we stop being those things where do we decide or we’re too old for that now or yeah you know yeah i mean i think that that you know everybody has the capacity to be creative you know some people just don’t you know some people don’t find it therapeutic or some people don’t find it enjoyable or some people you know or some people kind of you know i recognize that there’s many different ways of approaching how you do your job and i think that’s really something actually just very in eject that like there’s a big difference between how you do your job and how you engage with the people that you work with and i mean maybe part of the you know me doing things the way that i’m doing them now comes from the fact that like you know i i’ve definitely had had people working with people in the past where i’ve been able to say oh wow they’re so good at their job but like i can’t interact with them i can’t have a meeting with them i can’t you know if they have to give me work to do or if i have to interact with them or i have to work with them i know that it’s going to be a nightmare and actually you can’t just say oh well you know they’re good at their job so you know and i wonder whether maybe in a way this is just an extension of my gas lighting where i’ve just like i’m like you know i struggle so much with like the way that people have interacted with me in working environments that i just it’s easier to just you know write my own rules and do my own thing and do it my way um but like inevitably i’m going to be working with other people and i’m going to be doing collaborations and i’m going to be doing you know commissioned work that requires me to work with other people so i have to like kind of figure out a way of dealing with that um you know kind of but i think people

i think that that you know how people perceive the way that they should interact in at work i think that a lot of that comes down to a sort of um you know a recollection of how people interact at school or at university um or in other learning because the thing is that like you know those learning environments exist to prepare for work and for so many people work is this sort of environment that you can’t just go in and sit down and do your job you have to talk to people you have to interact with people you have to work with other people and i think that some people just don’t ever learn how to do that properly and you get people who work their way up to like management positions people who end up running companies who like don’t even know how to interact with people properly or treat people or you know communicate and and that’s just you know i think i think there’s like there needs to be a massive massive overhaul of of like understanding about what these things mean and kind of you know understanding what it means to be creative understanding what it means to be you know and and also like respecting um the fact that creativity is you know is it is is something that you know allows people to do the jobs that they do and you can’t like there’s something about like if you if you undermine people or people feel disempowered then how are they supposed to be creative how do you you know express and you know express yourself and and and do the things that you need to do and it you know i hope that the you know the the lockdown period is is something that’s kind of allowed for a wider reflection

um and that you know people are going to go back into busy working environments again whenever that may be whenever that’s i mean i recognize that some people are already in those um like you know if you work in a hospital or if you work in a school then then you’re already in that right now um or you’ve never left it you know during lockdown um but sort of yeah the the the hopefully i’m the pessimist in me is going yeah whatever you know but i hope to i hope that some sort of positive change with regards to you know how we appreciate creativity how we appreciate people um comes out of of of the lockdown experience um and i mean i i myself have had my own kind of right like i i’m just trying to think of a way to put this because essentially i’ve done really well during lockdown like i had a few weeks of not doing very well and i still have had a few wobbles of not doing very well but generally like it’s allowed me to really focus um and you know really kind of um turn my attention to certain things and and and get to a certain place with with the work that i’m doing and and i’m again i’m conflicted about that because i’m like this is great i’m i’m i feel like i’m in a really great place i’m really happy i’ve experienced all this horrible stuff in working environments and i’ve come through it and i’m here but then i still have this sort of feeling of like you know i must check my privilege and check myself and remind myself that there are people who have been through awful things over the last few months and we’ll continue to go through really really hard times um and you know when we haven’t seen the end of this yet and i just need to keep reminding myself that i’ve you know i’ve been lucky enough to be able to get myself to a place that works for me um after everything i’ve experienced but also really appreciate the incredible efforts of the people who haven’t you know haven’t had a chance to you know

make it do paint a picture or make a piece of art because they’re you know they’re flat out working um and it’s yeah it’s sort of finding that that space between the being happy and you know being content i mean you can never be fully content but you know you can have moments of it or small experiences of it um and you know uh i guess i just have to appreciate this for me to be able to be here doing what i’m doing and creating the work that i’m creating there’s also people in the society that are in really dire straits at the moment i just want to you know i i i i need to constantly remind myself that i don’t want to ever get arrogant or get you know kind of uh yeah like high on my own on my own uh uh sort of um i don’t want to use the word success because i’m definitely i wouldn’t say i’m you know in a position of success right now but i’m you know i’m doing okay is what i’m trying to say yeah it’s a very subjective term because i think that like you were saying earlier about how to recalibrate what you think of as work it’s good to recalibrate what you think of as success as well that’s true yeah that is true yeah um i mean i think just to to try and tie up some of that a bit um because i think with what we’ve been talking about i mean you’ve been involved in quite a lot of community projects or you know moving into more of those areas as well and it’s a really tricky area when you’ve been someone who’s faced bullying and survived really toxic work environments it’s about you’re building up trust and it’s not something yeah you feel like doing community work but maybe through the arts and through practice do you think that’s something that links up oh absolutely yeah and i think the things that i’ve learned um you know that a lot of these negative experiences that we have you know that can lead to bitterness it can lead to anger and and it can take a long time to you know stop feeling that way um and i guess i’ll link back to i mentioned earlier that i sort of you know when when talking about these things through kind of social media channels i’ve been using this hashtag creative recovery and essentially that’s about taking the negative stuff and turning it into something positive and impactful and and you know motivational and in my case predominantly visual and and artistic um so here in my studio i am working on um an exhibition with funding that i acquired during the lockdown from the arts information company i’m a member of that company and they had a um a fund that was opened up when when lockdown began and i was successful in getting one it’s just a small amount of money but it was enough to be able to kind of get the materials together and pay for my studio and things like that so i’m doing that kind of for for so many hours a week um but i also have set up a um a community interest company during lockdown um which essentially uses kind of creative projects and arts um to to to benefit um the people of biker old town which is where i live it’s a company’s called i love scarborough road and it’s basically um you know what’s about giving back to society and re-engaging with with kind of communities and and and like i think the one of the you know the biggest impact of these negative experiences i’ve had is like feeling like a drone and feeling like you know just in this sort of kind of this empty vessel just kind of going about my job and and actually you know now that i’ve come out of the other end of this and and i’ve you know been through employment tribunal and i’ve been through all these things actually i wanna i wanna you know i don’t just wanna sit in this space of like kind of creating um personal art just on its own because actually what what the process of painting does when i come here every day it kind of really allows me to have this like kind of meditative state it’s really nice therapeutic process where i’m i’m really focusing on what i’m doing and that act of of kind of really focusing and you know kind of completely clearing my mind gives way for me to have ideas and and and you know develop things you know so so a lot of the ideas that i’ve kind of come up with for some of the project work that i’m going to be doing that’s community interests led is has come out of me sitting and painting um and you know as i say i wouldn’t be sitting and painting it i don’t think if if i wasn’t kind of a person who’s come out of the other end of these you know these negative experiences i might just kind of be comfortable in you know in a in an all right job um and that’s not a bad thing it’s it’s just different to what i’m doing um and so in a way like i’ve been as as i said at the beginning of this it it wasn’t something that i just wanted to do it was something that i needed to do and needed it and and and i needed it because of what i’d experienced and and i don’t know i couldn’t say you know would i prefer to have not been through all of this trauma and and you know just be fine going to a you know full-time job say i don’t know doing the admin or or you know i i don’t know i i couldn’t it’s impossible to say really you know you know like you know i asked ask myself questions big questions like you know my mom died when i was 15 and i sometimes think like oh wow like what i wonder what my life would have been like if she hadn’t died um but then i kind of like it doesn’t matter because this is what i’m doing and this is where i’m at and and this is it’s not about what preferential because it just you you all you have is what you what you’re doing here in this moment and the only things that you can change are in the future and you know um you have the ability to make decisions to change things and and like the more negativity that you hold on to and the more you know the more i hate the term but the more baggage that you have the more you know weight that you carry around like the harder it is to to progress um and you know i’m sort of like yeah i i i want to empower other people who’ve been through similar experiences to myself to be able to kind of find their own path i’m not saying that every person i know who and i i know a lot which is alarming really the amount of people i know who are either going through employment tribunal right now or applying for an employment tribunal or or trying to figure out whether they have a case for employment trying from all different walks of life and all different you know different jobs that i’ve done is alarming and i’m not saying that every single one of them should you know get a studio and be an artist because you know that’s not going to work for all of them but i guess for them you know what i’m what i hope for those people or what i empower those people to do is find what works for them find what their route is um and you know you know for some people um you know for some people it’s just doing something very very different um i met a woman you know um waitressing in a a restaurant we don’t we don’t say waitressing we say service staff these you know seems like a bit of an outdated term waitressing but um a woman who had um her husband had died and she just left the town that she had lived in for her whole life and you know met a partner in and married and you know and just left and came to newcastle and got a job in a in a restaurant um and that she’d never she’s never worked in a restaurant in her life before and you know she’s in her in a probably in her mid-40s but she just was like she had to do something different and and so i guess yeah it’s it’s it’s about making about making changes and and being creative with how you do that that doesn’t necessarily mean you know make art or do something creative but more like be creative about how you change what it is that you’re going to do yeah gosh um yeah so um we’ve we’ve got through quite a lot there rachel i think it’s very no don’t apologize or anything um i just wanted to ask if there’s anything else you’ve mentioned quite a few things but if there’s anything else you want to signal boost while we’re here any other organizations or people you want to mention just as we come to our close yeah i mean i like in a way i would have i would have loved to talk more about like some of the projects work that i’ve got lined up um but i feel like the the the issue that we’ve talked about is such it’s so important and it’s so relevant right now i’m glad that we’ve talked about that but with regards to the work that i’ve i’ve kind of got um happening or or coming very soon i just want to shout out some like um thanks to the arts information company um arts and heritage uh the new bridge project well newcastle gate gateshead and bluestone consortium um or these are all organizations that have kind of helped me kind of progress um with work or all that are you know are offering me opportunities to to to do work um and b d studios which is where my studio space is um and that is within commercial union house which is run by orbis um who have uh have only been we’ve only been open when did we come back in 6th of july and we came in and they’re doing an incredible job at keeping this space safe for me to be able to come in and work every day and i’m so grateful to jp and peter and all the the people um involved in making this place safe and excellent yeah that’s lovely um well look come back on again you’re always welcome um that’s when you’ve worked through your project stuff and a lot of your individual work as well if you get your exhibition going um that’s that’s to catch up again and see what’s going on yeah that’d be brilliant brilliant that’s great i mean i guess one thing so because the the um the uh funding i got from the arts information company for my exhibition we’re not sure if you know if an exhibition is something that’s going to be physically possible in the next six months so what i may do is is look into funding possibilities to create a virtual exhibition yeah yeah of course yeah and so i’ll let you know if i manage to make that happen yeah i i think there’s every all the technologies there there’s there’s nothing to stop these things from happening night and it shows that that just like working from home it’s been possible for a very long time yeah yeah absolutely i think with the right um yeah with the right motivation and and the right support and the right funding often as well um you can achieve a lot if you you know if you’re able to get those um you know to get that support and to get that but i think that the only way to get kind of funding and support when it comes to work is to believe in what it is that you’re doing yeah and unless yeah if you don’t believe if you don’t believe in what you’re doing then how can anyone else believe in it and that’s i think yeah finally like accepting what what i’m doing and accepting who i am and who it is that i want to be and what it is that i want to achieve means that i think if i believe that everybody i’m you know talk to about it believes it too and that’s i think that’s that’s the the key i i believe who knows yeah i always think of um and singing straight through the line in one of the songs that’s um you got to take the wheel and own it and drive it like you stole it so nice that’s all we got today i like that that’s a nice that’s a nice one to end on thank you so much paula yes thank you rachel it’s been really wonderful to catch up and all the best with everything that you’re doing it’s really great work thank you thank you same to you um and i can’t wait to hear it lovely this has been audiovisual cultures with me paula blair and my very special guest rachel brick the music is common ground by airton used under a 3.0 creative commons non-commercial license episodes release every other wednesday wherever you get your podcasts please do rate share and subscribe to help others find the show i’m always happy to hear from potential guests so you can email audiovisualcultures or find us on social media thank you so much for being with us be excellent to yourselves and each other