comadiary

Finding Creative Connections

Posted by in Art Issues

creativeconn

I’m fortunate to live in an area where there is an abundance of creativity. Hastings and St Leonards are regularly being described as Shoreditch on Sea. I am surrounded by artists, musicians, writers and my boyfriend creates Paper and Ink. There is a large  wealth of talent, if you talk to anyone who aligns themselves with the title of ‘artist’ they’ll tell you how important these creative connections are. Sitting talking shop with others in the field of ‘creativity’ is inspiring and warming. It also enables growth, having that person you can share an idea with is integral to learning, especially if you’re learning something new. It’s a tried and tested practice too, apprenticeships have happened since the days of Gustav Klimt.

One of my most inspiring friends Miss Snotflower was picked up by an accidental friending on facebook (honestly, it’s the devil). Four years later though and I’m grateful I accidentally opened that line of communication. Finding other people in your field doesn’t always have to be so hard, and sometimes you just need to go to the right place. The internet has allowed us to not just connect with those in other countries but also those living in our towns.

Old links I had from college led to joining of an art group and turning up at private views armed with alcohol, business cards and a touch of bravery enabled me to meet others that understood the ‘art lifestyle’.

In 2011 when my first local exhibition opened, I met some lovely people, and had important conversations that I still remember now. I even had an offer of a studio space (that sadly I could not afford). I somehow stumbled around meeting a variety of people that were all amazing and inspiring until I was invited into the tribe I now work in. The cohort that is The Lights now saté my hunger for those inspiring activities and art-filled conversations.

I would have thought that maybe finding creative connections online would be easier, as I’d already traversed the mine field that is life friend making. Some would class me as a introvert because around new people I’m quiet and cannot abide small talk, and with the internet a wealth of introverts, maybe it was always going to be seen as easier; and maybe that was a mistake on my part.

I’ve found that the internet, and the blogging world, full of clever designers and beautiful photographers, can be closed and cliquey. These things though, such as friendships and meaningful connections, they take time. There is a ridiculous number of blogs out there, varying in topics, themes and quality.

It’s becoming harder and harder to stand out, and it’s difficult to find what you’re really after.

What I am grateful for is the ability to connect with other creatively minded people. From those that discuss starting up a business to those taking the most stunning photographs to those providing design tips; there is something to be learned. The vein of inspiration from the world that runs through anyone who aligns themselves with the ‘creative’ lifestyle is electric. There’s a passion to move forward, to be the best that we can be and a challenge to ourselves, and that throughout it all, we can do it.

2

A Little Passion Gets Us A Long Way

Posted by in Art Issues, Review

hanni el khatib brighton the hauntMy best friend visited, we drank far too much and saw a band I’d never heard of; who I actually really liked. Hanni El Khatib hails from California and came to overcast Brighton to play to (essentially), a room full of strangers.

Isn’t it awesome how music can do that? Music, and film and the arts encourage people to come together and share their joy in something; and that joy is all different types of personal. I’d love to experience life in someone else’s head, just for a day. Needless to say I didn’t make any new friends at the gig, because I’m not good at that and talking to strangers fills me with such a sense of dread I’d prefer to avoid the anxiety.

At times people can create guises and mystery around their creative outlook, which is a double edged sword really, in one way it preserves the magic around the final outcome but it can also alienate. I’m a big believer that anyone can develop skills around their chosen passion (and I will champion anyone that shares their skills).

I believe that if you really really want something, you can move heaven and earth to get there, and learn a lot along the way.

I hope I never come across as extremely pretentious. I can’t abide it when people do. Those that shroud their creative outlets with “But you couldn’t do this” make me feel sick. I probably couldn’t do what you do as you do it, and I shouldn’t. In reality anyone can use the skills that I do, there are tutorials and youtube videos explaining the ins and outs of art, installation, screen printing, blogging. Although there may not be anything particularly special or unique about some of my projects, they mean the world to me and if even one person can relate I’m over the moon.

Although there will always be a difference between those that can and those that can with excellent results. We can all learn to paint, but not all of us will be creating the next Monet or Van Gogh. We can learn illustrator but I for one will never be creating logos for big businesses.

I want art and the creative industries to be accessible to all, I want to see people follow their passions and have success. There doesn’t need to be such ego when in reality we’re all just trying to create works that relate, that people get joy from. I’m not saying don’t be proud of what you achieve, in fact, quite the opposite, achievements should always be exciting and celebrated, but with so many methods and ways of working being recycled; and the internet providing the means to learn anything, can we not just rejoice in the learning and the process? If someone like what we’re creating then surely that is a bonus?

I don’t know quite what I’m trying to say, I love art, and I always want others to find a passion. I love process and the excitement of trying something new and it not turning out as bad as we expected it to. It’s the little things, it’s always the little things.

Here’s to good friends and better drinking partners. Here’s to good music and good memories and that one last drink that you know you shouldn’t have but do anyway.

bar

8

Be Yourself (NO)

Posted by in Personal

thoughts

I haven’t shared what I’ve done art-wise for months, and part of me was going to, but then a voice inside me said no, for no other reason than I am proud of myself and what I’m doing and am loathed to open any of it up to criticism. Yet I actually thrive on criticism at times. I quite enjoy proving people wrong, especially when it comes to myself. Criticism is a tricky thing and more often than not comes better from certain sources. I’m not the biggest fan of being made to feel vulnerable and when I put my artwork out there, that’s exactly how I feel, and I’ve recently felt far too vulnerable, so I’ll protect myself, for the time being.

Instead I’ve been (foolishly) re-reading old blogs, staring at old artworks and recycling words I’ve said. I always beat myself up for my mistakes more than anyone else ever does. The memories of the times I got it wrong keep me up all night and the concern of making it up to people keeps me up all day. Sorry just never ever seems enough and the word is perfunctory if the same mistakes have been made. I only ever want to prove that I’m not a complete idiot.

sirens & sunsets 

I am very much a cyclical person. The music I listen to, the books I read and the things that inspire me all have a similar theme. Except my livejournal was a variety of greens and now I prefer white on white. Everything I used to write has been entrenched in the world of metaphor and everything I wanted to paint started and ended with patterns (photographs included as reference/proof – cut as appropriate).

erin-paints-a-wall

and I always start with the best intentions

Also, worth noting, is essentially I’m rather lucky, and my malaise is unwarranted really, I’m watching a kitten relaxing in the sunlight streaming through the windows and everything is ok, and as directionless as I feel, it’s all exciting really.

It’s times like these, that if you wanted a metaphor, I am a wild animal, biting, hissing and fighting my way through. Proving to myself and everyone else that I’ve got the strength to stand alone. A killer comes to town and laughs at those with the wounds on the outside matching those inside. I’ll see you at the bottom of the barrel; she said.

I am the Hierophant of my own successes, I made a cup of tea tomorrow that I drank yesterday and if you don’t understand that then you don’t understand anything.

broadcast me, the search lights have stopped. i can finally see the sky

Throughout it all my heart has ruled (and ruined) me and that’s nothing to be ashamed of, not really. I feel like a millionaire even if you don’t think I’m worth a penny, because over and over again I’ve proved that I’m stubborn, that I will work until my fingers bleed for what I want. I have this passion inside of me that is able to ruin me, but it is also able to push me to new places.

Each day I evolve, each year I make mistakes but they aren’t the same mistakes I’ve made before, along the way I am learning. Reality and surreality, acid colours show that maybe, I’ve always been here.

barRelated Tripe: Can You Fly Like You’re Free?, But Home Is Nowhere, You Don’t Know About Me

3