Two weeks later

Oho… it’s been a while … Well, just two weeks, so I thought I’d update a little bit. I can’t remember if I mentioned it in my previous post, but a few weeks ago I was with my friend in the town centre. There’s a giant new library and culture centre of some sort which opened perhaps two months ago. I thought that since I’m looking for an arts job I could volunteer to get some experience. I asked them and they took my name down. They later emailed me with a list of events and a schedule, and I am now working there every Friday from 10-1pm. I also managed to sign up for a day’s paid work, packaging some books for a local artist. The pay was ÂŁ7.90 an hour which is more than my usual job, so I hope they have more opportunities again soon.

book pile

There were 1000 books and we had to put plastic covers on them and slip index and interview booklets into the inside covers. We didn’t manage to do all of them.

Yesterday while I was at the gallery, they asked me to research contacts for the local Portuguese community, as well as researching two bands, which will be playing at a future exhibition. The bands were hard to find as they seem to be independent. There were no fan-run websites for them or anything. I did manage to find an interview for one of the bands, but it is in Portuguese with only French subtitles. So one of my tasks next week may be to translate the subtitles (I know French to a reasonable level, but not fluent) to try to glean more information for the gallery. It’ll probably be a difficult task, but hopefully they will be happy with me if I succeed!

In other news, I finished the illustration I was working on for my friend’s fantasy writing. It took a while because I felt pretty clueless on how to create the work. My friend sent me a file which had several different short stories in it. I picked one and tried my best to illustrate it.

… Actually, I just went on my tumblr to get a copy of the finished image and then saw that a couple of people have offered me constructive criticism on the work in progress shots. The suggestions are useful and now I wish I had seen them sooner. I already announced to my friend that the image is finished… Below is the illustration in its current form.

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In screenshot form as if to say… “I can still change!”

I feel undecided as to whether to continue to work on it or to just leave it as it is. On one hand I agreed to do this illustration for a small amount of money so I am not sure I want to pour more hours into perfection, and on the other I am afraid that I will be labelled a sloppy or bad illustrator because I won’t push everything to perfection.I am still learning, so maybe I will experiment more with this picture to see how it can be improved. I feel embarrassed to post a ‘final’ image of it… Now I wonder, have I written too much about my drawing worries? No, I think it’s probably good that I’ve written about them. I like to write about my challenges and confusions. Any advice is appreciated, although preferably written politely.

Well, this is a long post so far… and lastly, I am still working on the zine (if you’d like to join in just comment and I’ll give you more information) I mentioned, as well as the collaborative book project AND the game design project. While playing a few hours too many of video games… Over the next few days I will try to push to get my to do list completed!

zine cover image

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Exhibition progress photos

Here are some photos taken from my little phone showing some of the bits and pieces from the exhibition. I haven’t finished putting it together yet as I’m waiting for some paint to dry on a table before I can progress. Tomorrow (Friday) we are supposed to finish it all and I should be fine even if I have to give the table a second coat of paint. Let’s hope it won’t need a third coat!

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I just need to take the table down into the gallery, set stuff on the table, maybe get a chair, draw a bit more, and then clean pencil marks off the walls. Then I can mostly relax… Except I have two commissions and two separate projects I need to work on… Lots to do…

Anyway, hope you like the photos… 🙂

Paris visit

Dear all,

I returned from Paris last night, so I thought I’d write a little bit about what I got up to and about the museums. My friend and I went to Paris from Tuesday to Friday and we packed a lot into the trip. He’d not been to Paris before, so we tried to go to all of the sights. Briefly: we went to Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, MusĂ©e d’Orsay, Champs-ElysĂ©es/Arc du Triomphe, MusĂ©e du Louvre, Tour Eiffel, a Melody Gardot concert and the Pompidou (although we didn’t go inside). We had to get up at 7am each day to make sure we could go to all these places, so I’m quite tired now that I’m back.

angel of death painting

by Carlos Schwabe (1866-1926)

I’ll talk quickly about  the MusĂ©e d’Orsay. We found out when we got there that it was free entry for EU passport holders between ages 18-25. So that’s a really good reason to go if you ever get the chance. If you don’t fit those conditions there are other concessions prices as well. And if not, it’s 9 euros so still not too expensive. Currently there’s an exhibition on called L’ange du bizarre which features loads of artworks from the ‘dark romanticism’ movement (I didn’t really know anything about it and had only heard of romanticism anyway), including work from symbolists and surrealists, too. It was a massive collection of works, by artists such as Hans Bellmer (one of my favourites), Dali, Goya, Ernst, Fuseli, etc. along with screenings/excerpts of films such as Frankenstein, a Hitchcock film (can’t remember which one!), part of Buñuel/Dali’s eyeball slicing film (Un Chien Andalou) and various other dark/occult inspired films.

hans bellmer

by Hans Bellmer

I was mostly just really happy to see another exhibition which felt relevant to my own work. It was also very informative and there were a lot of interesting descriptions and introductions to be read. I was also surprised to see Hans Bellmer’s work in an exhibition, because I’ve not seen his work except for scouring through bad jpegs online.

When we went to the Louvre, we did not get in for free but it was worth it all the same. When I got in, I went looking for the Asian arts room but wandered through European sculpture for a short while, then ended up in the Islamic arts section, which I stayed in for the remainder of my time (with a brief trip to the shop to see if they had any sketchbooks for sale – yes, I did not bring my sketchbook. A mistake). I learned about calligraphy and bookbinding while watching the interactive computer screen things dotted around. I looked at lots of pots, bits of armour, gravestones, etc.

from http://www.al-islam.org because we couldn’t take any photos in the Louvre

It was really interesting and when it was time to go I wandered in the direction of the Mona Lisa but then decided to leave it and wait until my next visit, because it was quite busy and I didn’t feel very impassioned about seeing it. I will probably return to Paris in a couple of years’ time, so I will hopefully be able to spend a full day in the Louvre. But before going to France again I’d like to visit Japan again! Or Korea… of course all of these things cost a lot of money, and my trip this week was really expensive (although we managed to budget well, Paris is an expensive place). So I will try to save some more money over the next few years. 

I also want to mention briefly that when we were walking to the Eiffel Tower, I found the Japanese culture centre. It had a really nice book shop, a mini gallery, a lady playing classical music on a grand piano, a library and a tea house (which was by appointment over). We spent max. 20 minutes there and I didn’t buy anything because I didn’t have enough money to spend on books, but it was lovely and I hope I can go there again when I eventually visit again. Luckily we have the Japan Centre in the UK anyway.

I think I’ll stop writing now but I’ll leave you all with the start of a big drawing I am doing, probably to put in the postgraduate exhibition (in a month’s time) as I have been given a little extra space to fill up.

WIP in biro

WIP in biro