askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
Completed and submitted my thesis, and passed my PhD viva. Pretty fucking massive. Managed to squeak this into 2016 with my degree confirmation from Senate dated on 14th December. Next month - graduation!

I was also on Match of the Day this year. That was new. And not something I'd have laid money on! I'm very visible in the video for Manic Street Preachers' Euro 2016 song for the Welsh football team, which was shown a few times on BBC1 before Wales' matches (I'm very prominently screaming at about 1:38 on that video).

Read more... )
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
 As i think I mentioned previously, Sussex accepted me to study for a PhD in Gender Studies beginning this September.  This was exciting news but not to the point where I could actually *become* excited because whilst I have saved carefully these last 2 years, I have nowhere near enough money to pay for PhD study because I'm not paid a bajillion pounds a month.

I applied for a studentship award and submitted a terrible proposal - forcing myself to finish it and actually send it in on the same week I heard that Lu had died - against all my inclination and energy really, getting it in.  About 3 weeks later I was invited to an interview - as I believe I mentioned here - and a couple of days later they emailed me, informally, to tell me that incredibly, happily and - to my mind - against all the odds, I won a studentship; fees and a modest living allowance.  Coupled with my savings I should just about to get through 3 years in Brighton, as long as I can get a part time job as well.

Today I received an emailed copy of the official offer and the promise that a hard copy is in the post.  I'm going. I'm going to do the thing I've been saying I want to do for about 7 years.

I'm doing it.

Lot's to sort out before now and September - finding a place to live with Vincent (the cat) being top of the list but the wheels are in motion.
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
...was a bust. Well, it was for me and Becky, who completely failed to sell anything at all. Conversely, every one of the other 8 artists *did* sell something. I can't announce the exact amount we made over the two days and one evening as that is dependent on those artists who sold fulfilling their agreement with ArtFor and actually giving back half of their sales to ArtFor and cheques clearing from buyers, so we can pass a lump sum onto Brighton Pride but, all being well, it should be substantially over the £500 mark. In total this donation should, when it's made, mean that ArtFor has raised *over* £1000 in less than 6 months in just two exhibitions.

This is obviously a phenomenal achievement for something Becky invented back in February.

This exhibition was much bigger than the last one and I took a few photos for our own promotional needs.  We had two photographers from two notable Brighton publications come along, one stayed for almost 4 hours at the private view we had on Friday evening and ended up asking if he could join the list of artists waiting to exhibit with ArtFor (turns out as well as doing journalistic photography he does his own art photography) The second photographer was from Real Brighton and turns out to also be the editor of that publication, he was phenomenally enthusiastic about our venture and tells us they will create a profile for us on that website which we can update as and when we like with information about what ArtFor is doing.  This is exactly the sort of media partnership we need if we want to make huge successes of future exhibitions.

A couple of photos (click for bigger) the first is of half the exhibition space - you can see my pictures in the corner, along with the work of 5 other artists - the second is of some friends of mine who came along to the private view in front of my paintings.




I am....hugely disappointed I didn't sell something and really feel that what was a hobby has been tainted with failure and makes me not want to paint any more because it's stopped being about me..it's also hugely personal, having a little bit of yourself...well, not rejected, but ignored is hard to experience.  I'm still trying to decide if I will exhibit again or just take over the online presence of ArtFor (as we have already planned as our current web manager is mostly AWOL and really dropped the ball on updating the site and the twitter account for this exhibition. We hope he'll be willing to either share the responsibility with me or step aside to let me do the public relations while he does the technical stuff) and contribute in that way.


 
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
 So, ArtFor Pride is nearly upon us.  We have hard copies of flyers and private view invitations and a final meeting with the other artists a week on Monday.  As a result, we're looking to the future and, on my suggestion, we're almost certainly doing our next ArtFor (on the condition this one doesn't crash and burn) for Mind.  I proposed we do a call for artists specifying we're looking in particular for artists who deal with madness in their artwork, which will double up as publicity.  Art/madness is such a popular theme I really don't think we can go wrong in terms of getting people through the door, which in turn means money in the bank for Mind. I met up with Becky today, two days after I proposed Mind and she said she can't believe we didn't think of it before - it basically markets itself.

In other Pride related news, all being well, I'm going to be in the parade in Brighton Pride this year! My friend works for the Terrance Higgins Trust and they want to bulk out their numbers for the parade so they are recruiting their friends.  I'm mad excited.

In less awesome news I'm tired beyond words at the minute, no amount of sleep - or lack thereof - is fixing it.  Customers at work are even commenting on the fact I look exhausted....Not got time off again until the beginning of August, 4 long weeks away.  Mentally I've been at a low ebb and as usual that gets borne out on my face. Le sigh.

Weird dreams and confusing daydreams which merge too readily into reality abound.  They have, if nothing else, furnished me with a bit of artistic inspiration and a new journal title here on dreamwidth.  Always a bright side....or something.

I have, however, got an interview, finally.  It's for the position of science technician in a high school in the village where my parents live - aka the place I was at school some 11 years ago.  There's actually another high school job I want more that I'm applying for - Art and Design technician in the nearby town.  Can't imagine a better job than spending 20 hours chilling out with art students in the art department at a school, but we shall see whether or not I can actually get an interview for it.  Need to book train tickets for the interview tomorrow. My credit card is already groaning.
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
 Started this a week ago, finally got round to finishing it this week, which is probably a new speed record.  It's mahoosive - about 3 foot by 2 foot - so I really need to sell it at the ArtFor Pride exhibition.

As usual, click for bigger.
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
The NaBloPoMo prompt isn't up for today yet and I want to blog now, so I've decided to just go for a simple one and post my most recent painting. I based it on a Matisse sketch and started off with a Hopper colour palette but of course things developed and it ended up looking more like a piece by Alexej von Jawlensky that I have on my wardrobe (click if you want to see what my wardrobe looks like, art-erific! I buy one postcard per gallery visit.). As a result - because it took such a journey from conception to completion - I don't really like it. However, this isn't a popular opinion, Bex, my flatmate and my Dad all like it - and my flatmate rarely likes my paintings. So I'm posting it in a speculative way. Unless my output explodes between now and the ArtFor Pride exhibition it will probably be for sale then, so one way or another, I'm going to have to get behind it.



Oh, and this afternoon I got squawked at by a seagull when I looked out of my bedroom window - nothing unusual in that, they nest on the flat roof over my attic conversion every spring/summer. However, later when I looked out the window I realised why I was squawked at so emphatically - one of their babies had fallen out of the nest;


I checked several times over the next few hours and he was still there all on his own but I just checked again and he's gone so the parents must have put him back in the nest, thank fuck. I teared up the other day when I saw a dead starling chick on the pavement. ETA; seriously though, he was SO CUTE. All fluffy and spotty and kept stretching out his disproportionately long legs and feet and fluffing himself up with a little flutter of his tiny wings, and then stalking about on the flat roof, he so completely had the attitude of a fully grown seagull.  I was a little bit in love with him and half imagining having to hand rear him if his parents didn't return.
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
I've literally just got in from an ArtFor meeting (although, obviously, I'm English, so I got in and made a cup of tea, and then I sat down and turned on my laptop) and man alive! I am so motivated to get some paintings done.

The last painting I did was this one which was like...a month ago? so I do really need to get back on the horse...or a back on a metaphorical device more appropriate to the creative process.

The meeting today was basically to say hi to the new artists who have joined us for ArtFor Pride. Becky put a call for artists in the local paper and sent a press release to Pride proper who, within 24 hours, made sure it was in all the LGBT publications in the South East. This resulted in us having more artists wanting to join ArtFor than we had space for in the forthcoming exhibition.  As it is we have 10 visual artists and 1 sculptor and everyone has paid £20 to cover the (significantly reduced because we're a charity) fee of hiring the gallery space and is guaranteed a 3 foot square exhibition space.

It was great to meet the new artists and talk about the exhibition as though we know what the hell we're doing.  For those of you picking up the story now, in February we had an ArtFor Haiti exhibition and got 200 people through the door paying £3 entrance fee but sold very little work. This time we have a bigger, more central venue, media partners, sponsorship and the phenomenal publicity machine that is Brighton Pride behind us; on paper it certainly looks like we know what we're doing!

Between Becky and me we know a lot of people; she has friends doing our website and graphics design for free. We know people who are in a band who are going to play an acoustic set at our press/preview evening on the Friday. And through various connections we have contacts at various publications in and around Brighton, charities who benefit from Pride money who can help us advertise and my most recent ex, a.k.a. The Girl who is working on getting us sponsorship from a brewery so our press preview can offer free booze! It is most certainly all coming together.  I just need to PAINT.
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)

The first painting I've done since November that I've actually liked (click to embiggen). It's for our Art for Pride exhibition at the end of July. Absolutely desperate to sell something this time. Know a rich lesbian? Send them along!
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
My best friend, Becky, has come up with a Brilliant and Cunning Plan to make us rich and famous.

All being well it will launch at the end of the month in a trial form and will reach it's first moment of greatness at the end of July during the Pride festival.  I can't actually say too much now as we're still in the planning stage but...

If all goes well it will culminate in a not-for-profit organisation and an artists' co-op in a year or so.

If it doesn't go well it'll be a spectacular failure but not actually cost us any money.

I have a three day weekend this week and I was planning to read a little, sleep a lot....now I am stockpiling canvases and getting in the right frame of mind to paint.  I'm considering experimenting with reducing my meds to aid that...what's the point in suffering from mania if you don't turn it to your advantage once in a while?!

Bloody hell.  Becky's Brilliant Plan came into being at 8am on Monday morning, it's now 7pm on Wednesday evening and we have sponsors, press connections, a venue and 'contacts'.  I'm not so much going along with the plan so much as being swept along in the wake of Becky's inspiration. Bloody hell.

Wish me talent and inspiration, I've got to keep up with Becky.

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askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
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