Month: January 2018

 

Collectors

It’s a strange feeling, when you create something, whether that’s written, drawn or otherwise, and then somebody buys it with their hard-earned money. They then display it and enjoy it. I say ‘strange’ as the process isn’t connected to the outcome, which, you as the creator won’t get to experience.

Case in point; my Houdini ink portrait was recently purchased and has since been framed and is on display in a friend’s house in London. However, I created the piece in solitude here in my studio in Blackpool. The buyer experiences it on a daily basis in their home.

Another collector purchased two of my pieces and has since framed them and put them up in his home. And only yesterday a new buyer purchased a piece to display at his home in New York.

The disconnect between the creator (and the personal enjoyment that brings me as the creator) and the enjoyment that the purchaser experiences when viewing the work they now own, are separate experiences. This may at first appear blindingly obvious. But…

I spent nigh-on two decades as a professional magician performing in all manner of environments. The bizarre thing there is that the act which I created first as a solitary experience, then collaborating with my director, eventually led to the act being organically adapted and tweaked before the audience who experience it at the same time as I do as it is created. 

I think as an artist and writer, having that disconnect often leads you to feel you’re missing out on something special; namely enjoying the enjoyment that your creation brings to the person experiencing it in the moment, something that a live performance has in spades.

How to overcome this is an interesting proposition. An exhibition? In March I’m co-organising in a theatrical immersive art installation. But again, throughout the week of performances, I may only be there for one or two given my schedule and the fact it’s in London. Writers often shy away from, but others enjoy immensely, the book reading to a small intimate audience. Again, it is a way to connect in the moment and share your creation.

Having seen it from both sides of the coin, I think the energy from creating live is immense when compared to the energy used when working in isolation in the studio. As socially hungry animals, finding that balance to share static works and bring them to life where artist and audience can meet is something I’m finding creatively stimulating as the weeks roll merrily along.

What do my fellow ‘creatives’ think? How do they work around this? Or, does it even matter to you as an artist?

Artlimes features Wundre

Delighted to be one of the very first designer furniture brands on Artlimes – a major retailer for high-end art and design. We were approached by their enthusiastic team to feature Wundre, so have launched three months ahead of schedule.

Nice start to 2018!

View story at Medium.com

Magical workshop

It was a fun, emotionally exhausting week of workshops. And all started with a random conversation…

Sometimes, pieces of the puzzle are floating all around and I often have a knack of seeing them and putting them together. The results aren’t always satisfying but never-the-less, I’ve had some right corkers and other things, well, let’s just let them stay unsaid.

This time though, it proved to be a right corker.

A friend of mine runs a charity helping special needs children cope with sporting activities. I’ve long been associated with the charity. They were looking at other ways they may be able to help raise smiles and I mentioned another friend of mine who was running a magic workshop.

The two came together rather quickly with yours truly as the jigsaw-connector.

And so my magical mate Tim and I took his Magical Workshop programme into special needs schools over the course of one week in November 2017 under my Magic Moments charitable initiative banner.

It was enormous fun, and challenging, given the range of disabilities with the children, aged between 10 and 19. To see the sheer joy of magic on their faces as they made the magic happen for themselves was more rewarding than any show I’ve ever done.

As a magician, I often forget to appreciate the power a properly presented magic trick can create for an onlooker. Magic can be momentarily traumatic, disrupting reality. Check out any of the top magicians and you’ll see what I mean.

The sessions were very hands-on and since our first workshops we have been overwhelmed with the feedback. I have a stack of hand-made thank-you cards, notes and pictures from one class which have pride of place in my magic den. (Quick note to non-magicians reading this; a magic ‘den’ is basically a room of the house you have convinced your partner to let you have to store all of your related magical ‘crap’ so as not to clutter the rest of the house. It is also private and full of secrets, so never, ever enter another magicians den. ‘Nuff said.)

This Spring, Tim and I are back out visiting more schools and working to develop the students motor-skills, communication and confidence.

We’re also working on new workshops for schools that target many of the anxieties and fears that young people face in an ever-changing world. And magic is an amazing tool to connect with. It breaks down barriers and encourages interaction.

Funny how little things can change your direction, all from a chance occurrence and invisible pieces of the jigsaw waiting to be fitted together.