And if this week’s challenge isn’t littered with George Michael references, I will be really surprised! But what is faith? The more I think about this, it seems that it’s awfully close to trust – although most references in faith have a much higher power involvement. As a trivial example:
We have faith that our barber will cut our hair as we ask them to do. We have faith that our companions and friends will have a better life when they cross over the rainbow bridge and onto their next life:
And of course, some will have faith that their God will heal them from their ailments and illnesses:
And whilst I am sure that there are many examples where this has happened – there’s a church in Gozo, Malta, that has hundreds of prosthetics and letters pinned to the wall where a miracle has happened – we are also faced with the very smiley-faced, shiny suit wearing miracle workers on TV who are (in my opinion) little more than charlatans… but if it gives someone hope, then I guess so be it.
But ultimately, I have faith that Benjamin won’t work out that it’s not a real guitar he’s holding!
This week, I’ve been fortunate in that I have had a week at home, so plenty of time to think, create and draw. Whilst watching a cartoon children’s TV show, I was struck at the power of the closeup image and how we can deduce the rest of the image just from a small portion of the overall. Consequently, this small collection of postcard art pieces came to being. Whilst a couple may have a reference to other more famous art pieces, and some are definitely closeups of toys; I have seven that are my “favourites” – whilst the others do have some merit, somehow they don’t seem quite right against the seven. This is in itself is (I think) and important art/life lesson – sometimes we have to get things a little “not right” and learn from them in order to move forward. It doesn’t make them wrong, just learning opportunities.
I decided to call the collection “Not all there” – both as a technical descriptor and the humorous reference that goes with it.
Anyway, have a look and let me know what you think.
This was a fun one to work on and think about! Back in 2014 I created the above image – very 9 1/2 weeks (kids, ask your parents!) and to most thoughts on what sensuality is, this is pretty much it. But of course, sensuality is “of the senses”, so I had a bit more of a think on this.
One very sensual experience (as in … of the senses) is riding a cruiser style motorbike. As well as the rumble of the V-Twin engine, the whole experience of the world passing by as you feel it directly rather than being cocooned inside a car is one that is quite hard to explain… but why I have a bike in my garage!
Continuing on this theme, the shape and design of a car can also be a very sensuous experience. Again, perhaps it is the more classic lines of the cars, not formed from tests in wind tunnels, but I love the sweeping front mudguards as they lead to the running boards… I found this toy in a “pound shop”, it’s the car from Detective Comics 127:
But back to what is normally considered sensual…
Some consider reclining on a bed or couch is quite sensual…
but then, snuggling on the sofa watching a romcom can be a wonderful experience…
But probably the most sensual experience must be the slow dance. Close contact and being careful not to touch things (or not being careful!) … just watch where you put your head!
Note: some of the images that I have posted here could be emotional triggers. There are many helplines that are available 24 hours a day – and if you need them, please contact them, don’t try to manage it alone. Because this blog is seen around the world, I haven’t put any contact numbers or links.
I found this week’s challenge quite a dark one – and I guess because we will all face some form of sadness in our lives that it was relatively easy to come up with ideas for this – however, it was deciding which ones could be used. In many cases, the sadness stems not from the situation itself (although I have included a couple here) but from triggered memories – that song that was playing when you broke up with your first girl/boyfriend for example.
The first that I will post is the sad song – something that can pull at the heart strings.
perhaps a little obvious, but the “lost ice cream”.
Perhaps one of the saddest things I can think of is shown in this picture:
Although not obvious what it may be, it’s comparing your creative outputs with others. What you create is yours – it’s what you created. It isn’t a Picasso and won’t be unless you are Pablo Picasso the famous artist. If you’ve ever seen my Instagram feed, you’ll know that my drawing style isn’t “hyper realistic” – it’s quite simple, and in the main, fun. And that’s my style. I go to galleries and am impressed by the art that others produce; in some cases I may even have a go – but I recognise that this is only “in the style of” because usually it’s a fraction of the size, or created using a very different set of materials (I don’t paint and work on postcard sized art).
However, it was the image below that I felt truly encapsulated sadness.
Next week we (probably) play with soft focus as we explore sensuality.
Freedom, in toy photography, is an interesting concept.
Compared to some societies around the world, the one I live in offers me a great deal of freedom. Yes there are rules to be followed, but in the most part these are in place to protect the individual … for example, the freedom to listen to and believe whatever and whoever we want to:
The fun thing about toy photography is bringing toys to life – and perhaps putting them in situations which you couldn’t get “normally” (or at least not without a fair amount of effort)
I particularly like the fact that having an idea like the trailer (above) required little more effort than rummaging around the Lego box, then using two scenery props to make the ground and the background – so I didn’t need to make two signs, and go and find a trailer.
Ultimately, through toy photography we can explore all our emotions, and portray all manner of things – which includes the things that we couldn’t do in real life. Or we can choose to censor ourselves – the freedom is ours.
This was quite a challenging one for me this week – how do you show humanity through toy photography? Ultimately, I found myself asking more questions than finding answers – or perhaps that’s the challenge in itself.
I did wonder if something might show itself from the newspapers; unfortunately much of the papers are filled with bad news, greed, corruption and a lot of selfish behaviour. Is that what humanity has come to, I thought?
I recalled a tale I had heard recently, Whether the origin is as described (apparently an old native american story) is effectively irrelevant, but perhaps this is the answer to humanity:
“Within us lives two wolves – the first is kind and helpful, ready to provide good; the second is bad and evil. Which one survives to be the strongest depends on which one we feed.”
Is humanity how we treat each other – how we deal with things such as life and death? Or is the decline of the money bank on the high street, to be replaced with a rise in food banks – and the people that use either come from all manner of backgrounds and social classes these days as pensions disappear, medication costs soar and insurance companies will cover less than they ever did?
Maybe toy photography allows us to showcase the world on a small scale – and with it we can make tabletop protests about the world that we live in. Or we can just hide in the shadows, or stand on the periphery and just observe the world.
I guess ultimately, the question we need to ask our selves is a very simple one:
The term growth can refer to physical size, but for me I looked to see how my toy photography had developed over the years. Consequently, the images that I present in this blog are pretty much a trip down memory lane, such as this:
My first toy related post on Instagram was this:
What I noticed as I scrolled through the images was that in the most part, not much had changed in terms of style. Obviously, in nine years I’ve changed the camera I use (and the quality of the mobile phone image has improved drastically), but generally, the focus has been mostly (but not exclusively) Lego minifigures. I was surprised at how many music references I’ve made – not always misheard lyrics, sometimes my version of an album cover (check out the ZZ Top album!).
It was also obvious how prolific I am too when it comes to taking images – so for that I should apologise I guess; but even when I’m on a roll they don’t seem to have been multiple pictures of the same thing (I wish my camera roll was like that – why take one digital picture when you can take 6… must learn to delete images I don’t need! Actually in truth at the end of each year I will go through and find the best few hundred from the thousands that got taken)
Whilst the basics may not have changed – using “rule of thirds” and trying to tell a picture rather than just going for a “figbarf” (an example of this is that collection of plush toys above) – although for custom figures such as my Lego Marvin the Martian, or the Banksy monkey image, this can’t be helped.
Anyway, enjoy the walk through my history. Let me know your favourites – and indeed if you think I’ve developed (I know my humour hasn’t!)
I also found these last two – these were taken in 2012 and many of the figures date back to 1999 – and still glow brightly! At the time, my mobile phone couldn’t really cope with night shots, so I had to swap back to a DSLR