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A week in creativity (PG-ish)

Hello everyone!  It’s been an odd week for creativity – a little more work on a side project (no pictures yet….) and with a cold I’ve felt that sleep has been preferable to drawing (for a change).  But through this, I’ve also learned a few things about art and creativity.

So the first thing this week is not to be too overly precious about your art.  The pictures above are as completed in the hotel room and the framed picture in my office (complete with Naughty Rabbit).  But this is actually version 2 – the original version didn’t look right once I’d drawn the Jelly Babies on it (and actually, I may even redo this one because I’m not particularly happy with the way “Babies” is squeezed into the picture).  In the original I’d tried to put the words at an interesting angle – but in fact it made it difficult to read properly.

The second thing that I learned (or decided to share) this week is that creativity isn’t something that you can plan – and by that, I mean decide that at 10:05 on Tuesday you will stop doing whatever you were doing for twenty minutes of being creative, then at 10:25 return to being not-creative.  Quite often, the idea will bubble into your mind when you least expect it.  It may be that you then toy and play with that idea for the rest of the day, and then at 10:05 (or whenever) you actually commit to creating your idea, or bringing the idea into the real world.  Sometimes, you get an idea, but you need to get hold of something, or have something delivered first – such as getting back home and pulling out the necessary minifigures, or waiting for them to be delivered – such as these examples:

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It’s a monkey, flying out of my but…. and the reason for the PG status this week. I saw the figure on, so ordered it – but had to wait the week before I could then pair it with the art!
I had the idea for this on Tuesday morning – but it wasn’t until Friday when I could photograph the figures and then add the captions!

Personally, I get loads of ideas, some of which I recognise that I need to shape them a little to make them work. Some are already “mostly” formed and I just need to point and click.  Because of that, I carry a notebook – and a Lego figure; I can then note, or photograph, as needed.

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At my work, we have a small deli-style canteen.  I often talk to the lady behind the counter about my Lego hobby – as she has a small child, this gets relayed on.  The child was helping this week and we had the following conversation:

“My mum says you always carry a LEGO figure with you… why?”

“Because I can take pictures of the figure wherever I am!”

“But can’t you just play with it at home?”

“Oh, I do that as well!”

His face was a picture, not sure what question he wanted to ask – but realising that as a grown up he could play with his LEGO anywhere… and that adults probably didn’t have to tidy their toys away at the end of the day either.  My mind was also considering how cool it was that I could play with Lego anywhere too – and that I also had the ability to share my ideas with people around the world, round the clock.  For once, being an adult is AWESOME!

Have a great week everyone!



Posted in Uncategorized

A week in creativity

Hi everyone!

One thing that this week has shown me is how much our emotions can and will affect our art / creativity; something that I think has been shown quite well in two of the images in this week’s showcase.  However, what I will present is not the full creative output of this week – if you remember my snail drawing from last week:

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A Snail and his home.

I started to draw up my book of images.  I now have approximately 25 of them, all sketched in pencil, so the next job will be inking, removing the pencil and colouring!  Because they have all been drawn into their own sketch book I’ve had to redraw the snail pictures again!

So let’s start with those drawings:

I won’t make them big because to me at least they are examples of creative art where I felt better for drawing them – rather than drawing them to show and make others feel better about themselves (I always draw to make me feel better, it’s just some are created to exorcise and deal with my own thoughts).

Because of “Project Snail” I didn’t do much toy photography either, although these did make me smile when I created them (perhaps one may be a little more naughty, but it can be explained with something innocent… I’m sure…):

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Knight Time…
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“You can have this back; I’ve learned that once a King, always a King; but once a Knight’s enough”

But that’s not everything for this week because I also got a New Toy to play with – a folding travel LightBox!  Called Foldio, it comes with two dimmable light sources, a number of backdrops and it’s all held together by magnets, making it a really professional set up!  I was able to take these two pictures, using the Green Screen background:

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What I learned though is that the green can be reflected in the whites and greys – making the original intention to superimpose these onto backgrounds was much harder.  I think I need to try something a little more neutral like a white or a black… but that’s the fun of digital photography – you can experiment more freely without worrying about processing costs…

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Have a great week everyone!

Posted in Uncategorized

A week in creativity

Hello everybody!

It’s been a fun creative week, with learning about how my camera works AND new funky apps to play with!  So, let’s jump straight in with the LEGO photography!

The LEGO Ninjago movie is coming soon and LEGO have released a number of collectible minifigures to get hold of.  I was able to get to my local LEGO store and get hold of a few – including the new fabulous “N-Pop girl” – with the Unikitty top she really embraces the Kawaii cuteness.  Also is the Rock Tour fans, complete with their “AC/DC” style logo t-shirt fronts and sold out 1985 tour on the back.

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“I think some of these bubbles are yours.”
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“How do you make a good Sushi roll? Find a steep hill.”
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“You’re not a true fan of the band!”
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So cute…. N-pop girl and Butterfly girl
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“Enough with the acoustics, dude! We want to Rock!”
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Don’t be *that* guy.

My art this week has been a little varied to say the least.  As well as a Mandala, I also drew a little more Kawaii – this time inspired by a “how to” book that I bought on the subject.  The book gives loads of sketch patterns to draw so much. However, potentially the biggest influence on my art came from the outside of the book and I could not find it anywhere inside…

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This week’s mandala
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Pizza… I may be drawing a few more of these!
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The idea of drawing Bertie wasn’t that he would look like this but a normal London bus. There’s always next week!
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The following “Snail” kawaii drawing was inspired by the back of the book. As soon as I had drawn a rough snail image, my imagination started to think of a whole series of Snail related images… and something that I now have a separate drawing book to fill with these ideas. In fact, some of them didn’t originate from my head, but an even more surreal fun conversation with Sue!

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A Snail and his home.
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Without his shell, this snail is an excellent drinks waiter
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Breakdown snail

I have said before that creativity isn’t just about what you produce; it’s also what you absorb.  In addition, it is learning how to make use of what you have at your disposal.  I discovered that my phone has the functionality for “selective focus” – I can take a picture of something close up, focus on the background and the resulting picture can be viewed either with foreground focus, or background focus – or as a combination of the two:

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From a Toy photography perspective, which relies on being able to focus on both, this is brilliant and should save me HOURS of post production work!  The other app that I was able to play with was the TeliportMe 360 panorama.  Although my phone does do quite effective panoramas (again, saving me hours of stitching images as I used to do), this allows you to move around the scene – and if you have a Virtual Reality headset, you can also set it to show you it through that – giving you a really immersive experience. The link below should take you to the image I took at the start of the evening at the Glastonbury Extravaganza:

As I mentioned it… every year in addition to the world-known Glastonbury Music Festival, there is a smaller one-night Glastonbury Extravaganza which is held in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey (where King Arthur was supposedly buried).  This is usually a three-band line up . This year we saw the Black Dyke brass band, Corinne Bailey Ray and Brian Wilson (although covering the Pet Sounds album which was now 40 years old, he was accompanied by Al Jardine and they pretty much made it a Beach Boys evening!).  At the end of the music, there is a firework display…

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Have a great week everybody!

Posted in Uncategorized

A week in creativity (30.07)(all)

Hello everyone!  It appears to have been another creative week – even if I didn’t realise it!  Much of my personal focus this week has been on my birthday (I won’t tell you how old I am… but there is a clue further down!) and I didn’t think it left me much time for anything else.  But I was wrong, of course, because as I’ve said before creativity, art and inspiration are like breathing – you have to absorb as much as you create and put out – and to that end there is a wonderful example of how this works further on.  Anyway, enough words and on with the pictures!


Monday morning I took this picture of my local station.


Nice enough perhaps, but I had a little app on my phone (“Fluffy photo” – available for Android and iPhone) that allowed me to drop a few fun images onto it – turning it into this:

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As I said earlier, it was my birthday this week.  I thought about being “low key” and not mentioning it, but my inner extrovert wasn’t having any of that – and I found I had created these two images:

Both are on postcard sized card; the left is 10.5×10.5cm and the right is 10.5x15cm.  I published both of them on Instagram and Facebook (the one on the left has been set as my temporary profile picture for the week!) and was pleased to see that someone who shared the same birth day as myself had shared the image on the right!  I received many congratulations and well wishes, so I decided to say thank you as best as I knew how:

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On my birth day itself, I met with a good friend of mine who surprised me with a most awesome present – a model of a “Flying V” electric guitar, as used by Jimi Hendrix:

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Me. Having a beer outside Mr Fogg’s Tavern, Covent Garden, London. Photo by Dianne Longley
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Model of Jimi Hendrix’s Flying V guitar

Now this is where I think the “absorb-inspire-create” cycle really shows itself.  You see,  one of the best misheard lyrics that has done the rounds is Hendrix’s 1967 hit “Purple Haze” and the line “‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky” which is often repeated as “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy”.  As a day in history, the day after I was given the model guitar, I read that on the 27th July 1967 (so 50 years ago) the UK decriminalised homosexuality.  From all those things – and having the necessary elements – I produced this:

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“Excuse me while I kiss this guy.”

So my “absorb” part of the cycle also continues this week with “three” new additions to the ever growing toy box.  Firstly, I managed to get a set of minifigures from the film “inside out”.  What’s interesting about them is that they are very cheap chinese figures, and the quality of the production is really poor – but they’re not actually knock offs as I don’t believe that LEGO ever actually produced the figures in the first place!

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The second figure is perfect for those “Monday morning pictures”

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Finally, and producing a “Isn’t this where we came in”* moment, I also got my hands on Fluffy House’s new “Ordinary Bear 2.0” who comes with a smaller “Naughty Rabbit”.  I love the simplicity of these figures, as you may have guessed from my other Naughty Rabbits pictures and stories.

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So that’s it for another week – as well as showcased my outputs this week, I’ve also hopefully provided some inspiration for you – and also the confidence that there are many different ways that you can be creative as well.

Have a great week!



*Music trivia: at the start of Pink Floyd’s album The Wall, the first words heard are “We Came in” and the last three are “Isn’t this where”.  If you play the album on a loop, these join up to make the phrase “Isn’t this where we came in”.

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A week in creativity (all)

Hello everyone!

I was a little worried that I wouldn’t have much to show for creative output this week; however it would seem that this was an unfounded thought as you shall see!  It has been another week where I have been taking in as much as I have been putting out, as it where, so thanks go to all the artists that have inspired me this week.

I’ll start with the “show” part of this week’s show and tell. Last week in the office I mentioned my art, and the size that I usually work to – and I felt challenged to scale up.  I still have the challenges with fitting the stuff into a suitcase, so I couldn’t go too big, but I went to A4 and decided on a mandala.  Ten hours later, I had produced this:

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This the completed, framed version of “Now & Zen”

Of course, I couldn’t spend all my time focused on detail (the pen sizes used for the mandala were 0.05, 0.2 and 0.5) so decided to play.  I’m still liking the Britto style of art as it’s quite colourful; so I also went with a little Kawaii art for good measure:

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That was all the drawing I did this week 🙂 but then, these were a few sizes bigger than normal.  However, when I got home I started to unbox the parcels, one of which was a delivery from  I’d backed the latest idea on Kickstarter which unfortunately didn’t get the backing – but he had put the carrots into production.

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I had read about an outdoors art exhibition in London’s Regents Park and decided to head over and have a look.  It had been raining all morning, but by the time I headed out this had all cleared and it was the lovely sunny day that the pictures show.  I will add though that the grass was still damp – something to think about when you see the picures of the Lego figures – yes, I was laying on the ground to take them!

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This sign told you where the art was – and about the app that would tell you more about each piece
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“Endless column (22 Totems)” by Hank Willis Thomas
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“Summertime – the Regents Park” by Rasheed Araeen
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“untitled” by Mimmo Paladino. If you haven’t spotted it, there’s a mirror in the frame. However, on the other side is another rock – and another mirror!
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“Wheelbarrow (red)” by Michael Craig-Martin
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“17 acute unequal angles” by Bernar Vernet
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It was HUGE!
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finding art!
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Then we went to look at some flowers

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I also found out that the clay stop-motion figure Morph turned 40 this year!  Morph, for those who are not aware of the character, featured in the BBC childrens art programmes “Take Hart” and “Hartbeat” with the artist Tony Hart.  I didn’t realise that he has a number of videos on Youtube today….

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Have a great week everyone!

Posted in art, Humour, mind

A week in creativity (PG)

Hello everyone!  It’s been a good week for creativity, both from absorbing to creating and making it.  Early in the week I was able to get over to the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park – and also see the other gardens that were in the Park.  This afforded me the opportunity of calm and serenity – especially when waiting for people to get out of shot so I could take pictures! I took the Lego Butterfly Girl along with me and so was able to take a couple of those pictures too.

My studies in mindfulness also came out on Tuesday when I discovered I couldn’t change trains at the station as I had intended, so I decided to walk to the next one.  On the way, I found a small shop which had some lovely mindfulness cards and coasters.

Finally on Friday I got out on Buddy (my motorbike) and decided to go down a road that I’d not been down before.  Apart from the narrowness of the road (which was “interesting” at times) I ended up at a fantastic viewpoint – and a pleasant reminder of why I moved from the city to the country.

I’m also quite pleased with my creative outputs too – I tried to combine the detail of a black and white mandala, with the humour of Kawaii (oh and a large dash of Britto-style pop art).  It’s an odd mash up, but I don’t dislike it… it is now on the wall at home anyway!

The Creative Random Art Project is the reason this week’s post has a PG rating.  I was inspired from a Facebook post where the parent was complaining about all the art that they had been presented with from the children’s school year and where would they put it.  One commenter used this phrase to refer to this artwork…. I now have an Ikea picture display hanger that looks like a film roll – and this now sits at the top of the display 🙂

Anyhoo – enjoy and I’ll hopefully see you next week!

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Kyoto Garden, Holland Park
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Butterfly Girl in the Garden
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Fountain in Holland Park
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Sometimes single elements work as well as the full item
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Butterfly Girl on a rose
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Ice Cream at the Italian Gardens, Kensington Gardens
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View of the Serpentine, Hyde Park
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View from Ham Hill, Somerset
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View from Ham Hill, Somerset
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Motivational Message
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Pand-yarr bear
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Pan de Bear
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Ice lolly, with a Britto influence
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Britto, Kawaii and Mandala
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The initials!!!
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Playing with the fading pens
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“Now we add some Happy trees” as Bob Ross might say
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“It’s just a phase… you’ll grow out of it”
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To maintain control of your boarders, you need to use a decent cutting device.
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That time I had a Stikbot monkey on my back.


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A week (and a bit) in creativity (all)

Hello everyone!

Firstly; I feel I ought to apologise for the lack of posts over the last month and a half. There have been issues that have had to take priority and to be honest that prevented me from having time to be creative – or to allow me time to exercise any creativity.  Right now, that “creative well” is still refilling so the output isn’t as prolific or as varied as it has been.

So the following are images that I have collated in the last couple of weeks.  I was very, very inspired recently with an interview/evening I attended recently, where the musician/songwriter Tim Arnold was in the chair being interviewed about his life and some of the more recent campaigns he had been leading on.  It was quite timely as it co-incided with London Pride week – and I noted that this created a number of politically focused images.  Anyway, as always enjoy – let me know what you think.

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Butterfly girl and pin badge from London Pride pop-up shop
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Fuller’s London Pride tagline is “Whatever you do, take pride.” It seemed fitting
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On the love campaign

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Be Happy! I have some “chameleon pens” that allow this fading and blending technique
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Mr Marvelous…
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Old English Dunny collectible
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My small London Collection is coming on!
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What could possibly go wrong?
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Lazing on a sunny afternoon!
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Friday afternoon!
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WIth a temporary relocation, we have the opportunity to get to see views like this – in the grounds of Montacute House, Yeovil, Somerset