With the Brighton Festival Open Studio’s fast approaching in May we have been busy producing creative works. I have returned to making limited edition Artist Tunnel books and it’s been great fun if not a little challenging. The first was completed last night and another will be made by tomorrow (this is the positive deadline approach to being an Artist!). I’m exploring the idea of covert ‘looking’ at the seaside, glancing at people changing on the beach, a furtive eyeing of the pier fairground lads and such like. As with previous years my work will be rooted in location, Brighton of course, but exploring a seaside experience that resonates in Scarborough, Blackpool or, say, Southend.
This year there will be a nautical theme to our open studio and I’ve been making miniature flags in paper to hang as bunting in the hall. The design is from an Edwardian illustration of the ‘international code’ but of course I couldn’t find flags the right faded colour or size so I had to make the designs in Photoshop an additional task I could really do without. But now they are completed I have to say they look the part.
The garden redesign is going well and earlier this week we took delivery of a beautiful desert gooseberry standard bush. It arrived in a huge box and courier said grumpily ‘that’s been taking up all the room in my van’. So we smiled sweetly and wondered what else should be taking up the room if it wasn’t parcels for delivery?
The family gave us a fantastic book on companion planting by Bob Flowerdew the organic gardener who sounds like something from Happy Families – Mr and Mrs Flowerdew the gardeners. Apparently poached egg plant is the perfect companion for gooseberry’s to ward off evil aphids and it’s such a happy flower like a child’s drawing that we thought a gooseberry bush cresting above a blanket of white and yellow sounded an exceedingly good idea.
The two halves of TheBigForest have a different approach to nurturing creativity in our respective studios. The Maker in Chief likes silence whilst I need music to be creative, sometimes calm (Brian Eno, Kings of Convenience) and sometimes upbeat (Blackbear, Masionz and club remixes are my favourite at the moment). I recall reading a couple of years ago about how sounds drive or disperse creativity, indeed I may have blogged about it, and how the buzz and hum of the coffee shop is the perfect mix of energy without distraction. I tried some of the on line coffee shop feeds (for example https://coffitivity.com/about) but it didn’t work for me, I’ll stick to headphones and the disco or a chill zone in my head.
Right back to work. Gotta focus if we aren’t going to throw open the doors to a half empty studio.