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You can flip through the Steller Story version of this post HERE
Ever since I was little, I’ve always found Autumn really busy, beautiful and exciting; it’s almost like there’s too much to fit in!
…Anyway here’s the catch up!
My new calendars are in my shop here, and if you use the checkout code: 5FTINFAUTUMNALORDER you’ll receive a 10% discount.
You can see the Steller Story of this post here
I am always, always surprised at how long it takes me to organise what seems like something very simple, and then always even more amazed when I think I’ve actually achieved it…but at least now there are tickets available for my Christmas Workshops in Brighton, even though at the moment it seems miles away!
I only have a small place here, therefore tickets are very limited, so if you miss out and would like me to run either a one to one or a small private workshop, please just ask and I can always try and sort something out.
This year’s Christmas workshops will be a little different from last year’s but you can have a look at this post from last December to get a feel for things…
For a while now I’ve been playing around with movement within a still image…I had been inspired by an absolutely incredible Instagram account @ncour where he combines collage and extraordinary movement.
I’ve always been a massive collage fan and whenever I have a bit of a creative block, collage always helps as the images always dictate the composition, rather than relying on an initial idea from me…and they are invariably funny and slightly suggestive so I usually end up being really silly with them which helps…as you can see below!
I also saw this post here on the @lockhatters Instagram account, which I completely fell in love with.
So…I endeavoured to find a way of working to create moving stills…
I spent days and hours googling and testing and trying to find ways of making it work which was really hardcore computer slog. I was surprised that there didn’t actually seem to be an app out there which was exactly what I wanted…it seemed like complicated photoshop methods on YouTube were the only way I was going to achieve what was in my head, and I’m not that skilled in photoshop and don’t have the time to spend going on a course, ( although it is tempting when you have visual ambitions! ).
Then when I fiddled around with a very simple app I found, I felt like I had found some sort of magic; like a ceramicist who’d suddenly developed a unique glaze…hence my ‘magic circle’ type silence on the situation!
But I’ve been asked such a lot now about how I create them, that it sort of feels churlish not to share some of what I’ve found, and with the rise of ‘Stories’ on Instagram, I’m enjoying the shake up it’s rattled inside me, and has reminded me that Instagram has always been my virtual art class where I started, early on, with some really wonderful and inspiring visual voices; to name just a few @famapa, @kbasta @sandrajuto @elf_girl @passeggiatayu @msuze @pardalote and @piccolotakesall…these were my class mates in the early days. @kbasta for example was one of the original single tree photographers on IG and always seems to combine a Mark Rothko-esque composition within beautiful natural contexts from Chicago, @passeggiatayu was one of the people who opened the door to Japanese photographic aesthetics, @famapa just has the best and unobtrusive contemporary eye on everyday life and @sandrajuto has always seemed to me to quite simply be the template for every creative lifestyle account I see.
What I would say is that being inspired is always a double edged sword…it invites a degree of plagiarism which is often quite frustrating and difficult to handle, but which, in this digital and always ‘positive’ virtual world, we must process silently…the world of image and idea sharing opens you up to all this and when those big brands do it to small designers it always makes me feel sick…and I think the only way to combat it in a creative way is to keep moving creatively, keep looking and discovering and as soon as you feel like you’ve ‘got it’, move on, even in tiny steps ( this is advice to myself as well by the way! ), so what I would say, is take some of my still movement tips here but play around loads with it; make it your own…make it unique!
I’ve never been very good with hashtags but I thought maybe I could for this so we can all share the ‘art class’ and feel like we’re all connected…so I thought perhaps #gentlemoving_stillness could work, so please do use it if you decide to create one of these #moving_stills ( there’s another hashtag! )
GifX: this is a really simple app but you have to be prepared to be creative with both the gifs and the masks they provide you with and I would also recommend getting the in-app purchases. Don’t just look at the gifs on face value; manipulate them to within an inch of their giffness! The steam in the moving still below for example was made from a circle of moving feet!
And that’s it really, although I also like to use sound as well, so you can add that after you’ve created your moving still.
Here are a few more of mine so you can look at how I’ve played around:
So the order of the day is be creative, mix it up, app-mash it up and find your own way!
Also a couple of other accounts to look at who use this sort of thing are as I mentioned before @n_cour, and also @this_is_the_house and @me_and_orla and @finelittleday You can follow @flixelphotos on Instagram too, for lots of inspiration, and if you want to work more with making films generally, the Instagram queen of time capsules and boomerangs is @Xantheb who runs great online courses.
Happy stillness folks!
( if you think a workshop on all this would be useful, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org )
still life above and below arranged by Frida Kim at my workshop
At the weekend I ran a couple of workshops looking into flat lay arrangements, particularly with the use of colour…
I love using colour, texture and shape within my arrangements and it was a lot of fun getting people to order domestic colour as well as colour in nature; building a sort of palette, noticing and acknowledging how everything makes you feel, and then incorporating those elements into compositions…
I like to notice details and differences of colour and get my participants to go on a sort of colour treasure hunt around my home, garden and shed; choosing things which we can categorise into colour groups. I also enjoy emptying my cupboards to find natural textures and colours to compliment domestic objects…
Ordering the ‘ingredients’ and then studying small details and shapes before pushing it aside and working on a piece is also an important part of the visual journeying.
It’s always brilliant working with the participants choices and observations and I love the challenge of working with whatever they come up with…
I gave a demonstration on Saturday afternoon of how I tend to build a composition…working with what surprises me and what might suddenly take my eye, rather than any intricate planning. ( it’s the aqua composition with a hint of orange which you can see half way through this post.)
On the Saturday, jeweller Fiona Hutchinson ( and she’s also on instagram here ) brought along some pieces of her jewellery to work with in the afternoon, and origami artist Coco brought a bagful of her delicate origami to her one-to-one on Sunday…and my cat decided just before lunch on Saturday that he would make a guest appearance on the table too…
So, here are a selection of images from both days, which illustrate some of the process we worked with as well as some finished compositions…
Sara from Notes by a Stylist ( and Lobler and Delaney ) created some gorgeous work with these beautiful pinks and soft jade greens… …and Lilian from Ling Yeon B ( and @lingyeongb on instagram ) found she started working on more of a flat lay ikebana with a brilliant use of texture with the colours she chose… Lots of elements of Fiona’s fantastic jewellery are natural; cast silver cumin seeds, peppercorns and cinamon for example as well as incredible aquamarines ( which was apt as it’s the birthstone for March! ). Her pieces seemed to be drawn towards texture ( and some lichen I had found in Dungeness and Cornwall! )… Both days had wonderful weather which always brightens the shed, and the images below are from the Sunday work with origami artist Coco Sato…
If you would like to attend a workshop, please e-mail me at: email@example.com to be put on the mailing list, as well as checking for new dates of my Workshop Page here
I’ll also be talking mobile photography and how I work at The Photography Show this Saturday with Mollie Makes, or if you’re in London over the next couple of days I will be in the Makers Market Event at West Elm on Wednesday evening 6:30 – 9pm or Thursday 10am – 8pm
You can also see the Steller Story Version here
This week I was asked to visit Brighton Museum and Art Gallery to help bring out the creative inner Instagrammer of some of the people who work there or who are connected with the museum, as well as the other Brighton museums including Hove Museum and The Booth Museum…
I’ve always loved the museums and art galleries in Brighton and regularly visited when my son was younger, ( even though some of the exhibits sometimes frightened him ) but I love museums particularly because they house collections and also because they are often architecturally beautiful and with many amazing details inside…
Brighton Museum also hosts brilliant temporary exhibitions and there is an exhibition opening in April called Fashion Cities Africa which will explore practices of dress, fashion and styling in 4 African cities.
This week we were working in the ‘Reference Library’ which is an amazing room and which has a sort of miscellaneous selection of collections and is a space usually used for working and getting things prepared for various exhibitions and events…
I love arranging and abstracting objects and colours and I also love pushing my creative eye into areas which are out of my comfort zone , so using strange taxidermy creatures, antique coral and giant clam shells was certainly a challenge, but you never know how and what is going to inspire something, either in that moment or in the future, and exploring museums and their curated objects is definitely high on my list of places to visit to get my creative mojo going, and living in Brighton myself, I feel very lucky to have these extraordinary places to visit on my doorstep.
So, above is a table composition inspired by displayed collections and below are some of the results and observations of the Brighton museum morning…
You can also see the Steller Sory here and follow Brighton Museums on Instagram here
It was the first time I’d run a workshop like this so I was really pleased with the incredible results the participants created.
I was also so engrossed that I didn’t take many photos at all, but Emma Herian from Sew Recycled did, so thankfully you’ll get a sense of what the morning was like…( I’ve put her name under when her photos appear! )( photo above by Emma Herian )( photo above by Emma Herian ) ( photo above by Emma Herian )( photos above and below by Emma Herian )A large part of the workshop involved the arrangements being carried around to various areas of Arlo & Jacob so that we could experiment with light and textures which worked well for the display; something that is just as important as the piece itself, so here are a few photos taken by the participants themselves of the arrangements they created…
( below by @suselladeville )( below by @alexis.allan )( below by @ikebana_jen )( below by @dinopi )( below by @Sussie Bell )After we had worked on the moribana ikebana arrangements, I demonstrated a flat lay ikebana…something I’ve sort of invented using some of the ikebana principles and with a free style, combining the arrangement of plant material with the arrangement of domestic material and then framing it within a photograph…
This is a bit of a new passion for me so it was great to share it for the first time and something I’m making into a daily ritual as it’s a wonderful form of simple, uncluttered creative concentration.
I’ll hopefully be running more of these ikebana workshops this year so keep looking at the workshop dates page here in case you miss an announcement and would like to come.
( there’s also a lovely blog piece by one of this class’s participants here )