I am passionate about everything involved during the entire cre8iv process, I see 'the' artwork being from end-to-end not just the final image / canvas / illustration / video. From the initial discussions, which has my mind firing on all cylinders, generating explosions of ideas bouncing off and into each other; to merging and bonding these with other peoples comments and ideas; to the focus involved and the self discipline to turn these visions into a real concept; and, finally the elation at handing over the final deliverable. This may go against many professional artists' opinions but I have never been one to follow the crowd - you should read some of my school reports haha.
The initial brainstorming stage, often overlooked & undervalued by most, is the hardest and most important part of the project. Preventing our ego's & with it our programmed responses from jumping into the conversations and undermining / derailing / judging other peoples and our own ideas is extremely tough. That's why Cre8iv Edge offer guidance through this stage, by setting Green-Housing rules which encouraging the 'SUN' [Suspend, Understand and Nurture] and reduce the RAIN [Reaction, Assumption, Insisting & Negativity] . This prevents negative words and phrases like 'yes, but', '...we have tried that before...', 'no that wouldn't work' and replaces them with 'yes, I like it and...', 'Yes, we could..', 'Can I build on that?..', 'Great idea & ...'. This fertile environment helps generate many more ideas and ultimately unique solutions.
With this, gardening analogy in mind, I always like to try and put together a summary of the latest Cre8iv Edge project for the client and also as a personal record, which I hope will be of interest to the reader. As the last few months have been very busy there will be a few of these posts over the next week or so.
Petit à Petit [Dordogne HK] Oil Painting
This project started life in Hong Kong over a few drinks on Lan Qui Fong. I was over there for 2 weeks on a work assignment and I happened to be introduced to the eventual commissioner and his wife. He explained that he had been living in HK for 15 years and his wife was originally from a village near Bergerac [no not the detective... that would have been a completely different painting] in France and they had just bought a place out there. The place was being updated and the artwork needed to reflect the new look and feel. So we began our green-housing exercise [which is much easier after a few drinks on Lan Qui Fong]. The touch-paper was lit and we were in our element [there is nothing like being in the flow], I was seeing HK angled cityscapes florescent in the night sky coupled with an influence of the Buddha across the bay, they were visioning tranquility and the meditative elements in the hills surrounding HK. I agreed to work on the initial concepts when I returned to the UK. Some of my initial sketches are shown below on .... yep napkins lol... I don't smoke so I didn't have any fag packets to nail that cliché.
Before I drew the sketches below, I did some research while in HK and put together the mood board shown - top right. I realised early on that I wanted to replicate the look & feel of old Japanese and Chinese artworks, combining it with western works that use light within them to focus the viewers attention. Ideas were discussed over skype and moulded into the two blue sketches below, these in turn were turned into the coloured concept sketch before the final composition was designed in my ... sketchpad :). The design process was never static, it was organic throughout with elements from prior meetings emerging later while working on the canvas and being incorporated into the overall piece [ok... so I am back tracking a little here... I will not be telling you all the hidden messaging within the canvas... I agree with the general consensus here that this should be observed - hah].
While taking a short oil painting course at Chelsea college of art, they taught me how to build and stretch my own canvas - you can see the frame above. This isn't difficult at all and I am not blowing any trumpets here. I just find it adds so much more to the artwork, building the artwork from scratch just feels complete.
I've also included a few of my research photos below. I love Hong Kong and I can spend hours wandering the streets with my camera. The colours and urban textures are amazing and they definitely influenced my work on the HK side of the canvas.
Another unique element I like to include on every assignment, is bringing the client into the project. I love the passion and excitement that comes from incorporating their ideas and suggestions into the final piece. Working with clients throughout the process allows them to be part of it and ultimately enjoy the artwork at a deeper personal level. Ok, I know we will have some detractors here either a) the person who says 'I want something of Cre8iv Edge's not my own... to this I reply ' You are getting Cre8iv Edge's unique artwork aligned to your inner images & mine, or b) the person who says ' I like to go into a gallery and chose what I like' to this I would say 'The reason you like a piece of artwork is due to the images inside your head and the emotions and values you have attached to these throughout your life! and it is these images and emotions I want to draw out and incorporate with you'.
Ultimately, if I were producing [which I plan to next year] a collection of my own artwork for exhibiting, then these would be for a wider audience and based purely on my inner feelings, thoughts and how I choose to express them. This is not the case with commissions, illustrated more than ever in this painting. I visited the property myself last summer to walk around it and absorb the location [as I knew it would be prominent in the final design]. After returning to the UK, the client decided to use his new drone to take some aerial images of the house and surrounding fields. I was over the moon when I saw the two images he took below, as they gave me the perfect angles needed to complete my Dordogne composition.
You can see in the video at the base of this post, that I also utilised a primary school taught technique for staining the canvas - soggy tea bags and a flaming lot of them lol. Although this was time consuming and you can only glimpse small areas through the clouds and buildings I am glad I spent the time on this.
As you can see from the images below, the canvas gradually emerged. I made a conscious effort not to plan the final layout, I did have a rough idea but I wanted to go with the flow and address composition and add additional elements as we went along. I wont call out all these additions, however I will explain that the writing above the 4 figures walking across the bridge is the families first names in Chinese. While the writing on the side of the canvas was a quote that was personal to the family - 'petit a petit l'oiseau fait son nid' = Little by little the bird makes its nest.
I have just realised how long this post is, so let me wrap it up by saying that I loved putting everything into this piece. At times I wanted to start again, at times I thought I was in purgatory, at times I was covered in oil paint which somehow got everywhere even in my ears, at times I questioned my abilities to deliver what I had in my head.
BUT.... as you can see from the photos above it was completed, delivered and hung in the Dordogne. I loved building the sunflowers and cliff into the edges of the canvas, I loved adding the sunbeams, I really loved fluffing the clouds, and most of all I loved working with the Wright family.
I hope they like it as much as I do, I hope Hokusai doesn't mind me basing the waves on his, I hope to visit the Chateau this summer to see it, I hope my hair grows back lol, and I hope you liked retracing my steps with me.
Thanks for reading.
NB - This is a video of one of Cre8iv Edge's latest painting commissions, the short clip shows the end to end process; from building the canvas, drafting initial concepts based on client discussions, through to realisation, delivery and installation in the Dordogne.
Hi and welcome to the … all NEW…. Cre8iv Edge website and blog,
I hope everyone is well and that great things have happened in your life since I last posted [which was a while ago now]. Amazing changes have happened in my life over the last few years but that isn't for this article - and no my hair hasn't magical grown back, although my gf is a consultant in the hair restoration business... so you never know [well she does and she told me it's a lost cause lol].
Moving swiftly on...
A brief update – I had been planning for a few years to sit down and bring some order to my spiralling web footprint. I am sure you’re feeling the strain too, with the social media train gathering speed / accounts [FB, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Vimeo, YouTube, blah blah] and with it additional email / website accounts and the dreaded spam. On top of the standard chaos, I had a personal site for my artwork, another version of this site half way through migration to a new design, a blog that wasn’t easy to post to and a new photography Wordpress site.
I was in the middle of a whirlwind of info and addressing it seemed like a massive task to undertake, while working on client projects – hence it wasn’t undertaken. UNTIL …. I had a revelation, well I listened to some advice from a friend a few weeks ago, which was 'to distance myself from designing and managing my own website / logo / business cards etc'. The reason being that you strive for perfection on these projects [which isn’t achievable, whereas Excellence is, which is what I strive for on all client engagements] and this creates an inertia that drains the passion and energy from the project.
Coupled with finishing ‘The Art of Getting Things Done – by Dave Allen’ and reworking my personal workflow. I acted on this great advice and engaged a design company that could help me consolidate and turn my ideas quickly to life, while I concentrated on client work & expanding the company. They say once you commit to doing something 'providence moves with you' & through my networks, I was introduced to Matt at ‘Guerilla Tea’ and from our first meeting, I instantly felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
You can see from the images above, the initial work, I completed, to convey my vision of my new branding to Matt. The first image is a diagram [based on an article I read in the Economist about Walt Disney and how he drew up his ideas] depicting all of my cre8iv elements and how they could work together. From this I was able to understand my purpose and this allowed me to put my arms around my work & contextualise it for the first time. There are challenges bringing together cre8iv services and setting up a brand that conveys the right messages to potential clients. Having sketched out my new ideas, I was able to discuss and overcome these challenges with Matt. I wanted to embrace change and as I love the way Google have altered the perception of a company logo by reworking theirs, I wanted to be cre8iv with the 'E' for each of the 3 service areas [cre8iv consulting, photography and artwork]. Matt quickly turned these logo sketches into the digital concept logos above.
I loved my old grey business cards, but felt they were a little too complex and I wanted something fresher and more minimalistic for the new company. Using a booklet of photography backdrop colours and some pantone summer palettes, I got the look I was after. Matt challenged me on the text layout, as I was wedded to the alignment being against the right hand edge and on reflection, I agreed that the simpler layout was the right choice.
The website itself is also a lot simpler and I hope it flows for you as a viewer. The images are the focal points and I have tried to minimise copy. As the changes are still fresh, I would welcome any constructive feedback :) All in all, I hope you like the new look and enjoy the new articles that WILL appear on here ... 'smiley face & thumbs up' <---- btw I am being facetious here & I can include emoji's .. and the use of 'facetious' isn't a pun on a face either.... dam I am in a loop here... lol
Thanks for reading and have a great evening. See you soon.
A selection of images from a total of 3 photoshoots Cre8iv Edge completed for the amazing new fashion label 'Mooi Urban'. It was a privilege to be asked to produce some work for Kelda Allyene [Owner and Designer -www.mooiurban.com] and I hope to continue to work with her & her team as the label launches and heads towards world domination [in the nicest sense of the word lol].
The shoots were rewarding, energised, full of cre8-tivity, fun and challenging for all involved. The combination of; well planned schedules; a strong passionate team, professional models, and, lots of laughter allowed us to exceeded expectations every time. Special thanks have to go out over the web-airways to Gina Dowle [Makeup and hair] and all the models.
The whole experience proves, if you love what you do..... there is no need for retirement, just cre8 until you depart this mortal plane for the next :) x
Copyright 2017 Cre8iv Edge - s t u d i o s
I just wanted to do a very quick post about my latest painting. 'Corporatestash'..either Corporate Stash / Corporates Tash was born out of the Oil Painting course I did during the summer of 2011, at Chelsea College of Arts. I wanted to challenge myself during the course and thus decided that not only would I use a palette knife to apply the oil that I had never painted with before, but I would also chose to do a portrait with multi-coloured tones (which can drive you a little doolally). I must have scraped the oils off at least 4 times before I was even marginally pleased with the combination/composition (as you can see below).
Now, the oil paints and associated tools were bought post course, in order for me to finish the piece in the weeks that followed. That deadline was not achieved and two years later it lay in the studio all sad and lonely! During a cathartic cup of tea on Friday night I threw off (not my clothes... a few of you were going all dreamy eyed there.. dirty feckers) my procrastination chains. I had no plans for the painting (which is unusual for me ... I liked it) and just sat down surrounded by my oils and brushes etc. I initially toyed with the idea of removing the moustache but as someone in my studio makes and sells moustache wax for a living, I decided to see where it took me. The more I mulled this over, the more I felt it was an essential part of the piece, namely; it provided a subtle reference to the growth of non-conformity amongst a hierarchical structure (the original image was one from my 'Growth' photography project - see earlier posts). This worked very well in conjunction with the dark and light sides of the face - which I accentuated to depict an internal conflict.
I recently saw some artwork that utilised a halo effect and decided to experiment with this myself. I ended up settling for white, as it gave an innocent almost heavenly aura to the subject and it was applied in a cross hatched effect to very very subconsciously represent a cross roads (which is utilised in rock and roll photography to show a decision point/ new journey). I then spied some mesh in the corner of the studio which I had lifted (legally officer!) from the work site below. I let the mesh idea percolate over the weekend and came in on Sunday to cut two sheets, I played with these until I was happy with their position and the message it was supposed to add to the image. Which is an idea of confinement behind hierarchical structures, spreadsheets and the digital age.
I decided to leave a gap between the two sheets; so we can see the true colours behind and the subject can see out (when viewed at an angle you can see the eyes separately). To me referencing Plato's 'Allegory of The Cave' - e.g. we have been brave enough to peek out, change is a good, there are new wonders to explore and all we have to do is step out.
At this point, I thought the image was complete but on observing another studio member working with some spray cans, another idea was ignited (a bit like the opening scene to Mission Impossible!- http://youtu.be/k55NuWQCh78). I used gold spray paint (to represent wealth and which compliments the yellow) to create very basic side profiles either side of the subject giving the impression of him being observed, guided, moulded, controlled.
Ok, its 11pm, the studio is like a sauna and if I had been alone I would have written this in my pants. I have to leave you all as I have to head back to one (Cheshire-rian for home) to pack for the Muirfield Open Golf Championship - look out for me following the players around the course with a BBC microphone!!
I have unfortunately taken my eyes off the ball over the last few weeks with regards to my website, blog and artwork commissions. I put this down to the elation of no longer being mistaken as a peg legged pirate, having regained the usage of my right knee bone leg bone (e.g. no more crutches) and the start of the World Cup. But the proverbial finger has just been pulled out!
The still life sketches shown were unearthed by the Parents' Edge while recently clearing out their loft. I did these while I was a young 14/15 year old whipper snapper attending Tarporley County High school in 1991/2! It was very weird looking at these for the first time in 18 years, as I vividly remember doing each 1; where I was sat; what I was wearing (ouch.. dodgy shell suit bottoms at 1 point); the enjoyment combined with the internal battle against all things homework.
Developing my website and blog allowed me to document and understand my interests/progress/inspirations etc in a lot more detail. Seeing these drawings again allowed me to relive the enjoyment and passion for art through my 14 yr old eyes. Which led to me conjuring up images of straying from the path and finding may way back after many years, experiencing life but coming back full circle to where I was as a 14 yr old - with a burning passion for art. A little deep for a blog, lets just say now I'm concentrating on my art, it just feels right... like it did when I was drawing these sketches, thats why I wanted to share them.
Edge... over & out
PS - for those of you who don't remember --> 'The Wonder Years'
The Way We're Wired. Director: Simeon Lumgair,Cast: Joshua Expósito, Lee Edge, Ruben Crow.
This is the short film I did with Director Simeon Lumgair and crew. This was an amazing team and an amazing few days of filming. We actually filmed this last year and Simeon entered into a few festivals. I have attached the final edit and a few photo of the team and our signed Starbucks up [currently going on eBay for $1Billion].
Thanks to the entire team, I look forward to working with you all in the future.
Just a quick post to share a few photos of my latest commission, which I delivered this morning to a client in Greenwich. This was an interesting project for me to undertake as it was very conceptual, compared to past briefs. The client wanted a large canvas for her living room which complimented the current colour scheme and worked with the existing layout. Through initial discussions I was able to gain a clearer picture of the kind of design she was after (e.g. autumnal colours, flowers and a duck egg blue undertone).
I am currently reading the Art Spirit by Robert Henri, who describes how you should structure a composition. He conveys the need for a clear meaning & approach for sharing that meaning before starting any piece of art, be it a portrait, landscape or abstract. It wasn't until Lisa mentioned the purchase of a large circular mosaic mirror, that would be hanging on the opposite wall to the canvas, that the composition came to life. Using the basic shape of the mirror, I was able to replicate it through the design using the Golden Spiral (you can see how this was achieved above).
I have read a lot about the old masters and their use of the Golden Ratio (Golden Section, Golden Spiral, Golden Triangle etc). At least since the Renaissance, many artists and architects have proportioned their works to accommodate the golden ratio, believing this proportion to be aesthetically pleasing. The golden ratio has fascinated intellectuals for supposedly at least 2,400 years, with the ratio actually linked to the building blocks within nature itself... (the ratio is often denoted by the Greek letter 'Phi').
The photos of preliminary design work illustrate how I developed a concept around the Golden Spiral and framed this with the foliage and background silhouettes. A further undertone to the design is the use of the circular pattern to represent an alignment of planets (e.g. that unique moment where everything is perfect), with the foreground flowers and the dark silhouettes behind both reaching for it. Some venturing off from the path and exiting the canvas, while others compete for the central space on the canvas. I also wanted to achieve a colour palette which went from a cool duck egg blue to warm yellows and oranges, to symbolise the warm rays of light.
You can see how the finished piece was received and how it will hang in Lisa's living room above. I hope she enjoys it and believe it exceeded her expectations (well I hope it did .. I will have to wait until I receive some formal feedback for the website ... )
Dam this has turned into a large post ! If you have made it this far ... I thank you for your commitment to the cause & hope you like the artwork/post!
Adios mi amigos,
Good afternoon, to all you fellow creatives* where-ever in the quantum field you chose to be at this juncture,
* - which is all of you, as I believe we ALL posses this ability!
The main reason for starting this blog was to empty my... stealing a metaphor here... 'technicolour dream 'brain' of many colours' of its thoughts, musings and ideas, in order to incubate and engage with them in a proactive way. An added bonus being that the spin cycle could be reduced from a mach 1 full overload to something more productive. I have it seems though, ended up writing longer rather than bite size pieces so over the next few weeks I will be addressing this with a few smaller exhibition reviews and current project updates (I will however be continuing with longer more involved posts too).
I recently completed, for three separate clients, three special edition prints of a commission I did 18 months ago for a retiring Senior PwC partner. One of the canvases, was a huge 40inch by 40 inch that had to be shipped to Zurich, Switzerland (which in itself was a learning curve due to customs taxes).
The original painting was professionally photographed before it was presented to the retiring partner, so I was able to send this off to be printed and framed. The printing and framing of the 40x40 inch canvas alone was a whopping £150. I new before they arrived that these were going to be special editions and by this I don't mean just signed and classed as 1 of 200 etc ! Special edition to me, means putting even more effort into the canvas producing a more detailed variation of the original with unique brush and pen strokes.
All three special editions received equal amount of attention and I found the process quite liberating, as it allowed to to address a few elements that niggled me in the original. The additional detail was added through acrylic, pen and ink work which allowed greater control over the London Eye and bridge cables. Further detail was added to the cloud formation to ensure if popped out (as this had been lost through the print process), the individual cabins on the London Eye, the South-Bank promenade and the train platforms.
The moment my canvases are packaged for delivery is one of mixed emotions ! There is the excitement and elation at finishing; that pesky ego rabbiting on about them needing more work (dam you you evil scallywag you! and for your information Ego your presence is accepted as part of our evolutionary past, but your views are no-longer required); and ,the anticipation of how it will be received. All three customers received their canvases in good time, although myself and Donna did have some fun getting the 40x40 inch canvas too Zurich! Photos of the prints, with smiling owners, in their new homes will be uploaded on receipt. As always any comments gratefully received.
As the great Dogtanian once said in the 80's ! All for one and one for all !!
Togetherness will help society conquer selfness (the ego) and allow us to return back to oneness (essence of our inner child without any negative beliefs)!! Altogether now .... OMMMMMMMM <- Hindus believe that as creation began, the divine, all-encompassing consciousness took the form of the first and original vibration manifesting as sound "OM" (wikipedia).
I am loving this chaps technique !! I have been experimenting with plexiglass recently using similar techniques, although mine will have another dimension!.
Watch this space.....
Hello from London on this sunny spring day,
I have been relatively quiet on the blog front over the last few months. Yes, some of this was due to procrastination, I am still yet to slay that beast! Although, I have been gradually forcing the dragon back into its cave! I WILL eventually turn this internal process from a fierce dragon into the rabbit from the Monty Python film, you know the one where all the knights are scared to death about approaching the cave; there are scattered bones all over the ground at the entrance and then a bunny hops out! This is a battle we ALL go through with our own beast (the ego) and the sooner you can turn it into a little 'pesky wabbit' the better!
Although, I have been away from the blogging word I have also been making amazing progress on; finishing my two studios; venturing future into the supporting artist world (did anyone see my brief speaking part on Eastenders? haha); exploring the world of meditation in order to break unhelpful habits that I have created over the past 20 years; and, starting some very interesting creative projects!
Two years ago I had the dream of leaving the corporate world, where between me and the machine 'we' were not able to continually mine the immense creative and innovative talent, I know deep down I posses. The vision I had was to have my own art studio a brief walk from my flat and to have the freedom to create. I have realised this dream, but I am not naive and realise that there is a lot of hard work and challenges to come. Firstly, stripping back the behaviours and the thought processes that have been hard wired in me for the last 20 odd years (be it work or social), and rebuilding these states of mind with greater more productive and positive beliefs. I was introduced to meditation through a course I did with Dr Joe Dispenza at UCL just before Christmas - called Breaking the Habit of Being yourself. Two hundred and fifty people in a lecture hall learinging about how society creates limiting neuro pathways which become hardcoded within us. By the time we are 35 years of age (yep I am just in this category... gutted), 95% of our daily life is subconscious! Our bodies have become so used to the routine that our minds do not have to engage!! This is scary indeed no?
I will be writing a fuller post delving into this and more of my musing soon. I was compelled to write this brief post after reading my friend Christina's article on 'The Death of Creativity' below:
Christina encapsulates in here passionate piece the hum drum existence many (not all) people in todays society go through. I believe that we all posses varying degrees of creative talent, every child and her/his imagination is magickal (old english spelling by the way and I am bringing it back ... BOOM). Someone posted a reply to Christina's article and included the link to the presentation by Tom Kelly on 'Orbiting the Giant Hairball' - also attached below although you may need to refresh the page to view it. It is so interesting to see evidence that as we grow the ego starts to take over and we become more risk averse, fearful of judgement and failure. It is a simple concept to grasp but a difficult one to remedy - I got the poison, I got the remedy, I got the pulsating rhytmical remedy !!! The Prodigy may be on to a winner - the remedy is to re-ignite / reawaken that magick!!
One of the video's shown in the UCL course by Dr Joe Dispenza was the sketch by Bob Newhart (below), it is very powerful and has a very simple message to snap all of us out of any anxiety or issues we may have ! Take a goosey gander and let me know what you think :
Thhhattttsssss allll for now folksssssss
The cathartic musings of a CRE8IV mind, living at the EDGE of chaos.