One thing I always do when I start a new writing project – if possible – is go out and take some reference photos. I usually don’t actually use them that specifically – I rarely describe something featured in the pictures in precise detail – but I do find having them to hand, or even the act of taking them, helps me build atmosphere when writing. At least it does usually; it’s not a precise science by any means.
Those of you that have read my book Paintwork will know that the title story is about re-purposing advertising billboards for art – in fact you might recall that I described pretty specifically the location of the billboards in question. They are real things, in a very real place. I walk past them everyday. That’s why I wrote that story – I felt I needed some way of striking back against the visual invasion of public space I’m subjected to every time I walk past there. Billboards are imposing enough when you see them from a passing bus or car, but the way they impose and dominate your reality – blocking out all other imagery – as you pass them as a pedestrian starts to grate pretty quickly.
Quick post – just wanted to say thanks to everyone that came and checked out the See No Evil post last week, the response was phenomenal. Thanks especially to Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing for picking it up, and to all his readers that swung by.
This weekend saw the final unveiling of the the See No Evil project in Bristol; Europe’s largest street art exhibition. It is, to say the very least, an extraordinary, breathtaking achievement. Graffiti artists not just from Bristol but around the globe descended on Nelson Street, transforming the whole area from drab, urban decay into what feels like a new – almost virtual – space. It is truly something that needs to be experienced, but hopefully some of the photos I grabbed (along with the many on the official Flickr page) will give you some idea of its scale and raw beauty.
Matt Brown is the adoptive parent of Anime Dream, and has written for the site for eight years. He’s an RPG gamer turned anime fan who lives in Florida and dreams of escaping, someday. A programmer and language enthusiast, he devotes most of his energies to slacking off, raising laziness to an artform. He maintains a pocket-busting love affair with Japanese music. His Twitter personality is MattB_AD. In a very exciting post for me personally, here he looks at an anime set in my adopted hometown of Bristol.
Following on from last week’s look at Rory Doona’s promo artwork for the TOKYOPOP UK summer releases, he’s kindly given me his latest work for them – this time with a vampire theme. I think you’ll agree it’s fangtastic.
I’ll be here the whole week. Tip your waitress. Try the veal. You’ve been a great audience. Goodnight everybody etc.
It had been far too long since the last time I made it down to Bristol’s live graffiti night Weapon of Choice, so last night I actually managed to get off my backside and represent. King Audel & Dirty30 were the resident live painters for the night, with music provided by – amongst others – Asaviour & DJ IQ and light hearted Bristol hip-hop crew Hairy Parents. If you haven’t heard of the latter then you need to go hit that link and check them out now – clearly UK rap needs more West Country accents to survive.
One of the nicest things about running this site has been the number of people that have contacted me directly to chat about our shared interests. Perhaps not surprisingly a lot of them seem to be from creative backgrounds – graphic designers, artists, animators, writers, CGI modelers, mangakas – some from Japan, many from Europe and even more from the US. But today I want to showcase the work of three people from here in the UK whose anime and manga influenced work has really impressed me.
Another month, another Intrigue…
But a slightly special one this time, for me at least. Not only was it the launch party for the new D-Bridge album, but second on the bill was Belfast drum and bass deity Calibre. Anyone that knows me in person knows how my appreciation of the man’s production skills borders on the near obsessional, but surprisingly I’d never seen him DJ before, managing to miss his previous, fairly rare appearances in Bristol. Despite a heavy week and feeling pretty whacked out, there was no chance I was going to miss him doing a 2 hour set at my favourite night.