Oh man, if only all weeks were like the last one. I’ve seriously had one of the most productive array of days (see? I just used the word “array” – my Processing skills are getting better and better!) since the year started and I must say, it feels good to get shit done. On Tuesday I went to Spitalfields Market to have a look at the D&AD’s New Blood show and actually attended to a nice talk at Poke, where they explained how they developed The Chatterbot, Orange’s Phone Fund game, from conception to completion. It was quite a complicated project in terms of technical implementation and was very interesting to get insight into how they approached the brief and managed to solve the challenges found along the way. Good stuff.
On Thursday, I met up with Oli and Alex at Mother, who kindly took the time to go through my portfolio in person and gave me some really nice feedback on my work. Now, I generally find successful people working in Advertising somewhat pretentious but they were absolutely ace and enthusiastic. Hats off. A couple of hours later, I had a long portfolio crit with my mate Anders at W+K, who is probably one of the funniest people I know. He’s also a stunning creative and a nice human being, willing to help whenever he can. Bless him. Later on that day, I ran into my friend Chris and went for some beers around Brick Lane where he introduced me to CityzenKane, a London-based street artist who makes the most amazing polymer sculptures. What a nice fella. He explained me the creative process behind his artworks, which I found fascinating. This video shows the making of Neon Bug, a fluorescent glow-in-the-dark sculpture. Watch it, it’s impressive.
We chatted a lot about polymer clay and after 3 pints and a quick look at this website, I suddenly decided I’ll get into the vagina moulding business. He said he has all the required materials in his studio so all I need is to learn the craft. Oh yes, and find the vaginas. That’s the tricky bit. I’m pretty confident about getting my moulding skills right but I can’t think of anyone who might be willing to volunteer and help me out on my new artistic enterprise. I guess I’ll need to post and ad and see what happens.
On Friday I interviewed with Elliot at Brothers and Sisters, who also took the time to look at my work and gave me useful feedback on my stuff. Always a pleasure to meet people like him. On Saturday I went to the Wimbledon Championships for a bit of high-class tennis, courtesy of my friend Andreína, who got us free tickets for the day. This was my first time on the legendary grounds of Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and being a (quite inconsistent) tennis player myself, the whole thing was all very exciting. I remember being 15 years old and dreaming about playing on those grass courts. Actually, I used to watch the matches and later pretend to be André Agassi, smashing balls against the wall in my back garden. Those were the times.
At Wimbledon, the atmosphere was amazing but most important, the place was absolutely packed with redheads. The good-looking kind. It was a beautiful thing to behold. We wandered for a while and as the Central Court was too crowded (as you would expect), we decided to watch a couple of mixed doubles matches; the first one kind of lame and the second one very very exciting. I finished the night at 3am, with a friend, dancing drum & bass or whatever that was, at some random private house party near my place. Odd.
On Tuesday I decided to attend a Live Drawing session organized by the Young Crative Council. I rarely take part in this kind of events, partly because I feel embarrased and partly because I’m too lazy to go. This time around, I got my shit together and went there without any expectations, just to have fun and see what it was all about. Basically, there were Leo Abrahams and Paul Mullen playing a 2 hour long improvised acoustic set as we (about 15 people) painted, drew and illustrated their melodies. At one point, we were blindfolded and encouraged to paint and draw without seeing, just being guided by the music. It was FANTASTIC.
In the end, Leo and Paul were asked to pick their Top 10 drawings/paintings, which are now going to be featured in a Limited Edition vinyl release of the live sets performed that night. Suprisingly, Leo chose two of my artworks, including the one featured below on the left, which I painted at the beginning of the session (acrylic and ink on cardboard). The one on the right, which I drew while I was blindfolded, was not shortlisted but it’s probably my favourite. There’s something about it I really like. We’ve been told all the artworks will be scanned and featured in a website very soon so I’ll make sure to post something here when the time comes.
Finally, on Wednesday I met up with Andrew at Blast Radius, who kindly invited me to their offices to have a look at my work. We spent almost an hour discussing my ideas, talking about radio broadcasting, interaction and all sorts of fun things. Andrew is one of those guys you really enjoy having a chat with, very down to earth and insightful. I look forward to meeting him again.
That same Wednesday also marked the second anniversary of my arrival to London, which felt a bit overwhelming. Two years already? Fuck me, it feels like an eternity. Looking back, I’d dare to say these have been the most intense years of my life and when reviewing the whole thing, I can only think of how fortunate I am. There have been tough times, yes, but that’s nothing compared to all I’ve got out of this city and the people I’ve met along the way, it’s been just an amazing ride. Hopefully, there will be more to come.
I’m holding tight. Fingers crossed.