5) Exploring alternative subcultures

Recently, I went to a craft fair called “Bust Craftacular” which was held in Bethnal Green in East London. It was like entering a whole new world for me. Usually I don’t really experience these craft fairs because generally I have never really focused my attention in that subculture and back in my country there aren’t many of this type of events happening. I have always wondered why people really enjoyed physically holding craft objects until I actually integrated myself into this vibe of a whole new passionate and warm creative community. Many of the objects are very small and detailed; it was not this that took my eye at first. Rather, touching and feeling these objects and being able to look at them up close was what inspired me to continue looking, at which point the detail of the objects became more important.

Walking past one booth, I observed people selling unique soap and candles. This soap is made of tea flavours and the candles are varied from all sorts of different odors. As I was interested in the smells and the freshness of these objects, I asked further questions about how they were created. As they were explaining to me, I could sense their passion in doing what they do and in their business. They told me it was like cooking, but, instead of tasting it, you just had to “smaste” it (smell and taste). Of course, I knew they wouldn’t tell me their secret techniques as different craft companies and individuals have their own little secret recipe or steps that they should keep to themselves to preserve their unique selling points.

 

 

 

 

4) Forest and Found + Abake – A discussion of Whellens’ argument that creative graduates are well equipped to work in co-operatives.

For this argument, on whether creative graduates are well equipped to work in cooperatives, I very much agree that this is true.

A good and very recent example of a successful cooperative are two friends who graduated from Chelsea College of Arts (in Fine Art) and went out to create their own company named Forest and Found. This own brand of theirs are made up from two people who shares similar interest and passion. One does quilting and the other does wood carving. Although both of these pathways may seem very much far apart, their working and ethical styles go together well. Their products consider the environment and the essence of nature, how they can incorporate these values into every aspect of their design (FOREST-AND-FOUND, 2015).

From my perspective and findings, this idea and the way they are portraying themselves to the public are very professional and unique. I can sense the freshness in every aspect of their products and design including their very own website. The layout seems very clear and fresh and appeals to the public world that their ideas are brand new. Because of their schooling together, it didn’t take on years of experience in big jobs to open their own cooperative. It all depends on passion, dedication and experience in the world.

Another group I found was about a cooperative called “Abake”. It was formed by creative graduates in who met during their MA at the Royal College of Arts. Their strengths involve social aspects of design in order to achieve creativeness. Sometimes they collaborate with famous artists and designers such as Martino Gamper (Wikipedia, 2015). Therefore, it really depends on the connection you actually build throughout your educational years and the like-minded friends you meet along the way. But all in all, it really is just that urge and confidence to start. No matter when you start off, or how you start it in my opinion, the faster and earlier you do it, the more advantages and opportunities you will gain.

 

References

FOREST-AND-FOUND, (2015). Forest -&- Found. [online] Available at: http://www.forest-and-found.com/ [Accessed 4 Nov. 2015].

Wikipedia, (2015). Abake. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abake [Accessed 4 Nov. 2015].

3) Copyright/left – Aspects of intellectual property rights in the creative world.

A blogger shared her bad experience of having to pay a certain amount of money to a photographer due to blogging a picture that she found on Google onto her blog. I found this blog article about intellectual property and I think it relates to a lot of people who run blogs or use social media. It seems that most people are violating this copyright/left law. Most interestingly, the blogger in question saw others taking random pictures from Google and posting them onto their blogs. She saw everyone doing it so therefore she thought it was in the right to do the same. On one blog, the blogger wrote:

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed” (BlogHer, 2015).

These types of disclaimers don’t actually make the user ‘safe’ from lawsuits, as this blogger sound out. Even though she posted a similar statement, she still got an email from the owner of the photo to ask her to bring the photo down and to pay a compensation fee as she had no right to use his photos without his permission. These days on many social media sites it seems like people are sharing and posting things that they seem interested in but really haven’t thought about their “rights” to actually do so. Therefore, this is an interesting case study about misconceptions about image sharing on social media, and about copyright/left laws.

References

BlogHer, (2015). Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Photos You Don’t Own on Your Blog. [online] Available at: http://www.blogher.com/bloggers-beware-you-can-get-sued-using-photos-your-blog-my-story [Accessed 10 Nov. 2015].

 

2) Transcript of interview with university student Bonnie Kate Wolf, MA Graphic Design Communication, Chelsea College of Arts. Works for Lush Cosmetics, among others

Me: What are your experiences with working with creative companies such as the well known Lush Cosmetics?

Bonnie Kate Wolf: Yes, so I’ve worked for companies like Lush as a graphic designer. I have also worked with JLL they’re a big real estate investment company. I’ve worked with ASOS… so lots of big companies, and yes as well as some smaller ones…

And… There is always a kind of sense that as a creative person because you enjoy what you do, then they don’t necessarily have to pay you a lot to do it always… ?

Me: Right…

Bonnie Kate Wolf: So some companies are better than others. Like Lush have always paid me very well for the work. But sometimes with certain jobs, people think that because you like doing it that you should do it for free or that if it’s an internship, for instance, which I’ve not done because I needed the money rather than wanting the experience.

They’ll always say you’ll get great experience; you’ll get great exposure. And it’s like they don’t value necessarily your time or your experience or your creativity. So with things like internships and volunteering sometimes they… people don’t always understand that it’s a job for you and even if you like your job that doesn’t mean you should do it for free. So it can be kind of upsetting when somebody says oh we can only pay you this much, but you like it so it’s okay… and you say … oh well … not really because this is still my job. …I’m just smart enough to have found a job I like!

So yeah, I’ve worked with a lot of them, most of them are really good but I think with internships, a lot of companies offer internships where they pay very very little and the end result is they basically get free work and students are expected to just… or young professionals are expected to just accept that rather than getting paid a decent wage.

Me: I see… I guess some people just want to go in for the experience? So they don’t mind. … like I mean, I guess they want to try what it’s like in the real world … rather than… uhh, in the classroom… haha (Laughs)

Bonnie Kate Wolf: Yeah I think that’s absolutely true that companies can take advantage of that …

Me: But sometimes there could be yeah, disadvantages…

Bonnie Kate Wolf: Yeah, sometimes companies will offer an internship where you are expected to work for them almost full time for no money… or very little money and it’s like yeah well how am I gonna support myself on that… I can’t … and they’re like ‘oh but you know you’ll get a job after’ and it’s like HOW AMD I GONNA EAT WHILE I’M DOING THAT??!! …I don’t know!

Me: Wow, yeah, thank you very much for your time ! That was a great interview. 🙂

Bonnie Kate Wolf: Yeah sure! 🙂

1) Brick Lane – Report based on observations visited “Creative Areas”.

I have been to Brick Lane many times, but going back there this time allowed me to focus on the smaller and more significant parts of this area. What I seem to recognize every time in this area, is the fashion of the people. It seems very hip and has a culture of its very own. With the area being run down and full of derelict buildings, the hipster atmosphere seems to fit in very well, with the way they dress up, their casual smoking styles and the smell of fish and chips that hits my nose buds ever since the first time and every time since I walk into the area.

Many buildings had graffiti on them. I’m not really sure if this means vandalism or whether some people would say it’s actually a piece of art. The art that they express are mostly of freedom and enjoyment in life. For example, one in bright blue expressive graphic style, sprays the words “Live the life while you still can” with a huge fist striking up the words. It definitely feels like a place where you can express creativity. A street vendor even seems to have his own happiness and an easy going attitude towards his job. This already gives a welcoming sign. However, the downside for me is that there is a specific darkness to the area and I don’t like staying there too late or when it gets dark. It seems vibrant at times but on the day that I last went it seemed a bit gloomy. There were lots of punks smoking and chatting (which made it more intimidating), the area was quite dirty as lots of litter was lying around the place. There should be more regular clean up.

This kind of creative subcultural vibe might seem unrealistic and may be disliked by many people seeing as the area around is filled with business districts (like Liverpool Street). However, it is a vibrant area for youngsters with lots of people enjoying late night gatherings. It really could redefine Brick Lane. To implement this, there are ways in which I see could attract more youngsters around London from different cultures and subcultures to this area throughout the day. This can be done by bringing about international and popular activities, which may appeal to these groups of people. It would definitely light up the whole place and would welcome the public. In other words, it’s already a creative hub for the young, but instead of expanding it, we can improve on it by bringing in even more diverse and rich cultures.

Cropping Photographic Images

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Some Photographic Cropping workshop … We went ahead with some “Close Up, Wide-angle, abstract, distant, define” and a few more different shots by cropping. I felt cropping through our own camera lens allows us to be really experimental and push the boundaries of each photographies more than when compared to cropping from magazines etc. Another great workshop indeed!