Thursday 28 April 2022

Story of Honey: The First Steps...

 Honey sat on his dilapidated porch, in his house in Miles City, Montana.  He was just on the cusp of everything going in the right direction.  He had been accepted to Cambridge university, England to complete his PhD and he had saved enough money and had funding to complete the full three years.  So why when he sat here in his favourite pair of jeans and t-shirt with the legend Elton John did he feel like he would rather bum around Miles City with his mates for the next three years.  Perhaps he was afraid that this was the point life would get too serious. He would also have to fit in with all those stuck up English people who probably knew more than he did and even if they didn't with their posh British accent would sound like they did.  Honey ruffled his his slightly long wavy brown hair, he should get clean and get ready for work.  

Honey worked in a small bar downtown called 'The Bison Bar', it was your average American bar, pretty busy at the weekend and with a wide range of people coming in from the young to the old.  Everyone wanted to kick back and relax and although it was busy, he found the work relaxing and not stressful compared to his studies which took up all of the rest of his time.  Also as the work was undemanding on his brain, he could use the time to think about his PhD. His PhD was going to explore the transformational effects of Saints and idols in the Catholic Church on parishioners.  This study would not be some wooly anecdotal stories from old biddies from church but more an in-depth study that measured brain activity, health, oxygen levels - real measurable bodily transformation. Honey wanted to 'prove' the saint's had power through belief.  Honey had been trying to work out how to find suitable candidates for this study, it was particularly different as this would be in a country he did not know and with people who might find his Americanness abrasive or that they would not take him seriously. 

'Hey Honey, what'll dreamin' 'bout, we got customer's' the owner of the bar Cherilyn was hollering at him from the other side of the bar.  'Yeah, yeah I'm on it' Honey, yelled over the rather loud group of women arguing over the check at his end of the bar.  

Creative Writing Chapbook 2: Planning 'The Story of Honey'


What is your final idea?  Please explain in two sentences the theme and the form your writing will take.

I will create a chapbook that consists of the 'mirror' story to 'The Story of Milk'  so this will be 'The Story of Honey'  I will put the two together to create 'The Story of Milk & Honey'  Honey will be a story in opposition to 'The Story of Milk' running parallel and 'Honey' will probably be a man.  The story of Honey will be set in America and will, as the Milk story take a God's Eye View

Considering the form, how do you intend to layout your book pages?

I will layout the pages in chapters as last time with oppositional chapters for Honey and Milk 

How many pages do you expect there will be?

With the additional of the already written Milk story I expect the book will be approximately 60 pages 

Are you going to use images?  Are these your own images (illustrations/photographs) or copyright free images that you will source?  

Again I will use a mixture of copyright free stock images and my own images

What is the plan of your time and how much you will need to spend on this?

This is a two week project so I will be spending 8-10 hours at the evening and weekends over the next two weeks to complete this.

What do you imagine the final book will look like?  

I will be using Blurb so that I have a completed published hard copy book.  I will use the trade book form and 6x9 size again

Have you considered the cover page/contents page/back cover with blurb?

I will have chapters and contents page and use photographic images for front and back covers 

Drafting and redrafting will need to be done?  Who would you get to proofread your work?

I will get a colleague or family member to read my work prior to completion.  I will add drafts and redrafts to my blog

Write down any other thoughts or comments related to your plan on your blog post.

I will need to organise the evenings and time to work on this well to ensure completion and I need to spend more time developing the story so that it can work with The Story of Milk

Creative Writing: Initial Ideas

 In Media Project I we are looking at creative writing and, again, I will be exploring ideas for my chapbook.  So I want to work on a theme that interests me and as I have done this previously I am tempted to do a 'mirror' book which would perhaps be 'The Story of Honey' and my first chapbook included 'The Story of Milk'.  The Story of Honey again might incorporate themes of loss but this will be an entirely new and different story.  Honey could be a man in this story and perhaps his life is in complete contrast to the The Story of Milk.  

In terms of research and thinking of other authors, this time I really want to concentrate in the characters and the creation of characters. I may look at the author Barbara Pym as her characters really stand out;  'Barbara Pym, shrewd observer of a certain kind of middle-class Englishwoman, no longer young and not quite beautiful, whom society finds it easy to overlook.' (The Barbara Pym Society - Barbara Pym Society, 2022) I also enjoyed Pym as it is a time that I grew up at the end of, with the church at the centre of the community and the vicar coming to visit.  Times have changed now so much, but perhaps not so much in academic circles where rivalry and jealousy, funding and grants are still just as important.  

I also might look at much more over-stylized novels such as the work of David Cronenberg and his book 'Consumed' obviously most famous for movies like 'Crash' (Screenplay by Cronenberg - novel by J.G. Ballad and Videodrome. The Independent stated that: 'David Cronenberg's Crash, winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, is one of the most sexually explicit and disturbing films ever made.' (Crash: The Uncensored Screenplay, 1996)

The stylized language and look of the film create a cold and distant portrayal of obsession with car crash victims.  By looking at different styles of writing this should inform my new piece of work


Barbara Pym Society. 2022. The Barbara Pym Society - Barbara Pym Society. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 April 2022].

The independent. 1996. Crash: The Uncensored Screenplay. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 April 2022].

Creating my Website: Home Page, Contact Page & Social Links

 Today I started to create my website on Wix.  I began by choosing my template.  Today I chose to create a site as if I was doing creative and journalism.

I then added my name and the title of my website 'The Joy and Art of Writing', I did this by clicking on the text boxes and clicking 'Edit Text' and I used Cormorant Garamond Light Font at 67 pts for the title and 54pts for my name. 

I then changed the strip background and replaced the image with an image from unsplash that is copyright free. I lowered the opacity so that the text box was more see through and did not detract from the image.

I then go to menu on the the left hand side and add a contact and portfolio page.  I did this by clicking on 'add page' and then choosing a blank page for portfolio and a template page for the contact page

I then set up the Contact page form by clicking on set notification on the pop up dialog box and making sure that the contact page was directed to my email.  I also added a picture to make this page more visually pleasing.

I added two social media links which I have placed in the navigation bar so that this will appear on every page.  I set up the correct links and tested these in preview. 

I then did a quick check of the mobile view - I adjusted my name just by clicking 'edit text' and reducing the size and I got rid of some white space.  I did the same for the contact page just checking this worked and the menu worked correctly to scroll through

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Creative Writing Exercise: Disappointment

 Emotion - Disappointment

This is a creative writing exercise of a piece of prose that we wrote in class for 20 minutes 

Paris has spent days waiting for the letter, it was his future contained on one small beautifully typed (he imagined) piece of vellum paper.  He had imagined seeing the his name and the words; 'you have been accepted' for what seemed like an eternity.  Paris could hear his mother calling from downstairs; 'Breakfast Parry, lets go, I ain't waiting any longer!' Twenty two years old and he still lived with his mother, embarrassing and painful.  He wanted to blame the economy, the state of the nation or his parents but really the fault was his own.  He should have worked harder to save a deposit so he could get a nice little studio flat or houseshared with a friend.  He was, at times, lazy and it was this laziness that meant that he never quite did as well as he should have at school, at work or even with his friends.  He would often beg off going out or going somewhere just out sheer laziness and a feeling that he would prefer to stay in and watch Netflix.  'Parry, get your arse down here, we are both going to be late' his mother shouted again; 'Come on, eh you have a got a letter 'ere..'  The day really had arrived, he knew it would be today, Paris in a sudden fit of energy ran down the threadbare stairs and into the awkward little kitchen that he had been in a million times growing up, it was where everything important happened.  The letter sat on the table, he reached out to touch it...

Monday 25 April 2022

Charles Cohen: The Art of Absence

 In this post, I will explore the work of Charles Cohen I have chosen this photographer/digital artist as my own work this term is beginning to use NFTs and investigating how to put photography out in a real-world context. The work of Cohen is interesting as it uses absence and subtraction of the subject as a concept 'which explore[s] representational qualities in the context of abstraction through erasure. Cohen's work, which eradicates the human figure from pornographic scenes, subverts the images' original function and creates a void where absence becomes a presence in its own right' (Paul C. 2008:38)  Presence and absence is an area in which I am particularly interested in photography, as I was discussing previously in my urban landscape shots, there are no people in the shots however there is evidence of people and this trace is throughout the images.  

The work above from Buff (1999-2005) depicts a woman clearly naked but erased facing an image of  (a very young) Leonardo DiCaprio.  The room looks like a teenage girl's bedroom which is slightly disturbing in the context of this image being from a pornographic shoot.  The erasure of the subject here has an interesting effect.  As a viewer, it is almost as if you are seeing a time past and the act, the pose of the woman has been voided. In modern parlance perhaps it looks as if she has been cancelled from the image!  This is interesting from a feminist perspective and the act of looking at pornography.  The artist chose to use pornographic images for this work and yet subverted the nature of the pornographic element, we can see it is a woman yet it is no longer pornographic as this does not induce sexual desire.  Solomon- Godeau argues that the problem with pornographic work is not with the image itself but that; 'Images, do not casually produce a world of female objects and make subjects; rather they articulate, naturalize and confirm and oppressive order whose roots are elsewhere'  (Solomon-Godeau A. 1991:221) The artist here has understood this notion and has sought to repurpose these archival images and create a new more democratic gaze that questions the nature of looking and how subtraction of the subject can affect the viewers perspective.

In the image above the couple are in an outdoor environment which, depicts illicit sex in a public place and this over-acted representation of sex is again removed by the artist. I chose this image as this had both a male and female interacting (as far as I can tell) the woman appears to be on top of the man.  The interesting thing about this one is that due to the erasure of the subjects all the momentum of the sexual encounter is removed and these voided figures again seem to be speaking to the viewer as a shadow of a past time.  The setting remains real but the flesh and bodies are now nothingness, more like a chalk outline in a crime scene. In Barthes, Camera Lucida Barthes states that: 'Every photograph is a certificate of presence.' (Wike, 2000) and that is the nature of photography on a personal level often, it is just to state; 'I am here, I existed'.  With these images, there is the suggestion that the subjects existed but now without faces or flesh in the image, the removal of their forms, they become anonymous and we can no longer interact with them in the image as we could have previously, their purpose has been removed.  Cohen left us with a trace, a taste of what did once exist in the frame, what do we do as viewers of this scene.  As with a crime scene, this leaves us to imagine the people, the act itself.  We are left with questions and imagination and as voyeurs, we desire to look.   

These images are important as they change the discussion on aspects of photography, the act of looking, pornography, and the feminist perspective and the presence and absence in the image.  When working n my own work I often play with presence and absence in the image.  Looking at this work has made me consider alternative and digital ways to create presence/absence and reconsider how I look at an image and really see...


Cohen, C., 2022. Charles Cohen Art. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 April 2022].

Paul C. (2008) Digital Art, Thames & Hudson Ltd, London.

Saatchi Art. 2022. Charles Cohen | Saatchi Art. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 April 2022].

Solomon-Godeau A. (1991) Photography in the Dock, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

Wike, L., 2000. Photographs and Signatures: Absence, Presence, and Temporality in Barthes and Derrida – InVisible Culture. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 April 2022].

Thursday 21 April 2022

Daidō Moriyama

 As an additional piece of research I will look at Daidō Moriyama who is a Japanese photographer who has been working for more than 50 years and has been christened 'The Godfather of Street Photography' in Japan (Rosen, 2020).  

In this image the photographer has used the frame exquisitely to capture a woman (possibly a 'dancer'..).  The light coming from the left hand side of the frame touches the woman's flesh to make the woman look almost doll like as she stands upon her 'stage'.  The rule of thirds means our eye is drawn to her and then looking further behind to her shadow captured as she dances. The photographer has chosen to not photograph her head giving anonymity to the subject but also that night time feel of indiscretions that will never be spoken of.  The rubbish and the street is in semi-darkness and so does not distract from the focus of the woman's body in the frame. Moriyama states of his own work that; 'I do not distinguish between discarded things and others. There are countless beautiful existences.' (Rosen, 2020)  Here it is clear that Moriyama has captured beauty in what could have been a rather sad and grimy image for a passerby on the street. Although Moriyama himself, 'continues to eschew the belief there are rules to photography or the way we should live our lives. He disregards the idea of originality, believing that photography is simply copying what already exists' (Rosen, 2020).  This may be the case but a sensitive eye will always capture photographs well and clearly he has trained himself in terms of how to compose the image that he wants the world to see.  

In this second image we again see a woman, this time at distance, in the centre of the frame.  The leading line draws our eye to her white legs and feet amongst the rubbish of this back alleyway. Moriyama's approach to urban landscape photography has been described as 'sensual'  (“Near Equal Moriyama Daido” - Daido Moriyama | #filmsnotdead, 2013) and clearly this is the case here.  The soft flesh against the dirt and the potentially dangerous rubbish stand out.  In black and white the light exaggerates the whiteness of her flesh against the black night where she seems to be running. In the frame of this image she is encased and caged in surrounded by tall fences, she is trapped in our eyeline with no escape.  

looking at these images it reminds me of the importance of the frame and how we trap like butterflies in amber the image, which can be gazed upon for eternity.  A moment in time, in stasis forever.  I will consider with my next set of images how I can use the frame to this effect...


Rosen, M., 2020. Discovering magic in the mundane with Daidō Moriyama, Japan's street photography godfather. [online] Document Journal. Available at: [Accessed 21 April 2022].

Kugelberg, J., 2014. Daido Moriyama: art photography's black dog. [online] Dazed. Available at: [Accessed 21 April 2022].

#filmsnotdead. 2013. “Near Equal Moriyama Daido” - Daido Moriyama | #filmsnotdead. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 21 April 2022].

Psychogeography & Photography

 I first came across Psychogeography by reading Will Self.  Psychogeography is; 'How do different places make us feel and behave? The term psychogeography was invented by the Marxist theorist Guy Debord in 1955 in order to explore this. Inspired by the French nineteenth century poet and writer Charles Baudelaire’s concept of the flâneur – an urban wanderer – Debord suggested playful and inventive ways of navigating the urban environment in order to examine its architecture and spaces.' (Psychogeography, 2022).  In Self's work, his connection with the streets that he walks (or his character walks) is clear, this effect of walking and the environment on our behaviour and our emotions seeps through every page.  Similarly with W. G Sebald who I have written about previously on this blog. As a photographer I want to capture this essence of my own environment, the streets where I live, the feel of the place, essentially; '[the] Atmosphere can change within a very minute distance; every setting is full of life and character — something often overlooked by preoccupied thought.' (Lytton, 2012). Thinking about this and how I felt about photographing streets that I have walked several hundred times.  I looked at the photographs of Wim Wenders.  Wenders is a German Filmmaker and Photographer whose work always moves me.  His photography in collections; Places Strange & Quiet, Once, and Written in the West, are all of the places in America that although, for the most part, are devoid of people, show the evidence of people.  In these images below the empty streets and abandoned cars juxtaposed by the grey and looming sky, the lightning rod cuts into the sky as if expecting a storm to come.  The one below 'Photography' I really enjoyed the emptiness and white space of the photography studio here - no name of the brand just photography! 

America is filled with vast spaces that are strange and quiet, beautiful but ultimately quite frightening that such vast expanses are empty and it might be days before meeting another human. 

This is very much in opposition to something like Michael Wolf''s 'Tokyo Compression' where passengers are shoved into packed subway trains and there is little room for breathing due to the density of the population.

Considering this in psychogeographical terms and how this way of living affects the indivual Wolf states;  'This is not a dignified way of living, It's like looking into a ride in hell.' (May, 2017)

In my own images I am hoping to capture the unique environs of Leicester through the images, I want to express that feeling of well-trodden streets and show the juxtaposition of the new and the old.  The grimy, the overgrown, the vandalized.  Like Wenders, I want this devoid of people just evidence of people.  The city through my lens, through my eyes...

Zoe Van-de-Velde (2022) 'KGG'


Tate. 2022. Psychogeography. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 April 2022].

Lytton, B., 2012. Psychogeography: Go and Get Lost to Shoot Something New. [online] PetaPixel. Available at: [Accessed 20 April 2022].

May, T., 2017. Michael Wolf's Tokyo Compression shows an undignified way to travel in Japan. [online] Creative Boom. Available at: [Accessed 20 April 2022].

Monday 18 April 2022

Media - Digital Art Project NFT's

 This term I wanted to create a set of digital art images with the theme 'Return of the Dolls'.  The ultimate aim was to create an NFT for sale.  NFTs are; 'Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are cryptographic assets on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other. Unlike cryptocurrencies, they cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency.' (Sharma, 2022)  Like many new digital inventions this can sound complicated but living in the real world it is important if I am to continue to make work to explore all options and keep up with the latest innovations.  

This image 'Bored Ape' 'NFT [was sold]for $3,000 instead of $300,000 — all because of a misplaced decimal point. As first reported by CNET, the NFT’s owner Max (or maxnaut) listed the NFT for sale on Saturday. Max, who describes himself as a “solo-traveller, bored ape, marketing agency owner & NFT investor,” had meant to price the NFT at 75 ether (around $300,000) but accidentally typed 0.75 ether instead (roughly $3,000). Before they could correct the mistake, the NFT had been snapped up, apparently by a bot programmed to find and buy undervalued listings.' (Vincent, 2021)  This is interesting as it states the cryptocurrency used and how easy it is to get it wrong!  It is also interesting that the above image was worth $300,000.  The fact that bots are buying is also news to me so this certainly deserves more investigation as to actually HOW do I do this!  I know that I must sign up to an NFT site that sells art so that I can make my work into a digital asset.  Forbes states that; 'Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) seem to have exploded out of the ether this year. From art and music to tacos and toilet paper, these digital assets are selling like 17th-century exotic Dutch tulips—some for millions of dollars. But are NFTs worth the money—or the hype? Some experts say they’re a bubble poised to pop, like the dotcom craze or Beanie Babies. Others believe NFTs are here to stay, and that they will change investing forever.' (Conti, 2022)  So it looks like they may be here to stay, if not it is certainly worth trying whilst they are hot!  So I checked out some of the best NFT sites to buy and sell work. There are many articles that compare different NFT sites so, entering the minefield, here are a few that I will be investigating; Opensea, Opensea Solsea, Rarible, SuperRare and Foundation to start with.  I have added a couple of links in the bibliography about these sites. I will also need to investigate crypto currency and blockchain to ensure that I fully understand how this will work.

On this post, I will have a look at Rarible and see if I can set up an account.  So I go to Rarible and go to its 'How it works' page as can be seen here I have some reading to do before I get started!

I discover the first thing I need to do is create a wallet.  I did this through Metamask and saved my secret recovery phrase in multiple secure places as instructed as this is where the currency will live and only I can access using this phrase. To mint an NFT there is a fee depending on how this is done so this will be a consideration once I get started and try to mint my first asset.

I discovered this was a long process as I tried to set up my profile.  I did manage to do this and mint my first asset however I am still struggling to get this to display.  You can see my profile below.  I used Ethereum as this is the most used currency and seemed the best option.  It did take a few attempts to actually mint my assets and choose the right options.  

I think I have a lot more learning to do here, however, I am pleased I got this far!  Now the basics are set up I can work on, getting my profile and work up and noticed!


Conti, R., 2022. What Is An NFT? How Do NFTs Work?. [online] Forbes Advisor INDIA. Available at: [Accessed 14 April 2022].

Sharma, R., 2022. Non-Fungible Token (NFT). [online] Investopedia. Available at: [Accessed 14 April 2022].

Vincent, J., 2021. $300,000 Bored Ape NFT sold for $3,000 because of misplaced decimal point. [online] The Verge. Available at: [Accessed 14 April 2022].


Patel, N., 2022. Opensea vs. Solsea vs. Rarible NFT Marketplace | NFTsea Vs. Opensea Minting. [online] 2022. Available at: [Accessed 14 April 2022].

Geyser, W., 2022. Top 15 Marketplaces for Creators to Sell Non-Fungible Tokens in 2022. [online] Influencer Marketing Hub. Available at: [Accessed 14 April 2022].

Media: Photography Shoot - Mark II

 After completing a shoot during the session around the backstreets, I followed this after looking at the shots, with my own shoot.  I wanted to concentrate on the idea of home and so I photographed around my building and where I lived.  I have lived in this place since 2014 and in Leicester much longer.  My parents were both from Leicestershire, I have known these streets from a young age and have seen the changes.  I wanted this shoot to reflect that familiarity. I shot all of these in black and white as I felt that these were more successful in the first set and I have used some of the same techniques and worked on leading lines as I think during curation these could work well together. I took fewer shots as my camera actually died for unknown reasons on this shoot so I stopped when it stopped - the camera is in surgery I am hoping it is nothing fatal!

I was using my Olympus OM-D E10 Mark II for these shots at ISO 400, I started at F6.3

The shots I quite liked were these: 

'Home' ISO 400, 1/800, F6.3, FL34mm

'No Entry' ISO 400, 1/500, F6.3, FL14mm

I liked this shot as it matched my 'No Left Turn' shot from the previous outing.  

'Yep' ISO 400, F6.3, 1/1250, Exp-0.3, FL14mm

Yes, it's the classic shadow of the photographer shot - put it in as I liked the balance of the road and my building in the background. 

Thursday 14 April 2022

Media: Urban Landscape First Shoot

 The magic of photography continues.  Today we went out to The Curva and backstreets to take some shots.  The weather, in English style, was overcast and so the sky ranged from grey to white (not ideal), however, it did stay dry and I am hoping I got some good shots.  Started by setting my camera Olympus OM-D E-Mark10 II to ISO 400, F5.0, and just adjusted settings as I went.  Took some Black and white and some colour.  Here are the contacts from the day, took around 150 images.

So I will just look at a few of the images that I thought worked quite well from the shoot.  

ISO 400, F3.5, 1/250, FL 14mm

I picked this one as I walk by this every day to work and there is often evidence of the night before which may include foam, cans and general odd rubbish. I liked the door and the bin I felt this worked well as a shot.

 ISO 400, 1/50, F14 FL 14mm

This shot I enjoyed the turn left only - a sign that life is telling you, you can only go one way! Also this has a great leading line and so the eye is drawn up the street through the image.  

 ISO 400, 1/125, F5.6 FL 15mm

This is not in any way my best shot but I couldn't help but like it, I loved the two bins with the twining leaves above and I kind of liked it that in the background a man is standing at the window.  The balance of this image pleases me....

I will take further images that perhaps have more of a theme, or personal meaning and post these ready for the next session 

Tuesday 12 April 2022

Media SMART Objective


SMART Objective for Media Project Sign Off 

I will be creating a Digital Art project which will consist of 4-6 final images that will use the concept of The Return of the Dolls following on from my former project of The Army of Dolls. I will use my own and stock images and create the digital art pieces in Photoshop.   will then upload them to an NFT site and create digital assets to sell online.  They will also be uploaded onto my website in a gallery by the deadline at the beginning of June.

Media: Piktochart Developing Ideas

 Finalised my idea for the Media project and I decided to go with the Digital Art project.  I have names this The Return of the Dolls as my concept will be a story that will follow on from The Army of Dolls

Please find my picktochart with more development and explanation here and the link:

Monday 11 April 2022

IIM Book Cover Design: Initial Ideas & Practice

 This week we are being inspired by written work and so we are looking at book cover design so I need to consider books I might like to redesign.  I am tempted to C.S. Samson, here are some examples of his book covers 

As you can see, these book covers work as a set however I think I could do something interesting with these titles so I am going to do a practice run in class.

I began by creating a canvas on photoshop, I did this by clicking on create new and then 'Print' in the top menu of the dialog box.  I then picked an A$ size from the templates and changed the resolution to 300 dpi for high quality in case I wanted to print.

I then opened by image in Photoshop which I found on Pexels which I thought would work quite well with the book title of 'Revelation'.  As this is a historical novel then I needed an image that was timeless and certainly did not look contemporary.  The image also had the dramatic air that reminded me of the novel itself. 

I then wanted to add the text so I spent some time choosing a suitable font so the typography, again reflected the novel itself.  I chose Euclid Fraktur for the title and authors name and the title was at  100pts & the author at 36 pts.  I lined this up to centre this as the image was central so this would balance well and be aesthetically pleasing. 

I then added a tagline to interest and excite readers and those that know the stories would want to buy this book in the series - I used 30pts Baskerville Old Face 

The final version I saved as a psd, in the cloud and on the desktop and also as a jpeg on the desktop to upload here.

As a practice this worked quite well and considering it was completed in a very short class this gives me an idea about other books or covers I could explore.