Browsing articles in "News"

Artbiz with Ryan Andrews

Oct 21, 2016   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

ra

Artbiz explores that middle ground between “art” and “business”. How genuinely creative people manage (or do not manage) to carve out a living doing what they love. How they juggle dayjobs, families, real life, relationships, paying bills and doing their craft/art.

Ryan Andrews has mastered feature films, shorts and music videos. His music videos manage to balance intricate narrative with heartbreakingly beautiful visuals. Here he was kind enough to talk to Artbiz about his craft and commerce. Do yourself a favour and check out his feature film, Elfie Hopkins, a British People Under the Stairs by way of Wes Anderson.

Q1 First can you introduce yourself? Who are you? Do you have dependents? Do you have a mortgage? Are you the sole income earner?

Director Ryan Andrews. I have a Dog. Sole earner.

Q2 What do you do creatively? How long have you been doing it?

I directed music videos and film

ra5

Q3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

Director 10years.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

Freedom and creativity

Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

Security / Structure

ra3

Q6 Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

Dream full time job.

Q7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

Changes project to project. But I think everything in the arts is dictated by what’s commercially in fashion.

Q8 Have you turned down commissions? If so, why?

Either not appropriate for my style of work or budget.

ra2

Q9 Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

I have a series of short term plans that are vital to fulfilling the long term plan.

Q10 What do you think of your “industry”?

That changes on a daily basis. I love the ride and work through the whip outs.

Q11 Is there anyone out there that you aspire to be like? Why?

No one person. Anyone who feels creatively fulfilled and happy. I think happiness is key in this industry.

ra4

Transviolet – New Bohemia from Director Ryan Andrews on Vimeo.

 

Artbiz with Nia Edwards-Behi

Oct 13, 2016   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

ne

Artbiz explores that middle ground between “art” and “business”. How genuinely creative people manage (or do not manage) to carve out a living doing what they love. How they juggle dayjobs, families, real life, relationships, paying bills and doing their craft/art.

Nia Edwards-Behi is a horror genre treasure. Co-director of the UK’s best horror festival, Abertoir, and film journalist in her own right on Brutal as Hell, Nia has been instrumental in curating and guiding horror fans to “the good shit.” I was lucky enough to “meet” Nia over the wilds of Facebook when she was promoting Abertoir back in 2008. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Nia at Abertoir for a number of years, where she and her co-organisers are instrumental in fostering a warm, welcoming atmosphere for festival goers.

Q1          First can you introduce yourself? Who are you? Do you have dependents? Do you have a mortgage? Are you the sole income earner?

I’m Nia and in no particular order I’m co-director of a film festival, a film reviewer, a film scholar, and cinema technician. No, no and no.

 Q2          What do you do creatively? How long have you been doing it?

I suppose if film festival programming/curating and organising counts as creative work, then that! Around 6-7 years now, or thereabouts!

Q3          If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

My day job is as a cinema technician – what they would have called a projectionist, back in the day (so I’m told). It involves everything from technical work, to customer service, to cleaning up popcorn. I’ve been doing the job for about 18 months, but worked in the same venue (as box office staff) much longer.

24023188596_651143ef0a_oQ4          What are the benefits of your day job?

I work with a great group of people, I get to see a lot of films, I get to see first-hand people enjoying films. Obviously just plain having a regular income is nice, too, and I’m lucky to have a very kind and flexible boss!

Q5          What are the drawbacks of the day job?

I guess the pay isn’t amazing and there’s pretty much no room for career progression, and my hours are a bit anti-social, but those aren’t major issues for me at the moment really.

Q6          Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

It’s a sort of side-gig-dream-job that takes the time of a full time job…!

Q7          How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

I suppose quite a great deal of it involves quite a lot of commercial consideration, but never to the point of selling out or losing integrity (I hope!).

Q8          Have you turned down commissions? If so, why?

I can’t think of any time I’ve turned down work, but I often think that I should turn things down more often. Naturally most of my work being film-related the boundary between work and leisure can often blur!

1621894_804296146255901_24201971_nQ9          Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

I’m not especially spontaneous, but I don’t have a particular long-term plan, other than ‘more of the same’, I think!

Q10        What do you think of your “industry”?

I think my industry can be a very vibrant and exciting place, but like most of life there are parts of it I just don’t get…!

Q11        Is there anyone out there that you aspire to be like? Why?

There are some other festival programmers who I think maybe I’d like to be like in a few several years’ time, but I think I mostly aspire to just so what I do and do it as best as I can – and let that take me where it will!

1398815_458118600975787_944938762_o

Check out Nia’s writing here:

http://www.brutalashell.com/

And visit the Abertoir site to see what delights are on offer this year:

http://abertoir.co.uk/

Artbiz with Neil Cunningham

Oct 7, 2016   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

nc

Artbiz explores that middle ground between “art” and “business”. How genuinely creative people manage (or don’t manage) to carve out a living doing what they love. How they juggle dayjobs, families, real life, relationships, paying bills and doing their craft/art.

Unlike previous Artbizzers, I first met Neil not through his creative output but through the mind-curshing banality of dayjobbing. However when I found out of his background in graphic design, so began a bromance founded on a shared love of typeset and their sordid backgrounds (seriously, read up on Gill Sans or maybe DON’T). So I’m proud to present the following interview with the talented Mr Cunningham.

Q1 First can you introduce yourself? Who are you? Do you have dependents? Do you have a mortgage? Are you the sole income earner?

My name’s Neil and I’ve worked in various administrative roles for the University of Wales during the past 8 years. I have a beautiful daughter who is about to turn 2 next month and I currently have a joint mortgage.

Q2 What do you do creatively? How long have you been doing it?

I have a BA(Hons) in General Illustration from Swansea Met but tend to dabble more with graphic design and photography these days. I don’t get much spare time and I find that Design & photography tend to be quicker processes. Note to self: I need to sketch more. I’ve been a freelance designer for over 10 years. 

nyc-print-with-border-1

Q3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

See Q1.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

A steady income, routine and some adult conversation. I find working in isolation fine for a few hours but tend to get sidetracked by the fridge, my bed, Oooh look…a pigeon!

Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

Lack of creativity and a lack of stimulation. I could be working on a masterpiece instead of calling the printer a selfish prick for jamming the eighth time in an hour.
amw-poster-for-webfolio

Q6 Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

In an ideal world it would be my full time job. My studio would be a converted barn surrounded by squirrels and ducks. I’d have dream clients. And feeding my daughter and paying council tax would not be a worry. But we don’t live in an ideal world (kicks printer for 9th time). 

Q7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

Most of my freelance stuff is dictated by commercial consideration as you have a specified target audience where in house rules play a significant role. It’s frustrating as it can creatively restrict you. It becomes just another day job then.


Q8 Have you turned down commissions? If so, why?

I’m too skint to turn down commissions! But seriously, If it didn’t feel right then I would have no hesitation in turning down a project.


Q9 Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

I’ve been working on a personal project for the past 18 months. It’s a book that I’ll be writing, designing and although daunting, I’m very excited by it.

 Q10 What do you think of your “industry”?

My industry is a very talented yet almost saturated industry. It’s as frustrating as it is rewarding. 

pulman-cooper-biz-cardQ11 Is there anyone out there that you aspire to be like? Why?

Alex Jenkins, designer of the Prodigy’s Fat of the Land album cover. I recently met him and he is talented, humble, honest and most importantly extremely hard working!

 

 

 

 

Artbiz with Matty Budrewicz

Sep 28, 2016   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

mb

Artbiz explores that middle ground between “art” and “business”. How genuinely creative people manage (or don’t manage) to carve out a living doing what they love. How they juggle dayjobs, families, real life, relationships, paying bills and doing their craft/art.

I first noticed Matty Budrewicz’s work because it stuck out a mile from the copy/paste hatchet jobs that genre film journalism had become. Matty wrote eloquently and in depth about films that even I, as a huge horror nerd with a high borredom tolerance, wouldn’t watch. But his passion for these films shone through and made me re-examine films I’d sworn off for life. I don’t always agree with the films he champions but I will read anything he writes due to the quality of his work. As genre fans we’re lucky to have him.

Check his work out over at: Zombie Hamster!

Q1. First can you introduce yourself? Who are you? Do you have dependents? Do you have a mortgage? Are you the sole income earner?

My name is Matty Budrewicz and I’m a Student Support Leader by day, and a horror journalist/film critic by night. I’ve got a partner and a three-and-a-half year-old kid and – sometime soon – we’d like to have another one. My Mrs. is in full-time employment and, well, we do OK. But if you want to pay me for this thing, James, I wouldn’t say no!

Q2. What do you do creatively? How long have you been doing it?

I write about B-movies, horror films, and all kinds of wacky genre-based cinema stuff over at a website that I consider myself extremely lucky to be a part of, Zombie Hamster dot com. I’ve been at ZH officially about eighteen months now, after the site’s boss, the great Colin McCracken, very kindly gave myself and my writing partner, Dave Wain, the keys to the editorial kingdom. Prior to that, I’d done a few bits online for the excellent Delirium Magazine, and a couple of other shitty places who were more interested in schmoozing PR companies and arse-kissing their way around the movie industry than doing what I really wanted to do, which was analysing and talking about films. All in all, I think I’ve been writing about movies “properly” (as in, not just spouting off on my old Live Journal or something) for about three years now.

14389743_10157755720885643_1628627410_nQ3. If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

I work in a secondary school during the day as a Student Support Leader. It’s pastoral and behaviour-based stuff; kick and cuddle as I like to call it. I’ve worked there for just under two years now and I’ve had this post most of the last academic year. It’s an amazing job and incredibly rewarding, and as stressful as it can be, I love it. I love the kids in my year group – even the really difficult and naughty ones! – and the people I work with are second to none. It’s addictive too; like, even if something else did come up movie writing-wise, I don’t think I could ever give it up completely, you know?

Q4. What are the benefits of your day job?

Well, I’ve just had six blissful weeks off for summer, and I’ve got a week off for Halloween coming up because of the October half term, and then I’ll have two weeks free over Christmas… So all that term time stuff is certainly nice! Likewise with the hours. It fits very, very nicely around my Zombie Hamster stuff ‘cos I’m always home by six and off every weekend. And, of course, the pay is handy as well. While I don’t think the job will ever make me rich, it’s a guaranteed source of income.

Q5. What are the drawbacks of your day job?

Honestly? There’s probably none, really. Like I said, it genuinely does fit around all the Zombie Hamster stuff. However, if I had to nit-pick, it’s how dog tired I sometimes am if it’s been a particularly heavy day. Sometimes, I’ll find myself falling asleep about eight o’clock, ten minutes into a movie that I’m supposed to be reviewing or as I’m tapping away at the keyboard about some straight-to-video flick I’m meant to be writing a retrospective on. It’s pretty common for me to doze off midway through something and then wake up a few hours later, covered in drool, laptop still on or back to a DVD or Blu-ray looping on its menu screen. Watching and writing are such an important part of my day that it gets a little frustrating, especially when such impromptu bursts of narcolepsy happen two or three evenings on the bounce.

Q6. Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

I’ve never really thought about it, to be honest. Zombie Hamster doesn’t pay, but I’m not out of pocket doing it either, if that makes sense? I know writing about movies is something I have to do, though. I know that much. It’s an urge and an obsession, and I’ve always done it – be it through old MySpace bulletins or Live Journal or whatever. It’s part of who I am and I certainly don’t see it as a separate thing; even though I’m a little more guarded about it now than I used to be, just in case one of my students or a particularly prudish parent or school higher-up finds out about it. I mean, there’s been a few things I’ve wrote that you could probably consider a little risque, and I sure as hell don’t want to get in trouble because a kid in my year group has stumbled across a piece I wrote about some Jim Wynorski T&A flick and now thinks I’m some deranged pervert. Because as daft as it sounds, stuff like that could potentially happen.

14407647_10157755723015643_232834535_n

Q7. How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

Oh, none at all.I gave up chasing that train a long, long time ago! Screeners, press passes, freebies; I care not for any of that horse-pap! I’m lucky because the guys I work with, Dave and Colin, feel exactly the same too: at Zombie Hamster we write about the movies we want to write about, whether it’s popular or not. It’s a wonderful and immensely freeing attitude, and one that – I think anyway – gives us a bit more a punk-y edge; a sort of DIY kinda thing, like an old zine. Besides, I don’t think my taste particularly lends itself to the mainstream – or at least that’s how it felt when I used to do bits and bobs for Scream Magazine. And that was a miserable experience, let me tell you. I just found myself becoming homogenised, as if I didn’t have a voice anymore. Awful. Sure, it might have been good for my career progression sticking with those guys but, bloody hell, did my daily dalliances with them suck the joy out of genre-writing for a while.

Q8. Have you turned down commissions? If so, why?

So far, Dave and I have had two and we’ve took them, collaboratively. One is for a book that’s coming out next year. We contributed three chapters to that but I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say anything else about it yet so I’ll leave it at that. Seriously, there’s proper legal stuff involved and I don’t fancy having my face sued off! And just recently we’ve started putting together a lil’ something-something for an upcoming Blu-ray release from 88 Films. I’m really excited about that but, again, I don’t think I’m allowed to say too much about it yet, other than it’s going to be the best 2,000 words that you’re ever going to read about this criminally neglected, ’80s horror gem.

14383505_10157755722825643_1708225781_nQ9. Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

I’ve got a few very – VERY – loose ideas but nothing concrete. Keep noodling away with Zombie Hamster. More liner notes, moderate an audio commentary or two; that kind of thing. More books. Actually, Dave and I are currently working on a book of our own called ‘Schlock & Awe’, which is an expansion of a series we’ve been running on Zombie Hamster all about ’90s straight-to-video movies. We’re mapping it out and gathering interviews and stuff at the minute, but it’s already ballooned in size so our original plan of 2018 is probably a little off! We’ve also got a few other book ideas about a few specific filmmakers that we’re currently gathering material for but, again, that won’t be for a while, purely because of the insane scope of each one. We want them to be definitive, you know? The kind of books that would be mentioned alongside Stephen Thrower’s ‘Nightmare USA’ and Kim Newman’s ‘Nightmare Movies’!

Q10. What do you think of your “industry”?

Ha – what a question! I think now, with a few years experience under my belt, I’m more amused by it than anything. It’s a ridiculous, surreal place, full of arse-kissers, backstabbers, and more wobble-gobs than you can slap around the chops with a nail-covered two-by-four. But those sort of people you can identify pretty quickly, and I credit my exposure to such unforgivable cretins in the first place as what motivates me in keeping Zombie Hamster as fiercely independent and on-the-fringe as possible.

Q11. Is there anyone out there that you aspire to be like? Why?

I’ve got influences, for sure, but no-one who I want to actively copy. Why be like someone else? Why dance to someone else’s beat when you can bash the whole damn drum kit? But in terms of the other journos and critics who inspired me, I’d say Kim Newman, Mark Kermode, and – at the risk of provoking every troll in existence – Calum Waddell. Seriously, Waddell gets a lot of flak these days but, when I was in college, devouring Shivers Magazine and endlessly re-watching Tobe Hooper’s remake of the Toolbox Murders, his stuff really spoke to me.

 

Artbiz with David Melkevik

Sep 22, 2016   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

dm

Artbiz explores that middle ground between “art” and “business”. How genuinely creative people manage (or don’t manage) to carve out a living doing what they love. How they juggle dayjobs, families, real life, relationships, paying bills and doing their craft/art.

This week, we have my brother from another mother, David Melkevik!

Firstly, head on over to twitter, find him, follow him, RT the sh*t out his 140 character gold nuggets:

 http://www.twitter.com/davidmelkevik

Dave is an amazing scriptwriter, who writes some of the funniest dialogue I’ve ever read. I have literally cried with tears of laughter on public transport because some of the lines Dave has committed to script.

He’s also a ninja master of script structure. I’ll ask him to read over any project I’ve worked on, with the exception of this newsletter, and he can point out where the “flab” is. Working with Dave on co-writing Kerb Crawlers was one of the funnest experiences I’ve had in the pre-production process. Fun fact: Dave has a cameo in my second flick; Silent Night, Bloody Night: The Homecoming, see if you can spot him!

Q1          First can you introduce yourself? Who are you? Do you have dependents? Do you have a mortgage? Are you the sole income earner?

I come armed with two kids, a house and a fantastic wife who’s on maternity leave.

  Q2          What do you do creatively? How long have you been doing it?

Have been adventuring in screenwriting for about 10 years.

 Q3          If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

Working in Higher Education for almost 12 years and currently I’m in the business of business analysis and business be booming.

untitled2Q4          What are the benefits of your day job?

Its 9-5 and, on the whole, not too stressful. If it was stressful it would be difficult to get in the mind-set to do writing.

 

Q5          What are the drawbacks of the day job?

None – except it’s not screenwriting. Or crime fighting. 

Q6          Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

Now screenwriting is my dream job. Before children came along I would have said it was a side-gig but since starting a family this year the amount of time and energy I now have left to spend on writing has relegated it to a hobby. However as this eventually becomes the new normal I will to recommit to screenwriting once again… and the crime fighting

 Q7          How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

When writing on spec I’m totally dictated by commercial consideration. I mostly write high-concept comedies so if I didn’t think my story had appeal to a mass audience then I wouldn’t write it.untitled

 Q8          Have you turned down commissions? If so, why?

On the odd occasion I have turned down a commission it is because I wasn’t the right writer for that project. Time really is precious so I prefer to dedicate it to projects I’m passionate about… and crime fighting.

 Q9          Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?

I used to have plans but they’ve been put on the backburner for the past year so I am just going with the flow. When I return to writing properly though next year I will assess where I am and where I want to be and come up with a plan to address that gap. I also need a lair… for the crime fighting.

Q10        What do you think of your “industry”?

It’s a challenging industry but if you rise to that challenge I honestly believe your talent will be rewarded. However even if you don’t reap financial rewards one of the best things about trying to make it in the industry is finding yourself in the same boat as loads of smart, funny and passionate people. Consequently developing relationships (and friendships) with people in the industry is a reward in itself… although sometimes a suitcase full of cash would be preferred.

Sorry. Just realised I answered that question in relation to the crime fighting industry but I guess still applies to the film industry too.

untitled3Q11        Is there anyone out there that you aspire to be like? Why?

Jay and Mark Duplass for their insane amount of creative productivity.  They’ve made it in the industry by becoming a mini-industry.

And The Batman.

Cause he’s The Batman.

 

Artbiz with Rich Hawkins

Sep 14, 2016   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

rh

Artbiz explores that middle ground between “art” and “business”. How genuinely creative people manage (or don’t manage) to carve out a living doing what they love. How they juggle dayjobs, families, real life, relationships, paying bills and doing their craft/art.

Rich Hawkins is a horror author, who after being published by a number of independent publishers, took the plunge this year with self-publishing his own work. Since then his output has been remarkable, with rarely a month passing without a new release from Mr Hawkins. Rich was also part of Infected Books’ Year of the Zombie event, with his novella The Plague Winter, a gateway drug to his Last Plague series of novels.

Check out his work below, I personally recommend his amazing, Lovecraftian Black Star, Black Sun:

Q1 First can you introduce yourself? Who are you? Do you have dependents? Do you have a mortgage? Are you the sole income earner?

I’m Rich Hawkins, and I live in Somerset with my wife, my daughter and our pet dog. We currently rent our house. My wife is the main income earner.

Q2 What do you do creatively? How long have you been doing it?

I’m a horror writer, and my debut novel ‘The Last Plague’ was released in 2014. I had a few short stories published before then.

Scavengers

Scavengers

Q3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

My day job is a ‘house husband’, which means I stay at home to look after my infant daughter while my wife goes out to work. I also do the household chores and take care of the dog.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

The main one is being able to fit in my writing while looking after my daughter during the day. I get more writing done than when I was working a ‘proper’ day job.

Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

Dirty nappies, temper tantrums, and children’s television programmes.

Q6 Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

Writing is my dream job, without trying to sound pretentious. It’s also my only source of income. It’s my second job, behind being a house-husband.

Q7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

There’s usually that consideration at the back of my mind, but my ‘gut feeling’ towards a story always wins out.

Q8 Have you turned down commissions? If so, why?

Never. I can’t afford to. I’m happy to be a literary whore.

Black Star, Black Sun

Black Star, Black Sun

Q9 Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

My current plan is to keep building up my back catalogue of books and see where it takes me. Horror is a difficult sell at the best of times, so it’s a fight to even get established.

Q10 What do you think of your “industry”?

The horror fiction community, like all other communities, has a few cliques, con artists, and outright arseholes – but it also has loads of good people, and I count many of them as my friends. It’s a good community, for the most part.

Q11 Is there anyone out there that you aspire to be like? Why?

When I first started writing short stories, I wanted to be like Stephen King, but now I just want to put out the best work I can and forge my own path.

Rich Hawkins

Artbiz with Gareth Hopkins

Sep 9, 2016   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

grt

Artbiz explores that middle ground between “art” and “business”. How genuinely creative people manage (or do not manage) to carve out a living doing what they love. How they juggle dayjobs, families, real life, relationships, paying bills and doing their craft/art.

I am lucky enough to have known Gareth A Hopkins (the A is for Astronaut) for seventeen years. During that time I have seen Gareth evolve as an artist and an illustrator. Gareth has an instantly recognisable but unique style. His “Intercorstal” comics can be found in the best indie comic stores in London and I recommend you check out his stuff where you can. Start at his sites:

http://www.grthink.com/

https://intercorstal.com/

Q1          First, can you introduce yourself? Who are you? Do you have dependents? Do you have a mortgage? Are you the sole income earner?

Hello, I’m Gareth A Hopkins (please make special note of the ‘A’ as it makes me easier to Google). I’m married to a lady, with whom I have two children – a 6yr old boy and a 4yr old girl. I very much have a mortgage. My wife and I are both in work, and share the bills as fairly as possible — I’m full time, she’s part-time, and because I’ve not taken time out to have children I’ve not had my career stalled so earn a bit more than she does.
 

 Q2          What do you do creatively? How long have you been doing it?

I’m an artist and illustrator, the distinction between the two occasionally blurring but still present enough to be noteworthy, at least I think so. I’ve been actively drawing since 2004-ish, when I was 24, having just sort of stopped before that for the usual reasons people stop doing things in their late teens. Since then I’ve grown in confidence and competence, and got steadily more serious. My main project is a comic called The Intercorstal, which is abstract and experimental. Until recently it was pretty much online only but in June I used Kickstarter to fund a print run of ’683′, a 36pp comic. The Intercorstal’s also been in a few exhibitions here and there. I’ve also done spot illustrations for some magazines. 

After Smith Copyright Gareth A Hopkins

After Smith
Copyright Gareth A Hopkins

Q3          If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

By day, I’m an e-assessment specialist for a Vocational Education company. Essentially, I know a lot about how electronic multiple-choice tests work. I’ve been with this company for 11 years now — I started there as an admin after leaving a management role in a supermarket, and gradually moved my way into my current niche. 
 

Q4          What are the benefits of your day job?

They’ve got a photocopier that is a very good scanner, so the vast majority of my work gets scanned there. I’ve also got access to Photoshop as part of my job, so I get to use that too. They’re very flexible around work/life balance too. It’s in Central London, so I’m close to stuff if I need it — there’s a park near my office where I go to draw during my lunch, and that space has been very important to me as an artist, it’s really informed my work. I also get a Volunteering leave allownace too, which means I can help out with the Ministry Of Stories (a children’s literacy and creativity charity) without eating up too much of my annual leave. It pays pretty well, too.
 

Q5          What are the drawbacks of the day job?

On a good day, my commute is an hour and a half each way, which has its benefits as I use the time to read and catch up on sleep, but it does mean I’m not at home as much during the week as I’d like, and I don’t get to see my kids too much before they go to bed, which can be hard. And then there’s the usual work stresses, and also that while I’m doing that job I’m not making something different, for myself. 
 

Copyright Gareth A Hopkins

Copyright Gareth A Hopkins

Q6          Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

It’s what I do to fulfill my ambitions, I guess. I know that the kind of art I make is never going to be embraced by the mass market, and I’ll never be able to do it full time, but my ambition is to be as good as I can at it. I want to make interesting, engaging, and occasionally thought-provoking work. It doesn’t pay me anything, but other than my family it’s my number one priority, I think.

 Q7          How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

Pretty much none. My work isn’t hostile, but my stubborn refusal to make art that conforms to set norms borders on it. I’m constantly adapting, and if I get even a sniff that someone’s doing something comparable I’ll shift somehow.

Having said that, I’ve adapted my work for public spaces — my work for the Lakes Comic Art Festival has been willfully crowd-friendly (the first year it was based on A Wainwright’s Lakeland Guides which are very popular in that neck of the woods, and the year after that I based my project around To Kill A Mockingbird). But even then, any kind of monetary benefit is the furthest thing from my mind when I begin a project. I’ve spent more money making comics and art than I’ve earned back, by a wide margin.
 
 

Q8          Have you turned down commissions? If so, why?

There have been times when I’ve been approached by writers eager to work on comics with me — or the other way around, sometimes — but I find it difficult to move into a ‘mainstream’ way of drawing. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to draw a decent sci-fi comic. I’ve also had to say ‘no’ to few projects recently just because I’ve been too busy, although if it’s a project I really want to do I’ll find a way. 

Blencathra Copyright Gareth A Hopkins

Blencathra
Copyright Gareth A Hopkins

Q9          Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

A series of short term plans, definitely. I tend to have one Intercorstal project bubbling along at all times, and then pick up other projects as and when I can. There’s no masterplan, though. Just trying to be the best Gareth A Hopkins I can be.

I’d like to one day have more space to create in, both spatially and temporally. At the moment I work at my kitchen table, usually starting at 10pm. I’d like to get a studio, or office, or something, and also to have more time to work on larger projects.
 

Q10        What do you think of your “industry”?

Hmm. Just had to delete my first answer which was ‘I love it! Everyone’s super nice!’ because last time I told my wife that she listed all the times I’ve been let down by someone, or passed over for something, or rejected from a pitch. Generally, everyone in Small Press Comics, which is where I’ve nestled, is amazing, and I’ve made some great friends and worked with some amazing people. Wider than that… I dunno.
 

Q11        Is there anyone out there that you aspire to be like? Why?

Not really. There are swathes of people I admire, and that I’ve learned a lot from, but my personal mantra, which I’ve already said once in this interview, is ‘be the best Gareth you can’. It keeps me honest, and ambitious, and focused. I don’t feel any need to be like anybody else.

683  Copyright Gareth A Hopkins

683
Copyright
Gareth A Hopkins

Explore the world of Gareth A Hopkins:

http://www.grthink.com/

https://intercorstal.com/

Artbiz is…

Sep 1, 2016   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

Picture1

So what is Artbiz?

For awhile I’ve been thinking about that middle ground between “art” and “business”. How genuinely creative people manage (or don’t manage) to carve out a living doing what they love. How they juggle dayjobs, families, real life, relationships, paying bills and doing their craft/art. I know from personal experience that it can be a struggle.

The majority of interviews I’ve read by creative people, don’t tend to go into this side of things. Instead they focus on the craft, the product or the technique.

There was a void of information.

So I thought I’d have a go at filling that void.

I’m lucky, through my adventures in filmmaking and writing I’ve come into the orbit of a number of incredibly talented people. Some have made it BIG. Some are on their way. Some are just starting out. Some are close friends. Some are colleagues. Some are just internet friends.

I asked them all if they’d be happy to help me out with an experiment.

The majority very kindly said yes.

I bombarded them with a series of short questions. They very quickly sent me back their answers. And what was particularly amazing about their answers was their brutal honesty.

So, with their permission, I’m sharing their answers each week, as a very short blog post “Artbiz”.

Within their answers, I found some great advice. Hopefully you guys will also find it useful. You can use their experiences as how-to guides or even self-therapy if you prefer.

We’ve got interviews with:

  • filmmakers,
  • writers,
  • comic book artists,
  • singers,
  • actors,
  • models,
  • journalists,
  • musicians,
  • and more to come.

I’ve kept them short and sweet, because I know you guys are busy people.

I’d also love to hear from you! Are there vital questions I’m missing out? Got a recommendation for the perfect interview candidate?

Let me know.

Thanks,

J

What is Artbiz?

Aug 31, 2016   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

Picture1

Little Monster

May 26, 2016   //   by admin   //   News  //  No Comments

 

 

So Project FULT has finally been revealed as my first novella “Little Monster”.

Very, very proud of this piece of work, so I thought I’d share some of the background of how I ended up here. Middle of last year, I decided to put the filming on the back-burner due to health reasons within my family. It was a hard decision, but the right one for me at the time. The day after I made the decision, Wayne Simmons (author, horror convention organiser and lovely humanoid) dropped me a message to ask if I’d like to take part in a zombie novella event as part of David Moody’s (author, bald and also lovely humanoid) Infected Books label. I was speechless.

Wayne has always been a huge supporter of my work, we met back in 2012 at a comic convention and he invited me to the inaugural Scardiff convention, Wales’ first horror convention, the next year. He’s written numerous reviews of my films and mentioned them on his podcasts and recommended them onto others. He’s also an incredibly talented author able to work across genres effortlessly. Do yourself a favour and check out “Flu” (horror), “Plastic Jesus” (sci-fi) or “The Girl in the Basement” (crime). His character work is mind-blowing and he’s a master of pacing.

When I did regain my speech, I told him I was honoured but could I have twenty-four hours to think about it. I’d just decided to put my family first and although I’d written a number of scripts over the past few years, it had been awhile since I had written prose, let alone a novella.

But… But I was intrigued. It was a challenge, could I write a novella? And I had an idea, dammit, I had an idea. Originally it was a film idea, one that I had plotted out, and written about 40 pages of script for. But there were elements of the idea, which appeared to work better as prose. Being able to get inside a character’s head more readily, as an example.

So I bit the bullet and agreed.

Aaaaand it was a challenge. A fun/rewarding/terrifying/frustrating challenge. It is nothing like script-writing, and another time I’ll go into where I found the differences most daunting.

I’d like to thank all of those who gave me feedback on early drafts of the book, you truly did help shape the book in a better way, so thank you all!

I’d also like to specifically thank three people.

Firstly Wayne Simmons, thank you, sir. Thank you for years of support and advice, you are an inspiration.

Secondly to Mr David Moody, whose brilliant idea this was. When David revealed who the other participants were I was terrified, these guys were pros. But I’m incredibly grateful that he took a gamble on giving me a shot.

Lastly Fran Plumb, who has been so patient and supportive. When I’ve needed to hide myself away and bash out some words, Fran has handled two Little Monsters by herself. She’s been with me through the highs and lows, and I can’t imagine doing this without her.

Oh and finally, people have asked what ProjectFULT means…

Put simply it was my war cry at the start of every writing session:

FUCK U LAP TOP!

photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your six-year-old daughter has been bitten by a zombie and now hungers for human flesh.

What do you do?

Do you double tap her in the brain?

Or do you become the ultimate enabler and feed her human flesh?

And where do you get human flesh from?

This is the dilemma that Gareth and Jen face with their beautiful daughter Ana.

What will they do?

And how far will it go?

“Mr. Plumb has a deeply vivid and twisted imagination; and as a fan of horror fiction, I am very grateful for that.” – Gary Slaymaker, BBC Radio Wales

Available on Amazon US/UK from 1 June 2016

keywords: "Year of the zombie" "James Plumb" "Little Monster"
Pages:«1234»