Welcome 2017!! Happy New Year Inkers & Thinkers!

Wow…how fast did that go? 

We are still in year Zero but at last a year with a 7 in it!  2017 has been plugged in and ready to go…….  We’ve lots lined up over the next few months and will really need to hang onto our hats!  Can’t wait to get started. 

Back in the Studio tomorrow for our first proper day of 2017, where we will be working on editing and some new ideas for a game we are developing. 

Watch this space and thanks for all your support and input over the last few months!

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Inking Corner – Sparky Ink Studio Presents Art & Design Student Amy Susan Hannah

When Art & Design Student Amy Susan Hannah first showed me the beginnings of her picture, I didn’t realise the treat I was to be in for a few weeks later, when she unveiled the final piece for our current Art Exhibition ‘Spellbound – Myths & Legends’ now in its final week at West Studios in Chesterfield.

Amy has been a budding artist for a while, studying GCSE Art at school and then moving onto a Level 3 Art & Design UAL Extended Diploma at Sheffield Colleges.  Her work, some of which she has shared with the studio in the past, is an exciting representation of various genres and textures and shows real development, aptitude and a fiery passion for all things Art.  She is a keen photographer and has the amazing ability to create some fantastic, grotesque and believable wounds, disguises and character replications using make-up. 

Amy demonstrates her make-up skills with her Halloween 2016 disguise.

Although really busy with her course work Amy was keen to offer a picture for the exhibition.  Her creation was developed from her love of the Grimm fairy tales. 

     “I mainly choose the Snow White piece as I’ve always loved Grimm fairytales and their art styles.”  She shared.  “However, I chose to change the way she looked and base her looks more on me instead of the original Snow White…but keep the poison apple concept.”

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Fairest Destiny by Amy Susan Hannah copyright 2016 – Gouache on Paper

Her picture; finished in gouache, depicts Snow White with the poison apple with vacant yet pleading eyes which follow you around the room.  The piece has had a lot of attention at the exhibition and has become a real talking point for the audience.  Comments have ranged from how people have been drawn to the creation and cannot decide whether they think that it is demise or regeneration from the bite of the apple.  At age 16 Amy has shown incredible perception and flair in her young years to develop this piece. She is an artist to definitely watch out for in the future.

     “Sparky Ink Studio has been more than delighted and proud that Amy chose to exhibit such an important piece into our Year Zero Art Exhibition.”

    Exhibition attention for Amy’s piece 2016

 

Inking Corner – Sparky Ink Studio Presents: Concept Artist & Animator Jake Daniel Wright – for the ‘Spellbound Myth’s and Legends’ Art Exhibition

 

 

The studio was thrilled when Concept Artist and Animator Jake D Wright took up the request to exhibit three of his pieces in our Spellbound – Myths and Legends Art Exhibition; currently on display at West Studios Gallery in Chesterfield.

Among the pieces was ‘Beast Rider in the Desert’ which Jake explained was a piece inspired by  Mike Ploog an American storyboard and comic book artist, and a visual designer for movies.  To make the piece more personal Jake made changes and had one of his own concept art characters riding through the desert on the Beast.

“I sketched on paper and then digitalised for the ink and colour on photoshop. I’ve recently sort of really got into using photoshop.”  Jake shared.  “I like the quality and how it gives a really nice animated finish.  This picture was printed onto high quality photographic paper and it certainly made the difference creating much more depth.”

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                                                                           Beast Rider in the Desert [2016] © Jake D Wright.

Jake explained that he first started drawing at a young age when he decided he had characters in his head which he wanted to bring alive.  As a self taught artist he has used his creativity to alleviate the frustration of having Asperger’s Syndrome; a condition which makes it difficult for Jake to express and communicate his thoughts and feelings.  He found that the more he drew, the more he was able to use the characters to help him understand the things happening around him.  His style has evolved since the early days where, he says, he was heavily influenced by Manga, Anime and gaming characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario.  Practicing drawing these characters really helped him.

“I was able to put the characters into situations I feared in real life.” 

To most people some of the simple tasks each day are not even thought about, like catching a bus or making a meal, but for Jake these can sometimes be the most challenging when he can struggle to get organised and make decisions. Jake said.

“…Over the years with help from my family, friends and support worker Thom, I have managed to develop the confidence and courage to now ask questions and to show my thoughts through my drawings.”  

It’s clear that Jake is now comfortable and happy to show off his work and for this particular exhibition he had created two brand new pieces to exhibit the “Beast in the Desert” and “Zombie – Harriet”  both pieces use Jake’s own characters which demonstrate his interest in anthropomorphic creatures.

zombie-harrietZombie – Harriet [2016] © Jake D Wright. 

In addition there was a third piece that has recently been in The Art House Elephant Exhibition in Sheffield over the Summer.

“Back in 2013 I first met Russ (Wall) by attending one of his sequential art classes.  He has taught me so much about Comic Books and Graphic Novels, Films and Scripts the list is endless.  Russ exploded my passion for enjoying all these methods of building adventures and communicating the story to the audience.  During the Summer Russ roped me into the Elephant exhibition at The Art House in Sheffield.  It was the first time I had exhibited a piece in a professional capacity.  So I am really proud of this piece.”

img_0180Don’t Ask [2016] © Jake D Wright.

In addition Jake has a talent in Animation and has just finished a collaboration, soon to be aired on YouTube called ‘Kaiju’ which stars Donkey Kong and Bowser in a B.Movie Spectacular.  By Christmas a collaboration with his brother Josh, especially for Sparky Ink Studio, using simple table top stop motion Ink and Card will be débuted on YouTube.

“Animation is an amazing way of seeing ideas materialise into adventures.”  Jake described.  “The recent animation I have been involved in used armatures, special effects and lots of patience.  I love the history of animation and concept art, right back to Disney’s first to their latest, the cartoons I watched as a child such as Sonic the Hedgehog all inspire me to this day.”

Jake has also been involved in a Graphic Novel named ‘StarBotz’ where he was one of the main artists. This is due to be published online in the future.

20161109_113559Jake D Wright at West Studios, Chesterfield.

Year Zero – Article in The Sheffield Star about Our ‘Spellbound’ Art Exhibition & The Archer Project

Wow How Exciting!  Our Art Exhibition was given some column space in The Sheffield Star on Tuesday 8th November 2016.

Follow this Link to their website. http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/homeless-charity-s-inspired-exhibition-1-8223777

SPELLBOUND - MYTHS & LEGENDS

 

 

Inking Corner – Sparky Ink Studio Presents: Sequential Artist Kieran Paul May M.A – ‘Close your eyes’ [2016] for the ‘Spellbound Myths & Legends’ Art Exhibition

Monday 31st October 2016 was the launch day of Sparky Ink Studio’s first Art Exhibition at West Studios in Chesterfield.  The Studio was delighted that Sequential Artist Kieran Paul May M.A dropped by to chat about the piece he had created especially for the exhibition.  Kieran recently completed a Masters Degree in Art and Design at Leeds Beckett University studying in the area of the graphic novel and other narrative sequential art.  Kieran explained that he hoped to successfully become an aspiring graphic novelist. His final Exhibition for his Masters; where he gained a Distinction, certainly demonstrates that Kieran has freshness in story telling through this method.  Choosing an Ostrich in his final piece created an almost safari ride for the observer as this energetic story is captured beautifully in Sequential Art form.  When you stop, catch a breath and then take in the beautifully drawn and researched anatomy of the Ostrich you enjoy a new bewilderment of the elegance and resilience of this creature and appreciate the future adventures that could be told.

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 Photograph taken from Kieran’s exhibition at Leeds Beckett University  ©Kieran Paul May M.A [2016]

              Kieran told me that he had enjoyed his time at University although it was stressful and very challenging at times.  Kieran already has the challenge of Autism in his life so to achieve so much is not only a massive accomplishment for himself but gives a clear message to everyone that if you really want to achieve something in your life then there is always a way to do it.  You just have to take the plunge.  It does take a lot of effort to build up the confidence and courage to share that talent and ambition with the rest of the world.

‘Spellbound – Myths & Legends’   

 I asked Kieran about the exciting piece that he had exclusively created for Spellbound Art Exhibition.

     “’Close Your Eyes’ is created as a response to the killer clown craze at this moment in time.”  Kieran explained.  “After researching different types of famous myths, the one I chose tied in with this recent news.  The story goes that a young girl babysat someone’s children, where she noticed a clown statue.  The statue ‘creeped’ her out, when contacting the parents, they claimed they didn’t own a clown statue and that there wasn’t one in their house.  Panicked they told her to take the children and get away from the house.”  The story is one of those unnerving myths that play in the minds of young people conjuring up a horror tale of the lonely babysitter having to defend someone else’s children from a supernatural being.  In this case a figure that causes phobias in some people.

     Kieran added that “In order to make the clown scary I would look at disturbing facial features and the first one was on the eyes because it’s the first thing you notice about someone or something. The other thing was to make the character design look real and grotesque which makes it look scarier. I got this idea from watching such films like the live action 2003 film ‘the cat in the hat’ film where the characters look too freaky and scary in real life and work better as a cartoon. My artist influence for this piece was the mangaka Junji Ito.”  Kieran shared, that although it was a long time ago, he had remembered having a similar fear as a child.  “Where my brothers Teddy Ruxpin (a popular 80’s animatronics bear) would look at me in the dark while I was in bed which terrified me”

 kierans-concept-art-for-clown         close-your-eyes-k-may-2016        kieran-and-picture

Concept Art –  from ‘Close Your Eyes’ [2016]  & Kieran with exhibited piece ‘Close Your Eyes’ [2016]©Kieran Paul May M.A [2016]

Kieran certainly captures the torment in the face of the child hiding under the covers.  I asked him about the Clowns hands especially the Left hand which is shaped like a balloon animal.  Kieran Said.  “Yes I wanted to capture the essence of the happy things of a clown for example the balloon animal but I wanted to add in that the clown was all-seeing that’s why there is so much use of the eyes on the Clowns hands.”

I asked Kieran about what his plans were now that his MA was achieved.  He explained that he was working on a few projects at his artist’s studio in Sheffield.  He shared a recent entry he had made recently into the ‘thought bubble festival’ comic book competition in Leeds.   The festival runs until the 6th November 2016. His original and brilliantly composed sequential piece (below) can be found here:

http://thoughtbubblefestival.com/wp-content/gallery/tbcac2016/Escalation-by-Kieran-May.jpg

 

 

About Sparky Ink Studio

Sparky Ink Studio is a place for inkers and thinkers.  The studio offers workshops and social projects aimed at helping people who have personal challenges in their lives.  The workshops and projects offered are Games Design, Animation, Comic-book & Graphic Novel Design and Development, Film-making, digital Art, Creative and Script-writing. 

Part of the studio’s ethos is to help people seek out their creative career within the digital Creative Industries and is developing a Digital Inclusion Project for participants.

Sparky Ink Studio anticipates a Three year Digital Inclusion Project which will hopefully kick-start careers for participants within the Gaming & Creative Industries sector. During Year One participants will work towards their own development.  This will include using industry software and hardware and learning all the fundamentals to being part of a gaming studio.  During Year Two and Year Three the studio will produce a game which will be released.

Participants will be welcomed from a range of backgrounds.  The key is ensuring that those who struggle with social and digital inclusion will be the main participant group.  It is likely that the studio will be made up of at least 70% of people who have a diagnosis within the Autistic Spectrum.  

At the end of Year Three the Studio will remain open and will work on the second title. It is hoped that any profit from the first title will bring in enough revenue to pay for the Studio’s workforce (in essence the participants from the first project) It is also hoped that there will be enough funding to re-run the project with a new set of participants.

We are currently at Year Zero; an important year for applying for funding and help from the industry.  It is hoped that participant places will be offered by September 2017 and the Studio will begin Year One between October & December 2017.

The Studio is to be based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Interested participants will need to be within the surrounding areas or willing to travel.  However, there will be plenty of scope for home working.  There are a whole range of skills and talents that the studio will need from Artists, Animators, Programmers, Designers, Performing Artists and Music and Quality Control/Testers.  If you are interested in becoming a participant please drop me an email.

Please do not send any personal information only your name and why you would like to participate and any questions.  Participation Packs will be sent out via email, which will include all the information regarding the project and how you can apply.

If you are a professional and are interested in knowing more about the project, wish to pledge a donation financially or volunteering some precious time and skills to help the project please contact me on:

ginger@sparkyink.co.uk

http://www.sparkyink.co.uk

Year Zero – First Art Exhibition October 2016

It’s been a while since I wrote on here but lots has happened over the last few months.  I wanted to share the Studio’s new event…

Amongst the recent projects that Sparky Ink Studio has been working on in the first few months of business, was the chance to work closely with Eisner Nominated Graphic Novelist Russell Wall.  Together we have put on an Art Exhibition at West Studio’s in Chesterfield.  We have 32 Pieces of work showing within the theme of “Spellbound – Myths & Legends”.  Running from the 31st October to 3rd December 2016. 

Some of the artists come from difficult backgrounds and have taken time out to enjoy working with different mediums and creating pieces that for some has taken enormous commitment.  Last Wednesday (26th October) I got the chance to collect some of the work and actually have a look at some of the pieces.  It was amazing, very humbling and more than inspiring to hold a piece of work created by someone who had slept on the street the night before or someone with a profound disability.  These heartfelt pieces of artwork created with such grace and determination made me think about the stress of being alive and how for some this is measured. 

The exhibition is named “Spellbound” a word meaning different things to different people.  For me this exhibition is a reflection on what fascinates and intrigues people.  How I read the fairy tale, book or comic, examine the anti-hero and make excuses for the villain.  The distance between myself, the world I live in and the world that is created in our imaginations from the imaginations and influences of others.

Over the next few weeks I will be using this space to showcase as many of the artists as possible, with their pieces, to find out what inspired them and what they feel about exhibiting their work.

I am writing this in the early hours of “All Saints Day” which is a very special day to me.  A day that still dawns after the darkness of Halloween  bringing hope and light.

If you are in the area and would like to visit the Exhibition the details are below on the flyer.  Alternatively if you’d like to know more about the project or the studio please use the contact form at http://www.sparkyink.co.uk or email ginger@sparkyink.co.uk for further details.

If you would like to support Sheffield Cathedral Archer Project for Vulnerable People please check out their website at http://www.archerproject.org.uk

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