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Saturday, 19 January 2013

Why I'll be creating more art this year.

Having enjoyed unforeseen opportunities and experiences as a model last year and juggled that with freelance journalism, my other creative outlets took a backseat. And whilst I do of course enjoy the people I get to meet, the concepts I get to help bring to life and lets not forget the beautiful clothing I get to sample; I like to be more known for my more eloquent produces. That's not to say that modelling isn't a complex role however I get the feeling that unless I didn't speak up people wouldn't perhaps know that I'm also a published journalist, I write poetry, I make digital art and I occasionally host my own radio show on the internet. I'm also studying tv and film production to fill the gaps in between jobs. And whilst that sounds a lot like bragging (it's not meant to sound so) I'd like to reveal a bit more about how my artistic side manifests itself.

Digital Art
Way back when (or about three years ago) one of GCSE choices was Art, I undertook this choice because I saw it as an opportunity to express myself. Oh how I was wrong. It turned out that within the confines of a classroom, art was not always subjective and it could be graded based on the interpretations of a textbook examiner or teacher. All around me my peers were able to create realistic still life pieces whilst I resigned myself to the fact that I couldn't draw. I was however throughly interested in collages, installations, abstract art and the Banksys, Micallefs and Stella Vines of the world. Whilst I respected the attention to detail it was something that with great regret I couldn't emulate within my own work but I haven't let that hinder me. With the great digital age we find ourselves living in, I've discovered that we're not limited to a pencil and paper. Thanks to programmes such as Illustrator and Photoshop we can create pieces just as intriguing as traditional art. It's also prompted me to try and try again with traditional art via tutorials online and such. Creating within this setting has dissipated the trauma of the conventional art teaching of the classroom because this time there are no grades, there is no teacher scrutinising my work and I'm ultimately doing it for myself as opposed to doing it for an examining body.  I'm still very much learning the ropes with digital art, making digital collages based on experiences or topics of interest but also moving into vector portraits too. I've often been told that you can't be good at everything and whilst that is to an extent true, nothing is impossible and I've also been one to strive and attempt to break the boundaries of my limits. I see art in all meanings of the word as an output for emotion and creativity and above all it's a means for expression
I am the proud owner of these babies:
Lubitel 2
Diana Mini
Canon Sure Shot AF-7

There's a rather soft spot in my heart for analog photography. I was introduced to it properly by my good friend Sam who has been an amateur film photographer ever since I've known him. I was taken with the rawness, the ambivalent simplicity and complexity of a point and shoot. The skill that goes into taking a 'good picture' as opposed to hitting 'auto' on a digital.I remember my very first trip to the Lomography store in Carnaby Street, I was enthralled by the results of analog photography and to this day am still touched that they feel so strongly about keeping film alive and I assure you it is by no means dead. So I set about aquiring my very own collection of analog snappers. Everything but the Diana Mini I found on Ebay. My trusty little canon accompanies me everywhere and has served me well when I've been at festivals and on holiday alike, it's super portable and even has a built in flash perfect for shooting at night. My Lubitel 2  is a beautiful little piece of history, look closely at it and it says 'Made in the USSR'. It's a tad bit bulkier and only shoots 12 exposures on 120 film which can make it expensive to upkeep and means you have to be very selective with your shots. I seem to appreciate this fact more though as it demands that you really think of what your taking before you take it as film is expensive and precious. You can also take multiple exposures with the lubitel meaning you can layer image over image to create something with yet more depth. I've had this little camera for a while now and I've still yet to finish the roll but when I do I very much look forward to developing it myself too. I've just acquired the Diana Mini and have yet to use it but whats really exciting about it is not only can it do multiple exposures but it can also shoot half frames and square frames. Now you can essentially fit two shots into one photo doubling the amount of exposures on your roll. I cannot wait to get creative with it!

I could natter on and on for days about each of the mediums I enjoy dabbling in but what are you passionate about art wise? Do you love analog photography? Are you something of a digital artist?

Friday, 18 January 2013

My First Shoot Of 2013: De Sachy Browne

Being a freelance model with no other parties to promote you let alone apply to casting calls for you it's amazing how a little (a lot) of meticulous searching can score you your next modelling gig. This one was via Twitter, thanks to the dozens of photographers and creative sites I follow I saw that a photographer was looking for a model and jumped on the 'reply' function to sell myself. That's what you have to do with these things, market yourself, sound obnoxiously big headed but nonetheless sell yourself. And when you score that job your shameless (or not so) self promotion doesn't seem all that bad because it paid off.  Emails exchanged and details confirmed and then boom. My body decides this would be the perfect time to contract a cold the day before the shoot. I'd been itching to get back on the proverbial clothes horse job ever since the clock turned midnight on New Years Eve. January is a quiet month I had to remind myself as the creative industry get back on their feet post christmas. I was determined not to back out of this job so that I did not and soldiered on.

Once I got out of the cold and into the studio my cold eased off for the duration. I met the most wonderful team (though everyone I get to work with are the most wonderful at said time). The very talented make up artist that is Kate Littlejohn, the two Irish designers come stylists for the day Marie De Sachy and Jennifer Browne, the bubbly photographer Jason Alden and his hard working assistant Tim Bowditch and the beautiful italian model Djada.

Thanks to the MUA and designers, we covered lots of looks and designs much to photographer Jason's surprise each time I came back out to shoot I looked completely different. I also got to add my own art direction and poses, its always nice to get a little bit of creative reign especially if its a fresh idea previously unthought of and beneficial to the client. Another highlight included the cave constructed by Jason and Tim out of polystyrene boards so that we could achieve some tight headshots. Time flies when you're working and having fun and it was soon time to head back out into the dreaded cold. I had so much fun once again and I'm happy to have done my first shoot of 2013!  I'll post the final pics when I have them! Until then...
Abitha xo

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Photo Shoot With Marshall Kappel

Towards the end of 2012 I modelled for Marshall Kappel , a well travelled photographer hailing from the states.  Here are some of the end results!

After running the (so I'm told) fifteen minute walk from Ladbroke Grove to Portobello in five minutes I finally arrived on location on the corner of that renown road(After much stress following bus replacement, misguiding tfl staff and all the lines I needed to be in use closed for work). As I stood there regaining my breath from the aforementioned sprint, I baffled at the huge house standing before me with the correspending number to the email I held in my hands. Really, we're shooting here? I must have got something wrong.   I ascended the steps and rapped on the door. No answer. Christmas shoppers below gawp at me and my bewildered expression.
The door swings open and I am greeted by the photographer before being lead up to the chair for hair and makeup conducted by a sweet French MUA singing along with the pop music being streamed by spotify. My eyes are diverted to the various film cameras lying around and in use, being an amateur film photographer myself I just have to ask questions, carefully though as not to smudge my lipstick. It's actually a mastered technique to be able to articulate yourself verbally without your lips meeting, try it sometime, hard right? 
I am dressed and redressed, in vintage designer clothing, accessories and shoes. Shot and reshot. Taken outside and back in. The hours have flown by and it's time to go home. 
Many thanks to Marshall and the team!