Every Picture Tells A Story (or a novel – or a poem…)

copyright Craig Sellars

The wonderfully evocative picture above is by the very talented Craig Sellars. A name I probably wouldn’t have come across but for the lucky circumstances that result, every so often, in a copy of ImagineFX magazine being abandoned on the dining table. (Lucky Circumstances being a pseudonym for Arty Daughter).  And of course I’m compelled to have a look while eating my breakfast because – well, I’m me and it’s reading material. On my last visual meander I saw this picture, amongst others, in a feature about Craig.

For the uninititated ImagineFX  is a monthly magazine on fantasy and sci-fi digital art, although the term fantasy is loosely interpreted. But then I suppose everything that is designed from the imagination and not copied directly from a real scene is fantasy, really; and all writing that’s truly fiction could be termed fantasy in the same way.

Craig works on commissions for all kinds of projects, but left to his own devices he favours futuristic images or characters juxtaposed with retro 40’s scenes. The scene above just screams to be written about – or it does to me, anyway.But on his website I discovered other beautiful scenes he’s created, like this one below.

copyright Craig Sellars

I challenge anyone with even the smallest creative bone in their body not to look at these and feel a story brewing.

In the first image, who is the man on the phone talking to? Why is there a monkey in the phone box – does he belong to either of these characters or neither? Obviously the figure with a gun is portrayed here as a fantasy/alien character, but of course in your story he could be a man. Or a woman. Or a child…hmm.Or another monkey!

The second picture suggests a certain era because of the clothes, horse-drawn vehicles etc. Perhaps you’re not into creating period pieces.

No matter. The carriage could be a car. The woman could be wearing jeans and holding an umbrella, not a parasol. Is she standing there waiting for someone to arrive, or waving goodbye? Who are they? Is she happy, wistful, shocked?  Has she just arrived – is that her luggage they’re unpacking? And who is the mysterious figure, coat pulled tight around him, hat down, striding away off-stage?

Do go and take a look at Craig’s work. And next time you look at a picture – of any kind – don’t just look; listen to the story that it’s telling you. There’s bound to be one – or more, if you’re lucky.

Good luck! 🙂

F is for Fun

And fun is something (contrary to the popular saying) that you can never have enough of.

Last year I went to a conference for Equality & Diversity Named Co-ordinators (because I am one. Not because I snuck in at the back for the free sarnies and fruit salad). There were some general talks & activities, and a choice of four workshops from which we could select two.

For some strange reason (!) I chose Storytelling with the inspirational Marion Leeper and Drama with Chris Manville, who trained and worked as an actor  on stage and screen before training in Early Years.

Both sessions were great, but during Chris’s session he discussed an idea that sounds obvious yet is really very profound – that when we are children we do creative things as and when we want to. We don’t worry about whether we’re any good at them; if we enjoy taking part in the activity, or find pleasure in the end result, we do it. So why is it as adults, we tend to think that it’s silly to do something unless you’re good at it?

How many adults paint or write without the notion – however misplaced it might be! – that they’re at least passably talented at it? How many adults do something creative JUST FOR FUN?

Not very many. So my challenge to you – this week, doing something you have enjoyed, secretly enjoy, or have always fancied having a go at. And if you enjoy it – Carry On Doing It. Just For Fun. Even if your cross-stitch teddy looks like a dog, your story makes no sense, your twisted-leg table looks like an accident in a B&Q power-tool demo or your watercolour inspires someone to remark sympathetically, ‘oh, what a shame you water pot spilled over it!’ No matter. Carry on anyway.

Of course, sometimes a surprise can be fun. That’s why this weekend we’re taking the children to-

Ah, sorry. If I told you I’d have to kill you. 🙂