This week I've been working on setting up a studio space to work from. I've had a space previously but it was too far from home to use regularly - now I've set up camp just down the road from my flat in Chorlton and I've turned what was known to the guys who own the bar below as 'the crack den' from a dusty old storage room into a tiny space with a work area and meeting space. The deal is there's still storage in the room but I've disguised it all with a fabric throw and a curtain wire, and used a stack of old boxes that were already in the room to build a kind of false wall across the other junk. It was really fun putting the desk together and customising it - I added a thin layer of cork I picked up in Fred Aldous and some vinyl stickers then lined the edge of the desk in neon orange fabric tape. I found an old school desk in the new antiques shop across the road which is as yet nameless but the guy who runs it has the good sense to stay open until 9pm, even later some nights, which really is the only way I see independent businesses in the suburbs making decent money - closing before people get home from work in the city centre is frankly ludicrous and it's no wonder butchers and greengrocers lose out to convenience stores and supermarkets. But that's a rant for another time.
I put up a few cardboard letters that read Skyliner and today a huge wall sticker of my logo arrived and it's on the chimney wall (I learned this morning that mounting giant wall stickers alone is not fun, nor easy). The room isn't finished yet but almost - I'm having a cityscape mural added to the windows eventually by illustrator Mark Barton and I'm waiting on a few little fixtures like light shades. I'm really happy to have the space and it's amazing how much more work you can get done when you have somewhere outside of the home to go to.
It's made my behaviour slightly odd in that now, instead of taking a break to do something like switch the TV on and watch Frasier, I watch the residents of the area through my new window taking things out to the bins in the alleyway beneath me and I ponder if what they're throwing away really belongs in the bin they've opted for, or if they're throwing paper in the black bin and bottles in the paper bin. I would worry about my new obsession but I was appeased by hearing from two freelancer friends of mine that they too descended into the haze of bin spying. Bin Club is now open and recruiting new freelance members.
In other news I have a couple of articles in limbo that I'm struggling to publish - venues I've been lucky enough to visit lately but ones where the research process has come to a stand still and I'm having real trouble trying to find a story. I hope to have those published soon even if it means they're more of a photo series; researching leads to a frustrating amount of dead-ends but you never know, something might turn up.
I'm also working on a new arts project that I'm recruiting artists and writers for at the moment whilst also trying to work out how to apply for funding, once I've secured the venue I'll fill you in on the details but I'm incredibly excited by it and it's encouraging that everyone I've spoken to is similarly excited by the idea.
I also have a tour coming up on August 23rd at 1pm, £5 meeting outside Fopp. Please email me using the contact button at the top of the site to secure a place as it's almost at capacity. The theme is Hidden Art in Architecture and it last for 2 hours.