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Blog it don’t blag it

Hi! I knew you were an adventurous one!

No need for awkward introductions into what I do – you already know the curated Insta version. Now for a bit of a peak behind the curtain and rummage inside my brain box.

So why a reluctant artist?
It goes all the way back to when and how I got into painting and drawing, and while I will often describe myself as an “artist and designer” now, the a-word never sits too well with me. Most people I met who introduced themselves as Artists were right up there with self-proclaimed geniuses and people who demand Respect (with a capital R) just because respect…you know the type, right? Very much reminiscent of a different kind of a-word…

To me, there are certain titles (and reactions) that can never be commanded, or self-appointed, they have to be earned based on the quality and integrity of a person’s actions and/or work. That’s not a “gosh, I’m so humble” fishing line, simply a realistic assessment of abilities. Big fan of those…rational, realistic assessments. Surprised? Because that seems at odds with the raw, emotional force associated with artistic creation? Turns out it’s all about discipline…

But I’ll tell you more about that and how I got into drawing and painting as a kid another time…

For now and while the jury’s still out on whether my efforts will earn me that title you can call me Dodo, Painter, Illustrator, Designer, Maker, Faffer, Procrastinator, Catlady, Nonsense Merchant, Interior Styler, Photographer, Stripe Fanatic, Banana Enthusiast, Animal Lover, Blogger….because I definitely and wholeheartedly am all of those things!

So let’s get to it! First monthly round-up of projects…well no, the highlight because I already fucked about long enough with that lengthy intro. Here goes..Highlight of the month: a giant mural with The Pop Up Geeks for the return of their Stranger Things themed bar: THE UPSIDE DOWN.

Who? What? Ok, I might have gotten ahead of myself. the Pop Up Geeks are Rachael and Linden who run a bar with regularly changing themes based on pop culture and cult TV shows, literature, and movies like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Rick & Morty, and many more…For each theme they create an entire cocktail and drinks menu with such attention to detail and creativity words don’t do it justice – you need to experience it first hand.

To make the experience even more immersive the entire interior and exterior gets changed up as well. That’s where I help out by attacking a massive wall right at the back of the bar. And this is how it works: I come with a digitally painted mock up over a photo of the actual space…


Well that was easy! Oh…just the idea sketch

Fun facts: I love painting large scale. I hate measuring and sketching things out!

So whenever I paint something, be it on canvas or on walls , I go straight in; no pencil sketches or guidelines. Otherwise it feels too much like painting by numbers or colouring in. Wherever possible I like to keep the idea mock-up quite loose so there is room to get on the spot creative, as we did here. While the mural was coming together Rachael, Linden and I talked about what could be added and really pull the design together and decided to add the iconic Arcade neon sign into the mix, as well as the silhouette of Will at the bottom of the wall. Here’s what the final version looks like:

Welcome to Hawkins

Your access to Hawkins and The Upside Down officially opens June 7th and runs until September 1st. Book online here

The Pop Up Geeks are located on 27 East Market Street, EH8 8FS

Get following @thepopupgeeks

And just like that my first blog post is in the bag. Get in touch with suggestions of things you’d like to see on here. I probably won’t “send nudes” though…

I’ll see you next month with new projects, new designs, and a lowdown on how my pony bets came in. Until then:

Stare At Art Not Walls
Stare at art, not walls

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