Adventure in an Abandoned Garage

So since having moved house a month or so ago I’ve passed this garage and petrol station every time that I’ve got the bus into Lincoln and have been itching to photograph it. I have a huge interest in abandoned buildings and have spent quite a while looking at some great shots from all over the world online so it was great to be able to take some of my own.



We were really fortunate that someone had taken one of the panes of glass out of the windows to get into the garage, meaning we could get in to photograph the inside of it as well as the outside.



These lights were just hidden under a loose piece of flooring. It seemed really strange that someone had gone to the trouble of removing them but not getting rid, as though they were hiding them to come back and claim.



As well as the garage there was also a little independent petrol station and shop, but unfortunately there was no way to get into the building and as I wanted to capture the decay and destruction that had already occurred and not add to it myself I wasn’t prepared to break my way in.

I would love if someone could let me know what these strange plantlike tendrils hanging down were caused by, they’re extremely eerie.


The next place I have my eye on to photograph is a derelict barn in Dunholme. As it’s a little further from home it’ll have to be quite well planned, but its another one I have an urge to get off the bus and see every time I drive past it.


InkyGoodness Part 1: The Custard Factory


I’ve had a rather different weekend than usual this week. Usually I’d spend my weekend catching up on some illustration and visiting Mat’s parents for the day, this week I was catching copious amounts of trains and unwrapping body parts from mile after mile of bubble wrap.

What was I up to I hear you ask? Well I’ve spent this weekend halfway across the country helping InkyGoodness out with their latest exhibition, which is all about Totem Love.


I had a bit of a nightmare when I first arrived in Birmingham. I’ve not actually been there since I had an interview for one of the universities to do a degree in Visual Communication over three years before and at this point I was getting taxi’s everywhere and didn’t really need to think about where I was and where I was going. This time I wrote myself a list of directions so that hopefully I’d know exactly where I was going only to fall at the first hurdle- I couldn’t find any street signs! I ended up pulling my iPhone out to help with the directions only to end up walking up and down the same road about 10 times getting more and more frustrated. In the end I worked out I was literally walking over the road that I needed to be on and managed to get on with my journey a lot quicker and easier.

Birmingham has a lot of interesting graffiti. The photograph above was taken along Digbeth and the giant stickers featured were all along the road and across from it as well outside an abandoned building. It was a form of graffiti I’d just never seen before and against the wood they looked fantastically different.



When I finally reached the Custard Factory the first thing that I was greeted with was this fantastic car park. Now I’m not usually a huge fan of graffiti but I couldn’t help but stop and stare at these beauties, they really brightened up a space that would have otherwise been quite mundane.



As it was a Sunday none of the shops in the Custard Factory were open, so I resigned myself to sit down and do a bit of reading while sat on the edge of a little man made pond. The two pictures above were what I could see from where I was sitting, quite a bright, colourful and interesting display that’s for sure! In the end it started raining quite hard so I thought it was probably best to head inside and have a little nosey as to what was around.


The Custard Factory is certainly an interesting building and I wish that there was something similar in or around Lincoln as I would love to be able to work with such a large amount of creatives around me. There was so much glass around! All of the shops and gallery spaces have full glass fronts so you can really get a feeling for what’s happening inside of them and there was businesses that ranged from a theatre to a professional photographer.



In the outside courtyard these beauties were perched on the walls looking quite magnificent and a little scary. They just seemed to have been placed quite randomly and I think that added to the charm quite a lot, it’s almost as though one of the studios hosted there had decided that they wanted to decorate the space a little and leave their mark.


The outside of the building boasted this curved banner celebrating the huge variety of creatives that have made the Custard Factory their home. It was quite inspiring to thing that such a wide scope of people work here.



These lovely tshirts caught my eye on the wonder round. Unfortunately as they weren’t open I could only get a sneaky (and rather dark) photo of the inside, but all the illustrations on the wall are awesome and I’d definitely like to visit Get a Grip when they’re open!


I thought this was a really cute idea. The local cafe had a washing line outside where people had pinned what eating and hanging out there meant to them. There was a really nice and human mix of responses and I think my favourite was that it was full of ‘web design types’, gave me quite a laugh. Using a washing line gave it a really cute and innocent feel.


This enigmatic looking structure was actually the walkways for the upper floors. If you look closely you can see the netting that covered the sides of them. It reminded me a lot of a piece of modern sculpture paired with children’s Wacky Warehouse parties. Never seen a walkway designed anything like it before that’s for sure!



These guys were just hanging in a little inside courtyard and they created quite a creepy image, especially as they were swaying every so slightly in the breeze. They made me feel rather uneasy.


The interior design of the Custard Factory almost seemed to be a miss mash of styles, with these gorgeous lanterns hanging just across from a very minimalistic white corridor.




This strange little room seemed quite popular over the two days that I was working in the Custard Factory and I could quite often hear people tinkling a little tune on the keys of the piano, it seemed to bring out the best of everyone who sat in front of it. The room was really relaxed and strangely had been left unlocked on the Sunday even though all of the shops around it were closed. It had an almost Alice in Wonderland feel to it, with giant indoor hedges creating alcoves for people to sit and relax and more hedges outside creating a ‘hedged in’ feeling. (I know, I know, terrible!) I did have a look through the books on the case thinking that there would be a lot of art books to look through, but they seemed more to be the books that nobody wanted and included a book on Photoshop 4 and Paint Shop Pro 7. I had quite a giggle at that as I’ve never seen a version of Photoshop lower than 7 and a friend of mine used to use PSP7 when we were in year 8 to create blog layouts- almost 10 years ago now!


This print is absolutely gorgeous and I would really like to own a copy, but unfortunately I don’t know who created it or how much it costs at the moment. Knowing my luck it will be far too expensive for me to afford!


So now we come to why I was actually in Birmingham and the Custard Factory to begin with, I’d put my name down to help InkyGoodness with the setting up of their latest exhibition, the Character Totem Homecoming. I won’t be posting a load of pictures of what was within the show as I didn’t feel that I would be able to show them properly with my iPhone camera and so decided to wait until next week when I will be going back with Mat to keep an eye on the show for two days. I had a really fun filled if tiring two days though where I got to unwrap a lot of body parts (that’s one for the CV!) as well as helping to put up artwork and match the totems to their various bits of body.


I’m gonna leave you guys with this cute little fellow. He’s just one of the dozens of totem designs that will be on display for the next few weeks and are definitely worth a look at. If you’re in the Birmingham area you should definitely pop in and have a look around, and if you’re around on the 28th or 29th you’ll get to see my smiling face as well. 🙂

Lincoln Illustration Show 2011

Obviously for much of the past month or two I, like many other students across the country, have been very wrapped up in my degree show work. I have been trying to get around the rest of Lincoln’s degree show’s however even though I can’t afford to go too far afield to the ones hosted at other universities and yesterday I decided to make the hike up the hill to see the Illustration degree.

Now I have a huge soft spot for the illustration bunch having been one of them for the first semester of university before deciding that my skills would be better suited down in Graphic Design. I didn’t miss climbing up that godforsaken hill however!

First off here’s some work by the extremely talented manga artist Jade Sarson. Jade’s created some great comics including the ongoing Cafe Suada which I will be featuring in a later blog post.

These pieces by Danni Thompson are really striking with their strong use of colour.

Mitch Allenden is a fantastic illustrator and probably the only guy I’d let design a tattoo for me at the moment. His work is fantastically detailed and just a little eerie.

Joshua Jones has a fantastic ability to paint, and his book cover made me giggle just a little bit too.

Beautiful childrens book style illustration by Gareth Burgess.

This pattern by Sarah Austin would make a great wallpaper that I’m sure many of us would gladly use. Greatly eyecatching and quite different from anything else I’d seen at the show.

These characters  by Sally Townsend are so sweet and almost geometric in their appearances.

Gorgeous texture and detail in this piece by Rick Frateriggo.

A very bold style here from Angelica Howe. Myself and Mat could see her work being animated beautifully.

Some work for the YCN Glayva brief here from Emma Cadaverous.

Now I’m very fussy when it comes to greetings cards (I hate receiving most of them because they’re so ugly and look like they’be been designed for a 10 year old from the ’80’s) but these cards by Aimee Mappley are so delicate looking and cute. And who can resist that adorable bird?

As well as 2D work the illustration show featured a lot of 3D illustrations as well, including this Princess and the Pea piece by Natalie Lambert.  The fabrics used to create the multiple layers of the bed gorgeous and this piece was great fun to photograph.

Speaking of fun, me and Mat certainly had a good giggle at Rebecca Tovey‘s board with her prop moustaches and glasses. A designers dream!

These charming creatures were all knitted by the very talented Sarah Powell, a fellow joint honours student who decided to take her skills the opposite way to mine. Looks like it worked out great for her!

I was lucky enough to see these pieces by Cat Hughston before I went up to see the degree show, but they were so amazing to see in real life, the amount of detail in such a small piece of craft! Each box that these illustrations were contained within was only around the height and width of an a4 piece of paper!

Steph Yeung is another ex joint honours student that I had the honour of working with during my first year and I still have a card that she gave me featuring her miniscule delicate illustrations. Her work was so beautifully and uniquely arranged for her show as well!

These absolutely breathtaking models are by Poppy Iddon. They’re definitely a piece that you need to see in real life to truly appreciate, although they reproduce really well in photographs as well. A very Coraline feel to the whole piece.

So there you go, a whistle-stop tour to 2011’s Illustration Degree show at the University of Lincoln. I can’t stress any more that if you can you should get yourself to Lincoln, up Steep Hill and see it in real life, it’s just too good to miss out on and it’s around for the next two days.

Obviously I couldn’t feature every member of the class here (sorting out the photographs and web links for the ones I did was time consuming enough!) but you can see some work from everybody in this year’s class here.

I’ll Miss This View

Just been stood in my kitchen kneading dough for some fresh bread rolls tomorrow when I looked out of my window to spot this gorgeous view.

Now I’ve HATED living in the flat for the past year. Its full of first year students who all seem to have no work to do as they’re up almost every night, the staff in the office are mardy as, and I’ve had to deal with no heating in the winter but full blast in the summer, but if there is one thing I’ll miss its the huge windows and the views I get across the houses of Lincoln. I don’t think there are many other places I’ll get windows big enough I can hang out of with my camera and get photos like this.

Hello from Show Elleven

As I’m sure many of you already know, it’s degree show season across the UK at the moment and Lincoln is no exception. This year’s Graphic Design show is here and its LOUD!

For our business cards we were given restrictions this year- we had to create something which was based around a sound effect that we felt reflected us in some way. The vast array of work that people created for these was great- you can see how varied we’ve all become as designers.

For my own card I chose the Japanese onomatopoeia of kiri-kiri which is the sound of a pen scratching on paper, something which is always happening for me whether its illustrating, writing or mapping out ideas.

The show had a great feeling of unification, everything fits together beautifully and even the building has been painted to help showcase things and create an easy system of navigation.

  And now for the bit that everyone is waiting for, some examples of the work that are available at Show Elleven.

Firstly, some work from down in the Illustration section, which is where my first piece of work was situated.

This pretty hand drawn pattern was created by Louisa Bessalah. Link

These gorgeously detailed animals were dotted all around the studio and were painstakingly designed by Katy Bowman. Link

This little bulldog and all of his animal friends were also dotted around the studio, all of the showing off their Ted Baker watches to anyone who walked by. Alice Smith Link

The range of work and the variety of sizes all next to each other work brilliantly. Shown here in the foreground is work by Fleur Vos. Link

This bold and colourful piece to depict colour blindness types is by Emma Wilson. Link

Typographic Poster by Jake Townsend Link and fold down Metamorphosis book by Jennie Plant. Link

This extremely unique illustration/infographic depicts all the beats and pitches of different musical instruments in two songs by the Black Mages. Designed by Mathew McGinlay. Link

As well as printed work on the walls we also had a selection of 3D work throughout the show. Shown here is Hannah Rhodes monsterous Tuborg bottles. Link

These colourful bottles for Boost energy drinks were designed by Hollie Allott. Link

These gorgeous geometric books to showcase the story of Flatland were created by  Taran Uppal. Link

Hand crafted mask to showcase Fedrigoni papers. Again, created by Fleur Vos (Link above)

Extremely cutesy cutlery and a whole new font courtesy of Ben Neale. Link

This handcrafted typography was created by Matt Young, and can be seen within the pages of his book. Link

To keep on the theme of typography, here is Charlotte Middleton’s vinyl wall art. Link

These interesting screen printed posters were created by steak loving Alex Scott. Link

When I first saw this panel of Nicola Ackroyd’s scale exhibition I thought it looked like a huge pile of books. The sheer patience in this piece is amazing. Link

A crazy breakdown of text from patterns into anarchy by Ric Gravina. Link

A selection of typography work including Anna Sangha Link (foreground) and Daniel Firth. Link

Striking and bold typography by Katie Fisher. Link

These intriguing designs have been masterminded by Matt Crowe. Link

An array of covers for the Puffin and Penguin competitions of this year are also being showcased. Unfortunately we didn’t win with any of them, but there’s some stunning designs that should have gone further in the competition.

Throughout our three years at Lincoln we’ve created a lot of publications of various shapes, sizes and contents. Here are some examples of the ones which are on display at Show Elleven, although they are far from the only ones.

There’s plenty more to see at Show Elleven and you can’t get the feel for books, posters and instillation while they’re just on your screen, so if you’re in the East Midlands area and you’ve got yourself a few hours spare pop down between now and Friday 17th to see our work. More details can be found here. And as for my own work in the show? That can be found in a previous blog post here.

Day out at Whisby

On my walk into Thomas Parker House the other day I spotted a flyer for a photography competition- the only condition being that the photograph entered had to be taken in one of Lincoln’s nature parks. Feeling up for a challenge myself and Mat boarded a bus after our meeting with the external moderators this morning and made our way to Whisby Nature Reserve. It was actually the first time I’d used the bus service at all in Lincoln despite having lived here for almost three years now!

One of the first things that struck me when we started our walk was the amount of damsel and dragon flies that there were! Before I moved to Lincoln I’d never even seen one, but suddenly there were dozens of then around me! They’re quite beautiful, especially to see rising and falling all around you, even if they dislike staying still enough to be photographed. I think my choice of purple tights didn’t help either as insects are drawn away from blue colours (just one random fact I’ve picked up during my time at uni!)

We tried to walk as far around all the walks as we could, but they were pretty confusing! Half of the turnings didn’t seem to have signs and the marked trials didn’t all meet up so we couldn’t just do one large one. There were so many lovely long winding paths though, and with the sun shining down on them it just made all that walking seem so much easier! We did manage at least 5-6 miles though, and I have a lovely sunburn to go with that.

A lovely hidden bridge I spotted around the walk. It just looks beautiful hidden within the huge amount of green around it.

This tree stump was interesting enough already, it became even more interesting as I approached it though as the cut out section looks just like a butterfly. It’s like nature has made it’s own sculptures.

On the subject of nature’s own sculptures, this tree fascinated me. At the end of spring/start of summer it was completely bare and stood out quite a bit against all the green that was around it. I took quite a few snaps of this as I’d like to use it to practice drawing trees in the future, they’re something that I have always struggled with and I’d like to improve.

Walking through all of these trees was great, it just helped me to get away from the hustle and bustle of living in a city, we hardly saw anybody all day except for a few families and a couple who appeared to be rather drugged up. Unfortunately I made the mistake of stopping when they started to talk to us (I’m far too polite and fear for my camera only kicked in afterwards). It was worth it though as we were rewarded with a rather slurred anecdote  (complete with mime act) of how a bull had escaped and the guy had pushed him back into his field. We did spot a bull hidden behind a few ‘DANGER: BULL’ signs later on, but there was a bridge and a railway track between that field and the drugged up couple, so unless he was an extremely smart bull I’m a little dubious about the story!

I was quite intrigued when I first spotted these overhead cables, I thought that they were filled with birds. On closer inspection they appear to be bird shaped pieces of metal, but since they fooled me I guess they’ll fool the birds as well. They were only along this one stretch of cable however, which was quite confusing.

This nice calming walk hadn’t taken away my sense of playfulness and fun, and I had a good giggle to myself when I spotted this rather sad looking tree man reaching into the ditch below him I couldn’t help but giggle.

I’m pretty terrified of bees and wasps and Mat was in stitches half of the day as I twitched, jumped, lept, squeaked, squealed and ran away from anything that buzzed near me. I did manage to get some great close up shots of one among some large daisies however, and I didn’t squeak once!


So what about my original intention then, did I manage to get the photograph that I had set out for? Well here are a few of the ones that I had to pick from out of the 200+ that I shot over the day.

The two I eventually went for (one for myself to enter, and one for Mat to enter as he’s spent the day traipsing around being the lens swapping man) were the following.

Now I just need to get some frames and get them printed and to the competition for Sunday! They’ll be exhibited next week (I need to find out where, I would guess at Whisby itself) and then judged for a chance to be used for a nature calendar for the area next year. I really hope that I get a place but if not I’m just happy I managed to have an awesome day out in the sun, completely stress free, and managed to snap so many great photographs.