Monday, 4 November 2013

Another HDR

Probably worth a post too. This is Twickenham Stadium.


Photos taken with phone camera and edited with an HDR effect app. Places are Bolton Abbey, St. Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay and a field in Silsden.

Eye of the Tiger

A quick example of pencil crayon technique I did for an art lesson with my class.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Lego Dioramas

Website Brick Fanatics ran a competition to take a Lego minifigure from the collectible minifigures series and use it in a diorama no more than 16x8 studs. I made two entries, neither won but I enjoyed the challenge and liked my outcomes (made with a limited collection of Lego elements, I must add!)

Rapper's Delight:


A Christmas Truce:

Oh yeah, the theme was 'holidays'.

Shai Linne & The Collective Reviews

I've merged one of my other blogs (Beats, Rhymes & Christ) with this one as I've decided I'd rather just blog generally about all the things that interest me as they come and go and that seems to go quite well under the 'creator' banner.

Here are links to a couple of reviews I wrote of Christian Hip Hop albums for the website Sphere of  Hip Hop:

Shai Linne - Lyrical Theology
The Collective - The Collective
Sivion - Butterfly Sessions (Remixed by Freddie Bruno)

Monday, 25 March 2013

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Japhia Life - 'Westside Pharmacy' Album Review

Looks like I forgot to post on here about my review of Japhia Life's 'Westside Pharmacy' album. It's a really moody piece of work - a real tussle between light and dark but it has a certain quality to it which is really hard to pin down; I listened to it so many times because I really liked it. Have a read, have a listen - see what you think!

"This could never be said to be a preachy album, yet it is drenched in spirituality: is the line “I’m already trading my comfort zone for a war zone and ducking a pitchfork” (from opener Japhia’s Lyric) not just the best street-poetic way to describe the spiritual battle we enter when we become believers?"

W.L.A.K. & P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. Album Reviews

Couple of new reviews from myself, both posted over at Sphere of Hip Hop: P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.'s 'A Little Light For You' and W.L.A.K's 'We Live As Kings'. Two totally different styles, sounds and messages, but both I was really into.

From the W.L.A.K album I can't stop listening to 'Long Way Down' by Christon Gray and Dre Murray - awesome.

Coming next are reviews of Lampmode's The Collective (Stephen The Levite, Zae Da Blacksmith and Timothy Brindle) and Freddie Bruno's remix of Sivion's 'Butterfly Sessions'.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Octopus Helmet

Creating a stencil for a 3 layer screen print of the octopus in the diving helmet. This will be a black layer on top of an orange/yellow helmet and pink/red tentacles.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

No posts for a while...

... and here's why:

I've been pretty busy looking after my morning-sick wife to do much. What excuses for creativity I have done you can see in my instagram feed on the right. Perhaps I'll be able to get back to doing some creative things soon.

Friday, 1 February 2013

A Drawing A Day #5 - Octohelmet

Had an idea, tried it out quickly. Like it. Consider this a study or a preparatory sketch. A bit different again; some more imaginative drawing this time with a sci-fi/fantasy/horror theme.

If I do something with this then I'll definitely take time to get symmetry on the relevant parts of the helmet and a non-symmetrical, but balanced arrangement of tentacles. This is just a quick, idea sketch.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A Drawing A Day #4 - Cats

Wanted to do more animals, but wanted to do first hand. Ended up trying to draw our two cats. The challenge was to catch the essence of cat whilst they were on the move (restless because they wanted to go out). I got the outlines and then filled them quickly. Quite like how the full cat outline/silhouette turned out and wouldn't mind trying the cat outline combined with a patterned (wood grain? Paisley?) fill.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A Drawing A Day #3 - Jekyll/Hyde

I've recently listened to a BBC abridgment of 'Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, partly due to a desire to discover/rediscover some Sci-Fi/Fiction classics and partly because of one of my favourite Lego Minifigures 'Mr. Good and Evil'.

I couldn't keep away from the Lego for long, so here's a drawing of some. It was actually quite a challenge because if you get the proportions wrong, it doesn't look like a Lego man anymore - we're all so familiar that we almost 'know' the correct proportions. Anyway, there are definitely some incorrect proportions here but...

Colour next...

Monday, 28 January 2013

A Drawing A Day #2 - Cassettes

Less of a drawing, more of a scribble-sketch. I was going for that sort of look as to me it fits the cassettes - it reminds me of the times when tapes used to get chewed up and they'd get all messy - like this drawing.

To be honest although I love the aesthetics of the cassette tape, and piles thereof, the repetitiveness bored me quickly - my main problem when creating. I would definitely prefer to work on producing an image like this digitally.

Here's the box after I put the tapes back all nice and orderly. This represent my musical tastes in the second half of the 90s:

The tracklists to my mixtapes were perhaps even more eclectic. This cassette (check out the name I gave it!) also boasted tracks from Feeder, Terris, Idlewild, EZ Rollers, Animalhouse and Freddy Fresh:

The Admiral Wants You

A quick bit of necessary creativity here. A job advert to inspire the children to write a job application letter tomorrow on our 'Steampunk Day' (kids are getting dressed up in their own outfits!).

Should go and do my drawing now...

Sunday, 27 January 2013

A Drawing A Day #1: Springbok

OK, time to stop messing around with Lego; time to get my drawing skills bettered. A Drawing A Day for at least one week is the plan - got to be disciplined.

Have been watching Attenborough Africa on the BBC and have always loved drawing animals; what better place to start could there be?

You'll have to ignore the attempts to draw pronking Springbok - that's probably a challenge for another day!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Snow Day

Took my class out to build igloos for some outdoor learning/literacy stimulus. Also took some photos.

Monday, 21 January 2013


New phone; better photos? We'll see.

I've been interested in the micro scale Lego models that some folk make. I thought with a minuscule amount of Lego it would be easy to do some builds of my own. Turns out you actually need a wide selection of bricks to choose from to do it well. I definitely took my vast childhood Lego collection for granted!

Anyway, I had a little play last night and made some sort of evil jungle lair.

Saturday, 19 January 2013


Just for some release I faffed on GIMP tonight with a photo I took a few years ago at an airfield in North Yorkshire somewhere. I had Brian Cook's stuff in my mind when doing this. As usual, not that happy with the result, especially the text box, but here it is - I was being creative regardless of how the end product looks!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Blast From The Past - Chopped Cars


...from this:

I did a few of these Photoshop chops (back when I had Photoshop on my work's licence) for some competitions on a forum.


...from this:

Vicious Circle

Well, this week has been pretty un-creative. I suppose I've been very productive in other ways though - at work and with my family. It's also been a pretty rubbish week; I'm feeling fed up and a bit glum.

Is the lack of creativity a result of that, or is that a result of a lack of creativity? A vicious circle I suppose.

The only thing I have done really is a quick flyer for a church event but didn't have as much time to spend on it as I usually would spend:

Monday, 14 January 2013

K'nex O'clock

Oops, been a bit un-creative lately, but I've been pretty busy with this and that. Now for more kids' toys tomfoolery/creativity:

 Today, with a group of kids, I made a K'nex clock. I had no idea if we could make it work when I set the task, but we were determined and worked through the problems we encountered. What we ended up with is a clock that, with the turn of one handle, sets the hour and minute hand in motion simultaneously.

 The only problem is that a 12 hour cycle only takes 11 rotations of the minute hand! Obviously, the main problem here is the size of the gears available, although I dare say with many more standard K'nex gears linking in various ways the mechanism could be made to work correctly.

When the orange handle on the back is turned, the green gear turns which meshes with the red gear which directly drives the red minute hand. As the orange handle is turned the grey gear on the front of the clock turns the yellow gear which has the hour hand attached to it (with the aid of blu-tac to allow the minute hand to turn freely within the hour hand's gear!). The combination of a very small and a very large gear makes the hour hand turn slowly, whereas the two different but medium-sized gears produce a much faster turn for the minute hand.

Next step: to connect a motor to it!

Saturday, 12 January 2013


Meant to post this last night but accidentally posted it to the steampunk blog I created for school purposes!

Had a little pre-bedtime Lego session with Isla (the two and a half year old) and I made this and she named it - 'It's a Geckoon'.

Haven't been very creative today but have had a nice day anyway.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Acting the Admiral

So today, creativity of a total different sort: role play! I've never been much of an actor but when I dress up and get into role (especially at school in front of the kids), I really do go for it! The kids loved interviewing me in character of Admiral Codrington Prissick and hopefully they've already learnt a lot about biography as a genre of writing.

I also created a new blog as a kids' web resource for Steampunk as any google search about the subject throws up some pretty saucy images - not what I want to be showing them at school. Anyway, hopefully they'll be able to use the site to create their own Steampunk character who they will then go onto write a creative biography of.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Traction City

Here's my quick pen sketch of a Traction City inspired by Philip Reeve's book 'Mortal Engines' which today I decided to begin reading to my class. The first 'comprehension' activity I did was to get them to draw how London is described in the book (the fact that some of them misinterpreted caterpillar tracks made some of their drawings quite funny!).

I had to ensure that they knew what a Traction City should look like or else they'd be confused for the rest of the book! Anyway, whilst not a work of art, I enjoyed picturing the book's description and may well use this as a preparatory sketch for more futuristic Sci-Fi goodness.

Inspiration of the Day #3

An excellent (kids') book which I've not yet finished (although have already started reading again...). This is by Philip Reeve who apparently did the some of the cartoons for the Horrible Histories books. It's an adventure set in an imagined future where cities have long since been built into tiered, caterpillar-tracked vehicles who prey on one another. It involves all sorts of airships, half-human half-robots and the like and is pretty gripping in its plot-line.

Click to read the Wikipedia page about it.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Blast From The Past - Abe Lincoln Motivational Poster

Maybe to make myself feel better (see previous post for my moaning) I thought I'd post a past creation. I did a few of these posters (which can be found here: ) in September and they are all currently up in my classroom.

Creative Frustrations

Well, I have been creative today, did some drawings inspired by the fictional biography I wrote and posted yesterday, but am not happy enough with the results to show them.

Doing this has been great but it's made me realise that although I have quite a lot of creative ideas, I lack the skill, patience and time to remove them from my head on to the page, or into reality. I know that part of the reason I'm doing this is to learn and hone skills but it's frustrating, especially when there seem to be folk out there who can just so easily knock out quality pieces without trying!

Creativity is fun, but it ain't easy. Perhaps I need to stick to one technique for a while instead of flitting around, flirting with whatever I desire, but then, would that become stifling and would it stem my creativity?

Monday, 7 January 2013

Inspiration of the Day #2

Not sure what this is inspires me to do, but maybe one day it'll come in handy. It's part of the roof of the Corn Exchange in Leeds - a truly beautiful building.