‘Depression and Creativity’

Hello! My name is Daisy, I’m the second co-founder of The OP along with Elsie, and I just wanted to write something introducing myself! A little background information about me, I had an easy childhood but always struggled academically due to Dyslexia which sometimes held me back + I am very open about my feelings and the challenges I have faced. I started writing this article weeks after finishing my A levels, which was an extremely stressful time in my life. And I think this may also help young creatives my age who are facing the same struggles.

Depression and Creativity

As someone who always has new ideas for projects and things I want to create it was extremely worrying and upsetting when my creativity seems to vanish. I realized this was happening over a few months, starting in August 2017 and it took me a few months to link my feelings together.

With the support of my boyfriend at the time I managed to open up to my mum about my negative and on going feelings, going to the doctors the next day at the start of October. I was hoping for help and support with these feelings that were so unknown to me, instead I was offered tablets and to come back 3 months later. I thought, like I’d seen on TV and movies that these anti- depressants would transform me into the person I previously was and fill the currently dark world in my eyes with rainbows and self love, how wrong I was. I was told it would take a few weeks for my anti depressants to start working, so I gave myself 2 weeks to almost relax and try to be stress free, watching my favourite programs and eatings as I pleased. I couldn’t even look at doing art of anything creative which was a completely knew feeling for me. I sadly started to realise that these tablets were not going to be the easy fix I had first hoped for. They made the days more bearable, I was able to get some sleep and have hours of not feeling completely drained and useless.

I’ve always seen articles about artists and how their depression and unstable mental health allowed them to create their best work, Artists such as Tracey Emin, Amy Winehouse or Ian Curtis, who I admire greatly. But this wasn’t me, I felt I’d let myself down. Not that I ever wanted to be in a depressive state but if I created something out of it then at least it would have some advantage . My life from September till January wasn’t blissful. I couldn’t sleep, didn’t feel like doing anything. Any art I created angered me as I felt it was of a low and boring standard. I kept trying but wasn’t interested or inspired enough to really delve deep into my art.

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I had no ideas, no creative flare, nothing. For the first time in my life I felt let down by the ideas that has previously bombarded my head. I thought that maybe it was never going to come back, that my education was ruined and finished.

Finally, from February 2018 my mental health started to improve, not miles or leaps but little bits like being able to sleep and deal with negative thoughts of my own work.

So I have learned a lot in this last year about depression and creativity and how to deal with both on a middle ground. It’s just learning to deal with it and not forcing creativity, this only makes you more frustrated, try and be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to figure stuff out. Being open to the changes and Kind to myself.

Looking back on this academic year, I feel very proud of myself for not giving in and giving myself time to learn what triggers me and my negative thoughts. I feel I have learned a hella lot about myself as a person in both my mental state and the strength I had to keep going as well as the creativity that flows through me.

This is not a happy ending, I am still a long way from being happy and feeling ‘normal’ or ‘myslef again’ but I know I had a period of being rock bottom and I have made it through. I am far from an expert, I am only 19! I am still unstable, having days I do nothing but cry, but these are now followed by days I enjoy with friends and family.

It just takes time!

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If you have any questions please email me at dnellherculson@gmail.com or message me on Instagram!

If you would like to feature on the orange peel or write an article please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Lauren MacGowan

Today myself and Daisy, (co-creator of the OP) are heading to Taylor Made Tattooz in Kings Lynn, for an appointment we have been thinking about for months! Which was finally happening on the 2nd of August, and we also had the amazing opportunity to talk to Lauren MacGowan about her creative practice…

Q- What is your name, age and where are you based?

A- Lauren… MacGowan, i’m 21 and i’m based at Taylor Made Tatooz in Kings Lynn! (followed by some freaking out about the voice recording!) (‘Don’t worry everyone hates their voice’)

Q- What is your art practice about, or what do you specialize in?

A- I tend to specialize in Mandalas and Dot work Style, I like doing realistic stuff too but prefer the dot work now. I also like to do painting if I get spare time but I’m very busy with the tattooing at the minuet.

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Q- How long have you been tattooing?

A- I Qualified on the 2nd of January, this year, but I’ve been tattooing for about a year and a half since I was 19. I’ve always wanted to do it since I was 16! I did my Alevels, and then I started taking my portfolio around everywhere until I found somewhere that would take me on.

Q- Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

A- Hopefully being invited to different Tattooing conventions, like in London or Manchester or guesting at different spots! I would like to have my own shop one day but I think that’s a bit further in the future.

Q- If you could give a positive message to yourself or younger tattoo artists what would you say?

A- Probably never give up! Because I went through a phase of rejection which was really hard, but I kept pushing myself to do it which worked out! Keep your portfolio open, I had pastels, watercolor, animals, script, portraits, flowers, a bit of everything, which really helps too!

Thankyou to Taylor Made Tatooz for letting us take images in your shop, you can find them and their amazing artwork on their Facebook page!

And to see more of Laurens work head to her Instagram!

Norwich PRIDE 2018!

28th July 2018! Today me and my best friend made the hour-long journey to Norwich for Norfolks largest PRIDE Parade of 2018! Probably the most highly anticipated event of the year for Norfolks LGBTQ+ community, because everyone has the chance to meet up, join the parade and celebrate the 10th Aniversary of the Norwich Pride with thousands of other like-minded people!

As someone who has only been attending PRIDE for the past couple of years I feel very blessed to live in a County where the LGBTQ+ Community is celebrated on such a big scale, you can really tell that the people who organise the event put in so much effort to make it a fun and inclusive event for everyone.

 

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Image from Norwich PRIDE, on TWITTER.

I highly recommend Norwich PRIDE, if it’s your first time attending, it isn’t super overwhelming or commercialized like some other parades and is very inclusive of people under 18, and families who bring younger children! And you can visit all the different group stalls and talk to people inside the Forum before the parade for lots of information!

Hope to see you there next year! (maybe we will have a stall to sell merch by then)

‘OUTLET’ Exhibition

6th July 2018- We visited the ‘OUTLET’ Exhibition held at KES Highschool in Kings Lynn Norfolk, which was Curated and Organised by Meghan Martin-Lewis. Walking into the main hall, we are greeted by a semi-circle of worn easels holding a range of artwork all centred around the theme of ‘Mental Health’. OUTLET gallery space.jpg

We loved that all the Artists involved in this exhibition are from Norfolk, but ranged in age, gender and technical ability. The range of artists helped to give multiple views on ‘Mental Health’ and varied the topics which were looked at, including personal expression, manifestations of different mental health issues, and what it feels like to overcome barriers.  Our personal favourite were the portraits by artist Emilia D’Aloia , the almost bare portraits screamed Body Positivity and Self Eceptance which was verry refreshing to see in an exhibition on ‘Mental Health’ which can often be negative, (support her Artwork over on her instagram).

Meg was also raising money for the Charity Mind (West Norfolk) who ‘Provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem’, along with having amazing charity shops. This is one way that this exhibition helped the community  along with providing a creative space where artist involved could express their own experiences which ‘Mental Health’ which is such a great way to help overcome issues and express your feelings.

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Overall, this Exhibition was a great success in out eyes, as an Art Collective based in Norfolk it was great seeing someone elese open up a space where artists could express themsleves and present their work, but also after talking to people viewing the exhibit as well as some of the artists involved everyone was verry happy and super proud. 

So, if you want to see more of Meghan’s work or talk to her about her amazing curating skills, you can find her @me3gg on Instagram- Or to help support Minds amazing work you can donate on their website!

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Evie Chaplin

Today is Thursday the 19th of April, the hottest day of the year so far (its damn hot) and me and Evie have met up to talk about her work, brand and prospects for the future…

Q- What is your name, age and where are you based?

A- My name is Evie Chaplin, I’m 16 and I’m based in a little village in the middle of nowhere in Norfolk. Its tiny and Rubbish.

Q- Tell us what your creative practice/ art work is about?

A- I do a lot of visual arts ranging from photographic to print making and fashion, a lot of it is to do with the contemporary world and its effects on society and different groups of people. I focus a lot on the skating community  and contemporary fashion and how these groups can feel really closed and regressive when your in a conservative place like Norfolk. Lots of my work comes from myself feeling creatively restrained because I live here, I also like creating aggressive and slightly vulgar clothing, mostly to get reactions from people.

Q-What are the main themes/ subjects you explore in your work?

A- I do lots of self exploration work, I often feel like a big fish in a small pond– and I think a lot of people feel like that who are from small communities-like you’re trapped inside yourself and need to grow. Im also starting my own brand which I want to explore a lot more- Ive named it ‘Dead Heading’ which is the process of cutting dead parts off flowers so they can grow again, so its to do with cutting of the toxic parts of your own life so you can grow again- because everyone has certain people or feeling that hold them down and I think it would help society if everyone was a “Dead header” so that we can all grow and be ourself freely.

Q-Who are your inspirations?

A- The Bratz Dolls! (BRATZ DOLLS)  I think their fashion is great, I think what they stand for is brilliant! They came in at a time when Barbie was massive and she was an empowering image for feminism showing how women could do anything they wanted to, but Bratz came along and were so ahead of their time! They had a ‘fuck everyone, we can do what we want to‘ message about them and even the word Brat has negative connotations but they reclaimed it to be something so cool and empowering. Women can do what they want, and they can also do nothing which is fine too.

I also love an Artist call GIRLI, (  GIRLI , Feel OK MV) she dresses in all pink to represent female stereotypes but she’s so aggressive and has a great ‘fuck you’ attitude. Her music talks about the issues of being a women in the music industry and she’s a big role model for me and and other young girls. I like both male and female artists, I used to only listen to boys but have recently found lots of female artists I like and I think that reflective of a new age of women in music.

Q- What is individualism to you?

A- Its a very big part of my life, I love who I am and I think its brilliant to stand out but its also okay if you don’t want to stand out. People should do whatever makes them happy. You do you, and ill support that.

Q- Where can you see yourself in  5 years time?

A- Five years, so ill be 21… Hopefully in London, I think thats where I need to be if I want to pursue things and have more opportunities, hopefully my brand will kick off and ill be able to explore lots of things. Its a great umbrella for me to be able to explore anything, fashion, magazines, photography its a header for all of that. Ive been thinking about what I want to do for so long and couldn’t find anything so thought id start something self.

To see more of Evie’s work check out her Instagram accounts and Website:

@dead.headd  @deadheadinguk http://www.echapbusiness.wixsite.com/deadheading

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Self Portrait by Evie Chaplin
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Final Piece: Chance

Chloe Mountain

It’s a beautiful spring Thursday in Norfolk, and myself and Chloe are currently walking around Sandringham woods (one of the Queen’s estates), discussing life. We stop off in the coffee shop to talk about her practice and eat cake, the conversation goes as follows…

Q- What is your name, age and where are you based?

A-My name is Chloe Mountain, I am almost 21( so 21) and I’m based in London, and Norfolk.

Q- Tell us what your creative practice/ artwork is about

A- My field is ceramic, all of my work is basically plaster/ clay and glass that kind thing, but it always comes back to myself, the project I have been doing recently is very personal so it’s mainly my reflection/ response on how I fell about things opposed to manufactured ceramics. My degree is so ‘mass-made’ which I really don’t care about and I always try to stay away from perfect forms, I always try to push the mold, literally. The first project I created cups that had holes in them, they looked like perfect cups but they were completely pointless and unusable.

Q- What are the main themes/ subjects you explore in your work?

A- Because its obvious pottery, I explore textures and surfaces a lot as that interests me, I’d rather make something that you want to touch and engage with and not be something traditional. Its all about sensations isn’t it? I always try to incorporate that into my work.

Q- Who are your inspirations?

A- Noel Fielding (Noel Fielding), and I am massively into Basquiat (Jean Michel Basquiat)at the minuet, he is the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen in my life, and I visited his exhibition at the Barbican last year which was amazing. Greyson Perry (Greyson Perry- what is art)who, everyone loves. But Basquiat is the main person at the minuet, I love his colours and bold forms.

Q- Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

A- Asleep, in my bed, if I’m quite honest ill probably be having a nap. Seriously tho, coming to the end of a masters degree in Sculpture, hopefully at the Royal College of Arts in London. I love doing my product design degree, but I don’t want to create things which are mass made so I’d love to move towards sculpture.

Q- If you could give a message to the world, what would it be?

A- Spend time with your grandparents! The older you get the more significant they and their wisdom will become. They’re not always going to be here bro.

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To find more of Chloe’s work you can follow her at @cm.syd and @chloemountain.art on Instagram.

Daisy Herculson

We meet Daisy today in an open art room in her local College. Plaster cast underwear can be seen amongst overflowing sketchbooks and pale pink and white canvases of the Female Form. This is “Tidy” she explains, shoving aside vintage underwear clearing a space so we can sit and talk about her work, the interview goes as follows…

Q-What is your name, age and where are you based?

A-I am 18 years old, 19 in April and my name is Daisy Herculson. I live in a small village called Ingoldsthrope, in Norfolk.

Q-Tell us what this work is about which you are sharing with us today!

A-For one of my Alevel Art projects I wanted to complete something which was very meaningful, that I could completely engross myself in- I’ve looked at the Female Form and researched deeply into Feminism and the female/ male gaze and how this has effected the art world as women are often not given the same opportunities as male artists. Just experimenting with different mediums and trying to figure out what I thought was the “Female Form” and how to portray it.

Q-What are the main themes and subjects you explore within your work, not just this project?

A-I create art quite spontaneously, I rarely have a plan and most often just take inspiration from artist and mimic their practices. For example in this project I’ve looked at Tracy Emin (Tracey Emin)a lot and mimicked the way she’s used sponges in her work, I collect artists that I love and think are amazing, which helps me move forward in my practice.

Q-Are you more inspired by English Artists?

A-I like the ‘Grittiness’ of English artwork, especially stuff from the 90s when young artists and collective would create work to prove themselves and often go against the grain. I think it’s really interesting how English artists portrayed themselves, I want to be seen like that.

Q-Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

A-Ummmm, hopefully, finished an Arts degree, living somewhere like Brighton where there is a young arts scene, definitely a City. However, I think if I lived in a city I might have a creative block/ breakdown as id want to do so much at the same time. I quite like the idea of teaching but maybe in 10 years time.

Q-If you could give a message to the world what would it be?

A-I think ‘If you enjoy it, you should do it!’. I’ve always been told that art isn’t a proper career and won’t be able to be successful but it makes me happy and I want to follow that path, don’t listen to anyone else just do what you want. Art is individual and subjective just do it!

 

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Want to see more of Daisy’s work, follow her at @_daisynell_ on Instagram.