Phew! It’s been a busy time for me recently. Over the course of the last month or so I’ve been out and about doing ‘live drawing’ at various events in the Birmingham area, so this post is an attempt to do a brief, illustrated summary of what I’ve been up to.
JEECamp (or, to give it it’s full title, the Journalism Enterprise and Experimentation unconference) was an interesting experience. An attempt for journalists and other media types (including one or two cartoonists) to gather and discuss how the digital revolution has changed (and continues to change) the news media, and how we as journalists (and cartoonists) are adapting to the changes.
Hosted and organised by digital media uber-guru and BCU lecturer Paul Bradshaw, the event took the BarCamp/Unconference model, which was a refreshing change from the more formal events I’ve attended as a live caricaturist in the past, although I was here as an attendee on this occasion. Activities included a talk by scoopt.com founder Kyle McRea, speed-networking, group discussions and a couple of panels, chosen at random from the audience. Myself and fellow cartoonist Matt Buck (of whom more later) were also interviewed for the BBC podcast Pods and Blogs. There’s a few sketches I doodled whilst I was there in the gallery at the bottom of this post.
Tormented Premiere – 21 May 2009
Later in May I was asked by Ruth Ward of Rewired PR to come along to the Birmingham premiere of the locally produced movie Tormented, a British take on the American High School slasher flick, so in keeping with the academic theme of the film, I was working on a chalk black-board drawing some of the text smileys that appeared in the film. And yes, that is me posing at the entrance to the party in a hastily-arranged school uniform (including a Prefect badge).
WxWM 2 – 28 May 2009
About a year and a half ago, a bunch of Brummie bloggers went to SxSWi (that’s South by South West Interactive), an annual tech and social media conference held in Austin, Texas that started as an offshoot of the SxSW music festival. These bloggers set up a website to record what they did – titled SxSWM (South by South West Midlands). This year, a larger bunch of Brummie bloggers went out again – so a group of other Brummie bloggers (lead by Shona McQuillan) decided to set up a parallel event here in Birmingham to connect with the USA bound bunch – this was WxWM (West by West Midlands… still with me?). That was earlier in the year, and unfortunately I couldn’t make it, but I could make the follow-on event, WxWM 2 – Sue Ellen’s Almighty Hangover on the 28 May at the Spotted Dog pub in Digbeth. This one was a little more experimental (for me at least), as I was drawing the speakers (and others) on my tablet PC hooked up to a projector for the room to see. The discussions were drawn from the general area of the social media, with a less business-oriented tone, and as it was held in a pub, well, things were a bit more relaxed all round…
There’s a few of my sketches from the evening in the gallery below, but all of the pics I drew on the night feature in this Flickr set.
My Dad’s on Twitter (#mdot) – 11 June 2009
A bit of a change of direction for this one. Conceived by Karl Binder and held as part of the Fazeley Digital festival, there was no clever techy tablet PCs here as the plan was to create a mind-map as a way of explaining the social media phenomenon, based around the theme ‘My Dad’s on Twitter… and he doesn’t know why’. The mind map was where we (myself and the aforementioned Matt Buck) came in, as it was drawn on one of the large, white walls of the Fazeley Studios complex in marker pen, pastel and whatever else we could get to work and was based on the conversations that the invited speakers sparked off. The drawings and notes were also added to by members of the audience, broadcast live over the internet and twittered and live-blogged, and so was a truely interactive event. There are a few more snaps I took below in the gallery, but all my pics are in this Flickr set.
#mdot (as it was known in Twitter hash-tag speak) also acted as the (un)official launch for myself and Matt Buck’s latest project – drawnalism. Drawnalism is our name for a form of visual reportage, where we cover an event through the medium of drawing (as opposed to photography or text), to provide a unique form of live visual commentary. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more details as to how we could cover your event.
Further coverage of My Dad’s On Twitter: the thinking behind MDoT, video of the event, Jon Hickman (and the response from Karl Binder), usual suspect Dave Harte (again), reflections (part 2), another Flickr set, and, finally, the wall in more detail.
Moseley BarCamp – 28 June 2009
…aaand finally we come to what I was up to at the weekend, namely Shona McQuillan’s latest project – the Moseley BarCamp. Held in the upstairs room of the Cross bar in the leafy Birmingham suburb of Moseley on a sultry summers afternoon, the BarCamp ran on similar lines to the aforementioned WxWM2, and again I was drawing sketches on my tablet hooked up to a projector (courtesy of Jon Bounds of Birmingham It’s Not Shit, amongst others). This was a bigger event though, with more speakers, a larger crowd and even food laid on by the bar (thanks!).
Phew! I reckon that’s about everything covered. I’m off to another event this afternoon, so there’ll be more to add soon!
Here’s a selection of images from all the events above… for more pics, see my Flickr photostream.