PRO-fessional PRO-crastination

This is Interesting
I'd better watch this to make sure it all goes smoothly

I’d better watch this to make sure it all goes smoothly

The fluffy lint, pencil sharpenings and scraps of Fruit Tingle wrappers that had lived happily in the bottom of my satchel bag were violently evicted from their home this morning as I, owner of the bag, decided that their time was up. Sitting on the floor of my studio with my bag turned inside out, vacuuming dry the corners of the bags innards, I realised that this might in fact be procrastination.

The Websters Dictionary defines procrastination as: “The grime inside Edmund’s dishwasher vanishing while the background art on four pressing illustrations are phototoshop layers all labeled as ‘backdoodle1′”.

I now have a few long term projects underway that I am very terrified excited about. You may want to hear about those but I’ll keep them secret and list just a small number of activities I have thought to be more pressing in my history of needing to get shit done:

  • Clean. Every. Skirting board.
  • Clean every architrave (they are skirting boards that go around doors).
  • Gently wash the plastic Astroboy that stands next to the wifi router.
  • Dust the wifi router.
  • Reorganise the DVD shelf autobiographicaly (you know, like in High Fidelity).
  • Hey, I have High Fidelity… Watch high fidelity with special features.
  • Re-fold ALL my clothes.
  • Write a rap about how hard I study with lots of double entendre (Record. Listen. Cry. Never perform).
  • Learn how to juggle eggs.
  • Clean egg from carpet.
  • Learn how to juggle tennis balls.
  • Wash all my clothes (including the ones I was wearing), walk to outdoor laundry carrying washing basket while loosely wearing a towel – get surprised by the landlord and 2 Sydney Water representatives checking the water meter in your backyard.
  • Make complete diorama of the living room (done in collaboration with playwright Jess Bellamy who may have also been procrastinating)
  • Write a blog about procrastination.

Look, it’s hard to jump straight into a creative job. You need to get into the ‘zone’ or the ‘open mode’ as John Cleese puts it… 

Let me explain a little. By the “closed mode” I mean the mode that we are in most of the time when {we are} at work.
We have inside us a feeling that there’s lots to be done and we have to get on with it if we’re going to get through it all.
It’s an active (probably slightly anxious) mode, although the anxiety can be exciting and pleasurable.
It’s a mode which we’re probably a little impatient, if only with ourselves.
It has a little tension in it, not much humor.
It’s a mode in which we’re very purposeful, and it’s a mode in which we can get very stressed and even a bit manic, but not creative.
By contrast, the open mode, is relaxed… expansive… less purposeful mode… in which we’re probably more contemplative, more inclined to humor (which always accompanies a wider perspective) and, consequently, more playful.
It’s a mood in which curiosity for its own sake can operate because we’re not under pressure to get a specific thing done quickly. We can play, and that is what allows our natural creativity to surface.

The thing that surprises me every time is that the minute I actually start working on a project, when the pencil hits the paper, it all usually flows quite easily. I just need to get past the stigma. I am in the ‘closed mode’ while  the cleaning and organising and diorama making is going on, which is all quite purposeful… but I think anxiety can be the key. After sitting at my desk feverishly cleaning my keyboard the anxiety hits, all this time I could have been doing work and it might be that guilt that gives you the edge to achieve something creative. I remind myself that this fear can be a useful tool and not something to run from as I keep a quote from T. S. Eliot above my desk “Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity.”

Encounter of the Fassbender Kind.

Painting, This is Interesting

I am not ashamed to say that the artist in the studio next to mine works harder than me. Like me, she works on commissions and personal works. Like me, she runs a blog in order to keep her comedy muscles toned. She is a successful full-time playwright. I admire her tenacity and passion for her craft and I take every opportunity I have to let her know this interrupt her progress when mine falls flat, to ask her to join me on a coffee run when I’m stumped and she is sprouting new ideas at a rapid rate. After being a professional brother to four sisters for almost 25 years, my efforts as an annoyance and distraction have recently been futile. My neighboring artist Jess Bellamy is now enjoying the fruits of her labor at the Venice Film Festival as a screenwriter for a short-film that featured in the top ten films in Ridley Scott’s “Your Film Festival” this week. Jess had to change tact and try her hand at screenwriting to adapt her play “Bat Eyes” for film. As the film was in the top ten in this international competition she got to mingle at a party with Ridley Scott and Michael Fassbender.

Like any good friend would do, I took this opportunity to ride the Bellamy-wave of Fassbender-heavy success. The night before Jess left for Venice I, like Jess moving from play to screenwriting, moved from fine art to this…

Now, Michael Fassbender is not familiar with my artistic prowess. He is not aware that I can do much better than this. He is also unaware that the “teachers handwriting” labeling the different Fassbenders belongs to my girlfriend Caro. He probably could deduce that I am a fan of his and really that’s all that matters here right? RIGHT?!

IT’S THE BEST PLAN GUYS! ANY ARTWORK THAT IS MORE REFINED THAN THIS JUST LOOKS CREEPY… Well this one doesn’t look creepy so long as you believe that the artist responsible for this work was actually five years old and that he had sat through Prometheus, X-Men: First Class and Inglorious Basterds without shitting his Osh-Kosh-Bagosh pants. Because we all know that overly-shaded fan-art is a fan-boy no-no. The thought of you gently scraping the end off your pencil, then gently rubbing the shavings in to the soft face of your crudely, yet affectionately and meticulously drawn, celebrity obsession is not going to get Michael Fassbender to your Christmas dinner with your family like you prayed for (because that’s what Jesus is listening out for – not starving children in war torn countries… Celebrity/fan meets!). Just ask Daniel Craig.

So Jess was at the party and the following unfolded…

Jess met Fassbender.

At the party she also met his girlfriend Nicole Beharie and found she was the best operative to probe the crowd to deliver my artwork to Fassbender.
Here is Jess’ report:

I went up to Fassbender’s girlfriend Nicole, told her I thought she was great in Shame, chatted a bit about Bat Eyes, and then I went “ok this is a bit awkward but when I was talking to Michael I didn’t want to give him this. My friend who is an artist has a picture for Michael. Do you want it?”She takes it, laughs a lot, and goes, “how old is your friend?:I say “mid-20s”.

Moment of awkwardness.

Then she’s like “That’s awesome. I’m giving it to Michael”.

This is Nicole holding my drawing looking for Fassbender (For Real!)

I go off to drink 25 more spritzes, and suddenly there’s a Google executive yelling “WE NEED A SHARPIE! DOES ANYONE HAVE A SHARPIE” (no one had a sharpie) – and then Nicole finds me in the crowd, hands me the piece of paper, and he has signed it for you. With two XXs.

Holy Fucking Shitballs! I THINK I JUST WON THE INTERNET!
Also you must watch this video of  Jess talking about Bat Eyes 

and here is the short film in full.

Proud of you Jess…

But (I’m not gonna lie) more proud of myself.

No Booze but All Bacon!

Design, This is Interesting

I’m ten days in and Dry July has me cooking some serious Bacon. Lucia Giuffre was the first to donate so she receives the first Kevin Bacon artwork. My Dry July team mate is award winning playwright: Jessica Bellamy. Jess is offering to write fan-fiction for every donation she receives. When Lucia donated to both Jess and myself she requested Jess and I collaborate on a Kevin Bacon/slasher fan-fiction creation involving David Attenborough and the underground cave systems of Mexico. The story is pretty saucy, I’m not going to lie, I haven’t been this aroused since I met Richard Wilkins at the boner factory.

Meanwhile, Dry July may be helping me raise money for adults living with cancer but goodness I REALLY WANT A BEER! I had an alcohol free beer yesterday, it was like renting out Death At A Funeral and realising it was the bullshit American remake with Martin Laurence. WHY DID THEY REMAKE THAT MOVIE?! IT WAS ONLY THREE YEARS OLD AND IT WAS ALREADY IN ENGLISH.

Anyway here is the erotic fan fiction that is helping raise money for cancer:


David Attenborough had never had such a small tour group.

Normally when David Attenborough ran his dedicated ‘no customer leaves unsatisfied’ tours of the intricate underground cave systems of Mexico, his tour group was filled to the brim, leaking and bursting with desperate, over-keen fans, all of them trying to bring in extra family members and lovers, all of them dying NOT to miss out on the great Sir David’s  100% satisfaction guarantee.
Sir David loved running these tours. He loved the thick bushy entrance to the cave’s inner recesses. He loved the long dripping stalactites that littered droplets of cold liquid over his upper lip, and brought out sweat on his wrinkled forehead.

The Mexican underground caves begged him, every day, to come inside them and explore.

And explore he did.

But today was puzzling because instead of his usual thrumming, jostling, over-eager crowd, there was just one man. One cool, calm, collected man, acting as if this excitement was no big deal at all.

It was Kevin Motherfucking Bacon.

He stood tall and proud in his double denim. He brushed a hand through his wavy brown hair. His eyes were sharp blue, an azure like the gushing lakes of the inner rivers of the cave they were soon to explore. And I do mean explore.

David moved forward to say hello, one arm outstretched, and Kevin pulled him into a firm, manly, loving hug.

He smelt like cinammon and glory.

“Hi there,” said Kevin, softly into David’s ear. “You might wonder why I’m all alone here today.”

“Yes, I did wonder,” mumbled David, willing away a burgeoning semi.

“You see, I’m studying for a role in my next blockbuster film. The character is a guy who does a personal tour with David Attenborough. And then has sex with David Attenborough.”

David bit his tongue in surprise.

“And also…” Kevin continued, “I hope this won’t alarm you, Sir David. But I am a method actor.”

And that was that. The tour began.

They explored the caves together – all sorts of beautiful caves. Warm and dark caves, with long leaking stalagmites and certain recesses that were very stalac-tight, and they lay each other down on the banks of the longest flowing river in all of Mexico. It was so blue, and so warm, despite being metres underground, and the two very different men held each other tight, and they touched doodles, or however gays like to do that sort of thing because I skipped those lessons in Year 10 PDHPE, and Kevin fully, AND I MEAN FULLY, inhabited his character.

And Sir David had a pretty good time too.