street art

Part 12 - Where was I? Oh aye!

When i started this blog it was supposed to follow the story roughly speaking of where we got where we are, and then very conveniently dovetail with now. Then i could keep it more relevant. 

But i've dipped in and out of a few things since the last part which was Part 9 - Whats a Bon Accord?

I'll nip away and re-read that to see where i was. 

Ok, read it. Sorted. Ready to go. 

So the design is locked down - kudos to Nicola, my pal Craig and my brother Mark for their input. Worth mentioning here that you very quickly have to accept criticism and suggestions. Sometimes its right! Even though i think its important to have the courage of your convictions - you need to be flexible and honest. If something works better another way - do it. 

Although the Annie Street Dreams deck had a few colours in it, there was a degree of flexibility with the design. A millimeter here or there didn't really effect the image. However with this one i had to line up 4 screens with 4 different colours to create one image. Easy eh? 

So some of the first things i discovered was that overlapping the images was the way forward. No overlap means you have to get it BANG on. i.e. line up the screen to the image each time and ensure that its millimeter perfect. Not easy. Especially when screening on a curved deck! 

Also needed to think about which direction to screen. You pull (or push if you like it that way) the ink through the screen and that deposits the ink onto your deck. A squeegee is used but they aren't really soft enough (that i've found) to take on the curve. So i screened width ways - this has its own issues. The contact between the deck and the screen can be an issue and the pressure you put on makes all the difference. Too much pressure on the part closest to the screen means you are going to make a mess - not enough pressure on the part furthest from the screen means you arent going to deposit enough ink.

So its a balance. 

Overlapping images for sure - i'm in the midst of re-doing some of the images so that i can get the next one bang on - Irn Bru colour fyi.

Then i thought - why can't my squeegee be curved? 

So i chopped one up kind of worked a treat! 

Still some work to do to make one perfect but its the way forward for me. 

Whatever works eh?

Some images below of the process - this doesn't include the ones of me crying when i messed things up..look out for the one i did upside down. Ha! : )


Part 9a - Aberdeen and the Art Community

So for anyone following or just glancing over the previous blog posts you'll see that its chronicled the journey and will soon be up to date! 

But for now i thought it was worth doing a wee post to add to the discussion on Art in the city. So here goes.

As some of you might know i attended an event the other night called Art Hive - this is a forum for creatives of all levels to exchange ideas, inspire each other and provide support. I did a wee presentation on Doric Skateboards focusing on how it came to be and what i felt my place was in the creative world. Its great to be involved and see the discussions happening in our City. One question that was asked was:

Is Art the New Oil? 

Its not a question with an easy answer and its a question that goes off on tangents. The last few years in Aberdeen have been well documented in terms of the negative impact the Oil/Gas Industry has had but alongside that decline we've seen a real surge in the arts and culture of the city.

As expressed by Rachael Cloughton in this article (

"In 2013 Aberdeen failed in its bid to become UK City of Culture 2017. The judges told the council their plans lacked 'a coherent vision' or a 'wow factor'. It was, according to council leaders, a 'wake up call'."

And wake up it did. Now some of these things may already have been on the agenda and some weren't but its been the cumulative effect of these things that has invigorated our city:

  • Look Again - celebrating the best in visual art and design.
  • NuArt - spectacular and returning next year and beyond. I've never seen such diverse crowds walking around Aberdeens streets. 
  • Spectra -  stunning event and returning in 2018 to celebrate young people.
  • The Anatomy Rooms - a beautiful venue that provides a creative hub.
  • Seventeen - another creative hub that hosts Make and events such at Art Hive.
  • Creative Learning - ACC team coordinates classes and events all over the city with accessible and varied topics.
  • Painted Doors - a fantastic project that saw doors in Aberdeen painted by selected artists to bring some life to the streets.
  • Revamp of the Art Gallery - looking forward to this. Bit by bit we can see the revamp.
  • Revamp of the Music Hall - like the one below, may have caused concern amongst some but this should be great for the city.
  • Marishcall Square development - now this one has caused a stir. But at this point we have no choice but to go with it and see how it pans out. Better than we had before? I think it will be. As good as we wanted it to be? Perhaps not.
  • Union Terrace Gardens development - hopefully this should be the happy medium that will keep people happy and provide a space for all.
  • Aberdeen Football Club - i'm adding this to the list as the general feel good of the teams efforts has infiltrated the city again and even inspired a fantastic art project that saw AFC players past and present replicated on the streets of Aberdeen.

Now this is just the ones i could think of off the top of my head. There are more, loads more. Aberdeen has success stories that don't revolve around Oil and Gas. The more thats celebrated and discussed the more the people of the city will feel empowered to take part and chase dreams. 

So is Art the new Oil? 

Its certainly more sustainable.

But the more relevant question could be:

Can Art be the new anything in Aberdeen. I think the answers obvious.