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3,183: Best of 2016

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Hiya, this is the third annual review of the year that now feels like a thing in my own head (Best of 2014, Best of 2015). It has felt like another unsuccessful year, but in a way, maybe that should be the case. Feeling that I’ve done things well and right might have a negative effect. Mainly, though, it’s felt like a transitional year. Personally and artistically. On an artistic level, I’ve really enjoyed using pixels again for the first time in yonks. And I’ve been painting more, which I feel will get bigger and bigger next year. Anyway, here’s some of the better things I did in 2016.

Mein Berliner Würfel
Pretty much the best thing I did this year, I think. Maybe more people would’ve liked it had I have done something with some more recognisable places and less personal places that aren’t necessarily nice to look at, but that project would never really have existed in my brain. More info about this project here and here. And related to this, is an ongoing/unfinished thing, drawing every platform of the Berlin U-Bahn.

Raymond and Lola
A story idea that had been floating around in my head for a few years. Turned out alright. The first four frames of the story below, the rest of it here

Folded rainbow
A simple one, but I was well happy with this when I did it. Available as prints and on a t-shirt.

Fried egg sandwich
One of the things I enjoy about drawing is when I have an idea and there’s no way I can even think about doing anything other than cracking on with it. This was one of those.

Big computer
A drawing imagining an olden days computer that could do a lot of the things we do with our smart phones, like ordering taxis, playing music, watching videos, drawing, banking, reading the news, buying tickets, pleasuring ourselves, playing games, checking the weather, translating stuff, etc.

Tree rings
I had quite a long break from doing baseball-themed infographic stuff this year, and this thing isn’t really an infographic, it’s more data art, I guess. The idea is like inverse tree rings. Each ring represents a year of a team’s history. The colours of each one is different, but in the below example: grey is a year without being in the playoffs, the darker the blue, the further the Cubs got in the playoffs, and red is winning the World Series. A print is available for every team here.

Jungle things
Jungle is pretty much my favourite environment. Not every day, but it’s the best place to visit. And after a trip to Belize in the summer, I came back full of a desire to draw and paint jungle stuff.

Um, that’s it. Doesn’t feel like much, to be honest. Must try harder. There’ll be another post along these lines, possibly tomorrow, looking forward to the next year In. My. Art. because I am very much full of myself.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Rolling in the Deep by Adele. Not a bad song, just please please please let me never hear it again.

On this day
North Pole, 29 December 2009. A “poem” from 1994 put together with a drawing from 2008.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
List of CB slang

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Written by Craig

December 29th, 2016 at 2:23 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,182: The year in pictures 2016

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Other business
A dream woke me up this morning. I was in this room, like a small living room, almost like it was in a hotel apartment or something. Me and this guy called Chris (looked a bit like a slightly heavier, scruffier Simon Schama, sounded like Iaiaian Duncan Smith) were stood behind the sofa watching the TV, like we were both waiting for someone to get ready cos we were just about to leave. On the telly was some sort of video compilation of footage of various European things in the 70s and 80s. I knew that Chris voted Leave, so tried to have a friendly conversation rather than arguing. I mentioned it was funny how exotic things like Rome and skiiing and Oktoberfest all seemed back then, before Easyjet and Ryanair, etc. He immediately started chuntering away about this is why we need to leave the EU and it immediately woke me from my sleep, and I was in a bad mood. Not sure who or what Chris represented. I have a couple of ideas, mind.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Lush Life by Zara Larsson

On this day
It’s not the same game, is it?, 28 December 2011. This was about going to see Lincoln City vs. Grimsby Town. It wasn’t a massively fun game.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Pseudonym

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Written by Craig

December 28th, 2016 at 3:48 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,181: George

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When I was about 12-years-old, I made a couple of little record sleeves. They were about an inch and a half square, made with graph paper. I cut them out, folded them, and glued them so they looked real. Or as real as my 12-year-old self could make them. I used a pair of compasses to make a circle, cut that out, too, so that it could slide inside the sleeve. Then I drew the front cover and back cover and coloured in the “record” with felt tips. The second one I made was Thriller. The first one I made was Fantastic, the debut Wham! album.

This popped into my mind the other day when George Michael died. I wanted to check the released date of Fantastic, so I had a quick look at the discography on Wikipedia and while doing that, noticed that I bought nine Wham! singles in a row (if we ignore the Club Fantastic Megamix one). I’ve been trying to think of any other artist who I might’ve done that with. I don’t think there are any. And if I think of income, it’s definitely unheard of. Back in the early days of Wham!’s career, I would have been getting one pound a week pocket money. A 7″ single was 90p. I tried to spend that money wisely (always on a single, though).

I did a more-or-less life size watercolour of David Bowie’s Life on Mars? for a friend for Christmas. It felt like a good way to spend my Boxing Day doing another seven-inch watercolour:

Thanks for everything, George.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Second day in a row that it was Elizabeth Taylor by Clare Maguire. Great song.

On this day
Disgraceful graffiti, 27 December 2007.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Women in the EZLN

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Written by Craig

December 27th, 2016 at 3:30 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,180: Some paintings

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I did some paintings for the people I spent Xmas Eve with.
Feels a bit weird to be putting them online, but at the same time: why not, eh?

Watercolour of an imaginary Mexican landscape:

Watercolour of a cafe for the owner of said cafe:

Watercolour and gouache painting of the “Life on Mars?” seven-inch single for my pal who is a big David Bowie fan. It’s more or less life-size:

I was planning to do another seven-inch single watercolour, and asked the recipient of the Bowie one what music the other person liked. A few artists were mentioned, and then a auto-suggestion typo thingy happened, when she typed the word “guns” on her German phone, it changed it to “hund,” so instead of a watercolour 7″, this person got a painting of Dogs ‘N Roses:

And for two pre-teen kids, acrylic and coloured pencil pictures of thingies from a children’s film franchise:

Other business
A quick we chart re. the holidays.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Elizabeth Taylor by Clare Maguire.

On this day
The Beautiful South vs. los Tigres del Norte, 26 December 2012. I heard a song in Mexico that seemed familiar, and it was one of those things where it was nagging away in my brain for a while before finally, yes! it sounds like the Beautiful South.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Zapatista Army of National Liberation

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December 26th, 2016 at 2:35 am

3,179: Embedding the week

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I feel like doing this, chaining myself to the EU. I don't wanna lose my citizenship cos a bunch of wankers don't wanna have theirs. I am 🇪🇺 not 🇬🇧

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Fröhliche Weihnachten, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noël, Priecigus Ziemassvetkus, Linksmu Kaledu, Il-Milied It-Tajjeb, Chestita Koleda, Vrolijk Kerstfeest, Glædelig Jul, Wesolych Swiat, Feliz Natal, Roomsaid Joulu Puhi, Craciun Fericit, Iloista Joulua, Veselé Vianoce, Kala Christouyenna, Vesel Bozic, Kellemes Karácsonyi Ünnepeket, God Jul, Nollaig Shona Duit, Veselé Vánoce, Buon Natale, and Happy Xmas to all the lovely people of the European Union.

Last night, I spend my Heiligabend with Polish and German people. It felt wonderful to have three European nationalities together for some delicious Polish Xmas food. It breaks my heart that a bunch of misinformed and/or xenophobic wankers in my country voted to leave the EU. Six months on from the stupid fucking referendum and the anger is still red hot.

That’s not very Xmassy, Craig!
Yeh, well, y’know. Tough titty.

Ig–

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That top floor flat has the most massive windows.

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I hope there are warring factions within the raw food world that view warm raw food as cheating. (Also degree symbol and the word degree. Is that the sort of thing eating raw food does to your brain?)

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When you buy something just cos of the name

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2017VIBEZ

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Trolleys dogging

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Maggie! Maggie! Maggie! Out! Out! Out!

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Saw Quo live in the bullfighting arena in Mexico City in 2013. Absolutely fantastic. It was half empty as they had played a free show the night before in another (poorer) part of the city.

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Happy xmas kool kids

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Other business
I had a clementine for breakfast yesterday. A nice juicy orange-y treat. But when it got a bit messy on my desk, I was a little surprised that the juice wasn’t orange in colour. Not sure why I’m such a dick, why this was such a surprise. Reminds me of finding out that orange Tic Tacs were different in different countries.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Upper East Siders by Actrese. This is such a cool song, absolutely worth a listen. It’s relatively minimal, but well catchy.

On this day
Father, 25 December 2012. A terrible painting. Not sure what I was thinking.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Emiliano Zapata

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December 25th, 2016 at 1:34 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,178: Morning views

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You know those inspirational quotes, the cliche bits of wisdom that people put up on social media or on a mug or poster in the office? I’m starting to think that my morning view Instagram posts are like one of those. I have a finite amount of time in Berlin, and it would seem that taking these photographs is a way of reminding myself that every day is another day in this wonderful European city.

Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen, homeboys and homegirls

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Guten morgen. Thanks to the bin men for their delightful wake-up call.

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Guten morgen

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Other business
For the last three months, I’ve been blogging a lot more frequently than I’ve done for several years. It’s so much fun for me to do. I wonder how I’d let it slip slide away. And it makes me feel more like Craig, if that makes any sense. The Craig I was moderately happy with in the last decade blogged all the time. I also like that it gives me mental beanpoles for the rest of my work to be guided by. Organising thoughts into words helps organise thoughts into visuals. The act of blogging keeps my brain focussed during the day. It makes me pay attention and not let the day slip by.

It’s nice to know some people are reading it, too. And it’s been really nice to see some familiar names in the comments from the old days. That genuinely makes me happy and thankful. Here’s to you.

Have a lovely Xmas if you celebrate it, have a nice weekend if you don’t.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Formation by Beyoncé. I would love to know how this thing works. How I wake up with a song just there in my head. And how song A is there not song B or song C. Specifically because yesterday afternoon and evening, I had Ghost by Matilda in my head. It seemed so clear to me that there was no way anything else would be this morning’s song in my head. What went on in my brain during the night to erase that song, and put another one in its place?

On this day
A walk into town, 24 December 2007. A post about getting bored of waiting for a bus, and walking into town and remembering lots of places from my childhood in Lincoln.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Charro

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Written by Craig

December 24th, 2016 at 2:54 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,177: My 20 favourite songs of the year

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2016 was another year where pop music completely ruled my ears. Barely a guitar in sight. Didn’t really bother with much else, tbh, and I’ve not really felt the need either. The order, like all of our lists, is fluid. What is number five today could be tomorrow’s number two or number eight. You know what I mean, yeh? And, of course, there’s deffo the chance that I’ll hear something in February that was released this year that I’ll retroactively add to the list in my head.

20. Make Me Love You by Gwen Stefani
19. Uninvited by Mallrat
18. Crybaby by Abra
17. Heartbreak Hi by Avec Sans
16. Old Habits Die Hard by Allie X

15. Shout Out to My Ex by Little Mix
14. Elizabeth Taylor by Clare Maguire
13. Home by Icarus
12. Big Girls by Sophie and the Bom Boms
11. Wasn’t My Fault by Christie

10. Cranes in the Sky by Solange
9. After the Afterparty by Charli XCX
8. Formation by Beyoncé
7. The Flute by Petite Meller
6. Nikes by Frank Ocean

5. Work from Home by Fifth Harmony
4. Hold Up by Beyoncé
3. Youth by Troye Sivan
2. Time to Share by Gemini
1. Ghost by Matilda

A wee bit of artwork
After a couple of glasses of wine, I drew Gordon Ramsay last night in charteuse, silver, and neon yellow.

Other business
In the immediate aftermath of the attack on Breitscheidplatz, I got information from Twitter. Ignored rumours, of course, just checking official sources or reputable news sources. One minor thing, though, that feels insignificant, but maybe not, was the promoted tweets. Obviously, I am in Germany, and the promoted tweets were for German things or companies doing business in Germany. At times like that, surely it would be a good idea for Twitter to get on the case and pause them. You’re looking for information, yet in amongst everything else, you’ve got companies trying to flog computers or salami. It’s not good for the user, and it would seem to me, not good for the companies either.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
I went to sleep to the sounds of wind and rain. It wasn’t windy or rainy, just a two-hour-long YouTube white noise thing to help me sleep. Woke up to the sound of binmen crashing around right outside the building, but I had the wonderful, number-two-on-the-above-list, Time to Share by Gemini in my head, so it was all okay, really. (When I say early, I mean about 7.15am, which I realise is an insult to everyone who has to get up at that time or earlier. Soz.)

On this day
Christmas number ones, 23 December 2014. An infographic about the Xmas number one singles in the UK. Last year’s was another charity one. Didn’t hear it. This year’s will be announced later today. I genuinely wish I still cared, but the music industry has given us no reason to, what with them hijacking it for so long.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Gaucho

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Written by Craig

December 23rd, 2016 at 2:07 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,175: The joy of normal

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I wrote this on Monday evening. I was resizing the photos when I heard about the Breitscheidplatz thing. This post felt inappropriate to put up the morning after that. It’s simply about normal life, and specifically about normal life in Berlin.

Weird thing about being here: it feels so normal, so wonderfully normal. Staying in on a Friday and Saturday, just dicking around (drawing, YouTube, cooking, blah) rather than having fun in nice bars with friends. I like that I feel able to have a relaxed weekend. Not to have to cram every moment with fun. And I got a little bit emotional on an S-Bahn train on my way to get a couple of things from Ikea. Just the absolute normality of it gave me a lump in the throat. Normal, like the joy of feeling neutral again after you’ve had flu.

There were times in Berlin when I was dreadfully unhappy. Possibly even some sort of depression. (Depression is one of those words that I find difficult, cos I don’t want to be like those people who are a bit neat and tidy and describe themselves as OCD.) But I’ve been thinking a lot about Berlin and my feelings about this place since my visit last winter. It is home. Lincoln is where I grew up but from a fairly early age I knew I wanted to get out of there. London never felt like home. Mexico City doesn’t feel like home, it feels like the place I am currently living. And maybe the real joy of Berlin for me isn’t that it’s a wonderful arty fun place, maybe it’s that it is normal. Neutral. A white plate. How that white plate looks in the Instagram photo of one’s life is entirely down to what you have cooked. I find that London’s plate is already expensive and impacts what kind of meal you can eat off it. Mexico City’s plate is already somewhat oppressively busy-looking and you end up wanting some damn calmness.

Getting off the S-Bahn, I walked a route I’ve only done a couple of times (it’s a part of town I’ve only been to with the intention of going to Ikea. The route isn’t engrained enough to be familiar, but I recognised bits. Boring normalness. A billboard site that I remembered taking a photo of and blogging about in 2009. And when it came to crossing the road, a memory of being a pedestrian, annoyed by the roads. People walking back to the station with Ikea bags, blank faces. Me going there, mentally tensed ready for potential Ikea hell, chewing some chewing gum to the rhythm of the start of 24 Hour Party People by Happy Mondays.

(Another thing I did was kinda singing in my brain, Being Boiled by the Human League which morphed into Fade to Grey by Visage. I’ve recorded a bit of the former on my phone with me singing the latter at the appropriate place: mybrilliantsingingvoice.m4a My brain also does it with Getting Away with It by Electronic, and my head sings the words “all my life” in the chorus in the voice of Richard Butler, cos it sounds like a melody from a Psychedelic Furs song.)

The things you take photos of when you visit a city aren’t the normal things, they’re the things that seem special or different to the place where you live. So your New York, Barcelona, or São Paulo photo folder is full of the greatest hits, no album tracks or B-sides. In a way, it’s sad that we do this, but at the same time, really it’s just like enjoying the tea-ness of a cup of tea rather than focusing on the fact that it’s just water which has had some dried plant bits wafted around in it for a few minutes.

And it’s not about taking note of the beauty in normal life, it’s just acknowledging it. The photos on this blog post are not of under-appreciated Berlin things. They are just Berlin things.

Ikea was fine, I skipped straight to the section I needed, got my bits, paid and went to get my backpack from the locker I’d put it in when I arrived (not that I needed to, just habit from being in Mexico City where everyone treats you like a fucking thief if you’ve got a backpack). I’d decided not to buy an extra bag, but I’d woefully underestimated the size of my stuff, and soon realised only about half of my stuff would fit in there. Carried the rest. Four picture frames. Not too heavy, just a bit awkward, the way four things the same size do (books, etc.)

Back back back to the S-Bahn station, passing people doing the journey I had done. A day-long loop of people going to and leaving Ikea. Some guy on the platform shoo-ed away a pigeon in a violent penalty-kick-taking motion. I started at him, he stared back like what the fuck are you looking at? I was looking at yet another person in this world who doesn’t appreciate the beauty and magnificence of pigeons. On the escalator, my brain flashed to how I would combat homesickness when I first moved to Berlin, and again in Mexico City when I pined for my Berlin life: going to a big department store. They look the same everywhere. Ignore the signs that indicate which language local people speak, and you could be anywhere. It’s not about going somewhere British or Geman, it’s about that same thing again: being somewhere neutral. Neutral normality is where the heart is.

And as I typed the notes for this post on the S-Bahn train back up to my neighbourhood, the guy sat opposite me was having a phone conversation. Just a totally normal human. I can’t even picture his face now (tidying up the notes a few hours later). He ended his call with “I love you” and two kissy sounds.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Wasn’t My Fault by Christie and the Dream Beats. For me, this sounds like the sort of song that might’ve cruised to a Eurovision victory in the mid-90s. Popjustice, though, described it better in their Top 45 Singles of 2016 as “the greatest Kelly Clarkson song that never was.”

On this day
Notes from a train journey, 21 December 2011, after going from London up to Lincoln for Xmas.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Southern Cone.

I did a drawing of this for the Atlas, Schmatlas book. It’s got 2.5 stars on customer reviews on Amazon, which I guess means it’s average. There are really cheap copies there, though, so y’know…

Here’s one of the customer reviews that I’d not read before:

NOT A KIDS’ BOOK. I bought this for my 12 year old son who loves geography and loved Robinson’s baseball book. Very, very disappointed. It is full of obscene pictures and words. Luckily we scanned through it before we wrapped it. He is down one present under the tree this year.

Glad they liked the baseball book, sad they are very, very disappointed. This seems like it was a common assumption, that the cover indicated it was a kid’s book. I mean, I dunno about you, but I’d never buy a book for a child without have a look at it first, but there you go.

I had a look at the reviews on the .co.uk of Amazon, too, and found this:

This is a real wasted opportunity of a book. It’s a great, simple idea- a world atlas packed with comedy and lies- but ultimately it’s not as funny as it could or should have been.

There are some funny moments in here, but as the author takes on every country in the world, a lot of the writing feels like a first draft, the kind of thing many writers would go back to and re-write funnier later on. At times I felt like I could’ve written this book in a couple of days, given a normal atlas, Wikipedia, sufficient alcohol and a bucket of good old British prejudice. Large parts of it will date badly to 2007 too.

The illustrations are the strongest part of the book, but the text feels like it belongs more to a blog or a quirky website than justifying all the effort of a hardback book.

Missable.

That’s fair. I can understand why someone would think it belongs on a blog, cos that’s pretty much how it started. FYI: there were five drafts done. And it took about six months to do. And no, you couldn’t have written it in a couple of days. And this where I stop cos I’m tempted to go through every bad review now, and I’ll be here for ages. Sigh.

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Written by Craig

December 21st, 2016 at 3:08 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music,Photos

3,173: Xmas

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This feels like a cheap post to do, but I’ve done plenty of Xmas-themed stuff over the years, and it’s not that easy to find* on the FFF site, so let’s have a wee look, eh? In chronological order:

* There is a redesign in progress, just not sure how long it’ll take to do. Hopefully it’ll be online by spring, though.

Fun fun fun: Christmas style (2000) was a follow-up to something that had been mildly popular. So taking the same idea of 10 ways to have fun, I applied it to the festive season. Pretty basic stuff, but I really enjoyed doing all of the Fun Fun Fun stuff.

This little doggy (2001). An illustrated story about a dog all alone in the woods at Xmas.

We wish you a Merry Christmas (2002) is just a piece of audio, chopping up words from other songs to send a greeting. Originally just sent to friends attached to an email.

The ex-mas tree (2002) is a pretty obvious piece of anthropomorphism.

Christmas country life (2002) is another thing that was just an Xmassy version of something else that existed elsewhere on the site. It’s fun to remember that the word (animated) GIF back then often referred to something someone had created, not just snipped out of context for yuks (I love that type of GIF too, but you know what I mean). It’s another bit of anthropomorphism, this time with a house.

FFF advent calendar (2003). I really was in my own little self-created world back then. I remember that being a nice place to be. It’s an advent calendar where the windows “open” when you pass your mouse over the numbers to reveal various things I’d drawn made Xmassier.

The Yuletide Owls (2004). This was my version of an Icelandic tale, told via two owls that I used to draw a lot called Pete and Bob.

Around Berlin (2005). A pretty cheap and easy one: just a bunch of photos around Berlin.

The man who loved Christmas porn (2012) was something that came about after listening to Dan Savage say something about how ridiculous it is, which got me thinking, there must be somebody who really likes it.

Wreath (2014). Lots of the apartments in the building I was living in at the time had actual wreaths on the doors. I did this to fit in a little bit. You will notice that there are no overt religious elements in there.

My favourite one, though, was from 2013: 25 December, 13 A.D., a story about one of Jesus’s teenage birthdays.

A wee bit of artwork
Ordinarily, I will read or watch several review-of-the-year type things. Not sure I really want to this year. We mostly feel the same about this right? I guess if you voted for trump or to leave the EU, 2016 must’ve felt like a pretty good year, but just typing those words makes me angry. I don’t want to have an article or TV programme going through it all again. So here’s my review of the year. Short and simple.

Other business
Have I Got News for You is still entertaining enough (never was a top favourite of mine, I still watch it though), but in the modern age, it feels a bit like old jokes cos we’ve all looked at blogs and Twitter all week where a lot of similar jokes about most of the topics have already been made. It has the feel of a show that young people wouldn’t watch. I don’t know this for sure, cos I’m not a young person, and I don’t really know any young British people, but I’m just imagining: would I have watched it if Twitter were around in the early 90s? Nope.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Little Things by One Direction. They’re really embedded at the moment. Five of the last seven.

On this day
Our new film, 19th of December 2005. I was living alone with Billy at the time. (One is never alone when one has a dog, though, right?). I made a couple of little films with him. This one was a silly “horror” film. Again, one is reminded of the differences in broadband speeds, by how small and low quality this .mov is. I have a clear memory of making this film, and how much tape was used to make a really short film. Aw, Billy…

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Montevideo (The etymology part is particularly interesting)

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December 19th, 2016 at 2:30 am

3,172: Embedding the week

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Sweden

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C'mon Germany you can't do that and expect me not to giggle

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Sunny

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Seems like a strange way to court a lady

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Photo of a page from a (now lost) sketchbook from 1993

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Fußball

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Paper bag ordering me to eat fruit

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A wee bit of artwork
Last night I was catching up on some of Momus’s recent videos on YouTube, and I was finding it tough to concentrate on drawing and listening to him talking about sweaters at the same. I’d done quite a bit of painting during the day, so decided that Nick could have the greater part of my attention for a while. I enjoy his music, and I enjoy listening to him talking. We got to know each other when we were living in Berlin at the same time in the 2000s, and I did an illustration for the cover of one of his albums, Forbidden Time Machine. Thoroughly nice chap. I kept Photoshop open though, and just played around, not thinking, and ended up doing this.

It’s nothing special, but I still like it. It’s good and useful to do things like this. Sometimes good things come out of them, sometimes not. Sometimes they spark further ideas, further investigation. Mostly they don’t, but the whole process is worthwhile for the times that they do end up being useful.

I really like the Christmas holiday. But I’ve found myself using “Xmas” a lot more in the past few years. It’s an affectation, of course. As soon as I found out that some of the moronic Christians who object to “Happy Holidays” and their inane right-wing thoughts about there being a War on Christmas, it felt like taking the Christ out of Christmas was the least I could do. And while the roots of “Xmas” are still Christian as far as I remember, the less this wonderful holiday references that guy, the better in my opinion.

I like the winter celebration elements, I like that we collectively get festive, I like that we buy or make things for each other, and I like that we focus on being with people we care about. Jesus mean nothing to me the rest of the year, and he means nothing to me on his, cough, birthday.

And XMAS is a way cooler word, aesthetically. Short words with Xs are usually cool-looking, especially in all caps. MEXICO, X-RAY, SOX, LATEX, BOXER, AXE, FLUX, TEXAS, WAX, SEX, EPOXY, TOXIC, XMAS.

Other business
I quite like Depeche Mode. One of those bands where I don’t own all the albums, but whenever I listen to the ones I do have, my ears are happy. A Question of Lust is a good song, innit? But, have you ever watched the video? There’s a bit, right, for about 16 seconds, from about 52 seconds into the clip, where it does that thing where there are two images on top of each other. One of Martin Gore’s head (kinda looking like a semi-shaved sheep-poodle hybrid creature), and one of a Dave Gahan, from the waist up, looking like he’s in a desert or somefink, grooving away playing the tambourine, and he looks kinda ridiculous. That’s it. That’s my point. Pop group singer looks a bit funny for 16 seconds. I mean, he always looks a bit like he’s pretending to be a rock star in my mind. Not so much over the last couple of decades, but deffo early on.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Again, it was You & I by One Direction. I (obviously) keep note of all of these, and just had a quick look at the 2016 tallies, and 1D are currently in second place when it comes to most times as song in my head. They would need six more to tie, and there are, duh, 13 mornings left.

On this day
The 18th of December, 2009. Two posts, but both of them just photographs. One of someone feeding the birds, another of some Balloons on Falkenstraße. In the course of embedding the images below, I remembered how the 410 pixel wide images that used to be my default size on the blog felt okay as a size. Increased resolution of screens make them feel pretty small now.

(I realised while I was putting this post up that the dates may occasionally be off. The dates and times of each post pre-2008 were mostly in Germany. After then it’s been a bit all over the place, but mostly in Mexico. So chances are an early morning pre-2008 post might come up as the day before when the blog as a whole switched to a Mexican time zone. And vice-versa. I’ve not switched from Mexico to Berlin time, so blog posts come up timed at seven hours earlier than they are for me posting them. This is a minor thing, it really doesn’t matter, it’s something you dear reader do not care about, but seeing as though I thought about it, I figured I might as well mention it.)

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Río de la Plata

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December 18th, 2016 at 3:46 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,171: Morning views

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As mentioned a few days ago, I’ve been taking a photo of the view from the wee balcony every morning since I’ve been at this apartment. Rather than letting it get out of hand and having a monster post at some point, I’m gonna put the week’s worth in a post every Saturday (not a full week this time cos I did that post on Tuesday).

I’ve been feeling weird about not blogging at the weekend, even though it was a choice I made, to blog four or five times, but only weekdays. There’s always a temptation to save things, to have a few things in reserve just in case, for blog posts, (especially in the A wee bit of artwork and Other business parts of each post) but I’ve found that just doing them and leaving that next post to fend for itself is a better approach. So there’ll be posts at the weekend now, I think.

Saturdays will be the morning views, Sundays will be “embedding the week.” I did that last Sunday, cos y’know, tweets and Instagram posts feel a bit like space trash sometimes, just thrown out there, but they’re sometimes still somewhat worthy of a look, and gathering some of the better ones together might be cool if you don’t use either of those social media thingies. (It does feel a tad hey look at me, I do good tweets, but, fuck: this is a blog full of me blathering on, so it’s not really different is it? And I do sometimes wish that people whose tweets I enjoy would do something like this.) Anyway, that’ll be here tomorrow. For now, though: the morning views from Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and today:

Guten morgen

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Guten morgen mein lieblings

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Guten morgen

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Guten morgen

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

A wee bit of artwork
In an email, my friend Amanda mentioned seeing someone who looked like a drawing that her partner Ben had done. She said the person had “the hair of a cloud and voice of Brian Blessed.” Such a wonderful description. I’ve not seen Ben’s drawing, but I did my own quick drawing of Amanda’s description.

Other business

The 15.10 Lufthansa flight from Berlin Tegel to the moon.

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
The Things That Dreams Are Made Of by the Human League. For most of my adult life, if you’d’ve asked what my favourite album is, I’d probably have said something by the Beach Boys. Surf’s Up, Sunflower, or Pet Sounds. Over the past couple of years, though, I’ve begun to realise that Dare by the Human League is an album I now think of as my favourite. Not that it matters, eh? We put so much effort into building up this presentable ideal of who we are. Favourite song, album, film, TV series, book. Those are the adult versions of colour, number, football team. My favourite albums means NOTHING to you. And why should it? It could only possibly be of interest if you, a) it’s your favourite album too, or b) you fucking hate the Human League. For the 99% of other people: it’s not an issue. It is a great album though.

On this day
I had a wee look through some old blog posts last night, and noticed that on this day in 2008, it was snowing a lot. (It was hardly a big post, just a sentence and this embedded 23-second video clip.)

I was in Bellingham, Washington at the time. That was a good time. Things didn’t turn out perfectly in Bellingham, but to be somewhere snowy for Xmas was really good.

I always enjoy on this day-type things. I enjoying finding out that such-and-such record was released 20 years ago. I even did a thing for a Dutch newspaper about this very idea in 2005. So maybe I’ll keep this up, looking back at old posts from this day in the past. Maybe it’ll work, maybe not. We will see, eh?

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Revolución Libertadora

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December 17th, 2016 at 2:55 am

3,170: Spotters

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I woke up yesterday, tried to open Spotify, and got this message:

Clearly I was a bit grumpy, cos I tweeted about it angrily without thinking. Modern life is rubbish. I am rubbish.

I made a new account, chuntering to myself about not being able to access my playlists. It wasn’t until I’d done that, that I thought about googling it. And, yes, of course, it was easy. If you have a premium account, this is not an issue. If you have a free account (me*), just log in to your account on the Spotters Web site and change the country settings.

Piece.
Of.
Piss.

* I have got to a point in my life where I’m not overly into the idea of money just going out of my account on a monthly basis, thus the lack of subscription. If I want owt from iTunes, I buy one of those prepaid cards from the corner shop. I’m the same with buying things online these days. I would much rather go into a real shop and look at it, talk to a shop assistant. And ordering tickets online is something I avoid as much as possible. Really, the only things I buy online these days are plane tickets, Rubik’s Cube-type puzzles, and vape liquid.

A byproduct of making the new Spotters account, though, was being able to go and look at my real account’s public face. I’ve been a bit surprised in the past that my 1D playlist was public, and quickly went and changed lots of settings to private. But looking at my original account’s public face, I found this:

Sixteen recently played artists. And there’s a part of me that would be quite happy to listen to most of those sixteen for the rest of my life. I mean, switching out a few for some Beach Boys, Beatles, and Kraftwerk in there would be good, but on the whole: not. too. shabby.

(Spotify is a rubbish name, though innit? I like to call it, and have done so a couple of times above, Spotters.)

My use of Spotters has grown over the last twelve months more-or-less entirely because of the shitness of my computer (a 2008 MacBook Pro). I have a ton of music in there, more than enough to never need to use something like Spotters, but the speakers are busted and make a fuzzy noise, and as the year progressed, the computer has got slower and I keep getting the beach ball when I scroll in iTunes, so even when I use headphones it’s annoying.

You know, I never ever thought people would be nostalgic for cassettes, but it seems like they are. I assume we’re not too far away from people being nostalgic for CD singles, too. It feels ridiculous to say this, but will people be nostalgic for mp3s? I mean, it’s possible, right?

A wee bit of artwork
Mauerpark 5. Acrylic, gouache, and coloured pencil on paper. 24 x 32 cm.

Other business
The auto-suggestions on my phone can go fuck themselves:

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
One Direction again. This time Best Song Ever. In my opinion, though, the best song ever is Borderline by Madonna.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
ARA General Belgrano (C-4)

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December 16th, 2016 at 2:07 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,169: German things

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I met a friend yesterday. We walked past an S-Bahn station, and near the steps down to the platform there was a dude with a ghetto blaster*. That boombox was playing 99 Luftballons, and I mentioned to my friend that, aside from Hitler and the national football team, Nena was probably the first German thing I had knowledge of. Not sure if that’s true, but it probably is. 99 Red Balloons was 1984 in the UK, I think, so can’t really imagine there being much else of German origin in my brain at that point in my life.

*Just realised for the first time in my life that that word is probably a bit racist, innit? I’ll replace it in my head from now on with boombox, or maybe just with Björk’s pronunciation, jettoblasta.

After my friend and I parted a couple of hours later, I got thinking some more about it. I would’ve known Da Da Da by my second favourite German band, Trio. I knew The Model by my favourite German band. Liverpool had beaten German teams in the European Cup, and Kevin Keegan played for Hamburger SV. So my original assertion was kinda true, but not entirely. I would also have known a very skewed British view of Germany from watching Auf Wiedersehen, Pet on ITV.

In general, though, I’m not sure how much I knew about Germany before I visited Berlin for the first time in early 2000. My school friend Paul had a German friend (I think she was called Uli, I remember her being pretty), there’s a load of football-related stuff I remember, and I remember the Wall coming down. Aside from things confirming stereotypes, though, I don’t remember any view of Germany as a real place existing in my brain.

Same is true of lots of places you’ve never visited, I guess. In the latter part of 2005, when I was living in Berlin, I had a Mexican girlfriend, and we visited Chiapas (her home state) for Xmas. I didn’t say anything to her about it at the time, but I was a little surprised that there were trees and jungle there. I hadn’t even thought to consider that the desert-and-cacti mental image I had of Mexico might not be the whole country.

These were failings on my part. But also in the way foreign places are always presented in their most basic terms. Eiffel Tower and accordion music, lederhosen and oom-pah music, moustachioed man sleeping under a cactus. TV and movies need to do better. It’s their fault. (It’s not a huge leap, also, to see how this level of thinking, of generalising, has impacted our lives in deeper way. Awful shit like Brexit, Trump, etc.)

While we’re talking about Nena, though, it would be wrong not to link to my fave song of hers, the 2002 re-recorded version of Leuchtturm. Nobody I know (who I’ve spoken to) likes this song. I am entirely alone. German friends prefer the 1983 original. It’s understandable, but for me, this song reminds me of still being relatively fresh in Berlin, and parts of the video were filmed near my flat, and that was v exciting for me.

A wee bit of artwork
The Holly and the IV, from 2013

Other business

Remember this every time an artsy site tells you how great these artists are

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
You & I by One Direction. Watching that video just now, which I’ve not done for ages (quite a good video, simple and clean), I got to thinking about what it would be like if a band like the Beatles had never existed and just came back in the modern era. Like, let’s imagine all of our brains are erased of any knowledge of the Beatles and their songs, and they came back with modern-sounding versions of their whole catalogue. Would we love them as much? Probably. Would they have a long-lasting influence? Probably not. Unless we also erased all music that was influenced by the Beatles, too, which is a pleasant thing to try and imagine. Not because I want it erased, I just enjoy thinking about such things. You’d have to get rid of so much music. How much? Like, more than 60 or 70%, right? Even if a song is not directly influenced by them, it might be influenced by another song that was. They are the filter than everything has gone through.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Falklands War

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December 15th, 2016 at 3:02 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,168: My Berlin Cube

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I figured it might be worth another look at something I put online earlier in the year, when this blog wasn’t as wordy. It’s relevant, cos I’m back in Berlin, and as you can probably tell, it’s a drawing of Berlin (and y’know, the title of this post might’ve helped too.)

After visiting last winter, and falling back in love with this, the home town of my brain, I did a drawing of a Rubik’s Cube shape with bits of my fave or personally significant parts of the city. Maybe you didn’t see it. Worth a reblog. So if you didn’t see this drawing before and fancy reading some more about its creation, here the contemporaneous* blog post: Mein Berliner Würfel.

*I love this word. Contiguous, too.

(Related to the cube, by the way, is this, an ongoing work of drawing each station of the Berlin U-Bahn. I’ve only done three lines of the network so far, but I suspect there’ll be more soon. I’ve not done much pixelly stuff recently and the desire to do that comes and goes in waves, so once it does, I’m pretty sure this is what I’ll be doing.)

Looking at the cube drawing again, ten months later, it’s easy to see how I was a bit in love with the idea of Berlin at the time. I can tell these things when I look back at my work. There’s a level of detail that only really comes when I’m totally into the idea. It’s easier for me to notice this with the pixel work for obvious reasons. And looking at the folder on my computer, the first version was ten days before the final version, and there’s three or four days off in the middle of the process, which meant something else was more pressing. (I was gonna type real work there, but “work for money” is a more appropriate phrase. Nothing against that side of things, but my ACTUAL real work is things like this. Lying on my death bed/death gutter/death rollercoaster/death wherever-it-happens, I won’t really be thinking of work I did for money as much as work I did for the love of creating things that were expressions of who I am.)

Those moments can be frustrating, eh? I can still clearly remember the feeling of first starting the Web site back in 1999, sat in my bedroom in Upper Norwood. Working in an office all day, then coming home and trying to do as much as possible in the evening. I don’t think I ever put as much effort into something as I did back then. I’m kinda proud of that effort, the lack of sleep, the nights in the pub I skipped to just get home and build the site, drawing more and more, staying awake til 2am every night even though I knew I had to get up in five hours. It was exhausting, but exciting too. And my brain didn’t give me a choice. And that was the feeling I had doing this cube drawing.

Staying with pixelly stuff, the same feeling happened with the Flower drawing*, and in the middle of that process I had a holiday. I started just a couple of days before the holiday, and was so into it, that the holiday felt like an annoyance (it wasn’t, it was lovely. Viva Belize!). I’d done two of the seven sections, all of which were fairly planned out in my head right from the start. (Those sections, if you view the drawing as similarly-sized chunks: space, sky, soil, water table, fossil fuel, outer core, inner core.)

* One thing I’ve noticed is how I am utterly shit at titling things. Flower is such an inappropriate title for that drawing, but I couldn’t think of anything better, and the working title in my head just stuck. Also, titles are kinda ridiculous, aren’t they? I would far prefer to have everything as untitled. But as Prince found out when he changed his name to a symbol, we need to call him something. Same with art.

Maybe this is a common feeling amongst people who do creative things, but with this year’s bigger effort to paint and draw more without using a computer, I find I’m a lot happier to do something and once that is finished, consider the day done, artistically.

Like, yesterday, I finished the painting below around 4pm. Still had a feeling of wanting to do more, but after a wee break, I felt I’d shot my load for the day. I tinkered with a couple of things, but it was obvious that I’d used my mental energy and drive for the day.

I’ve totally lost my thread here. (I went to the kitchen to make coffee, y’see.) Not sure where this post was leading. I had a point but it’s totally gone. What an arse I am.

Oh well, this’ll have to do for now. Maybe I’ll remember and we can pick up from here another day. Soz about that. (Of course, the minute I press “publish” I’ll remember…)

I like thinking about my work. I quite like typing about it. I hate talking about it. I don’t think I’m good at the latter two of those three things, so forgive me. There’s an enthusiasm for the idea of typing about it that probably is missing from this blog post. Again, soz about that.

(Last point. I tell you what I am really enjoying nowadays: going to bed wondering what I might blog about tomorrow, then waking up and just doing it. Thanks for reading.)

A wee bit of artwork
Graffitied tree and crow. Acrylic, gouache, and coloured pencil on paper. 17 x 24 cm.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Love Yourself by Justin Bieber. A nice enough song off the last album, not as good as Sorry, What Do You Mean?, or Where Are Ü Now, of course, but not too bad. The video is pretty cool, too. He’s not in it, FYI.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Rosette (decoration)

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December 14th, 2016 at 3:14 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,167: Disorientated

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I woke up this morning disorientated. In my dream I had hung out under the U-Bahn tracks along Schönhauser Allee, trying to use cocaine. I was unwrapping a piece of paper containing the drugs, but it was windy, and I was aware that it would be a tough thing to do. Also under the tracks were One Direction. All in a car, during a pause while making a video. Harry told me he had epilepsy. And Billy was with me. When I woke up, I had the tired eyes, where they feel heavy and puffy and don’t want to open. A quick flash went through my head, because I don’t really remember feeling that so much in Mexico City. I wonder if it’s a dark European winter thing that causes that in me. But mostly even though I was awake, taking my morning photo (see below), my brain still thought something was real: that Billy was with me. I called out to him, because he wasn’t on the bed. I was awake, I knew I was awake, but I still thought Billy was here in this apartment. As we have all said at some point in our lives, I wish my dream was real. (Not the cocaine bit, obviously, because that is a horrible boring drug.)

Other business
I made a decision when I got to this apartment that every morning I would take a photo. There a tiny balcony, so every morning, I open the doors, stand on the door frame-y bit and click. It’s a nice habit, I think, mostly because it means I’m actually (but only just) outside first thing in the morning, breathing fresh air. And I like the idea of being inappropriately dressed in cold weather to really feel the weather, cos obvs, I do this before getting dressed so I’m usually there bare-footed in my t-shirt and underpants. Here’s the ones I’ve done so far. I intend to keep doing this. The payoff obviously comes when it snows. Please please snow, Berlin, I want it so bad!

Buenos días.

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Buenos días

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Buenos días

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Buenos días

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Buenos días

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Buenos días

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Buenos días

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Buenos días

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Buenos días

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Buenos días

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Buenos días

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen damen und herren

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Two songs. I’m starting to realise this isn’t uncommon, having two songs (usually by the same artist) going back and forth in my head. This morning it was History and Drag Me Down by One Direction.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

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December 13th, 2016 at 4:08 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,166: Embedding the week

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A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Bathroom graffiti

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Hello ladies, fancy coming for some falafel?

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Other business
This thing with numbering every post on the blog that I’ve been doing. Feels like a conceit (checking thesaurus: self-admiration, arrogance, smugness) but it’s deffo helping. It helps me see progress. And I’m still at a stage where keeping going is something I have to force myself to do at least a couple of days of the week. I’ve been sticking to the five-posts-a-week on the whole. Four posts a week here and there, but that’s fine with me. Four still feels good to me. Point is, I guess, I can now look back at 48 blog posts from the last two months, and I like that already that’s enough to give me a feeling of what was going on in my life at the time. And for me, that totally makes it worth the effort to keep going. (I have to keep reminding myself of this, thus the last paragraph.)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Youth by Troye Sivan. One of the best songs of the year imo.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Sharon Stone

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December 11th, 2016 at 5:27 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,165: Plans subject to change

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You make plans, you meet up
hi-ya, hallo, *hug*
blah-de-blah, U-bahn
Züruckbleiben bitte!
Bit of a change of plan, not going to that burger place
Okay, cool. Well, let’s go somewhere else instead
Turkish place? Yep. Cool
Kottiwood?
Falafel
Which sauce?
Scharfe
Mmm.
Danke! Tschüß!
What time’s that thing start? Half nine. *looks at watch*
Let’s have a beer at Möbel Olfe now, then?
Chat chat chat. This and that
Noch ein Berliner bitte
Noch ein Berliner bitte
Noch ein Berliner bitte
Pay the bill, where’s this place, then?
Not far, on Skalitzer Straße. Should be around here somewhere
Not here, maybe it’s back there, or here
Wrong door, up the stairs. Different place
Fuck it, let’s just stay here: Siegessäule night at Monarch
Cheers! Joan Jett, Prince, excellent music all night
Drunkenly inventing a convoluted handshake, playing table football, chatting with strangers
Time to go home, though. A bit drunk
Let’s get the U-bahn
*goes to U-bahn*
No trains, too late
Taxi? No, too expensive, let’s get a bus
Bus to Warschauer Straße, then the tram
A nice wee chat with strangers on the bus
17 minutes to wait for the traim, not the traim: the tram, typo
the night tram the party tram
A beer to share from the späti
Four photos/two euros from the Automat
Click click click click
Photo reminder of great night with great friend
Tram, chatting away drunkenly, woman across the way is smiling and laughing at our stupid conversation
She’s Sarah. Half German/half British
We chat all the way home with Sarah
Off the tram, little walk.
Okay, get home safe. Tschüß. *hug*

A wee bit of artwork

Noch ein Berliner bitte

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Better Best Forgotten by Steps. Third Steps song in the last ten days. Who’da thunk it. Well, there’s a simple explanation, ackchewelly: I watched some Steps reunion from British telly on YouTube. So, in this song, when they’re singing about relationship business, it occurred to me that Faye, Claire, and Lisa all sing a bit, and all seem to be singing about the same sort of thing. Are all three of them going through the same thing at the same time? That’d be quite the coincidence. Maybe it’s just fiction, though. You’ll be telling me that all songs are fiction next. That’s the post-truth world we live in.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Total Recall (1990 film)

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December 9th, 2016 at 2:53 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,163: Kraftwerk cactus

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I’ve done loads of Kraftwerk-themed drawings over the sixteen-and-a-half years that I’ve been doing the site. They’re kinda perfect for projecting ideas onto. Daft Punk are similar, to a lesser extent. A well-managed aesthetic and very little personal information allows for that, I think.

Which is to say: I’ve done another bloody Kraftwerk-themed drawing. This time of a prickly pear cactus, with each pad thingy designed to look like one of three of Kraftwerk’s looks.

This blog post is brought to you by GotNothingToActuallyWriteAboutToday Industries.

A wee bit more artwork
Another painting of Mauerpark.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Last Thing on My Mind by Steps

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Mexico City Metro

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December 8th, 2016 at 9:18 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,162: Mauerpark

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Mauerpark (literally “wall park” in English) is my local park. I’m right next to it, I can see it from the window. And it’s felt like my local park for a long time. Whenever I think about a park, it’s Mauerpark. I used to go to this park twice a day with Billy. It’s not particularly pretty, but it that doesn’t really matter. In a way, it’s a better park for it. Back in the day, it used to be a parade ground, a train yard, and most recently, the death strip between the walls keeping East and West Berlin apart.

When the wall came down, locals basically took over, planted some trees and started using it as a park. I remember being told that is was something that nobody asked permission for, but I could be wrong. Even if that is wrong, though, I like to think that after a divided city, locals just ignored the rules and thought, fuck it, this place is public space now.

Like every park, it has tons of uses. Mauerpark these days has some sort of karaoke thing in the summer. There’s a flea market right next to it on Sundays. There are buskers, kite-fliers, dogs, kids, joggers, people drinking. And while it’s arguably nicer in the summers, winter was always my favourite time to go to Mauerpark with Billy. Fewer people, (no buskers!) and Billy could have a good old bomb around, and I wouldn’t have to worry so much about him being friendly to a human who didn’t want to be friendly with a dog. My friend James once told me the good thing about the grim weather in Brighton in the winter is that it makes you feel like you’ve earned living at the seaside when the summer comes around. I feel similarly about Mauerpark. The nice morning walks with Billy in the summer would always feel like a reward.

Ever since the opportunity came up to be stationed in this apartment, I’ve been excited to be back here, back next to my park, (and everyone else’s “my park”). I did a bunch of painting in the summer of jungle, based on sketches and photos I took in Belize. It’s something I will return to, but it also feels useful and good (and something I want to do) to spend some time repeatedly drawing and painting the same landscape. And Mauerpark is gonna be that place for me.

Here are the first three paintings. All are gouache and coloured pencil on paper, and 24 cm on the longest sides. There will be more of these.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Lush Life by Zara Larsson.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
List of metro systems

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

December 7th, 2016 at 2:22 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,161: Being back

without comments

This time last week I was waking up, my first morning in Berlin. And the week has absolutely flown by. I’ve seen a few friends, had some fun nights out. Done some drawing, some painting (see below), some walking around the neighbourhood, been to the park most days, enjoyed the cold weather, enjoyed life. Last year, though, I was back here for a total of three weeks in two stints. And those weeks felt packed, absolutely rammed with stuff. I was sweaty in my coat from constantly walking around, making sure I took in the whole city, back here for the first time in over five years.

This time, though, I’ll be here for a bit longer. The need to rush, to spend time on the U-bahn every day going to parts of the city I wanna see, hang around in, that need isn’t there. But my brain also tells me that I should do it. And therein lies the problem. My brain is also telling me to be cool, to spend some time in the park, to do some drawing, some more painting. Oh, and think again about those bigger projects that I never got around to this year that still feel like good ideas.

This feels like a fundamental issue within my brain: needing to calm the fuck down, and concentrate on one thing. I think it’s visible in the art I do. It’s all over the place. Some pixelly stuff, some iPad drawings that all kinda have a different style using different apps, some notebook drawings, some paintings. My work could be that of three or four different people, and I feel the need to trim that down.

It felt like a good idea to be more flexible, to draw in whatever style was best for the idea, but I’m starting to think that was balls. I guess that’s what I am enjoying (especially in Belize in the summer) about pencil drawing: my style can’t hide or fart around there. It just is what it is. Brain on paper via hand holding a pencil.

So today’s post is more of a reminder to myself: just do your thing, fuck face, do the Craigest thing, that’s the only thing that’ll make you happy.

A wee bit of artwork
Falkplatz. Gouache and coloured pencil on paper. 18 x 24 cm.

Other business
On Kastanienallee, I walked by three teens who were chatting, laughing, and listening to Young, Wild and Free on a phone. And it really felt good to see and hear that. Like, yep, the kids are gonna be alright, they got life sorted. And I’m starting to wonder about my generation’s anti-millennial schtick: we’re just jealous aren’t we?

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Love Myself by Hailee Steinfeld. Sometimes, there’s a song stuck in your head and you realise you are powerless to resist. Aside from being utterly wonderful, there’s no point in resisting this song. You won’t win once it gets stuck in there.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Moscow Metro

Self-promotion
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter

Written by Craig

December 6th, 2016 at 2:50 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music