Beauty, Deformation and Monsters #1

1 Oct


Introducing Lydia Allison our ‘Writer In Residence’ for the month of October.

..and The Monster!

I approached Lydia a while ago proposing that she could maybe take up a month long residency on ArtiPeeps and to my delight she said yes! It was Lydia who then came up with the idea of focusing on notions of deformity as she had written a number of poems about it. When I asked Lydia the question, ‘why deformity?’, this is what she said about her interest:

‘I often just write what I feel. I have a real interest in physicality/beauty/deformity as I think image impacts on everyone.  I’m particularly interested in how people see themselves and how that influences their appearance or physicality subconsciously/metaphorically in terms of their feeling or actively by self harm/eating disorders. And I’m interested in perceptions of beauty and body dysmorphia’.

And this is what Lydia said about herself too:

‘I’ve been writing for a couple of years and am currently in my final year of my BA in Creative Writing. Two years ago I thought it would be a miracle for me to string lines into poetry, but quickly fell in love with it and proved myself wrong. My real passion lies between the border of poetry and prose.’

It was very clear that Lydia could ‘string lines into poetry’ and she produced 4 poems focused around the body or parts of the body. We decided that it would be wonderful if these poems could be illustrated and, because Halloween is a coming, for the artists involved  to use the parts of the body fleshed out within her poems to inspire a Collaborative Halloween Monster too.


So what you’ll find for the next four weeks is one poem of Lydia’s illustrated by an artist each week and an ever- growing, ghastly Monster being created alongside it;  the nature of which, will gradually emerge bit by bit.  

This drawing will be collaboratively produced and passed from artist-to artist week-by-week all contributing to one image. The artists collaborating in Lydia’s project are Gary Caldwell, Amanda Santos, Diana Probst and Sara Mena. Each week you’ll be presented with a new poem and two new images/artworks (one illustration & one growing monster) and you’ll also be introduced to each artist.

Today’s images have been created by artist and illustrator Gary Caldwell who is currently living and working in Aberdeen, Scotland. Indeed Gary is also responsible for our ArtiPeeps logo on the sidebar. His graphics are always striking. 



You can find more of Gary’s art via


Most People Start With The Skin

by Lydia Allison


like back-washing a canvas
it is much easier to go brighter
or darker.
Try to remain as plain and smooth
as possible – make yourself
not like yourself
– do you want to stick out?

If they can tell you’re flesh and fibres
that you have pores
you sweat
eat mayonnaise
you have lost.

Learn to laugh
and to smile
how to talk
who to like
what to say

and once you are there
consider all of them
consider yourself



The Monster

The head


The monster’s head was passed to Amanda Santos yesterday. She’s adding body parts as we speak….

Lydia’s next poem will be out on ArtiPeeps next week- Thursday 10th October.  You can also check-in and  see what stage our cheery monster is at too!  

As always, your responses to either Lydia’s poetry or the art that has been created would be very much welcomed!!

3 Responses to “Beauty, Deformation and Monsters #1”

  1. Lydia Allison October 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Reblogged this on Lydia Allison.

  2. Andrea King October 7, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    Lydia ,helper of Human kind.. you are supremely talented, love your Poem..

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