Tag Archives: development

Making the Virtual Real: ArtiPeeps Update

17 Apr




 I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that our Kickstarter Campaign for Transformations has been approved, which will mean we can launch our Kickstarter project this coming Monday the 21st. It’s been a real journey creating the campaign, and we’ve pulled together some really fantastic rewards, all generated from within the project- ranging from self portraits to poems written especially for you from three words that you choose.

I will post out full details including the live link when we launch on Monday.

A  successful campaign will mean that the Ovid inspired collaboration that we’ve been running virtually here for the last 15 months can be made real, showcasing 31 Twitter creatives in total and launching a large-scale exhibition template that ArtiPeps can use year-on-year to provide further opportunities.  You can find more details about Transformations in the menu above (extra to the highlighted link).  Do watch out for us on Monday. It would be fabulous to have your support!

More good news in relation to the ‘Supporting Mental Health’ side of what we do (Creatives Making A Difference). We have been approached by the UK Recovery Federation who want to use a project we put together last year in a National conference on Recovery in September. Again, I couldn’t be more happy about this as it will further showcase the creatives involved (John Mansell, Jeremy Moseley, Raymond Bentley, Carol Robson, Hugo Smith and Rebecca Audra Smith) and also make our virtual intention to explore mental health issues and well-being real. Some of us will hopefully be attending the conference and we will be presenting our video piece to the attendees.

Here is The Recovery Project:


You can explore this season’s ‘Supporting Mental Health’ Collaborations below. They’ve been inspiring:

Loneliness (ft: Stephanie Brennan and Deborah Sheehy, Charlie Winters and Jeremy Moseley and John Mansell and Ieuan Edwards)

Anxiety and Release (ft. Mat JimDog and Mina Polen, Rod Kok and Heather Burns and *Lucy Quin and Jack Morris, and *Lauren Coulsen and Cliona Sheehan)

* Still to come.

Our season of work has been going brilliantly. There’s been a real range of collaborations, showcasing and residencies, as well as FreeSpaces where creatives like Mandy Gibson, have been revisiting past pieces and finishing them off just for this project, which is a real honour. The Found poetry collaboration has been a real find for me. I’ve enjoyed seeing what has been produced, so much so we actually did some of our own in the real-life ArtiPeeps group I run. The texts have  such an atmosphere attached to them. They’re curious. We’ve also had our first wood sculptor on ArtiPeeps’ Weekend Showcase, Mark Crowley which I’ve loved too.

Oh yes, and #ArtiPeepsChat has been going well on Twitter where I chat with creatives about their work. (8-pm-9pm every Wednesday, barring the last week in the month when it’s on a Thursday)

All in all there’s lots afoot for ArtiPeeps at the moment. This season of work continues until the end of May, and please do support us in anyway you can. Watch out for the Transformations Kickstarter launch on Monday.

 All good wishes, and thanks so much for your interest.



If you would like to get involved in any of our opportunities please do get in touch either via the contact form on the What’s On page or via @ArtiPeeps







3 Mar




We’ve got a lot going on over the next three months (there are full details for the next 3 months on the What’s On Calendar, something every day). Lot’s of great showcasing, collaborations and mental health initiatives, along with the launch of our Kickstarter Campaign  to turn Transformations, the large-scale poetry art project we’ve been running for the last 15 months inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, into a fantastic exhibition in Hanse House Norfolk. See here.  

We’re hoping the campaign date will start on Monday 21st April but this is dependent on whether we have heard from particular funders or not.  Here’s the campaign badge that has been designed by Gary Caldwell who was one of the artists involved in the first ever collaboration on ArtiPeeps two years ago! 



Any, and every bit, of  support you can give us when this starts will be much appreciated, so you can be there at the start, and help us make this virtual project real. It’s an amazingly formative and exciting  time for ArtiPeeps.

This season we’ve got 12 new creatives featured in Weekend Showcase every  Friday. The creatives featured are a mixture of poets, prose writers, wood sculptors, singers and artists all presenting one piece that they feel best represents them.

J Matthew Waters (poet); Ieuan Edwards (Linocut artist); Shirley Golden (prose writer); Anthony Di Martino (poet), Mark Crawley (Wood Sculptor); Stephanie Brennan (poet and writer); Darren Goldsmith (writer); Beth Allen (musician/singer), Jack Morris (artist), Abbie Neely (writer), Ashley Mackenzie (artist) and Hank Archer (poet).

Some  showcasers are also taking part in our ‘ Supporting Mental Health’ collaborations, as well as those who have taken part in previous collaborations.  This season we’re focusing on:

1.  Loneliness: 3 artists: Deborah Sheehy, Jeremy Moseley, Ieuan Edwards and 3 poets: Stephanie Brennan, Charlie Winters, John Mansell over 6 weeks


2. Anxiety and Release: 4 artists: Mat JimDog, Heather Burns, Jack Morris, Cliona Shehan  and 4 poets: Mina Polen, Rod Kok, Lucy Quin, Lauren Coulson . The poets are taking the theme of anxiety and the artists responding in relation to release.

Both collaborations will be attempting to engage with these important issues in an artistic, innovative and engaging way in order to raise awareness and promote discussion. You’ll see the first Loneliness collaboration roll out this Thursday. It is then my intention to turn these mid-sized collaborations into a larger exhibition. 

We also have a broad range of creatives taking up our ‘FreeSpace’ opportunity (3 free spaces over a season of work) : we have poets Mandy Gibson, Kate Garrett and writer Estrella Azul, and we are thrilled to have Millfield School in Somerset taking up a FreeSpace as well;  a selection of their pupils will be showcased. The school is also  holding a  poetry festival  in June and we are delighted to be posting out their festival material through ArtiPeeps during that month. I’m hoping that this will be the beginning of an ongoing relationship with Millfield.  I couldn’t be more happy about this.

This season we also have two creative residencies ( that span over 1 month each) and we’re delighted to have emerging performance poet Lauren Coulson  with us in March who is focusing her residency on the notion of nesting and she is working with artist Atalina Homan, who is creating artwork for two of her pieces. We also have writer Ben Cooper (who was a Hot Potato last year) in a residency with us in April. At the moment the creative residency intiative is  a work-in-progress, but I hope to really develop them into a really strong package that can support and nurture wholeheartedly.

We’ve got another Hot Potato starting featuring 6 emerging prose writers (Steve Harris, Michael Schmidt, Shannon Pardoe, Holly Gibson, Josh Kremer and Jessica Cooke) . Each writer writing one section and then passing it on to the next writer, and in so doing creating one collaborative short story. This is the second one we have run, the first being completed last year with Robo-girl. It’s a great format that can go anywhere! When we have enough of them we’re going to create a published collection. In the interim, I create an interactive pdf and an artist illustrates their work.

Finally, we’re introducing a new mid-sized poetry collaboration which we’re hoping will become a regular called Found Poetry Where 4 poets will be writing a poem made out of  found texts ( with me flinging in one found text into the mix too). So there will be new found poetry every fortnight for 8 weeks. James Giddings, who was showcased last season and Lydia Allison who had a residency last year and Joanna Lee and Kate Garrett will be the poets involved.

It’s also worth mentioning that from now on, on Wednesdays, from 8-9pm I’m going to be starting a Twitter  #ArtiPeepsChat hour to generate interest and promote this season’s showcases, collaborations etc.  I will hopefully be chatting to the creatives involved in that week and dealing with any themes that have been raised.  I’m hoping that this will then transform into campaign chat to promote what we’re doing in relation to Transformations. Do feel free to join in if you are on Twitter at that time, and join in the ArtiPeepsChat.

Thrilled to be running this season and working with more fantastic creatives, and excitedly girding my loins for our Kickstarter Campaign. 

I hope you enjoy what we do, and if you’d like to get involved in next season do get in contact with me via the contact form on the What’s On page, or via @ArtiPeeps.

Thanks so much for your interest.

All the very best.


Falling Into Place: ArtiPeeps Update

20 Feb


Looking at the diary yesterday, I realised I have not done an ArtiPeeps Update for a while, and there has been a lot going on in terms of development. Last month we finally opened our official bank account as an organisation. This is in preparation for the fundraising for ‘Transformations’. I have to say that it all felt very grown up, and a bit of a benchmark for us! There’s nothing in it at the moment, but I’m sure that will change when our sponsorship drive kicks in!  At the moment it feels like lots of little jigsaw pieces are being lain down in readiness for the completion of the whole picture. It’s amazing how one big movement, a coming together, is so overwhelmingly dependent on so many smaller pieces sliding into position behind it….

So where to begin: at this very moment I’m pulling together our ‘Transformations’ Kickstarter Campaign Page’ together in preparation for our launch. A video beckons immanently- very ‘where do you want me Mr De Mille!’ 

We’re nearly there with  the special logo/badge designed for our ‘Transformations’  Kickstarter campaign. It’s been created by Gary Caldwell (who did our ArtiPeeps logo). As with the previous logo, it has taken a lot of tweaking, and there has been a lot of too-ing and fro-ing  with the image over the last month or so, but we’re there with it now. As soon as I have shown it too the Transformers I’ll release it generally.  The idea is that you’ll be able to ‘grab’ it to help us promote the exhibition and project as our Kickstarter campaign kicks off.  I had intended for sponsorship letters to have gone out by now, but we needed the logo for the letterheads so  now we have it- out into the world the letters can go.

In terms of funding applications, I am also about to send off our first grant bid to Norwich Borough County Council. This is for the hire of Hanse House across the 3 days: 12, 13, 14th September. It will take six weeks for us to find out if we’ve got the money, which will impact our Kickstarter project goal/sum. We will start our Kickstarter campaign for ‘Transformations’ as soon as we’ve heard. I’m hoping for  Monday 24th April, but it may still have to be put back if we haven’t heard by then. There’s nothing much I can do about that, apart from accept it  as the nature of the beast!  Then it will  be onto preparing an application to The Jarrolds Trust in March,  for the commissioning of the cartoon (see below) and the framing and mounting of 6-7 pictures for the exhibition (for those creatives who can’t get to King’s Lynn geographically). The Chair of ArtiPeeps and I have been tucked away together calculating for the last month in order to get all the figures right. It’s been a real eye-openner and felt more than a bit Dickensian, but necessary: very, very necessary…

At the end of this month too, we are also going to be amalgamating the poets and the artists from ‘Transformations’ into one group, which will be a fine feeling in readiness for the campaign and for the conclusion of the online project in March, and our transition into the phase that takes us to the actual concrete event. The poetry for the project will still continue to be posted out through our up-and-coming season.

 It is my plan in May to start to plan the next large-scale project which will be the Norse Sagas. If any poets, writers  or artists are interested in getting involved do let me know, via the contact form on the What’s On page or via Twitter @ArtiPeeps .

The Code Crimson, the great duo of cartoonists and artists in Florida, California, are also at this moment creating the cartoon which is portraying the material and stories from books 1,3, and 8 of Metamorphoses.  This is in alignment with the requirements of the Classical Civilisations A/S which includes Metamorphoses. This will be displayed alongside the main exhibition as an innovative access point for children and adults. Our plan is to make the first day of the exhibition a schools day for this reason.

The re-designing of the ArtiPeeps website is still ongoing, but we are nearly there now. The wire frame and design is nearly done and then the coding will start. Unfortunately it won’t be ready for either the start of the season or the Kickstarter. However, there’s no point in rushing something that is going to make such a difference. It’s better to get it right and take our time. Suffice it to say I’m very happy with it, and it will make a huge difference to how our opportunities are presented which is a brilliant thing.

It’s also time for me to announce the next sequence of poems selected for the exhibition from Books 8-11:

Book 8:

Richard Biddle-A Humble Marriage

Nell Perry- Philemon and Baucis

Karin Heyer- Icarus Transformed

John Mansell- Philemon and Baucis

Book 9:

Sadaf Fatima- FlipSide

James Knight- Lotis

Love Transcends- Carol Robson

Byblis writes a love letter – Rebecca Audra Smith

Book 10:

Richard Biddle- Thoughtform (after Pygmalion)

Nat Hall- Wild Vows

Greg Mackie- That Loser Pygmalion (with apologies to Ovid)

Adam Wimbush- Cyparrisus

Book 11:

Kate Garrett- This guy Midas

James Knight-Prime Cut

Nell Perry- Turned To Birds

Rebecca Audra Smith- How to kill Orpheus


I think that is about it for the moment. I’m really excited about the great season of work that’s immanently going to start from Monday 3rd March. We’ve got a wide range of Showcases,  ‘FreeSpaces’ and some really great poetry,  writing and mental health collaborations involving a broad range of creatives. It’s going to be good!!

I’m also full of anticipation about our ‘Transformations’ Kickstarter campaign for our exhibition which will hopefully nestle, and then explode, right in the middle of it all!  It’s a big adventure and gamble into the unknown. I know it’s a bit early to say this, but we absolutely need your support with our campaign so we can make the exhibition happen, so watch out for the start of it!

All the very best,


Learning Curves: ArtiPeeps Update

25 Sep

Learning Curve


A real hotch-potch of ArtiPeeps news…

For the last week or so I have been concentrating on trying to shape the first ArtiPeeps 5 year business plan, and I have to say this has been no easy task: amidst the swirl of the first stages of the planning of our  ‘Transformations‘ Exhibition/Poetry Reading in September 2014 and our mini- relaunch ahead in October it’s been tricky to squeeze everything in.  September 2014 It may seem like a long way off but time ticks a way so, and the more preparation and space we have the better the outcome of ‘Transformations’ will be. I’m  hoping this will be a real, tangible springboard for us. 

Heritage Weekend

Last weekend I went to Hanse Houses Heritage day which was part of the town- (King’s Lynn’s)  yearly heritage weekend. The number of people passing through Hanse’s  doors has upped from 400- 600 from last year to this year. This bodes very well for ‘Transformations’ next year. It was a really great day which highlighted notions of collaboration and reconciliation. I felt our project would fit in there perfectly.

Legal Structure for ArtiPeeps

As part of my business planning it has also become apparent that very shortly ArtiPeeps will have to choose an appropriate legal structure if it is to become a professional organisation. I have to say,  I have never quite seen us as a blog in my head anyway (even though we are). I’ve always  wanted ArtiPeeps to be a service and/or a kind of creative, collaborating community. In professional speak, I’ve come to understand, we are  an ‘unincorporated’ organisation. However, with ‘Transformations’ on the horizon and budgets being created how ArtiPeeps deals with its relationship to money has to be addressed. This is particularly important as we plan to facilitate more concrete events in the future. It is also important we know what we are for funding purposes. This has become all too clear.

At the moment I am deliberating over whether we are moving towards becoming a not-for-profit- all -out charity or whether we are going to be a company limited by guarantee and a charitable organisation. One allows us to play with some sort of income the other restricts us to purely charitable pursuits.  Both frameworks also have different implications on the legal structure-  for instance- a company limited by guarantee has a membership, which I think would actually suit ArtiPeeps very well.

At present I am still working through this as each has entirely different implications on how we proceed. I have set myself a goal to have this all squared up by the end of December.


This has all  meant that  I have had to think very carefully through what ArtiPeeps’ intentions are (the business planning has helped me do this). What does ArtiPeeps, in its heart, want to do? This is the  question that matters the most.   I know that a lot of charitable organisations move from charitable status to a company ltd by guarantee as it does allow you mix profit with charitable intent. Indeed, I’ve worked for several organisations that have done so successfully.  Once this issue has been clarified I can then approach either Companies House or the Charities Compassion. 

Business Planning

Deciding what legal structure we are has slowed up the writing of the business plan somewhat as one aspect is dependent on another. Also, as per usual, ArtiPeeps is continually evolving-responding every day to what’s emerging creatively- and to try and fix what we do down, to project clearly into the future;  to know ‘for certain’ in this moment, is hard. I can certainly see now why some new organisations don’t try and write a business plan until later down the line. But then you don’t know where you’re going; there’s no compass to guide you  and things eventually fall apart or grind to a heart-wrenching halt. I’ve worked for organisations like that too. Trying to pin matters down whilst in flow is  a hard one to crack. So I’ve moved a long hugely with it, but the fixing is still a work in progress. However, what our ultimate structure could be has become much more apparent which is exciting.

Marketing Material and ‘Transformations’

I also have had a meeting with what will be the printers and graphic designers for ‘Transformations’ (Minute Man Press). I have been through all the costings of the marketing needed for our project. Just last night I pulled together a budget for our event and I am finalising everything in preparation for a second meeting shortly. The advice I received at Minute Man was invaluable and really made me think things through. It gave me some perspective so I could see how clear and strong my sense of purpose is, and how well I can communicate it if needs be (which was a relief to me). I’m always so insecure about how I communicate even though I communicate well.  My plan is to also secure sponsorship for some of the marketing costs involved in ‘Transformations’. Watch this space… It could well be that there will also be some big changes in terms of our website as well in readiness for next year.

Exhibition Book

I have looked into the costs of  producing a book that will be available alongside the exhibition containing all the artwork and chosen poems. Thanks to one of our transformers James Knight, I am now ‘in the know’ as to how it all works; that feels good too. I’m all set to start fiddling…

Wellcome Trust Grant Bid (Biomedicine)

I am also having a meeting this Friday with poet and academic  Miranda Barnes in relation to a Wellcome Trust bid we are going to work towards together.  I’ve scheduled  this collaborative project to take place in 2016 (not that I’m thinking ahead or anything…).  My aim  from now on is to actively work towards securing  funding in advance for all our major collaborations (one major, large scale one each year and 3-4 mid scale mental health orientated ones per year).  I am pleased to say I have also found several other potential creatives with a science background who  will hopefully feed into this too. The Wellcome Trust funds projects that promote new artworks which nurture public engagement with  bioscience (biology and medicine). This project will eventually feed into our ‘Creatives Making A Difference’ strand.

 ArtiPeeps is having a mini relaunch next week-

with a jam packed programme of new talent and mental health/well-being mid-sized collaborations.  We also have a writer in residence for the month (our visitor peep) the emerging writer and poet  Lydia Allison, which will be brilliant.  We’re so pleased to be featuring her work and creating opportunities for Lydia  to work with other creatives from other disciplines. This mini-relaunch marks the movement of ArtiPeeps away from features to being driven by two strands: individual showcasing opportunities (Spotlight) and multi-form collaborations (both educational and artistic  and mental-health  orientated- ‘Creatives Making A Difference’). This two-strand testing will be running right the way through until the end of December.  Do let me know what you think. There will be a ‘re-launch’ post out on Monday to introduce what will be going on throughout the next three months. It’s going to be great!!

There’s lots afoot at ArtiPeeps at the moment so do support us as we grow and evolve, shape, turn, create and collaborate.

All the very best!


Rethinking Some Thoughts

5 Aug

Over the last few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the relationship between ArtiPeeps and what I want to do with my Self-Development on-line/1-to-1 course. How can they feed into each other? Can they? Indeed, what is the exact nature of them? What do I want from them, and what do I want them to give to you, and anybody else who might be a Peep at some stage? How can I best give what I want to give to you, and how can it be turned into a business with a conscience and with ethics? And, and……………and….

Lots of thoughts……………

I’ve been quietly coming to the conclusion that I can’t really think of them as two entities that can feed off each other. I think, after a bit of an epiphany last night, and what the last July session felt like. They need to be kept separate. One: specific, targeted to the individual, focusing on change over a finite period of time. You are here and you want to get there.  BAM!- (Lot’s of musings this morning over what I could call it: I’ve thought of  ‘FREEME’ or ‘FREEYOURME’, ‘FREEYOURCREATIVEME’: unlock your creative potential as the tag…unsure…still working on it.. Just musings at the mo’. It will come……..The other, our ArtiPeeps,  is about exploration, self-development and creativity over an extended period of time. We’re in no rush, as long as we’re creating, enjoying ourselves and moving forward. There’s a striking difference between the two;  and yes, people who are doing the 121s can come along but the INTENTION is very different, and I hadn’t quite twigged that, so it’s made me re-think about how the ArtiPeep sessions could run. Keeping up the themed element, focused on self-development, but in a less obvious way. Themes generated from within, from you. Still thinking about this…. I’m going to and set up a little back-log of themes which I can draw on, creating mindmaps in advance of sessions (This will all feed in beautifully when the other groups start, next year..). So what I’ve basically decided is to keep ‘FREEME’ completely separate from ArtiPeeps, a completely different product. I’ll remove it from the blog, and it will have it’s own site. So the Practice page will vanish, and a logo-link will appear on the ArtiPeeps Home Page to the ‘FREEME’ Blog…Still thinking that one through….


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