Intern Feature – Elliot Moore: The Art of Skateboarding

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012|Elexu Team Posts|by ElliotMoore|No Comments

Today’s post comes from Elexu Intern Elliot Moore, who writes about his on-going passion for skateboarding and its relationship with his career.

When I think back to my teen years as to why I started skateboarding in the first place, it’s actually quite amusing. I remember walking outside my front door and seeing a girl who lived near by casually cruising down the road on what I would describe now as an “Old-School Fish Deck”. Now before you start thinking, “Aww so he had a bit of a sweet spot for her and he went and bought a skateboard too…”, it wasn’t like that okay! At least, I don’t think it was. Anyway, I guess it was simply down to the “cool” factor. Everyone had bikes back then and skateboarding just seemed different, more exciting.

As the years went on, I found the more I skated, the more I fell in love with it. But it wasn’t just about learning new tricks and competing with your friends to see who could be the most “Steezy” (Ghetto Translation: Stylish). I was never a massive sports fan at school and was often pushed to the side in PE classes. You know, into the group of kids who were just plain rubbish at football, for example. But with skateboarding, it was the complete opposite.

My friends and I would travel to all these different skateparks and meet all kinds of new people who were so welcoming. I guess it was this sense of feeling apart of a strong community that appealed to me.

I have also grown to realise how much of an impact the sport has had on my personal development. It has truly shaped who I am today. In particular, meeting and interacting with new people on a regular basis helped build both my self-confidence and social skills. I believe skateboarding was also responsible for sparking my flare for the creative industry. The sport by nature is very creative, with designers, photographers and film producers often at the heart of it, capturing and creating some truly inspiring work. It is these types of people who I really admire and would love to work alongside in my future career.

Taking the above into account, it is astonishing how my current internship at Elexu fits with my background and professional goals so well. The very concept of the company is to support and empower the people I love, and as a bonus I get to work on some really exciting projects (e.g. Creative Live 2).

If you’re a skateboarder or are involved in the community in some way, I will share with you one piece of advice: Fully embrace it! It’s true that many people have a negative perception of skateboarding, believing it to be this underground culture associated with anti-social behavior and graffiti… But if my story is anything to go by, it is clearly much, much more! Don’t hide it from employers thinking it could give the wrong impression. It is part of who you are!

-Elliot

 

What a Picture!

Thursday, November 8th, 2012|Elexu Team Posts, Guest posts|by JairoHurtado|No Comments

Before 1990, you needed a proper camera to get a good picture just to develop it, store it into a photo album or  frame and that’s it. Nowadays, photography has got a new dimension with the help of the mobiles, internet and the social media networks that really let photographers mess with what the camera sees.

Every mobile nowadays has a camera. Year by year, cameras are getting better and better on mobile devices because the companies in charge of producing them know the importance that the users are giving to the photos. It’s all about the experience of sharing it instantly, and less about achieving it. That’s the reason why social networks as Pinterest are getting so popular. Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more.

My interest in photography started when I started attending to my university classes. In 2008 I started to attend some art exhibitions at museums at the same time I was taking the classes of art history as part of the Graphic Design Program. Later, around the 5th semester in  2010 I got my fist analog SLR camera as a requirement of the photography class. At the beginning  it was very difficult to learn how to do good snapshots without the camera adjusting it automatically. You had to adjust the speed and the diaphragm, two completely new concepts for me. But once I got it, the results were amazing. With photography, the key is practice and understanding the equipment you are using.

I came to London in the beginning of June, just in time to attend the 2012 Olympic Games. That was a great opportunity to use my photography skills and share it with the world, especially with all the famous and beautiful landmarks like the Big Ben, Tower bridge, The London Eye or Saint Paul’s cathedral. There’s a fact and it’s that England, specially London, developed what is called the Victorian style, which have been preserved over more than a century. Another fact is that many of the landmarks, if not all, has centuries of history behind them, adding more relevance to the image taken. London is a photographers playground.

Now I have a Samsung NX10, which has allowed me to capture some epic photo’s during the summer around the Thames. I don’t like doing photography in the winter because I am Colombian and English warm is Colombian cold.

During the autumn there’s not much chance of getting any sun, so I’ll wait for that rare sunny winter day when I can be out capturing London with my camera lens.

Intern Feature – George: The Effect of a Street Artist

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012|Elexu Team Posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Todays post comes from Elexu Intern George who writes our one of his great experiences in London.

“I’m leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it’s not raining” –

Groucho Marx

I moved to London about four weeks ago, right after my graduation from University of Bath. One perk of living in London is that you don’t have to worry about wasting too much time on doing outdoor activities as the bad weather will always spoil the last bit of your pleasures. Like anyone else who moves from a small city to a big city, my first few weeks in London have quickly been booked out for various museum tours, shopping centers and those gorgeous Georgian Victorian architectures.

However, it didn’t take long before I get bored of the place. Loneliness quickly overwhelmed the initial excitement and I started to feel lost in the city especially on those rainy nights. London becomes cold and hopeless when it’s raining. Compared with those spend their entire lives in London, my feeling about this city is just too shallow. The hopeless feeling and perpetual rain was once everything I knew about London.

However, my impression about London was totally changed after I met a street artist on Cornhill Street. He didn’t really grab my attention initially as his artwork was nothing special, just some portrait paintings. Since I was running late for a meeting, I had no time to pay attention to his paintings. On the way back the weather turned really bad, as you can imagine, and I met the artist again as he was still sitting there with his art.

There was one moment I thought he could be a homeless guy and was ready to reduce some weight of my wallet. Then, I saw probably one of the most amazing pictures I ever saw in my life. If you can imagine the picture, the oil paint mixed with rain drops and started to melt just alongside the face of the person in the paint as if the person was crying and you could actually see the tears. Unlike any artwork I ever saw before, his paintings had life. You could feel their heartbeats and emotions. Those paintings even reminded me of  a phoenix.

Only those who are courageous enough to set them on fire could get another chance to blossom. At that moment, rain was no longer the symbol of hopelessness. The other way round, rain generates hope for people and offers inspirations for those who want to blossom. Thanks to the rain, London becomes the soil that fosters so many excellent artists, writers, painters, designers and musicians etc. Thanks to the rain, the museums and galleries in London could remain busy all over the year… taking shelter in London opens up many doors.

I wrote this blog because those memories about rain and the artist all came back to me when I went to the Rain Room last week. It was a unique fusion of art organised by Random International where you can experience the real rain drops without getting wet, which I think could be a perfect opportunity for artist, designers and musicians to obtain new inspirations.

Is That Art?… Subjective Much

Thursday, October 25th, 2012|Elexu Team Posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Art is one of the most subjective experiences of the creative side of life. While I have never been a massive art fan, I can appreciate the skill and beauty of some pieces of art, especially sculptures which I think takes a true artist to make something out of stone. However, there are some pieces of “art” that just confuse me and I wonder who considers that art? Here is a little list of some really weird art.

 1) The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living : Damien Hirst

This is a notorious piece of art by the infamous Damein Hirst and its a 14-foot tiger shark immersed in formaldehyde in a vitrine. Its sale in 2004 made him the second most expensive artist in history. It’s just a dead shark right? I have read up on how the shark was created and it seemed that it took the skills of others to create this which to me means that is does not belong to Hirst, such as the guy who put in the structure to support the shark.

 2) My Bed: Artist: Tracey Emin

I mean come on, it a dirty teenager’s bed and its considered art. Anyway Tracey Emin a member of the Young British Artists created My Bed for an installation in 1999 for the Turner Prize. It is basically her bed complete with used condom and blood stained underwear. Burn it…burn it with fire. What made it art was the fact she stayed in the bed for several days when she was in a suicidal depression. One woman actually tried to clean it up. Is this art?

 

3) Milk Vomit Art: Millie Brown

Artist Millie Brown starves herself for two days because if food is present, the piece of art will smell and she may have to pay license fees. She then drinks coloured milk…sticks her fingers down her throat…pukes on a canvas and then sells it for over $2500. Nice. I can appreciate that the art looks okay but it’s just the way is was created. Brown became so famous for this style of art she was invited to puke on lady gaga.

4) Mao Sugiyama… I just don’t know what to call it.

Mao Sugiyama is asexual and an artist. To show this he had his genitals removed and frozen for two weeks. He then proceeded to advertise a banquet which you could attend if you bought one of the expensive £160 tickets where he would cook his things and you would eat them. The tickets sold out and he served his meals with mushrooms and parsley. If this performance art then I want no part of it and I think £160 is not enough. I don’t have a picture.

IS THIS ART? TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS SECTION!

Secret London Competition

Thursday, October 18th, 2012|About Elexu, Elexu Team Posts, Event|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

Today’s post is for the Elexu community and anyone that potentially wants to be an Elexu community member of which you are all welcome to be. We are launching the Elexu competition, “Secret London,” the brain child of Elexu Intern Hernan (or nicknamed Nano).

London is a place of hidden corners. Most people who live in London have secret places that they like to go to that tourists doesn’t know about.  A great way of describing London was said by fellow Intern Omenya:

“London is great because you can have  no destination and still end up somewhere fantastic and unique, is is a city unlike know other. From the eccentric clubs of Soho to the colour full stalls of Camden. I love meeting strangers and randomly having a chat. One of my secret spots is Northwick Park where I like to go for moments of clam thinking and reminiscing.  It’s a green place in a busy city.”

Since I am sharing somebody else’s secret place, I thought I would share my own. Mine is the Hobgoblin, a rock bar in the middle of a place full of typical clubs that plays music that I don’t care for. It has band nights, a pool table, an imitate  garden cut off from the street and really comfy couches to chill out on. A great place to chill out with friends. I really must trying going somewhere without a destination sounds like a idea.

So lets get to the competition. All you have to do is submit a picture of your secret London hideaway to our platform with a small paragraph  (up to 100 words) explaining why it’s special to you and you will be in the running for the prize. To enter please join the Elexu platform at  www.elexu.com/invite and use VIP code SCRTLDN1.   

What do you get for telling the Elexu Community your secrets? The best submission will win two tickets to the acclaimed production of Loserville. Good Luck! If you have any questions please either write in the comments section or contact us at info@elexu.com .

 

 

 

Don’t Forget to Look with Your Eyes

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012|Advice, Elexu Team Posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Something terrible has happened this week to me. My laptop’s hard disk had an error and after a computer experts attempts at repair’ I was told like a person waiting to hear bad results from a doctor that it was beyond repair. The only way to get the data was £200 magnetic reading which I will have to save up for. However this got me thinking about a few issues about the way we live our lives, let the revelation being!!

Firstly’ back up your files because you always have that mentality that it will not happen to you’ but it does and you will cry. I recommend Dropbox which can save files online like Google drive. However’ I came to realise that three years of my life existed on the laptop which contained all the work I completed for my degree, etc. Modern humans can literally document our entire lives on a computer from work to pictures of what people have for dinner on Facebook. I do not know if this is sad or awesome. What do you think?  Sometimes I think we should get away from technology because at the end of the day, you don’t want to say that I spent most of my time looking at a screen. When you don’t have to spend time on a computer, you then go and do some stuff away from a screen such as rock climbing, painting or anything you fancy having a go at.

This leads me to my next point which can be better explained by an experience had when the Olympic torch passed by Oxford Street and everyone had their phones out recording or taking pictures, including myself. As it went past I was looking at the torch through my camera and I realised that I should probably see this with my eye and not though a screen. Did anyone actually see the torch with their eyes? Or just through the visual screen of an electronic device.

Some things are just so much better to be in the moment with that memory watching with your eyes, because your eyes are so much more powerful than a camera and also the memory of the experience will be more powerful because it’s your own and you weren’t spending the time fumbling for a camera. Just enjoy the moment!!

Photography Talks – Norma Davis

Thursday, October 11th, 2012|Advice, Elexu Team Posts, Interviews|by HernanVales|No Comments

Today’s post comes from Intern Hernan who got the chance to interview lawyer/photographer Norma Davis who talks about her passion.

Norma Davis is a New Jersey based photographer and lawyer.

Tell us a bit about yourself as a photographer?

I´m based in New Jersey and have always loved to take pictures. When I went to high school I started to get a formal training, getting to know a bit more about photography. My first serious work about photography consisted in taking pictures for the high school newspaper which acted a gateway to the photography I conduct today.

My first equipment was a 35mm camera bought by my mother which allowed me to take black and white pictures and colour, experiment with them and start to know the possibilities that photography can bring to life.

What do you think about the transformation from film to digital?

At the beginning, what you could get out of the dark room wasn’t the same you could get out of the digital, but after all these technology advances in the past years, it´s fine, there is no a technology gap anymore. Now whatever you can get from film you can get it from digital and if not with different programmes you can enhance photos to different levels of creativity, so that´s why I was looking forward to it, because at the beginning photography was more difficult but now everyone can do it. I hated the dark room but now the technology has caught up with the quality I have gone completely digital.

As a result, did it impact your images or post production? What do you spend most of your time in taking photos?

I take a lot more pictures now cause with film was expensive, but nowadays it´s easier. I spend a lot of time editing images, that´s the biggest difference, now I take much more pictures than before.

What type of photo or style best describes your interests?

Probably people. I did some landscapes but my images are mostly people in an informal manner. I take lots of pictures in a documentary way, trying to reflect how people´s personality changes or how do they age. Whatever happens in a moment I try to capture it, whatever it is.

Colour or black and white?

Black and white, for sure.

Why such a strong preference?

Because it´s much more beautiful than colour, you really focus on the picture, there is no distraction. I like colour but even with lots of my colour pictures I turn them into black and white. It´s long process to convert them though, so I prefer to shoot them in BW. I shoot colour because a lot of people prefer colour images.

How do you class yourself as a photographer? Professional, commercial, enthusiast, amateur…?

Professional enthusiast, I do work professionally about the skills, but I don’t want the work to ruin the love I’ve got for photography.

Are there any words of wisdom about the business of photo, since Elexu focuses on help youngsters in focusing on their goals and careers, what can you offer them about this business apart from the passion?

If you can take a business course because photography can become a business. It´s not just taking pictures: you have to have a client agenda, launch a website and be able to have jobs coming in. In order for the people to hire you they have to know about you and see your port-folio, how do you work, what market are you in… if you want to do commercial photography you want to set up a studio, or do portraits, you have to educate yourself about the business.

Sometimes you just take a picture and it looks great, but that´s not the norm, the norm is that you have to know the camera. You have to know how it works, what lighting it captures… it’s like an eye but the eye is a million times better so you have to practise to become proficient.

Tell us about your inspirations?

Ansel Adams. I saw him for the first time in the library when I was young, and I was just amazed about what he did. And he printed all his pictures, and that´s an important fact, because in photography you have to be a good photographer but also a good printer, he was both, now it´s much easier, but in that time, you really have to admire it.

Steve McUrry, if someone said my work is like his that would be a compliment for me.

What would you say for encouraging a young photographer wanting to pursuit his dreams, what would you say?

Go to school. Learn as much as you can and once you are out try to make the best of it. It´s a hard work but if it´s what you love you can do it. Take lots of pictures, take pictures of what you love not things that you think someone else would like, If you take pictures of what you love it will show up in your photography, photo’s reflect personality.

 

Keeping Up to Date with Elexu

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012|About Elexu, Elexu Live Events, Elexu Team Posts, Event|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

Today’s post is going to be a bit different from the normal rants and ravings of the elexu community/staff, but rather it is going to be about what is happening in the next few months with Elexu. We have a few new events and competitions will be important to you. This blog post will be constantly updating with new information about the lists events so keep checking back.

Style it Soho (Available to enter now) - The first phase of Style it Soho was a huge success bringing together budding models, stylists and photographers to set up photo shoots around Soho to compete for a fashion swag bag.  Here is the official description of the competition:

“Style It Soho is a fashion competition aimed at giving creatives in the fashion field the opportunity to interpret the visuals of a number of stores in the Soho area as well as the outdoors of the Soho environment through a single photograph.”

We are entering phase two which you can be a part of. We want to have another shoot day, so get involved if you want to be in front or behind the camera and show off your talent. Not only could you win a prize, but you will also meet new contacts which is fantastic because in this business it is about who you know. Further, this will be great to add to your portfolio.  Read more »

It’s Easy to be Stuck in a Music Rut

Thursday, October 4th, 2012|Advice, Elexu Team Posts, Guest posts|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

Today’s post is inspired by a number of people who had conversations with on the way home about current music. I put the conversations we had into a post. So it’s “written” by a number of people, but edited by Intern Sam.

Music is a subjective topic. Everything is an opinion and most likely should be in that “don’t talk about religion or politics with friends” category because I have seen arguments and tears over music. However, my friends and I were driving home one night and did not adhere to my previous wisdom and starting talking music. The fear…

Luckily these friends are mostly all in the same  genre boast as me. Therefore no comments were made or judging occurred, unlike when fellow intern Claudia started playing “Call Me Maybe” in the office. That song is as catchy as a cold and you will be singing it all day, regardless of musical taste. Anyway, back to point of the post. My friends and I had agreed that we hadn’t got into any new music lately and were just listening to what we liked two years ago. We had all lost faith in commercial music at the moment and didn’t even bother keeping up to date with new music.

I mean look at some of the top 100 today. Some music is more about gimmick than music. Ex: “PSY Gangnam Style” (maybe it makes more sense in Korean). I decided to come up with a system to get myself out of this musical rut. I wrote down genres of music and put them all into a bowl. Once a week I pull a genre out of the music bowl, find a video on YouTube that represents the genre and listen. After, I then I click on a few related videos to expand what I listened to (rule of on thumb click on videos that don’t represent well known artists) so at least I have the possibility of finding some new music I like. So far, I am really liking some Biggie Smalls, Foster the People, Alexisonfire, Colourshop and a amateur artist who does really good covers of songs. I recommend everyone tries something like this because you don’t know what exists until you have heard it. Kind of like that whole, “if a tree falls in a forest it doesn’t make a sound” saying.

Music can have a much more profound effect when heard live because not only do you get the music, but also the personality of the artist. Mixed with the crowd, it makes a unique experience incomparable to your headphones. So go check out some open mic nights and gigs. Maybe amateur music put up for the world to see in sites like YouTube is truly the way forward in music. These artists have no other influences except themselves (no managers, no marketing team or controlling label). I truly believe that some artists are only as good as thier marketing team and I know that some amateur artists become commercial artists. This may explain why some musicians first album that made them famous is their best (Metallica). Amateur artists are truly free to perform what they want. THAT IS WHAT MUSIC IS ABOUT, not about whether or not I will call you.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but some people have the a wrong opinion. If you would like to share your opinion on something and write a blog post for this page then contact Sam at sam.watson@elexu.org.

Tips for Being an Intern by Interns

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012|Advice, Elexu Team Posts, Guest posts|by ElexuCommunity|1 Comment

Today’s post comes from all around the Elexu office. Each member gave one tip for being an Intern. Some tips are what you would expect to hear, but are always important to reiterate and some are personal suggestions based on experience.

1) What am I getting into.

Whenever you volunteer to be an unpaid intern there is always a risk of joining a company that simply treats you as unpaid labour. Therefore it’s a good idea that when you see an advertisement for an internship you should research the company, the person (if a name is given) on LinkedIn and most importantly throughout the interview process you should gather this list of info: expenses, potential for a full time position, main responsibilities and ask them what you get out of it. Also ,some internship’s are in foreign countries so it’s best to know that you will be spending the next six months in China.

2) Networking and attitude.

Networking isn’t just a fancy word for meeting people in the white collar world. It’s building a list of useful contacts for the future. So meet and build up as many relationships as you can. You never know who you may need to contact for a favour in the future.

Also, treat the internship like a job because most internships are summer long interviews. Even if they don’t tell you, they are definitely looking at what you can do. Everything you do can affect your opportunities and references you get out of the experience.

3) LONDON is the place to be

Supposedly around 61% of UK Internships are located in London. This is a great opportunity to go to some events in London after work, just because you end at 5 o’clock doesn’t mean you have to head home. Once a week, look to go out in London, maybe with the other interns. You can find a number of free events listed at Timeout. For example: this month I am going to a liquid spray art battle (yes they exsist). There are also museums that do late nights, karaoke bars, alternative bars and small unique events such as Soho secrets; London is an oyster, you just have to open it.

4) Free Stuff!

Let me just say: DON’T STEAL. What I mean, is that if you helped work on a company magazine, poster, newsletter or anything you put effort into then try to get a free copy of it. This is evidence of your work, value to the company and can be a great thing to show off to potential employers in the future.  Make sure that you name is represented or else no one will no you exist. Also, consider anything the comapny gives away for free, such as buissness cards to computer programs.

4) They need you (You can tell this one is from an executive).

Find a way to make yourself invaluable to the company, make the company or organisation feel like without you they will wither and die. This also puts you in a position of power to get what you want but don’t push it.

This is an Elexu Community post. If you would like to write a Blog post that you think the Elexu Community would be interested in then please contact Sam at sam.watson@elexu.org.