Creative Prompt: There She Is

A few weeks ago I left my house to pop to the shop and found that someone had dropped a pack of playing cards all over the pavement down our road. I stopped to take a few photos of some of the cards where they lay, as I always think there’s something a bit mysterious about a solitary playing card, maybe because they have been used in so many murder mystery and super hero films.

As I was doing this I realised that there was a particular card that I wanted to find, and then set about looking for the queen of hearts. I eventually found her loitering by the wheel of a parked car in the middle of the road.

This card has a dual meaning for me in that it reminds me both of the irrational and powerful Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland (this is an affiliate link – if you buy this book using this link I’ll be sent a few pence as a referral fee), and of the more generic archetype of the beloved queen or princess in many fairy tales.

I’m particularly drawn to the idea of a character who may be able combine the two different forms of representation, the caring and kind exterior, that may be disrupted at times by actions and decisions that carry power, and that may be unpredictable and make little sense.

Can you imagine such a person?

Who would they be and where may you encounter them in a fictional world?

I’m not a huge fan of creative exercises, so it’s not my habit to tell people what to do with these prompts. There are lots of options – a scene, some flash fiction, a short story, an idea for a short film or a physical piece of art. If you do have a go with this one and would like to drop the result in the comments please do so. I would be very interested to see what people make of these so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

If you like the photos featured in these creative prompt posts you may be interested in my latest collection of prints and other things on Redbubble which feature a small selection of my best shots.

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. You can read my short fantasy stories here on Simily. If you like these prompts and want to get a copy of a free short book of them I wrote, and to hear more about my writing projects please join my mailing list here. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page.

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Creative Prompt: Incident at the Library

This is the front door to a new library in the London Borough of Croydon. The mirrored windows prevent a good view inside, which means that you can’t see that there aren’t any books. The company that built it, which appear to be a spin out of the council, now say that they do not have enough money to finish it, and the doors remain locked to the public. The library is part of a new, mixed development and there are several levels above this that contain flats which have proved difficult to sell.

Around the corner the existing library has been a victim of council cuts but currently remains open three days a week. None of these days are on a weekend, meaning that people or families that are in full time employment are unable to visist unless they take time off work.

I took this photo after there had been an incident (I do not know the details) infront of the library, which for many weeks was cordened off with this police tape. There have been recent alligations of fraud against the council on another building, and while these have yet to be investigated, I kind of liked the ‘scene of crime’ association that this police tape adds to the photo of the unfinished library door. In my view, depriving a community of it’s libraries is crime enough.

Maybe this particular prompt is more social commentary than anything else, or perhapse a prompt to budding investigative journalists. What is the real story is behind the unfinished library?

If you like the photos featured in these creative prompt posts you may be interested in my latest collection of prints and other things on Redbubble which feature a small selection of my best shots.

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. You can read my short fantasy stories here on Simily. If you like these prompts and want to get a copy of a free short book of them I wrote, and to hear more about my writing projects please join my mailing list here. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

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Creative Prompt: A Fridge on the Street

I saw this fridge the other morning on a street near where I live. It was pretty gloomy when I took the photograph and I didn’t think that the light was that great so it was a bit of a hurried snap. We get a lot of fridges and things like that dumped in our area by fly tippers, and I don’t normally both to take photos because a big white box isn’t normally that interesting to me. This one was a bit different, because of the magnetic jigsaw puzzel that is still attached to the front door. The fridge was a new arrival that morning – it hadn’t been there the evening before.

The way that one of the puzzels looks almost complete, while the second one is a fractured smattering of pieces spread across the surface makes it looks as if up until very recently, this fridge was being used by a family. There is something about the dumping of this fridge that speaks to me of dislocation, or of a rapid change in circumstances.

What happened to result in someone needing to get rid of it in the middle of the night?

I’m not a huge fan of creative exercises, so it’s not my habit to tell people what to do with these prompts. There are lots of options – a scene, some flash fiction, a short story, an idea for a short film or a physical piece of art. If you do have a go with this one and would like to drop the result in the comments please do so. I would be very interested to see what people make of these so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

If you like the photos featured in these creative prompt posts you may be interested in my latest collection of prints and other things on Redbubble which feature a small selection of my best shots.

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. If you like these prompts and want to get a copy of a free short book of them I wrote, and to hear more about my writing projects please join my mailing list here. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

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Creative Prompts: A Mystery Box

I’ve been listening to The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr on Audible recently (affiliate links – if you use these links to make a purchase I’ll get a tiny commission). I’m not very far in and wouldn’t want to say at this point whether I reccomend it or not, but I’m finding it interesting. My attention was caught in particular by a section about curiosity and storytelling, and I am planning a longer post on that for later this month. Towards the end of this section he wrote about how the film maker JJ Abrams has described his “controling theory of storytelling’ as the opening a series of mystery boxes. This thought in particular was in my mind when I stumbled across this week’s creative prompt.

I saw this little package sitting on a wall in the sunlight a few mornings ago. Inside the bag you could see a collection of cans of Fosters Larger. I didn’t touch the bag, so I don’t know if they were full or empty, but the way the bag is tied neatly, with the ‘thank you’ massage emblazoned on the side gave me the impression that someone had left a thank you gift for someone else. The little package was left on a side street next to a play ground, not on someone’s doorstep or front fence, so it peaked my curiosity a little.

Who would leave such a thing? Who was it for?

I’m not a huge fan of creative exercises, so it’s not my habit to tell people what to do with these prompts. There are lots of options – a scene, some flash fiction, a short story, an idea for a short film or a physical piece of art. If you do have a go with this one and would like to drop the result in the comments please do so. I would be very interested to see what people make of these so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

If you like the photos featured in these creative prompt posts you may be interested in my latest collection of prints and other things on Redbubble which feature a small selection of my best shots.

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. If you like these prompts and want to get a copy of a free short book of them I wrote, and to hear more about my writing projects please join my mailing list here. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

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Street Photography: New collection out this week

Over that last year and a bit I’ve been running a regular creative prompt blog post once a week where possible. During that time I’ve been taking photos of odd things and objects that I see out and about. It didn’t occur to me until recently that this is probably a form of street photography. I’ve certainly not really been calling it that until quite recently. This is probably because I haven’t really considered myself to be a photographer before, although I’m beginning to learn a lot more about photgraphy now as a creative practice through these regular posts.

I recently too a look back through some of the photographs for a round up of the last year’s prompts, and was kind of struck by how much I liked a small subsection of those photographs. I feel like a handful of them have a kind of gritty commersial appeal, and wanted to make more use of them than to leave them languish here on the blog.

I’ve not really done a photography collection on Redbubble before, but I felt like this may be a nice place to start, so I have curated a small selection of them and uploaded them onto Redbubble to see what the response may be. There are six at the moment. My aim is to get 15-20 into the collection. I have a few more in mind already from my existing portfolio, and will be keeping my eye out for more interesting finds.

So here it is – The Lost and Found Collection. As I said, it’s bit of an experiment for me, so any comments, feedback or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. If you are interested in the process of creativity and want to get a copy of my free short book of creative prompts, and to hear more about my writing projects please join my mailing list here. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon page here.

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Creative Prompt: Wherever you lay your hat…

The property market in London is crazy, right?

I’d like to claim that I know what I’m looking for when it comes to street photography, but I don’t really. Sometimes just looking around as you walk about will gift you a funny photograph like this one. I took it the other morning while taking my son to nursery, and happened to stumble on this little ensamble, where someone had dumped a child’s toy house next a bin and a SOLD sign. When I walked back the other way the bin and the house had been moved and the joke was lost.

I really like this photo. For me it tells a saterical version of the London housing market story, where increasingly small patches of land are selling for increasingly large piles of cash. The streets around this spot are showing increasingly strong signs of gentrification, and there are a number of developers building small blocks of modern but characterless flats nearby.

What might the new neighbours will be like?

I’m not a huge fan of creative exercises, so it’s not my habit to tell people what to do with these prompts. There are lots of options – a scene, some flash fiction, a short story, an idea for a short film or a physical piece of art. If you do have a go with this one and would like to drop the result in the comments please do so. I would be very interested to see what people make of these so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. If you like these prompts and want to get a copy of a free short book of them I wrote, and to hear more about my writing projects please join my mailing list here. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

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