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Take this survey about creativity!

I recently joined a Creative Network here in Ireland and we have been exploring what makes us tick as creatives, as well as our relationship between creativity and work. As part of that, we are curious to learn more about fellow creatives around the world, so we built this little survey to understand your creative journey, especially as it pertains to your working life, creative process, as well as creative applications & inspirations. If you have 5 minutes, we would be super grateful if you filled in the survey (we will NOT share your information with any 3rd party, that is NOT cool) and if you could pass on the link to other creatives in your network. Happy to share the final results here once the results are tallied and made into pretty graphs and charts. Thanks in advance! 

Ways of seeing – A portrait of the artist as a young man

My father painted this portrait of me when I was around 5 or 6 years old. He began painting it when we lived in Sweden, and he finished later when we had moved to Ireland. I know this because I recall posing for it when we lived in our little apartment in Kalmar in the south east of Sweden. I have a softer recollection of the latter phase of the painting but I recognise the house outside the window as our neighbour’s house in Waterford, Ireland, so it was definitely created over a period of years. Seeing it again and studying the painting, it made me think of a few things. Firstly the way another person sees you is always filtered through a certain lens and you cannot control that. In this case I see it as a loving gaze of a father and that shines through in the soft energy of the light. It also feels fitting that I appear to be sitting down to write, which ultimately ended up being my own path as an artist & creative. Secondly I was taken with the idea of the drafts and phases a piece of art goes through, and that the completion often comes long after the initial creation. This gives me comfort knowing that even a painting of this scale (the original painting is 5m x 3m) has a series of iterations and drafts, just like my own work. And finally, the slightly hazy, almost ghostly elements to it feel like it is slightly unfinished, or perhaps it was an artistic choice. I like not knowing that. When is a piece of art done? That is a question every one of us must ponder with everything we create.

The Frames – A gig for the ages

The Frames are arguably my favourite live band of all time. Their performances are uplifting and magical in a truly unique way. Glen Hansard has a gift for dissolving the division between performer and audience, which he believes comes from his time as a busker on Grafton Street. The show in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham was a long time coming. Originally billed as a 30th anniversary show back in 2020, the pandemic put paid to that moment, and now, two years later, the gig was finally staged in the glorious sunshine. It was well worth the wait, as I was transported back to the many shows from yesteryear, as they went through their back catalogue of anthemic rock tunes and lilting ballads. Having seen the band over 30 times(!) this was one to truly savour. A band of artists at their creative peak, sharing in a moment with those that adore them most. A special gig and a special night.

Barge Bards

Had so much fun doing a spoken word gig on a barge tonight at Grand Canal Dock. Beautiful vibe, lovely setting, great community of people. Shared the stage with the hugely talented Colm Keegan, Lisa O’Neill and Alain Servant. Thanks to Erin Fornoff for organizing this little private gig and for the invitation to perform. Food for the soul.

Kallefornia

I recently had the privilege of going on my first work trip to California since the pandemic. It was a feast for the senses, with rich colours, unique scents, sea breezes, soft sunlight, city sounds, ocean spray and everything else in between. It was a truly rejuvenating experience. I feel lucky to have been able to be there. My creative energy was replenished by awe-inspiring rooftop vistas, walks along the Pacific Ocean, a hot tub in the mountains, and a wonderful wander around San Francisco, that included a pilgrimage to my favourite book shop, City Lights. Thank you universe!

Stephen King on Writing

As a writer, I am always trying to improve and learn more about the craft. Even though I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan of Stephen King’s novels, I have nevertheless found myself returning many times to the nuggets of wisdom in his book “On Writing”. So many small lessons I have used time and again. It’s filled with really solid, sensible, no nonsense, practical advice. It’s pretty hard to argue with someone who has sold over 350 million books! It’s a book I strongly recommend to any writer looking to improve their craft

One year. Zero drinks

This day last year I had my last drink. No major reason other than the idea of pausing for a bit. A few weeks became a few months, which became a year. I’m not gonna preach about any major revelations but I can say it has been a benefit in general. Sobriety gives you a different lens and my creative faculties are sharper. I think I’ll keep it going.

New Year New Art

Once again a new calendar year begins. Another trip around the sun completed. So much more to do, so many things to create. Here’s to another creative year.

Three Men Talking – Tonight!

Even though a storm is literally raging outside the window, and a pandemic continues to keep its grip on the country, our show will be going ahead tonight, and we will be adhering strictly to COVID guidelines. The Axis Ballymun staff will be very thoughtful and mindful of everyone’s experience, and it promises to be a truly special night. It is so rare that we get to reflect publicly on a piece of art or creativity a decade later like this, and we can’t wait to do some readings from the show, premiere our new audio production of the play, as well as launch the 10th anniversary limited edition book. It has all the elements for being a rare night. I look forward to seeing many of you there and sharing in this milestone. Most of all I’m looking forward to being onstage with Stephen and Colm again, and having a few laughs as we meander down memory lane. Admission is FREE, but you must book tickets – there are still a handful left here

Three Men Talking – 10th anniversary publication

The 10th anniversary limited edition publication of Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About is finally here. So excited to share it with you all. It will be on sale tonight at the event (tickets here). And we will soon announce details of how to buy it online (stay tuned!). It is a beautiful hand-set cover on high quality paper, with wonderful content bursting inside the covers, with new forewords from all three of us, a handful of never-before-seen photos, as well as brand new essays by our Director Sarah Brennan and Irish Times journalist Gemma Tipton. And the play itself is laid out in all it’s glory too of course. It’s a wonderful document of a spoken word play that set waves through the scene in Ireland, and had a profound impact on us all both professionally and personally. What a joy it is to bring a decade of art to life in this way. I’m a truly proud creative storyteller today!