The Harsh Reality of Social Media (Parental Guidance is Advised)

This is a topic of discussion that needs to be talked about and I want to make sure this happens.

I’m just throwing this out there if you’re willing to read this article as there is a bit of fruity language included in this article, so my sincerest apologies in advance. I’m just expressing my views and venting my frustrations at certain core areas that revolve around social media.

Social media, as we know it, is often a foregone conclusion to the digital world nowadays, as it is used in many different ways, either to criticise someone based on their appearance and how they choose to appear, as well as what they look like.

The harsh reality of social media is this; a messed-up overzealous world that looks to criticise and judge those around them to make others feel low when they don’t deserve it.

It’s all well and good using social media where other’s comments are concerned, but how do people expect to treat others with total disrespect and then not have the bottle to say what they say to someone over social media to their faces? It is hypocrisy gone wild! The art of communication now has truly gone out of the window and it is no thanks to social media and the media in general, and I shan’t be ashamed, to say the least.

I always live by this rule. If you can’t say anything nice about someone on social media and then not have the bottle to say what you said to them on social media to their faces, then keep your mouth closed. No one wants to know your business. No one wants to know what you’ve got to say about others, so stop bitching about someone on social media if you haven’t got the nerve to say it to their faces.

To clarify, I do apologise if you feel I am aiming this at you because I’m not, I’m only aiming it at those who are willing to twist and manipulate others whilst also criticising them without them having the bottle to say it to the person’s face.

I had that fair share of experience last year when someone twisted and manipulated my kindness emotionally and it did get to me briefly, much like it would for anyone else who has had that fair share of experience themselves and I shan’t deny that but I felt better about myself after learning that that person who did that to me got nowhere and took control and learned to not take shit.

I won’t lie, for me to take no shit and give it back to those who gave it to me first has made me feel better and has made me more confident as I will treat that person the same way back if they aren’t willing to be nice.

Like they say, when push comes to shove, if you cannot handle the heat, then get out.

If the language I have used in this topic of discussion did by chance offend you, I sincerely apologise.

Have you had that fair share of experience from someone who has made comments about you or to you on social media but they didn’t have the bottle to say it directly to your face? Please feel free to sound off in the comments. I would love for you to express your views freely on the harsh realities of social media.

Alex Smithson

Artistic Interpretation #7 / Beyoncé Giselle Knowles

Following hot on the heels of my previous Artistic Interpretation which was based on the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, I started working on Artistic Interpretation #7 which focuses on the Destiny’s Child musician and solo hit-maker, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles.

I wanted to draw Beyoncé as a way of celebrating the heartwarming news that broke on the 1st February that she was expecting twins.

I decided to take my time to draw her because I wanted to make sure I could shade certain areas of the drawing so that her facial features stand out the same as I would want for her hair to stand out.

For me, drawing Beyoncé was quite a challenge, because I referred to the photograph that was taken of her that announced she would headline the Super Bowl on the 3rd February 2013, which was fantastic, given that Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams performed alongside her for the hit record, Bootylicious, with her most recent Super Bowl appearance being at the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show that took place last year, when she performed alongside Bruno Mars and Coldplay.

Below is my artistic interpretation of Beyoncé Giselle Knowles.

Artistic Interpretation #7 / Beyoncé Giselle Knowles
Artistic Interpretation #7 / Beyoncé Giselle Knowles

I am pleased with the overall result, as I had made sure to spend time on drawing Beyoncé, given that I wanted to make sure this drawing would not just celebrate Beyoncé as a musician, but that this drawing would celebrate her music career, given that she has been on the music scene for a long time now.

Again, congratulations to both Beyoncé & Jay Z on the pregnancy and may both your twins be blessed with perfect health, love, compassion, care, respect and support. I love you both.

Please feel free to comment below what you thought of my artistic interpretation of Beyoncé. I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

Dulwich Park / Croydon School of Art / Curiosity / Self-Directed Project / 31.1.2017

Continuing on from my first set of photographs that I took previously at Kelsey Park, I headed to Dulwich Park to photograph the scenery and also some ducks and birds. I saw some Mallards and Parakeets whilst I was there, including some squirrels, though to tell you the truth, some of the squirrels I came across looked bigger than their usual size, so I did make sure to walk very slowly to photograph them and I am pleased with the end result that I have achieved from this photographic collection.

One of the Moor Hens actually came a lot closer than I expected, which was perfect for me as I was able to photograph the Moor Hen with such detail and visual imagery, and because I frequently changed the ISO on my Nikon D3300 DSLR, this allowed me to play about with the light balance, including the saturation of colour and clarity of the photos.

This photographic collection I have documented of Dulwich Park showcases my current knowledge and photography skills, based on the 5 photographers I have researched; Ansel Adams, David Muench, John Shaw, Art Wolfe & Joel Sartore.

I feel that I have managed to produce this nature-based photography collection of Dulwich Park to the best standard where possible, as I have made sure to change the ISO to suit the mood of each photograph, and I have also made sure that my photographs are in full focus and aren’t too overexposed but more or less balanced.

I have deliberately altered the ISO to make some of the photos appear as if they were taken right before the crack of nightfall, because I wanted to explore the concept of nature and its wilderness. Some of the photos I took that were quite dimmed I wanted to try and create my own inspired form of photography based on the BBC TV Programme, Planet Earth, as I remember the camera crew did record video footage using time-lapse but with the camera focusing entirely at the sky with the trees in the distance, which is what I wanted to try and recreate myself but with my own form of nature photography.

I have researched the 5 photographers above as part of my Self-Directed Curiosity Project and I strongly feel that their photography work has informed my creative knowledge including the processes I have developed for this photographic collection of Dulwich Park.

What are your thoughts on this photography collection I have created of Dulwich Park? I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

© The Croydon College Logo & Croydon School of Art Logo are both copyright of Croydon College & Croydon School of Art. Permission has been granted for these logos to be used. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Hello…It’s Me, Adele. (Artistic Interpretation #5) [Article #400]

I wanted to celebrate this 400th article in style by drawing Adele for my fifth artistic interpretation.

I thought it would be a lovely idea to draw Adele considering the massive global success she has and is thanks to her third studio album, 25, going to Number 1 in almost every single country, including her Hello video receiving well over 1.5 billion views in just under a year.

I can admit, there will be some confusion regarding this drawing, because when I was drawing Adele completely freehand with a photo reference of her looking up, I did notice that I could somewhat see Ruby Wax, and a hint of the musician, P!nk, including a slight hint of Elizabeth Taylor, given the eyelashes.

I wanted to draw just the features of Adele’s face like I did previously with Amy Winehouse, as I wanted to make Adele’s facial features stand out.

Below is my fifth artistic interpretation drawing of Adele in its full glory.

Adele Drawing by Alex Smithson

Overall, I feel I have improved quite a lot since I’ve been developing my drawing skills more, and I feel absolutely pleased with the end result I have achieved from this drawing I have done of Adele.

If you enjoyed this article and loved the drawing, please feel free to submit feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Topic: Does Technology Throw Your Maturity & Communication Skills Out of the Window?

In modern-day life, technology is a major key factor that plays a role in our lives, but at the same time, can be the leading course for maturity and communication skills being thrown out of the windows. Why do you ask? Because technology has been the cause for some having their eyes pasted to the screens of a mobile phone, computer, TV or a handheld console, which leaves anyone in the position of not being able to communicate properly as a result, with maturity being another main issue in the process as well, given that a lack of maturity is shown when technology is around.

In this topic, I will make sure to give my views on whether technology throws your maturity and communication skills out of the window, and I will also be giving my reasons for why I believe that it is taking away our chances of maturing properly, as well as how our communication skills can be affected severely as a result.

How is Maturity Thrown Out of the Window?

Maturity can be thrown out of the window very easily when the wide-range uses of technology is around, as the digital world is like an alternate version of the real world, only with a lack of social interaction, which, when you see things from this view, is sad, because our generation, where maturity is concerned, lacks pretty much almost all forms of it, as there are people constantly texting and looking at the screen of a mobile phone or tablet, who, at certain stages, like to shut themselves off from the people around them.

With people shutting themselves off from the people around them, including the real world, it’s like they are in a world of their own, and when they are, they don’t listen or take note of what is said, let alone what is being done, and it proves that maturity is something our generation reacts, especially when it comes to respect as well, because respect plays a huge part in our lives, and with a lack of maturity in my generation, is it any wonder why there are so many gun crimes, knife crimes and even hit-and-run crimes being committed?

In the last few days, I had quite the sudden outburst on the social networking site, Facebook, as I saw inappropriate statuses coming up on my News Feed with comments that left little to the imagination. Why? Because the comments that followed what those statuses said came across as being vile, amoral, misogynistic, volatile and disgusting, and if you ask me, I was annoyed at it, because usually I rise above it and refresh my News Feed, but on some days when I open the Facebook app on my iPod touch, or even when I log on to Facebook on my laptop, I am sometimes, if not almost on a regular occasion, greeted with rude statuses on my News Feed that follow with some prolific comments underneath too.

Below is the first status I posted up on Facebook, in which I expressed my anger to these statuses and comments that were coming up on my News Feed, with a second status that quickly followed.

“Honestly, with some of the rude statuses and comments that come up on my Facebook, it’s not normal behaviour at all, and is very immature, amoral and disgusting.

I would appreciate it if there was more respect on this social network because at the moment, the comments and messages I’m seeing are not wise and are either misogynistic and distasteful. So from me. Please stop.

By all means I’ll be continuing to use Facebook, but I would appreciate it if everyone in this world can just get on.

Forgive me if I’m annoyed at it all, but if any of you don’t like jumping at each other’s throats at the opportunity of an argument, or even a little squabble that isn’t necessary, then the simplest thing is don’t use Facebook and any social networks at all, and maybe, just maybe, the whole world would be a lot better.

So what if you think I’m rambling on, talking a load of complete bull from your perspective, I couldn’t care less, but if I want to speak up about anything, then I will, and I won’t hide my feelings or pander to do what I’m told to do. I will do things by my own book on my terms as and when I see fit.

I am my own being and I am also being myself. If you don’t like it, then that’s fine, but after all, it’s your loss and my gain.

I’m sorry if I’m annoyed but it’s about time I spoke up, so please, stop all these horrific comments, statuses and vice versa.

If you stop using social networking altogether, and realise just how technology and social media is throwing your communication skills and respect away, then maybe you would see things in a different light 😡.” – Alex Smithson

After I put the first status up (shown above), I quickly apologised for my sudden outburst, but still kept to what I said, as this is what I meant when it came to a lack of maturity and communication skills:

“I’m sorry for the sudden outburst, but at this stage, I just want for all of us to respect and love one another. Don’t take those around you for granted, because you’ll soon regret it if you do.

Show respect, love, care and your undivided attention to all of those around you, and you’ll be surprised and also realise how much you will all need one another.

Also, make the most of the time you have and appreciate all the time you have in this world, because it’s never coming around again.” – Alex Smithson

At the end of the day, maturity and respect is key no matter what the situation or outcome, and only we can do the good work and respect others and have a grown-up and mature attitude that is acceptable towards everyone.

How are Communication Skills Thrown Out of the Window?

Communication skills can be thrown out of the window very easily, especially where technology is involved, as my generation nowadays have their eyes pasted to their phones/tablets/computers, which invites a lack of communication to someone face-to-face.

I’m sorry to be taking a dig at my generation, but it has to be said, about half of my generation is mature and have a grown-up attitude and know exactly right from wrong and know what to do in life, but the other half of my generation are either going out on the streets, causing trouble for those around them, or they are just sitting around or walking around with their eyes pasted to the screens of anything technology-related, which anti-socialises them from being around the people who care about them the most.

In day-to-day life, because of the use of technology where communication skills are involved, a large number of people are losing the art of conversation face-to-face because mobile phones, laptops, and even tablets are taking away the communication skills that everyone needs to develop, and it’s not just that, but with the lack of communication skills, technology, from certain core areas and perspectives, is to blame, and if it all carries on, eventually, technology will be the primary and secondary killer that will kill us all.

Like I said though in the first status I put up on Facebook within the last few days, if we stopped using social networking altogether, and realised just how technology and social media is throwing our communication skills and respect away, then maybe we would see things in a different light.

As you can imagine, when I wrote those statuses and posted them to Facebook, I was absolutely furious, and I had made sure to make my feelings clear about it because the lack of maturity and communication skills bother me when it comes to talking to someone. Now I know it shouldn’t be something that should bother me, but I would rather keep in contact through technology, but also speak to that person face-to-face and communicate with them in more of a mature way than not at all, because at the end of the day, it all boils down to one thing.

RESPECT.

To conclude, I personally believe that technology is throwing our maturity and communication skills out of the window, and I personally believe also that it’s killing the art of communication in the real world, and technology is to blame in certain aspects, but will also be the main reason why maturity becomes worse for those at a young age, because those at a young age are going to end up growing up with a lack of maturity, including a lack of good communication skills, both of which are the two most important key factors of our lives that make us the person we should become, unless we act now.

If we act now by stopping ourselves and everyone else from using any form of technology for some time, maybe, just maybe, we will not only see things in a better light, but we will all see the better person in ourselves if we work hard now to really bring back the art of communication, and give those a better chance of growing up properly.

If you feel that technology is throwing maturity and communication skills out of the window, then please feel free to sound off in the comments below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

World War I: Marking 100 Years Since the Beginning of the first World War (1914 – 2014).

Hello everyone, as part of the first World War celebrations that have been going on recently, today marks 100 years since the beginning of the first World War. Focusing on the World War I celebrations, dozens of ceramic poppies were planted outside the Tower of London, roughly around 888,000.

Everyone will now have the opportunity to light a candle for one full hour, and can be blown out at 11:00PM, where it will then show the time World War I was declared. The Tower of London’s Ceramic Poppies were laid out in a glorified style, as the ceramic poppies appeared to be falling out of one of the windows of the Tower.

Named “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red”, Paul Cummins design focuses on the 888,000+ ceramic poppies that appear to be pouring out of the Tower of London, and flowing into the moat. His works of the Ceramic Poppies pouring out of the tower and flowing into the moat will be unveiled officially tomorrow.

From the research I’ve looked up regarding the first World War, there were over 16 million deaths, with an overall 20 million that were seriously wounded, which ranked World War I to be among the deadliest conflicts known in history.

The ultimatum of this first World War meant that more than 70+ million of military personnel, including 60 million Europeans would be mobilised in one of the largest wars in history.

Despite claims that the first World War was started due to possible resurgences of imperialism as an underlying cause, what caused the immediate trigger for World War I was the assassination of the Archduke, Franz Ferdinand, which occurred on the 28th June 1914. Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the throne of Austria and Hungary when he was assassinated on the 28th June 1914 by the Yugoslav nationalist, Gavrilo Princip.

World War I, mostly known as the Great War, was the kind of global war that was centred in Europe, which begun on the 28th July 1914, and lasted for 4 years until the 11th November 1918. Over more than 7 million+ civilians died as a result of the first World War, which was also a casualty rate that had been exacerbated by the “belligerents’ technological and industrial sophistication, and tactical stalemate.”

This conflict of World War I was known as one of the most deadliest conflicts in history, which paved the way for the highly important political changes, which also included the revolutions for many of the nations that were mostly involved.

I have created this blog post in a format where I can dedicate it to those who lost their lives in the battle of World War I, and I aim for this blog post to give you all the chance to remember the first World War in its true glory. This blog post will also mark one of the most highly anticipated and most important events known in history.

Below, I have provided 10 handy links based on the war celebrations should you feel that you want to delve deeper for some more research.

Thank you.

Alex Smiithson

Slight Change to Header

Slight Change to Header

Hello everyone!! I made a small change in GIMP just now to the header of this blog to make it feel more christmassy for your viewing pleasure.

I wanted to leave a small, but important bit of time to let you all know that I may not be on this blog for Monday and Tuesday next week, as I have an Art Mock Exam on those 2 days where I will be creating my final piece before I finish school for the Christmas holidays.

I apologise if I’m not operating my blog for 2 days, but when it gets to Wednesday, Thursday & Friday next week, I’ll be able to continue updating this blog with new posts, which includes posting more over the Christmas holidays before 2013 draws to a final close.

Thank you for reading, I really appreciated the time you took to read this blog post.

-Alex Smithson