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

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

It’s Finally Time to Set Your Creative Side Free!

We all have our own ways of being creative, but just how do we set that creativity of ours free? Well, it’s pretty easy to do so nowadays, as a lot of artists record time-lapse clips which are often uploaded to Instagram, Vine, Twitter and even Facebook, but it’s being able to document the process that is often the most crucial key factor of drawing.

Recently, I published two artistic interpretation articles which were based on the Queen of Pop Songstress, Madonna, with possibly a third on the way (still thinking about it), as I did the first one based on a photograph taken during the Ray of Light era, while the second artistic interpretation, which I published most recently, was of Madonna during the 1986 True Blue Era, based on the iconic photograph that Herb Ritts took of her 30 years ago.

I love the thought of drawing, because it helps me to set my creativity free, as well as the kind of ideas that I’ve had in mind beforehand. I always believe that setting your creativity free is good, as this can help you to really produce something that no-one else will be able to produce, even if they tried.

Of course, being creative can be difficult because it’s how you design something, whether it would be to do with designing something on a computer, or putting those ideas or concepts onto paper, and yes, at times I have had the occasional creativity block, and it can be annoying at times, but it’s when we let our sub-conscious minds wander when drawing that often makes us produce the best pieces of work that we didn’t think we could produce.

You might remember 3 years ago I went to Kelsey Park during the 6-week Summer Break that I was on when I finished Year 10. Well I didn’t realise this, but when I took that photograph of the Canada Goose, which all of you have seen, I actually didn’t realise that the photograph of the Canada Goose would be the most iconic photograph I had taken.

The year after I took that iconic photograph, I revisited Kelsey Park again, but this time took a photo of a Squirrel which had clenched both its little hands together, like as if it was fist bumping itself. That, to me was also iconic because it’s something that caught my eye.

The third photo I remember which was also iconic, which I included on Book #2: “A Year in Photography” was of the Tom Aytch graffiti wall in Shirley Hills, in Croydon, when a photographer was standing at the wall taking photos of the panoramic view, and that was an iconic photo of mine as I had also used a filter on that photograph to make it look and appear more professional.

In terms of drawing, however, I didn’t always do drawing after I finished my time for good at Oasis Academy: Shirley Park, but that changed when I enrolled onto the UAL Level 2 Art & Design Course at Croydon College back in 2014. I have noticed my drawing skills have rapidly improved over the course of the past two years, and I feel absolutely pleased that I’ve used my drawing skills wisely with drawing Madonna, and it’s an absolute relief that I’ve managed to showcase what I’ve worked on. Drawing Madonna was the best choice I had in mind, and I feel absolutely pleased that I’ve used her as an example for ideas based on the artistic interpretation drawings I did of her.

In terms of creativity, I know it’s always about being original, but it’s also about being able to express yourself in your work, as well as how you produce your work, and not just that, but whether it comes to drawing or taking photos, or even if it comes to designing something, you’ll be able to say that you had made sure to do something creative with your time, and that you chose to set your creativity free.

To end, I would like to say: It’s Finally Time to Set Your Creativity Free!”

If you enjoyed reading this article, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated :-).

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: February 2016

After being quite the busy bee this month, despite nearly coming close to being without my laptop as a result of a restore problem, which has since been resolved thanks to a fix which required the Media Creation Tool that was provided by Microsoft, I will be able to round off this month on a positive note by taking a look back at the articles I’ve published over the course of this month.

Also, before I start taking a look back on the articles I’ve published over the course of this month, I am pleased to say that I’ve not just made history with publishing my 300th article since Mother Nature’s début on the 6th June 2013, but I’ve also published the article on a leap day, including this one, which only happens every four years, and for me, this is a rare moment, but is also an achievement in itself, as it is the first time I have ever published an article or two on a leap day.

Thanks so much to all of you for supporting me on my journey and for getting me this far, without all of you, I wouldn’t be here now, so thank you, it really does mean an awful lot :-).

1.2.2016 – To kick February off on Mother Nature, I had made sure to say that this month was set to be possibly a complete washout because of the odd weather we’ve been getting, given that we were also getting large gusts of wind, including the odd spot of rain, but I had also made sure to do a lot more articles this month.

Also on this day, I mentioned the stars we lost over the first few weeks of 2016, given that we lost the likes of David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Sir Terry Wogan, Sir Terry Wogan of which had passed away just the day before, but I also made sure to keep to my promise of publishing the tribute articles as soon as I could.

2.2.2016 – 3.2.2016 – Whilst I was waiting for my bus on this day at one of the bus stops further down from the one I usually wait at to board my 367 bus, I took some photographs with the Camera+ app (Recommended) before dusk, considering that the sky stayed bright for a little longer, and I was able to get these photos in a much better form than what I wouldn’t expect to get with the pre-installed Camera app.

The day after I took the first set of photos of Croydon Before Dusk, I published another article that focused again on Croydon, but this time, with the main focus being Croydon in Broad Daylight, and because I took these photos in broad daylight, this was the perfect opportunity for me to get these photos in before I headed home from college.

12.2.2016 – As it was almost a year since his passing, I thought it would be good to pay tribute to Sir Nicholas Winton by dedicating a tribute article to him, given that he was best known for rescuing 669 children on the eve of the Second World War. As I wanted to pay my full respects and tribute to him, I would take a full look-back on his life as it unfolded, as well as the timeline of events that took place up until his death on the 1st July 2015.

14.2.2016 – As it has been 104 years since the original Titanic ship sank after hitting an iceberg, the Titanic 2 most certainly did the rounds on the internet, after it was revealed that the Titanic 2 would set sail in 2018. As a result of hearing the news, I thought it would be a good idea to create this article in the style of a debate, as I had made sure to ask all of you if you would get on the Titanic 2. I also gave my own views based on why I thought it was a bad idea, and why it shouldn’t set sail.

16.2.2016 – Back in October, during the course of the Light Play Project, I did some darkroom experiments, considering that this was my first time using darkroom materials, considering that I had never done anything like this before. As I had already completed my darkroom experiment pieces, I thought it would be a good idea to showcase them in the article: “Darkroom Experiments: My Photograms“.

17.2.2016 – As technology is a major key factor that plays a role in our lives, it is also known to be the leading cause for maturity and communication skills being thrown out of the window. As I wanted to make sure to talk about technology, I decided that it would be a good idea to publish a topic article, as I wanted to give my views based on whether technology throws all forms of maturity and communication skills out of the window, but most of all, wanted to know your views based on this kind of topic.

18.2.2016 – As photographs can capture all kinds of happy memories, including all kinds of emotions, I decided to publish another topic article based on whether each photograph had captured a memory or emotion, and in this topic, I would give my views based on whether I thought each photograph I took captured a memory, and whether each photograph I took captured an emotion as well.

21.2.2016 – Reports had recently surfaced in the news after a baby dolphin died as a result of a number of tourists that paraded around it taking photos. The news of the baby dolphin’s death came after it made headline news across the world, and had, in the last few days, sparked untold controversy among animal rights activists. As I wanted to make sure to raise awareness, I decided to publish this article based on whether selfies had gone too far, and I wanted this article to focus on your views on Animal Cruelty.

Also, as I wanted to make sure to share my views on Animal Cruelty, I had made a geometric lion design and also a “STOP ANIMAL CRUELTY” sticker that features the lion, as I wanted to make sure to raise awareness and to make sure to stop animal cruelty from ever taking place.

25.2.2016 – In life, we can procrastinate over even some of the smallest or biggest things, as we sometimes tend to hold things back that will, over time, leave us in a near-sticky situation that we may or may not be able to get ourselves out of. For instance, you get given a piece of work that you’ve been asked to complete within a specific time scale, and by not doing that specific piece of work, whether it would be exam-based or not, it can cause you to procrastinate and can then throw you into a panic, because you may have left something to chance which you will or may have left to the last minute.

As I wanted to share my experiences of procrastination with you all, I decided to publish an article based on how holding back would affect your chances of living, as I wanted this article to be something that not only I could relate to, but an article that you could all relate to as well.

26.2.2016 – When me and two fellow classmates were producing our final photos for our final stop-frame animation film, one of my fellow classmates brought in a set of Star Wars Figurines, from the likes of Jar Jar Binks to Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and with the Star Wars Figurines came the Storm Trooper, which was stood on my friend’s Manfrotto tripod, and I took the opportunity to take this photo, which was originally in colour, but because the Star Wars Storm Trooper character was the main character in this photo, I decided to put my own spin on this photo by changing it to black and white first after taking it in colour with the Camera+ app (recommended), and afterwards, I used the Instagram filter, Sutro, to make further edits to the photo, and the photo that is the featured image on the article: “Photo Moment: May the Force Be With You” was the final result that I achieved.

As I loved how well the final edit of the photo turned out, I decided to publish it, but also include it as the full image on its own so that all of you could download it for free to use as a Laptop/PC Wallpaper or Screensaver, and that it could also be used as an iPhone, iPod touch and iPad wallpaper, and that it would also work on all Android, Mac and Windows Devices.

29.2.2016 – As today marked the milestone of my how-to article becoming the 300th article I had published ever since Mother Nature made its début on the 6th June 2013, I wanted to make sure to give you all a full run-down on how you could get the best breakthrough in life. Today I had made history as I had published this article on a leap day, but also made history because I had published 300 articles, which is an achievement in itself considering that the three-year anniversary of Mother Nature isn’t set to take place until the 6th June 2016.

Thanks so much to all of you again for getting me this far, I couldn’t have done it without all of you, and thanks also for making this month positive, and to end this month on a high note, I would like to say thanks so much to all of you, and I’ll see you all in March :-).

Alex Smithson

The Science Museum | Tuesday 26th January 2016

With it being in the last couple of years since I last visited, and despite the fact my feet were killing me as a result of going up to London for this trip, I went on a trip up to the Science Museum with my class, and while we were there, I wanted to get some photos of the museum, considering that the last time I went, it had a dramatic overhaul in design, and not only that, but some or most parts of the museum had changed from when I made my first ever visit to the Science Museum.

There is so much information that the museum can offer, and I must say, I absolutely enjoyed going there. I took quite a large number of photographs in and around the museum, especially outside the museum too. One of the photos I took inside may look like it was taken outside, considering I took it in a way where there was no reflection, but I can admit, there’s so much information at hand now than there was before, so it was safe to say that I wouldn’t go without any information in my hands.

Also, there are some photographs I took of some of the 3D Miniature Models while in the Science Museum, and just by looking at them, they can be easy to mistake for landscape photographs, or even paintings in that matter. Please do keep in mind though that the photo that shows the tractor and the big tree was slightly cropped to give the photo more depth, and to make it look a lot more presentable for viewing.

Overall, despite the fact my feet were absolutely killing me by the time I got home, it’s safe to say that I absolutely enjoyed my trip up to the Science Museum with my class, and I hope to go up there again at some point in the future.

To conclude, I will leave you with 5 questions:

  1. Have you been to the Science Museum before?
  2. What parts of the Science Museum did you visit?
  3. Is there a certain piece of work there that you like?
  4. If it’s not the first time you’ve been to the Science Museum, when was the last time you went?
  5. What did you enjoy the most about the Science Museum?

Alex Smithson

© Croydon College 2016.

© The Croydon College Logo is Copyright of Croydon College. Permission has been granted for the logo to be used on here. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Life Experience | My First Ever Ear Infection | Have You Ever Had an Ear Infection Before?

As you might recall, I took the rest of last week off from blogging and from college as I was off sick due to a diagnosed ear infection in my right ear, which left me in nothing but untold pain. To talk further in detail about my life experience, I will give a run-down as to what I experienced over the course of last week when I had the ear infection.

On Monday 30th November, my ear started to ache after using the cotton buds, which I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to use to clean your ears with, and it started to feel more painful during my English lesson, and by the time I got home, my ear was in pain, and I couldn’t hear pretty much almost anything.

The following day (Tuesday 1st December), I felt a lot worse than I did, as the pain didn’t go for a while, and just continued to get worse, and whilst I was in college, I had been in so much pain that I couldn’t concentrate on one of the things I needed to do with my group, so I took a 15-minute break at 10:45 AM, which is our first break, and that kind of helped me to forget the pain, but after the first break finished, the pain got a lot worse and was too much to handle, and as a result, I was advised to go home, to take some paracetamol or ibuprofen, and to have a lie-down even if it meant using Olive Oil in my ear. I left college early as advised, and I got home, but as the pain got too much for me, I ended up falling asleep on the sofa, and I didn’t wake up for the best part of two hours because the pain just got to me. My parents had to nudge me to wake me up as I was in so much pain.

As a result of the amount of pain I was in, I had to go for an emergency appointment down at my local doctors, and my doctor looked in my right ear to see if I had an ear infection, and the inside of my ear was inflamed, to which my doctor diagnosed me with an ear infection, and I was prescribed an antibiotic Otomize Ear Spray, which I would have to use up until yesterday.

Because I was home for the rest of the week as a result of the ear infection, I did find that having this ear infection put a drain on my energy, as I wasn’t able to concentrate on most things properly, and the ear infection felt like as if someone stuck up to 5-10 warm pins in my eardrum, to cause me so much pain.

For the rest of last week, into this week, I continued to use the Otomize Ear Spray and the Olive Oil, and although my ear infection was completely gone before this Monday, I continued to use the spray and olive oil until early Friday morning just to be on the safe side, to make myself absolutely sure that it would never come back again.

I feel 100% better now, as my ear infection is gone, and I don’t have any pain, which is the result I wanted, and I must admit, I can hear a lot clearer now after almost two weeks.

The only tip I can give to those of you who might use cotton buds on a regular basis, don’t use cotton buds, because it will push whatever you’re trying to get rid of further into your ear, and is not the advisable method to use. Always use Olive Oil or Otex, whichever one you think is more preferrable. Also, and this was a contributory factor to the ear infection I recently got rid of, don’t have your music on too loud as it will cause more of a buildup that can, if your ear is left untreated for a certain period of time, cause an ear infection. I’m only relaying this as this is what my local doctors advised me.

Before I conclude, I will leave you with three questions:

  1. Have you ever had an ear infection before?
  2. Is this the first time you have ever experienced having an ear infection?
  3. How long did your ear infection last for?

Alex Smithson

© Full Credit: Ear Emoji Created & Designed by The Unicode Consortium, who specialise in designing Emojis for all major companies, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Ubuntu).

My Journey Through a Lens | Out Soon!!!

As my third book: “My Journey Through a Lens” is almost complete, I am delighted to tell you all that this book is massive, and is the third, biggest installment in my book series, which for me, has made me go a long way, in the short space of a year.

This book, set to be my biggest, most massive one yet, is packed with so much information that is based on this website, as well as other things that I have focused on whilst I’ve been away from publishing articles.

Also, you’ll find certain articles in this new book that I’ve published in full, which have been slightly altered bit by bit, due to possible spelling mistakes, which have since been corrected, so spelling mistakes are now out of question, and as well as this, I am delighted to show you the final design, which I gather by now all of you may have seen, but also, I have shown below the fast and rapid development that the design has come from, and where it is now. The current design will be the final design that I will use for this book before I publish it.

Book Design Development

As always, I aim to improve on the design of this book, but, after designing the final design, I feel happy with it, as I know that it is bold and clear, and that it will be suitable for viewing when it is finally published.

I can’t wait to get this book out to all of you, as it contains so much information that I have gathered, as well as most of the information that I have written for this book. As always, it will be free to download online, and will be available via my main download provider, Dropbox.

This book will roughly cross over into the 400-page barrier, as the information I have gathered together has been expanded more and more over separate pages. I’m quite surprised to the fact that this book is much bigger than Book #2 (A Year in Photography), but this one is massive!!!!!!!!

In this book, some or most of the pages are filled with some of the photographical content that I have chosen to showcase on Mother Nature, and as well as this, the first 5 Case Studies are also included in this book, though two or three of them have been slightly altered, but in a way where they will still connect to the Case Studies that have already been published to this website.

I have also included two special mentions on the two main musicians I have written about. Artists, such as Ben Haenow & Madonna are going to be in this book when this book is released into the wild, and for this book, I can guarantee to all of you that this book is going to be my best one yet, and that it will also be the biggest book I have ever produced.

I have a lot of content in store to offer you all when it’s released soon, and I can’t wait for you all to read it.

To your right, I have gradually been updating the release information box, which currently shows my progress, and at this stage, this book is more than likely going to cross over more than 300 pages. The contents page is almost full, which is a good indication, as this book might be out earlier than planned.

Until then, stay tuned for more information on this book :-).

Alex Smithson

A Year in Photography: Book Update

Hello everyone, I wanted to quickly update you all on the new book that I’ll be releasing on September 1st by showing you an early preview of the final design of the book. “A Year in Photography” is set to be the biggest second installment.

Much bigger than the first, this book contains over 50 pages worth, though some page fonts have been shrinked to certain sizes and some have also been enlarged for some pages to fill up any gaps left near the bottom of cetain pages that had finished information beforehand.

There’s a lot of information and ideas that I have put into this book, some old, some new, but mostly exclusive information that talks pretty much about everything regarding when I started blogging, and many other things that I do when I’ve been away from blogging for a certain time.

Below, I have put a design comparison of both book designs, which will show you what the design looked like before, and what the new design looks like now. Also below this Book Design Comparison is the Final, Official Cover art of the book: “A Year in Photography”.

Book Design Comparison
Book Design Comparison
A Year in Photography
Final, Official Cover

Please let me know what you guys think of this final and official cover :-).

Thank you for reading this article :-).

Alex Smithson

1 Small Change – Accessibility made easier + New Header Design!

Hello again! I gave the blog a bit of a slight redesign, and to make the accessibility easier around the blog, I have made a home button, so if you want to get back to the home-page, the home button is in the top left-hand corner. I have also done away with the title and tagline of the blog, as I have designed a header, placing both the title of this blog and the tagline in the middle of the home-page, making it easier to view, so that the blog stands out.

Feel free to let me know what you think of the new ‘Home’ button, or drop me an email via the contact form on this blog.

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