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Artistic Interpretation #6 / Prince Rogers Nelson (1993)

As it has been almost a year since we lost the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, who passed away on the 21st April 2016, I wanted to take the opportunity to pay tribute to the iconic music legend by drawing for this sixth artistic interpretation.

This is the first Artistic Interpretation for 2017 and I wanted to make sure that Prince Rogers Nelson would be the first musician I would draw this year.

This drawing I’ve produced is inspired on the Greatest Hits album: “The Hits / The B-Sides” that Prince Rogers Nelson released back in 1993, as this Greatest Hits collection spans much of the music he released over the course of his career, given that he was the powerhouse and driving force that defined many generations and helped to inspire so many musicians, also because he was known for releasing so many albums that his back catalogue would be filled to maximum capacity.

Prince’s music defined himself as the iconic music legend he is, and even in death, his music will never grow old, will never become dated but will always remain timeless, as his music is eccentric and changes every time but changes so quickly that you cannot help but appreciate the iconic music legend himself for always being different and not making music that sounds the same.

Below is the completed artistic interpretation I have produced of Prince Rogers Nelson.

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Prince Rogers Nelson

I’m really pleased with the end result of this artistic interpretation, because I wanted to make sure that this drawing would keep true to the iconic music legend himself. Prince left his mark not just on the music world, but on the entire world, as his music is the reason why so many of the musicians we hear of today are still not just releasing music, but are making the best difference and being the positive changes in this world.

His music has also given so many people around the world, including myself so much to be thankful for and his music, from my perspective, is a message of hope, and that hope can mean you can be yourself and be the positive change you want to see in this world and I feel that by drawing him, he has not only been a positive influence on me, but on all of us.

I want to say this as a way of paying tribute to Prince Rogers Nelson:

“Prince. Your music has been the Sign ‘O’ the Times, Purple Rain came down on us and delighted us and When Doves Cry, you were there to give us all hope and to make sure we were the positive changes this world needs. Your Little Red Corvette sits briskly in heaven and heaven gained an angel. Sometimes it Snows in April, then there is Purple Rain, but you gave us all hope and made us all feel okay to be ourselves, so thank you for everything, Prince Rogers Nelson.”

If you want to pay your respects to Prince Rogers Nelson almost a year after the iconic music legend departed from Planet Earth, then please leave a comment below in his memory.

Alex Smithson

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Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy / Out 30th June!

It’s official! Just a few months after we all witnessed the marsupial make his comeback, Crash Bandicoot is ready to come back to PlayStation on the 30th June! Who would have thought it, eh?

This news comes after the comeback trailer unveiled Crash Bandicoot back to his true and original form, with the comeback trailer itself even showing comparisons of the original PS1 Classic levels including the newly upgraded level designs of the exact same levels.

I also came across official screenshots of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back after reading an article that Crashy News published, and honestly, Activision have made sure to keep the N⋅Sane Trilogy true to the original PS1 Classic Crash Bandicoot and they have most certainly done the Naughty Dog Original series justice with this refreshed collection of the N⋅Sane Trilogy.

I won’t deny this, I will be pre-ordering the Crash Bandicoot N⋅Sane Trilogy because it’s so good! I will not be surprised if this trilogy sells just as well as the original PS1 Classics, because Crash Bandicoot was and still is a bestseller even to the present day, and the N⋅Sane Trilogy itself will do just the same, because Activision have made sure to keep this game original by making sure it captures the true heart of the original PS1 version of Crash Bandicoot that we all came to know and love.

This release date couldn’t have come at a much better time, as this trilogy releases exactly two weeks after I mark my 19th birthday.

Are you just as excited as I am that Crash Bandicoot is finally back? If you are excited to see Crash Bandicoot come to the PlayStation 4 on the 30th June, then please let me know, I would love to hear what you think about the marsupial bandicoot making his comeback to PlayStation.

Also, if you want to be kept up-to-date on all things Crash Bandicoot, then please visit Crashy News by clicking here.

Alex Smithson

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Relaxation

To set the tone of this article, I recommend Madonna’s True Blue to soothe the soul.

“…the sun is bursting right out of the sky…” – Madonna

After a relaxing day, despite doing the mock exam for GCSE Maths yesterday, I can honestly say I am not stressed, which is a first for me in a long time considering that I’ve been so focused on the coursework lately.

I was so relaxed after yesterday morning because I submitted all of my coursework on time for the Formative Assessment and I was able to sign-post which sketchbooks went with the coursework I produced and I wasn’t at all stressed.

The mock exam I did for GCSE Maths yesterday went really well and I wasn’t stressing myself over it at all but I answered the questions I could do that I already have a knowledge of and the questions I couldn’t do I decided to leave blank only for the sole purpose that I still need a little bit of help here and there on the questions I am not good at, but other than that, yesterday went really well.

How was yesterday for you? I would love to know. Please feel free to submit feedback below. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

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Beddington Park / Croydon School of Art / Curiosity / Self-Directed Project / 1.2.2017

Following on from my visit to Dulwich Park, I decided to visit Beddington Park to photograph some of the scenery, and I also photographed some of the gravestones, given the names on some or most of the gravestones consisted of people who may have died a few years earlier, including those that may have died up to more than 100 years ago.

Of course, as I am continuously making sure to improve my photography skills every time I make a photographic collection, I like to make sure I can play around with my Nikon D3300 DSLR‘s camera features, as this can help me to produce a professional collection of photographs, so I made sure when I was at Beddington Park to try and photograph certain areas in and around the graveyard, especially the scenery and also the church.

It was freezing cold, but wasn’t raining when I took these photographs which was a relief for me, as I was able to produce this photographic collection to a much better standard than I expected, but I did make sure to change the ISO throughout producing this photographic collection as I wanted to make sure these photographs were full of clarity and also full of vibrant colour, so that they were presentable and professional enough to be a photographic collection.

As far as my photography skills go, I am pleased to say I have experimented more with the ISO, as this has helped me to produce this photographic collection of Beddington Park to the best standard where possible. I have acknowledge some of these photographs may be slightly darker than they should be, but it’s because I want for you to see how I’ve worked with the landscape, as well as to how I see Beddington Park generally.

Have you been to Beddington Park before? If you have, please let me know, I would love to hear your feedback, and if you haven’t been to Beddington Park before, don’t worry, as this photographic collection I have created of Beddington Park will give you an insight into what Beddington Park, not to mention the hindsight of the landscape.

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.

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#TIMETOTALK / Let’s End this Stigma Against Mental Health Once and for All!

As #TIMETOTALK is officially trending on Twitter, Oli Regan has asked me to write this article as today will be about being able to speak up about Mental Health, including the negative stigma that affects and negatively impacts those suffering from Mental Health. Today is Time to Talk Day, and this news came at exactly the right time.

You can catch Oli Regan live on BBC Two at 9:30 AM this morning, and at 10:30 AM, Oli will be appearing on the Victoria Derbyshire Show.

Oli Regan will also be talking about Mental Health at 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM on BBC Newsbeat today, so if you want to help end this stigma once and for all, please make sure to use the hashtag #TIMETOTALK and please also make sure to spread the word and raise awareness for Mental Health.

Alex Smithson

#MENTALHEALTHAWARENESS #TIMETOCHANGE #TIMETOTALK #ENDTHESTIGMA #TIMETOTALKDAY

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She’s a Grown Woman! Beyoncé is Pregnant with Twins!

In a surprise announcement, Beyoncé has announced she is pregnant with twins! This news comes after she uploaded a photograph to the photo-sharing service, Instagram, in which she cradles her stomach with a veil on in front of a floral display.

Who knew that this would be the best highlight of 2017. Beyoncé is pregnant! Her last pregnancy came in 2011 when she was pregnant with her first child, Blue Ivy Carter, who she gave birth to on the 7th January 2012 and now she has confirmed along with her husband of 9 years, JAY Z, that she is pregnant with twins.

I am so excited and words cannot describe how over the moon I feel at this stage. I am sending my best wishes and happiness her way and also to JAY Z. Congratulations to both of you, Beyoncé and JAY Z. May this year be a special year for you both.

Alex Smithson

block-donald-trumps-state-visit-to-the-united-kingdom

Block Donald Trump’s State Visit to the United Kingdom

Calling all UK Citizens. If you want to prevent Donald Trump from setting foot in the United Kingdom for his State Visit to Her Majesty the Queen, please click on the link below to sign the petition.

This petition has over 750,000 (…and counting) signatures, including my signature, so if you want to help revoke Donald Trump’s State Visit to the UK, please click the link below.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/171928/

I will not deny and shall not deny as I am entitled to a freedom of speech, I don’t have an ounce let alone an inkling of respect for the man considering his misogynistic, disrespectful and racist ways, but I will not and shall not hide how I feel about him. He shouldn’t enter the United Kingdom because he is already continuing to divide communities and quite possibly nations in the process following the ban he has introduced that prevents Muslims and other religious backgrounds from entering the United States as he sees Muslims and other cultural backgrounds and religions as ‘terrorists’ and his State Visit to the United Kingdom has the potential to bring shame on us as a country.

I wholeheartedly support anyone regardless of religion, sexuality, background, skin colour, place of origin, gender and anything else that can make this world equal and diverse, but I in no away support Donald Trump. There, I’ve said it. Also, all women are entitled to the same type of freedom as men and shouldn’t be controlled, shouldn’t be forced, and shouldn’t be objectified just for being themselves. If all of us men can have freedom, then all women can have the same freedom as all of us men.

Equality & Diversity always matter in this world. Inequality and a lack of diversity doesn’t deserve to be in this world.

Of course, I acknowledge anything said here could be taken out of context and I can only apologise if anything I have said here does cause offence. Offence is not my intention, honesty is the best policy but a freedom of speech and saying how you feel really does go a long way. Also, I do not intend for anything I’ve written here to be classed as defamatory because that is not the intention at all, I have only written this to express my real feelings about the man, as well as how everyone else sees him. Defamatory isn’t in my blood at all, though I am entitled to a freedom of speech as me and everyone else are entitled to our own human rights and also a freedom of expression.

Alex Smithson

Articles of Interest

http://www.metronews.ca/views/opinion/2016/11/10/i-think-trump-voters-know-full-well-what-they-have-done.html

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/29/trump-travel-ban-peoples-stories-from-us-and-around-the-world

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/16/donald-trump-narcissist-profile

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444370/donald-trump-refugee-executive-order-no-muslim-ban-separating-fact-hysteria

http://www.smh.com.au/world/global-backlash-grows-against-donald-trumps-immigration-order-20170129-gu12f9.html

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/29/sir-mo-farah-donald-trump-made-me-an-alien

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Is Mental Health Exploited in Social Media? (feat. Oli Regan)

Mental Health is not a laughing matter, especially considering that the negative stigma is attached to anyone who suffers from Mental Health, but when social media gets involved, it does everything to exploit mental health in such a negative way that you can’t help but feel disgusted at the level of negativity that makes your blood boil.

I don’t suffer from Mental Health, but I support anyone who suffers from Mental Health, but what seriously makes my blood boil and gets under my skin is when someone or some people feel the need to make a mockery of someone or some people who suffer from Mental Health.

I will not lie, I know some close friends of mine who suffer from Mental Health who have self-harmed and it’s heartbreaking for me to know that someone I know is crying for help and they’re not being given the help they need because some feel the need to poke fun at those who cope differently.

I recently worked with Oli Regan on the article: “Are Autism & Mental Health Overlooked? (Parental Guidance is Advised)“, and I talked about an organisation and a guy who felt the need to brainwash many by making those believe that Autism & Mental Health can be cured, when they actually cannot be cured. Oli Regan suffers from bipolar and I give my full respect to the man because he raises awareness to end the negative stigma against Mental Health and has worked with the following charities; Mind – The Mental Health Charity, Time to Change & ReThink. These charities provide information to those who suffer from Mental Health, so in the event you need to seek help regarding your own Mental Health, these charities and other various charities will provide you all the information you need.

Oli Regan described in a segment he filmed for ITV News a short while ago how hospital beds were cut, with some patients suffering from Mental Health being sent miles from home, which ultimately did them more harm than good. What I was extremely cross about was the fact that those who suffer from Mental Health are being left out in the cold and are being ignored and are not being provided the help, support and treatment that they need. I agreed with Oli then and I always agree with him even now and will continue to agree with him in the future that Mental Health is always overlooked, no matter which way things go in this world and at the end of the day, why should anyone suffering from Mental Health have to endure untold amounts of discrimination and pain at the hands of our government and social media? Social media is to blame quite frequently as there are so many people out there who are quick to judge others without realising how their judgmental ways affect others, especially those suffering from Mental Health, Bipolar, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), PND (Post-Natal Depression), Autism and many other conditions that connect to Mental Health.

Why should Mental Health sufferers have to endure discrimination because of what they suffer from? They shouldn’t and it’s social media and many other things that rear their ugly head every time someone seeks help, and I’m sorry, but I am sick and tired of the fact that not much is being done to help all those suffering from Mental Health. A lack of care for those suffering from Mental Health absolutely stinks and I would always give my time and respect to anyone, including Oli Regan, because at the end of the day, Mental Health is something that needs to be acknowledged in this world and anyone who suffers from Mental Health, Bipolar, Autism and any other kind of condition should be made the first priority and should always receive all the treatment that they need.

You can see just from me stating all this that I am clearly furious at the fact that nothing is being done. Well I’m saying this. Mental Health is something that shouldn’t ever dare be ignored. Mental Health should always be acknowledged and anyone suffering from Mental Health should always receive the treatment they need; they should receive the help they need and support lines, the NHS (National Health Service) and any other services that specialise in providing support and treatment to those with Mental Health should always be on hand 24/7, not just every day of the year, but every year, in fact, scratch that, they should always be on hand for life so that any Mental Health sufferer can never be left out in the cold and never be discriminated against, but also to never be ignored.

Just recently, I saw a film trailer for a new film that is due out in cinemas soon called SPLIT, and the words used in the trailer just shows a face, but that person’s face can have many labels surrounding mental health, and that film trailer was something I didn’t agree with because it exploits and suggests that anyone with Mental Health are not as safe as they make themselves out to be, and I personally don’t agree with the film being released as it just adds a lot more of negativity to the stigma against Mental Health that all of us, even myself, want to destroy. I don’t know who was behind this film, nor do I want to know who was behind this film, but personally, I think it’s disgraceful because it exploits Mental Health and it labels those suffering from Mental Health with a bad name and it’s not in any way appropriate in my opinion.

Just before me and my family moved to the house we currently live in back in 2004, my mum suffered a relapse as a result of suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, which she has had since she was diagnosed on the 10th August 2000, which she may have possibly had for more or less her entire life, and she suffered from severe clinical depression that required cognitive behavioural therapy in order for her to be able to cope, to see things from a different light and to eliminate those negative thoughts and the people that contributed to it.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a therapy that allows you to talk about how you feel and allows you to find ways to overcome problems by managing them, which can help you to change the way you think, including the way you behave. CBT is most frequently used to treat and help those who suffer from anxiety and depression, but is also very useful for those who may suffer from physical health problems and mental health problems.

Now I saw an extremely disturbing video on Facebook on Friday 20th January 2017 whilst my internet was down and whilst I was using Mobile Data and the extremely disturbing video in question started off with a film segment from Jurassic Park, followed by a video of a black guy who was born disabled, and so many Facebook users felt the need to laugh and poke fun at this guy because of what he looked like given that he was born with a condition that affected his whole body and himself as a person.

This video appeared on my News Feed after someone I know decided to share it and tag a friend of mine, and this video really got under my skin because this guy was disrespected and laughed at for being born different to everyone else. Obviously, I didn’t hold back for one second because it really, really left me feeling extremely cross and I did use some rude language which, now when I look back on it, did surprise and shock me quite a bit but it just goes to show that if someone is made fun of because of what they look like including the fact that they’re born different to everyone else, of course it is going to get under your skin. It certainly got under my skin and seriously left me fuming. That’s for sure.

I can’t show you the video in question because the Facebook page that uploaded it was forced to take it down due to the controversy it caused, also because of racial stereotyping but I can tell you that it did not sit well with me and a massive number of people who saw the video. Still, it’s a good job it was taken down because whoever the operator of the Facebook page was that uploaded that video among a few others made themselves look boneless and senseless and got too wrapped up in themselves to notice how much it would really upset everyone else.

Again, Mental Health, disabilities, even lifelong conditions should never be made fun of, let alone be ignored. If we can all get together and support all of those suffering from Mental Health, disabilities and lifelong conditions and help them out and provide them the treatment they need, then we can make this world a better place for everyone.

Take this from me. If someone tells you to man up, don’t man up at all, open yourself up and show how you really feel. If you want to cry, then cry, it will make you feel so much better afterwards but more importantly, the sooner you show true emotions, the better you feel and the sooner you show your true emotions, you will realise that you are better off without those who feel the need to say you should man up. Those that tell you to man up clearly get their heads out of their backsides and realise that you are different to everyone else and that we are all born different and not the same.

I cried because I showed true emotions and I didn’t man up for anyone, and I feel so much better now. I was overwhelmed by all of the support I got from everyone but it goes to show that if you don’t man up and instead open up and show your true emotions to everyone, they will realise and know that it’s okay to not be okay and they will come together and support you.

My conclusion is this. Social Media does exploit Mental Health very negatively and to all those that feel the need to poke fun at Mental Health, grow up and get a grip and realise that you are your own worst enemy if you decide to judge and mis-treat others for the sake of your own stupid, self-indulgent and selfish pleasure. This world doesn’t need that and neither does those suffering from Mental Health need it either. I support every single person, including Oli Regan, who suffer from Mental Health, so let’s fight as if our lives depended on it and end this stigma once and for all against Mental Health.

If you are a Mental Health sufferer, if you are someone who suffers from a disability and if you are someone who suffers from a lifelong condition, I have set up a page on this website titled: “Mental Health Organisations”. On this page, I have made sure to outsource website links, contact numbers and company names from other websites that specialise in helping, supporting and treating those who suffer from Mental Health. I am making sure to do my bit as I want to help those who are suffering from Mental Health, disabilities and lifelong conditions.

If you want to join the fight and end the stigma against Mental Health, please let me know. I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

#DONTMANUP #OPENUP #UOKM8 #MENTALHEALTH #OLIREGAN

#FACEBOOK #EMOTIONS #MENTALHEALTHAWARENESS #MENTALHEALTHORGANISATIONS #ORGANISATIONS

#SOCIAL #MEDIA #SUPPORT #BIPOLAR #DISABILITIES #LIFELONGCONDITIONS #IAMWHOLE

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NIGHTLIFE IN BECKENHAM

Following my close friend’s birthday party last Friday, which I loved every second of considering we were all singing and dancing and all sorts, I produced a collection of photographs that would surround Nightlife in Beckenham.

Nightlife in Beckenham is absolutely tranquil and so peaceful, and because of the quietness of Beckenham, it gives you goosebumps knowing that it goes pin-drop silent at night, when it’s usually busy during daylight hours.

Of course, I did keep in mind there are some blind spots in and around Beckenham so I had made sure to keep myself aware of everything around me so that I could make sure that I was safe, and I was pleased to have photographed Beckenham at night because I am interested in night photography, not just standard nature, close-up and landmark photography, but also night photography.

I was glad to have photographed Beckenham at night because it has given me the chance to explore the photographical nightlife of Beckenham, not just as a place, but as a location of interest. Usually, you would expect places like this to be booming at night, but it’s so quiet and is also the best place for photographing stores and also any areas of Beckenham that peak your interest.

If you enjoyed this photographic collection of the Beckenham nightlife, then please let me know. I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

Recommended Camera App: Camera+

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CROYDON / REVISITED

Kicking off 2017 with a bang, I decided to revisit the photographic collection I took on the 15th December 2016 by publishing this more up-to-date collection that will revisit Croydon with more of a positive approach and given the lovely weather in my first few weeks back at Croydon College, I couldn’t have picked a better time to take these photographs. Some of these photographs consist of the Pret a Manger & Caffé Nero, including other parts of Croydon I may have not visited in a while.

I also used the opportunity to snap a few photos of Reeves Corner, considering it is more or less quiet now considering it will be six years in August since the riots took place in Croydon, which saw the bigger half of the Reeves Furniture Store being burned down as a result.

I must admit, I was taken aback by just how quiet it was around Reeves Corner, because I last went down to Reeves Corner two years ago when I was studying Art & Design, and even then it did feel uncomfortable, much like it does now.

I want this photographic collection to help you explore what Croydon is like as a place, including how Croydon is in general. For instance, there are so many stores in Croydon that you cannot exactly miss, including banks, landmarks, restaurants etc. and many more.

As I was lucky to snap these photographs when the lovely weather arrived before the slight snow storm, I was pleased to have achieved much better results this time compared to the previous collection and I wanted to make sure that you saw Croydon from a much better perspective than before.

If you enjoyed this photographic collection of Croydon, please feel free to let me know. I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

Recommended App: Camera+