Deadbeat Creative Company


The art section of the Deadbeat site will include artist interviews, exhibition reviews, recaps and personal projects incorporating illustration and collaboration.

Update : Mediocre Advice

As the title of the post indicates, this is an update. A life, work and other update. You might've noticed by the metadata on the home screen (that's the tiny date stamps on the posts) that the magazine section of the site has become a little dormant more recently. There's a few reasons.

I'm partly publishing this to combat my guilt ridden nature for this fade in the first place but equally, I'm not beating myself up about it. The whole purpose of publishing daily content from the inception of Deadbeat was to keep my mind stimulated and my drawing hand strong. This obviously served as a means of promotion as well and the result was, and is that certain people tap my skill set for various things.

One reason for the lull is inspiration. Sometimes you simply have no desire to pass comment or essentially promote something art, music, style or film based every day. Couple that with being offered interesting projects that will help other people, and your priorities will shift pretty quickly.

Illustration commission for tattoo artist, Andy Rollins.

Illustration commission for tattoo artist, Andy Rollins.

So apologies if you were used to a little browse over something interesting in the morning or a nice long form interview because, as of late, I haven't been able to provide those things. The flipside is that I'm busy. Very busy, in fact, between commissioned illustrations, design and logo work and running events. Not always paid but always fulfilling. The cherry on top was being offered a design job which I'm going to start in September, almost a year to the date I became a self employed creative. 

Why am I writing this? Well, at a few of the events I run in the past month or two, I've had some students ask me questions about what I do and how I got to the point where I do what I do, whatever it is. They've wanted to know what decision to make when it comes to fine art, painting or graphic design, illustration etc etc. I've always been pretty encouraging and positive with my responses but ultimately there's no clear cut answer and I guess that's pertinent to everyone in this life. No one can put it on a plate for you and give you the direction, or even the motivation to get to that magical place where you're happy with what you do.

To condense my story. I skipped foundation year. I enrolled in a weird degree course where I tried visual communication and fine art, then the course got scrapped after everyone basically moved completely into the class they wanted to after the initial 6 months to a year. It was bizarre. I graduated in painting, even though my work was more illustrative and installational.

I pissed around for an inordinate amount of time after university doing little commissions and whatever came my way. All the while I had pretty decent jobs on the side to supplement what I enjoyed. I couldn't commit to the unknown. LOFT was born. We ran events. Life just passed me by. Queue meltdown and leaving well paid retail job. Enter self employment and serendipity.

Still from recent event, Illustrate at   Town Square,   Belfast.

Still from recent event, Illustrate at Town Square, Belfast.

Now, I'm assuming a role in a company as a graphic designer and leaving the freedom of self employment behind. Hopefully that's the right choice for me, for now. I'm going to try and nail it regardless, whilst keeping the events going with LOFT at Town Square and other locations. Perhaps other opportunities will arise, but there's always that little element of self doubt. Ultimately I've learned to not settle so much. To not be lulled into the control of living to work and not working to live. 

I realise I'm starting to ramble. Anyway, I'm a massive advocate for self employment. I'm just going to bluntly leave that there. For any creative leaving university this summer, I'd say, give it a go. At 21, or whatever age it is you graduate, you're at an awesome point where you don't necessarily have a great deal to lose. In the long run, you'll gain so much more. The resilience and experience you build is invaluable. I took a pretty wonky path to this point, where I think (still not 100%) I'm doing what I want to do. If that helps at all, cool. Cheers for reading. For more mediocre advice, click here.