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Laurel Spiers, Artist, Photographer, Blogger.
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About Laurel
I went travelling by myself when I was 15. I quit college for a bit and went round France – Paris, Lyon, the Alps, then ended up in Amsterdam. And I’m back now to finish my course.

I was just fed up of being in college – and following the day to day routine. So I felt I had to change things up. It was crazy, really amazing, I know I’m still young, but I feel I can say it is one of the best experiences I will ever have.

I feel that, I wouldn’t say ‘rescued me’ as a person, but definitely changed and improved me. I feel I appreciate everything a bit more – and I feel like you realise there’s so much more out there than just your immediate surroundings.

“I met them all though my ex-boyfriend. So it shows you really can find your best friends through any possible means!”

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Hugh Davies, 22, Devon. Student, Writer, Actor.

 

“I started writing short stories in New Zealand, where I grew up, and then continued through secondary school in Devon. I wrote my first book when I was 18, a collection of short facts only half of which are true, leaving the reader to guess which are real and which are fake. Since then, I’ve spent the last three years at university in Oxford, where I’ve devoted most of my time to the completion of a sci-fi novel called ‘Earth after Man’. The story takes place centuries after a nuclear war has wiped out the majority of humanity, and begins in a beautiful village known only as the Gleam. Survivors can gain entry to this paradise, but only on one condition. Before joining the society, you must put on a headset that wipes the entirety of your memories and your mind.

A couple of months ago I submitted the first couple of chapters of this book to a London literary agency, the very same organisation that represents JK Rowling. Unbelievably, they liked what they saw, and requested to see the rest of my manuscript! They’re currently looking over it whilst they decide whether or not they’d be willing to represent me in the future.

I’d just love to get the book published so I can write more and more and more, but I realise that idea might be a bit of a pipe dream. At the moment I’m just being patient and realistic whilst I wait to see what the agency decide to do with me. I’ve been keeping distracted with some other creative projects, such as co-writing and acting in an amateur short movie called ‘Sunrise in the Evening.’ It was filmed across a variety of London locations, and will be fully released in February. Anyone interested can see the trailer right here!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp1PqMCfpJU

At the end of the day, it’s just really important to create. I know our society doesn’t always encourage it, but I don’t think anyone should ever quash their imagination. And hey, if you can find a way to make money off your creativity too? Then in the words of Aunty Donna: haven’t you done well.”

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Daniel Beckers, 21.

 

“I’m finding this whole point in my life incredibly bizarre. I’m 21, and everything is suddenly more complex. It never fully occurred to me how blurred so many lines actually are – nothing is as clear cut as I once thought. Friends, relationships, education, work etc. it’s all a lot more messy now I’m older. I’ve gone through situations I never even considered would happen. A lot of staple things are just not there anymore, so in some ways I feel like it’s now up to me to stabalise. Some days this is exciting, but others it’s completely terrifying.

What are you working on?

Following from how I started writing my book, this came about when Hugh provided a random title, for which I then provided a blurb. Hugh messaged to say he enjoyed what I had written, to the point where I thought to myself: why not make it into a story? Hugh had completed his book, one which I’m sure and hope will get the attention it deserves, and mentioned how cathartic writing was.

The freedom to write about concepts I had enjoyed from other writings was odd. It didn’t matter that my writing was potentially completely awful, that the last time I actually wrote anything similar was during GCSEs, I could just explore the ideas I had always wanted to explore. It was, and is, cool to see how things formed, and crazier when I consider that it all came from me. I’ve always enjoyed talking to people who just create things for the love of creating itself; I hate to sound pretentious, but sometimes I think people get too caught up in the idea that the end result has to be significant, or that they’re not good enough sometimes saying they simply “can’t”. I can totally understand that, but it’s a whole other experience they’re missing out on.”

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Harry Perkin

“I’m a biomed undergraduate, but I’ve decided now that uni isn’t for me. It’s been challenging emotionally and I can’t enjoy my subject in that environment. It’s taken away a lot of my passion for science and has affected my wellbeing. Recently I’ve started to re-engage with my creative side instead. I’m writing a science fiction graphic novel and doing so has given me focus and a way to enjoy science once again. It’s based in a post-apocalyptic Oxford and has major themes of evolution and what being human really means. On top of that it is all tied together in a morbidly humorous way.  It’s fun to turn my drunken adventures in Oxford into stories.”

So turns out we are all doing some form of writing

Harry: Oh, well, I don’t think our lives are that interesting really. We’re both at Oxford, I’m at Brooks. And Dan’s at Warwick.

Daniel: I don’t really know what we’d say. Hugh you can mention your book actually…

Hugh: Well I‘ve recently finished writing a book, a novel. And I’ve sent it off to JK Rowling’s agent. So he’s reviewing it right now, and, yeah I guess we’ll see. I hope he likes it.

Harry: Yeah he’s got the most interesting thing with that. I’m currently working on a graphic novel, ‘Walking Dead’ style – where I’m recreating the drunken uni nights out. So I’m collecting the content, which is obviously ongoing, and then I’ll start to document it. It’s all pretty exciting, because.. well, I get to recall hazy nights out, which is always funny.

Daniel: I’ve also recently wroten, wait wroten… that’s not the right word at all I dunno where that came from. I’ve WRITTEN a prologue for a short book. It started from a game me and Hugh were playing where we’d send bits of a blurb back and forth…

Hugh: Yeh we’d each add a bit and then see what we could create

Daniel: but he just ended up writing way more than what we were meant to, so eventually I just start on my own story instead.

Harry: So turns out we are all doing some form of writing, even though two of us are doing science degrees and Hugh studies History.

Hugh: The three of us all met each other through one other person called Will Gambier, and he was meant to be here too but couldn’t make it due to family commitments. The hour of us call ourselves ‘A Wholesome Supper,’ so sucks you couldn’t have met him as well.

From left to right: Hugh, Harry, Daniel
<< See the PEOPLE PROFILES tab for more on these three >>

And after that you’re hooked. So it’s good and bad you know, because then there’s no going back, you get addicted.

“I started music when I was 6. It’s been in my family for generations: my grandad was big into classical music, and my dad too

I think I wrote my first piece of music when i was about 16 or 17, yeah that really was a big moment for me. It’s that kick you get when you make that first break. Whether a t-shirt print designer who makes their first t-shirt, or a journalists first published article, or writing your first song, there’s this rush of achievement you feel. And after that you’re hooked. So it’s good and bad you know, because then there’s no going back, you get addicted.

My mum had been sick on and off for years, and this really put things into perspective about doing what you really want because you never know when it will be too late. I know a lot of people say it, but I strongly believe you should do what you love. And I think not enough people live this way.”

 

Talos – the music of Eoin French

We met five minutes ago for the first time

Luis: We studied together in illustration, she works for a newspaper that I illustrated for, he is a skill full illustrator and he is a fashion professional in character – is that a good description.

Rafael: We met five minutes ago for the first time. 

Manrutt: But it was planned. We have kept in touch through Instagram, and then Luis told us he was coming to London, so we all arranged this day to finally meet in person. 

Luis: I never been in London before so I came with my husband for three days and then I messaged the group to say I’m here and we should meet. 

Jeremy: Plan today? We don’t have any plan for the day. We don’t have any plan you know… artists(!)

Manrutt: It is really important to connect. Working individually as a freelancer can be very isolated. Sometimes we are treated very poorly by others in the industry. So it is good to meet other like-minded artists to share our stories, exchange opinions, and to know I have support and not to suffer in silence. This will build a genuine, loving, and supportive community. In the world of social media where everything is consumed digitally, I miss and value human contacts. This can become rare in the capital city and I would like to break this cliche and do it more often.

From left to right: Manrutt, Luis Camargo, Rafael Zugliani, Ana, Jeremy Combot

– check out the Profiles tab for more info. and contact details for on Manrutt and Luis –