Photographer and Visual Artist

ramblings

Updates – Work and Real Work

Well I have been neglecting this blog for some time now so I felt I should write about what I have been up to.

Instead of posting all my inspirational material here I have opened a tumblr account which I find very useful for storing a wide range of inspirational material from pictures, videos and quotes. It is also a great networking tool to get some of my personal work seen by others also. You can follow me over at http://davidjamescoxsell.tumblr.com/

I have also been attempting to arrange shoots as I really need to keep creating new work as well as working to earn a living which also enables me to purchase more equipment to continue doing what I do. However everything is just not that easy and getting a team together at little expense turns out to be very tricky. Just really need that winning lottery ticket so I can pay everyone I work with lol. Still I am now in the process of arranging meetings and contacting model agencies to try and bridge the tricky situation where un-reliable models cancel a shoot last minute. One meeting I am hoping will be a very interesting outcome with a new up-coming magazine publication :)

I have also been submitting bites of advice to a newly established site called http://www.gurubites.com. I can see this site doing very well in the very near future and they have already had a great start by promoting the site in colleges and universities. Anyone can submit a Guru Bite so if you yourself have anything to share, then send them an email and get involved.

In the real world of working I have had the pleasure of touring with bands such as My Chemical Romance and Thirty Seconds To Mars. As much as that sounds amazing it can be very frustrating with all the travel and lugging around of the equipment I have to set up. I have also been involved with setting up Drum & Bass/Raves and other events and I may have an exciting opportunity to learn more about the sound and video production side of it all, which I feel may also be beneficial to my personal work.

Well not much else for now but I’m sure I will have some new work to show soon.


Imaging Past – Part 3

The images below are a showcase of results through following tutorials that can easily be found online and via ebooks. Following and attempting tutorials is something I still do today, even though today I seem to be more interested in tutorials for advanced skin retouching rather than manipulation techniques.

When I first started out I would sit down for hours experimenting and creating what I could as I went along. I would follow tutorials and then implement what I had learned into creating my own works of digital art. I would find sources online from stock sites and then I eventually started creating my own source material when I purchased my first DSLR a Nikon D70. When I started capturing my own sources a passion for my camera and photography enlightened me to take Photography further and learn more about the art and process of Photographic techniques.

As you may see from previous posts my personal work was of an alternative nature which was mainly influenced by my own surroundings at that time. This included Music, new found friends, my partner and her alternative modeling, other photographers and especially my weirdest pal Bob. All of this was also combined together through my first online networking membership over at a blogging site known as Live Journal.

Next Post: My first Photographic Course


Imaging Past – Part 2

Sorry for the delay in writing this up as it was quite a challenge finding out old images from my archive to help illustrate my posts.

The next steps of my Journey were more influential rather than practical and I met a few faces who were mainly in to Gothic and Alternative Art-Photography. My partner Sam who took on the alias of Tragic Wrath was scouted by a Birmingham based artist called Dave Charsley who works under the branding of Decline Gothica. Sam attended a range of photo shoots often with a group of other models in order to capture stock type imagery for Dave to digitally manipulate. Dave has a certain style and approach to his work which has gained him a close following of fans over the years and he has worked with a wide range of models whilst doing so. Having chaperoned Sam on her shoots I also met some other great photographers like Matt Miller, Elizabeth Stanton, Photos With Attitude and Draken. Each and every shoot I closely monitored the way the photographers worked, including lighting, direction and communication.

With the inspirations I had picked up I started working with stock imagery available from sites such as Deviant Art and stock.xchng to create some digital manipulated work myself. Sometimes Photographers who had worked with Sam allowed me to use some of the images they had taken to play about with also.

Here are some examples of images made entirely of stock imagery.

My next post will showcase images I created via tutorials that enabled me to get to grips with even more powerful tools within Photoshop.


Imaging Past – Part 1

Carrying on from yesterday and making the leap from Music to Imaging I feel it’s always good to look back at images you made a good while ago. So I will be blogging over the next few days about my imaging past and my journey so far.

I started out making imagery from other peoples photos and before you ask YES I did use other peoples images at first. Little did I know back then about image copyright and the type of infringements I was committing, but I have to admit it was the first steps that got me to where I am today and one of the processes where I taught myself a lot about layouts and photoshop manipulation.

What started as a project to replace a crappy old cardboard DVD case (the ones with horrid plastic clips on the sides) turned in to a hobby where a community of online people took it upon themselves to create alternative cover designs for DVD packaging. I believe this still goes on today and if you search for Covers made by someone with the alias of spida-x, you may just find some other designs I created.

Here are a few below.

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Musical Past

I don’t usually write a lot about myself but today I was randomly patrolling the web and was thinking of my past Musical projects. Believe it or not before I met my partner Sam I was into all sorts of Pop and Dance music. When I met Sam she introduced me to Rock/Metal and the almighty band Slipknot. From there on my passion for Metal grew and a few years later I was involved with a couple of bands as lead vocalist. The latest was Blood Red Horizon taking on a flavour of inspiration from bands such as Carcass, Kataklysm and many more (http://www.myspace.com/brhmetaluk)

Unfortunately the bands never got around to gigging, partially due to the fact we never had a full line up and members of the band also had other commitments. I do miss it sometimes as it was a different way of expressing views as a collective group of people as well as individually.

Another project from a completely different genre came about whilst completing a sound and image module at University. I can’t actually play any instruments properly although I have a guitar, bass and a keyboard. I do however use them now and again and strum/play anything that comes into my own head. Using these instruments and midi sounds through the keyboard I constructed some musical sounds that were put together with some moving image pieces which can be seen in the Film section of my main website. I also put them up on myspace if anyone would like to have a listen http://www.myspace.com/djcoxsell.

Two completely different genres and sounds but they do have similarities in a strange way. The dark thoughts that go through my have been transformed into both mellow and heavy genres which I feel reflect upon the way I have dealt with my personal life. Anger, pain, loneliness, freedom and being able to let go are just some of my personal emotional experiences I try to express. Admittedly not always very well, but I always try and find a way that helps me to either avoid or face my thoughts in the best way I can.


The Search for work, Internship thoughts and my online CV

Since leaving Uni I have been on a constant search for work within the Photographic Industry using sites such as Photo Assist, Various Creative networking sites, Grad sites, word of mouth and other traditional methods. It does however seem that most companies want people who have been working commercially for a number of years and/or have expereince in other areas as well as the studied subjects. So it seems the only real chance of getting actual work in the near future is to apply for internship placements.

This makes me feel that I may have wasted the last five years of my life in higher education a place I decided to go to help me in gaining knowledge so I can obtain a new career. I understand that people believe that Student Life can sometimes be seen as basically a great place to have fun and not really do any real work. However for people like myself who have worked hard to achieve certain goals, the word Internship is one that sometimes seems demeaning to the effort that we have put in to our education. I can understand the advantages of an internship for some, but people in a less stable financial situation (like myself) just can’t afford to go and work for nothing. For most, to move closer to an internship placement, pay living expenses and any other costs would be a massive obstacle and result in an even bigger debt than the cost of higher education. The only difference is the government wouldn’t be helping us with any of the costs at this stage of furthering our careers. At my age (myself being a mature graduate) I don’t have my Mom & Dad to hold my hand and pay for me to live for a year or two and even if I did my family are not financially stable. This must be true for many other graduates also, which puts us in a situation where it is more difficult to obtain our goals than a graduate who has the financial backing of their family.

It would be nice to see some help for people in similar circumstances to myself so we can have the opportunity of further creating a successful pathway to our chosen careers, or at least more paid opportunity’s for graduate leavers. How will people be able to pay back their student loans if they can’t successfully get a job that pays well enough to pay any percentage of the loan back?

I would be interested to hear and learn about any opportunities that help people financially after they have graduated so please do comment or send me an email to david@davidjamescoxsell.

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Today I went and had my CV checked over and all seems fine but I sometimes wonder if I am putting too much information on it. Particularly about my working life before I decided to go into higher education. I worked at the same company for ten years in one job and managed to climb the ladder respectively. This put me in many roles where skills were gained and achieved so therefore it states experiences that may be relevant to a job application or possibly it may make me sound over qualified.

The words over qualified seem daunting for some as it is my understanding that an employer is less likely to employ you if they feel you are too good for the job role. Well firstly if I thought I was too good I wouldn’t be applying, and in this day and age most people just can’t afford to be picky. Another possible reason is they either fear you may take their job or simply they feel that they wont be able to boss you around as easily. Maybe I am wrong, but my various conversations with people seem to lead to the same conclusion.

To step up my search for work I have created an online section complimentary to my website which holds my CV details. It can be viewed at http://employ.davidjamescoxsell.co.uk

It would be interesting to hear others thoughts on what should be left on and left off a CV for various job applications and I also welcome any comments good or bad about presenting and the presentation of my online CV.