Saturday, 14 February 2015

Lemonpop Workshops : Emerge Day @Wellingborough and Corby Libraries "Grow Your Own"

Ghostdavandal Originals presents Lemonpop Workshops : Customise Ur Life @Wellingborough and Corby Libraries "Grow Your Own"
EMerge Day
14th February 2015
#EMergeday #14February2015 

#create #write #lead #grow#creativearts #creativewriting

Ghostdavandal Originals took part in an exciting Arts and Culture Event, "EMerge Day" which took place on the the 14th of February (Valentines Day) and which was celebrated throughout the East Midlands. 
"The aim of EMerge is to introduce 5-25 year olds in the East Midlands to a wide and diverse range of arts and culture.  The Mighty Creatives have teamed up with local arts and cultural organisations to deliver accessible, vibrant, collaborative and celebratory experiences that bring people together in their communities and across the region.

This wonderful idea was imagined and designed by our Goal 5 Young Leaders Group. a group of young people from across the East Midlands who have been developing work around Arts Council's strategic Goal 5 (Every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts). This event day has been developed and led by these young people in co-production with The Mighty Creatives.
'We want to build a future where inspired children and young people have the opportunity to express themselves through arts and culture in a creative, fun and collaborative environment'"

We worked closely with Northamptonshire Libraries to create the Branding that was used throughout the "Grow Your Own" event and continue to be used in future events. The Grow Your Own logo was meant to represent the engagement of creative activities such as the Arts and Creative Writing that young people can get involved in, either by leading or simply participate in. The main aim of the project was to inspire young people from across Northamptonshire to lead arts and cultural activities for children and their own peer groups within libraries throughout 2015. The workshops where held at Wellingborough and Corby libraries and included:

Create Your Own...Creative Arts workshop with Ghostdavandal Originals
Lead Your Own...Volunteering workshop with Northamptonshire Libraries
Write Your Own...Creative Writing workshop led by James McInerney 
Make Your Own...Volunteering taster: Children's Craft Activity

We started off in Wellingborough Library in the morning session then moved on to Corby Library for an afternoon session. We spent a few hours at each library engaging with young people in customisation workshops aimed at gaining transferrable skills through Creative, Technical and Professional practise as part of a process that achieves positive results. Most young people we engaged with had never participated in such activities so were naturally excited about trying something different, experimenting and showing a general interest in the many outcomes that can be achieve by practising the processes, also by gaining confidence in practice and exploring new challenges through Planning, Preparation and Production.

Overall the day was a success as we engaged with numerous young people from Wellingborough and Corby who enjoyed creating colourful pieces of work, meeting new people, gaining transferrable skills that can be applied to achieve positive results and most importantly enjoyed their experience. When asked if this is something the young people would do in their own time most of them agreed that this something they can take away and practice on a daily basis or on a rainy day......and that made my day!

We would like to thank The Mighty Creatives and Northamptonshire libraries for being part of such an inspiring event and hope that it continues to grow and inspire young people of Northamptonshire to be creative in the arts and in writing, also to lead their own events and session. Special thanks go to Sarah Brown (Northamptonshire Libraries), Sophie Baczynski (The Mighty Creatives), James McInerney ( the poet...), the staff at Wellingborough library and Corby Library, The Core and all the participants that came along to the workshops and session(...we had great fun!! Let's do it again!!!)

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Lemonpop Workshops: Customize Ur Life @ The C Word Launch

The C Word Launch
Northampton Library, Northants
23rd January 2015

We began 2015 with a really exciting project (..which is a personal one too) in which we worked closely with Macmillan Cancer Support and the Northampton County Council to launch a service that supports all young people affected by Cancer, whether it is through their own diagnosis or that of a close family member or friend. The aim of the launch was to raise awareness of the service and to develop the right balance of support needed, encourage any young people affected by cancer to join the project focus group and get views on where the gaps are and how to work with them and other organisations to provide the right balance of services.  

The launch for The C Word was held in the Central Library and was attended by young and older people affected by cancer and also in attendance were representatives from Northants County Council and Macmillan Cancer Support, volunteers plus local organisations, groups and the general public who showed their support for the launch and the causes that created the service. There was a Message Wall erected in the main foyer and was aimed at encouraging everyone to write positive messages or share their experiences and stories in a positive and enlightening way.  

We were there to assist in raising awareness of the service, also to encourage attendees to participate in writing positive messages on the wall and engage young people in creative workshops. We delivered mini workshops throughout the day to young people (...and adults that were brave enough to get involved...) who attended the launch with their parents or with organisations and groups. The activities included canvas painting and Tshirt customisation and where aimed at engaging young people in creative activities 

The message wall was the highlight of the day, with loads of positive messages that anyone can find encouraging and inspiring to read and more importantly came from personal experiences. One of the messages that we thought was a powerful quote read "Cancer does not change you, it changes the circumstances around you"... that definitely gave me something to think about and hope most of the emotive messages on the wall did the same to anyone who read them. By the end of the day, the message wall was so full of positive quotes and messages by people who wanted to express how they feel about cancer or what they have been through in a positive way. 

This innovative service will be available to young people across the county who are struggling to deal with their own experiences of cancer, and need some extra help. Macmillan Cancer a support and Northants County Council are currently developing a programme of very different services to support teenagers and young people in whichever way they need it. Whether it is more information from the unique experience of Macmillan Cancer Support about a relation’s or friend’s condition, help with school, university or work, advice on finances or business start up, emotional support or just an opportunity to escape for an hour, we are looking to create an effective range of events delivered through the unique community reach of the 36 libraries throughout the county.

We enjoyed ourselves on the day as it was a successful launch, we look forward to the development of this very necessary service and are proud to be involved and associated with it! We feel proud to be supporting a cause we passionately believe in and continue to show support for such local services. We would like to thank all those that attended and showed support to The C Word service launch. Special thanks to the representatives from Northants County Council (@mycountcouncil) and Macmillan Cancer Support, to all the volunteers, the Library staff (@Libraries_Plus) and everyone involved in making it a success! Very special thanks to Abbie Weaver (@thecword) for organising the event, Don't Forget The Kids (@dont4getthekids), Alfes Cause (@AlfesCauseKids), to Sarah Brown (@seb826), Victor Agboola ( @Pres_VicotorA the University of Northampton Students Union President)  and to Aman Mahoon Ghostdavandal Originals Team!


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Customise Ur Life Workshops : Leicester Riders Basketball Club Youth Offending Program

Ghostdavandal Originals presents Customise Ur Life Workshops
Leicester Riders Basketball Club Youth Offending Program
Field House, John Phillips Close, Garrendon Road, Loughborough
5th August 2014

The Ghostdavandal Team delivered a customisation and streetart workshop on behalf of Leicester Riders Basketball Club as part of their Youth Offending Programme.  The aim of the scheme is to utilise the Leicester Riders’ boarding facility ‘Field House’ to provide a variety of activities to engage the interests of young offenders alongside short educational sessions, looking at: knife crime; sex education; substance misuse and anti-social behaviour. The focus is to integrate these learning opportunities with the experience of developing independent life skills and life style and that's were we come in, to deliver our Customize Ur Life Workshop:Learning Through Creative Arts.

We arrived at Field House just before midday and after getting introduced to the staff, the programme coordinators and got shown around the venue, we set up for the afternoon activities. We were introduced to a group of about 8-12 young adults who were spending the residential week at Field House and partaking in different activities throughout the week. We were there for the day so the focus of the workshop was based on enhancing the young adults experience through creative arts and learning transferrable skills through creative art activities. Introductions kicked off the activities as a way to gauge and gain an understanding of what the young adults knew about street art and customisation and also a way to discuss the reasons why the programme was designed. Introductions include a brief presentation of who we are as a customisation and design company and who they are individually, where they are from and what their interest are. 

This is also part of the Exploration Stage of our workshops which acts as a tool for participants to engage in their personal interest and discover what makes them unique, it also is a way to reflect in who the individual is, a way to rediscover personal interests, goals and aims and if the participants fully engage could be truly transformational. 

The young adults engaged in the activities with enthusiasm, which reflected in the concentration they had whilst partaking in activities specially when it came to T-shirt design and spray painting. Most of the young adults had never used spray paints but were eager to give it a go, with some actually showing good listening skills and then applying what they had just learnt.  Some proved that they had more of a steady hand than some ( which was funny to see them compete against each other at who's better at spray painting...) which was evident to see on the T-shirts and murals designed and produced by themselves but overall the young adults seemed to understand what the activity was teaching them and enjoyed partaking in such activities.  

The young adults produced personalised T-shirts with their very own design that is unique to each individual and created through a process in which they had to discover their interests (individually or as a group), visually interpret their ideas into thumbnail sketches, symbols or by using shapes, colour and simplifying ideas into abstract concepts and then creating designs by using various design methods such as stencilling, cutting and copying or transfer. The young adults seemed to understand the concepts behind StreetArt and customisation, by creating their own designs from their personal interests, the young adults understood that customisation takes various forms such as clothing, accessorising etc but can also include people by enhancing personal experience through learning and utilising transformative skills that can be beneficial in self development. 

We would like to Specially thank Tahir Hajat, Chirag Praj and Kanu Kaur at The Leicester Riders (Youth Offending Programme coordinators), Leicester City Youth Offending Service, School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University and to everyone at Field House for accommodating us. Also special thanks go to The Ghostdavandal Team, namely Hitesh Patel and Marvin Hagglar, #customizeurlife #beoriginal


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Lemonpop Summer Workshops : Customise Ur Life Through Creative Arts at The Zone

Ghostdavandal Originals presents 
Lemonpop Summer Workshops : Customise Ur Life Through Creative Arts
Date: 4th August & 6th August 2014
The Zone, Bracknell Forest

By Ghostdavandal Originals Ltd

This year we introduced and launched our Lemonpop Summer Workshops : Customise Ur Life Through Creative Arts at The Zone in Great Hollands Square, Bracknell in conjunction with Flip The Script and Bracknell Forest Youth Services.  Our mini adventure began when we arrived at Great Hollands Square and were welcomed by Garrick and Debbie who run the Youth Centre, which is situated in a shopping complex that seems to be the hub of the community. Our first assignment was on a bright sunny and hot day, so the conditions were perfect for a street art slash customisation workshop.
The centre has 5 display boards situated on a wall that faces the car park to the whole shopping centre, so it was evident on arrival that a youth club resides here. We were there for a two day workshop, engaging with the young people that attend The Zone youth club, to learn transformational life skills through Customisation and StreetArt by planning and painting the outside boards of the youth club to inspire the community.

Day One began with introductions and getting to know the young people, we kicked off the day with activities aimed at exploring Streetart and gaining an understanding on how much the young people understood about customisation and Streetart. Some had experience in using sprays and some that had never used sprays were curious but most were aware of what graffiti is and the implications and consequences of practising it in public places.  This exploration stage allows young people to identify their interest as a source of inspiration and as a resource of ideas. This stage encourages young people to recognise their interests and focus on them by expanding their meanings and symbolising it through visual representation. This stage is all about knowing yourself and finding yourself by listing ideas about yourself and simplifying them to be developed into designs and patterns. 

Once the young people began exercising their options, they immediately loosened up and began firing ideas away. Their ideas that came from their personal interests and within their peer groups, which ranged from popular computer games to favourite pastimes such as scooter and skate activities, even ideas around popular music groups and fashion icons.  The most interesting ideas came from their association to The Zone, ie what their favourite activities are at the club and what it means to them as a young people. Some had a theme and wanted to express their feelings or show what they are doing as part of the community. In one instance a young person was raising money and awareness for the club by getting all her hair cut off in aid of charity, so we dedicated a board to her! What a way to raise awareness!

The young people were split into equal groups that matched the number of boards and were required to create
designs that represented their group or the youth club. Before allocating boards to groups, they had to come up with initial designs that they proposed to paint, either to receive approval from staff on their design or to get assistance in designing.  Once the young people had created their designs and had them approved, they were allocated a board which they had to prep up before commencing with any painting. The boards had never been treated since they had been painted a couple years before so needed to sanded down first. After sanding the boards down, we masked the wall area that we didn't want paint on with newspaper and masking tape then applied background colours using spray cans.  This was the young peoples first opportunity to use spray paints and learn methods of how to apply it in a controlled manner. The young people seemed to enjoy this stage as they created some colourful boards that already looked amazing and seemed complete but also showed their enthusiasm to the activity. 

Day two at The Zone started off a lot quicker and this time we had our super awesome assistant Rajan Mahoon to make sure that we were fully prepared for the day and that operations ran smoothly according to the session plan. The day kicked off with a recap of the previous days activities and a discussion over the learnings, improvements and on how to move forward. This interested some of the young people and after evaluating their work decided to go back a couple steps and redesigned their proposed images. Using the processes, techniques and methods they learnt on the previous day, the young people continued with their allocated boards and soon began creating their very colourful designs onto the boards. This process required some concentration from the young people to complete their images and have enough time to evaluate and make changes. Young people were reminded to evaluate and critic their work as they painted their images as a way to stay on track and this was done by constantly taking steps back to review their images and to make necessary changes as they went along with the activity.

After a series of decision making and adjustments through step by step help from staff and our team (including our assistant Rajan, who had never spray painted before but seemed to enjoy experience), the boards began to resemble familiar images and look quite colourful, their images were already starting to look more like the finished product. By the end of the day, everyone was exhausted from participating in the activities, some young people had finished their boards and some where applying final touches to their artwork and some where admiring their work including what their friends had produced. During the activities the young people were so consumed in painting that they didn't have chance to admire and critic each other's work so afterwards we all critic-ed each other's boards and had an opportunity to discuss each other's creations, what they could have improved and how to apply what they learnt in the last couple of days.  
After evaluation and discussing what they had learnt in the last couple days, the young people reflected on the planning process as the initial stage in customisation,the young people also  understood that preparation is important in having the right conditions, materials and methods to execute or create their ideas and that these are part and parts of a process guaranteed to produce favourable results that are personal to them and if the stages are followed through could produce some original pieces of work that they are proud of producing.

Special thanks to Garrick and Debbie from The Zone Youth Centre in Great Hollands Square, Bracknell, to Dee Albert from Flip The Script and Liz Hassock from Bracknell Forrest Council and to the Ghostdavandal Originals Team, Rajan Mahoon, Aman Mahoon and Marvin Hagglar.


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Lemonpop Workshops : @ Portsea Venture, Portsmouth

Ghostdavandal Originals presents Lemonpop Workshops : Customise Ur Life 
Portsea Venture, Portsmouth
21st August & 22nd August 2014 

2014 was an amazing year for our team. We had a fantastic summer as we launched our "Summer Programme" and delivered creative workshops to youths in clubs and societies across the country.  Amongst Youth offending programmes, Cultural awareness, community festivals and simple custom made fun we engaged with a lot of enthusiastic young people full of energy and as inquisitive as ever..our highlight of the summer has to be the workshops delivered in Portsmouth at Portsea Venture.

We were invited to Portsea Venture in Portsmouth to deliver customisation workshops with the staff and young people that attend the children's centre. Portsea Venture is one of Portsmouth City Council's six free, exciting adventure playgrounds and is a world of opportunity for children.  We found this place extraordinary as young people can whizz along zip lines, cool off in splash pools, get messy in sand-pits, show their artistic talents with arts and crafts, build dens, climb trees, dress-up and much more...Really cool!! I wish I had a place like this when I was growing up as it creates an experience for the young people that includes all and shares experiences amongst the group that attends! Hats off to the staff that run the centre!

Upon our arrival we were greeted by Clare and the staff team, not forgetting the young people who attend the centre...who seemed quite eager to participate in whatever activities we had prepared for them...but made us feel so relaxed and welcome. We were there for two whole days and on the first day, which began with introductions to Customisation, street art and using materials (COSHH), we familiarised ourselves with the centre and with the young people who were buzzing in and around the centre. Day One was focused on Tshirt and Clothing customisation and each young person was required to customise a tshirt. This was to be done using personal ideas considering who they are, what their interests are and as a way to understand who they are within the group (taking ownership and responsibility).

The day got off to a brilliant start with the young people engaging and participating in the processes, for example at Stage 1 the young people had to create a list of favourites ie colours, toys, games, films etc..then Stage 2 was to use symbols, icons, lines( scribbles, doodles...whatever) etc to represent their favourites. At this stage it is evident that they were fully consumed and engaged in the activity as some of the work produced by the young people reflects their interests, with some creating amazing pieces of work that would impress anyone with artistic skills.  The concentration on the young people's faces was worth it, to see them questioning themselves and engaging in such an activity, the staff were impressed ( so were we) with the way the young people behaved and listened to instructions and that they even showed some flare!!(...actually sitting down and being quiet throughout the activities). Stage 3 involved the young people in painting their tshirts, applying the designs they created onto tshirts using a range of processes. This is usually a messy process (...usually spilling painting everywhere and on each other) but the young people dealt with it well by following the instructions that were given to them. 
The young people created really bright and colourful Tshirt designs that reflect the diverse interests within the group and also identifying some similar interests shared within the group. It was inspiring to see them wear their designs proudly and showing them off to each other, once they were dry of course. Day One was a success with everyone looking forward to Day Twos activities!

Day Two was all about Canvas and Mural painting (..also great to see some of the young people turn up wearing their new personally designed tshirts!!) and it began similarly to the previous day, with an introduction into Street Art and Customisation and a strong reminder of using hazardous substances. As part of our service to deliver creative workshops, our aim is to raise awareness of the materials, equipment and processes that are involved and making sure that young people develop an understanding of this to be able to make informed decisions.  Once the talking was over (phew....) we resumed to the stages as before with Stage One being focused on Planning, researching about personal or group interests, creating lists and simple sketches. Young people were encouraged to investigate, explore and research into their ideas before proceeding to the next stage. Stage Two is all about Preparation, experimenting further with materials, developing initial sketches and preparing surfaces. Stage Three is the stage most people (not just the young ones...) fear as this is the stage that paint is applied to a blank canvas which can scare most of us but on realising that the processes have prepared you for this part makes it slightly less challenging. The young people were clearly comfortable with the task and where fully engaged with their canvas boards with some continuing their ideas and some wanting a fresh start. The boards that were produced were even more colourful than the tshirts, as this time round it seems they understood what they were required to do and also enjoyed creating their own personal canvas boards from their own ideas....and what a result. 

We had an amazing time working with this 'energetic' group and look forward to returning in the summer, in fact we cannot wait! We would like to thank all the young people who attended for being awesome participants on both days, listening to instructions, offering help and for being themselves, also would like to thank everyone at Portsea Venture for the card they made for us, we will frame it and hang it up! Thank you! 
Special thanks to all the staff at Portsea Venture, Michelle, Cal, Liz, Alice ( guys rock and commend what you do, thanks for the hospitality!), Clare Hussein (@maibikita... and of course Miss Bikita for organising us to come down) and to the Ghostdavandal Originals Team, namely Aman Mahoon (...for the tiresome driving) and Marvin H Mudzongo..Thanks!

Customise Ur Life
Be Original

Friday, 13 June 2014

Ghostdavandal Originals @Southill Park

Ghostdavandal Originals @Southill Park (1119)
Date: 13th June 2014
Location: Southill Park, Bracknell

Ghostdavandal Originals Team were at it again on Friday the 13th in Bracknell. We were invited to the 1119 Youth Group of Southill Park and what an evening it was.  After a long drive down we returned to Southill Park, a year since the last time we delivered a successful creative workshop there and we were lucky to arrive just before the group started their session which is usually 7pm to 9:30pm. We were welcomed by Mark Hooper who leads and organises the group and introduced us to the group and staff. It was good to see a few members from the previous year that still attend the club, which was great as they remembered us and made it easier to engage with the rest of the group and introduce activities based on customisation to them!

 After a brief introduction, explaining the reasons for customisation, the purpose it serves and where or what can be customised. The young people participated in colouring a large mural we provided which helped in instilling the techniques and for general practise when it comes to selection of colour, how best to apply it and where it can be apply to.  The young people showed an in depth understanding of customisation from the different forms of fashion and art to giving examples of their favourite customisations, with some even willing to try the activity at home. Most of the young people seemed to understand that customisation is more of a personal journey of self discovery. The activity focuses on discovery and finding out the different things that are personal to an individual, be it a favourite colour, saying or phrase, a simple pattern or a nickname given to you by mates and using those attributes to enhance, improve and redefine an object, canvas or an individual. 

In realising these individual characteristics, young people understood that those items can be represented through many different ways, such as simplifying imagery to basic shapes, colour combinations and applied using a mix of mediums ie experimenting with colour and materials to create features, assets and accessories that can be used to customise a piece of clothing, paper or canvas.   

We where allocated to the side of the building right next to the bins (suppose this is the nature of street art...) where two large boards had been prepped for the session. The young people were split into two groups, wher one group worked on a cut out stencil of their logo and took turns in using spray paint to create the image. Using techniques that were explained during the introduction and demonstration, the young people engaged and participated in the activity, creating a colourful piece that they were proud to have been involved in.
The second group participated in painting an African themed pattern that coincides with an upcoming event that is focused on African Arts and Culture. The young people painted a large patterned mural reflecting the diverse ideas they came up with and also reflecting the colours that they all favoured. 

The event was a success and as a team we are positive in that the young people learnt creative, technical and professional skills whilst engaging in a group activity that is based on customisation and street art.  We look forward to working with the 1119 group again very soon in learning and engaging in activities aimed at learning transferrable skills whilst having fun at the same time! Can't wait!!!!

Special thanks to everyone who came along to the workshops and participated in the activities and contributed in making sure that the activities went accordingly, the whole 1119 group (...what a crazy bunch!!), Mark Hooper and the staff at Southill Park, Dee from Flip The Script and Liz from Bracknell Forest Council, Aman Mahoon and Marvin Hagglar Mudzongo from Ghostdavandal Originals.

Here is a preview of last years workshop...