Leaving Falmouth, were I studied Illustration, was a gradual process. However, once I found the secret exit - known only by those brave enough to walk there, as ‘the p-e-n-r-y-n' which it is also possible to get to or through via the Truronian beast, which has great tyres for feet and exhales diesel fumes and eats £4.50 for breakfast lunch and dinner where ever it chooses to go - I realised that there is an ever expanding world out there to explore.
It took me a while to gather the courage and during this time I practiced leaving by taking trips to London with a developing portfolio, to try to pursue a ‘career'. I did not find this as intimidating as some people make out; personally, I found London to smell like a combination of McDonalds and urine, which was a refreshing change from the WC Rowes and seaweed I had grown accustomed to. I also kept the Falmouth pace which is less irritating than keeping the London pace in Falmouth, with its bizarre semi-pedestrianised cobbled high street, where few people possess any forms of awareness and the rest happily stand and talk in threes or fours about where they are going ‘to' as opposed to actually just going there (usually a local social club which doubles up as one of the oldest ever Tesco's).
Although I found London to have a different kind of significance on the potential career I mentioned earlier, I also found it remarkably dull, as everybody who I knew there had spent all their money the previous weekend in some incredible night club and then at an after party, which one of the final contestants of Pop Idol once went to, once, maybe! Anyway, by the time I would arrive they were all broke and going on about that last weekend and had to save up their pennies to pay that months rent, which incidentally was easily double mine in Falmouth; so I ended up having to create my own fun which ended up being nearly exactly what I would be doing in Falmouth anyway, just without the sea or my itunes.
Upon this disgusting realisation I felt that even if I have made some incredible like minded friends in Falmouth (which is one of Falmouth's underlying qualities - a small portion of really brilliant people and Clipper Café) I could not stay there. I felt that I needed the opportunity to listen to disco music until 6am if I chose to or get something other than a Bayside kebab at 2:30am; basically live a little bit faster with more choice and so I chose to break free and after much thought I chose Berlin.
What I expect to find in Berlin is motivation sponsored by Nescafe, a ridiculously huge studio, the possibility to ride past an open café during some crazy jazz drum solo at 11 o'clock, lots of sausages and cheese and roof top picnics. It will hopefully be a good move where I will find a different attitude to life, work, art and play and a more inspiring culture than in England or London for that matter. There, I will endeavour to create paid work, which should eventually mature into something of a recognizably witty and worthy standard, so that I can continue producing silly little drawings for demanding magazines.
'How did this all happen?'
I think I have changed dramatically since I had my first cup of real coffee and became proactive, also since getting a solo exhibition out of my system. The contents of which was a contrasting paradox of very fun, playful/misanthropic work which I took far too seriously for far too long. The exhibition was a release, which meant I could move on and enjoy my life, without having to draw everybody in sight with an 'I'm concentrating' unapproachable frown.
Now all I really do is drawings for magazines which like my work. They usually involve a painfully boring article about mortgages or Annual General Meetings, to which I supply one fairly appropriate rough, one fairly clichéd relevant ok rough and one stupidly childish or sarcastic solution, which one day they will show an editor with a sense of humour who will agree for it to go to print, ending the frustration and conflict between artist/illustrator and client and changing my portfolio to one of potentially hilarious quantity... the dream is potentially in place.
Doing the roughs pays for books and fish. I like fish and reading a lot. I can also afford to leave my room and socialize with the money they pay and with that opportunity of being outside I found some really excellent friends that I admire a lot, which is always good and hopefully the same will happen in Berlin - as long as I do not mention the subject of whatever article I am currently illustrating, as there is a high chance of them sneaking off to a forest and cutting down some trees in order to supply the wood for their very own coffin, which they would happily pay somebody to nail them into and throw down one of those big holes in the road that only get covered over so that really loud cars with big exhausts can ride continuously through the night, back and forth from the nearest McDonalds car park to the next, anything so long as it helps to drown out the sound of the world's most boring conversationalist.
A casual suggestion/recommendation:
On a Wednesday afternoon, after reading Calvin and Hobbes in bed till 12, go and casually order a burger and hot chocolate at Clipper Café, Falmouth. Sit down and enjoy, then thank Bonny with a grateful, satisfied smile.