ART & GRIEF THERAPY, MARK MAKING & WOMEN’S CIRCLES

I interviewed Art Therapist and Counsellor Charlotte Jane Kessler about her therapeutic work in health/drug centres and her art therapy, grief work and women’s circles. Charlotte introduced me to concepts such as her ‘power pallet’ and ‘gift exchange’ as well as offering some inspiring stories about people she has helped.

Leslie: Looking back, what stands out from your 10 years working with non-statuary mental health and drug services? What did you learn from this period? Continue reading ART & GRIEF THERAPY, MARK MAKING & WOMEN’S CIRCLES

TV SCRIPTWRITER TELLS ALL

Lisa Holdsworth

I interviewed Lisa Holdsworth  scriptwriter for TV episodes of New Tricks, Robin Hood, Emmerdale, Waterloo Road  and more recently, Midsomer Murders, including the fans’ favourite ‘Death by Cheese‘ episode. Lisa is chair of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) and  has been shortlisted for a BAFTA award for her television writing. She talks about how she became a scriptwriter and what it’s like for writers in British TV today.

Leslie: From childhood onwards, what directed you towards TV script writing?

Lisa: I was a voracious reader as a child and I loved TV. I was initially interested in being a performer and went to drama classes. It was all just elaborate ways of story-telling which I eventually realised was what I loved to do. Continue reading TV SCRIPTWRITER TELLS ALL

RED TALES, ART AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF REBELLION

Susana Medina The Side-effects of Reading. Photo Derek Ogbourne

I interviewed writer, artist and filmmaker Susana Medina winner of the Max Aub International Short Story Prize. Susana is a multi-lingual author and poet who has published several volumes of radical, experimental writing. Her work was featured in Best European Fiction, 2014.  Susana has curated international art shows, translated for English PEN, Writers in Prison Programme, and has studied at DAMS , Bologna University, under Umberto Eco and Dario Fo.  Susana is also a climate activist, taking action and appearing on stages for Extinction Rebellion UK, including the Edinburgh Fringe. Currently, she’s writing with Roc Sandford We Are the Asteroid, We Are the Dinosaurs, a dialogue about climate change and ecological collapse, which covers all the rebellions up to date. Continue reading RED TALES, ART AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF REBELLION

THE ART OF PUTTING THE TRUE SELF OUT THERE

I interviewed Charise Sowells about being a multi-disciplinary, highly creative, mixed race person in the USA. Charise is a scriptwriter and songwriter who also produces, directs, and composes, among other things. Her play An Ocean In My Soul, about being mixed in the USA, can be watched in full at the end of this interview. Charise runs  Unabashed Productions ‘…an arts and entertainment company that supports people who not only think outside the box, but live there’. Continue reading THE ART OF PUTTING THE TRUE SELF OUT THERE

METAPHROG & THE ART OF GRAPHIC NOVELS Part Two

Part Two of my interview with graphic novelists, Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers covers the period when Metaphrog created subtly adapted versions of classic fairly tales. John and Sandra also talk in depth about the tradition of the graphic novel as an art form.

Metaphrog were winners of The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2016 Best Visual Artist; they also have three nominations for the Eisner Awards (the Oscars of comics). Continue reading METAPHROG & THE ART OF GRAPHIC NOVELS Part Two

METAPHROG & THE ART OF GRAPHIC NOVELS Part One

Photo of Metaphrog, aka John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs, by Bob McDevitt

I interviewed two prolific graphic novelists, Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers, who are Metaphrog, Together they have been creating comics and graphic novels since 1996.  Metaphrog were winners of The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2016 Best Visual Artist; they also have three nominations for the Eisner Awards (the Oscars of comics).

In Part One, Sandra and John talk about the techniques and creative methods that led to their early successes, including linkups with music.

Leslie: What lies behind the choice of the title ‘Metaphrog’ for your graphic novel work? Continue reading METAPHROG & THE ART OF GRAPHIC NOVELS Part One

FROM SPEAKER & VIOLINIST TO TESTING SOFTWARE

Jess Ingrassellino

I interviewed writer, speaker, musician and software expert Jess Ingrassellino  about her self-taught skills, her thirst for knowledge, and how creativity has helped her link up the various fields she works in. Jess says, about herself: “I am open to new conversations and new experiences, as I am still writing my story, and it is writing me.”

Leslie: Can you give a brief overview of your activities, please, highlighting the common themes?

Jess: I started my professional life as a private violin teacher when I was 19. It’s how I put myself through college. I grew up in poverty, and had no support of any kind, financial or otherwise, from my family after I left home at 17.  So, I took any jobs I could find, including waitressing, teaching piano, even teaching English grammar. Continue reading FROM SPEAKER & VIOLINIST TO TESTING SOFTWARE

BORN OUTSIDE THE BOX

I asked author Peter Street to speak about his extreme experiences as a gravedigger and talented, autistic poet. What follows is a shocking, surprising, expressive record of survival against the odds.

Peter says about himself: “I left school barely able to read and write. I have very little logic which has held me back lots of the time, but it’s also given me a kind of freedom. It has separated me from the rest of society – I don’t feel a sense of failure or fear. I keep saying I was born outside the box.” Continue reading BORN OUTSIDE THE BOX

Author and Poet