Tag Archives: illustration

“Life and Death In The Diffusion City” – Plangu

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17:00

Step off train.

In Cardiff.

But am I Cardiff? Is Cardiff me?

One year to find out, one journey to commence.

Problem: where’s the exit?
Resolution: straight ahead, I should have seen it.

Walking.

Man: where is Platform 2?
Riposte: I am sorry, I don’t know. Are you on Facebook?

An awkward silence like moss on a Norweigan tree in June. Is this the Day of Thunder?

I feel lost. Draw me a metaphorical mind map and I’ll lay down on your molten train tracks.

17:15

Exit the train station.

Flashing neon lights of the Burger King. Fast food generation nation. I think of fresh cod and trout, but this ain’t no rainbow city.

Me: Excuse me, where can I see a map for directional advisement?
Man: You don’t need a map, you need a new hat.

A languid finger points to a direction collection encased in grimy glass and ripe for intro-outro-meta-spection.

I walk 5-10 meters. Symmetry achieved.

17:45

Walk walk walk, stop, walk walk, stop.

St Mary’s Street, carnival and revellers. Sundown smile, my vision becoming multi-peripheral.

An Asgardian clock encased in glass, tick tock tick tock. Time flies when you’re coke and rum.

Friday the day of wages.

Factory workers reminisce of steel shaping shifts, blackened hands and tankards of ale.

Estate agents close a sale, suits pinstriped and pressed for success at half past wine.

Boozer, the Borough, Yates the wine joint.

Our money is the all the same and the drink takes the blame… or close acquaintances.

Closer yet further still, to whit the steel worker motions to a call centre executive with a closed fist and stiffening shoulder ensemble.

Conflict in Cardiff. Welsh Warriors. Fear flights through the five boroughs but I see no painted baseball clowns, only enraged dragons wearing culture crowns.

18:40

Drunk and a stumble. The Isle of Hayes.

Waterstones has a buy one get one half price.

Reminder: I’m here to learn, academia awaits.

19:30

Roath. Elegant two bedroom apartment; both en suite, but who’s counting?

Full media connection, but I need to interface with me.

This year is my journey, I need to make Cardiff my city.

I bite into an apple and open my Mac.

An email for an internship; please sir, can I have some more? Disaster interaction: the editor vexed with my corrections of his holy words. My direct style of communication is not in relation to the egos borne of procrastination and Big Ideas.

Culture: what is it? I am a force for my own stylings; drip drip drop drop, I need a trip to the shop.

20:05

Open my journal.

Words spill like snow in the winter from the requisite clouds and their multiverse formations: Afraid. Excited. New. Old. Castle. Take away food. City. Capital. Uncle Torr.

Entrance to the scene.

Roommate: I am your roommate.
Me: I am your roommate.
Roommate: We are at A, let’s get to B.
Me: And then C and D.
Both: This feels right.

Nods and smiles and flowing conversation covering a complete collection of crazed recollection. Squared. Rooted. Rebooted. Nostalgia nightmares of animatronic bears.

22:09

Speech slurring, world whirring.

Roommate: How about that 2 Fast 2 Furious?
Me: Yes! I own it on digital video disk, truly the filet of the franchise.
Roommate: Bond now assured and let me be clear; we are friends in concrete absoluteness, to which cannot often be said over such brief interaction. Rare.

01:11

Walking home to Roath.

Roommate has long since expired ‘pon a corner of the castle. Grassy knoll, well don’t we all? Life and death in the Diffusion City.

I look up to the sky, the stars aligned I see Oslo, Norway.

Focussing my spiritual and atomic distribution here I am in Cardiff, Wales.

I access, accept, and assimilate my fate for one year less one month. A beautiful city with opportunity aplenty and unto much learning to be anything less than a fleeting yearning.

We Are Cardiff? Yes. Yes we certainly are.

A writer, poet, artist and polemicist, Plangu, originally from Oslo, Norway, resides in Roath where he is undertaking a year of study at Cardiff University. Plangu’s debut short story collection, ‘Grenene Av Våre Trær’, is due for publication in late 2013.

The image above is a self portrait by Plangu.

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“I need to be in a place where people are friendly and everything’s on your doorstep” – Jessica

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I have lived in Cardiff since I was born. I was never very adventurous in a travelling sense and stayed here to do my Foundation Course in Art & Design, and then for my degree in Graphic Communication. I can’t say I’ve ever regretted it. In fact I probably made the best decision. All through university we were told that London was the place to be for new designers. I frankly had a bit of a panic, because London is just so daunting to me.

I need to be in a place where people are friendly and everything’s on your doorstep. I know Cardiff like the back of my hand because I’ve lived in most areas. I was born in Pontcanna, lived in Ely for a bit, then in Grangetown, Llanishen, Llandaff, Thornhill, and when my mother decided to move out into the country I stayed and continued my tour, moving to Penarth, Cardiff Bay and finally Roath, where I mingled with my fellow students and loved every minute.

I met my partner not long after starting university and we’ve never moved from Roath. We now live in the heart of Roath and there’s so much to do. It’s amazing. The galleries, coffee shops, restaurants, awesome little independent quirky shops and funky bars are in abundance – not forgetting Roath Park. It’s just such a lively place to live and we’re lucky to have a number of friends all living in the same area.

We’re always popping to The Pear Tree on Wellfield Road for a cheeky drink, and mingling with the locals at The Claude or The Albany. We’re both also really lucky to work in the area and I count myself even luckier to be able to work for myself from home. I’ve worked in the design industry since graduating in 2009 and I’ve done everything from designing Christmas wrapping paper (all year round) to mobile application design for iPhones and iPads. Now I’m freelance and work from the comfort and convenience of my little studio under the name Jessica Draws. As I have the time, I’m getting involved in the community as best as I can. I’m in talks to supply some craft shops with my handmade greetings cards that I currently sell online and I am also involved in The Sho Gallery’s summer exhibition Art Flare (on Inverness Place), where I am displaying some illustrative prints and cards which are also for sale. My next stop hopefully is to be involved in the new St Mary’s Street Market and Roath’s Saturday Craft market. I’ve got lots of plans and I’m still getting in touch with local businesses to over my branding and marketing services.

It’s not just Cardiff that’s getting some Jessica Draws shoved in its face. I love to draw and it’s what keeps me cheerful, and so the illustrations I do aren’t always for clients. Some recent work I created for fun around the recent Marvel film releases was featured on some prominent online blogs (here and here), which triggered some awesome responses and a few commissions (now available in my etsy shop too).

Drawing is what I do and I like to think of myself as re-designing the world, one illustration at a time.

Jessica Donnan (also know as Jessica Draws) is a freelance designer and illustrator. Since graduating in 2009, she has worked in many areas of the design industry. Check out her online shop where you can find lots of goodies, and have a gander at her blog, where she posts giveaways, competitions and her latest news.

Jessica was photographed at The Pear Tree in Roath by Ffion Matthews

 

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