JANUARY - MARCH 2022
This is Gökçe, a digital illustrator inspired by emotions and moments, aiming to make the voices of nature and women heard for a more livable world.
My illustrative style seeks to be the voice of women, nature, and emotions to raise awareness. Far from being perfect, we are just simple beings with all flaws and imperfections, we are Justhings.
INTERVIEW WITH JAMIE BENYON
with Devon Harvey
What motivated you to first go into film?
From an early age I’ve always been interested in cinema. I was obsessed with Steven Spielberg’s E.T. growing up; Star Wars; Back to the Future, Indiana Jones - you name it - I loved all of those classic films. They excited me in ways that always put the biggest smile on my face. I loved that you could walk into a cinema and be transported into a different world or galaxy. I was also bullied a lot growing up, so escaping into the world of Star Wars for example made my anxieties disappear very quickly. Cinema became my home. It wasn’t until I was about 11 or 12 when I really started to understand the role of the director. I was watching a lot of the behind-the-scene features on my favourite DVDs and quickly realised that being a film director is job that anyone could do. You didn’t need a special talent just passion and a love for cinema - which I had tonnes of. I knew I wanted to excite and move people in the same ways these other films did, so I decided then and there to make the crazy decision to pursue a career as a filmmaker.
Did you always know you wanted to take on an directors/producing role?
Always. I’ve always been fascinated by actors, and the relationship they have with directors. I think actors are the greatest special effect any filmmaker can have. They’re the life and soul of the film, so I get immense joy helping them emerge into a character so they’re able to give a great performance. It’s all about building a friendship through honesty and trust, and you can only get that through the directing role. It’s very special. It makes the intensity of a shoot more bearable as everyone bands together and becomes a little family. I also knew I wanted to direct because I was quickly becoming obsessed with how the camera could move. Nothing excites me more than creating a scene that plays out in one shot or as little shots as possible. Cinema is different from other mediums like photography and theatre because the camera can move. There’s a rush that you get as filmmaker whenever you nail a complicated shot. It’s very addictive. I’m forever chasing that high.
What inspires your directing style?
I’m too early in my career to say I have a particular style. But I do try to direct in a way that best suits the story and the characters. That said, I do love economy when it comes to filmmaking. Nowadays with everything being digital, we have the ability to shoot as much as we want and just delete it if we don’t like it. It’s great. It does suit certain filmmakers. However, I like being disciplined. I like knowing that when I walk onto set I’ve thought about the shots, the staging, the performances - I like to be prepared and confident in my decisions. The filmmakers that excite me the most are artists that understand that less is more because there’s power in simplicity.
What’s next for you? What’s your next big project/goal?
My goal for 2022 is to direct as much as possible: music videos, short or feature films, branded content, commercials - all of it. I love being creative and making films or videos. I’m my most happiest when I’m on set. It’s the greatest feeling in the world. So, I’m really trying to get myself into a routine where I’m always making something.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking for get into film?
My biggest advice to anyone looking to get into film is don’t be scared. Pursue what you love. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one department - be a jack of all trades. Learn acting. Cut as an editor. Direct or learn how to light. Be passionate. Be kind. Be fearless. Remember, filmmaking is the greatest art in the world but we’re not saving lives, we’re making a film. Leave egos at the door. Be open. Be collaborative. But most of all… Don’t be dick. * And finally, tricky question, what is your favourite movie and who is your favourite director? Easy question. My joint top favourite films of all time are E.T. and Punch Drunk Love. Both are beautiful, exciting and moving films that I think everyone needs to watch and rewatch time and time again. My favourite director is Paul Thomas Anderson. For me, he is the GOAT. I’m in constant awe whenever he makes something. I also absolutely love Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, Lynne Ramsey, Barry Jenkins, Chris Nolan, Spielberg, Friedkin - everyone. I love cinema. And I love that it comes in all shapes and sizes.
THOUGHTS ON…. WORDLE
By Renée Lewis
It was around three weeks after I first saw a strange collection of differently coloured squares arranged in various columns and rows being posted on Facebook and Twitter that “Wordle” became a familiar word to me. And that in itself, I later found, was almost four months after software engineer (and Royal Holloway alumnus) Josh Wardle made his creation public to the world.
For those unacquainted with the premise of Wordle, the word game centres around correctly guessing a five-letter word. The chosen word changes every day and players have six attempts to guess what it is. With each word entered, players are shown which letters are not present in the word of the day (in grey), which are in the correct place (green), and which are in the word but in the wrong place (in yellow). I like to think of it as Hangman with a twist.
According to NY Times, Wardle – born in Wales but now a resident of Brooklyn – created the game in October 2021 for his partner Palak Shah, who loves word games and was already an avid player of NY Times’s daily crossword and Spelling Bee puzzles. She was instrumental in the development of Wordle, the title being a play on Wardle’s surname, by choosing 2,500 commonly known five-letter words out of an initial list of over 12,000. The game was shared with and thoroughly enjoyed by Wardle’s family on their WhatsApp group before being publicly released. In January 2022, Wordle had drawn in over 300,000 players, was bought by the NY Times Company for an undisclosed sum and moved to their website the following month.
As someone who used to religiously play Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training on Nintendo DS back in the day, I realised the first time I played Wordle that it would be right up my street – even though I did fail that first game and staring at those 30 blank boxes sometimes makes me forget every five-letter English word I know. What I find the most interesting about it is how the puzzles are released once a day. In this fast-paced digital world where we now have next-day delivery and episodes of Netflix shows are often released in one go, Wordle makes it impossible for players to spend hours and hours on their chosen device playing the game and instead leaves you wanting more. It effectively keeps people, including me, coming back each day to guess the next word.
Sometimes the game is easy and I’m able to breeze through it in three tries, whilst other times I can’t even seem to get the words after doing my own laborious process of elimination and literally resorting to making up words just to see which letters were in the correct place. Of course, guessing the correct word is incredibly rewarding, but I found it hilarious when I got to the end of my six tries and realised that I had forgotten that the words “ultra” and “aroma” existed. It’s also been an opportunity for me to learn new words, like “caulk” and “swill”, which I’d never even heard of before playing Wordle, and my mum and I now battle each other to guess the correct word in the least amount of tries. All in all, it’s great fun and a great way to exercise your brain.
Olga is a Chicago based freelance illustrator. Her aesthetic is minimalist and playful, with limited color palettes. She gravitates toward exaggerated shapes and proportions. Olga's artwork is female inspired and centric. She works digitally in Procreate and enjoys the newfound liberty of the medium.
Olga is half Korean, was born in Russia and lived and worked in London, Paris and New York before settling in Chicago where she is now based with her family. She is also a professionally trained chef, entrepreneur, avid reader, hobbyist photographer, caregiving advocate and a former corporate strategist.
By Loupe Cooper
Spreading greaseproof paper along the kitchen counter
I note how often I go into things headlong and unprepared
I steady the roll with a light touch of my hand
And go in search of scissors
Scissors found, I start to cut
But my thoughts still rove, so the roll escapes
It falls and races
Stretching its length across the kitchen floor
And a wry smile across my face
Later, still wry and reflective, I write:
If you know the inescapable shape of yourself
You have half a chance of working with it
I feel my own roundness
And know, that on a round planet, round things will roll
BOOK REVIEW BY KATHY BALDOCK
The Appeal - Janice Hallett
Enclosed are documents relating to the events surrounding the Fairway Players' staging of All My Sons, and the tragic death of one of its members. Another member is currently in prison for the crime. We have reason to suspect that they are innocent, and that there were far darker secrets that have yet to be revealed.
We believe that the killer has given themselves away. It's there in writing, hidden in the emails, texts, and letters. In the events surrounding the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick, and the question of whether that money was truly being used to fund her life-saving cancer treatment. Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth? Do you dare?’
This book is so hard to describe but let me tell you this book is addictive!!! Hallett’s use of emails and text messaging to get a story across is a genius idea. This did mean that I devoured this book in such a short space of time.
I am not going to go into the details of the book for fear of spoiling it for you all. What I will say is this…. The format of the book won’t be for everyone. Having said that if you get passed that I can almost guarantee that playing detective will be the most fun. I can really see this being used as a book club book and will invoke some great discussions and lots of different opinions!
For me the twist at the end I did not see coming and from someone who reads as much as I do that’s not an easy thing to do. I also got enjoyment in trying to understand who dies and the reasons why, but also who could have done it.
Don’t skip the details, everything could be a clue, do you know who was involved?
My name is Meg and I am a Devon based pattern designer and illustrator. I graduated from Plymouth University studying in Illustration and since then I have found my love for creating and making pattern designs. I enjoy creating images inspired by nature; from the the wonders of the night sky to some fun and adorable animal characters. I have also been finding new skills to develop and currently adore making hand punched mini rugs which I learnt during the first lockdown. When creating artwork my main goal is to have fun and to make people smile.
Website - Megharriet.com
Etsy - megharrietshop
Instagram - @megharriet