CREATURAMA, Covid & Creatures
It’s been some months since I last wrote a Blog, and what a few months those have been. Like the rest of the world CREATURAMA has been dealing with the Covid 19 Pandemic and the first thing to happen initially was the loss of ALL school workshops and exhibitions. The workshops went in a domino fashion, slow and painful as schools themselves closed down. Secondly ALL film, TV and Theatre work followed with two huge projects collapsing, and like many other creative’s in the entertainment world I found myself in a complete no win situation as all my usual revenue streams dried up. I felt powerless, as a business I have built up over 30 years seemed to stop over night (Actually March 19th 2020). So since March I have been surviving on the Governments Self Employed Support scheme, which is a massive pay cut – but yes, I am surviving! Unfortunately I was not awarded an Arts Council Grant, a decision unfathomable to me as I seemed to meet all the requirements; however, they have never supported CREATURAMA in the past so I decided to carry on anyway!!!
THE CREATURAMA CHRONICLES
Well…I simply couldn’t let CREATURAMA die could I? So the first proactive thing to do was to complete my set of three storybooks, the CREATURAMA CHRONICLES. While they’ve been available from the website for some time I always thought the third book DRAGONCLAW needed more work, so as March turned to April and LOCKDOWN arrived I spent time carefully expanding the plot and characters and finally all three books were uploaded to AMAZON.COM for availability on Kindle E-Books.
I’m very proud of these three books, and what they represent – a refusal to let a Global Pandemic destroy my business!
May 2020 saw a domestic transformation in my garden. Gone were some dead flower borders and in went a range of vegetables. I am no gardener, but we as a family are reaping the benefits of growing our own food (and we have more carrots than we know what to do with). This time in the garden, particularly with my 7 year old daughter, led to a revolutionary way of homeschooling, with the creation of her historical documentary YOUTUBE CHANNEL. THE DEADLY DISASTERS OF BETHANY JAMES.
THE DEADLY DISASTERS OF BETHANY JAMES.
The documentaries were a great way of engaging her… and more importantly ME! Sometimes, just sometimes, being a creative and homeschooling can come with a price, as the time you divert from your own creative projects to ensure the education of your offspring can be costly. However, In a creative project that would make homeschooling fun for us all as a family, we would talk about an historical disaster, find out all we could, then film a mini documentary, with models, yes you’ve guessed it made out of recycled materials by yours truly.
Bethany’s first documentary, TITANIC THE STORY, was mostly my creation, but by her third POMPEII END OF THE WORLD all three of us, Mummy Daddy and Bethany were all equally involved with Bethany acting it all out and Mummy creating some truly amazing music, and script editing. The success of these YOUTUBE documentaries was a real inspiration and suddenly Lockdown started to be a blessing in disguise for me personally. Her second documentary R101 THE FALLEN GIANT also created much interest and we even filmed extra material for a Bedford Museum who themselves are staging an exhibition on Airships when the current crises subsides.
FIGHTING THE FIGHT!
Like many professional artists, you are always fighting to ‘MAKE A LIVING’. Suddenly because of LOCKDOWN I was unable to do what I normally would do so I began to look at new ways of converting what CREATURAMA is. The first and largest project, which is still underway, is the huge revamp of CREATURAMA on YOUTUBE. I have a considerable amount of YOUTUBE videos already up and during the early part of the summer I expanded these by converting older videos and posting these. But, over the rest of the summer I have filmed over 30 new makes. These are currently being edited together and will be available on a subscription channel when they are completed.
And so as Lockdown continued the creative juices just started pouring! Suddenly everyday was filled with projects. In fact, if anything I think I am working more now than I ever have, so here is a HEADS UP! This weekend marks a new chapter for CREATURAMA that started nearly twenty years ago. In the year 2000 I created a HOW TO MAKE DINOSAURS book. It took me absolutely ages, creating a step by step guide graphically. I was pleased with the result…then the unthinkable happened… The computer died!!! Yes you guessed it. I lost the lot. After many attempts to retrieve weeks’ worth of work, I gave up, and frankly never wanted to think about trying again. But then, during Lockdowns heady creative explosion I have revisited the idea. This time I have expanded the concept to not just be dinosaur based, rather CREATURE based, going back to the roots of CREATURAMA and my love for all thing’s natural history. So, this coming weekend www.creaturama.com will have 12 BRAND NEW HOW TO MAKES… available on the shop. I have to mention here my wonderful wife, who has painstakingly proofed these new ‘Make’s’ and looks after my website (as I haven’t got a clue!)
HOW TO MAKE… 2020
12 BRAND NEW HOW TO MAKE Downloadable packs will be available this weekend from www.creaturama.com/shop. They are step-by-step guides on how to make dolphins to dragons, elephants to polar bears. They include a fact page about the animal, a ‘What You Need’ section and stage by stage photos of each make. They also include an ‘ANTHONY SAYS’ series of generalised hints on each individual make and a full SUPERHINTS page (This is generalised in each pack), covering the need to know basics. Each pack is 12 pages long with ten pages being the ‘Make’ and they are a measly £1.50 to download.
I’m really proud of these simple packs and it’s almost as if I should have done this sort of thing 20 years ago!
The packs are available from the website so can be worldwide. All I need now is YOU. If you are reading this, please let everyone know what I do and SHARE – SHARE – SHARE posts and tweets about these new resources to as many parents, teachers or just friends interested in making fun models
So CREATURAMA is not dead, it’s not even resting, it’s going full steam ahead with new projects and particularly new online venues for selling and promoting all things CREATURE!!! I will BLOG again soon but until then may I take this opportunity to wish you all well, and good health. And thanks for reading!!!!