Ryan James

 

I love a creative mess!

 

With only four songs left to go before this album is completely finished I am sitting here this morning thinking of ways I can promote it. I've worked poor Ray half to death with a cacophony of weird attempts at drum noises and blank expressions which he obviously must interpret as exactly what is in my head but to be honest, whatever I have brought to the table in this process, he has made it even better. I can't wait to show you what we have been working on, it sounds different from anything I've done before which is a conscious choice. It has Ray's style all over it which is exactly what I wanted, it is a thick, layered, orchestral collection and it won't be too long before it's all finished!

 

 

I think I've also had a touch of the post tour blues, I've been a bit mopey and have been cwtching into my creative room. Making it all comfy, packing my equipment away and getting ready to do more writing. I have a new album in mind already and have already started writing for that, I also have a poetry book in mind and a fiction novel, everything is still very much in the early stages right now so I'll just see how I plod along with it all I just think I need the focus right now to get me back on track. All my lists are in place, it's just going down them and ticking them off as I go along!

 

 

On the art front I have a few more commissions to finish off and then it's onto my exhibition work which is almost too exciting for me. I haven't properly painted in ages and I think I am going to need some new brushes because mine are looking a bit sorry for themselves!

 

 

I'll keep you posted as I go along and don't forget to keep checking back on the facebook group for more regular updates!

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

www.facebook.com/wolfecityUK

 

Tour Recap!

 

Tour Recap!

 

 

Well it's been a few days since I got back and I am now feeling back to something resembling human! I have walked the dog, watched more Walking Dead episodes than should be allowed and have almost public ally cried upon my return to the gym! I shall continue the tour gossip in the same manner as the last blog, venue by venue...

 

 

London : The Garage.

 

The venue was actually lovely and the sound was amazing! Sweet jesus the venue was hot though, it was like gigging in an oven but the night went well and although the crowd was a little sparse everyone enjoyed! I did what was possibly the best yodel of the tour and managed to meet some old friends while I was there! The only downside for the gig for me was the £4.69 for a pint. I swear I nearly choked on my own yodel!

 

 

Teignmouth : The Courtney

 

 

This was the gig that didn't happen for me. I had a dream the night before that it wasn't going to happen and when I arrived at the venue I knew exactly why. I never go down well in pub gigs. I've tried them over the years and have done more than my fair share and it always ends in disaster. So when I walked into the pub I just knew they weren't going to get me. On top of this was a mic shortage on the PA and a sound limit imposed by local residence so I took it as another sign that I was not supposed to play that night. So instead I took over the merch desk and did some drawings!

 

After the gig we all decided it was curry night and with a nice warm venue and a full belly the night ended well!

 

 

 

Bristol : The Tunnels

 

 

The last gig of the tour was by far my favourite. Everything was just lovely, we were all in a good mood and the sound and venue were lovely. It was a prank night so of course I got hit with a bra mid set ( and it was Maria's so it was NOT a small one ) so I did the only thing I could do in that moment. I put it on and sang madonna! I couldn't hang around for the rest of the gig because my Mr had driven up from Swansea so I could get home easier with all my equipment but I hear the pranks got bigger and better as the night went on!

 

 

I really did enjoy this tour. I was wondering for a while whether I'd truly enjoy playing music again and I did. Down to my boots I enjoyed myself. For now though it's about concentrating on finishing the new album and having fun with that. I can't wait to share new things with you.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

 

 

 

Tour Break Gossip!

 

Tour Break Gossip

 

 

Ok, so it's half way through the tour and I am back at home in bed catching up on some well deserved Z's. I ate my own body weight in chocolate and crap yesterday and I am about to suffer this afternoon in the Gym. I thought I would give you a little update on how everything is going with the gigs and fill you in on the news. I'll go venue by venue just to make it easier for myself!

 

The Full Moon

Cardiff

 

Firstly, THANK YOU to Mistress Lucy Turtle for getting me and all my equipment there, you are a real trooper and a true supporter of independent, live music!

 

The club itself was pretty much as expected of any live music venue in Wales ( quirky, interesting with a bathroom like a scene from a SAW movie ) and the sound was awesome. Seeing as it was the first gig of the tour I was nervous but a gentle calm came over me when I stepped on stage. I started to share my life, my stories and my music and it all just felt “right”. Added to the good vibe was meeting creators of an online magazine ( Bunbury Magazine ) who gave me a killer review for my set. After a massive pack down and a game of car Jenga with equipment we all managed to get everything packed away and bundle ourselves off to various houses, sofas and park benches to sleep for the night. All in all an awesome tour send off!

 

 

The Asylum 2

Birmingham

 

This was a bigger venue than I am used to! Being an acoustic act it's been a big adjustment playing on rock stages but the sound I have been given has added an awesome and interesting wallop to my music which I am definitely seeking now! The venue did get a little excited with the smoke machine and I felt like I was Sigourney Weaver in “Gorillas in the Mist” , only, a bit gayer. However, despite there being a little flatness in the vibe there that night ( not sure if it was all the tired musicians or the crowd or just the place ) I had a lot of fun. This time packing down included the van and we rumbled into the travel lodge at silly in the morning. I shared a room with the Owen-Midlanes and was let wide eyed at three in the morning deciding who snores loudest, Maria or a T – Rex? I got to catch up with my good friends Kelly and Jim and was actually asked to sign one of my art freebies so I of course spent the rest of the evening pretending I was a celeb! haha

 

 

The Corporation

Sheffield

 

This was a strange one. Apparently the promoter had put on another night, in another venue and had promoted that one instead of ours AND seemed to have charged us for the pleasure, but, it was actually my favourite gig so far. Not only because I met some cool new people, not just because my friend Nicki Hobbs from DEVOLUTION magazine sent some awesome people to review the gig but because the ENTIRE bunch of tour mates seemed to really pull together. I think we could all sense it was going to be a tough night crowd wise and an instinctive protective big brother type energy took over. Sankara and Noterminus REALLY looked after me and each other that night and it felt amazing. The venue itself was blatantly haunted and I don't mean by the spirit of cheated musicians PLUS I had my first DIVA moment of the tour. Yes, I had a hat crisis. My bag of hats went temporarily missing and I nearly clicked my fingers in a Z formation all over the venue but thankfully I found them and no one had to die.

 

( RANDOM MOMENT : I went outside to phone Stuart and I saw Mike, the camera guy pull something out of his bag which turned out to be bag pipes!!! In moments he played the most magical music I have heard in ages and I caught it on my camera. GO to the Wolfe City facebook page to check it out! )

 

The Dutchess

York

 

Firstly, York is beautiful. Secondly the dutchess is MASSIVE. Thirdly, this seemed to be the most boob intensive gig I have ever been to. Everywhere I looked there were boobs. BOOBS. There were so many boobs at this gig that even Paul, our young muscle building gym addict stopped talking about protein for ten minutes and seemed to sit there dazed. ( or was he just concentrating? haha )

 

I will admit that by this gig I was KNACKARD but according to everyone else it was my best one so far. The Yodel at the end was my quickest one so I think my yodelling prowess is returning! Both Noterminus and Sankara were on fire that night and I really enjoyed having the time to really absorb their sets fully. After another lengthy pack down and a sleepy night at another travel lodge The 10 hour journey from York to Swansea began. I have never in my life sat down for so long but by nine o clock I was cuddled in bed with my boys ( Stu and dog ) happily getting my snore on and preparing for the next leg.

 

4 down, three to go. There's so much video footage and pictures to upload I will do it all properly when I get back and have more time but for now I just wanted to check in with you and let you know how it's going. If you have the time and ability to make it to the remaining gigs then please do so! It would be awesome to meet some of you face to face!

 

Big Love

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

 

Tour is imminent!

 

TOUR is imminent!

 

 

This is probably the last blog I will be writing before I go on my gig-athon across the UK and I am at the point where if I think about it too much I need to go to the toilet, but I'm also excited about it a lot so I'm thinking about it a lot. Basically I'm living on the throne. My busted Keyboard got fixed this week so it's all in good time PLUS I finished a new song on the album so that's all going good too. Ray and I are also making as much room as we can to fit in more and more recording to wrap this up. It dawned on me last week that it's been a year we've been recording already but to be honest the sheer AMOUNT of work going into this project has been intense. I am still going to do a small acoustic piano-and-me type EP as well and that might get released along side it.

 

 

Now to remind you of the tour dates....

 

June 13th CARDIFF – THE FULL MOON

June 14th BIRMINGHAM – The ASYLUM

June 15th SHEFFIELD – The CORPORATION

June 16th YORK – The DUTCHESS

June 21st LONDON – The GARAGE

June 22nd TEIGNMOUTH – The COURTENAY

June 23rd BRISTOL – The TUNNELS

 

 

 

I hope you can make it to some of these and don't forget to come say hi to me afterwards. There is a little gap in the middle of the tour in which I'll be coming home for a few days ( thankfully, I'm going to miss my bf tonnes ) so in that gap I'll try to upload all the antics and take as many pictures as I can of me torturing Maria. In the meantime Hop on over to the Wolfe City Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/ryanjamesUK#!/WolfecityUK?bookmark_t=page ) where I will be uploading info on the go!

 

Until then, wish me luck!

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

Why does shock value work?

 

Why does shock value work?

 

 

Shock value is something that seems to have reached epic proportions in media at the moment. It seems most programs these days are based around people acting out, acting up, plain slapping each other about or being mean and none of us are shocked these days when we see something like that happening on our television screens. The behaviour itself doesn't surprise me but our attention to it has caught me eye. While I totally understand that there are people like this on the planet, why are we all so fascinated by them?

 

 

Shock value is short lived but what it cleverly does is MAKE US FEEL. In that moment we are no longer stressed out or sleep walking through our lives. The sheer horror of what we are seeing in a sense wakes us up. The same can be said when we see sheer brilliance in the human potential and that is something I think that lasts longer. In our attention to brilliance instead of horror we open the doors with ourselves to be inspired and that is, I think, the root of all change.

 

 

The questions this “shock value” culture we have created about us can be daunting to tackle but they will have to be eventually. Why are we sleep walking through our lives? Why do we need to see others demean themselves in order to feel connected to ourselves? Why do we need to detach from our situation by the means of horrifying ourselves? These are the tough questions that need to be tackled in order for us to transcend what we are currently creating. I don't think horror centred shock value is beneficial, I don't think it helps humanity progress, I don't think it's a good thing that people know the names of reality TV celebrities but not the names of the scientists that are out there right now trying to cure cancer.

 

 

Create within you the kind of culture you want to see around you. Think about what you divert your attention to. We create our society by what we pay attention to. Pay attention and be kind to yourself.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

Calm Down Gurl

(Monkey Bar gig)

 

Calm Down Gurl...

 

 

The great piano crisis of 2013 is over and I am now all sorted for the tour. I of course took it to the point where I was getting anxiety dreams but thankfully all that has stopped now and I am relaxed and getting ready. I bought myself a new keyboard to rehearse with which is a whole pile of awesome and I can't wait to get my mitts on it later and have a good sing song. For those of you who don't know Yamaha do the best grand piano sound and I must admit its going to be perfect for my next album. No, not this new one I'm doing but the one after that ( I always try to keep an album ahead of myself ) so it's all worked out for the best!

 

 

I would like your help now in any way you are willing or able to give it. Even putting a link on your social media can help but you know me, word of mouth is something that works best! If you like what I do creatively then TELL someone. This is how I sustain this part of my life and this seems to be how artists are surviving these days, on the good will of others!

 

 

In advance I thank you and if you are coming to see me on the tour then please come say hello afterwards. Connecting with new people is a major part of why I do what I do so saying hello definitely means something to me. In that aspect creativity is a bridge and one I'd like to meet you half way across.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

What is the root and centre of what you do?

 

What is the root and centre of what you do?

 

 

Every artist, every creative, every musician has surrendered to the flow of creativity within themselves. Every comedian and performer knows that it is in the surrendering to this flow that allows you to share it with those around you. We all know those kinds of gigs or exhibitions where the room seems electric and everything seems to just flow beautifully. Many artists like to promote a “message” or an ideal, a thought or an experience and recently I have been looking at what I'm doing. What am I promoting? What is at the centre of what I do? In order to answer that question I have to ask “What is it that I want people to take from my work?”.

 

 

After wrestling with that idea for a while I soon started to digest the idea that other peoples interpretation of what I do is none of my business. In the same way that someone else's opinion of me is none of my business. Not only is it none of my business but if I focus on what I want to give others instead of what they want to take I might inadvertently stunt their creative experience. What I have learned about surrendering to the flow is that IT is going to take you wherever IT wants to go. Although I am fascinated by the momentum of inspiration I truly believe it to have it's own agenda. That people get what they need at the time whether you intend it or not. Inspiration is bigger than it's components.

 

 

I guess with a tour around the corner I have been asking myself about the kind of journey I want to have within it. And I am making peace with the idea that it's not entirely up to me. While I believe it is true that you get back what you give out I also believe that creativity has a plan or itself and all I can do is surrender to it.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

Why the hell am I angry?

(photo by Lasma Poisa )

 

Why the hell am I angry?

 

 

I think I've had my first anxiety dream about the up coming tour, the only problem is, I can't remember it. I only know that I woke at half four this morning feeling randomly angry at the man who is currently trying to rescue my piano. I don't know why, he hasn't done anything wrong! My gut is in knots this morning and I haven't even left the bed yet.

 

 

I gave my busted piano to a good friend who tried to fix it but couldn't get to the inside of the piano to actually fix the problem but he referred me to someone who is looking at it as we speak. Worst case scenario is that I have to buy a new one ( thankfully I have created some spare cash at the moment to do it ) and I have rung ahead to the places I'm going to buy from to make sure it can arrive in time if the piano can't be sorted, meanwhile I'm on the prowl to borrow one as a severe, just in case scenario. Wish me luck on that front!

 

 

I have also had a tonne of ideas for new songs for the next collection, a tonne of new ideas for my next exhibition and a tonne of new ideas for books that I'm going to write and this madness all starts once I get back from this tour. At the moment all of my spare time is taking up emailing people to let them know where and when I'm going to be playing. For me, that's one of the fun things to do, taking time to get to know the people who enjoy your music. I can't wait to make some new friends and get some new experiences and then not long after I get back, fingers crossed the album should be near completion and I can start the packaging process to get it out to you all.

 

 

For now, I think I need to work out my anxiety on the treadmill and keep connecting with everyone.

 

 

Speak to you all soon

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

www.ryanjamesmusic.com

Lurgified!

 

Checking in...

 

 

It's actually been a few weeks now I think since I updated this blog but don't worry I haven't fallen off the grid. I've just been chilling out a bit more, getting my keyboard fixed ( hopefully ) and working my butt off in my day job. Just usual stuff, I have been smacked by the gods with a wonderful lurg so here I am, curled up in bed at 10 at night writing away and chatting to my dog.

 

 

It's been a lovely few weeks and it's been nice to chill from being so blog intensive. Recording has gone swimmingly and Ray and I finished “Meat”, a new track which I can't wait to share with you all. The upcoming gigs are getting scarily close and I am just looking forward to meeting some new people, getting some new experiences and having some more fun. I will admit though I am not looking forward to being away from Stuart, so that's the only downside.

 

 

I haven't really worked in any of my books and besides a few commissions I haven't done much painting either. I am just filling my sketchbooks and list-books with ideas. After I come back I am planning a CRUNCH time with a few projects, I am also going to revamp this website, ( I think it's looking a little sloppy ) and I'll go from there.

 

 

I'll check in again soon but now I must wipe my nose... AGAIN!

 

 

Big Snotty Love

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

The good kind of tired!

blurry cameraphone pic

 

No word of a lie, last night's gig was one of my favourites in a while. I don't think I've been that excited to play in years and I well and truly had fun. Sera Rabbett's LIVE MATTERS event was every bit the candle lit acoustic extravaganza I expected it to be. My keyboard survived the night although I'm not entirely sure how long it has left in it, so I'm all over ebay to get my mitts on a fair priced 88 key stage piano!

 

 

I just feel awesome!

 

 

It's great how a good gig can do that for you and it will probably be the last gig I do until the tour so it's put me in a good space for that.

 

 

 

If last night wasn't great enough, today me and Ray finished another song on the album and it's way more than I ever hoped it would be. I really can't wait to start sharing this all with you but I'm not going to rush. There's no pressure or deadline here.

 

 

Just a quick blog today because I'm just absolutely beat but really wanted to check in with you all!

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

Mozarts Swansea Gig Tonight!

Bringing the Fun!

(recording yesterday went AMAZINGLY well. Cant wait to show you what we did!)

 

Ok, so I haven't been in the most fun place lately but after A LOT of praying, burning candles and finally talking about it with friends I feel like I am back in my own skin. I knew getting back to music would bring up old stuff that needed my attention and healing myself and honouring myself and expressing myself is the reason I invest in most projects but lately, I haven't been bringing the fun!

 

 

I am FULLY aware of my ego and how at times I can take myself far too seriously which is why it's so important these days for me to choose people around me that are awesome. People that have momentum and enjoy themselves, and friends who can tell me when I am going of course. Those little pointers mean the world to me and bring me back to myself. With creativity as a whole re entering my life fully now I got scared of it and retreated. I am now healing and letting go of that fear and for the first time in what feels like FOREVER. I am having fun again. I am excited again. I am “Present” again. And I am feeling that passion wash over my system!

 

 

Allowing that into my heart has allowed it to show up all around me and believe me it's evident, everywhere! I am excited about gigging more and recording more and just being in the process of passion!

 

 

TONIGHT I have a gig in a local bar MOZARTS and I'm excited to see some of my mates there and hopefully I can make a few new ones tonight too! I have one more rehearsal, warm up session to do this afternoon before I pack down and get my kit to the venue! Hope to see some of you there!

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

www.hexxandthecity.blogspot.co.uk

 

Stop trying to take over the damn world!

 

Stop trying to take over the damn world and make a brand new one!

 

 

My name is Ryan James and I am a list addict! I make plans constantly and I love it. I try to avoid it and I try to embrace it all at the same time. There is no greater Joy than being at the beginning of something and watching it unfold and there is no greater pain in the ass than not having some project planned out and not having a clear vision of how you want it to go! I am in the middle of creating a bigger more productive phase in my work. There's a lot I want to do and a lot I need to do so I'm going to have to be strict on myself to get it all done.

 

 

I have worlds and characters in my head that need exploring. I have songs that are half written and are calling to be finished, I have paintings that are half finished and I want to get them done. It's all time management and that needs looking at! I don't chronically over work by any means but I think that the time when I am “on the clock” could be used more efficiently so that's what this new schedule is all about! Getting the most out of the moments I have dedicated towards expression. I feel creatively pulled towards a new momentum and a new way of doing things. I LOVE these feelings that sweep through your life!

 

 

And with that I must go and take care of what's in my head today!

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

www.hexxandthecity.blogspot.com

Secrets and Privacy!

say cheese!!

 

Secrets and Privacy.

 

 

I do share a lot with you lot! I share my lessons and my ideas, my thoughts and my dreams, sometimes my inner workings and political ideas. I am, as always, constantly growing and changing and these blogs have helped me to define parts of my character and figure myself out. There's something about seeing your ideas written down in front of you that helps you look at them differently. I am also very grateful that so many of you respond on my facebook accounts and directly on here. I have learned more about you lot too and that's what it's all about for me, connecting.

 

 

That doesn't mean I give away everything that is me. I have plenty of secrets and things happening in my life that are private in nature. I think surrendering out anything that in nature is private is unhealthy and I know it because I did it years ago! I share what I feel inspired to and what I think will help. I share my emotional processes and lessons. I share because I love to do it and I share because that's the kind of world I want to create around myself. People willing to share from a space of love and integrity.

 

 

There are some things I am willing to give away and some that I'm not. There are some secrets that feel incredible to release to the world and some in which that would feel a betrayal. As always you are welcome to take from me what I willingly give but there are some things that are meant for me. And just me. Respect your secrets, your privacy and your boundaries.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

www.hexxandthecity.blogspot.com

www.psychicswansea.co.uk

 

Passion as a journey not a destination!

 

Passion as a journey or a destination.

 

 

I love those long conversations with friends. The ones where you've talked for so long you've all forgotten to eat and then wolf down some chocolate only to have to keep you talking for even longer! Perfect way to spend last night! We talked about everything and anything and caught up on loads and then we got to the subject of passion. I've lived with it, I've lived without it and right now I feel I am healing a part of myself within it. It almost feels like some sort of limbo. Like I am an observer to my own internal workings and I'm closely digesting passion and how it works in the human system.

 

 

I know that passion and hunger are two different things. Hunger is a young persons game and I'm too old and too busy to get invested in it. Passion is timeless. It seeps into your body and takes over. It is that feeling of wanting to do something constantly just to remain in it's flow. I feel like I'm dipping my toe in that water again recently. I have fallen in love with writing again and am allowing that small amount of passion to grow but I would be lying if I said it had completely taken over. In chatting with my friend last night I hit upon a fear of it in my system.

 

 

Last time I allowed passion completely into my heart I took it to a destructive negative space. I'm not that person any more and I think holding passion now is a completely different experience but I'm still a little afraid of it. As with every problem in my life the healing begins with sharing, with writing, I journal and I connect. I reach out for information and others ideas and then I go inward. I create my own internal ritual. I retreat to a space of total silence and in that silence I can hear myself. Fear of silence is the fear of the change it can bring. Today I am ready for that change.

 

 

Wish me Luck

 

 

Big Love

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

 

Should you give your work away for free?

 

Should you give your work away for free?

 

 

This is something I have experienced, felt and thought about for a while. I was even considering giving my new album away for free but then something stopped me and made me think. If I don't place a value on my work, how can I expect others to? I don't have the luxury of a big label, massive marketing resources or any way for me to really overtly promote my work. I just go from person to person, gig by gig, exhibition to exhibition.

 

 

The good thing about the internet is that it provides such a huge platform for artists and musicians to promote themselves but it has also eradicated the line between professional artists and hobbyists. So how can you make your way when there are so many people around you doing a similar thing? The answer that has been given to me is to give away your best work for free. But if you give away your best work do you then linger in a space of overt hope for someone to but what's left? Once someone has had the best of you for free are they really going to pay for anything else?

 

 

I believe wholeheartedly that artists deserve to get paid for their work. They should be paid for gigs, their albums and their artwork. There is always a bit of give and take with any industry and I am fully aware that all compensation is not monetary but you should be compensated. The people willing to invest in your work are the people you invest in. If there are any “extras” or “freebies” to be given I think it should be given to those who have already invested in you. Supporting those who support you. In my experience, any time I have given an album away for free people seem to take it and run! It has taught me about the best form of advertising I have available to me.

 

 

Word Of Mouth.

 

 

Your real friends, your real supporters, your real listeners will talk about you. They will help you. These will be the ones who are parting with their pennies to put money in your bank. Money has worth and if you don't carve out at the very least an expectation of it then you can't carry it's worth. Your work has value. You have value. Your time and effort have value. Do not give to those who have no intention of investing in you.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

Is a free press a good thing?

 

Is a free press a good thing?

 

 

Forgive me for thinking aloud here. I have for a while kept a watchful eye on the nature of what media is thought to be compared to what it has become. I have watched the media as a whole turn itself into a self invested, aggressive animal that bullies without conscience, kills without mercy and convicts without evidence. It truly is a “trial be media” culture these days with so many not attempting to analyse it any deeper than the turn of a newspaper.

 

 

I do believe in freedom of speech but I also believe in accountability. In any other walk of life if I cause excessive harm to another person I would be accountable. Why is it different for a newspaper? Public interest I think would be better served if it was built around concise, informative, factual information. Instead we have sensationalism, public witch hunts and consistent, unapologetic bullying campaigns.

 

 

I know that I can be as ever a wide eyed naïve believer in all the goodness of humanity, I just can't understand why a conglomerate with such power belittles itself so thoroughly. With the power to enlighten and enrich an entire country the media could be an overwhelming force for good. Instead, insecurity has lead it to a place where it has sold itself out and it does it so coldly.

 

 

To me the word “allegedly” before a story begin immediately makes me want to stop reading. I am not interested in rumours. I am interested in what's actually happening. I don't need sensationalism, the real world is big and bright enough. We don't need to dramatise the banal when the real undercurrent of what is happening is so huge. I do think a free press is a good thing and essential to a free thinking culture. I also think that you are accountable for your actions and I certainly don't see the law reflect this right now.

 

 

As always, share your thoughts and opinions on this.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

 

Is self invention a good thing?

 

Is self invention a good thing?

 

 

I remember for years the absolute craziness of living for that ever elusive “them”. Preparing my work for an audience that at the time didn't exist. Gearing my words, my art and my music based on a self invented assumption of what I thought others wanted. Then there entered a moment in my life that changed everything. I realised, without any bitterness, self deprecation or narcissism, that nobody really gives a shit. Most are way too busy dealing with their own stuff.

 

 

I realised that the external “fan base” I had created in my head was completely self invented.

 

 

I, like so many, had fallen into the trap of fame seeking through my art. It left me feeling hollow and empty and to be honest ran my mind and body into the ground. Then, one bright learning curve entered my life and I woke up. I took the time to re learn my art, re learn what kind of artist I wanted to be. My art is now a bridge for connection. A vessel for expression. The idea of “fans” freaks me out. These days I would rather make friends. I have a new tour coming up and I can hand on heart say, I am equally as excited about meeting and making new friends as I am about sharing my new songs and work. I have never been this balanced in my approach to creativity.

 

 

Of course I see around me a lot of people where I was. I think creating a fan base in your head is self soothing for a time when you want to share your art with the world and it isn't being received in the way you thought or hoped it would. This doesn't mean that you're art isn't doing what it's supposed to do. You are still helping, still inspiring and more importantly, creating your own authenticity. Maybe instead of self inventing, you self reinvent? Instead of creating an idea around something that isn't there you realise the preciousness and magnitude of what is.

 

 

Respect your journey but love the moment.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

If only we could imagine.

 

If only we learned to revere scientists in the same way we do celebrities. If only we learned to revere our bodies instead of compare them. If only we learned we have more than enough to love ourselves AND everyone else too. If only we learned that respect is something we give to ourselves not demand from others. If only we learned that you can only create world peace from inner peace. If only we learned that silence IS the language of God. If only we learned to treat the world as we do our family. If only we had integrity enough to perpetuate self honour. If only we spent the money that we do on guns on healing the sick. If only we learned Personal Responsibility. If only they taught yoga in schools. If only we took the grain we're using to feed all the cows and used it to feed every hungry mouth on the planet. If only we had a respect for nature.

 

 

Imagine that we cared for the mentally ill instead of criminalising them. Imagine we prayed for the people we call our “enemies”. Imagine we created a compassionate loving energy everywhere we went. Imagine once a week we all invested in a random act of kindness. Imagine we knew how good it feels to give. Imagine that all children knew their parents loved them whether they were able to show it or not. Imagine everyone made the time to build a community again. Imagine that we knew our neighbours as well as we know our “facebook” friends. Imagine that we knew love is an inexhaustible energy. Imagine we knew that all anger is only ever another word for pain. Imagine we lived like Jesus/Buddah/Mother Teresa instead of arguing about them. Imagine we knew we had the power of the universe inside us and the wisdom of our ancestors beside us.

 

 

If only we could imagine like this again.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

Creativity as Mysticism

 

Creativity as Mysticism

 

 

I have always been driven by the desire to understand and unravel. And personally I don't think you can delve too deeply into understanding creativity without coming across some form of mysticism. Drums and music were used in the first ceremonies and ritual dancing to music has long been a part of the human psyche. The more I have dived into the human spirit in my time on the planet the more I have seen, felt, heard and experienced the rhythm at it's core. Artists tap into that rhythm when we create. It's that moment where self love and self care take over and you rid yourself of whatever pain has been holding you back.

 

 

To remain fully emotionally present within your art is always a challenge. There is always a lot to do and a million things to consider and it's so easy to bring that chaos into your work. I do my best to remember the divinity of creativity. My piano can be just as much of an alter, my notebooks are just as much a bible. These are places of emotional reverence and spiritually centred self care, I see the divinity in that moment. Absolute.

 

 

I think we create our own “little religions” around our work. Our own set of dogmas. The vastness of what creativity is can be too much to handle for some but it can be a relentless life quest for others. Be sure the structure you have built around your work, your inner religion, is there to support it, not hinder it's flow.

 

 

Be brave enough to rise to whatever challenge is set before you. Surrender is without question its own baptism by fire. When you create your own inner structure, create it in a way that it always has room to grow so that when creativity flows it doesn't do too much damage.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

Be kind to yourself.

 

Be kind to yourself.

 

 

Sometimes you need to get REAL clear about what you want and where you want to go. Sometimes it's better to just surrender and go with the flow. To shift from one to the other without putting pressure on yourself takes time and practice. I've learned a lot about the nature of beating yourself up and trust me it doesn't serve anyone. Sometimes when I'm creating something it can feel very intense, the subject matter can sometimes be dark and heavy and I have learned to be self caring in amongst that. Don't get me wrong sometimes my subject matter is ridiculous, tongue in cheek and outright daft but I take care of myself in amongst that too.

 

 

If you don't tend to who you are your work suffers. I know as artists we tend to put our work at the centre of our lives and I don't think that's necessarily the best move. Your work is an expression of who you are and a dissection of your experience. If you aren't experiencing yourself, your life, your energy then it simply isn't flowing into your work. Take time out to look after yourself and harness the substance of who you are. Be kind to yourself. Eat well. Sleep in. Heal your wounds. Self care.

 

 

When I don't do this I end up making silly mistakes and wasting time. So to be in that self caring place helps and benefits me. So for today, go and give yourself a little love!

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

Creative Pace.

 

Ah its a wonderful Welsh morning in Swansea! The rain is hammering against my window and the sea has gone from silver to grey. I am sat up in bed with a cuppa and am contemplating everything that has been plodding through my mind recently. I have a musical day ahead of me with a bit of rehearsing and then over to Ray's to lay down three templates for the next three songs we're recording.

 

 

Everything feels strange again today. Like a weird limbo has taken over.

 

 

I have spoken many times about how I work creatively. Going from that space of having tonnes of projects on the go and enjoying it and then wanting them all finished and done because I can't fit anything else in. I do love those moments when everything is finished but it really isn't long before I pick up another project to get started on. I read somewhere that human beings are happiest when they are progressing toward something. When we are on a journey. The more I look at things the more I tend to agree with that.

 

 

It's that balance between enjoying the day at hand and also knowing it is part of a bigger plan to create something that is a unique expression of you.

 

 

I will be honest, I don't always get that balance right. I often slip into the mindset of putting WAY too much pressure on myself and throwing way too much at myself. Which I know is strange because the second I feel that kind of intense pressure the first thing I do is come to a complete stop. I'm almost phobic about stress these days. I can't let it exist in any overt way in my life yet I seem to continually try?!

 

 

I tend to be very goal orientated in nature but I mad a point of not making any extra goals this year that weren't based around self care. The album, the books, the exhibition are all things I set in motion last year and all seem to be coming into fruition now. It feels like this year is the last shove towards getting these creative things finished. Maybe that's why this little dance is happening? I have been thinking a lot about the pace of my own creativity lately and what is most beneficial for me. I LOVE to be continually creating but I also need to do it in a way that gets me the results I want in a way that isn't harmful to my well being.

 

 

In order to do this I need to go one day at a time. Letting each project unfold in it's own way at it's own pace.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

River of Bones....

 

A very good friend of mine Richard Waters made this beautiful video for the title track of my last album “River Of Bones”. I think as awkward as I am in front of the camera it came out beautifully and is something I am proud of. Richard is an exceptionally talented director and shares my love of all things horror and gore. He even has a blog dedicated to it which you can look at here ( http://richmwaters.blogspot.ie/ ).

 

 

I can already see a stark difference in production and style between the last album and the new one. And although I will never be far from my love of all things acoustic I wanted to return to my roots with this new album by incorporating the synthetic. Ray truly is producing the shit out of this new album. I wanted all the influences from his project “Overloaded Flesh Computer” ( https://soundcloud.com/#overloaded-flesh-computer ) all over this album and I can feel his writing style all over the songs. He has written intensively to bring out the best in the music and on one song re wrote the whole damn thing! It is without question the most collaboratively I have ever worked. With it passing the half way mark now I know this bunch of songs wont be long before I can share them with you.

 

 

I have lots of plans and idea to explore musically and am writing more music again! I really do feel like I am in one of the best positions I have been in musically for a long time and I wanted to share that feeling with you.

 

 

Thank you for tuning in and listening.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

How do we value life?

 

I woke up this morning to see my facebook completely blow up over what happened in Boston. My heart broke when I saw the picture of an 8 year old girl who died from this horrific incident and I was inspired to see so much compassion from everybody. Today I will light a candle and pray for those who are healing and those who have transitioned. It raises so many difficult issues when something like this happens. I spoke recently about compassion in an older blog in reference to Margaret Thatcher. There are some deaths we seem to celebrate and others mourn. I personally don't see the difference or hierarchy in any value for life.

 

 

As a spiritual person I try my best to cultivate a reverence for ALL life. That reverence is unconditional. We can see from this horrendous thing in Boston what happens when we don't do that. We can see what happens to a heart and mind when it is detached from love. Are we going to spend our time hating, vilifying, blaming and lashing out thereby creating a civilisation that breeds these kids of people?

 

 

There are people right now out there in the UK buying music to celebrate the death of a woman. Ding dong the witch is dead. More like, ding dong our integrity's dead. How we treat life shows our quality as a person, as a society and as a culture. I know this is a separate issue in terms of politics and terrorism but underneath all of that is always the same human story. There are people beneath the paper and the stories.

 

 

I think compassion is unconditional. When it isn't unconditional I think it's more about approval. When we as a society, as people, forget that we are all human beings with a right to live and be loved we do ourselves and each other a great disservice. I think there is a lesson for us in everything we experience. The lessons in this horrendous tragedy are many but I am hoping it helps us respect life. Revere life.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

Embracing your inner lunatic!

Embracing your inner lunatic!

 

I love how thoughts feel inside my head. I am a self confessed thought addict with a brain space that is as crazy as I am. I don't pretend not to be either! Embracing your inner lunatic has always worked for me especially creatively. It takes a special kind of person to yell at an inanimate canvas because the colour red you've painted on it doesn't look right and it takes a special brand of Obsessive compulsive behaviour to keep playing the same three chords over and over again until they fit the lyrics of a song.

 

 

Creative people are crazy and I am proudly one of them!

 

 

I can be the most calm, serene spiritually focussed person on a daily basis but sit me in front of a canvas or a piano and a whole bunch of stuff will come out. It's without question the place I go to to heal myself. My wounds, my crazyness and everything else comes to the front to a space that it open to receive it. I genuinely have no idea what I am about to write when I sit at the piano. I have gone down the route of “trying” to write a particular song and it never works. I have sat there trying to get a love song out and all that appears on the keys is a pain I thought I had dealt with years ago. In a weird way people that know my music know a different side to me, a side sometimes that is unfamiliar to me. I guess that is where there is a separation between the art and the artist.

 

 

I think it is important for all artists themselves to make that distinction. It is so easy to become enchanted by the process of art that it can become consuming. When you draw that line you create a space where you can self care and make sure that you're doing silly things like, eating and sleeping! ( yes artists I know you ). Taking care of yourself is paramount and making sure that you art survives through you. You are the space through which it comes into the world. If you don't take care of that it ends up with you chopping your own ear off.

 

 

Be kind to yourself and stay loving.

 

 

Big love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

The art of connecting.

 

The art of connecting.

 

 

The reason I write, every day, in one journal or another, an online blog or writing out a book concept is for one single reason. To connect. I've been thinking about connection as a whole entity these last few days. When does it stop being expression and start being co dependant? When are you solely getting it off your chest and when are you actively looking for someone to connect with? I think all of us are, on some level looking to connect with each other. The entire social media empire has been built on it. When it's dealt with healthily it can create incredible connections and loving interactions. When it's abused it can be voyeuristic and also narcissistic.

 

 

All I have ever wanted to do creatively is explore connection and recently I have been asking myself why. Why is connecting so important to me? It would be silly for me not to delve into the inner emotional aspects of it just to figure out if the reason I want to connect externally is because I have over looked an emotional connection internally. It is also fun to connect. I can't think of a better play time than two people just opening their hearts and sharing. Maybe it's a flavour of both? Maybe we all swing from one end to the other? It's made me think a lot more deeply recently about community, friendship and the dynamics of bonding.

 

 

Are we really looking to express or are we searching for the love that is ultimately within us?

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

The best free advertising for artists!

 

Word Of Mouth

 

 

It's easy with all the on line distributors and free spaces and websites that musicians have access to, to forget the most viral and potent form of advertising. Word of Mouth. If your friend sends you something you are more likely to look at it rather than randomly coming across things on the internet. Word of mouth is how my music and art sustain itself. I am a DIY musician and artist so the more my friends and listeners and collectors tell people about my work then the more work I get.

 

 

The only threat to word of mouth seems to exist amongst musicians and artists who are infected with the idea of competition. Who believe if they help you then they aren't helping themselves. I have met a few of these over the years and am thankful enough to say that there aren't any in my life right now. I've learned to spot them when I'm out and about there and avoid them at all costs. I am also grateful to say that I have decent friends around me these days who actively support and show others my work. They understand that each person they connect me to helps bring me more.

 

 

I also actively support and help local artists and bands I like. I do this by TELLING people about them. I'll send a message, to someone who I think may like their work and I love it when artist get commissions and bands get gigs this way. I really feel like I've helped. I also help by buying from local artists and buying merch and CDs from bands I like. I know myself how each sale can help to fund you so I help as and when I can.

 

 

I think that when you invest in a community in this way it also invests in you. If you have friends who are artists, musicians and creatives then please, do what you can to help. A small share of their work, or even better, directly emailing someone you think might like their stuff really does help. And if there are any artists reading this, be kind to each other, help each other. Be the kind of community you want to see out there.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

Have you gone absolutely bat-shit crazy yet?

 

Have you gone absolutely bat-shit crazy yet?

 

 

It's taken me years to come to terms with being weird. While school friends were wondering about who to snog at the local disco I was face planting a book and wondering about the mystical origins of mankind. For years I thought that there was something “wrong” with me, I considered seriously whether I was mentally ill, I couldn't figure out where I was in relation to others. The older I've gotten the more I have realised that being in ownership of yourself means freeing yourself of what you think others think about you. I created worlds inside my head, on paper and in paintings as a means of escapism. I would be alone a lot of the time simply because I just didn't fit. I have found groups of people, friendship circles along the way but at a deep level I have never really shaken that feeling that I didn't belong.

 

 

In examining that underlying belief I have been using what would have normally been a means to escape facing that as a means to express it. I am ready to embrace those inner worlds in ways I never was before. This current creative wave that is floating through my life is creating a space that is more centred around expression and is infusing me with a courage within it. I am ready to share my inner worlds. I am ready to let some of them go. I am ready to heal some of them. I am ready to share.

 

 

I have learned that the only place I really need to fit in is my own mind.

 

 

If I am crazy, then I'll embrace that crazy and it will be the most authentic crazy I can muster!

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

Perfectionism is a disease!

photo by Leezan Davies @ The Thekla Bristol

 

Perfectionism is a disease

 

 

Perfectionism does nothing other than cripple most artists both creatively and in the business side of things. I used to pride myself on being a perfectionist and it got to the point where albums didn't go released and artwork didn't get done because I wouldn't allow myself the time to make mistakes. Making mistakes makes a person!

 

 

Perfectionism is ultimately a means to gain approval.

 

 

It cultivates a fear and an anxiety of not only how you perceive your work but inevitably how others will too. In order to achieve any level of perfectionism you first have to surrender yourself to your inner critic and I have neither the time nor the interest in doing that these days. My energy is served better when I allow myself room for growth. I serve myself better when I treat each piece of music and each piece of art that I do as an experiment.

 

 

When you seek perfection you seek dishonesty. In order to achieve it you need to remove yourself from being who you are into a space of control. The root of all creativity is surrender and there's no room for a controlling attitude within that. Every artist worth their weight has a hard drive full of unfinished work, a sketchbook filled with half doodled ideas and notebooks upon notebooks of books and plays ready to be finished. It is the nature of what you are.

 

 

I would rather make a million mistakes as the person I am than make them trying to be something I'm definitely not.

 

 

Be yourself, make mistakes and learn to laugh and learn through them!

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

Being Vulnerable IS being strong.

 

Being vulnerable IS being strong.

 

 

I spent years trying to protect myself from pain and I believed, like many others that to be vulnerable was to be weak. But what is vulnerability really? It's just a state of authenticity. It's an honesty. It's saying to yourself that yes, that DID hurt. When people try to be “strong” all they're doing is moving themselves into a state of denial. In that denial you completely abandon the actual emotion in your system and try to force something else in it's space. To be vulnerable is to be in a state of complete honesty with yourself.

 

 

Every time I sit at the piano and write, every time I journal in my paper diaries or write on here I am ready to be vulnerable. To put myself honestly out there. Of course I grow and change as often as I can but if I am not honest as a starting block then change can't come. Change and evolution need a solid starting block on which to leap from and that starting block for me has always been being honest. To be honest you need to be vulnerable. To be vulnerable you have to understand that some things are just going to hurt. Fear of that hurt is only a fear that you wont survive it. You can. Most of you already have done.

 

 

When you dramatise your pain you give it more power than it ever really has.

 

 

It's ok to be vulnerable. It's ok to be fragile. It's ok if you're hurting. Admit where you are and it will open doors to where you want to be.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

www.ryanjamesmusic.com

Margaret Thatchers passing.

 

Margaret Thatcher

 

 

A woman who seems to be revered and hated in equal proportion. On the news of her death I have already seen countless news feeds, twitter explosions and some sick celebrations of the event. Do we as a nation have the brainpower left to distinguish between the person and the work? How would you feel if it was your mother or family member? Please, if you can't respect her then show enough respect for yourself to act admirably. I too, strongly disagree with a lot of her political decisions but I admire her strength for achieving what she did. Celebrating someone's death says WAY more about you than it ever will about her.

 

 

She is in our minds because she achieved something no woman has done before her or has since, she became prime minister of Great Britain. I think that achievement in itself is admirable especially in the climate for women at the time. If you can look passed what you agreed or disagreed with in her political views she was simply a woman who strode to achieve something and then did it. And if there's one thing you can say about Mrs Thatcher is that when she said she was going to do something, she did it.

 

 

I am not writing this to explore her political views or the ways in which she shaped the country. As a welsh man to not have an avid hatred of Thatcher is almost blasphemous, but I don't. I don't have an avid hatred of any human being. And please remind yourself that she was a human being. She was a mum, a wife, she wrapped Christmas presents and she drank tea. As I watched today so many people “dance on her grave” before she's even in the ground I had to express my disgust. Is this what we have become now? Do we no longer distinguish between disagreeing with someone's views and hating them as a person? Are we so invested in our own opinions that we can no longer see outside of them?

 

 

A woman died of altzheimer's today. Do you really need to know who she was or what she did in her lifetime to know how to react to it?

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

When did we all get so f**king angry?

 

When did we all get so F**king angry?

 

 

I've been healing a lot lately. Taking the time to write and paint and make music. In the middle of that creative healing state I realised that for many years I have just been so ANGRY! I had no idea that this way of being in the world had been perpetuating itself through my life. It was an undercurrent that I thought I had dealt with but in the middle of all this reflection I could not deny what was staring at me in the face. For years I have completely unconsciously poured this unrelenting rage into my work and now it is time for it to be healed again.

 

 

I remember being angry years ago because of a whole range of things that happened which I wont go into here today and I thought I had taken the time to heal it. I hadn't. Part of it had buried itself into my subconscious and had become an energy that was beginning to spill over into my life. I think now that I have created a life that I love so much I have become more protective of it. Therefore I will not now allow anything harmful or detrimental to it to exist around me. So I am healing again, taking it to a new deeper level.

 

 

I understand now that all rage, ALL RAGE is only pain.

 

 

So I have things left to heal and through the reflective mirror of creativity I am going to continue doing that. Finding the wounds and opening them up to the light inside of them. Taking the lesson, not the experience, forward into the rest of my life.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

Love, Love and then some more love!

 

 

Love, Love and then love some more.

 

 

I am just so grateful right now. Everything I wanted is happening or is about to happen. I can literally feel the Universe converging around me to bring me more wonderful things. I have no idea what they are yet but I feel it's potency and it's connection. Sat here in my “creation station” next to a warm radiator and fluffy dog I'm feeling all reflective this evening. As I prepare my week ahead and get more of the annoying work bits and pieces out of the way so I can get my teeth into the juicy concepts I want to explore, I feel peaceful and calm.

 

 

There is a different sense of order creating itself around me. I can't quite put my finger on it but I have developed a keen eye for the rhythms of my life over the years and this is something new. A long time ago I learned the value of surrender. To not put your self in the centre of your life but to put your heart and your love there instead. This feels like a new structure, like I'm walking on a new carpet or rug. I don't know if I'm even making sense I just know things are changing again.

 

 

I believe in the Universe, and I believe in living from your centre. Exploring your authenticity is always worthwhile. Every time I screw up and go off course it's always because I haven't been true to myself. It's always because I have applied someone else's rules to my life. I know that we have a powerful and universally connected intuition, an inner voice that tells us who we are and reminds us of our strength and our love. Right now in the silence of my heart I feel that voice.

 

 

I am as curious as you are as to where it's going to take me.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

Have we lost art to sensationalism?

 

Have we lost art to sensationalism?

 

 

Shock value has seem to have gotten way more “shock” these days than actual value. You can't turn on a channel without some fame obsessed numpty willing to sell their soul for attention. This is no actual news to anyone, it's been happening for a long time now but with it completely de constructing the landscape for artists we are yet again moved to a space to create something new. I always tend to look for the opportunity in every situation because let's face it, just sitting around complaining about it doesn't get anyone anywhere.

 

 

With social media being what it is and the way the internet has shaped the way we sell and share our works a personal connection with our fans/collectors/audience is absolutely essential. The sheer accessibility to your work, the ability to browse and move on and dealing with the incredible volume of artists out there it's easy to resort to attention grabbing actions. Unfortunately what you get stuck with tends to be only the attention for the attention seeking act. I remember once a man in my local area ran through the city naked as a publicity stunt to promote his band. I don't remember the band, the music or even his name and to be honest, if someone stoops to that level I'm not interested either. I might be an old bugger but I remember the days when artists would let their work speak for itself. I don't mean hide it in a vinyl at the back of a shop or anything but bring what you have to the table. If people are interested then they'll invest in it. If they aren't, no amount of gimmick or inflated gesture will get them to.

 

 

Revere you art as sacred and treat other artists the same.

 

 

Bring it to the table and let it bleed out into the world. Yes it will take time and you will need a day job at the beginning, middle and sometimes the end, depending on the need for your art in the world at this time but that shouldn't discourage you from doing it. More important than the art itself is the passion of the artist creating it. The world needs more of you. Selling yourself out means selling yourself short. There are still people out there looking for artists with integrity, character and substance. TRUST ME. You are not alone.

 

 

Mass media is a self perpetuating organism that has not now nor has it ever defined what place art has in the world.

 

 

It will try and it's entirely up to you whether it will succeed.

 

 

Are you brave enough to bring you art, your whole art and nothing but your art to the table?

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

How to value your work.

 

*pretty much how yesterdays recording session went!

 

How to value your work.

 

 

I, like many other artists am fine with the creative process. I can paint all day long and be quite happy in it, but nothing will bring me out in a sweat of confused catatonic paralysis than when someone asks me “How much?”. You want to share your work, you want to get paid but you don't want to over price and you don't want to undersell. The truth is, you'll do it anyway so make peace. The most important thing is to find the audience for your art. It may not be in your town, your city or your country but it is out there somewhere. Do NOT get into the habit of undervaluing your work just because no one in your immediate vicinity understands or even likes what you do.

 

 

Always take into account the amount of hours you spend on a piece. It's a skill I learned in Uni and it's served me well. Even at minimum wage you'd be surprised how much an hour you should be making. Of course, it's always relative. Sometimes a five hour piece can bring way more than a twenty hour one depending on marketability and size generally DOES matter to the regular consumer.

 

 

Always make yourself a brief and get as much information from the client about what they want before you put pencil to paper! This drastically avoids doing more work than you should. Give your clients options but don't let them take the creative lead. They're paying you for your creative input so why are you asking them? Mainly because you are afraid that if you get it wrong they wont pay you. If it's a massive amount of money and time you are putting into a piece then draw up a small contract or ask for some money in advance. That will definitely stop a lot of people who aren't interested in paying you.

 

 

Use as much street smarts as you can. Always consider the time and effort you put in, materials, research what similar artists are selling their work for and the environment it's being put up for sale in.

 

 

Hope that helps

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

www.wolfecity.co.uk

www.ryanjamesmusic.com

Being Present.

 

Being present

 

 

One of things I love most about creativity is that it forces you to be present. You can't be anywhere other than in the moment it captures you. When a painting or a song flows through you there is no other option than to surrender to it and allow it to move through you. We often get so busy with all the bits and pieces that run a life that we forget to sit within it. We forget to take a moment and just be present. How often do you have a conversation with someone but you're thinking about something else?

 

 

Being present means sharing what you have in that moment and it's the fear of that honesty that keeps people “on the run!”.

 

 

Sometimes when I create, and this happens a lot in song writing, things will come out that I never intended. I will end up singing about a heartbreak I thought I had resolved, or an old wound I haven't thought about in years. Most times when I sit to create I am just allowing that space to exist for creativity to flow, but I have learned like many others, that creativity flows in it's own time and at it's own pace.

 

 

Creativity is a healing force in my life and always has been. Throughout any form or sort of transition or upheaval I start to create. When I am learning or growing in a more active way I start to create alongside it. It is the fear of that healing and that resolve that sometimes keeps people from being in the moment. When you accept it as a part of your journey you learn to be still and in that stillness you learn to be present.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

Check Yourself.

Check Yourself.

 

 

It's easy when you're creatively focussed to continually work. It your passion, your play but sometimes you also have to bear in mind that it's work too. As much fun as you might be having you might also be wearing yourself down. I did. If you're lucky you'll have put a good routine down early on, if you're hungry then you'll throw routine to the wind and work till your fingers ache! After that year away I have been consciously working hard to create a healthy routine for my creative works that doesn't eat at my spirit. I'm all O.K with being tired but there's a huge difference between being tired and depleting your very essence! There is also that danger of falling into such a routine of working that you forget to actually promote yourself!! It's all very good rehearsing till silly o clock on the morning or painting till your fingers bleed but if you haven't created a platform to share your work then you aren't putting food on your table.

 

 

Are you really giving yourself the time to renew, replenish and help yourself?

 

 

Are you really though?

 

 

As artists we all draw from the experiences of our lives so be sure you have a life to draw from! Dedication to your craft is admirable but your life equates to more than the sum of your work. I have personally given myself a cut off. At 6.30 I stop doing pretty much everything most nights. I can work all day long as hard as I want to but at that time, the paint brushes get washed and the piano gets put away. Sometimes I do need to work a bit more and we all know what it's like around commission time but I don't make a habit of it. If I get an idea then of course I jot it/scribble it down but the weight of the work doesn't start till the morning after.

 

 

I need my life, my boyfriend, my friends, my walks with the dog, my family and all the little connections that I love and make up a part of who I am. I used to think that being a workaholic was noble, it's not, it's stupid. It inevitably hurts you and then hurts those around you. You need time, you need balance.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

That which must not be named!

 

That which must not be named.

 

 

There seems to be this issue amongst all creative's that no one really wants to speak up about or own up to. It's that tiny issue we all pretend not to have. Jealousy. Yup, the good old fashioned green eyed monster. It can be so sneakily covered up and creatively glossed over that you could almost be convinced that the “tragically cool” are above it. No one is. Not a single person. No. If you are pretending that you don't get affected by it then you are in denial. Yes you are.

 

 

I used to be terrible with it. To the point of where I wouldn't actually be able to gig!! I never envied people's skill on their instruments, for me it was always more about their apparent “ease” with their work. It took years and many musician friends for me to realise just how much of an image that is. Here's a secret I want to let you all in on...

 

 

All musicians are just as crazy and insecure as each other. Yes they are.

 

 

Whenever I would get a bitchy comment or a snide dig, or a copycat musician and a vibe thief I used to get quite defensive. It wasn't until I was ready to admit what I was feeling that I became more compassionate. Jealousy is nothing more than insecurity, we all know this. To cure it, we need to surrender to our creativity. Jealousy erupts when you force your creativity into a space it doesn't belong to. There is this tragic idea that we need to compete that has infected so many creative circles. Do yourself a favour, own up to what you're feeling and recognise it for what it genuinely is. You aren't really jealous, you just aren't comfortable with where you are right now.

 

 

Other people's creativity, path and expression is their own business. If you are becoming focussed intently on what other people are doing then you're not harnessing what you bring to the table. I'm not saying that people wont inspire you. Or that people won't help and mentor you to improve your skill. I just want you to put the idea of competition down. Give it back to whoever passed it along to you. We are all the same in that we are all unique to what we do. If you feel jealous around another creative, heal what is in you. Recognise that it's your pain and you need to surrender it. If someone is being bitchy towards you because of the little green eyed friend then recognise their pain.

 

 

I don't get bitchy digs very often these days but when it does rear its head I just recognise that people only ever speak their own truths. They speak their own pain. All they are showing you is that they're hurting and they have no idea how to fix it.

 

 

Honour your creativity and follow it where it wants to take you. Stay awesome.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

 

Which artists changed you?

 

 

What art/artist changed you?

 

 

I'm not just talking about the artists that influenced you. I'm talking about the ones who got under your skin and made you think differently. We all have those dirty little secrets hidden in our CD collection. The places we return to when we feel out of sync. Musically I was a late starter and although I was playing instruments already it wasn't until I was about 16 that I started to find my passion within it. My good friend Nadine put Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic in my hands and I was never quite the same again. From then on I found a thirst for music, I had brief love affairs with artists like Imogen Heap, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, and then delved into the likes of The creatures, PJ Harvey and pretty much anything I could get my hands on.

 

 

Falling in love with music lit a fire in my belly that has never really gone out.

 

 

I fell in love with writing, I fell in love with words, I fell in love with art and I fell in love with creativity. Music was the initial spark that opened a floodgate. I knew at that point that I was an artist through and through and that it was the meat and bones of what I loved.

 

 

Then I happened upon a band called My Ruin. And if there was ever a band that changed me in terms of the kind of artist I wanted to be it's them. I was never a huge metal fan ( to begin with ) and I always tended to move towards singer songwriter stuff and that was the pull for me towards this band. It wasn't the usual horror movie infested dark for it's own sake stuff. It felt almost private in nature. I even ended up covering their song Beauty Fiend, which although I do cringe a little when I listened to it a week ago ( my voice is sooo different!! ) it still has a special place in my heart! It was rare at the time to see an artist so connected to their listeners and someone who took the time to respond and to connect with you was refreshing. They taught me a lot, not just by the clarity of their example but through taking the time to actually sit and talk with me.

 

 

I have learned a lot from the artists I have listened to, watched and worked with over the years. The ones I tend to connect with more deeply are unsurprisingly the ones that are focussed around connection. Don't get me wrong I love all art but the stuff that sits with me, the stuff that really makes me think is the art based around honest, cathartic, unpretentious emotional presence. This is the kind of artist I try to live up to being because these are the kinds of artists that have lit my fire!

 

 

What artists changed you?

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James x

NEW UK TOUR!

 

 

It all got announced last night on facebook and it's all been behind the scenes for months, yes I am back on tour! I'm off around the UK again, drums strapped to my back this time with the two bands that I shared the stage with in Cardiff. Noterminus and Sankara. It all feels a little surreal seeing as this time last year I was pretty sure I'd never even play music again let alone go on tour but as strange as it feels, it also feels right. I think this is going to be a great healing and a great expression for me to explore and I am already noticing a staggering difference between how I felt before about touring and how I feel now! I am already connecting with some lovely new people and giving myself more and more spaces in which to share my work. And that's the sentence right there. I want to share my work.

 

 

The tour is called “The Consortium Tour” and as with all the DIY bands out there there's a lot to be done and still a few things still to be confirmed. I will put the dates up on my site and I will add any more as and when they confirm themselves. It should all be nicely timed so that when I come back from tour it wont be long before the album comes out! I am hoping to make new friends in far away places and find new kindred spirits along the way. As always I think the best form of advertising is word of mouth so if you like my work, then please tell people. It's how my creative business survives. It's how I get commissions and gigs and more importantly, how I meet and connect with new people.

 

 

Here are the dates for the tour, if you know people in these areas then throw them a link to my music!

 

 

June 2013

 

13th Cardiff – Full Moon

14th Birmingham – Asylum two

16th York – The Dutchess

21st London – The Garage

22nd Exeter – TBA

23rd Bristol – Tunnels

 

 

Thank you in advance for your help! There's more info on the tour and the bands on the tour website which is http://theconsortiumtour.co.uk/index.html .

 

 

 

Big Love

 

 

 

Ryan James

My Anniversary!

 

Well today marks the three year anniversary with my boyfriend Stuart and it feels like the time has flown! Weirdly, it also feels like he's been here a lot longer. He's a whole pile of awesome that turned up in my life and changed it completely. Never have I been loved so unconditionally. He has honoured and respected my learning and been present to assist in my healing. We talk constantly and put the love we have for each other at the centre of everything. He has driven me the whole length of the country to play gigs for practically four people and done it with a compassionate smile. He has put up with me having regular creative drama's as to why this particular colour isn't working on the canvas. He has sat with me for an entire year when my creativity practically shut itself off and more importantly, him just being here is a constant reminder of what is really important to me.

 

 

Everything I make, everything I create is an extension of my heart and without question the love I have for him is a part of that. When I got work obsessed he reminded me about the importance of family, when I felt lost he reminded me of what I was and where I am. He reminded me that our life together is the birth place of everything we do and that life requires respect, careful attention and peace. Little did I know three years ago just how much that little blond bundle of awesome would change everything for me, and he has. I wonder what the next three years will bring!

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

A time for everything!

 

There is a time for everything. Time to play and rehearse and create, a time to relax and unwind. Time to work like a fevered demon and time to sleep till 11. When you become infected with “should's” it's time to stop and be still. I spent a lot of time thinking I “should” be doing something when really all I wanted to do was sit on my bum and watch a film. Placing that heavy a burden on your shoulders only ever eventually makes you feel crappy and even if you do what you think you “should” be doing you never give it your full effort because it's not where you really want to be. It's that ridiculous age-old dilemma, creative inspiration Vs supportive routine. You want to keep yourself creatively active without stifling any inspiration that might leap from your life and slap you in the face. That's why I keep so many projects on the go at once. When inspiration strikes I can dip into where ever it wants to go. If I feel a song brewing there's room in my life for it to be born, the same goes with books, paintings and anything else.

 

 

 

Routine and creativity don't historically go hand in hand. They can however work well together providing they cultivate a mutual respect. Routine has to be polite when inspiration strikes and creativity has to understand that it takes time for it's fullness to be expressed. No matter how good a song can sound in your head or a painting idea can look in your minds eye it takes time to get it to that stage! Time is what I wanted to chat about with you today. Not just managing it but recognising what mood you're actually in and utilising it. It can be just as productive to rest as it can be to work till 4 in the morning. Explore your mood and then respect it. Pushing against it is a whole nightmare that takes you to a space you never want to go, trust me on that one!

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

Old ideas born again!

 

Everything shifts and moves constantly. Even when you feel your most stuck things are happening behind the scenes of your life and things are happening deep in the underground reservoirs of your brain too. Everything is in motion and I love consciously experiencing that universal constant. I was reminded of that today when I was planted in Bristols Aquarium, looking at all the fish I instantly became five years old again and spent my time there taking more pictures and videos than a grown man should. It's just so hypnotic to watch them swimming about! I have plenty of images to draw from and fill my sketchbooks with so ready yourself!

 

 

 

We then went for lunch in a place called “A Hole in the Wall” which was a nice pub that I haven't actually been to since I last toured the UK and was playing in the Thekla. I really can see just how much my life has moved on since that time and how much I have changed. It's all flowed in the right direction moving me towards a much more fulfilled and contented emotional space. Just doing this blog daily has brought more of that flow to the front of my mind and has made me think about what my new goals are these days when it comes to creativity. They have totally changed. I see now how all of my goals were completely self serving or had at least grown to that point.

 

 

 

Now when I think about creativity I think about its propagation. I love the idea of everyone expressing and delving into their own unique talents and creating. That was always my original goal before both it and myself became muddied. I'm back at that place now. Creativity is not competitive, it is benevolently compensating. Whatever I have ever needed from the Universe has begun it's momentum through creative thought. This is what I want to offer out now. This is what I want to give in any and all of my works. As each day passes I surrender more and more to the flow and sharing with you all my journey in that, through these blogs, feels wonderful.

 

 

 

Big Love

 

 

 

Ryan James

Committing to art!

 

If you really are going to commit to a life as an artist you have to be willing to be seen as stupid, naïve, awkward, ridiculous and sometimes a complete freak. To be honest, the quicker you embrace this persona the easier it will be on you. Being an artist has never won me any friends but it has certainly earned me a few soul mates. Don't bother with any ideas of playing it safe and certainly don't concern yourself with how other people label your art. It's your art. The only label it should have is your name. Take risks, do something that pushes your boundaries, do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. The second something becomes formula, change it! I would never want two albums of mine to sound the same, once I'm done exploring something, I'm done and I move on.

 

 

 

I will admit though that not that long ago I became infected with the idea of people pleasing. Throwing my art to the wind for the idea of showmanship. It was only that earth shattering moment when I realised that the only person who cared that deeply about my art was me, that changed everything ( my ego is a fascinating melodramatic space I kid you not ). I write, make and create for myself now. That year away helped me in more ways than I can count and although I do still enjoy a bit of theatre at my gigs it's theatre for me ( recovering performing arts student ). I fell into that trap of “overhearing” conversations about my performance and peddling my CD's. I was insecure, I'm not now. I realised that years of feeling like I didn't quite fit in had left a little gap in my spirit that could only be filled with silence and supportive friends. Last time I got on the stage I didn't attempt to “read” the crowd to see what they might enjoy. I played what I wanted to and let people listen. I was at my centre and only in that space did I realise how far away from it I had gotten.

 

 

 

I seem to have attracted a whole new group of people that match my new perspective. People who are just as passionate about exploring art as I am. My life is now littered with many more kindred spirits and I smile as I write this because I am so grateful that they are here now. I do think there are natural hermit instincts in most artists and I write this today to heal a little part of myself connected to that. I don't have to protect myself in the way I used to because I don't give people what I used to. I don't have to hide like I used to and I don't have to put up barriers like I used to. You are welcome to experience my spirit along with me, you are welcome to experience the creativity that flows through me and the love I have for all the people around me but you're not welcome to chew a piece of it off. What I create is for me, what flows from that you are more than welcome to.

 

 

Big Love

 

 

Ryan James

Beating of a drum!

 

I genuinely believe that creativity is one of the essential building blocks of our civilisation. I remember reading something years ago in a National Geographic magazine that at one point there were only 2,000 to 5,000 human beings on the planet ( or our particular branch of human ) and it was our ability to think creatively that ensured our survival. It was our ability to manipulate our environment and our ability to think beyond the current moment that caused our civilisation to grow in the way it has. And putting aside what we have done with that civilisation for a second to go from 5,000 to 7 billion is quite impressive. To do it because of our ability to create is even more so.

 

 

I do think that every challenge put in front of us puts us back in that space. To think creatively again and beyond the current moment. Honouring that space has been over the years a passion of mine. Creating spaces to think creatively and to root myself in that been a personal goal. When something becomes formula I try my best to change or enhance it and it I feel stuck then I try and immediately go to a creative space in my head and work my way through it. Doodling, drawing, music, creating, crafting, all of it is as important to me as eating and sleeping. We problem solve by thinking about it outside of the problem itself. When we actualise a situation and look at it completely objectively and from a space outside the current moment and in that we find the dynamic to resolve it.

 

 

I think if everyone regularly put pencil to paper, paintbrush to canvas, hands on a guitar and beat a drum more people would get more personal resolve and more peace would be created. The catharsis of creativity is evident and its healing power and ability to generate self loving thoughts is apparent. I want to see more of that in the world and I think the world needs it too.

 

 

 

Big Love

 

 

 

Ryan James

Lets chill for a bit shall we?

( really enjoying painting on these little plaques of wood recently! )

 

Feeling a lot better today! After falling flat on my naked butt in the shower when I slipped on the...wait for it...non slip bath matt a few days ago I've been a bit off my tree. The fall hurt my back and jaw, then caused a migraine and then irritated an old lung injury. I swear if the Universe wants me to take a few days off next time all it has to do is ask! But I have slowed down and having almost a whole week off this week from my day job I get the message that it's time to relax and enjoy a few things.

 

 

The first thing I want to do is play some music!! I can feel a complete and whole new song brewing in the back of my head somewhere. My writing music process has always been the same that way, the song shows up in my head as some sort of just out of reach wisp of inspirational energy and it's my job to create a safe space for it to show up. As and when it shows up is entirely up the song itself and it normally starts with a few notes or a line of lyrics and then a whole floodgate of stuff opens and before I know it in three minutes I have written a song. The crafting of it comes afterwards and can be a relentless process but I am so in love with the wholeness of it that it doesn't feel like hard work.

 

 

Inspiration definitely has me in it's grasp recently and I feel like I'm on the move again towards creating and experimenting more. The writing bug has definitely bitten hard and I can't seem to pull myself away from it. My online journals and paper journals are filling up and I feel eager and excited about everything again. It's such a sweet relief at the moment, everything feels just perfect and complete. It feels like it's growing and changing to a new place. I guess I needed to be flat on my bum for the moment to take stock and appreciate it all.

 

 

 

Big Love

 

 

 

Ryan James

Root and Centre

4x4 teeny painting on some wood pieces I got!

 

 

I feel recently like I have been trying to compartmentalise everything about my work. Both my day job and my creative endeavours but I think I've also been learning a little about the root of it all. I love to connect with people, to share and express and be a co conspirator in inspiration. I am a perpetual student of art and a grateful musician but I am also a spiritual person and deeply enticed into all things metaphysical. For years I worked at keeping these things apart but a penny seems to have dropped recently. I have been trying to keep the two worlds separate, the spiritual and the creative and looking at it now they couldn't be any more intertwined. Everything I create is born of a healing experience, a catharsis or an expression. I take my experiences and I either wrap them up in music and take them to a new space or a release them through the singing and outlet of it. To me that is as divine a ritual as any. My piano is an alter in itself being privy to the flow of creativity and inspiration which I believe at it's root is a divine experience.

 

 

For me to hold back on expressing and talking about all of this means I have been holding back from you and I don't like how that has felt. I do everything I can to live authentically and when and where I catch myself doing the opposite I try to create change. Like I said everything I do I do for the love of connecting with everyone and holding a piece of that close to my chest means with holding a part of that connection. I'm not doing that any more and writing these blogs is a big part of healing that. To let people into that intimate and private side of my life and use that as a way to heal my own stuff and connect more readily. I guess this is one of the last few areas where I have been thinking about that cultural elusive “They”. What “They” will want to hear or listen to or be upset about. It's definitely a very young belief that I held years ago but it has no place now. I have no room for craziness and no time for chasing my own tail. It's time to allow all of my worlds to collide together to create something new.

 

Big Love

 

Ryan James

Are your pencils sharp?

 

I genuinely think the world would be a better place if everyone followed the passion in their own lives. It would get rid of this envious voyeurism that seems to litter artistic communities. I will be very clear and state that I support all artists, I support all art and I support all creative expression. I will do what I can, when I can to help local artists out which is sometimes something as simple as providing a phone number to get an exhibition or designing posters. If I buy a gift for someone I ALWAYS look to local artists first and I spend in the direction I want to see change. I go to as many exhibitions as I can fit in and as many gigs as I can support, which although I know isn't as many as I would like the intent is there! I would urge you to support what you can, when you can. Believe me even sharing your local artists link on your social media can put a smile on their face and help bring them business.

In a time when the bottom dropped and local musicians suddenly stopped making money I saw some competitive and disgusting behaviours. Now the shock of all of that seems to have subsided and we seem to be regrouping and learning that cooperation serves better than competition. I am seeing many more artists put on nights and help each other. It's inspiring to watch and be a part of. I am a typical DIY artist, musician and all the bits in between and working with people benefits both rather than working against someone which grates against both. You have a choice as to whether you help or hinder. I have watched recently as competitive artists seem to be increasingly isolated and those that focus on helping those around them are benefiting. It helps to help. Move from self serving just to plain serving.

I do all I can to support, respect and honour artists and I'm glad that we tend to be people who never lose that child-like desire to change the world. There is a part of me that refuses to let that go and I'm grateful for it! I know artists and art has changed MY world and I do all I can to remain inspired and share that with whoever crosses my path.

 

Big Love

 

Ryan James

Fire in the Belly!

 

 

I seem to be absolutely infused with a new inspiration lately that feels incredible. This long sleep is now finally over and ideas for songs, spoken word pieces, poems, artworks, exhibitions are all flooding through my head again with a new momentum that just feels awesome. Anyone that has ever experienced writers block will know what I'm talking about. The only realy problem I have at the moment is working out a routine that can physically fit half of this stuff in. I've always worked incrementally over the years so I guess I'll just stick with that for a while. When a project wants to be finished it seems to gather it's own momentum anyway so I'll leave it up to that.

 

Recording wise we did another awesome session this week and a new song is now all laid out and ready for vocals. I can't wait to see how the next few songs sound and it should only be a few weeks or so and I'll be half way through the new collection. I've also been reconsidering cover of the month on my youtube ( which is long overdue and update ) so I shall sit with Isobel ( my piano ) a bit more over the next few weeks. Speaking of Isobel I have been working on some piano songs recently which I may turn into an acoustic live recording to coincide with the new collection. Because the album is highly produced I wanted to do something in the complete opposite direction, completely stripped down to piano and minor percussion maybe. I'll keep working on it and get back to you. I also have come across some old songs that I might like to rework a little, it's all just ideas I know but I'm just so glad to be having them again.

I started re writing my new fiction book this week ( the one that was tragically lost in the laptop crash! ) and it's looking not too bad! Again, no major rush on a deadline but a small time every day seems to be allowing room enough for the story to unfold in a way that it needs to. It feels the same as the last fiction book I wrote, it just seemed to write itself! It's called "Weavers Light" and if I keep going at the pace I am should be ready after the summer.

On the art front so many ideas are here and I have a new exhibition to work towards. I've been asked to exhibit my work locally again so I'll see how that goes but I still haven't uploaded all my art to my Etsy Store to start selling it. My stores on this site are severely lacking so that's the next major update here I think.

Also, I have been to the Animation open day at the University and am now having to make the choice whether to do the animation degree. It will have to be part time ofcourse but I'm really crunching down on whether I should just bite the bullet and do it... It's scary stuff but I can't decide yet whether it's good scary or bad scary. I will warn you though, it's looking probable!

 

That's enough for this weekly blog, don't forget I've updated the spoken word section so if that's something you're into then go check it out!

 

Big Love

 

Ryan James

Cause and Effect.

Monkey Bar gig

 

It's been such a good week and I'm still on the comedown from the gig which seems to have been a drop in a pond that has caused a big ripple effect. There are so many more opportunities that seem to be happening now as a result of it and I will share them with you as and when it all gets confirmed and put in place. On the local front, I have run into two promoters in the last few days that I haven't seen in months and they have both asked me to do a gig locally. So I have said Yes! The details aren't all confirmed yet but in the next few months it looks like I shall be doing a gig in my little city! I'm excited to share some of the new material with you and some of the old favourites! Album recording went amazingly this week and Ray absolutely nailed one of my songs. It was a bit strange to let him take the lead musically but I have such trust in his ability to create and produce that I let go and went with it and I really cant wait to share it all with you. It's looking like it should be done late summer but there's a whole 15 songs to share with you so it will be worth the wait I promise!

I've also been asked to share my writing this week by a good friend who is setting up a local Gig Guide/Magazine. I've been asked to write reviews and maybe do a small editorial for it which I had no idea I would have gotten so excited to do. Combining music and writing was weirdly something I had never thought of doing but I love them both so if you want your music reviewed or live performances reviewed let me know and I shall do my best. I need to create a small backlog of them too so throw your musical wares right at my face!!

 

Art wise I have to go and collect my piece from the gallery and No, it didn't sell. Not this time anyway. Over the weekend I am going to drastically update my Etsy shop and see if I can sell some work over there. What's happening in my creative room is what I personally despise about artwork, it's sat in the corner gathering dust. I want it to be shared! I still haven't had the time to paint over the last week but this weekend I have a WHOLE weekend off to myself and I plan to sort out my creative space, put some music on and pick up my brushes and go for it! I truly can't wait, it's been so manic lately that this will be the first weekend I have had nothing booked for in a loooooong time! Me and the Bf plan to eat silly amounts of junk food and have a proper slobby weekend!

This week also saw the rebirth of “Weavers Light”. The fiction book I wrote a year ago that got tragically lost in a laptop crash! The characters started to show up in my head again so I knew it was time to write their story. It's already a lot better than the first draft and is flowing in an almost channelled fashion. I hope it's done within the year but you know how fickle us artists are and the creative energy can't be rushed, all I can do is give in and go with it!

 

That's all for me for this blog, I shall catch up with you all again next week!

 

Big Love

 

Ryan James

 

Where's your art?

 

Creativity and spirituality are one in the same. Imagination, conception and expression are all one moment which happens through us. We are vessels for it's transcendent momentum. Surrender to it. There is a reason all creative people who fully embody their artistry can not avoid touching on elements of their spirit. It is in the listening to and the following of creativity that can squarely put you in touch with the rhythms of everything around you. An idea is something that is experienced, not generated by you and being humble enough to listen to that and strong enough to hold it's content is what most artists and spiritually minded people strive to uphold.

Picasso said that, “Every child is born an artist.” and he is right. Our innate creativity is a symbiotic survival tool paired with our view of culture. When we see something we don't like, we create until we find a version of it within ourselves that is more comfortable. Everyone does this to some degree and I think the world would be a gentler, more peaceful place if creativity was treated as necessary for survival. I truly and wholeheartedly believe that creativity is vital for mental well being. The reason I am able to embrace my spirit and experience it's peace is because I honour my creativity and I urge everyone to do the same. Don't judge what you create, we all start somewhere. Just pick up a pen, a pencil, a knitting needle, a paintbrush, a sewing kit, anything and start to make. Buy a sketchbook and fill it with ideas and then act upon them! I write every day, I try to draw every day, I play piano, practice cello, paint at least once a week, I am in love with sketchbooks, I experiment with anything creative that takes my fancy and yes I go to hobby craft as often as I can! To create is as important as meditation for your spirit. So today I ask you to honour the artist within yourself and create.

 

Big Love

 

Ryan James

First Gig in A Year!

Photo by Mike Evans

 

It finally happened, my first gig after a years break! I was doing a small set sharing the stage with two other bands Noterminus and Sankara, who were both absolutely amazing. I absolutely enjoyed the whole process and can hand on heart say that I loved every minute of it. Nerves did get the best of me at a couple of moments and I had a few brain farts on stage but the crowd were very patient with me and their kindness helped me to relax into it. The most weird thing about being back on stage was that it wasn't weird at all. There was no pressure, no tension, no inner conflict, just me up on stage enjoying sharing my work. I played exactly what I wanted to play, some light, some dark, some funny and I swear to god I am never going to be able to shake that damn yodel! My boyfriend said it was the most relaxed he had ever seen me on stage and nerves aside I can really see what he means. It just was what it was.

 

I watched Noterminus' set and have to be honest was blown away. I don't know why but I keep forgetting just how bloody good Maria's voice is and every time I hear her sing I am blown away all over again. They are a band you should definitely keep an eye on. I couldn't stay for the whole of Sankaras set but was captivated by their musicianship. I literally felt like I was playing chopsticks next to Gareth's insane ability! I got home late and tired but good tired. After loading and un loading all of my equipment I can really see now a lot more clearly why I got so run down and knackard. I used to cart that whole set around on my own on the train to London and anywhere else that would have me. It really is no wonder I needed a year away just to recover physically from it. I am going to keep an eye out for more places to gig next because if it's one thing this experience has sown me it's that the desire to share and create hasn't gone away, it just needed time to find it's own balance.

On the art front it's been a quiet week. My day job has gone through the roof and because of the short notice for the gig all my spare time was taken up practicing for that. I am eager to paint more though. I have plenty of designs to get me going I just have a few canvases to get out of the way ( hate painting on canvas at the minute ) before I sit with some nice smoothe pieces of wood and plaster my art on them. I do have an idea for an exhibition that I think might be able to tie a lot of my work in.  I'm going to draw a few things out and see how I feel about it and generally be a faffy artist about the whole thing. The only mission I am sending myself on this week is to finally upload all the pieces I have finished to my etsy shop and attach that to this site. I'll let you know how the whole thing goes!

Thanks for tuning in and thank you for all your kindness and patience over the last year. It really has made a difference.

Big Love

 

Ryan James

Welcome to Wolfe City

 

Welcome to the newly revamped Wolfe City! If you're wondering why you're here it's because I've merged my Art Blog, Music Website and written works to make it more easily manageable. It's getting so hectic here I physically don't have the time to maintain 7 websites to a decent standard so here it is, all my creative work right here! I do have a few more tweaks and twists to add and you will see it updated as I import everything over the next few weeks but essentially this is roughly what it's going to look like!

So, down to business, How have you lot been? Me? Well it's all good here, finally! Im at peace with everything and creatively back where I want to be. As you might have noticed I haven't gigged for a year, hindsight is 20 20 and now I can clearly see what was actually happening to me and around me as opposed to what I thought was going on at the time. It was soooo hard to let go but as the old adage says, one door closes and another door opens. I put music to one side for a while and just relaxed, the damage I had done to my body by over working and sheer stress definitely took it's toll. I was basically doing the work of 4 band members, promoter, manager, designer, tour promoter, Youtube obsessive, general networking hill billy and after 10 years in the game I burnt out. I now do everything at a much slower pace and it's definitely more peaceful.

On the music front last time we checked in I was riding the River of Bones and that's all shifted. I am now recording another album with my bestest buddy Ray who is bring a new slant to what I do. I basically take him a piano percussive piece and he turns it into the industrial laced, quirky and synthetically integrated music you can hear on the site. It's literally a mixture of everything I've ever done since I was 19 and it feels in a way complete. I have intentionally made the album more synthetic and less bare bones than River of Bones because it's just what I'm interested in right now. For all you acoustic hard cores out there don't worry, if it bothers you that much I will do some stripped down You Tube vids of the songs for your ears! On the gigging front I have started to actually accept the offers put in front of me so check back on the facebook page to see when and where I'm playing. I'll probably stick a gadget on here too to let you know more if and when it comes in.

 

 

Art wise I have been drawing away just gathering ideas to create something new and what I'm interested in I started with a few of my favourite villans, maleficant, skeletor, drucilla, voldermort! Ill share all the pics with you once they are done, I just need to get some nice blocks of wood to paint them up on ( so much better and smoother than canvas ). In between paintings Im experimenting more with promarkers and watercolour for my pieces which seem to be a good way to get stuff done quickly but I do prefer painted stuff so I'll get some time soon and focus on them.

I also have a piece up for sale for the next two weeks in the Oriel Bach Gallery in Mumbles as part of their “Come and have a go if you think you're Art enough” exhibition which is a collaboration of tonnes of local artists. I bought a pyrography deer head that was burnt into a tree stump for my art room as a little present to myself for working so damn hard recently! I dont have a picture of that yet but as soon as I do Ill share it with you and details of the artist that did it, absolutely awesome!

Tragedy has struck on the writing front. As I had finished writing the main bulk of my fiction book the laptop crashed taking the whole bloody thing with it, and no, I didn't back it up. ( wait while I punch myself in the face ), I might be able to get it back but it will cost me about £300 which I don't have down the back of my sofa at the minute. So, I must start again! I think everything happens for a reason ( other than Im an utter turdface for not backing it up ) so maybe there's a better, stronger version of the story in my head somewhere?! We'll soon see I guess!

Well, that was generally what's been happening recently, I would do a whole transcript of the year but Im saving my memoirs for when Im older, more pretension ( yes I can get worse ), wearing a beret and a ridiculously long scarf! For now all I wanted to really share with you is a GIANT thank you for listening, looking and tuning in. I'm ready to play music again, I'm painting again and writing creatively again. I'll share all of it with you as I go along!

 

Big Love

 

Ryan James

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