Bride series by Joss

About the work:

These photographs are part of a series in which I dress up as a bride. The photos were taken in my Middlesex University and also at Bethnal Green church. The piece was inspired by the drag queens such as Coco Peru and Divine. I wanted to capture a narrative, that stretches beyond the visual information of the photos.

A little bit about the artist:

Joss Munson is a UK based multimedia artist born in a small Suffolk town and grew up in East London. At the age of 14 he was diagnosed with a typical autism. He attended City and Islington College to study art and design. At 18 he developed schizoaffective disorder. Now in spite of all the challenges, he has been able to attend Middlesex University to study Fine Art.
Joss’ work ranges from talking about his personal life, trauma and struggle to inside jokes and escapism.
His work has taken the form of short films; ambrosia was his first major film that was exhibited at his college in 2015. It explores the roles in a relationship between man and inanimate object. Joss plays the part of someone who is in love with an inanimate mannequin. And it was shown 5 years later as part of virtual exploding cinema COVIDeo extravaganza on the 6th June 2020. He collaborated and curated 2 online shows, the EOY show (end of year) was a celebration of his and his colleagues final work, Distorted World which is a virtual reality exhibition in collaboration with Dovetail Joints Virtual Gallery. His article Virtual Online Galleries: the aftermath of Covid19 was published on art touches art blog on May 17th 2020. He has performed on stage in University, producing a one man show: the unofficial Resident Evil Pantomime, in which he dressed as ‘Jill Sandwich’ and lip synced to a few songs, and involved some audience participation.

https://mybestzine.bigcartel.com/

Empty Space by Kristóf Szabó

(1)empty space New Delhi, 2020, c-print, 50×50 cm, Szabó Kristóf – KristofLab & Raki Nikahetiya
(2)empty space Moscow, 2020, c-print, 50×50 cm, Szabó Kristóf – KristofLab & Vladimir Stepanchenko
(3)empty space Sao Paulo, 2020, c-print, 50×50 cm, Szabó Kristóf – KristofLab & Elena Kilina

About the work:

The pandemic resulted in the vacancy of previously busy spaces. A kind of error occurred in life, the tragedy of this social situation resulted in putting globalization on hold, while carbon-dioxide emission has dropped drastically. Empty spaces are witnessing our overworked, energy-wasting lives, prompting us to finally change our way of life globally, otherwise situations like this might resurface in the future.
KristofLab, has collected photos empty cities such as Madrid, which was developed into creating a first piece of the series. Subsequently, he received photos from many parts of the world from volunteers for the project. These artists helped to continue the series with their contributions. Kristóf hopes that this project symbolizes well how artistic imagination can help us thrive as human beings in difficult times and the work serves as a definition of our common values across boundaries and to once again remind us that we have never been and will never really be isolated.

Contributors: Kiszner Édua, Antal István, Marcin Idźkowski, Angela Galvan, Gasquk, Kristijonas Dirse, Peter Korcek, Erhan US, Ciro Di Fiore, Elena Kilina, Sangeeth Aiyappa, Vladimir Stepanchenko, Raki Nikahetiya, David Leshem, Haccoun Myriam 

(1)empty space Madrid, 2020, c-print, 50×50 cm, Szabó Kristóf – KristofLab & Kiszner Édua
(2)empty space Vienna, 2020, c-print, 50×50 cm, Szabó Kristóf – KristofLab & Antla István

A little bit about the artist:

Kristóf Szabó was born in 1988 in Hungary. Since 2016 he has been consciously using the term KristofLab as a kind of brand referring to interdisciplinarity and his media art activities. He often works in a team or creates collaborations with other artists, often crossing boundaries between art genres. He graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts (2012). In 2011 he studied with an Erasmus scholarship in Dresden. He is a member of the Ziggurat Project focusing on various co-art collaborations, regularly working with them mainly on site-specific performances across V4 countries and Norway.

(1)empty space Budapest, 2020, c-print, 50×50 cm, Szabó Kristóf – KristofLab & Angela Galvan
(3)empty space Naples, 2020, c-print, 50×50 cm, Szabó Kristóf – KristofLab & Ciro Di Fiore

Find more from Kristóf Szabó:

https://mybestzine.bigcartel.com/

Tales of Guatemalan Worry Dolls


As we enter a new year, we hope to leave our worries behind us. With that in mind, I remembered a small oval wooden box gifted to me as a child. Inside were six tiny wooden dolls from Guatemala, known as Worry Dolls. I remember them being fascinatingly miniature, placing one in the palm of my hand and telling it my worries before sleeping.


Worry dolls are known to have been created by the Mayan’s over 2,000 years ago. There are two trains of thought assigned to their beginnings: the first is that they are modelled on one of the creator gods; the other (and more common idea) is that the dolls are based on a Mayan legendary princess called Ixmucane. In this myth, the sun god gifted Ixmucane the power to solve any human problem.

worry dolls


According to tradition, Guatemalan children tell the dolls their worries before placing them under a pillow. With six dolls included in the oval box, each night should be a different doll, with one days rest. By the morning, the children will be gifted with knowledge of how to overcome their worries, allowing them to sleep soundly. In the morning, it is advised to rub the dolls tummy, so that the pain of carrying bad thoughts is relieved. The ritual of acknowledging anxieties before sleep is seen as beneficial, particularly for children. Worry dolls have now been recognised by paediatric and child therapists as a way of relaying concerns to a trustworthy listener.

Guatemalan Indigenous Clothing


The Worry dolls themselves are between 1-3cm tall and made out of wood, wire and fabric from Mayan garments. The face of the doll can be cotton, cardboard and paper, or clay and the outer clothing from wool or “aguayo” – a traditional Guatemalan cloth. This is all held in place with colourful yarn that is wrapped around each part. Moreover, the fabric used is offcuts from handmade clothes, as a way to reduce waste.

Indigenous Clothing


In Guatemala traditional clothing is bright and colourful, depicting local flowers, animals, geometric shapes and figures. The textiles are woven by hand and the yarns are dyed naturally with flowers, vegetables, herbs and bark for their vibrant colours. There are over 800 different styles of indigenous Guatemalan clothing, known as the traje tipico. The traje is still commonly worn by women, and there are various communities where men also wear traditional embroidered clothing. The most common parts of the women’s traje are the huipil (blouse), the faja (belt/sash), and the corte (skirt). Depending on the region, head accessories include the cinta (a type of headband), the tocoyal (a ribbon that is wound around the head ), and the tzute, which is worn on the head, or as a cloth to carry infants on their back. Wearing the traje is a way for indigenous women to keep culture and heritage alive.

Worry Dolls

The women who make these Worry Dolls live mostly in the rural areas of Guatemala. This provides them with an important supplement to the income they get from agriculture. Now these dolls are famous in Guatemalan culture and are sold as souvenirs to travellers passing through.


I find Worry Dolls magical, both in their significance and aesthetic. They are tiny replicas of Guatemalan people in indigenous cloth, and a reminder of their vibrant culture. In this way they bring a small part of Guatemalan magic into our home and dreams.

Worry Dolls and box

Cosmic Cat by Esme Lee

About the work:

My piece is called ‘Cosmic Cat’, a fantasy illustration featuring a cat alone in her own cosmos. It was digitally created in Adobe Fresco. I created this piece in response to the isolation and solitude I have been experiencing as a result of being in the High Risk category during the pandemic and therefore spending time at home in isolation.  I imagined my home as my own personal galaxy or universe, and pictured myself as the cat because while cats are solitary, often antisocial in fact, they are also strong, resilient and self-sufficient, this helped me to focus on the positives of my situation and to remind myself that I am a survivor, like the cat.

A little bit about the artist:

Esme Lee is an emerging artist and illustrator who also happens to be disabled, and the carer of two disabled children. As such her work expresses, in turn, sadness and isolation, childlike playfulness, and exuberant joy. With a distinctive style and keen eye for colour, Esme combines digital artwork with her background in traditional art, to create digital pieces with a truly authentic feel. Esme hopes in the long term to become a champion and advocate for disabled, female, and minority artists.

Fine more from Esme:

https://mybestzine.bigcartel.com/

Happy New Year!

2020 was certainly not the best year so far, however, we are all done with it now! Even though nobody suspected it might take such an awful turn and the whole world will be hiding away from the pandemic if we think about it it might have not been as bad as it seems. Sit down, take a moment and think about positive aspects of 2020. Here are some of the positives from us!

  1. Because of lockdown we had more time to develop what was before merely just an idea of MyBest, and it the middle of 2020 we were ready to launch the website and publish the very first issue!
  2. MyBest, became more than we thought it would! We were hoping for MyBest, to be a quarterly online magazine but now we are posting every single week and even though it does get a bit much (keep in mind that at the moment, there is just one person taking care of all of the social media, scheduling, editing and all that jazz!) we hope that MyBest, will keep on going forward and we will be able to grow even more in 2021.
  3. We managed to work on many side projects – working with other artists is a full time job as it leads to many side projects and interesting collaborations. We are incredibly thankful for every single person we got to work with as a result of our work on MyBest,

2020 was a year of stagnation and yet many things have started rolling on quicker than ever. We might’ve not been able to do everything we have planned for 2020 but in the age of the pandemic the year actually had some bright moments. Only think about the amount of free time you could use to just rest, work on your projects, do uni work, watch your favorite movies and TV series. Sometimes it’s not that bad to stop for a second. The past year has definitely taught us to be grateful for everything we have and always strive to better ourselves as people.

We wish you all the best for the year 2021 and we hope that this year will bring nothing but joy to you and people close to you.

MyBest,

Monyca.

Younger Interviews- An Interview with a Young Artist: Peter Davies

E: So, I’m joined by one of my amazingly nerdy friends Peter (yes that’s a compliment to him), we’ve known each other since Primary school but we really only became friends again after going to see ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ about almost a year ago now. I think we bonded cause we both hated it, but hey friendship. Like me Peter is a fellow amateur artist but for him, it is the art of words.

E: First off how are you doing in Tier 3 which has just been introduced?

P: I’m not having too bad of a time; I feel being indoors allows me to concentrate a bit more. Sometimes there are things that distract me ( like we all feel sometimes) but it helps me think things. The limitations of being indoors, it almost makes you feel more creative, at least in my experience.

E: That’s a really positive way of thinking about it, So what kind of work do you do?

P: Well, I do a lot of fiction writing, I do a lot of short stories and long novels

E: What are you working on right now?

P: A big series, I’m almost finished with Book 1, it’s mostly doing editorial stuff but I’m also starting to work on a short story

E: What’s that about?

P:You’ll find out.

E: Oo, mysterious. Why did you start writing?

P: I’ve always been interested in creative writing, the idea of putting something together like stories has always fascinated me. I’ve found it easy to make things up but also I feel I can convey things through stories. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and I like the idea of sharing that with people and keeping it to yourself is pretty boring and you think ‘What if other people would want to see it.’

E: I definitely agree with you there, that’s why I do what I do and just get it out there for the world to see. Coming that perspective of conveying things in stories, why do you think it’s important for young people to be involved within the arts?

P: Well, it’s important for people, both young but also older people too to be focused in creative things because in a way it’s something we’ve lost a bit as well as gained. I think being creative and especially now adays when the world’s a bit bleak, having a creative outlet is more important as you have a place where you have some sort of control over is powerful as it’s something that people need right now. In a way creative defines us

E: Definitely especially if sometimes you feel invisible when you do when your  young and you feel unrepresented, speaking of Have you felt misrepresented as an artist before, particularly as a young person?

P: In some way I have had some opportunities, when I just start secondary school, I got to take part in a creative writing book called ‘around the world in 80 words’ and I wrote a short story for it.

E: Do you think that inspired you in a way, to keep writing?

P: A lot yeah, starting secondary started the interest.

E: Do you think, though it’s good to have these opportunities, not all people have had things like that. Have you ever felt like that in a way, particularly professionally?

P: Yeah, in some ways once you get serious about it,  you have a responsibility of topping your work and if you feel you can’t then you’re not living up to a potential, there’s a lot of pressure there in all creative people really and I think it’s mainly due to how difficult it is to get into the industry, sometimes it’s easy to get in due to more independent things but the main thing is people want to feel stable so there’s worry about that and because of that I feel young people feel pressured to not pursue it because it’s not going to get me anywhere and that’s a sad thing.

E: What you like to see a standard for the arts once Young people take over in the future like getting rid of these misconceptions?

I think what needs to happen is to allow young people more control of the content that they produce in the future, to allow them to actually have a voice not controlled by a older generation.

Take my own field of publishing, traditional publishing has some good aspects of being able to get yourself out there, but the problem is you have less creative control and you may come out with a product you wanted in the first place because of how corporate it is now  . Same with how it feels all the films recently are just parts of big franchises with big names attached rather than give people a chance.

 That’s why self-publishing has become more popular but that can also have it’s faults as some people won’t take you seriously because of that. Allowing more trust to young people should be the way to go, trust our voices and our stories instead of limiting it and it may surprise you.

E: It doesn’t help when you email and then they Ghost you!

P: Yeah, just tell me what I can do and what I can do better, give me a chance rather than feel like I’m wasting my time.

E: I agree with that. Finally, what advice would you give to people our age trying to get involved in the arts?

P: Keep making lots of things and be broad with the things you do make. If some tells you that you’re wasting your time just do it anyway because they don’t know what they are talking about. Though you need to be determined as the creative arts is something you must keep ramming yourself at to get through so keep going no matter.

Happy Holidays to all of you

Em x

Hibernate and reset

As I write this, it’s Christmas Eve eve. I’ve finally sat down after making an Earl Grey tea chocolate mousse for tomorrow and unblocking a drain. What a way to spend my first day off.

By the time you’ll read this column, it will be 2021 and another typical year. No? Anyone wake up on 1 Jan wishing everything back to normal, as though 2020 was just a bad dream? And to top it all off, I thoroughly struggled to write this column.

If I’d had a typewriter, I could imagine myself ripping the paper from the typewriter, scrunching it up and throwing it at and missing the bin, and laying discarded with other failed edits. I think it’s reflective of how I’m feeling; it’s the end of the year, I’ve had enough of looking at the four walls of my house, and I want to down tools. I can’t travel to see my parents for Christmas as Italy is locking down even more, and at the time of writing, my area moves into tier 4 day after Boxing Day. Oh, joy. I feel that I’m running out of new content to share with you too, as things aren’t moving quickly in my career change.

I’ve paid for the course I mentioned last month, but I haven’t got very far with it. I feel disheartened by the many messages in the course’s FB group talking about successful pitches, new clients etc., whereas I am hamstrung by a full-time job. I’d planned to study over the Christmas period and get myself into a position to start recouping the course’s cost, but I have a dilemma. If I manage to complete enough modules and start pitching for new business and am successful, how will I manage it with full-time work? I’d need to work every Friday afternoon and weekend, and frankly, I need a crying emoji right now because I’m baulking at that prospect.

I hear it all the time; you work all hours to build a business on the side – it’s the only way to build a business. I don’t think I can realistically deliver client work in my evenings, on just one weekend or even with an extra day if I get Friday’s off, without it having a detrimental effect on my life. More importantly, I’ve had enough of looking at my computer screen during the day for work, so I’m railing against looking at it in the evening. The course tutor says to try and make time for it, even if it’s for 15mins a day. I know people who combine their professional and personal work during the day; when they have free time, they crack on with their own work, laptop set up next to their work one.

Working from home has its perks, the commute is non-existent but with fewer distractions, the time I’m racking up in front of the screen is increasing, even to the point where I now need reading glasses for the first time. I’m fuming! It’s why I want relief from it, so the thought of two screens on my desk feels me with dread.  If I have a break at work in between meetings, I grab my coat and wellies and tramp around the village and fields, in desperate need of fresh air and vitamin D. In the evenings I’ll train or eat and curl up on the sofa with Pete and switch off. I need a break more than ever it seems, and the dark mornings and nights aren’t helping. I just want to hibernate, squirrel away. They say you need less sleep as you get older, I’m very much the opposite.

When I was doing my career change course earlier this year, I made time for the missions and exercises I had to do each week. Every Saturday I had a 10 am call which I never missed, this time though I seem to have lost the impetus to instigate the same rigour and routine to my new course. I think it’s because it’s self-paced. There’s no one pressurising you to have completed homework during the week.

By mid-January, I’ll know if my 4-day compressed week is approved, which will give me time to do my course. I have a new boss who wasn’t that keen about it when I mentioned it to her. She seems open to doing at least a six-month trial, so we’ll see. If it isn’t a reality, I’ll shut up as I’m bored of talking about it, and you’re probably bored of hearing about it.

It hasn’t been all doom and grumpy childlike sulks though. Instead of a website, I’ve created a portfolio which I’m going to add to my LinkedIn profile. I’ve added more projects to The Dots. I’ve been re-editing a client’s emails after doing his web copy earlier this year so continuing to learn. If my portfolio’s posting or sharing brings in work, then I’ll be happy, so long as I can manage it.

In the spirit of only focusing on what can help further my career, I’ve decided to delete job alerts for copywriter roles. Until I start getting more experience under my belt, I won’t have a chance of getting a position, and the more I look at job adverts for companies I like, the more disheartened I become. Best to switch off the distractions for now. I don’t know about you, but far too many emails come into my inbox for things I either forgot I’d signed up for or I’m just not interested in anymore, so it’s digital detox time.

And as the New Year rolls in, how many of you will set new year resolutions? Do you stick to them? I’m not one for resolutions. I tend to focus on the positive and ask myself what I’d like to do more of. You all know what I’d like to do, so my added resolution is just to see how things pan out and take it from there. There’s not much else I can do. Just as we’ve had to adjust and flex this year due to COVID-19, my career change will need to do the same. Patience is a virtue; I happen to have none.

I hope you had a good Christmas even if it’s been quite different and you’re ready to cope with whatever 2021 throws at you. Fingers crossed it’s a better one; it can’t get any worse!

Isolation

A little bit about the artist:

Isabel is a Spanish illustrator and graphic designer living in Southern Spain, her pronouns are she/her. 
As every other illustrator out there, she never stopped drawing, so studying arts was the right call, after specializing in printmaking she moved to illustration gradually.  Most of her illustrations are really colorful and cartoonish, recently she realized that her characters always have big hairy legs and dark circles.  

Find more from Isabel:

Dwelling for a moment of solitude with Lebasille

About the work:

As an artist, I dwell for a moment of solitude, it is essential to our well-being and crucial for our soul.
To be independent and still in the moment. To accept your own presence and above all, your being. To reflect and turn within.
It is the foundation of exploratory, for a brief instant or a continuous period, until it gets comfortable and you get mentally stronger.
The word solitude comes from the Latin word “solitudinem”, which means “loneliness”. On the contrary, ihey are two different things. Loneliness is marked by a sense of isolation, while solitude is the state of being online without being lonely.

I will always crave for solitude.

UNTITLED, 2019
A conversation between current affairs and different communities and the road to improvement.
ROUNDUP, 2018
“Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain, With the barkers and the colored balloons” (Neil Young)

A little bit about the artist:

Lebasille ° 1989, Belgium

Lebasille – a pseudonym of Isabelle – is a visual artist born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1989.
She makes original collages on paper, with images from magazines, books and other imagery sources from 1920 up to the present. She has always dedicated herself to analog collage, however, she has expanded her praxis to digital works, offering endless possibilities.
Within her analogue and digital work, she plays with proportions, dialectic and context. A conversation occurs between current events and ideals – a social reality with an extra dimension of meaning or a layer of surrealism.
She rediscovers the past creating a vintage future. The transformation of each individual image gives the viewer and his eye the opportunity to reinterpret elements or new ready-made images.
With a growing love for imagery of different worlds, eras and ideals, she started to cut out and assemble countless images. It became part of her daily routine.
Since 2018, she is attending two different courses in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
Many exhibitions followed, of which the most memorable was in a museum in The Netherlands about food in art in past and present. Her practice consists of creating imagery for album covers, magazine covers, book illustrations, postcard illustrations and more.

Find more from Lebasille:

https://mybestzine.bigcartel.com/

Meditations on solitude

About the work:

These works are all meditations on solitude in some way. Solitude has a thousand faces: it can be experienced in all kinds of states and situations. Sometimes solitude is a blessing, because it can allow for artistic self-reflection and self-representation, as my Self-Portrait suggests. But solitude can also comprise of moments where anxieties or fears jump out at us as in Study in Blue.

Self-portrait
Study in Blue

A little bit about the artist:

Beatriz Santos is a 23-year-old artist based in London. She has a BA English from Clare College Cambridge and a Graduate Diploma in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her practice is mainly two-dimensional and figural. Beatriz’s love of literature leads her to populate her works with characters, metaphors, and delicate visual ironies. Her visual practice is centred on the similarities and the misalignments between narrative, poetry and visual image. She is fascinated by how people use paintings (in galleries, in campaigns, at home, on social media) to tell their own stories. The importance of telling new stories is something her works actively promote, with their enigmatic yet mundane characters. Derived from song lyrics or poetic fragments, they are representations of nobody – but hopefully everyone can use them to question, to reflect or to remember.