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ABOUT MASTER OF NONE CREATIVE

Creativity and Mental Health

Why a website, you may ask? There doesn’t appear to be anything to buy. Wouldn’t the stories be better hidden away or if really necessary self-published in a paperback or an e-book? What about the photographs? Maybe it would be more appropriate for these to be printed and displayed at home or just shared between family and friends on social media. After all this amateur display is not going to lead to money, fame, professional development or even acknowledgement.


Self-Meditation is the truth. I have thought about bringing my creative efforts together for many years now but work and family commitments have always taken a natural priority. And if I’m honest lethargy and laziness have also played a more than significant role. It was only when the pandemic lockdown entered our lives that I felt I finally had the head space to put something together. And I’m glad I did because seeing it all together energises me to create more even though I’m aware that on the whole it will only be me and my nearest and dearest that will be engaged.


This rumination is partly motivated by mental health. And I can assure you I’m not trying to be fashionable here as I have suffered with anxiety from a very early age. This has, at times in my life, been paralysing and to some extent will always be life limiting for me. It is only since passing through the milestone of living for half a century that I have finally accepted how much of my life has been influenced by this illness. I am so pleased and comforted by the way it is spotlighted now and the how the therapies and treatments available are widely spoken about by royals, celebrities and ordinary people alike. Back in the seventies, when it started for me, there didn’t seem to be any help available at all. ‘A stiff upper lip’, the retro version of today’s ‘man up’ never worked for me.


Creativity has given me a sense of control that anxiety has taken from me. In photography I decide how long the shutter is open for, how far the aperture widens and whether the background is blurred or in focus. When writing I am able to send the characters on their journeys, I create the settings in which these journeys begin and end for them and decide if, at what time and for what reason they have their epiphanies. Don’t worry this control is not seated in any psychopathic or sadistic tendency as I always want my characters to positively benefit from their journeys or at the very least become more self aware. And with my photographs I want to bring out the beauty of my subjects even if they are abandoned, ugly or deserted. And just to let you know, when I’m done with all that inventiveness, when I have finished with the images and writing for a while, I take the opportunity to lie back and take in that other well known creative force and powerful medicine, music.


The majority of photographs and videos are taken in the county of Kent, my home for the vast majority of my life. To those who are not aware this county is situated in the far South-East of England and is only separated by the European mainland by 20 miles or so although now of course there is the Channel Tunnel. It is affectionately known as the ‘Garden of England’ and is the inspiration for many of the stories published on this site, whether that be the piers jutting out of small coastal towns as in ‘Dusk’, or the fruit filled orchards as in ‘A Graceless Age’ . The motto of Kent is ‘Invicta’, Latin for undefeated or unconquered which I hope is how my fellow mental health suffers feel in the ongoing fight,


So if in between checking the lottery and football results or searching for the train times for Monday morning or a recipe for a Victoria sponge you come across this website and if it it gives you even a minuscule or fleeting sense of pleasure or insight then, as they say, that would be the cherry on the cake. Enjoy


Andy

P.S. Why Master of None? Simply because I enjoy a wide range of creative persuits and don't feel the need or have the talent or discipline to excel in one.