Jak Whitfield Creative in 2018

Hi there everyone,

What a year. Life, physically and creatively, has continued to relentlessly surprise and challenge. I’ve met some amazing people in the process, both online and in-person; everlasting thanks goes to you who follow me on this site, as many of you are consistently reading and liking my bizarre writings and drawings, and I promise to credit your own projects in the near future to honour your loyalty.

In 2018 I aim to make my creative flow much more consistent, which will help manage my health a lot better too, so I’ve settled on six projects for the coming year. That’s either one project a day with a day of rest per week, or each project having two full months of investment, depending on how you view it. They’re all projects which excite me greatly and most have been burning steadily over the years; 2018 feels like the year to let them loose.

So, without further ado:

Project #1: Music – The Spoils Collective

I’ve recently been jamming with a fantastic band in Plymouth (UK) called The Spoils Collective, an experimental clan of punk and word-power enthusiasts who have a lot of time for listening to ideas and a great vibe during jamming sessions. I’m pleased to be joining them live next year, of which we already have three-to-four dates confirmed for the new year. More details to come. From what I’ve been added to mix into their existing songs already, this will be a pretty awesome step in getting my musical personality sharpened.

Project #2: Cracked Pins 2018

Jaz & the Genesis has been readable on this blog for a while, along with a small excerpt on character Lilith and some other bits. But the ‘Cracked Pins’ series, which I’ve been writing and rewriting alongside Will ‘Word’ Smith’s Lifter and Vigil series’ (find him at @smithstorymakerwill on Instagram) has been in the making since 2010, and after nearly a decade, I feel happy enough with the direction to belt out a handful of stories and reworks in 2018, though of course it’ll be the first time you’ve seen them. It’s a fantasy series incorporating the superhero and magician tropes but twisting and bending them, through the physical manifestations of the imagination itself, which makes for an excitingly expansive universe and a further diverse range of characters. Except to find prose, graphic novel material and possibly music outlets in this project. I may also guest-write for Smith and vice versa, so look out for that!

Project #3: Dude the Obscure: II

2017 heralded a pretty crap start for performance as Dude the Obscure, as mental health led me off the open mic map. Having said that, it’s been an absolute blast seeing feedback from poetry and new material I’ve been testing out since the summer. Though I played a private gig solo in December, I’m thrilled to say Dude the Obscure is no longer a solo project – I’ll be teaming up with old University Hallsmate, who was also my partner in crime for fundraising gigs we set up there, Dale Johnson, fellow punk and alternative musician, DJ and expert looper. From January we’ll be testing a few things out and getting Dude the Obscure a newer, richer sound. In the meantime I’ll continue spamming Instagram with #dudetheobscure poetry and seeing what works live as spoken word and what’s better in lyric form.

Project #4: Hyperus, from The Chronicler’s Guild

For a year I’ve been working and writing with Cornish writer and musician Spike Brooks on The Chronicler’s Guild (often misheard as “Chronically Skilled”), a Neurodiverse Writing Hub we’re forming in the area between Launceston and Plymouth (UK). We each have a writing project in our literary universe and I’ve been tasked with Hyperus, a satirical sci-fi stomper about a band of misfits in an intergalactic radio station who do war with The Dominous Empire after accidentally stealing an ultra-powerful weapon during a raid for banned music. Like Cracked Pins there’ll be illustrations, but this’ll mostly be prose, with potential for some scripts and radio pops in the pipeline.

Project #5: Function (Part II)

Nanowrimo ’17 was awfully addictive this year, and ‘Function’ got a good reception despite my initial apprehension about the content. So loved was it by readers and I that I’m putting a different writing project on the back burner to finish off Function during my old University’s annual writing retreat, which takes place for a week in mid March 2018. The format will be the same as before, published on social media, albeit more sporadically as we’ll be based deep in Cornwall where WiFi is sparse…!

Project #6: New Instagram Account?! (Pokémon Bury & Rise)

Hear me out. I’ve been doing Pokémon fanart since the heady days of Generation I, including fakemon and concept art. In previous years I’ve had this page and my old Facebook account contain these, but I’ve recently gotten into digital art and want to really spruce up how they look. Having followed a lot of accounts online showcasing their own Pokémon creations, I’ve seen how amazing these team efforts can be and I need to take the plunge myself. Creations will also be uploaded here in bursts, of course, with bits of backstory added to the Revuva region you’ll be guided around. Anyone want their own designs made, message me!

That’s all for now. Thank you for your time and have yourselves a great holiday! x

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