TINY TALKS WITH ALI BRYAN

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Ali Bryan from Issue 8, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Original! Read her short story, “Sweet Caroline” in our eighth issue and her other stories are posted in our Monday Features!

The Hill by Ali Bryan

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Ali: Exploring the what-ifs, the wtfs and the wait-a-minutes of every day.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to?

Ali: Jean Smith, Pamma FitzGerald, Miriam Toews, Meg Wolitzer, Wes Anderson, Shia LaBeouf, Seth Rogen, Mike White, Jennifer Coolidge, ABBA, Missy Elliott…

Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work?

Ali: All of it. I grew up on the Atlantic Ocean and currently live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. But stars, deer, rabbits, mountains and water figure most prominently in my work.

“Alberta captured under crippling smoke from neighbour BC wildfires”

Tiny Spoon: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you, either with your work that appears in Tiny Spoon or in general?

Ali: My creative process is a blend of intuition and craft and varies from genre to genre, project to project. I love the raw grit of a first draft and the underrated magic of revision. In Sweet Caroline, I enjoyed playing with the juxtaposition of an iconic feel-good song matched with the macabre, messy and often dangerous work of paramedics.

Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share?

Ali: I am currently finishing the edits for my next book of fiction, The Crow Valley Karaoke Championships, which is forthcoming in 2023.

“a crude painting I made last year”

Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?

Ali: Lookout: Love, Solitude and Searching for Wildfire in the Boreal Forest is a stunning memoir. Ceramic artist, Pamma FitzGerald’s Left Behind clay installation. Jack Bishop’s paintings, which explore car-culture, consumerism, commercial space and urban sprawl. The Royal Tennanbaums (film), White Lotus (TV). ABBA Gold, NOFX’s Punk in Drublic, the music of David Francey. 

Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?

Ali: I was a certified Personal Trainer and worked in marketing and communications before turning to writing full time. I am currently serving as the Edna Staebler Writer-in-Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University.

“sketch of Gary Drayton (sketching the cast of The Curse of Oak Island)

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

Ali: My website, on Instagram and Twitter.

TINY TALKS WITH GUILHERME BERGAMINI

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Guilherme Bergamini from Issue 8, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Original! Find his work, “Contractions” in our eighth issue!

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Guilherme: Experiencing each phase that is presented in my life. Experimenting with narrative possibilities and how to tell each story that arises in my creative process.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to?

Guilherme: There are so many inspirations that I don’t intend to number them, so as not to be unfair or forget someone who is so important to me. But I say that the various forms of artistic and cultural manifestations are a sum of learnings, inspirations that allow me to mature my way of making art.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work?

Guilherme: Yes, nature is the greatest material and immaterial asset that I can contemplate and be inspired by. Without her, my works would be empty.

Tiny Spoon: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you, either with your work that appears in Tiny Spoon or in general?

Guilherme: “Contractions” was one of my most important and significant works. These postcards were sent in the period leading up to the birth of my daughter Malu and a few days after her birth.

Each postcard tells feelings and experiences that I lived in that moment that I say was the most beautiful of my life, the birth of my greatest masterpiece, my daughter.

Following an aesthetic line of mail art, an artistic movement of the mid-twentieth century, the collages were made from photographs of facades in the city of Havana, Cuba and images of roads taken in several trips I took in my State, Minas Gerais, which by the way, it presents an indescribable natural beauty.

Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share?

Guilherme: Yes, I have a work “Sands inventory” which is an imagery documentation of the urbanization process around Fazenda das Areias, my family’s rural property located in the municipality of Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

This work began in 2006 and is currently under development.

Other works that are in progress are shorter in terms of production time but dialogue with current issues such as social isolation due to the pandemic and the emotional issue of a transsexual in her work routine.

Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?

Guilherme: I nominate Brazilian Popular Music in its most diverse aspects and artists such as Milton Nascimento, Tom Jobim, Chico Buarque, Tim Maia, Caetano Veloso, Elis Regina, Elza Soares, Zeca Baleiro…. Brazil is a country rich in literature, writers, poets such as Carlos Drumond de Andrade, Manuel Bandeira, Carolina Maria de Jesus, Cecília Meireles, Machado de Assis, João Cabral de Melo Neto, Clarice Lispector, Graciliano Ramos, Guimarães Rosa, Adélia Prado, Conceição Evaristo…

Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?

Guilherme: I just want you to know that art for me is liberating, resistance and meaning for my life.

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do? (website, social media, etc., if you wish to share it)

Guilherme: I invite you to visit my website | Facebook | Instagram

Tiny Spoon: Do you have photographs or images you would like us to share?

Guilherme: I would like to share my third independent publication, Carta Branca (White card), an imagery critique of the tragic Brazilian police in recent years. The photobook undersigns the photographs and graphic design where the publication was a finalist last year in the Hong Kong Photobook Dummy Award and Photobook Week Aarhus in Denmark, in addition to being present in libraries and exhibitions in 13 countries. Discover the photobook here.

Issue 8 Feature: Casey Jo Storer

Our 8th Issue is packed full of exciting artists and writers! Our blog is an extension of the issue so we can share even more experimental, beautiful work with our readers!
Connecting With the Audience is also in Issue 8!
The Mire

Bio: Casey Jo Storer is a sign maker from Nashville, TN.

TINY TALKS WITH SAMUEL T. FRANKLIN

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Samuel T. Franklin from Issue 8, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Original! Read his poems, “Questions, Answers” and “Mid-Breath, a Question” in our eighth issue!

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Samuel: When I was very young—say four or five—I repeated the word “bird” over and over until it lost any real meaning for me. It ceased to correlate to a physical animal and became just a weird sound I was making. That disassociation didn’t last more than probably a minute, but I think that was a kind of formative experience—language is a symbolic construction, and breaking the association between word and object can let you see something in a completely new way. 

I think that’s become at least one of the main catalysts for my writing—to break down normal associations and introduce a new perspective.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to?

Samuel: Like many poets and fiction writers, my creative writing isn’t my main source of income. I currently work full-time at a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, where I manage and maintain various kinds of documentation. It’s interesting work, but there isn’t any room for poetry during the day—I have to squeeze it in at night, on the weekends, the early mornings before I’ve had a decent amount of coffee. It’s made me think a lot about the poets Wallace Stevens and Ted Kooser. Both cultivated highly successful careers in poetry and highly successful careers in a decidedly non-poetic field (the insurance industry). They remind me that finding the right balance between your hobbies and your job can be difficult, but it is by no means impossible.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work?

Samuel: There’s a great chinquapin oak in my backyard that I consider with equal parts wonder and terror. It’s over a century old, and half of its trunk is a twisted mass of split and scarred wood from a lightning strike decades ago. It looks amazing up close. The dead wood is gnarled and wavy, and there are some magnificent burls. It’s also quite tall, and pretty close to my house, so it tends to make me a little nervous. I’ve had arborists out to assess it, and they’ve said that generally it’s fine and healthy—aside from the dead portion. But every time there’s a storm or a strong wind, I half expect to hear it cracking and falling over. It’s an awe-inspiring thing, and it’s made its way into a number of poems.

Tiny Spoon: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you, either with your work that appears in Tiny Spoon or in general?

Samuel: I keep a notebook with me at all times—small enough to fit into my back pocket. If anything strikes or resonates with me during the day—a word, a thought, an observation—I make a note of it. And I might not come back to that note for a day or a week or maybe even a few months, but, eventually, I revisit it. Sometimes it connects with other notes I’ve made since, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I forget entirely why I wrote it down, but that doesn’t necessarily matter. If it still resonates, I’ll expand on it, or work it into something else I’m already writing.

Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share?

Samuel: The two poems published in Issue 8 (“Questions, Answers” and “Mid-breath, a Question”) are from a larger collection that I’m attempting to get published. The collection, currently titled Moondarkness, Sleeptongue, Dreamlife, is composed of poems that are based on things my wife has said or done in her sleep. She’s totally cool with it, and has already read all the poems.

I also am working through a collective mess (too vague to be called a definitive collection, too connected to not eventually be exactly that) of poems that seem to focus on how people and their environments change each other, for better or worse.

And there’s an ongoing assemblage of short-to-micro pieces of fiction that have stemmed largely from observing people being absolute garbage to each other.  

Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?

Samuel: Honestly, I’d recommend that you seek out whatever inspires you to keep on creating and thinking about the world in new ways. I’ve noticed that the works that most inspire me somehow engage history, but that might not be for everyone.

Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?

Samuel: I guess a fun fact about my second book of poetry (Bright Soil, Dark Sun) is that I designed the cover through a combination of fingerpaint and digital manipulation. In fact, if you look at it closely, you’ll notice some weird squiggly lines in the upper-right corner. Those are palm lines from one of my hands. It’s a messy cover, but I like it well enough.

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

Samuel: I have a website.

Issue 8 Feature: Shannon Gardner

Our 8th Issue is packed full of exciting artists and writers! Our blog is an extension of the issue so we can share even more experimental, beautiful work with our readers! This artist is also in our print issue!
“Don’t Stop or We’ll Die”

“Nighttime Hue”

“Mother Monster”

“A Joke to You”

Bio: Shannon appreciates the spontaneous process of nature and strives to explore Earth’s unfound beauty and imitate it’s natural imperfections. She creates art depicting paranormal elements and iconography. Her line and dot work creates an impression of a technical drawing. Stippling and cross-hatching creates clusters of value implying crisp texture and depth, giving the illusion of change through time. Shannon’s serendipitous approach to watercolor and ink creates a profound contrasting aura with her illustrations. Support her art by shopping here: etsy.com/shop/uneasyviewing

TINY TALKS WITH JESSICA LEE MCMILLAN

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Jessica Lee McMillan from Issue 8, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Original! Read her poem, “Décollage” in our eighth issue!

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Jessica: The search for language to capture the dazzling world and how something as simple as the angle of light in the spectrum can bewitch us with complex emotions. My creativity feels inexhaustible so the challenge is protecting time every day to channel it.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to?

Jessica: I really love Jeanette Winterson’s writing and Judith Butler’s philosophy.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work?

Jessica: The landscapes of British Columbia are the background of much of my writing. I live next to the Fraser River, which has become a major influence in my work. Every poet needs a body of water. The physics of light and sound also inform the movements or textures of my poems.

Tiny Spoon: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you, either with your work that appears in Tiny Spoon or in general?

Jessica: I prefer to work on paper first and have several notebooks for new pieces, ideas, words, and poetic sketches. When a poem is ready, I transcribe it and walk away. My intuition and ear guide the process and the poem tells me its direction. For instance,Décollage” is an ekphrastic response to Thievery Corporation’s song employing the technique (of reverse collage/lifting off) by gluing two poems together, then tearing strips from the top layer to reveal simultaneous texts that inspired the surreal verse.

Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share?

Jessica: As an emerging poet, I am submitting to journals but I am finalizing the concept for a chapbook early this year. My upcoming poems and readings are listed on my personal website.

Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?

Jessica: I want to recommend many for each category, but as a hardcore music enthusiast, I am going with the brilliant Kamasi Washington who is re-writing the book of jazz with Afro futuristic, progressive polyrhythms, elements of hip hop, soul and funk that are erudite as “Clair de Lune” and kickass as its martial arts references (“Fists of Fury”, “Streetfighter Mas”).

Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?

Jessica: I am also a painter hoping to let image and word have some playtime when I am not quite so busy. I also write about music as a release valve from the intense process poetry requires. I’ve even been talking about it as a pop culture station anchor on the voice-sharing app Swell.

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

Jessica: Website | Twitter | Swell

Issue 8 Feature: Psychosurrealism

Our 8th Issue is packed full of exciting artists and writers! Our blog is an extension of the issue so we can share even more experimental, beautiful work with our readers!
“Stop Arson Around Kevin”
“Nature Always Wins”
“Sick of Being Licked”
“She Brings the Night”

Bio: Psychoanalytic + Psychedelic + Surrealism = Psychosurrealism. I am an artist from Liverpool inspired by Surrealism, Pop Art, Lowbrow and Pop Surrealism. Also taking inspiration from 1960s Psychedelic art and Poster art. Every piece of work has a meaning behind it for the viewer to interpret. Find more work here:  https://psychosurrealism.co.uk/ and on Instagram: @psychosurrealism.art

TINY TALKS WITH JACKIE PARTRIDGE

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Jackie Partridge from Issue 8, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Original! Find her artwork, “Looking In”, “Establishing Roots”, and “Establishing Roots Detail” in our eighth issue!

Jackie Partridge is a mixed media artist working with handmade paper, recycled maps and objects living in Wellesley, ON, Canada. She graduated from Concordia University in 2018, in the Fibers and Material Practices Program. You can view more of her art installations here.

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Jackie: I am very multi-passionate and I use different art forms for different purposes. The environment inspires me to create as I feel my art can be a voice for environmental problems. I love hiking and camping and find I am always inspired after.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to?

Jackie: So many! I love abstract and impressionist painters, textile and fibre artists like Amanda McCavour and Meredith Woolnough and land artists like Richard Long and Marlene Creates.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work?

Jackie: The passage of time, repetition, labour, change and transformation, preserving nature.

Tiny Spoon: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you, either with your work that appears in Tiny Spoon or in general?

Jackie: I love the creation process of art and being able to experiment and test installations. I enjoy reworking old artworks and turning them into new pieces like through the paper making process. Different materials and learning new techniques keep me creative. Often the material inspires the work or I have in mind a title or a theme and think of which material would be best. I love experimenting and often take photos of my work outdoors which becomes and new or an added layer.

Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share?

Jackie: I have a current exhibition at Cambridge Art Galleries as part of a juried show for emerging artists. You can find more info about that here. I am also working on a grant project that is a series of cyanotypes based on wildflowers in the Waterloo region.

Patched

Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?

Jackie: I love two art podcasts – Do it for the Process by Emily Jeffords and the Laura Horn Art Podcast by Laura Horn. Listening to people talk about art reminds me to create and keeps me motivated. I love listening to anything I find inspiring or relaxing while I’m creating. My favourite band to listen to while I’m making art is Said the Whale. I love reading professional development books and books on mindset – my favourites are: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, Chillpreneur by Denise Duffield-Thomas and Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt.

Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?

Jackie: Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you can’t support an artist, financially remember you are supporting them by sharing their work, liking and commenting on their work online and being a part of their journey.

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

Jackie:  Website | Facebook | Instagram | Youtube | Free Acrylic Painting Guide!

What Is and What Was

Issue 8 Feature: Zhang

Our blog is an extension of the issue so we can share even more experimental, beautiful work with our readers!

Artist Statement: I am Zhang. I am an illustrator from China and currently working out of the UK. I graduated from Arts University Bournemouth. I like to capture the moments and narratives occurring around me as I am most interested in real life. Hand-drawn observational images are combined with the digital in depicting landscapes, architecture, animals, food and humans, both individually and in crowds. I am interested in editorial, book cover, advertising, package design, surface pattern design etc. 

My final project is to make a ZINE with a wordless to depict my unique perception of my observation, which happened in London and Bournemouth. They are all based on my real experiences and feelings. I hope my audience can have a resonate with me after watching my work. Something might be common, but it is a special view for me to explore. Find more work online at www.zhigangart.com and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/z_zhigang/

TINY TALKS WITH WILL CORDEIRO

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Will Cordeiro from Issue 8, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Original! Read his poem, “Glue Trap” in our eighth issue!

Cover Art: “Earthships and their Neighbors” by Lisa Sanditz

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Will: Being alive. Travel. Reading. Thinking. Art. Music. Love. The whole flux of experience. Learning about science, history, cultures. Other people. Other languages. Creativity in any form fosters more creativity. One spark ignites another.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to?

Will: Sure, there’s many—too many to account for here. I’ll just give a shout out to my co-author, Lawrence Lenhart, with whom I’m working on a book right now about experimental literature. Being inside the writing process on a large project with someone else is a great learning experience for me, and Lawrence’s dedication to his craft and his thoughtfulness are inspiring. My partner, M. S. Coe, is also inspiring; I’m often the first reader and give feedback on their work. Their second novel should be coming out from Spurl Editions next year.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work?

Will: I’m often moved by the particularities of places—along with the animals, plants, and fungi that inhabit them; the intricate network of ecosystems; weather and landforms; the human body; the matter and energy that undulate our universe.

Tiny Spoon: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you, either with your work that appears in Tiny Spoon or in general?

Will: I work almost every day. I move between genres and styles, older pieces and new ones. I can revise small pieces for years, for decades sometimes. The joy is staying focused on making any piece the best it can be, listening to the language, having the patience to keep crafting each word, allowing the process to push me to reimagine my aesthetic outlook, and continuing to apply higher standards. There’s no moment of arrival. The act of writing is its own reward.      

Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share?

Will: My first book of poems came out in 2021, Trap Street, which won the Able Muse Book Award. I’m currently working on Experimental Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology with my co-author Lawrence Lenhart, which is scheduled to be published by Bloomsbury in 2023.

Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?

Will: Despite writing a book on contemporary experimental literature, I tend to read more work by authors from past eras. In the last few weeks, it’s been Herrick, Rochester, A. D. Hope, Ovid, Alejandra Pizarnik, Quevedo, and Neruda in poetry; John Dos Passos, Richard Selzer, and Eliza Haywood in prose; plays by Aristophanes and Edward Albee. I’m also teaching Kathy Acker’s Blood and Guts in High School, Hervé Guibert’s Arthur’s Whims, and Paul Beatty’s The Sellout in my classes this semester. All good stuff. 

Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?

Will: Generally, I don’t think the author is all that important—I hope the attention can be placed on the work itself. I’m not advocating self-abnegation for others; but, personally, my work is not about “me” even when it’s most autobiographical.

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

Will: I don’t have any forms of social media. However, there’s a good deal of my work scattered around various sites online.