Around the World in 7 Artists

We’re so proud that our fabulous artists come from all over the world – so we’ve decided to talk about them here, and the countries they’re from!

James Booker
Queensland, Australia

James offers an abundance of colourful, over-the-top and often out-there collages. Branching out from writing and illustration in 2010, James launched Random Galaxy, adopting his techniques to begin developing a photo-manipulation collage style of art.

Rebecca Elfast
Gothenburg, Sweden

Rebecca is an illustrator and surface pattern designer. Producing artwork that is fun and colourful, she works with a mix of handmade and digital techniques. Ink and watercolour are her favourite media and the layered, transparent principles of those techniques are often visible in her digital work as well.

Josephine Wall
Dorset, United Kingdom

Josephine specialises in mystical, surreal-like, fantasy paintings. Inspired by greats such as Magritte and the pre-Raphaelites, she often strives to impart a message in her scenes, and inspire her audience to take a personal journey into her magical world.

Steve Spazuk
Quebec, Canada

In a technique he refers to as “fumage,” Steven Spazuk has reinvented traditional artistic approaches, by painting with smoke. Since 2001, Spazuk has refined this skill – making the relationships between humans and the natural world his primary focus.

Schim Schimmel
Arizona, USA

For over 20 years, Schim has been painting in a style uniquely his own, expressing on canvas his love and awe for our incredible planet, its animals, and the universe that brought them into being. Through his work, Schim hopes to inspire others to be more conscious human beings living within a vulnerable ecosystem.

Happy Fluff Comics
Chennai, India

Akshara Ashok is the creator behind the hilariously popular Happy Fluff Comics. The much-loved series documents the life of Fluff, the girl next door unabashedly highlighting situations and problems we come across every day – but seldom discuss in public.

Vincent Hie
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Clarity, articulation and high attention to detail are key elements in Vincent’s work. Loving the beauty of shapes, forms, colours and sounds, Vincent made the switch from tradition tools to digital software back in the early 2000s.

If you want to check out the works of these, or any other of our artists, just hit ‘search’ and ‘browse our artists’ in app. Remember! Momentful is free to download on both iOS and Android.

Have Pride

In case anyone is wondering where all this talk about Pride has come from, here’s a brief summary:

Pride is a commemoration of the Stonewall riots of the late 1960s. These events were the spark that galvanised the LGBTQ+ (then gay) community to promote activism for equal rights. Pride became a celebration of the bravery of those who were otherwise persecuted by the law and social pressure (and sadly, many still are to this day). The fight was for freedom of sexual and/or gender identification. Right, now that we’ve dealt with housekeeping – let’s get down to business. What does Pride mean today?

In a word, Pride is f**** awesome! It celebrates individuality and uniqueness on an immense scale. People all over the world, stand in the face of persecution and tyranny and express their unbridled joy at being oneself: wholly, freely and without reserve or judgement. It’s wonderful, and….the parade has been cancelled this year due to COVID 🙂

However… this doesn’t mean that “Pride” itself has been cancelled, so don’t fold up the bunting or put away your NHS rainbows quite yet! There’s a whole bunch of ways we can celebrate Pride Month this June from the comfort of own homes. Many of the world’s favourite artists, musicians and other content creators are LGBTQ+. So, there is an abundance of creative forms to draw from there to get the celebration started. Crack open the bubbly, get a feather boa on and have your own drag-house party!

This is a month when we can all celebrate our diversity and individuality and feel acceptance and love. One day, we might not need a set-piece month for us to feel our best unique selves, free of persecution. Until then – let’s party like it’s 1969!

Send one of our Pride Moments today!

No Limits

Many of you (of course!) have been eagerly anticipating World Bicycle Day!

There are 2 billion bicycles in the world; that averages out to about one per family for the whole planet! This contrasts spectacularly with only 92 million cars. So, clearly bicycles are the world’s favourite mode of transport.

Here in the UK there are around 3m new bikes bought each year (that compares to 2.5 million new cars). Since lockdown, bicycle sales have boomed by 500%. And that can only be a good thing: it’s a cleaner, healthier, more fun way to commute or enjoy your leisure time. It you haven’t been out peddling by now, get your rusty bike out of the shed and make it road-ready… or maybe buy yourself a new one? It’s a good excuse!

Send one of these invitations your cycle chums and do yourself and the planet some good.

Image courtesy of Xavi Cabrera

When this is all over…

When this is all over, I’ll visit my Mum.
We’ll sit in her garden drinking Pimm’s in the sun.

When this is all over, I’ll throw a huge BBQ.
I’ll hug all my friends and really stick to them like glue.

When this is all over, I’ll jump in my car.
I’ll drive just for the sake of it, to spaces wide and far.

When this is all over, I’ll visit the sea.
I’ll eat chips by the shore, dipped in mushy peas.

When this is all over, I’ll think about what we’ve lost.
Livelihoods and loved ones were too high a cost.

When this is all over, I’ll be still for a while.
I’ll think about the future and then raise a brave smile.

I’ll find the right Moments, to write and to send
For when this is all over…. we will all be best friends

How do I say…

… I need help.

Sometimes life throws lemons at us; but perhaps making lemonade isn’t exactly your thing. So, what do we do about it? Did we think to ask one of our best friends or family to help? Or did we just awkwardly say nothing and let it pass?

For some reason, many of us feel we have to single-handedly tackle the Krackens in our lives without asking for help. Whether it’s a little leg-up with the tiny things, or a catapult for the huge stuff: being honest about when we need help seems really bloomin’ hard. And modern-day pressure doesn’t help either. We are, after all, expected to have a career, an instagrammable social life, an enviable family life, a few cool hobbies and now; we are also expected to know the latest Tik-Tok dance for some stupid song about Carole-sodding-Baskin (who??)!

Whatever the reasons for our self-imposed struggle to say ‘yes, please – I need help’; it is not cool and it’s definitely not good for us. All it does is set us up for more struggle, more feelings of inadequacy and thus, the circle continues.

If you find yourself in this kind of swamp or know someone who is, remember that there are many ways to reach out and say ‘I need help’ or ‘do you need a hand?’ Whether it’s a visual cue for that emotion or just a conversation starter: there are lots of Moments that can raise a hand to let someone know that help is needed or is at hand.

All we have to do is take that one small step – and that’s the hardest bit done. So why not start now? Now is always better than tomorrow.

Image courtesy of Noah Buscher

Pet to Pet

The Beatles once sang: “I get by with a little help from my friends…” and that has never been more true than today. But what about our hairy little chums at home? How are they coping with lockdown without their furry friends to help them get by?

Now, if your dog or cat had opposable thumbs and access to your mobile phone what missives might they be sending their wee chums? We’ve put our creative team to good use and asked them to imagine what Moments our pets might want to send to their chums if they could. And they came up with some butt-sniffing, post scratching and other pet-to-pet-related themes to test the idea out. See what delightful messages they came up with:

“Long time no pee on your lamp post. Ah… missing good times! xx”
“OK, I love you, but it’s my turf. Don’t forget……… xx”
“What’s this ‘lockdown’ thing?? Fancy running away together… Dreaming of it xx”
“My master bought me a new bed. Wish you could snuggle-up in it with me. Luv ya! xx”

So there you have it, if your pet could use your Be Momentful app, they’d be running riot through your credits. And providing a lesson to us all: keep the butt-sniffing up! Try these Moments to keep in touch with your friends AND THEIR PETS!

Long time, no see

Many of us have family and loved ones who are overseas – working, emigrated or part of a global, multi-national family. I guess we’re starting to wonder when we might see them again. Some experts are saying that it maybe 12-28 months before many borders are re-opened and safe for overseas travel. Maybe it just simply won’t be the same again; no more just hopping on a plane and jetting off at the drop of a hat.

It’s hard to think that many wonderful occasions like big birthday’s, weddings, engagements and Christenings will have to have a few absent friends missing from the table. All of a sudden, the world has become a much bigger and more dangerous place. It feels almost like we’re about to take a step back 50-60 years when foreign travel was less common, more expensive and not so easy to do. Now that’s real social distance! Perhaps it’s something we’ll all have to get used to?

Absence does make the heart grow fonder and we should all think about our loved ones overseas and hope they stay safe and well. Reunions can wait. Until then, why not keep in touch daily… there’s a Moment for every moment. So, there’s no need to feel apart, even if you are.

Coping Alone

Be Momentful’s own in-house psychologist, Louise, helps bring some perspective to what we might be experiencing during lockdown.

“The idea of taking an extended ‘stay at home’ break might have sounded a pretty easy touch to some: a bit of a break from the normal hectic routine; going to work in your pyjamas! But in reality, we are now scrambling to make sense of this unparalleled interruption to our ideas about work / home / productivity / leisure / socialising.

Living with the absence of social interaction is the main and unexpected feature of our new Covid-19 lockdown. Why’s that a big deal? Because we humans are social beings. We require social interactions, both positive and negative, to find our way through our social and work environments. These interactions boost our mental health and provide feelings of worth and belonging. Without these, we risk falling into depression, anxiety and paranoia.

Individuals who now find themselves in social isolation, particularly those who are living alone, are in danger of developing anxiety, paranoia and a reduced tolerance to small stress factors i.e. inability to cope. Early signs such as disrupted sleep patterns, increased napping and lack of motivation or goals may appear. So, as we face a prolonged period of social isolation ahead of us – we should all introduce as many tactics into our daily routine to stave off these effects. For example:

– Make the most of your daily exercise, and make sure you try and spend that time outdoors whenever possible (whilst following social distancing guidelines). Breathe the fresh air. See the Spring appearing around us bringing new life.

– Take time to appreciate what you do have; sit and unwind from the small stresses that build-up with the increased uncertainty that we are currently facing. Remember. We’re all in the same boat. We will be fine if we stick together.

– Finally, whilst social media isn’t always your best friend, in times like this it is an ideal outlet to give you a dose of social interaction needed to keep you going. Just don’t believe half of what you hear! But most of all: connect everyday with your family, friends, and loved ones. One small message will make a world of difference and stop us feeling as if we are alone.”

Stay safe, stay positive and keep sending folks

Where’s your head at?

A very good question once posed by electro-funksters, Basement Jaxx. Thanks guys.

Just as spring edges its way over the murky winter horizon, and our brains, bodies and souls are waking from hibernation, we find ourselves into an extended, enforced isolation. New territory for us all. Some of us might be bouncing of all for walls with vigour and get-go; some of us will feel like we’ve got a hangover. Many of us will be nursing the effects, partially or totally, of a bout of Covid-19.

Spring is supposed to be the starting pistol for all things fresh, new and vibrant. The air smells different, the sun bursts into our days earlier and lingers longer on our skin. There’s an outbreak of new life excitement all around us – births, colour, growth! Yikes!

There will be some of us who feel the energy, but others who aren’t so lucky. For those of you positively bounding into Spring and keeping it all together, keep an eye out for the folks who might have less bounce in their step. They might need a transfusion of your energy to help get their heads in the right place.

No-one asked for this pandemic; no-one wants to be in this position – but we are where we are, and we all have to help each other get through it.

Why not send a Spring inspired Moment to keep things on track.

We’ll meet again

“’In these uncertain times, I am taken back to my time during World War Two, when we all pulled together and looked after each other. It is this spirit that we all need to find again to weather the storm of the coronavirus (COVID-19).”

These are the words from wartime singer, Dame Vera Lynn, now 102, who rose to fame in 1939 singing “We’ll Meet Again” to the British troops stationed abroad during World War II.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, and wholeheartedly recommend giving the track a good listen during these difficult and worrying times…

“Keep smiling through,
Just like you always do,
‘Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away”

We'll Meet Again

Here are a selection of Moments to send to anyone you feel might need a bit of sparkle bringing to their day.