Friday 28 March 2014

What If The Future... Is Now

Despite forever having dreamt of New York City, I don't think I've made any secret of where my heart truly lies, and always will. 

Although I never exactly intended for Scarphelia to be a blog about London, I've found that I actually can't help but let my sheer infatuation with the city creep into my words.

I'm lucky enough to be in London most days, but each moment I spend there makes me crave a million more. The city is so vast and diverse, it genuinely hurts my head trying to work out how I can do everything and see it all. That's why I like to take every chance I can to explore, and create little days like this.

But there is one particular part of the city that I hold closer to my heart than any other, where I spend nearly all of my time (and definitely all of my money) that from day one, instantly just felt like home.

The East. 

I've always been fascinated by the place, and after spending five months working as a full time intern there last summer, and falling for the most wonderful Gentleman who lives in Hoxton, my love affair with the place has reached full blown fever pitch. 

The filthy streets of East London are simply electric. 

The very air itself seems to be tangibly heavy with a sense of hushed secrecy, illict thrill and bristling excitement, suspended in a permanent state of those few fleeting seconds at a surprise party, when the oblivious victim ambles up the driveway and everyone is hushed and crouches down in the darkness in thrilling anticipation.

Bust most of all, I love the people.

Some are unbelievable, many are ridiculous, most are kinda pretentious, but everyone is so goddamn passionate about what they do. East London is the vibrant hub of the young creative, with countless entrepreneurs cutting the proverbial ribbons of their start-ups daily, a breeding ground for the unique quirky and independent establishments, shunning the conventional, commercial and conglomerate. 

It's often said that our childhoods are the greatest years of our lives and that growing up sucks, but I couldn't disagree more. Being here has showed me that growing up is the most incredibly exciting thing in the world. 

Because in essence, East London is a grown-up's playground. 

And there's nothing I love more in the world, than when I get the opportunity to stretch out my legs and experience this first hand. 

One such time was this past Thursday evening, and although I tend to keep blog posts about events on Scarphelia ETC, this was too monumental, too exciting and too life-affirming to put anywhere else.

I first heard about the event when I was emailed by a company called Gatherly.

I receive quite a few emails from various companies and brands, however,  it's immediately obvious that the vast majority of these are copy and paste jobs sent out to any blogger who has their email address readily available.

Most of the things I receive are along the lines of 'As you're an avid beauty lover...' Nope, try again. 'The team here think you're a really great fashion blogger' Nada, totally wrong. 'We can see that you love your cosmetic bargains' Come now, you're not even trying. 

But the email from Gatherly really stood out, because it was just... honest. 

Recently, I've been spending a lot of time wondering what the hell I'm actually going to do with my future, and where I as a blogger, am going to end up in the long run. With no-one else to have gone before me doing what I do, I've felt half lost and half inspired to strive on and be the first of my kind, the first person to bring the same esteem to thought and intellect in the blogosphere, as standing in front of a camera wearing pretty clothes.

How I was going to do that, however, was something I was yet to quite work out.

And just at that critical moment, this appeared to me.

"Working in the creative industries can be one of the most isolating experiences - even for the most social of creatures. is the online magazine that tells the story of what happens if we change all that.

We're waging a war on missed opportunities by building a network of the most inspiring and talented people, around the things you're most passionate about. 

Starting in the UK we are hooking this network up with the most forward-thinking businesses and organisations and offering them the opportunity to collaborate and create with each other, while documenting the outcome to inspire others.

By opportunities, we don’t mean jobs, we mean passion projects.Things you are so excited about being a part of that you will pull out all the stops and happily give up your time for.

An opportunity could be working with Canon to re-imagine catwalk photography, or being hauled up in a cabin with world renowned authors to create something truly mesmerising."

I was immediately captivated. 

In fact, that last line alone sounded like a dream come true.

I was invited along to their first creative exhibition in Allpress in Shoreditch, East London, to discuss it further with them and I already had a good feeling.

Their first project had been to gather together a bunch of insanely talented photographers, models and artists, then armed with Canon cameras, send them out across Europe to create masterpieces in three different European capitals and return, all in under 24 hours.

The place was packed to the rafters with the eccentric and excited alike, all immensely talented and creatively passionate, and the whole room seemed to emit a humming glow.

With free beers supplied by Brewdog and fascinating conversation supplied by everyone else, the evening was illuminated.

I was blown away by not only the atmosphere of the room, but also by the incredible work that these people had produced. Their photographs were exhibited on twine and pegs all about the place, and halfway through the evening, we were all quietened briefly to watch the short behind the scenes films of how these 24 hours had all come together.

You can find the three videos at the bottom of this post, and I definitely encourage you to watch.

I managed to speak to a whole host of interesting people and finally got to meet Tash, the girl who had first emailed me on behalf of Gatherly.

"As soon as I started reading Scarphelia... I knew you were one of us." She said with a smile, and I felt myself squeal inside.

The timing of this could not have been more perfect.

The more she spoke of the company, the world, and the overbearing desire to create remarkable things, the more I saw myself reflected, and I could see just what an incredible opportunity this truly was.

"The beauty of this is that the opportunities are almost boundless." Tash continued. "As an example, in the case of bloggers or creative writers, a company like say Expedia would come to us, source one of our writers then send them off on a trip to The U.S or something, to write about their experience for the Expedia blog."

I could honestly feel my eyes twinkling.

That was the dream.

Partnering up creatively-driven individuals with talents in various fields, getting a task and a sponsorship from a huge brand, then  like mixing up colourful chemicals in a lab, not knowing exactly what the outcome will be, chucking it all together to see what happens, and just how creative you can get with it.

The only clear goal I've had in my head about my future is the dream of travelling the world meeting extraordinary people and documenting it along the way.

And now here it was.

The absolute dream.

I left the event absolutely dancing on a cloud, and me and my darling Sophie promptly headed over to the Old Blue Last to a Vice Magazine party for a celebratory boogie.


I'm heading in to the Gatherly offices next Thursday for a meeting with the team, and for perhaps the first time ever, I don't think I can quite express in words how excited I am to be a part of something this great.

See the three videos from the 24 hour shoots below.


All photos and media in this post are the property of Gatherly.


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