Paint n’ Pen – Let Christchurch street art inspire you to write

Celebrate Christchurch’s rich street art scene by writing a poem, some lyrics or a short story inspired by it. The Commuting Book presents Paint n’ Pen, a creative writing programme open to all ages, to residents and visitors from New Zealand and overseas. Submit your work as an individual or as a family group and in your own language. All submissions will be reviewed by a multi-lingual panel and they will select the works that fit the criteria and show skill.

The selected pieces will be part of the Commuting Book Scan & Read projects, they'll be published in the Stories catalogue and the best ones will have the chance to be featured on the Watch This Space map, the Augmented Reality street art app Plain Sight and in the summer exhibitions at Tūranga and New Brighton Libraries.

 

Join in!

Find out more about Paint n' Pen.

Q&A with Paint n' Pen organiser, Magda Lorenzo (project coordinator of the Commuting Book)

What gave you the idea for Paint n' Pen?

I met Lindsay Chan from interactive street art site Watch This Space for lunch in front of street art. We thought "Let’s see how the two projects talk to each other". I am always looking for ways to work with other organisations. Things that look unrelated can be quite related.

Street art can be a great basis for writing - there might be a lot happening in the mural. You could choose a character in the mural – a funny dog and use it as your main character, or write about the whole environment of the mural.

What is your favourite street art work in Christchurch?

Deow's work on Buchan Street and Owen Dippie's Ballerina (I see the Ballerina every day).

How will the Paint n' Pen Workshops go?

You will physically go and visit a mural, then an art historian / writer (Reuben Woods) and a writing tutor will talk about street art and the process of writing - how to use metaphor etc. It’s an opportunity to learn to write if you’ve never had any training. It could be the first step in upskilling yourself to write better and more.

It's important to physically visit the street art, not just use Google images. Being in front of the artwork is where you’ll get the most inspiration. Use Watch This Space. The soon to be released app Plain Sight brings it to life and might trigger ideas (see the clip below).

Magda left us with more tips:

  • It’s not a competition - your first ever written piece could be published.
  • You can use any form - poetry, short story, flash fiction, or non-fiction.
  • You can write in your own language.

Find out more

The Commuting Book presents Paint n’ Pen in collaboration with Christchurch City Libraries, The School For Young Writers, Watch This Spaceopens a new window, Evans Taylor Digital and it is supported by Christchurch City Council’s Enliven Places Projects Fund and Publica.

The Commuting Book

Watch this Space

See our page about street art.

Some street art faves:

Street Art by Deow - 116 Buchan Street. Monday 29 February 2016. Flickr 2016-02-29-IMG_2961
Street Art by Deow - 116 Buchan Street. Monday 29 February 2016. Flickr 2016-02-29-IMG_2961
Art by Buff Monster, 190 Durham Street, Flickr 2015-03-02IMG_5691
Art by Buff Monster, 190 Durham Street, Flickr 2015-03-02IMG_5691
Art by Tilt, 50 Victoria Street. Flickr 2015-02-05-IMG_5782
Art by Tilt, 50 Victoria Street. Flickr 2015-02-05-IMG_5782
Art by Flox. Flickr 2015-02-14-IMG_5312
Art by Flox. Welles Street. Flickr 2015-02-14-IMG_5312
Street art by Wongi Wilson. Manchester Street. Flickr 2016-06-10-IMG_4387
Street art by Wongi Wilson. Manchester Street. Flickr 2016-06-10-IMG_4387
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