I Love West Leeds Arts Festival | Young Writers | Laura Kirwan-Ashman

Laura Kirwan-Ashman is 21 years old and has been writing ever since she was young. Inspired by a creative writing workshop focusing on the author/artist Jeffrey Brown, she has recently begun creating comic books and is looking forward to working on a new one as Associate Writer in Residence for the I Love West Leeds Festival.

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I had a great time today, here's my first blog post.
I've just joined the Young Writers in Residence program having been away and it's good to finally get going on my project. I'm aiming to create drawings inspired by the I Love West Leeds Festival accompanied by writing, sort of like a comic but probably without the linear narrative most comic books/strips have. My writing tends to focus in on little moments, memories and observations, usually to do with relationships, vignettes, if you like.

I first got interested in the comic format because of a Creative Writing workshop focusing on the author/artist Jeffrey Brown (http://www.jeffreybrowncomics.com/) who creates beautifully observed, clumsily drawn comic books about his past relationships, amongst other things. His work appealed to me as it focuses on the same topic as my work has for quite a while now and I was inspired to create my own comic based on memories from the beginning of my current relationship. This is what helped me to become involved in the festival as a Young Writer in Residence, and I'm really looking forward to exploring this medium further, especially as the festival will force me to be less self-involved when it comes to subject matter. It'll be challenging but really good for me as a writer/artist.

Today, I went to the Marvellous Tea Dance at the Interplay Theatre in Armley. I'm aiming to use this as the main source of inspiration for the work I'll create for the festival. It was a great event, with people dressed up in forties/fifties clothing, amazing cakes and tea served in beautiful old tea cups and pots, a swing/rock'n'roll band and fabulous dancing from the era. My friend James and I dressed up and walked down, getting a lot of attention from passers by, and had a great time observing all the different characters dancing (we were very jealous of their moves). It was lovely to see so many people together in a space and having a good time talking, laughing and dancing I made some notes as well as taking a ridiculous amount of pictures and can't wait to sit down and start writing/drawing about it all.

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