Zdzislaw Beksinski – A gothic artist of distopian tendencies.. To put it mildly!

This alarming and grim image is typical of the work of this artist from Poland who specialised in creating this sort of image.  I have to add at this point that I may seem to be attracted to dystopian and grim images, this is not so, I simply put them in this blog as I suspect that such images are more likely to spark some sort of creative surge in people.

Anyhow this is a very typical example of the work of this artist.  He grew up in war torn Poland, which obviously had a profound effect on his later life – so as a kid he played with war things, as you can see in this photo of him with a friend playing outside a damaged Block House with live shells…

If you saw him, you wouldn’t think for a minute that he would produce the sort of images he went on to create – as you can perhaps see in this photo of him, taken shortly before he was murdered by a teenager he wouldn’t lend a few hundred Zlotys to.

Anyhow, enough of this waffle, here are some typical images created by him, and he was prolific, so there are no end of other images (all essentially about the same thing though) which you can find easily enough online.

See?   Gruesome and horrid…  But they can produce some interesting thoughts I reckon…



More strange and disturbing images to fire your imagination

Once again I have found an intriguing collection of images that I hope will be of use to you guys as sparks to your ideas.   In other words, I hope that the images below will give you ideas for stories as opposed to using them in stories.

So, lets get started on them……………

Now this is a restaurant with a difference!  A weirdly odd and somewhat Edwardian effect.  Many years ago whilst on a winter tour of Scotland with the Little Angel Puppet Theatre we found ourselves at John O’Groats which has a truly odd restaurant as well – and when we arrived there, a totally empty place (it was January after all) we were greeted by this odd building and Hawaiian guitar music blaring out of a public address system…   All very odd.

One or other of these two odd images should give you ideas for a story…..  Though certainly with a Gothic feel I would imagine.

From the sublime to the ridiculous now.

I would imagine that this silly photo could be the basis for a Sci-Fi story at the very least…….  Whilst it is a simple bit of image jiggery-poky and is also mildly funny, it could be the basis of a story about a world in which people’s bodies are manipulated for some reason…..   What do you think?

This is simply silly……………   But it is a new look at an old legend perhaps?

Now I have selected three more odd or curious images that give me  pause for thought, each one of which seem to me to be ripe with an internal story.

What is happening in them and could one perhaps use all three of them in one story?

Well, perhaps one might use the first two in one story, but I am damned if I can see how one might use the third image in the same story as the first two.

And to finish with, here is a collection of creatures that one would not like to come up against on a dark and stormy night – or even on a sunny day come to think of it!   I have no idea what or who they are, I suspect it is some sort of Swiss (or Scandinavian) religious ceremony that has been stolen (as is the case with just about all Christian festivals) from a pre-Christian festival.    But whatever it actually is all about, it seems to me to be begging for a story to use it as a central feature of the story.   So, lets see what you can do with this one!

If any of these images have been a help for you in any way, please do let me know what you used them for.

More Strange And Weird Images To Fire Your Imagination

Once more I look into the weird world of other people’s imagination, this time via the photographs of Erik Johansson who manipulates his photos to create a totally different and obviously impossible vision, also a collection of simply weird photos of real people – which defy the imagination I confess, but which could be the starting point of some very odd stories, so this is possibly useful for teachers to stir the imagination of their students.

So, here is the first of Erik Johansson’s odd world………………..

He seems to be fascinated by this sort of idea, he has a lot of images that have a landscape pouring over a huge drop, for example this one…..

A different take on essentially the same story are a series of photos he has produced that show water pouring from paintings or similar, as in this one….

He also seems to love creating images that are totally impossible in one way or another, and one of his favourite methods of achieving this is to combine reality with an impossible action, as in this one, which shows both an ice-cream melting, but a cut off arm also melting… Odd…………

And as a last look into his strange world, we have his mania for altering perspective, a bit like Escher in this respect, so here we have a totally impossible room to ponder upon……..

And now, to open a real can of worms, a totally extraordinary view of the real world, real people in very strange situations, some of which I am totally at a loss to explain, such as this one… What on earth is that little person?

Or this one…..  Another strange and essentially wrong set of people.   What on earth are they doing?

And this one simply defies explanation.  These people seem to be totally ignoring that very strange little being, though one of them seems to be feeding it… Hmmmmmmmmmm………..

And as the last image, I am totally bemused by this one.   The guy dressed in Arabic clothing seems to be signing a serious contract, but why oh why are there three enormous “things” wearing Arabic woman’s clothing?   Damned if I know………..

Anyhow, I hope that one or more of these strange images will spark off an idea in your mind and help you to write the Great Novel that you have been struggling to create for some years already.

David Zinn – Creator Of Fantastic Street Art

A friend recently introduced me to the work of David Zinn, an Ann Arbor based commercial artist, who in his spare time goes out with a box of chalk and creates the most wonderful images on the street, simply for the fun of it.

Typically his street art-work consists of whimsical visual jokes making use of street furniture, bricks or any other fixed object on the street as you will see in the images below. Apparently he has been happily drawing on pavements and similar since about 1987, and has frequently been a feature of the various street festivals they have there, more about these in the videos below.

As he is actually a commercial artist, he obviously earns his living from the various creations that he makes, not least being these superb (but temporary) chalk drawings.  So he photographs them and turns them into books, calendars and other such useful things, which he then sells via his website..   So if what you see here amuses you, drop by his site and see if there is anything there you would like to own, and make him into a happy man by so doing.   Here is the link you need to achieve that:


OK, so enough of his blurb stuff, what does his work actually look like?   Well here is a small sample of the thousands of images he has created over the years on various pavements all over the world.

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Or these……………….

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So now you have a reasonable idea of his work, and have met his main character, the charming Sluggo – that sort of green creature with eyes on stalks.  Sluggo, and a flying pig named Philomena are two creatures who figure very largely in Zinn’s work, and are  justly both famous and much loved in Ann Arbor where they appear at very regular intervals on the streets. Continue reading “David Zinn – Creator Of Fantastic Street Art”

Haunting Images Of Dead Theatres

Old and derelict theatres have a mysterious and appealing attraction, a feeling of dreams that have crashed to the floor, but also a feeling that somehow they can be resurrected in an instant.

Old and derelict theatres have a mysterious and appealing attraction, a feeling of dreams that have crashed to the floor, but also a feeling that somehow they can be resurrected in an instant.

It is these feelings and also the sheer pathos of old, semi-ruined and abandoned theatres and cinemas that have attracted Matt Lambros for the better part of his life, and he has been taking photos of them ever since he became a professional photographer.

So as he wanders around, earning his living as a photographer, whenever he comes across an abandoned theatre or cinema he can’t resist getting inside it by whatever means possible, and taking a series of photos of what he finds both inside and outside such theatres.

As is often the case with this sort of image, there is really nothing that words can add to them – they are perfectly able to speak for themselves after all, and Matt is a very competent and sensitive photographer, and knows exactly how to let the images tell their tales.

So I shall stop waffling now, and let the images speak to you themselves.

I also need to point out that as is so often the case with the beautiful images one comes across on line, Matt makes his living selling prints of these haunting pictures, so if you find them to your taste, do visit his blog (link below) to see much, much more of his work, and of course, to buy one or more prints so that you can have them on the walls of your home to admire at all moments of the day.



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Images To Inspire Great Stories

Every so often I find that I have collected a pile of curious images that I use to spark ideas in my head for my writing, and I also like to share some of them with you guys, to see if you can use them to help you either to write yourself, or as resources for your students to help them get started with their writings.

So, here are a new load of weird and strange images, each of which can certainly be used to spark ideas.


I particularly like this one, it has such a yearning feel to it… I know it is actually very banal, but there has to be a story lurking in it somewhere…  What is he thinking?  Why did he go to sea?  Is he approaching some important point in his life?   And so it goes, such an image has so many stories in it.

Or to go to the other extreme, from yearning to downright silly, here is one that any Dutch people will certainly recognise at once, a room full of Sint Nicholas’s.  For the non-Dutch among you, it should at the very least give rise to strange thoughts about gatherings of imitation bishops, a fancy dress party in which every one accidentally wore the same costume… and so on.. no end of ideas in this one I feel.

Continue reading “Images To Inspire Great Stories”

Face Swap – Deeply Disturbing Images

I don’t know if you have noticed a rather disturbing new activity on-line, especially in places such as Facebook, and that is the “art” of Face Swapping.   Basically this takes the form of taking a photo of two or more people or animals and using a program such as Photoshop, swapping the faces over, so you end up with, for example, a photo of a man and his baby, in which the adult body has the face of the baby, and the baby’s body has the face of the adult, as in this example here…..


You see what I mean about it being rather disturbing?

I first saw this idea when a series of beautifully executed images of Rowan Atkinson appeared on-line, in which his face had been placed in a number of famous art works, such as this example below.


Normally there have to be two bodies in the image, so that one can see that it is in fact a swap, but obviously in the case of Rowan Atkinson, his face is so well known that the second body is not needed,

One might assume the same rule applies when dealing with well known public figures, such as Donald Trump in this one, but the maker of this image obviously felt safer with the cat in the image as well……………..


Neither of them have pleasant faces… a grumpy looking Trump and a downright nasty looking cat…  Oh well.

Continue reading “Face Swap – Deeply Disturbing Images”

Odd Photos Of Odd People

As part of my continuing series of curious images that might be of use to teachers as starting points for creative writing, here are another set of inexplicable and weird images for you to enjoy.

I shan’t attempt to describe what they show, or even to attempt to explain them, as several defy any sort of sane explanation in my view…  But they are all thought provoking which is why I chose them.

So here you go…………….

odd people 05 odd people 04 odd people 03

Continue reading “Odd Photos Of Odd People”