Monthly Archives: April 2013

Gay marriage: 7 countries you can travel to to get married

With the gay marriage bill in the UK currently in the process of hopefully being passed by the House of Lords soon and after the recent news of New Zealand and France legalising gay marriage, equality for LGBT people around the world is slowly but surely becoming a reality in some countries. At present, there are 14 countries that recognise same-sex marriages and allows same-sex couples to marry, while in other countries it is legal in some states and areas (such as the US and Brazil) or same-sex marriages from other countries are recognised but not performed (for example, Israel).

So if you want to go abroad and get married, which of the 14 countries are the best place, not only to get married in but also travel to? Here are our top 7 picks and why:

7) The Netherlands

The Netherlands who was the first country to extend full marriage laws to include same-sex couples. The Netherlands is a very liberal country in general and Amsterdam, its capital, is known to be one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world.

6) South Africa

While many countries in Africa are very much against homosexuality, South Africa became the first in the continent, the second outside of Europe and fifth overall to legalise same-sex marriage, which will hopefully set a good example to the rest of Africa. South Africa has a lot to offer tourists, especially those who love outdoor adventures and wildlife.

5) New Zealand

The thirteenth country to legalise same-sex marriage, New Zealand seems to have always kept quiet when it comes to equal rights, especially when its neighbour, Australia, is still hotly debating over the topic. While Australia is of course a very popular travel destination, New Zealand is often forgotten about, but does in fact have a lot to offer travellers – and with it being close to Australia, you can easily visit both while you’re “down under”.

4) Argentina

Being a predominantly Catholic country, Argentina may seem like an unlikely place where gays are accepted but it is in fact becoming more liberal and isn’t as strict as it may seem, especially its capital, Buenos Aires, which is now known as one of the most popular gay travel destinations.

3) Canada

Canada became the fourth country in the world and the first in the Americas and outside of Europe to legalise gay marriage in 2005. With Canada being such a huge country, there are so many different areas to visit, that you could spend ages travelling around experiencing it, from the French-speaking area of Quebec in the east (where it may almost seem like a completely different country) to the southern provinces which are more modern and more concentrated, to the mountainous northern parts which are usually blanketed by snow.

2) Iceland

Iceland is one of the best gay-friendly countries in the world but is probably one of the least known by people. Icelandic geography, culture and history is extremely rich and interesting if you look into it and travel around the country to learn more and Reykjavik’s Pride event is very popular. The country’s Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, is an open lesbian who is legally married to her long-term partner. The couple became one of the first to become legally married (after being in a civil union in 2002) and surely became a pioneer for LGBT rights and politics in not only Iceland, but around the world.

1) Spain

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Spain since 2005, becoming the third country in the world to legalise it. Spain is undoubtedly not only one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, but also well-known as a hotspot for LGBT travellers, with its big cities having some of the most vibrant and famous gay scenes and hosting some of Europe’s and the world’s biggest Pride events, such Maspalomas in Gran Canaria, Madrid, Barcelona and Tenerife.

Interview with artist Adam Pryce

You may have noticed on our Facebook page and Twitter and Tumblr accounts recently that we have posted illustrations by Manchester-based artist Adam Pryce. Adam is an up-and-coming freelance artist and illustrator who has worked with several magazines, publishers and websites such as Hallmark, Walker Books, The Illustrated Ape, Juxtapose, Design Week, Amelia’s Magazine and CreatureMag. In July 2012 he wrote and illustrated his first children’s book entitled “Mr Ordinary’s Prize” with children’s writer Emily Capstick, which was released in partnership with the People’s History Museum in Manchester.

He is now currently working on a his own new range of children’s books and a multimedia animation to be released later this year as well as teaching and leading workshops and painting murals in and around Manchester. We love Adam’s creative and quirky designs which follow an almost standard style throughout, no matter what he’s drawing or who his audience is, and the fact that they are something different and fresh that cannot be seen in other artists’ work. We caught up with Adam to talk more to him about his work, his artistic inspirations and his hopes and dreams for his future as an artist.

Adam’s first published children’s book, “Mr Ordinary’s Prize”.

1) When did your love of art start and when did you begin realising your talents as an artist?

I have always drawn and I’ve always got excited at the possibilities my imagination can create; I remember the thing that would make me happiest as a child would be to be given a pad of white paper and before I’d even draw on the front page I would think for hours of what characters I would draw and what adventures they would go on.

Growing up I’d always make my friends and family handmade cards, posters and comics and that’s when I realised that what I do is different from other people and then began to think about how to build a future that includes me drawing everyday. Luckily things went well and several years later I’m waking up each morning and drawing all day!

“Milo & Duke”.

2) Which artists or what animations inspired you when you were growing up and as you developed your skills and your own artistic designs?

Disney was a huge inspiration to me – I used to watch the animated films countless times and then practice drawing the characters by freeze framing old VHS tapes. These films made me realise my true passion was for character design and so I began designing my own characters and writing stories that I hoped one day would be made into a Disney film.

As I went through College and University, my inspiration changed as I found out about wonderful artists such as Paula Rego, Sara Fanelli and Grayson Perry – all of whom shaped the type of artwork I was creating back then. I then began researching outsider art and the works of Henry Darger and the possibilities of the type of work a person can create when they have limitless imagination and no boundaries.

When I began working professionally as a freelance illustrator, my inspiration found its way back to Disney and the fantastic works of Mary Blair and the bold colour and composition she uses. I’m also fond of modern day illustrators such as Marc Boutavant and Jon Klassen and the worlds they create in their books.

Adam working on his art and displaying it in public.

3) You mainly do illustrations for and write children’s books, but what kind of work have you done in the past that also appeals to a wider and older audience as well?

My work has fallen into children’s books as its a perfect vehicle for my characters to get from inside my head and onto a piece of paper. I also create posters, logo designs and most recently branded a local festival – from the banners to the T-shirts. I also design for Hallmark cards on a freelance basis and design artwork for friends’ bands and tour posters.

I’ve recently started taking pet commissions, which I have found to be a really fun creative outlet and reignited my love of drawing animals and I love seeing and hearing people’s reactions when they see my illustration of their pet. I have also experimented with animation and shadow puppetry – something I wish to continue doing more when I get some free time.

I feel as an illustrator you really can’t have a set way of working – my approach has always been to not disregard a commission if its something you’re not used to doing – do it and surprise yourself!

A selection of Adam’s “Happy Friday” illustrations.

4) Your “Happy Friday” pictures are quite popular with our Facebook fans and our followers on Twitter and Tumblr. Where did you come with the concept and how do you get ideas and keep it fresh and innovative every week? 

I used to draw these characters and then put them to one side and nobody would ever see them, until one day a friend remarked how much they loved them and said “why not create one character a day for a month and post them on Twitter?” So I did that and soon got a lot of interest on Twitter and Facebook and approached the website CreatureMag about becoming a regular contributor, and thankfully they loved my work and readily agreed.

The “Happy Friday” item was already a weekly thing on CreatureMag with contributions from several illustrators. The creators of CreatureMag felt my characters fit the brief so well that I’m now the main contributor and have been for the last year or so. It’s a great working relationship we have for in exchange for weekly promotion through social media sites, and for them we create a character.

The main inspiration is the world around me and when that fails to inspire me I either close my eyes and the character just appears or I simply start drawing and surprise myself by what character walks onto my iPad.

An image Adam created using his iPad.

5) Where do you hope to take your art in the future and what kind of work or illustrations would you love to do if you got the chance?

My dream is to be a concept artist for Pixar and Disney so that’s where I’m working towards at the moment and without intentionally doing so my work is becoming more and more “Disney”. I’m about to have my second book released later this year – both in the UK and America in digital and printed paperback so I’d really like to do more books and write some more stories. I’m really happy with the direction my work is going in and my work has evolved so much in the last 12 months I can’t wait to see what type of work I will be producing in 5 years time!

You can “like” Adam’s Facebook page, follow him on Twitter and Instagram or watch his art and music videos on YouTube.