Since placing this space into cyberstasis in June I've given plenty of thought as to how & when I should revive it. I never wished for Blogheim to remain dormant for long, only for enough time for me to formulate what I had been attempting to do all along, & today, Brockheim's official second anniversary seems the perfect day to relaunch the blog...
Those of you who have ever blogged will possibly be able to empathise when I say what a problematic undertaking the première posting is. This blog has seen its fair share of stunted postings, deleted & ramshackle entries as I've struggled to achieve some sort of coherent narrative beyond my intermittent Facebrock mutterings with which I've become far too accustomed. Many a blogger will blather on about finding their voice, their style or their groove, but whilst I'm not exactly the most brandest new Badger in the blogosphere I've still found this 'ere space a feral beast to tame under the name of Brockheim Design.
When I revamped the website earlier this year, my intention was to migrate the blog upstream in some format to there. Experiments have been somewhat unsatisfactory to say the least, the portal offered by my site-provider seems cumbersome & lazy compared to the blogspot style that I'm used to, its comfortable & adaptable to my desired theme so here I shall stay...
Now seeing as many of you will have very little previous knowledge of what Brockheim is, or was, it seems fitting to go back to the beginning & give you some kind of potted history from a time when there was no Brockheim as ye good folks find it today.
In the spring of 2011 I found myself back on dry land... For nigh on five years previous I had been living aboard a narrowboat, falling in love with life upon water in what basically equates to a ditch but is otherwise known as a canal. Many may romanticise life aboard, but life at times can be anything but romantic within those cosy, if not cramped conditions. Sitting on the roof watching the sun rise & set in the middle of nowhere is a joy to behold, but when it's -10 & the water pipes have frozen, you're low on fire wood & the engine has gone bang, life can be not quite so joyous... But that said, my life on the canal with all its wows & woes was an inspiration, even if I might not have perceived some of my experiences as such at the time.
Throughout my years afloat I had many creative ideas, but through lack of space, electricity & natural light I was unable to pursue many of them beyond the life of the inverted domestic batteries. So once I'd found myself once again with a constant electricity supply & a flushing toilet, I had the time & space to work on my ideas without the inevitable whine of the inverter drawing the creative process to a close... For the first couple of months I went off on an artistic adventure & worked with no vision of any definite end product, I just immersed myself in the immediate creative process, loving my new found freedom to create & bring my new ideas to life.
One thing that I've never done is stick to any single medium, I guess I could be called a Multimediaist if that's actually a word?! Apart from scratchy sketches I haven't sat down & drawn anything legible since 1994, & my graphic works these days are produced digitally in the main rather than in any traditional craft like discipline. Back in the mid-late 90's I was heavily into montage, plaster casting & especially screen printing, & for a while I printed T-shirts for bands, clubs & the odd festival, as well as my own designs. T-shirts have always been an obsession of mine, just about everywhere I've ever been I've felt compelled to buy a commemorative shirt, & at one point I owned nearly one for every day of the year! So it seemed only natural to be drawn back to screen printing even if now I was intending to find someone else to do the printing for me.
The one thing I'd always noticed in the wharf-side shops & chandlers I'd frequented was the lack of specific narrowboating apparel. Sure the old staple 'Narrowboaters Do It Slowly' & 'Home Is Where You Moor It' designs were here & there but beyond that there was nothing much else on offer. In late June 2011 I began working on a few variations of my narrowboating & canal inspired graphic ideas, & in early July, armed with a few paper print outs, I touted those proposed designs around boatyards, hire fleets & wharf-side shops, undertaking what would be commonly known as market research. I spoke to anyone & everyone who would listen, including random boaters at locks & along the tow-path. I refined my ideas accordingly & committed to print the two that had been best received, namely 'Narrowboater' & 'Narrowboat Pirate'. Those first designs went on sale on the 16th of July 2011, & within an hour the first Narrowboat Pirate T-Shirt had sold! 
It'd all happened so fast I hadn't decided on a company name, & I ended up initially saddled with NBR Designs [NBR being an acronym for Narrowboater] which is what I used to identify myself on the first invoices & customer delivery notes. It would do until I had the time to think of something better I thought... Which, as it happened, was about two months later.
I don't know exactly when I originally came up with the name Brockheim... It was used on a number of occasions that pre-date Brockheim Design as a title credit on a few short films I made under the guise of N2G, or 'nailed2gether', the name I use for my other, Non-Pirate, Non-Badger, Non-Brockheim, art-working endeavours. "A Brockheimade Philm" translated as "A Badger Home Made Film". As an aside, the first time I ever used the name 'nailed2gether' was for an alternative adaptation of the nativity titled "thegreatestory", an audio play that I wrote, directed, recorded, edited & produced in 2005. But that's another story... if not the greatest!
But back to Brockheim... Spurred on by my initial success, & now with a tangible product in paw,  I trampled further afield & by the end of the summer 2011 you could purchase an NBR Design in 15 locations along the Oxford, Grand Union & Kennet & Avon Canals. I had also taken the Narrowboat Pirates & the Badgers to the general public at two events culminating with the third at Banbury Canal Day. Autumn & Winter 2011-2012 gave me time to assess what I'd achieved in just a few short months & make plans for the future. I worked on new designs, fiddled around with website design, switched printers & dreamed of what the stall should become.
When I had my initial ideas I didn't for a moment imagine any of what I have written, I never envisaged trading on my own stall, having a website, blog or Facebrock page. I just had an idea & it has shaped itself along the way. There are many more things I could elaborate on now but I'm choosing to save them for future posts. So I'd like to finish by giving my eternal thanks & gratitude to everyone who has supported Brockheim thus far... Big Badgery Love To You All. TXX
Graphics In Order Of Appearance...
N2G : Dawn On The Oxford Canal : 07:33am 22nd of October 2007
Brockheim Stall @ The Crick Boat Show 2013
N2G : No Art #02 - Digital Montage 2011
N2G : Five Days In Your Arms #01 - Digital Montage Detail 2011
Original Design Ideas - A4 Prints 2011
NBR Designs - Business Card Graphic 2011
Brockheim Design - Business Card Graphic 2012
N2G & A Brockheimade Philm - Still Frame Film Graphics 2009
Banbury Canal Day Sketchbook Stall Idea 2011
Pirate Badgers Box Website Graphic 2013



Nicole Hague said...

Lovely introduction, look forward to
many more meanderings and asides. Love the ' No Art ' for 232 miles. All the best, badger in training (with weasel tendencies)

brockheim design said...

Many thanks for your comment Nicole... I've got a few posts lined up that will no doubt meander & aside! The 'No Art' & 'Signs' series are N2G favourites... Glad you appreciate them.