I spent three years at The Learning Connexion developing my natural ability in painting and graphics design. My main influences include Colin McCahon, Ralph Hotere and J.M.W. Turner.
I use guitar and have been using it to songwrite, and lead worship in a variety of local churches. I set up a small home recording studio in 2010. I also began building electric guitars in 2015.
Every now and then I capture a piece of life from a place I have been and the people I have met. More often than not, my photography explores place and location rather than the people that inhabit it. It serves as a captured memory. Some photos I use to get inspiration for my artworks, but most of them are beginning to hold their own place in my personal gallery.
My tool of choice at the moment is my Canon EOS 7D DSLR, with my main lens being the Canon EFS 17-85mm 1:4-5.6 IS USM. It’s most definitely the best camera I have ever owned, and I expect it will be with me for quite a while.
In the past I have owned a Canon EOS 350D, and a Canon EOS 550D, both with the 18-55mm kit lens.
I am a full-time husband, a registered teacher, amateur photographer, enthusiastic luthier, web site hobbyist, repressed artist, and worshipper of Christ.
I grew up and still live in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Since 6th Form I have known that my calling was to be a teacher, and so set about doing that. The first 3 years out of school I went to The Learning Connexion, Island Bay, to study Art. I focussed on Painting and Computer Graphics. At the end of my time there, I enrolled at Victoria University to study the BA/BTeach 4 year degree. I graduated in 2009 and began relief teaching. I got my first full time job at the end of that year. I currently teach a bunch of 9 and 10 year olds in a small but vibrant school in Wainuiomata.
In 2010, after becoming very annoyed and disconcerted with the "Art world", which was celebrating mediocrity and the stupid with exorbitant price tags, as well as the general pomp and long nose viewpoint that goes with it, I decided to focus my creativity in two main areas of life.
One was to focus on my music and worship. I began worship leading at church, and I went about setting up a small home studio in one of the bedrooms downstairs.
The other was to get more into my photography. I had always had an interest in being a bit artistic with my photographer, and a point and shoot was doing a good job for a while. But I wanted to get a bit better, use some half decent gear to take the visual place of my artworks. Ever since I have been juggling the two, spending time writing songs, and other time heading out on photo trips to try and capture this beautiful country.
Other things that take my interest are computers, especially web design. I currently manage a few websites, and the majority of sites I have built are my own, but also have done a few for close friends. I am a regular Tweeter, and it'd be great if you wanted to follow me. I also own a Mini, which is my life long dream car to own and drive. It comes with it's problems, but nothing that a few dollars and a few weekend tinkerings with my brother can't fix. I have two cats, and enjoy their independence, but also their cuddles.
In 2015 I began dabbling with the art of guitar making, learning a lot off Youtube. The hobby grew, and I now own several large power tools, a new shed at the back of the property, and several additions to my guitar collection.
In 2010 I married the love of my life. We had been together for 4 years and it was about time. It was actually a year for weddings, having gone to 6 of our friends weddings (including my brother's) before embarking on our own. We got married in a small ceremony with just our immediate family, our pastors who married us, and a family friend who took our photos. We didn't tell anyone (no one from church, work, extended family, friends!) prior to the ceremony and really enjoyed receiving all the "congratulation" texts on our honeymoon. By the end of that year, we were proud new homeowners, living next door to two friends I had met through Boys' Brigade. We are also proud Auntie and Uncle to numerous offspring from our siblings.
Boys' Brigade has been a big part of my life. I joined when I was 8 at 18th Wellington, transferring to 10th Wellington at 12. I was a Queens' Man by the age of 18, Leader from 19, Company Section Head Officer at 23, and Company Captain at 25. In 2012, I stepped down from leadership in Boys' Brigade for personal reasons, mostly because of enthusiasm and other time commitments. With it, 10th Wellington Company also closed.
In 2012, I knew there was a problem.
I couldn't focus like I used to. I lost all sense of time. I couldn't order things into priorities. I couldn't see past one thing at a time. And as a Teacher, this limited my abilities in my workplace incredibly. Several things had occurred and affected me throughout that year, and I was dealing with guilt and loss.
By December I was almost flat on the floor. I struggled through the last few weeks of school, and stumbled through the door of my GP, searching for help.
In some sense, I was lucky. Lucky to have a doctor who has at least interested, and could prescribe the right medication. Lucky to have been taken there by my wife. Lucky to have gone when I did.
In another sense, I have the worst combination of illnesses you could put on a person's mind; one I wouldn't wish on my worst enemies. Anxiety and Depression. All balled up into one.
Since then, I have been slowly improving. The dark patches have come and gone, and the time in between gets longer each time. I'm a fighter, though there have been many times when I've felt like giving up. In this time, I have been an advocate for those with mental health issues, and my understanding of these kinds of issues have gone through the roof.
You can read about my experience here.
Follow @alingham on twitter.
Follow @alingham on twitter.