Aiden Howarth: Poet, Dedicated Father, FRIEND, and Game Changer

This interview with my good friend Aiden Howarth first appeared on Technorati in 2012 (wow! 2012! I’ve know him a LONG time… and we’re still SO young but Mia is no longer 7 years old) but since there were changes made to that site, it is no longer available. I thought I would share it here, especially since I know Aiden is working on his second project. His first was a collection of his poetry and I fell in love with it immediately. While you wait for his second, catch up with him and his poetry here:
First, let me thank you for doing this. I really do love your work.  It is totally true that “Without You” is on my night table and I enjoy reading the poems whenever I am unwinding from my day. My sister has also taken to a few I posted or re-posted from you on Facebook. I think a few of them remind her of her daughter. 
I always wonder about the thought process when it comes to poetry and I thought others might enjoy this exchange :)
Q: You dedicated your book of poetry, Without You, to your beautiful daughter Mia Liljana Jeane Howarth.  Obviously she is a great inspiration to you.  Is she old enough to understand what all that this means?  Does she share in your artistic skills? 
Aiden Howarth: Mia is an incredibly bright child. She always has been. She’s now 7 years old and doing great in school, escpecially in her reading and writing, which is great. She is forever writing stories of princesses and castles and she enjoys being praised for it which of corse, I do every single day. She is my incredible little angle and not a day goes by where I don’t look at her and wonder what I did so right to be given a chance at bringing up such a wonderful little girl. As regards her understanding, I don’t believe she has fully grasped the fact that a book has been dedicated to her. Yes, she has seen her pictures and her name in print and yes, she thinks it’s great but hopefully when she is old enough to understand the full meaning of all the work that’s written inside, she will thinks it’s even more amazing. Of Corse, I didn’t write a book just to make my daughter happy, I did it for myself and for sharing what I write with the world. The opportunity to share with her my work in such a way arose and I jumped at the chance.
Q: Many of the poems are about loss, separation, and love.  Do you think these go hand in hand? Is it inevitable? 
AH: Like the old saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, I do believe that loss, separation and love are inevitable. I believe that to truly understand what love is, first you must feel the pain of having someone walk away from a relationship. The hurt of walking away yourself when you realise that the person you once loved is not who you first thought to be. Love, to me, is an awe inspiring feeling. In that, in some way large or small, we all at some point will feel it. Only some of us want to keep it going forever.
Losing someone, especially a child, is a moment in life where you know what love feels like. What love is. What love was created for. Losing a child like I did so many years ago I believe put me on the path I am on now. The path which forces me to praise everything Mia does, Is thankful for her every waking breath, scared that I may not be doing a good job. All feelings that so far, have given me some of the best moments in my life with her.
Q:  ”A New Page of Old Emptiness” to me, seems to be about not realizing what you have right in front of you.  What was your motivation for this piece? What thoughts were you harnessing and what reaction were you hoping to bring out in the reader? 
AH: You’re exactly right. It’s about how it feels to have someone you love so deeply, finally give upon the relationship you thought would last forever, and it is actually all your own fault. The title itself ‘A New Page Of Old Emptiness’ means just that… another day gone by with still the same old pain. The same old guilt. The same blame. It’s also a reference back to an earlier poem I wrote where once again, pages of life seem to be going unwritten, un read, torn out and discarded. As you’ve propably gathered, most, if not all of my poetry is written about love and loss. Hence the title of the book ’Without You’. Somewhat referring to being without that special person in your life but on the most part, it’s speaking to one’s self. Without You meaning myself. The feelings I tried to portray within this piece where the feelings of despair.
Q: “The Fairytale You Had Wished For” feels like it is warning us of forcing ourselves to be in idealistic relationships.  Sometimes we try so hard to create what we need with someone because we really believe they are “the one” when in reality it may not be meant to be.  What period of your life was that about or where you relaying someone else’s story? 
AH: This stemmed, again, from a relationship. In fact, all relationships. Women and I guess men too believe and want THEIR relationship to be the best one anyone could ever have. The have dreams, goals, aspirations. Everything is so idealistic. Just like a fairytale. When in reality, a fairytale could not be further from the truth of what it is we live. Fairytales are given to us as children as fantasy. They portray a happy ending every single time. It’s when you learn that a happy ending comes few and far between in love, that you realise a small part of yourself has died. This poem was written as almost a letter to the other person. Stressing my angst at our failings and pointing out that none of us did anything wrong, it’s that we believed too much that we were the fairytale we saw as children. Finding out that we could not live the way we hoped (be it problem free and with a happy ending) I end that poem with the stark reality of what believing in the fairytale of life will do to us all…
Taken by the hand and misled into the arms of hurt.
The fairytale that you had wished for?
Q:  ”Be Still My Heart” could be about love that is not returned or one person feeling something the other doesn’t quite feel.  Is it about a specific time in your life? Do you think most of us have to go through relationships or feelings like this before we find the “right” one?  
AH: This poem is about falling in love. The passion. The want to feel that ache of needing someone so badly that it hurts. But, as is my usual style, there’s a problem. It’s a poem about falling in love with some you cannot have or be with. Falling in love with someone who loves you too but life has put you both on very separate paths. I wrote this one quite recently, be it a year ago I think. It’s not in my fav poem section but its nice that you would chose it to ask questions about as since, I’ve gone back and re-read it and I’m put straight back in the room I was when I felt those things. It’s funny how life treats us so unfairly in love but how it seems to work out better in the end. I think. Ha ha. I still remember that person and I always will.
Q:  ”A Life, When All Life Has Gone” may be about a breakup.  It has a feel of being about an ending, something that was coming for a while but maybe one or both parties pushed off, perhaps for a bit too long.  What can you tell us about this piece? 
AH: This poem is in fact about my drug addictions back when I was young. It’s about being so far gone that death no longer seems a threat, but a need. I openly admit that drugs caused allot of the problems I had, but I also admit that without them, I possibly wouldn’t have had a book out now. I look upon what drugs did to me menatlly, emotionally and physically with not only small amounts of regret, but with a fondness. Drugs gave me what I needed at a point in life where I had absolutely nothing. I was indeed just an empty, lifeless being with no stability in my life, no home, no friends, no nothing. Drugs gave me a release. They gave me something to look forward to. But, as with everyone who touches them, they promised so much and when they had me, they took everything back. You will find more poetry in the book about drugs. Not worded as such but if you read between the lines you’ll see it. There came appoint in my life where I knew there was no escape from addiction but death itself. There was a point in life where death itself took me but gave me back to the world, possibly because I had alot more to give. That I am thankful for these days. I’m wiser, I’m older, I have great plans and dreams that I look forward to making a reality. 
Q:  Where can people purchase your work? 
AH: People can grab a copy of either the paperback or an eBook for their ipads, iphones, ipods etc at http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1964776 the eBook costs less than £2 and the paperback is £8.50
These, as you’re possibly aware, won’t be on sale for much longer. I don’t say this to try ramp up sales. Sales were / are never a priority. People can read my work for free at aidenhowarth.com if they wanted. I say this because as work on book number 2 is coming along nicely, I want to remove book 1 so that it remains special to the people who own a copy.
If people wanna get a hold of me, id happily invite them to join me on my many twitter exploits by just saying hello to @A1D3NH0
They can facebook me too if they wanna see more of my personal life, pictures etc by adding /AidenHowarth to the end of facebook.com
Or they can just leave me a note in the guestbook on my website 
Thank you for taking time out to show interest in what I write and I here by promise you a free copy of book 2 when it out. And believe me, that’s gonna be a game changer…… 
TG: If you don’t believe Aiden, then believe ME when I tell you that I believe Aiden and I know his next work will indeed change the game! Also, look out for a new interview with him as soon as he’s ready! 

DIEGO VALDEZ: True Renaissance Artist

Diego Valdez is truly a multi-talented artist.  If you know his drawings, you know there is something haunting about them.  In every piece, the eyes are drawn in such a way that you feel the subject could actually come to life right in front of you.  I have been truly honored to be on the receiving end of many tweets with new work from Diego and extremely privileged to have had the chance to interview him for this article.

During the process of our interview, I learned so much about a man that I mostly saw as an graphic artist.  The creative talent runs so deeply that one outlet is not enough for Diego to express himself.  He has as many facets as his palet has colors, and has been honored in every field he has blessed with his participation.

If you are not familiar with his work, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find.  If you are familiar with his work, you know how lucky we are to be a part of his sharing circle.

Diego’s work has been chosen to appear in Times Square in NYC this summer as part of the Artists Wanted exhibit and that is no small achievement.  If you are in the area, I suggest you stop by and be amazed.

 Q: Is there anything you can’t do? Model, Actor, Author, Painter, Graphic Artist, Designer, Poet… Did I miss any? Which is your favorite?

A: I am screenwriter too, its actually one of the things I can do better. I got a degree in creating scenario grammatical, character description and storyline for TV and film.

Yes, there are lots of things I can’t do. My mind, it’s always in other world. For example I can’t find the focus when I am driving a car.  By far I am the worst driver ever ;)

Q:  I have been very lucky to see so much of your artwork.  Where does your inspiration come from? How do make your work so unique? Each piece has a haunting quality, like it could come to life. 

A: I am very lucky to find people like you.  Really I am so thankful about it .

My art, it’s a message – an inviting message with the goal to inspire others. To get everything, and believe In the power of the passion, the dedication and the hard work – never give up. My first inspiration to draw is the goal to make a drawing able to talk or tell an story just with the glance.  I work hard on the eyes of my drawings. It’s the point of connection with the soul *The Eyes*. I have created my own technique.

I do not work over pictures I develop Original drawings. My drawings come from my imagination. I am colorblind, in fact I don’t know all the colors. I have problems finding the difference between yellow and green and maybe that’s where the cool colors  in the background and in my

Madonna

artwork come from.

I am an animal lover, and for example, I have finished more than 17 eagle drawings this year just with the intention to inspire everybody to believe and fly – the message, it’s more powerful than the drawing ;)

Q: Tell me a little about Bella B n’ the 17 nights.  How did you get involved in telling stories for kids?

A: Bella B, well, it’s in fact a tale dedicated to my daughter Isabella and that is why I am writing for kids now – because of My 2 year old baby girl, Isabella Valdez.

And to find connection with the human being its necessary to touch the little inner kid inside all of us. We are all still kids and that’s why I really love to write, to draw and to create for kids !!! Because of the kids we are.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into any of the fields you have been successful in?  Are there any secrets?

A: The secret is to believe, Respect everybody as a human being, follow your feelings, and an artist can’t stop to develop and create things every single day – don’t think about money. Don’t think about fame. These things are the consequence of passion and love for what you do in life.

Q: You are obviously very accomplished in the arts.  Were you always interested in the artistic side of life?

A: Yes because my father was a general of the army but at the same time a writer, painter, and sculptor. I have been around the arts all my life ;)

Q: What is a typical day at home with you like?

A: It’s pretty normal. Every day I develop part of a drawing and I write some idea – or part of a project. I spend 3 hours per day in my art, every single day. I go to the gym 2 hours and 30 minutes per day, every day. I manage my networking and promote my art and projects 1 hour and 30 minutes per day.

I have discipline – that is the secret !!!

And the rest of my time I am dedicated to my family. That means 6 hours in my things, and 6 hours with my family.

Q: What are you currently working on?

A:  I am working on a very interesting, huge project but I can’t disclose anything yet. And in my art studio I am working on an interactive book of fashion. Poetry beside pictures of models, araw concept of art – a project where I am writer and model one more time.

Q: Tell me about Artists Wanted. THAT must be such an honor for you.

A: It’s a huge honor to have the chance to see my art showcased in Times Square I am really thankful with all the support of my friends and lots of people I am really touched about it .

Q: Do you have a personal favorite piece among your own work?

A: Always the drawing I am going to do tomorrow will be better than the last drawing I did – my favorite drawing

It’s going to be my next drawing ;)

Q: Who are some of your inspirations? Artists/actors/models you look up to? 

A:

Artists: I love Rembrandt

actors: Heath Ledger

Directors: Woody Allen
Actress: Kate Blanchett
Designers: Stefano Gabanna and Tom Ford
Models: Kate Moss

Photographers: Mario Testino, Sante D’ Orazio, David Lachapelle, and I love what Raphael is doing right now

Makeup artists: Mario Dedivanovic

3D animators: I have to do a mention my mentor and friend Mike Herzog. I love his talent.

Music:  its true I love AURADRONE’s music and it’s not because it’s my friend – its because of Jon Mack – AURADRONE is a powerful artist, I love the electronic sounds of AURADRONE’s music and the message of freedom of her work.

Finally I have to mention a person I really Admire, Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter. He created a huge change in the communication of this world.
Twitter is the most powerful social media ever, I love Twitter !!!!

Q: Who are some people you would like to work with?

A: I think Christopher Nolan is by far a visionary in the film industry. Would be great work with him.

Q: What’s up next for Diego Valdez?

A: I have lot of surprises and projects

So close, the book I mentioned before and beside it a powerful project where I have the chance to be a writer but I can’t disclose yet !!!

Aiden Howarth: Poet, Dedicated Father, and Game Changer

I had the pleasure of interviewing poet Aiden Howarth for Technorati.com recently and I hope you will head over and read that article.  I can honestly tell you that since I got his book of poetry, ‘Without You,’ it has been next to my bed and I read it often before I go to sleep.  The poems are rich, a bit dark, and yet uplifting at the same time.  Its as if, because they make you feel so much, you know it will all be okay. Aiden is a great example of this sentiment.  He is very honest about his battles with alcohol, drugs, and his recovery.

My idea was to pick a few of his poems and ask him what he was thinking, find out what he was feeling, and what reaction he was hoping for. I chose four of his poems,  ’A New Page of Old Emptiness,’ ’The Fairytale You Had Wished For,’ ’Be Still My Heart,’ and ’A Life, When All Life Has Gone.’

A New Page Of Old Emptiness.
Oh how we never realise the pain until it hurts
We’re all part of this lost and found
of how your heart converts
Although we gain forgiveness in
the thoughts of those we shun
How memories now seem nothing,
from the love you have become
Hopeless, never after, finally I hear you speak
Instinctively so familiar, within your soul I stay weak
A new page of old emptiness
that may have read of whom we were
Back to front I read from you to take back all I’ve learnt
All this talk of universe has made this place so small
What was once just gazed upon is now not far at all
Beautiful you have changed me, in ways you’ll never see
You touch within the loneliest parts of all you gave to me

The Fairytale That You Had Wished For.
The key to staying open lies behind the doors we’ve closed
The things we took for granted
are the things we have no more
Lord you will replace us into lives you do create
The soul that you have given me
will for her, always await
Take from me emotion but please leave with me this will
Confusion has now overturned this hope you kept so still
You touched my hand and fallen,
were the walls we built so high
Without even spoken word it’s like we never said goodbye
Trust how you enslave me with a heart so full of pain
Trust how you have broken from this hope I did regain
Songs that place me with you have now fallen on deaf ears
If life be all but music why were we silent all these years?
Why do we class ‘too late’ as moments been and gone?
Retract, you take your hand
I feel that your heart has withdrawn
This story could have endings far too numerous to read
Yet fate does seem to narrate us in ones we don’t succeed

Taken by the hand and misled into the arms of hurt.

The fairytale that you had wished for?

Be Still My Heart.
Placed upon the edge of forever
Looking though forever still yet to go
Placed upon the edge of all reason,
Looking forever above and below

I wish I could give you this feeling
There is only so much fate can now do
Absorbed into this eternal want
Of losing myself into you

Found within the vastness of never,
Do I just prey this ache furthermore?
A universe to gaze upon,
Within your heart, I explore

Soul gone laid with forgiveness
May I lay by her side for all time?
With hope that one day she feels me,
When her heart I feel beat with mine

Now, sleep you may take me,
If she would follow me to into these dreams
There could I only give to her
The soul that she made for me

Please, be still my heart.

A Life, When All Life Has Gone.
Hurting like nothing else could hurt
This life submerged for too long
Finally,
A life left to be,
A life, when all life has gone

Burning up and unopened, one mind
Taken away from a heart
Heaven,
Please do not look inside
Fore it did tear this young life apart

Lying face down and lifeless
Where inside, the torment went on
Peaceful now?
So hard to tell,
Fore he tortured himself for so long

Heaven would you hold us closely
If for you, our souls were instead?
Solace,
Could you take these fears
As you take away our breath?

A world surrounded by stars now drifting
Further and further away
We close our eyes for the final time
As We finally let go of this pain

Hurting like nothing else could hurt
This life submerged for too long
Finally,
A life left to be,
A life, when all life has gone.

To experience more of Aiden’s poetry for yourself, you can go to http://aidenhowarth.com and you can purchase ‘Without You’ in paperback or digital copy here.   You can also follow Aiden and his daily antics on Twitter at @Aiden_Howarth.

I thank Aiden for his time and especially his honesty.  I am looking forward to his next project and hopefully another chance to chat with him.