11 Rugby Road Christmas Open House

11 Rugby Road Brighton website

Christmas lights are going up across Brighton and hove this week, which means it’s time for artists all over our city to open their doors invite every one in.

The concept of an open house has developed in Brighton over the years to become a must ‘Brighton’ thing to experience. For those who aren’t yet in the loop, the Open Houses are when an artist or collective of arty types turn their houses into pop up gallery’s. Treasured nic naks are replaced with sculpture, artworks and handmade craft, each home becomes a fascinating mini exhibition space filled with beautiful items to fascinate and inspire you – and the best of all, everything is for sale!

11 Rugby Road Brighton Art and craft
You can spend an entire weekend strolling from home to home ticking off every item on your Christmas list and with the knowledge each purchase is unique, handcrafted and truly special, while it also supports local artists. And if you find a few extra gifts for yourself as well that you know you have had a good day.

11 Rugby Road Brighton Adam and Dan
Adam and Daniel at 11RugbyRoad.com open their home also at 11 Rugby Road and number 43 in this years book. They have opened for 2 years together and each time they do they attempt a bigger show than the last. In May their home becomes a breath of fresh spring air and during Christmas a magical spell descends where every room is open and full to the brim with festive spirit. Even the bathroom turns into an exhibition of handmade porcelain lights called “crunckles” waiting to be picked. The fund raising kitchen at 11 Rugby Road has gained a reputation during Open House season for wowing with floor to ceiling treats, and this year doesn’t disappoint! The warming smell of cinnamon and mulled wine invites you in where you discover seemingly endless amounts of candy canes, chocolate and gingerbread. Their ‘help yourself’ gold mulled wine also ticks all of the festive boxes! Inside lounge turned into a Narnia-est forest of Christmas trees will have something for anyone on the search for the perfect gift to match either the naughty or nice person in your life.

11 Rugby Road Brighton xmas
There is something for everyone at this open home, with handcrafted ceramic decorations starting at just £1. Inspiration is free and the boys will happily discuss projects and ways of working with you, so that if your not inspired by what you see in their home you will surely leave with a craft idea or technique of your own.

You don’t have to be invited to an open house, all you need do is pick up a trail booklet, usually found in cafes or pubs around the city, or visit www.aoh.com and pick out the houses you want to visit.

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My Coming Out Designs and Story

cute gay card

Celebrate the first day of feeling free and coming out.

National Coming Out Day is on Sunday October 11th and to celebrate I have designed a series of cards to help make the process fun and make it more lighthearted. It also made me think out my experience and even though I realise it isn’t particularly Hollyoaks and I’m not a celebrity or gym fit guy, I enjoyed discovering my old diaries and writing my story.

Back in the 90’s when I was 9, Clarissa was Explaining It All and the pink electronic Dear Diary toy for girls were big, so I decided to start writing my own diary. I kept writing until I was 21 and forgot about them until recently. Reading them back reminded me of a life I completely forgot or blocked out prior to coming out to my friends and family. 

Until I started my GCSE’s all seemed fine, the most exciting entries before were along the lines of my sister not liking her omelet or loving hedgehogs. But then more and more I started to write about hating myself, hating my life and feeling lonely. The older I got the more I grew apart from my friends and the more time I spent at home on my own, worrying about who I was. I had always felt different from everyone else, I just always felt like I could hide it and will myself to change.

When I was 18 I first wrote in my diary and told myself that I was gay. Reading it back I felt like I was there again, wanting to be like everyone else and to have a family and life with a girl. I knew even then I shouldn’t feel guilty about being gay though. I just didn’t know how to deal with it or ever bring it up in conversation to get advice from anyone.

For a year and a half I didn’t tell anyone, even though I knew who I was. My diary entries became even more lonely and worrying about the future. On May 25th 2007 I told my best friend Becky I was gay. I was too scared to even say the word gay, so I gave her a letter. We didn’t really talk about it, she hugged me and we got on with our day. I told myself the hardest part was done. It wasn’t a secret only I had now and I realised being out as gay to someone hadn’t instantly changed my friendship like I worried.

Mum son coming out

Two months later I told my Mum. Writing a letter had worked out so I wrote one again. Once it was written I knew I couldn’t bottle out. Asking her if we could talk didn’t get a great reaction alone, my family all love each other but we find it easier not to say it out loud much. When I did give her the letter she screwed it up and gave it back, saying it was my choice and that she didn’t know what to say, as she had never been in this situation before. I knew it could have been worse and put it down to shock.

After then we didn’t speak about it ever. It made things go back to normal. I was going to Uni that year so I knew it was off my chest and with a new group of people I could just be me, without the fear of my parents finding out. My Mum even met a guy I was seeing while at uni and realised that being gay didn’t mean I would change or that other gay people were what she had imagined or that are represented in the media.

“From the moment I came out, everything did get better. I met amazing people, went to  amazing places and was loving being myself.”

From the moment I came out, everything did get better. I met amazing people, went to amazing places and was loving being myself. Now, 8 years after I came out I have Adam. I know I have met the person I want to grow old with and am setting up my own shop with him which I never thought I would have the confidence to do. I have a great relationship with my Mum and all my family which was always my main worry. If my younger self saw me now he would think I was ‘pretty gay’ and cringed to death. Now whatever I do I’m proud about about and even more importantly I’m happy I’m pretty gay.

Still Me Coming out gay lesbian Pride card

Mine and Adams work at 11 Rugby Road is currently at The Fishing Quarter pop-up gallery and at our flat for the Christmas Artist Open Houses. The coming out cards are available from our website 11RugbyRoad.com. They are available blank inside just waiting for your story.

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Rediscovering hand drawn illustration

For years I have felt more comfortable drawing in Adobe Illustrator rather than with a pen and paper. Recently I have dusted off my fine liners and experimented embracing a naive, cheerful style.

Preparing for an exhibition on Brighton seafront from 15th – 27th of July I’m doing at the Fishing Quarter Gallery, I have taken the seaside for inspiration on a series of illustrated prints.

I will never be an illustrator but have enjoyed being comfortable with a sketch book again.


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Ru who? This is the EU! #Eurovisage

Eurovision is just around the corner! The lovingly camp event is in Vienna for its 60th year and looks bigger than ever now Australia is joining in on the fun.

With RuPaul’s Drag Race in full swing at the moment too, I felt like Eurovision was in danger of simply not being gay enough. That’s why I’ve created free download and print flags to add some extra extravaganza to Eurovision proceedings! Time to thrown some shade in antisapation of the rest of Europe sending a fat zero.

Click the image below to download the pdf and get start flying the flag, via drag.
Camp Eurovision party flags

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Artists Open Houses May 2015

May Artists Open Houses 2015 22

I’ve been working on 11RugbyRoad.com for the past month or so turning it into a functioning site to sell mine and Adams design and art! In May during the Fringe Festival we are taking part in another Artists Open House even in Brighton, where we get to sell directly from our flat to anyone who comes by over the weekends. It’s a really nice event where you get to chat to all sorts of people and see behind closed doors of residential streets.

Visit our Facebook or Twitter to be kept up to date and come by in May to say hello!

Artists Open Houses 2015


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with Love

Colour fun quote poster

‘With Love’ is a collection of quotes from friends turned into graphics using bold colours and calligraphy styled text. I like the playful, friendly nature of them and that they feel like an overheard conversation. If they are well received I’ll put them on my new online website 11RugbyRoad.com.

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Life or Death design

Working with Chelsea Funeral Directors, I have designed a campaign that aims to put Celebrating Life at the heart of dealing with death. 

Westminster Cathedral magazine Advert for Chelsea Funeral Directos

Westminster Cathedral magazine Advert for Chelsea Funeral Directors

Funeral care is something we accept as being a bit morbid and generally scary, this campaign aims to bring a breath of fresh air in an often taboo subject. With the approval of Westminster Cathedral, the head of the Catholic Church in England, this campaign by the family run Funeral Directors is a breath of fresh air focusing on life rather than death.

Chelsea Westminster Cathedral Church England Funeral Positive

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Valentine’s Day Cards

doctor Operation board game card love

Late to the feel the love this year, I’ve come up with 4 different cards to sell online. Avoid the colour red and trying to offer something different that the cards in the shops, I’ve taken inspiration from board games, Instagram, playground petal pulling and trusty geometric shapes.


All are available to buy online for £2.50 with only small batches in stock at danmackey.bigcartel.com



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Modern clean portfolio CV design  Hello! I’ve had a little spruce up of my portfolio taster which is available on the About tab. Or by click HERE if you’re a bit lazy.

DIY Paper Christmas Decorations

DIY print and make decorations

It’s one week until Christmas! And by now everyone should have their tree up and it be bursting with decorations. To help anyone who’s tree looks a bit bare, or an office that needs festivising, I have designed some print-at-home paper decorations.

Free to download, just print the template and have your scissors and glue at the ready! Merry Christmas :)

Papercraft xmas template

Click here to download Paper Decorations

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