Chat Café

 What’s a ‘Chat Café’?

Any arranged informal pop-up / drop-in / logged-in event where we can chat together over a coffee.

Flyer design (above) by Grant to promote Friday drop-in *’Chat Cafés’ at the MAC Centre, Birmingham, UK. (1993 to 1996)
To view more Grant design projects, visit Projects and Ideas

Chat Café FAQ’s

How could I benefit?
By bringing your thoughts from isolation and into a Chat Café you may clarify your projects’ aims, evolve workable ideas and establish useful people-links – all over an informal cuppa.

What aspects can we discuss?
All chats must be people and project based.

What do I need to bring?
Your project questions.

What’s the principle behind Chat Café and the Penny University?
Chat Cafés promote the principles of the original Penny University and provide a setting where ideas can be shared and built upon. By getting people to think and work together, most projects bear fruit.

What does it cost?
Following on from the tradition of the Penny University of the 1700s, you can still get in for 1p

How long has it been going?
It was started in 1993 by two members of BEAF (Business, Education & Arts Forum)  during their annual meeting at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham,UK.

Are Chat Cafés now international?
They can be on Zoom or Skype – so long as you make your own coffee.

The Alterers – told by Grant

“The storyteller makes the story the instrument of its characters. Over cumulative tellings, the teller’s link to these characters becomes intimate, sometimes so intimate that their very being is drawn over the threshold where tale and reality meet.”  (Grant 2001)


(Illustrations of a Grant tale)

Ink, crayon, and gouache on layout paper.





Questioning the un-answerable. The Mihaela Enea Challenge.

From “Memory Lanes”, – part of an ‘Image of Learning’ Art therapy study to picture the unvoiced feelings of those with dementia.

As a Designer and Illustrator, I am constantly asked to visualize both real life and fantasy subjects, but a couple of years ago, I was challenged to “depict the invisible real mind hidden to the mind itself”.

Though I’ve written a few thoughts on Mihaela’s challenge, my canvas remains rather blank with a few doodles around its edges. So if you have any thoughts on this, let me know.


As I’ve read that some mystics believe there’s a better life hidden within the one we see, I started to make a list of some difficult-to-see or just hard-to-see concepts:

Absolute Nothing
Unbelievable Proof
One’s Own Autopilot
Another’s Emotional Heart
The Origins to All
Personal Genetic Window
Inner Space
Through Death’s Door
Evolution’s Blueprint
Thought Interference Patterns
Unknown’s Own Troubles

From that list, you may think I’ve been reading too much Kant but no, I’ve been writing poems with sketches that explore my understanding of Dementia:

Memory Lanes (@_Grant  Pub. LPB. Dec.2019)

“The lines
All needed,
Fixed at birth,
Remember links
For all they’re worth,
But as each births,
Some forgotten, fade away.”

My’n’D  (@_Grant  Pub. LPB. Jan.2019)

The can rims of the unseen beans
The countless tubes with miles of seams,
The ponds it takes to fill void’s whole
With foods to fuel the heart and soul.

The centre’s, left,
The middle’s, chewed.
The covering, lost,
Its bubble, brewed.

And now .. the now. And next. the …  (@_Grant  Pub. LPB. Jan.2019)

Streams of holding
Chords of harmony
Grapple passing flights ‘n’ fly-byes.