Amelia’s Magazine | Sandrine Pagnoux

LuckyPDF is a new artist-led project based in Camberwell and Peckham, this web search South East London. LuckyPDF aims to promote and support new artists and creative talent within the area by finding innovative and effective ways to produce and exhibit work.

Recently taking up residence in the UNITY centre on the busy Peckham High Street, LuckyPDF will play host to a series of exhibitions, events and happenings over coming months, working within the restrictions of this unique space and around the other groups that share it.

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The current Exhibition features Molly Smyth’s Sculptures which tackle the difficult subject of fear in relation to the recent attacks in Mumbai. I asked her what initially inspired her;

“I originally wanted to create an overtly violent exhibition which highlights the horror of the terror attacks in Mumbai towards the end of last year. That’s however not what materialized. It became more to do with the fear involved.”

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An integral part of the show is a large piece entitled ‘Continuo’ which both propels the art to another level but also acts as an invasive field for the viewers.

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“It’s based on the the Basso Continuo rhythm within Baroque music which lies underneath the melody and both propels and holds back the music.”

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The exhibition continues tonight and tomorrow night @ UNITY, 39 Peckham High Street.

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The Norwegian artist Lise Bjorne Linnert has created a project in response to the tragic, viagra and ongoing situation in the Mexican border town of Juarez, discount which sits on the border of the USA. It is difficult to comprehend, sales but the statistics are chilling – over 560 women have been murdered, hundreds more have disappeared, their whereabouts forever unknown, but it is suspected that they have been kidnapped for trafficking.

Desconocida:Unknown has to date, traveled through 22 countries. The project is very much a participatory affair. Those who come to the exhibition are encouraged to become involved, and embroider two labels; one baring the name of one of the murdered women, and one with the simple word – ‘unknown’. These name tags are added onto a wall which becomes the central medium of the project. Until March 22nd, it will be showing at The Gallery at University for the Creative Arts Epsom. Here, visitors can embroider whilst watching a documentary about the situation, called Threading Voices, also made by the artist.

descondida4resized.jpgFrontera 450+, at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston Texas. A show dedicated to the women of Juarez and their situation. This inspired me to start the project. i had moved back to Norway at the time and I wanted to create a project that somehow diminished the distance, the physical distance to the place and the psychological distance to take in information of such difficult issues. I wanted to create a connection, because violence towards women is a global issue, happening in every society, rich or poor, far or near.The situation in Juarez is extremely complex and very difficult to describe using just a few words. But I think it is very important to share that despite the horror that still are happening and the increasing violence towards both men and women due to a war on drugs in the city, the women and the community I have seen and collaborated with is not a victimized community, it is a community of an enormous strength and ability to fight back and with a believe in change. Believe in change through working with the youth, education, support of the families so they can speak for themselves. It is all organized with the smallest means and in an environment of violence and mistrust. The government’s attempts on improvements are described by the activists as cosmetic.”

What inspired you to choose to have participants embroider the name of the murdered women onto the labels?

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” The idea of the embroidered nametags came after a long time researching and thinking. I wanted to use a female activity as a way to protest against the violence, I did not want to celebrate the violence. I wanted to establish a connection that would enable us to see the women and hear the stories told, see them as individuals. I also wanted an activity that had connections back to Mexico but yet were global, which embroidery is. We all have a relationship with names, it is the first thing we learn to write and by embroidering the names we would remember that name. By being embroidered, the mass of names each take on an identity again, a dual identity, that of the named and that of the embroiderer.”

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Other than the labels, have you been using any other art forms alongside the embroidery, and how to you feel that this compliments?

“The project has inspired me to work using different art forms. After visiting Juarez in 2007, I decided to go back to tell the story of Marisela Ortiz Rivera and the organization Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa. I wanted to share the power and strength the women are fighting with and made the short documentary Threading Voices. When exhibiting the project I also show the video “Missing young women” by the Mexican filmmaker Lourdes Portillo. This film shares the stories about the murders, following the families in their search for their daughters and for justice.
For me it has been very important to show that women are not victims but have strength to fight back. During the openings of exhibitions where Desconocida has been shown, I have done a voice performance, Presence, where I give a tone, and then I give silence. I take away the words, the relation to music and this leaves the viewer and I with the purely the voice, the note and the silence, and I think this brings presence forward. There are “no escapes”
For the opening at the Gallery at the University for Creative Arts, Epsom, I made a sound installation based on my performance idea.”

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What has the response been to this project, and where would you like to see this project going (apart from bringing justice to these women, of course).

“The project has grown much larger than I imagined when I started this, it has almost taken on a life of its own. I have decided that as long as people want to be part embroidering and the situation in Juarez remains the same, the project will continue to run its course. I hope more venues would like to show the project and by this engage more communities. It is important for me though that the labels eventually do not end their journey in a drawer in my studio. I am currently researching different ideas of how to bring the labels back out to the communities where they have been created, and doing so through an action/performance in Ciudad Juarez.”
What do you do when even the charity shops turn their noses up at your second hand freebies? Have them stripped for parts just like you would your bike! Tracey Cliffe, find with a background in costume design, information pills knows exactly how to spin fresh dresses out of frocks non-grata. Check out her popping new boutique in Afflecks Place in Manchester.
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Polly Scattergood

Rough Trade

Saturday 28th Feb, approved 2009

The ethereal Polly Scattergood performed a short set at Rough Trade East on Saturday evening to a small but attentive crowd. Whether they had wandered in from hearing her sound or were hardened followers was difficult to determine, pharmacy but all were enthralled by what Scattergood had to offer.

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Scattergood is an open and candid storyteller with the adorable quirkiness of Kate Bush and the timid vulnerabilty of Bat for Lashes. Part vocal, part soliloquy, Scattergood‘s songs are honest and real. She was a little nervous on Saturday, resplendent in an metallic puffball number with slightly tousled blonde locks. Her vocals wavered, but it’s a bold move presenting your music in a space as stark as a record shop. There’s no production, no flashy lighting, and there are customers wandering aimlessly trying to find their would-be purchases.

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In between haunting melodies, Scattergood gave little away apart from song titles. From one track to another, she kept a rapid pace, backed by a three-piece band who spend far too much time looking in a mirror (I’d imagine). The songs are original, though – and her dulcet spoken tones blend smoothly with her powerful voice (she dips like a young Moyet and peaks like a more mature Goldfrapp). She has a fresh indie sound with a scrumptious catchy pop twang, best detected on the balladic Unforgiving Arms. Scattergood is also onto a winner with the short show’s closing track, Nitrogen Pink, born with a whisper and maddening as it reaches its climax.

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April sees Polly embark on a comprehensive tour around the UK, with the album Stateside Releases expected to hit the shops this week. With a nod, a huge smile and a timid curtsy, Polly‘s off, safe in the knowledge that she’s served up a teatime treat.
Aussie by heart, for sale New Yorker by nature, pills Deanne Cheuk is at the vanguard of her field in fashion illustration. Her work has already graced the pages of Nylon, ampoule Dazed and Confused,Vogue and Tokion.She is showered with accolades, recently she featured as one of the top “50 creative minds in the world” by Face Magazine.

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Cheuk’s utilises a myriad of mediums that beautifully unite to create ethereal and dreamy pieces.Whisking you away from the realms of reality into the fairy tale-esque utopia of Deanne’s mind. Like a trip to the realms of Willie Wonker’s chocolate factory her visions are inhabited by mushrooms and a whole spectrum of colours, rather reminiscent of hundreds and thousands ,yum!!!

I have to concede I am so utterly besotted by Deanne Cheuk that even the thought of approaching her made me blush. But I am pleased to say I shook off my anxieties and hunted down this astonishingly talented lady to squeeze in a quick chat!.

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1.What other artists inspire you?

I’m always inspired by what my friends are doing, artists like Chris Rubino, Rhys Lee, Dmote, Suitman, Rostarr, Jose Parla, photographers like Jason Nocito, Juliana Sohn, Coliena Rentmeester, Davi Russo

2. In the past few years you have worked more in fashion illustration, was this a natural progression?

Yes it was a natural progression, I started out with drawing the Mushroom Girls series, and then ended up getting commissioned to do variations on that style for fashion magazines and fashion brands. I don’t really do alot in the Mushroom Girls style anymore as it started to get copied alot and a really tacky shoe company on the West Coast ripped it off as their branding. I’ve been doing alot of textile prints for different designers including my favorite designer Sue Stemp.

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3. You published a book a few years ago entitled the Mushroom Girls Virus Book, is there any chance of this going back into press?

Unfortunately there isn’t much chance of my book getting re-printed. The embroidered covers were all hand glued and that was incredibly time consuming for the printers to put together, it took a long time to produce. Though, regardless of that, I’d be more interested in making a new book than revisiting something that was already out there.

4. Alot of your work features mushrooms, do you have a fungal fetish at all?

I’ve always absolutely loved the under-sides of mushrooms, how delicate, intricate and soft and unique that part is. I’m also fascinated by the incredible varieties of mushrooms and amazing colors that are found in nature – so yes there is some fetish there for sure!

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5. Alot of your work is multi-media based, what mediums do you usually use when you work?

I nearly always start with pencil and watercolor on paper and finish up in photoshop on the computer, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and like to be able to retouch and control the final image in that way.

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6. Are their any plans to publish any more books?

Yes, I have a bunch of ideas for a typography book, and an art book and some kids books.

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7. Have you been to any interesting exhibitions recently?

I went to the Works On Paper show in New York this week at the Park Avenue Armory, my work is all on paper so it was really inspiring to see . My favorites were old Warhol’s and Lichtenstein’s’.

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You get a awe-inspiring sense from Cheuk of her passion for design, ,not content in conquering merely the fashion sphere she has set her intentions further a field in the world of children’s literature and graphic design. I for one can’t wait to see how these ideas materialise!
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Going from a magazine to an online blog; we at Amelia’s Magazine know all about the wonders of the internet. However until an email from Mousse Magazine landed in my email box I had no idea how much the process has moved on. Although the magazine is printed in runs of 30, viagra sale 00 and available from museums and galleries across the world it’s also available to download entire issues (and back issues) online. The best bit is that it’s completely free!

Founded in 2006 and distributed internationally since 2008 Mousse Magazine is a bimonthly and bilingual, written in English and Italian, review “that contains essays, interviews, conversations, exclusive artists projects and columns by correspondents from the international art capitals.” They aim to, “surf the trends, offer in depth analysis meet with the hottest artists, and capture the latest currents and developments in the international scene.”

Eager to see whether I could give up the thrill of flicking through the glossy pages of an art magazine I downloaded Mousse straight from the website (no visit to the shop necessary!) and had a look.

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Ok so it doesn’t smell the same as a new printed magazine, but I was pleased to see that there were still lots of lovely images of art for me to treat my eyes to. These pictures are accompanied by over 100 pages of articles about big contemporary artists such as Phillip Lai and meaty interviews with people such as Peter Coffin. The only issue is that reading the magazine on Adobe Acrobat is a bit of a challenge if you don’t have a massive computer screen. But think about the trees you’ll be saving!

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Over the last three months, treat I’ve done a lot of traveling. I toured with a band for three weeks around America and Canada. I turned that band on to Deer Tick by playing “Art Isn’t Real” for them as we drove through Ohio. After the tour, mind I went to visit friends in Brighton, England, Scotland, and Wales. I listened to “Standing at the Threshold” on the train to Brighton. I woke up blissful on my best friend’s living room floor to the tune of “Ashamed” and I cried, listening to “These Old Shoes” the entire plane ride home from England back to New York. For three months I was continually barraged with new things, new cities, new friends, new sights, sounds, and tastes, with one constant – Deer Tick was with me the entire time. I had their album “ War Elephant” piping through my headphones, regardless of where I was. All of these facts I “forgot” to share with the boys of Deer Tick, seeing as how I’m a shy person, and slightly embarrassed about my ‘superfan’ status. I did, however, manage to find out a bit more when I nervously found myself face to face (to face to face – because there are four of them!) with the band at a Chinese food restaurant around the corner from Manhattan’s Bowery Ballroom, where they were about to play a headlining show, the first night of a 6 week tour around America.

Deer Tick had very humble beginnings,” explains John McCauley, Deer Tick‘s mustached front man. “A few years ago I started writing songs like this and recording them with my friend, Paul, on drums, and that kind of fizzled. I kept trying to create the band that I had named Deer Tick. It was kind of me for a while and I really didn’t like it that way. I didn’t like to be known as a singer songwriter with a moniker, I thought that was kind of stupid, but I was really patient and made sure I waited to find the right group of guys to play with.”

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John’s patience paid off and resulted in the formation of the band in its modern day incarnation: Dennis Ryan on drums, Andy Tobiassen- to whom James Felice refers as “the cute one”- on guitar, soft-spoken and self described “post-adolescent, geeky looking kid” Chris Ryan on base and of course, John himself is responsible for guitar and lead vocals as well as penning all of the group’s lyrics.

While “War Elephant” is the work Deer Tick is best known for at the moment, their upcoming album, “Born on Flag Day” will be the first that these 4 have played on together. “It sounds way different than War Elephant, and, stylistically, I think it’s much better than War Elephant too. War Elephant, to me, feels more like a greatest hits rather than an actual album, and this one feels like an album to me, and I’m really glad that I got to record it with a band, rather than multi-track mostly everything myself, which was the case with War Elephant.”

Deer Tick has received positive reactions to both their album, and their live shows. At the near sold out Bowery show, the crowd is singing along, and everyone I talk to in the crowd is genuinely excited to be there, indicative of Deer Tick‘s growing fan base. While the media is desperately trying to pigeonhole Deer Tick‘s sound (terms like “freak-folk,” indie-folk,” and “lo-fi” plague any literature you might find about them, as well as attempts to lump them in with other emerging Brooklyn bands, as John, originally from Providence, Rhode Island, is now living in Brooklyn) John insists that “We can fit in anywhere, from a dive bar to the Bowery Ballroom, like tonight. We’re not trying to be anything, I’m just writing songs in a variety of styles and they get pinned down as folk. And then you can’t just call anything done by a young person ‘folk’ anymore, you have to call it something stupid like “freak-folk.” I just don’t get a lot of labels that people give us. I like to think that rock and roll encompasses everything we do, and that’s where my heart is.”

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“Born on Flag Day” is scheduled for release in June 2009.

The world of neckwear has never looked so exciting. So say goodbye to the days of that tedious and generic tie lurking in the bottom of your wardrobe. I think as a general consensus every male has one, information pills right? Yes, sildenafil the one that only raises its ugly head for job interviews, weddings, or funerals. Well, cast that aside and end his tragic existence. Instead say hello and embrace the innovative, hopelessly stylish and nonchalant new accessory line from design collaborative Timo. Fashion Designer Timo Weiland originates from the bustling sidewalks of the Big Apple. He is no newcomer to the fashion sphere, having already enjoyed cult acclaim nationwide for his distinctive wallet designs and environmental conscious design ethos.

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Their kitsch Manhattan style exudes chic, and the brand have become regulars in hip fashion magazines such as Super Super. After the roaring success of the wallet designs ,Timo decided to set his sites higher and break into the broader world of accessories. Utilising a myriad of different fabrics from satin to cashmere the new AW O9 features beautiful and opulent neckwear.

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Weiland draws influence from all facets of design and genres. Reinvigorating class silhouettes from the bowtie to the skinny tie, and then racing up the spectrum to highly architectural draped collar pieces evoking a distinctly Elizabethan air. Then to top it all off he throws some traditional southern American western in for good measure.

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The unique feature of Timo’s designs is there ultimate use as a cross functional accessory. So that bland dress that hasn’t been out of solitary confinement for months could suddenly be unleased on the unsuspecting world with a whole new look.

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Weiland blurs the lines between gender with many unisex styles, so keep a close eye on that boyfriend of yours if you want to keep your bowtie to yourself!.
Prepare yourselves for quirky design group KIND! Injecting a healthy dose of cool to knitwear. The latest installment to their eccentric collections makes no exceptions fusing conceptual art with fashion, medicine in a burst of colour and activity.

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The Design collaborative are no newcomers to the knitwear sphere and have been in production since 2005. Each collection showcases new and innovative styles, continually pushing the boundaries in conceptual yet functional knitwear design. KIND have been avid followers of ours here at Amelia’s magazine and vis versa, we even featured them in issue 7 ( which is still available to get your mits on by the way!) We just can’t get enough of them, so I thought it important to unleash their new S/S collection on you. So prepare your eyes for a visual feast!

The new collection banishes all recollection of winter embracing the joyous arrival of summer with a myriad of warm colours and shapes.

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The brand are heavily involved in photography, interbreeding art with fashion is of paramount importance to these cool cats. Just one look at their S/S 09 lookbook validates this statement. Pieces are set against vivid tapestries reminiscent of the fundamental cubist painter Henri Matisse.

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KIND’s
focus is on functional and wearable clothing. The collection offers all your staples from dresses,tanks, to jumpers, all in lightweight cashmeres. So perfect for those cross seasonal periods, when its too cold for a t-shirt yet too warm for a jumper.

Kind has enjoyed universal success, having stocked their collections in Labour of Love, Tatty Divine, Liberty, Collette in Paris, UK style in Moscow, Isetan in Tokyo. Gosh its making me breathless just listing them all…….

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So keep your eyes open for KIND, I have a sneaking suspicion we haven’t seen the last from this eccentric bunch!
With a repertoire that boasts Blonde Redhead, page Stereolab, buy Pixies and the Cocteau Twins, approved 4AD rarely disappoint. The latest signing from the cult indie label, Kent four piece It Hugs Back, are no exception.

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Photo by Steve Double

Initially, you can’t help but notice how very young they all seem, which makes it all the more satisfying when they launch into such a mature set, cultivating a sound that is much older than their twenty three years.

Beautifully blended rhythmic guitars and soft Thurston Moore-esque vocals, they are clearly a group who have spent a lot of time cooped up in their bedrooms listening to shoegaze records. Although in essence, It Hugs Back are a product of their influences, this is not such a bad thing when your influences are so definably Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Yo La Tengo and potentially Wilco.

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Photo Coutesy of http://www.ithugsback.co.uk

Indeed, it’s their appreciation for music and sound that makes them so enjoyable and strangely refreshing. Clearly identifiable ‘Daydream Nation’ moments like in ‘Now and Again’ are juxtaposed with much more subtle melodies in tracks like ‘q’, where looped riffs and jangling guitars meet more industrial feedback sounds. In fact, many of the songs are indistinguishable, as they play with structure, breaking down more definable song narratives, so that the music remains continually listenable.

Definitely ones to watch.

‘Inside your Guitar’ is out on 6th April
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The Guinness World Record for it is 11 inches. Countless circus curios and lunchladies everywhere have caused us to stare guiltily at theirs over the years.
But not until illustrator Emily Mackey’s embroidered pieces have we seen such glorious and bewildering ladies’ beards. Argued to symbolize anything from wisdom and a pioneering spirit to shiftiness and eccentricity the beard remains a statement accessory. We speak with the artist about pistols, adiposity beards and women’s work.

Where did the idea for the bearded ladies originate?
I grew up in several different places, cialis 40mg locally and abroad, and constantly had to leave friends and make new ones. With each new environment I met a diverse range of people and their initial perceptions of me varied wildly. The bearded ladies are stating that people are not always what they appear to be. An initial perception of someone can be misleading, but if you take the time to look closely, you can usually see the truth in who they are.

Truer now than ever with the current cult of celebrity. Approach with caution though readers, in case the moustached madames are carrying one of these…

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What got you stitching the pistol series?
I abhor guns. They’ve brought horror to the human race. I’ve put images of guns through the process of a ‘women’s’ craft and converted them into harmless decoration.

We much prefer yours, and love the idea of subverting weapons into delicate threadwork. Where do you look to for inspiration and ideas?

From the age of ten, I’ve taken photo’s everywhere I go, so I have my own archive of images that I like to work from. I generally work from subjects that evoke my emotions. One my new projects will consist of a range of very powerful pieces that derive from a subject that I feel passionately about.

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Sounds mysterious and evocative, keep us posted!
How did you begin working with stitch?

I come from generations of weavers, embroiderers and lace makers, so as I was growing up, was often given a needle and thread to keep me occupied. I trained as a weaver and started to incorporate embroidery with my weaving…I got involved with free-machine embroidery about four years ago.

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Do you look to somewhere specific for inspiration or ideas?

My great grandmother has been a great inspiration to me. She used embroidery as a means of survival. She taught it to girls in the orphanage that she had grown up in and later set up many more orphanages that taught embroidery, among other things, to enable women to sell their work and earn a living.

How do you feel the medium relates to the subject matter?

What I love about stitching is that it can be such a controlled medium – ordered and solid and it can also be used in a loose, sketchy, expressive way. It can hold more depth than paint or pen and is more malleable.

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Where can we see your work?
I have a website www.maxemilia.com where you will be able to see examples of my work, past and present. I will soon be selling limited runs and one off woven, embroidered and printed pieces through the site too. I have some exhibitions planned for later this year – details will be posted on my website. A selection of my work is going to be published in ‘Illustration Now Vol.3‘ which will be out in the summer.

Thanks Emily, we will definitely keep our eye out for the book and can’t wait to see your upcoming show!
Three members of the Amelia’s Magazine team went down to the amazing venue Village Underground on Great Eastern Street yesterday to check out ‘100 minutes of Havana’, purchase a one off art battle. When we showed up a lovely lady from Havana Club, here who sponsored the event, no rx whisked us past the queue and handed us some drinks vouchers. After getting our rum on at the bar we went off to see the real reason we were there. A 200 foot white wall!

The group behind this event, Secret Wars, arrange guerrilla live art battles across the world. At this event the rules were simple. Two groups, Monorex and Intercity, battle it out to cover the massive wall with drawings, using only marker pens and coloured acrylic paint. While Monorex were the more experienced group, having done live shows for Secret Wars before, I didn’t fancy their chances against Intercity, which comprised of Concrete Hermit , and Amelia’s Magazine favourites Ian Stevenson and Andrew Rae.

At Half past seven the crowd counted the artists down from ten and then they were off! Team Intercity rather ingeniously attached a pen to some string in the centre of the wall and created a massive circle, which they hurriedly painted with red acrylic. While team Monorex got out the marker pens and started with some free style drawings.

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The event aimed to bring to life “the passion of contemporary Cuba to a London audience”. In honour of Cuba then, we headed to another bar for some free rum tasting and then looked around the venue at the other art works. Havana Club got some great illustrators to decorate some of their rum bottles and the results ranged from the sublime to the downright bizarre.

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With ten minutes left of the clock team Intercity pulled out all the stops and started firing paint bombs at their work covering their lovely doodles in watery red paint. The winner was decided by a combination of two guest judges and a crowd vote – whoever got the loudest cheers won!

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Monorex emerged victorious and Sabrina and I, fuelled on Mojitos and sheer cheekiness, went in search of some illustrators to grill.

While Sabrina headed off to chat up Josh Sutterby on the Monorex side.

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I went over to talk to the guys from the Intercity team.

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Despite being the losers the artists were in high spirits and had even sneaked some beers into the venue (there’s really only so much rum you can drink!). I grabbed Robbie Wilkinson for a chat and he told me that he got involved in the night through being one of a hundred artists to design a Havana bottle for a recent exhibition. The question I really wanted an answer to though, was, “Why do you think your wall is better than their wall?” Robbie confided in me that he wasn’t a fan of the graffiti style of Monorex.

I went over to talk to Andrew Rae and he told me that although he thought that the other team’s mural was one image that worked together, Intercity’s was much more fun to watch and “more of a performance”.

Next on my list were Andy Forshaw and Austin From New. They showed me their drawings and explained the idea behind the paint bombs was just to create a lot of mess and that they wanted the performance to be “Like a children’s party with jelly and ice-cream!”

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I’ll admit I got a little star struck when I finally found Ian Stevenson. I’m a massive fan after seeing his solo exhibition at Concrete Hermit in 2007.

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He was the most diplomatic of the group refusing to trash talk about Monorex but he did tell me about his next exhibition with Pictoplasma where 50 artists are taking part in a festival across the city of Berlin in March. Ok so we can’t all afford tickets to go to Berlin, but you can go and see the result of the nights events at The Village Underground until Tuesday 10th March.
It’s astounding what you can unearth when you delve through flickr. I exposed a complete hidden gem this week amidst the urban jungle of the internet. My gem came in the form of Italian Photographer Polly Balitro, treat and to tell the truth I have been left utterly in awe since my discovery. Her photos have a overwhelming quixotic feel, as if you have unintentionally stumbled upon her cherished diary. Every picture exudes sentimentality, charting Balitro’s exploration of love, loss and identity.

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Alas much to my displeasure I couldn’t warrant a trip to Italy for a interview with Polly so I decided a virtual email would have to suffice.

Your work seems very multi media based, what mediums do you usually use when making your work?

I am working mainly with analogic processes, darkroom printing and polaroid transfers, because I believe that art photography is a sort of performance that requires the rituals that just analog can give. But I always scan my work to put on social networks like facebook, myspace and flickr, to get people to know my pieces easily.

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What other artists have inspired you in your work?

I usually get inspiration from young unknown artists around me. I spend lots of time surfing the web through pages like flickr, deviant art and myspace. Young artists are fresh have really innovative and experimental ideas. I love how the combination between images, music and perfomance work perfectly together.

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Your work is quite nostalgic, do any of the images have particular sentimental value to you?

My work is certainly extremely nostalgic, because it’s totally based on feelings coming from my inner soul. I am currently working on my final thesis, for the end of my 3 years at photography school. It will be very intense work centering around the feeling of being hunted by someone. My photography aims to talk about some sort of ghostly presence that never leaves me totally alone, people from my past, present and future that are constantly affecting my mood and my action, even though they’re not actually here with me. I think this maybe can explain why I am truly attached to all of my images.

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You use a very subtle colours in your work, is there any particular reason for this?

The subtle colours in my work come with my love for the northern countries. I am strongly affected by the scandinavian taste for low saturation in colours, and I am extremely attached to my black and whites that I always process in my darkroom. I feel like low saturation and black and white make a perfect union with the theme of my photography.

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You work has a certain ethereal quality to it, would you agree with that interpretation?

The certain ethereal quality comes along with the soul theme of my whole work, as I said before: I am trying to speak about something that goes beyond the everyday material experience, to give away a sense of unknown and ethereal matters.

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What advice would you give emerging photographers to do if they want to break into the industry?

I really wouldn’t know what advice to give people like me. I am still trying to make my way to the world with my art works, and I don’t think it will be easy to get well known. I guess, the best you can do is to try hard and keep on believing that sometime you will find your place. A good way to start out is to try to get as much “audience” as possible: social networks are extremely good for that.

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It’s apparent Balitro has an abundance of talent within her sphere far beyond her years, I for one am going to keep my beady eye on her flickr account!
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Everyone loves a Rush don’t they? Well I do at least, search being a recent convert to the antics and actions of Climate Rush. Still it’s hard to not want to be involved in this particular case. When dear old RBS, in their infinite wisdom, gifted Sir Fred ‘The Shred’ with £16 million pounds of what amounts to taxpayers money, they couldn’t have possibly imagined the public outrage. And rightly so!

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I am one of the many millions who pays taxes, and I can’t remember being asked if my money could go towards one man’s pension. Or to help bail out a bank who have given £16 billion towards the dirty coal industry. (Did you know that 50% of CO2 in the atmosphere has come from coal?) This sordid scenario is just the kind of thing that makes Climate Rush‘s blood boil. If there are a few things that make them mad, it is irresponsible governments and a complete disregard for the environment. So when I found out that Climate Rush were popping down to the RBS building in the City to quite understandably ask for their money back, I felt that it was my duty to put on a sash and join them!

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Anticipating our arrival, the London police force had turned out in droves – on horses, in vans, on foot, and posted around the entrance of the RBS building. Still, I like to think that they were more on our side than on the banks. After all, it’s their taxes too that are going towards one mans retirement scheme. And how could they fail to be charmed by us? Many came dressed up, some as suffragettes, some as cleaners, a few as bank robbers. Everyone was good natured and friendly. And while we were obviously passionate about our rush, there is no reason to stop for lunch, so we all sat cross legged on a blanket eating bagels and biscuits while we were regailed with songs and speech. Now this is my kind of action group! At one point I noticed all the RBS workers inside watching us, and being the friendly girl that I am, I gave them a cheery wave, but no one waved back. How rude! I can imagine that many were curious about the commotion outside, perhaps they would have even wanted to come out and join us, and wouldn’t that have made for a good picture?

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After the lovely Amelia, Tamsin and Marina said some words about the reasons why we were all here, we gave out an award (shaped in the form of a dead canary) to Sir Fred – and he turned up to accept and say a few words! What a thoughtful man. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really him; the real Sir Fred was far away, counting his pots of money I would imagine, but the stand in got plenty of cheers.

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There was some more dancing to tunes with the theme of money, (plus Supergrasses Caught By the Fuzz; our way of doffing our cap to the rozzers)and afterwards, we disbanded. I walked through Spitalfields proudly wearing my sash, and I did notice that I was given a wide berth by plenty of business men who looked at me with slight alarm. What exactly did they think I was going to do to them? I left inspired, and feeling very much part of the group, the action, and the sentiment.
Born in Texas and living in New York City, seek via London Diego Vela has collaborated on a variety of fashion and art related projects. He found his calling and freedom with sculpture, clinic the sculptures in their own subtlety dictate the end results; the materials (paper mache’, what is ed plaster, glue, paint and found objects) give certain characteristics that inform that process. His work is a living process, rather than bodies of works in a form of a series; each new sculpture adds to the lexicon of his visual language. Currently, and for the next six months Diego will be focusing on new paintings.

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What inspires you in your work?

Most of my inspiration I draw from nature, I like to take walks and look for the natural world even in places like the middle of NYC, where man tries so hard to shelter itself from nature, and yet you see its effects always…grass growing in between side walks, cracks in walls caused by rain, and wind…it’s all so beautiful and scary. I tend to be drawn to the darker side of the natural world, drawn to things that some may not see as beautiful, of course which is a matter of opinion…and my opinion and aesthetic tends to be romanced by the underbelly of nature and the natural world.

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How did you get into art?

Art drew me in, like a moth to a flame…that is the romantic side of it, I studied it in uni, after many attempts at rational majors, majors that would probably have made a good steady career, with employment and everything that comes with it, but art finally won my heart in the end.

Who do you aspire to be like and who inspires you at present?

I aspire to be like many glamorous ladies of the past, Anita Berber, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburn, at least the on screen persona, oh, the list goes on and on… recently I have been inspired by my mother, and men who I have fallen desperately in love with, but of whom I am left pining…I suppose I have been mostly inspired by my own desire…I have been inspired by passing boys on subway cars, who for a moment mend my little heart from all of that passion unreturned… my, I am dramatic, how could I not have been an artist.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

Satisfied, and doing exactly what I want to do…preferably, in Berlin or London

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What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the art?
Work hard! Always keep an open mind, you can find inspiration in everything… and look for your opportunities… Learn to balance your artistic romantic nature with the realistic business aspect of the art world…But most of all work hard!

Do you have a muse?

At the moment I do not have a muse, there have been many mini muses that have come and gone, but my muse tends to be a person that my romantic heart is attached too, well on second thought, I suppose at the moment there is a reluctant muse…it’s complicated…But he does inspire me…it’s so complicated.

For more information have a look at the artists website or blogspot.

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If you’re a wannabe illustrator or even just a secret bedroom doodler Lazy Oaf wants to hear from you!

Gemma Shiel has been creating wonderful illustrations for her label Lazy Oaf since 2005. In them inanimate objects (bananas, ambulance milk cartons, cupcakes, boomboxes!) come to life with rosy cheeks and smily faces. Or animals get a fun screen print make-over with googly eyes and cheeky pink tongues. If you fancy trying to take Gemma on at her own game this is the competition for you!

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To celebrate the launch of their much anticipated Spring/Summer collection Lazy Oaf are hosting The Lazy Oaf Drawing Club on Thursday 23rd April from 6-8pm. On entry to the to the event, which is being held at their shop in Kingly Court, visitors will be given one of three postcards specially designed for occasion. After your given a ‘picture frame’ all you have to do is fill it with your scribbles and then hand it in. Everyones pieces of art will be displayed proudly in the shop window and the owners of the best five entries will win “extra special prizes”. If you want to make extra sure that you do a good job the postcards can be downloaded from the Lazy Oaf website soon and you can pick them up now from the Kingly Court store now.

Even if you don’t know a pen from a potato head down to the store anyway as Lazy Oaf will be offering 20% off everything all night – just because they’re nice like that!

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Monday 9th March

Franz Ferdinand

Pop favourites and Glasweigan Lovies Franz Ferdinand wanna take you out, sildenafil of your house, and shuffle on to the Hammersmith Apollo. With Support from Californian Soft Pack before their appearance at SXSW.

Hammersmith Apollo

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Tuesday 10th March

Videopia with Shock Defeat!

Ever wanted to star in miniature versions of Hollywood classics? ‘What like in that film?’ Yeah. Then make sure you get yourself to Notting Hill Arts Centre nice & early this tuesday. However if the thought of being on screen turns your stomach settle it down with the chocolate fountain & candyfloss machine, and watch your pals corpse and bumble the night away.

Followed by live music & DJs including Shock Defeat! and The Momeraths.

Notting Hill Arts Club

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Night Fever II: Cosmic Jebubu’s Soul Noodle House Vs. Panjeen’s Rap Village

Noodles a plenty from 12pm at Jebubu’s Soul Noodle House (supplied by DIY apparel company) with some African funk and ethiojazz by Panjeen rap village DJ’s and Live music later on from Bangerz n Mash and Chechnya blast.

Unity, Peckham High Street

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Wednesday 11th March

Jeremy Jay (K records) + Lord Auch

Jeremy Jay of K records, Calvin Johnsons celebrated indie label, plays his only UK show at the Macbeth! Plus witness a special acoustic show from Lord Auch.

The Macbeth, Hoxton Street

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Thecocknbullkid

19-year-old Anita Blay aka Thecocknbullkid graces the mall stage at the ICA this wednesday bringing along her own vibe of sleazy synth pop. With support from a whole bunch of people including Plugs (LIVE) Your Twenties (LIVE) Florence and the Machine (DJ SET) NYPC (DJ SET), FRANKMUSIK(DJ SET) and SPARKLEMOTION.

Mall Stage, ICA, London

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Photo by Dan WIlton

Thursday 12th March

Up the Racket & WOTGODFORGOT present… Crystal Antlers

Fuzzy, lo-fi garage noise with the skill and integrity that so many others lose in the fug. All the way from Long Beach Crystal Antlers create a live experience only too rare in this climate. Support from Sycamore and Plank!

Retro Bar, Manchester

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Illustration by Mr Hallows

A Team present… Squallyoakes Fanzine Launch Night

The A Team Brings You: Wasp Display LIVE. Plus TDJ Sets From: DJ FTW, DJ Julio, Lord Rockingham XV and of course The A Team.

Catch, London

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Photo by James Smith

Friday 13th March

Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest) with Live Band

Old school legend Q-Tip is back with his new album The Renaissance. Support from DJ Tu-ki.

The Button Factory, Dublin

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Freitags
Joining the dots between Kraut, Baltimore Club, Techno, House, Indie, Electro, Outsider Pop, Disco, Cosmic Nonsense and forgotten gems with Manchester favourite DJ Wesley (Up The Racket)

Common Bar, Manchester

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Saturday 14th March

OK Crayola w/ Party Horse

Anglo Dutch comboParty Horse are in Manchester with support in the form of Thom Stone and the debut solo show of the awesome Matthew Ashworth (A Middle Sex).

Fuel Cafe Bar, Manchester

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Sunday 15th March

DOVES

Manchester stalwarts The Doves are back with a new album and on the road after over 3 and a half years. See them this week in Warrington (12th), Middlesborough (13th) and Glasgow (15th).

The ABC, Glasgow

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Rebecca Warren

The exhibition gives a twist to the traditions of sculpture, here she throws away its old typical associations with the human figure and introduces an abstract and almost child’s way of shaping clay. She’s the first to confess that her art is “not pretty”, Rebecca is a London based artist who was nominated for the Turner price in 2006, this will be her first major solo exhibition.

Serpentine Gallery, 10th- 1st April free admission

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Hussein Chalayan: Debate

A chance to see the ‘British Designer of the Year’ and find out more about his international fashion business and how he is still influenced by London, he will be joined by other key designers who are also based in London.

Shoreditch Town Hall £15, Wednesday 11th March, 7.15pm,

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Tonico Lemos Auad
: Cast graphite and burnt bread
Born in Brazil, studied at Goldsmiths college in London, the exhibition focuses on dimension and perception

Stephen Friedman Gallery, 13 March – 18 April 2009

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Dr Gunther Von Hagen: Body world and the mirror of time

The Doctor is back, as if the first time around wasn’t gruesome enough! With all the controversy surrounding the doc who freezes bodies and displays them, its a must see but not for the faint hearted. Your eyes continuously try to convince your brain that it can’t all possibly be real but after the second person in the exhibition faints it all gets a little too much to take in. The reality is that it’s all just a little too pristine and over varnished with an horror movie feel to it, is it science. Is it art? I’m still undecided but every time he is in town I can’t help but get curious and double check if I really did see, what I thought I saw last time.

The O2 Bubble SE10, the exhibition is on until Aug 23, £12, concs £9

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William Hunt: Perfomance
The Camden Arts center, 6.30pm 11th of March

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The Masques of Shahrazad
: Evolution and revolution through three generations of Iranian women artists.

A collection of masks from 28 Iranian women artists whose works span over three generations in the history of Iran. The works trace the development of Iranian art and artists over the past four decades during which Iran has gone through some dynamic changes. This exhibition is a very rare chance to see works by these respected women artists; it’s also been an opportunity for them to voice their opinion on issues that have concerned them over the last few years.
Artists include Golnaz Fathi, Shideh Tami, Maryam Shirinlou and Farideh Lashai.

Candlestar Gallery Hammersmith, 9 – 14th March 2009,

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Women in photography: South of the river

Celebrating the works of varied women photographers in South London, the exhibition is linked to International Woman’s Day (March 8th) and shows a worldwide celebration of women’s achievements aiming to reflect creativity and progression via photography.

Lewisham Art House New Cross, 11 – 22th of March 2009

Private View: Wednesday 11th March 2009, 19.00-21.00
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Featured Illustrator/ Artist

A G Brock

Born in 1970 in Fort Worth Texas US, Brock began drawing at a very young age using it to escape a childhood of bullying at school. Later on he was expelled from college after producing what teachers referred to as a “suggestive painting”, basically a painting of two women looking into each others eyes.

At 25 he was diagnosed with severe dyslexia and later in his 30′s found out that as a child he had a slight case of autism that had since manifested itself into O.C.D.
This diagnoses at least explained the communication problems he’d gone through growing up. Throughout the years he focused on art and used this talent as a means to escape various difficulties in his life.

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What inspires you in your work and why? Dynamic images, colours, sensuality, and of course martini

How did you get into Art? I was born like this its more of an addiction. I have a disorder called agoraphobia, which is an anxiety disorder that can lead to panic attacks so I rarely leave my home

Who do you aspire to be like and who inspires you at present? I guess Michael Angelo, or Da Vinci I don’t really follow the modern art world

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? Probably right where I am, I don’t know how to sell art; most of my paintings are rolled up in the closet at home

What advice would you give to someone trying to get into Art? I think you’re either born this way or you’re not, its a difficult way of life sometimes

Do you have a muse? Oh yes, my enchanting wife she gave me three beautiful children and the finest life I could ever have imagine

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Forget the weekend, click Thursdays are the big night out in the London art scene. While Sabrina headed off to glamorous Vyner Street for First Thursdays I headed to the depths of East London to Peckham, dosage for the private view of Rufus Miller’s new show at The Sassoon Gallery. The gallery is much easier to get to than you would imagine. It’s right next to Peckham Rye station and just a short bus ride away from New Cross Gate station.

To get to the gallery you first walk through Bar Story, a lively little bar full of Camberwell students. This threatens the unwritten code of the private view free beer, but luckily Bar Story has a rather impressive cocktail list to make up for the lack.

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Photography by Fabiana Delcanton

The Sassoon Gallery is under the new curatorial partnership of Holly Simpson and Katherine Finnimore and they tell me that their aim is, “to support and promote emerging young artists from a wide range of mediums”. Despite having only been involved in the gallery from January of this year the pair have already built up a good collection of young artists. Up now is the week long exhibition of recent Goldsmiths graduate Rufus Miller.

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I see Rufus looking very smart in a shiny new suit as I near the gallery. He’s with a group of people sat outside the gallery keeping warm in front of a fire. Private views at The Sassoon Gallery are among the most relaxed and mellow I’ve ever been too, precisely because of this. Having space outside the gallery means that people can socialise and make a mess there, leaving space and quiet inside the gallery for really looking and understanding the artwork.

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The lovely space is actually in a tunnel under a railway line so the ceilings are curved and everything rumbles when a train goes overhead. Rufus‘ paintings are like the dark sketches that goth kid in your class draws in the back of his exercise book. An image the artist actively encourages in his press release stating “These are shit paintings. I don’t paint. I just draw, like everone does. Someone wanted me to do a show so I just did the drawings bigger. In paint. Skulls are just an easy thing to do.” Going on to say, “What do you get from an enlargement of something done offhand, half-arsedly? Nothing, nothing more, just a disappearance of what I meant in the first place: Killing time.” Sucessfully demystifying the act of painting in a show of paintings? Rufus Miller is my hero.
After a perplexing hunt down various side streets I eventually chanced upon this bizarre venue. I think its safe to say an old fire station is a rather unorthodox choice of location. Upon arrival it was apparent that was not going to be the kind of gig to accumulate in a raucous . Gaggles of children in karate outfits greeted me, unhealthy not the usual cliental for a Wavves gig. My powers of presumption led me to the conclusion that this was a community centre and not a gritty underground music venue. Not surprisingly there was no bar, viagra 60mg I happened to notice a few gig goers gingerly slipping in with clanking blue plastic bags. So I decided to follow suit and headed out to the nearest corner shop to stock up!

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The location had all the atmospheric qualities of a school disco; the wooden benches, drugs the wonky banners, the copious amounts of balloons. The first band up to the microphone were Mazes, exuding 90′s nostalgia these northern lads sound is a concoction of Pavement-esque melodies fused with the vocals of the likes of Beat Happening and the infamous Lemonheads. Songs such as “bowie knives” shows a return to the depths of the 90′s grunge phenomena, erratic, fuzzy vocals are teamed with ranging baselines, this is timeless pop at its finest!

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Then came the turn of the energetic London three piece Pens, to say they brought flair and vigor to the evenings proceedings would be an understatement. Bursting into their set with furious drums, droning melodies all set against aberrant vocals and hap hazard key boards. Tracks such as “High in the Cinema” allures you into a trance with its repetitive vocals and abrasive guitars exuding all the dynamism of Soft Cell. The audience suitably revved up, out came Wavves to provide a perfect accumulation to the evening injecting a healthy dose of lo-fi pop melodies from Californian based singer songwriter Nathan Williams. Songs such as “So Bored” were uncontrollably catchy exuding a west coast surf grunge feel, with undercurrents of The Breeders and Sonic Youth.

Here at Amelia’s Magazine we managed to wangle ourselves some time with lively three piece Pens during their exciting tour.


How much did your parent’s record collection influence you and your music?

Amelia- My mum listens to all the girly stuff like Winehouse and Adele now, but growing up she listened to a lot of Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Leornard Cohen. I can remember requesting songs and spinning in the kitchen to it while she was cooking, probably has had an effect on what i listen to now, but don’t know how.
Helen – The three things I really remember from being little are Leonard Cohen (80s era), Terence Trent D’Arby and Fine Young Cannibals! I do have a massive soft spot for 80s production but I can’t really see that coming out in our music.
Stef – Well my ma only listened to 60s Italian pop songs (still does). My dad loves the Beatles, Buddy Holly & Roy Orbison, but I also remember him listening to Enya & Abba. Hmmm. I don’t think we sound like Enya.

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Do you think it’s fair to say the nofi scene seems to have a real sense of camaraderie, despite the fact that all the bands are spread out over the globe?

A- Yes, definelty. I think it’s great, and it’s nice to meet people that you look up to in music and hear their thoughts on your stuff. Also it works for like helping each other out, like when they come over here or us going to other countries. Looking after each other and stuff.
H – Yeah totally, I really think “DIY” or whatever you like to call it has a sense of “we give a shit about what we’re doing, and we know it’s rad to help other people out”. It’s not some stadium-rock, get-signed get-paid get-first-on-the-bill thing, it’s about sharing the bill with other bands you respect.
S – Yes that’s fair, i suppose it’s like a community cos it’s not so much about getting famous & making bucks but more about having fun with your friends & meeting new people. Also, one good turn deserves another.


How do you ladies spend your free time when you’re not doing music?

A- I like reading, drawing and vhs nights, but my favourite thing of all time is eating out with friends. i do that a lot.
H – Eating out has got to be one of my faves too. Particularly milkshakes, cheesy chips and good meat. Otherwise I take dumb SLR photos, and try and write whatever comes to mind. More free time please.
S – As above, plus added headbanging with friends, minus the photo-taking.

You’ve released several split records all ready, how goes the writing for the album? Any surprises in store?

A- Probably, i’m not really sure. The album is written and ready to roll. I think some songs are like crazy different and some are what people would expect. we mainly just write songs on how we’re feeling at the time based on who we like or dislike and that’s reflected in the songs. Haha.
H – I want to see what people think, we feel that we have a few different ‘sounds’ but people might be expecting us just to stay on one tip. We’re still a new band so we’re not getting formulaic.
S – Currently loving our new songs. Second album here we come!

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Who are your current tips? What are you listening to?

A- Oujia – some american lofi grunge punk it’s awesome and cute. The dude sent us the lyrics and now i’m hooked and singing it all the time.
H – I’ve been listening to SALEM a lot, dark electronic stuff. I bought their EP last year but I think I melted it by the radiator, which is upsetting.
S – The ones in our top friends

I’m looking forward to seeing you on tour with Wavves soon. How have you found touring so far? Any good stories? Have you found yourselves eating garage food and kebabs?

A- I can’t wait to play with Wavves. I’m so happy he’s getting good press over here because he’s the best band around at the moment in my opinion. We’ve only been on a short tour with a band called Friendship, was fun to ‘get in the van’ for the first time. the first night ended with a hella lotta jagerbombs and an icing sugar fight. messy.
H – I finished Amelia’s Pot Noodle on our South Coast trip, I think this is a bad omen ’cause I haven’t had one of them in years and we were only away for like a day.
S – The short trip with Friendship was tons of fun, so I’m really excited to be going on an extended road trip with my best friends.

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Riotgrrrl and third wave feminism were very vocal in the early 90′s, there’s nothing quite so forward right now. Do you think things finally balanced out?

A- Maybe, I reckon girls just have different things to rant about now, and i think women in all girl bands can be as tough as boys.
H – Not really. I have a huge amount of ranting in me, but there’s a certain degree of wanting to be known as a band first before coming out with my opinions on all and sundry.
S – I dunno, i think a part of me is (figuratively) sticking two fingers up to whoever makes me angry.

Jade Goodie has this week hinted her death will be filmed and broadcast by Living TV, will it also be the footnote in that kind of celeb media or a new dawn in awful?

A- I’ve never really disliked Jade that much. i think i was probably the only person who thought she wasn’t a racist just a little ignorant. I feel really sorry for her at the moment. i mean, what’s she’s going through is tough for anyone, especially if your a mum. I read in the paper that she is doing it to raise money for her kids after she’s gone. i won’t be watching it, but i do kinda respect her of her choices.
H – If people want to see it, then there’s not much you can say. I don’t think Jade has created anything by herself, the demand is there so why not exploit it? People are massively screwed up, but that said I really don’t get what 90% of the population does for entertainment so I’m not out to try and understand it. This is the stuff of a million undergrad Media dissertations though…
S – It’d be weird if it was shown on TV. But her haters are possibly forgetting that she’s leaving 2 very young children behind, & those kids are gonna grow up without a mum, so perhaps people should just have a little bit of consideration for her as she’s trying to generate a future for them while she still can.

On Valentine’s day I drank too much energy drink and ended up spending my evening asleep in the bath. Did you have a better one then me?

A- My valentines day was sick. Helen and i woke up and went for a burrito, followed by a trip to oxfam where we found Edward Sissorhands. Then we went back home to watch it in bed. haha. we ended the night by going to a Male Bonding and Graffiti Island show at the lexington. was pretty fun.
H – Yeah as above except I was totally ill, had to go home early and almost got run over on the way to AND from The Lexington. Pretty HML stuff but I’d forgotten it was Valentine’s Day by then.
S – I ate, napped, spooned, & played Pictionary.

So if you want to see these cool cats in action, they are playing Smash and Grab in London this thursday, you will be in for a treat!.
The ethereal Pumajaw are back with retrospective album “Favourites” with the label, malady Fire. It follows last years “Curiosity Box” album, and is no less wierd and wonderful than the previous four records released by band members Pinkie Maclure and multi-instrumentalist/ producer John Wills themselves.

“Favourites” is an eclectic compilation of fourteen of the duo’s own favourite tracks and, if you had to describe Pumajaw in fourteen tracks this would be it. Pinkie’s bewitching voice sails over the haunting, earthy melodies of Will’s musical talents. Pumajaw kick off the album with a melting pot of eerie noises, conjuring up feelings of wonderment, and images of being in quite another place than a smoky grey city. “The Wierd Light” is an eerie howl of a Siren over what seems like animal calls and screeches, yet it’s not scary. In a way it is calming and peaceful and undoubtedly beautiful. Later down the album listing is “Downstream”, a sea-shanty love song, but true to the nature of Pumajaw, is distorted by squealing guitars and what can only be described as a didgeridoo drone.

The Scottish-duo present something akin to a Pagan travelling guide through the highlands of the country. It is rythmic, melodious and trancey and has echoes of nothing you have heard before. I tried to find something to liken them to, but in all honesty it is a near impossible task. They branch out to the outermost confines of the wierd and wonderful, think psychedelic folk music in the middle of the woods, and you’re there. In the last track on the album, “Outside it Blows”, Maclure asks “how many like us in the world,” and the answer is most probably none.

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It wasn’t surprising to find Passion Pit listed as one of the buzz-bands at last years CMJ festival in New York. Their bleepy twinkling electro is just the thing to get any nu-raver moving their neon hi-tops. The Chunk of Change EP was written by front-man Michael Angelakos as a Valentines Day gift for his (now ex-) girlfriend. It’s sweetly romantic in a child like “follow-me-as-we-run-through-the-city” kind of way.

We kick off the record with I’ve Got Your Number, this site a zappy little number which sounds like a young Broken Social Scene, patient not as complex but delightful in its simplicity. It’s got a kind of euphoric mystical quality to it, decease and Angelakos’ trembling falsetto really does get you dancing.

Further down the list we move to cutesy Cuddle Fuddle. It’s soft like a pink mohair jumper and the lyrics are the epitome of high school romance awkwardness, “now I feel silly, selfish and dizzy/ I’ve got this feeling, that you’ll forgive me…”

The final tune on the EP is Sleepyhead, which I must add has been remixed several times and all are fantastic. It starts of with Kanye West-esque sampling but then swiftly dives into a sort of euphoric Japanese sounding cyber feel. It’s music to smile to. The sparkling xylophone and constant drumbeat make it an instant dancing classic.

Overall the EP has everything, and although it incorporates existing elements of music, it manages to achieve a very unique sound. It’s not quite electro, it’s not quite pop, it’s not quite indie. It’s bloomin’ superb is what it is, if you are loving the Go! Team or MGMT right now you will love this.

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Here at Amelia’s Magazine we don’t just zone in on our homegrown talent, viagra 40mg we scout our overseas counterparts in search of innovative new creatives. As always our quest bore fruit in the shape of Parisian based freelance graphic designer Sandrine Pagnoux. Living right in the centre of Paris’s artistic epicentre between The Musee Picasso and the Centre Pompidou, price Pagnoux isn’t short of artistic inspiration. It’s easy to see how this culturally diverse area manifests in Sandrine’s work.

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Her work has a distinctly raw feel that synthesises popular culture. It draws influence from the many facets of post-modernism from art, order music and literature. Sandrine is heavily influenced by music, which she claims is the core stimulus for her work, distinct favourites being the punk rock femme fatale Patti Smith and the serene obscurity of Bjork to name but a few. In conjunction with music, the works of the late Oscar Wilde are a constant influence to the romantic moodiness of Pagnoux’s work.

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Pagnouxs is not only causing a stir back home but is making waves internationally. Boasting features in such a extensive list of publications it’s hard to cram them all in. There’s Wig Magazine, Marie Claire, Zoot, Blond, and XLR8R. Her most commercial being for Le Coq Sportif Not content on conquering merely the fashion sphere Pagnoux has set her sites further a field recently doing in advertising, publishing and record labels.

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Sandrine’s work is a myriad of multi media, fusing calligraphy, photography and illustration to create pieces that exude urban cool. The pieces have a distinct textural quality that insinuates an almost two dimensional feel to her work. Her work evokes a sense of reality that isn’t over polished, it’s intuitive often violent and authentic.

With such an innovative approach to illustration and ability to adapt her skills to so many facets of design, I think it’s safe to say we haven’t seen the last of Sandrine Pagnoux. I think this lady has got a whole lot more hidden up her sleeve.

Categories ,Fashion, ,Illustrator, ,Sandrine Pagnoux

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Amelia’s Magazine | Diptyque Candles

Bands like Okkervil River are eminently missable. They’re so redolent of a slew of others, pill more about and if you’re not on friendly terms with their songs they’ll pass you by like so much jaunty, information pills pleasant Americana. They’re also a great illustration of why you should persist with music.

And that’s not some pious, try rockist view meaning you’ve got to put down what you’re reading, sit up, and pay complete attention. It’s just good to give things a chance to get beyond your initial scrobbler – which makes quickfire connections, comparisons and judgments based on an increasingly convergent shared knowledge-bank of 50 years of pop. It’s about checking in music’s hiding places for that spark that turns a casual recommendation from a friend into your favourite album of the year.

You need to listen to Okkervil River because the real star attraction is the lyrics of Will Sheff. Like a Prozac-ed Conor Oberst words tumble out of him in stanzas, cascading, beautifully chosen, but always controlled. “Although I put my lips to your face / trying to push his kiss out of its place / although my heart started to race / now it has slowed / I’ll let it go,” he sings on ‘Song Of Our So-Called Friend’.

Behind him five guys playing the alt-country instruments you’d expect stay out of the way. Childlike drummer Travis Nelson (who has excellent wiry drummer’s hair) and keyboardist and trumpeter Scott Bracket sing along with every word, like their own band’s biggest fans.

Six members is often a bad, self-indulgent idea but OR’s are always serving and augmenting their songs. The slow-burning ‘The President’s Dead’ segues masterfully into ‘Black’, which is a pretty straightforward three chord stomper but when Okkervillised it comes out yearning, wistful and layered. They’re like “partytime!” Wilco, Being There-era. There’s a touch of Arcade Fire in their scope and ear for an epic. This sometimes skirts too close to hokey, but with lyrics as good as Sheff’s they’ve earned their slide guitar solos.

On latest album The Stage Names, everything comes together during the final song ‘John Allyn Smith Sails’. All the words, all the fear, all the joy, all the themes that have preceded it fall into place when it morphs into something from a very famous album. It’s one of the most beautiful musical moments of 2007. Ruining it before you’ve heard it would be a spoiler on a par with that Planet Of The Apes video cover featuring the Statue Of Liberty.

It’s a transcendent moment tonight. They know exactly how good it is. They audaciously don’t even end the set with it. They’re rightfully confident. They may be America’s best band.

Why is it so great being 16? It’s an angsty, pill uncertain time in which you doubt everything, troche struggle with a bunch of new and confusing ordeals and inevitably puke down your top talking to the guy/girl you like at an underwhelming party. But we largely remember it with total fondness.

You needed to work your problems through to their logical conclusion, buy more about no matter how labyrinthine they seemed. You’d not yet developed the coping strategy for later life – blithely shrugging, saying “well, them’s the breaks” and getting on with it. We can all agree that that’s a far simpler and more practical way to deal with things, but Jamie Lenman of Reuben is stuck in adolescence. His last thought is his best, and he’s going to yell it at you. This is thrillingly vital. I worry for him.

Slightly overweight, borderline ugly, he’s preaching to a small and dedicated throng. It’s a metal crowd – everyone is either unfathomably young and infectious or crusty and old enough to know better. It’s like being back at your first ever gig. An unexpected obscure song, a friendly moshpit, loud, people screaming.

Lenman’s band expends tangible effort, like the best air guitarists. Drummer Guy Davis reaches Canty-like levels of inventiveness, buried under a relentless propulsive drumstorm. He sits up throughout, a skinny Rollins, if he shaved his head he’d be a nutter. Bassist Jon Pearce does a textbook tall man, long instrument, purposeful sway thing. The three of them look moments away from combusting.

They tick lots of my boxes. Inventive, heavy, melodic, loud, fast, screamy, catchy. These are mostly the wrong boxes for 2007. ‘Some Mothers Do Ave Em,’ with a gargantuan riff that Josh Homme would divorce Brody (remember her?) for, is tossed away, apparently unaware of its own greatness. ‘Let’s Stop Hanging Out’ is their pop hit – a problem, because like almost everything they’ve done, it’s structured as if written by an Asberger’s sufferer. It lurches from A to B via, like, 37, each section marginally better than the last.

This analysis is all very silly and waaaay too glowing for a band you could fairly dismiss as dunderheaded nu rock – big riffs, often-daft words, sometimes cheesy tunes. But there’s something elusive, weird and brilliant at work which makes it seem completely unfair that Reuben are playing a half-empty goth club rather than enjoying Biffy-like love and adulation at the Astoria.

Their tour DVD, documenting life in a band too poor to give up jobs at supermarkets, is the saddest music film you’ll see this year, including ‘Control’. There’s a purity to Reuben, because you feel deep down they’ve realised they’re never going to “make it”. They’re getting as much out of nights like this as they possibly can.

They will surely disappear within five years, but Lenman will be back, I assure you. He’s a genius, that kid at school who was amazing at everything he tried but strangely awkward. His songs, once you’re over their ever-so-slight similarity to a bunch of nu metal we all wish hadn’t happened, are like nothing else in 2007.

I emphatically resist that getting older means you need to listen to cerebral, reflective music. It’s patronising, and a denial of where you’ve come from. Reuben are funny, but they’re also extremely earnest, and that seems to be a dirty word these days. But why should we forget what it’s like to be earnest? Why are we ashamed of being heartfelt? Why is it ok to call directionless, indulgent “folk” beautiful and intelligent when loving heroically crafted “rock” gets you laughed at? By your early 20s these are questions that seem too unanswerable to worry about

It’s fair to assume that most bands are having fun; travelling around the country playing music and generally being outrageous on tour buses is fine work if you can get it. Kotki Dwa however sound like they’re enjoying it even more then everyone else, buy more about not only have they rummaged around the musical toy box but they’ve emptied the shop. Robin’s Clogs is a wonderfully crafted indie pop song, mind with slicing guitars not dissimilar to Foals except without the edge and with a squeaking synthesiser over the top playing out a melody as catchy as they come.

Kotki Dwa then are one of the new generation of British pop bands who are re claiming the fun in indie from across the Atlantic. Vocalist Alex, unlike so many of his contemporaries, is actually able to sing melodically and belt out fine vocals with a painfully delicate voice, sometimes sounding on the verge of tears, yet conversely remaining wistfully upbeat, lips smiling but eyes crying. You know the type. This is never more apparent than on B-side Halogen, which holds it’s own to make a single of two fine songs. Oh, and they can even sing in French.
New ways, more about new ways, site
I dream of wires.
So I press ‘c’ for comfort, information pills
I dream of wires, the old ways.
Gary Numan, ‘I Dream of Wires’

Not only an underrated Gary Numan B side, but the latest retro clothing shop to open off Brick Lane. On the opening night, I Dream of Wires offered a kaleidoscopic mix of vintage fashion and nostalgic trinkets creating an environment Mr Benn would have reveled in. Had he actually existed outside of television. (For those who were not raised on children’s cartoons, Mr Benn was my childhood hero and the eponymous character of the classic children’s television show. He tried on clothes and was transported to exciting and dangerous worlds through the back door of the dressing-up shop. Now you know.) The rails ached with an eclectic clothing range as a cropped Moschino jacket with candy-striped lining hung beside a fluorescent pair of ski pants and bejewelled sweatshirt. Carla created a strong look Gary Numan would have loved, pairing a vintage dress with animal emblazoned leggings. In the display cabinets, curious and peculiar ornaments were arranged, the sort your grandparents displayed lovingly on tabletops and shelves. The changing room was continuously occupied as treasures came back and forth to be tried on for size and, happily for all, there were no January sale style brawls. Visiting the shop was like being in my own Mr Benn inspired magical adventure, starting out in the wardrobe of my babysitter in the eighties and stumbling through to my Nana’s bungalow. With so many second-hand and vintage clothing shops located around Brick Lane, I Dream of Wires is sure to appeal to those who get kicks poking fun at retro styles to create eccentric, outrageous ensembles.

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In amongst the glut of sugar coated schmaltz vying for the rather hollow accolade of Christmas number #1 for 2007 is this rather lovely cut from Welsh Wizards Super Furry Animals. A gift it is indeed. The track will be available free to fans in download format, view complete with B side and artwork on Christmas day. It’s safe to say this won’t be troubling the upper reaches of the charts then, viagra but when did SFA ever sell any records? The band’s lack of relative commercial success is still somewhat perplexing.

It matters not. Never intended to be a Christmas single, TGTKOG is one of many highlights from long player Hey Venus! released earlier this year. There are no bells or lyrics about snow. Just Gruff’s gorgeous tones, a meandering brass line and some intricate harmonies. Nadolig Llawen.

Imagine you’re watching one of those American hospital dramas on TV. Perhaps it’s the Christmas episode or season finale, medicine either way something is bound to go wrong. And when the shit hits the fan it breaks down into a montage of various characters in their scrubs, and remorseful, shop head in hands. Then, think of the music that accompanies those tearful medics. It’s emotive, driven by acoustic guitar and piano, with mildly folky vocals and a healthy dose of strings. Deadman, by House of Brothers, is one such track. Both sad and uplifting, this song has been strictly tailored in the studio to drag listeners up to peaks and down into troughs.

House of Brothers is Andrew Jackson’s solo project and is vastly different from his work with Scarecrow and The Death of Rosa Luxemburg. When I read the name of this EP I instantly thought of Jim Jarmusch’s film of the same title. House of Brothers’ release has little in common with the black and white western. I suppose you could say it’s lyrically bleak but the upbeat arrangements prevent Jackson from plumbing the depths.

Although lacking the polish of the title track, the other material has the same guitar/piano/strings, or indie-folk, sound. They are too long and it’s hard to maintain any kind of enthusiasm by the final track, correctly named The Last Ballad.

This EP is also aptly titled, because it retreads a musical style, which doesn’t have much life in it. It feels a little tired, as though most of the effort went into the first track. And was that effort worth it? As Jackson sings, “Don’t want to rise and shine for the second time. Just leave me be.” Perhaps we should.

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Having already waxed lyrical about These New Puritans after seeing them live in September, viagra approved I was more than ready and willing to get stuck into their much anticipated full-length offering, pharm Beat Pyramid. After much to-ing and fro-ing with release dates, cialis 40mg it looked like this one was going to up in the air for some time, however news is that’ll hit shelves this January and if you’ve an MP3 player, turntable, cassette deck or CD car stereo, I urge you to go out and buy it in every format and play it at high volume wherever you go. This is not THE perfect album, if such a thing even exists, and I won’t and can’t vouch for its life changing properties. However, what this is, I’d like to hope, is the beginning of something great. An album that delivers some absolutely stompingly good tracks, interspersed with a few that never take off; however it’s all a matter of context. Reaching such heights of brilliance at some points, if they fall short for just a moment at others, it hits as a minor disappointment. The fact is some of their lesser tracks would put most ‘indie’ hits to shame. Not a bad position to be in.

Beat Pyramid starts as it means to go on. The opener, …ce I Will Say This Twice which is picked up again in the closing track, sets the scene perfectly for the rest of the album. A beautiful slice of 80′s inspired, sharply constructed electronica, vocals nothing more than a mysterious, androgynous voice stating ‘I will say this Twice’. At just 16 seconds long its peculiar hypnotic effect leaves you wanting more, the sudden end coming frustratingly too soon.

Luckily the stomping drums that usher in Numbers make everything better again. As with their live performances, the beat is king on this record and having seen George Barnett (ringleader Jack’s twin brother) do some quite incredible things with a set of drumsticks, I was more than pleased to see all that demonic, tightly controlled energy translate onto record. “What’s your favourite number/What does it mean?/What’s your favourite number/what does it mean?” Jack never lets up. Insistent repetition is very much the order of the day with TNP, words becoming a beat within themselves, not what is said but more the pattern in which it’s spoken, over and over until it loses meaning but never effect.

Swords of Truth’s distorted trumpets swoop in like the opening of a Dancehall track, the beat conjuring similar reference, it’s easy to spot those unexpected influences that transform this band into something far more interesting and complex than your average post-punk outfit. It would be easy to mistake their eclectic tastes for pretension (Sonic Youth, Dubstep, the Occult, David Lynch) but they’re all laid out here, grabbed and borrowed from seemingly disparate genres. When mention was made of hip-hop whiz kid J Dilla I had my doubts, but they meant it; his irresistible, inside out beats littered throughout.

And now onto Doppelganger. I first heard this track online and immediately spent a good hour trying to track it down and just own it. A stuttering, Timbaland-esque experiment in beat and rhythm, it’s sparsity and directness carried along by, what can only be described as a ‘jangly’ electro dreamscape, giving it a kind of futuristic grandeur and irresistible head nodding appeal. It’s very rare that a band actually creates anything new but Doppelganger is so wilfully unusual and unexpected that it becomes almost impossible to place. At points I’m reminded of The Fall, Aphex Twin, GGD, Klaxons but as quickly as the comparisons come to mind, they’re dashed aside. This is something else and I’m having trouble putting my finger on it. I gave up trying. Whichever way you read it, at its core is something that just works, ultimately making it the standout track of the album.

Infinity Ytinifnl, £4, mkk3, all march along in a similar vein, perhaps a little less instantly striking, they nevertheless continue that ‘new sound’ with some impressive angular rhythms. Aggressive, brash, disjointed, taut. Heard outside of the context of this album, they would probably have had me frantically scrambling for the volume dial. Instead I just sit back and enjoy.

Things come to an unusually melancholic close with Costume, all drawn out, languid keyboards harmonising with Jack’s slow, deliberate vocals as they rise and fall through what feels like one continuous chorus. Interruption in the form of George’s powerful stuttering, staccato drumbeat, take this track to another level. The obligatory ‘Downbeat Finale’ this is not.

So, we return to the beginning again with I Will Say This Twi…, this time just 7 seconds long and ending abruptly like a sudden pull of the plug. The album comes full circle and while none of the mystery surround TNP has been solved, as impenetrable and cryptic as ever in their themes, even their intent, what they do reveal is a unexpectedly accomplished collection of off-beat, otherworldly tracks that remind you that taking a risk sometimes pays off.

Candles – pillar, symptoms tea lights and especially church candles in wine bottles. I love them all. Once I bought a load of tea lights, visit web lined them up on the windowsill behind my bed and lit them, hoping to create a nice atmosphere in my squat (ok it wasn’t actually a squat, but we did have a beetle and maggot infestation – who thought these life forms could co-exist so happily?) This ambiance lasted for about half an hour, until my friend forgot they were lit and leant back too far whilst sitting on the bed. His hair caught fire. After this debacle I’ve been banned from candles just incase I drop out of University to pursue arson as a career. But fate was quick to intervene, as some delightfully scented Diptyque candles were delivered to Amelia and I got to spark up. Diptyque began producing candles in 1963, and in the ensuing 45 years it has cornered the candle market with its exotic wax concoctions and beautiful packaging. In time for Christmas and the New Year, Diptyque have produced three limited edition winter candles – Encens (incense), Gingembre (ginger) and Epicea (spruce). These are candles your mum will actually appreciate as a gift, and so will everyone else within smelling distance. With 60 hours of burning time per candle, this seasonal trio are sure to last through the festive period to deliver the perfect aroma to cure January blues.

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Fashion Blogger turned Fashion Designer Coco Fennell

Kiss Me Coco Fennell by Jade Boylan
Kiss Me Coco Fennell by Jade Boylan.

I discovered via good old Facebook that my talented ex intern Jenn Pitchers has been creating bespoke print designs for gorgeous curvaceous dresses made by the blogger turned fashion designer Coco Fennell, so of course I had to check them out. Here Coco describes her career move and how she hooked up with Jenn.

Coco Fennell by Amyisla Mccombie
Coco Fennell by Amyisla Mccombie.

What is your education and what brought you to this point in your fashion career?
After school I did a great graphic design course in East London which then led me on to art direct a magazine where I met Jenn Pitchers, the illustrator who I work with on my prints! 

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Did being a blogger first help you to launch your own label and what has it taught you about the business?
Yes for sure, working on my fashion blog made me realise that what I really wanted to do was design dresses and that with the internet it could be possible. It showed me that it wasn’t impossible to have an online shop to start a label with low overheads when you don’t have terrifying things like shop rent to deal with!

Coco Fennell new tricks
What does your blog focus on, and has the focus changed since you started your own label?
Yes I think so. I probably blog more about editorials and look books where as before I was focusing on key pieces to buy. It’s just like an online scrapbook. I love that I can find great websites I blogged about ages ago which I would have otherwise forgotten. 
 
Coco Fennel Veronica Rowlands
Coco Fennell by Veronica Rowlands.

What is the process of working together with Jenn to create your unique print designs?
I come up with a theme, pull together lots of imagery and then we meet up, talk about it, Jenn sketches up some awesomeness and we go from there! 

Coco Fennell kiss me
Why was it so important that you create your own bespoke print fabrics and what do you think makes them so different to anything else on the market?
I’ve always loved designers like Jeremy Scott and Swash and when I met so many illustrators working at the magazine it inspired me to make some of my limited edition pieces in cool, unusual prints.

Coco Fennell by Rebecca Rawlings
Coco Fennell by Rebecca Rawlings.

What else inspires your designs?
The female form is the first thing because I want to achieve a flattering shape – if the dress isn’t flattering then girls don’t feel as wonderful as they could and I don’t think there’s any point in making something that doesn’t make you feel good! I love 60′s and 70′s designers too like Biba and Ossie Clark.

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How have you managed to acquire such a good relationship with celeb fans such as Daisy Lowe, Pixie Lott and Bip Ling?
I’ve just been lucky enough to get in touch with stylists and have been even more lucky that the girls like my dresses so have worn lots of different pieces.
 
Gypsy Heart Dress by Jamie Wignall
Smokin' Hot Babe Dress by Jamie Wignall
Gypsy Heart Dress and Smokin’ Hot Babe Dress by Jamie Wignall.

Who is the model in your current look book and how did you achieve that amazing hair? what was the inspiration?
She is such a babe! She’s called Mimi Wade and she already had that amazing green hair we just added in some yellow extensions. I love big Dolly Parton hair!

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How many collections do you create a year?
Around three, but it depends. I haven’t really been making set collections so sometimes there are bits inbetween.

Coco Fennell, Circus,Circus by EdieOP
Coco Fennell: Circus,Circus by EdieOP.

What are you aspirations for the future?
I want to grow my brand: promoting fun, friendliness and a positive body image! I love brands like Nasty Gal and Wildfox and the way they work – I aspire to build something like that. There’s a big aim to set myself!

Find Coco Fennell‘s collection online here.

Categories ,70s, ,Amyisla Mccombie, ,biba, ,Bip Ling, ,Blogger, ,Coco Fennell, ,daisy lowe, ,Dolly Parton, ,EdieOP, ,Fashion Designer, ,illustrator, ,Jade Boylan, ,Jamie Wignall, ,Jenn Pitchers, ,Jennifer Matignas Pitchers, ,Jennifer Pitchers, ,Mimi Wade, ,Nasty Gal, ,Ossie Clark, ,Pixie Lott, ,Print Design, ,Rebecca Rawlings, ,retro, ,Veronica Rowlands, ,Wildfox

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Amelia’s Magazine | Stick of Rock mugs: An interview with product designer Lydia Leith

Lydia Leith stick of rock mugs
The striking designs of product designer Lydia Leith first caught my attention at Bust Craftacular a few years back so I was delighted when she got in touch to tell me about her fabulous new project: the Stick of Rock range of mugs.

Lydia Leith royal family moulds
How much did your parents influence your decision to enter the creative world and what was the best advice they gave you?
Both parents have always been creative (Father illustrator and Mother craft teacher). Growing up in London we just happened to live in a very creative community, our neighbors (and friends) included a well known ceramicist, a fashion designer, an RA artist and in the house opposite us a Turner Prize winner. As a child I just thought this was very normal but looking back it was lucky coincidence and I have very fond memories of it all. From an early age I always assumed I’d end up working creatively, it never really crossed my mind to do anything else. The best advice my parents ever gave me was to “do the best I can” and “to occasionally break the rules”.

Lydia Leith badges
What was it like to leave London and relocate to a small town in rural Cumbria?
Moving from London to a small town in Cumbria at the age of 12 was a total culture shock. Once I had got used to the countryside it was a great (and probably a safer) place to spend teenage years.

Why were you inspired to create so much design based on the Royal Family? (your sick bag, jelly moulds and more)
The Royal Family theme happened by accident and I had made the Royal Wedding Sick Bags as a bit of a joke to practice my screen printing and to entertain myself. After their success and with the Queen’s Jubilee the following year it seemed fitting to run with the Royal themed designs for a bit longer, people expected me to bring something else royal themed out so I did.

Lydia Leith mural
You recently moved again, this time from Newcastle to Hackney – what prompted this latest move and how is it going?
I love the north and often pop back to see family etc. It is good to expernence new places. As a designer I felt I could be missing out on something by not being in London. It is early days for me here in Hackney, I am settling in well, it is fantastic to discover new shops, meet more creative people and find new inspirations. I am looking forward to becoming a Londoner again.

Lydia Leith wired up china
Your ‘Wired Up’ china set first attracted my attention a few years ago – where did you get the idea for this and how did you adapt the designs to suit the whole range of table ware?
Although water and electrify don’t usually mix, I thought a fairy lights design could be visually exciting but also would tie in with the cosy feeling of coming home and having a cup of tea. Using a tea set worked well because the design worked on cylinder and circular shapes and having multiple pieces meant we could have fun with mixing and matching.

Your latest Stick of Rock mugs are another stroke of genius – where did you get the idea for these from and where are they produced?
The idea popped into my head one day after watching rock being made. I had to find the right shaped mugs and ended up using a factory in Stoke in Trent to make them. I’ve started with Brighton, Blackpool and Margate but aim to make eventually all the seaside towns, Skegness, Bognor Regis etc.

Lydia Leith mural
When did you first start collaborating with your father and how does this process work in practice?
I started to collaborate with my father on some projects because I saw his talent wasted. His illustration work was seen everywhere over the 70s/80s/90s, he never adapted with computers and sort of disappeared off the radar once the industry became digitalised. However he was still a prolific worker but a lot of his personal work was finished then put in a drawer and never seen by anyone (the opposite to when he was working commercially). I thought this was a waste so I helped him get a website and we started working on some projects together.

So far we have worked on large scale murals, a range of mugs and coming soon children’s books. We get on really well, between us we have more ideas than we can keep up with making into reality. I am currently planning for a retrospective for his commercial illustration work, which is very exciting!

Lydia Leith mugs
Where can people buy your products?
People can buy my products online here: www.lydialeith.com my fathers website is www.paulleith.co.uk General info and updates are on instgram and twitter too.

Categories ,Blackpool, ,Bognor Regis, ,brighton, ,Bust Craftacular, ,Cumbria, ,designer, ,Humorous, ,illustrator, ,interview, ,Lydia Leith, ,Margate, ,Paul Leith, ,Queen’s Jubilee, ,Royal Family, ,Royal Wedding Sick Bags, ,Seaside, ,Skegness, ,Stick of Rock, ,Stoke in Trent, ,Turner Prize, ,Wired Up

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pecha Kucha: Death by Powerpoint?

HeroesAll Illustrations courtesy of Valerie Pezeron

Imagine never having done any presentation to more than 30 people in your lifetime – and that did not really matter because they were your schoolmates. If you were to fall flat on your face in front of them, ambulance you knew you were all in the same bath water (so to speak) assessed by Mean Lady Big Goggled Eye! But what happens when it is your own lifework compiled over many years of blood, sildenafil sweat and tears you are showing to complete strangers? And there happens to be upwards of 400 of them there! Am I being melodramatic? Maybe…

Pecha-Kucha-crewThe Pecha Kucha crew. All photographs courtesy of Valerie Pezeron except when stated otherwise

I’ve always been fascinated by Pecha Kucha. The first time I heard it mentioned was a few years ago when it sent shock waves throughout Europe as the latest craze among designer types. Pecha Kucha is a presentation format hailing from Japan. It’s usually pronounced in three syllables like “pe-chak cha” (???????), viagra order although most people don’t bother trying to be authentic with the original pronunciation and I admit I have been just as lazy! The name Pecha Kucha is a Japanese term that stands for the sound of conversation (“chit-chat”). More than 170 cities now host such events.

cityscape

Climate

Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa) are the instigators of this worldwide phenomenon; in 2003, Klein and Dytham sought to give young designers a venue to meet, network, and show their work and to attract people to their experimental event space in Roppongi. They devised a format that kept presentations very concise in order to encourage audience attention and increase the number of presenters within the course of one night.

le-ruffiant-AOI

Did I know what I was getting myself into? A little bit. I was told I needed to show 20 images for 20 seconds a piece, for a total time of 6 minutes, 40 seconds. Apparently, the secret of a good presentation is thorough preparation, so I selected my 20 slides and stood in front of my computer with a fake mike all week-end, well…faking. Why put myself through it? I wanted to shine a spotlight on my upcoming graphic novel, a collection of illustrations and extracts from the bible titled “Written by Men, Blame it on God” that I am currently developing. The publisher is selected (New Humanist and the Rationalist Association) and all that is left to do is finish the book in the upcoming months. I intend to exhibit the original artwork along with the launch of the book later this year.

the-smart-french-company2

At the helm of this new brand of Pecha Kucha are Sian-Kate and Paul . Sian’s passion for Pecha Kucha Redux is infectious; she tells me the format previously lost its way in the UK when it ended up being open exclusively to high-profile and well established figures from the design, architecture, photography, art and creative fields – Joanna Lumley for instance. They wanted to go back to its roots as a platform for up and coming professionals and I was in good company on the night. Among the diverse and distinct line-up were a conceptual artist exploring desire and the female gaze (Nerys Mathias), a kick-ass rockstar who tore down the house (Bruno Wizard), a printmaker and sculptor and mountaineer (Martin Barrett) and the aptly named Minxy McNaughty!

Pecha-Kucha-ladyPhotograph courtesy of Pecha Kucha

Bruno-and-I Bruno Wizard of The Homosexuals band with artist friend and I.

I was terrified when I took to the stage. But the reception was overwhelmingly positive and the interaction with the public was very intoxicating; I heard laughter, cheers and received positive feedback from many women who encouraged me to complete the book! Afterward, I slumped over the bar; good thing the event was held at The Arches as it made for a pretty chilled-out atmosphere! “Alcohol free January? Pas pour moi!”All in all it was a great night and I now can say: “I fell into the deep end and I survived Pecha” Kucha!”

Video Courtesy of Pecha Kucha

Categories ,Alternative rock music, ,architecture, ,Astrid Klein, ,bar, ,Bruno Wizard, ,creative community, ,design, ,illustration, ,illustrator, ,Klein-Dytham Architecture, ,Live DJ Music, ,london, ,magazine, ,Mark Dytham, ,Martin Barrett, ,musician, ,New Humanist, ,Pecha Kucha, ,photography, ,Powerpoint Presentation, ,Presentations, ,printmakers, ,printmaking, ,Sian-Kate Mooney, ,The Arches, ,The Homosexuals, ,The Rationalist Association, ,Trashed Magazine, ,Valerie Pezeron, ,Valochedesigns

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up 2012 Special: An interview with fashion illustrator Jason Brooks

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

As a self-proclaimed lover of illustrating and in particular illustrating fashion, I eagerly made my way to this year’s Pick Me Up Contemporary Graphic Art Fair at Somerset House. Pick Me Up is a massively important date for anyone interested or involved in Illustration and Graphic Design, and was excellently reviewed by fellow Amelia’s Magazine illustrator Emma Block this year, most definitely worth a read, here as well as of course by Amelia herself.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum All photography by Alia Gargum

It was it a perfectly sunny London day, and I had an extra little spring in my step as Fashion Illustrator legend Jason Brooks was going to be illustrating live alongside the other guest artists and designers. You might not immediately recognise Jason Brook‘s name but you will surely know his slick, feminine style. He now has an impressive and growing client list, including Virgin Atlantic, L’Oréal, Vogue, Elle, and The Sunday Times Style Magazine, where I first remember seeing his work in print.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

I immediately approached the friendly-looking Jason Brooks who was chatting to visitors while illustrating, hanging up his work to create a makeshift gallery. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I certainly wasn’t expecting him to be so open and easy to speak to, willing to give his time and simply chat. While we talked favourite materials to use and the loveliness of ink, I noticed that he was looking at me very carefully, which is when he confessed that he was illustrating me. Moments later, a beautiful ink illustrated version of me was produced, created on a page from an old french dictionary. He had been illustrating visitors all day, drawing inspiration from them and selling the portraits to those who wished to take an original Jason Brooks portrait home. I cannot thank him enough for the long chat, and the questions he answered so well, the best of which are written here.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

You’re one of the first modern-day Fashion Illustrators I remember seeing in print just as illustration made it’s massive (and continuing) comeback. What was your first big commission?

My first big commission arrived when I was in my early twenties studying Graphic Design at Central St Martin’s, which at the time was in Longacre in Covent Garden. It was an exciting place to be and every day there had an almost party-like atmosphere, buzzing with creative energy, conversation and ideas. One day a message arrived from Vogue (before e-mail) for me to come in with my portfolio as I’d recently won an illustration competition they were running. I was immediately commissioned by Vogue to illustrate a story about New Orleans which ran over about six pages and included a whole double page spread. I remember buying a copy from a newsstand as soon as it came out, feeling on top of the world. I used coloured oil pastels on black card for this first important commission, giving the work a very direct and vibrant look. I then became a regular contributor to Vogue under the wonderful art direction of Paul Eustace. I used it as an opportunity to experiment with different media and styles in print, including some early computer illustrations, so I was the first to use a computer to illustrate for Vogue back at the very beginning of the nineties.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

You’ve drawn at Paris Couture shows for The Independent, which led to more catwalk illustrating for a range of publications like Elle and Visionaire magazine. What do you love most about drawing at the shows?

Backstage is the most interesting place to draw at a fashion show. Not only is everything much closer, but the variety of poses and activities going on provides a whole range of Degas-like subjects. Models sitting in front of mirrors being carefully made up, impromptu fashion shoots going on, camera crews, interviews and striking people are everywhere as subjects. Drawing directly from the catwalk is more difficult to do well because outfits are only visible for a limited time, but nowadays it’s easy to take lots of digital photographs and work up drawings later. I love the drama and art front of the catwalk at fashion shows too, the crowd is always fascinating. The fact that every catwalk show is a one off performance, with high stakes for those involved as well as ever-increasing production values can create really intense theatre, so I love that too.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

What advice would you give to a graduate who wants to get some experience in illustrating from the catwalk?

I started off by working for magazines who would give me accreditation and passes to go to shows as a photographer, after a little prompting from me. I would then simply take my sketchbook instead of a camera. I think when you are starting out it’s all about first of all putting together a portfolio that you feel confident to show people, and then making appointments and really pushing your work out there. I would speculatively arrange lots of ‘go sees’ and then jump on a plane to New York or Paris and try to get work, but perhaps business was more often conducted in a face-to-face way at that time. Going to the Paris couture shows with the Independent began because their editor Marion Hume approached me after I left the Royal College of Art. Luckily, I had work and sketchbooks from travelling to different places that I was able to show, so I would also say that travel drawing is a great foundation for drawing fashion. As a graduate, or anyone for that matter, some catwalk shows are much easier to get access to than others, so if you are interested in drawing at shows it might be best to start with more accessible fringe and off-schedule designers at fashion week and then work up from there.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

Thanks to the rise of digital design, a lot of Fashion Illustration has a slick, smooth, and sharp look to it. You were doing this long before it became popular. What drew you to this technique?

I was striving to create a look from using areas of flat colour for a long time before I started using computers on a regular basis. As with my Vogue commission, I used oil pastels to try to achieve this but I also really liked collage, cutting up books and magazines and experimenting with very flat gouache paint. Computers first came to my attention as a way of making pictures in the late 80′s and early 90′s, and once scanning drawings became an option I was able to combine my familiar drawing on paper with computer colouring techniques, and that particular look was born.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

Your style is undoubtedly feminine and luxurious. Has this always been the case or did it develop gradually?

The luxurious aspect perhaps is just from my idea of drawing things that are well designed and have an aesthetic appeal to me, so it was never a grand plan, just something that has happened quite by accident. I suppose it has developed over time to a certain extent because my taste has changed as I’ve learned more about architecture, fashion, design, film and so on. Looking back, I think my work has also been a reflection of a glamorous time for the western world where mid-century modernism has really come back and been reinvented through magazines like Wallpaper and through the activities of a whole generation of tastemakers in all areas of design. I happen to love drawing women because I think they can create powerful images, so in all it has been fun for me to reflect our culture’s interest in luxury and design through my illustrations.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

What are your favourite materials to work in and which digital techniques do you find yourself using again and again?

I love good old pen and paper. Biros are actually very subtle drawing tools, but I also use 4B pencils to draw out ideas and sketches which I then scan into my computer. I mainly use Photoshop and Illustrator to create my pictures digitally so I definitely still combine very basic old school technology – the dip pen, the pencil, etc. with the latest computer programmes. They are however all just tools, and I would be equally happy working in clay or building a sculpture out of sand on a beach.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

This year was your first as a guest artist at graphic design fair PIck Me Up at Somerset House. What did you enjoy and what surprised you about the whole experience?

It was a great chance to simply play with inks and coloured pencils. I made about 30 pictures or so, scribbling in an old french dictionary and on pieces of coloured paper throughout the day, which made me really enjoy the experience creatively. What surprised me was meeting so many new people who were interested in what I was doing, it was really rewarding to have direct contact and chat to them about their creativity too.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

You’ve had an impressive career so far, what do you think has been the reason(s) for your success?

Thank you, although I really don’t see myself as being successful yet. I guess any success I’ve had so far could be because I started at a very young age and have put a lot of effort and practice into my illustration because I enjoy it so much. I was fortunate in a way to have had a childhood without the modern phenomena of ‘screen time’ so I was able to immerse myself in my imagination through drawing worlds of my own instead of exploring ones created by other people. This lead on to college when creating work on paper was still very important, giving me the benefit of a ‘traditional’ academic art college experience with very little modern technology available unless I sought it out. I’ve always loved experimenting with all kinds of art forms and media, so when the digital revolution arrived in illustration and art I was very open to it and in a lucky position to be able to ride that particular wave from the beginning.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

What can we next expect from Jason Brooks?

I’m just finishing my first book called ‘A Paris Sketchbook’, which is due out in 2013. It is an eclectic collection of my own drawings and illustrations and a homage to a city which I love, published by Laurence King. My dream is that it will be the first in a series of travel sketchbooks covering different iconic cities. Aside from this I’m involved in a number of commissions with different companies and brands around the world, which is a part of my work that I really enjoy because it gives me the chance to collaborate with so many interesting people, adding a sometimes unexpected variety to what I do. I’ve also just signed with a new agency in New York called Traffic, so that’s exciting. Recently, I’ve completed a new collection of artwork for sale on my website called ‘The Gelato Series’ – all about girls eating ice cream in retro, sexy colours.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

It’s fascinating to hear from someone who has managed to carve such an astonishing career in fashion illustration. What a lovely guy. Be inspired! See more of Jason Brooks’ work online hereAmelia

Jason Brooks portrait

Categories ,2012, ,80s, ,90s, ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,catwalk, ,Central St Martins, ,collage, ,couture, ,Covent Garden, ,Creativity, ,Degas, ,Digital Art, ,Elle Magazine, ,Emma Block, ,fashion, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Feminine, ,gouache, ,illustrator, ,Jason Brooks, ,L’Oreal, ,Luxury, ,Marion Hume, ,New Orleans, ,new york, ,paris, ,Paul Eustace, ,Photoshop, ,Pick Me Up, ,portrait, ,Royal College of Art, ,Somerset House, ,The Independent, ,The Sunday Times, ,travel, ,vogue, ,Wallpaper

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up Contemporary Graphic Art Fair 2011: James Jarvis speaks at Mokita

Wisdom of Caleb bare leaves

James Jarvis spoke at Mokita, viagra dosage where he was asked to address the role of illustration in commerce. The insights below have been put together from comments he made both in his talk and in the following conversation with others on the panel of Mokita.

James Jarvis Degree Show poster
James Jarvis’ Brighton Degree Show poster.

A character artist.
The baggage of being an illustrator is confusing so he prefers to think of himself as a graphic artist. His job is a journey into self awareness. He recently found his old degree graduation poster and realised that you can see his style developing even then, more about when it was all done by hand. He has become very well known for drawing funny characters in depressing situations but he doesn’t like being seen as a character artist only.

Sole Inspector by James Jarvis
Sole Inspector by James Jarvis.

He knew the route.
James’ mother was an art history tutor and he knew he wanted to be an illustrator from an early age. The plan was to make kids’ books but nobody wanted his work and editorial art directors thought he was too kiddy in style, viagra so he was stuck in no mans land. But he was accepted within the skateboarding world, where his work was discovered by the forward thinking art directors at The Face. He was lucky in that his images were companions to the articles, and he didn’t really have to answer any briefs. The magazine was a massively influential shop window that gave him credibility in the mainstream.

Caleb toys by James Jarvis for Amos
Caleb toys by James Jarvis for Amos.

ATP Amos concert poster
An Amos collaboration with ATP music festival.

People just want funny characters.
From working with The Face he became involved with clothing brand Silas, and together they created a toy to publicise the brand. It became an object in its own right and soon after he started Amos, his own toy making company; it doesn’t make him much money but he is involved with lots of other projects as a result: he now makes films, t-shirts and curates music festivals. He wants his characters to be more than just toys, avatars for a more substantial world. Even now though, many years later, advertisers still just want to buy into his associations with Streetwear culture and The Face; everyone wants a potato head character. For instance he’s currently working on something to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Coca-Cola. Only the most enlightened art directors ask for something different and new: most just want something he produced a long time ago so it’s up to him to keep pushing ideas forward.

James Jarvis lino printJames Jarvis lino printJames Jarvis lino printJames Jarvis lino printJames Jarvis lino print
James Jarvis lino prints. Available to buy online here.

Self publish for sanity.
Making products is a different world to the one of illustration. He started to make ‘plastic illustrations’ from his toys but soon found that he was getting farther and farther away from his unmoderated link to thought. So much intermediate process meant he was at danger of losing his core spirit so to keep sane he now maintains a practice of self published work, which he publishes online. For example he’s been very disciplined, creating The Wisdom of Caleb, a daily cartoon strip for 150 days (this has now been taken offline). He rejoices if he gets a few hundred hits – but it’s important to build up an audience over time, and if you keep your conviction then the work will find that validity. The comic strips are very basic, with no retouching.

wisdom of caleb worksheetWisdom of Caleb safe squirrelWisdom of Caleb
Cartoons for the Wisdom of Caleb.

Back to basics.
He’s been inspired by Roger Hargreaves to create some very minimal characters. He has also been creating a lino print every week in editions of seven, which provides a grassroots connection with his audience that is direct and democratic. He sells the prints directly and finds there’s an honesty in taking them to the post office himself. He’s aware that he’s “highly involved with filling the world with plastic” and it makes him quite uncomfortable. He likes the simplicity and honesty of making things by hand at home, such as resin figures – and using the web to sell them direct. This kind of work never felt accessible when he was at college.

James Jarvis lino work
Working with lino print. All images courtesy of James Jarvis, more can be seen on Flickr.

His greatest hits.
He has sold 10,000 toys over the years and he’s grateful for that because there’s a bond with his audience. He would be stupid not to engage with what people want. But James also concedes admits that he has been massively lucky – tons of people at college were better drawers, and his success has been as much down to circumstance as being clever.

amos_plastic_workshop_london-portrait
James Jarvis hosts the Amos Miniature Plastic Workshop at KK outlet in Hoxton between 6-31 May, 2011.

Pick Me Up runs until Sunday 27th March. Read a more in depth article about Mokita here and my transcript of a conversation with Sam Arthur of Nobrow here.

Categories ,Amos, ,Amos Miniature Plastic Workshop, ,atp, ,Character, ,Coca-Cola, ,Graphic Artist, ,illustrator, ,James Jarvis, ,Jim Jarvis, ,KK Outlet, ,Mascot, ,Mokita, ,Outlet, ,Pick Me Up, ,Plastic, ,Roger Hargreave, ,Silas, ,skateboarding, ,Somerset House, ,streetwear, ,The Face, ,Toys, ,Wisdom of Caleb

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Amelia’s Magazine | Rosie Upright: Portrait of a Young Designer

Having spearheaded the new London folk scene with their debut album, there medical Noah and the Whale are back with their hands full up, releasing a new single, album and film out this summer. We talk school plays, Daisy Lowe, weddings, gardening, Werner Herzog in the studio with the effortlessly charming frontman, Charlie Fink.

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Photos by Katie Weatherall

Amelia’s Mag: You’ve got a whole host of new releases coming up – single, album, film – how are you feeling about it all, happy/nervous/excited?

Charlie Fink: All of the above… I dunno, we did the album so long ago… From the last album, I realised the only satisfying feeling you’re going to get is the feeling you get when you’ve finished it and you think it’s good, that’s the best it gets. Reading a review of somebody else saying it’s good is good to show off to your mum, but it doesn’t really mean anything. Likewise, if there’s something you believe in and someone says it’s bad, you’re still going to believe in it.

AM: And the live shows must add another dimension to that?

CF: Yeah. What I’m excited about really is that this record realises us as a band more than the previous one. So that’s going to be really exciting to go out and play that live to people.

AM: And is there anything in particular that has done this or has it been the natural progression of the band?

CF: It’s a million small things, from us playing together more, us growing up, learning our trade a bit better, from what happens in lives and the records you listen to. I very much try to rely as much as I can on instinct and satisfying myself. And this is not a selfish thing because the only way you can supply something worthwhile to somebody else, is if you’re totally satisfied with it yourself. Doing the right things for us and hoping that’ll transfer to the audience.

AM: Was there anything in particular you were listening to whilst making the record?

CF: The things I’m listening to now are different from the things I was listening to when I wrote the record. When I first started the record, I was listening to ‘Spirit of Eden’ by Talk Talk, which is a different sounding record to what we did. Nick Cave, lots by Wilco

AM: So tell me about the film, ‘The First Days Of Spring’, that accompanies the album (of the same name)… which came first?

CF: The first thing was the idea of a film where the background and the pace was defined by an album. But it totally overtook my whole life. It’s one of those things you start for a certain reason and then you keep going for different reasons. The inspiration was sort of how people don’t really listen to albums anymore, they listen to songs. We wanted to try making an all emersive record where the film puts people into it. We’re not dictating that this should be the only way people listen to music, we just wanted to offer something alternative. On a lot of records these days, you don’t feel like the unity of the album gives it more strength than each individual song. Whereas with this record, the whole thing is worth more than the individual parts. That’s how I see it anyway.

The First Days Of Spring Teaser from charlie fink on Vimeo.

There’s this quote from I think W. G. Collingwood that says, ‘art is dead, amusement is all that’s left.’ I like the idea that this project, in the best possible way, is commercially and in lots of other ways pointless. It’s a length that doesn’t exist. It’s not a short film or a feature, it’s 15 minutes and the nature of it is that it’s entirely led by its soundtrack. It’s created for the sake of becoming something that I thought was beautiful.

AM: And Daisy Lowe stars in it, how was that?

CF: She’s an incredibly nice and intelligent person. I met with her in New York when we were mixing the album and I told her I was doing this film… She was immediately interested. And her gave her the record as one whole track which is how I originally wanted it to be released. Just one track on iTunes that had to be listened to as a whole and not just dipped into. She sent me an email two weeks later, because she’s obviously a very busy person. With her listening to the album, a kind of live feed of what she thought of it. Making a film and having her was really good because she kept me motivated and passionate. She genuinely really took to this project. The whole cast as well, everyone really supported it and it was a pleasure to make. I had to fight to get it made and understood. It’s one of those things that people either passionately disagree with or agree with. From thinking it’s absurdly pretentious or beautiful. Fortunately all the people working on the film were passionate people.

AM: So is film making something you want to continue with?

CF: Yeah, definitely! At some point I’d like to make a more conventional film. The thing that really stuck with me about making a film was surround sound. When you’re mixing a film, you’re mixing the sound in surround because you’re mixing for cinemas. You realise the potential of having five speakers around you as opposed to just two in front of you. The complexity of what you can do is vast. So I’d love to something with that. If you record in surround sound you need to hear it in surround sound, so maybe some kind of installation… Then another film after that…

AM: You’ve been put into a folk bracket with your first album, is that something you’re ok with?

CF: I like folk music, I listen to folk music but then every folk artist I like denies they’re folk. It’s one of those things, it doesn’t really matter. We played last year at the Cambridge Folk Festival and I felt really proud to be a part of that. It’s a real music lovers festival. That was a really proud moment so I can’t be that bothered.

AM: I recently sang your first single, ‘5 Years Time’, at a wedding, do you ever imagine the direction your songs may go after you write them?

CF: Wow. That’s really funny. I’ve had a few stories like that actually. It’s touching but it’s not what I’d imagine.

0819%20noah2.jpg

AM: Do you write songs in that way? Some bands set out to write a love song, dance song etc…

CF: I can’t really remember how I write… I was writing last night but… do you drive?

AM: I just recently failed my test.

CF: Perfect! Well, you know when you start driving you have to think through everything – put my foot on the clutch, take it off the clutch etc. Then when you’ve been doing it a while, you just do all those things without even knowing you’ve done them. That’s how it feels with songwriting, I can’t really remember doing it. It just happens how it happens. Or like gardening… you’ve just gotta chop through and it’ll come.

AM: Is being in a band everything you imagined it to be?

CF: For me it’s more about being creative. I do some production for people, the band, the writing and now the film. I just love what I do and just keep doing it. I follow it wherever it goes. The capacity I have for doing what I do is enough to make it feel precious.

AM: So are there any untapped creative pursuits left for you?

CF: At the moment what I’m doing feels right. I never had any ambitions to paint. I don’t have that skill. I think film and music have always been the two things that have touched me the most.

AM: So how about acting?

CF: I did once at school when I was 13. I played the chancellor in a play the teacher wrote called ‘Suspense and a Dragon Called Norris.’ Which had rapturous reactions from my mum. I don’t think I could do that either. When you direct though you need to understand how acting works. It’s a really fascinating thing but I don’t I’d be any good at it.

AM: Do you prefer the full creative potential a director has?

CF: The best directors are the ones that build a character. Building a character is as important as understanding it. It needs major input from both the director and the actor. You can’t just give an actor the script and expect it to be exactly right. You need to be there to create the little details. The way they eat, the way they smoke… That’s an important skill.

0819%20noah1.JPG

At this point, Charlie asks me about a note I’d made on my reporter’s pad, which was actually a reminder about a friend’s birthday present. Which draws the conservation to a close as we recite our favourite Werner Herzog films. Turns out, he shares the same taste in film directors as my friend.

Monday 24th August
Mumford and Sons
The Borderline, more about London

UK’s answer to Fleet Foxes, online Mumford and Sons, visit this celebrate their music video to the first single off their debut album in North London tonight.

Mumford-and-Sons-otw.jpg

Tuesday 25th August
Wilco
The Troxy, London

If Charlie from Noah and the Whale tells us he likes Wilco, then we like Wilco. It’s as simple as that. It’s time to get educated.

wilco_2008.jpg

Wednesday 26th August
The Hot Rats
The Old Blue Last, London

Otherwise known as half of Supergrass plus hot shot Radiohead producer, The Hot Rats get their kicks taking pop classics by, amongst others, The Beatles and The Kinks and infusing their own alt-rock psychedelica – worth a gander.

The%2BHot%2BRats%2BCool%2BHat.jpg

Thursday 27th August
KILL IT KID
Madam Jo Jos, London

Their blend of durge blues, barndance and freestyle frenzy jazz blues make KILL IT KID a gem to behold in a live setting.

kill%20it%20kid.jpg

Friday 28th August
Swanton Bombs
Old Blue Last, London

If you like your indie adorned in Mod and brimming with angularity, then Swanton Bombs will be pushing the trigger on your buttons.

swanton%20bombs.jpg

Saturday 29th August
South East in East Festival – Teenagers In Tokyo, Tronik Youth, Ali Love, Publicist
Vibe Bar, London

It’s all about South East London – full stop. In this cunning event, it up sticks to East London, where synth-pop Gossip descendents, Teenagers In Tokyo headline a night of New X Rave.

teenagersintokyo.jpg

Sunday 30th August
The Gladstone Open Mic Night
The Gladstone, London

As it’s Bank Holiday Weekend and all the bands are at Reading/Leeds Festival, London is starved of big gigs. No fear, The Glad is here – A little known drinking hole in Borough that continually serves up a plethora of folkey talent… and pies!

moonmusicorchestra.jpg
Sunderland born designer Rosie Upright is truly passionate about design. Aren’t we all I hear you say? Well, health she’s up, recipe all hours, medical day or night… cutting away with her trusty stanley knife… stopping only when her numb fingertips plead for rest. Do your fingertips bleed? I thought not! Rosie developed her unique hand-crafted techniques whilst at university in Epsom, where she learnt all the usual computer design programs… and then decided to steer clear of them. She’s fled the suburbs of Epsom now, to live in London town with all the other hopeful new freelancers. She spends her days photographing, drawing, organising balls of string… and deciding what hat to wear.
We caught up with Rosie for a little chat…

Rosie-fightforyourright.jpg

Hi, how are you today?

I’ve got a bit of a sore throat coming on, the irritating children over the road are noisily playing some kind of shooting game, a car is beeping its horn continuously just below my window, itunes is refusing to play anything other than Billy Idol (which I’m not in the mood for), my coloured ink cartridge has just ran out, I’ve got a blister from my favourite pink shoes, an uninvited wasp is stuck in my blinds, my ginger hair has faded to a weird brown, I forgot to buy milk and Ronnie Mitchell is still crying on Eastenders – but apart from that I’m topper thanks.

What have you been up to lately?

Fingers in pies, fingers in pies!
Including…cross-stitch and a week in a cottage in Norfolk (no telephone signal or internet connection, bloody lovely!)

Which artists or illustrators do you most admire?

I don’t think I would have done a degree in graphic design if my ever-encouraging parents hadn’t taken me to a Peter Saville exhibition at the Urbis in Manchester many moons ago. Made me see the ideas process at its very best and the crucial-ness (that’s not even a word!) of initial doodles and sketchbooks.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Where would any of us be if it weren’t for Dr Seuss?
I really love a bit of Russian Constructivism, in particular Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova, bloody genius.
Mr Vaughan Oliver, for making us all think differently about where to crop the image, for being an ongoing influence and for that opportunity.
Harry Beck, Robert Doisneau and most recently Philippe Petit.

RosieUpright-cut%20out.jpg

If we visited you in your hometown, where would you take us?

Stroll down to Seaburn beach because when you don’t live next to the sea anymore you really miss it, and it has really nice sand. Then to my very best friend Sarah Bowman’s house, to play with Peggy Sue the kitten, have mental vegetarian sandwiches off a cake stand, and a glass of red wine, ice cubes and coke. We should pop to an art shop in Darlington and then to The Borough, the best pub for tunes, a pint of cider and a Jaeger bomb.

RosieUpright-fragile.jpg

Who would most love to collaborate with creatively?

Mike Perry and YES art studio please. Thank you.

When did you realise you had creative talent?

When some hippy artist came into my junior school to create banners for some event at the local library with us. I was told after five minutes of colouring it in that I had to go away and read because I couldn’t keep within the lines.

RosieUpright-wood%20pigeon.jpg

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?

A teenage Mam or an actress, haven’t decided which yet.

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

I’d like to be the designer than graphic design students hate because their tutors always tell them to get their book out of the Uni library. And I’d quite like to have my own shop in London, Brighton or maybe Newcastle (or all three, and maybe Paris then if we’re going crazy) selling things made by me!

What advice would you give up and coming artists such as yourself?

Take other peoples advice but make your own mistakes, don’t be a dick and always colour outside of the lines.

RosieUpright-mouth%20shapes.jpg

How would you describe your art in five words?

Hand made/ typography/ narrative/ personal/ I’d like to say idiosyncratic too but don’t want to sound like a twat.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Seeing people fall over.
(and cake)

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If you could time travel back or forward to any era, where would you go?

It was horrific enough moving away to University and into London and trying to find a job and start my life up. I think if I had to go backward or forward to another era I would probably just straight up die. Having said that though I would like to be a highwayman’s assistant.

Tell us something about Rosie Upright that we didn’t know already.

I can’t wait till I’m an old lady so I can wear those lacy nighties from Marks & Sparks and I love animals in clothes.

What are you up to next?

Going to make a cuppa tea, kill this wasp and then take over the world.

Categories ,designer, ,epsom, ,Hand Rendered, ,illustrator, ,london, ,Rosie Upright

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Amelia’s Magazine | Satoshi Date: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Exhibition Review

Satoshi Date AW 2012 by Claire Kearns

Satoshi Date AW 2012 by Claire Kearns

Satoshi Date, an ethical fashion designer featured in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, returned to an archway space on Holyrood Street near London Bridge to exhibit his A/W 2012 Lines 1 and 2 during London Fashion Week. He presented his S/S 2011 collection in the same gallery and in quite a similar way, having his designs hung from the ceiling along with other fabric elements so that the whole formed an installation.

Satoshi Date AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Satoshi Date AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

The exhibition had the fascinating subject of Alchemy woven into it. Satoshi Date had named it Alchemist’s Mind, Re-Fashioning Masterclass as in truth it was not just an exhibition, but also a drop-in workshop whith special areas and sewing machines at the ready where someone could bring old clothes and turn them into somehting special they would love to wear again. I liked the fact that upon entering the space I was given a ‘Menu’ with what I could do during my time there, which humorously included ‘Talk to Satoshi Date about: how to manipulate your vintage fabric, how to make redundant objects reborn again, how to heal your current problems, how to deal with your love relationships, how to modify the items you brought’. In the same vein, I also enjoyed that one of the films projected somehow suggested that this process of up-cycling material objects could help us look at past experiences, traumas or relationships in the same way and be creative with them rather than carry them as baggage – what great advice.

Satoshi Date AW 2012 by Love Amelia

Satoshi Date AW 2012 by Love Amelia

Satoshi Date AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Satoshi Date AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

As in previous collections Satoshi Date included a lot of intricately woven found bits of fabric into his shawls, dresses or hats as well as recycled, felted and hand-dyed wool.

Satoshi Date AW 2012 by Kristina Vasiljeva

Satoshi Date AW 2012 by Kristina Vasiljeva

Satoshi Date AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Satoshi Date AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Satoshi Date AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Satoshi Date AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Some of my favorite pieces were white cotton shirts with little printed illustrations in unexpected places. It has to be noted here that Satoashi Date is an artist/designer who apart from making clothes, also draws, paints, makes films, music and photographs.

Satoshi Date AW 2012 by Jo Ley

Satoshi Date AW 2012 by Jo Ley

Satoshi Date AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

It also, and most definitely, has to be noted that Satoshi Date was a lovely young man with a friendly, welcoming, involved and funny attitude, which made him a pleasure to meet.

Satoshi Date AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Satoshi Date AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou

Categories ,Alchemist’s Mind, ,alchemy, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Antique Wooden Buttons, ,Claire Kearns, ,Customise, ,Embroidered, ,embroidery, ,Exhibition Review, ,Fashion Film, ,Felted Wool, ,Felting, ,film, ,Hand-dyed, ,Hand-made, ,illustration, ,illustrator, ,installation, ,jersey, ,Jo Ley, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,London Bridge, ,London Fashion Week, ,Love Amelia, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Masterclass, ,musician, ,Organic Cotton, ,painting, ,photography, ,Re-Fashioning, ,Recycled Wool, ,Satoshi Date

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Amelia’s Magazine | Meet Mateusz Napieralski: Featured Artist from That Which We Do Not Understand

Amelias_magazine_TWWDNU_mateusz_napieralski_tribal_cumulusAmelias_magazine_TWWDNU_mateusz_napieralski_tribal_cumulus
Mateusz Napieralski (also known as Gust of Wind) works from a studio in London, where he explores the relationship between the handmade and the digital. Tribal Cumulus explores the unknown powers of mystic rituals, where humans and nature merge during ceremonial, hypnotic trances. His bold colours and textures show the powerful energy that is generated but can’t be seen by the human eye. Real gold leaf is used as highlights throughout the illustration.

Mateusz Napieralski
How did you put your illustration together?
I wanted to create an abstract composition capturing the invisible energies created during mystical rituals and dances. I started with sketches of forms, textures and abstract shapes, which I then collage together. I then scanned in my original sketch and carried on with the composition in Illustrator. I like how much freedom digitalizing my sketches gives me. I love playing with scale, movement and placement of all the shapes. Once I was happy with the layout I started applying colour; experimenting with colour palettes is a very enjoyable part of the process for me. Although it’s also quite dangerous, because I end up with many different options and can’t decide which one I like the most!

Mateusz Napieralski 4
What attracted you to the open brief?
I’ve been a big fan of Amelia’s Magazine for good few years and contributed some editorial work in the past. I think the open briefs are such great opportunities for young designers and illustrators to test and develop their skills. This particular brief was very special, because it is such a broad, open topic, which could be interpreted in so many ways, especially when you think of all the different artists involved and their approaches. I also loved the idea of seeing my work printed in gold, because I have never had a chance to experiment with gold leaf printing techniques.

Mateusz Napieralski 6
Your day job involves motion design, how does this feed into your graphic design and illustration work?
I always enjoyed working across different disciplines and mediums, and motion graphics and animation have been present in my work for the past 4 years or so. I think it also gives me that edge to think about my illustration work in different ways and think how the characters and forms I create could work in terms of movement. I think there is also this flowy, smooth feel to my character design and composition, which I guess also comes from the moving image side of things. I guess being able to animate also makes my work a little bit more relevant, as clients are now moving faster into moving image based mediums, and it’s definitely an exciting time for illustrators – everyone loves seeing their work come to life through animation!

Mateusz-Napieralski-what_happens_at_night
You are a member of Just Us Collective – who is in your collective and what have you been up together?
Just Us Collective was established quite a few years ago to promote up and coming talent of designers/illustrators and makers that are in full time education (usually in their final year of studies). I became a member during my final year of studies with about 30 others from around the country, working across various disciplines. Since joining Just Us I took part in a group show which was held at Beach London, and I also pitched some illustrations for an online stationary shop.

Mateusz Napieralski 3
How much has your Polish background influenced the way that you create? and in what way?
I can certainly say that my style and thinking about illustration has been influenced by being exposed as a kid to some beautiful Polish illustrations and Polish poster design. I am in love with the bold graphic shapes of Polish folk art and I guess this comes across in my work as well since the shapes and forms I work with are usually quite bold and have that cut-out feel which is quite Polish.

Mateusz Napieralski 5
What other projects have you worked on lately? Can you share some favourites?
I’m currently working on an illustrated fairytale about a Polish Mermaid, which is quite exciting as this is a purely illustration based project, which I haven’t done in a while. The final outcome will be a little illustrated fairytale zine. I’ve also been busy with making some santa-lovers to start feeling a little bit more Christmasy. I’m also working on a little branding project, but it’s still early stages, so stay tuned for more on that.

Showreel from Mateusz Napieralski on Vimeo.

Please share with us any plans you have for Gust of Wind in the coming year…
I’m currently trying to develop my style and apply it to even more mediums, for instance I would like to look at product design and see how my work could translate in that area. I want to carry on working for various clients and see where Gust of Wind takes me. I’d like to experiment more with moving image, I think it would be great to have some bigger projects to work on. I love identity and branding, I think I would like to find an opportunity to create some playful, bold illustration led identity project. That would be a dream!

Read what Mateusz has to say about his artwork here and pledge for your limited edition gold leafed print on my Kickstarter campaign here.

Categories ,Beach London, ,Gust of Wind, ,illustration, ,illustrator, ,interview, ,Jan Witwicki, ,Just Us Collective, ,Mateusz Napieralski, ,Mermaid, ,Polish, ,Tribal Cumulus

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