Amelia’s Magazine | Sister Like You by Bellykids at Lik + Neon

Sister Like You by Ellie Andrews

Sister Like You front cover by Ellie Andrews.

Sister Like You is the new book from cult indie publishers Belly Kids, featuring illustrations and stories about some of the fiercest women rulers in Ancient History, from Cleopatra to Elizabeth I. Most of the illustrations have been created by awesome female illustrators and are accompanied with text by Jade Coles. The book comes in an A5 format of over 50 Pages, Perfect Bound. To celebrate the launch last week at LIK + NEON just off Brick Lane, Belly Kids have printed up a selection of illustrations from the book as beautiful A3 and A2 prints, which you can now view on the walls and in the window of the shop, until 8th June 2014.

Sister Like You, Queen Elizabeth 2 by Ana Galvan

Queen Elizabeth II by Ana Galvan.

Jade Coles writes – “For the past 5 years I have been a performer in riot grrl all female punk choir GAGGLE. We have been lucky enough to tour all around the UK and Europe. I joined whilst studying fine art at Wimbledon School of Art, where my ideals of Feminism were being formed. Gaggle were asked to re write 5 sections of a mostly forgotten opera called ‘The Brilliant and the Dark‘ in which 1000 female volunteers performed the history of women in the Royal Albert Hall and it got me thinking on how such important facts could drift from history, losing significance. I started to research at the Womens Library at the London Met… and I couldn’t believe how much female history was crammed into the one tiny space!

Sister Like You, Queen Njinga Mbande by Charlotte Trounce

Queen Njinga Mbande by Charlotte Trounce.

Mike Coley of Belly Kids says “Belly Kids make a habit of revitalising Ancient stories, having released a book about the Egyptian God Osiris last year. Together we looked at the story of 9 female rulers, some you’ll have heard of and some you won’t know of at all. We reveal all the scandal and the gossip, taking the stories from the dull pages of history textbooks and, hopefully, bringing them to life in a humorous and fun way!

Enjoy our selection of work by some of the featured artists:

Ellie Andrews (at top) is a freelance artist and illustrator, who has also exhibited her vibrant work with Beach London.

Ana Galvan (above) is a freelance illustrator living and working in Madrid. She has a great range of editorial credits to her name including Wired magazine, Gestalten, Archive, Nobrow, to name a few.

Charlotte Trounce (also above) is a freelance illustrator living in London. She has worked for notable clients including The New York Times, M&C Saatchi, Anorak Magazine, Wrap Magazine to name a few.

Sister Like You, Catherine the Great by Alice Tye

Catherine the Great by Alice Tye.

Alice Tye is a recent graduate of the brilliant BA Illustration degree course at Camberwell College of Art and her work is influenced by modernist architecture and films. Alice is a member of Olio Studio.

Sister Like You, Queen Zenobia by Kaye Blegvad

Queen Zenobia by Kaye Blegvad.

Kaye Blegvad is an illustrator, designer, and general maker-of-things. She was born & raised in London, studied illustration at the University of Brighton, and since then has lived between London and Brooklyn.

Sister Like You, Queen Christina Portrait by Brigid Deacon

Queen Christina by Brigid Deacon.

Brigid Deacon is a comic artist and illustrator currently living in South-East London, interested in collaborations, commissions, print & play.

Other artists featured in the book include Donya Todd, Greg Kletsel, Molly Askey-Goldbury and Bradford Haubrich.

View the Sister Like You prints at Lik + Neon until 8th June at LIK + NEON 106 Sclater Street, London E1 6HR.

Categories ,Alice Tye, ,Ana Galvan, ,Beach London, ,Belly Kids, ,Bradford Haubrich, ,Brick Lane, ,Brigid Deacon, ,Camberwell College of Art, ,Charlotte Trounce, ,Cleopatra, ,Donya Todd, ,Elizabeth I, ,Ellie Andrews, ,Female Warriors, ,feminism, ,gaggle, ,Greg Kletsel, ,illustration, ,Jade Coles, ,Kaye Blegvad, ,LIK + NEON, ,Madrid, ,Mike Coley, ,Molly Askey-Goldbury, ,Olio Studio, ,Osiris, ,Queen Christina, ,Queen Njinga Mbande, ,Queen Zenobia, ,Sister Like You, ,The Brilliant and the Dark, ,University of Brighton, ,Wimbledon School of Art

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Amelia’s Magazine | Milhouse From Memory: A Belly Kids Book by Kieran Gabriel

Josh Wayles MH
Josh Wayles.

Cult indie book publisher Belly Kids is collaborating with Kieran Gabriel to produce a book dedicated to the Simpsons character of Milhouse. And you can get involved: to find out how read on.

Jean Jullien MH
Jean Jullien.

Tom J Newell MH
Tom J Newell.

What inspired the creation of Milhouse From Memory (why him, a lesser known character from the Simpsons) and why is it so important to you that artists create their artwork from memory?
It originally started as a silly game I would play with some friends, challenging each other to draw different Simpsons characters from memory. We’re all huge fans and it seems quite easy initially and ended up providing hilarious results. I then took it to Twitter in the Summer of 2013, asking a few people on there to try it out and it quickly snowballed into a much larger project from there. I chose Milhouse, partly for the alliteration of the title, but mostly because unlike the main Simpsons family, Milhouse doesn’t necessarily have a strikingly prominent feature. He does however have 3 vital features that make it key to getting right, a lot of people forget some of these and that’s where the fun begins. I wouldn’t say it’s important, after all this is just a silly experiment, it’s more interesting. The results people come out with, especially as you watch them struggling to draw it in front of you, are really fun and give an insight into the person themselves.

roseblake MH
Rose Blake.

How did a Simpsons uber fan hook up with Belly Kids? Who encouraged who?
I self published the first book in 2013 myself and it was a really limited edition that sold out in the first week, I had always said to myself that if I did the project again that it would be a much bigger and better version. A few weeks ago I received an email from Matt Groening himself, saying how much he loved the book (I sent him a copy back in August 2013, on a whim) and it pushed the project to the front of my mind again. I’ve been a big fan of what Mike’s been doing with Belly Kids for a while now and he was the first person I thought of when I was mulling over the idea. I shot him an email and it turns out he had heard of the idea the first time around and yep, the ball started rolling there.

Ping Zhu MH
Ping Zhu.

How have you got top artists such as Jean Jullien involved already? And how many artworks are you looking to publish in total?
I pretty much just emailed a bunch of my favourite illustrators and artists, it was how I was able to get such great people as Olly Moss, Rose Blake and Ping Zhu etc, last time. These guys are all great and just approaching them personally seemed to work! We’re aiming to have 100 drawings in the book itself, and we will exhibit however many submissions I receive, which is looking to be around the 200 mark at the moment.

kristyna Bazcynski MH
Kristyna Bazcynski.

What are you looking for when you choose which artworks to include?
I’m planning on including every single one I receive into the exhibition, as my ethic with this project originally is that every single Milhouse drawing is as great as next, no matter the creative talent. Some of my favourites are drawn by the people who claim that they cannot draw. The book will indeed be more of a challenge to curate but I think I’d like to have a good balance of the naive and the creative.

Gemma Batten MH
Gemma Batten.

Are there any other technical specifications that artists should know in advance?
The book is going to be A5 and the image needs to be grayscale, but other than that there are no other technical limitations, any medium or method is encouraged, just don’t cheat!

Miguel Martin MH
Miguel Martin.

The book is scheduled for release in May with an exhibition to follow in the summer: where can people buy the book from and where will the exhibition take place?
Belly Kids are now taking preorders of the book and you’ll be able to buy it directly from there when it’s released, as well as stockists around the country. The exhibition will be taking place at Beach London in Shoreditch and we have some really cool and fun things planned for it, there’ll be more information on that closer to the time.

Preorder Milhouse From Memory here and find out how you can submit your work here.

Categories ,Beach London, ,Belly Kids, ,Gemma Batten, ,Jean Jullien, ,Josh Wayles, ,Kieran Gabriel, ,Kristyna Bazcynski, ,Matt Groening, ,Miguel Martin, ,Milhouse, ,Olly Moss, ,Ping Zhu, ,Rose Blake, ,Simpsons, ,Tom J Newell

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Amelia’s Magazine | Astonishing occult illustrations and richly patterned surface designs: an interview with Llew Mejia

Supr Natr zine cover

Supr Natr zine cover.

Minneapolis based illustrator and textile designer Llew Mejia creates richly wondrous images, full of exotic furled leaves and wide eyed beasts. Ever since discovering his daily posts on instagram I’ve been captivated and was lucky enough to lay my hands on a limited edition copy of his recent Supr Natr zine, chock full of occult based wonder. Highly patterned, often brightly coloured, and yet with the old fashioned feel of wood block or lino prints, Llew Mejia has a truly unique style. Time to find out more about this talented Stateside artist…

Llew Mejia - Crocs

Crocs Textile pattern for Promotional Material for a Florida Musician

Firstly, where does your rather unusual name come from? Do I detect some Welsh heritage in there, as well as some Mexican parentage?!
Ha, yeah so Llewellyn is definitely very Welsh. Which is weird because I’m not sure how Welsh my family is… Apparently my father’s side were gypsy horse thieves and my mothers side are Spanish Mexican, so both European in some way.

Llew Mejia - love

LOVE, Valentines Day Illustration

Where did you learn your trade, and what was the best thing you learnt at art school?
I learned at art school specifically MCAD. I feel like I learned more post graduation. But I would say be nice to people and work hard and figure out what you love to do and go full throttle.

Llew Mejia - jaguars-at-night

Jaguar Nights, textile design for button up for Secret Store London.

How did you become a textile designer for Target?
Hmm, I made a project for my senior thesis that was a couple lines of apparel and accessories. I think that and someone got my foot through the door which seems the way people usually get their careers started.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love sable #2 brushes and I also use a lot of brush pens for line work. I also enjoy just black ink and any brush really just to mess around. Gouache is great for flat color and what have you.

Llew Mejia, psychoactive-plants

Psychoactive Plants, SUPR NATR Zine

What inspired the illustrations in your SUPR NATR magazine and what has the response been like?
I think everything that has been covered in the first Supr Natr were ideas I’ve had for a long time and just never went through with. It’s a culmination of a couple things I really love and it sold well I had to cut it off because I feel like that’s something that should be done to keep value in something limited.

Llew Mejia - hex sign

Llew Mejia, hex sign.

Where are the best hunting grounds for old occult books?
I’ve found some in antique stores, it really depends whether you’re looking for a grimoire or an overall encyclopedia on occult subjects, but I would say the internet and ebay host a large amount of them. Sorry, I don’t have a cool story about how I met an old man and he took me down an alley and the bricks fell apart and I was a wizard… nothing as cool.

Llew Mejia - cats

Witches’ Familiars, SUPR NATR Zine.

When do you produce your best work, and are there any necessary requirements to get the creative juices going?
Hmm, I would say between 8am-2pm and then between 7-11 pm? And yes, coffee is a must, and I used to like smoking a cigarette, but no more.

Llew Mejia - okapi

Okapi Painting for Joyce Preschool Gala

Can you tell us more about your work for the Joyce Preschool Gala?
Yeah, I was just asked to participate in a scholarship donation for Hispanic kids who were going to school for art. I needed the help when I was going to school and I didn’t get any so I thought why not help out.

Llew Mejia - moon

Llew Mejia, moon.

I hear you love taking long walks on the beach, where is the best beach near your home?
Sadly there are no beaches near my home… it is way way way too cold and there are no oceans either. But I love Barcelona and Cairns and Ixtapa has pretty great beaches as well.

Llew Mejia, witch riding a goat

Llew Mejia, witch riding a goat.

What is the most unusual type of candy that a visiting Brit should check out if they came your way?
I don’t know about unusual. I think mexican candy is more unusual and you can find that here. It usually has chile covering a flavored hard candy. My personal favorite is the elote Popsicles. They are like a hard candy flavored like strawberry and then covered in chile and they look like a corn on the cob.

Llew Mejia Hermes

Journey to Hades, Ancient civilizations postcard for Belly Kids

How did you get involved in the Belly Kids project?
They are a small company and just reached out and asked me. They make cool stuff and work with great people so it was an easy project to get involved in.

Llew Mejia - undergrowth-pattern

Undergrowth, Design Your Wall Aztek Wallpaper.

Where can we buy your wallpaper designs?
Astek inc. carries a variety of my wallpapers and that’s about it.

Llew Mejia - Jailbreak

Jailbreak page 2, from a collaborative zine about a Jailbreak with illustrator John Malta

Can you tell us anymore about your upcoming collaborations with other illustrators?
Yeah! I just finished an illustration with Wrap magazine from the UK and they are awesome to work with and always have a bunch of talented folks in the issues. I’ve ale done a zine with John Malta who is awesome; it’s about an escaped convict where his character is my friend who I will meet up with at the end. It will be good. More to come!

Llew Mejia prickly pear design (from instagram)

Llew Mejia, prickly pear design (from instagram).

I believe you are also working with folk artists in Mexico, how did you found them and what is the process of collaboration?
Haha, it’s very slow moving and I hope to get the ball rolling on this, but yeah I’m speaking to a guy in Oaxaca, Mexico at the moment and I would collaborate with them on the carving of wooden animal figurines then they would send them to me and I would paint each by hand. Could just be a dream but hopefully it ends up working out completely!

See more of Llew Mejia‘s work on his website here, follow him on tumblr here and on instagram here. You can buy assorted products here.

Categories ,Astek inc., ,Belly Kids, ,Grimoire, ,illustrations, ,interview, ,John Malta, ,Llew Mejia, ,Llewellyn, ,MCAD, ,Minneapolis, ,Oaxaca Mexico, ,Secret Store London, ,Supr Natr, ,Surface designer, ,Target, ,textiles, ,Wrap Magazine

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