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

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!

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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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Suzanne Carpenter: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Suzanne Carpenter is a hugely busy illustrator and designer who I have admired on instagram for some time, so I am so glad she found time to submit work for my upcoming Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, creating a beautiful image inspired by her ongoing love of fish, and her daydreams of turning into a mermaid.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
How did you first discover Amelia’s Magazine?
My daughter Holly first introduced me to Amelia’s Magazine when she was an art student and I’ve been a fan ever since. I’m married a to a designer and we’re more than a bit proud to have produced two new designers.Both based in London; Holly specialises in eyewear and Joe does a combination of graphic design and window vinyl. They roll their eyes if I say too much about them as they hate me being boastful. If only it was allowed I’d tell you that they’re both extremely beautiful and very, very talented. If you’re following me on instagram you’ll likely see news of them and their work cropping up from time to time. We often visit exhibitions together or share links to inspiration but they’re both a bit bemused by my enthusiasm for social media.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
I believe you began your career as a graphic designer, how did you make the move into illustration?
I trained as a graphic designer but I always had a niggling need to make pictures. Not long after I graduated a friend and I jointly won a Welsh Arts Council competition to illustrate a poetry book and Staedtler employed me to travel around the country drawing with their new range of brush markers. From then on I had regular illustration work but being a butterfly brain I mixed it up with a dollop of teaching, a dabble of writing, a pinch of cushion plumping and staggering amount of staring out of the window.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Why did you settle on the name Illustrator Eye for your brand?
@illustrator_eye seemed like a fitting tag – my life is like an intense game of I Spy – constantly attracted and distracted by patterns around me. My illustrator’s eye effects my every move, from making pictures, prints and patterns to rummaging around in charity shops.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Why did you choose to draw fish for my colouring book?
I have a thing for fish. Not fin flapping, live, swishing fish but paper, wood and fabric fish. Fishes painted on dishes and things. Mid Century ceramic fish filled with abstract pattern provide oceans of decoration inspiration. Our lives, like the tides, are dependent on patterns and so I chose to impose my compulsion for pattern on flamboyant, fancy fish going with flow and teeny tiny fish that swim against the tide. Like us, all so different and yet the same.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Who or what inspired the mermaid?
When I’ve sat too long, run too far or stayed up too late, I visualise myself as a mermaid being towed along through tropical water by beautiful fish. Amazing how it helps the tensions wash away. It’s one of my more relaxing daydreams!

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
You are ridiculously busy, how do you manage all your different projects and stay sane?
I’m not always this busy but the small amount of sanity I’ve retained can probably be put down to a good dose of pavement pounding. Running is a good antidote to work and keeps me from becoming a moody old witch (most of the time). I did Cardiff Half Marathon earlier this month and swore it would be my last but to be honest I’m already thinking about next years. Leaving the car behind and cycling around the city has it’s blissful moment too – weaving in and out of Cardiff’s parks watching the seasons change pumps a bit more oxygen into the brain!

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
What is your involvement with Stills?
Stills is a branding and design company set up by my husband Chris and a partner. I’m a director and over the years I’ve been involved in lots of different projects from illustrating to creative writing and social media support for some of our clients. It’s based in a lovely old coach house on the edge of Bute Park but we’ve also set up a small studio at home and next year will be spending much of our time focusing on our own patterned dreams. You’ll soon be able to find us at @patternistas

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
How did you get involved with Uncle Goose wooden blocks?
Once upon a time on Instagram I posted a paisley pattern that I’d designed. I literally jumped for joy when Pete Bultman at Uncle Goose got in touch to say he’d love to put it on his handmade wooden blocks! That one is still in the pipeline but in the meantime I worked with him on their Hindi language blocks and their Swahili block set which has just been launched. They do a great job of screen printing the designs and are a dream client!

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Can you tell us more about the Shed Project?
The Shed Project is the amazingly dedicated and beautifully bonkers mission of Lee John Phillips to draw every item in his late grandfather’s shed. He estimates it will take around 5 years of intensive work as he has to draw in excess of 100,000 items. His story has captured imaginations right across the world and his following is growing by the minute. We initially became friends through instagram when it became apparent that not only were we from the same Welsh Valley but we both had a thing for fish! I’m over the moon that he’s suggested that we collaborate on some images for prints. His tools and bolts and my plant patterns (or planterns as he’s named them). We’re going to do some vector and some line images and we may even put them on coffee pots.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
I believe you are working on a big Christmas campaign for a shopping centre in the USA, what kind of work are you creating for them?
It’s all ginger bread, santa houses, snowflakes and sparkles in my world at the moment. I’m working on the Christmas campaign for The Grove and Americana at Brand in LA. The commission came from them seeing my work on Illustration Mundo. They were looking for a very graphic, patterned, vector style and so I happily my work fitted the bill. I’ve got a great long list of images to get done by the end of Oct so I think I’ll be hanging a few baubles from my ears and getting the Christmas albums out to keep me going.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
What else are you working on at present?
I’ve just finished a mural in the garden of a local organic cafe – I’d love to do more of that. Through my agents Artist Partners I’ve recently illustrated the cover and sample pages for a book about the wildlife of the rainforest. I’ve just had news that it went down well at Frankfurt Book Fair and so fingers crossed that more of my days will be spent growing leaf patterns and putting legs on insects! Along with Chris I’m working on a series of videos for Interface (sustainability champions and the worlds largest manufacturer of contract carpet tiles) – they’ll be used to help train their sales team. I’ll be doing the scripting and storyboarding and Chris will be videoing my live drawing. I’ve done a couple of prints for the 5th anniversary exhibition of Sho, my favourite local gallery. I’m doing a few days as a visiting lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan Uni this month – helping run a collage/layout project with a lovely group of 1st yr graphic students. I’m developing some ideas for a pattern book which I hope to present to publishers as soon as I can find some extra hours in the day to finish visualising them. I’ve taken part in ‘Out Fox’ a 3D paper project by Proyecto Ensamble who are based in Chile. They supply the fox head template and 13 illustrators from across the world have designed a pattern to feature on them. The set are just launching – see them on instagram @ensamble

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Where can people find you online?
You can find me on instagram at @illustrator_eye, on twitter at @illustrator_eye, on etsy here, at Stills and at Artist Partners.

Find Suzanne Carpenter and many other talented artists in my upcoming Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, available soon on Kickstarter, the perfect alternative colouring book to gift this Christmas.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,@illustrator_eye, ,@patternistas, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,americana, ,Artist Partners, ,Brand, ,Cardiff Half Marathon, ,Cardiff Metropolitan Uni, ,Colorado State University, ,Coloring, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,fish, ,Frankfurt Book Fair, ,I Spy, ,illustration, ,Illustration Mundo, ,Illustrator Eye, ,Interface, ,interview, ,Kickstarter, ,Lee John Phillips, ,Mermaid, ,Mid Century, ,Out Fox, ,Proyecto Ensamble, ,Shed Project, ,Sho, ,Staedtler, ,Stills, ,Suzanne Carpenter, ,The Grove, ,Uncle Goose, ,Welsh Arts Council

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Seaming To and review of her new album Seaming

The long awaited solo album by musical maestro Seaming opens with the quietest of hums… (o sing at me) before introducing the listener to the full range of her inimitable operatic style: there are many influences on this album but the one constant is Seaming‘s extraordinary voice. In Sodaslow (sipped) her dulcet tones are backed by strings, in a tune that tracks the journey of a drink. Such idiosyncratic subject matter is typical of Seaming, whose career and musical development has traced an interesting arc, taking in time with such musical luminaries as Herbaliser and Cinematic Orchestra and countless performance related collaborations including an animation for surrealist theatre company Forkbeard Fantasy and soundtracks with the film-maker Michael England. For her third tune it’s out with the strings and in with Moog-ish noodlings for I’m Going To See. Mermaid is an off kilter love story, bleeps and staccato hammerings on Bee evoke the subject with canny musicianship and Strelizia relies on the more traditional use of a clarinet. As her self titled album reaches a finale Seaming draws on her beloved piano to provide a floating voice-less melody for Deer, ending on the clashing slowed beats of Humid.

The album works well as a beguilingly hypnotic whole that can be listened to again and again. I cite as an example: on rotation it was the perfect soundtrack for my journey up to Centre Parcs in Nottinghamshire a few weeks ago.

Seaming by Nicola Porter
Seaming by Nicola Porter.

It’s been awhile! What have you been up to over the past 8 years? Any highlights?
Hello! Oh, I got a bit more wrinkly, bit more wiser, bit more silly, and have finally returned to my place of birth, a familiar yet completely new landscape!

seaming by Reuben Wu
Seaming by Reuben Wu.

You’re both an opera singer and a classically trained multi-instrumentalist – what other musical abilities do you have that helped in the creation of the album?
I recorded most of this at home, in my Womb (my studio),  I would not call myself a whizz engineer, but I am happy to sit and tweak and listen, so quite a bit of the album was mixed at home also.

Seaming by Jacqueline Valencia
Seaming by Jacqueline Valencia.

What instrument do you always return to when you’re creating songs?
The piano.. usually my mother’s Steinway at her house..

You’ve excelled in the more experimental zones of classical and avante grade electronic music – what attracts you to a particular piece or type of music?
Have I?! What attracts me to a piece of music, how sonically it touches; a solo instrument; the melody; or orchestral harmony: textures, structures; otherworldy electronic sounds: words that trigger imagination, emotion; and how it manifests physically (I threw up after a friend’s gig once..)

Seaming To by Shy Illustrations
Seaming To by Shy Illustrations.

What inspired the lyrics and feel of your new album?
The feel, well, I had not planned to make it feel a certain way. inspiration? They are love songs, inspired by people events dreams, songs to trees, grinding teeth, dancing, sea sorcerers, lying on your back looking down onto the sea, sitting next to someone you love..

How long did it take to put together and who else were your closet cohorts in its creation?
It took a few years to release, and the closest cohorts include Paddy Steer, Graham Massey, Semay Wu, my mum, my gentleman and Sonia Mangwana.

Your album has an incredibly striking cover, what was the inspiration behind its creation and who made the artwork?
Michael England created the artwork (and all the artwork to my previous EPs, Mermaid and Sodaslow), check him out, I think he’s a genius. He always has a story/narrative behind every image he creates. Someone said recently that the cover artwork looks 70s disco, I am not sure if that was Eng’s intention! For the rest of the album artwork (and there are quite few images, he really went to town with it, which is typical Michael England) I am sat in my music room in the towers at a place called Mingdom.

It’s been said that your music would work well as the soundtrack to other performances, for instance ballet – is this something you would like to work towards in the future and if so what kind of collaboration would you like to do?
I do love working to narratives, creating music for moving image and have previously been asked make music for films, and theatre. I have not yet worked with dance but would absolutely love to. There are future plans to work with Butoh dancer Sayoko Onishi, based in Sicily.

seaming MINGDOM
In terms of other contemporary artists, who do you enjoy listening to? Any top tips for us to seek out?
Leila, Leon Michener, Andrew Plummer’s World Sanguine Report, Sofia Jernberg and Juice Vocal Ensemble.

What are you up to for the rest of the year? can we see you on tour or similar?
I am preparing for my album launch which will be at Vortex in London (Gillett Square, Dalston, Hackney), with my newly formed band (made up of avant-garde pianist Leon Michener, Double bass player Olie Brice (played with Evan Parker/Mulatu Astatke), and drummer/electronics Tim Giles (Nostalgia 77), what remarkable musicians they are, come down can you? It’s on Thursday 22nd November. We will make a European tour next year too. I shall keep you well informed! Also I am to go on a UK tour, in March 2013, with my mum, pianist Enloc Wu, performing ‘Songs for My Grandmother‘ involving spycorders and vintage electronics, and supported by electronic artist and film maker Kira Kira

The self titled debut album by Seaming is out on Lumin on 3rd December 2012. Hear her Mermaid EP above.

Categories ,Andrew Plummer’s World Sanguine Report, ,Butoh, ,Cinematic Orchestra, ,Enloc Wu, ,Evan Parker, ,Forkbeard Fantasy, ,Graham Massey, ,Herbaliser, ,Jacqueline Valencia, ,Juice Vocal Ensemble, ,Kira Kira, ,Leila, ,Leon Michener, ,Lumin, ,Mermaid, ,Michael England, ,Mingdom, ,Mulatu Astatke, ,Nicola Porter, ,Nostalgia 77, ,Olie Brice, ,Paddy Steer, ,Reuben Wu, ,Sayoko Onishi, ,Seaming, ,Seaming To, ,Semay Wu, ,Sheilagh Tighe, ,Shy Illustrations, ,Sodaslow, ,Sofia Jernberg, ,Songs for My Grandmother, ,Sonia Mangwana, ,Steinway, ,Tim Giles, ,Vortex

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