Amelia’s Magazine | Valentine’s Day Special: Introducing the Samsung GALAXY Love Note Campaign

Valentines Card 2012 Galaxy Love Note
A Valentine’s Message for Amelia’s Magazine readers! (cheesy, but I mean it)

The new Samsung Galaxy Love Note campaign launches today to promote the GALAXY Note smartphone which is part tablet and part phone. It boasts a huge screen, guaranteed to appeal to image makers everywhere, as well as the S Pen facility which allows users to create written content directly onto their screen.

Galaxy love note
To celebrate the launch this fine Valentine’s Day Samsung have set up the Galaxy Love Note website, where users can share a special image and a bespoke message with their loved one. This will then be printed onto a postcard and can also be shared on social media – thereby combining the old and the new, the analogue and the digital.

YouTube Preview Image
I particularly like the lovely video which accompanies the campaign, which tells the story of the history of the Love Note through a cleverly compiled series of objects (from letters to typewriters to cassette tapes) that come together to form a giant heart. The video was put together by directors Bison and Sarah Jenneson, and was turned around incredibly quickly – from initial idea to the final film in just over a week. Pretty impressive!

Galaxy love note
Galaxy love note
Galaxy love note
To generate pre-launch interest, the directors covered up the windows of the shoot location in Hanbury Street, East London, leaving only a heart shaped peep hole before they started filming. On the day of filming they then affixed large vinyl letters with the message ‘We’re Making Love Notes…‘ and the #galaxylovenote hashtag on the windows, inviting numerous passers-by to watch the film being made. Wish I’d known about the filming, I could have popped down to take a gander – it features some fab set design.

As part of the campaign you can also watch Samantha Ronson talking about what she loves: I like the fact that her dog Cadillac is one of her favourite possessions: alongside her vast collection of Siamese twin toys (she is a twin) – I reckon she should check out Yam Kids plushies made by Constructive Designs.

Why not send a loved one in your life a surprise Love Note in the form of a postcard? It’s incredibly easy, just visit the website and upload your image and message. You will also get the chance to win one of ten Samsung GALAXY Notes if your Love Note receives the most Likes on Facebook. Hell, Florence Welch is even in on the act.

This is a sponsored blogpost but please note that I only write about things that I think are interesting, creative, clever and generally fab!

Categories ,#galaxylovenote, ,Analogue, ,Bison, ,Cadillac, ,digital, ,Florence Welch, ,Galaxy Love Note, ,Hanbury Street, ,S Pen, ,Samantha Ronson, ,Samsung, ,Sarah Jenneson, ,Smartphone, ,Social Media, ,Tablet, ,Valentine’s Day, ,video

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Amelia’s Magazine | Inspired by Illustration: An interview with jewellery designer Annabelle Lucilla

Annabelle Lucilla by Laura Hickman
Annabelle Lucilla by Laura Hickman.

I first ran across the beautiful illustrated etched designs of Annabelle Lucilla at the One Year On exhibition at New Designers 2013, and her work instantly caught my eye. When it turned out that she knew me from using social media an instant rapport was born. Here Annabelle talks us through her inspiration and design process: and explains why you must never underestimate the power of online networking in building your career in the creative industries.

Annabelle Lucilla hovering hummingbird design
Annabelle Lucilla: hovering hummingbird design.

When did you start to combine your love of illustration and jewellery to create ‘Metallic Graphics’, and how did it all start out?
I have always drawn intricately; my mum is an illustrator so I acquire that from her. I started to create jewellery when I was around 13, but I didn’t combine these two techniques until I was in my 2nd year of my Jewellery and Silversmithing degree. I initially set out to study Surface Pattern design at London College of Fashion. However, I felt like I could always come back to textile design, after I had learnt a technical skill that would set me apart from others. Discovering etching was a ‘bingo’ moment for me as I was always chasing after the idea of making an illustration into a wearable, permanent object, which had character and form. My Illustrations started out as large ‘motif’ stories, and then I created certain singular characters to go in the story. They are based around mythical tales, ancient cultures and lands and symbolism.

Annabelle Lucilla Jewellery by Daniel Alexander
Annabelle Lucilla Jewellery by Daniel Alexander.

What was the best thing about studying at Sir John Cass?
I very much enjoyed my 3 years of study at the Cass, especially being able to explore a wide range of processes and techniques. Most of all I was allowed to find my niche aesthetic, as many find that difficult when producing their final degree collection. I was quite sure about what I wanted my collection to look like, as well as what techniques I wanted to combine. I was given the opportunity to take part in a range of competitions and selling opportunities which helped me learn about creating a commercial collection. I also worked with a wide range of materials and finishes, such as resin, horn, aluminium, leather, rubber, powder coating, anodizing and not forgetting etching!

Annabelle Lucilla Jewellery, Peacock necklace
Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind your first major collection?
My debut collection, Oriental Embodiments is very decadent, yet classical. There are definite hints of Ancient Grecian and Indian patternation and form. I got a lot of inspiration from looking at Indian bodily adornment, and how they decorate every part of their bodies in jewels and chains and droplets. I wanted to reinvent some traditional techniques such as Filigree and stone setting, and so I contemporized and refined them to give them a modern feel. The collection features etched, hollow Peacocks, which originate from my hand drawn illustration. This was the connection to India, and they have a very regal, majestic aura, which I wanted the collection to reflect. I juxtaposed these curvilinear forms with geometric forms to give a sense of balance and modernity.

Annabelle Lucilla Jewellery by Zo Bevan
Annabelle Lucilla Jewellery by Zo Bevan.

How do you envisage your jewellery been worn?
The purpose of my debut commercial collection was to give the consumer a more wearable version of the large, decadent items I made for my degree collection. I want my jewellery to be worn as everyday staple accessories, with an added hint of glamour and luxury. The designs I created were envisaged to be worn by all ages, not one particular group of people. The collection consists of some classical, dainty earrings, large statement necklaces and cool, contemporary rings and bracelets.

Annabelle Lucilla Jewllery, Gold Oriental Peacock Earrings
What did you learn on the Crafts Council Hot House programme?
This programme was an amazing experience. Subjects ranged from making a business plan to pricing your product correctly. From learning about how to plan financially for the year ahead, to learning about what your work is all about and then in turn who your target market is. What was helpful was that it was spread over 6 months, and tailored directly to your specific practice. You could improve your business as the course progressed. I met so many wonderful people, and having my Hot House ‘Buddy’ Imogen Belfield was so much help, as I could have regular meetings to go over aspects of my business. Overall, it is a programme I would wholly recommend to anyone wanting to start or improve their business.

Annabelle Lucilla by Annabel Dover
Annabelle Lucilla by Annabel Dover.

Which other creatives do you recommend we should check out?
I would recommend people to take a look at Sophie Harley’s jewellery. She is someone I admire greatly, and who creates exquisite, storytale pieces. I love that there is real meaning behind her designs, and people always connect with her designs for this reason.

Oriental Peacock Earrings Annabelle Lucilla Hastings
What is it like working at Cockpit Arts?
Cockpit Arts is a fantastic collection of designers and makers. Being part of a large community makes you feel like there is always someone to help you if you need advice. It is a wonderful start for me as I only launched my business in January 2013, and the collection was finished in April and so having a professional studio to go to and work makes all the difference when you want to be taken seriously with your profession. The Open Studios in June and November are great selling opportunities, as the public is brought to you, and they are fascinated to see the designers in their working studios.

Annabelle Lucilla Jewllery Silver Oriental Peacock Necklace
You’ve already done extremely well; securing loads of awards and bursaries in a very short time period. What are your top tips for gaining recognition as a new independent jeweller?
I would recommend entering lots of design competitions, and to try and be part of larger organisations, as these can help spread your name for you. Nothing happens instantly, but collectively, each achievement will help people recognise your brand. Social media platforms are also great for reaching a wider audience, so plan to tweet or share news on facebook everyday, as regular comments and posts help more people find you. Also, Social Media is what it is, ‘Social’ so interact with people, and make connections. Lastly, be original, and find your unique selling point that will keep your designs fresh and instinctively associated with your brand.

Annabelle Lucilla Jewllery Purple Agate Necklace with tassels
What next?
I am very much looking forward to exhibiting at International Jewellery London this week, which will officially launch my debut collection. This is the largest show I have done so far, so it will be good to show my collection to such a wide range of retailers, buyers and stockists from the U.K. and abroad. I am launching a few new etched designs in late September, so keep a look out for that. I am also showing at London Fashion Week as part of a collective with one of my online stockists, Wonsuponatime, which I am very much looking forward to. I am also taking on a few more established online stockists in the next few months. Christmas is going to be busy, with the Cockpit Arts Open Studios in November. I will also be exhibiting as part of an exciting curated exhibition about ‘the diverse and eclectic cultural influences present within the British craft scene‘ in the new year.

Categories ,Ancient Grecian, ,Annabel Dover, ,Annabelle Lucilla, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Crafts Council, ,Daniel Alexander, ,Filigree, ,Hot House, ,Imogen Belfield, ,Indian, ,International Jewellery London, ,interview, ,jewellery, ,Jewellery and Silversmithing, ,Laura Hickman, ,London College of Fashion, ,London Fashion Week, ,Metallic Graphics, ,New Designers, ,One Year On, ,Open Studios, ,Oriental Embodiments, ,Peacocks, ,Sir John Cass School of Art, ,Social Media, ,Sophie Harley, ,Surface Pattern, ,Wonsuponatime, ,Zo Bevan

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Amelia’s Magazine | Central Saint Martins: Ba Fashion Graduate Show 2011 review. Menswear.

Ziv Gill Kazenstein by_Alison Day
Ziv Gill Kazenstein by Alison Day.

Menswear is usually not as fun to talk about as womenswear, viagra order but despite the huge reliance on a similar sandy colour theme there were some very strong collections at Central Saint Martins:

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kristy Longman photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kristy Longman photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kristy Longman photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kristy Longman photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kristy Longman photography by Amelia Gregory
Kirsty Longman opted for a pastel and camouflage collection that incorporated long shapes and interesting textures.

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Suzannah Gardner photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Suzannah Gardner photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Suzannah Gardner photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Suzannah Gardner photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Suzannah Gardner photography by Amelia Gregory
Suzannah Gardner went for pale shades of grey and camel in a very strong collection that took inspiration from school boy style, the Scouts and the Brownies. Think toggles and shirted shapes… with the occasional pleated mini skirt.

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ziv Gill Kazenstein photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ziv Gill Kazenstein photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ziv Gill Kazenstein photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ziv Gill Kazenstein photography by Amelia Gregory
Ziv Gill Kazenstein showed an explosion of print and oversized shapes. A drop hemline gorilla shirt was the most normal outfit in a fun collection of baggy feathered suits. The kind of menswear we like to draw! (see above)

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Daisy Lowe Josh Bullen photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Daisy Lowe Josh Bullen photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Daisy Lowe Josh Bullen photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Daisy Lowe Josh Bullen photography by Amelia Gregory
Josh Bullen must have friends in high places. His fairly ordinary sports inspired collection was given an injection of excitement by the appearance of Daisy Lowe in skimpy shorts. Well, if you’ve got the contacts why not milk ‘em?

Daisy Lowe for Josh Bullen at Central Saint Martins by Fi Blog
Daisy Lowe for Josh Bullen at Central Saint Martins by Fi Blog.

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory Central Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory
Kopi Akasaka went for a literal approach with his very costumey collection, featuring three-legged twins, breast plates and a bearskin hat. Most successful was a wide pinstriped pants suit worn by a dashing ginger model.

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Noriyuki Doi photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Noriyuki Doi photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Noriyuki Doi photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Noriyuki Doi photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Noriyuki Doi photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Noriyuki Doi photography by Amelia Gregory
Noriyuki Doi had a fun take on the omnipresent butterscotch colourway. Red, white and blue print detailing gave the collection a summery lift. He’d also created an inventive see through bib and skirt to be worn over a normal suit if the look should so take your fancy.

And of course the menswear from Ivan Nuria Nunes won a prize in the L’Oreal awards.

Categories ,Alison Day, ,Central Saint Martins, ,daisy lowe, ,Josh Bullen, ,Kirsty Longman, ,Kopi Akasaka, ,menswear, ,Noriyuki Doi, ,print, ,Suzannah Gardner, ,Ziv Gill Kazenstein

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Amelia’s Magazine | Review: Designers Makers Market at Old Spitalfields Market

designers makers market flyer
Following a tip off from fellow mummy Helen of East End Prints, I went along to the first Designers Makers market to be held in Old Spitalfields on Saturday afternoon. It was a hideous day – cold and damp – so hardly ideal conditions to be manning a market stall and I really did feel for the designer makers in attendance, especially since this is a funny time of year to be selling gift wares. Designers Makers was sharing the main hall with a vintage market as well as various other mainstays, so it was hard to locate the right stalls, but I was glad I did find them as there was some wonderful new talent on display: I do however have one major gripe. Promotion! Or lack thereof… Business cards, especially ones with all the necessary information (website, etsy, twitter, facebook, pinterest, ANYTHING but an email) were in very short supply, and only one stall holder I talked to had a mailing list: others seemed befuddled when I asked to sign up for one. Designer makers would do well to read up on how to get the most out of a craft fair before going to so much effort – there are many great resources online, such as this blog from The Design Trust: How to prepare for a Craft Show or Design Trade Fair. It makes me so frustrated when talented artisans are not properly prepared to promote themselves at a market: many people are likely to be window shopping but they are all potential customers who may well buy something online at a later date. Or indeed at another fair, to which they have been alerted by social media (of course). Here were my top finds:

Dionne Sylvester digital print cushions
Psychedelic ink splot cushions were inspired by magic eye patterns and optical illusions. Designer Dionne Sylvester trained in fashion at Falmouth, and is now decorating homewards in imitable style.

lulu and luca cushions
Lulu and Luca: super pretty Art Deco inspired prints on organic & upcycled fabrics.

Jessie G Designs needlepoint cushions
Handmade needlepoint tapestry cushions by Jessie G came in a variety of eye popping colour ways: they represent the most unbelievable amount of work. An absolute steal.

Zinc White upcycled derwent pencils jewellery
Seriously genius: Zinc White husband and wife team had travelled down from Huddersfield to sell their innovative upcycled jewellery made out of waste Derwent pencil stubs, which are set into resin then carved into broaches, rings and cuff links.

Don Manolo jewellery Designers Makers
I couldn’t resist a few pairs of these incredibly well priced laser cut and painted Art Deco inspired jewellery by Don Manolo. Either I am very attracted to Art Deco or I sense a trend emerging.

i am acrylic volcano necklace
Fun volcano necklaces by i am acrylic came in neon brights.

Hazel Nicholls babushka print
Hazel Nicholls: cute slogans on kitchenwares and prints featuring graphic versions of the ever popular Babushka doll. I couldn’t agree more: It’s Whats Inside That Counts.

Categories ,Art Deco, ,Artisan, ,Babushka doll, ,Craft Fair, ,Derwent, ,Designer Makers, ,Designers Makers, ,Dionne Sylvester, ,Don Manolo, ,East End Prints, ,Ecofashion, ,Falmouth, ,Hazel Nicholls, ,How to prepare for a Craft Show or Design Trade Fair, ,Huddersfield, ,i am acrylic, ,It’s Whats Inside That Counts, ,Jessie G, ,Lulu and Luca, ,market, ,Old Spitalfields, ,Promotion, ,Social Media, ,sustainable, ,The Design Trust, ,Upcycled, ,Zinc White

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Amelia’s Magazine | Seven Little Houses animation for the 4th Annual Aniboom Awards: the inside scoop.

It’s the day before the general election and the concluding part of Amelia’s Magazine interview with Think Act Vote founder Amisha Ghadiali. Tomorrow you have a chance to vote, mind order use it.

Why do you think if “politics were a brand, visit this no one would wear it!”?

This statement is about Westminster politics, symptoms in many ways the system we have is out of date for the world we are living in now. I don’t see people wanting to “wear” it as it is. This is why I really support the work of campaigns like Vote for a Change that focus their around how we can make the system work better for us.

How can fashion be used to engage people in Politics?

I think that fashion plays a key role in how we express ourselves and we use it to communicate things about ourselves or messages that we care about. The campaign t-shirt has become iconic as a phenomenon. At the beginning of the campaign, we ran a competition to design the perfect campaign t-shirt, which was a great opportunity for up and coming illustrators to showcase their work. The winning design by Jesson Yip was selected by a judging panel that included Katharine Hamnett and Daisy de Villeneuve. The symbols represent each word, with different fonts to represent different people’s voices. The design was then printed onto Earth Positive Eco T-shirts and is now on sale.

Through working in the ethical fashion industry I see fashion as a key way to think about sustainability. We all wear clothes, and the fashion industry affects so many people across the world as well as the environment. I work closely with Ethical Fashion designers at EFF and am one myself with my jewellery label. As an ethical designer, you don’t just have to make sure that your collection looks and fits great, but you spend a huge amount of time researching new fabrics, new technologies and finding out who is telling the truth about their labour standards or production methods. You need to be pioneering and inquisitive as you think through your entire collection and its impact on the environment and people at every stage.

Ethical Fashion designers are always pushing boundaries and are extremely passionate about what they do. I wanted to include this talent in the campaign and asked leading ethical fashion designers to create a show piece or an easy DIY customisation using a Think Act Vote t-shirt and off cuts from their collections. The designers that took part included Ada Zanditon, Junky Styling, Traid Remade, Tara Starlet and Beautiful Soul. The pieces that they created in just a week are stunning.

Think Act Vote discusses the negativity imbedded in modern politics – Were there any particular examples that spurred you into action?

There are loads of examples, just try and think when the last time you heard something positive about politicians or about changes in our communities. We are always focusing on people’s failings and the ‘fear’ out there. Just last week the country spent two days focusing on the story about Gordon Brown saying a woman was a bigot.

Is this negativity the reason, do you think, for the decline in the number of votes?

Not the only reason. Things have changed a lot over the last few decades. I think two features of the neo-liberal British political landscape are related: the rise of consumerism and the demise of traditional participation. I think that the way we express who we are is different now, not that many people are lifetime members of political parties. Political identity is no longer inherited.

As mentioned before I don’t think the political system reflects who we are, which makes us lose interest.

Have you been watching the Leader’s Debate?

I have seen bit of them, but not all the way through as have been doing talks and events most evenings in the past few weeks. I think it is great to have the leaders on TV, as it has really helped getting people talking about the election. I am not sure how much of their personalities and policies we are really seeing as the whole things does feel a little over polished. I think it would mean more if we had a vote on who was PM as well as on our local MP. I would also like to see some of the smaller parties be given this platform too.

Will you be voting this election?

Yes I will be voting, I think this is vital. I haven’t decided who for yet. I will decide on election day. I am deciding between three parties but then I went on Voter Power and saw that my voter power in my constituency is only 0.039. It is an ultra safe seat. So I am thinking about voting through Give Your Vote. It is a fantastic campaign about Global Democracy which allows you to give your vote to somebody in Afghanistan, Ghana or Bangladesh. It is an act of solidarity with those who do not have a say in the decisions that affect them.

Join Amisha tonight at: The Future I Choose with Live Music, Poetry, Fashion, Photography ??
The City and Arts Music Project, 70-74 City Road, London, EC1Y 2BJ?
5.30pm til 9pm

When Lesley Barnes found out about the 4th Annual Animboom Awards animation competition in conjunction with Sesame Street (Blimey, symptoms try saying that fast!), she just knew she had to work with fellow illustrator Thereza Rowe. The results of their collaboration is this wonderful piece: Seven Little Houses. You can also watch the video here.

Seven Little Houses clouds
Seven Little Houses bottles

Lesley Barnes describes how they approached the Aniboom competition:

One of the competition categories was to design an animation that would help children learn about either colours, shapes, numbers or letters. We chose the number seven as it seemed to give us scope to do a bit of counting without it being a huge number for kids to deal with and for some reason we both agreed that there was something special about an odd number.
We gave the animation a circular feel by creating it around the idea of a day, with the sun at the beginning and the moon at the end. Repetition was key so the narrative turns around lots of groups of seven; the idea being that children will get used to counting 124567 and begin to repeat it. As well as having the numbers on screen we included groups of seven objects; seven houses, seven bottles, seven clouds, etc. because it’s easier to visualise the numbers as objects.
The animation was mostly done in after effects and took about a month to finish. My friend Al Paxton, who is a musician in Brooklyn, provided the sound. It was his idea to have the voices (him and his girlfriend) shouting out 1234567 and I think it’s really important because it encourages children to shout out along with the animation.

Lesley Barnes’ illustration for the sShelter Card Quilt.

Thereza Rowe Shelter Card Quilt
Thereza Rowe’s illustration for the Shelter Card Quilt.

Lesley first got in touch with Thereza after admiring the playing card that she designed for my Shelter House of Cards Quilt in 2009, and since then they’ve kept in constant contact via email and twitter. I asked them to write down a few words about each other.

Lesley Barnes on Thereza Rowe:

We both had cards included on Amelia’s final Shelter Card Quilt and Thereza‘s goats – although she now tells me they are deer – were my favourite! Amelia’s Magazine has given us such a great platform for our work: we have been in touch ever since and knew that we wanted to do a collaboration at some point… When I saw the Aniboom Sesame Street competition I thought that Thereza’s textures, colours, shapes, illustration style and personality (including her love of pink milk and bendy straws) would be perfect for it. We started work with Thereza‘s house illustrations and from that we both designed a selection of characters. There were far too many in the end, so the final seven characters were a bit of an amalgamation of our work.
Working with Thereza was ace and the best thing was all the colour that she brought into the animation – my animation can sometimes get a bit monochromatic so it was such a pleasure to work with such a great selection of colours and textures. I also think that Thereza‘s lovely upbeat personality comes through in Seven Little Houses.

Seven Little Houses umbrellas

Thereza Rowe on Lesley Barnes:

When Lesley contacted me for the first time with some nice words about my work and a suggestion that we should collaborate in a future project I was so excited because as soon I set eyes on her stunning animation and illustration work I knew that we would eventually produce something really good together. Since then we have kept in touch whilst keeping an eye out for interesting briefs which would suit our ideas of a collaboration… and so the Aniboom competition came about!
Working with Lesley has been an ongoing joy as she’s creative, diligent, determined and hands on. We both share a similar sense of humour which is very important because it makes the working process a pleasant experience. As the project developed I was amazed to see how the aesthetics of our work just gelled together effortlessly, almost like magic. Surprisingly we have not met in person yet, although it feels like we have….
I am really proud of how she made our illustrations move in such a graceful manner and we’ve been receiving some lovely responses from people who have seen the animation. I’d also like to echo Lesley’s thoughts on the constant support and appreciation of the work we produce that we get from Amelia’s Magazine.

seven little houses
seven little houses people

I also wanted the girls to talk about the importance of Twitter to their collaboration, as I often see conversations between Lesley and Thereza passing through my own Twitter feed: it’s how I found out they were collaborating on the project for Aniboom, and it’s a medium I feel strongly that all illustrators should engage with.

Lesley on Twitter:
Twitter is an easy way of staying in touch and see what each other is up to. When you are a freelancer it’s great for reminding you that you are not completely alone in the world and means you can check out what’s inspiring other people, collaborate with them, get feedback and generally just have a bit of a chat.

Thereza on Twitter:
Using Twitter helped make the collaboration go more smoothly because Lesley and I were always tweeting bits of work in progress to each other and teasing other about what was coming next. I used to be very resistant to using Twitter but now I’m a self proclaimed addict because it’s enabled me to engage with some ace collaborations that otherwise might not have happened.
Twitter is probably the best current social tool for illustrators in terms of networking and establishing links with both the industry and peers as it provides an open channel for direct communication and it’s fab for promoting your own work and the work of others. I love the fact that Twitter is free of advertising and has a nice layout which allows you to customize your page background nicely. I’m really fussy about such factors…
Also, the job of an illustrator can often be a lonely one as we spend a great deal of time confined in our workspaces, well, working… so I tend to have my twitter page open through the day, so it almost feels like having lots of nice people around :)

Both Thereza Rowe and Lesley Barnes appear in Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration.

Categories ,Al Paxton, ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Aniboom, ,animation, ,brooklyn, ,collaboration, ,Goats, ,illustration, ,Lesley Barnes, ,Open brief, ,Sesame Street, ,Seven Little Houses, ,Shelter Card Quilt, ,Shelter House of Cards, ,Social Media, ,Social Networking, ,Thereza Rowe, ,twitter

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Amelia’s Magazine | Announcing: The ACOFI Book Tour. Please join me as I visit some of the UK’s best design shops!

Press Days March 2011-ACOFI
ACOFI at the Forward PR press day in March.

WOO HOOO Grafik magazine have beaten me to an official announcement of dates for my ACOFI Book Tour. But here’s everything you need to know if you would like to join me somewhere in the UK.

The #ACOFI Book Tour
On Tuesday 10th May I will be embarking on a mini book tour across the UK to promote Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. In case you haven’t visited my website before this is what you need to know about my new book, dosage which is otherwise known as #ACOFI (especially on twitter):

Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration: the Book.
Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration *featuring the very best in ethical fashion design* was published at the end of 2010, approved and is the second publication from Amelia’s House, order the book publishing wing of Amelia’s Magazine. It is a showcase for the work of thirty up and coming fashion illustrators who have interpreted the work of 45 exciting new ethical fashion designers, as well as plenty of good independent design that was first featured online at Amelia’s Magazine.

ACOFI cover facebook event Soma

What I’ll be doing:
I’ll be visiting various wonderful independent art and design shops around the country to talk about the rise of eco fashion, the illustration process and social media for creatives and I will also be offering portfolio crits. I’m hoping to meet lots of creative people en route, so if you think you might like to take part don’t forget to bring your portfolio along with you: personal crits will be free on purchase of both my books at a special tour discount. Not to worry if you can’t bring your portfolio along in the evening though! At some shops I’ll be doing a 24 Hour Crit, so you can come along and talk to me personally the next day if you prefer.

Press Days March 2011-ACOFI

ACOFI illustrators to join me en route, plus more:
I’ll be accompanied at various points by some of the fabulous illustrators featured in my blogs for Grafik this week, and alongside my informal chat there will be lots more creative excitement at each shop: at the Tatty Devine Covent Garden shop participants will be invited to help paint the shop windows and at Tatty Devine in Brick Lane there will be the opportunity to learn how to ice biscuits with Biscuiteers. Not only that but guests will be able to enjoy complimentary organic juices from top juice mixologists Juiceology, fine teas from Lahloo and there will be plates laden with traditional biscuits and cakes for you to munch on. Once again the fabulous folks at Dr. Hauschka will be providing yummy free samples for participants to take away.

Press Days March 2011-ACOFI

Here’s a full list of all the dates – all talks are free but space is limited in some shops so please book where necessary to ensure your place. I’ll be tweeting about my adventures on the #ACOFI hashtag and you can follow me on @ameliagregory. I have also linked to the six associated facebook events. Six of ‘em, oh yea baby. Please do join if you would like to be kept updated about a specific event. Bring on The ACOFI Book Tour.

Tatty Devine in Covent Garden, London: Tatty Devine in Covent Garden 24 Hour Crit and Window Painting on Tuesday 10th May 6-10pm, then continuing into Weds 11th May as part of the 24 Hour Crit.
Tatty Devine blog about the event.
Please book your place here
Facebook event and Twitter.
44 Monmouth Street, London, WC2H 9EP, 0207 836 2685

The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh on Tuesday 17th May, 6.30-10pm, no booking necessary. 24 Hour Crit continuing into Wednesday 18th May.
Facebook event and Twitter.
Fruitmarket, 45 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DF, 0131 226 8181

Castor and Pollux in Brighton on Tuesday 24th May, 6-10pm.
To book your place email:
Facebook event and Twitter.
165 King’s Road Arches, Lower Prom, Brighton BN1 1NB, 01273 773776

Comma in Oxford on Wednesday 25th May, 6-10pm.
To book your place email:
Facebook event and Twitter.
247 Iffley Road, Oxford, OX4 1SJ, 01865 202400

Soma Gallery in Bristol on Thursday 26th May, 6-10pm, 24 Hour Crit continuing into Friday 27th May. To book your place email:
Facebook event and Twitter.
4 Boyces Avenue, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4AA, 0117 973 9838

Tatty Devine in Brick Lane, London: 24 Hour Crit and Biscuit Decorating with Biscuiteers on Tuesday 7th June, 6-10pm, continuing into Wednesday 8th June. Please book your place here
Facebook event and Twitter.
236 Brick Lane, London, E2 7EB, 0207 739 9191

Read more about my ACOFI launch party in January.
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Reviews of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration:

Champions the art form and gives a thorough insight into working practices… and it looks stunning, which is not a suprise considering the calibre of the work included. Design Week

Beautiful and informative as each interview and feature takes you on a personal journey, understanding where each artist and designer get their inspiration from and why ethical fashion is important to them. Ecouterre

A coffee-table book with a difference… perfect for dipping in and out of for both artistic and fashion inspiration. The Young Creatives

ACOFI has been featured in many publications including I-D online, Vogue, Digital Arts, Style Bubble, Cent Magazine and The Ecologist to name but a few. Why not click on the links and find out?

You can buy Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration online here. I hope to meet you soon!

Categories ,24 Hour Crit, ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Amelia’s House, ,art, ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuits, ,Book shops, ,Book Tour, ,Brick Lane, ,brighton, ,bristol, ,cakes, ,Castor and Pollux, ,Cent Magazine, ,Comma, ,Covent Garden, ,design, ,Design Week, ,Digital Arts, ,Dr.Hauschka, ,Eco fashion, ,Ecouterre, ,edinburgh, ,Facebook, ,Forward PR, ,i-D, ,illustration, ,Juiceology, ,Lahloo, ,Lahloo Tea, ,london, ,Oxford, ,scotland, ,Social Media, ,Soma Gallery, ,Style Bubble, ,Talk, ,Tatty Devine, ,the ecologist, ,The Fruitmarket Gallery, ,The Young Creatives, ,twitter, ,vogue, ,Window Painting

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Cat of Howkapow!

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Amelia met a whole load of creatives during her recent ACOFI book tour – illustrators, web designers and makers. It was at Soma in Bristol that she met Cat and Rog from Howkapow – a wonderful website selling allsorts of wonderful items made by new designers all under one metaphorical roof.

Howkapow began only eight months ago but already features over 50 unique designers selling their wares – from brooches to lamps, drug you’ll find an array of interesting and vibrant objects here. I managed to have a chit-chat with Cat about their company, young creatives and self promotion. Here goes:

Cat and Rog of Howkapow, illustrated by Natsuki Otani

Oh hai Cat, how are you?
Ooo in spirits I’m feeling dandy actually Matt, thanks for asking! In body I’m suffering a little – just back from the hospital after an X-ray on my knee… fell off me bike! Wine + cycling = Cat in ditch.

Oh gawd! Well, tell us a bit about Howkapow – when did it start and why?
We opened in December 2010, after we moved from London back to Bristol where Rog (my husband and business partner) and I met at university almost, err, 10 years ago. I had just finished my MA at Saint Martins and we wanted to work together on something that supported creative people and built a community. We had peddled my jewellery at markets in Melbourne and Brick Lane and had met many wonderful people who made beautiful things. But a lot of them either didn’t have a website or any means of self-promotion (like an agency) and so Howkapow was born… 

Oh! Howkapow’s an interesting name… where’s it from?
Ah! We merged our second name – ‘How’ – with the fact that all our products are bright, loud and in-yer-face, so… ‘kapow‘! 

So do you and Rog split the work equally? How is it – y’know – working with your husband?
It’s bloomin’ brilliant! Nice coffee breaks, decadent lunches and business meetings in the garden, arguments over how to load the printer paper… No, in all seriousness although it was a bit strange at first as we’d only worked for other people before (Rog for the BBC and I was a journo before Saint Martins).
It works really well because we have well defined roles. I split my time between designing and acting as creative director so have (somewhat) complete control over the look of the site as well as stock purchases and sourcing new people. I always ask Rog what he thinks about a certain product but ultimately I RULE! He deals with all the accounts, legal tings, backend web development, site maintenance… y’know the really fun stuff. 

Illustration by Claire Kearns

How do you select the designers that you feature and support?
There are around 50 designers and illustrators on the site at any given time, and we’ve been releasing a new designer a week since we opened. Honestly we could release many, many more! But our criteria for choosing them is simple. They have to be a new and / or an independent designer or illustrator and their work has to fit at least two (although ideally all) of our brand values of quality, colour, humour and fun. 

Home products available on Howkapow (images courtesy of Howkapow, products selected by Matt Bramford)

How do you think young creatives can stand out in such a saturated environment? Everybody’s at it these days…
Very true! I think it’s a combination of a) doing something original b) doing something useful and ultimately commercial and c) being good at self promotion. Ideally young creatives need to know the market that they are going into. Whether this be design or illustration, you can have a great idea but if it’s not transferrable into a commercial product then it falters. Gosh that sounds a bit cold doesn’t it? But that’s how I choose new designers and illustrators at graduate shows. I was shocked by how many graduating product designers this year had no idea what their wholesale or retail price was for the work they were showcasing…

The flipside of it is, and this is a huge generalisation, but being very creative and original means you’re – more often than not – not massively great at self promotion or PR.

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

That’s probably why you’re offering The Agency service – tell us a bit about that…?
Yes, the agency. It’s still in it’s infancy (the shop itself is only 8 months old) so we’re currently building up our base of creatives. Instead of it being based on static image-based portfolios, we want to develop it more as a ‘product’ agency where we manufacture a range of products from creatives. There’s the commercial / useful thing again… We can then use these products as a showcase for our illustrators / designers alongside their other work. It means they can be approached by shops as well as ad agencies or whatnot. 

What do you offer young designers that they don’t get from websites like Etsy where they flog their own stuff?
Well, the main thing is we hand-pick all our designers to match our brand values so people know exactly what sort of work to expect from our store. As opposed to a web resource which is open-to-all, we ‘curate’ our shop with exactly what we want which enables us to have a really strong brand and identity. We employ a PR company to help promote the shop and our designers; and we’ve also started to collaborate with some of our illustrators on products to then sell on the shop (and to wholesale to other shops). When the agency emerges it’ll be there to help promote our designers even further. 

Illustration by Sandra Contreras

Tell us a bit about some of your favourite products or designers… if you’re allowed, that is:
Oooo! Well obviously we LOVE it all (otherwise it wouldn’t be on the shop), but we’ve always greatly admired the work of Scottish illustrator Eleanor Meredith. We’ve recently designed a Tea Tiger and Coffee Chimp mug and a Gin Slug Tea Towel with her. 

Illustration by Jenny Robins

What role do you think tools like social media plays in the way we promote ourselves?
HUGE! Never underestimate the power of social media. Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest (recommended to us by Amelia when we went to a talk of hers recently and to which we are now totally addicted) are one of the main ways I find new designers and illustrators. You’ve got to be in it AND on it to win it.

There’s a million different websites for creative people these days. It’s exhausting. What are you favourites and why? Are there any you’d advise against or avoid? MySpace is awful, isn’t it?
Hmmm, yes I have to say Myspace is a bit of a dead duck, isn’t it? We’re literally never on there. It’s true – there are lots of different websites, and actually being on too many can dilute the perceived brand values of your label / work. If I see someone on lots of different open-to-all sites, as a buyer it actually puts me off. Choosing your outlets carefully can really help your brand. Again it’s about knowing your market and where you think your work would suit. There are one or two sites we would advise against, but we’re all about the non-negative vibes here at Howkapow, maaaaan.  

What else is on the Howkapow agenda? Do you have sights on a real shop?
Yes indeed! We’re planning to open up a shop in Bath (20 mins down the road from Bristol) early next year. In the meantime we’re working on more collaborations with illustrators on our own Howkapow range. We’ve started to build our selection of jewellery, mugs and tea towels but want to look into other products like trays, ipad / iphone cases, ceramics, cushions and even deck chairs! 

Howkapow jewellery and gifts; pictures courtesy of Howkapow, products selected by Matt Bramford)

What else do you and Rog like to do when you’re not Howkapow-ing? (Keep it clean, purlease)
Drinking fine wine! And sharing it with friends, obviously. We’re really into our food so growing our own veg on the allotment and brewing our own selection of (questionable) booze is always high on our agenda. Oh, and cycling on our tandem… although given the state of my knee, maybe not for a while now.

Rog and Cat at Amelia’s book tour at Soma in Bristol; photograph by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia, ,Bath, ,bristol, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Claire Kearns, ,designers, ,Eleanor Meredith, ,Facebook, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gareth A Hokpins, ,Howkapow, ,illustrators, ,Jenny Robins, ,Matt Bramford, ,Pinterest, ,Rog & Cat How, ,Sandra Contreras, ,shop, ,Social Media, ,Soma, ,twitter

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Amelia’s Magazine | Little Dragon – ‘Test’

A friend of mine recently asked me, stomach story “What is it with Swedish bands and ‘heartbeat’? Both Annie and Robyn have tracks called ‘Heartbeat’, stuff while The Knife wanted to be different and called a track ‘Heartbeats’.” Now, obviously the track I’m about to review is not called ‘Heartbeat’ or even ‘Heartbeats’, but the fact that my British friend could not only name three contemporary Swedish groups but also three of their songs without feeling as if he was exposing a guilty pleasure indicates how much our opinion Swedish music has changed (Ace of Base, anyone?).

Little Dragon
are more Dance-orientated and a good deal less retro than the ‘Heartbeat-ers’, but still know how to craft a Pop song you can be proud to love. ‘Test’ opens with a clanging not dissimilar to the 1950s musique concrete of Stockhausen, as if to remind the listener of electronica’s avant-garde origins, before immediately introducing today’s most irreverent application of such Classical techniques: the 4/4 Dance beat. Punctuated by the most minimal Ska-styled guitar/keyboard I’ve ever encountered (is that just one note?), driven by a Dub-bassline that becomes beautifully indistiguishable from the kick drum and featuring a Jazz interlude, like all great Pop songs ‘Test’ shamelessly steals from the best.

However, the undeniable highlight of the track is singer Yukimi. Recalling Matthew Herbert’s work with Dani Siciliano, her multitracked laidback delivery effortlessly transports the listener to the centre of a dancefloor at an indeterminate post-midnight hour. Soulful without forced vocal gymnastics and Bluesy without being cliched, much like the music itself, her voice is able to take in all that 20th century music had to offer and exhale something cohesive, contemporary and copious.

A chic dancefloor-filler.

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Amelia’s Magazine | Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration: Open Design Brief

Bora Aksu A/W 2010 by Gemma Milly. See original post here.

***Please note that this brief is now closed: you can now order a copy of this book online by clicking here***

Well, what is ed it’s that time of year. I’m about to put together another book, more about which will hopefully hit the bookshops shortly before Christmas 2010. In the spirit of my last book, Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, my new book will take a look at two things: inspired by some of the fantastic work that illustrators have been producing for the fashion section of Amelia’s Magazine online it will be a must-buy guide to the best up and coming fashion illustrators working today, and it will also, to a lesser degree, be a guide to the best new ethical fashion designers currently working in the UK WORLDWIDE.

So, read on to find out more about how you can be included in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration:

I will be looking for a variety of styles of fashion illustration, but the final choice of who is included in the book will depend on a number of factors:

* Those illustrators who can demonstrably show that they are engaged with editorial fashion illustration. Priority will be shown to illustrators already contributing to Amelia’s Magazine online. If you aren’t already doing so then what are you waiting for? Get on twitter and start offering your services to myself @ameliagregory and to @MattBramf next time there is an open callout for illustrations.

* Those illustrators who can show that they have a good body of professional quality material. This does not mean that you have to be a professional (yet) so if you are still at college or only work on illustration in your spare time do not let this put you off. I will give your work the same chance as anyone else’s if you can demonstrate a good commitment to fashion illustration.

J Maskrey A/W 2010 by Bex Glover. See original post here.

The way that you can demonstrate commitment is by submitting the following things to the open brief:

1. Six illustrations that you have done for fashion editorial purposes over the past year. These should include work for Amelia’s Magazine online, and for other companies if possible. You can also submit work done for your own personal use. Choose the 6 pieces that best reflect your style and please label the artwork accordingly when you submit lo res versions for the initial decision making process. You can include one or two pieces that aren’t strictly fashion as long as they show a similar style: e.g. illustrations of a band or other people based illustrations.

2. Three illustrations (exclusively for this open brief) depicting clothing from recent collections from your choice of one ethical fashion designer. Below are listed some of the designers that we will be considering for inclusion in the book (not yet definitive, and subject to change, so do check back in for an update) And please do go and research your own ideas wherever you live. Feel free to be as creative as you like – these aren’t going to be used commercially! These should showcase your favourite style of working to the best possible advantage. Please note that you may be asked to do some more illustrations of another ethical designer if the one you have chosen has been covered by more than one illustrator that I want to feature.

3. An illustration of yourself. Which will accompany your pages should you be chosen, obviously.

4. Proof of your commitment to professionalism in the form of your online presence: this should include a website, blog, facebook and twitter feed or similar. I feel that it’s so important for illustrators to network themselves on the internet that I am only going to include in my book those who demonstrably engage with social media in a major way. If you still aren’t doing so, well, you’ve got time! Quick, set up your online presence and get going for a few months before you send me your submission. It’s likely that I won’t be featuring anyone who isn’t following me on twitter.

5. A written piece describing how you work, why you chose the ethical designer you did and anything else you think is relevant to your pitch. This doesn’t need to be an example of perfect journalism, but I want to know that you have something interesting to say about your profession because I will be interviewing the chosen finalists. You should include a biography of current and future plans, the ways in which you engage with social networking and reasons for why I should include you in the book.

Pam-Hogg-white-dress-Lfw2010-Etiene Del Monte
Pam Hogg A/W 2010 by Etiene Del Monte. See original blog post here.

Other key things you need to know are:

You should always work to a large scale. The book will be the same proportions as my previous books, so it’s always a good idea to keep in your head the scale and proportions of my pages when working on new pieces for submission. I will run a mixture of double pages, single pages and pages with multiple images. For your main pieces please keep page dimensions in mind. A single page is 20cm x 24.5cm. Always work to 300 dpi at a large scale to ensure the best print quality.

The closing date for submissions is midnight on Sunday 18th July. Please send all submissions as lo res images at 72 dpi attached to an email titled SUBMISSION FOR AMELIA’S COMPENDIUM OF FASHION ILLUSTRATION as you really don’t want to risk me losing it in the flood of emails I receive daily.

You should also expect there to be a short list process for applicants who I am finding it hard to choose between. This may involve a second series of questions to answer, and you may have to produce a more specific piece of commissioned work to show you can respond to art direction well. It is more than likely that I will ask the chosen illustrators to produce more work for the book so that all the ethical designers I wish to feature are covered.

If you have found a new ethical designer that I don’t know about but are unsure as to whether they would be right for my book, then please do send me an email with a link to their website using this link, and do make sure that you join the accompanying facebook event so that you can keep up with my latest news, and because you’re down with social networking, right? I will be checking who joined the group when it comes to decision time… so don’t say I didn’t tell you.

Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration will be distributed internationally and available in all the best art bookshops. It’s the most fantastic way for you to get your work seen. So, what are you waiting for? I can’t wait to see what amazing creations you come up with….

Fashion Designers:
Ada Zanditon
Beautiful Soul
Christopher Raeburn
Tara Starlet
Ivana Basilotta
Henrietta Ludgate
Lu Flux
The North Circular
Julia Smith
People Tree designer collaborations
Wilfried Pletzinger
Tijana and Mila Popovic
Izzy Lane
Junky Styling
By Stamo
From Somewhere
Max Jenny
Joy French
Wildlife Works
Viridis Luxe
Trash Couture
Prancing Leopard
Andrea Crews
Dem Collective
Righteous Fashion
Reflective Circle
Johanna Hofring
Anja Hynynen
Pia Anjou
Camilla Norrback

Jewellery (good for beauty/fashion illustration)
Fifi Bijoux
Ingle & Rhode designer collaborations
Cred designer collaborations
Joanna Cave

A good place to look for interesting new fashion designers is within the pages of this ‘ere Amelia’s Magazine, funnily enough. Remember, the chances of you appearing in this book are slim if you have never contributed to Amelia’s Magazine. That’s easy to remedy though – you’ve got nearly two months and we need illustrations all the time.
Start reading my Alternative Fashion Week series here.
For good examples of how we have used fashion illustration in Amelia’s Magazine already and to find other new designers start reading recent London Fashion Week blogs here.

Categories ,Ada Zanditon, ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Bex Glover, ,Blogging, ,Christopher Raeburn, ,ciel, ,Emesha, ,Etiene Del Monte, ,Facebook, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Gemma Milly, ,goodone, ,Julia Smith, ,Lu Flux, ,noir, ,Open brief, ,People Tree, ,Social Media, ,Tara Starlet, ,Tijana and Mila Popovic, ,twitter, ,Wilfried Pletzinger

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Amelia’s Magazine | Larmer Tree Festival 2011 Review, Sunday: Show of Hands and the Recycled Safari Carnival

Jaipur Brass Band by Cassandra Yap
Jaipur Brass Band by Cassandra Yap.

Our first destination on Sunday at Larmer Tree Festival was the main stage to witness the joyous sounds of the Jaipur Kawa Brass Band, side effects who were wearing the most marvellous embroidered costumes.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Jaipur Kawa Brass Band
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Jaipur Kawa Brass Band
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Jaipur Kawa Brass Band

Jaipur Brass Band by Cassandra Yap
Jaipur Brass Band by Cassandra Yap.

I was just admiring the man with the jaunty loose fabric in his turban when a sudden gust of wind tipped a large volume of collected water on my head.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Jaipur Kawa Brass Band
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Jaipur Kawa Brass Band,
The rain came and went but it didn’t deter the smiling Indians from traipsing out on to the lawn with their tiny traditional dancer in tow, who danced gamely with the Westerners in their ungainly raincapes.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Moscow Drug ClubLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Moscow Drug Club
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Moscow Drug Club

They were followed by Moscow Drug Club, named for an 80s song by a fellow Canadian band and fronted by an elegant lady in polka dot wellies, who for some reason stayed seated, but always with a smile on her face as she sang classic tango, gypsy and blues covers. An undoubted highlight was the two guitarists doubling up to play an extended riff.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review painting
Never mind the changeable weather, an artist had taken up residence on the lawn to illustrate the band.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Show of HandsLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review Show of Hands
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Show of Hands
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Show of Hands
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Show of Hands
We stayed on until the afternoon specifically to see Show of Hands, a favourite of my boyfriend’s dad since he saw them at a folk festival some years ago. And now I know what captivated him so. This magical folk collective are a musical and political tour de force, playing songs about social media, Fred Goodwin… and poachers, all with fabulous musicianship. But an assured highlight for me was their cover of 80s classic Boys of Summer. I’ve tried listening to them online since I’ve got home and it just isn’t the same experience, but live they were an absolute treat. Another festival highlight.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Granny Turismo
As we made our exit we passed performance art by Larkin’ About – a pair of men in drag riding Segways masked as giant tartan shoppers inside which lurked boom boxes. Catch Granny Turismo at a festival near you soon.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review - recycled safari carnival
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review - recycled safari carnival
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review - recycled safari carnival
Recycled Safari Carnival by Jessica Knight.

In the lower field the Recycled Safari Carnival made its way laboriously towards the upper fields through the sticky mud.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review - recycled safari carnival

At the front of the procession a dancing peacock girl gamely kept her heels on, and behind her followed tigers, giraffes, butterflies and of course more peacocks…. this being a very English country estate kind of safari after all.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review - recycled safari carnival
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review - recycled safari carnival
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review - recycled safari carnival

I’d visit the Larmer Tree Festival again in a heartbeat. Like Latitude Festival, which takes place on the same weekend, it’s got a little bit of everything – music, comedy, art, workshops, theatre, film, poetry – except it’s all on a much more manageable scale so despite less choice the experience is far more pleasurable. It was quick and simple to get around the site with no heaving crowds to bar the way, which I imagine to be especially essential for families with small children. At last year’s Latitude I was forced to watch the comedy on a big screen outside the tent, but at Larmer Tree I was easily able to sit in the front row for an up close comedy experience.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review peacocks

Likewise it was easy to see bands properly even in the main arena. Latitude may have dyed sheep behind a fence but at Larmer Tree peacocks wander freely amongst festival goers, and they were MOST entertaining, let me tell you.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review peacocksLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review peacocks

I have just one small complaint about Larmer Tree Festival: the general lack of recycling facilities. In fact there was barely a bin on the entire campsite, not that it mattered much given that middle class families are so darn good at cleaning up. Still, I’d like better options for disposal of my beer cups… and whilst we’re on the subject, can they be biodegradable in future?

Overall I had a bloody marvellous time. Why not check it out for yourself next year? And in the meantime read my Thursday, Friday and Saturday reviews too for a full flavour of the whole lavely festival.

Categories ,blues, ,Boys of Summer, ,Canadian, ,Cassandra Yap, ,folk, ,Fred Goodwin, ,Granny Turismo, ,Jessica Knight, ,Larkin’ About, ,Larmer Tree Festival, ,Latitude Festival, ,Moscow Drug Club, ,Mud, ,Peacocks, ,Performance Art, ,political, ,Recycled Safari Carnival, ,Segway, ,Show of Hands, ,Social Media, ,Tango

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