Wednesday, 26 August 2015

When asked to contribute something to Contemporary Other's second issue 'FEMINISM IS', my first thought was YES! *punches air* and the second thought was Harnaam Kaur. I'd been wanting to draw her for a while, blown away by her power, grace and femininity in the face of shallow questions from TV hosts about how she would find love as a heterosexual female with a beard. She wasn’t constructing her identity to be attractive to others and that must have scared the shit out of them. To see more from this superstar role model visit @harnaamkaur, and check out the forthcoming volume of CO for feminist dialogue that dismisses the majority and favours the other:

"We favour the individual whose identity does not conform unambiguously to the conventional. We favour the marginalised, the dark, the east, the feminist, the queer, the radical, the subordinate, the transnational, the post human, the admix that is the Contemporary Other."

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Jamie & Eliza

I can now reveal the surprise wedding commission I completed earlier this month. It was a big challenge for me to do an original drawing at A2 size - after so long riding the crest of A4 & A3 works it suddenly felt a long way to the centre of the page - but this also made it a hugely satisfying project to complete. Congratulations Jamie and Eliza!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Best Of The Biennale

Picture the biggest exhibition you've ever seen and times it by 3. Then imagine there's two of them. Now throw in 89 pavilions representing an entire country each, and 44 collateral events across different locations, and there you have La Biennale di Venezia; a wonderful and colossal serpent of art let loose for the summer in the floating city of Venice. This summer saw my first visit to the International Art Exhibition, now at its 56th imagining, and I was totally bowled over by how much there was to see, as well as the effect that engaging with that much artwork had on my 'digestion' of it - a fascinating insight into what I look for in art and how my experience of it can be altered.

Of course it would have been wholly inconceivable to get around it all during a 5 day stay, but here is a run down of the top ten tasty artefacts and experiences I consumed during my visit:

#10 Dutch Pavilion. to be all ways to be, Herman de Vries.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Snapshots of Venezia

Last month me and Laurie flew to Venice to explore the La Biennale di Venezia - 56th International Art Exhibition. We stayed in a beautiful apartment in Sant' Elena - dubbed 'the greenest district in Venice' - surrounded by local folks, tiny businesses and a shady park. Our adventures led us from this charming neighbourhood right up to the tourist throng of San Marco and back again through tiny walkways, piazzas and waterways; via cafes, gelateries, markets, marbled paper shops and even a Hard Rock Cafe. Here are some snapshots of our visit.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Murry In A Hurry

My projects have a tendency to develop over a long period of time in different, perhaps unnecessarily complex, ways - but every now and then a simple idea comes along fully formed. Loudly and over-excitedly suggesting to mac birmingham's Cinema Producer Amy Smart that we hold a 'Murry In A Hurry' temporary tattoo parlour to compliment their outdoor screening of Ghostbusters was a prime example of the latter, and due to Amy's matched enthusiasm a truly great little project was born right there on the bus.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Growing Out: Thoughts On Turning 25

I turned 25 last month; as a June baby one of the last to do so amongst my friends. Across my 24th year I'd started hearing a new phrase: I'm getting too old for this. Chums began to disappear abruptly from nights of drinking early, and conversations always seemed to move towards some kind of mutual paranoia that their lives were being wasted. Bummer. Along with that cheery thought, Buzzfeed links were flying everywhere called things like 25 Signs You're About To Turn 25, 25 Things That Get Harder After Age 25 & 25 Signs That You're Having A Quarter Life Crisis. I feared the worst. 25 had started to look boring as f*ck, and I began to wonder if I would just wake up to find all the youthful energy sucked from my soul by 25 fun vampires with party straws.

Something I've realised in the weeks since is that growth and change don't have anything to do with age, it's about how you let yourself feel in respect of it. I firmly believe we choose what we carry around with us; what labels we adopt when forming our self identity and how we regard them. If we let a society that prizes unaged faces make us feel old, even at the midpoint of our twenties, we will live up to associations we have attached to that. Equally if we reject the idea of growing older altogether we may hold on to an 'escape route' of traits linked to younger selves - such as the more carefree days when we were a student - rather than moving upwards and outwards in order to find new elements to add to and enrich our sense of self.

With that in mind, here are my personal reflections on what standing inside 25 means to me.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Bees In A Tin

In its own words, "Bees In A Tin is a celebration of interesting people who make interesting interfaces for the world around them", drawing me in with its promise of custard to punch and with the aim of learning about new projects using technology creatively. Taking place on a Friday afternoon at Millennium Point, 'twas a gathering of creatives, makers, scientists and researchers who for whatever reason weren't stuck in an office somewhere; myself slotted neatly into the lecture theatre - very prepared to take lots of notes and refuel with the free lunch.

Here are some of the ideas that inspired me:

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Royal Pear

There comes a point in any design project when the client says: "We really like the pear." Wait... what?
I was asked to design a logo for the My Worcester project by Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery, with a brief to take inspiration from icons of Worcestershire and illuminated manuscripts. Keen to freshen things up a bit, I kept the traditional text clean and bold, and drew such Worcester-centric items as Elgar, Worcester Cathedral, Royal Worcester porcelain and the Worcester Black Pear as a basis from which to work. My initial design sheet full of bits and pieces is shown above, with a couple of developments using these elements below.

Monday, 29 June 2015

BOM Summer Camp

Last week I did some illustration work for a forthcoming children's summer school at Birmingham Open Media, drawing characters made up of electronic equipment such as wires, transistors, speakers, batteries and bulbs all having fun together at some kind of groovy circuit party.

Taken from the event brief: Perfect for budding inventors and restless minds, this week-long summer camp teaches kids how to solder, build and program objects that respond to commands! Create your own robot or mystical creature. Take part in a cretinous creature jamboree. Race in a robot rally. Take away your very own invention that will amaze your friends!

Aimed at 7-11 year olds, I was conscious of not making the designs gendered and opted for using bright 'electric' colours on a dark background. Focusing on creativity through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) I also felt it important to convey something of the playful tinkering the event will involve without it becoming too childish or conventionally educational in style - because, let's face it, these kids are the badasses of the future.

Hay Fever

How The Light Gets In could be considered the Hay Fringe; the cooler cousin to the famous Hay Festival just down the road. It was my second visit to this yearly celebration of writing, and this time I just strolled across for some mango lassi ice cream and a few talks, detailed below.