Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tour Guide Book.

This is a full copy of the sketchbook I mailed to Brooklyn today, ready for the arthouse co-op Sketchbook Project World Tour starting in April. I can't help but let my mind wander to those gallant individuals unpacking all of the books, how long it takes, how many paper cuts they get...

The book will join tens of thousands of others to make a colourful and creative travelling library. Righteous.

Transatlantique Scrawler.

Here are some sketchbook pages from my sketchbook for arthouse's Sketchbook Project 2012. Sketchbook.

My chosen theme was 'Transatlantic', as my book would have to travel across the pond no less than 4 times before the project was finished. Most of the imagery within its pages came from exploring the relationship between American & English culture, as well as transatlantic flight, the Bermuda triangle, oh, and a squirrel made up like a red indian.

Little did I know when I signed up to this project the effect it would have. My approach to filling the book was purposeful and driven, and I produced drawings and makings unlike I ever have before, namely through working faster and drawing plenty of people. I often shy away from drawing people through fear of not capturing what makes them 'them', and so rendering them heartbreakingly unrecognisable. Within this venture I have learnt that I can draw Hugh Laurie, but not Madonna, and honestly, I'm happy with that.

As this sketchbook was a gift, it felt like an arena for play and also fearlessness.
I'm happy to be a part and kindof sad its gone now, but may that feeling of 'why not?' remain.

Plus, might do it all again next year.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Showcase Cities.

Having signed up for an art showcase many months ago, the time came around for it to actually happen. Elated yet broken from dissertation submission fulfilment, I packed up my work safely and got on a train to London, the seat cradling me like a baby bird as it carried me across the country.
Another bag of sports mixture later, I arrived and the next day me and my friend Shelley set all our work up at Richmix on Bethnal Green Road, the location for the Showcase Cities exhibition that evening.

The venue was well presented and expertly lit; a great environment for both socialising and seeing the spoils of contemporary creatives. I enjoyed the buzzing atmosphere, enhanced by the musical offerings of Adrian Roye & The Exiles, and of course, the wine.

Despite the space being full for the entirety of the night, the only art I saw people taking home was priced fairly low (~£15) with the work on show actually ranging from £15 to £800; a big inconsistency that it felt strange to be placed within.
My favourite stuff there was by fellow illustrator Sam Blown, selling lots of quirky, good-natured prints that definitely cracked smiles across my face and the rest of the audience's. Good vibrations were found upon his boards in the midst of a very mixed bunch of artists, to be sure.

In order to adapt to the commercial emphasis of the venue I think exhibiting digital prints of my drawings would have been preferable to the originals, and I would recommend this to others intending to exhibit in this way as it allows for them to be sold for a more reasonable price without underselling what you have made and sacrificing artistic integrity. Despite not being there to sell work, I was happy with how I presented myself and used the opportunity to give out business cards to interested parties. And, again... the wine.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Neu Craft Werk.

And so, today, the 14th day of 2012, I am able to proclaim Happy New blog Year. The festive season was a busy and beautiful time and now that my dissertation is on the cusp of being handed in, I have been making some new work; Hallelu!

Expanding on the yellow piece below from last year, I made two more drawings of birds on coloured paper; a blue tit on eggshell blue and a rather angry bullfinch on, well, bullfinch pink, to create a series of 3. I really wanted to show birds 'doing stuff', not just sitting on a branch as they are so often depicted, and enhanced this movement through energetic and confident mark-making.

I also recently drew a series of Schwinn bicycles in pencil crayon whilst eating maynards sports mixture, along with digging out some previously exhibited and much loved paper concertina illustrations of an accordion and a land camera.

This collection of images, along with two digital prints from my recent hometown project, will form the line-up for an upcoming showcase exhibition I am taking part in in London next week with a friend of mine.


I'm a big believer that you can have 'fresh starts' at any time of year; any time of day if you so like, but it is rather nice to have a clean shiny year stretching ahead, like a new sketchbook. And may it be a cracker.