Monday, 28 September 2015

The Up and Coming | PHOTO DIARY | The last of the London Design Festival lovin'



First of all, I'm so sorry for not sticking to my plan and attempting to post a little something during the week about London Design Festival. IT WAS MENTAL.  The whole week was filled with building stands, working on the door for events, supporting clients at shows - all whilst continuing with the normal duties any standard week requires. However, I did get to have a little fun at some after parties and scouring the likes of designjunction and Tent so there was plenty of opportunity to meet lots of gorgeous people and enjoy far too many cocktails. If you didn't know, I also featured in Time Out this week talking about Covent Garden and the Metro newsletter choosing my top 3 LDF picks. Still a little overexcited about it all, so I urge you to subscribe now (just in case my design picks are ever required again and because it genuinely is a pretty good read!) For now, here are a few photographs of my favourite parts of the week. 



Eataipei's culinary introduction to Taiwan, the 2016 Design Capital. Five courses of visual heaven.


David Irwin's VIP lounge at designjunction



The remarkable wooden tube station by Camilla Barnard.


Amazing printed scarves by Jonna Saarinen at Tent London


Patternity x Paperless Post playground at Somerset House


Probably my favourite stand at Tent London - Feathr (I hope to chat to them more soon!)
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Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Designer | Interview with Felicity Marshall



Felicity-Marshall-Asos-Topman

Occasionally you come across someone on Instagram that makes you scroll and scroll - Felicity Marshall made me do exactly that and I knew I had to find out more about the lass behind the colour-block illustrations and sassy textile prints. Born and raised in Portsmouth Felicity moved to London when she was 18 to study a BA in fashion illustration and graphics at The London College of Fashion. Since her graduation 8 years ago she's worked for ASOS and Topman as well as constantly undergoing freelance projects for: Zlabels, frieze art fair, sketch restaurant, o2, made from plastic (menswear brand). She's the perfect example of someone that is working hard to continue to get what she wants and our little chat below provides a little insight into working for some pretty big names - I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.

Felicity-Marshall-Asos-Topman           

You’ve worked with such prestigious names on the high-street, how did it all kick off for you?
Thanks! I started off working for a small supplier company where one of our clients was ASOS. I developed a pretty good working relationship with a few of the designers from ASOS through that and it just made more sense for me to be working with them and things kind of went from there...

Did you take any internships after university and if so how useful did you find them?
I interned at Alexander McQueen as a print designer during my third year at uni. I found it really useful actually; interning helps you figure out what you want to do and (if you get a good internship and don't end up spending two weeks making tea etc) gains you so much experience and knowledge. I found that having a fashion house like McQueen on my CV really helped with getting interviews for other jobs.

Was there ever a time you thought about giving up and pursuing something else?
There was never anything that I wanted to do as much as being creative or being a designer/illustrator. Even during the harder times when it maybe crossed my mind to do something else, it never really came to anything because I couldn't decide on what new direction to take.

Felicity-Marshall-Asos-Topman

I love the T–shirts you designed for this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago and you’ve designed plenty more for ASOS and Topman - how does it feel to know that there are people all over the world wearing your designs? Have you ever seen anyone wearing a Felicity Marshall designed piece?
Again, thanks! The Pitchfork tees were a fun project to work on; its weird to think that people all the way in Chicago were wearing t shirts that I had drawn or designed, but in a good way! The fact it was for something like the Pitchfork Music Festival made it better as I'm a huge fan. I occasionally see people out and about wearing one of my designs and its always nice to think that someone liked something you did enough to spend their money on it.  

How do you gather inspiration and do you have any specific ways of collating things you like?
These days we're lucky as there are so many avenues for gathering inspiration…social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and tumblr are a constant and immediate source of creativity and inspiration. Also, living in a city like London helps: there are so many galleries and things to see here. Its a massive cliche but you can find inspiration in most things. There are no specific ways that I gather information, basically, if I see something I like I'll usually just photograph it and keep it on my phone / laptop to look at whenever I need.

Felicity-Marshall-Asos-Topman           Felicity-Marshall-Asos-Topman

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer to all the aspiring creatives out there?
I guess it would be not to give up on what you want to do, if you work hard enough, it will happen.

If you could work with anyone on their next printed textile collection, who would it be?
There are so many people I'd love to work with! Kenzo, Paul Smith, Eley Kishimoto, Celine, Jonathan Saunders, Weekday, Jil Sander to name a few.

What’s next for you/ what’s the dream?
I'd love to travel more, maybe move to another country and work for a designer / brand I like before setting up my own thing. I'd also like to focus on doing more exhibitions over the next year.

Check out Felicity's website here: www.felicitypmarshall.com and follow her on Instagram here: @felicity.marshall
You won't regret it!

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Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Designers | London Design Festival | Day Two



If I were to recommend one place to visit this London Design Festival, it would probably be the V&A. There's tons of great installations and exhibitions all under the same roof and although there's plenty of walking to do it doesn't feel like you have to trek from piece to piece. I've included my three favourites below but expect to also see 'Zotem' by Kim Thomé and 'Mise-en-abyme' by Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale (both above) whilst venturing around. Of course there is also a whole itinerary of events this week as well as other crowd favourites like the previously featured 'What is Luxury' exhibition.  Do check the LDF website for further information.

Faye Toogood | The Cloakroom
I'm in love with this immersive, theatrical concept that Faye Toogood has created and although I could only bear about 20 minutes of the coat itself I would highly recommend taking part and getting stuck in with the idea. The cloakroom, located in Room 55, allows you to check out one of 150 Toogood coats to wear around the Museum. You also get a map to locate the ten sculptural jackets that are dotted around various sections of the museum - my personal favourite being the marble garment of course! All of the jackets are unique so pick a good face and have your photograph taken. You might look a little strange wandering around in a Kvadrat jacket but roll with it and you might not want to give it back in the end.




Barnaby Barford: The Tower of Babel
The Tower of Babel is an impressive six metre high structure formed of 3000 bone china shops. Barford photographed all of the shops on his bicycle and he has then stacked the shops in order of exclusivity and price.  At the towers base the shops are derelict, slowly moving up to the point of the more exclusive, luxurious shops. We enjoyed locating the shops of Leyton including one of our locals The Key Shop in particular - again the sculpture is immersive and allows you to chat to others around you about what you are looking for. One of our fellow visitors was rather upset that their own shop had been sold to someone else (yes, you can buy them all!)  





mischer’traxler | Curiosity Cloud

Walking along the corridor, you can hear the wings of the insects fluttering before you even set eyes on anything in the room. There is definitely a magical Harry Potter vibe going on inside, which is probably why there was also a queue to get in and phones everywhere once inside. 250 mouth-blown glass globes made by the Viennese glass company Lobmeyr. Each globe contains a single hand-fabricated insect and each insect has been printed onto foil, which has been laser cut and then hand embroidered to create the body. I would love to see this at a quieter time to embrace and inspect the insects a little more but even when battling for a good picture you can still appreciate the beauty of this mythical installation.




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Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Designers | London Design Festival | Day One


I've got a busy London Design Festival coming up this week and most of it is going to involve a lot of hard work as opposed to seeing as much as I possibly can. I'm going to take any opportunity to see the various sculptures, installations and pop-ups that have made their way to London for the festival but I'm thinking the parties are going to get the better of me on more than one occasion (I'll try to post as much as possible though!) Today was the first official day of LDF so I decided to check out the things that were a little bit more out of the way. First on the agenda - to please the boyfriend too - was Alex Chinneck's A Bullet from a Shooting Star in North Greenwich.

Chinneck has a knack for creating surreal sculptures and he hasn't disappointed with this 35 metre-high structure. The structure comprises of 450 pieces of steel and 900 connection points and has been created in collaboration with Knight Dragon , the Hong Kong-based property developer currently developing a new district in the Greenwich Peninsula. The pylon looks spectacular against its very own central London skyline and interestingly enough it actually acts as a sundial - a good feature to have when the site is intersecting the prime meridian line. I'll be checking this out again at dusk but Mr Chinneck is also holding a talk at the V&A on the 23rd at 12pm which is definitely worth a visit.




Next up today was a snippet of the Brixton Design Trail. Brixton constantly celebrates design with its role in cutting edge fashion and diverse street style, not to mention it being the original home of the likes of David Bowie. Its also home to many talented designers & start-ups and the trail is showcasing a range of design from Brixton stars such as Eley Kishimoto to the local designer-makers who inhabit the markets on a weekly basis. I'm a huge Eley Kishimoto fan (patterns of course) so it was a pleasure to see the CONNECT BRIXTON grid design gracing the pavement and generally taking over Brixton. Architects Squire and Partners have created a Street Gallery at the former Bon Marche department store featuring ten canvases created for the Brixton community by local designers. Highlights include more Eley Kishimoto in the form of their guardian gnomes and The Lost Roses of Brixton - a shimmering display of metallic roses that have been cast from an original ceiling rose from the Edwardian building. Lastly, it's worth checking out the Passage Tells website to experience the narrative behind the historical Reliance Arcade. It's a unique sound installation that requires an app and headphones, but its worth it for the set of interviews and conversations providing insight into the heart of Brixton. All in all, Brixton may be a smaller design district but theres a lot of spirit in the area with a focus on supporting the local community which can only be a good thing. I'd suggest spending an afternoon here and then stopping off at Pop Brixton for a bevvy and some sassy street food. 










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The Up and Coming | Interview | Sadhna Prasad



You may have already spotted Sadhna and her beautiful illustrations in my round-up of the Camberwell MA show but I had to talk to this lovely lady a little bit more and find out her background and aspirations. It's just a little bit great that she fits in with my own dream colour palette and blog aesthetic too. Sadhna creates such inspiring narratives with her work and I can see all of her influences and dreams within her illustrations. I think her journey through university life has helped her become the practitioner she is and boy am I glad that we have her here in London now! We caught up for a little chat about what's coming up next and a little more insight into her cultured background....

Firstly, can you tell me a little bit about yourself and what makes you 'you’?
I am an Illustrator and Designer from Mumbai, currently based in London. I have finally made it to graduation with four years of studying, two schools and lots of interests and experience. It has taken me five years to find a visual comfort. I have just started this journey where my work is an extension of how I am as an individual, so all the work I do from now should be able to define me. I have a weakness for stationery and love making lists!

What made you decide to take a Masters?
I am 23 and I am an impulsive decision maker. I have previously discontinued my education from two design institutes by choice to try something new and the Masters for me was a way to finish the education cycle. So, for me, the Masters has been the grand project you do in the final year of your undergraduate. Its been very hard but extremely worth it.


Where do you take your inspiration for projects from and do you have a way of collating this?
My work is mostly inspired by my memories, places and my dreams - this may seem like a list of all the default answers but it is so true. It is how I answer all the questions in my head-problem solving. I am very influenced by my background but London has been so motivating in just wanting to be a part of the large illustration scene. I use Instagram as a blog and as a reminder to create something everyday.

What do you think makes you different? I'm thinking that the use of colour in your work is really important!
That is a hard question. Lets just say, I have become very comfortable with who I am and this makes me appreciate everything even more. I have become very expressive in work and I am confident enough to sell the thought. I love expressing through vibrant colours. There is just so much positivity and contrast. I think this is what makes me different - I can channel any thought into a vibrant and loveable colour scheme, maintaining the complexity of the thought.


I really like your project based on Indian advertising stereotypes, how did this idea come about?
Dakshin Bhaarat was the research project for my Masters. It is the culmination of a very broad research topic - stereotypes. The research for this was very hard because I experienced the complexity of the topic. It took about a month to narrow down the research in terms of its causes and impacts and choose something very specific to experiment on. I think advertisement plays a very important level to shape or change thoughts amongst a large crowd. This seemed like a very easy way to sell the concept of an alternate world to an audience. It then led to a series of working experiments in different types of advertising and their specific usages to an audience whilst keeping the colours minimal with only the five used most in traditional Indian Advertising.

Can you give any advice for anyone thinking about going into a creative degree?
I don't really know if giving advice is the way to go. I believe that everyone needs to have their own set of experiences to define this field for themselves. But I will certainly say that, do lots of work. I love being busy. It's something you love doing, but it still takes a long time for it to be very good. And during this time, it's the personal growth that transcends as well. It's a unique combination of being competitive, curious, happy and wanting to keep experimenting with something new.


Who would you advise that other illustrators and artists check out?
Oh there are so many! I do not follow only Illustrators, but a lot of graphic designers, studios and even product/toy designers...Steve Simpson, Snask, Brosmind, Bakea, Cocolia, Jessica Walsh, Sameer Kuvaloor, Emilia Dzuibak, Aitch, Tom Anders, Guillaume Kurkdjian - it's a never ending list!

Finally, where are you going to go from here? What's the dream?
I am on the look for the best answer to that question! The dream now is to gain enough experience through the years to start my own studio in the future. Currently, I have just started an extensive personal project. There is an exciting opportunity I have been selected for with Adobes Biggest Student Show and Colossal Media in NYC and I am also part of a new collective of upcoming illustrators which is still in the process of forming. Apart from that, I just want to do lots of work and make people happy when they see it.


Images (from top to bottom) Tools used: Photoshop
Cover- Way Back, MA Illustration Graduation Project 
Spread- Way Back, MA Illustration Graduation Project 
Dakshin Bhaarat: Research Through Practise
Spread- Way Back, MA Illustration Graduation Project 
Ongoing Personal Project, Quotes from Lifes Little Instruction Book. Two quotes shown in the image.

For a little more colour in your life, have a peek at Sadhna's website: www.sadhnaprasad.com and follow here on Instagram: @sadhnap
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Sunday, 13 September 2015

The Up and Coming | Interview | Samuel Bellamy of Bellamy Design



I want to make it quite clear that I referred to Mr Bellamy as a future Tom Dixon all the way back in May, at the beginning of my blogging days (excuse the rather terrible post!) but after meeting Sam for a drink and a catch-up I'm quite sure that I'm still very right with that prediction and I can't wait to continue waiting for all of the brilliant products he'll be creating over the next few years. Having previously been awarded Boss Design’s Student Designer of the Year at Clerkenwell Design week back in 2013, Samuel has been working hard since the beginning of university and he is certainly a brave and ambitious guy. Selected as part of the New Design Britain Awards at May Design Series this year, he was already exhibiting his Moroccan Lamps before others had even completed their final major projects. This extra publicity has certainly held him in good stead and he walked away as winner of Accessories category and People’s Choice Awards. He then went on to exhibit at New Designers too so I've seen a lot of him this summer! Samuel’s designs are very luxurious and he pays meticulous attention to detail, creating high quality finishes and intricate parts within his products. 



Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and where you studied?
I'm 23 and I'm originally from Nottingham. I'm moving to London soon to start working in Hackney. I studied Furniture & Product Design at Nottingham Trent University.

So, what made you want to take a creative degree in the first place?
I think I realised from a young age that I wasn't that academic. I've always been way more creative and arty. I originally wanted to go into the graphics and media side of things but then I realised that I actually really craved making physical products. I wanted to physically realise something I had in my head that I had drawn or seen rather than it just being a virtual thing. That's what got me into actually creating products and furniture.

We were spoilt with your Moroccan Lamps at both May Design Series and New Designers, can you tell me how that concept came about?
I wanted to come out of university and definitely start producing my own work and I knew I'd have very little money investment so I wouldn't have a lot of space to create it in. The actual assembly and construction of the lamps was based around that prediction. Obviously the style is dedicated to the original Moroccan lamps as I always like to have an original inspiration that I like to try and recreate whether that be a form or image to go from. The whole idea was that I would have something I could create in my bedroom with minimal tooling and I wouldn't have to rely on any other people.


And what encouraged you to enter the lamps into New Design Britain at May Design Series - a bit early I guess too?
Yeah, it was a bit early but it just popped up on Twitter and I'd just finished my minor project (the lamps) and that was my strongest project. I knew it would be a good platform to launch myself and get into an exhibition early and I'd already thought about the product being commercially viable because I wanted to do it for my other company. Filling out the form, I realised that I'd considered a lot of the things for the application already so I thought I'd put my efforts into that rather than my major project basically. I'd done it before with a competition in second year - I missed a few projects to make sure I did well in the competition and it had paid off before - so I thought I'll do that again.

Very brave decisions - luckily they worked for you! What designers have inspired you throughout university?
I try not to look at other designers, although, it's obviously good to check that you're not copying other people's work. But in terms of seeing what other people do I can find that it carves my vision slightly. When I did my placement at Duffy London, Chris Duffy was a really great mentor and he was always inspiring me. He has some really original designs, that are really playful and forward thinking. He never stops with an idea and he sees it through to the end. Its paid off and he's got some really original stuff. 


What made you choose to take the sandwich course to take the year out with Duffy London?
I just knew it would be essential to get real experience in the industry and I was very fortunate to work for a small company. I thought a big company would be really good but I worked for a very small team at Duffy in which I got a lot of exposure so I learnt a lot about logistics and things you wouldn't learn at university. Learning those struggles of a small company with not a lot of money to throw around makes you think a lot more practically about what you are doing. It helped me to realise to value the resources I had at university and to make the most of prototyping and things like that. So when I came out of university I had done all of that already.

So, it's been great to chat but just to finish off what are your plans for the future?
So yeah, I'll start work full-time at the end of September doing something completely different. I'll be designing staircases which is quite architectural and different but that means I can focus on my own work in my own time. I've got a little home studio so I can carry on with what I'm doing and hopefully produce different things within the range and expand what I'm already doing. I also want to try and do commissioned work for other companies so it sort of stretches out what I can do and it would be nice design bits and pieces for other companies here and there - I'm not just designing for myself but I'm designing in general.


I feel like there is some really super advice here if you apply it to your own course or decision-making process. It can sometimes pay off to be brave and take a risk but you really have to put your all into it like Sam did if you want it to work. There's also a really important lesson in getting real life experience in the industry so get out there now, talk to people and use everything your university has to offer.
If you're coveting Sam's lamps (I know I am!) get in on the Bellamy Design action early and purchase one via his website: www.bellamydesign.co.uk
Follow him on Twitter and Instagram here: @bellamydesign

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Sunday, 6 September 2015

The Recommendation | Leytonstone & Laura Lea Design





There's a creative buzz rising in Leytonstone and I may be biased but get here quick to experience it at it's best. With sweet little cafes such as All You Read Is Love and The Wild Goose Bakery providing delicious treats and The Red Lion being the place to go for a pint, there is certainly plenty to accompany the various retro markets and Leytonstone's own vintage shop complete with classic car, Stone & Crow.



At the heart of it all, next to the Alfred Hitchcock mosaic clad station, lies a pop-up space and it is soon to see the return of Laura Lea Design and her cast of eclectic designers. Laura Lea Design took residence in this space over the month of August and she sure kicked some ass in the her time there. Her success in the local area has confirmed her return permanently at some point in October (hurrah!) I'll keep you updated on an opening date.



Laura has collated a selection of artists and designers varying from the architectural prints of Oliver Frances to the beautifully intricate drawings of Mr Smith. It's also great to see the whimsical prints of Augusta Ackerman hanging proud, having previously featured her work a little earlier this year. For the homeware fanatics there's a great selection of potted plants in a multitude of printed vases and the East Wick girls have supplied their scented candles, which had me sniffing with delight and deliberating on scents for quite a while. 

I'm really excited about what Laura Lea is going to be bringing on her return - for one, I only need to walk ten minutes to do all of my Christmas shopping - and there's a strong sense of community accompanying the shop which is lovely to witness first hand. With the help of her super assistant, Alex, she's going forward with giving hope to the emerging artists of London and championing what I'm looking to embrace in my own features. Watch out for a little post soon featuring the musings of the lady herself and follow her for updates on the re-opening of the shop (I can confirm that she sure knows how to throw a good party) 



Follow Laura on Instagram for fabulous art and updates - @Lauraleadesign
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