Sunday, 27 March 2016

The High Five | March

1//  Posterzine™ by People of Print 
2// Living with Hattie Stewart via Magma
3// Holidays by Jean Jullien in collaboration with Hato Press 
4// Suitcase Magazine
5 // Don't get a Job, Make a Job: How to make it a creative graduate by Gem Barton

With Milan, Berlin and Amsterdam all within the next 5 weeks, my mind has firmly been on books and publications for the plane (I'm an awful flyer) as well as anything that can possibly inspire me for my time away. Here's a list of five that I've already gathered, have been ordered or are in the pipeline. 

First up on the list is the latest Posterzine by the ever-inspiring People of Print. The team have collaborated with Kate Moross to complete the latest in the series and my gosh is it a beauty. Featuring and in-depth interview by Laura Snoad as well as prints by Moross, you can keep it on your coffee table or frame it for a wicked print. It's actually made using just two spot colours of fluorescent pink and neon turquoise which make a pretty sweet combination that absolutely tick all the boxes for me. I've already nabbed a copy of this and you can too with a subscription service ensuring that you never miss out. 

I've previously declared how much of a fan I am of Ms Stewart and her debut book is firmly on my wish list. The book, published by Roads Publishing, is out on 6 April and contains 32 of Hattie’s 'doodlebombs' and original works. Each print in the book is slightly perforated so can be pulled out and framed, what a grand idea! Annoyingly I'm in Milan for the book launch so will have to wait to grab a copy but if you're interested in attending the event at KK Outlet you can find out more here.

Jean Jullien is the man that captured the world with his beautiful illustrations in the aftermath of both the Paris attacks. However, when he's not sketching in reaction to the horrid and unnecessary, he's busy creating fun and quirky illustrations with a lot of humour and wit. I picked up a copy of Holidays on a recent trip to Hato Press and it's safe to say that it makes me chuckle every time. "Crispy raw skin, ice cream chin, perilous selfies, brief romances and pockets of useless souvenirs; a tourist’s guide to summer, Holidays is an unfiltered snapshot of the holiday experience as we (truly) know it." Enough said.

I haven't picked up a copy of Suitcase in a little while but with holidays seemingly on my mind I decided to snap up the latest issue from new favourite store Modern Society. Marrakech has long been on my list for a potential escape destination and Meg Abbott has confirmed the need for me to save and get there before the end of the year - I think it will send my creativity into overdrive with all those patterns and colours, which can only mean good things!

Finally, I've ordered 'Don't Get a Job, Make a Job' for my travels. Natasha of Graphique Fantastique reviewed it on her blog and as she seemingly has great taste I thought it might be a good one to read on to go. I'll let you go over and see what she says for the sale as so as her pitch obviously worked on me, although the yellow cover also helped!

Well there we go, that's the high five for this month, do any of you guys have any advice for Milan, Berlin or Amsterdam? I'll be 'working' in Milan during design week and am likely to be dragged around by the lovely Kate & Daniel / I may pick up a copy of 38 Hours in Milan for a little insight into the city.  I know Berlin pretty damn well and have some lovely friends there so I'm probably sorted but any secret creative insights or great abandoned places would be lovely as the boy loves to scare me to death. I may do a city guide soon as it's pretty much written for all my friends anyway, let me know if that's of interest. Finally, I know NOTHING about Amsterdam so please do help, I even don't have a place to stay yet, so literally any recommendations are welcome. 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Ones to Watch | Five Student Discoveries

Degree season is fast approaching and I'm getting oh so excited to see some of the talent coming on to the graduate scene. I've been keeping my eyes peeled for work over on Instagram and via recommendations and I'm delighted to be able to share a small selection of them with you now, although astonishingly not all are quite finished with their degrees just yet!  Make sure you keep an eye on their social feeds for updates and check out their exhibitions when they come to town, I'm certainly pretty excited to see some of their designs in the flesh.

As a UEL alumni I visit every now and then (& take advantage of the facilities), Batool's work was hung as part of a group crit last time I visited and I had to see more - thank goodness for Instagram. Batool is a Graphic Designer that makes detailed illustration and finite drawings look utterly cool and current. I think mainly due to the fact that she just seems to continually create and we get to see her design process and different mediums used on the way. To me, it's perfection and I'm sure the UEL lecturers will agree too. Her collaborations with friend @theserialblusher are intriguing and of course inspiring, it's great to see a student thinking outside their own abilities and utilising the other creatives around them, it's certainly not something done too often that early on in your design journey.


Rosie is a third year student at UCA Farnham, studying textiles for fashion and interiors with a specialisation in printed textiles. Her designs are seemingly inspired by architecture on close inspection but I love the fact that this isn't immediately obvious, her abstract prints are full of colour and charm and lots of though-out details. Rosie's collages and sketchbook work are to die for so make sure you take a look at her site and follow her on Instagram here: @rosiehallett.textiles


Megan is currently in her first year studying a BA in Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design at Leeds College of Art. Yes, I did say first year! I really like the simplicity of Megan's work and the fact she obviously isn't afraid to experiment with texture and pattern, there's just something about her designs that intrigue me and my slight penchant for pastel prints obviously helps. Of course with a lot of university time to kill, there's still tons of time for further development which I of course can't wait to see her document along the way. Follow Megan on Instagram here: @megansilcockdesign 

You know a gal means business when she has a swish website already sorted whilst studying. Jade is studying BA Hons Textile Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design and boy does her work excite me. She specialises in Knitwear and as you can see from the design above, the results really are quite spectacular.  The geometric patterns on her designs paired with printed reflective vinyl make for something that I've never seen before and I can tell this lady has a super bright future ahead of her. I need some of those patterns on a scarf. Right. Now. Follow Jade on Instagram here: @jadepearld

Hope is still in her second year, studying textiles at Manchester School of Art - you know it's an exciting student when they are already producing third year work. Hope originally caught my eye on Instagram due to her experimental use of material and those gorgeous pastel hues. I obviously have a thing for architecture right now as her textile prints remind me of angular buildings and high-rise flats. It's an industrial look that I genuinely want to wear and I'm looking forward to watching Hope progress as well as uncharacteristically getting lured into wearing less black. 

Are you a student with a story to tell? Get in touch as I'd love to see your work and say hello!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

The Brave at Heart | An Interview with

Wallpaper is one of those things that has the ability to make me shudder at the sight of it or have me jumping with sheer delight at it's ability to create a dazzling statement wall. I created a pretty optical wallpaper line for my final project at university and have been on the lookout for ways to carry on creating it without it costing a bomb ever since.

Had the same problem or want to try something new? Well say hello to - a savvy design duo of husband and wife team, Anne & Tom Puukko, along with Creative Director, Oliver Green. This straight-talking bunch launched their first collection in 2015, featuring work from over 70 contemporary artists, including graffiti artists, surfwear designers, fine artists, illustrators and photographers. The collection of wallpapers they offer are completely varied and they literally have a design for everyone, from soft pastel colours to way out there streaky paint effects. Naturally I steer towards the bold and graphic, like the below design by Peter Judson, but actually my favourite design is that of Liam Sparkes, a tattoo artist from the UK, who has created a monochromatic set of designs perfectly described as bringing "brutal simplicity" to the wall.

Thoroughly intrigued by the process that the team go through, I sent a few questions over to their Berlin base and was pretty impressed with their honest, passionate answers. Read below for a little more insight and a very exciting open call to you all!’s mission is ‘More Art. Less Decoration.’ I whole-heartedly agree with this statement! How are you making this happen?
'More Art Less Decoration' came from really early conversations we were having about 'why' we would start a company together. What motivations we'd need to invest time and money into a start up and what would keep us firing even when it got shitty. All of us individually want to find a blend of art and commerce that had been punched and kicked out of the advertising world we all once worked in. We knew art would always be inspiring to work around. It's a really nice reason to have a company. Google tell themselves not to be evil (pah) and we we remind ourselves thats why we are doing this is, to put more art out there in the Universe. That's the goal. MORE ART! And wallpaper seems a great and slightly subversive tool to achieve that goal. It's both a reaction to the world around us and a reaction to the medium we work in. There's that phrase - "The banality of evil" which one can also interpret as the the evil of banality and nothing is more banal than decoration. Wallpaper is almost famous for being banal and we love that about it. We love the idea that medium can also be the message. So how are we getting art out there? By taking something that wasn't art and turning it into art. By replacing, like for like, decoration with art. 

You have a wide spectrum of artists creating wallpaper for your collection and most have never designed wallpaper before, why do you think it's important to have a such a diverse selection of creatives on board? I love the fact you can look through the shop and nothing is the same!
Partly due to the nature of how our collection was developed, by asking the whole world for submissions, and partly due to the fact that we treat our collection like a group art show. It makes for an exciting body of work that adds genuine surprise and inspiration to the process of creating an interior in a home that truly reflects our customers desire to express themselves. 2016 will be slightly more structured but the same fizzing energy will always run through the heart of this brand.

And how do you select artists to be involved with Any insider tips for someone looking to make a submission?
One of our other mottos is MORE GOOD SHIT. LESS SHIT SHIT. Originality and artistry. There's no shortcut. The best pieces we have are simply good ideas well executed. Evidence of the artist. An authentic voice. Evidence of craft. Love in the work. Customers know it and react to it - every single time without fail. 

Finally, what do you have planned for 2016? I have my fingers crossed for some exciting collaborations.
So do we! We are also adding a couple more products to our range. Working with some talented typographers to create some wild canvases for the brave at heart. And we're adding some soft furnishings - probably cushions to get started. For the core wallpaper collection 2016 will see something more refined and slightly more edited. When we started nobody knew us and few understood us. There was nothing to see. No proof of concept. Convincing artists to take a punt was sometimes a process. This time around we have a little more experience and earned little more trust. We'll tap a handful of artists on the shoulder and commission directly but we'll also open the submissions up to the wider artistic community. This is something that will never change. At essence we are a brand that believes that we are surrounded by woefully under exposed artistic talent and we see our role as unearthing it and helping to give it a wall...

If you like the straight talking vibes of the team and you agree with their mission statement, why not submit yourself? The brand has just launched an open call for their 2016/2017 roster, with the brief of ‘make wallpaper that’s art.’

There are 10 places available to those that can lift wallpaper out of the 'decoration ghetto' and turn it into an artistic piece. With a $500 fee, sales royalties and of course the chance to turn your designs into a striking reality, this is a great opportunity for anyone in the creative industry and hopefully you've seen how varied their talented designers are by now. You don't need to be a surface design or textiles expert.

The online community will be helping to choose the winning designs and submission is now open with a closing date of 2nd May 2016, plenty of time to get experimenting with the brief. There are four categories in total - Pop Modern (yes please), Romantic, Natural World and Figurative - the sky is your limit! Just interested in browsing the designs? Vote here!

The full specification and a very helpful guide to creating repeat patterns can be downloaded here and to be considered submit your work here. Who knows, I may even enter some work myself, anything to beat the magnolia textured wallpaper in my own abode (screw you landlord).

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Movers & Shakers | Memphis Design


When it comes to design you're probably well aware that I tend to like it bold and graphic. I've always attributed my love of Pop Art as the basis for this affection but it's fair to say that I'm actually more than likely to have been subconsciously influenced by the Memphis movement. The artists involved with creating these simple statement patterns, using lots of colour and geometric forms, are those that I aspire to be like and I'll forever be drawn the work with the 'squiggly' shapes and thick black lines.

The Memphis Group was founded by Italian, Ettore Sottass in 1981 and promptly faded from the scene in 1987. Although short and sweet, the design and architecture movement is still inspiring plenty of others to this day and it is through these new designs that we can relive the 80s and thank the lord for Nathalie Du Pasquier.  

When Du Pasquier chose to re-emerge in 2013 in collaboration with Wrong for Hay I was smitten and when delving into further research I found that she states her bold grasp of colours and patterns is more instinct than fascination – something I whole heartedly stand by when reiterating my design process (I just know where I want each line or shape to go)With design brand Kartell also heavily championing Sottsass' designs and Du Pasquier's textiles in 2015, the revival of the movement has seen the return of colour in the interiors industry and I've got a feeling it won't be going anywhere fast. Here's a little round-up of some of my favourites, let me know if there is anyone around who you think I might like, you can never have too much Memphis!
Nathalie Du Pasquier for Rubberband
Talking of Nathalie du Pasquier, her latest collaboration with Mumbai-based product design brand Rubberband has just launched and boy is it right up my street. A series of six wonderfully bold notebook designs, all with an apt inside of coloured paper and coloured thread detailing - something for you stationary fanatics! There's also a digitally printed poster if you're after something larger / have enough notebooks to fill a museum like I do. Interestingly, the collaboration has been a life-long dream of Rubberband founder Ajay Shah ever since he was a design student, which just shows you CAN get what you want. That's a lesson to us all to keep on doing what we're doing.


Pressed & Folded
One of my most favourite recent discoveries is Pressed & Folded, as you may have already seen in the February High Five. The design duo's work fits perfectly into the Memphis trend but with a slightly more organic feel - less constructed lines and even more of a playful feel. These greetings card bring a sense of the bizarre and unusual, which is surely what Memphis is all about and certainly an alternative that I'd rather gift to my buddies on their birthday. Check out their full range for even more Memphis options with a twist.


Camille Walala
Walala is a welcome addition the streets and interiors of Shoreditch with her large murals currently donning and brightening up buildings in the area. Her mix and match style of monochromatic patterns paired with bold and bright geometric shapes as well as typography makes me feel a little happy inside - this lady surely is the modern day Memphis queen. Although I could certainly handle a whole wall of Walala, these neat prints make for the perfect addition to a gallery wall and you can choose from three different sizes depending on your wall needs.

Art & Hue
Art & Hue's latest collection gives the nod to Memphis design whilst taking inspiration from 1950s jazz music too - what a combination! Described as "Saul Bass meets Ettore Sottsass", these prints are slightly less in your face then the rest would work wonders for adding a pop of colour to a room. Sometimes it's hard to justify the amount of art I buy to the boy, but when there is musical connotations involved everyone's happy!  The contemporary prints feature abstract shapes in Art & Hue's signature halftone style  (an age-old technique that uses dots to make up the printed image) and with the brand also heavily influenced by Pop Art these designs are certainly ticking all the boxes for me. Once again, the prints are available in a multitude of colours and sizes so make some space and bring some modern day Memphis into your home. 


Saturday, 12 March 2016

The Instagram Addict | @gouache_guys

You know what. Sometimes on Instagram it's nice to see an actual project with no hidden agenda for advertising a brand or self promotion - just a simple creative outlet for a quirky sketch each day to inspire others in the Instagram world.

@Gouache_guys is exactly that. Three times a week followers are treated to a little gouache friend in either green, red or blue. For me personally, I feel like this is a rather nice original feed to come across. Created by Becky Dore, it's succinct, colourful and there isn't any commercial aspects that spoil it. 

What makes it even better is each little guy has there very own name and personality to match. Take the guy on the top left. Thats Russ. "Big head. Small brain." Oh so very sweet and silly. Keep on doing what you're doing Becky. Follow @gouache_guys here

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The East London lovin' | Leytonstone Arts Trail

As much as people will tell you London can be lonely, I like to play devils advocate and tell everyone it's the absolute bees knees and Londoners are all bloomin' lovely. Having lived in the city for the last seven years I've had tons of fun in Chiswick, Peckham and most recently Leyton (from west to east)! I'm lucky enough to have felt a lovely community vibe in each area and I've come to the conclusion that I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to leave this city - Brighton may be the only place in the UK that might be able to sway me. With Leyton being especially kind to me and really making me feel part of something special, I'm thrilled that our London neighbours in Leytonstone are soon to be holding The Leytonstone Arts Trail and I'm gonna be skipping along it finding lots of wonderful artists to feature. Although, I do have to wait until the 2nd July for that joyful moment so for now I'm spreading the word for any locals who may want to exhibit. Full details below.

The trail is an annual arts festival that invites artists to display their artworks locally in businesses, community centres, homes, galleries and outdoor spaces. It's basically a creative heaven and you're even encouraged to open up your house if that's your thang (please do, I'm really nosy about workspaces in artist's houses). However, if you're not up for nosy parkers like me than just take a look on the website and find a participating venue to exhibit your work. Previous venues include the whimsical Wild Goose Bakery, All You Read is Love and I'm pretty sure the gorgeous Laura Lea Design will also be doing something special. They'll all be happy to have you so just get creating and drop them a line. The deadline for applications is 10th April 2016.

Likewise you may just have an interesting space to showcase someone else's work. Pretty front garden? Get in touch. If my street was in Leytonstone I'd probably do a tile tour of our front gardens - everyone has a different pattern and I'm dying to know more about their origins.

If you're not sure about where you could exhibit or what you may do  then why not meet the organisers? They'll be more than happy to help you find a venue and answer any questions you might have about exhibiting your work. Here's a couple of dates they'll be around to help:

Saturday March 12th 12noon
Lister Hall, Lister Rd, London, E11 3DS

Sunday March 20th 12noon
The Red Lion  640 High Rdm, E11 3AA

For more information take a look here: and let me know if you decide to exhibit as I don't wanna miss you!

Saturday, 5 March 2016

The Design Mentor | Hand-Lettering Workshop with Kate Moross


A couple of weeks ago I went on down to Studio Moross to take part in a hand-lettering workshop with the queen of bubble writing herself. Kate Moross was a strong influence and inspiration to me throughout my time at university. Of course I adore her illustrative style but I think the thing that aways stood out to me more was her productivity and drive for creating. One of the first places I came across her was at Pick Me Up and it was pretty impressive how different she was from everyone else at the time. Since then she's worked with One Direction, Sam Smith, almost every publication in existence and brought out her own book 'Make Your Own Luck' - it's a great one, make sure you read it. 

When I discovered that Miss Moross was offering a workshop (as an incentive for the Open Barbers kickstarter) I jumped at the chance to get involved and get my creativity back in action. In the workshop we created our own collective typeface, quick-response sketches and hand-lettered posters. It was amazing to see everyone's alternative response to the briefs and if you're lucky you may spot our pretty wacky typeface somewhere soon. For now, here's both my poster and the wonderful Yee Poon's!




The workshop wouldn't have been complete without some top tips from Kate. It was even more inspiring to hear them coming straight from her but I'll pass them on too - a little repetition on the inspiration front won't hurt anyone!

Don't be so precious about your work.
Keep Creating.
Scanners are rubbish (and mobiles can do the same job for a quick fix).
It's all about personality and attitude and creating work that is different. 

Kate even mentioned the fact that she had never look at a CV when hiring someone before. It's all about productivity and uniqueness in Studio Moross and most of her staff have come to her through showing off their personality and gusto for design. This really resonated with me as I think so many students put pressure on themselves to get that first when actually in the design world it doesn't really matter. Focus on how you are a person and how you present instead!

As well as tips I also got a chance to rifle though some of the first designs Kate worked on whilst she was studying. The process from initial sketch to digital illustration was super interesting to see and it wad amazing to hear about her transition to art direction for musicians as opposed to just illustrating. I'd advise anyone stuck in a creative rut or simply just looking to know more about the business side of graphic design to give Kate's book a read. It's witty, insightful and informative whilst being colourful, quirky and full of love too!


NOTE: Kate Moross was wearing sweatpants on said day or workshop. She doesn't believe in this statement to confirm.


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Souvenir Revolutionisers | We Built This City

Slap bang in the heart of the city lies creative hub We Built This City - a cohesive collection of cityscapes, witty slogans and glitter galore. I'm a sucker for design stores and this shop hits the spot with lots of London lovin' and a score of talent from across the capital.

Whether you're looking for a poster of a landmark or a little quirky gift for a friend, this place has it all. And guess what? You won't find anything to file under the term tacky here. In fact, it's been sourced to be the complete opposite, although there still might be the occasional piece of red, white and blue! Oh and remember The City Works interview I recently did? Well they're the bunch that adorned the shopfront with a cityscape mural and there's not even a chance you can walk past the store without noticing it. Bravo guys, bravo.

Alice Mayor is the lady behind this 
brilliant store so of course I had to ask her a few questions about how she came up with the idea and what it takes to get your work into such a magical place - after all you're being showcased to London's finest, tourists and residents alike. Here's what she had to say:

What a wonderful concept you have! How did the idea come to life? 
Thank you! I was working in PR for a website selling art and design from independent talent and kept hearing the same thing from creatives in London; that they were spending too much time trying to sell their work and on business admin and marketing themselves online, rather than getting on with what they do best! I was at that time looking to start my own business, was incredibly passionate about the creative sector and knew that there must be a better way to bring all these talented artists and designers to sell their wares.

I began focusing in on new audiences that I could open up to the community and at that time London had become the most visited city on the planet with 4 out of 5 visitors citing creativity and culture as the reason for visiting. It suddenly seemed strange that there were very few opportunities for the creative community to tap into the millions of tourists landing in London every day - and furthermore that the souvenir market hadn’t been modernised. With so many artists and designers living and working in London taking inspiration from the city itself, I knew immediately there was a collection of art prints, accessories, stationery and ceramics I could curate that offered tourists an alternative to the mass produced tat.

With the concept fleshed out - the next hurdle was the location. We needed a large space right in the heart of the west end with high footfall - no easy feat! I kept knocking on doors until I managed to secure a meeting with Carnaby who fell in love with the concept and offered us a 3000sqft shop for Christmas 2014 - with the caveat that we had to go live in just 3 weeks! It’s been such an adventure since and we’re very pleased to be able to say a successful test of the business with us still on the street with the work of over 350 creatives now showcased.

What do you look for when illustrators and designers pitch to be stocked in We Built This City?
We place a huge emphasis at WBTC on curation with the collection handpicked to offer our customers a diverse range of both artistic styles and London narratives. At a very basic level, everything we sell has to offer a certain level of artistic skill and integrity - with much of it illustrative. From there, we need to ensure that London is showcased across the board - from its skyline, landmark buildings, lively streets to its cultural icons, music venues, bikes, foxes, beards and tea. And its pigeons of course!

It’s such a hard task as we’d love to showcase so much more of the creative community’s work but the London narrative has to be at our core as we continue on our mission to revolutionise London souvenirs.

Any insider tips on ways to get noticed when showing your work?
We look at all submissions (from email and store submissions) on a quarterly basis before we refresh each collection, but we’re always on the look out for other specific work throughout the year so the best way to pitch is with the ‘theme’ of your work in the subject header eg. print of St Paul’s - also highlighting if you think it would be good for specific gifting occasions like Father’s Day or forthcoming newsworthy events like the Queen’s Birthday. We're often drawn in by the story behind the artist or creative process as much as we are the end product itself - so always provide a short bio along with plenty of clear images attached or linked. If you’re visiting the store, there may not be time for a full chat so be sure to leave some samples / bio for us to take a look at! 

What's next on the agenda? Can we expect more glittery floors?
In 2016, WBTC will be working with even more of London’s creative community. Not only will we be commissioning our own brand collection of London souvenirs, but we’ll also be inviting more creatives to host live art sessions and design workshops in store, promoting their work to local and international audiences on Carnaby. The glittery floor of our Coop was a big hit! This year we'll be opening up the interior design to more of our creative community too. We've always commissioned our storefront as bespoke canvas to artists & designers - in 2016 window display commissions, murals and space for bespoke installations will be up for grabs! 

This year will also see us take the souvenir revolution to more pop-up locations across London including major transport hubs and summer events, as well as offering our superior souvenirs to audiences online in our new online shop! It's going to be another busy but incredibly exciting year.

An exciting store, right guys? With Mothers Day coming up this Sunday, WBTC is the perfect place to grab those those last minute unique gifts. I'm sure if you say hello to Nick, the store manager, he will even help you make a selection (he's a knowledgeable guy, trust me). Keep an eye on their twitter and instagram for more fabulous workshops, collaborations and plenty more pigeons and don't forget if you have something that fits the London aesthetics to send them a pitch! For now, I'm just trying to stay out of their in my lunch breaks as my walls are filling up fast!

Thanks so much to Alice, Adam & Nick of WBTC for being so kind to answer my questions and talk me through the store. 
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