I’m in the process of building a new website just for artwork projects I’ve done recently, as I haven’t uploaded anything new for over a year, but in the mean time here are some drawings from a recent project for a band calledLAskA.
Here’s their bio:
Formed in the Autumn of 2012 by British musicians Amy Hiller, Rhys Baker and Stephen Baxter. LAskA’s sound is rooted in electronica, shoegaze and pop. Nocturnal synths and ambient organ drones wash around twisted beats and sub basslines, while hook-laden male/female vocal harmonies ebb dreamily among blissed-out guitar and piano figures.
Their debut EP is available to download or stream for free hereor here:
This is some deep and beautiful work by my children’s book artist sister Maia Walczak and music friend Amy Hiller. It’s another book without words, and follows on from last month’s The Silent Red Book. It’s awesome because it allows children to make up their own story, which is what anyone with an active imagination always does anyway. I’m transfixed. There’s something post-apocalytpic about this, maybe (maybe it’s the flu medicine), and in any case it’s a musing on our attitude towards life itself. The Little Prince is probably still one of my favorite books, always shelved in the children’s section, when deep down it’s a book for adults and children alike. This is the same. The music is absolutely spot on and beautiful. You can listen to Amy Hiller’s previous (different sounding) EP here.
So little time to write recently, but I’m chuffed that one of my current favorite music collectives from across the pond, Dropping Gems, have chosen to use my artwork in one of their new podcasts. Firstly because the artists and tunes they’ve released have featured strongly in my music to draw to recently, my drawings would not exist without good beats, and secondly because they usually keep things very much in the close knit friends-and-family. Chuffed! If you want to know why I think Dropping Gems are cool, read this interview Sonic Router did with them, and have a listen to their Sonic Router Mix, which Resident Advisor named their Mix of the Day last week, and XLR8R’s review of their latest EP. Awesome stuff.
The Future Is Futureless — DA-10 from WotNot Music on Vimeo. And two more tunes I’ve recently liked from the Soundcloud of JJ Mumbles, who’s name I first heard when he was on the bi-monthly NTS radio show of the aforementioned You’ll Soon Know. ———————————- An initially random Soundcloud adventure find, Blacksmif, who’s music I’ve really been liking since he popped up on my dashboard. Lolita Knicker Jam Point Break
I’ve been working on this piece for Amelia’s Magazine about a great community food project in Crouch End called Food From The Sky. It’s one of the most self-sustaining urban food growing templates I’ve come across.
It’s been great to go back to doing some work for Amelia’s Magazine, long established staple of the illustration world. I used to edit the Earth section. One of the best parts of writing this piece was the process of working with illustrators – doing a call out, getting in touch, writing everyone a brief etc. On this one I worked with illustrators Sam Parr, Claire Kearns, Victoria Haynes, and Claire Byrne, who I was introduced to via a friend and illustrator at creative production house Jelly London. They were absolutely brilliant to work with. It’s one of the things I miss most about editing there. That and the fact the (now online-only) magazine manages to merge things like London Fashion Week and direct political/environmental action as if these already went hand in hand. This synthesis will forever fascinate me. That and the fact that it has tirelessly promoted illustration, which is becoming more and more visible in editorial and everywhere nowadays, from day one.
Don’t like putting up a Music to Draw To post without the new drawings to accompany it, but they’ll be up this week, and involve some new mysterious human-shaped characters for a change. I’ve had experimental beatmaker Tommy Tempa‘s Quixotic EP on loop this afternoon, released last month on Somethink Sounds (record label off-shoot of Somethink Blue magazine, with only two releases so far). This is a mini interview they did with him, and some questions Put Me On It put to him. How to describe it, apart from the fact I think it’s really good? Plain and Simple reckon it’s something you’d hear in ‘a rave inside a C.S. Lewis novel’, which is a quote I’ll definitely settle for.
His previous instrumental electronic hiphop/jazzy/funky EP Time to Run, released on 2600 Recordings, is definitely worth a good listen too, and here’s his brilliant 2009 remix of Micachu and the Shapes’ Turn Me Well:
This EP is all glitchy beats, guitars, dreamy synths and whispered indiscernible vocals and sounds of children playing. It sounds hazy and nostalgic, maybe like how you feel when you’re half awake after a really great surreal dream, it’s sunny outside and you don’t have to go to work. Dropping Gems say that the four tracks “lay out a pretty convincing argument for the existence of supernatural beings, specifically ones that haunt the undersides of dead leaves or the tops of pine trees.” Sporadic childhood summer memories of pine forests and dry sandy roads and fields in Poland is what this EP makes me think of, but in an un-saccharine way. None of this might make sense, but it’s positive, relaxing and imagination-provoking music to draw to in any case. This is how Dropping Gems describe it themselves:
…The young duo combine the talents they’ve come to be known for through live performance, with Hobbes employing a range of drum machines, synthesizers and gritty sonic textures to build a framework for Qloq’s eerie guitar melodies. Their respective talents coalesce on Wires and Chords into a tight spectrum of tempos and moods. Some tracks bubble with the energy of ghost children during recess at midnight elementary school (“Pull Ups”), while others contemplate ancient laments as old as the land itself (“Bog”). We’re gratified to share this EP with the world, both for the tracks themselves and the suggestion of what’s to come.
Every day I hear about a great new zine, but this one, which I heard about through FeverZine, made my day a little bit. The Wanderer, a zine about rambling, trekking, and things encountered en route – some of life’s greatest free activities basically. I might just go ahead and order all three issues.
This month’s New Internationalist includes some brilliant illustrations by Steve Munday (represented by threeinabox.net) for an article about Climate Change. I haven’t read the article yet, but the illustrations are great. Good to see art and a political message mixed succesfully. Check out his website.
The question mark at the end of this film’s title is important. At first, watching Requiem for Detroit? (2010) was like taking a walk through a post apocalytpic novel. With a soundtrack that crams in all the musical references you’d expect from a film about this particular city, directed by music video and documentary man Julien Temple. That’s how I felt anyway when I watched it with barely woken eyes at 10am at the Rich Mix for 6 Billion Ways. But then I gave it more thought, and I realised (or maybe read into it), that it’s actually quite a positive film about creativity. Although it starts off with insightful post capitalist wasteland-esque gloom, it leaves its audience with a strong sense of the utterly inspirational burgeoning creativity (artistic, musical and urban-agricultural) of Detroit’s pioneering citizens, old and new. Read More
The previous post reminded me about the excellent Story of Stuff project. I can’t believe I’ve never blogged about it. While I was at the Ecologist magazine in May 2010, the Green Living editor interviewed Annie Leonard, and that’s when I first had a look at these animations. A creative and straight forward way to present this issue. Watch it here:
This is a great animated video about changing our perception of education, creativity, the Arts and the rise of ADHD. It’s adapted from a talk by Sir Ken Robinson at the RSA, an ‘education and creativity expert’. For more information on his work click here. Brilliant, and a must see for all you genius creatives who hated school.
Anything visual that actually manages to stand out and touch me in the ubiqutous white noise landscape of mind numbing advertising is always a huge, welcome relief. I’d seen this piece by artist Robert Montgomery in Old Street before but because it was totally anonymous, I’d never found out about the artist until I came across this interview in Dazed and Confused.
Robert Montgomery’s pieces follow the Situationist tradition of detournement, which is basically the hijacking of advertising space to replace it with poetry. Through its anonymous presence in a public space, Montgomery’s art is a very personal challenge to the barriage of ads that usually fill up mental space with restelessness, insecurity, and the desire for things we wouldn’t otherwise bother getting into debt or developing an eating disorder for. A simple phrase or thought can be enough to challenge a psychological landscape that is otherwise so easy to take for granted.
The interviewer puts it succinctly when he says Montgomery’s work provides a “reflective space in which a public so used to being psychologically bludgeoned into a consumerist daze can find some respite from the relentless static of the modern world.” Sometimes it’s just relaxing to be reminded that someone relentlessly trying to sell you a lifestyle, object, body type or myth wherever you look is not the way it has to be. An artist making the effort to do this, for free, is somehow touching.
In the Dazed and Confused interview (a magazine he is associate publisher of), Montgomery says his aim is to show what it feels like to “live in ‘Late-Capitalism’…to live in our cities, what it feels like to live with our privilege of wealth and our poverty of time, our privilege of material goods and our poverty of reflection, our anxiety as the systems of economy and ecology we rely on falter, revealing economic injustice and a future that’s more fragile than we thought.”
On Situationists, he explains that Guy Debord is an influence because he was “fundamentally interested in what Capitalism does to us on the inside…He also very early on predicts what I was just speaking about – that in their hyper phase Capitalism and the Media will coalesce to make increasingly suave and seductive images of artificial beauty which will alienate us from real life, fill us with impossible desire, and break our hearts.”