Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Dailies for Dayz

I'm doing that thing again where I'm drawing and working but not posting about it. I also started exercising when I would usually be blogging, which is y'know, great but also not great. (Basically we should all give up exercise and become happy very creative blobs..). Anyways I've recently been admiring the daily/weekly comics of Laura Knetzger,



I like that they are sometimes fun little anecdotes they wanted to share, or comics made to put forward a thought that bugged them throughout the day, or just an honest documentation that helps them work through their inner thoughts. 

 I want to try doing more of my own. Just to try and cling on to those anecdotes that float around in my head or just to document a rare very good day. So errr here's a first attempt...

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Charlotte Mei

Oh god, this is actually up to date. Isn't that sad? I keep seeing my friends post those Artist vs Art memes on instagram. I don't have enough to share this year in order to do that. It is to be fair...kind of fucking shocking. ONLY ONE WAY TO FIX IT I AM AWARE. Time isn't my friend right now. 

Anyway recently I went and did something that made me feel a whole lot better about the situation. My grrl gang made our yearly trip to Pick Me Up at Somerset House. Undoubtedly Pick Me Up is my favourite place to admire some of my favourite illustrators' work in real life as well as discover new favourites. I am however going to ELCAF this year for the first time so maybe the crown will be handed down! 

Anyways, this year Charlotte Mei was one of Pick Me Up's selected artists this year and I was over the moon to be finally able to see more of her sweet ceramics in real life. Charlotte is London based (represent!) and her work focuses on all that is cute, whimsical and ever so slightly cheeky. She's worked with ID magazine, Vice, Loft Tokyo and my gang's favourite for years, Lazy Oaf. 

Her work has a lovely clumsy quality (that she states is not intentional and that she is just clumsy SO RELATABLE) that for me, just makes it all the more lovely. Cuddly ceramics, she's making it happen. 

You can see more of her work on her websiteher instagram is the place to keep up with her work (and for great process pictures)but make sure you check out Clay Club, her weekly ceramics making class! 

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Antoine Bonnet

What's cool anymore anyway? It seems pretty dam subjective. As someone who a lot of people think is "a bit weird" my definition of cool is probably a little different to others', but I'm guessing that's the same for everyone. However if you're here and you're reading this you must at least have a shred of respect for my decisions of who to share with you guys (or you're just here to laugh at me....).

Antoine Bonnet is, in my opinion, infinitely cool. From his illustration style alone he comes across as someone I would be too scared to approach. -That- particular kind of cool, unapproachable and completely aloof. His pieces while feeling strong and self assured have that special and completely blocked off vibe, you will never be as cool as that guy guiding a huge ghost like fish, yet my god you wish you could be. 

What seems to take them out of the condescending context and into the just plain cool category is that they all have a sense of movement; the character isn't looking down their nose at you, they just are doing something infinitely cooler than you and they are getting on with it. I mean, in the case of the The Do front woman pictured here, she kinda really does.

I really hope you think he is as great as all this, or perhaps i've just outed myself as the bottom of the food chain in the school hierarchy. ( I was a real Janis Ian, I feel you should know). You can keep up with Antoine -who is still only a first year university student! - on tumblr and on his facebook page. 

Karolis Strautniekas

Good evening from a quiet balcony in perfect 27 degree weather in Singapore. I was trying to find an artist from my list to share with you that evoked the feeling I get whenever I come here. A perfect kind of nostalgia for those very VERY hot summer days. 

Days when you can't decide whether you should just wait it out and stay in all day with the fan three inches from your face and watch yet another Catdog rerun on Nickelodean or actually go out an enjoy it because lord knows (in England anyway) it sure as hell won't last. I grew up out here so I will always have a strange love for humidity, the feel of marble under your feet and falling asleep to the whirr of an air conditioning unit. 

In hind sight this was a pretty tall ask of an illustrator who has never met me and to be honest in all my art loving years no one has quite hit the nail on the head of representing what a summer in the tropics is like. If anyone would be up to the task though it would be Karolis Strautniekas. 

Karolis is doing a pretty bang up job of carving out a career representing everything from feelings to crime stories. Sometimes something a little more metaphorical is the only thing that will do. And it's nice that his pieces come with a heavy punch of texture and lovely calm colours. 

He's even made me love something to do with James Bond (see this smokey black and grey illustration? That was in celebration of Spectre), which I really can't get on with.

Perhaps an illustrators' job when it comes to creating a piece that inspires empathy in the onlooker isn't to create a piece that picks up directly from its accompanying article, but to boil it down so you "get it" immediately, but leaves you wanting to learn what inspired it. And Karolis is definitely very good at that. I urge you use your easter bank holiday off to have a look around his website

Midori Asano

If anything has ever been able to calm my mind it's been travelling. I've been around South America, lived in Costa Rica, Singapore and Tokyo, hitchhiked around Iceland and America, and I've lost count of the number of times I've been to Spain. As someone who doesn't have a particularly quiet mind I sometimes wonder if I just agreed to keep travelling to keep my mind quiet for extended periods of time. It doesn't make much sense considering travelling for months at a time often meant more worries at the end of it, but somehow the feeling of just keeping going had a quietening effect. Maybe it's to do with a lack of commitment to one idea. 

One thing I tried to do as often as possible while travelling was keep a sketchbook to quickly note down those little details from backpacking that stuck out the most. Whether it was sketching my hiking boots while waiting for a hostel's breakfast to be served, or a quick little scene out of the Greyhound bus window at a truck stop. My favourite illustration from travelling is actually of a man dressed as Charlie Chaplin and a woman dressed as a cat on drawn while stuck on a notoriously crap LA bus. Those scattered little calm memories.

Midori Asano's illustrations of everyday objects evoke those times for me. Quick little snatches of something important to you at the time but might seem humdrum and everyday to someone else. 

There is something warm and comforting about the attention to detail she pays to something as simple as some stacked mugs. You know she felt something important about their presence and wanted to remember it, and indeed share it. And they were just as important to her as the snowy scene of the train winding through the mountains (another image evoking another kind of travel.)

My Japanese is pretty limited so I can't tell you too much about Midori but you can explore her blog and her flickr. 

Charlotte Dumortier

Do you ever attribute human characteristics to a feeling? And I mean that in a totally Pixar's Inside Out way. Anger plays a large part in my life. I think often that comes as a surprise to the people who meet me..or maybe more of a surprise when they witness it. 

Most people scream and shout, or bottle it up and just simmer away. Anger doesn't come out of me properly, it manifests and comes out in bouts where I do strange things that make complete sense at the time...In a way they still make complete sense to me, outwardly though, they're frightening or just plain stupid. I suffer from a disorder that I won't name ( I think there will be a better time for that and I'd like to actually find a way to raise awareness) but anger and anxiety fizz out of me and take over and manifest in strange states.

In my head anger's huge and green (which is a shame because Disgust is my favourite character in Inside Out) and sits over my body like some sort of overwhelming wet suit. The first time I saw Charlotte Dumortier's comics I saw that overbearing character, but drawn in different shapes and forms, but all relatable and all easy to understand. I wish all illustrations could help others understand that feeling of dread for getting simple things wrong, or could so perfectly show that anxiety pretty often has many faces, or that anger hurts you inside too. 

Charlotte makes fantastic little comics that illustrate people's daily emotional struggles. Somehow seeing them on paper, and knowing someone else out there gets it enough to make such wonderfully crafted drawings makes me remember that we're all going through something hard, but we're all in it together, and that someone else out there totally gets it. 

Go check out her website because Charlotte's pretty special.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Mouni Feddag

Your twenties are really weird. Like, about up to the age of 22 I sort of didn't really think about what and where I was going to be when I grew up. I was just going out, travelling, working a bit and drawing as much as I could. Suddenly at 25 it all got a bit silly but serious all at the same time. 

Now I have this strange pride at staying in on a Saturday night baking muffins and major remorse over going out until 5.30am the previous night. However that Friday night will be one of the best nights out of my life and I loved every second of it. 

It's a strange place to be in, and lots of people write about this confusing period in a much more literate way than I'm managing to (Sloane Crosley is a favourite for this kind of thing.) 

I find myself wanting to learn to fix my broken shelves, throw sophisticated dinner parties and thinking about money a lot, all at the same time as texting my best friend for the location of a party with free food, buying "just one more" cocktail and arguing over which X-man is the coolest (FYI it's Nightcrawler). 

Anyway the point of this ramble (other than people seem to prefer to read things on facebook than on my blog) is that I seem to have come across an illustrator who perfectly depicts this odd in-between time. 

Mouni Feddag has popped up on my radar before but it was only after I delved into her truly impressive website that I realised her work shows not only cool grown ups throwing dinner parties, but also cool not quite grown ups hanging out together and figuring it out. 

I've kind of completely fallen for Mouni's work which is why I've shared so much of it. I hope for the other mid to late twenty readers you get what on earth I'm waffling on about and relate to Mouni's work as much as I have. 

Take an hour and go through her website and a night in for her tumblr .