Tag Archives: illustration

45RPM at Entrepreneurs Store ‘Upstairs Gallery’ recap

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Bristol based graffiti artist / designer and sometimes-clothing-accessory-producer 45RPM recently opened a new exhibition Entrepreneurs Store ‘Upstairs Gallery’ in Stoke-on-Trent alongside a permanent mural in the city centre. Describing himself as a ‘Compulsive designer with his fingers in many creative pies who will paint, draw, design and photograph anything and everything’ 45RPMS work is a lighthearted take on 1970’s graffiti mixed with the slang and geographically idiosyncratic phrases in uk language. Continue Reading →

Stanley Donwood – Dream Cargo Exhibition

StanleyD-exhib-web-page.fullwidtheventWe always try to deliver a unique look into a variety of art forms, cultures and mediums across the creative world, and it is with that in mind that we bring this completely one of a kind exhibition from Stanley Donwood, key cover artist for Radiohead. The Lawrence Alkin gallery has brought together the extensive project known as Dream Cargo, three years in the making, covering the entire works of apocalyptic sci-fi writer, J. G. Ballard. Donwood has carefully re-rendered the cover art for each and every Ballard story and had a lot of fun doing it too.

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JOHN KAYE – Interview

Known and respected throughout the graffiti scene for his past and present creative conquests, Australian artist JOHN KAYE has no problems getting up and going all out. More recently recognized for his ink illustrations and large-scale mural work, his art has been appearing in multiple galleries and showcases around the world.

We catch up with John to chat about his ideas, artistic integrity and creative influence.

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VNA: Talk us through some projects you’re working on at the moment.

JOHN KAYE: My main priority at the moment has just been to draw or paint something everyday. It’s been going well so far. Other than that I’ve been lucky enough to team up with a few different people to work on some collaboration stuff that has been really fun and a massive learning curve. I’ve also been working on developing some limited run clothing that hopefully I can show everyone soon and I’ve been trying to save some money for a few trips I want to go on this year.

VNA: A lot of your illustrations and print series work features poetic lines with underlining themes surrounding crime, punishment and rail transport.

‘All You See Is Crime In The City’, ‘Find The Right Ways To Do The Wrong Things’, ‘From The Cradle to the Grave’, ‘Graffiti Gets You Nowhere’, ‘Better Seen Than Heard’

Obviously these topics are a source of experience and inspiration to you, can you tell us a bit about why?

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JOHN KAYE: Traveling and graffiti have both been huge parts of my life. When I was a kid, I was always fascinated by the different graffiti everywhere I went. Generally everything I do is a form of personal expression. The work you are referring to all just relates to things that have happened around me at a certain point in time. As my experiences change, so do the things I create. If people relate to my work, or interpret it in a certain way, I think that’s a good thing. Although, it’s never really the initial intent.

VNA: Do you think your past experiences as an artist have affected your current style?

JOHN KAYE: Definitely. My experiences are the most valuable thing I have. It doesn’t matter if they are mistakes I have made, or things I have enjoyed. They will always affect what I do in some way.

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VNA: Why do you think graffiti and street influenced artists are now becoming so prevalent in the mainstream art scene?

JOHN KAYE: The Internet has probably played a massive part in that happening. Everybody today has access to so much more information. Obviously people are constantly pushing boundaries and everything is always developing. So I guess as things evolve and change, people begin to pay more attention and the audience naturally grows.

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VNA: It seems ironic that artists such as yourself who’ve come from such colourfully illicit artistic backgrounds are now being commissioned by the same individuals and associations who once strongly opposed the art form. What’s your opinion on this?

JOHN KAYE: Personally I’m very particular about who I choose to work with. I feel like the individuals and associations who once strongly opposed the art form haven’t really been converted into enthusiasts of any sort. All that’s happening is that they are becoming more aware of the possibility to use artwork to there own advantage.

In my experience when I’ve had offers to work with certain people, it’s easy to tell what their motivations are. Sometimes they are very genuine and other times it’s because they are looking to use controlled artwork as a solution to a problem, or something that they can benefit from. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that. I think it’s great that people are open minded enough to take these things into consideration. I just feel that it’s extremely important as an artist to understand why you are doing something in the first place, and then to continuously keep that in mind as you carry on with whatever you decide to do.

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VNA: Tell us about home.

JOHN KAYE: Haha, okay. Home at the moment is a confusing subject. I feel like Melbourne is the closest thing to being home. When I was really young I moved around all the time between a bunch of different towns and cities. Nothing has really changed. I still have trouble spending very long in one place. Recently though, I’ve been spending the majority of my time on the Gold Coast. I have some very patient friends that have tolerated me leaving my belongings all over the place and have been kind enough to let me stay with them from time to time, which is lucky.

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VNA: You’re heading to Melbourne next week, yeah? What’s on the cards?

JOHN KAYE: A friend of mine is opening a burrito bar with a skate bowl in Melbourne next month and I’ve been working on some illustrations for him, so it seemed like a good enough excuse. I try to spend as much of my spare time down there as I can. I really enjoy painting in Melbourne. The weather is nice and the days are long.

VNA: If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

JOH KAYE: If I can pick someone who’s deceased, I’d probably say Nicola Tesla. He had such crazy ideas and visions to create things that would have massive impacts and he continued to work towards them no matter how insane he appeared. If that’s not allowed, then I would probably have to go with Jay Z. Everything he does, he does well.

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www.johnkayeart.com / @johnkayeart

 Image Credit John Kaye Art and Tim Caraco

Fieldinspired – Richard Field

Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed new designer Richard Field is a graphic artist and aspiring clothes designer who has recently made waves with a series of limited edition prints, personally hand delivered to customers around London. His incredibly intricate illustrations explore the complexity of natural forms with a limited yet striking colour palette, each and every creation exhibiting the same ‘third eye’ distinctive logo. We caught up with him to find out a little more…

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Philth & Splendour

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Subtly straddling the boundaries between illustration, design, street artist or graffiti, Philth is uncategorizable. His work is haunting, yet endearing, strangely attractive to the senses; the heady mix of symbolism and alchemy present in his work is inspired by the art in science, Victorian paintings and woodblock printing.

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Projects with Adidas, Snow Queen Vodka & China White projects have all popped up to pay the bills, but he prefers to spend his time collaborating with start-ups like Viva Sativa & UTC from grass roots level where he has more creative control and artistic integrity.

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The winner of Secret Wars Birmingham and finalist of Euro league has an upcoming solo show running in Bristol:

Friday 12th April, 6pm

Weapon Of Choice Gallery,
8b Park Street
Bristol, BS1 5HR
United Kingdom

Email

Website

Skel – Can you kick it?

Melissa ‘Skel’ Jaksic is a legend. She recently painted Oxford Art Factory alongside Shannon Crees, Alex Lehours, Anthony Lister and Sprinkles for the VNA launch in Sydney. Her creative projects include work for Absolut, Outpost, Paste Modernism and Secret Wars (now Secret Walls). She also helps run Ben Frost’s online print store, Stupid Krap, in her spare time. We caught her in between beers for a look at how she gets her kicks…

‘Skel’ means, basically, a bit of a lowlife, is that your persona as an artist, or your representation of what artists can be?

I got the nickname Skel from one of my crackhead friends back in my hometown. Because, at the time, I was a bit skinny and I guess they thought they were being crafty, seeing as I was Skeleton-like and it rhymed with Mel. It wasn’t until one of my friends linked me to the definition of Skel on Urban Dictionary that I saw it had all these alternate worldly meanings that, funnily enough, still applied to me as a person. I think everyone has the capacity to be a bit of a lowlife, and my work generally focuses on the darker side of people’s psyches, so I guess Skel is more a representation of what people can and sometimes want to be, but can’t because of societal pressures. The Dr. Jekyll to my Mr. Hyde I guess…

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Alex Lehours – Le Coq Sportif

Alex Lehours is a hugely talented, massively prolific artist, designer and illustrator. Originally born in the UK, he emigrated to Australia at a young age, where he promptly got amongst it.

Lehours is pretty French-sounding, what’s your family background?

Lehours is a French name. My dad is French and my mum is English. Both my brother and I were born in England (Maidenhead, 40 mins outside of London) and we moved to Australia when I was 4. A bizzare mix dont you think??

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Nothing to Nobody

Not content with writing beautiful articles for VNA, Jo Jette also moonlights as an artist and works on her own amazing online magazine, Nothing to Nobody.

Full of lowbrow art, photography, design, illustration and all round super talented kids, this is one not to be missed… and its online so you can check it out inbetween checking facebook and tweeting at work.

Issue four was dropped recently and showcases Ken Taylor, Ben Capp and many more. Check it out here

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A sneaky peek at the new issue of VNA…

Just a few snaps to whet your appetite…

VNA 15… featuring Shepard Fairey, Elph, Nychos, MOCA Art in the streets, Jordan Seiler, Logan Hicks, Dabs and Myla, Ripo, Burning Candy. Plus street action from Berlin, LA and London.

132 pages… £5.00 available online and in stores from the 27th of May 2011.

StreetFest Video

StreetFest, is the first live art street festival in UK. StreetFest performers are drawn from a across the artististic spectrum ranging from creative painters, architects, designers, illustrators, skaters and writers who express themselves during the day through live demos, screenings and shows. This niche festival pulls together design styles and crews from all over the world.
It was 3rd October 2009.

More info: streetfest.net

StreetFest October 2009, London from Make Some Tea on Vimeo.