Tag Archives: Tiger Beer

An interview with: Tom ‘Inkfetish’ Blackford

Tonight sees the long-awaited opening of Tom ‘Inkfetish’ Blackford’s debut solo show ‘Imaginary Friends’ at Blackall Studios – we thought we would have a quick chat with him beforehand..

When did you start painting?

I haven’t been painting graffiti for that long in the grand scheme of things. I got into it when I was about 13 but really just as a spectator that was caught up in the excitement of it all. I was into tagging but didn’t really take it seriously throughout my teens, as I was more interested in trying to become a comic book illustrator. I really began to use graffiti as a method to push my illustration work after dropping out of university in my early 20’s.

So did you move from typical letter style pieces into more character based work?

I’ve kind of done things backwards in that respect. I grew up obsessed with tagging and sketching letters but really made a name for myself painting characters in an attempt to stand out but also because I think I felt more confident putting myself out there as an artist as opposed to a ‘writer’. It’s only really been over the last couple of years that I’ve started painting letter pieces again under the ‘OTAKU’ moniker. However letters are still something I consider to be something I do for fun with my crew and not something I take too seriously.

Your solo show ‘Imaginary Friends’ features new works on canvas, what brought on the decision to move away from your work on the streets?

I’ve always painted canvases as I find them to be a place where I can suitably combine my strengths in painting and illustration. I used to do a bit of commercial illustration but can’t stand working digitally so decided to completely quit doing anything art related using a computer. This decision naturally increased my desire to develop my painting skills and concentrate of canvas work in-between painting walls. I definitely don’t feel like this is me moving away from street work but rather extending it into an environment where it can be appreciated for different reasons.

Do you think your work translates from the street onto canvas and will be received well in a gallery environment?

In all honesty, it’s not something I’ve thought about too much. I’ve exhibited artwork for years so besides the fact that this is my first solo show, it doesn’t feel like a huge jump for me. I do however feel like it’s my strongest body of work to date.

The show is entitled ‘Imaginary Friends’, where did this stem from?

A lot of my paintings have featured boys/girls in the presence of some kind of fantastical creature. I guess you could say there’s a creepy undertone to my work as I think there is with the concept of an imaginary friend. The title also shares the initials of Ink Fetish so seemed to fit nicely.

What can we expect to see in the way of canvases and prints tonight?

15 new pieces of work will be on display. A few pretty large in scale which I felt was a good challenge but also something that felt natural given the fact that I’m used to working pretty big on the street. I also have a limited run of prints based on the central piece ‘Daydream’.

How have you found the process of getting this body of work together?

Really interesting actually. Definitely challenging and exhausting. My daily routine over the course of the last two months has pretty much involved getting up at about 3pm and going to the gym in order to justify sitting hunched over a canvas, painting, smoking, drinking stupid amounts of coke and snacking before returning to bed at 5am. Big ups, big downs and little epiphanies…hopefully some of these things will have filtered through into my work.

What’s next for you once this show is over, any plans to exhibit internationally?

I’ve exhibited in The States a few times in group shows and would love the opportunity to at some point do a solo show out there. One step at a time..

Check out the show tonight at Blackall Studios – supported by Global Street Art & Tiger Beer. RSVP@globalstreetart.com
More from Tom can be found on his website.

Ante Up

Come alive Sydney! We don’t usually read anything other than VNA Magazine, cos we all can’t read good and stuff, but we like Ante Magazine, it has pictures. It’s their Issue 2 Launch tonight Thursday 29/03/12 – 9.30 pm onwards at The Backroom in Syn City.

Plus, they have some of our favourite artists painting, live, with paint. Like Sprinkles. He’s sick. There’s something about Vans (the guys that invented skateboards out of bits of old prams) and Grand Scheme will be there too, doing an installation. Well Dressed Vandals will be suaving up the place and we will be there too with SHDS, kind of doing a reverse Jesus and turning Tiger beer into water.

Like Ante on facewaste if you think they’re any good Ante Magazine.

Little Rabbit 87

We caught up with Little Rabbit today for a quick Q&A before the opening of his show on Friday night at Milkbar, Soho. Having recently moved from Brighton to London, LR is certainly managing to attract attention already with his instantly recognisable, and signature black and white work. Here’s what the man himself had to say.

For those who don’t know, can you describe your style and the inspiration behind it?
I like my drawings to be pretty bleak. I’m heavily inspired by old skateboard graphics and diagrammatic drawings. I like simple, clean lines and the harsh contrasts of black on white.

Has it always been this way, or has your style evolved into what it is over a long period of time?
I’ve more or less always drawn this way. Originally I experimented in using dots just for shading, however as time has gone on, I find myself tending to fill entire images in this style.

What can we expect to see at your upcoming show ‘Little Rabbit and Friends’?
The show is going to be a collection of hand drawn pieces, large-scale screen prints, illustrated writings and a few manipulated photographs if I have space.

Who are the ‘friends’ and what will we see from them at the event?
I recently asked a group of seven friends which included; Brandon Welchez/Charles Rowell from the band Crocodiles, and Thomas La Roche, one of my oldest friends, to write whatever they wanted on one side of A4 and send it to me. I then illustrated whatever I was given. These collaborations will be hung alongside my other work at the exhibition.

What else is on the cards for 2011 from Little Rabbit?
It’s not long since I moved to London from Brighton so am still finding my feet here, however I am continuing to draw as much as I can, and am looking to hopefully exhibit again towards the end of the year.

What else do you think we should know about you?
You can find more of my work on either my website at LR87.co.uk or on my blog which can be found at LR87.tumblr.com. I am always on the look out for collaborative opportunities and am more than happy to draw for any projects that may come my way, so feel free to get in touch.

Intrigued? You should be. Head on down to the Private View on Friday to see more work from Little Rabbit, whilst drinking Tiger Beer and wondering whether you should change your own name to include an animal reference.