A little while a go I approached Folkestone Fringe Festival, who are involved with the Folkestone Triennial, about doing some work for them. The Folkestone Fringe Festival is a non-curated platform which gives artists from all disciplines and backgrounds the opportunity to show work in the town for the duration of the triennial. The original plan was to do a wall mural but this ended up turning into some signage for their harbour sites.
The process took five days in total, beginning with cutting down a huge piece or marine ply into 3m long sections, two making up each sign. These were then sealed and the templates were applied. The weather quickly turned for the worst so I had to take everything inside and invade my parents living room!
The drop shadows were painted in first. Pink and green were chosen for the colours to tie in with that of both the Folkestone Fringe and Open Fringe Festivals. White then infilled the letters to give it a bold finish. Masking tape was used to ensure a crisp edge.
The signs are currently being installed at the Folkestone Fringe Harbour site on converted shipping container offices. You can find out more about what is going on at the Fringe here.
As part of London Design Festival, the V&A hosted a series of free and paid events this weekend covering a range of topics from illustration to the future of letterpress printing. I went along on the Saturday, with a few fellow designers, to have my first ever taste of the festival. Arriving at lunchtime we grabbed a quick coffee and cake in the courtyard before going to the first talk by Alan Kitching in a packed out lecture theatre.
He addressed his career over the past fifty years, going back and forth between when he was an apprentice to his latest work. It is fascinating to see how somebody can continue working in only this craft in the modern industry; which is so digitally influenced. I particularly enjoyed a quote he mentioned his friend had said to him, 'Never cut paper when you can tear it', indicating his appreciation for using as little modern technology as possible.
After Alan's talk, and short film that followed, we moved onto the workshop run by Animaux Circus called 'Dinner & Dreams'. Here you could take a template from a variety of different foods and create a dream meal for your ideal dinner date; I opted for an Ice Cream for Boy George. This was a great workshop for expressing your creativity and having a laugh with a group of people, there was a lot of children there who seemed to be really enjoying themselves getting arty.
The last part of the day concluded in attending a short film and talk on a new letterpress font that has been created using 3D printing, a way of both utilising and bringing letterpress into the 21st century in a contemporary way. It was interesting to see the process they had gone through to construct the font and the adjustments they made to ensure it worked within the old printing press.
The London Design Festival is still ongoing and you can find out more about what is on here.
The last two weeks has been a tattoo whirlwind! I recently went to get a new piece from my friend Dexter Kay at King of Hearts in New Cross. The tattoo is based on the idea of representing my time in London, with the independent, outgoing nature represented by the urban fox, and the geometric pattern hinting at the city architecture. She is doing really well for herself at the moment, and does some lovely line and dot work, you can find more of her work here.
In addition to this, I finally went along to the Time: Tattoo Art Today exhibition at Somerset House on Sunday. The exhibition presents artworks from 70 of the world’s most influential tattoo artists including Ed Hardy, Horiyoshi III, Paul Booth, Rose Hardy, Chris Garver and Miami Ink's Ami James. I was surprised by the work that was on show, expecting it to be marabout technical drawings and the fine art process. The resulting collection ranged from oil paintings, watercolours and traditional Japanese silk painting to paint layering on real skulls, airbrush and bronze sculpture.
The 3D pieces caught my eye the most, maybe this is because tattoo art itself is a 3D art form by working onto the body. As it is free it is worth going to have a look at, but it wasn't as mind blowing as I was hoping, I felt a lot of the pieces were slightly crude and reflected that of a 14 year old metal fans mind.
Leake Street, also known as the "Banksy Tunnel" or "Graffiti Tunnel", is a free graffiti wall running under the platforms and tracks of Waterloo station. Today I decided to test out the cans again in an attempt to try something different with my lettering work.
I took a simple flat graphic S design to test out before looking at doing a larger piece in a few weeks time.
The initial problem was what spot to pick, as I felt slightly bad covering up somebody else's piece of art! I also quickly realised that the amateur in myself had only purchased one size of cap, so the control of line work was rather tricky and thick. This was a great contrast to the controlled brush work I have been doing recently on my signpainting!
Going early morning provided the opportune time to get it done before crowds of people showed up. There were a few photographers doing photoshoots, as well as some soloists coming around and taking photos of myself and another guy further down the tunnel.
After getting back into the swing of things the S shape started to come along quite quickly. Initially I drafted out the shape, then filled in the inner sections with colour, followed by the back outline and backing. Sadly I managed to run out of black paint so I never managed to finish off the piece fully.
The white large drop shadow seemed to finish off the piece nicely giving a strong lift from the surrounding wall.
Lots of lessons have been learnt from this piece which I will ensure to apply to further work!
As a part of a new series I am now calling 'Sunday Fundays' Natasha and myself popped down to the Tate Britain yesterday afternoon for a spot of sign painting with London-based design studio Animaux Circus. I spotted these guys whilst at Pick Me Up this year where they were carrying out some tropical letter painting workshops, but sadly never got the chance to join in. They have done some great murals mixing vibrant colours, typography and illustration for clients such as Southbank, Lovebox and The Queen of Hoxton; so I was very excited to work alongside them for the afternoon!
We were part of the last group session of the weekend and sat ourselves comfortably down on a table of three others. There was a wide mix of people attending and good to see it wasn't just creatives there. Animaux Circus started off with a short presentation, introducing themselves, their work and their influences to get our juices flowing. We then had to discuss ideas based on a personal memory. Mine was based on when my Gran used to take me to the local funfair in my town, and take me on a specific motorbike ride called ' Easy Rider' that I loved. Natasha focused on a conversation we had earlier in the day in which was better, East or West London. (West is Best!)
There was the opportunity to use the pre-printed letters provided as a template or to draw your own. As they all seemed to be one size I decided to go with the hand drawn option, which proved to be more difficult and time consuming in the end.
We then could use a variety of colours to paint our designs and bring them to life.
It was great to sit down with other people and just paint and have a chat; even though the process was a bit basic for myself as I already do a lot of lettering work in my spare time. The workshop has really inspired me to seek out some more collaborative projects with others so do get in touch!
Here are Natasha and I's finished pieces from the afternoon! I can't wait to get back into the paint pot this week!