Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Computer Arts

The highly talented Tom Lane is featured in this months 'Computer Arts Magazine' due to his 'Going Gone Gorilla' project having won a silver and a bronze in the applied graphics and ambient categories at the Fresh Digital Awards!
Tom and his partner in crime Ged Palmer were commissioned by Bristol agency '375' to create a unique life-sized Gorilla that illustrated the threat to the animal from the illegal bushmeat trade. The duo cleverly came up with the idea of dividing the animal into 'cuts' like the traditional butchers posters.
The wonderful artwork was sold in aid of Bristol Zoo's gorilla conservation projects. You can see a film of the creation in action here http://www.julesbeazley.com/artists/tom-lane/gorilla.php
Well done Tom!

Monday, 17 October 2011

The Skylight House, Sydney

A friend of mine moved to Sydney a year ago now and although I was rather disappointed at her leaving she has proven to be a great source of creative tit-bits!
The Skylight House is located in Sydney on a heritage listed street and was lovingly restored by Chenchow Little. It sits a little uncomfortably between its less attractive siblings - the expression 'A rose between two thorns' comes to mind. Not only is this little treasure beautiful on the outside its interior is, well, gorgeous!
Unsurprisingly Chenchow Little won a number of awards for this project, you can check out more about them here - http://www.chenchowlittle.com/

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Anthony Gormley: Palm Springs Art Museum

I had the pleasure of experiencing a piece of Anthony Gormley sculpture up close and personal whilst in Palm Springs not so long ago. Gormley grew up in West Yorkshire and attended both Central Saint Martins and Goldsmiths Colleges. He has had and continues to have a long and rich career spanning some 40 years with many well known artworks including 'Angel of the North,' 'Event Horizon' and  'Another Place' to name a few. Awards won during this time include a Turner Prize in 1994, the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999 and the Bernhard Hellinger Award for Sculpture in 2007. Most of his work is figurative and made from a range of materials. Often the moulds for these figures are created from his own body and due to this he says are "the closest experience of matter that I will ever have and the only part of the material world that I live inside."
The particular work that I saw is entitled 'Apart X' 2002. He said that "It was the first time that I had thought about translating the orthogonal geometries of the original lead works into units and about the way that pixelisation of the two-dimensional image could be translated into three dimensions."
Due to the steel blocks that were used to create the figure the effect gave an almost robotic, industrial feel. Gormley's intension was to construct the figures as if they were a building.
His sculpture was one of the highlights of my trip to the Palm Springs Art Museum, it was nice to get so close to his work and understand how it was achieved by getting a close up view of its structure.
You can read more about Anthony Gormley and where you can see his work at: http://www.antonygormley.com/

Monday, 27 June 2011

Tim Burton: LA County Museum of Art

Whilst in LA I went to see the Tim Burton show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I wouldn't describe myself as a particular admirer of his work but have (as many) seen a number of his films and enjoyed them for their unique feel. I know very little about film but find that Burton's are very identifiable, the show helped me to explore exactly why that is and what inspirations lead him to create them as he has. The exhibition was very thorough in its explanation of props, models, drawings, costumes etc which all combined to make a visually intriguing show.
Burton was brought up in Burbank, California and always felt like an outsider to his peers and those around him. From a young age he had an interest in German Expressionism, Edgar Poe, Japanese comics like 'Dr Seus,' Dahl and 'Hammer Horror.' He liked stories of the unlikely hero in films, Frankenstein being a classic example. Burton enjoyed a connection with their vulnerability and felt that they showed more soul than their fellow, more human, characters. This for me was a very poignant point, its something you can identify within his films immediately and it touches you when you realise his sentiment is due to his uneasy start in life.
The Japanese comics and culture that he immersed himself in inspired him to draw characters and ideas of a fantastical nature. This start in life, where he was exposed to a visual wealth of genres, had a direct impact on dictating the work that we associate with him today. Something that I hadn't realised is that Burton still translates his ideas through drawing to his actors and crew members, helping them to understand his vision. This meant that the show was mainly made up of his doodles, illustrations and notes showing the very start of his ideas for characters and scenes in his films.
There are a number of themes covered that run through Burton's work, the already mentioned unlikely hero, sinister clowns, the use of costume, the idea of the fairytale, contrasting couples, gothic tones and 'silent cinema' to name a few. All these ingredients help to give identity to his unique work, the Tim Burton stamp.
I really hope that the show travels to London, where Burton now mainly resides. I think it offers a real insight to his work and makes you aware of the complexities in the messages he tries to convey through his characters and story telling.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Kai and Sunny

Having previously had the pleasure of representing Kai and Sunny I am more than familiar with their exceptional work. They are an agents dream, a duo who straddle the publicity exposure friendly world of fine art, who also possess a transferable talent that makes them brilliant candidates for any commercial project. Always interested in pushing themselves that one step further and creating imagery that leaves the viewer spellbound I get a sense of excitement when I learn about a new show they've put together. The latest 'The Flower Show,' is a collection of monotone pieces highlighted in glittering silver which explore the word 'Flower.' The venue for this show is the small but perfectly formed 'Stolen Space' gallery in the creative hub of Shoreditch, London.
The work was, as expected, utterly beautiful and from the sounds of those around me received with much enthusiasm. An additional unexpected element to an already highly credible show was the short story written exclusively for the collection by the greatly esteemed author David Mitchell entitled 'The Gardener.'
With a selection of highly collectable prints, including a sought after limited edition box of 5 of the artworks, it was nice to see that they had made a conscious effort to make the buying of their work accessible to most budgets. I was pleased to walk away with a limited edition A3 print from the show.
To find out more about Kai and Sunny and this great collection of work visit:

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Shawn Smith

I first became aware of Shawn Smith's work on Twitter and instantly wanted to find out more about him. Smith creates 3D sculptures from a variety of hand dyed woods like Bass, Balsa, Plywood etc. He begins by sketching out the form of his subject matter to understand the scale and proportions of his next work. Then, after selecting his chosen material, he first shapes then dyes the individual pieces to their desired size and colour.
His sculptures intentionally resemble the look of a pixilated digital image, the inspiration source of which is found online. Smith creates the sculptures painstakingly, piece by piece, building the little nuggets of wood to recreate the original 2D image.
Taken from Smith’s website he describes his art as:
'My work investigates the slippery intersection between the digital world and reality. Specifically, I am interested in how we experience nature through technology.  When we see images of nature on TV or on a computer screen, we feel that we are seeing nature but we are really only seeing patterns of pixilated light.'
One of my favourite artists of all time, Georges Seurat, was the founder of 'Pointillism,' a movement  which involves the application of thousands of tiny strokes of pure colour with a paintbrush to build a whole image, if you will, the original CMYK process. He first discovered this effective technique in 1886 and today, over a century later and after many technical advancements, we can draw parallels in the ethos and the almost scientific approach in process of Seurat's work and Smith’s sculpture. I find it fascinating when you can take a modern art form and suggest the trace of history back to another artist who, no doubt, gained as much enjoyment and fulfilment from painting his work as Smith obviously does when building his.
If you want to see more of Smith’s work take a look at his website:  http://shawnsmithart.com/ or you can also find out more about Seurat at http://www.georgesseurat.org/

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Dan Stiles

Dan Stiles, it would appear, is a bit of a music artist God. Originally from Michigan but now living in Portland, Stiles has made it his business to collaborate with an array of muti-genre heavyweights from the music world, including Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Dizze Rascal and Hot Chip.
He has a number of influences ranging over old comic books, Pop Culture, African art and 3 of my favourites genres - Japanese, Deco and Art Nouveau. The work he creates is very iconic with a heavy graphic feel, using generally a cheerful palette and providing a strong sense of rhythm.
Having produced an exceptional amount of posters and artwork for the music industry he is keen to go on and focus on other areas of design, including textiles by bringing out a line of marine inspired fabric.
Dan has a great portfolio and selection of beautiful posters available in his online shop, you can check both out at http://www.danstiles.com/

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Gabriel Dawe

A friend of mine suggested I look at thisiscolossal.com as there are some interesting finds on there. There were a number of highlights but one in particular that caught my eye was an artist called Gabriel Dawe.
Gabriel is Mexican but has lived for a number of years in both Canada and Dallas, in particular The University of  Texas. As a boy growing up in Mexico he was exposed to the vibrancy and intensity of the culture and craft, and like all males, was discouraged to take up any interest in textiles and embroidery. He started life, as many artists do, as a graphic designer until he moved to Montreal with the view to discovering a new culture and country. It was here that his experimentation with his creative talent really started and the beginning of a new stylistic direction began.
Dawe's pieces are made over a period of 4-5 weeks and from thousands and thousands of threads. Should you be fortunate enough to catch one of his shows the work is best viewed in person to fully appreciate the 'Op Art' effect that it gives. The 'Op Art' movement was of course dominant in the 60’s, 'Op' being short for 'Optical' and as a genre centered around the illusion of the abstract lines or patterns creating movement. The 60's fashion is currently a trend that is dominating the fashion world, the emergence of which was seen at this year's fashion week. Dawe's beautiful work would be greatly admired regardless of when it was seen, even if only viewed on a  technical level. But it is interesting that the two have started to flourish at the same time and I wonder if therefore we might see a quicker rise of this sure-to-be star than perhaps even he might have ever predicted.
You can find out more about Dawe and his work on his website, http://www.gabrieldawe.com/

Monday, 16 May 2011

Audrey Kawasaki

I've had a bit of an addiction recently to Japanese themed art, I've previously blogged about Victo Ngai and now am going to shout a little about the wonders of Audrey Kawasaki.
I first became aware of Audrey's work about 3 or 4 years ago, I've always appreciated the genre that Japanese greats such as Hokusai, Kuniyoshi and Hiroshige embody. The more contemporary 'names' like Ngai and Shimizu (who I repped for a while) also have an exceptional draw to me but Audrey's work had a certain magic and charm to it that I'd not seen before.
Audrey Kawaski is a Japanese-American artist whose influences are strongly taken from Manga and Art Nouveau. If you are familiar with my blog you will know from previous posts I'm a bit of a fan of Art Nouveau, which might explain why Audrey's style was so attractive to me. Generally her work depicts beautiful young girls who have the look of innocence about them, but with an erotic edge. Audrey's website goes on to describe her work as 'The figures she paints are seductive and contain an air of melancholy. They exist in their own sensually esoteric realm, yet at the same time present a sense of accessibility that draws the observer to them.'
Audrey's work tends to sell like hot cakes, you can purchase limited edition prints through her website and I was lucky enough (in the two minutes they were sold) to hit the 'buy' button in time. I was assuming, from chatter on the web, that her work does sell out tremendously quickly but wasn’t prepared for all 300 to go in 2 minutes flat! The examples of her work featured below are typical of her style, her canvas of choice being wood panels. The print I now have hanging in my flat is 'She Entwined' which is the image on the right.
You can see more of Audrey’s work at http://www.audrey-kawasaki.com

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Aqua Sheko

I've been meaning to experience the new fish manicure/pedicure phenomenon for a while and didn't have any plans so took Rob to Aqua Sheko on Frith Street W1 for a Sunday with a difference.
I didn't hold out any hopes that the therapy session would actually show results, it was more that I was intrigued by the concept and wanted to see what the fuss was about.
The manicure and pedicure treatments are conducted separately. The Garra Rufa fish live in tanks which are housed at the foot of the leather seats where your pedicure session happens. Their natural habitat is unsurprisingly different to what you find in this Soho based spa. The species has thrived in hot springs near Kangal, Turkey where bathers have visited for centuries.
Once your feet have been sanitised you dip them into the water and the fish instantly start to sucker at them. It’s a completely painless process and for me was a really relaxing sensation. The 'light box' base style tank affords a wonderful aspect of the fish silhouettes swimming around, finding an appropriate part of the foot and getting to work. The manicure bar has long tanks that you sit up at to dip your hands in, it enables you to get a closer look at the fish going about their business.
The visual theatre is just as an important element to this unique treatment as the stimulation of the fish. As far as the results of exfoliating your feet are concerned I didn’t notice a difference, frankly it didn’t matter, we thoroughly enjoyed it.
To book an appointment at Aqua Sheko check out http://www.aquasheko.co.uk

Monday, 4 April 2011

Haunch of Venison/Meekyoung Shin

This was my fourth trip to Haunch of Venison (HOV) in the last year, its located around the corner from my office on Heddon Street and therefore is enticingly close! Not only does HOV give members of the public free entry but it can be replied upon to hand pick exciting exhibitors for them to feast their eyes upon.
This particular trip was to see the Korean born Meekyoung Shin exhibition which features work from her 'Translation' and 'Ghost Series' projects. The work, cleverly made from soap (much to the astonishment of my Mother who had tagged along for the ride) was in the form of a series of vases. The 'Translation' room vessels had a Chinese inspired feel to their porcelain vases displayed with their packaging crates used to transport them to their different locations. According to HOV 'By rendering these precious objects in a seemingly fragile and transient material such as soap, Shin questions the authority and originality the original vases demand.'
The 'Ghost Series' was my favourite room (see attached pics). These vases (also created in soap) were sorted into different colour-themed tables and due to their lack of original markings and choice of material gave the suggestion of their origins shape through a 'ghost' like form.
All in all a very worthwhile show to see, it was a pleasure to be introduced to the work of Meekyoung Shin and experience something new and surprising. Unfortunately the show ended this weekend but you can still read about it here: http://www.haunchofvenison.com/en/#page=london.current.meekyoung_shin

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Pick Me Up / Victo Ngai

I had the pleasure of visiting the Pick Me Up exhibition at Somerset House this week, I absolutely loved it! Generally speaking (as I’m sure many of you know when you work in this industry) you get invited to all sorts of shows. Most of the time I never buy anything, its probably to do with the fact that I’d bankrupt myself before you can say ‘Limited Edition’ if I bought everything I liked. However, Pick Me Up was different. There was lots of wonderful artwork to be had, my chosen highlights would be MVM, Anthony Burill’s Studio, McBess, Kate Moross and Jessica Hische.
My particular favourite was Victo Ngai. Victo, aka Victoria Ngai (her English name from school), aka Ngai Chuen Ching (her Chinese name) is definitely one to look out for. Her work has many fusions of style, the most dominant being Japanese prints and coincidently one of my most favourite forms of art. I purchased the two prints below, ‘Bowl Cut’ and ‘Lost in Translation,’ more of her work can be seen at http://victo-ngai.com/

Roses are Violet, Violets are blue...

This is a rather short blog post, just because I can't find anything out about Mary Lane roses! I felt though that they were so beautiful I had to include them. They are from the amazing florist Jamie Aston http://www.jamieaston.com/store.html and are called 'Violet Mary Lane Roses.' Rob has basically shot himself in the foot with this offering, red, cream, white or just average pink will no longer suffice now I know 'violet' roses exist! 

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Jules Risotto

I realise this is a little self-indulgent but having experienced the sometimes painful frustration of making good risotto I thought it only right and proper to share my recipe with you. Before you say it, this post absolutely fits within my ‘aesthetically pleasing’ blog theme because it truly is a good looking dish. I hadn’t planned to use my lunch as a blog post so to those cynics amongst you my photographic reference is an accurate representation of this dish. Had I actually thought about it I would have purchased some Parmesan to give a few artistic curls of it to the top! This serves 2 really hungry people or 4 with bread and a side salad.

200g Smoked Lardons (don’t go for Economy, you can always tell the difference)
2 generous tbs Butter/Marg (I use Clover, I don’t think it makes much difference)
1 large glass of white wine (or Rose, I used it when I didn’t have white, worked out fine. Try not to use cheap wine, it really pays to get this bit right.)
4 chicken breasts
1 large onion
150g Shitake Mushrooms (I use organic)
200g Peas (fresh or frozen)
200g Risotto Rice
2 cloves garlic
2 handfuls of Rocket leaves
1 Litre of boiling water with Knorr Chicken Stockpot stirred in it.
Salt and Pepper
Non-stick pot/deep pan/large saucepan (it has to hold all of the ingredients comfortably) and a frying pan
Wooden spoon/spatula.

  1. First thing to do to make sure you keep control of this dish is to prepare everything! Cut the chicken into medium sized chunks, chop the mushrooms in a way that shows their great shapes (i.e. don’t cut off the stalks), slice the onion in half and then slice the halves thinly. Boil the kettle and poor a litre of water into a bowl/jug, add the stockpot, give it a little stir.
  2. In your non-stick pot start to melt the butter on a medium heat, add the onions and a pinch of salt.
  3. In a frying pan put the lardons (no need for oil) on a medium heat, once they look like they are starting to brown turn the heat down to low and add the chicken breast (don't brown). Cook on a low heat, the result should be that by the time you finish the risotto (roughly 20mins) the chicken will be tender and the already partially cooked lardons browned.
  4. Once the onions start to flop a little add the risotto rice so that it absorbs what’s left of the butter. Once the risotto rice has absorbed the butter carefully take only the juice from the frying pan with the chicken and bacon in it and add it to the rice. Stir for a few minutes and then add the glass of wine. Stir. Still on a medium heat.
  5. Once the wine has been nearly all absorbed by the rice start to add the stock a ladle at a time, don’t add too much, this is an important part of the process. Every time your spatula creates a path through the risotto which takes a while to be overlapped by the mixture its time to add another ladle full. Don’t forget to check that your chicken is not overcooking. If its cooked but the lardoons still need browning just put the chicken in some tin foil and turn the heat up on the lardons to brown.
  6. Keep going with the stock until the rice is cooked through and tender to eat, the mixture should have a little excess moisture but not be runny. Please note the stock water needed is roughly a litre, it might be less or slightly more – there is no exact science. If your peas are frozen add them now, for 2 mins of cooking.
  7. Take both pans off the heat and season the risotto to taste.
  8. If your peas are fresh add them now, stir them in. Add the chicken and the lardons, stir. Scatter in the rocket leaves, stirring as you go.
  9. Eat!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Port Magazine

I picked myself up a brand spanking new first copy of 'Port' Magazine today which promises to be 'The new intelligent style magazine for men.' I am no literary buff so shall not focus on the writing but will say that I was really excited to see some beautiful page layouts and some equally beautiful photography adorning the rather nice matt stock. I love the fact that as you turn the pages the rich variety of composition keeps the look fresh and pleasing to the eye. With a number of high profile contributors to boast of, including Daniel Day-Lewis, Samantha Morton, Jon Snow, Will Self etc this new venture has obviously been a long, considered project that will appeal to not only men but women also. I imagine that this will be the magazine girlfriends/wives will want their men to buy just so that they get to have a look too! Being a fan of illustration, I was pleased to see that Port had made the effort to source 2 established artists, one being an old tutor of mine, Jason Ford.
Unsurprisingly this publication is a quarterly magazine, aligning itself with seasonal release dates. Port have created a special publication that encompasses a wide range of topics, presenting them in a beautifully thought out design. I look forward to seeing Summer! You can also check out their website http://port-magazine.com/

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Stylish Coffee

I don’t drink coffee but Rob does and that would be enough excuse to buy this gem of a Nespresso Machine! The nice thing about this rather stylish item is that due to the choice of palette by Manish Arora it would arguably fit comfortably in most kitchens. The beautiful illustrations tell a story of ‘Nespresso’ the girl whom Bacchitarius (King of a far away kingdom) marries and has 16 daughters with. The reason Bacchitarius found Nespresso so irresistible was because of her unique scent. Their daughters inherit their own unique scent, each different to the other and have a mission bestowed upon them to spread their love and this perfume around the world.
Arora is of course an established Indian fashion designer (http://www.manisharora.ws/manish_arora/) and although this project is a little different to how we would usually display his work I think it’s easy to say that the transition has been a successful one. He is known for his fusion of traditional Indian crafts with a Western edge.
Should you wish to get your hands on one the Limited Edition CitiZ machine is available in the UK at Selfridges. 

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Concrete Blond

Concrete Blond

I first came across the utterly beautiful designs of Eric Barrett aka Concrete Blond a few years back, to my shame I can’t remember when or which event but that I was really impressed. I never forgot the work; it is so unique that I challenge anyone not to be intrigued by it.
Having moved recently it gave me the opportunity to go through various bits and pieces and I found the promotional card I’d picked up at the show. I went online and was yet again staggered by the work and felt compelled to write a blog post dedicated to this aesthetically pleasing ‘Walled-Paper’ surface.
According to the website (http://www.concrete-blond.com/home.htm) the ‘Walled-Paper is a well mastered technique of fine-casting concrete that captures the same graphic detail and visual appeal of patterned wallpaper.’ The almost lasered feel to the design means that the counter-relief of the pattern catches the light, giving it an almost silver effect and shine that a wallpaper would give. It goes on to mention that of course not only is the effect intricate and flawless but the advantages of using such a surface on your wall are numerous, it would out benefit the more traditional wall coverings.
There are a number of designs available, with even the offer of having your own handiwork or hearts desire cast to create a bespoke piece. You would imagine that should you ever own just a panel of this exquisite craft it would be a constant talking point for years to come.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Somebody stop me...

I’m one of those people where if I buy something or am given something that is truly beautiful I couldn’t possibly open it, break the seal, use it etc it has to stay as it is, perfect and untouched. This generally means I have lots of belongings that have to live in a cupboard as I obviously am not utilising them and they end up cluttering surfaces otherwise.  I’ve always got my eyes open for ‘nice things’ and can not wait for the day when I have my very own house that I can fill with these objects of desire, displaying/organising them in the way they deserve.
I was reading Stylist Magazine this week (one of life’s pleasures) and noticed a brief interview with Gwyneth Paltrow. I am not one of those people who gets hungry for celebrity gossip, the only time I really read those sort of publications is when I’m in the hairdresser. However, Stylist Magazine is a nice mix of everything and so I had a quick skim! I was interested to read about GP’s favourite app’s and in particular about a company called http://remodelista.com who promote and talk about all things interior, including lots of ‘nice things.’ I personally love the fact that they cover all aspects of the market and therefore different budgets – anything from Ikea to Conran.
I thought that I’d download the app as I’m a screen shopping addict and it might prove useful for buying a present or dreaming of what I could purchase, if I had the space! You really are spoilt for choice and can find anything from a Izola Numberals Tooth Brush Set to Foreverlawn’s Artificial Grass!
So, go feast your eyes, worst case scenario you’ll only find enough suggestions to fill your bedroom!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Arther Wellesley, or 1st Duke of Wellington is the gentleman we all have to thank for the humble Wellington Boot. The original version was made from calfskin leather, a modification to the 18thcentrury Hessian model by the Duke’s St James’s Street shoemaker, according to Wikipedia.
Nowadays we are used to seeing an assortment of different patterned boots with Hunter cornering the market being probably the major ‘must have’ brand. This though might all be due to change as a make more familiar to the flip flop market is going to do its best to knock Hunter’s crown from its head. Havaianas have decided that not only do they want to rein king of our favourite summer, good weather foot attire but also our summer bad weather foot attire too. The rather bold coloured designs will be available in Selfridges from April and promise to be the wellie sensation of the year! With all those festivals coming up and (let's face it) the promise of some bad weather during our ‘hottest’ months it will be interesting to see who turns to Team Havaianas and who stays loyal to Team Hunter. 

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Fantastical Feasts

I know there are lots of people who actually enjoy going to bookshops and spending hours in there. I (probably to my discredit) don’t. Occasionally I’ll pop into a Waterstones but generally speaking buy all my reading material on Amazon. I think the issue for me is that I don’t want to wade through a shop searching for where my chosen title might be, I just want to put it into the ‘search’ box and have it found for me.
However, today I had a free half hour and so thought I’d spend it (trying) to get away from the crowds and popped into Waterstones. I happened to come across Heston Blumenthal’s special edition ‘Fantastical Feasts.’ Each book is signed and numbered by the big guy himself and thanks to the Ginger Monkey aka Tom Lane really is something special to look at, inside and out. Initially it reminded me of a bible with its plum red and gold palette, not to mention the beautiful, ornate slip case cover design. There is almost a feel of Art Nouveau to his handiwork, a genre that is currently enjoying a revival. Having said that he is quoted in a Creative Boom (http://www.creativeboom.co.uk) interview as actually shying away from design trends due to their distraction.
One of the things I enjoyed about his folio is that it is varied and executed well with everything from hints of vintage Liberty and Mackintosh to a psychedelic 60’s feel Chipmunk. I have to admit I hadn’t come across Tom’s work before but without a doubt will wait with enthusiasm for his future projects. View Tom’s work at http://www.gingermonkeydesign.com

Thursday, 17 February 2011


‘It’s something that will take off’ I said to Rob (my significant other) as I nailed the last framed butterfly to the wall of his office to complete the grid of 28. He, to his credit, was quite taken with the display. I’ve always loved butterflies and had a secret desire to buy some antique taxidermy and this was my opportunity! Initially I had been a bit nervous as (understandably) some people have an issue with buying real fur as they do seeing real butterflies in a frame. However in a situation where the fur or the butterflies are antique and sourced before the issue of ‘animal cruelty’ had come to light this is considered acceptable.
Polly Morgan has put a twist on the traditional look of Taxidermy. Polly has been part of this world  for 7 years now and  is a member of the Guild of Taxidermists. Banksy has been quoted as labelling her ‘Britain’s hottest bird stuffer.’ A number of her subjects are recovered from road kill. In her interview (where I have gained much of her biography from) wit h The Times she says what she really enjoys is capturing ‘the moment between something dying and decaying.’ This may sound morbid but her work shows a real grace, beauty and creative imagination.
Polly is now commanding sizeable sums for her art and her name is rising to dizzy heights, you can see more of her work at http://pollymorgan.co.uk/

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Jaguar E-Type

There are a select number of automobiles that have people conjuring up the title ‘the most beautiful car in the world’ but this little gem is up there with them. One of the most famous car manufacturers in Britain, Jaguar, created a rare classic when they designed and made the E-Type 50 years ago. Its fair to say that you have more chance of the planets aligning than having the Godfather of luxury cars, Enzo Ferrari, delighting in a cars lines that are not from the drawing board of his team. The bullet-like shell was dreamt up by the genius engineering know how of Malcolm Sayer, one of first to incorporate the principles of aerodynamics to car design.
Incredibly over 70,000 models were sold and it fast became one of the most desired sports cars in the 60’s. If like me, stretching to the purchase of this timeless model is a little out of reach, you can go and admire its curves in the Design Museum Tank till 6th March.
I blogged about Renault’s new TV ad last Saturday, the theme of which was the question ‘What is Va Va Voom?’ I think we’ve found the answer!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Saddle Up!

My birthday falls in January and I was lucky enough to have my Mother whisk me off to Selfridges in order to purchase a new bag for my ‘special’ birthday. I noticed whilst practically melting with desire at the sight of so many fabulous bags that all things Equestrian are decidedly ‘in.’ Now, if you are a fashionista this is something you’ll already be fully aware of, excusez moi for not keeping up with current trends. I suppose it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see every brand display their version of (what I call) the ‘Saddle Bag’ style, some even with the decoration of stirrups! After all you can’t help but notice a new breed of women wearing flesh coloured leggings and black, shiny boots, as if they’ve just dismounted on Oxford St.
I popped into Liberty this afternoon, I was promised from the vinyl stickers in the window that ‘This Season’s Bags’ had arrived in store and who am I to ignore such an invitation? My favourite was the Givenchy ‘Leather Tinhan Hobo’ bag, which (from my basic fashion knowledge of this season) ticked all the boxes. Coincidentally the bag that I ended up gratefully receiving for my ‘special’ birthday was also entitled ‘Hobo’ a word to describe ‘a homeless person; a tramp or vagrant.’  Only in the world of fashion!
You can get this lovely offering from Givenchy at a number of retailers in Black or Nude, both equally desirable and proving that not only are diamonds a girl’s best friend.

Sunday, 13 February 2011


Sunday is a day to recover from whatever Saturday brought, well that’s the way I tend to play it anyway. I am someone who likes to think they are visually aware, I’m an Illustration agent but that doesn’t mean I’m only interested in Illustration, quite simply anything that is aesthetically pleasing is exciting to me. Those of you following me on Twitter will know that I have recently moved to London’s W1 which means that the joys of Fitzrovia, Mayfair and Soho are a convenient trot away. It was decided today that lunch at HIX on Brewer St was in order. The thing you have to understand about HIX is that its not just great food, it also means a great drinking experience too. I’m not a big drinker, I never have been, but the wonderful Glenn and Danny at Mark’s Bar (which can be located in the basement of this establishment) are magicians of all things cocktail.
The restaurant itself was opened to critical acclaim in 2009 by Mark Hix. The simple but stylish eatery showcases mobile artworks by Hirst, Donovan and Lucas with Mark’s Bar menu having been devised by the excellent mixologist, Nick Strangeway.
Lunch was delightful, but then the food there is good. My other half and I are lucky enough to have eaten in a number of great restaurants but there is a friendly, relaxed feel to HIX that makes you want to return. This ambiance continues to Mark’s Bar, a truly cool, relaxing space that invites you to enjoy the theatre of watching the amiable bar staff work that magic and enjoy the fruits of their labour in an appropriate glass.
Glenn made me a ‘twist on a Tall Perfect Lady’ executed deliciously with a sort of hand cut apple fan. The clever part? The apple structure was held together purely by its natural juice!
If you are passing by, go check out the restaurant and bar, you’ll be pleased you did.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Va Va Voom

When I heard that Renault Clio had brought out a new TV ad starring Dita Von Teese I was a little surprised, not two brands you would naturally put together I thought. Renault has dramatically moved on since the subtle, suggestive innocence of the ‘Nicole and Papa’ days, Fat Boy Slim’s remix of Groove Armada’s ‘I see you Baby’ saw off the father and daughter duo well and truly in the rather humorous, bold Megane ad of jiggling bottoms in 2002. So, we are not unfamiliar with coupling this French car manufacturer with sexy images but this is probably taking the risqué feel a step further. The question asked throughout the ad  ‘What is Va Va Voom?’ allows Thierry Henry to put his 10p worth in (well, it wouldn’t be the same otherwise would it?) and of course the lovely Dita to perform a sensual burlesque set, with a short ‘behind the scenes’ moment of her answering the same question. Good advert? I shall leave that question with you - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0tkN8WQDvA

Friday, 11 February 2011

Olly Moss

I had the pleasure of stumbling upon this rather clever design by Olly Moss (http://www.moss.fm) and wanted to blog about it because, well, I like it! Being an artists agent it goes without saying that my life is saturated with lots of lovely visually exciting things but it’s nice when it’s unexpected! Olly has cleverly incorporated two super hero faces into one design, I wont insult your intelligence telling you which! He apparently came up with the idea whilst en route to Marvel, home of some of the best comic artists in the world. A number of people share my admiration of this artwork,  and rightly so! One of my favourite creative websites http://www.notcot.org/ features it this week, I wonder if it will get made into a print?

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Brian Grimwood's Home Run!

Brian Grimwood is the owner of CIA, an Illustration legend and possibly one of the nicest, most enthusiastic men you will ever meet. The G (as he’s known among his CIA posse) has hit a Home Run with this colourful ‘Silhouette 1’ signed print.  You can purchase it from the CIA shop along with a number of other great items - http://www.centralillustration.com/shop-prints-detail.asp?stock_id=395. The brilliant Stylist Magazine featured this latest offering this week so get one before they sell out!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Fit for a Queen

You would imagine that if the Queen was a die hard fan of DIY this rather unique power tool would definitely feature in ones tool shed. The ‘Limited Edition Bosch IXO’ is adorned with more than 700 Swarovski crystals and conveniently cordless. The reason for designing such a ostentatious piece? Bosch are celebrating their 10 millionth sale of its original sister drill (same drill without the sparkly bits). Its available exclusively at amazon.co.uk Your Majesty, just in case you’re reading!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


The wonderful world of Heddon St (Central Illustration headquarters) is located conveniently off Regent St and happily a hop, skip and jump away from Habitat. I felt it only right to mention that they are currently holding a sale on all items within the store! If you are looking for a bargain on homeware check it out, I picked up some of these stylish ‘Vienna’ glasses.

Sunday, 6 February 2011