London Street Art Walk

I recently went on a Street Art Walk our Study Abroad people had organised for us to some of the Street Art hotspots around London.

I have always had an interest in Street Art and often document my findings around Adelaide, and when I get the chance to visit – around Melbourne and Sydney as well. I’m a big fan of the idea of doing something creative anonymously, without credit or expectation, knowing full well that come the next day it could have disappeared.
Ever changing temporary art in a public space.

Street Art has been growing in popularity over the last few years thanks in part to the notoriety of popular british street artist Banksy. London is littered with Banksy souvenirs in every souvenir shops on every corner, right next to the Union jack flag. Some of his most famous pieces adorn key chains, lighters, postcards and t-shirts. Even his works criticising the consumerism capitalist culture of London, which I love the irony of.

Here are some of my favourite pieces I spotted along the way. Including a couple of Banksy’s at the end. I’m always drawn to photograph anything in particular depicting or making a mockery of the royal family, such great UK specific cultural iconography.

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Screenprinting Workshop

So recently our college organized for us to do a screenprinting workshop. I have done screenprinting at home before to print a couple of T-shirts for myself but it involved a large amount of time, energy and difficulty substituting all of the professional resources with my own. Think homemade light box for exposure, hair dryer for drying and shower head for cleaning.  So needless to say this was on a whole other level. And it was AWESOME.

The resources here are excellent and the best thing about it is that now I can go back and use it if and when I ever have some free time.

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The Central Saint Martins Campus

Today, for the first time I visited the Central Saint Martins Kings Cross Campus. Which, in addition to being the larger and better campus, also means that I will be travelling to and from Kings Cross Station on a regular basis. I’m basically Harry Potter!
Thirteen years later and I still can’t help but look out for anyone dressed in a cloak or carrying an owl. It could happen!

Anyhoo, It’s a lovely campus with a fountain out front and a decorative white shape that forms a zig-zag like shape along it.

Oh and at night the fountain transforms into a rainbow dancing fountain.

So this week I’ve started on my Electives for the course. They include:
Typography
Concepts of Editing
Art Direction for Fashion
Fashion Styling

The other option was photography but I have done a year of photography training before and I decided to include a couple of Fashion ones in there to try and expand my knowledge base and if I ever hope to be an Art Director or creative director I want to have knowledge of a variety of different areas..

I’m very excited about our Typography assignment, which is basically to create type that is neither on screen nor on paper. An interesting idea, very constricting yet also very open to doing whatever you want. I have some interesting ideas in the works which may or may not be limited to: growing type, hand-drawn large scale type on a wall, paste ups and projections! Watch this space!

Risograph Printing Workshop

One of the perks of arriving in London during London Design Week is all of the amazing talks, workshops and exhibitons on offer. I attended a Risograph printing Workshop at Ditto Press, London first and largest Risograph printer.

Risograph is a kind of stencil printer, a thermographic master for each colour in the artwork is created and is then wrapped around a drum. Ink is forced through the voids in the master. The paper runs flat through the machine while the drum rotates at high speed to print each image on the paper. One of the perks of using Risograph is that high quality fluoro inks can be used on rage of papers quickly and inexpensively.

Here are the results from the workshop. I spent so long sketching out the main type (green) that I had to rush the shadows and background (pink) but overall not a bad first effort.

risograph

Interview with a circus performer

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After our research project was finished we began to work on our first major project for the semester. Our assignment was to find and interview someone who is considered an outsider. Someone who operates outside of the norms of society. Then to produce of a piece of design work with the transcript of their interview. Within the design constraints of it has to be printed A4 on a black and white printer.

My first reaction was, um okay, how is this graphic design? But the further on we got the more excited I became about the project. What an opportunity! This is of course the reason I came to London in the first place to push myself out of my comfort zone and try and push the boundaries of my work.

Some possible interviewees I toyed with the idea of included (connections through various people and contacts).

  • A Taxidermist
  • A Sex Blogger
  • A lesbian, weed smoking, motorbike riding nun
  • A homeless person
  • A travelling circus performer

In the end I decided to go with the circus performer. I love the idea of interviewing someone who literally lives in the circus and has no actual home apart from the circus!

After much running around including several urgent late night skype calls back to Australia, I tracked down a performer named Danik Abishev who is currently travelling with a circus called LIMBO. If you ever get the chance to see their show do it they are AMAZING! As a travelling circus performer Danik was not exactly easy to track down but eventually got a friend of his back in Australia who works with Australian circus performers to contact him via facebook and asked him to email me as I was trying to contact him. And he did!

I met Danik at 10pm at night after one of his LIMBO shows (which he also got me a double pass complimentary tickets for – LEGEND) and he turned out to be absolutely delightful! I genuinely enjoyed talking to him and hearing about his life. We covered areas from his childhood, family, to love and marriage, and the toll that travelling takes. I feel lucky to have found someone so charismatic and enjoyable to interview.

I decided to design the interview as an A2 poster that the viewer would print out at home and assemble as they choose. (Keeping in mind that the design constraints set by our lecturer are  it has to be printed A4 on a black and white printer.)
This ties in with the themes of play and fun that the circus is all about. I included several vintage circus illustrations as a nod the circus’s of the olden days to highlight the contrast between that and the modern day circus.

The final poster layout is below. The idea is that the viewer prints out the poster as four separate sheets and assembles them as they wish to read the interview. It can be in or out of order, upside-down, backwards, read all or only some of the questions. This idea is inkeeping with the circus themes of play, exploration, disorder and topsy-turvy.

DanikInterview

Click on the image to view fullsize and read the whole interview