Wonder If There's An Apprenticeship...?

This is utterly charming - obviously there's that element of cold, hard advertising - but it is very subtle - with the strongest feeling coming over of craftsmanship, tradition and handmade individuality.
I think there's a kick-back against all this digital-ish, vectorised clean crispness very much showing through in design and craft, which actually sits pretty in this time of leanness that some most of us are experiencing. Where there was a fashion for make do and mend - now there's more of a need for make do and mend. This then feeds back into fashion; attracting those who remain unaffected by the recession, translating itself into a desire for something hand made and individual, showing craftsmanship.
You know what I mean? If that makes sense. - Anyhow up the ways - watch here:

Choices, Choices - Is It All Too Much?

I have often thought about why it is I dislike the kind of clothes shopping that involves the likes of Primark, New Look or Topshop. I prefer to buy from charity shops - for a number of reasons:
     I like to be re-using /re-cycling -
     I like to spend a little less -
     I like having less choice -
Yes! It is so much easier if in the thrift store or charity shop when there are only eight pairs of jeans and only two in my size - and only one pair actually fit and are the right colour! Great -I'll have them! And if none of them are right - then I have saved even more money and I can come again in a month...!
Does that make me really weird? Old-fashioned? - Why is it I feel this?
Here's an interesting video on the psychology of CHOICE, from Cognitive Media - a small independent animation company from Kent, with a talk by Professor Renata Salecl who is a leader in psychoanalysis and law. - It is quite long - but offers something to think about....

Recording How Time Flies - In My Sketchbooks

I put a couple of scans of sketchbook pages up on my Facebook Artwork page - so thought I'd compliment that with some different ones on my Art & Sketchbooks page - see right, over there! ----->
The last one on the coloured paper is from a little book I took to the Klimt exhibition in Liverpool; must be a few years old now!

Even if they are old ones - they never fail to re-inspire when you have a look through - I have some from my degree course - that's just over twenty-five years ago! coo-wee. Fun to trigger those memories.
For instance - here's the fireplace of the basement room I stayed in during my third year - it was a big old Georgian student house in Cheltenham:

Each time I get them out, I still see things I hadn't noticed previously in the sketches and ideas...potential for something new -
I shall keep adding to the Art & Sketchbooks page every so often


Seen on the table in my shed, in an earlier post, were a whole load of words and short phrases from magazines and papers I recently cut out.

I thought they could have the potential to become a set of inspirational visions or a mission statement or something.
Having spent time sorting and arranging them over the last few evenings - I have tried to get these near random phrases and words to sit near one another to kind of make sense.
I love text and type anyway so it was fun just playing around with combinations and trying to get some little meaning or a 'mantra' in there too. They are reminiscent of ransom notes!! - but the sentiment is supposed to be very far from that...

A good exercise, it did make me start to make sense of what I want from my artwork and from the creative process. The first one was jam-packed with words, whilst in the second two a bit more white space is allowed to remain.

Quite a fun creative thinking exercise to do if you're feeling a bit 'stuck'. Have fun!

There's Always Something Isn't There?

The Guardian recently reported on independent designer Rachael Taylor's predicament, where she found that Marks and Spencer had used a design so terribly similar to hers that it was probably more than coincidence...
Here's an image from Taylor's blog, showing the design in question on some of her own products:

And here is a photo of one of the t-shirts that were on sale in M&S, looks just a bit FAR too similar to me...

"Frustrated and disappointed that M&S would not acknowledge infringement of her rights, Taylor turned to social media. Without admitting liability M&S responded and said that they had pulled the product immediately.
M&S is denying copyright infringement. A spokesperson said: "We are sorry for any disappointment caused to Rachael Taylor Designs from the sale of a T-shirt that we bought in good faith from a direct supplier. After investigating the complaint we immediately withdrew the product from sale." said The Guardian.

British companies should be embracing independent home-grown design talent and working WITH these people - if the likes of Wilkinsons can do it - surely everyone can?
Ironically Tigerprint also sponsor New Designers too - and they supply M&S exclusively with their stationery, gift and greeting cards designs - really very embarrassing.

Buttons For Flowers

Here's a little collage I played around with the other day - using some of the buttons from my Granny's sewing basket - well from her button tin, to be precise.

Nice subtle shadows caused by not sticking down the paper fully - I like the change in blues...something to remember for a painting, maybe? 

Buzz Buzz - Here I Am With A Bee In My Bonnet

   "If you are not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with
    anything original"
That quote is from a grand talk by Sir Ken Robinson from 2006; where he sets out his witty yet thought provoking point of view about the need for a state education system that nurtures creativity.
Such true words, I totally agree and have long thought that early years education through play should have creativity at its core.
A long term early and primary education system in Reggio Emilia (a city in Northern Italy) has a world recognised approach to education that came about after the 1939-45 war. It has become known as the Reggio Emilia Approach; based on a set of principles that put the children at the heart of how they learn and states that children must be able to learn through experiences of touch, movement, hearing & listening and seeing. All senses that are intuitive and start points to creativity. Loris Malaguzzi, the founder said
  "Our task, regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own  
   mountains, as high as possible"
- This video is about twenty minutes long but really worth the watch

There's a follow up talk from 2010 here. A quote from his second talk holds the key to his emphasis:
    "Very many people go through their whole lives 
    having no real sense of what their talents may be, 
    or if they have any to speak of"
A longish article describing the Reggio Emilia philosophy can be read here

No Stopping Me Now...

There's a carpet! There's a nice table, there are shelves, there is a light - I am ready to go...!

 I have been cutting words and phrases out to use to create an inspiration board for my workspace