A little late in posting this but still looking and sounding fresh is the new CD from Mais Um Discos. UK-based Brazilian music label Mais Um Discos asked me to design their latest music compilation which was released just in time for the world cup. As on a previous job we decided to work with a Brazilian Street artist for the main image and in this case it was the wonderful Danilo Omwisye (Zéh Palito).
His artwork (collaborating with artist Fumero) was perfect for our gatefold design in expressing the many sides of new Brazilian music. It also made for nice image for the two-disc CD which is full of great tracks…
More about the CD – rolê translates as ‘let’s roll’ in Brazilian Portuguese and Mais Um Discos’ label head Lewis Robinson ‘rolled’ around ten Brazilian states to pull together 43 tracks that represent some of the most exciting artists and micro-scenes in Brazil now.
To listen or buy the music – link here!
So the World Cup goes to Germany (deservedly) and despite Brazil’s shock at the end of the tournament it was a very memorable world cup. Without Fifa are the ultimate winners in all this but the world’s focus on Brazil can only have been a good thing if we put the one to one side. For my own part it’s been a thrill to have been involved in projects promoting Brazilian art in the UK.
An interesting part of the exhibition was improvised in form of an animation which mixed the graphic imagery of Daniel Melim’s stencils with the work of SHN which was projected in a looped presentation onto the wall…
The AOI Illustration Awards Winners 2104 have now been announced. Sorry to say that in the Public Realm category I was judging it was unanimously felt that the shortlisted work for both New Talent and Professional entries wasn’t outstanding enough to select as category winners.
Unfortunately for AOI- their call for entry period was cut in half this year due to delays in launching their new site. We hope that next year the category will attract more entries!
In the Children’s book category I was delighted to see Chris Haughton announced as one of the winners for his new work – SHH! We Have a Plan (see image above)- My kids and I love his previous books such as A Bit Lost and Oh, No George…
I’m pleased to announced a project I’ve been working on alongside Rich Mix Cultural Foundation on Bethnal Green Rd in East London, Brazilian record label Mais Um Discos, Latin music promoters Movimientos and Coletivo Rua in Brazil.
Joga Bola! is a festival of Brazilian Music, Cinema, Theatre and Street Art that will run alongside the World Cup. My involvement so far has been in curating and inviting street artists from Brazil, who will be painting a mural, installation a two month long exhibition and giving workshops in stencil art and screenprinting. Artists include Daniel Melim and SHN who as well as being great friends are producing fantastic work and I’m sure will make a great impact at Joga Bola.
I also created a logo, A6 foldout poster leaflet and ads for the event…
Brazil is renowned for its progressive D-I-Y street art and Joga Bola! is proud to present debut London shows for trail-blazing artists Daniel Melim and the SHN Collective. Both will take-over Rich Mix creating a special mixed media mural in the main space, an installation in the mezzanine space created from hundreds of silkscreen posters featuring graphic icons combined with stencil art, DIY art workshops and creating other ad-hoc art ‘occupations’ around the venue.
Stencil Maestro Daniel Melim is one of Sao Paulo’s much admired street artists whose murals – playful colourful twists on pop culture – can be found across Sao Paulo city, who has exhibited at MASP and Afro-Brasil Museumand works on projects with young people in the Ferrazopolis favela.
Joining him will be members of the legendary poster art collective SHN, one of Brazil’s firstDIY art collectives known for their street actions, exhibitions and collaborative multimedia projects they call ‘occupations’ that see videos, projections, silkscreen stickers and posters DJs, performers and multiple artists ‘occupying’ public spaces.
Since relocating to the South West some months ago it’s been a pleasure to re-connect with old clients and cultivate new ones in the area. There is so much going on here culturally and in terms of big ideas its a great hub for green and sustainable thinking.
I’ve always been a fan of Sustrans, the Bristol-based national cycle network charity, having used their Bristol to Bath Cycle path almost daily in the past. So I’m pleased to have been doing some freelance design and illustration work for them recently – firstly with a brochure aimed at their volunteer network. It was also a chance to borrow some great photographs for print from my cousin-in-law Zoologist Extraordinaire – Dr Ross Piper
For more about volunteering for Sustrans – take a look here.
Mexican street food experts Wahaca open their newest restaurant in Wimbledon this week. Following in their on-going arts programme – I was involved in inviting up-and-coming artist GoddoG to create large scale murals for this new space. After first planning beforehand with architectural drawings and sketches we finally got to work with the GoddoG in the space a few weeks ago the final results look smashing!
GoDDog aka Damien Mauro is based in the historic city of Avignon in South Eastern France. A self-taught artist, GoDDog learnt to paint after being introduced to graffiti as a teenager. Having always loved drawing his style began to develop over time by painting on the street alongside others – what he calls “a Street School of Art”. Besides graffiti he cites the influences of pioneering painters such as Jean Michel-Basquiat, Gustav Klimt and Francis Bacon. Even more influential have been his travels and experiences abroad in India and Asia, which opened his eyes to traditional arts and crafts. Most recently he has become interested in the indigenous arts of South America and the graffiti culture of Argentina, Peru and Mexico.
In interview he states, “My paintings are often colourful mysterious creatures, all curves and sometimes wearing fur… I create the material of my creatures with textures that are often precise and meticulous. The idea is to “re-awake” the public’s imagination and inner child. I like to compare my work with the urban world to make it more attractive and fantastic.” Through his graphic language, GodDog conjures up a world of fantasy made of futuristic shapes crafted in various ways from skulls to figures and mythical creatures. He also plays with colour contrasts, fickle forms and geometric shapes.
Today creatures are less of a feature in his painting which are now giving way to more of a strange graphic universe…
The Association of Illustrators is the most important organisation representing the rights of professional illustrators in the UK. They also have an essential role upholding standards and encouraging students into long standing careers in the profession. Each year they hold their annual awards in numerous categories and I’m pleased to say I’ve been asked to judge the Public Realm category.
As a graduate illustrator many years ago the The Association of Illustrators was my first port of call to use their portfolio review service and more recently I have been a regular contributor to the AOI’s excellent magazine – Varoom.
The competition is open to illustrators worldwide and award winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony at Somerset House, the major arts and cultural centre in the heart of London. Category winning illustration will be displayed in the spectacular Terrace Rooms at Somerset House and featured in an accompanying publication. This special exhibition will tour across the UK throughout 2015.
Finally had time to blog about my work with Wahaca this year, which is set to be a busy one! This will be my third year working with their architectural, design and production teams – helping to create original artworks and installations at each new site.
My role is to curate and propose artists that might work well with each space and then liase and assist appropriately. So far each new installation becomes my new favourite and I’ve enjoyed working with some fantastic artists.
In January we invited Hcientouno (H101) from Barcelona to create designs for Wahaca’s White City site including a mezzanine alcove and ground floor pillars. H101 produced some stunning work improvising around a “Sun Temple” theme – inspired by pre-colombian art.
I’ve been a long time fan of Barcelona’s vibrant street art scene since my first visits there in the early 90s, so it was pleasure to bring over an artist who is a key part of that scene – to bring a splash of Catalonian colour to London.
Hcientouno is a prolific muralist on the streets, with his work often seen on shutter fronts as well as large scale walls. His imagery mixes decorative and symbolic arts influenced by Mexican motifs. With striking use of forms and colour he seemed a perfect match for Wahaca.
With only a few months to go until the World Cup in Brazil I’m pleased to be involved in a number of Brazil themed projects including an artist mural, exhibition and workshop project at Rich Mix in London soon to be announced…
In the meantime here are a couple of logo projects on a Brazilian theme…
The first was completed last year for Instituto BR a new consultancy aimed at promoting 21st century Brazil via contemporary Brazilian culture, and the Brazilian Portuguese language. For Instituto BR I was asked to create a family of logotypes which could be used in different design and communication contexts. The inspiration for the logo came from the central diamond used in the Brazilian flag which turned into a repeat pattern could be used to describe the shape of Brazil.
More recently I was commissioned to design a logo for a new series of CD releases for Universal Records. This up coming series will feature many albums from their excellent back catalogue plus new material. I created a logo that could be adapted to different formats for usage on a social media campaigns, print campaigns and album design. The logo is inspired by Lambe Lambe – a particular style of letterpress poster, made famous by the print shop Grafica Fidalga in Sao Paulo. Having commissioned Grafica Fidalga to produce posters in the past I made use of type examples in my personal collection of Lambe Lambe to produce this design.
Some late news prompted by seeing this lovely photography book on my shelf (designed by myself!). I am a big fan and friend of the wonderful photographer Barry Cawston. Barry’s work has won many awards and his is typically known for his landscape and interior photography shot on a large format camera. He has a great eye for those spaces in between, for colour, pattern and texture and we both share a love of travel.
After working together on logos and CD cover concepts for the excellent Ramona Flowers - Barry asked me to design a book of his recent photographic work to coincide with an Exhibition at Atkinson Gallery. It was my first experience in designing a book that would be produced digitally. There has been a huge rise of on-demand printing options and after some research we decided to use Blurb.
I created the book in Indesign as I found it gave me the maximum control in the layout but Blurb also offers good off-the-shelf layouts which can be found on their website, which can be used on-line and are not too bad for a simple book. Although as a designer I needed more control of the text and styling. We produced two versions a small paperback and then a larger format cloth bound hardback version which can be purchase and viewed here.
The accepted brief for designers and makers has always been to produce well made goods, fit for practical use. However, many have also employed shape and decoration to ask questions about political and social issues of their times, or about form and function. This is the subject of Subversive Design, currently showing at the Brighton Museum – a unique exhibition gathered from pieces from its historical collection, alongside new works cleverly curated to fit this fascinating theme including furniture, fashion, ceramics and more. Designers shown include Campana Brothers, Dupenny, Grayson Perry, Timorous Beasties, David Shrigley, Philippe Starck, Leigh Bowery, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood. Within this larger theme the exhibition looks at a number of sub-themes such as Big Issues, Form Vs Function and Subverting the body.
In October & November of 2013 I was invited by Brighton Museum to work with the Museum Collective – a group of young people aged 16 to 21 years old who organise and run events at the Royal Pavilion & Museums. Over a series of workshops we responded to the Subversive Design exhibition by producing our own zine which took inspiration from the art and issues embraced by the show.
The collective used collage, original drawing and painting, writing and journalistic skills to explore the works and quotations highlighted from the exhibition signage. Our main limitation was that we relied on analogue techniques and only used computers for research. The results were serious, fun, quirky and spontaneous…
The final result – Subverzine, is soon to be reproduced as a limited edition zine to be sold in the museum shop as the exhibition continues. Thanks again for the invitation and congratulations on the energy and commitment shown by all those who took part!
Words of Wisdom aka WOW – is an initiative of the Enquiry Desk a not-for-profit initiative founded by Josie Sullens and Zara Wood. The idea is that creative professionals share some of their words of wisdom for others. Zara Wood aka Woody asked me to take part some weeks ago and I only got round to mentioning it now.
See my page here: with lots of other great and good characters here to read about here – If you know your onions therm you’ll probably of heard of most of these folks. If not its a great way to browse and gen up on people doing creative stuff in design, art direction and illustration…
Each art project working with Wahaca becomes my favourite one and the same is the case for this one recently completed at One New Change, St. Pauls, London. The place was a blank canvas with no particular history to the site but it did allow for space to create a huge mural across the length of the space becoming the biggest mural painted for Wahaca so far!…
For this project I was delighted to invite two young Mexican street artists who often work together – Sanez (aka Fabian) & Kawamo (aka Sergio). Both are influenced by indigenous traditions and the rich artistic culture of Mexico. Sanez is known for his distinctive graphic painting style often using rollers to depict pre-Hispanic inspired motifs, while Cawamo produces high detailed and often politically inspired stencil art.
Although stylistically different, their work compliments each other while they both seek to create what they describe as, “our own national identity in our work.” Both artists have been drawn to the creative city of Oaxaca as a place to work and initiate projects. Originally from Monterrey, Fabian now lives in the city, while Cawamo spends time between Guadalajara and Oaxaca, together they team up to produce murals, exhibitions and performance pieces.
Most recently in June, 2013 they received attention for their experimental art project and exhibition “Corpus Plural” which involved working with the community of Teotitlán del Valle, a small village 31km from Oaxaca. Using installations, murals and video performance they invited local children to create a local lexicon of graphic symbols and explore ancient cosmology.
In the global world of street art Fabian & Cawamo present something authentic; they are both fascinated by their local roots and cultural identity, which they explore in original ways. In their combined murals Fabian’s bold designs create a structure using flat colour and clear outlines that have a flavour of and references to pre-Hispanic sacred art but with a contemporary interpretation. Into this geometric structure Cawamo integrates motifs for example symbolic animals, local people and folkloric activities such as shamanistic dancers.
Fabian’s decorative patterns and compositions are also filled with icons such as birds; deer and other animals, all sacred symbols in Mexican folklore. But more than simply re-interpreting icons, they feel a real affinity with, as they describe the “way pre- Hispanic cultures perceived the universe, with infinite possibilities, that’s how we see our work. Transmitting sensations rather than communicating an idea.”
Both artists have an autodidactic approach, having had no formal training, only knowledge learned from painting graffiti on the street. However they both draw from extensive personal research in folkloric art, national history and Mexican underground culture in developing their designs. Fabian is currently studying traditional printmaking techniques such as etching and lithography, in the numerous print workshops, which can be found in Oaxaca.
The following images are of the work at Wahaca in progress..
It’s been a busy year. Particularly with my on-going artist liaison work for Wahaca – finally it’s time to take stock of all the projects completed so far starting with… Daniel Melim at Wahaca Islington.
Earlier in the year we invited Brazilian artist Daniel Melim to create murals inside and out at Wahaca’s Southbank Experiment documented here. This job went back to back with another project at their new space in Islington (which we now have professional images of). It was an interesting space to tackle with a double height space which was left open, allowing Daniel to paint two storeys into the original ceiling.
To compliment Daniel’s stencils we used found surfaces such as panels from old tea chests and found wooden frames to add depth and texture to the installation.
Having been a fan of Brazilian music for some decades now it has been a pleasure to work with the Mais Um Discos label recently. In their own words - Mais Um Discos releases music from Brazilian artists who fuse styles, disregard genres and irritate purists and while Gilles Peterson says - “What Mais Um Discos is doing in Brazil is amazing.”
I was asked to design their latest double CD DAORA – compiled by Rodrigo Brandao. It’s a fantastic mix of what’s going on now in Urban Brazilian music. Given the nature of the music we decided to work with Sao Paulo based stencil artist Daniel Melim whose work seemed to reflect the music. With quite a lot of text to cram on the design we kept it simple with blocks of text cut-out in a fanzine style.
Sometime ago I assisted in their first album Oi! A Nova Musica Brasileira! - initially hooking them up with the artist Derlon and my Sao Paulo buddies Choque Cultural. So with Daora it was nice to work on a project from start to finish.
Sometime ago I wrote a piece for Varoom magazine about Brazilian illustration which identified current trends and talents coming from this vibrant scene. So it was a pleasure recently to work with a new company called Visualog from Japan to create a series of iPhone covers called Braziliance! using Brazilian artists. The artists we chose are all producing fantastic work in different fields and are all ones that I have either met or worked with before.
We produced a range of 25 designs from three artists available for two types of iPhone. Brazil is a mix – of different heritages and landscapes, from the rainforests to its growing metropolis. We are all familiar with the stereotypes of soccer and samba that are famed worldwide, but at the same time itself Brazil is becoming known for its cultural cool in art and design. In particular its growing cities are developing into a hot bed of artistic talent with the rise of its street art, which has turned cities such as Rio and Sao Paulo into world capitals of graffiti art. The artist’s in this collection represent different parts of Brazil’s up-and-coming creative scenes; from the streetwise figures of Rodrigo Branco’s graffiti paintings to the sensational DIY stickers and zines of Pacolli and not forgetting the woodcut and ephemera inspired fresh graphics of Flavio Morais.
Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Flavio moved to London in the late 70’s where he studied at the Chelsea School of Art. He lived and worked in Barcelona during the 80’s, returning to Brazil in 1994.
Flavio now lives and works in Barcelona for clients throughout Europe, Mexico and the USA. A highly sought after mural-artist his work can be found in a multitude of bars and restaurants around Barcelona.
Patricia Colli aka Pacolli is a Brazilian artist originally from Sao Paulo but today spends much of her time in San Francisco.
She has a DIY approach to art, using her drawings and screen-printed cartoon characters to make her own self-published zines, sticker packs and T-shirts. Her cute, kitschy animals, love hearts and messages feature in masses of sketches, collages and graffiti murals which she has painted in cities and galleries from London to LA.
Rodrigo Branco aka Rodrigo de Souza Caldas at 25 years old is an up-and-coming painter with a background rooted in graffiti. Branco is a nickname bestowed to him meaning “The White” since he lives in an otherwise predominately black suburb at southern tip of São Paulo. His neighborhood of Grajaú is part of what is known as the ‘periferia’ the poor outskirts, which surround the city and it his experiences living there that are a theme in his work.
His portraits rendered with bold colors, strong lines and layering are intended to reflect the daily lives of people he observes eking out a living on the edge of city.
Last year it was a pleasure to begin working with Wahaca, purveyors of Mexican street food who are full of innovative ideas. My work with them is in a curation role, by introducing to them interesting street artists from around the world and matching the right artist to a particular space or project. This can involve planning with architects, artist liaison, production and documentation.
One of their most interesting projects is the Wahaca Southbank experiment – a temporary space created from sea containers set in the iconic setting of London’s Southbank Art centre. I was lucky enough last year to be invited to work in its initial phase and to fly in the artist’s, Saner from Mexico City and Remed from Madrid, to create murals inside and outside the space. The plan has always been to update the murals as time goes by and so it was a great pleasure this year to invite Daniel Melim, a Brazilian artist whose career I’ve been following since around 2003. We did however leave some pieces from Remed and Saner untouched so that the site builds up its own artistic history.
Daniel Melim is an artist based in São Bernardo do Campo in the south of São Paulo.
He principally uses stencils to create his colourful work, which he applies in a highly original way – by accentuating imperfections such as paint drips or using the same mask twice giving the idea of a printing error. In this way his work is a build up of textural and collagic layers.
In Melim’s artwork and outlook there is a component of social activism. As the son of a teacher, his own fine art education led him to become an art teacher himself for four years. In 2006 he was drawn to volunteer and community work, setting up art workshops for community teens in the Ferrazopolis slum. This work continues and has resulted in huge site-specific projects. Melim’s studio-based paintings and installations have been exhibited at MASP and Afro-Brasil Museum, both in São Paulo as well the Valencia Biennale in Spain. His workshop project Casa da Cultura continues and is funded by artist’s volunteering and sponsorship including some donations from the UK based ABC Trust.
Melim’s work created for Wahaca’s outside spaces was in response the Southbank’s Festival of Neighbourhood season. IN his words “My idea is to create different pictorial planes through the vertical bands, composing distinct colours side by side, as part of the work, creating a contrast and yet a harmony between the different parts. Along with the Latin culture of the communities and all the richness of colours and textures inspired by this culture.”
I’m taking part in this talk soon (see blurb below) looking forward to finally meeting Derlon, although I’ve been following his career this will be a first meeting!
The Embassy of Brazil in London, in collaboration with Instituto BR, proudly presents a round table discussion on Manguetown Grafitti & Brazilian Street Art. The panellists, Derlon de Almeida and Tristan Manco, will discuss Derlon´s creative process and unique style; contemporary urban art in Brazil and its ever evolving format: from marginalized grafitti to an admired and established form of expression that mixes popular culture and social awareness as well as its relevance within a worldwide street art context.
Derlon de Almeida is one of the most important names in Brazilian urban art, a self-taught artist whose artistic language includes a mix of street art, Brazilian popular culture, wood cuts (xylography) and pop art. A household name in Recife – aka Manguetown – Derlon made the city his canvas and his creations can be found on walls and buildings in Brazil and abroad with individual exhibitions and commissions in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon and Amsterdam. Derlon was recently featured in the BBC 1 series Brazil with Michael Palin. Derlon’s first UK solo show From Manguetown: The Urban Art of Derlon opens on 17 July at Shoreditch´s gallery 71A. He will also be participating at Vamos! Festival in Newcastle.
Tristan Manco is a designer, illustrator and art director for clients including the BBC, Habitat and EMI Records to mention but a few. Tristan also works with international contemporary artists as well as an art director for clients including Pictures On Walls and Choque Cultural. In 2002 he published his first book, Stencil Graffiti (Thames and Hudson) which was followed by Street Logos (2004), Graffiti Brasil (2005), Street Sketchbook (2007), Street Sketchbook: Journeys (2010) and Raw + Material + Art (2012).
EMBASSY OF BRAZIL IN LONDON | 14-16 COCKSPUR STREET, LONDON SW1Y 5BL
It is now the end of an enjoyable four months spent leading zine-making workshops at the De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex. During this period there were five workshops, open to the public on various Saturdays, where I and my assistant Marian guided participants of all ages to make their own zines and illustrations – see my previous blog entry.
Over this period I have been reporting on the results for each workshop on the De La Warr Pavillion’s own blog. Each session has been slightly different to the last, some busier than others, while some of the quieter sessions have ended up being super-productive with individuals and groups creating many paged finished zines, crammed full of great material all within the short three hour period of the workshop.
The range of work has been really impressive – some zine-sters were interested in writing content, others in drawing, while each session produced some exciting collage. Beyond explaining the basics of the workshop Marian and I encouraged each group to experiment with media, think about themes in their work and promote creativity.
For anyone who took part in the sessions here are a list of zine related links to discover more..
I am pleased to announce my inclusion as a guest speaker at the Cheltenham Design Festival amongst the great and the good including British design gurus Adrian Shaughnessy and Neville Brody. There’s plenty going on over five days starting from Thursday 11th April through to Sunday 14th April – my own talk is bright and early on Friday morning @ 10am as one of their studio events. The full brochure can be downloaded from their website.
My newly drafted talk will focus on the fundamentals of Street Art and keeping with the general theme of this year’s festival I will be looking at how original thought can change the way we live. In particular I’ll be taking a closer look at creativity in street art and its relation to community.