I Can’t Draw…

September 1st 2012

My Lovely friend Hannah Tofts kindly gave me a copy of her new book I Can’t Draw Ways Of Looking


Ways Of Looking

I’ve known Hannah since my Brighton Art college days, she has always been on the look out for found objects, scurrying through ones waste bins in search for discarded plastic bottle tops to fruit packaging. Now living on the beautiful West Coast of Scotland, apart from all her other illustrative projects to keep her busy Hannah has been running art classes to the locals, specially designed to break the mantra of  the “ I can’t draw “ brigade. An amazing and truly inspirational project, her creative zest and positive thinking dribbles from  the pages and always leaves me open mouthed at her energy to create and more importantly to share the buzz!

Hannah's Book

Hannah's Book

All Washed Up Project

Also check out her wonderful animated character ZZebbra


and her blog

Hannah's Blog



Posted in art, books, colour, design, graphic design, handmade

London Design Festival

September 30th 2010

With around 250 events under the London Design Festival umbrella but with not much time to spare, I did a mad dash around East London then hopped over to Earl’s Court to catch 100% Design.

This was The Tramshed’s first year and it was great. Our friend’s BCMH were showing within the Them There section. They’ve recently completed the graphics for ‘Speed and Light: Edward Gordon Craig’, a new show at the V&A.

Them There also included Cristian Zuzunaga who is building up a reputation for exciting collaborations (with Kvadrat, Ligne Roset and Hästens amongst many others) and particularly for his brightly coloured, giant pixel prints. They’ve been applied to bags, scarves and even a sofa, which was produced with Moroso:

(c) Zuzunaga and Moroso

Elsewhere in the Tramshed I spotted Luke Pearson giving a talk, Michelle Mullins’ gorgeous cushions and Rare’s ‘digitally crafted surfaces’ lovely textures created for wall panels. Furniture makers Benchmark practically re-located to London and installed a functioning workshop:

The Benchmark craftsmen hard at work

Posted in design, graphic design, interior design, pattern, review

Loose ends from Premier Vision

March 2nd 2010

What I love about going to Premier Vision is that not only is it a great opportunity to peer ahead, check out trends and see cutting edge technologies that are the results of years of R&D but you get to pick up stuff (literally and mentally) that you might not normally find or have easy access to. Here’s a good example, it’s a beautifully produced colour journal called ‘Le fil du lin & du chanvre’ which gives an overview of how linen and hemp are being used across the board in design.

Le fil du lin & du chanvre, n°03

I also found ‘Geometric’, a brilliant book by Kapitza – a design studio up the road from here set up by 2 sisters. It’s great fun, loaded with 100 pattern fonts (shapes based on the forms of letters in the alphabet) and something I’m definitely looking forward to playing with. Some of the patterns reminded me of the Dutch artist and designer Karel Martens who is a favourite of mine. You can buy the book from the Kapitza online shop:

One last notable mention from Premier Vision: Jakob Schlaepfer’s brand new, awe-inspiring fabric ‘Secret Garden’, a shimmering silver gossamer with iridescent inks printed onto it. It’s one of those fabrics that photographs really don’t do justice to, you have to see it up close and feel it yourself. So, lucky me! Look out for this in the coming years time in clothing and interiors.

Posted in books, design, graphic design, pattern, review, technology, trends

And it’s more than just the artists!

November 16th 2009

Still thinking about the Museum of Everything! I think a key to its success is that the exhibition redresses the balance of power held by the galleries, dealers and media, tipping it back towards the artists and the general public. You appreciate what you’re seeing on its merit, without preconceptions of the artists’ fame, reputation or ‘value’.

At the Museum, the presentation and atmosphere, almost like inside an art school, perfectly mirror Brett’s un-snobby and democratic approach to collecting. It feels like an antidote to how I often encounter art in the mainstream institutions, big art fairs and slick commercial central London galleries.

All the elements, from the little postcards, badges, handwritten signs, the sense of humour, tea and cake, the website and large-format catalogue are all executed with real warmth and personality.

The Museum Of Everything Exhibition 1, Front Cover of Catel

The Museum Of Everything Exhibition 1, Front Cover of Catalogue

Posted in art, design, graphic design