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East End Prints is an online gallery selling a really stunning and diverse range of prints from some of the hottest artists and designers around. It’s hard to believe that the collective is only a couple of years old..they seem to have accomplished so much in such a short space of time!! Helen Edwards is not only the founder behind the gallery but also the heart, soul and creative force responsible for how far it has come. With over 15 years experience of artist management, print publishing, licensing and curating exhibitions, it’s no surprise that East End Prints is becoming a favourite place to go for art online.

Artists include Dieter Braun, Vintage By Hemingway, Kris Tate, Anthony Peters, Paul Tebbot, Patrick Thomas, Paul Collis, Bangkokney Belle, Jess Wilson, Sweet View, Dale Edwin Murray and Morning Edit’s very own Of Life and Lemons! …and there are soooooo many more too! Helen kindly let us pick her brain about how East End Prints began and what else she has on the cards!…put the kettle on, grab a biccie, and enjoy….

© Patrick Thomas

Q. First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Do you come from a creative background?

Helen: I come from a bizarre little town called Clacton on Sea, Essex where the Victorian splendour of a seaside town has been replaced by the pound and betting shop. I spent a lot of my youth drawing and being bored, which I now understand drives creativity, at the time it was unbearable. My parents, I would say were both creative in their own ways.

Q. What was the incentive behind setting up East End Prints, and how did it all start? Had it been something you had been wanting to do for a while?

Helen: I have always wanted my own business and I never thought it would be financially viable or possible to get something off the ground on a budget. By chance I took voluntary redundancy which spring boarded the project. I went on a business course, wrote a business plan and never looked back!

© Vintage By Hemingway

© Hennie Howarth

Q. Can you tell us about any specific high points in East End Prints’ journey to date? …and any low points or stumbling blocks (though we hope not too many!)?

Helen: I guess a couple of high points would be the fabulous One Ton Show, at Shoreditch Town Hall. 100 artists for £100, where we had customers literally queuing round the corner to buy art. We even had the shoe designers from Clarks come to view our exhibition after WGSN trendspotters had picked up on our Alphabet theme as being ‘on trend’. Very satisfying indeed. Trends and trendspotting always make me chuckle as you have to start them, not follow them and every year seems to be a variation on a similar theme.

Thankfully we haven’t had too many stumbling blocks…though I would say that its really hard work particularly as there is only one of me – with a young baby!

© Sweet View

© Nick Boyce

Q. You now supply Urban Outfitters with some of their wall art pieces..this must have been a really exciting opportunity for EEP and for your artists! How is it all going? Do you have plans in the pipeline to work with any more retailers?

Helen: The UO collaboration is a great high and a lovely brand match as the artists we represent love this too. I am keen to offer the range exclusively to UO for the high street part of the business but we have just taken on 4 more online retailers – each of which will be given an exclusive range on request. Online is growing but you still need a shop window – hence we still display regularly at Spitalfields Art Market.

Q. You have such a fantastic collection of artists and designers available in your collectives… can you give us a little bit of background as to who came on board first with, and how it gained momentum?

Helen: I LOVE the artists and illustrators we work with – they have such a fun style and are easy going. I think Dale Edwin Murray and Anthony Peters are two who I would say made me believe a business was possible. Since Urban Outfitters we have had such a high calibre of submissions, which just helps the range grow and grow!

© Dale Edwin Murray

© Anthony Peters

Q. Did you find that artists were approaching you to come on board?

Helen: Yes, I would say now they are, it helped working in the industry previously of course! Its who you know in this world – and a little of what you know :O)

Q. You have just taken on the work of Artistic.ly – a design community showcasing some gorgeous graphic art prints from a fab stable of designers and illustrators. How are these being received by your fan-base? It’s a great fit, and yet brings an exciting new dimension to your collective!

Helen: Yes, I have had an eye on some of these artists for a while but never got round to contacting them – I have cherry picked who I felt would compliment the range rather than selecting artists whose style was already covered in the collection. I am always on the look out for new collaborations!

© Indur Design

© Lucy Dyson

Q. You regular participate in pop-up exhibitions, art shows and craft fairs… How important is it for you to be able have contact with your customers and artists, and discuss / receive feedback from people first-hand?

Helen: I do love a good art market –it’s a good chance to keep your toe in with what customers have to spend and how styles and tastes are changing. About 5 years ago people were prepared to spend a lot more money – ask anyone at Spitalfields and they would agree.

Q. What exciting plans have you got coming up this year? Anything we need to get into our diary?

Helen: My focus for the rest of the year is the Spitalfields Art Markets which I love doing and building those new online retailers. We are participating in the London Fields Design District this week for the London Design Festival, organised by our friends at the East London Design Show. We try to support all things East London where possible, and it’s going to be a great event! (find out more here – http://www.eastlondondesignshow.co.uk)

Q. What is a typical day for you like – is there such a thing as a ‘typical’ day?

Helen: Oh my no such thing! It would be anything from discussing contracts with artists or new retailers. Answering customer enquiries on print stock, dealing with complaints! Ordering new stock, managing deliveries – eating toast –shall I go on…?

© Joy Doom Manifesto

 

© Detroit Lives

© Kris Tate

Q. What advice would you give to anyone out there thinking about starting their own business in the creative field?

Helen: Do it! Realise your dreams and set yourself free from the rat race. Working for yourself is the most satisfying time you will ever have. Be prepared to sacrifice everything – you have no time to pluck your eyebrows, but you will be in a blissful state! You never quite stop worrying, but you have to take each day as it comes. ..and make sure your friends and family support you all the way.

Q. And finally, what are your long term goals for East End Prints? Do you have any specific aspirations or plans in mind for the future?

Helen: I hope EEP can continue to grow at a steady pace – recent business opportunities have allowed for this as well as new licensing opportunities. I would like to employ a digital intern/apprentice to deal with all the nonsense that I do not particularly enjoy. I would also like to spend more time inspiring young people to become entrepreneurs as well as set up a couple more businesses – not too much to ask?

Thanks Helen! x

http://www.eastendprints.co.uk   @EASTENDPRINTS

(GIVEAWAY!!! For a chance to win a set of Karin’s beautiful ‘Sweet Dreams’ pillowcases, please scroll down to the end of this post to find out more!)

Hi guys! Today we are thrilled to be able to introduce you to the work of Swedish born illustrator Karin Åkesson.. Karin’s signature style of nostalgic drawings and typographic prints covers the themes of popular culture, flora and fauna and the most beautiful tiny birds you could wish for – all with happiness and positivity at their heart. Her range now covers wall art prints, stationary, cushions, tea-towels, pillowcases and tote bags, and all are available from a number of stockists as well as from Karin direct. And as if this wasn’t enough, Karin also applies her illustrative skills to advertising, editorial and design work which has covered a really wide and exciting portfolio of clients over the years. Ooh – and she also happily receives private commissions too!

Karin was born and raised in Sweden but moved to England in 1997 to study Illustration at Brighton University before she moved to London to complete her MA at the Royal College of Art. Since graduating in 2003 she has been working as a freelance designer, now working from her studio by Victoria Park in East London. Looking at the rate by which her product range and popularity is growing, we cannot wait to see what else is in store both for her and for us! Lucky for us Karin was able to take a break in her hectic schedule to allow us to find out more!..

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Can you remember when you first became interested in all things creative?

I am a Swedish born illustrator who has now almost spent half my life in the UK. I initially came here to study and I found UK to be such a great place to be and it has inspired both my life and work. As far back as I can remember I have enjoyed being creative and I know I am very lucky to be able to work with what I love.

Q. You have been in England for 15yrs… How do you feel British design differs from Scandinavian design? And how does living here in the UK – and specifically London – influence your work do you think?

London is such an exciting place to live. I love the mixture of people and culture and it’s naturally a very creative place. Sweden is much more controlled and polished somehow, and at times can be almost too “perfect”.. and so I think this is reflected in the design world as well.

Q. Your began expanding your work onto your own product range a number of years ago… What instigated this, and what has been your most popular product / theme to date?

I have always worked on personal projects alongside my commissioned work. A few years ago I decided to test selling some print designs in a local market, and I got a great response from the customers who came. And so my collection has grown organically ever since. My birds with messages of joy were my first collection and is still one of the most popular product ranges.

Q. You regular participate in art shows and craft fairs… How important is it for you to be able have contact with your customers and artists, and discuss / receive feedback from people first-hand?

Market life is a great way of meeting new customers and trying out new products, as well as getting instant feedback. Eaves-dropping on customers’ honest options – good and bad – provides a great insight and a great way to learn!

Q. As well as selling your prints directly from your website, you also have your prints available through a number of online galleries and retailers. Does it sometimes become a struggle keeping up with all of your customer orders – especially around the holiday season!? Do you have any advice for anyone finding themselves in a similar situation?

The month leading up to Christmas is always the most demanding but also most exciting time of the year. So much of the work during the rest of the year goes into making the holiday season a success. Being organized and prepared is key and at times I found bribery works for husband and friends to help pack up orders and we end up with a mini factory in the living room!

Q. You are exhibiting for the first time at London’s Top Drawer trade show this week. You must be really excited at seeing how your work will be received by the Independent and High Street retailers visiting the show? Hopefully it will be packed with Buyers all looking for lovely new product ranges for their stores?!!

I already sell my work in a selection of shops and galleries but this is the first time I’m actively searching for stockists, and so it will be exciting to see how the business grows in this new direction. I am looking forward to meet lots of new buyers and fellow designers and I expect I will learn a lot!

Q. You have just re-launched your website and online shop, which is looking absolutely fantastic! Did you feel it was time for a re-vamp?

Yes! I think a redesign of my website was long overdue, I feel it’s more customer friendly now and it reflects my work in a better way.

Q. What other exciting plans have you got coming up this year? Anything we need to get into our diary?

I will be selling my work at East London Design Show 7-9th December so please do come and say hello!

Q. What is a typical day for you like – is there such a thing as a ‘typical’ day?

I usually spend my mornings preparing and packing up orders and once I have dropped off the postal sack at the post office I have the rest of the day free to work on new projects or catching up with admin and marketing. There is always a never-ending list of things to do but I know it is important to enjoy it and enjoy the freedom it brings, so if it is a sunny day I will go out and sit in the park! Most of my inspiration is found in everyday life so what better excuse is there to go out and explore!? Oh I mean work!

Q. We love hearing how Designers choose to decorate their own homes.. Can you give us a little insight into your own tastes? What do you adorn your own walls with at home / in the studio?

I read somewhere that a home with personal photos on the walls is a happy home, and I like that. I like our home to feel homely and personal with a comfortable sofa! It’s filled with things that we care about and bits of furniture – old and new – that we have collected over the years. I have quite a few of my own prints on the wall, for when I make a new print I like to live with it and try it out at home. I am my own customer and I make things I like for myself.

Thanks so much Karin!!

GIVEAWAY!!! For a chance to win a set of these 2 beautiful ‘Sweet Dreams’ pillowcases below (usual RRP £25), simply tweet a link to this interview including the following hashtag #morningeditgiveaway and a winner will be chosen at random! Competition closes in 1 weeks’ time.

Karin is currently exhibiting her work at Top Drawer London – The UK’s leading event for design-led gifts, lifestyle & fashion accessories. Pop along until Tuesday 18th Sept to say hello and see her stunning range of products!

http://karinakesson.com   @KarinAkesson

It’s hard to believe that Unlimited Editions have only been going for a couple of years; their collective of contemporary illustrators, designers and printmakers make for a very impressive line-up indeed! Unlimited Editions launched in early 2010 by husband and wife team Patrick and Sara Morrissey as an expansion to their design studio business Unlimited – a creative design studio in the heart of Brighton’s North Laine. Their Unlimited Editions shop offers a wide variety of stunning prints and design products from a fantastic stable of artists and designers – available to the public via both their Brighton shop and their online store.

Unlimited Editions shop, Brighton:

Patrick graduated from the London College of Printing before joining design group Why Not Associates, working for numerous prestigious clients such as the BBC, Natural History Museum, Nike, Royal Mail, Barbican, Virgin and First Direct. Graduating from Central Saint Martins, Sara combined a successful career as an award-winning illustrator with design teaching, before graduating from the MA Typo/Graphics at the London College of Printing. Together they formed Unlimited and opened for business in May 2008 with the aim of producing intelligent, engaging and inspiring art and design for clients both big and small.

Being such admirers of their work and their wonderful collective, we are thrilled to say that Patrick and Sara were kind enough to allow us to ask them a few questions about how it all began, and where they go from here!..

Q. What was the incentive behind setting up Unlimited Editions, and how did it all start?

Sara: It’s all been quite a natural progression really… Starting 3 years ago with our decision to take part in the Artist’s Open House (AOH) Festival here in Brighton. We’d already produced various print designs for external exhibitions we’d been involved in, and having seen the growing audience for contemporary design work we thought we’d throw open our studio doors and invite a few of our friends who are also designers to participate too. In regards to the online shop, we were already in the process of developing a shop side to our own design studio website to sell our own prints – but decided to take this a step further and create a stand alone site that could sell our designs alongside the curated work from the collective of designers we had gathered together for AOH. ‘Unlimited Editions’ as a name playfully tied in to our studio and the sale of printed matter.

A huge incentive to keep UE going has been the wonderful opportunity to curate and represent such a strong collective of local contemporary creatives. I think my years of being a design tutor came in to play and find it very motivational to discover new talent, represent them at UE and promote their work.

Julia Trigg prints:

HelloMarine prints:

Q. You create your own wonderful prints as part of the collective – under the studio name Unlimited. How much time do you get to devote to your own creative work… And how do you balance this side of things with the running of Unlimited Editions?

Sara: Not as much time as we’d like!… Though we are very lucky that our studio work is mainly for renowned arts and cultural clients such as Royal Academy of Arts, Design Museum and University of the Arts London, which gives us the opportunity to let loose our creativity on a daily basis!… The shop I see as my ‘baby’, whilst Patrick my husband/partner takes the reins running the design studio. The running of the shop, both online and out of our studio, is a real commitment in itself, but when we can we both try and create something new for UE!

Q. How do you collaborate together on a piece of work? Do you compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses, creatively?

Sara: As a husband and wife team, we’ve been living and working together for 22 years now!… Having met on our Art Foundation course, we’ve spent our entire adult life together and are just very comfortably in tune with one another! But with a tricky project we’ve found the best way to collaborate is over a drink in the pub. It’s definitely the best place to brainstorm away from the desk!

Unlimited prints:

Q. Brighton is such a creative hotbed of illustration and design talent… How much of a role has the location played in establishing Unlimited Editions, and the success it has achieved?

Sara: I think Brighton life has definitely played a positive role in starting UE… There is a fantastic creative network which is really accessible and friendly – a pleasure to be a part of!… We had our first studio space in New England House, where we met a great group of varied creatives including graphic designers, illustrators, web developers, photographers, ceramicists… even lingerie designers! Now based in the heart of the North Laine, we are surrounded by small independent boutique shops and a real diversity of people which makes for an interesting and inspirational environment.

Paul Farrell prints:

Q. You have such a fantastic collection of artists and designers available in your collective… Can you give us a little bit of background as to who came on board first, and how it gained momentum?

Sara: Our earliest UE members were immediate friends such as With Relish, Transmission, Martin O’Neill and DOT amongst others who exhibited with us for the first AOH festival. And through the success of that and the positive feedback we received, we quickly had people coming to us!… But saying that, we’ve also been very active in approaching people we like the work of and who we feel compliment our UE philosophy, and we’ve grown from the original few to the current collective of over 40!… We see UE as Unlimited’s ‘Studio Shop’, and as such we want the quality and creativity of all the work we exhibit and sell to reflect the same standards as our own.

With Relish prints:

Martin O’Neill prints:

Q. Can you tell us about any specific high points in Unlimited Editions journey to date?

Sara: The daily high point is looking at the artists and work we’ve gathered together as part of the UE collective.. When we look at the UE site and shop we feel incredibly proud. Gathering artists on board who we both admire and respect gives us a real sense of satisfaction!… Also the constant positive feedback and ever growing following spurs us on too!

Q…and any low-points when things have been a real struggle?

Sara: Not low points, more of a huge learning curve at times!… The growth of UE has all happened very organically and as a response to our audience feedback, but this has meant tackling the world of retail and I suppose PR/marketing in a sense… Alongside managing our own design practice, we are now managing a shop/gallery and all that entails, working to promote and support our artists the best we can!… But we are as passionate about it as the day we started and feel very fortunate to be in a position to do what we love for a living! So no complaints!

Kay Vincent prints:

Q. You host regular exhibitions at your Brighton design studio – both individual shows and group exhibitions. These are no doubt really fun events, the culmination of much hard work from the artists and yourselves! Do you find many of your artists come together at these events to discuss the work and catch-up?

Sara: Yes, we’ve done three years of Open House exhibitions, both in May and December, and we have recently started to hold solo shows featuring the work of individual artists – our first being ‘Ghostal Express’ by local illustrator extraordinaire Will Scobie. Yes, they are both fun and hard work!… But as well as having the opportunity to exhibit great work and impress our audience, I love the social aspect and the coming together of our creatives and the opportunity to meet new ones too! Where possible I try and encourage group meets so we can all have a catchup, chat, relax and a drink together!

Will Scobie – ‘Ghostal Express’:

Q. What exciting plans / events have you got coming up this year? Anything we need to get into our diary?

Sara: Yes, we’re really excited planning our next solo show, ‘Head to Toe’ by Imeus Design, which will be running from 25 October to 17 November. Imeus AKA Anthony Peters,  is fascinated by work that reduces a concept or image to its most basically communicated form. For this show Anthony’s love of minimal graphics, old school book diagrams and hands-on printing methods will be coming together to create a series of brand new works based loosely on the human body and the mundane everyday appendages we apply to it. ‘Head to Toe’ will be a show containing graphic renditions of human biology… In Anthony’s own words “Like a Damien Hirst vitrine made by Hanna Barbera!”…

We’ll also begin planning soon for the Christmas AOH Festival where we will have an amazing array of design gifts and goodies from all our collective at the studio shop!

Imeus / Anthony Peters prints:

Q. You have just had a refurbishment in your gallery and studio space..How is it all looking??

Sara: We had a bit of a refit back in April to try and make our small space work more successfully as both a studio and a shop!… Up till then we were existing as a kind of pop-up shop where we’d have to pack away our studio equipment every weekend to set up our shop wares, and then back to studio on a Monday morning, which was all rather exhausting!… Our friend Mark Lane of Square One design collaborated with us on the layout designs and built us some great bespoke dividers and storage to help us streamline and define the spaces in style! It is definitely more workable on a daily basis and we are pleased with how it all looks!

Jessie Ford prints:

Q. What is a typical day for you like – is there such a thing as a ‘typical’ day?

Sara: Not really, but most days start with a very slow walk into town with our sausage dog Honey (very short legs, not much speed) followed by the best cup of coffee in Brighton at Coffee@33. Then it’s into work and straight into answering emails, dealing with on-line shop orders, managing ongoing and future gallery projects and meetings, whilst also working on all our current design briefs.

Q. As designers yourselves, what tool or medium could you not live without?

Sara: Very sad to say, but we are in love with all things Apple. We’ve grown up with them (starting off with a black and white Mac Classic!) and can’t imagine life without them. The kettle is a necessity too!

Zeroh prints:

Q. And finally, do you have any specific aspirations in mind for Unlimited Editions?

Sara: To find that perfect space in the North Laine that can house both our rapidly growing shop and studio!… and to become a real destination point within Brighton and beyond for what we do!… We’ve had amazingly positive feedback from people visiting the shop and the word is spreading! It’s grown very organically as a reaction to this, and as such I hope it feels more honest than engineered, and means we are filling a need rather than foisting another venture onto the market! We just aim to keep forging new connections with other skilled creatives, to keep evolving as a business and be inspired by everything going on around us.

Thank you SO MUCH!! x

Sara, Patrick and Honey!:

The Unlimited studio and Unlimited Editions shop can be found in The Old Stables, 4b Upper Gardner Street, Brighton BN1 4AN, (tel 01273 818 979)

email: hello@unlimitededitions.co.uk

twitter: @weareunlimited

facebook: Unlimited Editions

studio website: www.weareunlimited.co.uk

shop website: www.unlimitededitions.co.uk

We featured the brand-new ceramic tableware range by John Murphy earlier this week (here), but we wanted to showcase more of his fabulous product range as we are such fans of his work. American artist John Murphy creates beautiful limited edition prints which are regularly exhibited in Philadelphia and New York, and collected worldwide. His imagery merges vintage and modern sensibilities exploring ideas of beauty and fantasy within the decorative arts – and the results are absolutely stunning.

John’s body of work includes an exclusive stationery set published by TeNeues, open-edition prints distributed worldwide into select retail and museum stores, and a brand-new ceramic tableware range. His work also encompasses gorgeous photography presented in his own signature hand-finished frames. Recent shops selling John’s stationary and frames include the Contemporary Arts Museum, TX; International Center for Photography, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art, MA; the J Paul Getty Museum, CA; Nassau County Museum of Art, NY; and the New York Public Library, NY.

John works in New York, and in Philadelphia where he lives outside of the city with his wife and two small children – who love to art direct their dad whenever possible! Here is our interview with Mr M:

Q. How and when did you first become interested in art and design?

A. I’ve made art for as long as I can remember. Like most kids, I drew all of the time when I was little. It sounds pretentious, but it’s really how I process information and the world around me. I honestly can’t imagine not doing it.

Q. How difficult has it been for you to establish yourself as an artist? Can you tell us a little bit about your journey to where you are now?

A. I’m trained as a painter and showed my work for many years in galleries. I also did curatorial work for 10 years. I’m really feeling at home doing what I do now, but it’s been a long road getting here.

Q. How would you describe your creative process?

A. Hmmm… I don’t know that I can. Only that I am inspired everyday and file away a lot of visual information which somehow shows up in the things I make. I do also need to physically play around with things quite a bit to work it out. I’m not the type to come up with an idea and then just realize it.

Q. What is a typical day for you like? Is there such a thing as a ‘typical’ day?

A. Things change day to day and I’ve learned that flexibility is key. For real.

Q. How do you know when a project is complete?

A. I’m more decisive now than I used to be. I suppose I’ve learned to trust my intuition. I can also abandon a project pretty easily if it’s not working out. If it’s something worth doing, it will show up again another time.

Q. What tool or medium could you not live without?

A. My Mac.

Q. We always find it fascinating to see peoples’ working space.. whether it be their studios or bedrooms, kitchens, garages.. or a tiny space on their living room floor! Please could you describe your working space, to give us a sense of where and how you?

A.The studio is in the ground floor of our home. It’s not the sexiest space I’ve had, but having everything in-house really works with our lifestyle. Justine (my wife) tends to be the tidy one in here, while I’ve been known to be less so – walking around with bubble wrap stuck to my shoe for example, or holding the very thing I’m looking for. Nevertheless, zero commute and the ability to run through the sprinkler with the kids while something is drying…priceless.

Q. Can you tell us about just some of the clients you have worked with over the recent years?

A. My best clients are the individual customers who buy my work for their home. I always say I have the best clients in the world. I am truly grateful to each of them for their support.

Q. Who, or what, would you say has been your biggest inspirations for your illustration work?

A. My kids. They help me take risks every day.

Q. You exhibit and sell your artwork at art, design and craft fairs in the US.. How important to you is having this platform/outlet for your work – sharing your imagery with the public and with other craftsmen?

A. That element of what I do is huge for me. I have a few galleries that rep my work, but I love having direct contact with my customers. With so much emphasis being placed on online sales, it’s great to meet face to face. It’s so much more personal and I love that they take the leap with me. The fellow artists and crafts people I work with are also incredibly important to me. Many of them have become my closest friends. They work their asses off and I have a great deal of respect for each of them.

Q. Any recurring themes in your work?

A. Color is probably what I obsess over the most.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone struggling to find their own way in a similar field?

A. Don’t let the systems that define your field dictate how you do things …and don’t take yourself too seriously.

Q. What are you currently working on? Do you have any new and exciting projects coming up?

A. With the risk of speaking too soon…I’m working on a few items for the home – a ceramic line, a wallpaper range and possibly some bedding. Emphasis on the word “working” 🙂 (see our feature on John’s fab ceramic launch here!)

Q. How do you maintain a balance between work and life?

A. My wife works with me now in the studio and we have two small kids. Having schedules in place is crucial. I work everyday and often sell in NY on the weekends, but I end my working day when my kids get home from school so we have time together as a family. That time is really important to me.


Q. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

A. Jeez, I dunno! Whatever it is, I hope it’s not embarrassing!

Q. Do you have lots of artwork in your own home? If so, can you tell us about one or two pieces specifically? Any favourites?

A. We do have a lot of artwork in our house and a lot in my flat-files I’m sad to report. I like mixing established artist’s works with emerging artists and stuff from my kids. Simply put, we like what we like.

Q. What would be your dream collaboration or project?

A. We own an old building in Philadelphia where my studio used to be. I often think about turning it into a shop that would be styled as if someone lived there. Hmmm…maybe one day…

Thanks so much John! x

www.shopjohnmurphy.com and @shopjohnmurphy


Philip Sheffield creates hand-crafted graphic sculpture from his studio based deep in the Suffolk countryside; Low Step Studio. Using paper, cardboard and wood at the very core of his work, Philip uses a combination of traditional skills and the latest technology to create his stunning sculptural pieces and limited edition prints. He is a true craftsman, and was happy to give us a little insight into his background and inspirations..

Q. How and when did you first become interested in art.. and specifically your 3D paper work?

A. For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in 3-Dimensional work. I have always been very hands-on with what I create.. Even as a school boy I would love making friezes on the classroom walls, adding 3D elements such as paper flower heads to the finished scenes.

Q. How difficult has it been for you to establish yourself as an artist? Can you tell us a little bit about your creative background?

A. It takes a lot of hard work and determination, but it’s what I do… it’s part of who I am and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.. I went to Art School in London, and upon graduating, moved down to Devon where I worked as part of a small company creating t-shirt transfer designs. This was during the 1970’s, and times were pretty tough! I then moved back up to London to help an artist-friend with her silk-screening. She had injured her back and so needed someone to help with the making of her hand-cut paper stencils and the printing of her limited editions..and so I was her ‘boy’. I helped distribute these to the galleries in London and across the UK, which was such a fab learning experience for me.

I then started creating my own prints, and selling these to the gallery contacts I had made. At this time, much of my work focused on Japanese birds and flowers – so very different from what I am doing now!

I then began working with The Art Group – a leading global publisher of fine art open-edition prints. I worked as an artist in residence creating silk-screen prints for publishing, and then went on to build both their silk-screen and digital printing studios. I have witnessed so many changes in technology over the last 20yrs, and have been fortunate to be a part of these changes and developments within the art and publishing world. I have had to learn to grow and adapt with every new development and advancement.

Two years ago I held the position of Artist In residence at The Art Group, creating all different kinds of imagery for publishing, with work being selected by retailers such as IKEA, NEXT, and Habitat – to mention just a few. It was at this time that my traditional, hand-crafted skills came back to the fore in my work…using the latest technology to make my creations possible for flat-paper printing.

I now work as an artist and screen-printer from my own studio in the middle of rural Suffolk. My studio – Low Step Studio – is my haven. I can make a mess, make a noise, and work through the night if I so wish, with no-one to complain (other than Mrs Sheffield of course!).

Q. Wow! What an amazing career history. What would you say are the biggest influences behind your work?

A. The majority of my ideas come from nature…I love gardening.. and the countryside where I live is my constant inspiration. The changing seasons, the flora and fauna…all of my work comes back to this in some way. I think my work visually ties the link between my rural life in the studio, and my experience working in London. I see my work as a collaboration between the two.

Q. Do you know when a piece of work is finished and complete, or do you tend to go back and forth making multiple tweaks?

A. I have always been very focused, and I tend to know what I want to achieve before I begin. And so when the piece in front of me looks like what I have in my mind, I know it is ready. But I tend to think everything out in advance before I start. My work doesn’t tend to evolve naturally… a lot of my work involves structural challenges and problem-solving.. so I need to think things out before I begin. It is this part of the creative process that I love the most!

Q. What would be your dream collaboration or project?

A. I love collaborating with other creative people…such exciting ideas can be dreamed up together! I think my pinnacle project would involve creating something monumental in the countryside.. something along the vein of Newcastle’s Angel of the North.

Q. What tool or medium could you not live without?

A. My scalpel. I use surgical scalpels to create my paper pieces. My ‘butterfly’ pieces bring my two passions together – printmaking and paper.

Q. How do you maintain a balance between work and life?

A. I don’t! It is all the same thing. My work isn’t 9-5, and this is part of it’s beauty. With having my studio at home, I have the freedom to work whenever I want to. When an idea takes form, I just go and start it!

Q. What plans have you got for this year?

A. To keep developing and growing. I am aiming towards a one-man show in 2012 to show all of my hand-crafted pieces…so watch this space!

Philip’s website link: http://philipsheffield.4ormat.com/

We have been huge fans of the work of Barry Goodman for a long time now…and after having had the pleasure to work with Barry on several publishing projects, we can wholeheartedly say that his work is just as lovely as he is! With a long-standing fascination with the world of architecture and automotives, Barry creates beautiful, detailed collagraph prints with the use of cardboard and paper at their very source. We have fallen in love with his London-inspired pieces and their masculine, retro signature.


Since a young age, Barry had always intended on becoming an architect. However, his admiration for motorway fly-overs and huge brutalist buildings – such as London’s South Bank Centre and The Barbican – found an outlet through his paintings, which led to the study of Graphic Design at college before pursing a successful career in Design and illustration. Most people’s career stories would end there quite contentedly. However, 11 years ago Barry decided to step away from his career as a Creative Director within the Advertising/Design industry, and follow his passion to become an artist.

And so Barry returned to painting, and would explore his gritty urban environment with his camera and sketchbook; finding dumped cars, rusted metal and rotting buildings as a wonderful source of inspiration. As a child, Barry had collected old tin toys as a hobby, and this return to rusting automotives found a true resonance within his work. Upon experimenting with printmaking, finding that it allowed for much creative freedom, Barry was able to create editions rather than creating single, one-off paintings; something he had started to feel restricted by. He went on to study printmaking at The London College of Printing, and his true ‘light-bulb’ moment came when he began working and experimenting with collagraphs.

Collagraph plates are created by sticking and gluing materials like textured paper (or in Barry’s case cardboard) onto the plate and then coating it with shelac varnish or an acrylic medium to protect the materials. It was through this process that Barry’s signature style was initially developed. With a growing love of how collagraphs didn’t rely on a ‘science lab’ of hazardous chemicals, Barry would set up work at home on the kitchen table without any limitations. “I usually carry my sketchbook and camera around with me, I never know when I will stumble across something great… either a rain streaked 1960’s concrete structure or an abandoned rusty Fiat, it just has to be recorded. Strangely it transpires that cardboard (Collagraph print) is the material to capture these images”.

Since then, Barry has become a truly collectable artist. His work has been widely exhibited both across the UK and internationally, adorning walls from Streatham to San Francisco, New York to Naples. His work has been published by a number of highly respected publishers including The Almanac Gallery, The Art Group, Quarto Publishing, Art Angels and NP Worldwide. He is a member of The California Society of Printmakers, San Francisco, USA.

Barry was kind enough to answer a few questions for Morning Edit on his motivations and experience:

Q. How difficult has it been for you to establish yourself as an artist?

A. Anyone who says that it is easy isn’t telling the truth! You go through so much self-doubt, wondering if what you are doing is the right thing, and so you really have to trust your instincts and have self-belief. Deciding to leave my role in the agency world was one of the scariest things I have ever done, but it has been the best decision I have ever made.

Q. I always find it fascinating to see peoples’ working space.. Whether it be their studios or bedrooms, kitchens, garages.. or a tiny space on their living room floor! Please could you describe your working space, to give us a sense of where and how you work?

A. I mainly work from Artichoke Printmaking Workshop – a shared studio and workshop in Brixton, South London, which I absolutely love. It’s a really creative environment where ideas can be shared, and where everyone feeds ideas off each other..and I am fortunate to work alongside several internationally acclaimed printmakers. I have considered setting up a studio from home..which I still may do one day.. But I know for sure that I would really miss the interaction that Artichoke provides. And so I am very happy for now!

Q. What is a typical day for you like?

A. I don’t really have a ‘typical’ day. Although consuming copious amounts of coffee is very typical. It all depends on what projects I am working on at the time. I could be in the workshop experimenting, making plates at the kitchen table or just printing, printing, printing. Like all of us, Summer is my best period – blue sky, early start. On cold Winter days, with cold hands and sticky fast-setting inks, time becomes of the essence. My editions are usually limited to around 40-50 in number, because the plates are constructed from cardboard and paper they are quite fragile and have a limited capacity for successful usability, therefore high editions numbers are not a fact of life for me. But some days I just take time out for myself. I might take a train down to Brighton for the day or lose myself in a gallery and seek some new inspiration – get a change of scenery.

Q. Speaking of trains! Transport is a hugely influential theme within your work. Do you have a favourite subject / mode of transport which you like exploring the most in your imagery?

A. London transport is my absolute favourite.. and I don’t think I couldever get bored of working with the classic Routemaster Bus. I grew up opposite a farm in the country, and didn’t move to London until I was 21yrs old. And so even though I have lived in London for many years, I don’t think my admiration for the capital’s iconic transport will ever wane. At least I hope not!

Q. Would you ever consider relocating, do you think? And if so, where to?

A. I have spent a great deal of time in San Francisco, and so this would be my 2nd home perhaps. It feels very European and is a really exciting and stimulating city..not to mention their beautiful trams! But for now I am still in love with dirty old London.

Q. Who, or what, would you say has been your biggest inspirations for your illustration work?

A. I have always admired and have been influenced by 20th century American art in general. The work of Edward Hopper and Richard Diebenkorn are particular favourites (their work also has travel at its heart), as well as the master of pop, Andy Warhol.

 

Q. What kind of work adorns your walls at home?

A. I am a real collector and hoarder of vintage things. I have shelves of toys.. A collection of old vintage tin signs.. Travel-themed prints, old car brochures from the 1950’s and 60’s, Russian Soviet posters. Infact, the house and loft is groaning with all the ephemera I have collected, and simply can’t bear to part with!

Q. What would be your dream collaboration or project..or do you have any particular aspirations for the future?

A. I am sure that architecture will reappear within my work, this is a strong possibility for 2012. I would love to hold an exhibition based upon London’s misunderstood, much-maligned brutalist architecture – a love story devoted to concrete and rust! … a dream project for me!

    

Barry’s website link: http://www.barrygoodman.com


In what we hope will become a regular feature, we are going behind the scenes with some of the hugely talented artists and makers we feature on here. And who better to start with than the uber talented Mr Peters aka Imeus Design, not only a very good friend of ours but also the man we have to thank for styling the blog. Currently exhibiting at the Hayward gallery until 3rd June and appearing for one week only on website Bamarang, where you can buy a selection of his prints at a 30% discount, the man of the moment gave us some background into his work. Enjoy!

Self-taught illustrator and poster artist Anthony Peters is the founder of Imeus design studio, producing beautiful and playful graphic imagery for a really diverse and exciting range of clientele. His portfolio encompasses work for advertising and editorial campaigns, book publishing, greetings cards, Open and Limited Edition prints, t-shirts, and company branding…to mention just a few!

Anthony comes from the sunny south coast of England and has exhibited his work across the UK and in the US, alongside such creative legends as David Shrigley, Milton Glaser, Anthony Burrill, Barry McGee and many others.

Q. How would you describe your work?
A. Most of my work is a kind of block colour graphic minimalism, occasionally containing playful typography and traces of nostalgia.

Q. How and when did you first become interested in art and design?
A. I was about 5 or 6 years old and my grandfather took myself and my brother to visit the Natural History Museum in London. I can vividly remember how awesome it felt to be surrounded by these giant skeletons and stuffed animals for the first time… Anyhow my grandfather bought me a fold-out poster containing amazing pictures of the main dinosaurs, and when I got home I drew each one in meticulous detail. My mother told me they were excellent and that I should be an artist. For a few years after that I actually wanted to be an archaeologist, but pencils and paper are more readily available than sites of pre-historic importance.

Q. How would you describe your creative process?
A. My creative process differs a bit from project to project but it always begins with an A3 pad onto which I scribble good old-fashioned bubble diagrams, then incredibly rough compositional workings. Once I have a basic Idea I then get onto the computer and start to work up all the graphics and typography. All my best work features a major change of direction and blast of inspiration about 2/3rds of the way through. However the days when I don’t get this blast of inspiration normally involve good old-fashioned endeavour and hard work to get to a point at which I am satisfied enough to show the client!

Q. What is a typical day for you like? Is there such a thing as a ‘typical’ day?
A. A typical day involves rushing around getting the kids ready. We walk to school and have fun, and then on the walk to the studio I think about ideas and solutions before I get in front of the computer (all the best ideas happen in transit).

Once in the studio I make a hot beverage (this bit is non–negotiable) and answer emails for the first hour then after that I work hard till I have to pick up the kids from school. Then we play hard till my partner gets home and after they are all in bed I work another 2-3 hours!

Q. How do you know when a project is complete?
A.  I just kind of know when a project feels finished, but I really could move things around on a page all day and never feel like it is quite balanced. I think Da Vinci said “A work of Art is never finished, only abandoned’ I tend to agree with him! On the other hand a project can be completed when the client is happy with it!

Q. What tool or medium could you not live without?
A. BIC biros, 2B pencils, Daler Rowney A3 pads, my Wacom tablet and Mac…

Q. Can you tell us about just some of the clients you have worked with over the recent years?
A. In the last couple of years I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing clients. I wish I could name them all but the ones who come to mind immediately are the 2K by Gingham, Leo Burnett, School of Happy, Sergeant Paper, Mike Perry, Lost in London, Macmillan, Corraini, and the wonderful guys at Nobrow and Print Club London

Q. Who, or what, would you say has been your biggest inspirations for your illustration work?
A. Music was my first love and for many many years I have collected records, and so I would say that I was first exposed to graphic design and beautiful objects through record sleeve design. From the labels and artists I loved as a kid I was exposed to the awesome talents of designers such as Mike Mills, Neville Brody, Julian House, Peter Saville, Reid Miles, Trevor Jackson and Michael C Place. I appreciated good design and the value of a beautiful object way before I even knew who any of these guys were, and the sleeves always accompanied the music perfectly! It’s such a shame that so little importance is placed on most music packaging in the years since mp3s have taken prominence!

In recent years having children has meant that I have been reunited with artists such as Eric Carle, Maurice Sendak, David Mckee, Dick Bruna, Quentin Blake & Dr Seuss for the first time in 25 years, and I have been exposed to amazing artists such as Oliver Jeffers, Kevin Waldron, Alex Scheffler, Bruno Munari, Hayao Miyazaki and M.Sasek for the first time. This influence has definitely informed the more playful and simplistic way in which I wish to communicate my work.

Q. You have travelled between London and the south coast a great deal over the last couple of years due to work… How important is your environment in influencing how you work and what you create?
A. I mentioned earlier that some of my best ideas happen in transit, and this is never more true than when applied to my years as a commuter. So many ideas that I enjoyed realising happened during the twenty plus hours a week I used to spend on trains to and from London, and in many ways I miss all that time gazing blankly at the beautiful West Sussex scenery while colourful ideas appeared in my mind. There is something to be said for not having access to your tools until an idea is fully formed. It means that every detail is worked out prior to starting the work and not done on the fly.

Q. Any recurring themes in your work?
A. A few things keep popping up here or there. The ones that come to mind immediately are nostalgia, nature, halftones, tower blocks and slab serif fonts.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone struggling to find their own way in a similar field?
A. I have been reading a great book by Paul Arden called ‘Its Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want To Be’ and in the opening pages it simply states that ‘Your vision of where or who you want to be is your greatest asset. Without having a goal it is difficult to score.’ I agree wholeheartedly with this point. If you are starting out don’t be baffled by all the copycats and all the talent out there. Just focus on what you want to be and work to a rough schedule. Early on I told myself that I wanted to have my work featured in my favourite publications and that I wanted to have my work exhibited by certain collectives and that I really wanted to work with certain organisations. I set about emailing and contacting everyone I wanted to work with – some I have now worked with – and those who turned me down only spurned me to say ‘This time next year you will say yes!’. You will find that most people you are scared to contact are just friendly and enthusiastic people who have the same goal as you ‘to make something beautiful!’ plus the whole industry needs constant new blood!

Q. What are you currently working on? Do you have any new and exciting projects coming up?
A. I have been working with a kids iphone / ipad app company named School of Happy at the moment and I have further projects with them over the course of 2012. I have done all the app illustration, Art Direction, graphics and Identity work for the brand and the whole thing looks really beautiful. The rest of the team are really talented and the whole thing has really come to life in glorious technicolour!

Q. How do you maintain a balance between work and life?
A. Its easy to maintain this balance if you remove the line between the two. So everything I do falls into the ‘life’ category and the only time ‘work’ creeps in is when a deadline is tight. But in order to avoid this I try and get things done way before the deadline.. that way the work is pleasurable and not stressful.I try to take the same pleasure in my work as I do in my playtime, so doing illustrations or design work really does fall into the same category as building cardboard robots with my children or rock pooling. These experiences eventually feed into my work anyway so it’s all fun and its all work, and that’s why I never take my job for granted!

Q. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
A. I used to be a mean break-dancer in the Eighties when I was ten years old!

Q. Do you have lots of artwork in your own home? If so, can you tell us about one or two pieces specifically? Any favourites?
A. I own limited edition screen prints by James Joyce, Andy Smith, John Mcnaught, Jon Burgerman and Small Stakes, and I have some other wonderful things scattered around my walls from Paul Blow, Takashi Furuya and Blanca Gomez. I love all these works but am particularly fond of my Andy Smith and John Mcnaught pieces at present, they bring me great pleasure! Oh and my Grandfather clock decal from Blik is pretty sweet and I adore my Magpie lampshade from Radiance!!!

Website link: www.imeusdesign.co.uk           

Twitter: @imeus


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