Perfect explorations of colour by Sophie Smallhorn

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Just discovered the stunning works exploring colour and form of London-based artist Sophie Smallhorn

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Jason Taylor's Everyday Objects

Jason Taylor was featured in Issue #21, and has an exhibition this week at The Harley Gallery from June 11 to August 10, 2014. 

Here is an excerpt from Fun with Function written by Vinciane de Pape

Jason Taylor is an established, UK-based artist and industrial designer whose innovative work plays with the form and function of readymade objects. His line of lighting and furniture designs has been sold internationally and exhibited in museums and art galleries around the world. Jason brings an artistic sensibility to his design process and enjoys the restrictions and challenges of creating unconventional products inspired by mundane objects.

Finding early on that he enjoyed manipulating and inventing simple designs from objects like tin cans, Jason pursued an education in design to follow his passion for experimentation and to further develop his skill set.

“I chose to do a 3D design course because of the techniques I could learn in different materials, but the focus was mainly on functional objects,” he explains. “An object would become my starting point and I developed different paths I could go down, such as developing a different function for it or remaking it in a different material.”

Somewhat frustrated with the compromises required by the commercial side of product design, Jason decided to go back to what he does best—experimenting with objects. This is when his Everyday Objects project came to life.

“I learned with a previous project that I could be more productive than I thought, and I also enjoyed the sculptural side,” Jason describes. “But what would be the reason and how could I make myself do it? I had seen other people do everyday photography projects and then thought of the double meaning of ‘everyday objects’ and I had to go for it.”

To read the full article about Jason Taylor in Issue #21, click here.

Saskia Wassing's bright and colourful textile work

Saskia Wassing is a textile artist who lives and works in Toronto, Canada. She attended the Embroidered & Woven Textiles program at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. Saskia submitted to our recent open call for submissions “What Does Colour Mean to You?” and we’re pleased to share more of her beautiful work with you today.

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Saskia’s unique fabric pieces reflect the work of an extensive traveller. Influences from Britain, Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, India, and Canada are visible in her colourful creations. 

"Colour means everything to me. It is the most important element in my creative life. I realize that sounds extreme but I love colour. I live and breathe colour and as an artist and designer, colour is the driving force behind all of the work that I produce,” says Saskia. 

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"If I had to live and work with only two mediums it would be my fabrics and my threads. Cutting, piecing and embroidering with these wonderful, tactile materials allows me to translate my sketchbook diaries into my personal colourful language so that other people can see and feel colour the way I do. Turquoise and reds, purples and oranges, chartreuse and pink, I am in love with colour and all it’s possibilities. The richly coloured fabrics and threads in my home studio are always yelling out “pick me” when I sit down to work. My past experiences, memories and personal identity are always presenting themselves in vivd colour. Black is not an option in my life or my work. Take a look at my sketchbooks, open my portfolio, come visit my studio, look through my online gallery and colour is everywhere in my work and my life.”

For Saskia's and other colourful musings submitted by our readers, please subscribe here. Issue #22 will be shipping soon!

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printmaker & designer Fanny Shorter

Fanny Shorter is a printmaker and designer who grew up in country town of Winchester, UK. Fanny is inspired by the intricacies of flowers and nature, and you can see her interest flowing through her work.  

“Nature’s never just attractive,” says Fanny. “There’s always something else going on. There’s a reason why a plant looks like it does. I like combing the fact that its aesthetically attractive with the fact that its interesting.” 

Fanny was trained as an illustrator at Brighton University, and she uses ethically sourced materials and water-based inks on all of her creations.  

Her work can be found on furnishings, stationery and accessories in her online shop

green graffiti & commuting beakerheads

photo by Neil Zeller 

photo by Neil Zeller 

Beakerhead is a new annual event held in Calgary each September. For 5 days, Calgary “turns into a giant laboratory” where Beakerhead visitors are entertained with public performances, contraptions built in people’s backyards, ingenuity competitions, and engineered art. Last year was Beakerhead’s first year and it was met with open arms by excited event-goers. "On the surface, Beakerhead looks like a week of spectacular fun every September. But it’s more than a schedule of mesmerizing events: it’s a time and place where engineers show their creative sides, and artists get technical, where science hits the street, and everyone gets ingenious,” say organizers. 

On May 23, Beakerhead organizers wanted to amp up excitement for Beakerhead 2014, so they worked with the City of Calgary and artist Michael Mateyko and Hans Thiessen, also known as Komboh, to develop “green graffiti” to paint on a Calgary underpass. The “green graffiti” is made of eco-chalk and is entirely environmentally friendly from the application to removal. 

Michael Mateyko is a Work/Life 3 participant and works and lives here in Calgary. I asked Michael a few questions about his participation with Beakerhead. 

photo by Penny Breedon

photo by Penny Breedon

What was your involvement with the "green graffiti" painted downtown? What was your role?

I came up with the commuting beakerhead(s) and designed the characters with feedback from the whole Beakerhead crew.

Who initially asked you and Hans for your help, and how did they know that you would be the right people to contact to help with this project? 

I was contacted out of the blue last year by Hanan Chebib, who is the Director of Creative Experiences over at Beakerhead. She somehow ended up with a poster I made and was pretty stoked on working with us on something. Our interests align pretty well; art, science, engineering, and trying to get people interested in the intersection between those three.

Had you heard of this "green graffiti" before you were approached to help? 

Not really. Originally the idea was to do a bit of pressure-washed reverse graffiti, but unfortunately (?) Calgary's underpasses are way too clean for that.

What do you enjoy about Beakerhead? What is your favourite "event" that you have attended? 

I actually didn't even get the chance to attend last year, but I'm definitely making my way down for 2014. I dig Beakerhead because it's really all about encouraging what by all accounts is a pretty conservative town to let loose and admit that we're all actually artists and engineers on the inside.

Did you attend the initial "green graffiti" event while the figures were being painted? If so, what was the experience like? What were passersby's
reactions to the graffiti? 


It was all being put up overnight, I believe around midnight or thereabouts. I had to do a TV interview at 5 in the morning the next day so I was trying to get as much sleep as I reasonably could and wasn't there for the install. During the photo shoot with the Mayor later the same day there was a pretty good crowd going and everyone seemed pretty pumped about it all. I received a lot of really positive comments from people that were just excited to see some public art that was a little weirder than usual. Also, Mayor Nenshi did his best to psychoanalyze each character in turn, so that was pretty fun too.

photo by Neil Zeller 

photo by Neil Zeller 

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scrapbooked ephemera items by Mr. Ned

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Mr. Ned (aka Ned Jolliffe) is an illustrator and designer from Oxford, England whose work can be seen on book covers, magazines and theatre posters. He has been compiling a scrapbook for about 10 years in which he pastes his collected ephemera items. "Juxtaposing a new bit or bob in its pages makes me very happy; It's not finished - there's lots of pages blank, and I fear the thing will disintegrate before I complete it,” says Ned.

"It's small, squarish little thing that has grown stout over the years from absorbing little ephemeral treasures as I trudge along the streets of wherever I happen to be at the time. My scrapbook is the one possession I would rescue from the raging flames."

To see more of Mr. Ned’s work, take a look at his portfolio here

Swedish illustrator Lotta Kühlhorn

 

Lotta Kühlhorn is a Swedish illustrator who, at the age of ten, already knew that she wanted to be an illustrator when she grew up.

Lotta's illustrations and patterns can be found on cookware, books, fabrics, textiles–even wall tiles!

In January, Lotta released her book called Designing Patterns for Decoration, Fashion and Graphics. 

New Craft Coalition Spring Show + Sale

The New Craft Coalition in Calgary is having a Spring Show + Sale on May 23 and 24. 

Here’s a little bit of info from the NCC ladies themselves, "At our core New Craft Coalition is a group of three artists working together to make a difference in our creative community. We are makers, moms, entrepreneurs and firm believers in the power of art, craft and design to change not only our communities, but the world. Our current mission is to bring a carefully curated collection of independently produced, Canadian art, craft and design to the people of Calgary twice annually, with other plans unfolding all the time!"

If you’re one of our Calgary fans, come by and say hi! We will have our current issue plus a selection of books, notebooks and lots of back issues for you to peruse. 

There will be 24 artists selling their latests works, so come down to Festive Hall in Inglewood to support local artisans in UPPERCASE’s hometown. 

Friday, May 23, 2014 4:00pm-9:00pm
Saturday, May 24, 2014 10:00am-6:00pm
Festive Hall, Inglewood 1215 10 AVE SE
Admission is $2 per person

Create.Explore.Discover: uncover your creative spark

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Create.Explore.Discover is a warm, creative retreat in Truckee, California where women of all ages and backgrounds gather to uncover, and discover, their creative spark. This October, Sarah Stevenson, an interior designer and mixed media artist from Chicago, will lead participants through a weekend of creativity and learning with instructors Mati McDonough, Anne Weil, Andrea Jenkins and Courtney Cerruti

“No matter your skill–or comfort–level, Create.Explore.Discover is safe space for experimenting and trying out new projects. If you don’t currently identify as a creative individual, you will surprise yourself by the end of the retreat. If creativity is a part of your daily life, you will leave Creat.Explore.Discover energized and brimming with ideas for your next project,” says Sarah. 

Participants are able to choose from 9 different workshops with topics ranging from learning how to make paper flower bouquets to making a patchwork collage.

For more information and registration details click here.

10,000 gorgeous books, bound in batik fabrics with foiled spines

On my first day of grade seven, my teacher, after handing out our math text books, asked us to wrap them in craft paper to protect them from the inevitable wear and tear they would endure throughout the year. UK-based artist Yinka Shonibare has taken the textbook request to the extreme. 

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A new installation called The British Library has opened at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery  Until May 25, visitors can see 10,000 books that have been covered with wax batik fabric that Yinka designed himself. Yinka’s hope for the library was to make visible the cultural influences of colonization, and to celebrate immigrants and their contributions to British Culture. 

Book artist Louise Best helped wrap some of the thousands of books in bright Dutch and African fabrics. "Those colours contributed to our happiness and well being as well as all the mugs of tea, chocolate bourbons and custard creams we consumed for 8 hours a day. It was a great job and expertly executed even if I do say so myself. I'm in my element surrounded by books, fabric, glue and scissors. And nice people,” said Louise.  

To read Louise’s full blog post, click here. 

 Tea, biscuits, old books, and life stories. A glorious way to spend an afternoon or 1000 years as far as I am concerned.
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the Happy Happy Art Collective

After all taking the Make Art That Sells e-course in 2013, the ladies of Happy Happy Art Collective decided to form a group to support their common artistic goals and promote their work. 

Happy Happy members Lauren Minco and Tammie Bennett are busy making preparations, and are on their way to SURTEX, while Denise HolmesEmily BalsleyJill HowarthPauline Grayson have been taking on exciting jobs and new clients. 

art by Tammie Bennett

art by Tammie Bennett

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Lauren has some excellent advice on her blog about preparing one’s portfolio for the big event:

"If you're doing Surtex, you definitely need enough art to actually show. Unlike other markets such as editorial and publishing, you don't just have examples of your work to show clients as examples of your skill…you make art beforehand that a company looks at and says "that would make a great XYZ! We'll take it!". Sure, there are still jobs in the industry that artists are commissioned for, but much of your work is made beforehand and is then available to license as you show your portfolio. 

Because of this, some people have hundreds and hundreds of pieces (sometimes even more!) depending how long they've been in the game. There are a lot of opinions about how many pieces or collections of art a newbie should have. I have enough work, but not as much as some of my peers do. However, I know that each piece is solid and nothing is filler. So even if an art director comes up and only has time to see a few pages out of my portfolio, I know they are gonna see my best work.” 

A few members of Happy Happy were featured in UPPERCASE’s Surface Pattern Design Guide. You can see pattern submissions by Emily, Pauline, Jill and Tammie in the free download of the Guide by clicking here.

Victoria Weiss of Butterpop Studio

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Victoria Weiss is the founder of Butterpop Studio, an illustration, graphic design and web design shop based in New York. "I graduated from Parsons with a Communication Design degree, although my last 15 years has been mostly in animation, licensing, graphic and web design. I’ve lived in Hong Kong for some years as well and now freelancing from my house in Virginia Beach,” says Victoria. 

"I grew up in NYC and I spent many days in newsstands and bookshops just going through magazines in the mid nineties. Things have changed so much. Its hard to find ones with great content and treated with great care. UPPERCASE is beautiful."

Victoria’s on her way to SURTEX this year for the first time, and will be at booth 726.

"My portfolio is set up in a way for art directors to be able to use many icons to develop patterns for their collections. I’m aiming for wall art, stationery, gift, home decor and fabric companies this year. Also craft markets like scrapbooking.”

Be sure to check out Victoria’s website and stop by her booth at SURTEX! 

watercolour and florals by Nicole Tamarin

Nicole Tamarin works in watercolour and is drawn to classic themes and imagery, anything from florals to children’s to the everyday. She loves details and little extras, and tries to deliver a consistent level of polish to all of her work. She launched her business at SURTEX in 2012 and is excited to return for her third show this spring.

If you would like to know more about surface pattern design, you can download the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide here

artist profile: Andrea Pippins

photo by Nicole Crowder

photo by Nicole Crowder

Andrea Pippins is an artist and designer with a passion for making others smile with her work. Using techniques like stamping and drawing, Andrea reinterprets her inspirations from many global cultures into designs that reflect her keen interest in rich hues, textural materials and mixed patterns. In her work, Andrea embraces colour, texture and scale with a fearless hand, offering a unique perspective in the hopes of inspiring others to enjoy the beauty of bold surface designs. 

How and when did you come across UPPERCASE? What do you enjoy about it? 

Wow, I can't remember, but I've been a fan for a very long time. I've always been drawn to the stories about other artists and their creative process. UPPERCASE does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the artists and their spaces, and the overall design of the magazine is breathtaking.

You have been busy making new collages and drawings. One of those drawings is your piece called “I’ve Been Thinking.” Where did your inspiration come from for this artwork?

For a long time I've been enamored with the photography of Malick Sidibe and Seydou Keita. Their black and white photos are so rich with pattern and texture that it feels colourful, graphic and bold. I usually rely heavily on colour, so in this new piece I wanted to explore the idea of limiting my palette to black and white but still making an image that was very pattern-ful and rich. Like their photographs, they always feature a figure (or two). I did the same but brought in all of the "colour" into the figure. 

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You have said that you reinterpret inspirations from many global cultures into your designs. What cultures influenced your Surface Pattern Design Guide submissions? 

I've been looking at a lot of global prints like and textiles from West Africa, India, the Middle East and ancient designs from Central America. I love the geometric shapes, the use of lines, and the simplicity in the colour palettes I've been observing in those works, and I wanted to create quirky interpretations of what I saw.

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Why did you decide to submit your designs into the Surface Pattern Design Guide? What do you hope will come of being published in the guide?

To me, UPPERCASE set a lovely art and design standard and offers a different perspective of what artists and designers are doing today as makers. I felt that my designs would fit into that context nicely, and would also be a great way to share my work with new audiences.  

You work for a wide range of clients which proves that you are an incredibly versatile graphic designer. What’s your process for working with such a broad range of clients with different wishes for their final design projects? 

No matter the client, the process is always the same: fully understand their needs and use design thinking strategies to develop designs that effectively communicate what that client or brand represents. Their needs dictate and inform the process and what is produced. For me the strategies have to be fairly flexible to work with different clients and projects.

What projects are you currently working on?

I have my hands in so many things right now. I just wrapped up my collage series, which I had a self-imposed goal of using all the paper I had in that size and color. I have 51 completed altogether but I'm itching to do more because this personal assignment really forced me to stretch my creative muscle. Because the current ones are roughly 5"x7" I'd like to push myself and do some large-scaled versions. I'm also working on new ideas that would include some animation. Those are personal projects, but as a designer I'm working a few big assignments that will take me through the summer.

I was impressed by your 4 page resume of work that you have accomplished over your career. Given your wealth of experience, and a fabulous portfolio, where do you see yourself in the future? Will you continue to be a multi-disciplined designer, or do you desire to immerse yourself in a bigger long-term project? 

Thank you. Currently, I'd like to focus on developing more of my personal projects in addition to working on special collaborations, while also continuing to teach design. Being an artist and educator are the two main areas of my creative path that I want to develop. I would really like to make sure that everything I do aligns with those two important parts of me. So whether it's a creating a collection of shoes, a design collaboration with a cultural institution, or a speaking engagement with teens interested in design, as long as it fits in "artist" and/or "educator" I'm open to working on the assignment.

a dapper zebra and an odd flamingo

Paper & Cloth is a design studio in the UK with a strong focus on illustrational talent. "There has been the odd flamingo running crazy in the studio,” they write about their promo piece. "We are loving all the gorgeous painterly, inky trends we are seeing… Check out the dapper zebra. Inky and yet somewhat debonair don't you think?"

Joanne Hus' interview with Lilla Rogers

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Joanne Hus is a digital illustrator whose clients range from Time Inc., Gillette, the Chase Manhattan Bank, Scholastic, and Papyrus. 

Joanne’s interview with Lilla Rogers, artist rep and educator extraordinaire is part of the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide in issue #21. You can read the entire article in the free download of the Guide by clicking here.

a SURTEX lookbook by Nottene

Nottene is a multi-disciplinary design studio with a focus on textiles and illustration. In case you were wondering, Nottene, pronounced "huh-ten-nuh", means nuts in Norwegian. The studio is led by Kimberly Ellen Hall. With a Master’s in textiles from Central Saint Martins, Kimberly has worked from here to there in publishing, fashion and art. She has designed for Coach, Hussein Chalayan, the Village Voice, Peter Jensen, the Denver Art Museum and others. 

Nottene has designed a lookbook in preparation for SURTEX. Keep your eyes peeled for Nottene at booth 454! 

If you would like to know more about surface pattern design, you can download the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide here

 

 

traveling from afar: Kat Kalindi Cameron

Kat Kalindi Cameron is a freelance creative and pattern designer from Australia. She will be travelling all the way from the Gold Coast, to New York to attend SURTEX for the first time. Kat’s path to SURTEX has been long not only in miles, but also in time. "I first heard about this trade show years ago when I worked in fashion. Then I had kids. Now I still have those kids, but they are old enough to handle Gran looking after them for longer now."

"While this may seem like no big feat for some, for me, it has been a challenge I have been wanting to take for on 7 years — and only this year, I have managed to take the leap and orchestrate work, family, life around my dreams and invest in MY future,” says Kat. 

Kat has been posting about her trip preparations on her blog. "I am heading over with my art collective friends there are 8 of us from all over the world who have joined together to make this trip happen. It’s a very expensive trip, coming from Australia to NY. Lots of logistics to consider: flights, accommodation, travel, shipping of booth banners, costs involved in the show! OH MY! BUT it’s an investment in my future and my art."

Be sure to take a look at Kat’s website, and if you’re heading to SURTEX, pop by booth 726 to see her and the work of the Forest Foundry Collective (many of whom are featured in the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide). 

strawberries, bacon and jam by Holly Maguire

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Holly Maguire is an illustrator based in Bristol, UK, with a big passion for surface pattern and textiles. Her work tends to include detailed yet playful and bright imagery made using gouache, and pen and ink. Holly really enjoys being able to apply her work to homeward, clothing and functional items. Her patterns are inspired by vintage design, packaging, fashion and popular culture. They often feature elements of nature and food, as well as everyday objects. 

Be sure to take a look at Molly’s Etsy page to purchase her cheerful patterns on prints and cards. 

hola from Macrina Busato

Macrina Busato likes to work with by hand and explore the beauty of images from other periods, to make them say new things in new contexts while keeping a warm nostalgia. Her work is a mix of handmade drawings, ephemera, typography and calligraphy. Macrina is a cultural anthropologist who 15 years ago went progressively into graphs and surface design. Her studio in Madrid sometimes looks more like a library, full of antique science and technical books, old magazines and engravings. 

Macrina is attending SURTEX, and will be showing off some of her new work at booth 317.