This week our site gets curated by Dan Stafford
Click here to read the interview on the website.
Click here to read the interview on the website.
We’re insanely excited about this evenings show! Brighton-based The Photocopy Club are taking over both floors of Beach London for their latest exhibition - a huge group show featuring photocopies submitted by photographers from all over the world. After four hugely successful shows, tonight will be the last ever open-submission Photocopy Club.
In the midst of setting up the show we spoke to The Photocopy Club founder Matt Martin and team members Sam Hiscox and Milo Belgrove.
BEACH: This is the last open submission Photocopy Club exhibition, how will you be curating future shows?
PHOTOCOPY CLUB: Future show we’ll be working with curators and other collectives to put together shows where we’ve chosen the artists. It’s going to be more selective but Even though we’re saying this is the last open-submission show, we’ll probably have one per year in the future. We didn’t want things to get stale.
BEACH: Approximately how many submissions did you get for the show? The last The Photocopy Club at Beach was insanely busy!
PHOTOCOPY CLUB: Probably for this one about 90 submissions since the last Photocopy Club was quite recently. But usually we get between 150 - 250.
BEACH: Is there a rough publication date for The Photocopy Club book? We can’t wait to see what it’ll look like!
PHOTOCOPY CLUB: It’s probably going to take a bit longer than we thought but today we’ve got these poster packs for sale. There are 30 limited edition packs which contain double-sided photocopies of the best work from the five shows. They come in tie dye covers the idea of which was stolen from Dan Wilton from his zine that he did with The Bots. Go and buy it!
If you can’t make it to The Photocopy Club private view tonight the show will be occupying the gallery at Beach ‘til Sunday Nov 25th. All of the prints featured in the exhibition are for sale for as little as £2 (depending on size) with all proceeds going towards the production of the new The Photocopy Club book.
Have you seen the new fruit-themed mural in the Beach shop? It’s tropical to the max and seriously tasty looking. Illustrator and all round nice guy Thomas Slater spent last Saturday creating it for us and had a few words to say about his whole mural process:
T-Slates in the studio
What’s your process like? Do you work from sketches or just go for it?
I have done a couple of murals before and I always work from some kind of sketch. This one was very free but I knew Charlie wanted me to do a stack of fruit based on a finished drawing I had sent him but I just had to work out how I could balance the colours and the layout of vinyls etc on the wall. Essentially the sketch was just a scrappy drawing of a few shapes which i then sketched onto the wall in pencil and then in paint. Trying to work quite quickly and keep the process quite free and fun.
What’s it like working on such a large scale for the Beach mural?
It’s great fun. I like stepping back from something to take it all in and be sure that I’m staying on track. Working on something that involves moving your whole body instead of just your hand is a nice change and something I would really love to do more of. Spray-paint is a challenging medium in many ways but I just tried to imagine I was using a few giant felt pens and didn’t worry too much about the furry edges or anything. This is part and parcel of working with spray-paint so as long as you paint fairly carefully there is no point in cutting everything back with white emulsion as that isn’t embracing the medium that you are working with. I would love to do more of this sort of thing in the future, maybe with some characters next time.
Do you have preferred colours or styles of painting?
I like to use simplified shapes, fun colours and a little bit of line work, often primaries and one dark colour for lines feels natural. Whether it’s gouache or collage and a nice thick pencil, a screen print process or spray paint I tend to work in this way. I’m just a sucker for primary colours and simplified, fun shapes. When I look at other peoples work my favourites always show confidence and fun in their work and often style doesnt matter, I don’t have one particular style of artwork that inspires or excites me the most.
Are there any other illustrators or artists who you admire who normally work on a small scale but whose work translates well into murals?
Huskmitnavn is an amazing artist and illustrator from Copenhagen. I think he comes from the world of graffiti so maybe that is why he works well at a larger scale. He does lots of murals for various events and companies in Denmark which are always really funny and never overcooked but at the same time is clearly very busy at his desk on a day to day basis.
Any final words?
Thanks Charlie, Matt and Zoë at Beach for asking me to do the mural. Thanks Matt for the sarnie and I’m looking forward to finishing that game of skate with you soon!
Kyle Platts’ illustrations and comics are seriously great. Whenever you look at one of his incredibly intricate drawings, there always seem to be some little detail that you hadn’t quite noticed before, whether it be a severed hand floating in a jar or the inordinate amount of sweat dripping down the brow of one of his character’s faces. In short, his work is truly a feast for the eyes.
His extensive creative output of late has included creating awesome work for some big name clients such as Computer Arts, Vice, Bloomsberg View and Anorak Magazine.
This Thursday (13th Sept ‘12) Beach is proud to be hosting the launch party for Kyle’s new book Megaskull, published by Nobrow. We’ll have copies for sale reeeal soon but until then, here’s a little interview with Kyle to sate your appetites:
Hi Kyle! Where, when and why did you first start making art?
WeIl I have been drawing since I was very young, I made comics with my friend in school, and I remember how we would go into great depth with the characters, that was my favourite thing about it. We had this one character that was a homicidal dinner lady that would decapitate children, and this other character was just a giant dick and balls that wore a cowboy hat and cowboy boots on his balls. I like to think I have come on a bit since then.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I have influences within illustration and the comic world, but my biggest influences come from outside that field. My interest in making social comments comes straight from John Cooper Clark. When I first got into him I wished I could express my view points like he does, then I realised I could with my illustration. I think if you have an opportunity to communicate to people through your art form you should try and say something, it’s not always just about aesthetics.
Summer’s almost over - any cool autumn projects in the pipeline after the release of Megaskull?
Yeah I am really looking forward to doing comics for the soon to be launched skate company Blast Skates, which is the brainchild of Matt Bromley so it’s going to be super well art-directed. I know he’s got some great artists involved in making graphics for the first series. Each board is going to come with a comic that relates to the theme of the board series, I think it’s going to be sick.
Did you have a favourite comic book series when you were a kid?
Yeah when I was a kid I bought the 2000 AD comics, these were amazing to me at the time because they were the first comics I had ever seen to have so much violence in them. I had a lot of fun trying to draw Judge Dredd and trying make my own 2000 AD comics.
Megaskull book launch @ Beach
Thursday 13th Sept
18:00 - 21:00
The dudes at Beach love the beautiful game but admittedly know bugger all about the Scottish Third Division league. Sad but true. That’s where illustrator Colin David Stewart comes in. A Camberwell illustration graduate, his book Third Division / Fourth Dimension focuses on the subject of these oft-overlooked players, as well as ideas of multi-dimensional spaces and their contents.
Third Division / Fourth Dimension is now being stocked in the Beach shop. We only have a few copies in stock so best to order sooner rather than later!
Colin answered a few quick questions for us about his working process, what it’s like to be an illustrator in 2012 and why he’s deciding to pursue an MA at the Royal College of Art:
What made you decide to create a book about the subject of the Scottish Third Division football league? Are you a keen sportsman yourself?
I’m completely awful at all team sports and anything that requires any kind of hand-eye coordination, which is arguably not ideal for an illustrator. I was the stereotypical last (or second last at a push) kid to be picked in PE at school. I’ve always been pretty good at things like running and swimming which don’t involve any multi-tasking though (I was breaststroke champion of my swimming club FYI).
The Third Division idea developed from a project I’d done at Camberwell where I was trying to make things I didn’t find interesting but which people I knew found interesting be interesting to myself. Everyone else in my family’s into football. I chose the Third Division because it seemed especially arcane, with an average of 500-600 people attending each match, although I imagine that statistic’s changed quite a bit since Rangers got dumped in it. The Fourth Dimension aspect was added because it was something equally as obscure and unimaginable and it provided interesting aesthetic possibilities.
Can you tell us a little bit about the process involved in making your illustrations? Any favourite materials at the moment?
The process varies a lot depending on the brief but it nearly always involves an element of collage. I often incorporate pencil drawing, maybe partly because there’s a stubborn, conventional part of me that believes that’s still the truest way of showing your skill. I enjoy painting and cutting paper but I’ve definitely been starting to utilise digital methods more lately.
I try to avoid getting too dependent on one particular way of working – I’m wary of a tendency in illustration to regard devotion to a particular craft like screen-printing, for example, as more “real” or “honest”. For me honesty is admitting that as an illustrator in 2012 I spend a lot of time on the internet and Google image search and I actually want that to be reflected in the end result. I like bringing disparate elements together to make something coherent.
You’re going to be starting your MA at the Royal College of Art soon. What attracted you to the course?
Nearly all my BA tutors did their MAs there and it seemed like they considered it to be a really important stage in the development of their practice, so in a way it feels like a rite of passage. I like their emphasis on cross-college and outside collaboration too and hope it will open up unexpected new paths. I’m also intrigued to see what effect being an interloper amongst the hyperreal white stucco and topiary of South Kensington will have on my work.
We first noticed the work of Joseph Vass when he brought some rad posters into Beach when we first opened. His use of bright colours and awesome gradients immediately transported us to a lush tropical island somewhere far, far away from drizzly old London. Well, not really. We haven’t really mastered the art of teleporation just yet but you get the general idea.
We decided to ask him a few quick questions about his dream studio, his future plans and his obsession with screen printing all sorts of plantlife:
So Joseph, what’ve you been up to since graduating from Kingston?
In the very short amount of time that has passed since finishing at Kingston I have been… Interning at London Print Studio, working sundays at Print Club London and formulating a master plan. After a short break filled with much post degree pondering, ping pong and red stripe… I am back to the sketchbook working on ideas both for self-initiated projects and how to launch myself into the creative industry. Working at the print studios has been a terrific chance to talk to lots of people. It is also refreshing to see lots of different faces and the variety of creative approaches they bring with them!
Could you describe your dream print studio for us? We’re guessing it’d be full of tropical plants.
Well, I’d like to think of this as more being in the early planning stages than the dream stage, I have a vision of an all encompassing studio space called “VASS LAND”. Outside will be an incredible back lit sign above heavy double doors….Inside would be a myriad of tropical plants, complimented by screenprinted jungle wallpaper (I get really inspired at Kew Gardens by all the organic shapes). To the left of the central clearing of the studio there will be a table tennis table with a mini bar and some old fans to create a breeze. On the right hand side would be all the serious bits like a lightbox/ drying cabinet, exposure unit, screen table, screens….. etc etc. The studio will offer bold, colourful illustration and design, with a flair for hand drawn typography… And also “VASS LAND Editions”, a prestigious screenprinting service…
Any projects in the works right now that you can tell us about?
Recently I was given some magazines from 1909 called L’Illustration (from France) featuring an incredible array of photographs from that period… The ones that caught my eye in particular were of scenes from the wild west, vast landscapes and native americans. As a result I am working on a story about a fearsome apache shaman with the power to conjure water even in the most arid of surroundings, his death and subsequent reincarnation as gargantuan cactus, towering above all others in the desert!
I am also very much looking forward to answering a brief set by design studio Five Foot Six, in collaboration with you guys at Beach and some of my fellow graduating illustrators. I have also been printing screenprint editions for illustrators and am looking to expand my operation… The birth of “VASS LAND Editions”!
We’ve only got a very limited amount of Joseph’s stuff in stock so act fast guys! http://www.beachlondon.co.uk/artist/joseph-vass
JaguarShoes Collective have recently collaborated with classic UK footwear label Clarks to provide their own fresh and unique twist on the classic desert boot design. Beach decided to pop along to the launch party and check them out for ourselves.
McBess designed tissue paper. Burgerific!
We caught up with Vickie Hayward, Creative Director of JaguarShoes Collective for a quick interview:
If the boots could bestow any superpower upon the person wearing them, what power would it be and why?
It would definitely have to be the power of awesome dance. I think the world would be a better place if everyone was in the Soul train http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g7KawdsVSQ&feature=related
If these boots were indeed made for walking, then what would they do and why?
Walk all over you? Actually the Beach gang are far too nice for that. Maybe they could walk to the shops for you when you’re ill or hungover and get a nice Lucozade for you.
Blue suede shoes or blue cord shoes?
Blue suede suede shoes
We love the McBess ‘Plates of Meat’ meat-themed socks. After steak, what’s next?
Shakes with Robbie Brownshoes and fries with Toby Evans!
Beach’s publisher of the month is Famicon Express. These guys put out a hell of a lot of sweet titles with an emphasise on dark humour, messed up comics and twisted illustrations. We had a talk with Leon Sadler, the head honcho of the whole operation.
How did the idea for Famicon Express come about?
Because I wanted to encourage the other guys to make books and because I knew that no-one else would want to print our stuff for us, I don’t want anyone else to make money off our work, so why not just print them ourself. I was already printing my own comics, and we were a group so I thought it would be more helpful to all print under one name. I think just from seeing so much boring and uninspiring stuff around, that can have a really positive motivational effect.
Where do you typically find the artists that you end up working with?
Friends only, or someone we become friends with over the internet. When I say friends, I mean people who we joke with and are into our approach to doing things too, a shared sense of humour and life attitude, people who also think that everything is boring, people we mate with.
If you could collaborate with absolutely anyone, who would it be?
Maybe someone like Roger Hargreaves or Raymond Briggs, there are loads of anonymous people or ‘outsiders’ who are interesting to us, or there are many ‘straight’ comic artists that would be amazing if they wanted to collaborate on something. It would be fun to take a direction and say “I want to pay this guy and this guy to come up with something together” and then see what new thing they can make. But what’s the point in that? We aren’t really in a hurry, or on a mission to promote the next unknown cool artist, but we are mostly into friendship and working together with the people we are close to, expressing our feelings and ideas and isolating ourselves from things we see as lousy or boring.
What could your dream publication involve?
I’ve got lots of ideas for a Fantasy Magazine, articles that I’d like people to write or people to interview, people to do comics for it, but it seems like the kind Of thing that could never really happen. Or if we could just come up with ideas and have interns realize them for us for free. What we are ideally looking for is a wealthy patron of the arts who can accept our attitude and approach to working, and just throw money at us to do whatever ambitious idea we can think of, no matter what the financial pain would be.
Plans for the future?
Gelsprinter evolution, the timing of this feature is perfect as we are currently evolving into Famicon Express Geleration II, our print quality is dropping severely, but hopefully we’ll be able to release new books a lot quicker. If you thought Risograph printing was Bad’n Nice, you’ll hate the quality of our new books. We currently need funding to purchase a decent guillotine and maybe a new scanner. Also I think we will no longer print any zines, but focus only on printing comics. It would be good if we were better at getting our books into shops or advertising online more.
House Seven (Shoreditch House people) interviewed Chaz from Beach a few weeks ago. If you’re not a member then you can read it here. It’s a funny ‘What you get up to’ one so not much mentioned art wise, and there is a cheeky discount code at the bottom ;)
My work is…
I’m the co-owner of Beach London beachlondon.co.uk – a new-ish Gallery, bookshop and design store on Cheshire St. off Brick Lane. We serve a killer coffee too, so you can hang out, check out a show, flick through some books and get your caffeine fix. It’s a pre-requisite to have a coffee machine in a Shoreditch shop nowadays – it’s made me a shaky coffee addict more than anything else.
My working hours are…
We’re open 10-6 Monday to Sunday. Matt (my Beach other half) and I alternate days at weekends, but I like to be here, it’s a nice place to hang out and lots of interesting artists, designers and illustrators come in. We’re open late most Thursdays having an exhibition launch, book launch, or some other fun stuff…if you sign up to our mailing list on our homepage you can see what’s going on.
I start the day by…
Not going to the gym – I’m getting porky. I walk from home in Dalston through London Fields with my French Bulldog Merv (The most hipster sentence imaginable!) which is fun, I probably look like a loon as I like to run around with him chasing me or vice versa… Having a dog is brilliant, he makes me laugh every day.
I’m usually wearing…
My missus works at the amazing Lazy Oaf lazyoaf.co.uk and I like their garms, so usually something by them and some dog-eared (literally, thanks Merv…) old skate shoes. I’m not fussy about clothes ‘coz I’m usually skint. I picked up a mean glory-days-mid-90’s Southend United shirt off Classic Football Shirts the other day though, that site’s amazing if you’re a bit of a football statto like me. I gotta shamlessly plug The Buttery Store, a new mens boutique by some of my old pals in Essex, they sell some fresh stuff. And Uniform Wares, those guys are killing it.
Lunch is usually…
Street food – we’re spoilt for choice on Brick Lane. I’m a bit sick of Bagels, we rinsed them when we first opened. There is an Indian sweet shop called Ambala which does amazing Samosas, Bhajis, and Indian Sweets. It does a killer chicken Biryani for £3.50 but this (I’ve come to realise) is an acquired taste! Tas Firin on Bethnal Green Road is good too. Noodle King is a massive guilty pleasure, although the toilets smell like that rank smell of dental floss after you’ve flossed. There is a new posh deli on Cheshire St. called Tramezzino, you can get a sandwich and soup for a fiver, and it’s not particularly big but the ingredients they use are AMAZING.
I’m usually listening to…
I like a lot of punk-y stuff, the Germs, Ramones, Black Flag, a bit of Indie stuff like Harlem, Wavves and then stuff like Daniel Johnston, Elliott Smith. I used to like to think I was pretty down with the kids but I’m not anymore. I have always had a massive aversion to anything that can be classed as Dance music. I’m not sure why.
If I’m feeling uninspired I…
Go for a skate, go to some exhibitions… I think Beach is a really inspiring place. I don’t do much of my own artwork any more but there are lots of artists who lurk in the shop, Lucas, Bromley and Malarky, who painted at our SH pop-up are always in here, and their work is awesome. Other people who get me hyped are Tom Slater, Kyle Platts and Sam Taylor – they’re all great illustrators and cool guys. French, who showed here a few months ago comes in a lot and he was one of the first people I ever brought a print by, so that’s awesome. James Jarvis comes in a lot and he is a bit of an hero. I like to browse all the books and zines we have – I really like the stock. A personal favorite is Lubok Verlag, who make hand-made artists books. And Le Dernier Cri who make amazing hand-made screen printed books, from France. Books are ace.
I wind down by…
Playing PS3! So lame, but Call of Duty is awesome. I also like to work with my buddy Barnie Page, on internet and outsider-esque artists and curate shows. We just did one in Leeds and are doing one at Sunday art fair soon. We just did a really cool editioned piece by Martin Cole (who is a really amazing designer from Berlin) It’s fun, look at our Tumblr or look at our site. I sometimes make some art too. I have been making some ceramic candle holders which I think are quite interesting, even if they don’t sound it. They’ll be unleashed onto the world one day soon.
I don’t travel without…
I’m not sure, I like to travel quite light. Malarky and I went to Paris on the Megabus a few weeks back and we borrowed Matt’s iPad, on an eight hour bus journey that was good, there is a game called Tap The Frog which kept us busy. Other than that a notepad and a pen usually works, I like doodling until I’m not really thinking – I get some good ideas for artworks I’ll probably never make.
Beach London are offering all House members 10% off online. Just enter HOUSESEVEN at the online checkout.