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First things first, I think that Perspective has to be one of the hardest drawing conventions to understand. It’s all about how good you are at UNDERSTANDING, not necessarily about how good you are at drawing (but that definitely helps later on). I think we all learn about horizon lines, vanishing points and converging train tracks when we are at school and I’ve seen kids’ work where everything is correct but I’m convinced they still don’t understand it. Because of this I have developed a kind of three dimension diagram to try and explain it as an activity. Perspective is the two dimensional representation (a drawing) of three dimensions (space (probably in front of you)). If you are struggling with getting perspective right….start off with getting eye level right. Try this at home or wherever and see for yourself…don’t just watch me show you!

OK so if that doesn’t work get a lid from a storage container and hold it up in front of you and try to draw the bare skeleton of what is in front of you. You should easily be able to describe a space in 8 or 9 lines. Where the floor joins the wall just draw a single line. Don’t confuse yourself by drawing multiple lines….that won’t help you. keep it simple. If you use a marker pen you can wipe your marks of or easily start again.

I wanted to make a film about Matilda Tristram‘s brilliant banana exercise. She uses is as a measuring device, a reassurance and a disruptor. Firstly I think it disrupts whatever you’re looking at by making you focus on something stupid that you understand (A giant inflatable Banana), the banana is a simple shape so it’s a reassuring place to start, and then cleverly you can use it as a sort of ruler and measuring device. I don’t want to say any more because she explains it brilliantly in this video. Try it. It works!

Drawing a still life can be boring VERY BORING, but it’s a place we often all start. It helps us understand simple shapes and form. I made a video about choosing what objects you put in your still life as well as thinking about using collage to make your composition. In the video I also mention that you can download the tonal sheets I use to help you do one of your own. I printed them out then photocopied them onto coloured office paper or film (acetate). there’s nothing fancy about the paper I use just stuff that you’d find in the stationery cupboard at work.

I get the impression that when we take photos and especially photos for social media we find interesting, it’s often the spectacle unfolding in front of us which is more often than not controlled by ourselves that fascinates. Then there is satisfaction in noticing, capturing and sharing that moment. Photography….fine, easy….but I think a similar idea happened with this object.

Something great happened in the studio this week, as you might have seen I have been working on some type here that I nicknamed fuctfont, and I have been experimenting with some Risograph printing (with mixed results). I have got the print more or less right now and I have started shipping them out to people. I ordered 25 cardboard tubes from eBay to roll the A2 posters in. They arrived address and shrinkwrapped with my name penned on, by courier.

We know that A2 paper dimensions are 420mm x 595mm, the print gets rolled along the long edge. It’s also coincidence that 420mm is perfect seat height, therefore the object that arrived is a perfect stool. I REALLY love when things are automatically and effortlessly perfect and not designed but the fact that I am photographing the stool and writing this blog post turns these 25 cardboard tubes into a design object. This is great version of unpredictable, unexpected Ordinary made Extraordinary. Stool cost £15.60

IMG_1695Gosh I have been so remiss with my blog in 2016. I have a lot going on this year and I don’t want to get all heavy with the blog and only write about big stuff…it’s supposed to be a place where I can share my ideas and thoughts about art and design.

I was so happy that the organisers used my Butterfly Shoes on the flyer for this show. I’ll try and explain what the show is about. About 40 international artists were showing work of various natures from photography to three-dimensional work which addressed sport in contemporary culture from a different angle, mostly through the artists’ observations.

The show was curated in a very good way, split over two sites, each section dealt with a sport in a different way for example there was a room dedicated to sports groups with work about women boxers, middle eastern girl skaters or gay-straight football alliances. There was another room which dealt with body image, showing beautiful photographs from a trans-swimming session and work about the issue of womens’ sporting body image.

Some work was handled in a light way like the beautiful gold chain basketball hoop by David Miguel and other work dealt with more serious issues about exploitation of parts of Rio for this summer’s Olympic games.

 

So my shoes fit in how? Well, they subvert the idea of a technical performance running shoe by adding the decoration of butterflies. What started out originally as a repair on a hole in the toe of the shoe took on a life of its own and became something more of a statement about masculinity and sporting prowess. Queering the running shoes turns them into a culturally confusing object, the shoes become unfamiliar and make us stop and look again and think.

We did a workshop too and people came to repair their own running shoes.

The show runs until 28th August at NGBK