Posts Categorised: Music

You have to stand for something

We’re looking out for something to put our decks on at the moment.

A long time ago I had a stand made up out of wood but this is now spoken for, covered in my kids art and craft stuff. You can buy DJ stands for vinyl but we are after something a bit kitsch so that we can have it the living room. :) I’ve had a little look online for starters and found a few pieces.

Love the retro drinks cabinet on Ebay, above. I reckon we could squeeze the decks on to it and it would fit in a corner quite well.

The retro legs on this console do it for me – shame this is in the States ! It’s a nice piece to have in your home. I found it on Etsy.

This Soundbase stand is similar to the one we originally had made up. Simple design but probably the most practical.

Something that needs a bit of TLC would be nice too, plus you could store the vinyl underneath this one.

Nowadays, lots of people use DJ software or CDs much more which is understandable as it takes up much less room but I will always be an ‘old skool’ record lover because the sound is like nothing else. It’s also the feel of the vinyl and the beautiful artwork on albums.

If you have any ideas on stands – send them my way … and while we’re on the topic of music, what was the first record you ever bought ? Leave me a comment under this post or tweet @lucylovesyablog.

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Berlin and Biffy in 24 Hours.

IMG_2599This week I had a 24 hour trip to Berlin.

Although it was a mad dash, I really enjoyed the break and tried to pack as much in as possible because I’ve never been there before.

I’m ashamed to say I don’t speak German and really need to learn some. The people that I met were lovely and their English language is perfect.

My husband was working out there so I went to watch the gig which was really good. Mon the Biff ! ;) I decided not to take photo’s as I never really understand why people spend their whole time videoing concerts and not actually enjoying the moment ?! Berlin1

There was a dream sweetie drawer at the Hotel and I managed to only eat a packet of crisps. It took great determination. :)

I wore one of my favourite things in the evening – my Anglomania Lightning Elephant Tee. I read once that we only wear about 20% of our wardrobe and reckon it must be true because I wear it all of the time ! Sorry the photo isn’t clearer !

A ” Cowshed ” parlour resides at this Hotel so my treat was a Lemongrass oil massage the next morning which was wonderful and apparently my shoulders are very tense … from sewing no doubt ! Berlin 2

Enough about me .. :) Berlin is a really vibey ( is that a word ? ) city, full of culture and it seemed really clean. From where we were staying on Torstrasse we wandered to the streets around Alexander Platz and found loads of good stores and places to eat. Only wish there’d been enough time to photograph more of the buildings but have posted a few for you to see.

Cannot wait to go again to have a proper look at the galleries and do a street art tour. It’s definitely in my top 3 of places to visit now.

What’s your favourite City in the World ? 

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INSPIRE ME – with Lucy in Disguise

Sarah-Lily-Rankin-colourAs a vintage clothing lover I have followed the progress of Lucy in Disguise ever since they started out in 2010, especially because the owners of the brand, sisters Lily Allen and Sarah Owen, have created something unique and manage to source the most beautiful pieces.

As well as their online website Lucy in Disguise offers rails of gorgeous items from the 20s right through to the 90s in their Soho Boutique –  there’s also a parlour where you can have your hair and make up styled and they offer ” Events Space ” if you’re looking to hold a truly vintage party. 

Sarah has very kindly shared some of the inspiration behind their brand, how they go about sourcing their garments and plans for the near future … Salon-2-copy

Your Drama Parlour sounds fantastic – what does it offer ?

When we started LiD we really wanted to re – create that experience of getting ready for a big night out at home with your friends, and so it was always part of the plan to have an in store salon where you could complete your look with hair and make up. When I heard that Vicky, who runs the Drama Parlour, was looking for a space for her salon, I knew her team would be the perfect addition to the family. I’ve known Vicky for years and as well as being a fab hairdresser she very much shared my vision for creating a cool environment with good people, good music and good vibes. The Drama Parlour offers contemporary cut and colour, vintage styling and make up looks created by top make up artists.

You stock your own brand of candles amongst other things – what inspired the scents you have chosen ?

We worked together with an amazing scent designer, Azzi Glasser, to come up with the scents. We have three different scents – Rose, Sequoia wood and Fig which are all very different but really represents the diversity of our Lucy customers as they range from a very classical floral scent ( Rose ) to a more subtle one ( Sequoia Wood ) to a punchy, fruity scent ( fig ).

What would you say, differentiates your store from other vintage clothing shops ?

The key thing that makes our store different from your typical vintage shop is that we are extremely particular about our edit and in the way we merchandise our stock. We hand pick each item rather than buying in bulk and consequently we believe every single item on our rails is amazing. We didn’t want it to be the type of shop you had to rummage through rails crammed full of okay clothes to find that one brilliant piece. Its a shop for the busy, modern shopper who might not necessarily have the time to hunt for a good bit of vintage, rather our customer expects to come into our store and find everything cleaned and displayed beautifully with one to one assistance to help them find that perfect piece. lid-shop-at-night

Is there an era or Designer that is most popular with your clothing ? Which is your favourite ?

The 60s is consistently a favourite, but we definitely notice how catwalk trends affect what eras people are looking for. The single most asked for item is a bias cut 30s dress similar to the green silk one Kiera Knightley wore in atonement.

When you are sourcing your vintage pieces – how on earth do you keep focused and choose what is right for your store ?

The buying is the best bit ! It’s so exciting ! When you come across a good haul that you know your customers will love there really is no better feeling. I shop in many different ways – sometimes I’m focused on finding a particular item, other times I’m simply on a treasure hunt. I usually keep one eye on the trends and seasons of the moment, but I’m not bound by it, after all, vintage by its very nature is timeless, so if I see a good quality or unique piece at a good price I will snap it up no matter what time of year or whats going on in the contemporary clothes marketplace.

Which era of fashion do you think is most underrated ? – Why ? MG_1855.e1

I don’t really notice any one era being particularly underrated. I do find though that people tend to not be so keen on the era they were a teenager in; my mother hates 70s fashion, my grandmother shuns the 40s and instead loves the glamour of the 50s, I’m not as in love with the 90’s as the rest of the world seems to be right now. I would put this down to teenage hood being when we start to experiment with fashion, consequently making a few fashion mistakes along the way and when we get to our twenties and are a little bit more settled in terms of the way we dress, we would rather forget the experimental years that preceded it.

Can you tell me what plans you have for Lucy in Disguise ?

The next 12 months for us will be focused on expanding our online business. Our e – comm shop is still very young and we’re learning more and more about it everyday. Its so important in todays marketplace to have a strong online presence, and this is no less true for us than anyone else. We’ll definitely do another Lucy in Disguise range in the future and also have plans to delve further into the beauty world, but you’ll just have to watch this space on that one !

Thanks Sarah, looking forward to it. :)

You can follow Lucy in Disguise London on twitter @lucyin_Disguise and become a fan on facebook. If you want to have a look at their online vintage clothing, book an appointment in the Drama Parlour or enquire about Event Space – go to www.lucyindisguiselondon.com.

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All images copyright Lucy in Disguise London 2013.

INSPIRE ME – with TV & Film Composer – Simon Lacey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon Lacey is a Composer for TV and Film. Some of his recent credits include The Railway Children, Long Lost Family, LapLand and Above Suspicion. 

He is working on his own very exciting new project called ” A Quarter of a Million Miles ” inspired by Command Module Pilot on Apollo 11, Michael Collins.

Part 1 ” The Thought of Floating in Space ” can be viewed on the new website, so once you’ve had a nice dose of musical inspiration here courtesy of Simon – do pop over and have a watch and listen. Details at the end of this interview …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You compose music for TV and Film  – how did you first get involved in the media world ?

Well, I’d been in various bands, done a bit of songwriting and had scrabbled together a little studio with an Akai sampler and a Mac which would both be in a museum now. Around that time I met the founders of RDF television, which was just starting up at that point and they asked me if I wanted to write the score for their first documentary commission. I did the job for the price of a bag of chips, but I instantly loved writing to picture, the documentary seemed to go well and I became a bit of an in – house composer for them for a while. That gave me a lot of very useful experience and after a few years I managed to get my first drama job.

Originally, you were a front man in a band – how does it compare to with writing for others ?

I think front man is putting it kindly. I was so not suited to that job, much happier hiding behind banks of keyboards and writing stuff.  Writing for others’ projects requires a certain lack of ego, whereas I’d suggest being a good front person is all about ego, confidence and projection. When you write the score for a drama, it is not your baby, you are one of many elements in the production and sometimes your view of what is good will differ from the director’s.  In the end of course they make the decisions and sometimes a favourite piece can end up on the cutting room floor or you find that a cue you’ve written has been cut around and edited without you knowing.  It’s no good being too precious about all that as no one wants to hear the composer whining at the back of the dubbing theatre and, to be fair, most directors I’ve worked with are very charming and reasonable people ( in case they’re reading this… )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What inspired your latest work – A Quarter of a Million Miles ?

I’ve always been interested in space and astronomy and I was inspired to write the music having read the book ” Carrying The Fire ” by Michael Collins.  He was the Command Module pilot on the Apollo 11 mission who orbited the moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin went down to the lunar surface. He was said to have known loneliness like no other human before as he went out of radio contact on the far side of the moon, circling on his own. I’ve always thought that music and space were a great combination and the lyricism of his book triggered a lot of music from me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who else is involved in this project ?

The violinist Jack Liebeck is playing solos on some of the pieces. He is an amazing player who has recorded a stunning version of Dvorak”s violin concerto and has featured on Dario Marianelli’s scores to Jane Eyre and Anna Karenina. Natasha Marsh has released 2 very successful solo albums and sings the soprano parts. Her voice works so well on the pieces so I was thrilled that she was interested in the project.  There are a couple of other collaborators I have my eye on for the remaining pieces still to be recorded – let’s hope I manage to reel them in.

I should also mention Charlie Phillips (editor of Sherlock) who did a brilliant job editing the films from the NASA footage.

Having listened to the first piece ( which I found really enchanting ) how long did it take you to develop from an idea into the finished piece ?

Thank you. I wrote the piece on piano, as I often do, and as far as I remember it was relatively quick.  A couple of concentrated sessions. To get to the finished piece, I did a demo version, tinkered around with arrangements and orchestrations and then did all the notation for the actual recording session with strings, harp and me on piano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a “Quarter of a Million Miles” album on the way soon – will there also be more film ?

Yes, there are 3 films all finished and ready to go. The next one is a piece called ” Galaxies ” featuring Natasha Marsh singing. The footage this time is quite different – grainy 16mm film from the Apollo missions. I love the quality of it and it’s a must for space nuts – you can play spot the astronaut. It will be on the website soon – as soon as I have an exact date I will announce it on our Twitter and Facebook pages. As far as the album goes, I need to raise the rest of the money to finish the recording so the purpose of the website and films is to introduce people to the music and hope that they like it enough to want to hear more. I’m talking to some very interesting potential partners at the moment, but I may well also try and finance it through crowdfunding, so am really hoping for people’s help in spreading the word and recommending to friends.

Can you offer a little bit of advice for someone wanting to become a professional composer ?

The best thing I can think of is try and find a unique ( or at least unusual ) aspect to your work that will set you apart from the crowd … and make friends with directors.

Thanks so much, Simon. 

To see Part 1 and find out more – the website is www.aquarterofamillionmiles.com. Do spread the word too.

You can also follow on twitter @AQOMM or become a facebook fan to hear their latest news.

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Pocketful of dreams … Part 2

IMG_0652The second day started off with a trip to Macy’s to buy a few little gifts for family and erm, well…. a pair of Nike boots that confirm I am defiintely still a child at heart ! NY3

Being as we were both flying home later that day we thought a really nice way to spend the afternoon would be at Central Park. So we had some lunch which was absolutely delicious, the name of the place escapes me. NY4 Andy knew of a toy store called FAO Schwarz right nearby – and he was right in thinking it would rock my world ! They obviously have excellent buyers there – every product looked good and well presented. Not too much stuff all bunged together, if you know what I mean ? I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t get the Hello Kitty IPhone case – or the leopard print suitcase… or the Wonder Woman book… Damn it ! My daughters would’ve loved the Jim Henson puppet workshop going on there and the whole floor of sweets. I highly recommend this place if you’e ever close by the park. IMG_0582

We stumbled across a really excllent soul band playing nearby and I loved the fact that people were being really generous, popping their dollars on their tin. They deserved every single one !

 

As we headed back to the Hotel to get ourselves together it started to rain, which was refreshing and felt like good timing to head to the Airport. I’ve never been on the Subway before and you have to be on the ball down there ! I have to say though, I found everyone really courteous.. which is not always the case in London.

Going back to my comment in part 1 – it has been a really good, much needed break. It’s hard work on occasion being a Mum. It’s the best thing I have ever done, don’t get me wrong – but, you can forget what you stand for at times. It’s good to have a few days to get your head together, have fun and focus again. You could say that it’s has been a good kick up the derriere. :)

I am cracking on now with starting my online store. It will be at Etsy shop to begin with while I work on my website. I’m also writing a book and it has really helped for ideas with that too. Watch this space …..

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Pocketful of dreams … Part 1

IMG_0464I’ve had a super fabulous mind bending, surreal time in New York this week. Had little time to prepare for it and was in there before I knew it.

Thought I’d take the opportunity to visit Andy out there as he was working at Madison Square Gardens. Got there late, dropped my suitcase off and ( and really late if you count the time difference ) – popped into the gig, met the band he’s working with and crew who were all lovely and then caught an hour of Muse. They were excellent – I forgot my camera though so I took a few instagram pictures instead.

It’s not the first time that I have been to the Big Apple, but it always feels like a film set when you step out onto the street. The energy is just what I needed at the moment ( more about that in part 2 ) and I find New Yorkers so engaging. NY1

As we only had a few days, we squeezed loads in – the first day we wandered down to the fashion district and went to Rosen and Chadick – a store of my fabric dreams ! Literally every type and colour that you can think of  – some I’ve never seen before. Great service too. I got a few – the leopard print is actually silk and feels sooo soft. I looked down at the pavement as we were walking away and spotted the Betsey Johnson plaque right there by my feet. I chose to study her work when I did a design course at London College of Fashion so it was quite apt, really. NY2

Then a cab ride to SoHo for some excellent Boutiques and a very sweet cafe called Smile for a little bit of lunch. American Apparel is everywhere in New York but I do love that shop so it was a treat ! I love their hoodies and finally got their shiny leopard print leggings that I’ve had my eye on for ages. How cool is the massive television below and the caravan ? They were in the Orla Kiely store. I can’t recall the name of the one with the eye balls for heads but couldn’t resist this pic ! IMG_0460

After a few hours we headed over to Brooklyn as I had tracked down a really good Barbers called TomCats on India Street who specialise in Vintage haircuts. Andy was in need of a cut and it was well worth the journey ! He has had a really good late 30s re style. The place was buzzing and the staff – really lovely. I just sat and people watched. IMG_0481IMG_0479IMG_0477

It was only a short walk to a boat ride from Brooklyn ( on the way I snapped some awesome graffiti – too many to add all ) to East 34th Street and then we walked back, freshened up and went out for some Japanese food at Monster Sushi. Great Bento box – very tasty ! IMG_0518
A few people had recommended 230 5th – a rooftop bar – and WOW the view was incredible. We sat and sipped cocktails and listened to some Ambient House music. They give robes to people if they get a bit chilly – it is heated up there but it was nice and cosy to wear one. We looked a bit like something from a Star Wars movie though… but, then again – so did everyone else.

Pretty much passed out in a jet lagged and Bellini induced world of sleep once we got back to the Hotel…. Zzzzzzz.

Part 2 coming tomorrow….

Have you been to New York or do you live there ? Which are your favourite places and stores ? …

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Fancy joining in ? :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is something new I thought I would try out – and maybe you would like to take part ?

If it works out, I will post a new piece at the beginning of each month – It might be a piece of jewellery or a picture.. or a dress ! Then, whoever wants to take part ( I’m in, obviously ! ) has until the end of that month to make something inspired ( not copied ;) ) by it. So, in this case – email yours to me – lucy@lucylovesya.com by 29th January.

It can be whatever you decide to create – clothing, a piece of artwork, jewellery, a cake.. whatever !… Then email me a pic of what you’ve made, and a little description of how you were inspired ( if you wish ). I will then post everything made in that month in a little montage, with links to you.

It will be fascinating to see our interpretations and a bit of fun :) It doesn’t matter what level you’re at !

The first one is above – a vintage cup and saucer we used for our wedding. I found this in a charity shop.

What do you reckon ?

 Post your ( positive ) thoughts and questions below and….

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Happy Christmas and thanks :)


My last post this side of Chrimbo !

Time to wind down and hang up my stocking…. are you all set ? Is anyone ever ?

In the meantime, I want to say a big thanks to my sponsors, all the wonderful people and companies that I have collaborated with and interviewed this year including:

Rocket Dog, Kitty Finegan, Janome, Fabric Rehab, Horrockses Fashions, Ditto Fabrics, Fabric Yard, Curtains Made Simple, ZPM Trolley Dolly, Seamstar, MiaFleur, Lekue, Irregular Choice, Beauvamp, Horace Panter, Zakee Shariff, This is Rude, Tatty Devine, Chie Mihara, welovekaoru, Jennie Maizels, Steve Neaves, Wilbur and Gussie, Retrosun, Romero Bryan, Paris ( Coldplays artist in residence ), Anna Lou of London, KissmeZombie, Melody Miller, Dolly Dagger, Serendipity Studio, Loaf, 2d Scrumptious, Bombus and Vowed and Amazed.

It’s been a busy one and I have enjoyed every minute of it ! The prizes have been top notch and very generous. The inspirational advice given by such amazing designers has been invaluable. I’ve got lots more lined up for early next year – and have some exciting news too :)

I hope you have enjoyed my own designs and projects this year ?

If you think you think we are a match made in heaven and are interested in sponsoring LucyLovesYa, running a product giveaway or requesting a product review in 2013 do get in touch. Would love to hear from you.

Wishing you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS…. and will update soon.

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Image courtesy and copyright of Mike Stimpson 2012

INSPIRE ME – with Horace Panter

Today, ‘Inspire Me’ is with Artist Horace Panter – whom you may well also know as Sir Horace Gentleman, bass player with Iconic Ska band The Specials.

Horace already had a Fine Art degree under his belt when he joined The band in 1977 and so it was just a matter of music, tours and an interesting teaching role, before he would produce his own icon inspired artwork. The first public exhibition of many took place in November 2011 with great response and there are plenty more to come.

News of a 2013 tour with The Specials is out, so all in all, next year is sounding good too.

I could’ve asked many questions to someone with such an interesting and varied life to date – but I managed to narrow them down and hope you enjoy …

You studied art before even joining the Specials – you had your first exhibition at the Strand in London only last year – what has the reaction to your work been so far ?

I think it has surprised people. There have been a lot of positive responses and Iʼve been taken a lot more seriously than I was expecting, you know, the ʻsemi – retired rock star with too much time on his handsʼ reaction, but itʼs been more like ʻwow, this guy can actually paint !ʼ

Do you think it’s important to study your craft at college or university, be it fine art or whatever you choose in life ?
If youʼre going to be a doctor or an architect, then yes ! I suppose it depends on what sort of artist/musician you would like to be. Francis Bacon, for example, never went to art school. It has helped me, I know that, by giving me a credibility I would not otherwise have had. Also, a grounding in Modern Art History has helped but you donʼt need to go to university to study that.

Has working as a musician developed you as an artist – and vice versa ?

Only in as much as it has enabled me to travel and visit art galleries and find inspiration from around the world. No, thatʼs not all, if I wasnʼt a professional musician with lots of ʻdown timeʼ I wouldnʼt have the excess of free time to paint. When Iʼm rehearsing in the studio or doing a gig, I have to fit into a team and concentrate on what works best for the group; when Iʼm painting, Iʼm solo, making all the decisions.

When you are painting do you like to surround yourself with solitude or paintings and music ?

Preparing boards and preliminary stuff I can listen to music, but I canʼt multitask very well; I could never do my homework in front of the TV so, when Iʼm painting, I like solitude.

Did you design The Specials logo ?

Not entirely. Jerry did the two-tone man and I did the 2 -Tone Records bit.

You were Head of Art at a school for autistic children for ten years – how did this come about and did any of the students work inspire you ?

I went into the special needs school as support for one specific pupil. As he settled back into the school, I was ʻabsorbedʼ into the staff and once it was discovered that I had an art degree  (the art teacher was really a PE teacher who took the job because no-one else wanted it … yes, school is like that! ), I was offered the job so a bit ʻunder the radarʼ really. It was a fantastic experience, especially dealing with children on the autistic spectrum. It made me change the way I viewed art – to make it more immediate.

Who and what are your biggest influences ? Is this ever evolving ?

Musically, most stuff on Tamla/Motown and Stax/Atlantic, Chicago Blues and Dub Reggae. Artwise, the list is longer – Henri Rousseau, (Sir) Peter Blake, Wayne Thiebaud, Mark Rothko, Kenneth Noland, Robyn Denny, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichenstein, James Rosenquist – mainly American 1960s artists, but they, the 60sʼ, were my formative years. Lately, I think Iʼm like the Borg out of Star Trek inasmuch as I accumulate everything and it becomes a source for work. I like the phrase ʻappropriation and subversionʼ!!

As a bass player and teacher you are in a supporting role – how does it feel to be the front man ?

The art career is my ʻsolo albumʼ. It is a different kind of creativity.

Are there certain galleries that you look forward to visiting when you’re on tour ?

Oh yes ! There is a probability we will be in New York towards the end of summer. I have never been to the new MOMART. The year before last, we were in Europe and the Ludwig Museum in Cologne was fantastic, as was The Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin.

Is you work influenced by pop art ?  What do you love about it ?
To my way of thinking, Pop Art was to Art History what Punk Rock was to Rock and Roll. You had Abstract Expressionism, which was very elitist and metaphysical ( I love Rothko by the way ) and then along comes a guy with a soup can ! My work is heavily influences by traditional iconography and the word ʻmundaneʼ is used a lot in iconography as it is in Pop Art. ʻElevating the Mundaneʼ is one of the tropes of Pop Art and a lot of my work looks like Pop Art. Peter Blakeʼs technique and his use of colour are also big influences.

I love your cassette paintings, they really remind me of my treasured mix tapes  – if you were making up your ultimate mix tape of 30 minutes / 10 songs.. what would they be and why ?

1. Road Runner, Junior Walker and the All Stars

2. All Down the Line, Rolling Stones ( off Exile on Main Street ) !

3. Too Much Alcohol, J.B. Hutto and the Hawks

4. A Little Bit of Love, Free

5. Outta Space, Billy Preston

6. Dub Tree, Joe Gibbs ( from African Dub Chapter 3 )

7. Trampolene, The Spencer Davies Group ( worldʼs greatest B-Side )

8. PCH, ZZ Top ( great driving music )

9. China Girl, David Bowie ( with Stevie Ray Vaughan channelling Albert King )

10. Pour Me One More Drink, Robert Ward ( the Blues – for real )

What inspired you to write your book  – Ska’d for life ?

I had these two diaries from our US and Japanese tours and my parents had collected 11 scrap books full of Specials and Two-Tone related press. I was always the one that people were being directed to: ʻAsk Horace, he remembers stuff like thatʼ. There had been a couple of ʻfan-relatedʼ attempts at writing about the band but I thought they were far from accurate and no-one in the band had done it … so I did. Also, I twisted my ankle during the summer holidays and had fuck all else to do !!

Could you offer some words of advice for any aspiring artists and musicians reading this on how to fulfill their dreams ?

Self belief and persistence. Oh, and a good manager. Thatʼs A GOOD MANAGER!!

Do you have any exhibitions coming up ? .. and will The Specials be touring next year ? I will look forward to both..

By the time you publish this, The Specials May 2013 UK Tour Dates will have been announced. In 2012 I had 14 exhibitions – great fun but too much! In 2013 I am discussing exhibition dates in Liverpool and Glasgow in the early months and have one pencilled in for Number 9 Gallery in Birmingham for the summer. As soon as I have confirmation of any exhibitions the dates are published on Twitter and Facebook and also in the ʻHoracePanterArtʼ quarterly newsletter … all the logistics are handled by Clare, the woman I love !

A massive thanks to Horace ( and Clare ! ) …it is an honour to interview someone whom I have grown up listening to and loving their music, and now am very inspired by Horace’s artwork too.

You can see more of Horace’s work on his website – www.horacepanterart.com Follow him on Twitter @horacepanterart and you can become a fan facebook for info on upcoming exhibitions and shows.

All images copyright Horace Panter 2012.

Leave me a comment here to say hi or tweet me – @lucylovesyablog I’d love to hear from you :)

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INSPIRE ME – with Paris – Coldplay’s Artist in residence.

A few weeks ago, I talked about my evening at the Coldplay concert at Emirates stadium on the leg of their Mylo Xyloto UK tour.

As my husband is currently working with them, myself and a few friends went to their show and our first impressions of the huge stage area were all literally “WOW”.

We were completely blown away by the graffiti artwork, the enormity of it all and how totally captivating it was. A massive beautiful work of art !

This week for ‘Inspire Me’, I feel very lucky indeed to be interviewing the artist who has created all of this – Paris, and to find out more about his artwork, inspirations and plans for the future as well as what it is like to be collaborating with Coldplay, one of the biggest bands on our globe…

Firstly, Paris, what an amazing gig to get ! Please tell me how your collaboration with Coldplay came about ? 

I’ve been so lucky to land what I reckon is one of the best jobs in the world !….

The band already had an interest in graffiti , but they wanted to meet a real graffiti artist… I was recommended through a friend of a friend.

I met the band, we had fun spraying in their studio, and before you knew it we were painting the Album cover for Mylo Xyloto and getting jetted around the world to paint all kinds of things for their shows !…

 How does it feel having 50,000 people a night at the Coldplay shows looking at your graffiti work ?

It’s an amazing feeling, I got to see quite a few of the Stadium gigs last month in Europe, and the other week in Manchester was one of the best yet… the whole show, the whole production is incredible ,so just to be a part of that is great…when I think how many people see it in just two days its staggering…and our artwork is hard to miss, it’s all over the stage, instruments, screens & stadium !

My husband, Andy, is blown away by your speed ! You turn Chris Martin’s piano and Will Champion’s drum kit into pieces of art so quickly. Do you pre plan what you are going to create and do you always work at a fast pace ?

I think working fast keeps you on your toes, and it gives your artwork an added vitality.

This is what first attracted me to graffiti as a kid, when it’s done well it has a lot of visual power.., and a lot of this comes from painting at night, the thrill and the energy comes through in the work.

For the Coldplay artwork I’m creating a look that is playful and loose, and this can be a lot harder to create in a studio than it looks…one way of getting the right effect is to do it fast, get loads of paint & pens and just go at it !

At what age did you start graffiti-ing and what inspired you ?

I was about 7 or 8 when I first saw graffiti, in about 1981, at that time it was just Punk graffiti, stuff like the Anarchy symbol & “The Jam” & “Sis loves Saz” written on walls near my house, even then I remember it fascinated me, to think who did this ? and when did they do it ?..

By about 1984 there was a lot more breakdance style graffiti around Hull, and this was more colourful, that stuff I loved.

In the middle of a housing estate you’d see “Egyptian Lover” in 6ft high letters in reds, oranges yellows blues & greens…I’d see this from the school bus every day….I just thought “I want to try that” it looked like so much fun.

Did you study art at college?

Yeah, I had a really good tutor at Hull College called Connie Littlefield, she taught a whole bunch of us Hull kids about the Great Masters & the great art movements..The Cubists, The Impressionists,  Art Deco.. all that.. and took us to London & Paris ( this is where I chose the name….in 1992 )..she really opened my mind to what was out there, really really inspired me…, after that I studied in Bolton for 2 years, then in Bristol for 2 more specialising in Printed Textiles for Fashion.

This was definitely the best course for me, so much looser than Graphics, and Fine Art was a bit too snooty…

I came out with a First Class honours so that was okay, but I had to build my business myself, and that took years !

 

Where did you used to do your graffiti art and do you know if any of it has survived the test of time ?… 

I used to live near a big park as a kid and like everywhere in Hull back then there where a lot of abandoned buildings.

There was an old boat house that we called the “Acid Hut” and this is where I did some of my early pieces with my mate Xenz and later we teamed up with an older lad called Eko. We painted an old swimming pool in the park too, the Lido, and the basket ball courts, it was good fun in there, not bothering anyone, and if you painted when Home & Away and Neighbours where on it was so quiet you had the place to your self and all the time in the world to spray. Sometimes the Park-keepers would chase us off but it was all good fun.

Most of those places have been re-developed or knocked down now, the handball court is still there but that gets re-painted every month or so…..it’s a legal graffiti wall now…haha.

I guess its the nature of graffiti to be temporal, even if it survives the test of time the weather will one day wash it away, there might be few bits & pieces around, maybe in someone’s back garden!

Your girlfriend, Milk, is also an artist, do you ever collaborate ?

Yes, Milk has helped me out a lot with some of the bigger Coldplay jobs, and we often get the chance to paint together at Festivals and on walls around the city. We met through painting, and our styles compliment each other well, I think it’s a match made in heaven ! X.

I’ve discovered French street artist Koralie and Swoon, from the States.. Are there alot of female graffiti artists in the UK ? 

I think there are a lot more female graffiti artists in general these days, though even in the beginning in 1970s New York there was Barbara 62 & Eva 62 and in the 80’s there was Lady Pink who still paints now.

I think it can be daunting for girls who want to paint, as graffiti can be a bit of a boys club, but the female influence is vital, I think it really freshens it all up. That’s how I met Milk, I saw her work and it was a hundred times more original than most blokes graffiti out there, with really beautiful colour combinations too.

Milk’s done a few pieces with my sister K184, and they also did a show called “Great Birds of the British Isles” with Amour and Dora who are also female artists.

How do you get inspiration nowadays ? 

Even if it’s just on the walk to my studio I’ve started noticing all these amazing marks on old walls and doors, and the effects corrosion can have on buildings. I find I’m looking at all of this around me with new eyes, I guess it’s just looking properly…, its always been there.

The Hockney show in April had a pretty profound effect on me..that was very inspiring, just the scale alone, it helped me see “the bigger picture”… a true master, and Jeremy Dellers recent show was also a real eye opener.

I find travel is one of the greatest sources of inspiration, wherever me & Milk go we’re always searching for the ‘down at heel’ bits of a city with Dusty shop fronts and old cafes.

We went all over Europe in 2010 and when we got back we just had hundreds of photos of old logos, shop fronts and bits of fabric !

 Are there any other artists/bands that you would really love to work with ?

I’d have loved to work with the Beastie Boys, as I admire everything they’ve ever done….

Jay Z would be cool to do something for, or I’d like to create something for a Detroit Label, I love that futuristic sound.

It would be pretty cool to create artwork for a sci-fi film …maybe just decor or graphics.

Your website www.paris1974.com showcases your paintings for sale – is this something you’re focusing on more now .. and what is happening for you in the near future ?

Yeah, now I’ve got a lot more time in the studio it’s really helped my painting to flourish.

This is something I really want to push, hopefully I can exhibit in London & further afield.

I find painting on canvas pretty scary, but you’ve just got to persist at it.  Doing a wall anywhere, in front of hundreds of people is nothing to me, but I really feel the pressure with a canvas. One way to get over this is not be too precise about it. I’ve got a big wall behind my studio and I nail a load of canvass to this and then just go off!, have fun then work back into each painting individually over time. The work’s selling really well and the prices are rising so hopefully this is something I can keep doing for years to come.

The Coldplay work has made all of this possible, and a lot of my new paintings have been inspired by this collaboration.

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists ?

Keep doing what you LOVE doing, theres a lot of distractions out there, but if you feel that art & creativity is your chosen path you’ve got to grab hold of it with both hands, Hockney’s work showed me that , he’s 70+ and all he’s been doing all his life is painting & drawing and being creative..and his work shows it, and its all totally possible, you’ve just got to believe in it, no-one will make it happen – but you.

Thanks so much to Paris, for giving me this interview and us all an insight into his life and inspirations. Really interesting, eh ?

If you would like to find out more about Paris’s artwork for sale, head on over to his website www.paris1974.com – that’s where I’m off to …. :)

All images are copyright of Paris 2012. Thanks Peeps

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