Posts Categorised: Music

24 Top Picks for a Colourful Christmas

Colourful interior gift ideas1. Dinner Plate – Unique and Unity 2. Mascarade Cushion – Designers Guild 3. Tea Light Holders  – LSA International 4. Planter – West Elm 5. Sara Miller Candle  – John Lewis 6. Pink Vase – Studio Arhoj 7. Rock On Hand – Audenza 8. Bergamot Citrus Soap – Fresh

If I left this post any longer it would be too late. Or at least that’s how I’m justifying a totally ‘ in your face ‘ Christmas gift guide.

This is my favourite time of year. It’s the choosing gifts that I love the most and my friends will probably tell you that I drive them potty asking exactly what their kids would like. I really don’t like giving something that I think won’t be used or really wanted.

To save you a bit of time potentially, I’ve put together some ideas for loved ones who love a bit of colour and good design, if you fancy a look through. Some fun things for the kids too. Maybe there will be some items that are just what you are looking for. Also have a discount code for one of the stores a little later on …

I’ve had my eye on that West Elm Planter for some time. It’s a classic shape – I think it would be hard to disappoint with it. Also the vase from Studio Arhoj – these look lovely in a set. As a special gift for someone.

Do you have any rock lovers in your life ? I’m thinking this Gold Hand from Audenza would double up as not only a beacon of ‘ ROCK ‘ on a shelf but also a jewellery holder.

All of these websites here have lots of ideas – definitely worth a look.

Colourful clothing gift ideas christmas1. Slippers – Boden 2. Pink Jumper – Oliver Bonas 3. Purse – Liberty london 4. Semi Precious Ring – Ottoman Hands 5. Grayson Perry Brooch – Lou Taylor 6. Yellow Scarf – Whistles 7. Jacket – Scamp & Dude 8. Purse with Charger – Cuckooland

Good ol’ Boden, eh ? I wear their slippers all the time. Always perfect colour combinations. In fact I’m wearing some as I write this !

A pretty pink throw on knit at this time of year is always appreciated. Oliver Bonas as always have a good selection of clothing and homeware.

This year I’ve got very much in to Ottoman Hands jewellery and constantly swoon over their pieces on instagram. It looks so decadent and it stands out in the crowd.

Being the most massive Grayson Perry fan  – how could I not share this brooch by Lou Taylor ? Her website has some fantastic icons such as Iris and Vivienne Westwood, transformed in to statement jewellery. I insist you check her out :)

Also I have much appreciation for Scamp & Dude who are relatively new as a clothing brand but doing really well. A fresh take on bomber jackets and leopard print tops. I like – hope you do as well.

Must just mention this clutch bag / phone charger from Cuckooland. Two in one in a teal colour. What do you think ?

christmas gifts kids teenagers
1. Bunny Racer Pyjamas  – Boden 2. Pen set – Tatty Devine 3. Pom Pom Hair Bands – Topshop 4. Polaroid Pop – Polaroid 5. Rose Gold Earphones – Sudio Sweden 6. Pink Felt Board  – Ginger Snap 7. Water Bottle – Roos Beach 8. Unicorn Snot – The Present Finder

Loads of colour here. Pretty sure the pen set would go down well with a wide age range. Glad to see Tatty Devine doing stationery now –  they are always so distinct.

Have you heard of Sudio Sweden headphones ? they come in several colours and styles. I have a 15 % discount across their website if you’re looking for something like this. They have a broad price range so suitable for all. The code is LucyLovesYa15 which you can add at checkout.

Who doesn’t love a felt board – totally instagrammable and really fun. This one is from gift store Gingersnap. They also do orange and yellow boards. Another discount code for you here  – if you add PINK at checkout for this board or any items on their site you will currently receive 33% off the price of it. Whoop !

If you haven’t heard of Roos Beach then a good opportunity to look at their store. This water bottle is just one of loads of cool things. They’re based near Newquay, Cornwall and their shop is just fab if you’re ever in the area.

That’s my little round up for now. Hope you enjoyed it. Almost time for mulled wine and gingerbread is it not ? … Almost.

Lucy x

Adventure of a Lifetime on the Road with Coldplay

coldplay set toronto 2017 color colour music gig

If you’ve stayed with me through the last 3 posts you’ll know by this post we are in Toronto and the girls are literally having an Adventure of a Lifetime.

For the last gig and because they opened up the roof of The Rogers Centre we wanted to spend some quality time there during the day. It was literally baking hot and beautiful.

toronto ice cream van quirky fun inspiring

But first we wanted to eat eat ice cream ( mega ? )and take a trip up the CN Tower especially as it was right next to where we were staying.

view Toronto CN Tower vast

Apparently on a clear day you can see as far as Niagara Falls. it was a pretty good view but if I’m honest I was just keeping it together enough to do brave face up at the top … sssshh don’t tell the girls.

I’m sure the tower sways ever so slightly ? Or was I imagining it ? But it was spectacular to be up there and see the whole of the city. Mae even encouraged me to stand on the glass floor with her – which I did but there’s no way I’m posting that photo.

CN Tower buildings toronto CN Tower Rogers Centre Toronto

You could see the Tower inside the music venue  – and at night it twinkled along with the Coldplay hits and changed colours. I kept looking up at it and trying to paste the moment in my mind for keeps.

Coldplay Rogers CentreBoden Shoes on Coldplay Set coldly decorations set 2017 pom poms

There’s always so much to do on the day of a show. They have the finest team and they work so, so hard. Plus they are super nice with visitors. What a lovely bunch of people.

coldplay instagram concerts usa canada

Mae and Bets appeared on Coldplay’s instagram stories while over the week. Look a them being all industrious ! :)

So there we have it. Our little road trip. I’ve always wanted to do one but had no idea that we would get to do one as part of Coldplay’s tour. Which by the way was one of the kindest things anyone has done for us in a long time. I will never forget it.

The concerts each time were energising and so rich in colour. I was literally in heaven. I tell you, if you want to see a show that fills you with positivity then this is the show to see. They seem to have a way of connecting with the audiences even when it’s 50,000 and making everyone feel they are special. It’s a pretty cool thing.

The catering was out of this world. Different every day and very tasty. It gave me some ideas for some new recipes.

Mae has come home and played the piano non stop. So all in all an inspiring time for us all.

How am I going to up this for next Summer Hols ? Gulp !

Hope you have enjoyed each post. You can catch up on the other below in my stream and also find me on Bloglovin’.

Lucy x

Why Downtown Toronto Stole My Heart


Where were we in the last post ? Ah yes, that’s right. Just visited Niagara Falls on the tour bus and headed over to Toronto, ready for the third Coldplay gig at The Rogers Centre.

But we had some time to spare with a day off and wanted to make the most of it. So headed to some places that we knew were going to be fun and memorable. I have to say vibrant and friendly Toronto stole my heart.

graffiti alley toronto street art color colour visit

I was really keen to pop over to Graffiti Alley and check it out. It’s pretty popular and after visiting  I can see why.

I would say an alley. probably half a mile long of colour and art. All sorts of work but it blends and looks incredible. Apparently it is legal and painted over a 24 hour period each year.

boden blazer street art graffiti alley toronto

I’m glad I wore my my colourful clothing. I know I look like I’m posing but in reality I was thinking about chocolate pancakes probably.

boden heart trousers color colour fashion blog toronto street art

If you’re wondering where my outfit is from, it’s from Boden. So please with the Nell Ponte Blazer. I’ve listed everything at the bottom of the post so you can have a look if you fancy.

Toulon bag Boden Yellow

This Toulon bag was fantastic for the time away. I needed to fit in my camera, phone, make up bag, purse, show passes etc. It was roomy and I still love it now.

Boden Toulon handbag yellow toronto graffiti alley

In fact I love it so much I kept photographing it as the backdrop was just too tempting not to. How often do you get the opportunity and with so much artistic inspiration ?

So much colour. I was literally in heaven. Luckily Andy and the girls love it too so we were all very happy to spend some time there.

graffiti alley toronto canada

A little pit stop before heading off to for a late lunch at Pizza Libretto in the Financial District  – nice food.

Sonic Boom Toronto record shop

Then we went over to a vinyl store recommended by a friend on the tour who knows his record shops. Had a good rummage there. They have an amazing selection of music downstairs.

Sonic Boom Toronto Store records vinyl cool

It’s not your average kind of place as it also has a very cool shop upstairs with books, gifts, home things. You’d love it !

Fashion District Toronto Colour color

After a bit more meandering we were totally ready for a rest. Niagara Falls and all of this in one day calls for a swim and sleep. Ready for a trip up the CN Tower in the morning and our last gig of the trip.

I’ve another post with us inside the  venue preparing for the Coldplay show.

Hope you can see why I love Downtown Toronto so much ?

Do leave me a comment  – would love to hear from you. You can also follow me on Bloglovin’ for updates.

Lucy x

Outfits:

Me: Nell Ponte Blazer, Richmond Trousers, White Easy Tee, Toulon Bag, Gloria Ballerinas.

Girls: Adventure Dress, Pointelle T-shirtHoliday Sandals, Patchwork T-shirt and Mint Bright Shorts.

All c/o Boden.

On the road with Coldplay starting with Chicago

coldplay tour bus travel USA experience boden dress cool music

Now that we’ve been back for a good few days and the jet lag has subsided I’ve had a chance to sort through some of my photos of our road trip with Coldplay. We visited Chicago, Cleveland and then over to Toronto in Canada all in the space of a week. I managed to take a lot of images as I’m never without my camera for inspiration so I’ve broken the rip down in to no less than 4 posts !

But, hopefully you’ll find them interesting especially if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like travelling and living on a tour bus or if you fancy seeing Niagara Falls at sunrise. I’m still scraping myself off the ceiling over that view. All to come over the next few weeks. I’ve also written about some cool places to visit in Downtown Toronto the next time you visit.

So, you may wonder why we were on the road, over the pond with Coldplay ? Well, they very kindly organised a family tour bus for their team over the holidays. I mean, this is quite unusual in the music business but highly appreciated. In fact, really kind I thought.

chicago skyline image USA big city lake michigan

If you follow me on instagram you will have seen our shenanigans that kicked off in Chicago, the windy city.

I have always loved the USA but it was the girl’s first time there so you can image the levels of anticipation. High !

silver bean chicago travel USAChicago images navy pier travel inspiration

To wake ourselves up on the first day after a HUGE breakfast at 15th Avenue Diner ( recommend by the way ) passing this colourful wall  en route … and with only a day to soak up the atmosphere in Chicago before the gig and onwards, we popped in to some stores, checked out the ‘ Silver Bean ‘ and then went on a speed boat ride just off the Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. I’m not joking – I couldn’t breathe we were going so fast much to the amusement of the girls. It was pretty funny in hindsight.

boden tour bus kaftan outfit canada stylish

So if you have ever wondered what it’s like to travel on tour  – I can confirm it’s pretty bl**dy amazing. These particular buses are also known as ‘ star buses ‘ as they are usually used by artists for instance Dolly Parton loves to travel this way apparently.

They have a living space with TV’s, well stocked kitchen area and a loo and then a door that leads to bunk bed areas for 4 and a shower room  – and then at the back a main bedroom with wardrobe, ( super comfy ) double bed and another TV. The whole bus is air conditioned really well which was a bonus as all places were very hot. I did make a little video which I will probably pop on to YouTube soon.

Lee our driver was possible one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. We were really lucky.

I got the giggles on the bus because the experience was surreal and the feeling of travelling on an American Highway on a double bed in my PJ’s was pretty immense.

touring trucks USA transport chicago concert coldplay

All in all, I can see why touring is quite addictive. The buzz, the people and the places. Although I have toured with theatre productions in the past – it has always been in the UK so it was kind if realising a dream doing real a road trip.

The first concert in Chicago was fantastic and the girls were totally ready for the next venue.

Another post soon to tell you about Cleveland and show you our early morning stop at Niagara Falls.

Lucy x

Cleo Kaftan, Mayfair Skinny Jeans, Rose Gold Elsie Flats,Sunglasses, Summer Hotchpotch Dress, Holiday Sandals, Denim Shirt Dress cat pumps all c / o Boden.

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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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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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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