Thursday, 29 September 2011

"Mollie Makes" article.

Out today, this feature about me in "Mollie Makes" magazine. Available in all good newsagents. I've also done a tutorial for the next issue out the end of October.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Frilled Arizona Saloon Beetle

A Selection of framed beetle now in my shop.

Finally got round to putting these up in my shop. One of a series of framed, pinned bugs. I have a love/hate relationship with insects. Even though they're usually my favourite section of any natural history museum or zoo they're also my biggest fear when traveling. Thankfully, in Japan I only had a few encounters with insects (mostly notably a Mukade!). It seems strange that I would avoid parks for fear of bugs but would actively seek them out in the many pet shops that sell them.

Available here

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Felt Mistress x Ben Newman

I few weeks ago I posted some sneak peeks of the work I was doing with Ben Newman. Well the show opened last Thursday (runs till the 11th November) so I can now reveal the full images. It was a great pleasure to work with Ben his work is beautiful and he is a thoroughly nice chap. His show "Masks" is at Nobrow in London (who are also very nice chaps)As well as Ben's amazing prints on display, he has collaborated with other artists, I made three large Yokai from Ben's book Bento Bestiary. He also collaborated with Sahar Freemantle on some miniature millinery and his dad Colin on some 3d wooden masks ( they are so good). You so need to check out this show, as well as the work on display Nobrow also publish some great books by some brilliant artists so be warned you may leave there with a lighter pocket! Many thanks to Ben for getting me involved and to Nobrow who I have worked with a few times previously and it's always a pleasure.

Here's a selection of pics, from set up and at the Private view.

Thanks to my lovely friend Woodrow for this last photo :)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Arla Milk

Another belated blog post, this time about the Arla Milk project i worked on with Jonathan earlier this summer. It's a set of posters for Swedish dairy company, Arla. The project was art directed by the brilliant Jakob Westman (take a look at Jakob's work!) for the Swedish ad agency Karnhüset with photography by Daniel Lundkvist. The press release is below with some work-in-progress shots and some of Jonathan's original concept artwork.

Press Release : Monsters in Schools

This August a new set of milkbar posters will be released by (Swedish dairy company) Arla featuring characters from British Felt Mistress (Louise Evans & Jonathan Edwards).

Jakob Westman, Art Director at Swedish ad agency Kärnhuset says:
"I've known about Jonathan and Louise's work for a few years and have always been on the lookout for an excuse good enough to get to work with them. And the Arla poster series seemed like the perfect match! I'm a big fan of illustration, and that's how we approached this. Or like illustration deluxe. There's been a healthy interest in crafts and textures in graphic design and illustration the last few years, and a big boom in retro-photography with apps like Hipstamatic and Camera+. We wanted a surreal (but non-retro) look and we were very keen on having the handmade look come through.
I get such a kick from seeing the textures and the wires, to see that it's NOT 3d-generated, and that there are a bunch of imperfections in there. I also get a kick from the scale of it, that we were able to work with actual props. The candles on the cake are actually burning, the balloons on the ground are real and the clasps on the farmer's dungarees are actual full-scale clasps. That's something you don't get with CGI or traditional illustration and it brings a whole other level to the final poster and makes it so much fun to look at."

The posters are displayed on milk dispensers (milkbars) in Swedish schools and lunch restaurants. Since the posters are on display for 4–6 months one of the requirements have been to come up with designs that lend themselves to new discoveries on the nth viewing. This was also the reason that Kärnhuset turned to German eBoy and their sprawling cityscapes for the first sets of posters, followed by fun and elaborate illustrations from British TADO.

The project with Felt Mistress started with a brief from the agency with a description of what they thought could take place in the two posters. They also pushed for the characters to not be too cute or cartoony, but to be more monster-ish in their appearance. Something Felt Mistress was more than happy to comply with. The agency also requested a very trippy and non-literal color-scheme.

After discussing with Louise how the characters should look Jonathan then made a first round of sketches which were approved after a few very minor tweaks. "Yeah, it worked out really well." He says. "We tried to push the weird colors and make the characters a bit out there. Something that comes pretty natural for us [chuckle]. This is also the first time the felt characters have been used as illustration and not as expensive toys in a hipster flat or office. I've always thought of what we're doing as illustration. That they'd be able to tell stories in editorial or advertising contexts."

Once the illustrations were approved by the client, Louise cut patterns, picked out fabrics and started stitching it all together. "The cow took some thinking to work out." Louise says. "They wanted her to look good both on her feet and sitting down. And Jonathan had cheated a bit and not thought about the mechanics. Fortunately we were able to make a setup with a hook that allowed for the cow's head to be re-arranged. Also it's always important to me when making clothed characters, like the farmer, to use actual clothing fabrics rather than felt – I used denim and checked cotton for the farmer's dungarees and a shirt with real buttons and fastenings. I think it's details like this that really bring a character to life."

The finished characters (11 in total) were then shipped to Stockholm where the whole set – including flat cut-outs of clouds, trees and buildings – was built up and photographed by Daniel Lundkvist.

"It was also great to see what the photography was able to add" says Jakob. "The photos I'd seen previously of Felt Mistress' characters had been more documentary and I think we were able to make them a bit surreal and trippy while still having the handmade qualities show. It's been really rewarding to see how everyone involved have taken something already great and made it even better".


This is a really delayed blogpost that I should have done months ago. Earlier this year (May/June) I was lucky enough to spend 5 weeks in Japan along with my lovely Jonathan. We were invited to do a residency at Headspace Gallery in Nara and also headline the annual Headspace Art and Music Festival in Osaka. During our time in Japan we had so much fun and met so many great people. Jamie and Aiko from Headspace were fantastic hosts and made us feel so welcome. They had arranged lots of interesting things for us to do during our stay, including tea picking and also introduced us to other Japanese artists with whom we collaborated with as part of the festival. We were based in Nara for the most part often travelling to Osaka and Kyoto but for 10 days we were invited to stay up at the Kayamori house which is up in the mountains in Sakurai. This had amazing views and wildlife (including terrifying Mukade) we could hear wild boars crunching the bamboo behind the house. I could keep typing but I think the photographs will say it all and let you know what an amazing time we had.