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Editors Letter

Mr and Mrs Haden Humarya COW Vintage Nadia Music Jinxy The Custard Factory Provide Liam Cokayne

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collage - stills of walking down the stairs



ur first issue of ‘Inside Out’ showcases Birmingham and a few of it’s hidden gems located within it. Containing interviews and places to go, we look at what Birmingham has to offer, and what it’s people think of it. Our aim is to compare the Inside (City Centre) to the Outside (Digbeth / Custard Factory) and how we found that it is odd that something so unique can be found so close yet hidden away from the media. We had 8 weeks to produce ‘Inside Out’, some days were painstackingly long and some we didn’t even get anything done. But it was worth it in the end. Coming together was an issue at first, but now this magazine is finished it’s all been a blast working together. Us as a team? Well, we have: Two Illustrators - Melody and Mark Two Photographers - Marius and Abi and One Graphic Designer - Sophie Thankyou.! We’d like to say a huge thankyou for reading Inside Out, a lot of time and effort has gone into making this, and we hope that you enjoy reading our take on Birmingham. And also, we hope you find your own little gems in Birmingham with guidance from us. Sophie - On behalf of the team.

Mr and Mrs Haden are a friendly, approachable and genuine couple who visit Birmingham as a form of escapism from their house. Their free bus pass icreases their freedom and like most people regardless of age they have strong opinions about the city which at first they felt inclined to hide. Mr Haden, once a green grocer, and Mrs Haden, once a cleaner, sat on a bench located near the Bull Ring, people watching and observing the city as a means to pass the time. They are familiar with Birmingham as they used to live in Sutton Coldfield, however moved to Tamworth which is where they reside now. They have seen multiple changes throughout the years but they haven’t visited new alterations such as New Street Station. Due to their form of transportation being the bus, it is obvious they wouldn’t see these parts of the city. The question they pose is.. Is everything changing for the better? They wouldn’t say so. When asked to describe Birmingham in one word they said, ‘multicultural’.

mr and mrs haden Article and Photography by Melody Franks



umarya is a typical every day girl aged 18. Going out and about Birmingham everyday to see what’s out there. We was fortunate to meet up with her to ask her a few questions about Birmingham and what her views and perceptions of it all. Here’s what she said...

What do you like doing in Birmingham?

Are you from Birmingham?

Where do you go and see gigs?

‘I’m not actually from Birmingham. My hometown is Ghana, Africa. I moved over here in 2003 when I was young, about 7 or 8.’

Do you think Birmingham is changing? I do think Birmingham is changing, I think it’s trying to be more modernised like London, after all it is the ‘second capital’. I like the change but it can be confusing sometimes!’

‘I don’t really shop in the bullring, however I do like the shop Lush, I also quite like vintage shops, Digbeth for the shops like Cow and the Custard Factory, the vintage clothes are really cool. I really like going to gigs in Brum as well.’

‘I go to the Rainbow, the o2 Academy and theres a jazz bar I like. But to be honest I do prefer unsigned music to mainstream stuff like Elliot Minor and J Cole.’

Okay, and finally if you could describe Birmingham in one word what would it be? ‘I would describe it as Liveable.’ It’s an awesome city, but I think that they need to slow down with all the sudden changes! Interview and Photography by Abi Edwards



ver the past few years vintage clothing has become a very popular way for people to express individuality through fashionable clothing, jewellery and other vintage accessories. There are several more established vintage stores such as Urban Outfitters and various charity shops However I am going to focus on one small and unknown vintage shop. This hidden vintage store is located on Digbeth Highstreet just a short walk from the well known Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham City Centre and is named ‘Cow Vintage’.

The clothing and accessories for Cow are imported from over seas from places like America and various countries in Europe. The products are recycled and reuseable which means that Cow is very environmentally friendly. When customers have visited the store they have described the merchandise as a stylish collection. As the clothing is all one-off they have a ‘unique’ quality. Most importantly the customers like the fact that the purchases they buy are affordable.

Having an online store allows Cow to expand their Vintage clothing and accessories have become a way cliental and sales area, allowing people that can’t visit stores a way of accessing the products they wish to be on trend by using individual styles and one to purchase. This way they can look before they buy off items that allows the purchaser to create their and find things that may not be available in the store. own style at an affordable price. The Birmingham As well as the online store Cow have a blog site that Cow store has been open for around 8 years now people can follow and get inspiration from. This way and still continues to bring in new customers with they can keep up to date with any events the vintage different ideas for what they wish to purchase. This store merchandises for men and women which allows store announce, also keeping up with retro fashion and it could be a way of finding new styles. a different range of customers visiting the store everyday. Online: Blog: Location: 82-85 Digbeth High street, B5 6DY Article and Photography by Abi Edwards



Nadia is a local singer that wants to follow a music irmingham is the second biggest city in career. She also wants to join a University in this England, fact that puts it in the position to specific domain. “This is my dream, singing is what be one of the most intriguing attractions of I do and what I want to do for the rest of my life”. the country. Her passions are classic, rock and metal music. “And I know I can accomplish my dream here”.

As far as we see it, Birmingham is a very organised city with places to visit and interesting educational and social activities. Thus, apart from the great view, the most powerful aspect you can find is the people. As you walk through Birmingham it is very possible to avoid this aspect. Not the city itself it is special, but the people that live here. From Digbeth to City Centre, people from Birmingham, or Brummies, is the hidden true spirit. Creative, fun, busy, artistic, crazy, nice good... People.

A relevant example would be Nadia, a student at “South City College” that lived in Birmingham her whole life and cannot imagine herself living somewhere else. Nowadays teens are more and more determined to start a career and take life in their own hands from young ages and Birmingham is the perfect city to start.“

Here you can find all the aspects”, says Nadia “old, new, good, bad, fashionable etc. Either you are a rocker, businessman, student or pensioner, you can be a part of Birmingham, so... why to leave?”

Nadia points out that the positive things about Birmingham are the variety of shops and the opportunities. “No matter what your style is, you can find something that suits you.”

As the negative part of Birmingham, Nadia described it as a busy city. Why? Because, she says, people often tend to forget to relax and they only think about the money, “they often forget to enjoy life”.

To close our interview we told Nadia to describe Birmingham in one word. “It is pretty hard to describe it in one word, but if I had to choose I think I would say “INTERESTING”. Article by Marius Dobre Illustration by Mark Hockell and Melody Franks

Music Music is the food of soul. But, is it healthy... or junk food?


usic followed an unpredictable path over the past decades. Among with evolution, music assorted with the latest technology, but the feelings and messages did not find their way through this time portal. Music is known as the food of soul, but how many souls can music feed now?

It can be easily depicted the contradiction between ‘old school’ and 21st century music. The creative minds are now replaced by computers which do not deliver the same human emotions. Unfortunately, this generation could not taste instrumental vibrations because it was raised on the same unoriginal repetitive sounds. Music developed so intense that put a barrier between people.

Is this an evolution or an involution? People seem to react different to this technology. The majority are attracted to what their eyes can see, but their minds do not really understand. This can be noticed in Broad St. where nightlife evokes adrenaline and energy that lasts for only a couple of hours. While in places like Digbeth people tend to handle music in different way. Artists from Custard Factory are not hearing music, but listening to it. Their art is fuelled by music and their creativity pushed by it.

Nowadays bands are targeting their compositions to create a commercial music for profit in contrast with those in the past who created music for people, as a source of inspiration. Music should be more about passion and less about personal gain. Actually, it is not called “commercial” because it is about drinking, partying or because it is not instrumental and just computerized – it is called commercial because the only reason they created it is to make money. Instrumental and love songs can be as commercial as technological music if it is created only for profit.

There are a few people left that understand and listen to the meaning of a song and they are getting fewer and fewer every day. You can find some of them in Custard Factory, where artists and people who are interested in art still believe in the quality of sound. A place where meaningful music still get through and people get inspired by it, where people analyse masterpieces and music as a part of their life.

From the beginning of time, sounds guided people to accomplish their dreams. Music is still the language of feeling and of passion. Every little noise you hear is meaningful. We must listen closely and let ourselves encouraged by it. Music transmits us a state of good and peace from we can learn to balance our lives. Article and Photography by Marius Dobre

jinxy W

hen did you first start working in The Custard Factory? May 2013 I opened the studio, I didn’t like working for a gallery. I was be limited by the galleries guidelines. Here, I have my independence where I can present my own work how I want to, as well as working on commission at the same time.


as the location of your studio held inspiration for your work? Not really, a lot of my inspiration comes from accidents. I had accidentally spilt my coffee the other day and really liked the marks it left on the page. It’s all about progression, doing something different all the time until you master it and move on.


hy did you choose to set up your studio in the Custard Factory? To give something back to Birmingham. By working on my own in the gallery, customers have the opportunity to talk to me, allowing me to gain consistent feedback.


f you could summarise The Custard Factory in one word what would it be and why?

Footless, nobody comes down here. It’s always fairly quiet which is a really bad factor is when you’re trying to run a business. Nobody sees the work. Interview and Photography by Mark Hockell

why is there no footfall

in the custard factory?


ootless. A word used to describe the Custard Factory in Birmingham by the local artist known as Jinxy. On various occasions I wondered through the shopping area and was met by the same empty streets and pathways. Only a handful of people were seen in this beautifully creative area. With shops, welcoming people, and plenty of unusual and eye catching differences, I began to wonder why the people of Birmingham choose to shop in the City Centre rather than the Custard Factory. Even before I had entered the Custard Factory I had heard rumours of Digbeth being a rough area and was advised not to go there on my own with valuables on show. Initially I had thought that these opinions must have been justified and that the people who spread such a reputation were basing their facts around experiences. However, basing all of these rumours on a whole area is wrong and although I haven’t seen every part of Digbeth, the Custard Factory is different to what you may have heard. In contrast to the City Centre, the Custard Factory can’t compete with the range of goods and services which the people of Birmingham have access to. We become lazy almost and give in to the multimillion pound businesses which pay fortunes to compete with our own local stores. Marketing sweeps throughout Birmingham pushing you towards these well-known brands on offer in the Bullring, supporting the already successful businesses.

What about local business owners? Shops like the stores in the Custard Factory, they are being ignored and pushed aside having been located only five minutes away from the Bullring itself.

Having been in competition with these huge businesses, the Custard Factory can’t promote to the extent of the Bullring. This leads me to question, do the people of Birmingham even know about the Custard Factory? It’s not shoved infront of your face like the popular stores in the Bullring, could people really not have heard about this iconic and unusual twist on Birmingham’s culture? There is more to Birmingham than the popular Bullring which is repeatedly used as the face of Birmingham. Five minutes away is something new, something fresh, just waiting for you to give it a chance. Whether it’s our stubborn British ways which encourage us to use our comfort zone above trying something new, or whether it’s the daunting reputation circling around Digbeth, head down to those traditional buildings and make your own judgement. Article and Photography by Mark Hockell

Choose Adventure. Embrace Failure. Defy Impossible.


rovide is a small, independent, menswear shop which is located in the fantastic Custard Factory, Digbeth. Being such a small shop, it certainly has a lot of personality. The walls are full of pop art, posters, pictures, to make the room seem bigger than it actually is. Selling local products, such as magazines, t-shirts, books, prints and much more. It’s a hidden gem within the Custard Factory, and I think that’s a positive in it’s own way. Their products are reasonably priced, but you’re paying for

the quality and the care and attention that has gone into their products. Alongside their products sold, they support local events and projects going on in and around Birmingham. Upcoming, they’re going to hold student nights, where local bands can come and perform. The shop has a great vibe, the staff is friendly and their shop is a pure asset to the Custard Factory. You can find Provide at or at the Custard Factory, Gibb Street, B9 4AA. Article by Sophie Fisher Photography by Sophie Fisher and Marius Dobre


hat influenced you to start a business in the Custard Factory?

Originally, I studied in London. But later I chose to move to Birmingham because of the creative people. The artwork and culture in the Custard Factory especially was something I knew I wanted to be a part of.


ou told us you studied in London, where in particular was it and what subject?

I studied at the London college of art where I specialised in Fashion product design.


hat effect has Birmingham had on you since you started the ‘Provide’ store?

The heritage, combined with all of the unusual art work in the Custard Factory. A lot of old, traditional buildings still stand here. I think that the consistent old and new styles bring something new to the industry as a location.


o you know of any events which are taking place which aren’t well known (Hidden)?

Yeah, there is a ‘Digbeth Speaks’ exhibition which is held near the Custard Factory reception....

(We went along to the Digbeth Speaks exhibition and gave it a 4/5 mark. It definitely gave Digbeth a voice, but had a similar theme throughout, where as we would have liked to have seen them voiced in a variety of different ways.)

Interview by Mark Hockell Photography by Sophie Fisher

PROVIDE beanies £15.00

liam cokayne S

o l et’s s tar t this of f. Tell us abo ut you rse lf?

Well, I wa s bo r n a nd raise d in Re dditch, Bir mi n g h a m i s t h e close st city to me . Ever si n ce I w a s l ittle I use d to skate , the w ho l e e l e m e nt of maste rin g a smal l b oa r d to d o w h a teve r you wan t it to d o wi t h y o ur fee t a l w ays ph ase d me . G rowing u p, mu s i c wa s a big par t of my life too, Bir mi n g h a m w a s g re at for eve n ts to d o wi t h m us i c, a n d th ey h ave gre at are n as fo r it fr o m t h e N EC to th e H MV In stitute.


ou said ever since you was little you liked to skate, what was your first board? M y fi r st eve r bo a rd was some f limsy, ar gos’ ow n bo a r d , I star te d of f usin g it to go dow n h i l l s an d race my f rie n ds, u n t i l I a ct ua l l y s ee n oth e r, prof fe sional s sk a t i n g w h i c h i n spire d me to take it m ore ser i ou s l y a n d s t a r t practising.


o u’r e ver y f a shio na bl e, yo u s a i d yo u m o d el in yo ur sp a r e t i m e . W ha t ty p e of f a shio n wo ul d yo u s a y yo u ha ve? T hank s! Al though, I don’t hav e or fo llow a par tic ul ar fashion trend. I l ov e b a g g y t- shir ts and sk inny jeans, ev en tho u g h I’m probabl y a medium, I al ways hav e ext r a l arge c l othes. I t’s more of a c asu a l lo o k I guess. I do enjoy fol l owing fashio n b r a n d s though.


ha t is the f a shio n br a nd yo u l i ke the m o st a nd w hy ?

I don’t hav e one whic h I l ike the m o s t , I buy reasonabl y priced brands l ike HU F, Supreme, Diamond Suppl y Co. bu t I a ls o l ov e to shop at v intage shops. Howev er, high end fashion appeal s to me: Br a n d s suc h as Giv enc hy, RAF Simmons a n d Versace but it’s usual l y whatev er c a tch es m y eye and I ’l l buy it.


o yo u think B ir m ingha m offe r s so m e go o d o p p o r tunit ies fo r sk a ter s a nd tha t sty l e of cul t u r e ? Honestl y, I don’t. I t’s al ways the s a m e here. You go out with your friend s to f i n d a good spot to sk ate and prac tise a n d then sec urity come ov er and tel l y o u t h a t ‘you c an’t sk ate here, it’s against t h e la w ’ or some bul l shit. Ev en though th er e a r e a few sk ate park s, it’s not the sam e a s finding your own l ittl e spot to ska te.

ha t is yo ur f a vo ur ite thin g a b o u t lled for v ar ious br a nd s W B ir m ingha m a nd w hy ? Ym odeoub ellif’ veore.n gmode W h at attr acts you to ? Tough question, I think ov eral l T he fa c t t h a t y o u can sh ow of f your styl e o r sk a te fo r t h e came ra is good, It’s m ore of a n a d ve n t ur e re ally. Th e dif fe re n t l oc a t io n s y o u g e t to go to, I’ ve bee n to pla ces to s h o o t wh e re I didn’ t eve n k now a b ou t be fo r e , a n d it’s also th e style s you g et to be i n . O n e day I could be suited and booted , t h e n ex t I could be h alf naked on a b ea c h i n B a r bados, you just n eve r k now w ha t yo u h a ve to do. Mode llin g to m e feels l i ke I ’m h e lping out, th ey’re ge tting recogni t i o n by t he f ree cloth e s I ge t and th e sh o o t s I d o, wh ich is a bonus!

Birmingham is a great pl ace. T he b es t thing for me woul d be how v ast i t i s . T here’s a l ot to do here, and al so t h e buil dings and arc hitec ture. I f you t a ke a good l ook around and pay attenti o n to the buil dings rather than the fl oo r o r t h e shops, they’re beautiful . And ev en t h o u g h Birmingham has c hanged a l ot, it s t i ll h a s that great arc hitec ture.


though it’s tiny! Probabl y the sm a lles t shop I ’v e ev er been in, they offer a lo t . T he c l othes are l oc al and they do a lo t to suppor t l oc al ar tists, projec ts etc . T hey se l l cool c l othe s, with some good designs, the material is nice. You k n ow, y ou ge t some sh ops wh ic h us e the c heapest material possibl e so they ca n make more profit but with prov id e, t h ey ’v e taken a l ot of thought and c are w h en c hoosing their produc ts.

i rmi n g h am has changed vastly ove r th e year s, do you think th a t fa s h i o n h as g o ne with it?

O h y ea h d e f i n i te ly, alth ough It’s all co m in g ba c k n ow isn’ t it. Like back w hen m y p a r e n t s we’r e youn ge r, th ey’ d be wea r i n g m o r e o r le ss wh at I’m we aring n ow. T i e d y e , c uffe d je ans, th e lot.

ny sho p s in yo ur eye tha t s t a n d A o ut in B ir m ingha m ? Prov ide shop real l y stood out for m e, ev en

Ph ot ogr ap h y by Sop h ie F ish er In t er view by Sop h ie F ish er Styled by Liam Cokayn e

Limited Edition Halloween 5 Panel by HUF T-Shirt by Weight of the World Photography Sophie Fisher

Illustration by Mark Hockell

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