JB. Just Breathe. Magazine #01 Shifting Realities January 2011
S h i f t i ng REALITIES Anorak Magazine Supermundane Jonathan Peters MICHAEL LEON Shaun Bloodworth Give Up Art Mawashi Geri Will Bankhead Culprit Tech
Just Breathe. Magazine
t w i t t e r. c o m / J B _ M a g a z i n e
We slow down when everything is going fast!
JB. Magazine is for you! It's about people. Individuals; the writer, the musician, the artist… Special people, and people special in their own way. JB. is about the culture of movement. Spiritual and physical movement, as in what happens on a skateboard. Moving is about not slowing down. Looking for things, and of course discovering them. We engage, and we ask questions because we need to know. Nice to have you here! Love, JB.
JB. Just Breathe. Magazine is about all the things we like! We slow down when everything is going fast.
JB. Magazine Jenne Grabowski Fraenkelufer 38 a 10999 Berlin Germany
Editorial, Design & Production Jenne Grabowski Design, Lots of Love & Help Katharina Jaschinski (Rakaethe) Barnabas Schultz
justbreathe.de All Inquiries & Suggestions to email@example.com Join the Conversation twitter.com/JB_Magazine
All content © JB. 2010 All artworks courtesy of the artist.
Illustration Lisa Sauerborn (Portraits) Jenne (p.19) Editorial Sonja Boerdner Ben Osborn Photos Julia Luka Lila Nitzschke (p. 1 + 9-11) Max Schröder (p. 4-5) Jonathan Peters (p. 8) Maxim Rosenbauer (p. 8)
Support Iriedaily, Berlin iriedaily.de Print Newspaperclub, London newspaperclub.co.uk Thanks Henri Katharina Denise, Daniel & Walt (Iriedaily) Stuart Hammersley Shaun Bloodworth Karsten Middeldorf Jessica (doyoureadme?!) Jeremy Leslie (magCulture) Bastian Köhler (Novamondo) Sebastian Schwetz Skateboarding
"I'm like a burning fire, leave me you old vampire …" C. Campbell / Rhythm & Sound
S h i f t i n g REALITIES
Outer space. Take the little rocket to view things from above, for an alternate mode of thinking. A skateboard can cause similar effects!
Reality * That's the frame you are in. Leave it for change and learn about new ways. There is more than what we got! The Little Rocket. Sometimes essential for a quick escape.
Center of Attention
Yourself! Focus, balance, power, reflection, function, love, happiness… Movement!
Shift your reality to create a new reality, a systematic change to challenge your behaviour, your perception. Transform, create, change, rearrange, release …
* The state or quality of being real. Virtual reality, augmented reality, modulated reality, mixed reality, mediated reality, neutrons, effect …
Our JB. Scene Shifters …
JB.'s Little Universe James Blake Teebs (sound space)
Edinburgh 1167 km
Sheffield Cathy Olmedillas She runs the most awesome magazine: ANORAK – The Happy Mag For Kids. p.4 Supermundane His name is actually Rob Lowe and he designs and draws a lot. p.6 Jonathan Peters Capturing the soul of Berlin backyards, portraying special skateboarders. p.8 Michael Leon His work influences the whole world of skateboarding. Inspiring with flags. p.9 "Vexhall": It's a JB. poster! p.10-11
London Shaun Bloodworth The Sheffield based photographer is eternalising the whole electronic music scene with his pictures. p.12
Will Bankhead Visual brain of Honest Jon's records, making all releases look special. Designing records you would buy without listening. p.18
Stuart Hammersley He runs the design studio GiveUpArt in London with a straight visual language. p.14
Matt Pattinson aka Culprit Tech An illustrator from Edinburgh with an exclusive piece for JB.: "Robot Feeding Squirrel". p.20
Mawashi-Geri Photographer and Spanish native showing an excerpt of his great series "Kids". p.16
Spiritual Life (not measurable)
t w i t t e r. c o m / a n o r a k m a g a z i n e
THE HAPPY MAG For All of Us!
The most engaging magazine is also the coolest kids magazine around. C a t h y O l m e d i l l a s tells us how to do it without being corrupted by brands. We're thrilled!
Anorak is not like other kid’s magazines. It is made for children whose imagination is not corrupted by brands and who can enjoy a good story and stimulating illustrations. And for their parents, of course. Parents who wish a magazine like Anorak had been around when they were kids. Cathy Olmedillas writes most stories herself. They are never predictable and never lack a message. Some characters are wild others are scared or angry. Every child knows these feelings and easily identifies with them. Anorak’s colourful title pulls into the world of a magazine where every page holds at least one surprise. It’s a fantastic kid’s world where children are at the center of things. Anorak is published four times a year, more than 5.000 copies are distributed worldwide.
Please give me a brief introduction When did you first think about making a magazine for kids? I have always loved magazines. When I became a Mum I looked around the magazine market for kid’s titles and realized there was not much out there I liked. There are a lot of kid’s magazines but they tend to be quite commercial and tied to a TV program, cartoons or well-known toys like "Yugi-oh"-cards. Most people I talked to believed that you need to have one well-known character in there, like Harry Potter, in order to sell the magazine. But I said, look at The Simpsons. Everything is in there, the stories are multi-facated and not narro-
wed down. Why not make a completely different title that is not connected to any brand at all? Why not make a real magazine – but for kids?
We both worked for the same magazine (Sleaze Nation) but not at the same time. So we never actually met but we had friends in common. When I mentioned to a friend that I wanted to launch a kid’s magazine, she said Rob would be perfect as the Art Director. She was absolutely right! I love working with Rob, because we have a great laugh doing Anorak. We complement each other well, I think. Although we are vastly different, we both enjoy the same working ethos: do it and do it well.
Your idea proved to be a success. What do you know about your readers? The responses you get on facebook or twitter are not written by young kids. Our readers are a wonderful mix of people! Kids, parents, teenagers, creative people, we seem to attract all sorts of people. I think the reason is that we have brought out a product that is genuinely different and not concerned with statistics or demographics. I’m not really interested in the lives of celebrities, but once Gwyneth Paltrow posted a note on Anorak Magazine on her blog and as a response we sold out some of the older issues, which was fine with me.
What about advertising? We have two main advertising partners, H&M and Little Fashion Gallery. We are talking to other brands but we are very careful of who we pick.
Why did you choose the name Anorak? Anorak is a British word for geek or nerd, mostly associated with teenagers and children who have an obsession with things that are definitely off the common habits or interests. And Anorak is a piece of childhood, almost every child has one of those specific jackets for the wet season.
You have been busy in the publishing world, but you decided to work independently. What 's the main reason? I have worked in publishing for about 8 years, at big companies like Emap, and at smaller indie groups like Wagadon (who owned The Face and Arena) and at Sleaze Nation. I am not very good in corporate environments because I hate the amount of time spent dealing with office politics and I don't enjoy meetings. I much prefer getting things done. Working for yourself allows for a greater creative and commercial freedom and you can react quicker. When my son was born, I knew I couldn't be part of that world any longer. I wanted to spend time with him and decided to start Anorak by myself at home.
How do you set up an issue? How many people are involved? Each issue has a theme that gives us a focus. They are usually set for the year, although it does happen that I become obsessed with some idea and decide to change a theme. Once that's decided, I think about the main feature for the theme. Stories are written whenever someone sends us a nice story or whenever they pop in my head! Once both the feature and the stories are written they get subbed. Then I pass them on to Rob who commissions illustrators. We work with various artists who illustrate our stories and also create their own. There is about a dozen of us working on one single issue but only Rob and I have been working in the same place for a few months. Rob Lowe (Supermundane) has been part of the magazine from the start. Where have you both met?
"The Happy Activity Book For Kids" is a new series at Anorak, next to colouring books, penguin dolls or posters.
What else is cooking? It's our fourth anniversary this year so we decided to celebrate by printing nice things. Our new recruit Lewis has just put together a brilliant activity book with a host of super talented people. There will be an activity book every quarter. We have also created some mini colouring books with illustrators who have worked with us from the beginning. We published a hardback book called the Gardens of Mayland. A German edition is being done at the moment by Off One’s Rocker Publishing and is available now. A French edition will come out in Spring 2011. It's quite tough to translate the stories in Anorak because a lot of illustrations are hand-drawn. Some stories and features we can translate easily but others will be re-done.
"@JB_Magazine Ah thank you! Was lovely to meet you too. Talk soon." 27 June 2010
Photo stories, activity pages, comics, games. Owl experts or professors giving insight. Education and fun, fun, fun everywhere.
I generally don't enjoy meetings much. I much prefer getting things done.
supermundane.com presentjoys.com fireandknives.com
t w i t t e r. c o m / s u p e r m u n d a n e
"Let no one be mistaken. I only achieve simplicity with enormous effort." – C. Lispector
Supermundane draws a lot, drinks tea a lot and designs a lot, loves print and is the art director of Anorak Magazine and Fire & Knives.
From My Brain
tO PAPER Hello Rob! Please give us an insight into a few things you do. Five best things about Anorak Magazine. Best things about Anorak? well… 1 – It's for Children, which means it has no place for cynicism or negativity and means all things are possible. 2 – Working with illustrators. I love being able to work with illustrators all over the world and commissioning them to do something that isn't selling stuff that people generally don't need. 3 – Working with Cathy, the publisher and editor, who gives me the freedom to create a magazine that I am proud of. 4 – Learning stuff. Each Anorak is themed and there isn't a issue that goes by that I don't learn something new! 5 – Making kids happy. I remember comics and magazines I liked when I was a child with a great fondness, the idea that in the future some children maybe talking about Anorak in the same way fills me with great pride. Things you do most while producing an issue of Anorak. I draw a lot, drink tea a lot and design a lot. Five things about drawing. 1 – It's the most direct way I can go from my brain to paper. 2 – You can legitimately sharpen a pencil with a knife. 3 – If I do it for too long my wrists hurt. 4 – Everyone is capable of doing it. 5 – Everyone should draw. Greatest thing about being an illustrator. Well, I don't really see myself as an illustrator, but the best bit about doing what I do is partly the freedom and partly being paid to draw and colour-in. Worst thing that can happen to an illustrator. Being asked to draw things I can't or don't want to draw. Best thing about being a publisher. I love books and words and printed matter, so publishing little books satisfies this love.
The doodling, type designing, writing and publishing R o b L o w e a k a S u p e r m u n d a n e has some valuable knowledge about London pubs to share.
Five favourite food places in London. I don't really go out to many restaurants and those that I do would come as no revelation to anyone. So, if I may, I'd like to change this to my top five pubs, something I know much more about. 1 – The Balham Bowling Club (B.B.C). This is the closest I have to a local and my favourite pub in my area. As the name suggests it's an old bowling club, inside the walls are all wood panelled and the furniture mismatched. 2 – The Harp. This is a pub near Trafalgar Square that is the closest to a local you will get in the centre of London. The bar staff are great and the ales are always served and kept very well. If you happen to be in London and like ales I suggest a visit. If you go there on a Thursday or Friday, there is a chance I will be in the alley at the back of the pub with a pint! 3 – The Seven Stars. It's just behind the Royal Courts of Justices and is a real gem! The landlady is a gregarious antipodean called Roxy Beaujolais and they have a resident cat called Tom Paine that wears a white ruff. What more can you ask for.
4 – The Town of Ramsgate. I haven't been here in a while, I used to have a studio near by, but it's a lovely pub on the Thames in Wapping. Very friendly and the landlord & lady are from the West Midlands, where I come from, so that got to be a good thing! It has a lovely sun-trap patio that over looks the Thames. 5 – The Champion. A great Saturday afternoon pub if you want to get away from the craziness of nearby Oxford Street. It usually looks closed, as you can't see in, due to all the windows being stained glass. The pub is a traditional victorian type and, if it's sunny outside, the stained glass gives the pub a feeling of a church. A church to beer. It's a Samuel Smith pub so they don't serve any recognised brands, my favourite is a bottle of Oatmeal Stout decanted into a half pint glass and a good book. Favourite complaint about London … I love London so I have little to complain about. One thing though is public transport, the way everything gets ridiculously packed, that is the only thing that I truly dislike about London. Last five books/magazines you bought 1 – White by Kenya Hara 2 – A Girl in Winter by Philip Larkin 3 – The Observer Book of Birds 4 – Love is a Dog from Hell by Charles Bukowski 5 – The Observer Book of Trees
It's a classic story. Jonathan Peters got his first camera at the age of 17 from his dad. He shot photos and filmed his friends while skating or at parties, went on to become a cutter. But cutting all day wasn't for him, so he went back to filming. After producing 'Objectif Lune' he recently finished 'A Journey To The Center Of The Earth'. Both videos are his way of true skateboard storytelling, stories of the Berlin backyards with its unique protagonists. Instead of the usual continous run of tricks, the focus is on the spirit. Jonathan mostly films and cuts the material himself. He loves going out with people he knows and people he admires, always on the lookout for a special spot and that one special moment. Essential to him is the mixture of people and personalities: friends who inspire him, dudes he likes to watch skateboarding. It's all about a shared experience.
Centered French filmer and photographer J o P e t e r s lives in his own visual universe, telling stories from the Berlin backyards.
The man behind the cam, Jo Peters
Jonathan Peters, originally from Strasbourg, currently living and working in Berlin has created the extraordinary skate video "A Journey To The Center Of The Earth", capturing skate city Berlin and the core of its lively scene. www.jonathan-peters.com
From top to bottom. Jo says: "Dennis LaaĂ&#x; is truly a unique skater. Valerie 'Valle' Rosomako has endless potential, pulling out tricks nobody ever thought about. When Maxim Rosenbauer is around special things are happening. With Silvain Tognelli, and old fellow, you always get good footage."
Since his childhood M i c h a e l L e o n has been fascinated with flags. For his first solo show in Germany he filled the Pool Gallery in Berlin with sewn up, dyed, printed and handpainted flags.
Michael Leon has been around in the skate business for ages. In the early nineties he designed his first pro model for New Deal. In the more recent stage of his career he has been working for brands like Nike SB, Girl Skateboards, DC and he co-founded Rasa Libre. Michael's style in the world of skateboarding and graphic art is exceptional. For his exhibition „Vexhall“ in September 2010 at Pool Gallery, one of our favourite spots in Berlin, he produced a series of handmade flags. „Vexhall“ comes from the term vexillology, meaning the scholarly study of flags. I had the chance to meet Michael and his friends the day of the opening and we had a great time together. How was your time in Berlin with the opening of the show and where did you travel afterwards? It was fun. I met a lot of great people. Berlin seems like such a vibrant community. Low stress for the most part. Then I visited Copenhagen, Paris and London.
cept after it hits me, so I produced all of them. And then I edited for the show.
A view from outside: his show "Vexhall" at Pool Gallery, Berlin. Flags hanging all over the place. Below: Various board graphics for his own company Stacks.
How did you get on your way to do what you do today: being an artist, graphic designer, musician, skateboard company owner? I enjoy the entire process of creating and building. I don‘t know how all these elements came together but they are all part of enjoying the thinking about and making of artwork and I‘m lucky that parts of my life like skateboarding somehow can fit into this process.
How many people have been involved in the process? There were about 5 or 6 people who helped with sourcing fabric, sewing, screenprinting, dyeing, tie-dying, and doing embroideries.
travelling over a planetary landscape, passing each flag along the way. Many of the flags are surrounded by other objects or buildings alluding to the stories behind them. The landscape is built in a way that if I do this exhibition again, the world can be expanded further and keep growing into the cities represented by these flags. I hired two animators, Paul and Hlynur, to build it.
What‘s the story behind the Vexhall animation film? I wanted to create a world for the flags to live in. The video is a ten minute loop
First skulls, now flags. What is the fascination with flags? For someone who uses language of graphic design in his artwork, the flag is
a perfect vehicle or template. It's the same with designing skateboards. You are limited to that specific shape and to what that piece of wood represents. What moves you to create your art, what happens within the process, in this case the flags? Once I decide on the format it‘s a matter of taking notes and keeping scetchbooks. Once I have an idea for a flag I put it to work. So there were 40 or 50 different flags in different stages of completion throughout the process. I try not to think too much about a con-
commonwealthstacks.com rasa-libre.com pool-gallery.com
Your company Stacks has turned into a real brand earlier this year. Can you still keep it as a playground or does taking care of business things change the artistic approach a bit? There is no compromise with Stacks. We put 100% into every part of it. From graphics to board construction to team, and all the details inbetween. It‘s an effort to create a skate brand based on the fundamentals of skateboarding and creativity. We never need to do an artists' program because it‘s been built into the brand from the beginning. The business side is designed to further the creative side of things. There is a similar freedom how you create things for Stacks as for Rasa Libre: a skate brand not necessarily being attached to skateboarding. What was the specialty about RL ? And where do you think Stacks is ‘ranged in‘ for you? Stacks is very much attached to skateboarding. So I wouldn‘t say that, but I think I know what you mean. Though we don‘t go into skate shops to be inspired. I think skaters are smarter than that. Rasa Libre had a very particular art direction that carried the brand. With Stacks, we are a little more open. Rasa Libre was based in San Francisco, and I think that influenced the visuals. Stacks is a southern california company. We live between the mountains and the ocean, there is a lot to be inspired by. We are a California company. It's a big part of where we start. Which current & upcoming projects are you working on? Right now I am working on exhibitions in Tokyo and Sydney scheduled for the spring, as well as on the 2011 Stacks products.
Michael LEON VEXHALL â€” Pool Gallery Berlin, September 2010
t w i t t e r. c o m / B l o o d w o r t h P h o t o
A Very Happy
A c c i d e n t… Has done crazy things, travelled the globe, seen places most people will never see. S h a u n B l o o d w o r t h finally has reached his most fulfilling part of his career, that's what he says.
What is your key idea about shooting photographs? Always mood first, and without that, it will never ever work for me. I really like to create little scenarios in my own head, as it helps me because I can see the picture before even lifting the camera to my eye.
ted in films, so I'd like to persue that more, as the clock starts to tick though you get a sense of wanting to do things before time runs out.
Why photography? I don‘t know that there was a moment of epiphany, but fell in love with the idea of being a photographer, a photo journalist rather than a studio based one. One of the great things about going to art college is that you meet people who are much better than you at certain things, so you find your own niche. I met a friend who was producing work streets ahead of anything I'd ever seen before and that more than anything was the catalist. How would you define your style. Where do you want to go / be with your art? As you get older and more confident the style and content of what you do move closer together. The idea of just producing beauty doesn‘t interest me anymore. I see so much commercial work that is finished to a fantastic degree and whilst it is technically perfect, it's that perfectness that spoils it. I try to style my pictures with a sense of realism. Why be one of a 1000 advertising photographers all producing the same perfection? And there are parrallels in music, which is why I listen to underground music. I don't know what level I'm at, just being happy with what I produce, that is important . I'm at a bit of a crossroad at the moment. I have always been very interes-
You have a good mixture of available & artificial light, authenticity & staging in your portraits, which puts a certain focus on the person. What is your approach when working with people? I tend to be quite calm on the outside, try to relax people and treat everyone with respect. I've learnt valuable lessons about not judging a book by its cover, working with young musicians. We are all too quick to judge, so now im very open. I learnt in college to make it easier for the next person who comes along. I still find it remarkable that through shared interest different people from exterme backgrounds can meet. I could have never imagined 10 years ago being able to share ideas with musicians half my age in LA, talk in depth about film with kids I'd have been wary of beforehand or discuss the multi media future with a broadcasting legend ? It's a remarkable world that we have now for communication.
What inspires you these days? Film. Mainly north european classics – Bergman, Herzog for content and Tarkovsky and Tarr for the sheer beauty and framing. Inspiration is difficult to pin down, youtube videos are shared, photos, exhibitions, objects. It's all around us. You do a lot of projects together with Stuart of Give Up Art. How have you both met? How is working with him? We met when he was a designer first, then Art Director later on for a magazine called Restaurant. We became good friends . He sent me all round the world, so when he needed a favour to shoot a cover for a freelance project I just did it as a return. That cover was one of the first Tempa Dubstep Allstars CDs. He took me afterwards to FWD>> the first club I'd been to in at least 10 years and I was hooked from there. Art Directors fall into two categories, those who want to be photographers or film directors, and those who want you as a photographer to take a feeling or mood they have and visualise it. Those are the truly talented ones and they are few and far between – Stuart falls into that category. It can seem from the outside that when we work together the photographer takes the lead, but that's because theres almost a telepathic relationship going on.
The backgrounds and settings fit extremely well in the portraits. How do you choose the locations, how much can you control in advance? Sometimes you can be lucky. I have a shoot in Manchester on Saturday and I know I‘ll be walking in blind, looking for slightly odd or very normal locations, nothing too obvious. Often you simply can't control what you are presented with.
Left: Eclarifi from the Luckyme collective. Top right: Dam-Funk from the series LA Dope, a self-initiated book Shaun did with GiveUpArt. Right: Illumsphere somewhere on the floor, one of Bloodworth's more recent film-like approaches.
Have you always been into the electronic music scene or did it more or less happened by accident? When I was growing up in the early 70s, Kraftwerk were getting big, and even as a child I remember Autobahn clearly being played at home. Computer Love I bought on a school trip to Germany, so I've always been drawn to that type of music. I heard Martin Ware from Heaven 17 speak recently and he talked about listening as a child to the giant Steel Forge hammers in Sheffield working repetively, and that engineering beat if you like, is hot wired through you if you‘re from Sheffield. It was just music I liked though, until the job I did for Stu, then as things progress all of a sudden you become a mini expert because you‘ve documented a scene, and now
I'm fortunate to know lots of DJs and producers and I speak with them on the same terms. How about living and working in Sheffield? Is this a benefit for you? I lived in London for 5 years after college then moved out because I was starting a family. Then commuted for 10 years until Sheffield became an entity in itself and I could sustain the same standard of living. I travel to London to work still, but I love Sheffield as it offers much more for me. I'm in a fortunate position where my life is exciting so I don‘t feel I'm missing out. Sheffield has a heritage of very inventive individual Graphic Designers, so I don't feel short changed. There's world class design here with the likes of Universal Everything, Peter&Paul and HumanStudio, as well as many smaller companies which work together as collectives. I've also been working recently with Ian Anderson, with whom many of these designers started Thomas Hoepker said: „I am not an artist, I am a picture fabricant.“ and as you said „sometimes we‘ve lost sight…“. What‘s your opinion on that, especially in this digital and over information saturated era? I find I'm competing with a type of photographer that is a gun for hire. They are slick and businesses like. It's those photographers who are thought of as being great now. When I said we‘ve lost sight, I mean also in content. My background was in documentary photography, taking an in depth view of a subject, having an opinion on it, and sharing that opinion. With the projects I've been involved in, I try to keep that philosophy. Photographers can get very prissy about changes. I used film for 10 years of my career before turning to digital, which is just a cheaper method of working, and if it means I can plough more money into shooting than worrying about film costs then I think that's a bonus. There is manipulation, but less than you think, and grading the colour is exactly the same as giving instructions to a printer in the old days. Technology now allows everyone to produce good pictures but you can't buy the way some people can see things. The point is that almost everyone has the same freedom to travel and witness, but for some it's a way of life rather than an add on to their trip. Not all of us can communicate in a way which touches people deeply, and for me that is where photography works at its strongest.
" @GiveUpArt @JB_Magazine we are linked through the ether. " 16 Oct. 2010, 6:13 pm
There is almost a telepathic relationship going on.
t w i t t e r. c o m / G i v e U p A r t
Skream He is one of the biggest names in dubstep, and covering his face with a square graphic shape is quite strange and perverse in a way. But it seemed to fit in with Tempa's attitude as a label. The name and the title â€“ 'Outside The Box' â€“ is kept fairly prominent on the cover.
There Is Nothing
DOGMAT IC London never whispers, so does the versatile design studio G i v e U p A r t with art director Stuart Hammersley, shaping Dubstep's visual appearance. But not only. Roska It was the first in a series called "Rinse Presents" with an all white, opaque CD jewelcase, a grid structure for all the generic Rinse info and a customised brush stroke font. Playing with colours by overlaying the word Roska three times comes out nicely. The reason for it is that Roska uses a delayed sample of his name that is repeated three times, a little trademark of his tunes.
giveupart.com tempa.co.uk rinse.fm
"Good afternoon @JB_Magazine – are you working hard?" 16 Oct. 2010, 5:18 pm
The work is guided by our knowledge and visual sense. I don't try to cultivate a house style.
Hello Stuart, please give a brief introduction on you. What about your design education? Hello, I'm Stuart Hammersley - I'm the founder of Give Up Art, along with my wife Emma. From the UK, both of us originally from Essex, probably the most beautiful county in England ; ) … I moved to London at 19 to study for a degree in Graphic Design at The London College of Printing. What have been your main influences in graphic design? Classic Suisse graphics, the Bauhaus use of forms plus a piece of DR (Designers Republic)? Main influences - Music and music graphics have always had a big influence on me. At the beginning it was Pop Art – Lichtenstein, Warhol… then when I discovered electro and hip-hop as a teenager I got more interested in New York Graffitti culture, and Keith Haring. Then when I got to college – in the dim and distant pre-internet days – Ray Gun magazine was the thing. And while I didn't always like the aesthetic of what Carson produced, (or even a lot of the music that Raygun featured) – he was totally instrumental in making you re-think what could be done within the boundaries of editorial design. And with the Designers Republic – they were, to my eyes, similar to Carson in that respect. Later influences were from the 60s & 70's – Dutch and European work from the likes of Wim Crouwell, Ben Boss George Lois at Esquire, Nova magazine, Saul Bass; Milton Glaser; Fletcher, Forbes and Gill. Work that's graphically strong, usually with bold colours or sense of fun to it… You have about 25 years of experience, Give Up Art exists since 2006. What's the whole story and how did you get where you are now? And who is involved in Give Up Art other than yourself? Haha! I have to change that bit on our website – it makes us sound too ancient. That's actually the combined years of experience that Emma and I have together in the creative industries. Emma's background is in advertising – she worked for about 9 years at one the best UK firms, called HHCL, when they were just making a name for themsleves… and more importantly had lots of good parties. I left college and ended up working in magazines, sort of by mistake… my first job was Junior Designer on a tennage girl's magazine – I thought I was going for an interview on a pop music magazi-
ne. I worked on newspapers for a while, art directed a snowboarding magazine for a couple of years, and freelanced a lot. From very early on though I'd always looked for my own work to do out of office hours, to keep things interesting and work in different areas of design. Then in 2006 I was in a full-time job, running an art department and overseeing a couple of magazines and branding events and so on. This was were I met Shaun Bloodworth, the photographer who we collaborate with on lots of projects. And a new company had just bought us out, and were a pain to deal with – plus the volume of private work had steadily grown to a point where I thought I'd be happier doing my own thing. I discussed it with Emma who agreed and in October 2006 the studio Give Up Art was properly born. GUA in essence is me and Emma. I usually deal with creative and Emma runs the business side of things. And then we have a network of creatives in other fields, who we collaborate with depending on the type of project. And recently we've had quite a few talented interns in as well.
all good as well. I've certainly bought albums and singles based purely on the design and packaging, with no idea what the music is like...
How would you describe your style at present? Is it something really important for you to push your very own, disctinctive style or is it also about something else? Well it's not something I really think about a lot to be honest. I suppose because it's mostly me doing all of the design then a certain 'approach' is bound to emerge, but I don't really try and cultivate a 'house' style… Really you just want the work to be relevant for each particular client, but guided by our knowledge and visual sense. Then again, maybe we could be 'typo-pop-modernists'!?
What's cooking at the GUA lab at the moment? Do you have some ideas about what you haven't done yet but really want to do sometime in the future? We're actually pretty busy thankfully. We're in the middle of rebranding a UK music festival, Bloc. Their website's just gone live, but we're also going to be doing some nice print work – posters, event guides etc. for them as well. Tempa have a brand new Horsepower LP coming out before Christmas, and I'm really pleased about that, as Horsepower were the first artists released on Tempa, and proper originators. A few new branding jobs; ongoing print and web work for a fairly new client of ours, who rent out luxury ski chalets. A new Skream single to be done… more stuff for Rinse. And Apple Pips. Have some work to submit to a couple of publishers and magazines. And we're designing a one-off cap for New Era's 90th anniversary. I think that's about it at the moment...
Do you more or less have a kind of (design) philosophy or does there exist at least something that should be involved in any GUA job? Not a strict philosophy… nothing dogmatic … I have a strong belief in the power of clear, well thought out graphics to communicate, be relevant and memorable. Hopefully the attention to detail and care comes across in the work we produce. Good typography being invisible, so they say. We're trying to make work that's distinctive, memorable and effective. We really don't like taking short-cuts or just bashing out the jobs.
You seem to be very prolific, but you also have a family. How do find the right balance? I don't know if I do really, it's tricky sometimes. If the work is there it has to be done. I try not to work on weekends, but sometimes that's unavoidable. And of course there are late nights quite often... Luckily, the fact that Em and I are partners, as well as business partners, means we can split up the work and looking after the kids when needed. Also I'm lucky that I can still work at home just with a laptop.
Peter Saville once said that music graphic design is nothing more than a children's playground. Do you agree or do you think there is more substance to it than that? Did he? Well maybe that's true in some respects, but I don't see what's particularly wrong with that. I mean, at a fundamental level, if a tune or an album is amazing it will sell whether it's an mp3, white label or packaged in a super-slick gatefold, foli-blocked, hand made package… 'Unkown Pleasures' is a great piece of music, with or without the Saville sleeve. But, you know, while it is fun to do, it can also enhance the experience of buying, listening and collecting music (Saville's early work for New Order being a prime example of this). And you still need to communicate effectivlety to the people who are going to buy it; and if a design can make you look and listen to something that you maybe wouldn't usually then that's
I've already asked your friend and workmate, but I'm curious about what you will say … You do a lot of projects together with Shaun Bloodworth. How is working with him and what's the specialty? I have worked with Shaun for quite a few years now. Firstly he's a very talented photographer, of course. He's not afraid of hard work and putting in extra effort to make sure we get the shot. We can be honest with each other if a shoot is working or not - and he's really, really good at thinking on his feet and working fast. He's easy going and we just also get along well. He used to do me some great deals when I used to commission him for magazines that I was art directing.
Left: Apple Pips, a Bristol based label run by Laurey Osborn aka Appleblim. Colour codes from crunchy apples for a fully coloured label sticker on one side (above). Top: Clear and accessible is the visual language of GiveUpArt.
I think I read somewhere else, you and Shaun are some true BBQ Chefs. How does a real Bloodworth/Hammersley BBQ looks like? You read that, really? We're not chefs at all! We first started working together when I was art directing a magazine about chefs and restaurateurs, so we'd end up at a few nice restaurants togther. We ended up going to this Kansas style BBQ place in Soho, called Bodeans, and eating a lot of pork products, so a Blood-Hammer bbq would be heavy on the sausages, light on the salad, add in some fried eggs, and some donuts for Shaun.
C h a n g e, G r o w t h,
The self-taught photographer Chema Llanos aka M a w a s h i G e r i made one of the most remarkable photo series by portraying kids in The Gambia.
Mawashi Geri wants to have a closer relation with the people, more human, more affective and more real.
" Kids are wonderful, but I like mine barbecued. " Bob Hope
The directness is stunning, bizarre and very honest at the same time.
Funnily enough it was Luxembourg, where I met a bunch of the most creative and inspiring folks of this planet. I went to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in early 2009 for an international magazine symposium for independent publishers and designers called Colophon. Among this large number of creative artists, I bumped into the guys of LeCool Publishing from Barcelona, René Lönngren, Saint Smith and the Spanish photographer Chema Llanos. We had some good chats and a great time together. This memorable weekend also released the impulse necessary to wake up JB. from its extended hibernation… Chema is trained in graphic design and visual communications. Photography as Mawashi Geri has been more of a collaborative side project at first. He worked as a graphic designer, as an editor and as a photo editor. In The Gambia, Africa, Chema worked for an aid project, and helped to build a school for children. During his stay he started the photo series "Kids", portraying children with few opportunities in the country of The Gambia. Appealing grotesque in a way, some of these pictures come out like a fashion shoot. Leaving aside the background and living conditions of these children, his fun approach creates an emotional relationship.
Hello Chema! How are you? First of all, give us a brief introduction to who you are and what you do! Hello Jenne! I'm Chema Llanos and I'm the person behind Mawashi Geri. At the beginning it was a group project but by and by it got too personal to be shared. Mawashi Geri was born under the guidelines of conceptual and attractive photography. You moved to Sao Paolo a while ago. What was the reason and what's going on there? I was looking for new problems in a shinier place than Europe. SP is such a big place and seems out of control. It seems, the city acts by itself. I kind of like that messy and wild character. It makes me feel awake. It is a good place to be right now. Because everything is changing and growing, everybody is happy. And because of the language‚ and the people, and the women… Why do you take pictures? What is the driving force? I guess, it is the way I learned to talk about myself and the things that matter to me. It helps me to come to know myself better.
It is pretty tough and tiring. You have to close your eyes and try to follow your way.
How do you make money? I'm a trained graphic designer. I have been working as a freelancer for the last year. I also worked in some editorial projects by Le Cool. As Mawashi, it's hard to get money but I have been involved in some interesting projects supported by private brands and expos. Is there a specific photographer or movement who has influenced your work? What inspires you? My artistic references have always been far away from photography. I have been mostly influenced by artistic movements starting with impressionism. I also like to be inspired by common things around me. I think that looking at other photographers' work could influence me too much. Although I do have some photographic idols, people like Antoine D'Agata, Alejandro Marote or Neil Krug rule! What makes a good picture for you and when do you reach the point that you think you made a good shot? I like pictures that disturb me. I don't give a shit about technique or quality. But I do care about the way it talks to me and the story that it tells. Most of the time, before taking pictures, I choose some parameters. I like to take my time to investigate places, corporal expressions, time of day, color etc. When all these parameters are shown in my frame, I am satisfied. A lot of people produce vast numbers of pictures flying around us. How do you feel about that and how do you manage to try something unique? It is pretty tough and tiring. You have to close your eyes and try to follow your way. Mainly I try to work more on the concept before I begin to take pictures. I believe, less is more. How did you get to make the great series 'Kids'? Where have you taken these pictures and how did you get all the kids to look that way? "Kids" is the result of a solidarity willing and a photography project. I want to help people but at the same time, I want to make a photographic issue. I didn't want to portray sad or ugly scenes. I wanted to have a closer relationship with the people - more human, more affective, more real. But at the same time I was looking for a hard contrast that makes the viewer think. I began the project in India where I set up the guidelines. Then I went to The Gambia and worked on it. I had to go back another time to finish the project. I lived with a family in Lamin for three months, a small town in The Gambia. Most of the people you see in the pictures were friends I made during my stay. Your photographs rank between very ordinary, mysterious or bizarre, like that Kids series. Is it about exploring new fields all the time or do these stories just come up? It is all about choosing the best language to say what I want to say. Even though they are pretty different, they are all part of the same thing. What are your current projects? Right now I'm trying to establish my situation here. Then I will try to work on some issues I had in mind. I will let you know…
t w i t t e r. c o m / Tr i l o g y Ta p e s
Clockwise: Cover for James Blake's "Klavierwerke EP", Berlin's T++ for Honest Jon's (both backcovers at the bottom). Actress LP "Splazsh", also for Honest Jon's. A photo of Joy Orbison and one of his Trilogy Tapes releases mixed by Christopher Riggs.
Trilogy T A P E S Inspired by skateboarding, graphics and art, the music encyclopedia W i l l B a n k h e a d designs records you would buy without listening.
Five words to characterize Trilogy Tapes … Stuff I've designed and stuff I like. Shit that's 6. Five most used colours in your designs (ever) … Black, red, white, er Most elaborate (and production-wise most expensive) release you designed … Must be those Headz LP box sets for Mo' Wax Pro about being a graphic designer … Designing records the way you want 'em to look on your shelves.
Worst thing about being a graphic designer … Getting paid months later and being in debt because of it. Colour or b/w photography? Both, I think mine come out better B&W. Five favourite singers … Dennis, Gregory, Beres, Aretha, Curtis. Five favourite bass lines of all time … Reese! One word about Hardwax, Berlin … Best Most interesting UK musicians people should watch out for … Joy Orbison, although everyone is watching already. Still skating? Kickflips or 5-0 Grinds? Street or transition? Yup. Slower though. I'm better at 5-0s and transition. Five great things about skateboarding … People, speed, innovation, creation, people. Five favourite skateboarders of all time … Blender, Gonzales, Mountain, Groholski, Schroeder. Five favourite magazines … Thrasher, Transworld, Dick's Book, Bananafish, Fall To Your Knees Pissing Five favourites about London … Pirate radio, Stockwell skatepark, the record shops that are still here and the ones that are gone, Indian and Caribbean food, the people! First five records you’d start a DJ set right now … Glut, Wut, Claptrap, BB, The Alps.
trilogy-tapes.com honest-jons.com palace-skateboards.com
Things to do this year … I'm off to Moscow on Friday to take pictures of Zomby, should be fun.
" Everything looks perfect from far away. Come down now. They'll say… "
All The Beaver He's hungry for skateboards. His home is Iriedaily, our lovely supporters. And the Beaver has been created at the JB. chambers. Get this t-shirt on iriedaily.de
Things WE LIKE!
Pinch 'Croydon House' is compelling. And Swamp81 an incredible label. James Blake Young man of the year. We can't count how often we played his Klavierwerke EP. Teebs Right behind J. Blake in our playlist. His 'Ardour LP' is enlightening and grateful!
Doldrums Rec We love the lobster. Joy Orbison's label put three records out in two years. All bangers!
It's Nice That #04 They know how to do a great magazine. Their bi-annual publication is an enrichment. And their online platform a daily inspiration! itsnicethat.com
magCulture Favourites by Jeremy Leslie — magculture.com Apartamento Now and again an independent magazine launches that becomes something more than a small alternative, and Apartamento is the latest example. It has a distinct vision that reflects our times and is already influencing the mainstream. A really important magazine.
Stacks There is no secret about that we like things, that come out of Michael Leon's house. This board design is actually by Johnathan Zawada.
doyoureadme?! Our favourite magazine and bookstore in Berlin. The lovely people Jessica and Mark opened a world that has no equal. Full support!
Nieves Nieves is an independent publishing house based in Zurich, Switzerland. The way they make books and zines warms up our hearts.
Manzine A very funny alternative men’s magazine, the antiGQ, that manages to parody the mainstream market and establishing its own point of view. Whether it can adapt its outsider status to deal with increasing success remains to be seen, but anyone who’s enjoyed it date will hope it can.
Keep in touch with us! justbreathe.de
Karen Publishing is all about tone and character, and Karen provides a subtly different approach to people and their lives. It provides close up details of the extremely ordinary, presenting them without fuss and in the process the extraordinary present in the everyday.
"Robot Feeding Squirrel" â€” an exclusive piece for JB. by Edinburgh based illustrator Matt Pattinson aka Culprit Tech, who does many more interesting things. Check this genius on culprittech.blogspot.com
Published on Feb 5, 2011
JB. Magazine is for you! It's about people. Individuals; the writer, the musician, the artist… Special people, and people special in their...