Cute but sad • Luke Chueh The Night Shift • New ways of working The myth and the manufactory • Stanley Donwood Infinite Activity • James Jean Vince Frost • On inspiration
Flexing your creative muscle taylormagazine.com.au
The Night Shift
Chunky Spoons, St Kildaâ€™s favourite new Jazz, Tapas and Microbrewery
We explore the world of the night creative and their new ways of working using the late hours to meet deadline and reach artistic inspiration.
Judging By The Cover
Cute But Sad
The not so humble hat stand
Luke Cheuh takes us through his journey of art and explains the themes behind his beautiful work.W
Eight fresh new talents in publishing and book design explain their methods and how their area of expertise is now starting to translate into the digital realm.
New Music Peanut City, Josh Redan, Kellian, Goldyloks, CiaoTown and North Caro Border.
Flexing Your Creative Muscle Creativity is not necessarily a sport, but you can increase your fitness and ability. We look at some tried and true techniques to boost your inspiration and conceptual skills.
The Myth And The Manufactory
Vince Frost On Inspiration This issue the household name takes us through his thoughts on inspiration.
The New Price Of Fame From the freelance zine writer, bloggers and YouTube sensations comes an unlikely fame – digitally documented reality is now costing these talented individuals somewhat. We talk to four well known success stories, and they share with us the pros and cons.
It’s A Trap!
James Jean talks about his art and his incredible work ethic – this guy just doesn’t stop. It’s no wonder his at the top of his game.
We explore the trappings of fashion - faux fur style.
Stanley Donwood introduces us to his strange and wonderful world, working with Radiohead, drinking too much wine and whether he exists or not.
The Final Word
Paul Cooper was using a razor for transportation in Sydney more than a decade ago, long before this practice was anything but deeply eccentric. These days, he writes more than he rides, and works fervently on his knowledge of expensive coffee to support his trade.
Ian Terence is a 27-year-old writer who was born in London, lives in Queensland, and wishes he was cool enough to make it in New York. When he’s not writing articles for Taylor, he’s either working as a contributing editor or tending to his blog.
Ethan Denry is a Perth-based photographer who has been working in Vietnam and The Philippines for the past 12 years. The results of his work has been published and exhibited across Australia and Asia.
Tanner is a creative expert, entrepreneur, and online marketer from Salt Lake City, Utah. For the last four years he has been researching the creative mind and how it works. See more of his insights on his blog: creativesomething. net
Charlotte Parker lives with her partner and two cats in a warehouse in the suburbs of Sydney, where she draws and paints constantly. Spare time is usually taken up with craft matters, blogging a bit of sculpture and badly played tennis.
Fran Burleigh is a writer, journalist and designer currently living in Melbourne. She’s been resisting the lure of the fashion world for a decade, and is now more than happy to let others guide her pursuits. She’s hoping to never have any kind of job where she is encouraged to work overtime and in her own time spends far too much money on comic books.
the team Editor Creative Director Publisher Acting Publisher Creative Assistant Editorial Assistant National Advertising Manager Marketing Sales Co-ordinator Advertising Production Co-ordinator Circulation Manager
John Trizzar Lara Kally Oliver Anderson Louise Barnsley George Frith Gemma Fischer Amanda Peters Suzy Courdeaux Margaret Onslow Kenneth Banks Robert Nunes
Taylor is proudly published by Maffin Publishing PO Box 564 Sydney NSW 2000. Taylor will happily accept freelance articles, illustrations, photography and other submission, however we are unable to reply or send back material. Please go to our website for details. 05
Thank you so much for picking up our first issue. This has been an exercise in blood, sweat and tears but also a project of intense passion for myself and the people I’m lucky enough to work with. Within these pages we hope to get you a little closer to some truly creative people and learn a little about what makes them tick. If this makes you tick a little better then it’s all been worth it. Hopefully we’ll be profiling you in an upcoming issue. I think the one thing that really comes through all the stories this issue is you should never stop doing what you love. If you believe in the process eventually things will start to fall into place. Every artist, musician, even the burger maker from page 10, has relayed an incredible need to keep doing what they are doing, not because of the money, but because if they didn’t they would lose the one thing that keeps them sane. Lastly we would love to hear what you think. This magazine was put together with you in mind. We want to make things more accesioble and possible for everyone out there. If you have some feedback or a suggestion for a future article – let us know. Speak soon, John Trizzar Editor in Chief
Inspiration 1.0 In this regular feature we ask renowned creatives what they think inspiration is. It’s a spur of the moment answer, a stream of consciousness and hopefully an insight for the rest of us. This issue we asked the man himself, Mr Vince Frost. Vince Frost is what you might call a fast tracker to success. In 1989 he joined Pentagram in London, and just three years later he was their youngest ever associate at 27 years. In another two years he’d started his own studio, Frost Design (www.frostdesign.com.au) which he still runs with offices in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. It’s a story of success that he puts down to an inability to look at any job as being a bad job, insisting every piece of work you do should be your best, whether it’s for a multinational or for the hair on the corner. It’s a theory that there’s a perfect answer for every brief, you just have to find it.
Inspiration is a real problem. Vague nowhere mind set, a mind breathe. Hustle and stress, A constant requirement to deliver. To surprise, to think beyond the expected. Problems unresolved accumulate into festering stress pits. Sometimes being free of any thought creates windows, visual windows, My inspiration comes from the opportunity. Eyes open breathing in pictures, potential ideas, reference. Books, magazines, people doing quality things. Tight parameters, blank paper. Something out of nothing, no budget.... I get excited about making ideas reality. Inspiration is normally desperation. The momentum of years of digging, a mind archive Nothing beats the feeling of the ‘click’ The body smile when you’ve found what you were looking for.
Cute But Sad Luke Cheuh Charlotte Parker
You really get the feeling that Luke wants to be the best at whatever he is doing at the time. He comes across in interviews as a person who is constantly trying to better himself, upgrade his skills and move up to the next level. He clearly likes to concentrate on the task at hand freely admitting that he stopped drawing and painting at one point so he could focus on becoming a Graphic Designer. It was only when he moved to Los Angeles and couldnâ€™t find work he started painting again as a way to keep himself busy while looking. In March 2003 he decided to show some of his paintings and was surprised by how well they were received, coming very close to a sell out show. As you can imagine this encouraged him to keep painting for a while and put design on the back burner. Touted these days as one of the hottest properties on LA art circuit you might say it was a good decision.
Looking at his work your first reaction is based on the cuteness of his Manga styled characters in their many forms of bear, monkey and rabbit. These instantly adorable characters are juxtaposed against the ironic and slightly disturbing situations they find themselves in. A bear finding himself on fire is slightly bemused at the fact that the tap of the shower has come off, leaving him to burn. Or the cute rabbit that turns his back on his adoring audience to take a much needed cigarette break. Itâ€™s as if these icons of 20th century innocence are thoroughly disappointed at how the world views them and have resorted to often extreme acts to prove they have more depth than the average toy. While some of the pictures are clearly quite horrific, Luke creates a buffer zone between the viewer and the tortured creature allowing us to look on from a comfortably safe distance. An idea that appeals to many in our voyeuristic society and is demonstrated most prominently by the way his art consistently sells. A bunny chopping his ears off in muted silence is the perfect conversation opener for guests to your houseâ€Ś unless of course they have small children with them (in which case youâ€™ll probably be seen as the devil incarnate for purchasing such an upsetting piece of art let alone actually putting it on your wall).
The themes stem from Lukeâ€™s unhappy childhood of growing up as American Chinese in a minority intolerant community. Seen as a commodity by the other kids you can see direct parallels to the loneliness his creations show. Not fitting into a world that demands stereotypes the animals can take their frustrations out in ways that Luke was never able to. Luckily he has chosen to turn those frustrations into inspiration for his art and although the pictures insist you feel empathy for these melancholy forms they also provide humour based on the irony that horrible things happen, no matter how cute or armless you are.
The myth and the manufactory Ian Terence
The answer to the question of ‘who is Stanley Donwood’ is quite an easy one. Stanley Donwood / ‘stån lee donn wud / 1. to be a prolific artist/writer best known for work with Radiohead since release of ‘The Bends’ circa 1995. 2. Credited as 6th member of Radiohead. 3. Published two books of short stories and one detective novel • verb (-ing) 1. To win international acclaim through awards e.g. Grammy Award for Best Packaging/ Artwork (Amnesiac Cover). The more difficult question is ‘whether he exists.’ Now this isn’t just some gossip magazine’s scoop, but it could well be. The amount of internet sites devoted to the belief he is Radiohead’s alter ego is worthy of sitting alongside a Bradgelina story.
DO YOU EXIST? `I think so. I have not been very public with my existence, and anonymity has seemed quite important. I watched Radiohead becoming famous, and although, as Thom once said “it’s better than working in an office”, it also seemed to be quite an undesirable way to live. I imagine the free champagne must dull the pain somewhat.
How do you feel about all these websites then? I’m pleased that there are websites denouncing my existence. That’s exactly the kind of fame that I aspire to.
In Oxford we ended a long hot day of making no money by trying to do the support slot for a band called ‘On A Friday’. We were refused permission to perform due to some piddling fire regulations, and ‘On A Friday’ sensibly changed their name to Radiohead. This story, unbelievably, is true.
Would you consider yourself a designer or an artist? I was, and still am, more interested i n painting than graphic design. I studied fine art and English literature at college, and ended up using computers when I was on the dole after that. I couldn’t afford screen-printing materials and had no space to work in anyway. I pretended I was still a student and used the college’s computers in the town I accidentally moved to.
You’ve done all their releases since ‘The Bends.’ You obviously enjoy doing them? I think it’s extremely cool anyone can buy some fantastic music and get a load of art with it too. It’s very democratic. It’s not tarred with the same elitism that seems endemic in art galleries or concert halls. England has a lot of snobbery and class restrictions compared to the rest of the world.
What are your influences? My early influences were the sorts of things that get made into biscuit-tin lids and jigsaws - John Constable paintings, the moonlit scenes by a sentimental Victorian painter called Atkinson Grimshaw; things like that. Most of them were not attributed to anyone but generally I like the older stuff; Robert Rauschenberg, Breugel, Bosch, on and on. I forget names easily.
How b ig d o y o u normally paint the pictures knowing that they will have to be reduced to a CD size? The cover for Hail to the Thief is actually huge - one and a half metres square, painted with acrylics, blackboard paint and textured wall covering. They’re normally about that size. Some people assume that I’d hate to reduce them but I enjoy painting them, so it doesn’t bother me to shrink them right down for covers.
How did working with Radiohead come about? I have told so many lies about this that I’ve practically erased whatever the reality may have been. The short of it is I’d known Thom at college and he just phoned up and asked if I fancied a go at record covers. I like to think it started when my friend Jim and I were hitch-hiking around England, doing a fire breathing show in various towns for whatever money people would give us.
How do you come up with the artistic theme for the albums? I’ve almost always worked on the artwork whilst the band is rehearsing the new material, so hopefully whatever I do reflects the energy and ethos behind the music. This applies most directly to the sleeve artwork, to use an archaic term. The merchandise is normally a bit of light relief after this, reflecting what’s going on with the current record, but this isn’t always true.
About your writing, how do you do it? Is it spurts of energy, done quickly without changes or more thought out and crafted? This is the plan: I’m feeling miserable, and there’s a bottle of red wine on the table. Tobacco, papers, perhaps a little hash. I drink the red wine whilst writing. I have to stop while I smoke the hash, which is when I read over what I’ve written. Then I have the rest of the wine and rewrite whatever needs rewriting; or, more usually, I delete the lot and stare at the television, feeling even more miserable than I did to start with. So then it would be fair to say that you enjoy the painting more? Or does one inspire the other? They’re quite weirdly separate, as if there are compartments in my skull. Writing is a sort of desperate thing to do, an escape from having black clouds in the head. I started doing it when a recurring dream, or rather, an episodic dream was approaching what I knew would be a dreadful conclusion. I tried to stay awake for a long time and eventually I wrote everything down; the dream didn’t return. Painting is something more elemental and possibly more fun. Although not always. What about your other book ‘Catacombs of Terror!’? It’s about flesh-eating pigs who live in, er, catacombs. It’s a detective novel, sort of. I wrote it as quickly as I could one cold long month in England. Polyester Books in Melbourne said they would sell it, which was nice of them.
Have you got any plans to do more? I think I’m going to make a book of some kind about my couple of weeks in Australia last year. I’ve got a lot of notes, but unfortunately most of my photos are of the tops of skyscrapers, or blurred shots out of aeroplane windows. I’m a terrible photographer. Truly bad. Anyway, that’s never been an obstacle, so yes, a little book about Australia. Is there any Radiohead stuff you can tell us about? I’m designing a tea set - teacups and a teapot, with blue and white pictures of bears and Minotaur shooting each other with big machine guns. Its got to be one of the weirdest bits of merchandise a band’s ever put out. And there we leave the supremely talented if slightly sombre Mr Donwood to his musings and thoughts. Take a look at his website www.slowlydownward.com for some great artwork, merchandise and his incredible (I don’t use that word lightly) writings. Covering everything from ‘Dracula’s theme park’ to ‘men who think they’re pigs’ - the stories have an amazing ability to constantly surprise and charm. Your books ‘Slowly Downward’ and ‘Tachistoscope’ are collections of your short stories. Do you think you could explain your stories to the uninitiated? I don’t know that I could explain them; they just are what they are. Most of my stories are dreams, or perhaps nightmares. I think if I write them down and let other people read them it spreads the awfulness out so thinly that it becomes harmless entertainment. I couldn’t cope with it on my own.