CON T E N T S
EDITOR Matthew.Cleaver PHOTOGRAPHS Laura.Jones Julian.Fawkes Matthew.Cleaver WARDROBE Laura.Jones Olivia.Anderson MODELS Andrew.Hall Iona.McIntyre Molly.Allen MAKE UP Daisy.Haywood THANKS TO Hannah-Beth.Todd Ginge Halilbrahim.Shevket Tom.Tebby
PAPER SOURCED FROM Shephards.Falkiners London www.falkiners.com PRINTED BY Service.Point Birmingham www.servicepointuk.com
Andrew wears shirt, Matthew Cleaver Trousers, Helena Papa
WATCH annah Beth Todd How did it all start? It all started when I was at college revising for my AS levels in Psychology, Health and Social care, Business studies and English. Ever since I left school I wanted to do something art based and wanted to get into learning about photography properly but I wasn’t allowed to study it at college because I hadn’t taken it as a GCSE at school. I was always looking through magazines such as Vogue, ID and Dazed and Confused and all I wanted to do was be apart of that, creating beautiful images and I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it happen. Whilst revising for my exams, my mind was on photography and that’s all I wanted to do. I took my exams and went back to college after the summer holidays to start preparing for my A-Levels. Through out the summer, I was taking photos of friends, family and started to put little photo shoots together. Some wise words told me that I should follow my heart and go and do what I love and just go for it. So here I am now, about to graduate after 3 years at university studying for a degree in Visual Communication and they have been the best 3 years of my life. I have met so many amazing people at uni, worked with the best creatives and had my work published in magazines also. I am very lucky to have a job that I love and to be able to do something that I love at the same time.
What excites you about photography? The way you can turn ideas, scribbles on a piece of paper and a picture in your head into a piece of art for everyone to see. I never see my work as just a ‘photograph’ I am always pushing my boundaries as far as I can go and always experimenting and trying out new techniques. I am always scribbling down ideas and sketches of what i’d like to shoot and whenever I am shooting with my teams, it never feels like work to me because of how much I love it. When you have that final piece retouched and up on your website for everyone to see… well, that is the most incredible feeling in the world.
What makes you original? I am known for my ‘dreamy’ colours and style with my photography. There is so much competition in the fashion photography industry and I always want to be different. I experiment, push my boundaries as far as possible to make sure that it stands out. When I was in New York I shot on top of a rooftop with the whole of city around me and I can’t even explain the feelings inside, it still hasn’t sunk in that I was actually there, working with some top agency models and a great team. I had a photo shoot recently and at 11pm the night before the big shoot, I had a crazy idea for my model to stand in a bush with loads of trees and bushes around her and have moss on her to make it look like she was apart of the bush. My garden didn’t have any big bushes or anything that I could use so luckily, it had been garden day for most of my neighbours and they had put out all of their garden rubbish at the front of their house to be picked up in the morning. I went out at midnight and started collecting lots of bush, twigs, leaves, moss, anything that shouted garden at me and I set it up in my garden the day of the photo shoot, put my model in there with everything around her and the photo came out exactly how I wanted it to.
Where does your inspirations come from? I am inspired by so much, everything that is around me and everywhere that I go. My recent inspiration was when I was in New York in April. I didn’t want to come home. Everyday was a new experience and I was inspired by the city and it’s beautiful surroundings. I am inspired by dreams that I have had, conversations through out the day with friends and family, music and fashion. Sometime’s I find my self waking up in the middle of the night looking for some paper and a pen because i’ve had an amazing idea for a photo shoot, which i’d forget if I waited until morning to remember it. The people I work with on a daily basis are inspirations to me.
How has coming from Birmingham influenced your work? Being able to work with local models, local make-up artists and wardrobe stylists has been amazing. When I was first starting out in photography and was getting teams together for little photo shoots, I was able to source models and make-up artists all around Birmingham which really helped me a lot. I was able to explore Birmingham quite a bit too searching for new locations. My photography started here and has got me to where I am today and I couldn’t be any happier right now.
When you’re not taking photos how do you escape? I hardly have time to escape from taking photos, i’m either retouching, planning and organising photo shoots or on a photo shoot. I love every second of it and I wouldn’t change it for the world. When I do have a day off or a free morning/afternoon I like to drink as much tea as possible, catch up with my favourite TV programmes such as 90210 and the soaps or have a relaxing day watching my gossip girl box set and having a relaxed day.
Where will you be in 5 years time? I am just about to graduate from university, 3 years of hard work and I am so excited for the future and what it holds for me. In 5 years time I will be feeling quite old… yikes! 27, oh wow! I hope to be living in LA by that time and working all over the world for magazines, campaigns and big clients. That would be a dream come true. I am pushing myself as much as possible and will probably start in London first after I graduate and have 6 months there and then see where that takes me. I want to travel, meet new people and take my fashion photography everywhere. I want to inspire people and show them that if you really believe in something, go for it. Make your dreams come true and don’t stop until you are exactly where you want to be. With lots of hard work and determination, you will make it. Never give up. Keep your head high, your
chin up and most importantly keep smiling. Life is such a beautiful thing and there is so much to smile about.
www.hannah-beth.com www.modelmayhem.com/579759 www.hannahbethfashion.blogspot.com
WATCH alilbrah im Shevket What got you started in graphic design? It was a choice that I had to make after graduating in BSc. Architectural Design Technology in the recession period. I wanted to be able to do something that I enjoyed, and at a young age I never did GCSE or A- level in Art. So it was an out of the blue choice for me, something that i took my chance at, and something that I knew would open a door in the business world.
Is it important to be original? It is definitely important to be original. there has been a lot of recycled work out there that looks bleak, and you wouldn’t know if the “recycle” designer came up with it, or the original. Some times it’s best to be original, to have your own signature style and technique that you put passion into your work. That’s what makes me look deeper into other peoples work, when I see a glimpse of uniqueness and talent, they inspire me to use that passion in my work. Take a chance in the graphic world, you’re never wrong or right, because everyone has a different taste in style.
How do you try to stand out? I think trying to stand out is maybe the worse way of becoming noticed. It’s like trying TOO hard to become noticed in a crowd, and trying to become a single individual. I think the best way is to go with the flow, to not follow a style of work, but to experiment with different mediums, making something that you feel happy about, and wouldn’t care what other people think. Be yourself, and follow your own gut instinct.
Where do you look for inspiration? Inspiration is everywhere for me. I try and not look at other artists, but look at the news, or when I’m on the bus stare at architecture around, what people wear, the designs on them, even the road markings on pavements. I take photos of everything I see, not in a professional way but as scrap inspiration so I could either use it in my next piece or create typography out of it.
How has living in Birmingham effected your work? Living in Birmingham has allowed me to develop as a whole. Everyone would see Birmingham overtaken by the bigger cities that push forward Graphic design e.g. London & Manchester. This gives me a big motivation to become successful. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of successful designers in Birmingham I just think it’s the image that Birmingham gives, and that we not pushing ourselves to become at the same level as the other bigger cities. I think living in Birmingham allows a motivational push in the right direction to be bigger and better than other existing graphic designers.
Is graphic design a lifestyle? Graphic design is my daily routine now. I think if I didn’t make it part of my life, I wouldn’t have come this far. It’s become so much of part of my lifestyle that I live and breathe it. I sometimes think I’m sad when I start analysing peoples advertisements, or when I start seeing that there is bad kerning in passages, or even a widow at the end of an important letter. But I think it’s the same with every job the passion has to be there from the start to become successful, to allow yourself to thrive from your succession.
What is in-store for the future? After the HND course is complete, I’m hoping to search for a position either in Birmingham, Manchester or London. Plenty of typography, editorial pieces & point of sale work.
email@example.com www.shevketdesign.wordpress.com twitter@iamshevket
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How did you get into drawing? As long as I can remember I have been interesting in drawing, it has been a constant in my life, whenever I get a chance I am drawing on whatever media I find. When I got into my teens, I decided to experiment with graphic design and taught myself how to use Photoshop and Illustrator, this is when things really started to take off. I then managed to get into university, with a few sketchbooks packed with work, but very little qualifications, this was a real turning point in my career and I started to get really serious about my passion for graphic design. Since then I have managed to sell a lot of work and have had lots of commissions. I have also been involved in many live drawing events up and down the UK.
Where do you get your ideas from? I am strong believer that inspiration is all around. I carry a camera and sketchbook with me wherever I go; I am inspired by anything from billboard advertisements to street art. I rip bits out of magazines and newspapers and keep a scrapbook full of cuttings, sketches and photos. I also have lots of art books, so I am never stuck for ideas.
Would you say you have your own style? I like to think so, I tend to draw using clean and simple lines, I generally don’t shade much of my work. Many other artists also use a similar technique, so I always try to put my own stamp on my work so it stands out against others. I don’t think I have found my final style yet as I’m always experimenting to find different ways of doing things. I tend to switch every now and again between illustration, typography and computer aided work. At the moment I’m in the computer phase. I enjoy learning new skills and think that the more you learn, the more likely you are to make in the industry.
What inspires you? I am very inspired by UK artists. I am an avid fan of street art, I think there is so much inspiration to be gained from street artists, there are so many different and unique styles. As it is such a competitive industry, there is always fresh styles. I am inspired by artist such as Philth, Fourpence and the Subism collective, I am really fortunate to have worked alongside some of these great artists.
How does living in Birmingham influence your work? Living in Brum is ace, I donâ€™t live far from Digbeth which has loads of stuff too look at when out and about. And more and more stuff is happening everyday.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? In 5 years time I would like to sell more work, and have a couple of exhibitions under my belt.
What got you interested in art? I don’t think I stood much chance of not being interested in art when I was growing up. Both my parents taught sculpture at De Montfort Uni and most of their friends and colleagues were involved in the art world. During half terms I would be taken to De Montfort or Leicester Poly as it was then, given a lump of clay or some wood, and left to get on with it. As kids do, they make things with the stuff around them, and really my artwork is still no different.
Is it important to be original? It is important to be original, however, as most musicians practise with other artists work I think the same can be said with art to an extent. Most work is derivative of something somewhere so originality although being important should not get in the way of creating. I think the most important thing is to keep producing artwork, honing your skills, building a portfolio and building your confidence.
How do you try to be unique?
I don’t particularly. I do what I do and am influenced usually by chance, by something I see or find. It is the combinations of chance which make my work unique but it is certainly not contrived.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere. I am interested in the fringes between industrial and organic – the battle. Birmingham has many of these battles being fought.
How has living in Birmingham influenced your work?
My work would not be what it is without Birmingham. Birmingham is a city unlike any other. It is not a sentimental place it is a city bombarded with constant change. This causes a slight identity crisis but means we look forward. New things are generally embraced in this city.
What do you do to escape and relax?
I love to go on excursions with my partner and two year old daughter. We are regulars at Birmingham Botanical Gardens or the Peacock House as my daughter calls it. But I also do my artwork to escape and relax I think this is true of most artists.
What is in-store for the future of Tom Tebby / Plimsoul?
I have recently finished a commission for Bullring Birmingham. It is situated adjacent to St. Martins Church on the hoardings surrounding their Special Street project. This was quite a big undertaking at over four metres long. Next up is an art fair in Munich called Stroke which is put together by Intoxicated Demons Gallery in Berlin. It will be visited by around 20,000 people which is great exposure. Some of my pieces will then go on a tour around Germany with Intoxicated Demons and hopefully result in more projects with them.