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15 Jun 2015

Jim Phillips Eyeball

I was recently asked to paint a vinyl toy for the legendary Jim Philips show in NYC with Mighty Jaxx. I was so amazed they asked me and kinda bricked it a little, a little more when I saw the line up- what the hell was I doing in this...I'm just a weirrrddooo *cue radiohead. I was so out of my comfort zone here I even had to ask twitter what it was called? Vinyl? Plastic toy? Sculpture? Thanks to twitter the most common reply was 'dildo'. Thanks Twitter ha! So I thought I would take a moment from work here and let you guys know how I went about making the weird thing I made for the show and my ghetto process. I first watched a load of youtube videos which was quite threatening to be honest but I learned some tips. This is the original toy they sent me:

I took some time to look at it, panic, look at it some more, panic a little extra, think about cancelling the gig, then decided I wanted to try horns and a massive evil smile. This is the point where it went hellish for me. I had given myself a week off work to do it knowing that I was going to make mistakes and was going to be learning as I went along. I originally wanted a big tongue sticking out and cut away the front to make a mouth- the whole thing was hollow so it just became this weak loose toy on which nothing could be built. I bought some clay that the youtube recommended and the lady in the shop handed me- I had no idea. On youtube people said it was like butter and very easy to use. I found it impossible to use- it didn't stick, it crumbled, it cracked- and after 6 hours of trying- nothing was happening. I gave up and went home. That night I decided I would ring the guys and beg for mercy and let them know I had screwed up and made a complete mess and had trashed their lovely toy. That night though I remembered the video where one guy said he used tin foil (aluminum/baco-wrap) to pad out the fatter bits. The next day I bought a whole roll and proceeded to stuff the eye ball with it. it was solid at last and would survive the oven. I hated the idea that I would give up, that feeling is the worse feeling n the world.

So, the next plan- after rolling a load of pointed sausages for horns and unsuccessfully trying to stick them to the eye was to get 6 8 inch screws and drill them where I wanted the horns, pack them with more tin foil and roll out a pastry sheet of clay to form a three sided horn...Onto that I could begin sculpting all the detail- it bloody worked!!!. One thing the sickeningly talented sculpture artist said on the youtubes, was the first and best tool you can have is your hands...then that he made a lot of his tools. So I looked around my kitchen and used what I had: a nail, a pencil and a paper knife. They served me well.

When it came to the extra detail I needed to prop it up so I made a ring on clay and stuck it on an old coffee can. Rolling up small sausages of teeth pinching each one till they fit I made the teeth.

Then more clay sausages- it's just like school- I made the lips. At this stage I still had no idea how this was going to turn out but I was on my way to finding out- I just had this thought that I would melt the whole damn thing in the oven.

When I was happy with it I sprayed it with some white paint I had laying around- I think acrylic. It was then that I noticed a lot, A LOT, of imperfections and decided to sand it down. Bad move, acrylic rolled into a hot ball when sanded....but after a long time I had finally got the blobs and scraps off to an acceptable place and sprayed it again.




Originally I had decided to draw it with the veins in red, the eyeball in blue and just do my best at making it look like a Jim Philips eyeball. I spent two days painting it (it didn't melt in the oven BTW). I tried with shaky coffee fueled hands to do my best at painting- I studied eyeballs on google to see which was my best option on how to paint and eye, where to put the light on a 3D object and so on. To be honest it was confusing and made me anxious. After two days of painting I sat and looked at it and thought "well, I tried my best and although I'm not super happy- I tried". That night I actually dream't that I'd painted it black. In the dream someone was holding it and saying "it's good, but its not very 'you' is it". I woke up, got out my acrylic tub of matte black paint and went to town on it. It felt right, felt good, felt perfect. the only original paint that still shows through is the horns, the teeth and the lips...and the lips were a happy accident and I masked the teeth off when I was painting it and when I removed it, kinda liked the remaining red.

The thing I learned afterwards was the varnish- I bought a can of clear varnish to coat it and applied thin coats every 4 hours for a day- then left it to dry. after two days it was still tacky- after three days (deadline was up and I needed to send it to the states ASAP)....it was still tacky!!!! I looked up on line on a bunch of sites that said basically it couldn't be helped and that I'd mixed the wrong paints with the wrong varnish. So I had to send it as is- I constructed the most elaborate box ever- indestructible and none of it touched the piece. Luckily it got there and all went well....until I saw they displayed it upside down in the show hahaha. Luckily by the power of social media I was able to ask someone at the show to turn it round while they stood next to it! cheers for reading guys. Hopefully it doesn't put anyone off asking me to do it again. If I do this again I now have some great knowledge and no fear. Nothing grows in your comfort zone.



2 Dec 2014

WANDERERS

My brother and I share a love of all things space and unknown. He raised me on film, making me wonder at 2001 A Space Odyssey, get confused at Aliens and nervous at The Dark Crystal. We are both impatiently waiting to see Interstellar at the moment and he just posted this on my time line. Space...the final frontier....

Wanderers - a short film by Erik Wernquist from Erik Wernquist on Vimeo.

31 Oct 2014

SPAZUK

Its been a while since Ive updated my blog, facebook seems so much quicker and easier now but also a bit more throw-away whole a blog. for me, seems to be something a lot more considered...I dont really know...either way here is a beautiful video a friend sent me on twitter.


8 Feb 2014

A great lil' ditty about happiness and success...




10 Dec 2013

Black Sabbath


5 December – 17 December Free with museum entry This December we’re embracing the darkness and celebrating all things Sabbath. The band has provided inspiration for musicians and artists alike over their 40 year career. Ahead of their arena show on the 10th December we are hosting a pop-up exhibition of Black Sabbath inspired screen prints, in partnership with The Flood Gallery. Commissioned to respond to iconic Sabbath songs these limited edition screen prints have been designed by the cream of the poster art scene, including Godmachine, Richey Beckett, Glyn Smyth, Michael Cowell, Matt Valentine, Scott Move and John Reardon. With each artist’s unique interpretation the exhibit captures the essence of some of Black Sabbath's best known catalogue, and provides a glimpse of how these songs can translate into fantastic visual representations of one of the UK’s most formidable heavy rock bands. With artists that specialise in the areas of folklore, mythology, metal and tattoo art, there is sure to be something for everyone. Prints will be available to buy from the BME shop throughout the exhibition, but are limited runs so don’t miss your opportunity to acquire a fantastic artwork for your wall! http://www.thefloodgallery.com

7 Oct 2013

GUZU Gallery, Something Spooky

I have been asked to submit a piece for this show and am quite honestly stoked:




3 Oct 2013

Another email.....

           I received a sincere and kind email recently, asking if I thought his work was good enough to make a go of it as a career, and although my reply has been said a million times before and a million times better I think its sometimes good to be reminded. I was humbled that he's asked me so I did the shortest less long winded and straight forward reply I could give him, a luxury you will not have. Here is my long winded and badly written/though-out reply.
           To quote Bukowski "Find something you love and let it kill you", to quote someone I forget "you'll either find a way or you will find a reason". I think these two are the best ways of explaining the situation. His first problem was the problem most X-factor contestants have; they always say "I want to be a rockstar" or "I want to be famous". Its a disease of this world right now. No one ever says "I want to write and sing music" because lets face it, you don't need x-factor for that, I sing all the time, I love to sing. I am a singer by that right. I also make up my own words to TV theme shows constantly to the annoyance of everyone around me. So, I guess I am a song writer too. Amazing huh?
         So why did this kid not think he was already an artist? Because we are taught to thing in terms of success by ways of fame and money. Remove those things and you will find you are already the thing you want to be. Obviously not a astronaut etc- I always feel I should include the god damn obvious for the stupid pedants.
           So lets take the Alan Watts approach and remove fame and money from the equation and ask "what do you want to do? what does your heart want if money was no object". Now, if you are an artist or want to be one, chances are you are drawing already...you are an artist. Does it really take money to make you feel good about your work? You are sadly in the wrong job. I know loads of successful artists whose work is not great (yeah, me included) and they are making a living from it...why? how? Maybe because if I was working in an office I would still be drawing on every scrap of paper and spending my nights drawing when I got home. Did you know that the wright Brothers didnt tell anyone they finally flew for something like 3 days and when they did tell anyone they told some guy in a bar passingly. Why did they do this? Because fame and fortune was not their goal, flying was. In comparison there was another company with all the money in the world that was competing to fly and they were doing it for money and fame and when they heard that the Brothers flew they gave up, they literally stopped trying. What a terrible way to be. We often hear artists on seeing some wonderful piece of work say "I give up", but they don't, they never could, because they dont do it for anyone but themselves and that little piece of ego that squirms inside every artists :D             
              One of my favorite poets wrote a piece asking himself 'who am I writing poetry for' and in it he discovers its for the lovers who will never read his work. I can think of not a better reason to work your craft.
              I am envious of people like Big Foot hunters. A big foot hunter will spend all his life looking for this animal and will never find it (mainly because it doesn't exist) but he will have a brilliant life. If the big foot was discovered then his passion would come to an end and he would have to find other ways to fill his days and his heart.
           Sometimes achieving your goals is not the answer- but rather the hard work and passion that you put in without thinking about goals. Find something you love, work hard, keep your head down and grind your knuckles to the bone with work and passion...and when you look up, finally, people will be throwing money at you and you wont know why, because you'd do this shit for free and you will anyway.
            This is my opinion, it changes when I learn and experience more, if it upsets you or makes you mad, maybe you've learned something about yourself more than this rant. Peace.

 In My Craft or Sullen Art By Dylan Thomas
 In my craft or sullen art
 Exercised in the still night
 When only the moon rages
 And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
 I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
 Or the strut and trade of charms
 On the ivory stages
 But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.
 Not for the proud man apart
 From the raging moon I write
 On these spindrift pages
 Nor for the towering dead
 With their nightingales and psalms
 But for the lovers, their arms
 Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
 Nor heed my craft or art.

30 Sep 2013

Stencil Magazine Interview

A recent Interview with stencil magazine: click the image:



18 Sep 2013

Carn by Jeff Le Bars

Carn - Jeff Le Bars from Jeff Le Bars on Vimeo.



30 Aug 2013

Critisism ...or sore fanny?

   Most of the time when someone criticizes your work they are not discussing art or design or music or film etc but rather expressing their own personal feelings which are mostly based on insecurities. Any amount of civil discourse will eventually if not immediately show this. They cry out not because they see a flaw in your work; if this was the case they would spend every minute of every day on the web "helping" people who have not produced a perfect piece, no, but rather they do so because they suffer a short coming in their own being that they find a need to express it so they can be heard and the sand from their fannies rinsed out.
    Its not as if they are going to get the artist or band to start writing or drawing solely for them, so you have to wonder what the point is. "Hey John, Paul, Ringo, Steve from Manchester says he finds this new song boring....lets change it immediately and make sure we write songs that he likes". Its massively egotistical if you think about it, a very self absorbed attitude to have. If it were the real world you would have to get up very early in the morning to make sure that every shop you passed could benefit from the knowledge that you don't like their product and you wont shop there. Its bizarre behavior. even on the web. 
   Saying nice things to people does a lot, it supports them, it helps them, it motivates them and others, it helps health and mind...Saying bad things makes you look like a dick. Simply don't do it. I promise you, it doesn't help. If you dont believe me go find a music video you really really love and find a comment you disagree with. What do you think of that person? See. Hurts huh.
    If you really cant help someone what is the point in saying something? If you can help someone- this is a great way to say it:


Also- Stephen Fry on "trolls":


15 Aug 2013

A bad artist.....

...always blames his tools. I sometimes wonder why I spend hundreds on new computers and tablets when I still haven't even mastered the pencil. Enough musings, check out this beautiful person;
The Pixel Painter from The Pixel Painter on Vimeo.


10 Aug 2013

Black Sabbath

We had a nice little feature in Classic Rocks Blog for the Black Sabbath show I had a piece in. Click the image to read more.




17 Jul 2013

STORE 2


For a few weeks now I have been working with my friends in the states to open up a fulfillment store in the states that will cater for my posters from now on and some extras. That's not to say that I still wont be selling from here in the UK, it will just be more specialized stuff- you'll see. The store in the states has great advantages for us both and some extras, seeing as I wont be able to sign the posters I have created a certificate of authenticity in the way of a letterpress piece of artwork, two pieces of work for the price of one, plus your posters will get to you faster and the postage will be much less. Any items sold from the store will come with the certificate...including the new t-shirts.  Look, I could keep on trying to explain it logically but here is my good friend Skinner to explain properly for us:

GodMachine from godmachine on Vimeo.








11 Jun 2013

Prey For Me

"Disturbia are ecstatic to announce the launch of 'Prey For Me'. A limited edition statuette by Godmachine.

A match made in hell, Disturbia and Godmachine have collaborated for a number of years on many of Disturbia's most iconic t-shirt creations, and so the release of 'Prey For Me' brings his beautifully dark illustration style to glorious life.

Standing at 8 inches tall, 'Prey For Me' will be available in 3 colourways; Black (£45), Bronze (£85) and D.I.Y white (£55), with a total edition of just 200 pieces. The Black variant is limited to 100 pieces, and Bronze and White limited to just 50 of each.

The bust is a hand cast, and hand painted polystone statuette (the bronze variant has been electroplated), and comes boxed in bespoke packaging.

'Prey For Me' will be available for Pre-Order on the 18th of June, exclusively from Disturbia."



26 Mar 2013

John Mayers ablum.

  I have posted some of Davis stuff before as the last sign writer in the UK as he was becoming quite popular in these days of quick-fix-digital. It was great to see him pop up again in this video and John Mayer describe it so well. If you havent seen Davids work I've put the original video below this one. Do watch it because its breath taking:

The Making of John Mayer's 'Born & Raised' Artwork from Danny Cooke on Vimeo. David A Smith:

David A Smith - Sign Artist from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.



23 Mar 2013

Chris Cunningham rather than Aphex Twin

I wrote my University dissertation on music video directors and how they were superseding the bands/musicians that hired them. As me ol' mate once prophetically said ; "art is fashionable". If you can Find them, I really don't know if they are still available you can get box sets of videos from all diff' musicians but complied because of the director, Gondry has one, Cunningham has one and more. Either way- I am posting this due to someone saying they have never heard of Cunningham. He helped me span the gap between film and art.




19 Mar 2013

Stardust

The first time I saw Sunshine by Danny Boyle I didn't like it. I don't know why, I felt rushed maybe.... and I didn't know at the time but it was to be the last film I ever saw in the cinema. For some reason years later I accidentally heard part of the score from the film and loved it, I think it was that famous piece that was later used in a thousand commercials and that Kick Ass film. But on hearing the music I decided to give it another go at home and fell in love with it. I've since bought one of those big TVs, its the first TV i have ever bought and my love of film continues with my own home cinema.
   This is a beautiful video and a great sentiment:
"PostPanic director Mischa Rozema's new short film, Stardust, is a story about Voyager 1 (the unmanned spacecraft launched in 1977 to explore the outer solar system). The probe is the furthest man-made object from the sun and witnesses unimaginable beauty and destruction. The film was triggered by the death of Dutch graphic designer Arjan Groot, who died aged 39 on 16th July 2011 from cancer.
The entire team at PostPanic (the Amsterdam-based creative company) pushed themselves in their own creative post techniques to produce a primarily CG short film crafted with love."

Click the Vimeo link to read more. 


Stardust from PostPanic on Vimeo.

2 Mar 2013

Ken Nordine

 I'd like to dedicate this to you, Everyone.



25 Feb 2013

Disturbia

I keep forgetting to post the interviews so they may come in dribs drabs and spurts. Just the way you like it. Read it at DISTURBIA




Foalio

I recently did an interview with the awesome folk over at Foalio, click here for INTERVIEW