OC&K Curates – Spring Time

Fresh green leaves and spring bulbs are starting to appear around us. The days are lengthening and blue skies shine above. Spring is such a lovely time of year and what with Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday 22 March there are plenty of reasons to bring a spring feel into your home, or give a gift with some springtime inspiration.

Spring is the time of year colour returns to our life. Slowly at first with gentle pastel tones, until the riot of hot summer takes over. It’s fresh and has a hint of warmth that banishes the memory of cold frosty mornings. Flowers begin to poke their heads out of the earth and there is an energy in nature. Freya Cumming’s work speaks of spring; her eye for gentle colour complimenting the season. This screen print titled Village Politics with its ‘best in bloom’ is finished with gold and silver leaf and is a great way of adding a bit of bright country style to any room.

Village Politics by Freya Cumming – £250

Polka dots still seem to be a firm fashion favourite and could be seen in the spring collections of some of the most well know fashion designers like Dries Van Noten’s collaboration with Christian Lacroix and Carolina Herrera. Your favourite spotty outfit needs a spotty accessory. These Form Circle Earrings from Tom Pigeon in Blush add a cool edition of colour to your outfit. A combination of Formica and brass they are perfect for any time of day or night.

Form Circle Earrings in Blush by Tom Pigeon – £30

You can’t have spring without fresh leaves appearing on the trees. This clock features a hanging willow branch pattern, evoking the dappled shade of sitting under a tree. Made from laser-cut, powder-coated steel, it features a quiet quartz mechanism and stamped aluminium hands. A minimal yet stylish way to celebrate nature.

Grass Green Willow Clock by Max Cairns – £100

Speaking of leaves, these leaf bookmarks by Another Studio just had to be included. They make the perfect little gift for a plant lover and feature the leaves of Maranta Leuconeuraia, Peperomia Argyreia, Caladium Bicolour and the Begonia Maculata. Celebrate the season of growth.

Leaf Bookmark Set – Steel by Another Studio – £9.50

It’s the time of year we start thinking about our gardens, (or any little space we may have set aside for growing things). If you are conscious of all the plastic used in the garden then this is the perfect way to go. Giving you the ability to produce recyclable and biodegradable newspaper pots for starting seedlings. These pots can be planted straight into the ground minimising damage to the roots of young plants. To read more about how they are made check out our ‘How to make Paper Pots using the Paper Pot Press’ Blog Post.

Paper Pot Press by Creamore Mill – £12.50

Spring colours are alive in this fun combination of Collage Studs from Wolf & Moon. This set of four mix and match earrings combine brass, painted wood, acrylic and mother of pearl. A versatile set in shades of green offset with some sparkle that will add spring vibes to any outfit.

Collage Studs by Wolf & Moon – £38

I had to end with this fun screen print by Tiff Howick of a yellow duck. Tiff Howick captures its fluffy feathery body with an expressive use of marks. Bold and bright in strong yellow colours, this is the perfect print to waddle into your home. A little duckling is an iconic image of spring and makes you think of new life.

Yellow Duck by Tiff Howick – £40

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Cyanotypes – Becoming Invisible by Liz Loveless

A cyanotype print of a coat. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press

Ahead of our upcoming exhibition with Liz Loveless of Factory Press we take a look at cyanotypes. In this show Liz presents us with a selection of artwork involving the cyanotype process. But what is a cyanotype and how are they created?

Dandelion and Grass cyanotypes by Liz Loveless

A cyanotype is a photographic process involving chemicals on paper or fabric that produces cyan blue prints. It was discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842 as a way of reproducing drawings and diagrams such as architectural blueprints. Cyanotypes are a type of contact print which means the actual image being reproduced is placed directly over the paper. This opens it up to a whole host of creative possibilities, not just reproducing drawings, but using 3D objects. Liz uses this to great effect in her cyanotype works. Everyday objects such as bikes, coats, bottles and vegetation are used to create prints with a unique one-off quality.

A bike being exposed under a UV light onto treated paper. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press

To create a cyanotype a mixture of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium are combined to create a photosensitive solution that is then applied to paper. This is allowed to dry in the dark to avoid exposure until it is ready to use. To create a print you must expose this coated paper to UV light, for example sunlight. This then creates a chemical reaction in the parts that are exposed to the light then darkening them. When fully exposed the chemical coated paper is then rinsed under running water. This washes away the unexposed chemical that was in shadow leaving a blank space, surrounded by the blue that was exposed to the light.

A large palm leaf  being exposed in sunlight. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press

The most simple way of creating a cyanotype print is to lay objects on to your coated paper and then expose to sunlight. You can experiment with any objects. The more solid an object and the closer it is to the paper the more crisp a result you will get. Further away or less solid an object you will begin to get fuzzier edges. This is most apparent when using natural materials like leaves and flowers. Their 3D quality creates an unpredictable silhouette that fades from crisp dark blue to pale blue blurs. After the cyanotype has had an appropriate time in the sun (this can vary depending on the strength of the sunlight) it is then rinsed under running water and left to dry.

Finished print being rinsed. Image: Liz Loveless – Factory Press

Liz Loveless will be exhibiting more of her cyanotype prints at Of Cabbages and Kings in the show ‘Becoming Invisible‘, which runs from 6 February to 31 March 2020.

You can also book a spot on our Cyanotype Workshop – 2-4pm Saturday 14th March 2020.

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Inspired by Architecture

We have seen recently a lot of design trends taking inspiration from architecture. Two styles that have proven popular are art deco and brutalism. Both rely on strong bold lines and confident use of graphic shapes, along with a creative approach to materials. The shapes and details that go into characterising these artistic movements are drawn upon by designers and makers, infusing their pieces, be it prints, jewellery or stationery with a unique twist or contemporary edge on a familiar style.

ART DECO

Art deco is a style of visual arts that originated in the 1920’s and developed into a major art movement across Europe and America. Influencing architecture, furniture, jewellery, fashion and cars, its aim was to be modern, with an anti-traditional elegance. Often simple and very graphic, with bold streamlined shapes, it is strong, powerful and celebrates modern materials.

Metro by artist Chris Homer is an abstract composition of screen printed gold, grey and black in a striking halftone and geometric pattern. The strong graphic style of Chris Homer’s work has a very modern feel, but still with an air of art deco elegance.

Brass and Bold are a London based brand founded by designer Elsa Gomez. Her designs are made from raw brass and painted brass, and explore the simplicity and honesty of materials. Taking inspiration from the clean lines and contrasting colour of the art deco movement, she produces stylish and contemporary jewellery perfect for your next cocktail party!

 

The 1920’s style of art deco is characterised by bold lines, shapes, and angles. You too can recreate that look, with this handy Art Deco Design Stencil. The art deco inspired typeface and shapes are perfect for all craft projects, such as card making, scrap-booking or just illustrating your favourite notebooks. A great gift for tweens to adults.

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City guides are aimed at the ‘urban explorer’. This two-sided folding Art Deco London Map features over seventy leading examples of art deco architecture in London – from Eltham Palace to the Hoover Building. Art deco landmarks such as Broadcasting House, 55 Broadway, and Senate House are included along with Charles Holden’s finest Underground Stations and more. The reverse side of the map features an introduction to art deco by Henrietta Billings, photos by Simon Phipps and details about each building.

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Achieve a modern look with echos of a geometric art deco style. These brass Pineapple Pots and steel Convert Vases are ideal for adding a metallic touch to an interior. Made from a thin sheet of metal which is carefully folded and converted into shape by hand at Another Studio in London, the Pineapple Pots are perfect for holding a small succulent or cacti.

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BRUTALISM

The mid-century architectural style of brutalism divides opinion. Descending from modern architecture it is characterised by monolithic block-like shapes, often celebrating the rawness of material, especially concrete. It is heavy, stark and solid.

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There are many examples of brutalist architecture in London and one notable building is The Hayward Gallery on the Southbank. Sitting along the banks of the River Thames it forms part of the Southbank Centre. The Hayward has become a brutalist landmark and artist Will Clarke has captured it beautifully in his detailed illustration. It is screen printed in two colours, a combination of black lines with luscious gold ink elements.

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Tom Pigeon is a creative studio founded by Pete and Kirsty Thomas in 2014. Designing simple and well-considered products across accessories, prints, and stationery.

Among these is the Béton range of jewellery – a unique unisex collection from Tom Pigeon Studio. Popularised by Le Corbusier, the term béton originates from the French ‘béton brut’ or ‘raw concrete’ and this hand-crafted solid silver jewellery is influenced by the strong lines, hidden angles, and sharp shadows of brutalist concrete architecture. Its matt finish also gives a nod to the rough texture of raw concrete.

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Produced to scale (5000 times smaller than the real buildings!) this bookmark set from Another Studio celebrates four fantastic London brutalist buildings: Trellick Tower, Barbican Tower, Space House, and National Theatre. A great gift for every architecture lover and perfect for a Secret Santa or quick stocking filler.

Fans of the movement will certainly love this Brutalist Calendar 2020. A limited edition monthly celebration of some of the most awe-inspiring and influential examples of brutalist architecture from around the world, it will provide connoisseurs of concrete with twelve months of brutalist bliss!⁠⠀

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For those brutalist adventurers who are keen to explore these pick-me-up maps are ideal. Also featured in the range are Washington, Paris, Sydney, and London.

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The Make Bank: Tackling Creative Poverty

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We are very excited to tell you about a new social project aimed at addressing some of the issues surrounding ‘creative poverty’ and young people’s access to art and design subjects and careers. The Make Bank has been set up by Kirsty Thomas, a former art and design teacher, and founder of creative studio Tom Pigeon. Kirsty’s research revealed that in recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of secondary pupils dropping out of creative subjects. She discovered that while some pupils were being advised that the creative industries did not offer a viable career path and that perhaps they should get a ‘proper job’, on other occasions it was because they simply didn’t have, or couldn’t afford the tools they needed to complete the course. This is where The Make Bank comes in.

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The Make Bank Founder Kirsty Thomas

By providing Art and Design Kits for disadvantaged pupils, The Make Bank can help students who want to pursue creative education. Working with schools across the country The Make Bank has created quality art and design kits devised to meet the needs of all young people aged over 13 following the National Curriculum in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. For pupils studying GCSE, A Level, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications they have created five subject-specific kits, so whether it’s art, design, photography, textiles or ceramics the students have the right tools for the job! Any pupil can apply for a Make Bank Kit in partnership with their teacher and it will be sent directly to their school.

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Alongside the kits the project also works with industry professionals to share inspiring stories, creative journeys and career advice, nurturing, inspiring and encouraging creative talent in young people and helping them recognise the wealth of opportunity that exists within the creative industries. To raise money for the kits Kirsty has teamed up with some of UK’s most exciting artists, illustrators and designers on the Make Bank Print Project, some of who we know very well here at Of Cabbages and Kings. You can find these ones, The Language of Colour by Stuart Gardiner (below), in our shop too. However, if prints aren’t you’re thing and you would like to donate directly just follow this link

 

We love this project, however materials alone will not create a new and diverse generation of creatives. Young people need guidance, support, inspiration and knowledge to enable them to pursue a creative career. The Make Bank is calling on everyone within the creative industries and beyond to stand up and do something about Creative Poverty. This is our opportunity to create a thriving industry that is equal, diverse and fair.

Would you like to get involved?  Visit the The Make Bank

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An Interview with Sarah Beaton

Ahead of her upcoming show IN + OUT at Of Cabbages and Kings, Sarah Beaton talks through the processes that go into creating her bold expressive brush strokes.

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Sarah Beaton’s Studio in Shoreditch

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….

I love the bleeding of water and paint – watercolour is probably my favourite.

How long have you been painting for? When did you start out?

I have enjoyed painting and drawing from a very young age. My dad was an art teacher so art was always a celebrated skill to explore in my family.

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Brush stroke experiments with watercolour

Your pictures evoke landscapes. Do you start with that in mind or do you let the brushstrokes inspire you?

I am inspired by nature and find it to be my escape from the busy London life. I don’t usually have a particular image in mind. I enjoy being spontaneous and seeing what develops from the brushstrokes.

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To The Edge And Back by Sarah Beaton

Where did the idea for including the figures come from?

I was working in my studio listening to the Damian Rice album, My Favourite Faded Fantasy. On the album cover, there is a series of figures on a large wall with a ladder. I loved the illustrative nature of it and decided to try and make my own little images.

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A selection of brushes used to create various marks in Sarah’s work

You use a deep dark blue in your work, what drew you to that colour?

I love water and blue, for me, is the most calming of colours. It can be intense but also very tranquil. I enjoy the extremes of it.

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You are also a theatre designer, do the two influence each other?

I feel they cross fertilise. Designing for theatre is all about telling stories through a visual narrative. I work in scale all the time and I feel this feeds into my watercolours: finding stories and compositions within an abstract image.

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Each print is professionally scanned and printed onto Hahnemuhle German Etching 310 gsm

What is your favourite takeaway?

I love Thai food. So anything vegan and Thai is a winner.

You can see more of  Sarah’s work on our website or in the shop. Feel free to pop by on Tuesday 14th August from 7-9pm to meet her in person, view the work up on the walls and enjoy a glass.

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On The Crest of A Wave – Sarah Beaton

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Here Comes A City

An Interview with Marc Gooderham

As the face of London changes seemingly overnight, local artist Marc Gooderham has made it his mission to capture these views of the city, the architecture of crumbling and faded grandeur, that are beginning to vanish before our eyes. In the run up to his exhibition Here Comes A City, opening February 8th 2018, we took the opportunity to ask Marc about his paintings and his project.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….

There are two. Naturally the paintbrush, but also the highly underrated yet extremely versatile piece of chalk!

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How long have you been painting and drawing? When did you start out?

As far back as I can remember. As a child I would sit and draw for hours. Still lifes, portraits, intricate buildings using pen and ink. The first piece of art I sold was to my art teacher at school. He kindly parted with £150 for a still life piece. As a kid, this was all very exciting. I tried not to let that first sale go to my head…honestly.

All your pieces come from real locations, mostly in London. What is it about the urban landscape that appeals to you?

I’ve always lived in London, so it’s a place I know and love. A place of intrigue and new experiences. It’s the contrast of old and new and glimmers of a forgotten time that really appeal to me.

Buildings with a fallen, crumbling exterior always hold an evocative beauty. Cities are a physical thing, they’re made up of lines and interesting forms, and the complexities of architecture and perspective can be challenging at times. But it’s all these things that make it the perfect subject to paint. Buildings command our attention. They’re our homes, places of work, places we admire and fall in love with. They help us navigate our way through life.

What is your process for working on a new piece? 

The only real way of getting to know a city is by walking it. Familiarising myself with the street level views. Making preparatory sketches and photographs. Revisiting a potential location at different times of day – sketch as much as possible! It has to have all the right components, which help make the final composition. Light and shade, suggestions of human life, a glow or reflection in a window, lights shimmering in the distance. These all give harmony and unity to a picture. Once these are in place, I begin work in the studio.

You are now working more with chalk pastels instead of painting, was there anything in particular that drew you to a new medium?

Working with charcoal and chalk pastels has been quite a liberating experience. I am still painting, producing large canvas pieces each month, again of the urban landscape.  I will always paint, however the pastel/charcoal lends itself to working quickly and more instinctively, 50% of the picture is created using my fingers.  There isn’t a lot of room for mistakes which adds to the excitement of this medium, speed is of the essence! It’s about capturing a certain feel or atmosphere and ultimately exercising the art of freehand drawing. It gives the artist a sketch – like fluidity.

Do find yourself returning to locations?

All of time. The locations are very familiar to me. Old haunts or places I have lived naturally become the subject of my work. The city is changing at such a rapid pace, there will always be a new discovery.

What is your favourite takeaway?

 Quite simply ‘Babur To Go.

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New Church Street Screen Print!

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As you may remember, back in June we ran a charity auction for The Abney Park Trust with John Gosler’s original art. Thanks to everyone’s support and efforts we were able to raise £260 for the charity. Don’t forget we still have a few of the cemetery maps and festival posters for sale if you’re interested in owning a bit of Stoke Newington history!

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While working with John on getting the auction together, we found another original in his collection. The piece was made in the same scraper board technique as the festival posters and featured a streetscape based upon the shops and buildings lining Stoke Newington Church Street. It was also done around the same time in the mid-90s to promote the Stoke Newington Midsummer Festival. We loved it so much we decided to reproduce it ourselves to sell in the shop!

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Since the scraper board left such a distinctive woodcut style texture, we wanted to pick up as much of that as possible and decided that a screen print would reproduce it best. We worked with Mark at Atom Gallery in Newington Green who printed them up for us, on  beautiful Southbank Smooth 310 gsm paper stock, hand pulling each one in a limited edition of 500. Each print is hand numbered and embossed with the Of Cabbages & Kings logo for authenticity.

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People frequently ask after locally themed prints, so we are delighted to be able to offer something drawn, made and printed right here, and exclusively available from Of Cabbages & Kings!

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MESH Studio with Marcelina Amelia

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On July 6th 2017 we will be hosting the official launch of MESH Studio with Marcelina Amelia here at Of Cabbages and Kings in Stoke Newington. On the opening night there will be a special pop-up shop from 5:30-9pm and the exhibition will run from July 7th until the end of August. We spoke with Marcelina to find out a bit more about MESH and the idea behind the brand.

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MESH is a multidisciplinary art brand and design studio founded by artist Marcelina Amelia: Meshing shit up!

Marcelina has taken her artwork beyond the confines of the canvass and has applied it to affordable art objects and wearable art as well as limited edition prints, books and other artworks in a range of different media. Rather than focusing on product design, Marcelina often combines her image making with found household objects to create a series of one-offs within a theme.MESH_STUDIO_GICLEEPRINTS_POSTER_MARCELINAAMELIA.jpgThe Mission Statement:

“Our aim is to embody the term ‘Renaissance girl’, and as the name suggests, we love mixing different techniques and forms, like screen-printing, fashion, painting, ceramics, publications, illustration, politics and activism, because art shouldn’t have any boundaries. We hope that this fluid and meshy structure of the brand, will allow us to collaborate more and make a lot of exciting work and happenings.

MESH’s first collection is titled The Unsatisfied Girls Club and is inspired by the recent movement of strong and powerful women who aren’t afraid to walk tall and proud, manifesting their thoughts, fighting for their rights at the Women’s Marches and other activist happenings all around the world. 

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The Unsatisfied Girls Club is a movement of women wanting and deserving more. Women uplifting each other, and rolling their eyes at the old outdated, stereotypical ways, not being ashamed of their ‘girliness’, standing for themselves and each other, because being a women isn’t a weakness. Research shows that many women are conforming to outdated stereotypes and acting ‘like an alpha male’ to succeed at work – including dressing like a man and hiding ‘girlie’ emotions.”

You can also read our interview with Marcelina on the blog from a few years ago when she had her last exhibition us.

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Adam Bartlett – Painting and Process

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We are excited to announce our next exhibition with Adam Bartlett aka Tigers of the Universe. You may have seen his prints in the shop over the few months, and we’ll be looking forward to see what comes next! Adam will be exhibiting some original paintings alongside limited edition giclée prints. The show opens with a private view on Thursday April 13th from 6:30pm, we hope you can join us.

Adam creates his paintings by building up many layers of painted patterns to create beautiful decorative artworks.  We were able to grab Adam for a few questions to ask about his work and process.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….
My weapon of choice is the trusty pencil, followed closely by the brush.

How long have you been painting for? When did you start out?.
It feels like I have always been drawing and painting, although previously I was a digital illustrator for 8 years. It’s only been the in last 3 years that I’ve started painting again.

You often use a combination of media in your paintings, such as acrylic, spray paint, emulsion and even enamel. How do these combinations influence your final pieces?
The various mediums are used in layers. Emulsion is the base and finally the enamel for fine details. It’s not a hard and fast process, but more something that i enjoy. Also the paints have their own strengths and combined have good contrast and character. I am often unsure of the paints influence regarding the final piece, but more often than not pleasantly surprised.

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Many of your pieces have jungle animals and lush landscapes. Are they inspired by travel or imaginary locations?
The animals and forests are pure fantasy. I long for a world covered in jungle and forests where the animals and birds can roam free. The natural world is so stunning and I want to capture this in my paintings.

You have also worked in fashion textiles and design, does this background influence your current work?
More and more I feel the influence of textiles creeping back into the paintings, not only with introducing texture again, but thinking about fabric designs etc. It’s exciting to come full circle and bring these various experiences together again, but with a fresh perspective.

Do find you that you come back to certain motifs, themes and colours over pieces?
Yes, I think its important to keep certain repetitive elements in your paintings. Sometimes I feel guilty about repeating things, as if I’m not pushing myself enough, in which case exploiting repetitiveness will suffice.

What is your favourite takeaway?
Mmm, fish n chips or shish kebab

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An Interview with Lauren Mortimer

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Our next exhibition will be with London based illustrator Lauren Mortimer. The opening night is on Thursday September 1, from 7-9pm, and the show will hang until the end of October.

We love Lauren’s graphite illustrations that combine nature elements in unexpected ways, and so it was very exciting when we got to sit down with Lauren for an interview and find out more about the lady herself and her artistic process.Lauren Mortimer_Profile

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, printing squeegee…
The pencil is pretty much my best friend!

You originally studied Fashion Promotion at Central St. Martins. Has that influenced your current illustration work?
I think that it must have influenced my current work on some level, though if it has, not purposefully. By not having an illustration background, it allowed me to have more freedom and find my style quickly. My work does lend itself well to the fashion world though… I do a lot of editorial work for instance for fashion magazines.Lauren Mortimer Prints_2Many of your pieces include visual puns and hidden meanings, as well as surrealist combinations. How do those themes come together for your pieces?
I think the wonderful thing about illustration is that you can create anything you like on a piece of paper. There are no limits. Though my work is very realistic, I like to mix themes and merge objects together to create something more visually exciting – something that isn’t a reality. Patterns and texture play a huge part of my work too. I like to change the meaning of the objects, and nature will always be huge starting point for me.
 

Some of the projects you’ve worked on include illustrating books. Can you tell us a bit about the process for a larger project like that?
I’ve got 5 books under my belt so far, and I’m working my way through the final artwork of my 6
th, a colouring book. The wonderful thing about big projects like these is that you have a physical product at the end of it with all of your artwork put together. You see it in a different context to the piece of paper you created it on, and you have that proud moment. When my two cocktail books, Tequila Mockingbird, and Gone With The Gin arrived in the post from the publisher, it was really exciting, and definitely a highlight for me.Lauren Mortimer_Gone With The Gin Cover GWTG_Lauren Mortimer_Blade Rummer

There is a slightly macabre and dark undertone to many of your pieces, is that something you find yourself consciously drawn to? Do you find that graphite lends itself particularly well to those themes?
I think that it’s just my style and my interests that come together that way. By contrasting an object that’s soft and beautiful with something that’s hard, for instance, enhances each of them, and creates something poetic in my eyes. For me it’s more about how the viewer interprets it. Everyone should take what he or she wants from it in their own way.

How long have you been making prints?
I’ve been producing limited edition prints for about 4 years now! Time flies!

What is your favourite takeaway?
That’s easy… Pizzzzaaaaaaa!  

Thanks so much! You can see more of Lauren’s work on our website or in the shop. Feel free to pop by on Thursday the 1st to meet her in person, enjoy the work up on the walls and have a glass of wine.

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