Not far from the busy weekend streets of Brick Lane, with its determined shoppers and queues for cereal, we found a wonderland. The location, which will remain secret at the request of Brit, was filled with wonders from years gone by. Magnificent tattered chairs, large wooden tables and a variety of antiques sat below a mist of incense. A musical duo performed in the background and an interesting chap repeatedly entered and exited to light his cigarette on the candles. The scene was set to delve into the mind of a curious illustrator with a knack for poetic one liners.
What happens when you step in front of a camera? Most of us, like myself, freeze up – act unnatural, squint our eyes and try to portray a better looking version of ourselves. Most of the time it’s not a true representation of ourselves hence why you have a plethora of Instagram bathroom stars. There’s also candid photography or as some may call it – catching the subject in a natural reportage manner. I’ve been doing that for a while now, it’s perfect for weddings, events and lifestyle shoots where you don’t have to worry about an artificial expression conjured up by your subject. However when you’re on set of an editorial or a portrait shoot, my role as a photographer (far from pro!) is to make the subject feel comfortable and give them direction where necessary or else you’ll end up with an uncle shot. By uncle shot, y’all know what I mean – those cringe-worthy family portraits where everyone’s stood like a statue. You all know which ones I mean.
Screen printing is a very simple craft, but the precision and patience required to produce a single print are skills in itself. You might have seen Peckham Print Studio at their Boxpark pop-up earlier this year- Yin first came across their work at an event last summer. It’s been a long time coming but last weekend, we had the pleasure of doing a workshop with screen printers, Hugh Barrell and Nathan Bryant of Peckham Print Studios.
To me, storytelling is the highest form of artistry. Every form of creative expression should, in some way, tell us a story. As a writer, being able to see the story in a piece of work is so fundamental to me that if I don’t, it doesn’t resonate with me. True poetry is the ultimate storytelling performance art; every stanza, verse, chorus (yes, songs are poetry) encapsulates us with a tale that goes far beyond the words and settles somewhere deep within us.
If you’re an ‘arts’ enthusiast, then you might have come across work by James Mylne. James is a Biro Artist. A Biro Artist has the ability to create a work of art with nothing more than a Biro pen. It sounds like such a simple craft but actually the intricacy, patience and discipline it takes to do this, is crazy! I came across some of James’ work back in 2011 when he was featured at a joint exhibition with a group of other artists at the Signal Gallery in Hoxton.
Well this is the first time I’ve featured a good friend of mine on the site, even weirder interviewing him since I already know the answers for most of these questions. It’s taken me around a month to conjure a half decent set that are worthy of an answer. I met FJ through Yin&Yang and Twitter a few years back, though it took us over a year to meet and even then, I wasn’t sure what he looked like since his display picture featured his face covered up by a SLR. Read on folks as I flip reversed the camera on him.
It’s ‘ooh’s and ahh’s’ as we walk up the stairs to the quietly dim lit, vintage cafe, that 20 year old photographer Shama Anwar has invited us to for coffee at her favourite spot in Shoreditch. It hasn’t been long since her return from New York, where her activities included spending the day with Bodega Bamz and meeting the A$AP crew (to name a few) during fashion week, which she recently showcased at her first exhibition ‘Boyz Boyz Boyz‘ in London. As she sips on her coffee and nibbles on Baklava’s the East Londoner, tells us about her love for NYC and how humble Willy Cartier is.