Today I headed up to Walthamstow to visit Chris Bracey’s huge studio on Vallentin Road – God’s Own Junkyard. Peeking through the locked iron gates, it really does look just like a junkyard, but once inside it’s like an Aladdin’s cave of neon treasures.I don’t know whether it’s because of the junkyard’s location, or if it’s because not that many people know about it, but when my friend and I showed up at around 2pm on a Saturday – a peak time for visitors in most places – we were lucky enough to be the only people there.The man who works there, John, is really friendly and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of pretty much everything stored in the studio. He was happy to show us round, pointing out props and signs that had been in various films, like Tombraider, Eyes Wide Shut, and the newest installment of the Iron Man films – a huge ‘STARK’ sign. I really can’t recommend this place enough; I’ve never been anywhere else like it!
Posted in Art, Culture, Design, Film, Photography, Writing
Tagged 2013, art, artist, artist studio, blogging, Chris Bracey, contemporary art, cool, cool locations, creative, creativity, days out, east London, fashion shoot, film, film industry, film props, friendly London, fun, God's Own Junkyard, junkyard, Leonie Cumiskey, light art, lightbulbs, London, neon art, neon lights, nostalgia, old signs, photography, places to visit, props, set design, signage, slogans, something different, surreal, Walthamstow, writer, writing
Wacky Races IRL! Watch this cool advert for the Peugeot 208, which shows the car competing in a live action version of the Hanna-Barbera ’60s classic, Wacky Races. Made by Y&R São Paulo and Partizan, the fun 90 second spot showcases all of the Peugeot 208′s features in the context of a slapstick comedy race against the show’s classic characters.
Aww, poor Muttley!
Posted in Advertising, Brands, Comedy, Culture, Design, Film, Technology, Writing
Tagged 2013, advert, advertising, automobile, automotive, blogging, brand, Brazil, car, car advert, cars, cartoons, cartoons in real life, cool, creativity, Dick Dastardly, fun, Hanna-Barbera, Leonie Cumiskey, live action remake, media, Muttley, nostalgia, Partizan, Penelope Pitstop, Peter Perfect, peugeot 208, production, slapstick comedy, South America, The Ant Hill Mob, The Gruesome Twosome, The Red Max, TV ad, video, Vimeo, Wacky Races, writing, Y&R
HAERTS are female-fronted band of four guys and one girl, who hail from Brooklyn, New York. Their first single is a beautifully tender piece of lo-fi pop, set to a montage of home video-style clips. I’ve looked for other stuff by them, but this song is the only one I can find. I’m guessing that as it’s on Vevo, they are already on the brink of mainstream success. Judging by ‘Wings’, they sound pretty great and I hope the rest of their songs live up to expectations. Lead singer Nini Fabi’s vocals are sweet, but powerful – like a mixture of Gwen Stefani and Stevie Nicks.
This song is sort of what I was hoping for when I first listened to HAIM. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed.
Posted in Culture, Film, Music, Writing
Tagged Americana, Ben Gebert, Brooklyn band, childhood, cinematography, creativity, Derek McWilliams, entertainment, female vocalist, Garrett Ienner, gritty, Gwen Stefani, HAERTS, Haerts band, HAIM, harmonies, home movies, home video, indie, Jonathan Schmidt., Leonie Cumiskey, lo-fi, love song, memories, music, music video, New York, Nini Fabi, nostalgia, opinion, pop, romance, small town America, Stevie Nicks, summer sound, sunshine, sweet, tender, USA, video, video montage, yearning, Youtube
This video for Still Corners’ new single ‘Berlin Lovers’ is lovely. It was directed by Christian Sorensen Hansen and reminds me a bit of Christiane F, but without the heroin. Imagine that Christiane F. and Detlev are a lot more innocent – just two regular teens who don’t inject smack into their veins, or give strangers handjobs for drug money – and this is pretty much it. Considering the song is called ‘Berlin Lovers’, perhaps the similarities aren’t even a coincidence. Either way, I like it.
Posted in Writing, Music, Photography, Film
Tagged indie, band, nostalgia, video, single, cute, love, Vimeo, romance, burgers, film, Berlin, Leonie Cumiskey, music video, Youtube, disco ball, neon, lights, pastel colours, director, Sub Pop Records, female singer, heroin, electronic, Christian Sorensen Hansen, Berlin Lovers, Still Corners, arcade, rollerskating, Christiane F., Detlev, teenagers, twee, rollerdisco
Posted in Art, Culture, Design, Politics, Writing
Tagged 2009, 2013, air pollution, casualties of war, children's toys, Christian Aid, climate, climate change, Climate Change Conference, coal power, conversation piece, Ctrl.Alt.Shift, design studio, diorama, Dorothy, Dorothy Film Map, Dorothy online shop, Dorothy Song Map, environment, globe, Leonie Cumiskey, limited edition, Manchester, miniature, model, nostalgia, politics, pollution, power station, prints, snow globe, toy soldier, toys, UK, United Nations, war, war veterans, writing
I’ve been quite busy recently, so didn’t have the chance to post this when it was new. Nonetheless, it doesn’t change how brilliant this Floria Sigismondi-directed video for David Bowie’s most recent release is. Starring Bowie and Tilda Swinton as a happily ageing couple, the pair find themselves hounded and tormented by a whole host of celebrities, who also inhabit the wealthy neighbourhood. The beautiful cinematography, which is by Fight Club’s Jeff Cronenweth, reminds me so much of some of Gregory Crewdson’s most iconic photographs – that suburban veneer of affluence masking a much darker truth. The styling is by Jerry Stafford, creative director of Première-Heure and longtime stylist to Tilda Swinton. Clothes in the video are by McQueen, Lanvin, Jil Sanders, Dior, Lanvin, Pringle, Rick Owens, Saint Laurent and KTZ…so chances are, if you like any of the pieces, you’re going to have to look for a high street knock-off version!
Posted in Brands, Fashion, Music, Photography, Writing
Tagged 2013, America, blogging, British music, cinematography, cool, creative, David Bowie, Dior, fame, fashion, Floria Sigismondi, Gregory Crewdson, high street, Jeff Cronenweth, Jerry Stafford, Jil Sanders, KTZ, Lanvin, Leonie Cumiskey, mass media, McQueen, media, music video, nostalgia, opinion, Première-Heure, Pringle, promotional video, Rick Owens, Saint Laurent, Saskia de Brauw, short film, stalking, styling, suburbia, surreal, The Stars (Are Out Tonight), thoughts, Tilda Swinton, video, video stills, writer, writing, Youtube
Posted in Culture, Fashion, Music, Photography, Writing
Tagged 1990s, 2010, 2012, Atsuko Kudo, Catwoman, childhood, film, Geri Halliwell, goth, gothic, heroes, House of Harlot, John Galliano Haute Couture, Kate Moss, latex, Leonie Cumiskey, Michelle Pfeiffer, music video, Nick Knight, nineties, nostalgia, punk, Say You'll Be There, sexy, Spice Girls, Tim Burton, Versace, Victoria Beckham, villains, Vivienne Westwood
Cartoon Network always felt like such a treat for me as a kid. We didn’t have a Sky subscription back then, so I’d never tire of watching endless cartoons whenever I got the chance. London design agency, I Love Dust, created this two minute video for Cartoon Network’s twentieth anniversary and – although I don’t recognise many of the characters now – it still makes me feel all happy and fuzzy inside.
Posted in Advertising, Brands, Comedy, Culture, Design, Lifestyle, Writing
Tagged 2012, Adventure Time, animated, animation, bright, Cartoon Network, cartoons, childhood, children, colourful, colours, cute, Daffy Duck, design, Dexter's Laboratory, fun, funny, I Love Dust, inner child, Leonie Cumiskey, London, love, Mad Decent, media, memories, nostalgia, Powerpuff Girls, promo, Scooby Doo, silly, Sky, sweet, TV, twentieth anniversary, Vimeo
Maps! I love maps. Especially old ones, or ones that are a little bit different. But mostly I like maps because a lot of the time they kind of represent something a bit mysterious. You’ve got this detailed plan of an area that you might be visiting…and a map can provide so much information if it’s been designed well. But really, you’re not going to have a proper idea of what the location’s going to be like until you’re actually there. Here are some of my favourite cartographical finds…
Dorothy‘s song map uses titles and lyrics to make up a fictional landscape of pop and rock history. Recently, they have also built a film map on this same idea as well.
This bold, colourful, hand-drawn map of London was done by Jenni Sparks and is available to buy as a print.
David Ryan Robinson‘s hand drawn map of London started out as a project to hand draw a map of the whole of the UK. I hope he continues this, I’d love to see it progress and grow, especially as it’s not often you have the privilege of experiencing an artist’s work in progress.
This piece by Claire Brewster is typical of her style of work, and I love all of it. She combines the informative design of maps with the intricate craft of paper cutting – two of my favourite things, and a combination which I haven’t seen anyone else do as well as she does. If I had a spare £3,000 languishing in my bank account, then I’d buy one of her artworks in an instant.
Matthew Cusick uses fragments of maps in his painstakingly intricate collages. The first one of roads is kind of meta, but the second one of a woman is fascinating, as it shows how many different shades and tones can be found in something as uniform and distinctive as a map. The blank areas outlined in blue make me think of a half finished painting by numbers, there’s something really charming about that. I think it’s maybe because it reminds me of my aunty – when I was a little kid, she was in her teens, and she used to always do these painting by numbers. I thought that was the coolest thing ever.
This map of the USA, by Design Turnpike, has been put together using salvaged number plates. Each state has been cut out of a number plate which corresponds to that state. It’s pretty appropriate considering that there are so many places in America where it’s absolutely necessary to have a car to get anywhere. I didn’t grow up in America, but when I was a kid I used to live in a village where the bus into town came about twice a week. I’m not even lying.
Posted in Art, Design, Writing
Tagged antique maps, art, catrography, Claire Brewster, David Ryan Robinson, Design Turnpike, Dorothy, geography, graphic design, hand-drawn, hand-drawn map, illustration, Jenni Sparks, Leonie Cumiskey, London, map, maps, Matthew Cusick, memories, musing, nostalgia, opinion, painting by numbers, paper cut, salvaged number plates, song map, USA, vintage maps