Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Night of the Living Drawn

By Millie Ross

llustrator and cut-out creationist Ellie Logan was recently commissioned to illustrate, cut-put, paint and photgraph a graphic adaption of George Romero’s cult horror film Night of The Living Dead. Ellie reveals the hours of slicing n dicing involved in the process of drawing out the living dead.
(Click any image to enlarge it)

What is your back ground?
Like most artists, I always painted and drew as a dorky kid. I was a design school drop-out who left New Zealand for many years selling door-to-door products, playing receptionist for a posh Windsor hotel, running a B&B in Edinburgh, then back home to do a degree in Arts while getting involved with musicians , where I did stage/costume design and touring shows.

Inspired by the way that musicians worked together, I curated illustration shows and auctions and packs of cards with local illustrators' work representing local bands and businesses. I then came to London after living in Korea for a bit to sell a fashion label internationally. I felt something was missing so I started a stall in 'up market' on Brick lane and sold my 3d photographic art. Happily the work sold to my surprise, as like many artists I have bouts of insecurity!

A London based art and culture magazine called 'Pimp' helped me on my way, by showing interest and printing my work. I decided to get a portfolio up on the AOI (Association of Illustrators) where Bang Zoom! Books stumbled across me.

Originally they were looking for work inspired by the film 'Night of the Living Dead' for the back of the graphic novel as part of the 'international art section' .The work I put forward led to me being asked to do the entire book (about 800 images!).

When and why did you go from illustration to making cut outs?
I don't recognise a difference, to be honest. The cut out style was a way for me to cope with being so crap at computers. My background in stage/performance design was most probably the inspiration..and allowed me to use anything I could find to make something appear a certain way...illusion done on a shoestring and fear of photo shop!

Is this your first attempt at creating cut out imagery for a narrative?
I have been working in cut-out for about about 8 years.

Do you ever create your own narratives for illustrations or cut outs?
Yes, I did this for about 5 years before I realised it could be liked by anybody else , it was something I did outside working hours.

What drew you to Night of the Living Dead?
Funnily enough my flatmate Pete got me into the zombie genre one week before Bang Zoom! Books contacted out of the blue...weird!

How long did it take you to create the sets for the graphic novel- did you base it on the film?

I was given stills from the movie, I then drew and painted the character, the background and other objects , I then photographed the scene held up with lipsticks (as they were the best size and freestanding) I lit the sets with bike lights and used sugar for the road scenes and real glass for the car window scenes. I would then download them and play with the contrast, brighten or add a vignette where necessary. So each image would take me about 2-3 hours.

How did you go about getting a publisher involved and then George Romero to do a forward?
All down to Bang Zoom! Books

When will it be released?
The book is in it's final stages. It's being laid out with words, bubbles and sound effects. The Dead are really coming to life now!! Release date to be confirmed.

It's quite an intensive process you go through to get the look you wanted, can you tell us more about this process?

Yeah it was, firstly I cut out photographs of characters and placed them in a miniature scene, all in photographic paper, (3d collage looking). The producers wanted the 3d look to be more subtle than this, so that the viewer would not really know how it had been done, so the challenge was to make it appear 3d, but not obviously. A good challenge, and a nice way to evolve my 3d paper art in to a more menacing look.

Initially the book had been photoshopped with colour. I had a break from the book to work on other jobs. On returning to this mammoth project, I decided to strip it back, and redo a vast number of images. Within this time I had actually become a better painter, so this is another reason I remade much of the book and on final grading only used photoshop to up the contrast and lighten any dark areas returning to the feel of the 1960's.

Why did you choose to produce the images in this way?

I wanted a real/unreal look, so that the story had haunting and mystery, but not just a copy of the original film. Bang Zoom! Books and I both wanted to do something quite special, as the film is.

How do you go about promoting your work and obtaining paid commissions?
The last 2 years have been busy with exhibitions. I have not had time to look for work. Due to exhibiting in the London Underground on a Billboard and platform poster for ArtBelow and being featured in books and magazines, I have been contacted as a result .

For example; I was found at the market and then featured in a Chinese Book about London art and have since been signed up to an art licensing company in Taiwan. They in turn sponsored my show for ArtBelow in Tokyo's metro in association with dazed and Confused Japan and have printed my work on products.

What else are you working on at the moment?
Most recently I made a short film for 'Hop Skip', (a performance and video show curated by Martina O'Shea at Liquid Studios as part of Hackney Wicked)

Currently I am working on an exhibition for Taiwan. This year's work will focus on triptych style work in the feel of religious relief art. I am looking into carving and making moulds and painting on top of 3d panels. I exhibited at Hackney Wicked's Top and Tail Gallery's show with an olde engraved gin glass. I am working with techniques and compositions of the middles ages and mixing in modern themes of religion versus economics, so comparisons with modern life should hopefully bring about some thought.

What would your ultimate collaboration be?
I would like to direct a film bringing together; makeup, sound and visual artists as well as stage design.


Maureen Gubia and Eoin Ryan Join jottaBoutique

By Millie Findlay

jotta presents two brand spanking new artists to the Boutique. Artists Maureen Gubia and Eoin Ryan make works to bewitch and beguile, drawing the viewer into their illusive imagined worlds.

Maureen Gubi, Tripii series 2009, Crow and faces by Eoin Ryan. (Click any image to enlarge it)

Maureen Gubia’s whimsical line drawings and photographs capture the attention of all who see them. Hailing from Ecuador, her work retains the essence of her homeland, acting as a series of tantalizing snapshots into her life, supported by the photography posted on her blog. Maureen describes her drawings as being “driven by longing” , and her fluid style helps her to explore that dark, volatile world of human emotion. Her work was recently shown in the Swanfield pop-up shop, exploring the darker side of living in a tropical climate, where the carnival is over and laziness and apathy reigns.

The dreamy watercolours now available in the Boutique transport you directly into Gubia’s world of childlike figures peeping out from the page in between carnival-coloured vegetation.

jotta had Eoin Ryan down as a ‘ones to watch’ in July, after he had attracted our attention with his alluring illustrations on his jotta profile. Eoin draws inspiration for his illustrations from sources as diverse as propaganda posters and Japanese woodblocks to create his unique and haunting images.
Having produced work for Art on the Green, Eoin is currently indulging in some ‘shameless self-promotion’ ready for his next show in the autumn. Eoin is releasing a series of limited edition prints exclusively for jotta, these have their origins in the enticing combination of miscellaneous research and ‘scratching around’ in Eoin’s head to provide the content.

All the work is available on the jottaBoutique for your perusing pleasure - so snap the opportunity to own some rare gems!

Face Off

By Millie Ross

In the final week of THIS IS WHY WE MEET, jotta asked the last two teams in the 6 week series to interview each other, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design team and Wimbledon College of Art. Wimbledon’s seven steps to becoming a more personable person were a hit, they give retrospective responses while CSM respond from the thick of creation fever.

Wimbledon, CSM, Wimbledon, CSM (Click any image to enlarge it)

Wimbledon College of Art responds to questions from Central Saint Martins

What was the thought behind your exhibition?

Consumerism, Propoganda, Cosmetic surgery of the personality. Inspirational moment was a recent trip to Vidal sasoon: where we were told we would come out 'better.' We were also inspired by the cliches of 'The Apprentice'...and any self improvement and mindwashing institutions.

Did you all know each other before you started this project, if not, how was it to work with people you have not worked with before?

Wimbledon is a very little college, and the nature of studying theatre means you all get involved in others projects a lot too, so three of us knew each other roughly, through various collaborations with paper and films and also through the Design for Performance Degree.

Did you encounter any troubles along the way, and if so, how did this affect the final outcome of the project?

Yes, many. We had to continually refine and adapt the outcome of the project as the week went on, and even after the private view. It was an ambitious project, creating the company entirely from scratch. We found we dedicated so much time to creating and making the products that the window display suffered at the start of the week, but it's on now and looking as we hoped.

At what point were you stretched beyond your elastic point and did you ping back to another direction that you didn’t expect?

Many points, lots of strecthing. Expectations pinging all over the place.

What has been the most interesting way you have engaged with those living and being in the area?

This weekend is our main time for face to face interaction, and more active convincing of our company, which will be interesting. We have observed peoples response to the video which has been amazing- many people don't know if it's real or not- whilst many have laughed. Creating something which people ask and are unsure of, "is this real", has been great, normally we don't have the facilities to do something like this so convincingly. It's been a lot of fun.

Has this project altered your approach to your work?

It has made us all more confident to do things we wouldnt normally do, realise we can take skills into other areas - product design, graphic design, directing, advertising etc. Our work on our degree has been more traditionally 'theatrical' possibly (see some at www.edithtsang.com and www.zoejosephine.com)

What are the positive/ negative outcomes of this project?

We are still awaiting the final result, to be objective about it all but thus far- Positives: Creating recreation, fruitful friendships, getting people to laugh at dominating consumerism/self help ideas/adverts
Negatives: Suspected Narcicissm, Possible Sound pollution.


By Millie Ross

What started as a credit crunchy opportunity to utilise some unused space, has become a hidden gem for the creative meanderings of locals, workshops, exhibitions and packed out parties.

Found (with a little searching), down a drive way off the quaint village high street of Battersea, the semi-decrepit industrial building which the Doodle Bar calls home was scheduled for demolition when Jules Cocke and illustrator Serge Seidlitz,, of neighbouring film and animation studio, Squint/Opera, had the bright idea.

So Doodle Bar was born, they white washed the walls and threw in some vintage couches and an espresso machine and hey presto, you got yourself a pop-up bar.

The interior was built through bartering and sourcing furniture from the giveaway website Freecycle, making Doodle Bar a low-cost, high-concept space, intent on spurring creativity in the community.

Since they opened in early June word has spread, with a little help from blogdom, Facebook and Twitter, and a lot of talk, plus the neighbouring businesses which include Vivienne Westwood’s studio, Norman Foster Architects and Alsop architects, dropping by regularly haven’t hurt.

“There’s been a wild amount of interest” Says Jules happily.

Not only a bar and café, Doodle Bar is a haven for scribblers. The walls, chairs, tables and even waiters were all blank canvasses, they walls, tables, chairs, even the VW and the ping pong table outside are now pretty well covered in scribbles, doodles, even some poetry and the odd slander.

"The waiters wear white jeans and shirts. You can doodle anywhere you want on their clothes. It's up to the waiters where they draw the line."

Not surprisingly the landlord loves what they’ve done and they now have plans to make it into a creative hub, a place for educational workshops and events, exhibitions and gigs. By November they’ll be up and running with a bar license and café.

The theme of doodle began with Doodle earth, a collaborative drawing architecture project organised with onedotzero. Doodle Earth toured with onedotzero’s film festival to cites and invited the public to come and collaborate on illustrated city installations, where the style of drawing would mirror the architecture and organic growth of the city. The more doodles that a city uploads the bigger the map gets, their Buenos Aries Doodle site had 50,000 people take part, making it one huge psycho-geographical map.

“It was hugely popular, an ice breaker amongst people,” Says Jules, “It was a meeting point which became about the atmosphere while creating rather than the actual product.”

Yes Doodle Bar and Doodle Earth are very much a nice physical reflection of a common thread running through current creative circles – collaboration, a meeting place and an interactive and constantly evolving work of art. Get down there before the walls fill up.

The DoodleBar, Ransomes Dock, 33 Parkgate Rd, Battersea, London; thedoodlebar.com; Café: 9am-6pm. Bar: check calendar.

Profile Me

By ben james

We're dusting ourselves down here at jotta with a number of new design changes aimed at making jotta easier to use and, well, prettier. First up, your profile page.

Log-in, log-in and if you don’t have an account sign-up, sign-up! We’ve created a new profile page that makes it easier for you to share your profile, find your friends, manage your contact information and promote your store if you have one.

We’ve also worked on the news feed to make it easier to manage and created a fancy new concertina viewer for your Projects so you can view each project and the content within it from right within your Profile page.

We’re not saying it’s perfect but we hope it’s a step in the right direction. Let us know your thoughts. We like praise, it makes us feel fuzzy inside, and criticism is good as long as it’s not about what we wear or the music we listen too.

thanks, the jotta team.

all comments: ben@jotta.com

Directional Glasses For Forward Thinking

By Millie Ross

The four Wimbledon College of Art students unveiled their interactive installation in the windows of W+K for the penultimate installment of the great This Is Why We Meet collaborative experiment. Personality conditioning and corporate video camp is the order of the week.

Head down to Hanbury St in East London to witness Wimbledon's Personality Conditioning Corporation. Complete with infomercials, bespoke products and the red attired P.C.C. persuaders, the seven steps to becoming a more personable person would be a crime to miss.

Living Dolls

By Millie Ross

The London College of Communication team from the almighty This Is Why We Meet collaborative experiment took interaction to new levels of hilarity with Get A Life, a live platform set up on Hanbury street in London.

View video here

The installation invited the public to experiment with social participation and human dialogue using different kinds of communication and allowing people from all over the world to interact and be part of the platform. The “Humannequins”, as they dubbed their couple Emma and Joseph, were miked up to a Skype phone, so whe people stopped to look or walked past the Humannequins would often pipe up and start speaking to them. Public reactions was varied – some people were quite scared, others became engrossed in really long and quite serious conversations with them, and others just laugh!
Basically they were playing with dolls.

Get Your Artwork Displayed Across London

By Millie Ross

VICE UK and Levi’s 501s can help you bypass the whole languishing-in-a-cramped-studio-eating-pot-noodles part of becoming an “artist”. All you have to do is tell them how you would incorporate the ethos of Living Unbuttoned into a large art installation and you could have your art displayed in public sites throughout London, and then BAM – you’re the next Emin.

Maya Huyuk, Felice Varini, Richard Sarson, BLU (Click any image to enlarge it)

If you are selected from the teeming hordes of hopefuls to have your work featured as part of the Live Unbutton campaign, you work will be blown up to HUGE proportions, and displayed in Camden, Shoreditch and Soho.

The winner of the competition will work with the project mentor, Ben Freeman, expert on design, graphics, photography and the publisher of all round amazing magazine FUN, to translate their work from small scale, to ‘size of a large building scale’.

Once up, your work will remain on show for one month.

Your work need not be in any fixed medium or format, be it oil painting, papier-mâché, carved granite – whatever, we want to see it. All entries simply need to reflect the essence of the 501 jeans Live Unbuttoned campaign.

The competition opens on the 3rd of August and closes on the 1st of September, that allows you artistic types about a month to submit your ideas to VICE via the entry form.

Inspirational images above by-

( Remember, your work can be any format, any style, and any medium. So don’t take these examples as guidelines, only as little squares of inspiration that you are totally free to ignore).

Maya Huyuk


Felice Varini


Richard Sarson


Art Takes on Acton

By Holly Willats

London’s Acton may seem a creative desert, yet a group of artists have just grabbed themselves a super studio spot in a disused Perfume Factory. jotta could not resist a sneak peek of their upcoming opening on Sunday and as a result, reminisced over the artistic history of the West, and started hoping for a shift in the London creative compass.

Emma Cummins Remember To Forget THis, Ten Days Issue1, The Perfume Fcatory, Emma Cummins Where Art Lied (Untitled 1), Inkjet 2008 (Click any image to enlarge it)

In setting up their studios within The Perfume Factory, these artists intended to work in the spirit of creative collaboration. With a knowledge of the historical legacy of the area in which the studio sits, Ross Taylor, Royal Academy MA graduate, hoped to organise something that would bring artists and writers together to create something that was both good fun and creative. The result? – both an exhibition and new artist magazine that will launch simultaneously on Sunday 23rd August.

The initial idea was to make a magazine - a quick, cheap, fanzine style book of writings by artists and writers. The editors, Ross Taylor and myself, were both interested in how artists make work, why, when and how this could materialise. From this first idea came the concept of 10 Days. 10 Days is an artistic collective that has come together to interact with one another and create a magazine. The publication hopes to act as a device to vibrate and encourage ideas that do not have to be definite. The nature of the publication is that the contributor is asked to be spontaneous, being given 10 days to respond to the title of the relevant issue. The first issue centres on eleven individual contributors’ MANIFESTOS. From this title, the artists responded by looking at their own creative personal beliefs. 10 Days is a collective idea and is does not function for profit. The editors are interested in writing, ideas, pictures and diagrams and will allow anyone interested to contribute.

Whilst co-editing 10 Days Ross Taylor curated Perfect Answers for Perfect Questions.

“Voices and characters appear all the time in everyday life. We summon them in opinions and in stereotypes, stories and examples. They can seem unemployed and clueless, they can also be our best friends. Long hair, short hair, fictional, historical, blind or overweight in appearance. We have to give them clothes and beliefs, they some times need a family." Taylor describes the exhibition, "This exhibition brings together eleven artists who each individually deal with aspects of invention, especially in terms of the cast that play out their ideas. It is an extended and combined exploration of meetings between artists work where unexpected happenings will be generated. Through painting, sculpture and photography the work will be presented on islands, and like in a Kurt Voonegut story this troop of actors will have to meet.”

This collective of artists are proof that there is still call for a pure enjoyment in art. There is no financial motivation – with 10 Days selling for just £1 to enable the collective to fund the second issue. Those contributing and making the magazine, get to take away enjoyment and satisfaction in seeing evenings of discussion turned into a reality.

You might wonder what these artists are doing out West, away from both the galleries of the West End and the busy arts scene of East London. However, not so long ago there was much art and music activity in leafy (safe) West London, in the 50’s and 60’s the area was a magnet for musicians and art students, who could hear bands such as The Who and The Rolling Stones at the iconic Ealing Club.

In the same area and at the same time there was a radical change that altered the way art is taught and created, a movement that remains influential to this day. In the 1960s, Ealing Technical College & School of Art began its Groundcourse, run by Roy Ascott. The course was informed by the principles of cybernetics and the title focused on what Ascott described as, ‘learning from the ground up’. This course transformed the agenda of education in art in both this country, and as a result, abroad. Students included Pete Townsend, John Challis, Gilbert & George, Richard Long, Brian Eno, Stephen Willats and Michael English who would all go on to push the British art and music scene forward. All the avant-garde artists of the sixties such as Noel Forster and Bernard Cohen, who sparked many ideas and theories were teaching at Ealing, and the school became a key institution in the formation and influence of British conceptualism.

Going further West two artists, Peter Dunn and Loraine Leeson introduced Ruislip to the equation. Creating installations in local libraries around their community inspired art practice. Appropriately enough, given the focus of 10 Days publication, the artists produced their own Manifesto at the time, which ended:

"We declare that art needs people as much as people need art: the two should be inextricable linked with each other, and never divorced so damingly again."

With the Acton area surrounded by such a solid artistic legacy, Perfect Answers to Perfect Questions sees contemporary young artists working together to create something that to spark excitement in the area.

‘Perfect Answers to Perfect Questions’ and the launch of the new artist magazine 10 Days is on Sunday 23rd August, 4 – 7pm.

The Perfume Factory, 140 Wales Farm Road, London, W3 6UG
1 minute from North Acton tube Click here to view a map.

10days.booklet@gmail.com - website coming soon.

‘Perfect Answers to Perfect Questions’ will run until 30 August, opening hours: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 12-6pm.


By Millie Findlay

DIY LONDON SEEN is an exhibition based around the world captured in Aaron Rose’s film ‘Beautiful Losers.’ Join us for the opening Thursday 20th and the closing, for which jotta will host the evening with music and live visuals.
images by Chrissie Abbott, Aidan O'Neill, Cheryl Dunn, Ivory Serra. (Click any image to enlarge it)

Chances are you are already familiar with Beautiful Losers, the traveling art exhibit turned documentary film celebrating the legacy of the artistic movement which was spawned in and around New York’s Alleged Gallery in the early 90s, joined together by the DIY aesthetics of punk rock, hip-hop and skateboarding. The marks of artists like Barry McGee, Shepard Fairey, Geoff McFetridge, Mike Mills and Harmonie Korine are widely acknowledged in popular art, design, film, and fashion.

Now, a new exhibition in London takes up the Beautiful Losers calling to “Make Something From Nothing,” featuring a group of and emerging UK artists. DIY LONDON SEEN, an exhibition documenting the work of, and inspired by the artists featured in the film, coincides with Beautiful Losers UK DVD release and screenings at the London Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Curated by Watch This Space, the show features a group of young London artists whose work embodies the spirit of the film, alongside the photography of original Loser, Cheryl Dunn, and Ivory Serra, who documented the rise of the Beautiful Losers’ artists throughout the 90s.

The artists contributing to DIY LONDON SEEN include: Arran Gregory, Aidan O’Neill, Best One, Chrissie Abbott, Clare Shilland, Charlie Woolley, Cheryl Dunn, Gustav Svanborg Edén, Graham Hudson, Harry Malt, Ivory Serra, Jethro Haynes, Marc Silver, Marcus Oakley, Niall O’Brien, Nick Jensen, Robin Clare, Sam Ashley and Toby Shuall.

DIY LONDON SEEN illustrates the growth of the movement inspired by the ‘Beautiful Losers’, which is now a global phenomenon, by showcasing the work of local artists whose work takes the ethos of the Alleged gallery Artists and runs with it.

DIY LONDON SEEN runs from 17th August - 5th September 2009

11, The Market Building, Covent Garden, London WC2 8RF (next to Lush)