January 31, 2011

BLOG CHAT 02_BEN SHUAR



Born in Bangkok, Ben Shuar (aka 'Benja') grew up in Australia and has been based in London for the last decade. With a background in graphic design, his screen-prints have a style that is bold and contemporary. He uses minimal colours; black and bright neons which punch their way through and demand your attention. Ben finds inspiration in nature, history and the bright lights of the big city where he feels most alive. You can buy one of Ben's limited edition Rose or Bubble Girl screen prints here.

1. WHY ARE YOU WHAT YOU ARE?
Drawing had always been one of my favourite things growing up, so I figured I'd go with my strengths and did some research into careers with an artistic leaning. After I started a design fundamentals course I was hooked on the versatility and competitiveness within graphic design, rather than doing just pure illustration. That and I'd be rubbish at anything else.

2. IF YOU WEREN'T A GRAPHIC DESIGNER WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
I think I would also love to have been an industrial designer. When I was 8 or 9, I used to do dorky stuff like sit for hours re-designing my camping torch or our family car. I love the idea of designing objects that can be used in different ways. If I took design out of the equation, I think I would like to try being a baker because I'm a whore for cake.

3.  HOW DO YOU OVERCOME A DESIGNER'S BLOCK'?
I tend to listen to music with a bit of pace and push loads of other people's (good) work under my nose, design, photography, illustration, anything visual. It seems to make me feel oddly competitive and my brain starts jogging and having ideas which hopefully lead to others again until I'm happy.

4. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I'm currently on some brand refresh work, overhauling my website and more screenprinting.

5. EARLY BIRD OR NIGHT OWL?
I love getting up early, the prospect of a new things to happen and do fills me with excitement. I make people sick.

6. WHAT DO YOU TREAT YOURSELF TO FOR ELEVENSES?
Cake is always my first choice, but I will also settle for some 'Nairns' stem ginger oatcakes and/or a banana and/or some nuts & raisins and/or rice crackers. I like elevenses.

7. MY FAVE COLOUR IS...?
Neon orange.

8. MY FAVE SMELL IS....?
Food either cooking or baking.

9. IF YOUR HOUSE WAS ON FIRE, WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU SAVE?
My girlfriend, my computer and my record player.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVE BLOG?
I don't know if these are technically blogs but I'm addicted to designspongeonline.com  and  visuelle.co.uk

New Cards!

Happy Monday! We thought we'd let you know that we've got a great selection of cards that have just come into Our Shop, from quirky valentine cards by Alison Hardcastle, graphic super hero cards and collectable vintage cards.

January 28, 2011

BLOG CHAT 01_OUR WORKSHOP



This is a new feature for Our Blog, introducing a variety of designers, illustrators, photographers, textile designers, model makers etc. To kick it off, we thought we'd go first. We are graphic designers, Gemma and Pui. We set up Our WorkShop in 2009, and then we launched Our Shop last July, as a platform to showcase other designers/makers work and also allow us to create our own products too, we have been balancing the two ever since.

GEMMA

1. WHY ARE YOU WHAT YOU ARE?
It felt right at the time! When i was younger I was always excited by advertising strangely. I loved the idea of creating a concept that would sell a product and the creativity involved in that process. It seemed like a game. The processes of ad creation and graphic design can be a nice bubble to walk around in.

2. IF YOU WEREN'T A GRAPHIC DESIGNER WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
I would like to have been a conservationist of some sort. Or write a novel, but everyone says that.

3. HOW DO YOU OVERCOME A DESIGNER'S BLOCK '?
A walk outdoors and a coffee

4. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
One job is for creating a new kitchen and bathroom range and running the shop of course.

5. EARLY BIRD OR NIGHT OWL?
Early bird when I'm working, night owl when I'm not

6. WHAT DO YOU TREAT YOURSELF TO FOR ELEVENSES?
Cup of tea and Jaffa cakes

7. MY FAVE COLOUR IS...?
Yellow

8. MY FAVE SMELL IS....?
Clean washing.

9. IF YOUR HOUSE WAS ON FIRE, WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU SAVE?
My husband
My charley harper prints
My laptop with all my photos on

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVE BLOG?
www.swiss-miss.com


PUI

1. WHY ARE YOU WHAT YOU ARE?
I was always making things when I was younger. From recycling old clothes to drawings cartoons. Going to art college seemed the most natural path to follow, and explore more. I experimented with theatre design, textiles, animation and realised that I loved designing. And loved the process of design. From thinking up an idea to exploring and crafting a final campaign, and seeing it in print.

2. IF YOU WEREN'T A GRAPHIC DESIGNER WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
Hmm, I probably would have been a fashion/textile designer or a tailor, as when I was younger I use to make alot of things for plays etc and was always sewing or making something, taking clothes apart and trying to remake things. I think I drove my mum mad as she was always pricking herself with pins that I left around the home. I would have love to have had a stint at old school tailoring, like Savile Row. I've always been fascinated by the art of tailoring. But now, I think I would like to be a pastry chef and have my own tea shop, I fancy being a shopkeeper.

3. HOW DO YOU OVERCOME A DESIGNER'S BLOCK'?
I would probably go for some fresh air, if there was time, I might go to an exhibition. It's always good to give your eyes a rest and a change of scenery I think. Fresh eyes= fresh ideas.

4. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
We're working on an exciting home range project at the moment. It's quite challenging and good fun at the same time. Also we are constantly developing our online shop, and working with different designers, which is always good fun.

5. EARLY BIRD OR NIGHT OWL?
I'd like to think I'm an early bird, but I'd be kidding myself. I'm an night owl.

6. WHAT DO YOU TREAT YOURSELF TO FOR ELEVENSES?
A nice cup of coffee, and some biccies. Or cake is even better, lemon or carrot cake.

7. MY FAVE COLOUR IS...?
Greens, from peppermint green, olive greens to forest greens. I tend to like quite dirty or subtle colours.

8. MY FAVE SMELL IS....?
Fig, maple syrup...food especially, and also I'm also bit of a design geek, I love the smell of freshly printed work, be it on a poster, flyer, book.

9. IF YOUR HOUSE WAS ON FIRE, WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU SAVE?
My photos, my passport, some of my fave old books.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVE BLOG?
I am addicted to blogs. I can spend hours reading them, one leads to another..but my fave is The Selby as its portraitures and also a peek at interiors too, which I love. www.theselby.com

January 27, 2011

New Blog Chats

Happy New Year! We have decided to start the new year with a new section to Our Blog. In the past year, since setting up Our shop, and also organising our first pop-up market. We have met lots of talented creative people, from graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, model makers, textile designers etc. And would love to use Our Blog as a platform to introduce some of these people to you. Giving you an insight to what they do and what makes them tick. Watch this space, we'll start with Our WorkShop.


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