Thursday, 23 March 2017

Feature Friday: Michelle Kingdom Embroideries

There was no going back
Where are you from? 
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I have lived there most of my life and currently reside in the suburb of
Burbank with my husband and 14 year-old daughter.
Kingdom: Life will divide us
Where do you currently practice your artwork? 
I have no formal studio and work out of my home in a space that I share with the rest of my family. Embroidery is a medium
that can be portable and does not require much space. 
Kingdom: Duties of gossamer
Are you self taught or have you completed any training? 
I am a self-taught embroiderer although my background is in fine art and I attended art school. My loves for fibre and art
ran parallel for a long time but I eventually started to merge the two, essentially drawing with thread. 
Still the sky was blue
How would you describe your artwork/process? 
The work starts with the lengthy process of formulating and developing the concept. Research and sketches are continually
refined, reworked and eventually transferred onto fabric to serve as a skeletal framework. The stitching is done with a dense,
intuitive, fluid approach and each piece stays in flux until the very end. I prefer to draw with thread rather than plot technical,
traditional embroidery stitches. Starting with a preliminary vision, I make room for experimentation and unexpected discovery
along the way. I am not interested in fulfilling a fixed idea in my head because it is the process that fascinates me. Once all of
the stitching is done, I then give a lot of thought to the title. I prefer for the viewer to create their own narrative but I do feel the
title helps complete the work and crystallizes the concept. The final steps are stretching, mounting and framing - all of which I
do as well.

What is your biggest influence/inspiration? 
Inspiration typically comes from so many places. Each piece is a synthesis of several key elements including memories,
relationships, photographs, literature, personal mythology, art history and imagination. My own personal experiences
ultimately drive the concepts. 
Preparing for flight
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? 
There have been so many wonderful moments it’s hard to single one out. A few that stand out are getting those early shows,
selling my first piece and seeing my work in the old fashioned print media. This past year I was fortunate enough to have my
first solo show and participate in a museum exhibit. 
Fate would conspire
Where can people see your work? 
Currently my work can be seen in the exhibit "Stitched: Part 1" at Paradigm Gallery and Studios in Philadelphia, PA. Later 
in the fall I will also be participating in the show "Intimate Lines" at The Hunterdon Museum in Clinton, NJ. You can also 
catch my work in a few magazines at the moment: the French publication 'Hey!' and the American magazine 'Hi-Fructose'.
Tending mislaid burdens
The dressing room
What are you working on at the moment? 
I just keep plugging along with each new piece, and am excited for each narrative to emerge.
Time makes knots
Michelle Kingdom Embroideries

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes

Do you like Superheroes? LEGO®? Justifiable ‘selfie’ opportunities? 

If you answered yes to one or all of the above then you should probably visit The Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes 
exhibition at South Bank's Doon Street Car Park, London. Minutes away from Waterloo Station, the purpose built tent
houses a variety of DC’s finest heroes and villains.
The artworks are created by Nathan Sawaya, an award-winning artist who has meticulously crafted these ingenious
sculptures using only LEGO® bricks.
Sawaya evokes a sense of nostalgia in those familiar with DC Comics as well as a sense of excitement in children 
realising their favourite on-screen heroes. The true quality of the exhibition lies beyond the impressive representation
of the characters and is found in the meaningful substance behind many of the sculptures. 
The artwork explores a variety of themes from the symbiotic relationship between heroes and villains to the psychological 
implications of the origin events of certain characters.
The exhibition features a variety of famous fan favourites including, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and The Flash
just to name a few. If you are nervously anticipating the Justice League movie released later this year then this exhibition
might help satisfy that superhero itch!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Feature Friday: Graham Carter Printmaking & Illustration

Where are you from? 
My home town is Gloucester but I currently live in Seaford with my wife Alice and son Noah (and boy number
two who’s arrival is imminent!).

Where do you currently practice your artwork? 
I have a printing studio/workshop in Hove. It used to be a physical space for Boxbird Gallery, run by my wife, 
along with a printing space out the back. We recently cut costs and turned the gallery space into a shared 
environment with desk space to rent. We miss the gallery space but it’s fun having new, like-minded people
around to share the studio with.

Are you self taught or have you completed any training? 
I studied for an Illustration degree at Brighton University followed by a post graduate diploma at 
Central St. Martins.

How would you describe your artwork/process? 
It does tend to vary quite a bit. I’m not very good at sticking to a system and I like to experiment to keep things 
interesting! For printmaking I tend to design on Photoshop so I can move layers and test colour combinations or 
effects. I might begin with a scanned pencil sketch and work from there. In recent years I’ve also enjoyed making
a lot of 3D layered images made from laser-cut wood. This process begins in Photoshop, then I have to separate 
out all the components and trace them in Illustrator in order to send to the laser cutter. I then receive a jigsaw of 
pieces to paint and stick down in the right order. Quite an ordeal but you get a lot of unexpected results-normally 
in a good way!
What is your biggest influence/inspiration? I always find this question hard to answer because I don’t like it to
appear that I religiously follow one or two artists. I find inspiration tends to come from unlikely sources such as
shop window displays, old junkshop postcards or Samurai Jack cartoons! Usually though I just like to take a walk,
sit in a coffee shop or ride a train and let my mind wonder. Instagram sometimes provides inspiration but more
often than not I just despair at the overload of imagery.
Have you ever received any artistic awards for your work?
I’ve won a couple of D&AD awards in my early illustration career, plus a few minor ones. Winning the Brighton
Fringe Festival Visual Arts Prize was what set me on my current path with printmaking, so I’m grateful for that!

What are you working on at the moment? 
My career keeps taking many different twists and turns and I’m currently actually working on some potential
children’s books. My first book Alphamals A-Z has just been released which I’m rather excited about (based
on my A-Z animal prints) so watch this space!

Where can people see your work? 
Online at or  on Instagram or in galleries such as Art Republic (Brighton),
Soma (Bristol) or Rostra (Bath).

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Bedtime Stories

I’ve just received a copy of the Miles Kelly ‘Illustrated Treasury of Bedtime Stories’ just in time for the weekend! 

I illustrated the front cover last year and it’s great to see how well the printed version has turned out. It can take
a year or two, after the original artwork is created, for a book to be printed and distributed. As a result, 
when you finally receive a physical copy it’s a welcome reminder and addition to my bookcase.

The illustration was created digitally, developed from a pencil sketch, as is most of my work. The foiled lettering
and spine looks great and adds a real touch of quality to the overall finish. To find out more about this book, as
well as other great titles, please visit the Miles Kelly website.