Poppy Cole

Poppy Cole is a young illustrator with a beautiful style that will have you falling in love with her work at first sight. Her fabulous use of collage creates a whimsical character and depth to all of her work. Fresh out of Norwich University of Arts, Poppy is  one talent you’ll soon be seeing much more of. Here’s what she had to say:

Could you tell me a little bit about you and your work?

I’ve been studying illustration in Norwich for the last three years and I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember. My work is collaged using paper and other materials that I obsessively collect and gather from wherever I happen to find it. Collaging is at the back of my mind constantly – I can’t walk past a leaflet without wondering whether it might make good collage material. I tend to sketch an image out first and then collage on top of the drawing – the sketching is just as enjoyable for me and means I can collage on top of observational/location drawings. It’s intricate and delicate work (and I get through a lot of glue) but there’s nothing quite like finding the perfect textured paper for an image.
My illustrations are often influenced by my surroundings. I love drawing on location and Norwich has been a beautiful city to study art in, so much of my recent work has focused on capturing that beauty and encouraging others to see it too.

What inspires you as an illustrator?

Other illustrators! There are so many amazing artists working at the moment that it is impossible not to be inspired by them. Some of my favourites are Andrew Bannecker, Helen Hallows, Jon Klassen and Tom Gauld but the list really is endless.

I am also inspired by my environment, as I mentioned above, and I find that simply going for a walk in a direction I haven’t been before or visiting a town I’ve never seen can inspire me in unlikely ways. Illustrators unfortunately have to spend a lot of their time at the same desk in the same room and this can be really stifling so I find it really helps to take breaks and try working in different places.

Golas campaign is called born in Britain. What do you think about the British art and design scene today?

I think actually it’s really great and we’re very lucky. We have such a fantastic array of galleries in Britain and with exhibitions like Images 36 that showcase amazing British illustration in beautiful venues like Somerset House, the art and design scene is really flourishing.

Some amazing illustrators have come out of Britain in recent years (Rob Ryan, Gemma Correll, Tom Gauld) and there are a lot of fantastic art schools in Britain producing new and exciting talent every single year. It’s really helping the art scene to develop into something we can be really proud of. And I think it is apparent that we are proud of it too, with the amount of creative-based businesses that are popping up in London, Norwich and other areas of the country. People are finding new ways to work creatively now – in the current economic climate, artists and designers are creating new and innovative jobs for themselves.

Do you have any advice for young illustrators who are just starting out and are trying to develop their own style?

It’s actually a really difficult thing to do and it was something I struggled with for a long time. I think it’s important whether you are at art school or not to take some time to experiment with absolutely everything and whether you love it, hate it, can’t do it or think it’s a waste of time, at least you can say you’ve tried it.
Ultimately, for me, it came down to realising what felt like the most natural way of working. I’ve never found illustration an easy thing to do – except when I collage. It felt natural and it made successful work and those were the two main things for me.

My advice would be to be patient, to get feedback as often as you can and to look at other artists and techniques for inspiration.

Finally, where might you be in a few years time?

In a few years time I hope to be hunched over my desk, still gluing tiny pieces of paper to slightly larger pieces of paper. I hope I will always be an illustrator.

To see more of Poppy and her beautiful illustrations then head over to her website, or why not tweet her? I’m sure you’ll love her work as much as  I do.

Website: www.poppycole.co.uk

Twitter: @poppyccole

David Galletly

Trying to think of a way to ‘sum up’ David Galletly and his work in a pithy little intro sentence, ideally with some kind of witty remark or pun involved somehow, is almost impossible – and believe me, I tried.

For as much as you could try his portfolio is just far too varied, with his style and approach altering to fit whatever brief he was working to at the time. 

As he says himself he doesn’t “necessarily have a favourite way of working” rather preferring to “bounce around as much as I can”. But there definitely are two main styles there: an intricate line-based patterned approach, and a more quick and fun cartoony one. And in an illustration world where it’s very easy for designers to become obsessed with this notion of a utterly-set-this-is-my-style-and-I’m-stuck-with-it-for-the-next-forty-years, in a really lovely refreshing way Galletely doesn’t seem to mind his more relaxed experimental approach. Rather he focuses more on just “consciously trying to make things that I don’t immediately hate”, which in my opinion gives his work a great sense of enjoyment and vibrancy to it. Plus it’s a good maxim for life in general I feel.

And if these various talents weren’t enough Galletly has forayed into the world of film and animation as well; alongside his illustrations for Scotland-based beer brand Innis & Gunn he produced a flip book and hand drawn animation of the evolution of an oak tree. Using stop motion animation he has also made a ridiculously fun and adorable music video for Kid Carnival’s You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night- you can watchg it here on the left hand side.






He was also kind enough to answer some questions for me, so here’s a charming wee interview:

What or who would you say are you biggest inspirations?

Looking at work by other illustrators often makes me jealous so I’m often better motivated by people in totally different fields. For years, people like Adam and Joe, Michel Gondry and Vic Reeves have been filling my head with ideas.

More directly, I guess, comics have always been pretty important to me. I remember pouring over Calvin and Hobbes collections in the local library when I was young – Bill Watterson’s attitude to his work and refusal to sell out in any way whatsoever taught me that, y’know, funny pictures are valuable things and you don’t necessarily need to be a tortured artist to be credible. The Moomins, Peanuts, Krazy Kat and Little Nemo are all fantastic.

Recently I’ve been psyched to hear that Chris Onstad’s amazing Achewood is set to return and I’ve also rediscovered my love of Disney through theme-park focused blogs like longforgottenhauntedmansion.blogspot.com. Marc Davis’s work as an Imagineer in particular has been a joy to pour over. He’s unmatched when it comes to telling a story in half a second flat 


As a Scottish and Scotland-based designer, have you ever felt at a disadvantage (or even like you’ve benefited) for not living in London like many designers?

I think I’d get eaten alive in London. It’s not for me. My workload divides up fairly evenly between Scotland, the rest of Britain and overseas and almost every project across the board comes through email. It’s very rare that I’ll talk on the phone with a client, let alone meet them in person. As a fairly mumbly, shy fellow, this suits me pretty well. Without the internet, I wouldn’t have a job.

Saying that, Glasgow is a really great place to live and work. I’m from Stirling originally so the city still feels big to me and there’s always loads of stuff going on. Through places like Recoat in the West End, I’ve met people and worked on things that would have never come my way if I was locked in my studio all day.  

Being a one-man-band means it doesn’t take much more than a computer, some paper and a desk to doeverything I need to on any given day. When facing the reality of going 100% freelance after years of part-timing, I’d settle my nerves by adding up my  modest outgoings and telling myself stuff like ‘right, if I can find 20 people in the whole world to pay me 1/20th of this number, I can survive’. It’s going ok! I’d have lasted a month in London.

Rather than complicate things (the death of print! etc), I really feel like technology will allow more artists, designers and illustrators the opportunity to support themselves through their work. Do some sums! Make a plan!


What has been your proudest moment of your career so far? 

Without wanting to sound like a stuck record, supporting myself through my artwork for my first full year felt like a massive achievement. It’s a position I’d hoped to reach for a long time and, after a few false starts, I finally got there. I’ve no idea how long this ‘career’ will continue but, for now at least, it’s exactly where I want to be.


What does the immediate future hold for you and your work?

I’m working on a few really exciting things – some secret animation stuff which is kinda new territory for me, a lot of illustrations for the awesome Edinburgh-based beer company Innis and Gunn and some odds and ends for my long-time favourites, Fence Records. I hope to work on more large-scale projects with Team Recoat as soon as we find the right project and my website is feeling a little neglected so it’ll be getting a wee overhaul too.

A new set of problems have also been presenting themselves recently and I’m trying to fight through them as best I can. These are the fairly unromantic, shouldn’t-really-complain-about, things that nobody really prepares you for: Time management!  Lack of drawing practice! Writers (drawers?) block! Working out how the hell to get on the property ladder as a freelancer! Weight gain!




Joss Ryan

“I enjoyed listening to the music that made me want to run upstairs and lay some ideas down.” Joss Ryan explains to me how a wide variety of musical influences at a young age have helped him grow into a self-taught musician. But for the East London DJ and Producer, there was always more on the musical horizon, and his explorations through sound have given him a more refined set of influences. Jazz, Grime, and Soul have played integral roles in shaping Ryan, and it shows in his latest E.P. entitled ‘Blaze Blu’ (Relseased on DVA music).

It’s difficult to categorise the music into a genre, and for good reason. Ryan’s studies of Audio Engineering at the London School of Sound, combined with his five years of production experience have allowed him to conjure a natural ability to intertwine contrasting genres and triumph where others fail in making it sound balanced and effective. In ‘Modesty’ thick Jazz brass introduces a progressive instrumental that evolves into a melodic synth-fest, complete with shuffling piano a soaring string crescendo. Undertones of modern oriental vibe are also apparent, perhaps a throwback to Ryan’s passion for orchestral music in video games such as the Final Fantasy series.

Ryan makes no secret of his desire to develop a sound he “can call his own”, he is constantly reinventing himself to stay fresh. Noting the limitations of playing at clubs, Ryan treads through the dense wilderness of the world of music to discover instruments that he carries with him through all of his productions, gradually scultping a DNA pattern that formulates his sound. ‘Blaze Blu’s’ title track, with it’s anticipatory bellow and pulsating brass, boldly embodies Joss Ryan’s intention to not just push the boundaries, but to attempt to draw new boundaries of his own. “I think to play at a festival like outlook or dimensions is the dream right now, and to develop a ‘live show’ to perform.” Having played at Cable and clubs in the Dalston/Shoreditch area, fans of experimental electronica would be wise to listen out for this highly ambitious artist. 

Listen to his music on soundcloud here

Photography by Jamie Kendrick

Storm Freerun and Visive Productions

Recently, whilst visiting the Southbank, I’ve been noticing a lot of freerunners – mostly young men, who use the city’s architecture as a playground to perform incredible feats of gymnastics. It occurred to me that the showmanship of their sport would make for an excellent short film. However, as with most of my good ideas, somebody already thought of it. Step forward Visive productions and Storm Freerun.

Visive Productions are a production company based in Kent and Storm Freerun are a professional London Parkour team who are now regularly releasing footage of their skills through Visive. The featured video to the left; ‘Storm Freerun London Jam 2013’, is their most recent collaboration (at the time of writing) and is a compilation of London’s top Parkour spots and the people who practice their art there. This community of people have clearly spent many, many hours learning their skill, and this contributes to the attraction of their performance although, in itself, freerunning is mesmerising to watch. Storm have also released tutorial videos showing potential freerunners how to utilise different spaces and they even have their own brand of freerun apparel.

Visive Productions utilise montage, vastly different angles and slow-motion to best display the stunts being performed by the freerunners. Visive have shown a knack for portraying athletes, their previous videos include footage of gymnasts and cyclists, as well as freerunners, who are all filmed in a way that highlights the joy that the athletes are feeling rather than prioritising any competitive element of their sport. For a better idea of what Visive do or if you want to generally feel great about life follow this link:


For Visive’s official website click here:



Emma Jacobs

“I’m in love with processes, techniques and finishes, and hopefully try to execute all the work in a sophisticated way.” Emma Jacobs invites me into the tactile world of textile design, sharing her projects and an insight into their production. Home & Away (Image 1) is a collection of eight head-masks. Described by Jacobs as “beautiful and strange” these pieces are created using ceramic. Despite being an “alien” choice of material for the Chelsea College of Art & Design student, Jacobs summer research of caves in Ireland had “Unearthly” qualities that she felt would translate well to ceramic.

“The fact that I knew very little about this type of practice, helped to create something unusual and experimental. I have found that often the best pieces of work are the spontaneous ones, and sometimes having an outcome in your head can stop you from experimenting, and experimenting was exactly what I wanted to achieve in this project.”

Flexibility & Connections (Images 2 + 3) came into being after researching numerous materials, colour palettes, surfaces and textures, all with the idea of upcycling and sustainability in mind. After dismantling found car seats from a scrapyard, Jacobs discovered “great shapes” that formed the basis for a garment. “The material in parts already had some beautiful naturally occuring features, like sun bleaching and wear and tear from use … I tried out a lot of different spraying techniques onto the material, foiling techniques, engraving  and embroidery, all the help give the material texture.” Despite working with peculiar materials, Jacobs manages to refine the objects into elegant and very ornate objects, that are a treat to the eye.

Jacobs talks highly of mixed-media book maker Anselm Keifer as an inspiration of hers, but she also references her upbringing in South East Kent as a big influence on her practice. It’s clear her father’s occupation as a builder has informed her robust choice of materials, whilst her fascination with wild animals stems from the rural surroundings. “I love Polly Morgans work, a modern day taxidermist who does the most bizare things with birds and mice and foxes. It is actually somthing that I would really love to try myself very soon.” 

Emma aims to take her work to new heights with intentions to collaborate with a design team specialising in one off couture garments, or jewellery, with ambitions to even crossover into interiors, textiles for furniture, and sculpture.

Ximena Escobar – Silk Scarves

Ximena Escobar grew up in the valley city of Medellin, Colombia. An almost magical part of the country surrounded by mountains and mist, as well as a rich tropical biodiversity, all of which having a large influence on her vibrant colour palette and style. “Nature to me, means life, the living, the wild, the organic and fertile. It gives me joy, inspires my curiosity and nurtures my femininity and self discovery.”

Drawn to colours and shapes at an early age, she fell in love with London, and Escobar began her professional creative life surprisingly as a graphic designer. Escobar gradually realised a way to apply her designs to different textiles, to help enhance her expressive illustrative style. “I am interested in challenging illustration with different materials and applying narratives to the repeat pattern.” She arrived at CSM to help realise these ambitions.

Ximena’s main inspiration is the relationship between women and nature. She worked on numerous illustrative projects for over six years, before returning for a masters at Camberwell College of Art, University of the Arts, London, in illustration – to “add story” to her designs.

She has a cross-over of ideals. Her main passions are coupled together under the word – Ecofeminism. Which is the combination of two themes, women, and nature. With an great grandmother who was a passionate orchid collector, the influences are crystal clear in her work. Ximena Escobar is constantly working with new materials, currently creating designs for t-shirts. She will like to soon work on a bigger scale, collaborate with others, and also has solo exhibitions planned in July & November.

“A perfect day here would be to wake up and have breakfast on the balcony with my boyfriend and the cats, then go to the studio and work for while, have coffee or a drink with friends- colleagues and then go out to my favourite bar”. 



Made As Mannequins

What do four guys carting three mannequins from Edinburgh to Glasgow make? The new Made As Mannequins single of course. This is just the kind of stint they pulled to create the new video for ‘Am I Alive?’. With a cheeky attitude and fabulous instrumental skills, their unique brand of Scottish Indie is attracting a lot of attention. Here’s what they had to say:

Made As Mannequins is composed of four members that hail from all corners of Scotland. Ben Macfarlane (Glasgow) is the singer and guitarist, Jamie Flynn (Stirling) is the lead guitarist and backing singer, Ian Smith (Edinburgh) is the bassist , and Ryan Ramsay (Arbroath) is the drummer. The band are based mainly in Glasgow and since forming in November have enjoyed great success playing at a collection of venues across Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. Ben and Ian attend Glasgow University, Ryan studies at Edinburgh University and Jamie is an unemployed bum/tentative farmer so he hopes more than anyone the band make it big!

They generally meet as a three piece (Ben, Jamie, Ian) to discuss ideas and play around with riffs and lyrics before heading to Lo-Fi studio in Glasgow to get the input of drummer Ryan. It is here where the band develops most of their songs together. They also have a habit of impromptu changes when hitting the studio, leading to frustration of the sound engineer but essentially a better record (in the bands opinion).

Based in Glasgow, Made As Mannequins draw inspiration from a wide range of ‘Scottish greats’ including the Fratellis and Frightened Rabbit, but probably draw a closer comparison to the smaller bands in Scotland whom the band continually go to watch such as Admiral Fallow and Bwani Junction.

Having just released their debut single and video ‘Am I Alive?’ they have followed this success with a slew of radio appearances across Scotland. They are currently in talks with Daylight Records to record an EP over the summer, and from hereon out the future looks bright. Their appreciation of a core fan base is testament to their good natures, and with this in mind, we are sure that success will soon follow.

For more information go to their facebook page, or contact them at madeasmannequins1@gmail.com.


Introducing emerging artists: Raul Rosillo




Raul Rosillo is an Andalusian visual Artist & Creative, working in the medium of Film & Photography. Having originally studied Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Seville, he went on to attain a master’s degree in Creative Direction in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Raul specialised in Art Direction at Central Saint Martin’s in London.Raul currently freelances as an Art & Creative Director and Photographer & Filmmaker for fashion and advertising alongside his personal projects. Currently based in London, Raul has also worked in Buenos Aires, Madrid and New York.


Rosillo makes fashion films and photographies for fashion brands, which ranges from creation to production, controlling all the elements to create pristine results. Raul directs, photograph and edit his productions.
He has presented and exhibited at the Gallery of Madrid Magda Bellotti “LUZ” last september. LUZ is a fashion film with the design of Leandro Cano which was filmed in Granada. Its is based on his personal view of the mixture between Andalusia and fashion. Raul collaborates with Circulo Creativo London which is a information, co-working and contact platform for spanish creative in London. He has worked as a photographer for fashion week of New York, London and Madrid.
Now he is preparing an exhibition in London and in the south of Spain which would be an itinerant exhibition. The next month he will present some of his fashion films in South Cadiz, a spanish Summer Fashion Festival.


His latest work have been “Veneration” a fashion film for Dresslab Magazine and “Quimera” inspired on a designer who makes typical flamenco dresses with a modern touch .
He is also doing portraits pictures where he relates people with different pieces that he creates for this specific project. A project where he manufactures the fashion pieces based on the personality of the model he is going to photograph.
He is preparing his next fashion film which would be something more cinematographic. It is going to involve young british designers and artists from different art fields.


WEB: www.raulrosillo.com
VIDEO CHANNEL: www.vimeo.com/channels/raulrosillo
PHOTO-DIARY: www.raulrosillo.tumblr.com


SoftBox Photography Collective is a newly formed arts collective based in Edinburgh which include the photographers; Alice Burden, Anastasios Gaitanos, Billie Kate Dryden, Elizabete Rancane, Hannah Killoh, Heidi Voss, Loren Stuart, Monika Grabowska, Selina Kearney, Stella Heath Keir and Tiu Makkonen.

The collective aims to provide a platform for these soon to be graduates to gain experience working as professionals, and thus enable them to have the upper hand when they finally enter the real world. This includes organising exhibitions, talks and networking events which gives them the opportunity to showcase their work, make industry connections, and practice the skills that are invaluable when working as a photographer in the real world.

Each of the collective’s members works tirelessly to organise things and gather public interest and appreciation. Their core belief is that photography and art should be available to all and able to experience in a stimulating way.

This year they organised an exhibition in Edinburgh’s Old Ambulance Depot about ‘the Human Condition’.

As they have declared on their website, ‘Through our pure, unadulterated infatuation for this medium of light, we wish to project similar feelings of excitement and curiosity to anyone who engages with our work and events. We will never stop creating.’

As for the future, SoftBox is planning on going to FreeRange to showcase what they have to offer. Please check out the SoftBox website and follow them on facebook and twitter to find out what’s happening and of course to see all of their excellent work.

Posted in Art

Dan Cook

You may not have heard the name Dan Cook yet but trust me, it will soon be everywhere! Think Ben Howard crossed with Maverick Sabre and you will get the talented musician from Hartlepool. Dan has recently been signed to the indie label Marathon Artists and is currently spending many hours in the recording studio.

His musical influences are heavily inspired through different genres like Soul, Hip-Hop and Blues and his favourite band Fink. Dan tends to draw a lot of lyric inspiration from past experience, saying I tend to write about things that have buried themselves so far into my mind that I can fall back into the mindset of that time to relay the experience into a song.”

I caught up with Dan, wanting to know how his love for music started and how it all began for him, “My Dad’s knackered old 12 string guitar used to sit in the corner of my room bedroom as a kid, I’d pick it up and have a mess around. He used to play little things to me which I would try to copy. It was just something that clicked instantly and I never put it down. From then on it was just a natural introduction into music, music is every were, so when you actually get into it and look for it it’s amazing what you will find. I came to a London University just to be in the city and see who I could meet etc and ended up finding myself musically.The effortless way Dan Cook performs, seems like music is definitely in his blood. His gritty and soulful lyrics certainly make him stand out from the crowd to many other artists at the moment.

I also posed the question does London and Britain influence your music in anyway,“My move from Hartlepool (North East) to London has had a big influence on me personally and musically. It allows me to look back on things with a different perspective musically, and appreciate what I have back home.Now you know who Dan Cook is, I guess we will just have to wait eagerly for any upcoming releases!

Check Dan out on Twitter and Facebook:



Images courtesy of Dan Cook Music & Charlie Sarsfield

Evie Kitt

Evie Kitt is a 21-year-old artist studying at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford. Being one of the most esteemed Art Schools in the country, the course allows its students to follow their own art practice alongside immersive academia. Her dedication began by focusing on figurative drawing until she could accurately recreate her visual surroundings. Branching out into figurative drawing and then progressing into abstraction, Evie also partakes in illustrative drawing independent from her abstract creations.

One of the most striking things when first laying eyes on Evie’s paintings is the exploration of vivid colour and immersive landscapes. The depth of pigment and contrasts of light and dark complement the abstract visuals. Incredibly impactful yet beautiful without being shallow. Indulging the artist’s fascination with space, nebula, land and waterscape, balancing the organic and the natural world around us. Achieved through the medium of paint, which is underlined by intensity and luminosity. The paintings are designed to entice the viewer’s attention, to stimulate the eye and feed the visual appetite. It is clear Evie produces work that a viewer wants to look at whilst expressing her own creative enjoyment and physical process of painting.

Achieving these paintings by working on the floor, Evie uses a mix of professional and household materials. Making art with a hands on approach that sandwiches unique skill with igneous method. There is an understated charm about working on the floor and using a mix of materials to create something that is reminiscent of an otherworldly universe. Maybe this alternative visual is reflective of the process of painting, if you consider painting an attempt to control the uncontrollable. Often abstract art tries to obliterate some form of reality, which the works do, but they also succeed at creating a new center to focus on. With many focal points littering the painted canvases. There is a sense of creating an alternative visual within the physical boundaries of a canvas, referencing the old traditions of making art. Evoking a sense of freedom and movement, indicate how the paintings are formed. Evie’s creations rely on the tensions of knowing how to play with the materials to produce her vision versus the chance happenings that occur on the canvas. The success of her work should be measured by the stunning visuals she creates and the impact upon her viewers.

To find out more you can visit Evie’s pages


Introducing emerging artists: Federica Landi




Federica Landi is a young Italian artist working mainly in photography. In 2009 she graduated at the Academy of Fine Art of Florence and she recently finished a Master in fine art photography at London College of Communication.
Federica’s approach to photography ranges from experimental methods such as polaroid transfer, silver emulsion on wood, physical intervention on negatives, to digital photography. Her recent works investigate the ambiguous and sensuous relationship between spirituality and natural human decay.


Besides participating in several group shows in Europe, USA and Uk, her work has been published by the online PhotoVogue Italy, and on-line magazines such as F-STOP and DUST. She is currently working as freelance curator and organizer of fine art exhibitions for the photographic agency Millennium Images.
Federica is also part of the art collective The Imaginary Beings, where she regularly collaborate and exhibit around Europe.


In the project Res Extensa she explores the connections between the body and the space through traces of rituals, weather they are religious or simple and intimate daily actions. According to the philosopher Merleau-Ponty, both the surface of our body and the textures of the objects that surround us are part of a same ‘extended flesh’, where all the elements intertwine and remind each other.

The focus is here on the physical and cultural correspondences between body and space. The bodily quality of the religious space, as place constantly marked by bodies that perform and repeat rituals over and over again echoes the spatial quality of our skin, a surface that ‘records’ the signs of our daily rituals such waking up, making love, undressing, praying, etc…

Rituality’ within Res Extensa is understood as a specific sign and quality of time; a circular time which manifests itself through repetitive actions and concerns itself with the perishable fragmentary natures which connect the body and space.
The photo camera freezes and magnifies these ephemeral marks, showing how both the body and the space work as the others canvas.


Ferderica Landi MAP 12