Time to Get Better Clothing with Margate’s Alex Foster

This week I was charmed by Margate’s very own Alex Foster and his eclectic and humorous graphic illustrations. Working with print, designing editorial wonders or making the bride smile with adorable wedding invites, Foster’s got it covered alright. Wait, did I forget to say the boy does zines too? Fresh out of Middlesex university, this young spud of a graduate has not only focused his attention on his studies but worked with a variety of clients too with projects from widely distributed magazines to an upcoming children’s book.

Not only that but the wizard has thrown his talent and know-how into his illustration cauldron, boiled it down and poured what was left over some pretty, awesome t-shirts and merchandise too, giving birth to his latest project, Get Better Clothing.

After two sell-out collections under his belt, summer 2013 brings a collection with inspiration drawn from Foster’s childhood toys and nature, bringing fun and naivety to the brand. Designs include playful cowboys and indians battling it out on mountains whilst tattooed bears show off their ink all available from the beginning of August. Foster makes sure Get Better Clothing is as eco-friendly as it can be too, using water-based inks, organic bamboo based t-shirts, paper packaging and recycling where ever possible.

So now, not only can you appreciate the boy’s immense talent as is but you can kit your wardrobe out with it as well – from a fashion girl’s point of view that’s a win win. I also like to think of him as a bit of a social media hussy treating his beloved clothing child to it’s very own blog, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

Go on, eye up Foster’s illustrations at his official website over here, you know you want to. Or if you really, truly want to go the extra mile and have a face-to-face perve on it then head on down to Margate’s Harbour Arm Gallery where Foster will be showcasing illustrations relating to his seaside hometown in exhibition ‘Coming Home‘. Of course, if you hadn’t guessed it, the exhibition is run by the man himself showcasing talent from some of London’s top illustration and sculpture students and graduates following the theme of hometowns from sunny seasides to cool California, wherever that artist calls home. It will be running from 24th-30th July. 

Also exhibiting in ‘Coming Home’ are: Chris Alton, Chloë Greenfield, Mark Holihan, Eileen Kai Hing Kwan, Amy Stevens, Liz Tweedale, Maddy Vian and Dawn Williams.





Stephen Bradshaw

Now I actually heard Stephen before I meet him, literally, his voice carried across the studio to me quietly at work, he was knee deep in a long story of heart ache at House of Fraser and their in-store branding dilemmas. He always has something to say for himself, so thought I would start his post with a word straight from him, mind you this is the edited version due to the sheer amount of cheekiness in the first copy.

Stephen Bradshaw: Bio

Hi my name’s Stephen (Ste for short!) I’m a young graphic designer who specialises in branding. I don’t try to take myself too seriously, my main aim in life is to have a blast whilst earning a bit on the side at the same time. A typical student really, cheekiness is a common trait of mine. When I was little it often got me standing outside classrooms for being a bit gobby, but now at the age of 20 I have tried to make this work in my favour. I don’t hold my words if my opinion is needed. As a Graphic Designer I’m pretty well rounded skills wise, but branding is my forte. Since starting out as a freelancer I have branded 6 events, 2 clothing brands, an entire magazine, a number of creatives and Fresher’s for Huddersfield University (TBC). As you can see I like to have my fingers in as many pies as possible, (if you laughed you are filthy!) That’s what I’d call my little USP, I’m not afraid to give new things a go. If it doesn’t work out I put it down to life experience and try not to let it happen again. I haven’t got an online presence as of yet, html and coding might as well be latin to me! so for now I’ve been gaining clients through word of mouth or in person.

So now to the gritty stuff. The work.

 I had a really hard time choosing what work of Stephen’s to show here, as he had poster, clothing designs, shop models, digital art for every occasion. There are couple of images shown here. I decided to focus on this latest project which is for his university’s Freshers campaign for 2013.

So what where you trying to achieve with this new look for Huddersfield Freshers 2013?

My main aim for this project is to build a strong identity structure that would be able to remain a constant part of Hud Fest for years to come. It’s not easy because you have to make it as open as you can to keep things inclusive yet at the same time retain a level of control so it doesn’t run away with you!

Do you see your work as all your style or do you think you are very flexible and its all down to the client and the individual project?

I never try to fit one style to all my pieces of work, I think it doesn’t reflect well when you have more than one piece on show in the same place. Also I’d imagine that my clients wouldn’t want something that has a resemblance to something else so its best to start with a clean slate every time.

Do you have a favourite medium, or topic? A magic pen that secretly does the work for you? Or are you a typical tech mad student?

I really love Adobe illustrator, since getting to grips with it in my first year I’ve not put it down. I’ve ditched photoshop, it’s such a farce working with it! But yeah you could say that Im your typical apple nut, all I need is an iPhone and my set up will be complete!

If you could design something for any product, publications or brand of your dreams what would it be and for who? Be as wacky as you like. (Bit of a scary question for you).

It sounds a bit weird but I’d love to have a go at an Ikea advert, if you look up their ad campaign called “clean up” you can understand why they seem to rack up loads of banned adverts!

What’s your best source of inspiration a person, a place? Somewhere you get all your good ideas you want to share with us?

Well I sometimes get my best ideas after I’ve had a few but I’d say just rambling on with someone in the studio often works, some people give you the best ideas without saying anything!

So your still at university in your second year, what’s the plans for tackling the rest of university life. And I do mean the projects?

haha first of all I need to remember to complete the dreaded paperwork, it seems to hinder my grades so I want to nail it before I finish for summer. I’m also working on a new project with four of my mates for my placement year which hopefully will turn into a fully functioning business so fingers crossed it works!

Want to tell us about your shoes? Do go faster stripes really work.

Haha those green adidas trainers I have? Those relics can only do so much it’s all there for show haha! 

Cheers, Stephen!

You can find more images and work from Stephen on my website while he finished up his own website. www.gabrielleftaylor.org.

There is also going to be more to come from Stephen, not just his university progress or personal work but also building his second collaborative business a contemporary fashion company called Open Season. He will be joined by the rest of the boy band soon, while I poke their best bits of work out of them and get some exclusive new designs.

More from me soon.