Susan Campbell. Print Designer.

Central Saint Martins is known for churning out it’s one-of-a-kinds, geniuses and go-getters. Take a quick peek at the alumni and you find the likes of Luella Bartley, Peter Blake and M.I.A to name a few. Well, this little lady is no exception.

Meet Susan Campbell, a Textile Design graduate and print designing enthusiast. The Congleton-born, bob-flaunting individual quite frankly has the patience of a saint with her intricate, neoprene print design but boy, does it pay off.

Susan’s heroic creative process involves drawing her initial designs onto Adobe Illustrator as vector lines, then printing out these designs and deciphering where she will place her colours followed by breaking the design up into various pieces, again on Illustrator. After this, she laser cuts the designs onto coloured neoprene, leaving her with a thousand tiny jigsaw pieces. From here on she pieces those neoprene nuggets back together on a glue coated lycra base and voila! To see the agonising journey itself from drawing to dream, head over to her tumblr.

Currently working at Ted Baker taking on the role of Womenswear Print Assistant and spending her London days like any young print designer should; picnicking, partying and printing. I caught up with the Campbell herself and asked her the all important question of which One Direction member she would kidnap and keep..

 

One Direction then.. who would be the member of choice?

– Zayn, without a doubt.

So then, onto print I suppose. What tickles your fancy in the way of inspiration for your prints?

– I love going to exhibitions, looking at blogs and magazines and genuinely, just walking a lot gives me inspiration from the things I see along the way.

Who is the ‘Susan Campbell’ consumer you have in mind when designing your prints?

– Someone who is playful yet sophisticated. Someone that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. 

If you could pluck out a celeb of choice to be donning your designs, who would it be?

– Robyn. 

How would you describe your own personal style?

– Colourful and sporty with lots of leopard print.

Fashion icons?

Eva Fontanelli and The Queen. 

New York, Paris, London or Milan?

– London.

What do you love about where you live right now?

– Everything you could ever want is on Bethnal Green Road. Literally, anything from David Beckham pencil cases to giant bubble machines! I also love that you can never become bored because there is always something fun going on.

Share a charming anecdote (no pressure.)

– I broke my collarbone aged 10 whilst dressed as a prostitute. I had to go straight to hospital unchanged..

And what does the future hold for Miss Campbell?

– Good question! A lot of enjoyment hopefully. I’m also working to push my ideas and concepts in a way I’m really excited about.

You heard it here first ladies and gents! Want even more from Miss C? Well, isn’t that what good ol’ social media is all about? Have a peep at her wonderfully artistic Bethnal Green life via her instragram or maybe even pop over to her official website.

 

Archie Smith

Beethoven started playing the piano aged four, Mozart at three. Even Chris Martin, frontman of legendary pop/rock band Coldplay, dipped his toe in the acoustic pool pre-puberty. So when Archie Smith tells me he was hitting the piano before he could speak, I know we are onto a winner.

Aged 20, from a rurality outside of Bath, Archie had somewhat of a classical beginning to his musical education. At school, he sung in choirs and in musical theatre most of the way through. Pop and rock soon followed, and he started his first band, ‘The Aviators’, aged 12. A slew of other groups, in different incarnations, came and went throughout school, until a year ago when Archie decided to go solo.

As is the case with most of the artists showcased as part of the ‘Born in Britain’ programme, Archie does all of his creative work alongside his studies. In just the past months, he has performed with the likes of Gabrielle Aplin (also on the Born in Britain site here), Lewis Watson, Luke Concannon, Josh Record, and many other talented, young musicians. He was also a part of the late BBC Introducing programme in Wiltshire, and has subsequently moved to BBC Introducing South. It’s amazing then, to weight these accomplishments along with all of the other commitments he has, but it’s done through hard graft and a natural flair.

His first CD, entitled ‘Out of the Ashes’, was recorded and released in 2012. After the physical editions sold out, Archie turned to his next project, which was to be the ‘I Will Love You’ EP. A magical and touching ballad (which I feel the music industry is hard pressed to come by nowadays) explores themes of love and loss. Taken as a piece on it’s own, it’s extremely easy listening, and receptive to the ideas of the writer. Accompanied by a short film, that Archie tells me really came about by a chance encounter whilst busking, the result is a deeply moving piece of musical cinema. Elrose Media have successfully conveyed the core meaning of the song through a plot that ebbs to an overwhelming conclusion.

What is clear is the artistry is at the core of Archie’s sound. Never one to rush his work, the writing process is always organic, and his inspiration comes from the heart of artistic endeavour. In true New-Romantic fashion, galleries and theatres hold much to be enjoyed, especially dance, for as Archie says ‘there isn’t much that is more captivating than watching people move to music’. Musically speaking, Coldplay is a tangible influence: mellow chords and robust lyrics melt together to create something of an echo. The protegee isn’t hollow though, bolstered by other contemporary classical notes to the tune of Eric Whitacre, The Beatles, Cat Stevens, and Andy Williams. The list is endless: but the sights are high.

In relying on classical tones, his contemporary sound is given a starting point from which age old concerns meld with those that are perhaps more modern. From his first CD ‘The First Days of Love’ is a standout track. Subtle and creative, it’s a gentle tune with a heartfelt message that most of us can associate with. Stripping back the angst of young adulthood, Archie gives us a refreshing taste of honest upset and, in turn, elation. A young Chris Martin? Perhaps – but Archie Smith will no doubt soon be a household name of it’s own.

www.archiesmithuk.com