Mila K

“I’d rather not sound cliché, but I feel that drawing is a means of escape. I can create things that don’t exist, I can portray how I feel at a particular time, or give a creative spin on events happening around me and the effect they’ve had.” Mila K, [Now Then]

Mila K is a longtime horror film fanatic; an understanding of his taste for the monochromatic and the unearthly is necessary in order to appreciate his vogue graphic and street art. The Sheffield based artist started out tracing and imitating the designs on horror film cases. Since then he has developed his own signature style, most notably in the form of his signature female character.

A full time illustrator, Mila has recently completely work for Michael Glawogger’s documentary film ‘Whore’s Glory’. His artwork captures the sinister artificiality of the underground world of prostitution.

The Knife and Folk gallery also recently played host to Mila’s first solo exhibition. The show was an interactive retrospective charting the development of his signature character and the diverse forms Mila has worked with.

With his masterful skill set Mila has made an impact in the worlds of street art, photgraphy, digtal art, photgraphy and, most recently fashion. Mila has designed t-shirts for local metal band Dead Harts, DEAD REIT Clothing, images for the startup watch brand LEAD and record labels.

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Kassassin Street

Kassassin Street are a band hailing from Portsmouth. With a new take on traditional style, these original, self-produced young men are whipping up a storm. I caught up with Rowan Bastable, the lead singer from the band, and asked him about the history, music and the artwork of the band.

“Kassassin Street started officially 2 years ago, though we’d been jamming together in various forms for a while before that. I met Nath at school and started playing guitar around the same time he was learning drums, it was an ideal excuse to bunk out of P.E. If I’m honest I think that’s where the two of us really discovered music – during P.E.”

Rowan described to me how, through the process of experimentation and endless hours of recording, the band managed to form ‘epic’ new sounds that would later become fully grown-songs.

Influences

“I’d say we listen to a lot of psychedelia, 60’s and 70’s pop/alternative bands and electronic music when together. I’m really into the experimental bands of the 70’s. We share a joint passion for Krautrock, with the likes of Can, Kraftwerk and Neu! Giving birth to music that rid itself of all convention. Sonically and emotively I believe Krautrock rules, it’s like the soundtrack to life, a constant journey, a flowing of time with a repetitive beat paralleling the monotony of everyday routine. It’s escapism art in it’s purest form.”

Society

“I think we are living in a very unique Britain right now, a country amidst constant change. I feel very much a part of the forgotten generation, our dreams swept away amongst the greed of the political generation before. We now live in ‘unavoidable times’ with ‘unavoidable cuts’ and the young are paying the price in education fees, redundancies and interest rates.”

Centre Straight Atom (featured video)

As an admirer of this band for sometime, I had to showcase them. I remember the shiver sent down my spine the first time I heard ‘Centre Straight Atom.’ An absolute belter of a song, and despite being over 4 minutes, it doesn’t lose attention, in fact it demands it. I was curious as to it’s meaning and origins.

“It isn’t actually about nuclear warfare at all. It was really a response to a BNP rally in Portsmouth, (the bands hometown). They chose to swoop on Portsmouth for a demonstration because of it’s links with The Navy. They were not made to feel welcome at all, and I wanted to document that.”

Artwork

“The artwork was designed by Ryan. Moloko Vellocet is the psychoactive milk that Alex and his Droogs drink in A Clockwork Orange. I really like the Nadsat language they speak in the book.There wasn’t a lot of deep thought to it though. It just sounded great! I’ve just phoned him and he said that he knew we wanted something psychedelic when he started designing it, so that was at the forefront of his ideas. He wanted to use lots of flowing lines and colour to make the cover eye-catching and different from the artwork of our first EP. I like the fact that no matter how long you stare at it, your eyes continually pick out new shapes amongst the lines.”

Touring now, with new material in the works, there is more to be expected from this refreshing gift to the rock band genre. For more, visit here.

 

 

Geo Law

After writing about Yasmina Vulgarity a while back, I happened upon the Hantu Collective by her association to them. It’s is becoming apparent as I’m learning more about Sheffield arts scene that the relationships within the city are all very incestuous with groups working as satellites of each other (the Artificial Constructs collective is a case in point).

An instance of this collaboration will be the Gully Xmas Market on the weekend of the 8th of December. Some of West Yorkshire’s finest – including Yasmina and Hantu – will have wares on display in time for the festive season.

Which brings me summarily to Geo Law who works as the Creative Director of the Hantu Collective. Geo manifests vibrant and spirited creations which draw influences from anime, graphic novels and psychedelic art. Despite the precision and accuracy of his work Geo draws mostly by freehand as this emphasises an “organic” aspect to his art.

After his work made a splash in Sheffield after finishing a Graphic Design placement at Evocreative in Prague, Geo Law was commissioned to complete various murals and bespoke work in the city. Clients have also ranged from Rolo Tomassi to Sheffield’s Millenium Gallery.

Hantu is primarily a fashion label and “is all about letting images do the talking and having your imagination on your sleeve.”

Geo Law

HANTU

Tom Horton

Nowadays anyone with a smart phone thinks their a photographer, but what does it really take to be a real photographer, with a passion and sixth sense for that perfect shot?

Upcoming Photographer Tom Horton answers some questions:

What first sparked your interest in photography?
 
I have always been intrigued by photos and nice places, and while at college one of my friends had a DSLR, and after playing around with it myself I was hooked and saved up for my first camera.
 
Most of the photos I shot when I first started out were urbex, or urban exploration. Basically scouting out derelict buildings & places and taking both documentary & artistic photographs of them. My favourite place when I started out was an old RAF Base in Croft, just north of Warrington where I am from, so I guess the RAF Base was one of the first places I remember shooting at.
 
What is your preferred subject to shoot?
 
At the moment my favourite photography to shoot is street photography. Although I still do enjoy finding derelict places and exploring when I get chance to.
 
Street photography is the main thing I shoot at the moment mainly because of time. I find that I don’t have as much time as I used to for going out on photography trips, so picking up a camera and going out shooting street photography is just something than can be done whenever I fancy.
 
Next on the list would probably be landscapes, I love going for a drive or cycle out to somewhere with a camera and shooting some nice landscapes, the only problem with this would be the time! Finding time when the weather is nice is quite hard due to other commitments in life, so this is quite a luxury at the moment.
 
Another thing I love to shoot is events. I work for a charity when I am home, and do the photography at most of their major events. Taking candids at events is the best part about it, capturing the feel of the event and the atmosphere of the day in photos is great.
 
Do you have find different cameras give different effects? whats your favourite camera to use and why?
 
Well its mostly really full frame, cropped sensor and then film that are the three major different effects. Digital full frame & cropped sensors are both normally very clean, with full frame being cleaner than cropped sensors because of the size of the sensor, causing less noise on photos.
 
Film is a whole other world of photography, and is personally my favourite to shoot. Each type of film will have a different look to it, but I feel all of them have so much more character than digital. My favourite camera to shoot with is my Nikon FE. It’s so easy to use, well built and has everything you need at hand and no stupid unnecessary frills – just as it should be.
 
Who would you say is your favourite photographer?
 
This is a hard one. I would have to say either Rankin or Don McCullin.
 
Rankin’s portrait work is just unreal. They all have great character and expression, and all tell a story – which to me, is the main thing to achieve in portrait photography. Being an advertising design student as well, the work he does is very relevant to my area of work.
 
Don McCullin is an inspiration, and war photography is a big interest of mine, linking the front line to people back at home so they can see what really goes down.
 
How would you describe your photography style?
 
My photography style varies so much, although mostly it’s me staying unnoticed and getting candid shots, whether at events or in the streets. I seem to be good at it so I guess that seems to be what most of my photography is, and what I guess you could say my “style” was.
 
Do you work along side anyone? 
 
The one guy I work alongside most of the time is my housemate, Nick, who is also my business partner. We go out on photography trips a lot and are currently in the process of launching West Yorkshire Cameras at wycameras.com – dealing new & used camera equipment, and eventually going into repairs down the line. The website is going to be fully running soon so watch this space!
 
What is your favourite photography accessory, other than your camera?
 
I would probably say the strap I have… It’s an Optech strap which clips off, making a small strap which I wrap around my wrist – as I don’t like carrying my camera around my neck or over my shoulder, it makes taking photos so much smoother for me.
 
 If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
 
Definitely a 50mm f/1.8. Standard prime lens which can essentially be used for anything! (to an extent of course) The image quality is great from it, it’s fast, sharp, lightweight, compact, easy to manually focus with… Just a great lens really.
 
Do you ever enhance or edit your photography with software? if so what software ?
 
I do, I try to keep editing to a minimum but obviously shots straight from a camera are for the most part not 100% right, and could do with a small tweak to levels or colour balance. I use Lightroom for pretty much all my editing, its very easy to use and makes editing and sifting through photos real quick and easy, and setting export options to mass export for different platforms is a very useful tool.
 
Last but not least, if you could shoot anyone, or anything/anywhere what would you do?
I’d love to shoot Justin Bieber.
 
But with a camera, I’d love to travel the world and shoot across loads of different countries, Canada, New Zealand, India, China, Tokyo, various African countries… The list is never-ending.

From looking at Tom’s work, I’ve noticed he doesn’t just capture aesthetically pleasing pieces to look at, he captures the everyday thing we may miss.

Check out more of Toms work on his personal website !

Thanks for reading!

By Rebecca Roslyn