Thursday, 26 May 2011

James Brown at the V&A reading rooms

Tonight I went to see the (east)London-based illustrator and print maker James Brown give a talk at the V&A reading rooms. The whole experience was amazing, I arrived a bit early and was worried I'd be left twiddling my thumbs, I shouldn't have been as the reading rooms stocks a wonderful collection of books on all kinds of things. I sat near the 'London' section, as a born and raised Londoner I am quite skeptical about books on this subject, but to my delight they had an eclectic range of books filled with places off the beaten track and quirky things to do. When James started he invited us all to get closer and we surrounded him at the table as he talked through his work, from beginning with studying textile design, to working designing prints for agents and in-house at a studio, designing brand and t-shirt graphics for a small label and to his present day illustration and screen-printed poster designs. All of his portfolio was very interesting, having sold fashion prints to a wide range of clients from Kookai to Marc Jacobs. But of course I love the work he does currently, with a vintage feel and catchy messages all handmade in his studio. It was also really great to see the original lino he had cut to make the designs, which were works of art in their own right. I was surprised at the similarities to the jobs I've done having worked doing t-shirt designs and brand graphics at a small label and designing textile prints in-house and for studios. It really inspired me, the way his work has evolved was really interesting, he has just had a children's book come out which is visually stunning (see image above - from his blog). I look forward to seeing what he does next!

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