Wednesday, 15 July 2009

'Marshwallow?' 'Not thanks.'

The Centre de Développement Chorégraphique in Toulouse have been given some space in a building near their office and they've turned it into a big flat with 7 bedrooms and a kitchen/living area that has a massive dance studio above it. That way, companies can come for a couple of weeks and all stay and work together in the same place. At the moment, it looks a bit like an old people's home with all its fire safety cards, disabled showers and non-slip floors. So they asked a lady who used to be a decorator and an awesome upholsterer to make it look nice and look after it. So she's going to decorate each room and she'll also be there when it's occupied to welcome people and cook one meal a day for them.

They also thought it would be a good idea to have me draw all over the walls. I drew a forest with some animals saying stuff vaguely related to communal living and painted some little reminders in all the bedrooms, bathrooms and corridor.

The pictures are not very good but I'll take some proper ones when the furniture's in.

Thursday, 30 April 2009


I've been at CDP for a little while doing some ads for UNIQLO. They've launched hundreds of new t-shirt designs and decided it would be a good idea to tell people about it, which is usually when advertising comes in handy. The collages use tons of pictures of good looking models and anime images, with a couple of Harings and Basquiats thrown into the mix. It was a fun project but a bit of a logistical nightmare since all of the images on there have to have a different copyright, you see. But we got through it and successfully spread it all over London. I've been doing other things but I'll show you later.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

"Put that in your pipe and smoke it."

That was the brief for this illustration:

So I made a drawing of that annoying Caterpillar guy from Alice in Wonderland being shoved into a giant pipe. That'll shut him up. It's in the Hospital Club mag together with a photo of Yours Truly's face and my life story.

Monday, 23 March 2009


I did a project with Nick Flügge and it ended up on the Creative Review blog. Look!

They didn't find it essential to talk about the way it looks but it's ok.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

This will make your bus journeys disappear.

Jonathan Ross, commenting on Stephen Fry's Twitter activity, asked him why he was doing such an incredible amount of walking. Stephen Fry replied that he did so to keep fit. He didn't say 'to keep fit', he's Stephen Fry. What he said is this:

'I have a hopelessly overweight figure and walking is the only thing I can do with pleasure and there's one reason I can walk with pleasure [...] and that's audiobooks.'

I immediately went ahead and bought Wuthering Heights on iTunes and set off on a 2-hour expedition (on foot) to the not-so-local supermarket and the even-less-local butcher's. I realised after half an hour that I hadn't been listening to the story at all, that I couldn't name one character, couldn't even tell who was telling the story. What I was doing instead was singing 'Wuthering Heights' (if you and I have ever been to a karaoke joint together, you will know how good I am at this), thinking about the lady's accent, wondering if she was an actress, trying to picture what she looked like, making a mental list of groceries and thinking about Stephen Fry. Audiobooks don't do it for me.

What works for me is this. Radiolab is the name of a show on New York public radio. Podcasts are available and they're the best thing on radio since Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan. Here's how they describe it:

'Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Each episode is an investigation – a patchwork of people. sounds, stories all centered around one big idea. Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world. Where sounds illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow. Bring your curiosity, and we'll feed it with possibilities.'

They are all so well-made, so quick-paced, so fascinating that you will find yourself listening to the same episode over and over again instead of switching back to music. They are great for walking, even better for bus journeys. Start with the episode on deception and laughter, they are excellent.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Craft slices

Because the World is coming to an end, Jenny, Esther and I had no money for fancy presents. So we decided to make them. I embroidered a cushion for Esther and made a cross-stitch for Jenny. She has 'Patience' tatooed on her chest so I thought it would be a suitable message for her.

The blue linen cushion is from Ikea and the white frame from Habitat.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Happy new year everybody.

I made this today for the CDC. It says 'happy new year' in a fancy way.

Just like you like it®

There's a file on my desktop called 'food'. It contains the notes I typed in the car to keep track of the nicest places we ate at. It goes something like this:

Swamp John Catfish in Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Where hush puppies and I first met.

Charlie Vergos Rendez-Vous, Memphis, Tennessee
We went to Charlie Vergos Rendez-Vous after hearing about it in Theme Time Radio Hour, Bob Dylan's radio show. If you've never heard it, get it now. It was our best travel companion. We heard that you can smell the smoke all the way into the Peabody Hotel's lobby and that's no lie. They pump that smoke out into the streets just to drag you in by your nostrils. The dining room is beautiful, packed with sports memorabilia and presidents' autographs. The menu's pretty simple, you can get a 'first thing' (a starter you won't need), a 'main thing' that comes in different sizes (racks o'ribs) and some 'things on the side'. One rack is enough for two. It comes with sweet and smoky baked beans with bacon and orange coleslaw. Our waiter was a big man full of sound bites. We watched him pour our tea saying something like 'Oh yeah that's right'.

Gus's Fried chicken, Memphis, Tennessee
We were ready to go back to fried. The lady in our hotel said that she felt frustrated after discovering Gus's because of all the years she'd spent eating fried chicken from other places. We waited for our chicken for a while, which is surprising in a joint that only serves fried chicken but it was well worth the wait. Enter generous portions of moist and tender chicken in the crispiest and tastiest batter this side of the galaxy. It was delicious and our bill came to $12.

Boudin King, Jennings, Louisiana
We went on bit of a detour on the way to New Orleans to go to Boudin King in Jennings, Louisiana. Ollie felt brave and had the boudin, which is supposed to be the best boudin in Louisiana. I couldn't gather up the courage to order it due to years of being force-fed the stuff and, instead, went for a plate of fried seafood. Fried oysters are good! And the crawfish came in its own little fishcake. I tried the boudin, which was very different to the one I had as a child. It was just a big bit of hairy gut stuffed with rice and cayenne. It looked a bit like a big grey pregnant slug or a giant ring worm.

Maria's Taco Xpress, Austin, Texas
The first thing you see approaching Maria's Taco Xpress is a giant statue of Maria raising the roof. According to the numerous newspaper clippings tacked to the walls inside the restaurant, Maria's slightly loca. I'm not sure you can be loca and produce such delicious breakfast tacos. Or maybe you need to.

Trailer Park, Austin, Texas
More Dulwich Park than Trailer Park. Nice Po Boys!

What a burger!

Texas Chili Parlor, Austin, Texas
Good meat-only hot hot chili. No beans, just raw onion sprinkled on top. Man food.

Dairy queen
It's hard to find somewhere to spend your money in Marfa. Everything seems to be closed in the afternoon. We couldn't find Food Shark on the first day so walked into Dairy Queen and had some delicious burgers and deep-fried jalapeños.

Cochineal, Marfa, Texas
It's very pricey, the food is mediocre but it's worth a visit just for the lovely waitress.

Food Shark, Marfa, Texas
He drove in, set up, and sold us the most awesomest falafel eh-vah!