Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Holiday Break {and a sneak peek of Issue 23!}

Many people have inspired me over the years with Blanket but it was one person’s photos that inspired me to one day visit a whole country! I’ve talked about Helga Kvam’s photos in a previous post here so I won’t go into it again. I have more important things to be doing – like packing my bags to visit the country I was inspired to see – Iceland!

I will be spending two weeks traveling around the island of Iceland on a self-drive tour with my wonderful husband and sister-in-law. I’ve packed all the essentials – clothes, wet weather gear, guidebook, notebook & pen, sleep mask {there will be a staggering 20 hours of daylight!}, deck of cards, iPod player for the car, cameras {including my Medium Format camera} and like all good little Aussies – a jar of vegemite!

Roadtrip here we come!

While I am gone {and hopefully not forgotten!} from the dates of July 22nd – August 10th this will mean just a couple of things:

1. the release date for Issue 23 {The Gone but not Forgotten} Issue will be August 15th.
2. I wont have access to a computer so I will not be able to respond to emails.
3. I will be closing the Blanket Online Shop because there wont be anyone here to receive and post orders.

Everything will be back up and running again on my return : )

Blanket Issue 23 {The Gone But Not Forgotten Issue}

In the meantime I thought I would give you another little sneak peek into what we have coming up for you in the next Blanket issue!

And just another reminder Issue 23 {The Gone But Not Forgotten Issue} will be released on August 15th (not the usual 1st of the month). Sorry to make you wait a little bit longer for the issue – but trust me it will be worth it! ; )

Our upcoming issue is themed ‘Gone but not Forgotten’ and we will be featuring indepth interviews with artists who are promoting and preserving traditional skills and crafts – including paper-cuts, macrame, automata and letterpress. Our cover art will also be very special – a typographic piece embroidered especially for Blanket!

We will also be showing you how to embrace your inner child, make a’Bible Cake’, learn a craft with our easy to follow DIY tutorial, and Blanket writer Jonathan Hulme will be rewriting the history books {let’s just say in 1995 Billy Ray Cyrus has a terrible mullet accident and can never have children, particularly one’s called Miley}.

Plus our extra free goodies will include the Blanket Featured Font – a Croatian style font inspired by a vintage sugar box and another Music download! This one is from Manchester duo – We Are Willow {who I was raving about in a previous post here!}.

See I told you it will be worth the wait!

Till then,


{PS/ I promise to take lots and lots of photos of Iceland and post them on the blog!}

Blanket Issue 23 cover art {sneak peek!}

I didn’t want to give too much away about the cover art of our upcoming Issue 23 but I couldn’t resist showing you a few teaser photos! Next issues cover art will be a mixture of embroidery and typography and all lovingly handcrafted by the super talented Katherine Beefheart.

Blanket Issue 23 {The Gone – but not Forgotten} issue will be released on August 15th.

Randolph… a Collaboration project {update!}

For those of you who have already met and read the story behind Randolph the Adventure Hog in the current Blanket issue {Issue 22 – The Cosmos Issue} – I thought I would give you a little update on his latest adventure!
And for anyone who doesn’t have the faintest idea what I am talking about here’s a brief intro…

While researching an interview with Melbourne artist, Kaitlin Beckett, for the Cosmos Issue I came across an intriguing sentence on her website asking people to send her objects for a favourable response. This sparked an idea – and a collaboration project between Kaitlin and I {although to be fair my role was quite simple – finding and photographing some objects I hoped would inspire Kaitlin to create a piece of artwork}. The result was Randolph – The Adventure Hog! Isn’t he cute.

So now back to the update… Randolph took an exciting adventure recently in a postal packet, via an airplane all the way from Melbourne, Australia to Manchester, UK. He is currently residing in my studio alongside his ceramic likeness that inspired the artwork – finally completing the full circle.

You can read all about Randolph and the Collaboration Project in the current issue – Blanket Issue 22 {The Cosmos Issue}

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Issue 9 {Where are they now?}

It’s been a little time inbetween the ‘Where are they now?’ posts but it’s time to pick up where I left off! For those of you who are just joining in – these posts are where I take a look back at past issues of Blanket and catch up with the artists, designers and photographers we have uncovered in the pages of Blanket over the past 3 years. This post we will be looking back to April 2008 when Issue 9 – The Music Issue was released.

{You can catch up with previous ‘Where Are They Now?’ posts here}

Looking back now I wonder how this issue ever came out – and on deadline. Just to give you a little insight into what was going on behind the scenes in April 2008 when Issue 9 was released… I had just taken over the sole running of Blanket {a scary but exciting venture!}, moved states from Brisbane to Melbourne, and was busy organising the upcoming wedding of John and I {another scary and exciting venture!}.

I had also put in motion plans for the Blanket online store which would include Blanket Artist Badges featuring work from our readers and the first printed item from Blanket – The Blanket Poster!

The Blanket Poster

The Blanket Poster – available to purchase in the Blanket Online Store {hint hint}

The Blanket Poster was the most ambitious print job I had ever undertaken. It involved co-ordinating 56 artists, designers and photographers that had been interviewed in the first 9 issues of Blanket to all feature on one massive poster. I designed it to be a happy, colourful patchwork of art, design and photography that would continue to inspire the viewer every time they looked at it. And just for some extra detail {the beauty is always in the detail} I decided to create a sleeve with an origami fold, type deboss and a UV offset to make the type shine! Admittedly it might have been a little over enthusiastic for a poster and boy was that origami fold a killer {they were all hand folded and glued}  but I think the results – and the hard work – were more than worth it!


The Blanket Badges – available to purchase in the Blanket Online Store {hint hint}

I thought I would put a little mention here about our Re_action section because we had a record number of reader submissions. I guess it’s not surprising that the Music issue proved to be so popular. I know I would be lost if I didn’t have my music selection keeping me company and inspiring me throughout my working day – and obviously I am not the only one out there!

We had so many wonderfully diverse submissions it got me thinking… why not turn some of the artwork into badges? It was a great way to promote the artists beyond just the pages of the magazine. Here’s a brief selection of some of the artist we featured….

Dave Hughes

The Re_action section for the Music issue was when illustrator/designer Dave Hughes, the man behind Ammo Magazine first contacted Blanket. We’ve kept in contact over the years and when I moved to the UK we finally met in person. We have recently formed the Publishers Club {along with that other fellow Jules from New Sugar}

Courtney Brims

One of the submissions that really stood out to me was the dreamy, delicate work of Brisbane artist Courtney Brims. Her piece referenced one of my favourite songs from the Carpenters “Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear?”.

Fulvio Ghemasi

Another submission caught my eye because of the intricate detail and it’s quirky subject was the work of Fulvio Ghemasi. I fell in love with this piece instantly – and I’ve never fallen out of love with it.

Issue 9 cover artist – Kareem Rizk

Our cover artist for the issue was Australian collage artist Kareem Rizk. We had featured Kareem’s work in theHere’s my work… section in Issue 4 of Blanket and I always had him in mind for an interview. In fact I had already interviewed him to feature in Issue 8 of Blanket but pulled the feature at the last minute to ask him to be our cover artist for Issue 9. Luckily he agreed and came up with our cheeky cover image for the Music issue.
If you weren’t introduced to Kareem by the cover art he created for Blanket then no doubt you will have seen his work all over the web or via his Etsy store. We also featured his current work in Issue 19 and Issue 20 of Blanket Magazine.

Sanna Annukka

I was so excited to interview illustrator Sanna Annukka for the Music issue because I had discovered her work via the album cover she created for the band Keane. At the time the music industry was going through a bit of change – iTunes was becoming more popular and suddenly we found music being distributed digitally. So I wanted to ask Sanna’s opinion, as an artist, what she thought of the impact it might have on artists. Here’s a little snippet from the interview… “The music industry is such an important outlet for artists to showcase their artwork, it’s really important that record/album design doesn’t become something of the past due to the digital (downloadable) era that we are entering further and further into. I still want the appeal to be really strong for music lovers to go and buy CDs so you can enjoy the cd covers/pull outs/- the merging of music and art- and actually physically own it not just have something that just exists on your itunes. Albums covers are great canvases for artists.” {Quote taken from Blankets Sanna Annukka’s interview in April 2008}

Sanna has recently launched a new website and shop which features beautiful lithographs, screenprints and wooden birds.

Alison Richards

Blanket editorial spread designed by Alison Richards
Illustrations by Alison Richards

You may recognise the name of Sydney illustrator/designer Alison Richards as the newest Blanket contributor! I first e-met Alison back in 2007 when she submitted an illustration for our Re_action section. When we interviewed Alison in 2008 for Issue 9 she had bravely embarked on a new career path – graphic design. Fast forward to 2010 and she has recently graduated and is currently looking for work as a graphic designer – and as you can see from the recent editorial design spread she did for Blanket she is one talented designer!
To finish off this post I decided to ask Alison Richards to write a little something about what Blanket had meant to her an artist… {thanks Alison!}

“Blanket has been very supportive of my work, and I really appreciate the magazine and the effort that goes into it because it’s a great way for artists and illustrators to get their work out there. As for my own experience, it was awesome being interviewed – it made me feel like a real illustrator rather than just someone pottering around with pens and pencils. Especially when people that I admire like Deanne Cheuk, Mike Perry and Jessica Hische are interviewed as well. And I love that I can now contribute by designing spreads!!”

{You can still get a copy of Blanket Magazine Issue 9 – The Music Issue – just click on the relevant picture to download it}