Toasters toasting EVERYWHERE!

On Tuesday night we went down to the first screening of Toasters film ’Everywhere’. Getting there an hour early and queuing meant a long wait, but this was worth it to receive our free toaster popcorn box.

We have always been a fan of Toasters, (especially Alex!) the simpleness and quirk that toaster has taken over the world over for the last 13 years has made us smile and follow their antics, always keeping an eye out where we might spot our next Toaster.

The film showed the Toasters (Toaster A, B and D) journey over the last decade featuring a variety of famous artists such as D*face giving thier thoughts and opinions on the toaster movement. Highlights being toasters at the Tour de France and World Cup… those toasters are everywhere!

We wont give to much away.. get down to one of the other viewings if you can, if not we’re sure it’ll be up online in the next few months. Check out the video preview of the show to wet your appetite.

Follow Toasters Toasters on Facebook
Purchase some of their work from Nelly Duff 

On the Wall: International Nobody

One of our first artists to get involved with UAM is East Londoner International Nobody.

International Nobody’s universe is a heady mix of vibrant and multi-coloured creatures, extra terrestrial ’naughty bits’, visual playfulness, triple entendre. We had a chat with the artist to find out if there was any method to this madness…

How would you describe your work?
I can list some adjectives others have used: ‘infantile’, ‘childish’, ‘bold’, ‘colourful’, ‘rude’, ‘insubstantial’…

What is your favourite medium to work in? 
The silk screen-print is king. Pen and ink is a very close second.

How did you develop/find your own style? 
I’d been working with vinyl toys for some time. The brand I was responsible for was concept-based, elaborate, gothic. Prior to that I did a Fine Art degree so by the time I got down to it, I was tired of over-intellectualising things, hour- long critiques, using words like ‘painterly’ ‘sombre pantone palettes’ and the rest of it. I suppose my style is a natural reaction to that.

I can appreciate detail and intricacy (awesome Joe Coleman and Hieronymus Bosch come to mind) but when I started my practice that is not what came out and onto paper. If I was going to draw say, a red car – it would turn out to be the reddest, boldest, out there car. I figured I better not fight it – just let it come out.

When did you realise that art was your future? 
Watching Rolf Harris on Cartoon Time. I just thought: look at how much fun this bloke is having, singing his little ditty drawing Porky Pig eating a sausage or something – I thought: that is what I’m going to do.

What/who are your biggest influences? 
Tex Avery, Mysterious Al, Jamie Hewlett Tara Mcpherson and John Kricfalusi are to blame. Bad porn, Henry Rollins, creature-feature horror films, j-horror, Alan Moore, Brother Ali and saucy seaside postcards all might have something to do with it. I do remember seeing the work of Katsuhiro Otomo for the first time and just thinking: “raaaaa!”.

What challenges have you faced so far in your career and how have you dealt with them?  
There was a time when I needed the cash so I took on a retail job, knowing that it was a means to an end and I’d be out of there in 6 months.  I was there for two years. Nearly killed my creativity dead. Not enough time to work, guilt-tripped into working more days, felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere because I should have been working on my next piece not in a shop being paid to be shouted at.  I admire people who can compartmentalise their lives or organise their time that way. In the end I decided it just wasn’t worth it. The job had to go. If I believed art really was my life then I figure I’d just start living that way and immerse myself in my work. Opportunities would come once I made time and space for them. Probably the best decision I ever made.

How has the internet and social media sites such as facebook helped you as an artist?  
Social media sites- not so much- in all truthfulness, I’ve avoided them. Everyone and their Shih Tzu has a myspace, everyone wants to be noticed so it can difficult to stand out. They can be good for letting people know what you’re up to and great for seeking out spaces/other exhibitions but I find having an online portfolio + word of mouth has been good. I’m not looking to get discovered by some fancy art dealer dude who will only sign me if he sees I’m mates with some other big name street artist or if my work looks like whatever happens to be the ‘happening thing’. I do what I do because I’m passionate about it not because I want to be famous.

The industry is very competitive, so what have you done to promote yourself?
Got myself into any show that will have me. Left postcards/promo cards about. Put my stickers on any surface that’ll have 130gsm self-adhesive paper, in every place I visit for the first time.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
I’d like to have the world as my canvas.

If the world were your canvas what would you most like to create?
Let’s be honest: the planet needs a giant International Nobody style paper bag over its head made from recycled receipts. Also I think the world needs colouring in. France needs a 14pt bold outline. India would look nice with some polka dots and every mountain needs a nipple. It would just brighten up everyone’s day.

And finally…

What advice would you give to artists looking to break into the scene and develop a name for themselves?
Be nice. Talented illustrators/writers/artists who know their craft and are polite are a rarity- you’re sure to stand out…but in all seriousness:

1. Get every idea you have down on paper. Some will be bloody awful but you might have a gem or two in there.
2. Don’t be afraid to experiment, everybody says it but its true: you can’t know what you’re good at/comfortable with unless you do.
3. I’d like to say networking but this is hard work for introverts.
4. Never say die, be relentless, practice your craft, grow the thickest of skins. Seriously rhinos should have nothing on you. Art is subjective. People can be harsh. Take the compliment/diss. Suck it up and get on with it.
5. If you’re comfortable with something…go and do something else (I’m aware of the contradictory info here ) I don’t know…say you’ve never been to the theatre or the opera because you think it’s for tory toff scum or something…go and see some bloody opera- gain some perspective, experience new things. Sometimes I think, Art is symbiotic: in order for you or your work to develop you must be stimulated/fed by your external life. Works the other way round too.

One worders…

Pen or can? Pen
Wall or wood? Wood
Computer or pad? Pad.

Although, if I do use a computer. I just use my finger to draw on the touch pad, while holding down the left button. I can’t deal with the pointy stylus thing and the tablet- too restrictive. Good on those who can.

You can see International Nobody’s work and have a chat with the artist at our show on Sunday 13th November at Graphic Bar London.

Have a look at International Nobody’s website here

On the Wall: Carl Cashman

Carl Cashman, is a Devon based contemporary artist. His work is influenced by industrial landscapes and optical illusions. We recently sat down with Carl to talk about his work ‘geometric based optical illusions’….

How would you describe your work?
My work is geometric based optical illusions. I sometimes called it ‘Neometry’ when made with UV paints, but I’m sure that sounds kinda cheesy.

What is your favourite medium to work in?
My favourite medium is acrylics painted directly onto ply… but im about to start some lessons in making fused glass, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

How did you develop/find your own style?
I think I’m beginning to find my own style. I’ve only been painting again since last November, but in that period I’ve made 60-70 paintings which has helped me move away from the Barry Mcgee vibe that I started with. I used to make stencils, but one of my pieces was reported as a ‘Banksy’, as most stencils are.

When did you realise that art was your future?
My best mate Scott beat me to win Artist of the year when we were kids at school. It was from that point that I realized how much being creative meant to me.

What/who are your biggest influences?
My work is mainly influenced by a well spent youth, dancing in disused warehouses and playing pixelated computer games. Artistically I would say MC Escher, Bridget Riley and the Beautiful Losers are my main inspirations. I was lucky enough to meet and watch Steve Powers paint last year, it was that experience that reignited my desire to paint.

How has the internet and social media sites such as Facebook helped you as an artist?
Social media sites have been a massive help for me. A guy called James Derwin who was involved with Damien Hirst and Anthony Gormley shows down here in Devon, contacted me last January for my first show. This UAM event will be my 5th this year and I probably have him to thank for showing some faith in me and helping me gain some momentum over the last 12 months.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
In 5 years time I’d love to be making a living from my art. Its currently my main source of income, but it would be nice to move on from living off of baked beans at some point.. although upgrading from 12p value cans would be a start. It would be a dream come true being able to travel the world and taking my work with me, being invited to exhibit with artists that I’ve looked up to and admired.

What advice would you give to artists looking to break into the scene and develop a name for themselves?
I’m still trying to make a name for myself as I’ve only been back painting for a year. The only thing I can advise is to make art that you like or would purchase yourself, because at least that way you can hang it on your own walls if nobody else is interested. Plus it’s much easier to ‘sell’ an idea if you are interested in it yourself.

One worders…

Pen or can? Ruler
Wall or wood? Wood
Computer or pad? Pad

You can see Carl’s work and have a chat with him at our show on Sunday 13th November at Graphic bar London.

See Carl’s website here
See Carl’s flikr page here of work and developments

On the Wall: Bruce Parker

Brucey - Pop War

Brucey - Wall

Brucey - Table

One of our first artists to get involved with UAM is Newcastle born Bruce Parker.

Bruce’s work is a chaotic, euphoric, light-hearted, nostalgic trip littered with familiar characters, brands and products past and present. We sat down with Bruce to have a chat about his work…

How would you describe your work?
My work is a monochrome explosion of line and composition. I like to think my work is just like life, so much going on you can’t see it all with just one look.

What is your favourite medium to work in?
I produce almost all of work using paint markers, and there is no limit to the surface I work on.

How did you develop/find your own style?
My current style began to take place on my second year of College, I produced a range of biro drawings in my current style however the line work was poor and the content was boring. I then experimented with many other styles throughout the rest of the course and when I completed my final year of study I went back to these drawings and recreated them with paint markers and since then I have continued development the content of each piece so that it has meaning and connects with the viewer.

When did you realise that art was your future?
I think it has always been my future, I’ve always loved to draw and I think it’s what I have always done best. But the time when I realised I could make a career from it was just a few months after graduating when I was invited to take part in a group show in California. Which was my aim although I never expected it to happen so soon.

What/who are your biggest influences?
Well many of themes of my work are inspired by pop culture, advertising, movies etc. However the artists who have the biggest influence on my work are Attaboy, Joe Ledbetter. When I first discovered the work of Attaboy and Joe Ledbetter it was like a wake up call and when I first began to develop my line work and it became the most important component of my work.

A lot of my inspiration comes from American artists such as Greg “CRAOLA” Simkins, Lola Gil, Ron English, Alex Pardee and many more.

How has the internet and social media sites such as facebook helped you as an artist?
Social media has been a huge help both for finding opportunities and inspiration.

Facebook and Twitter have proved to be a great way to create worldwide links with galleries and companies, all of the opportunities I have had to exhibit abroad have been born on social network sites.

The industry is very competitive, so what have you done to promote yourself?
Early on I produced lots of self initiated work such as the “LoLvo” and “Cold Chillin” which allowed me to experiment and develop my own style whilst also producing work that instantly grabbed the attention of the right people. I also did lots of unpaid work simply for the experience and the chance to build my portfolio at an industry standard, as well as showing my dedication and enthusiasm for my work.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
Well ideally I would like to win a Champions League medal or an Oscar, but realistically, my aim is to be exhibiting regularly in worldwide galleries, and it would also be nice to pick up some big contracts to create artwork for global brands, musicians etc.

If the world were your canvas what would you most like to create?
I would love to create a house of Brucey with walls, floors, ceiling, windows, furniture everything covered in my drawings just total black and white madness.

And finally…

What advice would you give to artists looking to break into the scene and develop a name for themselves?
Don’t aim to start at the bottom and work your way up, aim to go straight to the top and I’m sure you’ll start higher than the bottom.

One worders…

Pen or can? Pen
Wall or wood? Wood
Computer or pad? Pad

You can see Bruce’s work and talk to the man himself at our show on Sunday 13th November at Graphic bar London.

See Brucey’s work here