Although very private, I thought it'd be nice to show you my studio. Where I work, think, drink, cry, shout and (sometimes) collapse in a state of existential dread. Whenever friends come around they always want to poke around there. I've deduced they're stealing from me but there is no evidence as of yet.
My studio is like Richard Hammond - not big and not clever. It's a better driver than Hammond, and, where it behind a wheel, wouldn't crash. Unlike the afore mentioned gobshite, my studio has a lot of character to it. Let's have a look at some of the things in there, shall we?
This came from my nan's and, in an aspect of melancholy straight out of a Hallmark movie, is the desk I used to practice drawing on as a nipper. It's teak, it's massive and can accommodate the nonsense that is my working area. Underneath is crammed full of books I have sourced from, in the main, charity shops. I'm pretty sure a family of possums has made a nest down there as well.
I used to have a well worn, teak dining room table chair that was thinner than Sienna Miller and equally as unstable. It hurt my arse, so I was happier than a Japanese chap in a camera shop when I saw this at a vintage fair. I feel like a Bond Villain when I sit in it, and love its hideous beauty. When my wife was pregnant, it was the only chair she felt comfortable sitting in.
BISLEY are the stilton cheese of filing cabinets. I picked the grey one up for about £70 at a vintage fair which was a bargain at the time. Exactly a week later I found the red one in a charity shop for £6. The red one looks better and is more stable. The grey one creaks like a Chelsea Pensioner and regularly falls over. The red one is crammed full of National Geographics, while I store cutouts and paper in the shite grey one. I stick postcards and hate mail on the side of the grey cabinet as a constant source of motivation.
A few months ago, I was in a position I had dreamed of since the day I started work - I got to tell my boss to stick his job up his hole. The story of that is for another Blog post, but it now means I work exclusively from my studio which I share with my four month old son, Atticus.
I'm exceptionally lucky on so many levels here. First off, Atticus isn't like most other babies. Specifically, he isn't an annoying prick. He's chilled, happy, rarely cries and is as laid back as they come. I am privileged to be able to spend every day with this phenomenal human being, and love having him in my work space. In between feeds, playtime and his daily walk, he sits and listens to music while I work. I regularly get him on my knee and let him arse about with the paper. He's incredible, and the only way he'd disappoint me is if he grew up and got a 'proper' job. Mark my words, this beautiful little chap will change the world one day.
I picked this up at a vintage fair with the intention of sourcing an 'U', 'T' and 'N' to complete the family. No joy, so it now sits on my floor. It originally came off a sign for a French Restaurant in France. I suppose that would just be a restaurant then, wouldn't it? Answers on a postcard.
If you do have any of the mentioned letters, get in touch. I'll swap you some art for them.
Some tools of the trade: metal ruler, cutting mat, graphic pencils and a surgeon's scalpel. How someone with no medical training can purchase one of these is of no concern to me. They cut clean and the paper never tears. As for glue, 'TOMBOW' - it's the Jack Nicholson of glue.
The glass tortoise is called Hector. I got him from Murano and I regularly talk to him when Atticus is sleeping and I'm bored. Hector has seen me in some right states and never judges me.
The Kafka piece is part of a new series I'm doing for a show. Pretend you didn't see it, OK?
Surround yourself with art - preferably my art so Atticus can eat. Here's some posters and prints I've got up in the studio.
I'm mad for Czech and Polish film posters, and they hang throughout my house. I love their surreal brilliance. The 'Casanova' poster designed by Marek Kosinski stares at me all day and motivates me to do better.
Top left is an Atelier Populaire print. The Mai '68 movement is a constant obsession. Aside from looking as cool as custard, they show that things can be done when people get off their arses.
The Tom and Jerry one hangs above my lad's changing table and reminds him that the best cartoons are hand-drawn. The 'Billy Liar' poster is a slice of 60's Britain that I wish I'd have been around to see. The film is ace. I like it when he fantasises about machine gunning his family.
Greek coffee and Sertraline is the only way to start the day. A good day will see five of these bastards pass my lips. The occasional chest pain and regular blackouts are worth it.
As far as I know, my English Granddad wasn't a creative man at all. Nevertheless, he let me sit on his knee for hours drawing and colouring from as soon as I could hold a crayon. He was an incredible human and encouraged me all the way. He passed away when I was 7 and I think about him all the time. In this photo I seem to be repaying him for his kindness and support by bashing shite out of his knees with a hammer.
Couple of little nick-nacks that make my life that little bit better. Statue of 'Cosmo Kramer' from Seinfeld, and an old figurine of everyone's favourite wife-beater, Andy Capp. Seinfeld is arguably the greatest sitcom of all-time. The TV adaptation of Andy Capp, starring James Bolam, isn't.
On another note, look at the state of those windows. The window cleaner comes once a week and is clearly doing a shite job. I must fire him.
A little glimpse into the creative process here, kids. I got a load of 78's for free. They are unplayable so I use them to press collages. You can have that tip for free. The plant is as old as Bruce Forsyth and is clinging to life as desperately as him as well.
A glimpse of Studio Marbles (TM)
Studio Marbles - where the revolution begins and I earn just enough to pay the bills. Some artists have huge warehouses that are well lit by natural light and are paid for by their fathers. I have a tiny room full of records, hundreds of books and magazines and an adorable little chap. And I wouldn't have it any other way.