For Dr Rita Rakus
Ealing Broadway, December 2019
Yesterday I had a little saunter about Ealing Broadway, as one does. I’m sincerely hoping that Ealing endeavours to become just a little bit fancy, a little bit elegant – hoping that they close down or otherwise redecorate the unattractive shops (both the franchise kind that benefit from having poorly decorated shops because it allows them to get away with underpaying their staff and the independent kind) and of course keep employed the hardworking, polite, helpful, service dedicated staff that make Ealing look good – there really aren’t many of them at all. In this economy, I cannot tolerate companies or services that employ no efforts towards creating a visual personality that contributes towards giving Ealing a worthier visual personality.
We are proudly a humble area within London but the rental rates certainly don’t reflect the notion of humility, it is expensive to reside in Ealing and a room in a shared flat can cost a months minimum wage.
I sound like I’m complaining, I am not. Ealing is full of beautiful moments.
Cafe front in all the Bauhaus colours, Argyle Road 2019 Colour coordinated fantastically with the Cafe, Argyle Road 2019
Every new building is a hit or miss. Either a fantastic world of it’s own (as shops should be) or… a potential eyesore that detracts from what might be rather nice stock.
Whoever hires the architects and engineers here has not even the vaguest understanding towards visual identity. I have no issue conceptually with bulldozing an entire commercial street but it’s not entirely practical – and actually that is what you do when you allow a person with no taste, no arts education, no understanding of a town to make “creative” decisions and plonk a brutalist block of flats amongst mock-victorian/stuart homes.
I enjoy a reasonable attempt towards eclecticism, I enjoy an appeal that embraces mismatched buildings and streets occupied by a vast array of bizarrely themed shops and the like: that don’t aspire to be some bizarre cookie cutter interpretation of dystopian perfection. We are not a town made up of futurists or brutalists, we’re all hoarders of some kind, all a little eccentric in our own ways: all into celebrating old and even dilapidated buildings with nooks, crannies, vintage and inexpensive antiques. I mean… Sure – have a fluorescent neon light outside your computer shop amongst quaint cafes – exercise your liberty and creative freedom – go ahead – but your shop isn’t eye catching, it looks out of place in a bad way. AND APPRECIATE MY HONESTY – DON’T GO ALL AUTISTIC REVENGE ON ME.
I enjoy the idea of every shop in Ealing having something unique to contribute towards a person’s personal or domestic inventory.
I’d prefer to feel safe entrusting my laptop to a member of staff at an independently run corner shop I.T establishment – but when I later have a tantrum because I want to sue them for some kind of unacceptable mistake, at least I know the Apple store can afford to fire a ‘genius’ that doesn’t fit his title, I know that the Apple store can afford a lawyer that would be able to see eye to eye with the kind of lawyer I could take seriously (and me), if I was angry enough to seek one out. Hasn’t happened yet – but when it does, it won’t be about the money – it’ll be about making a point. And unknown depths for humiliation towards the person responsible for wasting my time. There’s no chat I cannot have – but I haven’t found the same in many other people.)
(I am attracted to psychos, that which is likened to itself is drawn. Do not confuse psychotic with incompetent.) (Your “abusive” dad? Nothing on my abusive mum. My dad couldn’t throw a punch just as he couldn’t attach a lightbulb to a ceiling without calling a ‘friend’ of a ‘friend’.) (I hit last) (even if i need time to recover cos you had to call all your mates/parents/obese cousins to come get me as well) no
Our most vibrant shops truly are the independent ones – and we really need those. More of them. We do have a few – and I wish that they were not in such obscure parts of Ealing.
Blake's Florist, Arygle Road, 2019 I found this shop exciting - the idea that a woman was selecting the breeds of flowers and plants that locals to this part of West London might use to decorate their homes and contribute to Ealing's visual identity. There are any number of flowers and plants in season at this time of the year - I wish I had asked the lady running the shoppe "why these?!"
I briefly worked at the Caspian Hotel, very briefly – when I was a lot younger, perhaps about seventeen or eighteen years old.
The Caspian Hotel is a quaint bed and breakfast.
I helped in the office doing reception work and composing legal letters.
I based my “work performance” in the absence of a mentor on Polly, from Fawlty Towers. It didn’t fit the clientele (boys who lived with their mothers and wanted an inexpensive night out with a girlfriend) but the performance certainly fit the look… I think. My clothes were probably awful.
I probably came across more Mr Fawlty than I did Polly Sherman.
The video above is a commentary with John Cleese analysing Connie Booth's character: Polly. Uploaded by @BBC Comedy Greats
I also helped to tidy and clean one of the rooms. Ealing was, a decade or so ago – as I was taught by the gentleman that ran the Hotel on his mother’s behalf – considered to be a ‘rural’ province of London. He discussed at length his choice of the lexis (language) used in the brochures. That kind of conversation will never not be interesting to me, because I enjoy graphic design. And by enjoy – I mean I am an obsessive when it comes to visual layouts and composition. I’ll spend a long time determining if I like the placement of a simple shadow – and the angle the shadow sits at – I’ll change an entire layout if I insist on there being a shadow to emphasise a logo – and it doesn’t fit the layout I’ve made. I’ll delete an entire blog if I can’t find a layout I like but coding is long lost to my memory at this point and I haven’t the patience to locate the version of dreamweaver that I actually like.
Anyway: all the young people with any taste (How Mr Fawlty do I sound, writing that?) actually leave Ealing the second that they can. There really isn’t much for young people to do, apart from work or game or busk in pubs – since they closed down the internet cafe and the local cinema. There’s a ceramic painting cafe on Argyle road called Picasso’s Place and I love it there – you can sit there for hours if you come prepared.
When young people have no motivation to keep them residing in their home town though, they leave. I was embarrassed to invite someone to Ealing on a date years ago and I did it anyway – and they were shocked at how ill prepared this town is to entertain non-locals. Nobody worth while wants to make a life in Ealing, and anyone who goes out and says “I live in Ealing” is assumed to be going to the local University. Which I did not have a positive experience of either.
As kindly intended as I can be – without being cruel – Ealing Broadway has become an extension of the tackiest Shepherds Bush Market stalls (which HAVE their place – and are rife with inspiration for people like me, but that is not the Ealing look) rather than a quaint English town with a vibrant personality.
Here are some old photographs I took on a camera that was later stolen from beneath my bed in Farnham. I took these standing outside a ballet studio and shoppe in Pitshanger Lane, when I was doing a foundation year at London College of Fashion. I think, the day before Alexander McQueen was announced dead. (Of course, he isn't dead. Some people just don't want to be celebrities anymore. And once you've been a celebrity, and you leave the life style - you will eventually want to go back to that life. I foresee a very dramatic and theatrical come-back show.) Having influence over others, having your voice and opinions heard is addictive but also you'd be surprised at how little it takes for a brief moment of profoundness to open neural pathways amongst millions of people and catalyse the evolution of the mass consciousness. I also took this in Pitshanger Lane, in 2019. The Ballet Shoppe window. And this was taken outside of a charity shoppe in Pitshanger Lane, I wish I knew which of them. Probably the Cats Protection League - the one I volunteered some time at when I was about seven or eight years old. I tidied the donated dolls clothes and teddies. I am amused though because I recently sat at a table, and my spiritual teacher Lisa said that she'd prefer that if I ever had an animal familiar again, that I'd pick a poodle - "cats are disloyal" - later a thought chat with the Baphomet - found disloyalty in cats quite amusing and said "cats are disloyal, you only need to know how to bribe them back."
I very much believe in towns and districts having a characteristic personality, a look. That each resident, each shop window contributes to. (There are more of these photographs on >>this blog,<< the title a reference to a Tori Amos song.) (The speaker on this laptop has rather exploded on itself – I don’t know how to describe the noise it’s making but it is somewhat like the vibrations a bumble bee makes – and it is reminding me that I have to finish my next episode for Miss Kittie’s channel. Miss Kittie is not disloyal – but she does what she has to do.)
When I lived in Farnham – I dressed for Farnham. Once I turned up to Fatface in a casual outfit composed of a tan to rust to bronze gradient and in kitten heels – at the time the locals wore flipflops and short-shorts. Two years later I turned up to a pub and an eighteen year old was wearing heeled boots to serve people in a pub. Three years later, and there were sixteen year olds in heels sitting at the skate park.) Haha, Farnham, I felt, rather fucked me over though. So we do not discuss Farnham at length – until I – or Lady Diana – or someone else – purchases that haunted castle.
These photographs were inspired by a post on tumblr that circulated with great popularity, that offered homage to a sight often seen by every Londoner. A Corner Shoppe owned by an Iranian on Argyle Road, Jan 2019
Here is what I like about Ealing – it is a mixture of people from both the ‘working’ classes and the ‘middle’ classes and even aristocracy live here, it is multicultural – which means you can walk down the street and it is completely normal to see people with all sorts of skin colours.
I LOVE THE CHICKEN NUGGETS THIS PLACE SELLS, Argyle Road
Muslim women – particularly hijabis – live here very comfortably. We all have things to learn from one another – for example – devoutly religious muslim women do not make eye contact nor physical contact with men. Fortunately a lot of women work rather easily find employment in Ealing – so they often have a choice between being served by a man or a woman – to avoid making physical contact. Muslims believe you ‘share energy’ with people you make eye contact or physical contact with, and they value intimacy so greatly that they teach men in their culture to highly value relationships with women that permit them any kind of contact at all – which is most often reserved for men who are considered family. There’s a LOT of incest in muslim families though – and British ones – and all families actually… but I can make those jokes. My “father” is muslim. I only keep him around for my epic aunts.
There used to be a Games shop run by the most epic Viking woman ever – who once sold me a Quina scroll. She’d casually wear high heeled boots to work and only the very most good looking boys were ever in there when I was.
And obviously that got closed down. Probably because I loved her so much. Ealing got boring after I couldn’t visit her shop anymore. I think about it every time I’m in Ealing. ‘Games Worshop’ I think it was called. But Gamer boys aren’t interested in girls, they’re only interested in gaming. I enjoyed the challenge I’m sure. (I crushed on boys that worked in Blockbusters, Girls that worked in libraries and boys I’d see playing Warhammer.)
I believe more women would be interested in playing games if more women were interested in the commerce around selling them – I know a lot of people use sites like ‘steam’ that sell games online – but it doesn’t compare to the joy you experience finding a box set for a game that really speaks to all of your interests. This is one of my favourite games of all time – from playing this, I learned a little but about different kinds of mythology, a little bit about military strategy (my personal favourite ‘strategy’ is simply arranging for my civilian-majority city to live happily and to naturally expand their land with beautifully arranged towns and farms – according to what they needed – the gathering of natural resources and of course a beautiful temple – once survival needs had been met.)
So here is what this is really about – I missed a party event at Dr Rita Rakus’ practice and felt extremely rude. Dr Rita Rakus – to those under educated – is THE Lip Queen. She is a Beauty Aesthetician who practices in London and people from all over the World visit her to help them look how they see themselves in their minds eye. I suffered with serious insecurity all of my life, because my lips were not in proportion to my face – I have ‘big’ features – I have big eyes, a ‘big’ appearing nose (I learned to measure it with a 15 cm ruler, watching Adrian Mole – 5 cms not smiling, 10 cms smiling) and a big head too. In a perfect World I could afford to send her a huge hamper to apologise for not showing up, instead I’ve done something wildly out of character in an attempt to offer a sincere apology – and that was to purchase a
The only Christmas invite I received in years and I didn’t even go to the event because I forgot. I forgot because I mean. This is my thought-scape. I didn’t even really celebrate my own birthday but for a terrible cake from the bakery at Harrods. I had a mouthful. My mother tried to warble the happy birthday ditty but even that, I had to interrupt. She was looking at the chihuahuas when she sang it, which was nice, I guess. It was a stale cake. It was huge and not pretty enough to photograph for instagram. I struggle to believe Mr Al Fayed would’ve allowed Harrods to sell a cake like that, as I understand it he was heavily immersed and engaged with absolutely every aspect of his work for the British Heritage that is Harrods. I’ve become a Selfridges person and that is because they stock and sell American goods like Froot Loops and obscure flavours of Pop Tarts.
So in honour of rectifying that rudeness towards Dr Rita Rakus, I bought myself some stationery – an agenda and a pen to keep around me all the time, to document the unbelievably rare occasion where I might actually be inspired to both leave the house and have fun. The evolution of the beauty aesthetics industry is actually VERY close to my heart because I spent my life feeling insecure – and all I needed was a couple of lip injections to from a solid 4/10 to like, at least a 7/10. I’ve witnessed people who visited surgeons and got botched jobs. Who in the fucking hell would’ve agreed to retouch this beautiful woman’s face?!
I bought this ‘Moderno’ set at WHSmith, you know how I love pink – and Gold – and splatters of paint. One time I was painting with India Ink and it splattered all over the floor. I loved how it looked. Most people wouldn’t of, but I did. So this gold foil print pencil case was very much to my taste.
[Both blankets were purchased at the £1 shoppe] [The original crop had a cluster of magically fastened knotted hairs – every time I see those I am reminded of a 14k fairytale I once wrote in the midst of a broken heart and I edited it out because I wanted to send this photograph to Dr Rita Rakus, for whom this post is dedicated. And it didn’t look as pretty as I think her inbox would of deserved it to. There were fairies residing in a birds house in a Princess called Alyssa’s room and when she was asleep they would crowd around her bed and make little knots. Not maliciously, but mischievously.]
Moderno is not a heritage stationerier like Smythsons. But is definitely a good attempt at it. Here’s how the packaging looked.
[These ‘textured knit’ tights were a tenner at >> H&M, << I changed into them in the shoppe – and they had a rip or two in by the time I got home – they’re an official pyjama tight from now on. I do not throw holey-tights away, and have never thrown them away. In my family of dancers – tights get holes in. You use base coat/top coat to steal the fibres in the fabric, you don’t just waste the work that went into making them – or the money spent on purchasing them. I can’t find them in the e-store though so I assume they must’ve been an in-store exclusive. I don’t recommend them, they were not well made. I shan’t be buying tights from H&M again, serves me right.]
You can tell that the people who designed the stationery are not stationery enthusiasts and that the copywriter is not a stationery enthusiast.
The suede isn’t properly pressed – and not that that is an issue when it’s a deliberate stylistic choice – but if you’re marketing stationery with the words ‘class’, ‘command’ and ‘timeless’ – the use of that particular lexicon really should be a reflection of what you’re selling. Unless the copywriters were having a laugh. Quite possible.
This image was taken from the WHSmith blog. They have a blog. They probably have a host of in house dwarven copywriters too.
The stitching on the leather isn’t even remotely acceptable either. An animal died and it’s corpse was skinned for that – when you have an item that is made of leather – especially for the sake of stationery – the idea is it should last forever – that is how you justify the purchase of a disposable item such as an annual diary or ‘agenda’ – being made of leather. Do you know anything about the process of TANNING LEATHER HIDES? Only really spiritual people, in my opinion, that understand and value the permanence of an item like leather – the idea being that you continue using it – the idea being that your family can continue using it after you die. The idea being that you expend tremendous effort into your very handwriting – that you developed through years of teaching yourself how to hand-write beautifully and also how to structure sentences beautifully.
This is a game called Cultures – Northland. In this game you are taught about natural resources, you have construction workers cut down trees, then they build a hut for a huntsman. Then the huntsman goes out and kills wild animals and gathers the meat and the leather. The leather can be used to build dwellings. This is one of my favourite games.
Apart from – you know, the PERSONAL investment financed by farmers – of raising animals like cows or bulls – financially and to the ecosystem actually.
(While we’re on it – and a very, very, very happy Christmas to you too – do you know a bag of cheap/store bought ‘organic chicken feed’ costs about twenty five pounds sterling? £25 GBP? JUST ONE BAG OF FEED IN THESE – AT LEAST – TWO YEAR OLD HEN’S LIVES. THESE ANIMALS EAT, SHIT AND SCRATCH DIRT – AND ONE ANOTHER – ALL DAY. EVERY DAY. EVEN THE HAPPIEST, PRETTIEST ONES. AND THE ONES WITH A ROOSTER BOYFRIEND GET RAPED ALL DAY. LIKE IT OR NOT. You believe your ‘organic’ store bought chicken is ‘organic’ – nope. It’s not. Promise. The ever-so0o free and glorious chicken’s life you daydream about – prior to it’s slaughter, had it’s insides pulled out of it’s asshole for a good 10% of that 72% cocktail sausage meat and lovingly referred to as offal – it’s ‘acceptable’ flesh and bones garnished with flavours and spices hours before being cooked in an oven, sliced up and served on a plate for Christmas – oh – but a life of frolicking in an open, sunlit field amongst the irises, bluebells, dandelions and daffodils is a made up fucking fairy tale. Organic chicken? Not for the price you’re paying for it, love.) Did you buy your Christmas lunch from a farmer’s market? No? Same – I ate two pieces of cheap and somewhat stale Edam, a stale pan au chocolat and I’m sipping my orange juice (with bits) in intervals from a printed ceramic, factory made “Queen’s” ‘Albertine’ mug. Good stuff. Best Christmas ever.
Here are some Stationery items I wish would be stocked at WHSmith. I’m sure one or two are, but I’m not a WHSmith person – not even when I was poor – but I was especially, HIDEOUSLY poor when I bought these ‘Moderno’ items.
I purchased Leuchtterm stationery years ago from Pullingers in Farnham. Established – according to the discreet About section on their site, in 1917 and later refounded in Germany in 1948. I’d never heard of them prior to that, but I was so satisfied with the product that I remembered the brand name – until now. That is the mark of a good product, I’ll have you know – my remembering the name of a brand in a language I’ve never studied just because they made some especially pretty polka dot post-it notes. I spent years drugged, traumatised, tortured in hospitals and being raped by people I thought were friends – and I still remembered them. WITHSTANDING THE TEST OF ABSOLUTE TIME I TELL YOU WHAT.
I also like pens made by Parker – these are sold in WHSmith and their products come in both affordable and slightly less affordable price ranges. However – I found that I didn’t enjoy these much – you can only use a very particular kind of parker cartridge (I do not purchase the ink in bottles but some people do – it is probably more refined and ecofriendly to do so however.) if you don’t want to damage the pen beyond repair. And if you don’t have parker cartridges lying around you can’t use your pen.
I also find the nibs I’ve typically used to be difficult for practising calligraphy – but they are great for jotting things down fast if you write like a pleb. This is my parker pen shape of choice. It is the only one I have found I could tolerate writing with. Mine was also turquoise.
I also like pens made by Lamy – these are expensive, for my budget, but especially good for people with dyslexia – who struggle with handwriting – because the nib affords a writer a lot of flexibility, mobility and they can withstand – to a point – an impatient and ‘heavy hand’ like mine. They come in all sorts of colours, even hot pink. Again, the cartridges are very specific. The design is more ergonomic~al than classic~al. Kind of a Scandinavian quality to them – these are practical, not a performance pen, but a very pretty and functional pen for taking notes fast in a classroom for example.
Now – I am a scribbler. So when I’d sit in class, I’d quite like to draw with my fountain pens. On the cover of my books, on the back pages – when I was bored. Interestingly I was more prone to doing that when I used black ink cartridges than the navy blue ones.
So years down the line when I was at college I was introduced to my favourite kind of pen of all – the inexpensive ‘dip pen’ – many of which – I used to steal from the art department at William Morris – my sixth form. Teeheehee. Naughty me.
Actually – even these are somewhat fancier than the ones we were provided with. But they are inexpensive, so they’re perfect for people who like to scribble – who are prone to losing things because their thoughts are constantly elsewhere (as most artists are). The nibs are hardy and perfect for creating splatters quite like Ralph Steadman’s – Ralph Steadman was one of Hunter S Thompsons (A radical author and a ‘sports journalist’ to pay the bills – a writer maverick of sorts that founded his very own immersive style of Journalism – and he was later awarded for it, with a doctorate) (Sports journalism indeed. WHATEVER PAYS THE BILLS. WHATEVER PAYS THE BILLS.)
And if you did damage one of those, it’s not as much of an issue as it would be if you damaged a very expensive Parker pen – more of an inconvenience though, if you’d become attached to the pen. Illustrating with a fountain pen that sort-of commands your strokes can produce quite a stylised result if you’re the kind of artist that likes messy work – not all artists do. Some artists are very precise, and need to be able to depict detail. Those artists prefer mechanical pens and pencils. We don’t speak about those. (Architects for example…)
Actually it’s probably a great style for learning to overcome OCD – because you’re rather forced to appreciate the outcome of ‘coincidental’ mess – and you’re taught to illustrate without guidelines. You cannot keep to guidelines with one of these pens – it’s IMPOSSIBLE. You learn to stop using guidelines at all, I guarantee it. And it is expressive – so it’s good for art therapy. Almost like the pen is expressing itself – with it’s resistance to allowing you to illustrate lines as you may think they should be illustrated.
And I personally find that india ink (which isn’t water based – although it can be diluted – at a cost to the texture/desired shade of black – I prefer my shades of black to be very, very black and glossy) (when you paint with tempura/acrylic – you quite enjoy the tactileness texture of a thicker variety)
By the way – my India ink of choice is – and has always been sold by Windsor and Newton. This goes without question. It is, I find, quite expensive though. But did you know – it is so pure – that you can tattoo with it? At University – I experimented with a needle (you have to disinfect the needle first, ofcourse – and the only way you can truly do that is with a lighter or a blow torch or something) and this ink – and the tattoos (oh god don’t tell your parents) have lasted for about five/six years, so far. And counting. But people do get tattoos touched up all the time. And like stationery, you do not go to cheap tattoo artists – because if they’re cheap it means they’re scrimping and saving and cutting expenditures, such as high quality inks, high quality machines etc.
Here’s an old illustration of mine. I think I was seventeen or eighteen when I did it.
(Long before I’d ever heard about Schrodinger’s cat.) (Usually the thought experiment refers to the cat being in a box.) (That’s not referenced here.) (I was thinking of Phoebe from Friend’s smelly cat song, and Abe’s Oddysee)
But Tibetan Buddhists see the process of traditional tattooing as spiritual and meaningful. It has been a life long dream of mine to be tattooed by a Tibetan Buddhist monk. These are masters though – and their work is not precise, or perfect – and why would it ever need to be?
Here’s a photo I took at eighteen? seventeen? Of a GodsGirl called Sakura – the tattoo on her arm is a reference to Buddhism – and it was done entirely with a poking needle. Not a machine. It’s called ‘stippling’ in art – the kind of art that is made up of details and dimensional illusions that are really ‘dots’ upclose.
Do you know why I don’t like diaries, journals etc? I don’t like keeping them because my handwriting changes all the time, and the inconsistency isn’t aesthetically – visually – pleasing – nor does it meet the final result of how I’d like a diary to look. I don’t like the idea of using this style with a classically designed journal made out of something like leather, I truly feel it is disrespectful to the process of crafting the item. I’d prefer to attempt to create a book myself, if it was going to be curated as a personal piece.
I was actually rather struck by “it goes in there for twelve months“. You should purchase items crafted from leather hoping to keep them forever.
I have been responsible for a lot of men choosing to buy oxfords and brogues. These are shoes that you get re-soled. You do not throw them out. I do not think leather products should be made by non-heritage or non artists – or purchased by people that don’t know how to value them yet.
I don’t care about the ‘brand name’, if I could afford to go to one of those elderly Italian Cobblers (it is a craft passed down through many generations in Italy) – I would much prefer to have an artisanal, hand crafted pair of shoes than Louboutins. Which are nice too. I’ve always wanted the anemones. Ideally in a Khaki Green. Apparently thats my colour. I saw these on Dita Von Teese – then everyone got. My sister even has a pair. One of the psychiatrists that threatened me with an injection because I wasn’t saying things she liked hearing – that was repeating things she’d heard from a deeply eminent, massively published (as in serious journals – about his research that involved taking drugs and running through deserts to be able to understand and empathise his patients) psychiatrist my brother went to when he was a CHILD. Who is doing investigations amongst psychiatrists in the United Kingdom that have been working unethically, abusing patients they knew had special abilities, and misusing their licenses to administer drugs, and accepting financial bribes even got a pair of these, so she could walk around in them while I was being sedated and raped in a ward she was supposed to be partly in charge of keeping orderly for people who were suffering. (She’s unemployed now)
I’m a Public Desire kinda gal.
Back to stationery. Moderno is a culturally starved, poor person’s absolute very last and fading hope at stationery it isn’t embarrassing to take out of your handbag or briefcase. This kind of stationery is an “affordable imitation” of
And I am not judging anyone who wants to imitate or emulate the best, and I imagine WHSmith was paid to stock it – but I actually don’t even like the quality of Smythson products myself.
I prefer a “humble” stationerier (is that the word?) – the kind that makes very short runs of products and who scours the World for a retailer that fits the vibe of the work you want to sell, and caters to a very particular kind of client. If I designed stationery I would be very particular about who I wanted to have it – who I was marketing it to.
Earlier this year, I made little sticky notes (inspired by my years of habbo) using collage (inspired by my lifelong passion for scrapbooking, and I do have a magical talent for it) and also my passion for layout design – the art of laying lines – a result of years of digital graphic and layouts design simply to pass the time. Just a hobby/a fun skill to hone.
Actually my issue with leather Smythson products is that they have motifs debossed or embossed into the leather, that become outdated. If you’re going to put a quote in leather, pick a quote as timeless as the leather.
Or author one – if writing is a true passion of yours, which it should be if you are buying stationery that has been crafted out of leather. To some people, journal keeping is an art. As is organisation. As is bed making. As is perfectly wrapping a gift and fastening it with ribbon – people get trained to wrap gifts professionally and properly.
You can find short runs of leather items in Independent art shops – in quaint towns like Farnham. They are expensive – because they are made to order by the shop. Supply is proportionate to demand. It is an issue, with the economy, amongst many – that the poor are forced to invest in items consistently and engage in a wasteful culture because they aren’t taught the culture that comes with items you keep. But being poor taught me to really appreciate finer things. But my personality comes with a haphazard complete disregard for material possessions, I’ve “lost” items of great financial value – jewels etc – I’ve had items that I truly did value stolen from me. A camera it took me years to learn to use with muscle memory – I have dyspraxia, so learning how to use anything takes a very long time – and that eos 20D was more hardy than the replacement camera I bought many years afterwards which has all but fallen apart.
And anyway, like Miumiu products – I really do just prefer the box that Smythson products come in, to the actual products, and even then I’d prefer to design my own. I know what I expect. (I’m only being nasty because I don’t own things from Miumiu and I’d quite like to.) (I love Miumiu) (and if you work for Miumiu and/or design for Miumiu, and read that please ignore it. You know I only write from some kind of embittered proletariat-empathising passion.) (I once spent £200 pounds on a beautiful keyholder from MiuMiu, when I’d been living with Lisa – and I “lost” it in Farnham. “By accident”. The first time I ever bothered using it. Because I finally had keys to a home I wasn’t embarrassed by.) (It was the first leather designer item I’d ever bought and it kind of felt rather stolen, because I “lost” it at night.)
To reference a family “christmas” argument – regarding what I do all day – “you like to make ART? HAHAHAHAHA” I don’t think she’s all that psychologically well, so I’ll endeavour not to hold it against her. Maybe she should’ve been sectioned, and not me.
Here’s an illustration I did using a dip pen and Indian ink, LONG BEFORE Heath Ledger’s Joker.
He’s also alive and he currently resides in Belize. But that is besides the point. I could talk for hours though, about the different brushes that were used to create the splattered effects used in this promo – in this piece of art I think was made by a DeviantArt user. I miss DeviantArt.
If you are interested in buying a diary, please do also check this Vogue article.