What a crazy, crazy few months it has been...
How is everyone holding up? It has felt a bit like the world just went beserk, with terror attacks, racism, homophobia, xenophobia and hate crimes. I just find it so heartbreaking that some of these that things I had genuinely thought we'd abandoned in the last century - like football hooliganism, are still happening. I am still in shock that Brexit happened, that something like what happened in Orlando could happen in this day and age - it is just a tragic reminder of how far we must strive for love to conquer hate. I have buried myself in art and colour and it has been somewhat comforting and therapeutic. Sending you all a big hug.
And Prince died. I still cannot fathom it. An artist so in love with creating his music and still touring all over the globe to share it. I teamed up with my amazing friend Amanda Palmer to make some art for her and Jherek Bischoff's tribute to Purple Rain, and here are the results. You can listen to the record here, and you can still get a copy of the limited edition art print here.
On a much lighter note, I entered The Archibald prize this year for the first time ever! I did not get selected, but it certainly won't stop me from trying again next year. My subject was the beautiful Abbie Cardwell, a wonderful and very accomplished Australian musician who has toured with the likes of David Knopfler (Dire Straights!!!) recorded in Nashville, won awards in Hawaii and appeared on The Voice where she was championed by Keith Urban. Abbie and I met in Melbourne as 'Fyffettes' (our nickname for alumni of the all-girl share house we both lived in at different times with numerous brilliant creative women), and we have since both moved to the Queensland countryside. Like Coney Island is to me, Mexico is Abbie's inspiration place, and she has just crowdfunded her Spaghetti Mex-Western with Mexican band Twin Tones, and been featured in a Mexican documentary to boot!
I also completed this lovely commission for Writers Queensland WQ Magazine. It was a lovely open brief, with me getting total creative license on the illustrations - which were centred around the theme "The Nuts and Bolts of Writing". It was so refreshing to explore my drawing and line work, and I've had great reactions on the results.
Chad and I were delighted last month when the first ever British UFC Champion lifted the Middleweight belt. I am a huge fan of Michael "The Count" Bisping, a veteran of the sport who finally got his title shot age 37. His triumph is the true stuff of dreams.
And I was pretty delighted when he spotted my art on Twitter!
In case you missed them via my website or Instagram - I've launched several more new products adorned with my work. First up - a collaboration with Adventure Pants creator Captain Robbo - who made these gorgeous kids colouring in leggings adorned with clowns, amusements and food signage from my Coney Island sketchbook. There are still a few pairs left if you want to bag some for your little un' - they come in age 2 - 12 complete with 5 fabric markers in a handy drawstring bag - order here. Thanks to my nephew and nieces Wynton, Etta and Alice for modelling these ones!
If you are little bigger than an age 12 - fear not - adult digital print leggings have arrived! Available in 5 different birds and botanicals themed designs - they are equally ideal for yoga class or dressing up with heels! Order your pair here.
More colouring in opportunities have arrived to my web store in the form of my bumper edition Coney Island Colouring Book! Printed in London with a whopping 64 pages, it has the potential for hours, days, weeks and months of fun! I plan to take my copy on my travels and ask the children of friends and family to help me colour it in. You can get a copy here for just £10 (approx $13 USD or $17 AUD).
Also on the webstore are these fabulous A5 notebooks - perfect as a sketchbook, schoolbook or journal - and you can pick from 5 cover designs with plain, lined, squared or dotted pages. Only £5 right here.
I've been creating new fashion illustrations from the resort 2017 collections - here's 2 gorgeous runway looks from Gucci and Australian duo Romance Was Born. I'm hoping to add a few more to this series - but some crazy top secret shiitake is going down in the studio this week, and may even follow me on my holiday to Thailand next week....
I do hope all of this colour has cheered you somewhat, and I will most likely speak to you next from The Big Apple, where I'll be working from mid August to late September. TTFN and love to all xxxxxxxx
Purple Love and Lilac Tidings to all.
I am still in semi-disbelief at the passing of Prince Rogers Nelson. His Royal Purple Highness inspired me so much over the years to be unafraid to be my own self, however eccentric, and to create my art, my way. I saw Prince headline Hop Farm Festival in 2011 - check out me and my purple mates in these photos courtesy of the wonderful Ruby Blues:
I remember thinking during that incredible set of hits, as we unfurled a 25 metre bolt of purple fabric accross the crowd during "Let's Go Crazy" (which made the news on Prince.com!), and as HRH danced and cavorted in sparkling gold and glass platforms, declaring "This is REAL Music, played by REAL musicians!" and as Sly and The Family Stone provided funky slide bass - that Prince was one of the last of a generation of true stage performers. Amanda Palmer described wonderfully the 2nd loss of the 80s Holy Trinity comprising of Michael Jackson, Prince - and the only one we can cling to - Madonna:
"madonna, you’re the only one left…a lone bedazzled icon statue in a crumbling holy trinity, surrounded by the glittering and flickering ghosts of your two brothers."
So it seems rather fitting that when I was interviewed recently by Heidi Easley for her Art Heals series, that I spoke about the role my art has played at various times in my life, as a therapeutic way in which to express grief. I won't give any spoilers as some of the things in this video will remain **TOP SECRET** until May 29th when the episode airs. You can go listen to it for free if you sign up in advance via: arthealssummit.com.
I'm not quite finished on the subject of Prince, and will reveal more in due time..... curious?! More to follow soon....
On a lighter note, I have some lovely new things to show you guys! I have had my busiest quarter since pre-financial crisis, it has been commissiontastic crazy, and there's a lot of stuff I can't tell you about yet.... but in the meantime here's what else is new.
Firstly, I was was asked to create this vintage carnival-inspired poster for one of my favourite bands The Dresden Dolls. I first met Brian and Amanda at Glastonbury 2005, and have been collaborating on art with them ever since. The Dolls haven't played for toooooo long, and when I found out they were one of the bands in a series of concerts opening the Coney Island Amphitheater this August - I not only jumped at the chance to illustrate for them again - but I used my soon-to-expire airmiles to book a flight to New York to see the gig! I am so excited to see this concert and to go back to Brooklyn and visit all my lovely Coney friends, eat some candy apples and lobster rolls and ride the Cyclone!
With this in mind, I've been following my American friends as they voted in the primaries and gear up toward the next presidential election. I don't generally let politics infiltrate my art - but there is something about the Bernie Sanders vision that to me represents The Real American Dream - and I think he is the candidate to revive this dream in a way that is fair to the 99% and not the 1%.
I have been launching a range of digital print clothing in partnership with brilliant London printer/makers Bags Of Love. The totally amazing thing about these products is that they are custom made to order - so you can be assured you get exactly what you want and that your design is pretty much totally unique. You can pick almost **ANY** image from my portfolio, or even a few! I mentioned the espadrilles in my last update, but I've now added vests, womens tshirts, a version of my signature wardrobe staple dress, plus BOMBER JACKETS (oh my actual God, they are AMAZING!) and right on time for Summer in The Northern Hemipshere - 2 different styles of SWIMSUITS!!!!!
To top all of this off, I am going to give you guys the very first **EXCLUSIVE CHANCE** to get hold of one of my Guitar Heroines Tshirts!!!! (For those of you in the dark, my Guitar Heroines series was born as a response to the huge lack of Women of Rock represented on the Guitar Hero video game.) These shirts, in contract to the digital print variety - will be unisex styles and at this point are almost completely customizeable by you! Basically - I will be screen printing a limited edition of 10 tshirts per Guitar Heroine, on a range of tshirts, baseball long sleeves, girls baby rib, ringers etc - all in tones of black, white, grey and pink. So if you saw my PJ Harvey, Courtney Love or Patti Smith and thought "Oh yes I fancy that" - you can place a pre-order where you get to pick your heroine, style, colour and size - and I'll order it for you! This way your shirt will be absolutely unique to you. Oh, and should you be a colouring in addict - there's a version that comes with fabric pens so you can colour in your own shirt - whoopee!!!!!!!
To be the first to get your mitts on one of these tshirts, which start at just £25, go to this SECRET preorder link:
Remember - there's only 10 of each heroine - so preorder to avoid missing out on your idol of choice!
And oh oh! A special offer for you guys – order 2 or more shirts and get 15% off – simply use the code: 15HEROINES at checkout!
Okay, I have to get back to the studio now - there is soooooo much art to make and I love being this productive! I'll tell you all about it soon, Yo te Prometo!
Love and neon Pink Guitars, and Purple Rain xxxxxxxxx
Phew, Part 2!
Hi guys, I'm sorry, I'm tardy! In all earnestness I truly wanted to get this out as we pulled down the Brisbane exhibition but then several deadlines bit me and I had to feed them art....Read More
Meep... you guys are long overdue for some news, and since it's been a while there do be tons - so, I've split this into 2 updates, cos I've been up to a lotta stuffs... so here's part 1, part 2 will be flinging your way in a couple of weeks once some of these stuffs are no longer kept secrets!Read More