Monday, 27 January 2014

London day tripper

Sometimes I get homesick. I know it's normal but it gets annoying because I get confused where my home actually is. Prague is where I grew up and I do think I want to end up there but I spent all my student years in England and this is the place which taught me to be independent. Things like setting up a bank account, making sure I have something in the fridge, getting my first proper part-time job, dealing with people not having a clue where I'm actually from (e.g. 'So when are you going back to Serbia?') etc. So whenever I do go back to Prague (I repeat, not Serbia, nowhere near.), I end up missing this damp island after a while. And vice versa of course.

Today I was waiting at the bus stop to make my way to uni when an elderly man joined me. After a few moments he dropped his walking stick and I mindlessly picked it up. A giant smile spread across his face and he said: 'This is as close as I get to a chat up line these days.' It made me laugh and reminded me how much I like the English humour and that I'm probably not done with the place just yet.

Last week I went to London just for the day with my friends Fika and Myra. It's always nice to get away from Birmingham- even though it's Tolkien's home town, nothing all that exciting actually happens here. I always get so much inspiration from London, I love how every part of it has its own character, it's like tens of villages in one. This time we explored Islington and went to The London Textile Fair.

The fair was more for business owners looking for big amounts of fabrics for good prices and not so much for designers as we hoped. But I discovered Malhia Kent, a French company with some really beautiful woven fabrics.

After we got some lunch at The Breakfast Club, one of my favourite places to eat in London, we discovered an amazing shop called SMUG. Wrapping paper, notebooks, screenprints, toys, I think you can see why I liked it so much. I want a shop like that!

We also made it to House of Hackney in Shoreditch, a luxurious brand specializing in interiors, fashion and lifestyle. When I walked in it was like stepping into another world, the place was filled with patterns of plants and lemurs playing accordions, otters with fans - I felt like Alice in Wonderland, it was amazing.

photo credit: Myra Wen.

Thank you London, once again you didn't fail to amaze me. Here's a snapshot of all of us from Liberty, another beautiful place where I hope to be able to afford at least some ribbon one day.

What's your favourite design shop in London/elsewhere?

photo credit: Myra Wen.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Krautstomper artwork

It's normal to obsess over a band you've just discovered right? I just have the Chvrches' album 'The Bones Of What You Believe' on repeat and all I can think about is how much I want to see them live in March, the cheap tickets are already sold out though, blast!
Anyway, I'm supposed to be a designer so let's get back to that. For now, at least. 

I came across some of my older work the other day, maybe from 4 years ago and it's made me realize how much I've learned over the years I've spent in the UK. It's a good feeling, it makes me come back to all those times in the fine art studio, listening to my teachers and having no idea whatsoever what they were on about. All that fine art stuff, you had to find a deep meaning in everything. Only in my last year of my BA degree I started understanding what wanted from me and I could actually use it to my advantage. 

Anyway, the point is that I'm glad this art education actually gave me way more than I realized and it's got me to where I want to be. Go pattern design!

My brother's in a band called Krautstomper (check out their bandcamp page) based in Germany and a while ago they decided to use some of my prints for their album and website, which was an honour. It's from my first and second year at uni so a bit outdated but maybe I can provide them with some new designs soon. (hint hint)

I've recently been asked to do some illustrations for my friend Filip's short stories (sneak preview), I'm really excited to start working on that. I've never done anything quite like it so it'll be a great experience, plus I'm free to experiment with whatever comes to my mind regarding each story (one's about plants falling in love, can't wait for that one!). 
So keep your eyes peeled for updates on that, it should come out on Kindle when it's ready. 
Headphones off for now, some actual work needs to be done.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

face puller

We were told today that we can have a fashion show towards the end of Masters which I found really exciting, I hope we can do it! Apparently we get to model our clothes too so I thought I'd practice a little bit, which is a tough one for me since I tend to pull faces quiite a lot. So most of the shots ended up in the trash. Long way to go!

The shirt I stole from my mom, the skirt is from a second hand shop in Prague (for about 20p), shirt is Michael Kors (stolen from my Mom), hat is from Forever 21, tights from Dorothy Perkins, shoes are Dr. Martens (brand new so my heels are sliced, anyone got tips on softening the back bit?) and the bug ring is from Cow, a great vintage store in Birmingham. Oh and the necklace I don't actually remember. I guess I'm turning into someone who talks about every single item of clothing they wear? The whole fashion world must be getting to me.

Tomorrow I'm off to London to see the London Textile Fair and hopefully get inspired and talk to some designers.. Roadtriip!

PS: photo credit - Kim Smith.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Shrewsbury getaway

So I've been back in England for a while now. It always takes me a few days to adapt to everything again, just like getting back to blogging. I've just discovered the band Chvrches and I can't wait to see them live in Birmingham in March! So instead of writing this I keep switching to their videos, they're really great, as are their videos.
My friend Kim is visiting me for a week or so, it's been so much fun. We took a trip to Shrewsbury at the weekend, it was so nice to get away from the city and see fields with sheep scattered all over them. It's such a nice town, filled with little hidden courtyards which was my favourite part.

There was even a tiny textile design place hidden away but unfortunately it was closed. Kim and I got so excited about everything, we just kept squealing and deciding which houses we're gonna live in and where our shops are gonna be!

I can call this research right? It definitely was inspiring and I always find that traveling and just getting away from your usual surroundings is a good idea, it gives you new impulses and things to think about. Countryside is bliss. I can't wait for Spring so I can do more getaways, English countryside is definitely worth it. And I want to do getaways with this lady, she's the best.
Before that, back to grey Birmingham, J.R.R. Tolkien's hometown!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

post accident post

Hey hey! I hope everyone's had a good Christmas and started the new year positively!

It's been over a month since my last post which I hope won't happen again but I have a pretty good reason for it, unfortunately. I got hit by a car on my bike on a big roundabout but luckily (knock on wood) I 'only' broke my elbow. There were 3 fragments though so I now have some wires in to hold it all together so it'll take some time to get back to normal, which is annoying but I keep telling myself it could have been much worse!

Luckily it's my right arm and I'm left-handed so I can still draw and eat so phew! Don't know how long it will take till I can get back to screen printing but we'll see how the physical therapists work their magic. Quite a funny story, I was in the screen printing room in November and some photographer came to take some pictures for the new website and here you go haha:

I'll be back in the UK next week and will have to do an exam I was supposed to have a day after the accident (so when I was lying on the road I was trying to get up and go to uni to finish getting ready for it) so after that I hope I'll get back into work fast and will make sure to share some of it!

In the meantime, I need to get these wires moving. Talk soon!