Tuesday, June 16, 2009

hello, old friend.

Hi all! Jen here, and I was thinking it was about time to reunite with some old friends...

Do you have a record collection? Chances are if you don't, someone in your family does. Statistics report that new and used record sales are increasing at a rapid rate – vinyl records are experiencing a renaissance. (LP sales almost doubled between 2007 and 2008.) Whether you grew up with them or not, many people find something extra special in the feel and appearance of vinyl records. Nostalgia lies in the little crackles and pops heard during playback.

And then there's the draw of the album covers themselves and art/photos inside. Many so beautiful that you'd want to plaster them all over your walls. Or make something out of them.

This week, I challenge you to take inventory and do a little tribute to your stack of vinyl. And if you don't collect these beauties, maybe you can take this opportunity to record some thoughts on your personal musical history. Trust me, this kind of information deserves a nice little spot in your scrapbook.

Maybe you grew up listening to The Beatles, or perhaps you were subjected to your parents' or grandparents' favorite records (whether you liked them or not!) Whether it was Barry Manilow or The Who, take that trip back in time and jot down all of the little memories that go along with your playlist. Write a bit about your current favorites, or how older music has shaped your musical taste today.

Records and album covers are quite easy to find at thrift stores, yard sales and of course, record shops. If you don't want to cut up your own precious collection, shop around for an alternative. Or use a scanner (or take a photo) to create a printable image of your irreplaceable album covers. Make a cover for a book, cut up pieces to illustrate your story, use a record cover as a background for photos, make a journal. Write a note documenting the history of a record, what those songs means to you and slip it inside the sleeve. Whatever you do, just be sure to preserve some of those memories.

Here are two examples of how I did it. First, I wanted to record a few thoughts about growing up on Led Zeppelin. My dad was very rock and roll and some of my first memories are dancing around the living room to his Led Zeppelin and Queen records.

And then, I definitely wanted to get my daughter's current favorite songs down on paper. (For a two year old, she has very specific favorites that range from punk to metal to indie music!) I saw this amazing children's record at a thrift store about a year ago and the cover made the perfect background for this playlist. (Aren't those illustrations seriously the best?!)

Song and memory go hand in hand. Or to jack the Dylan quote from Kim's blog ... "the present now will later be past." So get to it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

filling in...

for Jen this week, it's Kim!

My mum recently bought me this magazine;
hasn't it got a GREAT cover? the artist who was the main feature is Andy Burgess and his new collages are amazing, don't you think? he's got an exhibition coming up at this gallery in London.
I love it when contemporary artists bring it back and use the 'old school' designs. Artists like Rodchenko who made Russian Revolution posters inspire me too. There is something about collages that I have a major weak spot for. Anyway, a few of Andy's images I found online;

he has said about his work;
"I paint moody, cinematic unpeopled landscapes that are evocative of real places and somewhat dreamlike. I explore the way the past lives on in the present and how cities are a repository of our memories and dreams. I have been collecting vintage ephemera for many years which I use to make collages. These draw on a number of influences from Pop Art to Minimalism and my interest in popular graphic design and typography."
if you want to be an art geek like me, you can read the press release all about his new work here.

I love the idea of hidden messages and things in art. And deconstructing something, and putting it back together completely different. Maybe try piecing together words from logos. 

So this week, I want you do dig out your vintage ephemera and collage! maybe even use contemporary odds and ends and magazine clippings. anything really- whatever inspires you!

here is a layout i've done of some magazine clippings;
(sorry the scan is kind of rubbish.)
They make great places to store all those inspirational images you collect, (admit it, you collect them!) and you can hang them up without taking up masses of space, and can be filed away when you make the next one.

okay. make friends with your scissors and get your collage on!
(link us up!)