All Posts in creativity

April 19, 2018 - Comments Off on Stacey Dennis: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 4

Stacey Dennis: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 4

Best known for her cheeky cards, Leeds born, Stacey Dennis provides us with her hugely inspirational story of her creative start-up and now award-winning business Love Layla. We talk about how she quite literally used her 'skills to pay the bills' and turned 30 quid into a million and why carving out your own path might lead to even bigger and better things.

Excited to introduce the fabulous Stacey Dennis!
Let's get right to it, what University did you got to and to do what?

Leeds Art College & Leeds Met University, studying Design

After finishing formal education what did you do next?
Shortly after graduating, I began my first role within Graphic Design at a Musical
Instrument company based in Leeds. My job was to edit photographs of instruments
and design layouts for the in-house magazine.

How has your career path been shaped over the years?
Amongst various Graphic Design jobs, they were mainly all office based positions. I did break off after a redundancy to travel Australia. This led me to various job roles while backpacking around, but then I landed a position in Sydney working at a Design & Print shop - this was really where I came into more print production, understanding colour process and more technical design.

It was a local business and I became close to the owner who guided me through 9 months of training and development within my skills. Still working as a junior, my Manager was an amazing Illustrator and taught me how to really control design skills throughout the Adobe suite software. On my return to the UK, with my now Australian Husband, I then landed a Managerial position within a similar type of business back in Leeds.

Wow, what a journey!
What have been some of your most difficult obstacles in the workplace?

I think the most difficult obstacles within my career are being a Director of Love Layla. While I still love my job as a Designer, running a business involves job roles that I have zero interest in - such as Accounts. It takes me a long time to understand the sums!

Thankfully, I am super organised so can handle the workload but understanding and throwing yourself into duties that you really have no idea (or interest!) about...

What has been your favourite project to work on?
My favourite projects have always been logo design - throughout my career and having various tasks, I still and always will love designing logos! Simply because they are the “emblem” of someone’s business - there’s a lot riding on that. It’s the pressure I love then...

I did feel really proud and loved designing a sign for our offices -the sign is huge and I have never had to design a sign for myself, that was special.

Starting out, how did you create opportunities for yourself?
I always tried to put myself into everything - I always kept up with trends and found my own style. I was fortunate to gain experience within both print and design - this gave me a better understanding of a finished product when I was designing to send to print.

You have a very family orientated brand and business, who would you thank for helping get where you are?
It's true! The biggest input to my career started with my parents - they would drive me crazy places for crazy equipment/tools/materials to create my designs while at Uni. After them, I would say my boss from my job in Sydney. I was only supposed to be a temp for 3 weeks - 9 months later, I left the country and the job along with the support and advice of a professional who had grown her business from scratch.

So, from Leeds to Sydney to Leeds again, what was it that made you create Love Layla?
Love Layla came about because I was made redundant (again) as I left for maternity leave to have my baby, Layla. I was working as a freelance designer when my husband had a back injury. We were left with £30 and a one year old so I used my skills to pay the bills!

I designed 11 cards for Valentine’s Day and pushed them through Social Media. 3 years later, we stand in a warehouse with 4 members of staff (who are all family) with my husband, Jay, also as a Director. Layla is now 4 years old and we have a huge social media following generating repeat and new custom.

  

Amazing! What would you say has been your biggest achievement to date?
While not to sound too cocksure, my biggest achievement is managing Motherhood and building a successful business turning over £1million in our first year of trading. That was a big year and a proud achievement.

Absolutely, that's incredible. Why do you think the North of England is so special?
Yorkshire Puddings - My Dad is the king of them!

I was born and bred in Leeds and I love being in the North because it’s home! With great cities, we have lots to offer - chips and gravy for one!

What is great about Northern creatives?
There are lots of opportunities worldwide for Creatives, but sometimes they aren’t plausible or practical - so Northern Creatives are able to reach out to the North to assure you that you don’t need to be in the capital to have good ideas - nor do you need to have the skyline backdrop for inspiration.

If you have the eye, determination and drive, it will take you where you want to be.

What does the future hold for 2018?
Continue building our business, generate more designs and products to add to our collection and in general, keep enjoying my work and designing.

What advice would you give to anyone entering the creative industry?
Keep going, it’s not easy. I do find sometimes what looks great to you, isn’t always to someone else - but stick with your gut. Believe in what you do and keep practicing. I have gained a lot of skills through watching and practising video tutorials since I left University and through running my business.

Always think outside of the box, sorry for being cliché - It’s not my usual style, but always look for the not so obvious things in life, they might just lead you to a good thing.

One final thing, who is Twat Cat?
(Laughing) That's our cat and he is Twat Cat.

--

Got a birthday, anniversary, wedding to go to? You know where you're going now.
Discover more of our amazing Champion Northern Creatives here.

April 10, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei

sensei

se. xvi

if you squat and squint real well, you'll see that 'puma' is an anagram of 'faux pas', either that or that's the name of their next line of creps that with 78% likelihood will not sell out

SEE

In total effing awe of this emoji art page - damn these yung kids got skills. There’s not much on this earth that will make you as happy as seeing Kendrick’s cheek made of cookies and Eric Andre’s hair recreated with motorbikes and spiders. For more visual animated wonders available OFF the sociomediosphere and in the big L-D-N instead, check out Frances Stark over at the ICA and a screening of her interpretation of Mozart’s famous opera ‘The Magic Flute’. The behind-the-scenes vid of her work makes for worthwhile watching as she explains how obscure art doesn’t alllllways have to be poncey and inaccessible. (But it sure does help).

TOUCH

MORE THRIFT MAKES THE HEART GROW SCHWIFTY. Poplar Union is starting a monthly sewing class and in the process discards all that ‘make-do-and-mend’ preconceptions you had about the needle-and-thread, and shows you that new skills taste just as good as new clothes. Ones you’ve made yourself, obviously, not sold your soul to the high street (and their questionable exploits) for.

 

HEAR

The sweet sound of drums’n’laughter that you’ve been direly missing since all that endless Easter joy came to an abrupt halt last Tuesday. Hideaway in Streatham not only puts on live jazz, soul and funk nights - laying the aural nectar on so thick they could sell it as manuka - they host comedy nights on Fridays too. Getcho giggle on, forget it’s Friday 13th, shed the week’s sorrows, all that jazz. Literally, jazz. Monday nights sees a jazz workshop and jam session for all abilities, so you with the deaf tones can finally make it to deftones (the Def Jam version).

SMELL

Dance but NOT as you’ve known it before. Which is quite possibly you stepping on your own toes feeling like the physical embodiment of awkwardness, being squashed against a club wall wet with the condensation of fifty gurning 19-year-olds, and not being able to get the stink of said late teenagers out of your nostrils. Check out IDENTITY at Shoreditch Town Hall from the 12th - 14th April; contemporary artists will be exploring identity through voguing, hip hop, krump and generally shaking thangs that should be shook.

TASTE

Ever get caught in that weird conveyor belt-esque hole of Facebook videos that are a satisfying medley of relatable meme lols, the best moments from The Thick of It and unending #FOOD? Well you and me both, brother, we’re like pole and line tuna - reeled in af. Anyway I was doing this recently and somehow through the glaze of “I’ve now watched 25 minutes of disembodied hands prepare meals so swiftly it’s superhuman” that had crystallised over my eyeballs, I paid attention to someone telling me what to order at a Korean BBQ. So, naturally, Korean BBQ has now permeated my every waking thought. Which means I bring you GOGI in Edgware Road (WEST!!!), Asadal in Holborn and Dotori in Finsbury Park. Thx FB, for once.

@larabaxter 

March 26, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei

sensei

se. xv

bunny says as bunny does. make sure you don’t confuse your e’s and w’s by making this a Waster weekend, and check out how to keep yourself busy in london with these gems

 

TASTE

Wines curated by the Noble Rot (nobrot, lol) gang, a “lightly seasoned” whole turbot that has instantly become the only thing I can think about and rhuuuuuubarb. Rhubarb is so lit rhubarb needs to have its own Drag Race. This is all from Brat, a new Welsh/Basque mash-up opening on Redchurch Street, with a website that’ll make independent design studios wet their pants and a refreshingly straightforward menu that redefines the entire genre of minimalism. Sort of.

 

SEE

The long weekend means one thing. It means there’s more time to put off going to see exhibitions you’d been meaning to see but was so wrapped up in telling people how much you’d been meaning to see them that you forgot to actually do it. So this fin de semana, fight back against your procrastinatory self who would always choose another pint over leaving the house at 10am to catch some of dat sweet A.R.T. relief and check out expressive paintings from Rose Wylie’s late hubby Roy Oxlade, visceral grime from Pakui Hardware, nocturnal woodcuts from Tom Hammick and a big fat new show from Saatchi Gallery called Known Unknowns.

Roy Oxlade @ Alison Jacques Gallery

Pakui Hardware @ Tenderpixel

 

HEAR
Kkkkk this one’s not in London, fine, you caught me, I secretly believe there is life outside the M25, so what. You xenophobe. Unfortunately, I’m not 100% convinced Palmbomen II’s new alby ‘Memories of Cindy’ matches up to the Dutch wreckhead’s excellent eponymous album, released back in 2015 on Tim Sweeney’s Beats in Space label, but fuk it. I’m young, dumb and ready for some Palmbo-mun. And from your enthused reaction to my poor rhymes, I can tell you are too. ‘Av a trip down to Bristol on 7th April for a pounding live show by the friendly Dutchman, followed by more sonic spasms by electronic duo The Golden Filter.

SMELL

Smells like you, but better. Like your veins upgraded to fibre optic broadband or your name now rhymes with orange. London is lucky to host General Assembly - an organisation that runs short technology courses and workshops on things you know you should really know about, like UI/UX design, data science and Python. Sign up today and get HD ready.

 

TOUCH

You’ve already forgotten about all those art shows I told you to see, haven’t you. I know you too well, sensei pumpkin. Talking of pumpkins, the Turner Prize nominee Anthea Hamilton has teamed up with Jonathan Anderson of Loewe - the home of the sexily-cut handbag - to create a bunch of vegetable-inspired costumes. Yes, really. The commission is called 'The Squash'. The nutritional outfits are proudly worn by performers who will skulk around the area of Tate Britain that’s been transformed into an asylum-esque, white tiled space halfway between Ex Machina and that episode of the Simpsons where Homer falls into 3D-land. I'm getting hungry for aubergine parmigiana just thinking about it.

@larabaxter

March 21, 2018 - Comments Off on Sir John Hegarty in conversation

Sir John Hegarty in conversation

If you don't know who Sir John Hegarty is then you are in the wrong place.

And if you don't know, but are too lazy to google him, he's the co-founder of global ad agency BBH.

To paint a picture of how popular this particular talk was at Advertising Week Europe, I couldn't actually get in and had to sit in a cinema screen listening over headphones. Which had a mouse in it.

This discussion was lead by Jonathan Akwue, chair of the Ideas Foundation, a charity working to drive diversity which I highly recommend you check out here: http://ideasfoundation.org.uk/

And asking the questions were young leaders at the start of their creative careers keen to get practical tips on how to zig-zag their way to creative success.

If you've ever heard a Hegarty talk before you'll know what a treat it is to get insight from the man who has played such a massive part in advertising.

When asked about how he arrived at the decision to enter the world of advertising he described his journey to art school, in an attempt to be the next Picasso – and to get the ladies. Turns out this was not for him and he decided to attend the London College of Printing, though you may know it by its current name, London College of Communication. He says it was here that realised that the world could not be changed with a shade of blue but by ideas.

On the topic of diversity, he was not shy to declare that he detests the phrase ethnic minority and chooses to use ethnic essentials instead. "Creativity thrives on diversity". He believes that the more culture and different ways of thinking that can be shared the better, and the diversity you put into an agency comes out in its work. He also shared that this is why he is against 'Brexshit', that Britain's choice to cut itself off from other cultures is sad and foolish.

The next trend? Better ideas. Honestly, he says stop worrying about the trends and start refining your ideas. Tech will come and go but a great idea won't need it. And his thoughts on data are pretty much the same. "Big data is bullshit". The greatest story about data is the story of the birth of Christ – they went for the census and got more then they bargained for. The knowledge aquired by big data might be useful but using it is better. "Have an idea that influences the future."

How does one become inspired? Well, look around, there's inspiration everywhere. Take off your headphones, read more, read different and surround yourself with people who inspire you (basically, sack off all the people weighing you down.) Great creatives are optimists, they do interesting things with passion and in return are rewarded with interesting things happening to them. Yes, there's still such a thing as being too optimistic but it's encouraged. Optimists can be brought down but you'll struggle to bring a pessimist up.

And finally, he preached the death of the brainstorm. There's no proof that any truly wonderful idea was born in a brainstorm but there is plenty of evidence to prove that it's actually the work of great individuals. In a brainstorm you're working as fast as the slowest person in the room - rushing towards average - will more people in the room really help? Or, will creativity strike when you aren't even trying?

March 20, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei

sensei

se. xiv

beast from the east reloaded was like going through puberty for the second time but it’s all sound now folks, huddle up to springtime with some of these LDN ‘appnings

 

SEE

I wouldn’t really consider myself a theatre bunny, and the narrative of the one play I went to see at The Yard theatre in Hackney Wick was about as easy to follow as the Golden Snitch - whilst suffering from cataracts, on foot, in Selfridges’ Christmas department amongst stacks and stacks of gold baubles. BUT, I’m an open-minded person and it’s nearly Easter, so let’s try reinvent that theatre bunny in me. New beginnings n that. Buggy Baby has just two weeks left at The Yard, and features an adult woman playing an eight-month-old baby, which is exactly the sort of premise that should have you booking tickets at lightning speed. Plus, the play has got loads of stars from loads of established publications, so that must mean something.

SMELL

Ever since hanging out on the plant-laden terraced stretch of restaurants outside Westfield White City, I have become mildly obsessed with shrubbery you can sit on. So I’m overjoyed to find the CityTree installed in Piccadilly - a creation of Dresden-based Green City Solutions who are doing some wicked environmental work using modern tech like the Internet of Things. CityTree not only does the pollution-processing work of 275 trees in 1% of the space, is solar-powered AND waters itself, it’s also a comfy place to cotch. Too many times now I’ve said that London needs more benches. And it’s come at just the right time, as New Scientist point out that air pollution can actually destroy the communication systems of plants, which could have devastating effects on entire ecosystems. So pls follow Amsterdam’s example and respect the green.

 

TASTE

Raw yellowfin to the tunes of Peru. Morcilla croquettes that are like biting into the soft soul of a sea urchin. Andina in Soho provides the rhubarb negroni (my seasonal mind is blown) and damn fresh sea bass ceviche worth every penny. There’s a branch in Shoreditch, because everyone has to sell out someday, and they also offer masterclasses so you too can shimmy on down the enlightened Peruvian road. Pissed-co sours, pls.

 

HEAR

After watching some YouTube vids of BADBADNOTGOOD, suspecting there was something gratingly arrogant about them, concluding they were probably just four over-privileged, self-indulgent males, listening to their album III and agreeing with myself, then listening to album IV and Ghostface Killah collab Sour Soul and cutting them some slack, researching them a bit more thoroughly, forgiving their terrible name, considering buying a ticket to their live show in Lithuania in July, and now I’ve happily arrived at the stage where I’m comfortable recommending them to other people. So yeah. Onwards.

TOUCH

Get in touch with your womanly side. Cos everyone knows that’s really in right now. DIY Space for London is a top venue and this weekend (23 - 25th March) they’re running a 3-day even called AWOMENfest. There are collage workshops, live performances, tarot readings, screenings, jazz DJ sets. Mixed bag = YES. Get the full deets here and get yo tix here.


@larabaxter

March 15, 2018 - Comments Off on When it all gets a bit too much…

When it all gets a bit too much…

After having attended my fair share of industry talks, I must admit that I’ve become a bit cynical. Unfortunately, I’ve often found it to be the case that many speakers attend these events to be in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, using the stage for their own publicity. But the event I attended last night was different. It was genuine, and eye opening. The people on the panel were there because they wanted to help others. Which is the same reason why I’m writing this article.

Read more

March 8, 2018 - Comments Off on Badass.gal

Badass.gal

As part of the Young Creative Council I’m incredibly lucky to work with, and meet some amazing young women. So, for International Women’s Day 2018 we’ve launched badass.gal a platform with the ambition to celebrate a different female rising star every day for a year. (and beyond, I hope)

In a world where only 11% of creative directors are female, what chance do young female creatives have?

As a regular visitor to colleges and universities I see lecture theatres, classrooms and studios full of talented, ambitious young females (and more often than not, it’s the males that are the minority) yet when it comes to the industry the numbers just don’t add up. Something isn’t quite right here.

The dropout rate for young females in the creative industries is frightening. With a lack of role models, mentoring and funding it’s no surprise young women are turning their back on ad land.

Badass.gal is part of our plan to change the stats.

We’ve created a platform for student, intern and junior creatives to be recognised for the awesome job they’re already doing...with the ambition that, by International Women’s Day 2019 we’ll have 365 incredible women who are STILL in the industry and are smashing it.

Help us change the stats by nominating a #BadassGal you know, and sharing badass.gal with your networks.

Here's a sneak peak at some of the Badass Gals we have coming in the next few days...

 

#1 Pip & Lib 
A Welsh-Scandi furniture designer, and one of London's Young Poets. Pip and Lib are a creative team at Anomaly and co-founders of Phlegm Collective. The pair are on a mission to destroy society's unrealistic idea of 'perfection' and are already making waves, after their work was picked up by The Metro and Huffington Post. 

#2 Robyn Frost
Winning a yellow pencil at the D&AD New Blood Awards for her work on The British Army, and being one of the 2017 Creative Conscience finalists Robyn has already taken the industry by storm. But it's not just her work that we think makes her a Badass Gal. Robyn has written articles for both Campaign and D&AD, as well as speaking at events like Glug and Silicon Beach.

#3 Shanice Mears 
From intern at an agency to co-founder of an agency. Shanice is co-founder and chief talent scout of The Elephant Room, a new breed of agency who are committed to changing advertising. Shanice is living proof that titles, levels and experience mean nothing. It's your ambition, determination and passion that will create the change you want to see.

 

Head to badass.gal to see more

March 6, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei xiii

sensei xiii

se. xiii

how long do you have until your next 'commitment'? until you have to actually be somewhere, and do something? check this with yourself at every free moment you have, it feels like you're growing time

 

TASTE

I really don’t want this section to turn into some sad little diary of all my cuisinal rampages around London like some kind of Evening Standard columnist homage (luv u Grace Dent), but I ate proper good munch this weekend so follow suite. Darjeeling Express in Kingly Court serves up killer Indian food from a kitchen run only by women with no prior experience. The beetroot raita is pinker than lipstick in the rain and they serve strangely random but propa good venison meatballs. Up in Hoxton Square you’ll find the Petit Pois Bistro, which means foie gras with rhubarb, and chocolate mousse that GETS it, all to the soundtrack of The The and Fleetwood Mac.

 

SMELL

Smell always seems to bring bad news. I should do one where it’s more positive. Not this week though, yardies. DEAD STARFISH EVERYWHERE COS OF ALL DAT NUTS SNOW.


SEE
Don’t be a spanner; go listen to Emma Tanner. The third year Central St Martin’s student is putting on a one-woman show (I think it’s about furniture) at a gallery in Dalston that’s really just a flat that’s been converted by someone who clearly meant it when they said they’re gonna “do” East London.

For more cavorting of an artistic nature, check out RA’s Open Saturdays. On the second Saturday of every month the Green Park gallery put on free (FREE! F-R-E-E!!!!) workshops run by artists (ACTUAL ARTISTS) that you can go to and learn stuff from (SKILLS, TRANSFERABLE SKILLS, DO YOU HAVE ANY FUKIN CLUE HOW HARD THEY ARE TO COME BY THESE DAYS!??!?!)

HEAR

‘Black Boy Meets World’ is the debut album of Danny Watts, released last year on Jonwayne’s record label Authors Recording Co. His cathartic rhymes and DGAF production have hypnotised my Spotify fingers into pressing repeat much and often. He made it in a week, what you done?

A couple days back Ms Peggy Gou Gou Gou please take off your Shoe Shoe Shoe released a new EP ‘Once’ on Ninja Tune, catch her on the flip side at Needs x HeForShe at Oval Space this Sunday. Aside from featuring performances from B Traits and everyone’s favourite Smack City graduate, Jackmaster, the event will host panel discussions from music industry playaz, tackling the hottest topic since Scotch bonnets had the mic - gender inequality.

TOUCH

Someone high up at Nokia must be on a LOT of shrooms right now, because they really believe we’re gonna ditch our beloved Apple touch-screens for them. Their 2017 reboot of the iconic 3310 was pretty pathetic, evident from one of the THREE WHOLE selling points being “you can play Snake” (I mean fair do’s tbh but not the point). Anyway, NOW the Finnish phone company is bringing back the 8110 ‘Matrix phone’, and it’s all 90s nostalgia and special springing mechanisms, and all this hype about it having 5G, and TechRadar acting like this article is somehow necessary. Guys. C’mon. It looks like a fucking banana boat.

@larabaxter 

February 27, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei xii

sensei xii

se. xii

for when it's so cold even the central line is subzero

 

TOUCH

OOF, can’t believe the exclamation “oof!”, usually paired with splitting open a perfectly cooked soft boiled egg or in response to Orla dropping Auden, has now moved to pastures greener than my juvenile use of language, taking its place as the title of a new publication that is all about the relationship between art and football. Yes, they have a relationship, and it’s an extremely fruitful one, thank you. This new biannual mag is produced by Time Out’s art editor Eddy Frankel (a.k.a. Man with best prof pic on Twitter), and the first issue features big-time artists Rose Wylie (senior citizen of the moment) and Chris Ofili. At the end of the day, it’s something for the shelves of Wardour Street News that isn’t yet another £17 glossy that looks suspiciously similar to Dazed & Confused and also EVERY OTHER GLOSSY ON THE RACK, with content bound 2 be original considering its unlikely pairing of subjects.

 

SEE

Besides the Big Important Shows you should go to see like Barbican’s Another Kind of Life, Tate Britain’s All Too Human and - if you’ve not been yet - the Hayward’s re-opening with Andreas Gursky, make sure you give a little love to some smaller fry. Totally Different Animals at Arcadia Missa, the epic Marvin Gaye Chetwynd at Sadie Coles HQ, Luke Burton at Bosse & Baum, I Had The Landscape In My Arms at Josh Lilley and the enigmatic Rose Salane at Carlos/Ishikawa all are very worth your small-gallery-hopping while.

 

SMELL

Smells like tenuous and weakly creative advertising but I’m also not too sure because the pre-whiff of whisky has impaired me slightly. Glenmorangie Spìos is opening a pop-up bar called Spice & Rye in Fitzrovia from 20th - 24th March, it looks like every dim’n’grotty basement bar in the area and, true to ***experiential form***,  it's complete with art deco-style decor and jazz band. It’s a brand literally getting you drunk so you buy their products, out of respect you should go.

 

TASTE

An important precaution to take in this shit weather (or any weather in fact, cos this universe revolves around YOU gurl, not some fickle-minded meteorological phenomena) is to not forget about tending to your teatime taste buds. You want those buds to BLOOM, bitch, and nobody’s gon water them but you. Ditch the predictable selfies at Sketch and head to Cannizaro Park in Wimbledon for afternoon tea at Hotel du Vin and an unnecessary stroll through the foliage, it is worth the trek. If you find yourself oft crying out for crafts (and staying in Central), check out DrinkShopDo, where you can do stuff like bookbinding and clay modelling to make yourself feel like you’re at summer camp aged 9. Or, cinnamon rolls at Mughead Coffee in New Cross are bang, a lang, a langing.

HEAR

Nicolas Jaar gotta be the most sneaky bastard in the game. You might think he hibernates like a bear in a Christmas ad but he’s out there under multiple aliases releasing music L, R and C like he’s some kind of Russian spy child spawned by Nina Kraviz. 2012 - 2017 is his new album, released a couple of weeks back under one of these undercover virtuoso alter egos - A.A.L (Against All Logic). It’s bouncin, and was put out by his label, Other People, which features more treats you should chekkkkkk a$ap.

@larabaxter 

February 20, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei xi

sensei xi

se. xi
we should all view Frances Mcdormand @ the Baftas as our guiding north star this week, and have just a little bit more trouble with being 'compliant'

 

HEAR

If your ears haven’t feasted on the group album assembled by XL Recordings’ top dog Richard Russell then consider this section AURAL TASTE. Everything Is Recorded is sprawling and cathartic, perhaps thanks to the croons of Sampha, whose voice makes you think he’s the kinda guy who would forgive your wrongs. Wa-hack the record on during your commute home; your tired Londonified grey pallor will not protest.

Meanwhile in Dalston, experimental and avant-garde music venue Cafe Oto is hosting a night next Monday featuring artists from Turkey and Iran, with music inspired by Persian, Indian and Arabic music traditions. The teasers growl with soul and the tanbur, tembur and santur will all be played. I know you don’t know what those are so make sure you go and find the fuk out.

TOUCH

Touch upon the issues of today in a way that goes against the grain. Last week’s Short of the Week, the 10-minute documentary Guns Found Here (director David Freid) is a gr8 example of something that does exactly that. By maintaining the grave consequences of US gun ownership - i.e. everyone getting fucking KILLED - but approaching the topic from a largely unexamined angle in the form of a certain firearm-related bureaucratic nightmare, the call for tighter gun controls is made in a non-hostile, non-“activist” way, which I rate. That sounds like a douchey thing to say, but I stand by it because the film exhibits the kind of imaginative argument-making that could actually ignite change, and convince the staunch’n’stupid NRA groupies.


SMELL

Nostalgia wrapped up in reverb. Frank says go to church and you will feel like Frank feels. Did someone say tulips. Did someone say fuchsia. Did someone say sorbet.

SEE

Oooh here is a full-on fancy to see this week, pals. Creative director cum fashion designer cum DJ (if your job title doesn’t span three industries then R U even living in the twenty-first century m8?) Virgil Abloh, also known as that dude who made those sick Nikes, has teamed up with (remember when we didn’t use the phrase ‘collaboration’ in every other sentence?) contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, also known as that dude who made that sick Kanye West album cover. Making up perhaps the most raging postmodernist duo of all time, they’re exhibiting works at the Gagosian Gallery in Davies Street from Wednesday. Expect nu-wave frantic visuals and thirteen-year-olds who dress better than you.

TASTE

When in doubt, Peckham. Check out Coal Rooms, which is housed in the station’s former ticket office. Grade II listed, fam. I like the website URL because it looks like “Coal Room Speckham”, and I’m imagining something that is halfway between a chicken coup that smells like incense and and old man in a burgundy leather armchair with an inch-thick monocle on. Don’t know where that came from, might be the whole roasted cauliflower and ox cheek talking. Yeah. You ‘erd.

@larabaxter