You can win a £25 voucher to spend at Panda Press by entering our competition here. Ends today!
written by carrie reynolds
Panda Press, taking their icon from the chinese symbol of diplomacy, are a family run design and print company based in Stone. They embrace the panda heritage as an icon of good relations, and believe it reflects the way they do business. The “panda difference” for them is how they help clients through their processes, with a friendly team ready to fulfil their needs. Panda Press want to help achieve maximum results at the best possible value. A few of their products include; business cards, leaflets, folders, creative books, and brochures.
written and interviewed by sharlene gandhi
There is something so seductive about art; perhaps it is the mysterious way in which the viewer cannot deduce why he loves it so much. Jason Kattenhorn, who works under the brand name BlackEyed Jack, describes himself as a ‘biro wizard’, and I can happily confirm that he is no less than that. In an age where all work is digitised, it is nice to be able to step back and appreciate hand-drawn art, beautifully crafted with just two tools- the biro and the creative mind. Nevertheless, BlackEyed Jack makes sure he exploits the vast range of software available in our day to digitally enhance and colour his images.
BlackEyed Jack’s illustrations, at first, strike me as controversial, yet not in a way that is detrimental. Widely-recognised public figures, including Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote (played by the infamous Angela Lansbury), and the Duchess of Cambridge, feature as prominent characters in his works. Anthropomorphised animals also make regular appearances, often on vintage bikes or dressed in smart suits. There is a bit of a Banksy air about his works that trigger conversation and appreciation about the art behind the potential controversy.
Give your characters an atypical prop and there you have your hook: Leisurely Lesula and Murder In The Afternoon
BlackEyed Jack recently took a step into the T-shirt industry, on which Jason Kattenhorn comments that his “bright and vivid imagery showcases really well when emblazoned on an individual’s chest.” I have no option but to agree, whole-heartedly. It is one thing seeing a print in front of you, and another wearing it on your chest. Having it, quite literally, closer to your heart does something to the vibrancy and the intricacy of the print that gives all wearers a certain sense of pride at being able to own something so unique and carefully thought-out.
I had a little chat with the creative mind behind the BlackEyed Jack brand, Jason Kattenhorn….
Give us a brief introduction of who you are and what it is that you do…
I am a freelance illustrator specialising in biro portraits. From anthropomorphism to famous faces, with fridges filled resplendently with haunted cephalopodic terror thrown in for good measure. Expect lots of biro and bewildering sights.
How did you get into illustrating? What is it about this art form that interests you?
I have been drawing all my life and it was only last year after a friends inspiring monologue that I decided to take the leap and freelance. The simplicity of drawing interests and spurns me on, as a few lines on a page can create wonderful imagery.
What/who inspires you to create these drawings?
Expressive, eccentric and lovable individuals inspire me. I love to try and challenge myself; I hope my work eventually is photo realistic in style. My most recent project is based on putting down the smart phones and going back to basics. Pick up some plastic cups and some string and let your imagination run wild. You never know who may be calling.
Where does the brand name ‘BlackEyed Jack’ originate from and why did you decide to use it?
As a kid I had this awesome T-shirt with a pirate named Black Eyed Jack on it. I wore it all the time. As a pseudonym it works perfectly for me as I like to create a bit of mystery in myself and my work. To be honest I still have the T-shirt, it’s a little snug but I can still manage to get it on.
What was the effect, as an artist, of moving into the T-shirt market?
The T-shirt market opens up a plethora of opportunities for my work to be seen by people who otherwise may not have seen my prints. My T-shirts are digitally printed to enable all the vivid colours and details to be reproduced. I struggled to find T-shirts with great designs on that I liked, so I took it into my own hands and made my own.
Where do you see BlackEyed Jack illustrations and the brand in 5 years’ time?
Ideally in 5 years’ time I would like to see Black Eyed Jack in more magazine publications, maybe have had some of my work featured in a film or book. Realistically I just hope I am still going strong and doing what I love. This year I am focusing on trying to get an agent and building up my portfolio.
Reveal your secret for success in the industry…
This is the age of technology and although I don’t like to admit it the internet is the way forward. Don’t be shy if you want you work seen then show it. Email, tweet, and Facebook your way to the top.
BlackEyed Jack prints are available at Mr Bird’s Emporium, a vintage fair in Birmingham. They can also be ordered via the BlackEyed Jack website, www.talesofblackeyedjack.com, by emailing BlackEyedJack7@gmail.com, or tweeting Jason at @BlackEyedJack.
To transform; metamorphose. Something which happens so naturally in the creative world. And there is one group whose continual transformation is to the benefit of all us. Bad Edit are a creative networking team who hold weekly events in their new location of Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. Not only for artists, they have events for poetry, creative writing, and musicians too.
Bad Edit Presents is for the artists, giving them plenty of space to exhibit their work and exposure to the public. Lineup Fridays are for the musicians, sharing local music every Friday. Their free SPAM (Some Poetry And Music) night is open to performance also, providing a range of local talents. And if craft is more your thing, the Bad Edit Student Tour at the LRV in Staffs Uni has stalls to sell merchandise.
Bad Edit gives everyone a chance at becoming involved in some way, and are welcome to new ideas. Their growth is transforming what we, the creative people of Staffordshire, can achieve locally. Blossoming from their beginnings in 2011, Bad Edit is a key to network and make contacts, and above all share with other like-minded people.
Written by Carrie Reynolds
(image via: Lantern repeat pattern | Dante Terzigni Illustration)
Listen up surface pattern folk, illustrators, painters, or if you just like to repeat yourself. We’re after a pattern for the front and back inner pages of our fifith issue. The theme is ‘transformation’, and the issue will be released in the New Year, Jan 2013.
We want the pattern to be delicate, thought-provoking, artistically presented and also fit the ‘transformation’ theme. It’d be nice if something also represented the New Year as that is what has inspired our theme!
The artwork guidelines are:
JPEG or PDF
210mm x 210mm + 3mm bleed on all edges
So they are the only rules: you have the artistic freedom to create something fantastic! Please send your submissions to email@example.com and use the subject header ‘seeing patterns’.
All submissions will be reviewed at the beginning of December 2012 and two submissions will be chosen.
We have announced the release of #5, to be released in January 2013. Artists, get your submissions at the ready.