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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.
photography by jim richards
written by sharlene gandhi
Creativity is defined universally and quite simply as ‘the use of the imagination’. Were we, hypothetically, to redefine creativity, would we take it further than this action of the mind? Would we go as far as saying that creativity is a lifestyle choice? Or perhaps the complete opposite, just a pass-time. The term that I am most likely to go with is ‘saviour’, but keep in mind that this debate, is of course, open to all; the more creative your responses, the better.
In Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, ‘creativity’ currents sits at the very top, on the self-actualisation level, accompanied by ‘problem solving’ and ‘the acceptance of facts’. Maslow’s theory was that without the fulfilment of all the needs beneath, the likes of which include breathing, nourishment, security, belonging and confidence, the highest level cannot even be understood, let alone attained. I do, however, find myself counteracting this theory. To me, my confidence and self-esteem lie in my ability to be creative. Long story short, if somebody were to, one fine day, inform me that an imagination was no longer in my possession, I would be mentally bedridden and reliant on somebody else to think on my behalf.
The state of mind that is classified as ‘creative’ is a beautiful one because it is limitless; time need not be a constraint, nor is there a concern for spatial awareness. Creative people- designers, writers, artists, filmmakers, choreographers, dancers, musicians- live in this mindset comfortably for a large chunk of their lives, causing, what I like to call, EDS… Extreme Daydreamers’ Syndrome. Your own thoughts become a means of transport by which you travel to the stepping stones to your next big idea. The creative mindset won’t cease to inspire ambition at nightfall either. It seems to me that the brain does its most imaginative thinking after hours, when access to writing material means leaving your warm bed with a heavy heart and equally heavy ideas buzzing between thoughts.
Inspiration is key to formulating creative thoughts, however. Writers take inspiration from authors, columnists and poets, whilst designers could exploit their visual surroundings and capture these in garments or prints. Inspiration is often fairly misunderstood; people think ‘inspired by’ equates to ‘stolen from’, which, any creative would assure you, is preposterous. We should be able to appreciate that to be entirely original is a challenge within itself, and to be able to use another’s art as an influence upon your own is a stage in the creative process that aids growth and development, both on personal and professional levels.
I maintain the belief that everybody has creativity within them; a reflection of your creative thinking almost always comes across in how you choose to dress, in the manner in which the working woman subconsciously matches her accessories with her choice of footwear. But there is a huge difference between people who occasionally have the odd creative thought, and those who ‘live’ creatively. And that difference is defined by the ability to interpret inspiration from a wide variety of sources; from nature to industry, from hair fibres to toenails, from the pot of gold at one end of a rainbow to whatever unknown treasure awaits you at the other end.
written by krissy eliot
photography courtesy of cwtalent
Talent manager, Caleb White, adjusts his ball cap and leans back in a chair in his office - the office that happens to also function as the back bedroom of his beach front home in VA. His desk is strewn with half-full lemonade containers and old issues of Vogue. Two surf boards hang from the ceiling and his feet rest on a skateboard that he keeps underneath his desk. He looks like the kind of guy you’d find shuffling around a “Dazed and Confused” inspired blow out in the woods, rather than the guy you’d hire for talent representation… and then he pulls out his 24 inch stack of notebooks - filled with to-dos and tasks.
“I’m at my desk no later than 8:00 every morning. I don’t leave my desk any earlier than 8:00 at night,” White says.” I don’t eat lunch. If I do, I’m at my desk.”
White takes on the world from his bedroom every day. He starts by contacting Europe in the morning, then he bumps the calls over to Asia in the early afternoon, and finally moves on to NY in the early evening; he does it all with the intention of getting his talent signed with agencies that will undoubtedly further their careers… and he gets them signed everywhere from Paris to Istanbul.
And one could expect nothing less from the mastermind behind CW Management - a major company that’s represented such faces as sports star Chad Hedrick, actress and model, Kim Smith, and musician, Tone Loc. So how does White know who is destined for stardom?
“I look for connectivity,” White says. “I look for somebody that I’m gonna click with and enjoy pushing because I’ve learned that’s what makes careers.”
White has a golden eye for discovering talent, and he doesn’t stick to the conventional methods of finding stars on the street, either. For White, the Internet is an eye-glass that enhances his already 20/20 talent-vision - and he never stops looking.
In late 2012, White discovered Beau Buckley, a male model who rocketed to fame, nabbing a campaign with Yves Saint Laurent. White spotted him in the corner of some girl’s Facebook photo; Buckley was riding in the car with his girlfriend. White knew instantly that he should be a model, he contacted him, and signed him immediately. Similar stories can be told for most of the models and actors on his current talent board.
Some agents give White flak about finding talent via the Internet, but White makes a compelling retort: “Why shouldn’t I be able to scout online when girls are allowed to scout ME online?” According to White, all the modeling agencies use the Internet to find talent too, it’s just not something they advertise.
White doesn’t live by industry standards and he doesn’t sign “cookie cutter” actors and models. If he sees something in someone, he will fight to make them famous; his management method involves breaking barriers and showing the world someone totally original - and his method WORKS. “I’m [a manager] because I’m lucky to be in a creative business. [Finding talent] is an art form,” White says. “And I set my own rules.”
You can contact White through his email:
Or check out his website:
written by carrie reynolds
One of the best pieces of advice given to Jessica Willis was to do something she enjoyed as a career, to turn a hobby into a business.
Flossy Jewellery started when Jessica was studying a Foundation Degree at Staffordshire Uni; part of her criteria was to create a start-up business plan. And as she had previous jewellery making experience, she decided to take it a step further and created actual items to display at the end of year show. After a really positive response, Jessica gained the confidence to put items for sale online after graduation. Her first collection sold quicker than she anticipated, reaching a global audience through the handmade onine store Etsy.
Although Flossy is only in its first year of business, Jessica has worked through the huge learning curve, expanding her network online. At the moment she is working on connecting with her customers through Instagram; Jessica wants to have a good relationship with her customers, and thinks Instagram is a fun way to connect. Not only has she been building relationships with customers, but suppliers too. This has enabled her to order new crystals for her upcoming pieces. At first she began with Swarovski and vintage crystals, which makes each piece unique. During the year she has also figured out what works well and what doesn’t, and now is selling more rings with a wide variation of colour and size.
Jessica believes that high street jewellery can become repetitive and doesn’t always offer the best quality, so she wanted to create unique pieces at a good price that people can treasure. By using vintage items and making pieces in limited numbers she maintains an exclusive collection. This is also an important factor for the brand ethos of Flossy.
Although Flossy currently only sells on Etsy, Jessica is looking into having craft stalls and fashion fairs starting from March. Even further into the future, Jessica aims to have a presence at craft fairs and galleries where she can have the opportunity to meet customers face to face. This will help her establish which direction to take Flossy, directly from customer feedback. Jessica thinks that it’d be amazing to have Flossy jewellery stocked in independent boutiques and like-minded retailers, but her biggest ambition is to have a stall at Brookyln Flea Market in New York. She had the opportunity to visit there last summer, and has since been in love with the place.
Currently the Spring/Summer 2013 Flossy collection has just been released, which coincides with the launches of the website and Instagram. She has also ordered some interesting, large druzy crystals which she intends on making into statement rings.
(Photography Jordan Reece Williams)
Do you have a story or anecdote to share about your graduation day? With our Transformation issue upcoming, we’d love to know about the day that is supposed to not only transform your education, your career but also your life.
If you’d like to have your words feature in #5, please complete the questions below (or send your anecdote of under 300 words) to email@example.com before 13/02/13
- First things first - did you make it to Graduation?
- Cap and gown in toe, what was the best part of Graduation day for you?
- What did you Graduation in, and what did you get?
- Did graduation meet your expectations?
- Any embarrassing tales to tell about Graduation day?
- Did graduating transform anything (career, life, etc.) for you? If so, what and how?
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.
Nana’s Vintage Fair is an official stockist of prototype magazine, you can currently hunt down issues #3 and #4 at each fair, and soon we will be adding #5 (our most recent issue) to the mix.
Not only can you find our magazine but also beautiful vintage items, but there is cake, eclectic jewellery. Holding fairs throughout Staffordshire, for the general public and students, it is the perfect day out. Check out their website, or follow them on Facebook to find out what dates the fairs are set to be held.
If you pick up a copy of our zine there, why not send us a picture or a message to let us know.
Images Above: Blitz, London
Written by Sharlene Gandhi
Post-Christmas sale shopping is a ritual that, especially to the female population, needs neither an explanation nor a justification. After days of preparation for the grand festival of Noël, errand upon errand, task after task, finding yourself a real diamond in the rough (that just happens to be your size) houses an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. The annual bustle of the sales is a festivity of its own, without which the festive period would simply be left incomplete.
This year, however, I found myself labeling the experience of sale shopping a ‘nuisance’ rather than the familiar ‘unexpected pleasure’. I have always believed that there are multiple types of shoppers: the Excitable, the Patient, the Hoarder and the Organised, amongst others. I, myself, belong to the final group, the Organised- that is to say, that I know precisely what I want, down to the very last design detail, and where to get it from.
Having travelled to my second home, London’s Oxford Street, wish list freshly encoded into my mind, I was saddened by the sight of similar displays in every high-street store I entered. Studded slippers here and sleeveless shirts there, the repetition was reminiscent of the pre-Christmas errands from which I was craving escape. The fashion industry, to me, signifies wearable art. High street stores, in an attempt to fiercely compete, had abandoned two basic business principles which should remain at the heart of any venture. The first is to always keep the unique selling point in sight, and the second, arguably the most crucial, is to put the customer first.
Image: Oxford Street, London
Disheartened by the plague of a lack of originality that seemed to have simultaneously struck all high-street designers, I then headed to London’s East End, where, on a typical day, one can witness an innovative blending of vintage and current trends, the result of which is homage to all the styles represented on the streets of London. Brick Lane houses multiple independent stores, including London’s first vintage department store, Blitz London. Along with a mouth-wateringly unique clothing selection, adorned with equally beautiful prices, Blitz keeps the customer experience at the core of the business, offering coffee shop delicacies and photobooth memories.
This is an anecdotal experience of mine through which I can deduce that independent shops, although in the shadow of global brands, still flourish in a way that plays on the weaknesses of high-street chains. As I said before, fashion for me is an art form, and the foundation of any art form is creativity. Not having a brand identity to ease marketing works advantageously in this case, as these small shops do all that is in their power to be imaginative and to redefine the shopping experience, thus keeping the biggest far, far away from being the best.