New Zine: The Art of Being Awkward

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The Art of Being Awkward is a new zine published by The DIY Eye and sold through The DIY EYE Etsy shop.

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It’s an A5 illustration/drawing zine of 16 single pages plus a card cover with an inside print. The first 10 copies sold will have a limited edition coloured cover (yellow or cream) and each order comes with a free badge.

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For more images see the Etsy listing HERE.

The Art of Being Awkward on Tumblr and Instagram

The DIY EYE Zine Issue 1: Art + Skateboarding

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2105 will mark ten years since my first book Concrete to Canvas: Skateboarder’s Art was published. To commemorate the occasion I thought it fitting that the first ever paper zine from The DIY Eye will be on the same subject matter art + skateboarding culture and where the two collide.

The DIY Eye Issue 1: Art + Skateboarding will feature new/more artwork by skateboarders, including new work by some of the contributors to the original books, plus photography, interviews, features and articles on those themes. The plan is to publish around April this year and it will be on sale through The DIY Eye Etsy shop.

The zine is also open for collaboration and submissions. If you would like to submit artwork, photography etc then please do get in touch for more details! The deadline for submissions is the end of Feb.

Zine Review: Stolen Sharpie Revolution

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The Stolen Sharpie Revolution is a zine dedicated to zines and zine culture by Alex Wrekk. It’s now in its fifth edition thanks to a successful kickstarter campaign (which is where I pre-ordered this copy) with 2014 marking an impressive 12th anniversary of the zine with over 21,000 copies now in circulation.

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Stolen Sharpie Revolution covers all aspects of zines from ‘What’s a Zine’ to why make one, zine production with template and binding information, distribution, tips for starting your own distro, and advice about attending events to starting your own and much more.

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It’s a goldmine of practical advice and tips from someone who’s been making and selling zines, attending zine fests and organising their own events for over a decade. There’s also insightful articles such as Zines Vs Blogs about zines and the internet and a feature on Zine Libraries, to name a few.

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SSR is US based so if that’s where you are, there’s also a handy feature on the US postal service in relation to zine mailing. The rest of the advice is much more general and not location specific. Although the SSR does start at the very beginning with all the whats, whys and wherefores of zines, there’s also plenty for the seasoned zinester and zine enthusiast, plus lots of interesting resource links to distros, podcasts, events and more. I found a bunch of new stuff and the info and advice about events and distros made new and interesting reading.

Buy a copy of Stolen Sharpie Revolution HERE and do check out the SSR website at www.stolensharpierevolution.org as it houses a massive amount of resources, knowledge and news.

Review: This is Bacon + Competition

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Laurence King Publishing’s ‘This Is‘ series continues with This is Bacon with words by Kitty Hauser and illustrations by Christina Christoforou.  The series of illustrated biographies by different authors and illustrators, feature artists including Warhol, Pollock, Gauguin and Dali amongst others.

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After reading Brian Talbot’s Alice in Sunderland some years ago, which is essentially a history of the North East and how it inspired Lewis Carroll’s famous work, I personally felt that more history/text books should be in graphic novel format. I’d have never have thought to have picked up a text book on Sunderland (no offence to Sunderland!) but Brian Talbot’s work combining history and illustration, made for fascinating reading.

The same goes for art history books: as much as I’m interested in art history in general and various artists in particular, including Bacon, these days with time precious and other fish to fry, I would be unlikely to pick up a weighty tome for further, casual reading.

Yet this series, although not exactly a graphic novel, more an illustrated guide, is very appealing. From the minimalist cardboard covers to the quirky visuals that help to tell these artists’ tales, the images here break up the text into manageable, digestible chunks and break away from the usual format of weighty biographical works.

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 This is Bacon doesn’t break new ground in terms of his story, those very familiar with Bacon’s biography won’t uncover anything new, but it does serve as a great introduction to the artist and his work, and what is new, is the way it’s told with succinct text combined with engaging visuals by Christoforou.

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As well as the illustrations, the book features 19 of Bacon’s painting and discusses the pieces in terms of their impact and interpretations. The biography covers the major events and turning points in Bacon’s life from his beginnings in Dublin, his time in Berlin, Paris and London, his circle of friends and muses: everything you’d need to know to get a good grounding in Bacon as a subject.

These books succeed in making the often lofty subject of art history accessible and engaging thanks to its highly visual format. As a text book for students or for someone with a more general interest in art, it’s the perfect balance of words and visuals adapted for the internet generation’s diminishing attention span, my own included.

WIN A COPY OF THIS IS BACON OR THIS IS GAUGUIN!

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Win my review copies of either This is Bacon or This is Gauguin – two separate prizes with three ways and chances to win. Either like The DIY Eye Facebook page and comment on the competition post, follow me on Twitter (@JoWaterhouse) and tweet me your entry, or follow me on Instagram – @The_DIY_Eye and comment on the comp post or tag me in a post about it. You can enter via any or all of those methods, i.e. if you enter by all three, that’s three entries. Also let me know which book is your preferred prize. Competition is open to all (not just the UK) and the two winners will be chosen at random on the 11th January 2015, so there’s a month to enter. Good luck!

Glen E. Friedman: My Rules

My Rules, the touring exhibition by esteemed photographer Glen E. Friedman is currently showing at 14 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London until 18th January 2015. It’s open daily from 12-8pm and features over 50 of Friedman’s iconic images of skateboarders and musicians, with many of the images not exhibited before now. There’s also audio and video accompaniment from the likes of Ice T and Ian MacKaye, as well as a previously unreleased audio interview with the late great Jay Adams, one of his last interviews before his untimely death earlier this year. Not to be missed.

Affordable Gifts from Independent Artists and Businesses

It’s the time of year that will fill you with good cheer or dread, or a combination of the two. It’s Small Business Saturday in the UK tomorrow, so I thought it fitting to do an obligatory Christmas gift post on some of my favourite things from independent artists or businesses. These are all completely bias choices, from nice people I know, items I covet or have bought myself.

This could’ve been a huge post as there’s so much good stuff out there but this is just a small, personal selection. Do spend time to look for and support other independent artists, shops and businesses and your local High Street this Christmas. Where you choose to spend your money makes a huge difference to communities and individuals.

ARTWORK

Lovely lino prints by Chris Bourke from £50 and under, click the image below to go straight to his Etsy shop, these his trademark bird prints are just a few of my favourites. There’s so much texture to these prints, the images struggle to do them justice:

Lino Prints by Chris Bourke

JEWELLERY

Datter Industries: any/all of these have been on my wish list for a while now. They’re gorgeous handcrafted jewellery in a variety of metals by designer and illustrator Kaye Blegvad. These items are £68 and under.

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ZINES & PRINTS

Two of my current favourite zine makers and artists:

Eleni Kalorkoti produces beautiful zines, I bought the Super Hero zine below earlier this year. I also love this Riot Grrl digital print and the Glitch t-shirt. £18 and under. Click the image to go to her online shop:

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Kristyna Baczynski produces fantastic comics and illustrations, I bought Vantage on a trip to a comics shop in Newcastle and was instantly impressed with her style of storytelling on existential topics. She has released some lovely Christmas cards and the genius Power Pack lucky dip gift package, of random prints, cards and zines. Click image to go direct to her shop, Items are £15 or below.

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BOOKS

Laurence King Publishing are the biggest business to be featured in this list. Over the years they’ve become one of the world’s leading and respected arts publishers. Through their books they’ve supported many independent writers, (including me! With two of my books still part of their current catalogue, as well as publishing my earlier books promoting the DIY arts community) artists and illustrators, as well as publishing works on world renowned names.

These are my current favourites in their collection and those on my wishlist: the new, awesome Fifty Years of Illustration is one I can’t wait to see in person;  This is Bacon from their This Is range of illustrated art history books (I have a copy of this and it’s superb, look out for a review here of this book coming next week) Low Tech Print which I’m also very keen to read and The Art Game – a top trumps card game. As most people love a game of something-or-other after Christmas dinner and this beats Charades hands down. Prices here are £30 and under.

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VINTAGE

I love all things old, odd and vintage for it’s quirky and one-of-a-kind-ness. I’ve worked with Clare from Second Hand Rose on various projects over the years, including events, a book and curating a big vintage fashion exhibition. Her online shop is THE place for affordable vintage from across the eras. Click the image below to visit her Etsy shop. She has a great range of clothing, jewellery and some fantastic vintage decorations. Items here priced from £15 to £50.

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Check out previous posts on The DIY Eye for more ideas for independent artists, photographers and businesses to support.