Pencils at dawn: ELCAF 2015

One of the events I always put in bold into my calendar is the East London Comics and Arts Festival… or in short: ELCAF!

The very first ELCAF took place June 2012 at East London’s Village Underground and the festival has been going strong ever since. No wonder with London having such a thriving Illustration, Art and Design community! This year the event was hosted held across two venues just around my corner: The Laundry and SPACE in Hackney. Easy peasy!

With Workshops, talks, gigs, performances and movie screenings ELCAF has something for everybody and the big exhibitor hall is packed with stalls selling zines, patches, screen prints, tote bags and anything else comic and illustration related. Renowned comic shops and publishing houses like Nobrow Press and Gosh! selling alongside local artists is a great concept and provides a good variety.

It’s just awesome to be able to have a chat and purchase some hand pulled screen prints directly from the artist! Bought a great Dracula print by Peow!Studio and a copy of the great female fighters zine you might have heard about on Kickstarter at the stall of Dilraj Mann. PS: Dilray, next time I’ll buy a screen print as well I promise! Love your work!

Although I promised myself not to buy too much stuff I couldn’t say no to this kick ass She-Hulk by the very talented Donya Todd! Reminds me not to piss off the ladies which is not an easy task..

Another highlight are these absolutely great hand painted Wookie badges by Benjamin Wright. Very PHRESH indeed! Plus you can never go wrong with a great selection of vintage trading cards…

Events like this are so inspirational and I got a big energy rush getting back into my own work. So who knows, maybe there will be a Solaris100 stall at ELCAF 2016! 😉

Visit the official ELCAF website here and seeya next year!

A Proactive Saturday

One reason it’s a very clever thing not skip excessive drinking on a Friday is that Saturday has lots to offer to the fresh faced adventurer! Being it a stroll through Broadway Market, hitting Oxford Street for some shopping or ticking off places from the “to-visit” list.

Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

— Samuel Johnson

My plan was to finally pay House of Vans a visit, so I jumped on the tube and headed towards Waterloo.

As House of Vans can be quickly accessed via the Leake Street I was treated to some serious Graff styles and paint fumes. The biggest legal wall in London has been set up by the legendary Banksy himself for the Cans Streetart festival in 2008 and has since then provided equal wall space for Graff Kings and Toys alike.

The tunnel is rough but visually stunning and is a great space for people to express themselves freely. Makes me want to pick up some cans myself and hit the walls. Or maybe not…

The entrance of House of Vans doesn’t really do justice to the massive interiour that awaits inside. As much as I hate big corporations trying to hijack youth culture, Vans feels like a natural fit to provide such an amazing space to skate, exhibit and get creative.

The venue hosts film screenings, concerts and art shows apart from having a cafe and an integrated skatepark. Today was a special event hosted by somewhereto_, an organisation helping young people to find interesting locations for their creative projects. No wonder the arches were buzzing with artists, singers, photographers and other creative types performing and networking…

But onwards! Freshly inspired my plan was to get some drawing done Southbank with a great river view and a cold beer. On the way back through Leake Street I passed even more amazing pieces…

Arriving Southbank I realised that I might not be able to find the space I have been looking for as the new show in the Hayward Gallery is attracting swarms of people who can’t wait to do some sliding… it’s current exhibition by Carsten Höller looks awesome and I can’t wait to go myself! If I can get a ticket that is…

Anyhow, after escaping the hustle and bustle of tourists walking up and down the Thames and the raindrops that fell from the not-so-summery London sky I finally found the Freedom to do some people watching and putting pen to vintage record sleeve…

Hayward Gallery
Southbank Centre
London SE1 8XX

House of Vans
Arches 228-232 Station Approach Road
London SE1 8SW

Royal Academy Summer Show 2015 Bloggers Evening

 Sorry not listening… on Instagram ok?

This Friday my blogging mentor Sara from got me into the Instagrammers and Bloggers special preview night of the The Royal Academy’s Summer show, awesome! 

I was surrounded by smart phone addicted weirdos just like me… FINALLY no need to pretend to want to make eye contact, just straight up Instagramming! Bliss!!!

After a lovely free alcoholic beverage some facts were dropped. Firstly: The RA organises this summer show for 247 years now. Secondly: Everybody can enter their work globally and be part of the show. Thirdly: Every artwork is for sale so one can snatch him or herself an artwork by a future Hirst or Emin if lucky! 

Did you know that? I didn’t! You learn something new every day.

This year the show has been curated by Michael Craig-Martin, artist and lecturer who’s pupils went to to become some of the most famous YBA’s like Damien HirstGary Hume or Sarah Lucas.

We were warned that Mr Craig-Martin is quite fond of bold colours and that he even painted one gallery space in bright pink… well, fine by me! 🙂

After that announcement I was more than ready to hit the holy halls of the Royal Academy and after finishing the drinks the blogging crew spilled into the many galleries of the grand building…

The first highlight was the multicoloured psychedelic staircase. It was a bit like ascending to Asgard via the rainbow bifrost bridge…  ( yeah that’s a Marvel Thor reference )

How is the show itself you ask? Well, why don’t you check out yourself… it still runs till the 16th of August! Personally I found it hit and miss, but that’s just normal for a show this size. But with such a variety on display there surely is something up those walls for everyone… and some brightly coloured eye candy on top! Below some of my personal highlights…

The only drawback visiting an exhibition with a fellow blogger: The competition never sleeps! Check out her Instagram account @hellothemushroom

RA Summer Show 2015
JUNE 6 – AUGUST 16, 2015

Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House, Piccadilly
London W1J 0BD
Hours: Tue–Sun 10-6, Fr 10-10

Boost this!

Yes I do love my trainers so when a new piece of the Kanye West x Adidas is getting released I do pay attention. Kanye West shoes are a bit like Banksy screen prints: The resell value alone makes you want to own one! Let’s see if this model will get a wider release than the Yeezy Boost 750 which is of cause extremely unlikely: Adidas would be stupid to neuter the biggest hype machine in their stable. 

By the way: I wonder if Nike wanted to punk Kanye with releasing the Free Huarache Carnivore around the same time as the Yeezy Boost Lows… as the Nike offering sports a very similar silhouette and even has a faux Yeezy II strap! Ouch!

Much happened since then and we are now already on Yeezy 350 Boost V2… with Hype still going strong!

 via  Gloryhole
via Gloryhole

You can love or hate Kanye, as a fan of outrageous footwear I always liked his creations. Straps, tassels and even more straps: Let’s travel back in time to Mr. West’s biggest hits!

Marty McFly would have totally rocked the first collabo with Nike: The Yeezys from 2009. Loving the Manga look with the chunky ol’ strap and the glow in the dark sole! They looked like bricks on your feet but who cares… GLOW IN THE DARK SOLE SON!!!

The black and pink colorway became so popular that Nike is still referencing it in their releases after the departure of the mighty K. I still spot the black and pink with a greenish sole in my local JD Sports from time to time on the most unflattering budget models, ewww!

The Yeezy 2 marked the beginning of the end with the red colorway aka The Red Octobers getting unceremoniously dropped online by Nike after Elvis left the building. Still digging the more high fashion approach to the silhouette with #haters quickly pointing out that Kanye allegedly ripped off Alexander McQueen and Y-3 for the updated Yeezy model.

Why is it still so impossibly hard for high fashion houses to get trainers right?!

Luis Vuitton still struggles to recapture the sneaker magic ( or insanity ) Kanye brought to the table with the Jasper Model in 2009: Straps, tassels and that pink… Kanye surely does love himself a funky sole! 

The shoes itself were made from the softest unicorn leather and I still remember trying them on in the LV store in Sloane Square, slowly realising that I could only pull them off if I were Jay Z… which I wasn’t. 

Tears of sorrow were shed that day but at least I could buy back my kidneys that I had to sell to raise the funds to be vaguely able to afford a pair…

This is one for the OLD headz! Kanye West x Bapesta from 2007.

Nigo was a very lucky boy indeed that Nike’s patents weren’t airtight on their Air Force 1 design so that A Bathing Ape didn’t get sued for churning out their AF1 “inspired” model!

I doubt he had an actual impact in designing the shoe but the bear logo on the heel needed to suffice to make the connection and getting Hypebeasts all excited! How great were the days when Kanye was still a Bape / LV fanboy? Glory days of golden vintage street wear hype indeed…

Still… kept the best for last… the BEST Kanye West sneaker EVER to be released must be…

The Nike Yeezy Gayfish!

This custom doesn’t just bring tears to the eyes of every sneakerhead but celebrates one of the funniest South Park episodes ever to grace the tv!

Sprayed Exhibition at Gagosian Gallery

 Ok I take this… can you wrap it up for me please?

Saturday is the day to get stuff done son! It’s perfect for cleaning the flat, doing the shopping or grabbing fellow blogger extraordinaire Sara Doucette from to check out the latest art shows in town!

As I am quite fond of everything involving aerosols the exhibition of choice this time was “Sprayed” at the Gagosian Gallery in Kings Cross.

Always loving being at the Gagosian… the space is great and really brings the best out of the art that has been curated. 

Whilst there were great pieces on show by artists like Koons, Warhol, Klee, Murakami and Polke I still missed the inclusion of legendary artists like Futura2000 and other early pioneers of aerosol art who went their own way reinventing what was perceived as “Graffiti”.

The reason behind this might be to avoid making this just another Graffiti exhibition, still I feel especially Futura should have been included. Same goes for 3D from Massive Attack who’s mixed media pieces would have fitted into the context perfectly. 

Still the show is well worth checking out and runs until 1st of August 2015.

WORKS FROM 1929 TO 2015
JUNE 11 – AUGUST 1, 2015

Gagosian Gallery
6-24 Britannia Street
London WC1X 9JD
Hours: Tue–Sat 10-6

Summer might be finally here!

When the sun comes in London this grey city transforms into a Mediterranean town with people spilling out of the pubs, galleries and restaurants onto the pavement to soak in the sunshine and enjoy the warm smelly breeze of The Big Smoke.

To honour this tradition Print Club London took it upon them to throw a tropical party outside their studio with flamingos, rum flavoured beer and grilled haloumi straight from the BBQ! Oh, and there were some nice prints by Joseph Vass on display as well…

Down the street Ditto Press went with a similar sunny theme… Californian to be precise.

Let me be lazy and let the Facebook event PR copy do all the explaining: “CANYON’ is a limited edition book celebrating the people of Runyon Canyon in the Hollywood Hills. Photographer Dan Wilton and writer Josh Jones met the Angelinos at Runyon’s peak, from Mulholland Drive millionaires, to gangsters and hustlers from Downtown. From Hollywood fitness freaks to postal workers from south LA.”

The book looked great and I really have to find out more about Risograph printing… which is the speciality of Ditto Press. Very very exciting!

For screen prints, workshops and other print related awesomeness check out 

For Risograph printing, workshops and other printing sheanigans visit