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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Cheapzine launches an open brief to find artists/designers for their Art Nouveau book

A new open brief from the creators of Cheapzine hopes to find the best new contemporary examples of Art Nouveau influenced artwork. Read on to find out what you should submit...

Written by Amelia Gregory

illustration by Brett Manning
illustration by Brett Manning

Anyone who has heard me lecture will be aware that I do like to bang on about what a great idea it is to produce your own fanzine: they’re cheap, dosage this site flexible and mean you can spread yourself around easily. NO NO not like some slutty yoga bunny – more like the best way eva to promote yourself if you’re an up and coming artist or writer. Plus, troche a whole network of zine fairs has now grown up to support this most underground of art industries.

cheapzine art nouveau book

That point aside, view I am a particular fan of zines that talk about Amelia’s Magazine and Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours – you know how it goes. And of course the fact that the creators of such zines are interested in my work means that OBVIOUSLY they have good taste – goes without saying that they are worth talking about in return then.

Some aspects of zines exist online because of course one cannot exist without a webtastic presence these days, but as someone who is a massive fan of cold hard print, I believe you still can’t beat something which you can actually hold in your hands. So, it is with pleasure that I’d like to promote Cheapzine’s latest project, which sees them moving from the (okay, somewhat limited) world of photocopied zines and blog posts into a four colour print book project, choosing as its subject the influence of Art Nouveau on contemporary art. This A5 book will collate the best examples of such work alongside a collection of essays on the subject from Tommy Eugene Higson – a self-confessed art history obsessive – and artwork from current Cheapzine contributors such as Brett Manning whose work is featured above (she’s a girl okay), purveyor of wonderfully detailed drawings.

Martyn Mills-cheapzine
illustration by Martyn Mills

“Until recently I’d kinda thought of Art Nouveau was just a nice little discourse in art history that died out with the rise of high Modernism, but this isn’t the case at all,” explains chief Cheapziner Tommy. “Most of the fashion illustrators that we like appear to take inspiration from artists such as Egon Schiele, Alphonse Mucha and Gustav Klimt.” He thinks that the influence of this particular period of design can be seen in everything: from high art, such as Chris Ofili’s Upper Room (currently the highlight at his Tate Britain solo show) to ‘lowbrow’ art, contemporary illustration, poster art, fashion design and even ‘business’ art.

Sarah Ontiveros
illustration by Sarah Ontiveros

“We decided to make the book cause we’ve been making the zine for a while now,” he continues, “and we’ve been working with some really cool people so we wanted to make something a bit nicer and more ‘proper’ than the zine.” So far Tommy and his cohort Nikki Marie have produced nine issues of Cheapzine, with issue 10 likely to be the last for the time being due to their new projects. Just like Amelia’s Magazine, it seems that 10, not 3, really is the magic number.

Tommy is hoping to publish 500 copies of this limited edition book sometime towards the end of summer. Whether you’re a photographer, illustrator or designer, this will be an ideal place to get your work seen, and who doesn’t love a bit of Art Nouveou, really? The deadline is 31st March 2010 and all work should be sent to cheap-magazine@live.com

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