Listings

    No events to show

Follow

Twitter

|

Facebook

|

MySpace

|

Last.fm

RSS

Subscribe

Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Ian Stevenson

Featured illustrator

Written by Chloe Stead

Here at Amelia’s Magazine we are keen to nurture new talent as soon as we get our greedy hands on it. Fashion photographer Britta Burger is no exception to this rule. No stranger to the fashion sphere she recently made the transition from fashion stylist to photographer, viagra order illness just like Amelia’s Magazine founder Amelia Gregory. Britta even styled a shoot for Amelia’s Magazine in issue 10, ampoule which is still up for grabs by the way.

britta.jpg

Her pictures are a haze of over saturated colours that collide to create a quixotic ambience to her pieces. Utilising pastoral settings and natural lighting Britta has a lucid expressionism to her approach. As a newcomer to the sphere her compositional awareness is mesmerizing, and her shoots have a real sense of fluidity.

I caught up with the talented lady to find out more information and get an insight into her mindset.

britta_01.jpg

Tell me a little bit about yourself Britta?

I was raised in the Austrian mountains, but have lived in London for more than 7 years. I have done all sorts of fashion related jobs – writing, styling, pr, and now photography. I also teach.

What made you make the break from styling to photography?

Some shoots started to bore me, I felt like I was just waiting around while photographers sorted their light out. I also heard so many people say that you can’t really do anything new in photography, but I felt I could. I also wanted to move away from big productions with 20 people in a studio and do something a lot more intimate, with me doing the photography and the styling and not even hair or makeup people around sometimes. The results are quite raw; I’m not a big fan of an overly polished aesthetic.

What do you aim to capture within your pictures?

Youth, a mix of the everyday and the magical.

britta_02.jpg

Your pictures have a rather quixotic feel, is all your lighting natural?

I only use natural light, I don’t want to control light, if it changes it changes. I do however use filters to create some colour effects.

What do you use as a main stimulus when you’re planning a shoot?

Colours, feelings, memories and the model.

What other photographers inspire you?

Wolfgang Tillmans, Venetia Scott, Jürgen Teller, Ryan McGinley, Marc Borthwick, Lina Scheynius

britta_03.jpg

What camera do you use?

My new favourite is the little Panasonic FX150, it’s a digital compact camera, but with 14 mega pixels so you can do double spreads. It also has an amazing Leica lens.

britta_04.jpg

So keep your eyes peeled for Britta Burger, with such an abundance of talent she will have a whole flock of avid fans chasing her tail!
Monday 30th

The lovely and enchanting voice of Polly Scattergood rises at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen for a ladies night supporting Laura Marling.
8pm. £12.50.

polly-scattergood-image-2.jpg
Polly Scattergood

Tuesday 31th

Tuesday`s greatest choice it`s at the 93 Feet East in Brick Lane where Robert Logan launches his new album full of, tadalafil what we can call, an abstract and atmospheric electro. Followed by Bass Clef and Gagarin.
7:30pm. £5 in adv / £7 on door

l_87ff827d89914cc2b504db0bcc0b58a9.jpg
Robert Logan

Wednesday 1st

The songwriters showcase at Bullet Bar. Great people get together for one more Wednesday Night Showcase at the venue. Aaron Short, Ay Duncane, Lisa Dee, The Magdelaine Cays and Yellow Garage make the best signed and unsigned bands of the week.
7:30 pm. £5, flyer £4.

l_56a58fbd948b423c866196cd3ef09828.jpg
Ay Ducane

Thursday 2nd

Formerly known as the Third Eye Foundation, Matt Elliott brings some slick and subtle electronica next Thursday together with Revere at Bardens Boudoir.
8pm. £5.

l_b75ddc8c2a2b4410a2bf95c9cd47de0f.jpg
Matt Elliott

Friday 3rd

Time to launch a new single for Ex Lovers, the girl/boy indie pop duo. At Bar Rumba.
10:30pm. £6, concs/NUS £4.

l_b7f7f22379ed25d7a63ea715a5b74e7f.jpg
Ex Lovers

Saturday 4th

Enjoy a completely improvised set of techno, house, electro, hip hop, trance and drum ‘n’ bass with The Bays next Saturday at Koko, supported by Red Snapper.
7pm. £14.50.

926741807_l.jpg
The Bays

Sunday 5th

The Ruling Class, Hanjiro and The Brights at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen for some genuine indie.
7:30pm. £5, concs £3

l_4dad216f2f8944f5b68c017b59300032.jpg
The Ruling Class
I was introduced to Ian Stevenson a couple of weeks ago when I was reviewing the 100 Minutes of Havana draw-off (his team lost in case you were interested) and he very kindly agreed to meet me for an interview. Ian is known for his strange yet charming drawings, buy often infused with his trademark deadpan humour. One only has to look as far as his website welcome page, which opens on a SALE sign, but with the sale crossed out and “EVERYTHING FULL PRICE” scrawled in black underneath. Both funny and depressing considering our current economic climate.
ianstevensonresized9
I meet Ian outside Concrete Hermit on Club Row and he passes me a cardboard tube, which I discover when I excitedly rip it open, has an amazing print of his work in it. Yes Mr Stevenson, bribery will get you everywhere! We have a leisurely stroll down to Brick Lane towards The Big Chill and the icing on the (purely metaphorical) cake is when on the walk I discover that he is as lovely and funny as his drawings.

Despite now enjoying measurable success Ian Stevenson didn’t have a straightforward route to illustration. He tells me that he started on an architecture degree but quit after he found he didn’t enjoy it, “after about two weeks something clicked and I thought, this isn’t right.” He then went on to do a foundation before finally returning to do a BA at Camberwell, but in graphic design. “It wasn’t a typical course, we didn’t learn type layout and we’d get projects that were one word, so the title might be fly spray. That’s one of the things I learnt from college, how to not let having no boundaries scare you.”

After finishing university Ian worked at Airside, a graphic design company, for a few years. “It’s the best kind of graphic design job, because we designed T-shirts, animation characters and things.” Not surprisingly for such an obviously creative person Ian became disillusioned with the graphic design world and left, “I was just a bit annoyed, bored by the whole industry and how people follow trends. Not that it was anything to do with the company, but it was just so boring.”

Ian’s break came after leaving Airside when he began to draw in sketchbooks eventually putting them on a website. “A few friends said “Oh you should do some more of that” so I did some more of that. I slowly started to think that I should develop that further.” His first illustration job came when Mother advertising agency asked him to draw in the women’s toilets at their offices. “I’d never drawn on a wall before, but just said yes. Most of the time with a job even if you can’t do it you say “yes”. When someone says can you do this you say, “yes of course I can” and then you think oh, actually can I?”
Ian Stevenson doesn’t appear to have any of the usual embarrassingly bad early work like the rest of us creatives. Despite being one of the earliest illustration projects he did one can see that, while the drawings are perhaps not as developed, they are just as funny and as brilliant as his more recent work.

mother_toilet_23.jpg

It wasn’t always quite as easy as it sounds to get work as an illustrator. “You do sit on your own for long periods of time thinking. “Where are they? When are they coming, where are the people?” “At the start it did hurt, because there weren’t many people doing it.” Luckily it would seem those feelings are a thing of the past as people are definitely taking notice of Ian Stevenson. He exhibits here in London and internationally, the most recent an exhibition called Pens on Paper in Paris, with Pictoplasma. “There were lots of artists invited who draw on paper and I did eight drawings. They also asked me to do some more work for another event called Pictopia so I did eighteen drawings from magazines They also screened Staring in to the Sun, a music video animation which Ian is promoting on his website.

ianstevensonresized11

ianstevensonresized5

As well as exhibiting, success can also be marked by the fact that Ian’s recently gained representation by BLUNT, who have a number of really good artists on their books. I ask Ian why he decided to get representation; he gives me an amusingly blunt answer “Even if you’re perfectly capable of the job they still like to be reassured that you’re with someone who is more adult. Someone with letter headed paper.”

But it’s not only BLUNT and the people curating exhibitions who appreciate Ian Stevenson. A quick look at The Drawing Adventure, an animation he’s posted on Youtube, unearths three pages of comments. My favourites are, “This is special stuff”, “Thank you for putting this in my life” and “Your drawings are like crack to me” high praise indeed.
“If they do appreciate it, which hopefully they do, then that’s nice because otherwise I’d be sat in a room doing it, but no one would like it and that would be quite sad. It is nice when people do like it because it means I’m not completely mental. Yeah, It makes me smile inside… can I say that?” He asks me with a smile that suggests he knows he just committed an interview faux pa.

ianstevensonresized1

I was first introduced to Ian’s work at his Lost Heroes exhibition he did in Concrete Hermit and I can’t resist the chance to ask the artist directly about the show, “Imagine a world which is full of Disney characters and they’re real people, but then you have to think that there is a casting for Mickey Mouse, imagine all the people that didn’t get the role as Mickey Mouse.” The result of this concept is a series of not-quite-right drawings of well-recognised characters. There’s Bambi, except he’s slightly cross-eyed and a wannabe Donald Duck but one of his legs is twice the size of the other.

ianstevensonresized2

In many ways it would seem Ian works in a similar way to the documentary photographers’ earnest plight to photograph the marginalised members of society. But it’s way funnier, because it’s a community reach programme for drawings. “People might say they’re weird but I might say they’re weird. What I’ve said in the past is that it’s my head, my mind on paper.” So in this way Ian is closer to a novelist constantly thinking about and attempting to understand his characters. This is further evident when we talk about another of his drawings, this time of Pacman’s brother (who works in a supermarket). Ian Explains, “He might have a brother, but he’s not famous. Pacman’s got to have a mum and dad. Doesn’t he?”

ianstevensonresized8

With such personal, handcrafted drawings it’s no surprise that Ian isn’t a fan of the increase of computer generated images in illustration. “I don’t like them!” He exclaims before launching into more detail, “That’s what I wanted to get away from…. these computer created characters that have no soul and anyone can do. They’re just a bunch of shapes. With uniform eyes and everything is symmetrical and I just get bored. Maybe one has a big arm, and they seem to have a bit more life…. I’d want to talk to those more than to some kind of egg with eyes that are perfect.”

To try and see what it is that Ian does like I ask him what illustrators he rates, “Can I say there is a lot of people I don’t like?” After some gentle coercing and promises that I won’t name names Ian explains a few of the things that frustrates him about the illustration scene. “Trendy things, yeah that’s bad, anyone that started doing things because it’s now more successful than it was, that’s bad… It’s bad! I draw, and I do it because that’s what I wanted to do. There wasn’t anyone doing this in their advertising campaigns and now over the last three years lots of people have started doing it and sometimes it just makes me want to stop doing it. There should be an artists/illustrators union where if someone does copy they’re brought to some kind of court. We’ll go to Gordon and say “look this is important. I know it isn’t important to you or relevant to the global economic downturn. It’s not war, but it means a lot to me!”

Ian Stevenson for Prime Minister, quick someone start a Facebook group now!
For more information and news on upcoming events check out Ian’s website. His prints are also available online.

ianstevensonresized10

Tags:

, ,

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply