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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Interview with Illustrator Tigz Rice before the launch of her new picturebook Bitten

conversation with the amazing Tigz, Bitten is out on the 7th of August 2010 and available for pre-order untill the end of July.

Written by Jenny Robins

Latitude 2010-Active Child by Amelia Gregory
Active Child. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The falsetto sounds of Active Child were our new discovery for Saturday morning. American Pat Grossi alone on stage with just his mixer and computer, physician another lone electro maestro.

JAMES-LATITUDE-JENNY-GOLDSTONE
James by Jenny Goldstone.

James were our mid afternoon treat over at the Obelisk Arena – but we didn’t just sit down, click we lay spark out and enjoyed a full tour through their back catalogue of hits from a horizontal position. I was somewhat surprised to note that the lead singer is now bald of bounce and goatee of beard when I am sure he used to have lots of curly locks – oh the perils of ageing.

Latitude 2010-kids by Amelia Gregory
Latitude 2010-family by Amelia Gregory
Latitude 2010-girls by Amelia Gregory
Latitude 2010-chips by Amelia Gregory

We were surrounded by lots of families, parents obviously revelling in a favourite from their youth, whilst even the teens next to us could sing along to the band’s most famous tune. And it seems we weren’t the only ones having a relaxing time.

Latitude 2010-gaggle choir by Amelia Gregory

In the woods we encountered a bunch of singing girls in wonderful outfits. Now why don’t all choirs dress like the Gaggle? I couldn’t really hear them, but darn it, who cares when they look this good?!

faye skinner FIRST AID kit
First Aid Kit, protected by a burly security man, by Faye Skinner.

I love it when a band I’ve loved forever starts to gain widespread success, and First Aid Kit have now reached a stage where they could draw suitably impressive crowds to the wooded environs of the Sunrise Arena. If you haven’t yet seen them live, then why the hell not? You can read a previous review of their gig at the Union Chapel here.

Crystal-Castles-Latitude-2010-by-Mina-Bach
Crystal Castles by Mina Bach.

Over on the other side Crystal Castles arrived to a cascading wall of squelching beats that had the middle aged couple next to me pulling somewhat bemused faces at each other. Goodness knows what they made of Alice’s performance thereafter. Whilst slugging on a bottle of Jim Beam *rock n roll* she declared that gang bangers should “all be castrated” – the first inkling I had that all was not well at Latitude. Thereafter she was hellbent on crowdsurfing through the entire set, which mainly involved flinging herself into the rather excited male audience down front and then punching them if they grabbed her inappropriately, before being dragged back by security. Oh how the burly men in uniform love it when the singer does that. Rather inexplicably one fan insisted on giving Alice a sign featuring the word TOAST and, yup, you got it, a picture of a piece of toast. There’s been much grumbling online about Alice’s performance but I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if it did look rather like had to yak at one point.

Latitude 2010-belle and sebastian by Amelia Gregory
sarah martin belle and sebastain by kate blandford
Sarah Martin of Belle and Sebastain by Kate Blandford.

The pace changed down a gear with the arrival of headliners Belle and Sebastian, playing their first gig in many years. First comment from those next to me? “She looks a bit mumsy.” And so what if Sarah does? Belle and Sebastian are not exactly in the first flush of youth, a fact which frontman Stuart Murdoch picked up repeatedly as he declared “they promised us an old crowd” – as usual the front was of course packed out with teenagers whilst the oldies (that seems to include me these days) hung back for a bit of air. Mind you I’ve never been a massive fan of the mosh pit to be honest. At one point Stuart threatened to take his top off (he was looking rather fit) which caused a fresh round of adolescent screaming “it would be like walking in on your dad in the shower” he laughed. It was a delightful set that featured an impromptu rendition of the Rolling Stones Jumping Jack Flash and finished with a gaggle of very happy teenagers dancing around on stage in front of the wrinkles and their orchestra. “You just made an old man very happy,” laughed Stuart in his lilting Scottish brogue, “now get off.” You show them who’s boss round here!
Latitude 2010-Active Child by Amelia Gregory
Active Child. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The falsetto sounds of Active Child were our new discovery for Saturday morning. American Pat Grossi alone on stage with just his mixer and computer, story another lone electro maestro.

JAMES-LATITUDE-JENNY-GOLDSTONE
James by Jenny Goldstone.

James were our mid afternoon treat over at the Obelisk Arena – but we didn’t just sit down, we lay spark out and enjoyed a full tour through their back catalogue of hits from a horizontal position. I was somewhat surprised to note that the lead singer is now bald of bounce and goatee of beard when I am sure he used to have lots of curly locks – oh the perils of ageing.

Latitude 2010-kids by Amelia Gregory
Latitude 2010-family by Amelia Gregory
Latitude 2010-girls by Amelia Gregory
Latitude 2010-chips by Amelia Gregory

We were surrounded by lots of families, parents obviously revelling in a favourite from their youth, whilst even the teens next to us could sing along to the band’s most famous tune. And it seems we weren’t the only ones having a relaxing time.

Latitude 2010-gaggle choir by Amelia Gregory

In the woods we encountered a bunch of singing girls in wonderful outfits. Now why don’t all choirs dress like the Gaggle? I couldn’t really hear them, but darn it, who cares when they look this good?!

faye skinner FIRST AID kit
First Aid Kit, protected by a burly security man, by Faye Skinner.

I love it when a band I’ve loved forever starts to gain widespread success, and First Aid Kit have now reached a stage where they could draw suitably impressive crowds to the wooded environs of the Sunrise Arena. If you haven’t yet seen them live, then why the hell not? You can read a previous review of their gig at the Union Chapel here.

Crystal-Castles-Latitude-2010-by-Mina-Bach
Crystal Castles by Mina Bach.

Over on the other side Crystal Castles arrived to a cascading wall of squelching beats that had the middle aged couple next to me pulling somewhat bemused faces at each other. Goodness knows what they made of Alice’s performance thereafter. Whilst slugging on a bottle of Jim Beam *rock n roll* she declared that gang bangers should “all be castrated” – the first inkling I had that all was not well at Latitude. Thereafter she was hellbent on crowdsurfing through the entire set, which mainly involved flinging herself into the rather excited male audience down front and then punching them if they grabbed her inappropriately, before being dragged back by security. Oh how the burly men in uniform love it when the singer does that. Rather inexplicably one fan insisted on giving Alice a sign featuring the word TOAST and, yup, you got it, a picture of a piece of toast. There’s been much grumbling online about Alice’s performance but I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if it did look rather like had to yak at one point.

Latitude 2010-belle and sebastian by Amelia Gregory
sarah martin belle and sebastain by kate blandford
Sarah Martin of Belle and Sebastain by Kate Blandford.

The pace changed down a gear with the arrival of headliners Belle and Sebastian, playing their first gig in many years. First comment from those next to me? “She looks a bit mumsy.” And so what if Sarah does? Belle and Sebastian are not exactly in the first flush of youth, a fact which frontman Stuart Murdoch picked up repeatedly as he declared “they promised us an old crowd” – as usual the front was of course packed out with teenagers whilst the oldies (that seems to include me these days) hung back for a bit of air. Mind you I’ve never been a massive fan of the mosh pit to be honest. At one point Stuart threatened to take his top off (he was looking rather fit) which caused a fresh round of adolescent screaming “it would be like walking in on your dad in the shower” he laughed. It was a delightful set that featured an impromptu rendition of the Rolling Stones Jumping Jack Flash and finished with a gaggle of very happy teenagers dancing around on stage in front of the wrinkles and their orchestra. “You just made an old man very happy,” laughed Stuart in his lilting Scottish brogue, “now get off.” You show them who’s boss round here!
Latitude 2010-Active Child by Amelia Gregory
Active Child. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The falsetto sounds of Active Child were our new discovery for Saturday morning. American Pat Grossi alone on stage with just his mixer and computer, site another lone electro maestro.

JAMES-LATITUDE-JENNY-GOLDSTONE
James by Jenny Goldstone.

James were our mid afternoon treat over at the Obelisk Arena – but we didn’t just sit down, we lay spark out and enjoyed a full tour through their back catalogue of hits from a horizontal position. I was somewhat surprised to note that the lead singer is now bald of bounce and goatee of beard when I am sure he used to have lots of curly locks – oh the perils of ageing.

Latitude 2010-kids by Amelia Gregory
Latitude 2010-family by Amelia Gregory
Latitude 2010-girls by Amelia Gregory
Latitude 2010-chips by Amelia Gregory

We were surrounded by lots of families, parents obviously revelling in a favourite from their youth, whilst even the teens next to us could sing along to the band’s most famous tune. And it seems we weren’t the only ones having a relaxing time.

Latitude 2010-gaggle choir by Amelia Gregory

In the woods we encountered a bunch of singing girls in wonderful outfits. Now why don’t all choirs dress like the Gaggle? I couldn’t really hear them, but darn it, who cares when they look this good?!

faye skinner FIRST AID kit
First Aid Kit, protected by a burly security man, by Faye Skinner.

I love it when a band I’ve loved forever starts to gain widespread success, and First Aid Kit have now reached a stage where they could draw suitably impressive crowds to the wooded environs of the Sunrise Arena. If you haven’t yet seen them live, then why the hell not? You can read a previous review of their gig at the Union Chapel here.

Crystal-Castles-Latitude-2010-by-Mina-Bach
Crystal Castles by Mina Bach.

Over on the other side Crystal Castles arrived to a cascading wall of squelching beats that had the middle aged couple next to me pulling somewhat bemused faces at each other. Goodness knows what they made of Alice’s performance thereafter. Whilst slugging on a bottle of Jim Beam *rock n roll* she declared that gang bangers should “all be castrated” – the first inkling I had that all was not well at Latitude. Thereafter she was hellbent on crowdsurfing through the entire set, which mainly involved flinging herself into the rather excited male audience down front and then punching them if they grabbed her inappropriately, before being dragged back by security. Oh how the burly men in uniform love it when the singer does that. Rather inexplicably one fan insisted on giving Alice a sign featuring the word TOAST and, yup, you got it, a picture of a piece of toast. There’s been much grumbling online about Alice’s performance but I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if it did look rather like had to yak at one point.

Latitude 2010-belle and sebastian by Amelia Gregory
sarah martin belle and sebastain by kate blandford
Sarah Martin of Belle and Sebastain by Kate Blandford.

The pace changed down a gear with the arrival of headliners Belle and Sebastian, playing their first gig in many years. First comment from those next to me? “She looks a bit mumsy.” And so what if Sarah does? Belle and Sebastian are not exactly in the first flush of youth, a fact which frontman Stuart Murdoch picked up repeatedly as he declared “they promised us an old crowd” – as usual the front was of course packed out with teenagers whilst the oldies (that seems to include me these days) hung back for a bit of air. Mind you I’ve never been a massive fan of the mosh pit to be honest. At one point Stuart threatened to take his top off (he was looking rather fit) which caused a fresh round of adolescent screaming “it would be like walking in on your dad in the shower” he laughed. It was a delightful set that featured an impromptu rendition of the Rolling Stones Jumping Jack Flash and finished with a gaggle of very happy teenagers dancing around on stage in front of the wrinkles and their orchestra. “You just made an old man very happy,” laughed Stuart in his lilting Scottish brogue, “now get off.” You show them who’s boss round here!
bitten 1Image from Bitten courtesy of Tigz Rice

Tigz Rice is an inspirational and dynamic illustrator, viagra buy using Photography, and costume, drawing and photo-manipulation to create deliciously textured gothic burlesque worlds. Her new picturebook Bitten re-tells the story of Snow White while looking more deeply at the implications of our quest for Beauty and the lengths we may go to achieve or maintain it.

As ever she gets amazing character work out of her beautifully dressed models and produces stunning scenes and backgrounds, leave this book on your coffee table and expect some serious conversation.

I “caught up with her” in the run up to the launch to talk inspirations, processes and paradoxes;

tigz

illustration by Jenny Robins

morning!

morning!

I have a fridge freezer arriving sometime between now and 5pm, just a warning if I suddenly disappear lol.

That’s exciting! Can I put that in the interview?

Haha of course! don’t ask me what make it is though, I have no idea :P

Congratulations on the book, it looks wonderful.

Aw thanks! It’s been a long journey but it’s so great to see it in its final form!

I think it’s taken about 6 months from idea to completion

that’s epic!

Your obviously very inspired by Fairytales, what was your favourite Fairytale when you were little – and now?

It’s not exactly a fairytale, but Alice in Wonderland has always been my favourite – there’s just so much in the story and you find something different every time you read it. I also had a favourite book called Winifred’s New Bed, which I read every week for years. I’ve been trying to find a copy of it for a while now but it’s out of print

Maybe when you are famous(er) you can use your influence to bring it back

That would be ace – I wonder which artist did the artwork?!

Are there other fairytales would you like to adapt?

Loads! I have a book of the original stories by the Grimm Brothers’ which I think I might end up slowly working through! I’ve got a couple of book ideas and commissions on the cards at the moment too, in particular one about tooth fairies

Would it be fair to say Bitten explores our often destructive relationships with Beauty, both as artists and women? Do you think it’s possible to escape this attitude in our society, and would you really ever want to?

I think it’s true yes, the world is obsessed with beauty and this never ends in a positive fashion. The Mirrorman plays the part of peer pressure, and shows the extent of its power over us. It also shows how some people, who are naturally beautiful, are shunned by society for having these characteristics we are willing to go through life-threatening surgery for. Having worked with the burlesque industry over the last few years, it has been wonderfully refreshing to find a society of people who accept curves, flaws and ‘real beauty’ as the Dove adverts used to say! I think it is possible to escape the current media trends for perfection, but I doubt it would ever happen in mass society.

I also think that as an artist, it is very hard to go against the ideas and conventions of the mass culture, which is why many readers find the content of my books challenging. Wonderland, for example, was based on the true story of a cocaine user. The book received very mixed reviews

Bitten 3

do you think that’s the paradox of art? being expected to allways be knew and interesting, yet always conform to established conventions of aesthetics and subject matter?

Lol yes, very much so! All artists are expected to conform to current chosen styles, trends and subject matter, then get knocked down for being ‘too similar to artist X, Y and Z’. Having chosen to go the opposite way with my artwork and find something unique and unknown, it is a constant battle but the rewards are much greater!

So much of your work features amazing fashions and costumes, do you dress flamboyantly in real life?

Depends on the occasion! I attend a lot of burlesque shows and events through my photography work so I like to get dressed up and be part of the crowd, although days like today in the studio you can find me in a denim skirt and tee.

Does most of your work start with a photoshoot? Do you have a clear idea of how the work will look beforehand, or does a lot of it come with the way the photos work out, and things that come to you and the model during the shoot?

Working with photo manipulation, its easier to create a background round a pose than to reshoot a model, so yes I suppose the primary focus is alway the models. Each shoot normally starts with a good amount of storyboarding, especially book work. The costumes, storyline and poses are all pre-arranged, although I always make sure to get a few slightly different poses just in case I change my mind halfway through and find something better (which can happen quite a lot!) About 75% of a book will end up as oringinally planned, but there’s always room for new input, especially from the models who can come up with some fantastic ideas and poses.

There’s a real organicness to your work, contrasting with the super tight elements, do you consciously keep the physical origins of the imagery in mind when working on the computer?

I’m put in mind of Dave McKean‘s early work where he was just using a photocopier to create photo-manipulated effects. Very physical and surreal.

Dave Mckean is possibly my favourite artist and was a great inspiration in my earlier works, yes! The majority of the artwork is all done with photography including all the backgrounds and textures and I’m very conscious of keeping everything as realistic as possible, which often creates a more surreal effect. Its also strange seeing work in print for the first time!

bitten 2

Image from Bitten courtesy of Tigz Rice

You make books and pictures for adults, but work with children so presumably don’t dislike them, do you want to do any children’s book projects in the future?

I actually have a children’s book idea I’m working on at the moment, yes! Its a collaborative project with digital artist David Cousens of Cool Surface and at the moment we’re just finalising the story line. I’ve always wanted to work on a children’s book but my style would involve photographing children, which brings about a whole new string of legal issues of working with minors. Working with David, I’m going to creating the backgrounds and scenery while the lovely David creates the characters digitally. I’m really excited about it!

That sounds awesome!

It should be fantastic, David is a fantastic artist and its an honour to be working with him.

Do you enjoy collaborating?

I love collaborating, I think it stretches you outside your comfort zone and helps you to grow as an artist. At the moment I’m just finishing off a collaborative book I’ve put together called Fragments, which features 20 artists who create dark and visually stunning artwork. its been a challenge, but I can’t wait to see it all come together. The book should be out later this year.

You seem to have so many projects on the go. Do you have to be very organised in your business planning mode? do you think this is the secret of your success? What organisational tips do you have for flighty freelancers?

I’m far too organised for my own good! Every 6 months I sit down and set myself hard but achievable goals, to give myself some direction so I don’t procrastinate between projects and have a set career aim for the near future. Things like learning a new software programme, creating a new book or challenging myself to be featured in three magazines. The goals also include silly things, like book a spur of the moment holiday, try to go to bed before midnight or (currently) give up ice cream. You might not get everything done, but its a very good way to monitor your productivity too

Bitten 5Image from Bitten courtesy of Tigz Rice

Fantastic.  let’s do a few quick questions to finish off, I’m sure are readers are dying to know..

Are you a cat or dog person?

Cat! I’ve always wanted a tiger…

If you had to lose an arm or a leg, which would it be?

A leg, no competition!

What would be your superpower?

I’d love the ability to read other people’s minds

What am i thinking now then?

Whats for Lunch?

See, you can do it already!

haha

win!

Bitten launches on 7th of August at a Party in Bath, it retails at £18 but if you act fast before the end of July you can pre-order a copy for £15!

Also do not fail to check out Tigz’ Website, Etsy, Blog, Facebook, all the good things.

Bitten 4

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