PG Live 2019
We’ve just got home from another brilliant and exhausting PG Live in London! It was a particularly special one as two of my best friends in the industry, Louise Tiler and Pennie at Tache were sponsoring the famous lunch and it was completely beautiful! You can’t hope for a more social and happy show to be apart of. We caught up with lots of old and new customers and feel a little bit ready for the weekend.
Our AFRICA range launched at the show, and it’s been a passion project for me since returning from the most extraordinary trip to Tanzania at the end of last year. It’s a blanks range with a slightly different feel to our better known quirky animal illustrations. For a start, all the cards have backgrounds which I actually find really challenging when designing, as I normally rely a lot on negative space in my final compositions. The colour pallet for this range is earthy with lots of ochres, siennas and greens and the illustrations themselves are more fine arty than our Furry Friends designs, with less characterisation.
I built up each composition by painting all the elements separately and in some cases there were literally hundreds of photoshop layers per design. Some of my ideas didn’t really work, possibly because the animals were a bit niche as well as the form of the animal being really hard to capture, with the result being that the animals were completely unrecognisable… warthog I’m talking about you! And other designs I butchered just at the optimum moment when making the rash decision to paint the background directly around the animal. It was inevitable I’d mess it up of course! The elephants at sunset are an example of this flippancy haha!
I’ve loved painting in this way and have loads more ideas for new additions to the collection. I want to have a real variety of compositions, animal close ups contrasted with more landscapey designs. The zoomed out designs are definitely my biggest challenge because of the spacial awareness that’s a real weakness of mine at the moment.
New Furry Friends
We also launched a bunch of new Furry Friends birthday designs at the show. Our bestseller was this elderly lad below! If you’re a trade customer, you can view and purchase the entire range in our shop 🙂
Mike’s new record is out in the world today and it’s a beauty. It’s a particularly special one because 100% of the profits generated from streams and sales will go to SHELTER, an incredible homeless charity in the UK. Homelessness in Brighton feels like an epidemic and I’m sure it’s the same across the rest of the country and SHELTER are at the forefront of the fight to end the housing crisis through campaigning, ground-breaking research and support for those struggling with bad housing and homelessness. You can learn more about the work SHELTER are doing by visiting their websitehttps://england.shelter.org.uk/
I can’t wait to see what money is raised through the sales of this record, after his first charity record Whispers raised more than half a million pounds for UNICEF (and counting). I’m so proud of Mike to have put so much time and effort into it, and for his generosity.
For the artwork… we weren’t completely sure we wouldn’t fall out over it haha, so started by me just doing a few thumbnails for concepts and ideas and if there was something there, we’d press on with the whole project! The final concept is super simple and suits the feel of the album perfectly, particularly Restless Wind which always makes me think of leaves blowing in the wind. Rosie also has her own illustration much to Char’s annoyance 🙂
I always enjoy seeing the sketchbook and thumbnails of a creative project so I’ve including a few below. I was originally thinking of something more landscapey; more of a scene to spread across the front and back cover, or even a sea/night sky/moony vibe, inspired by Track 9 Moon on the Water.
I really do love the Autumnal leafy cat concept we agreed on in the end though.
Below are some of the final artworks and you can purchase the vinyl and CD versions from this linkhttps://store.passengermusic.com/
Today is Earth Day 2019, the largest civic-focused day of action around the world. As it’s Easter Monday, we’re all at our consecutive homes, stuffing our faces… but to celebrate World Earth Day, we have our own team Green Activity organised for Thursday, when we’ll be doing a Beach Clean of Brighton Beach. In the meantime, I asked Yaz (the most Earth-friendly person I know) to talk a bit about the ways in which she’s amended her day to day life in order to live so sustainably…
My motto in life is ‘Be Kind,’ or more specifically, Compassion and Kindness. I try and follow this in all aspects of my life, whether that’s being kind to others, our animal friends, our beautiful planet and even myself. I’ve always loved being outside. I try and spend as much time as I can exploring new landscapes by foot or by bike and I am constantly mesmerised by coastlines, rivers and lakes. Over six years ago I became vegan, as I have a big appreciation for the Earth and its inhabitants and so making slight lifestyle changes like this, is just something I can do, as one little human on this big Earth!
My own transition to a more sustainable lifestyle has been a gradual process, but these would be my top tips for living a more earth-friendly life.
- Try to reduce your food waste. Terrifyingly, the annual value of food wasted globally is 1 trillion dollars and 25% of the worlds fresh water supply is used on food that never gets eaten!
- Bulk buy dry goods. Sounds contradictory, but buying rice, pasta, grains etc in bulk saves on single-use plastic, or if you have a nearby bulk food store, re-use your empty glass jars and get them filled.
- Compost! When food waste goes into landfill it produces methane which is a big contributor to climate change. Think about signing up to a community compost scheme (like me) if you don’t have the resources at home.
- Look out for palm oil which is unnecessarily added to so many food products like nut butters, bread, margarine and crisps. Palm oil farming has had a catastrophic effect on our rainforests; areas the size of 300 football fields are being deforested every hour.
- Reduce animal-product consumption. Animal agriculture causes 14-18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – think mass land & water usage for livestock and their food, transportation and toxic by-product waste. A plant-based diet can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year! Why not try a day each week of eating meat free or even more if you can?
- Switch to plastic free and natural alternatives for your toiletries! Here’s a few ideas; soap and shampoo bars, bamboo toothbrushes, beauty creams in glass pots, coconut oil as a make-up remover/moisturiser, use bulk stores to refill bottled toiletries (household cleaning liquids), menstrual cups, reusable make-up pads.
- Shop from charity shops, vintage shops, eBay and second hand furniture shops. ‘Fast fashion’ is complex and rarely talked about, but has devastating environmental and economic consequences.
- Shop in-store when you can, rather than online, to reduce unnecessary packing materials and fuel.
- When you’re on the go, be prepared! Bring a reusable water bottle, coffee cup and bags.
- Choose package free fruits and vegetables or better still, have a go at growing your own! You can get all sorts of seeds and herbs from your local supermarket.
This may seem a little daunting, but I’d like to mention again that I didn’t make these changes overnight. Everyone is in a different situation (accessibility and money) and unfortunately, we’re in a system that doesn’t always make ethical living easy. As Individuals, we can only try our best with the options that are available to us. When it comes to preserving our delicate planet, it’s far better to have all of us try a bit rather than a handful of people doing it perfectly. It’s just about being that little bit kinder and more compassionate.