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Illustration

Graduates 2009: Simon Memel

Posted by Will Hudson,

Simon Memel spent the first term of his third year painting shop signs all over South London with collaborator Clark Keatley under the name ‘Aplomb Signpainters’. Now that he’s graduated from Camberwell College of Arts he plans to return to this, hoping to see their handy work spread further across Camberwell, New Cross, Stockwell and especially Peckham.

Having spent four months in Brazil and Argentina painting with locals using emulsion and rollers and more recently in the printmaking department at college, Simon hopes to return to Sao Paulo, Budapest, Paris, New York and Transylvania as well as share the cost of a printmaking bed with mates to pursue his illustration.

As if that’s not enough he’s also working on a magazine with a group of ten others at the ICA, the first issue is due to be released sometime in the next month. Watch this space.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A motorbike rider (if that counts as a vocation). My Mum used to lift me up and sit me on peoples motorbikes and I used to pretend to ride them, there’s lots of photos in an album at home.

In reflection, how bad was your work in the first year?

I quite like what I was doing in first year, it was much more drawing based. I’d just got back from Brazil and nearly everything I did related to Brazil somehow. I was really obsessed and used to try and speak Portuguese to people when I heard it being spoken on the bus.

If you could show a piece of your folio to one person, what piece would you choose, and who would you show it to?

I think that print I did based on a confrontation between Omar and Brother Mouzone from The Wire. I’d show it to Omar. That scene is epic. It’s like James Bond meets Clint Eastwood. “From this range? In this Calliber? Even if I miss I can’t miss”. If he liked it he might give me two’s on his cigarette.

If you had your own business, who would you employ and why?

I’d have a printmaking studio. Litho, silk screen, letterpress, etching…and I’d employ all the printmaking technicians from Camberwell. I’ve learnt a lot from them.

If you’ve got any left, what will you spend the last of your student loan on?

A holiday. I realise when I go away normally I come back feeling really worn out through too much drinking, not enough sleep and barely eating. I fancy going somewhere where I can just read and eat good food without distraction. Maybe I’m getting old….

Where will we find you in 12 months?

Up a ladder with a brush between my teeth.

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Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.

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