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Review of the Year 2011: March

Posted by James Cartwright,

By the time March came round it was already clear that 2011 was going to be a pretty epic year. Huge news stories erupted across the globe and we started to wonder if that pesky doom-mongering Mayan calendar hadn’t been a year out – which is odd because March is normally a quiet little fella (bar St Paddy’s day).

Revolt across the Arab nations had dominated global news and then Mother Nature stepped in to take hold of all the column inches. Not content with one natural disaster, March became the month with two separate, but equally horrifying earthquakes – unpleasant times all round for the inhabitants of Japan and New Zealand, especially when the trouble was compounded by radiation leaks. In spite of these horrors it was truly heartwarming to see fundraising efforts spring up from all four corners of the globe, raising money and awareness in so many unique (and often creative) ways. When the chips are down, you really do find out who your friends are. Oh and Pixie Geldof dyed her hair bright orange. What was she even THINKING?

On the website we celebrated the release of Issue #5 of the magazine (which seems almost years ago now), were wowed by this guy making a serious case for spending more time fooling around on a bike and charmed (and maybe a little disturbed) by the work of Magic Sweater. We also shed a little tear for the most depressed puppet we’ve ever seen. In the real world we set up camp for ten solid days at Pick Me up, where we had a whale (wail?) of a time drawing with friends and meeting some of you lovely folk face-to-face.

My 2011: Kelsey Dake

Kelsey Dake was probably one of our big discoveries in March, though we can’t take full credit for releasing her work to the world. She caught our eye with some stunning spot illustrations in Believer which kicked off a brief courtship, culminating in her lovely contributor illustrations for the aforementioned Issue #5. She, sadly, remembers none of this…

What was the best thing you saw in 2011?

Oh, hands down the George Condo Mental States show at the New Museum in New York. Particularly this massive wall when you first walked in – the thing had to have been 20 feet tall – covered in portraits of his. I definitely sat in front of it for two hours, mouth agape. Truly outstanding/life changing/mindblowing/fantasmical/orgasmical stuff.

Who would you give a Best Person of 2011 award to?

By golly, YOU my darling reader! (OK, so it’s that crappy answer or “my mother,” take your pick.)

What was the most memorable thing that happened to you?

I bought my very first house, I mean nothing else really can begin to compete with that on the memorable scale, no?

Were you in any (metaphorical/not metaphorical) fights this year? Did you win?

Hmm, I’d say I won. I had this massive inner struggle earlier this year over wether or not it would be a good idea to move away from the American mecca that is New York City back to my hometown of Phoenix, AZ. Which in its own right is a very nice place, but art and design wise it can’t lay a finger on NY. It could’ve gone very terribly very quickly for my career, but it all panned out quite nicely, so I’d say I won I suppose.

What would you take from 2011 and give to 2012?

I’d like to carry over most of the things I’ve learned about my trade this year and employ them more strongly next year. Like the realization that every editorial piece deserves the same amount of love as the next no matter how big or small, colour or black and white, expensive or cheap the assignment may be. As long as I keep jammin and making rad stuff the less lackluster the assignments I receive will become.

What were you doing in March?

In March? Shit, that was a while ago, um… I think I was in NY still? It was probably really miserable and cold and grey out. I’m pretty sure I got the itch to move back to Phoenix in March, and I flew out and looked at 20 something midcentury modern homes – which is incredibly overwhelming and exhausting and kind of musty smelling. But yeah, March wasn’t too exciting and action packed unfortunately.

(Top image from David Wilson, John Malcolm Moore and Keaton Henson: Charon)

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

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