August is the last hurrah of summer. However, in capitalist terminology, August is now prefixed by “Back To School Offers Only Available In…” – which, in a momentary heart flop of irrational sentimentality, makes me think of new pencil cases and virgin notebooks. Sigh.
August was notably marred by the BBM-efficient actions of some loot-happy rioters. London, Manchester, Birmingham and other various satellite attempts at organised dissent left gaping social and moral questions about those involved and those with the assumed capacity to protect them. Fascinatingly documented and followed by a gripped nation, social media quickly performed a reverse roll and aided an epic community clear-up, plus a number of pleasing creative antidotes.
Aside from the few days we had to leave early or not come in at all, business continued as per always in our studio: Johnny Kelly’s wonderful animation for Chipotle was released, we discovered the unequivocal joy of a literal cat scan, and Yolanda Dominguez shone absurdity over high fashion with her wry and clever film, Poses.
My 2011 – James Cartwright
In August we welcomed James Cartwright as our intern and the bearded bike fanatic stayed with us right through until the end of the year, bringing his passion for all things visual to our editorial team. Cheers James – the Guinness is on us!
What was the best thing you saw in 2011?
Game of Thrones, without a doubt. Turns out when you spend all your time looking at and writing about creative projects it’s really easy to devote your spare time to a fantasy TV series without feeling any guilt at all. Plus it had dragons, so I was hooked from the start.
Who would you give a Best Person of 2011 award to?
This year I developed my first ever celebrity crush. Discussing it here would be unprofessional and inappropriate but she’d be my person of the year. Reading that back makes me sound like a creep.
What was the most memorable thing that happened to you?
This year I did all the artwork for a friend’s little record label. It’s just three of us putting out music we love. We’ve done seven releases this year and every time the new sleeves come back from the printers I get really excited. But nothing compared to the thrill of seeing my sleeves in record stores. That was really good.
Were you in any (metaphorical/not metaphorical) fights this year? Did you win?
This year I was in a lot of metaphorical fights, wrestling with inner demons and struggling to be a better man. Lord knows it’s been tough. But the standout literal fight of the year took place at the It’s Nice That Christmas party where I battled Will Hudson in a Guinness-drinking competition. It got ugly, but I think we established who was the bigger man. It was me by the way. Me.
What would you take from 2011 and give to 2012?
Cheap rent. If the rent goes up in 2012 then I’m in big trouble. That and a sense of adventure – it’s been a weird old year but it’s always been exciting.
What were you doing in August?
I went to Paris for a few days with my girlfriend and some pals. We ate pastries for breakfast, drank coffee in the sunshine and stayed out very late. Life was good. Either side of those few days I was working like a fiend getting my CV together and bemoaning my dwindling finances. Less good.
(Top image by Ben Grasso.)
- Living for the weekend, it's Best of the Web!
- The photographer archiving South Africa’s black lesbian community
- Kirsten Lepore’s creepy clay character is oddly soothing in this brilliant animation
- Friday Mixtape: Grammy award-winning Tinariwen curates a genre-crossing mix
- Designer Kara Zichittella talks about her typographically-led projects
- “Where’s my community?”: Skin Deep and POC on the need for diversity in the film industry
- A new national identity: Smörgåsbord Studio rebrands Wales
- Graphic design gems: Chicago gang business cards from the 1970s and 80s
- Photographer Dougie Wallace captures the super rich spenders of “Harrodsburg”
- “Romance in a sort-of fantasy world”: photographer Molly Matalon's new work (some NSFW)
- Studio Michael Satter’s sophisticatedly simple graphic design portfolio
- Harry Pearce and Pentagram create a new identity for Pink Floyd’s record label