I’m not one for getting things done early. With each new collection being released in late autumn, it’s not unusual to see me falling to pieces around September, after realising I am way off track. I never seem to learn!
Well, this year I decided to switch it up in the studio and start things in January, and with our Revelations collection being our most popular yet, I really wanted to step things up again. It’s never good to stay still too long.
A Visual Album
I’ve approached this series like it’s an album. You know when you hear a collection of songs that just fit together perfectly? When you feel like you are unlocking something unknown. That is a feeing that I want carried across in this set of illustrations.
I have spent the past couple of months working on the theme and breaking the story down into parts. To begin with there is a tangle of ideas that need to be pulled apart, put in order and approached separately. This has to be done before the drawing starts. There were many weeks of scouring through reference images and scribbling in notebooks before I started work on the first piece.
Black Smoke and Golden Stars
As I write this post, the first few pencil drawings are complete and the piece above was the second to be finished. There is a strong Eastern flavour, with elements of Byzantine iconography, as well as a psychedelic touch. I’m starting to explore new directions, outside the typical ‘death art’ scene.
This will be the first series I have worked on that will feature multi-coloured designs. Each pencil drawing will be inked by hand to form the black layer, with most of the main detail and shading. After that, the new inked artwork is pinned under tracing paper and all the areas that will print gold are inked. This is repeated for each colour. It’s a time-consuming process but it gives that warm, hand-drawn feel that I’m always looking for.
This series also includes another first. There will be a hidden visual language that runs through the whole collection. Little messages and clues which relate to each other and tell a secret story of their own. When each piece is released, you’ll be able to put them side-by-side and try to decode what is actually happening.
The collection will be released around the beginning of September, and as well as our clothing range, there will be some large limited-edition, hand-printed posters available.