And so a new range is released: fresh for the breezes of autumn, and with a warm sweatshirt to take you into the cold winds of winter. These started, as a lot of Lost Shapes designs do, with doodles instead of notes when I should have been paying attention to something else, but I wonder why I haven't done them before. Kites are a perfect silhouette for the hand cut stencils that I use, and somehow uplifting even to look at. The adults version, on beautiful melange plum or deep vintage denim blue captures the excitement of kiting (kiteing? is it even a verb?) as the sun gives way to the moon; the children's one features our lovely monster from the BOO! design, who is obviously well-integrated into human life now!
Just managed to catch the 'Poster Power: Propaganda and Protest' exhibition at Contains Art yesterday before it closed (yes, I realise it would have been more helpful to mention it while it was still going). A great collection of mainly Russian and Chinese posters - really fascinated by the ideology behind them and inspired by the graphic style. So I picked this book up from the nearby second hand bookshop mainly because I was in that frame of mind, and liked the cover design (Larry Carter, 1950s), but I'm totally engrossed now. Written in 1957 (that's 57 years ago people!) about 'the frightening processes evolved and applied by American super-advertising-scientists' it made me realise there's nothing new about our kids being used by cynical marketing. A quote from an advert by a company who supplied 'education' material to school teachers:
Eager minds can be moulded to want your products! In the grade schools throughout America are nearly 23,000,000 young girls and boys. These children eat food, wear out clothes, use soap. They are consumers today and will be the buyers of tomorrow. Here is a vast market for your products...'
Oh there's so much more I could quote (just buy the book - it's still around) about class, creating anxieties, using guilt etc, but this is meant to be a blog about t-shirts. If only I'd read it before I posted this rather un-sophisticated attempt at manipulative marketing on facebook a couple of weeks ago:
Students! A hint for you: I've noticed that parents are particularly susceptible to the idea of buying you new clothes just before you leave for the year, and especially if they feel they're supporting a small ethical business. Especially nice warm organic jumpers... #buyalostshapessweatshirt
I have some work to do...
I made a bit of a hoo ha on social media a couple of weeks ago about printing some signs to take to End of the Road festival so our friends could find us. So, lest you all think that it's nothing more than a group of people talking West Country (as in 'Where's he to then?' or 'Where are you camping to?'), I thought I'd share a bit of the good times. I'm no impartial reviewer (I just love the festival, and I've been 6 times), nor do I know how to succinctly categorise music genres, but, hey, I can recognise fun when I've had it!
So these are a few of the best bits:
St Vincent: That woman is some sort of super-species of human. It's not just that she can sing, looks like a beautiful well groomed mannequin and has absolutely perfected dancing like a robot. She also managed to take 10 minutes falling down some steps and ending up legs in the air and made it sexy! Now if I did that...
Ezra Furman and the Boy Friends: Raucous yet deep, bleak and exciting - all I knew of Ezra Furman and co before was that I'd jotted down the name on my printing table after hearing them on 6music once (that's my equivalent of playlister), but I came out a big fan. At one point Ezra left the stage and reappeared on the old theatre stage, then continued back through the crowd without missing a beat.
Man with lots of pens: We accosted the saxophone playing Boy Friend after the gig for an autograph, only to find no one had a pen. Then a man appeared as if by magic, saying 'Did you need a pen?' and opened his jacket to display a whole row of different colours. Wonder how long he waits for opportunities like that. (Next time though, pen-man, a sharpie would be useful for shiny CD covers).
Perfume Genius: I missed the main gig, but got to see the intimate 'secret gig' on the comedy stage in the woods. Disarmingly gentle and vulnerable, he played a small set of covers and his own songs, linked with modest shrugs and the nearest he'll ever get to hilarious banter. Beautiful. ('Is this funny?' asked my daughter, 'Why is this the comedy stage?')
Other good music: tUnEyArDs; John Grant; Adult Jazz; The Radiophonic Workshop; Stealing Sheep; Cate le Bon... oh and more I'm sure.
The Forest Disco: A disco in a forest (with lit up disco floor and everything) is good, especially when you get to see three of your men friends who never dance boogying til the sweat drips. But when you're singing 'Where's me jumper?' on the way there and then it's the first thing the DJ plays it feels like your night!
My new necklace, from zincwhite - all made from recyled derwent pencil crayons. Wayne from Flaming Lips also bought one of these, but that wasn't why I did.
Seeing strangers wearing Lost Shapes t-shirts: Never fails to get me excited, but at least we resisted accosting them.
The new Andyloos: They're big; they have a kind of suction thing so you don't have to look at other people's poo or smell those horrible blue chemicals; they have reassuring rows of loo roll visible from the door before you commit; cleaners go round sweeping them out and emptying waste paper bins; they have a mirror and hooks and they're white. White! That's almost luxury spa style. I might get one in the garden to save me cleaning the bathroom.
NO MORE BLOGGING
I stopped writing this blog a while ago - social media just seems a more responsive way to share ideas these days (plus I never got 'round to it!). I'll leave these posts up for now for anyone who wants to get a bit more of a sense of what's behind what I do.