Blink Interviews: James Brown

We first came across James Brown’s skills at the Little London Fields festival, and we were hooked immediately. We featured one of his poster designs on the blog back in August. We just had to make contact with James and were delighted when he agreed to an interview with us.

James Brown is an illustrator and printmaker living and working in London. Trained as a textile and surface print designer, James worked in the clothing industry for 10 years producing print designs for numerous brands from Levis to Louis Vuitton. James embarking on a new career as an illustrator in 2007.

James has been commissioned to produce work by publishing houses, magazines and newspapers and advertising and design agencies. Recent clients include Oxfam, Cancer Research, The Guardian and Faber & Faber . Alongside these commissions, James produces limited edition screen prints and linocuts. The traditional processes that go into the production of James’ prints are very important.

What are you currently working on and how is it shaping up?
I have just finished printing an edition for the V&A based the William Morris quote;
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
I tried very hard to make it beautiful! I do hope Mr Morris would have thought it worthy of hanging on his wall.

How did you discover your creative skills?
My parents are both illustrators, they didn’t pushed me into the creative industry but helped me in any way they could.

What or who are your longest standing design influences?
Edward Bawden, M.C Ecsher, Victor Vaserely.

What’s currently inspiring you?
Shoes. I’m working on a print of gents shoes to go with my HATS print.

Has your career developed in the way that you anticipated?
I have never really felt that I know where I am going with my career, but if I look back it has a very logical progression.
I studied Printed Textiles at college and spent 10 years working in the clothing industry, so I have just swapped from printing fabric to printing on paper.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Familiar and friendly with a nod to the past.

Do you work best alone or collaboratively?
I have never really done it before until recently. In mid September I have 4 screen-prints coming out which I have done with Cath Kidston. We are both happy very with them, so I guess that means the collaboration worked.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Truly enjoying what I do and seeing other people enjoy it too.

Any future projects that you’d like to tell us about?
I have two childrens books coming out next year. Published by Walker Books, they are both board books for babies one about shapes and the other about animals. Both are heavily patterned in high contrast colours. A page of horses from the book is one of the images below.

Pencil and paper or computer and mouse?
A computer is one of many important tools that I have in my pencil case.

Who would you love to work with, past or present?
I really enjoy making prints and posters for small events and businesses that I like and believe in, like the posters I created for The Scythe Festival and The Friends of Homerton Station

Any final word of advise?
Say yes to everything (within reason), you never know where it may lead you.

Designer James Brown in his studio in Hackney Wick, East London.

The flier for James' designs in collaboration with Cath Kidston

'Hats'

from one of the childrens books

The Scythe Festival poster

for the V&A

Thanks so much James. Another great addition to our series of interviews with inspirational individuals, I’m sure you’ll agree. Click here to see the rest of our interviews and get ready to be INSPIRED!

Events- Little London Fields, part 6: the Finale

This post is the grand finale of our Little London Fields tribute week! Are you relieved or disappointed? If you are feeling either then fear not, we have something very different to inspire you next week…

We saved the final post to feature some more fantastic accessories shots. A new approach to jewelery revealed itself at this music and arts event in London Fields. The common theme through all of this weeks post has been to close up approach to finishing touches on the looks we loved the best. Individual style was the guiding principle and we think that these shots express that even more succinctly.

Enjoy, and thanks to Cat for the great subject choices and perfect shots.

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Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Events- Little London Fields, part 5: Shadey Lady

And second in our accessories focused set of posts from Little London Fields, we look at some super shades. Sunnies have long been the ultimate badge of cool in fashion terms and we really love the diversity and individuality shown on the crowd at this small but perfectly formed fest. In recent Summers, the choice of whats hot and whats not in terms of sunglasses has been a narrow field of vision between Aviators and Wayfarers. We are delighted to say that this is no longer the case. Bring on big, bold, vintage, binocular style rounded shapes and colourful looks.

Click on the highlighted words for more posts featuring glasses and sunglasses.

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Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Events- Little London Fields, part 4: Best foot forward

And there’s more from Little London Fields! We could have posted it all in one big mega post, but that might just have been too much information and we would hate for you to miss out on any of the finer details captured in these shots.

We hope that you have enjoyed our posts so far this week. We have decided that today and tomorrow will be accessories days. As we noted in the first post on Monday, the details are what make an outfit absolutely your own look. We saw some stunning attention to detail on the fastidiously stylish folk at Little London Fields and today we start at the bottom with a shoe focused post. Its a mixed bag, with the overarching theme being a personal take on what functional style means for each individual and the look they chose to project that day. Don’t underestimate the importance of the sock choice or the pedi colour either. Details are never mere details when it comes to accessories…

Enjoy, and if you’d like to see more accessories, why not contact your nearest “Blink” agent and ask to have a look at our quarterly ‘Accessories’ report?

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Events- Little London Fields, part 2: Short but Sweet

More joy from the inaugural Little London Fields festival for you. We hope that you enjoyed yesterdays look at some great styling details and today we have a look at proportion.

While the whole of the fashion world has been loved up for the maxi this Summer, the festival crowds have all voted with their pins for something more abbreviated. Shorts and mini’s have been a far stronger look, particularly for the London based events. Its a look that can say so many things. Go retro and boyish with the addition of braces (an accessory to watch and one that we’ll be featuring in the Autumn ‘Accessories’ report!). Add chic but saucy sex appeal with long socks or hold ups. Embrace undies as outies with slip inspired looks. Channel something sharper and a little more 80’s with tailored leather.

Click here for more on “Blink” events, and watch out for more posts on Little London Fields to come…

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Events- Little London Fields, part 1: Details

On the 7th August, one of London’s hottest style spots got even hotter! London Fields in East London hosted the newest addition to the London based festival roster, the very lovely Little London Fields, a brilliant new, free music and arts festival.

Approaching the site through the throngs of people on Broadway Market, perusing the beautiful vintage and handmade fashion stalls, mouthwatering local food stalls as well as the quirky shops that line the street; there was a tangible buzz in the air. Inside London Fields, Festival goers lounged on the grass enjoying the sounds, sights and cider in the park. The festival was a fabulous showcase of new and up and coming music maestros, performance collectives, artists and designers. Sadly our British weather blighted what was otherwise an idyllic Summer afternoon in the park. Umbrellas came out in the crowds and others ran for cover (under trees, into tents, nearby cafes and pubs). Yet the showers didn’t last too long and in traditional British spirit the festivities carried on into the evening with a plethora of after parties to choose from.

The eclectic and alternative selection of entertainment included some of the best up and coming bands like the Brighton based synth-pop band, Mirrors and Hackney’s very own delicious Black Cherry. The Carhartt sponsored disco tent was the perfect place for booty shaking to top tunes from Cut n Shut Disco. We were very tempted to part with cash in the lovely Arts and Crafts Marquee- especially loving James Brown’s prints.

The debonair folk in attendance certainly stepped out in style, sporting some gorgeously considered and studiously self styled looks. Looking at our shots of the festival goes to show the East is undeniably the life blood of London street fashion.  We are starting this week of Little London Fields posts with a close up look at the details that make a look a ‘LOOK’! We have so many posts for you from this event that we are even posting on a Monday, which is very unusual for us, and we’ll have some double bubble two post days to come too. Hold on to your hats, this could be inspiration overload!

Enjoy this post on Little London Fields and click here for more posts on events that “Blink” has found interesting, exciting and inspiring!

Thanks Cat for the genius shots and great reporting!

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James Brown's beautiful prints at Little London Fields

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Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields