Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The busy bees at The Impossible Project have just sent us through some new rainbow covered 3-packs of PX colour films for the covetable SX70 - sure to make you smile on a rainy day!  This bumper box set can be yours for the bargin price of £45... as we're super nice, we'll aslo let you buy them individually at our great usual rate of £20 per film.  Currently sharing out new display box (and selling like hot cakes) is a recent batch of Silver Shade Monochrome Instant film for the equally disarable Polaroid 600 and the great re-packaged TZ-Artistic for the SX-70 - all £20 a pop!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Keds are still some of the most comfortable sneakers that we've worn over the years, so you can imagine how excited we were when they released the 1950s inspired Champion Soda Pop satin sneakers. All we need now are some grease inspired skirts and cardigans to complete the look. Liking them very much!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

 The Save the Arts Campaign has recently launched a petition asking the government to debate before cutting 25% of the Arts funding budget... what a pickle!  Artists like David Hockney, Karla Black, Douglas Gordon and Luke Fowler have added their John Hancock to the list, and they would sure like yours too.

Deciphering a national budget is no pretty task, so to help you sign your approval, David Shrigley has made this short animation.  Click on the link to join the campaign, or just to see the animation!

Save the Arts: David Shrigley Video

Friday, 24 September 2010

It feels a lot like Autumn today in Edinburgh - leavings are flying around the streets, the odd sensible person has gloves on, (but mostly people are pulling their jumpers sleeves down to cover their hands) and we are experiencing that delightfully cutting cold breeze that appears around most Edinburgh corners. Funny as it may sound, Autumn is one of the best seasons in Edinburgh. We no longer get upset that it isnt 'summer' and therefore enjoy crisp, sunny days stolling through the meadows with a takeaway coffees and sticky buns in hand.

Alice Melvin's new cut out cards are flying off our shelves as I type this. Most probably because they are a bit more than just your usual card. Not only are they a card to write sweet messages in, but they are also a wonderful character to cut out and dress. We are slightly partial to the pirate, but also love the cowgirl too!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

We are delighted to be stocking some gorgeous prints by the multi-disciplinary design studio Makelike who have created this colourful (with a slight glitter of gold!) poster from a wallpaper design. We have it framed and hanging in the gallery for all to enjoy!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Scotland's original art road show The Traveling Gallery, is currently winding it's way through the highlands, taking contemporary graphic art to the main cities and harder to reach communities who may not otherwise have the opportunity to see what The National Galleries of Scotland is up to!  With an emphasis on education and workshops, check their website for a list of pit stops and events.

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery has teamed up with this great art bus to present a mobile follow-up to their highly successful exhibition of 2009, Rough Cut Nation.  Titled Impossible Nation, the participating artists include some of The Red Door Gallery's favorites such as Kirsty Whiten and Mike Inglis along side the equally tallented Richard Riach, Andy MacVicar, Fraser Gray, Martin McGuinness, Pete Martin and Rabiya Choudry. Together, they installed their representations of contemproary of Scottish Culture, with a nod to historical Scottish tradition and art forms.  The walls, ceeling and floor have been spray-painted, drawn on, pasted up and projected onto, transforming the space into one complete work, contributed to by many a-hand.
 Here in The Red Door Gallery, we are lucky enough to have some of Kirsty Whiton and Mike Inglis works.  We even have a few printed copies of the entertaing and thought provoking re-interpretaion of a Scottish Crest which Kirsty Whiten desingned and installed on the floor of The Travelling Gallery!  This A3 print is available for £75 and is limited to an edition of 30.... so get in quick!

Friday, 17 September 2010

We got an email today from gallery friend and wonderful photographer Tom who sent over this picture he took with 3 years ago. The shot of himself and gallery manager Sarah makes takes us back - thanks Tom, it made us smile!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Today Edinburgh welcomes the Pope. Whether you are religious or not, its not everyday you can view the Pope (complete with his Pope mobile) cruise at a leisurely 5 miles and hour down Princess Street. Almost as amazing as this piece of Pope toast that magically appeared from someone's toaster as if it were a miracle.

Monday, 13 September 2010

We were thrilled to hear this week that Edinburgh designer (and very good Red Door pal) Elsie Dodds has been shorted listed for the 'Elle Decoration British Design Awards 2010'. Her gorgeous cushions have been nominated for 'Best British Pattern 2010' and we couldnt be more exicted. All we need you to do now is cast your vote right here. No excuses if you haven't!

Ammo magazines fourth issue is about to hit our shelves and we are all pretty excited to see this issue (which also features Red Door favourite Seymour). Like all the other issues, it is bargain at £5.

This week The Red Door helps the wonderful blog that is Conversation Pieces celebrate its birthday. Zoe who pieces all these great things together in a comprehensive, inventive and down right lovely blog has decided to run a birthday giveaway as a big thank you to all her readers. We are more than delighted to help her out with a giveaway. Check out Saturdays post which gives you the chance to vote for something from our website which could be yours. Happy Birthday Conversation pieces!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

We're loving this odd but magical print from Lazy Oaf! Get it from their wonderful website now.

The Autumn/Winter 2010 Kate Sheridan stock is here - available online soon!

The Red Door Gallery would simply not be the same if it wasn't for the wonderful support of independent and emerging designers and artists dedicated to presenting original, inspirational and affordable artwork. In amongst all of these talented folk is the very lovely and talented Mandy Sutcliffe of Belle and Boo. From selling beautiful framed children's illustrations on Etsy Mandy's label has grown and grown. As well as prints, Belle & Boo now boasts wonderful homewares, stationery and clothing and will soon launch the first Belle & Boo 'to do' book. Here at The Red Door Gallery, we're very proud to continue to showcase Belle & Boo's fantastic products. We are delighted to catch up with the star of Belle & Boo, Mandy Sutcliffe, for our regular designer/artist feature. Thanks Mandy!

Please describe what you do. What materials/techniques do you use?
Hello my name is Mandy, I am an illustrator and I run a company called Belle & Boo with my good friend Kate. I illustrate moments of childhood, a child hugging a tree, kite flying or simply starting out on the landscape from their favourite tree. We sell these images as art prints and apply them to a growing multitude of products, from tiny badges and magnets to huge wall stickers. I use traditional drawing methods, pencil, pen and ink and I use photoshop. I recently bought a wacom tablet which is AMAZING. My background is in painting, mainly acrylic and oil. Techniques I learnt whilst painting are invaluable when using photoshop.

Where do you live? How does it feed your art?
I live in North London, with my partner Russ, who is an animator. We both work from home. Our work is very different but that works well when we need an honest opinion or an alternative way to approach a piece of work. Working from home allows me to work longer hours, which I need to, there never seems enough time as it is. Living in London inspires me everyday, the shop displays, amazing exhibitions, new and alternative ideas at markets and little independent shops and my friends that have very cute kids.

Describe your studio. Where is it? Do you work alone? How often do you go there? 
My studio is in the back garden, we had it built a few years ago, replacing a run down old garage. it is huge. Russ has the tidy half and I work from a very messy half! I would like it to look all beautiful and arty, that was my dream when it was being built but the reality is I always seem too busy to spend time making it look good, I guess I shouldn't complain. We are just about to be joined by a graphic designer that will work for Belle and Boo a couple of days a week, so I really need to make some space! The good thing about the studio being in the back garden is it enables me to shut the door and leave it alone. I used to work from my lounge and I never stopped.

Where did you get your lovely company name from? 
Thank you:) I designed the characters a while ago from some Christmas cards and at the time they were called Bella and Boo. Meanwhile, I started my company on Etsy and called it Milly Molly Mandy after my favourite childhood book. As the company grew and more and more wholesalers wanted to stock my work (Sarah from The Red Door being one of the first) I realised I had to have a name of my own. Bella and Boo seemed a good choice but when I looked to buy the domain name has recently been bought by a couple to show their wedding photos. I finally decided to go with Belle and Boo when my Mum pointed out that Bella and Boo didnt look so good written down with the 2 a's being next to each other. I not LOVE Belle & Boo and I am so glad fate stepped in and my Mum of course!

Have you always been a designer? What brought you to doing what you do now?
I was always good at art, I didn't particularly enjoy doing it but I craved the praise I recieved. It seemed the natural path to take, a-level art, followed by a foundation (one of the most intense and emotional times of my life, resulting in the highest mark they had ever awarded) then a 3 year degree in illustration at Leeds which was OK. The best bit being an exchange to Paris where I started drawing children and that developed into a series of paintings of children that on leaving college I took to children's book publishing companies. I illustrated 3 books and had an agent for greetings cards. After finishing my 3rd book, Russ and I decided to take some time off to travel. This is when I really got the grips with Photoshop (my books were all hand painted, they took forever!). Whilst in Sydney a friend introduced me to Etsy, I opened ny Etsy shop in November 2006, I sold my first print within 10 minutes and 2 months later I was doing it full time. A year later I was approached by Kate to team up, she took on the management side of the company, sales, accounts, licensing, all the stuff I was rubbish at and now 3 years on we have 3 part time staff and are about to take on our 4th.

Where did you train?
In Leeds, it was a dreadfully ugly building, which I think made everyone work that little bit harder to bring something beautiful to the environment! You should see the art college there now, its glorious, but I wonder if it is just a bit too new and cool to really relax and throw paint around? 

What inspires you?
The books I had as a child, good drawing and vintage images of children. The V&As museum of childhood never fails to inspire me.

Is there anyone or any style that you're influenced by?
I am heavily influenced by the story book illustrations I grew up with. My particular favourite was Milly-Molly-Mandy, the map at the beginning is etched on my brain. I think E.H.Shephard and Cicely Mary Barker are absolute genius. Other favouries are Bonnard, Vuillard, Degas and Maurice Sendak. Contempories I admire are Jen Corace and Mark Ryden.

What piece of machinery or tool could you not live without? 
At the moment I would have to say my Wacom tablet. When it first arrived I left it in it's box for a week, the first few days I used it were dreadful but now its an extension of my arm.

Besides the products you sell at The Red Door is there anything else that you make?
We now make Belle & Boo children's clothing, we are on our 2nd collection Autumn/Winter 2010. My favourite item is a duck egg blue, with chocolate trim wool coat, featuing an embroidered Boo bunny and pointy hood with tassel, its adorable. They are designed to be clothing we think Belle would wear and each comes with a printed paper version and cut out Belle & Boo doll to dress.

What are you working on at the moment? 
I am trying to work out how to apply 2 current designs to a tin lunch box and a melamine children's dinner set, with me luck!

What do you do when you're not working? Can you switch off? How do you unwind?
Nothing too exciting, meet friends, go out for dinner, watch movies, read. I recently joined a book club which is good fun, we tend to chat about the books for about 20 minutes and then have a good gossip for the rest of the evening. I don't think I ever really switch off from Belle & Boo, it is my passion and the main focus of my life at the moment, I do love to talk about it which generates more ideas, which generates more work. Sometimes it's hard to sleep because I am excited to get going again the next day. To unwine I make myself go to the gym, everyday if possible, this keeps me sane, otherwise I think I would just work all day with out a break. Russ and I love walking, we are lucky to live near Hampstead Heath, so we make sure we get there a few times a week, usually accompanies by a pint or 2 at a cosy pub along the way. 

What's your favourite pastime?
That's easy, working on a new piece of art (as long as its going well) cosy in my studio when it is raining outside, listening to the Archers with a delicious cup of coffee and maybe a biscuit of 2, but mainly knowing I have nothing else to do all that day, so I can be as indulgent in my work as I like.

What do you like least about being a designer? Any occupational hazards?
Absolutely...... Being too involved and then looking at ones peers and thinking that you are not working hard enough. Repetitive strain in my arm. Having too many virtual friends through work and not making time for your real life friends. 

What do you like they most about being a designer?
Working for myself and doing something every single day that I love. Working with my friends and being in control of my own time. 
What's your favourite possession? This can be anything!
Oooh this is the most difficult question, immediately I thought of Russ, but that' a bit awful to think of him as a possession! I have a gorgeous painting I bought in Vietnam of a little girl, so thinking about it, it would probably be the art I have collected over the years. Oh and my hard drive that had all my work on it!

What advice would you offer to other creatives?
Do what makes you happy and you are good at. Believe in yourself and your ideas. Listen to advice from others, but dare to challenge it. When I was working in the greetings card industry I was told images of children don't sell unless you can't see their faces, so always drew them from the back. Belle & Boos range of children's cards, produced by a very forward thinking (excuse the pun) and contemporary company nineteenseventythree, have since gone to sell in their 1,000's around the world. 

Who else's work do you love? Any artists/makers/friends/galleries/websites you'd like to share?