That’ll teach him
Wow what a show!
MK Social street logo
Wow what a show! panorama
MK Social v id-iom
Reach for the stars
Up in the air
When the id-iomphone rings we answer. This time the call took us to Milton Keynes. We’ve worked for the folk behind the imminently opening MK Social a couple of times before so thought we knew what to expect. After an early start, at an hour not normally known to urban artists unless they’re hitting the streets for some late night redecoration, we set off for the bright lights of MK. We had two big walls and a little bit of street work to complete over the course of a couple of days. We even had a scissor lift but unfortunately for us it wouldn’t reach to the wall behind the bar so it was back to basics and a huge ladder was soon procured. We couldn’t be having it too easy now could we?
Anyway, as a reminder to myself, the wallpaper style background is all well and good when you’re designing it but it’s a different matter when you’re trying to align stencils 30ft up in the air. Particularly when you’re hanging off a ladder to do so. Suffice it to say that we at least managed to get it all completed without a trip to A&E. After the walls were done there was then the matter of a little street promotion work consisting of us wandering around high traffic areas with a stencil and a few cans of chalk spray paint to get word out to potential punters. Some mucky hands and messy clothing later and it was time to bid adieu to MK until next time. Let’s hope the locals appreciate it all…
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Life’s a beach bar in situ
Life’s a beach bar – complete with smiling artist!
So there we ironing the curtains when a call comes in on the id-iom phone. It’s our main man Tommy with a mission, if we choose to accept it. As the curtains are crease free we decide that accepting is the best way forward. With nary a thought as to what we’ll actually be doing we load a bag with paint and head on down to the Electric Social to see what we’ll be painting. It turns out it’s a bar made from pallets for their weekly Sunday session ‘Life’s a beach’ and it needs a little decoration. A couple of hours later and here’s the result. Job done time for a pint.
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The Old Jamm Inn
Some people seem to have all the luck don’t they? There we were hard at ‘work’ (a euphemism for sitting at home trying not to distract each other from the tricky task of watching ‘Homes under the Hammer‘ whilst simultaneously ignoring both work deadlines and frigid draughts that seem to beset us from all sides) when my phone chirps to let me know it has received a text. After warming my fingers for a few seconds under a lighter i’m able to move my fingers enough to operate the phone. I somehow manage to press the necessary buttons and wipe the frost from the screen. My phone then reveals that we’ve been commissioned to design a logo for a new bar opening in sunny Barbados. How very fortunate – for the person moving out there and setting up shop that is!
Being the happy little worker bees that we are we then get as much information as we can pertaining to this forthcoming venture and set to work – properly this time but only after Homes under the Hammer has finished, naturally, and after setting a small fire under the computer to get her warmed up. I just know he’s not going to be having the same problems in the ‘Old Jamm Inn‘ when it finally opens in Spring 2013. I think their tagline is ‘Booze, beats and burgers’. Sounds ideal really.
If you’re in the neighbourhood next year I’d suggest you drop by for a warm welcome and a cold drink. Jamie, if you’re reading this and you need the interior painted up just let us know – we’ll happily take a busman’s holiday for flights and board!
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Ceiling cat is watching you ruminate
While we were at Seven recently I spotted a little hatch in the ceiling of the room next to where we were working and just knew what had to go up there (if they’d allow us). Ceiling cats! After a brief negotiation with the cat loving owners we were in. As the cats would be pretty difficult to spot (as they are life-size and on the ceiling) our joke would be lost on most so we thought we’d add some gravity defying paw prints to bring make them easier to spot. I, for one, welcome our new cat overlords.
Just in case you aren’t allowed on the internet very often ceiling cat is an internet meme that was wildly popular a few years ago and consisted of a picture of a cat peering through a hole in the ceiling with the legend ‘ceiling cat is watching you masturbate’. This then spawned numerous images using the same image of the cat and different words in the format “Ceiling Cat is watching you [verb ending in/rhyming with -ate]”. Internet history lesson over.
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Seven – Panorama
Seven – Carnation
Seven – Siete
Seven – Lips
Seven – Catalan lips
The boys down at Seven asked us to pop down and paint some more of their walls for their upcoming 1st birthday. This time though we were asked to paint one of the upstairs rooms (soon enough we’ll have given the whole place a lick of paint) instead of the corridor downstairs. We were asked to try and bring more light into the room as you can’t really see anything from bustling Brixton Market below. That one was easy at least – let’s paint the room white we thought – done. We still had to come up with a design though and this proved to be a little trickier.
After many hours of pondering what to do we decided to go back to basics. Seven is a Spanish tapas bar – ah ha! Spain! That’s a good start we thought. So off to the interweb we went to search out anything to do with Spain. At this point ideas started to germinate and bloom into flowers of inspiration. What did we come up with you ask, well, first off we have a metre wide strip of Miro inspired graffiti that goes across all the walls. Its bright, colourful and fits the bill perfectly. We still needed something a little extra and this is where the clavel (or carnation to you and me), an adapted version of the Rolling Stones lips logo and our elementary Spanish came in. One side wall has a hand bearing a carnation – which, as we all know, is the floral emblem of Spain. The back wall has ‘siete’ on it which even I know is Spanish for ‘seven’. And the other side wall has a couple of Rolling Stones lips emblazoned with the flags of Spain and Catalonia that are sticking their tongues out at passing market goers. Job done.
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Lord of the Concrete Jungle (in situ)
Lord of the Concrete Jungle
We were commissioned by the Electric Social (who we’ve worked for before) and Tiger Beer to design a picture that would adorn a large wall upstairs at the Brixton bar/club. Once we had a design finalised we measured up and went off to buy some canvas. At this point I didn’t realise quite how bit a 5.5m x 2.6m canvas would actually be…
It’s always fun to go big but we almost bit of more than we can chew with this one as the canvas was far bigger than any room we had to work on it so we had to come up with some fun logistical fixes to get it all done. Just priming the huge canvas took long enough never mind painting the background and cutting stencils. Anyway it took a while longer than expected but we finally managed to get it finished and drop it by the club with a feeling of relief. I believe they had a tricky enough time mounting it and getting it up on the wall but I think that was only to be expected with this billboard sized monster. At least they liked it and first impressions from customers have apparently been good so, thankfully, that’s another job done.
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A guide to gentleman's etiquette (Part 3)
How to shake hands properly – it’s a thing every proper gentleman should know. None of this bone-crushing stuff to try and prove you’re a tough guy nor limp soggy handshakes that satisfy nobody. You’ve got to get it just right, it’s really not that tricky and this little number will put you on the right track if you’re having trouble. I automatically hate people who try to crush your hand because unless you’re a giant with poor motor skills there really is no excuse to be so rude – especially when you have just met someone. Certainly not the way to start off any relationship as far as i’m concerned…
This guide will soon be adoring the walls of the Electric Social in Brixton. We’ve done a load of work for them before but they were looking for a few more artefacts to put on their already spanky fresh walls so we were more than happy to oblige.
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Hands up! id-iom @ Seven at Brixton
If you’ve been down to Brixton Market any time recently you can’t help but notice the proliferation of quality independent food and drink establishments like Franco Manca and Honest Burger (to mention just a couple). So when we were asked if we’d like to paint up some walls in a new bar and tapas place called Seven at Brixton we jumped at the chance.
As usual, we ended up working to a pretty tight schedule and despite not having a confirmed design until Wednesday and the bar having it’s grand opening on Friday (4th Nov) we just about managed to pull it off. There are 4 more artists who have worked on spaces upstairs but we snagged the downstairs corridor which worked well for us. The photograph’s don’t really do this one justice and it’s difficult to get a feel for the whole thing without good photographs – which i’m clearly unable to get…
The corridor walls already had a lot of texture as the place hasn’t seen a lick of paint in many a year so we decided it best to go with what’s already there and make the most of it. The design consists of seven hands reaching up with lines of thread coming from each nail and all the threads converging on a big 7 sprayed on the wall.
Anyway shooting decent shots in such a tight corridor is definitely a challenge too far for my meagre photography skills and this one is definitely best viewed in the flesh. It will be up for at least the next 3 months so you should get down while you can… For more info you can check their blog
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id-iom's How to Get Your Man at the Electric Social
Electric Social downstairs wall
Electric Social dripping bulb logo
Electric Social cassette
Crack squirrel on bar
Gotta make it home for Eastenders!
Magpie on doorway - looking just a little shifty...
He doesn't look so shifty from a distance
A slightly worried looking rabbit. He knows what the squirrels are up to...
Mick the magpie looking for a good holiday read
Owl in the woodland
You have to look close but he's there...
Your lunch smells lovely...
Magpie in the woodland
There's a mouse! Where? There on the stair!
Since when can squirrels read?
Aha! That's why she has that enigmatic smile. Because of the cute squirrel.
We’ve been a little quiet of late but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy! We have in fact been very busy working with dangerous animals and giant stencils on a new bar that has opened in Brixton.
The Electric Social on Acre Lane is now open for business and looking spiffing – complete with id-iom enhanced interior! Downstairs we have done a 10 metre section of downstairs wall with an Electric Social lightbulb wallpaper and a big piece over it entitled ‘id-iom’s How to Get Your Man’. Then upstairs we have done a large Electric Social cassette tape behind the stage. Scattered throughout we have painted numerous happy woodland animals. There’s mice, rats, magpies, a stoat and an owl. Unfortunately there’s a couple of bad eggs that have slipped in too – as the bloody squirrels have only been at the crack again! They’ll be chewing on the wiring again before you know it…
The Brixton crack squirrels were actually inspired by a couple of ‘true’ stories (I use true in the loosest sense of the word – mainly that it was reported by The Guardian and The Sun newspapers).
NEWS JUST IN – it’s been confirmed that one of my favourite DJ’s – A Skillz – will be playing at the the grand opening of the Electric Social on Friday 30th September. Now I just hope they were serious about that bar tab for us…
PS – You can see bigger shots of all the work on our Flickr page (plus a couple of extra shots not uploaded here)
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After doing a blue version of this canvas which we gave to the manager of the soon-to-be open Electric Social we finally got round to doing a couple more for them to play with. The wording to go on the tape is yet to be finalised (depending on what they want).
We will be moving on with getting some work up in the venue in the next couple of days. And we even get to use a scissor lift. So there…
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