I’m very fond of the British seaside. Not so much in a twee “OMG, let’s take photos and eat candyfloss!” kind of way – although that can be fun – but because there is so much to genuinely love about these former tourist traps, with their juxtaposed tackiness and architectural charm. I spent a lot of my childhood holidaying in Britain, as opposed to going on package holidays to places like Tenerife or The Costa del Sol. I felt quite envious of my classmates, who got to travel on an aeroplane and were guaranteed sunshine but, looking back, I think that spending rainy days in a caravan in Scotland and having trips out to Morecambe, Southport and Blackpool has made me feel more connected to the place where I was born. As I got older, I began to romanticise the typical English seaside resort because of their mix of joy, despair and faded grandeur. Of course this is present in a lot of small towns, but with the harshness of winter and idyll of summer by the coast, these extremes seem…amplified. This isn’t just some abstract feeling I have either. Although there are exceptions to this trend in prosperous locations, such as Brighton and Poole, the traditional British seaside town has long been in decline – offering the kind of unfashionably kitsch holiday that belongs to your granny and granddad’s halcyon days. A recent report called ‘Turning The Tide‘ details the deprivation present in the UK’s coastal towns – including the ones which haven’t been totally deserted by tourists. In a lot of these towns, the grand old hotels have since been converted into bedsits that are full of transients. Although I will always have a soft spot for Blackpool in particular, the reality of life there is pretty grim. In the series ‘Pierdom’, Simon Roberts focuses on Britain’s iconic Victorian piers, and his lens captures my feelings about these places perfectly. From wind-bitten, rusting structures to sun-bathed promenades, his photographs evoke the curious charm and essence of the British seaside.Hastings, East Sussex
More of Simon Roberts’ brilliant photography is on his website – there are more photographs from the Pierdom series, and you should also have a look at another project he has done called ‘We English‘, which focuses on English tourism in a much broader context.
Posted in Culture, Design, Lifestyle, Photography, Writing
Tagged 2013, aesthetic, architecture, beach, beaches, Blackpool, Britain, British beach, Britishness, caravan, childhood, community, cool, Costa del Sol, creative, creativity, decline, deprivation, design, England, entertainment, faded grandeur, family holidays, funfair, geography, holidays, identity, kitsch, Lancashire, leisure, Leonie Cumiskey, memoir, memories, nostalgia, nostalgic, oh we do like to be beside the seaside, old fashioned, opinion, patriotism, personal, photography, piers, retro, romance, Scotland, seaside resort, Simon Photography, Simon Roberts, structure, tacky, tourism, towns, tradition, UK
This grizzly bear is doing a pretty good job of aping my reaction to Christmas.
Everyone is going mental for the ‘touching’ John Lewis advert again, which is a blatant Animals of Farthing Hood rip off soundtracked by something no one needed to hear: Lily Allen covering Keane. It’s good, but obviously it doesn’t even come close to melting my ice cold heart or eliciting any kind of Christmas cheer from me. However, this touching tale of cartoon animals does carry an important lesson: if your BFF happens to be an apex predator, you might want to round up a few unwitting
friends morsels in the hope that your carnivorous frienemy eats them first. Look how happy the bear is when he sees the meat feast he has woken up to…Anyway, enough of my cynicism, here’s the actual advert, which was made by Adam & Eve/DDB and produced by Blinkink and Hornet. The animation really is lovely – and is the result of a lot of hard work – but I’d recommend muting it and playing something more appealing over the top.
Posted in Advertising, Brands, Comedy, Culture, Design, Events, Lifestyle, Writing
Tagged 2013, Adam & Eve, advertising, advertising agency, animation, ATL, bah humbug, bear, Blink Ink, Blinkink, blogging, brand, cartoon, childhood, children, Christmas, Christmas advert, Christmas schmaltz, comedy, cute, cynical, DDB, entertainment, forest, funny, hare, Hornet, humour, John Lewis, John Lewis tv ad, Keane, Leonie Cumiskey, Lily Allen, media, nostalgia, opinion, production, The Animals of Farthing Wood, TV advert, video, writer, writing, Youtube
HAERTS are female-fronted band of four guys and one girl, who hail from Brooklyn, New York. Their first single is a beautifully tender piece of lo-fi pop, set to a montage of home video-style clips. I’ve looked for other stuff by them, but this song is the only one I can find. I’m guessing that as it’s on Vevo, they are already on the brink of mainstream success. Judging by ‘Wings’, they sound pretty great and I hope the rest of their songs live up to expectations. Lead singer Nini Fabi’s vocals are sweet, but powerful – like a mixture of Gwen Stefani and Stevie Nicks.
This song is sort of what I was hoping for when I first listened to HAIM. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed.
Posted in Culture, Film, Music, Writing
Tagged Americana, Ben Gebert, Brooklyn band, childhood, cinematography, creativity, Derek McWilliams, entertainment, female vocalist, Garrett Ienner, gritty, Gwen Stefani, HAERTS, Haerts band, HAIM, harmonies, home movies, home video, indie, Jonathan Schmidt., Leonie Cumiskey, lo-fi, love song, memories, music, music video, New York, Nini Fabi, nostalgia, opinion, pop, romance, small town America, Stevie Nicks, summer sound, sunshine, sweet, tender, USA, video, video montage, yearning, Youtube
Posted in Brands, Design, Lifestyle, Photography, Writing
Tagged 2013, art direction, art materials, childhood, colour scheme, design, dork, felt tip pens, geek, independent shop, Leonie Cumiskey, London, memories, nerd, paper, pencil case, pens, Present & Correct, Present & Correct shop, primary school, products, shop, shopping, stationery, vending machine, web design, website
Posted in Culture, Fashion, Music, Photography, Writing
Tagged 1990s, 2010, 2012, Atsuko Kudo, Catwoman, childhood, film, Geri Halliwell, goth, gothic, heroes, House of Harlot, John Galliano Haute Couture, Kate Moss, latex, Leonie Cumiskey, Michelle Pfeiffer, music video, Nick Knight, nineties, nostalgia, punk, Say You'll Be There, sexy, Spice Girls, Tim Burton, Versace, Victoria Beckham, villains, Vivienne Westwood
Cartoon Network always felt like such a treat for me as a kid. We didn’t have a Sky subscription back then, so I’d never tire of watching endless cartoons whenever I got the chance. London design agency, I Love Dust, created this two minute video for Cartoon Network’s twentieth anniversary and – although I don’t recognise many of the characters now – it still makes me feel all happy and fuzzy inside.
Posted in Advertising, Brands, Comedy, Culture, Design, Lifestyle, Writing
Tagged 2012, Adventure Time, animated, animation, bright, Cartoon Network, cartoons, childhood, children, colourful, colours, cute, Daffy Duck, design, Dexter's Laboratory, fun, funny, I Love Dust, inner child, Leonie Cumiskey, London, love, Mad Decent, media, memories, nostalgia, Powerpuff Girls, promo, Scooby Doo, silly, Sky, sweet, TV, twentieth anniversary, Vimeo