Category Archives: Artspiration

David Carson, Raygun & The End Of Print

David Carson was a typographer way ahead of his time. I didn’t know about the man when I first saw his work, though I do remember seeing my first copy of Raygun Magazine and thinking, ‘Wow… is this magazine handmade?’ I’d never seen graphic design like it, it flipped everything you had ever thought about magazine design. Photos covered the whole page and text was placed every which way, some of it was even hidden or off the page.

Raygun Magazine ran from the early nineties until the early naughties, producing about seventy issues. It wasn’t just a magazine to catch up with gossip or to read an article about your favourite band. It was a work of art. Every page could have easily been ripped out and framed for show.

The magazine itself never had a set logo, it's typeface would change with
every issue. This was and still is quite an amazing ri
sk to take. Branding is everything, though it wasn't the font
                                        that was recognisable, it was the layo


You can check out more of Carson’s work through the Links:


http://en.w    WIKI LINK  4 RAYGUN    gazine%29


Kent Williams is an amazing figurative painter. I first came across his work through comic books such as ‘Wolverine & Havok’ or ‘Tell Me Dark’ way back in the early nineties. He quickly removed himself from that ‘graphic artist’ pigeonholing and started releasing life drawing / fine art sketchbooks.

His work can be adult orientated as he does feature a lot of life drawing, though his technique with oils is absolutely beautiful and he was an absolute inspiration for me moving from Secondary School into University.

Williams’ style has moved from stylistic and representative, to a surrealist one. Now often resembling Dali, his figures remain photographic, almost frozen in a dance-like pose among a collage of incredibly delicate shapes.

The Perry Bible Fellowship

Nicholas Gurewitch is the creator of the Perry Bible Fellowship comic strips. The strips themselves are varied in style and nature, often black humoured and sometimes mature in content, they’re not always for everyone, but the ones I have featured here give an idea of how funny he can be without using shock tactics.

I first came across Nicholas’ work by accident, then shortly afterward, interviewed him for a blog I was writing for at the time. He has gone on to show the strip in multiple publications, including the Guardian newspaper and has even piloted some related animations for the BBC.

‘Rhino and Boy’ (above) is my favourite strip, I was able to get a signed limited edition copy from him that I still have to get round to framing. Nicholas decorated the tube with some of his ‘stickmen’ illustrations. It’s almost as amazing as the artwork it is protecting.

There are tonnes more strips over on the PBF site as well as two books that can be bought through Nicholas or Amazon. There are very few people that have moved on the comic strip from it’s generic three panel tradition, fortunately though, there are artists like Nicholas out there still pushing the boundaries of the art form.

Further reading:


Zoë Murdoch is a friend of mine. I first met her many years ago in University when we were both studying Fine and Applied Arts. Everyone else was creating huge, colourful paintings, Zoë and I were creating tiny little works in boxes and books, they weren’t made to be seen by all, they usually weren’t even created with an audience in mind. I hated my own stuff, but absolutely fell in love with Zoë’s. Her work, at that time, was created from old sepia toned photos and words were typed onto old papers with a very old type-writer.

Her work has no main influence, though little comparisons can be made to the combining of images by Man Ray and the box art of Joseph Cornell. Her work cries out to moments of the fantasical, like that from a nursery rhyme or a children’s book, though it also contains domestic subjects, traditional objects and unfamiliar things in familiar places.

Zoë’s work thrives with recurring themes, usually around loneliness or broken relationships, it also features a variety of recurring animals; foxes and wolves, ravens and song birds. She usually uses her own image in her photos, though this is mainly down to ease and control, rather than self obsession or vanity.

Originally from Belfast, she has experienced many other cultures, these help her bring a collection of different view points and cultural references within her work. Although mainly working in photography, Zoë is an extremely talented sculptor and fine mark making artist.

If you are interested in viewing more of Zoë’s work, she has kindly allowed me to let you visit her Flickr account:

David Shrugley

As part of the Visual Arts Festival, David Shrigley has ‘done a Banksy’ in Kelvingrove Museum (Glasgow). He has adapted a small part of the museum with his own sculpture and drawings. I usually really enjoy Shrigley’s work, it’s fast, clever, a bit stupid and often amazingly clever, though I found it hard to enjoy the Kelvingrove show.

After receiving an invite to the show opening, I was really excited about how Shrigley was going to get by the Banksy similarity and also how he would display his work within the museum, he didn’t and he displayed it badly.

My favourite work on display was the taxidermy Jack Russell holding a sign, though I can’t say that it displayed a huge amount of skill on Shrigley’s part. Thinking about the show later, I realised that Shrigley’s work is about being lazy, it’s a ‘off the top of my head’ doodle or a childish joke, Shrigley doesn’t do ‘effort’, he doesn’t do ‘skill’. I guess thinking this way makes his show a success and definitely ‘Shrigley-esque’, though I can’t bring myself to saying that it actually worked.

Shrigley’s work is on show in Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow now. I don’t how long it’s there for, but I’m sure it’s too long…

All Your Baseman Are Belongs To Us

Gary Baseman, the son of Polish Holocaust survivors did not train as an artist, but gained his experience through his Communications Degree. Heavily influenced by Disney and Mad Magazine, Baseman has called his art ‘pervasive’. Painting naive characters, usually Mexican influenced, in bright colours, his paintings are usually shockingly graphic even though they look like images from a children’s book.

Baseman has illustrated many magazines and designed toys, including the game ‘Cranium’ and Disney’s animation series ‘Teacher’s Pet’. These projects have built his fame, though it is his presence within the fine art exhibition circles that keeps his audience interested and helps him to push his work further.

Those interested in seeing more of Gary Baseman can follow him on his website:

The Brothers Quay

The Brothers Quay are American twin brothers famous for their stop animations. Most of their films feature disturbing dark images of dolls, meat and pins. Inspired by eastern european animators, particularly Jan Svankmajer, they focus on telling their tales through abstract weird happenings and strange imagery.

The Brothers Quay have created numerous music videos and were commissioned to create several theatre/ballet pieces. They treat animation like dance, all movements are finely and intensely choreographed.

When first experiencing the Brothers work, it appears weird, confusing and even frightening, though with further watching you start to discover the beauty in the characters, the scenery and the ideas. It reminds me of The Brothers Grimm fairy tales, it has the creepy, the mystery and the fantastical.