It’s probably just me but I think the phrase ‘I said I wouldn’t but I did it anyway’ has a kind of roguish charm to it. Pretty much a pirate amongst phrases. Why I saw fit to combine it with 80’s icon Pac-Man giving you a wink & a cheeky thumbs up and a weird black and white optical illusion style background is tricky to explain but I did it anyway. Designing and laser cutting the image on wood was the easy part. Hand painting the thing proved to be a bit trickier but I got there eventually. Now what to do with it? Perhaps the street beckons…
They’re just like Candy
When I was growing up I had a t-shirt that featured anime hero ‘Akira’ with a pill on his tongue and the legend ‘They’re just like candy”. For some reason this has percolated in my mind over the years (update: I’ve now found the image and it’s at the bottom of the post) and it’s recently found a way to get out again.
We’ve done a similar piece to this one before and whilst it was in the studio waiting to be sent to its new owner, somebody else popped by and after seeing it commissioned us to paint something similar for him. We were a little reluctant to start with but after the client stated they didn’t want the QR codes of DJ mixes but instead wanted us to come up with some new text we thought we’d proceed with it.
So, there you have it. Pac Man munching through his power pills and enjoying them like a bad little Akira.
- Akira: They’re just like candy
Those were the days
Those were the days (QR codes)
We were recently commissioned to do a big canvas to celebrate someone’s clubbing history. An interesting commission and no doubt about it. Our in-depth quizzing of them revealed that they felt they were getting a little long in the tooth for the kind of shenanigans they used to regularly engage in when they were younger and wanted a little something to commemorate the fact that all those weekends spent wasted weren’t in fact wasted weekends.
Considering what we were trying to convey there were plenty of false starts and aborted designs and I feared this one would languish in development hell until we could come up with something suitable. After percolating in my brain for long enough a quote from comedian Marcus Brigstocke came to mind that would lay the foundations for the design: “If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.” We were finally off and running.
We then had to come up with some way of celebrating the specific clubs that our commissioner used to frequent. We’ve used QR codes before and with the proliferation of smartphones we thought they’d be perfect for our needs. The codes link to classic mixes from the clubs involved and I had to go to a great deal of trouble to find a cassette to digitise from his earliest clubbing days way back in 92. Go ahead and test them (although you may have to click on the pics to bring up versions that are big enough to read). Eagle eyed readers will notice the small Mitsubishi logo concealed in the centre of the QR codes. How delightfully subversive…
Back to the Future
We don’t usually put out spoiler shots or the like but i’ve made an exception for this little QR code as it’s taken up a load of my time and i’ve been working on this canvas for some time now and thought she deserved a little build up before I get her finished.
Once we’d managed to come up with the initial idea for this commission (which in itself took a fair bit of time) the main bulk of the canvas was fairly easy to complete but then I was left with my final conundrum. How was I meant to get six QR codes on there so that they were readable, working and looking good? I considered just about all the options I could think of – by hand, stencilled, gel medium transfer, wheatpaste, etc but i was concerned that; a) they wouldn’t be readable (and therefore wouldn’t take you to my carefully selected links) or b) they just wouldn’t look right considering most of the rest of the picture is stencilled. So I finally settled on screen printing in the hope the codes would be easily legible and look sweet.
After a bit of trial and error it was time to move to the canvas – which itself proved problematic as it’s not flat or straight. So, after moving my entire printing set up and setting it up raised off the ground (to accommodate the fact that the canvas has 4cm deep box sides) I then had to put something behind the canvas to ensure a flat edge to print against. Anyway, enough of my problems. Suffice it to say I finally managed to get it nailed and this is the product of my endeavours…