I found this print while I was clearing up a little and immediately thought of Bablu. If you’ve ever been in the Shoreditch area then you’ve probably been no more than 20 metres away from him at some point. He’s easily identified by his love of street art, his shifty but somewhat amiable character and his white Nike Air Force One’s. My thoughts were along the lines of ‘saw this and thought of you’ so thought I’d better get it in the post to him pronto before I forgot what I was doing and moved on to something else.
A couple of stencils and some hand finishing later and it was ready to go. The text in the background reads ‘And the Nikes on my feet keep my cypher complete’ and the QR code takes you to a mystery related link. Give it a try…
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…
Once the idea for ‘Where you wheelie bin?’ crept into my head i knew there was no going back. It comes from a joke my dad used to tell us which revolved around a misunderstanding of the line ‘Where you wheelie bin?’
The line obviously suggested placement on a wheelie bin and i think the coup de grace was coming up with the QR code which links to a version of the joke on the internet. How very technically advanced this little jape is! I was just going to leave you to work our how to read the QR code on your own but as someone pointed out there are probably relatively few people with a QR code reader on their phone so I’ll give you the link that the QR code takes you to – click here
I think as a trial run/initial idea i think this works well and so now we just need to take it to the next level. Watch this space!