From Guardian Weekend, 1 October 2011

Feeling Brave?

In what has to be possibly the ultimate test in body confidence, artist Spencer Tunick is once again looking for volunteers to strip off in the name of art. The artist is looking to recruit 1000 people to strip off for his next live installation to mark the tenth anniversary of the Lowry gallery in Salford. Up for it? When Spencer Tunick did an installation on these shores around 5 years ago, I signed up, booked the day off work and……

Image from

……….I completely chickened out. A few days later at work my MD exclaimed, “Did you hear about those crazy fruitcake pervs who stripped off all their clothes and paraded around naked for some artist?!?” I stayed silent and suddenly became very engrossed in my work. I’m toying with the idea again but I think I’m even less likely to go ahead with it now than I was back then. I’ve watched countless episodes of “How to Look Good Naked” but even Gok would have a job persuading me to get my bits out for this one. It’s not like it’s a five-minute thing really, is it? Has anyone ever participated in a Spencer Tunick installation? Would you do it? Have you already signed up? Tell all!


Living in a Box

This right here- is genius…

Imagine having to delve into this brilliant work of art every morning to get dressed. I don’t blame whoever that is inside for climbing in because I would do the same thing. I love old suitcases and this masterpiece scores on so many levels as it fuses vintage and modern aesthetics perfectly. It makes me think of the golden age of travel where people used to pack trunks to travel and spent days aboard the Orient Express visiting distant lands and solving murder mysteries. OK- so I’m mixing fact with fiction a bit here but you know what I mean.  It’s one piece from a series of artworks  by Maarten de Ceulaer and has made the shortlist for the 14th annual  Blueprint Awards which is being held at the 100% Design show, Earl’s Court London, September 24-27.

It also reminds me of the front page to the Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week website and I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that fashion week season starts today!!!

Also, today is the day for the worldwide Fashion’s Night Out event which involves hundreds of retailers in 13 capital cities worldwide opening late to host in store activities, special offers, one off designs, celebrity appearances, makeovers and all manner of fun stuff . As I’m not in London (sigh) I won’t be there but click here to find out whats happening near you.

Cover Girl Beth

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.


She does what she wants, wears what she wants and if she wants to pose nude for a magazine then hell yeah, shes doing that too. You’ve probably seen a lot of this picture already in the few days its been circulating and I’m sure you’ll see a lot more of it in days to come. This is the cover of the soon to be launched Love magazine which is the latest project of super stylist and POP magazine editor, Katie Grand.

The magazine launches on February 19th and said to be “very curvy” and “won’t feature anyone of sample size for the whole issue,” so says Katie Grand herself. Those fortunate enough to be attending London Fashion Week will receive a free copy but the rest of us will have to hit the streets and hunt one down ourselves.

Tony Hart Dies

Tony Hart, children’s TV artist from the late 70’s to 2000 died this morning aged 83. I’m sure there are many people in creative jobs who could say that Tony Hart inspired them when they were children and I know I’m one of them. I used to watch his programmes religiously and he introduced me to the idea that you can make art with just about anything, not just pencils and paint and is personally responsible for me cutting up my mothers good potatoes so I could use them for potato printing. I used to love the giant artworks he did on the floor where he would use rice or some other unexpected material, and you never knew what he was drawing until it was almost finished. He taught me that there were no limits apart from my own imagination and for that I am grateful. Thank you Tony Hart, you will never be forgotten.

Adios Amelia

Oh what a year, what a year. I absolutely hate watching the news these days as the economy is just crumbling around our ears and every other day theres another casualty.  Whoever would have thunk that Woolies would ever go out of business? Now its seems like theres a long list of businesses going into administration and closing. One thing I will certainly be sad to see the back of is Amelia’s Magazine as the last issue, issue 10 has hit the shops in the past week. Not so much a credit crunch victim as Amelia states that she only ever intended the magazine to be a ten issue project, but I can’t help but think that the economic climate may have had something to do with it. I don’t buy every issue of this mag as at a hefty £12 thats quite a bit to spend on a single magazine. I can easily spend more than that on general junk but when there are other mags on the same shelf at a fraction of the price its kinda hard to part with that money for just one, y’know? However, its a darn good read. And even if you don’t actually read it, its a true visual feast. Just flicking through it in Borders makes me feel more creative, more excited and just plain happier. 

One thing in particular that used to make me the happiest were the illustrations. I’m a bit of a daydreamer anyway and I could just sit there flicking though the illustration pages magicing myself away to faraway places and tea parties with unbalanced milliners……

The website will still be up and running but the physical magazine will be no more. It will be missed.

Pat- a- Cake, Pat- a- Cake

Can you believe its Christmas already? It certainly doesn’t seem like 365 days since the last one and here we are again so soon.  For most of us it will be a 24 hour (at least) glut fest where we eat the traditional Christmas dinner followed by Christmas cake/ Christmas pudding and graze on Quality Street chocs throughout the day. However, I bet none of the cakes you eat will look like any of these…..

…. and if they did would you really want to eat them? These skillfully crafted cupcakes are an absolute delight to look at and I really don’t think I could bring myself to eat one of these beauties. If I had one of these I would sit it on my bookshelf and it would stay there til the end of time. Abby- the creator- has meticulously crafted each of these with so much love and attention, it would seem rude to destroy it by sinking your chops into it even though of course, thats the whole idea.  The baker, decorator and all round wondermaker of these adorably cute cakes goes by the moniker “abbietabbie” and isn’t a professional, but creates these mini culinary marvels as a hobby for friends and family. As well as doing cupcakes she also creates full sized cakes for any occasion and her photostream makes me think that she must be incredibly nimble fingered and possess the patience of a saint. I decorate the odd cake every now and then but my cake decorating skills are woefully inadequate compared to such greatness. To see abbietabbie’s Flickr photostream click here or on the image above, and try not to drool into your keyboard.

I Love Flickr

Ever since I was introduced to Flickr through a friend around 18 months ago I have been in love with it and don’t know how I managed without it before as its an endless source of great images, inspiration and general amusement from Wardrobe Remix to Unseen War. As well as seeing great photos from amateur and professional photographers I have also seen a wide range of fantastic illustrations. Browsing through the Illustration group is like going on a magical mystery tour through the complex mindworks of a group of people, with lots of twists, turns and random thoughts so you never know where you’re going to end up next. Two artists I have noticed through this group go by the names of Elonn and Lime Green Pikkle. Both of these artists have a penchant for drawing curvy, beautiful and quirky women an a variety of settings from the mundane to the mythical. Elonn is an illustration graduate from Israel and has a vibrant, cartoony, comical style of drawing. The women he draws look like strong personalities with a lot to say for themselves and when I look at them I can animate them in my head and actually imagine them speaking.


Lime Green Pickkle’s ladies are sensual and often quite surreal, owing to his interest in fantasy and legend, but no less uplifting. I especially like his BBW alphabet but can only dream of being able to contort into some of those shapes they’re throwing. Oh to be that limber! As well as his Flickr Photostream you can also see his work here, at Deviant Art.

Oo- er Missus!

There can’t be many plus sized women out there who have never heard about the art of Ruben Esq, but just in case some of you have just woken from a 100 year sleeping beauty type slumber- heres the lowdown. Ruben loves curves. Lots of curves. Lots of unclothed curves. Lots of unclothed curves with a triple X rating. So if you’re under the age of consent in whatever country you may be reading this blog from, or if you may be offended by cartoon nudity then do not click on this link. Some full frontal images are shown. Ruben Esq is the King of bbw art and has a blog that is bursting at the seams with brilliant illustrations of sexy plus sized women of all descriptions, in a wide range of sensuous scenarios. Its not every man in the world who is only interested in a slender size 8 figure but its sometimes very easy to forget that. Its refreshing and confidence boosting to see a man so openly and beautifully display his love for a plus size figure with these erotically charged pictures. So if you want to see gorgeous, plush representations of tantalising sexiness- click here now– or here for the non nude myspace page.