INFLUENCES
INFLUENCES, Anna Gerber & Anja Lutz, DGV 2006
'This book looks at who or what is influencing, provoking, inspiring and
informing graphic designers today. It looks at the vast and seemingly endless
spectrum of objects, memories, people, ideas, thoughts, and references that form
the backbone of any given creative project.'
INFLUENCES contains short pieces by 124 'Graphic Designers', in alphabetical
order. I had fun writing my entries, here they are;
The Horse Hospital / Chamber of Pop Culture.

London's Premier independent arts venue. hosting regular exhibitions, film and
video screenings, talks, events, book launches and drag racing day trips.
Colonnade, Bloomsbury. Russell Square Underground Station.
Juxtapoz Magazine.
For over 10 years Robert Williams' Juxtapoz
magazine has provided exemplary coverage of
Lowbrow/Outlaw/Extreme/Visionary Art and downright weird shit
that other magazines are, quite frankly, better off not
even knowing about. Juxtapoz focuses the art and design
that has emerged from Hotrod, Custom Car, Biker, Surf
and Skateboard cultures, Tiki Design, Street Art, Poster
Art, Tattoo Art, Pop Culture Surrealism, Underground
Cartoonists and other fringe scenes. Juxtapoz Magazine
is the reason why there's a Mark Ryden print on the wall
in front of me. These guys actually know who Von Dutch was!
SkateBoarder Magazine, 1977-1980.
Thick, glossy and exotic, all the way from California,
SkateBoarder was always hard-to-find on newsagents' shelves in the U.K.,
for me, age 13, it was a gateway to a whole new world - DEVO performing
in skateparks, Val Surf adverts packed with hundreds of tiny pictures of
boards, trucks, wheels and t-shirts, Stacey Peralta's Hawaiian Shirts &
Army fatigue fashion shoots, Brad Bowman posing with his quiver of boards,
writing off to each and every skateboard manufacturer in America for FREE
STICKERS and hours spent drooling over acres of fresh. smooth, curvaceous
concrete. I've still never been to California.
Kinder Eggs.
Imaginative, incredibly detailed plastic toys at pocket
money prices, available from every newsagents shop in the country. Start
your sculpture collection today, for only 50p, hundreds to collect with
new designs all the time, oh and there's the chocolate as well. Forget
'Urban Vinyl' a.k.a. overpriced 'collectible' toys that don't do anything
bought by designer boys with more money than sense, the corner shop
is where it's at. Crazy Zoo is good, but all other Kinder copies suck big time.
1980's Style Magazines.
All of them! Alphabetically that's Blitz, The Face, i-D
and yes even New Sounds, New Styles. I was hooked, growing up in a small
northern village these were a lifeline to the world outside.
Eames' House of Cards.
Aged about 9, I soon exhausted the possibilities of things
to build with my Dad's set of Eames' wonderful construction cards and wanted
to build bigger models - just like the ones shown in the leaflet accompanying
the original card sets. So I took a pair of scissors and my parents 'best'
set of playing cards (neither of which I was allowed to play with.) and proceeded
to carefully cut 6 slots into one of the cards, just as I was ready to start
adapting the rest of the cards, my Mum or Dad spotted what I was up to,
shouted at me and grabbed the scissors out of my hands. I remember
specifically choosing the 'best' playing cards to adapt because
they had a beautiful design of blue and black dots and stars on
the back which fitted in perfectly with Eames' patterns and textures,
I've searched around at my Dad's house recently, hoping to find the
'adapted' playing card...
Mailart / International Postal Art Network.
The Mailart Network is an autonomous, open network of
artists worldwide exchanging work andcommunicating ideas and with each
other, in existence for 40 years it's roots can be traced back to the
activities of Ray Johnson and Fluxus. I discovered Mailart at the peak
of early 1980's post-punk activity, and immediately became an enthusiastic
participant, the International Postal Art Network was my art education
- a pay-as-you-go course of self-directed study, an international correspondence
school with new lessons dropping onto the doormat daily.
The Mailart Network provided an instant peer group, with opportunities to
participate in group shows, magazines and books, chances to travel abroad
and invitations for solo exhibitions in the U.K. & Europe. It was a thrill
to be part of a self-sufficient parallel cultural network that bypassed
traditional art institutions and would remain mysterious to non-particpants.
This direct communication and exchange with artists from around the world with
diverse backgrounds and exposure to alternative methods of working and
distribution influence pretty much everything I do today.
These days after 12+ years of active mailart service, I'm a semi-retired
International Postal Art Superstar, although I did find myself spending most
of yesterday printing sheets of 'I'm trying to cut down on my correspondence.'
gummed stamps and sending them to other mailartists...
Schedule D (tax reference number)
Self-employed, say it loud and proud!
My Schedule D number means that;
- I work for myself, if and when I want to, and sometimes for other people
if they ask me nicely,
- I'm immunized against communting, uniforms, meetings and workplace
politics.
- in exchange for a single day of stress, worry and headache filling
in those tax return forms, I gain 364 days of freedom, autonomy and independence.
- I'm unlikely to ever have a 'proper job'.
- I belong to a vibrant community of similarly self-employed creative
people.
The last couple of times I've seen Ella Gibbs we've discussed the idea of
organising a self-employed pride event some kind of a march/party/celebration,
hmmm still working on this one...
Car Boot Sales
Where else can you find tasteless trash and unimagined
treasures from the last 50 years smack bang alongside stationery supplies
liberated from oppressive office cupboards, all for mere pennies? Car Boot
Sales are the only place you can go shopping with no idea of what you'll
discover, for me they're a continuing source of inspiration, sites for
contemporary urban excavation, post-retail research, for finding marvellous
source materials, wardrobe replenishment and maintaining clutter levels.
They are REUSE centres, which is much better than recycling and deserve
government subsidy for providing this valuable social function.
Oooh the joys of getting up unfeasibly early on Sunday morning and crossing
the city to your chosen destination of soggy field or crunchy gravel carpark,
with an open mind, lucky bag in hand and a pocket full of small change. The
best Car Boot Sales in London are ******** (first sunday of the month)
*********(bank holidays) *********** and **** ********.
Photocopiers.
At school I somehow managed to obtain special permission
to use the school copier which was kept in a locked room, at University my
evenings were spent alone in the Library photocopier room, which was staff
free at night and open until 10pm, feeding endless 5p coins into the
hungry slots of the copiers. I spent so much time at Community Copyart
Resource Centre in Kings Cross, London that they eventually gave me
a job there and I confess to sharing my bedroom for a couple of years
with a photocopier, a very special one, the revolutionary Canon NP9030
Laser copier.
For over 25 years photocopiers have been a formative, pivotal influence
on my work and methods of production. They are powerful creative tools &
toys, which give direct access to quick, affordable printing and encourage
play and experimentation, facilitating the invention and development of new
working methods. I've used copiers to make artwork, create installations,
experiment endlessly with multiple overprinting, publish artists books and
produce postcards, badges, stickers and other essential ephemera. I still
get nostalgic for the obsolete Canon, Sharp and Minolta models with
interchangeable colour toner cartridges, which printed in red, blue,
green, brown and even white, yes white.



Mark Pawson.
Born in 1964, grew up in Cheshire, lives in London and never went to Art
School. Mark Pawson is an Image Junkie, Photocopier Fetishist, Print
Gocco Fiend and gang leader of the Aggressive School of Cultural Workers.
He's a one-man production line creating and selling a constant stream of
artists books, postcards, badges, multiples, T-shirts and other essential
ephemera. He has collaborated with Tatty Devine , worked with Levis
Vintage Clothing and received research funding from London College of
Communication. His books are in the collections of the Tate Gallery
Library, London, MOMA Library, New York and Bjork. The Modern Review
described him as a 'Lounge Lizard of the Subculture Salon.'