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Modern Publicity 1953 – 54. Illustrated Mid century Art, Advertising and Graphics Part 1

July 30, 2014

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This is my 800th post !!!!!!! WOW, Many thanks to everyone for keeping up with your comments and support.

Following on from the series of blog posts about Modern Publicity here’s part one, looking at the period of world Illustration around 1953 to 1954.

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I just love the style of work that was being featured back then and this series of books seems to capture the best of it. Look at the ad for these ultra strong men’s underwear being tested with a spear .. who’d have thought of it ! : )

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The only shame is that a large percentage of the books are in black and white, but they still manage to capture the essence of the times better than many illustration books from this time that I’ve seen.

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This top poster simply oozes Jaaazzzzz from every pore !

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And this Trix advert says as much about wool.

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Superb ideas and styles. Look out for more posts with this theme, or search for ‘modern publicity’ in my search box function for any that you might have missed. Thanks.

Fishink at the Treacle Market, Macclesfield.

July 28, 2014

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I had a great day out yesterday at The Treacle Market in Macclesfield, Cheshire. It takes place on the last sunday of each month and there’s over 140 stalls selling vintage goods, art and crafts, food and much more, all of a high quality, but not at silly prices. Due to the extra nice weather, it was bustling with people and the local multi storey carpark was free all day too ! Some colouful characters as you can see : )

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This little chap was very happy sitting in his tin bowl, and I kept spotting animals everywhere, even knitted ones.

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The story goes, that centuries ago, a horse drawn wagon lost a wheel on the cobbles and spilled it’s treacle all over the streets. Hence why Macclesfield got the nickname of Treacletown ! Great to see people sketching on the streets too.

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I spotted this lovely work by local artist Michelle Stringer, who’s paintings and collages were colourful and slightly Lowry-esque.

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This band of Ukelele players were drawing in the crowds too, some interesting antiques like these pub taps and lots of beautiful foods like these mushrooms.

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This lady’s plant stall really caught my eye. What a beautiful display !

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This was my prize find of the day, a jug with a 50’s or 60’s design from Heron Cross Pottery, right up my street. A great day out if you fancy somewhere new to discover, and plenty more to see in and around Macclesfield too. Thanks to my friend Paul for the suggestion.

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Fishink Morning Walks

July 25, 2014

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I’ve heard people say that working from home as an artist is not a proper job. Apparently us artist-folk, don’t take life seriously, we spend time sleeping a lot, playing around with interesting shapes and frittering away our time in less serious, non-office pursuits like working out the moves from the cast of Fame (for example) !

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I’d like to tell those people that our world is complicated and beautifully unique. Sometimes there is darkness, prior to stepping into the light. Searching, before finding realisation and often cloud before clarity, vision and creativity.

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Most days are bright, sunny and colourful, where there is meaning and purpose and wellbeing.

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Sometimes we need to creep into the shadows, or be carefree and adventurous, or placid and contemplative to allow our minds to see more clearly.

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Us homeworker artists are a complex mix, and by allowing our minds to wander freely, we discover doors that open into places we never even dreamt existed. Please don’t pity our small lives, because secretly we’re living the best life possible ! Thanks to my dog Boo, and my morning walk for helping me see life more clearly.

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Interestingly I met a new fellow illustrator Craig Cameron the other week. He lives not far from me and also has a dog that he takes out for morning and evening walks. He sent me this illustration today that he did last week, before he’d seen my post… what a great surprise ! It seems we think alike : ) Lovely work mister C.

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Zdzislaw Witwicki Polish Children’s Book Illustrator.

July 23, 2014



Zdzislaw Witwicki is a Painter and Illustrator. Born in 1921, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.

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After the war he became editor of a graphic arts and publishing company whilst still illustrating.

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One of the originators of  the Polish School of Illustration. He has created about 70 books. One of the most recognizable figures drawn is Hałabała – lovable dwarf hero, written by Lucina Krzemieniecki, and Elemelek – a small sparrow with author Hanna Łochockiej.

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He certainly has a fair few design styles to his work.

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Lovely marks in this illustration and in the nature inspired ones below. They have a slight Charley Harper feel to them.

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Zdzislaw Witwicki has had more than 250 exhibitions of his works in his country and abroad (Bologna, London, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest). His works are stored in BWA – Gallery Zamoyska in Zamosc, in the National Museum in Warsaw, as well as in private collections (especially in Japan, Germany and Italy).

This railway station illustration has such a lovely perspective and images of Ivor the Engine spring to mind.

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Another style.

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Something earlier and more simplistic.

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Major awards:

  • 1961 prize in the competition PTWK Most Beautiful Book of the Year 1961
  • 1978 Prize at the International Art Exhibition of Editorial IBA in Leipzig for illustration.
  • 1983 Prime Minister’s Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • 2000 award in the competition Contemporary Polish Book Art in Warsaw for the images to accompany text
  • 2001 Medal of the Polish Section of IBBY for lifetime achievement for children and young people
  • 2010 Medal Gloria Artis

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Love this red house above, superb ! Many thanks to the sites To DLA Pamieci and Garaż ilustracji książkowych for their images.

Modern Publicity 1957-58 Part 2

July 21, 2014

Welcome back from the weekend and a happy Monday to one and all. Did you know that it was 45 years ago (yesterday), Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left their footprints on history. I was only a toddler at the time so don’t remember it but hey …. what a feat ! Here’s my tribute.

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Following on from Part One, here’s a few more gems from the 1957 to 1958 edition of Modern Publicity.

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Love this characterful old boy with his Olympia Typewriter…. does anyone still use a Typewriter these days ?

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Some mighty fine packaging too… have cigarettes ever looked so good ? This should be for party poppers or party hats surely !

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The above packaging is for, bird food mix but I hoped it was for biscuits and not budgie stuff lol !

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A little about fashion.

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Fine colours.

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And fancy football boots ! Hope you enjoyed the mix !

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Lizzy Stewart Illustration and drawings from a life to zines !

July 18, 2014

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Lizzy Stewart  took a B.A. in Illustration in Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 and an M.A. in Communication Design- Central St Martins, 2013.

I admire how she talks openly on her blog about her feelings regarding her last two years.

” I finished my M.A. and, in truth, I am incredibly glad that its all over. It is difficult to process how I’ve felt about the whole experience; often frustrating and anger-inducing, sometimes bewildering, occasionally inspiring. It has been a long and complicated two years and I think it’ll take me a while to work out what, exactly, they meant to me. And now. Now. Hmm…. People keep asking me what I’m ‘going to do now‘ and quite frankly I have no idea. It is as though ‘now’  is a whole new world, a precipice I am teetering on the edge of and what comes next should be big, bold, a dramatic change. Except it won’t be. It’ll be exactly the same, at least outwardly.  I will keep freelancing and continue to make books and prints and do a bit of teaching here and there. I will carry on taking too many coffee-shop breaks. It is only inwardly that there has been a change, of course there has. Two years of thinking about your work, about what you do and why you do it will undoubtedly change things for you. There are times when I think all that academic navel-gazing has caused permanent damage, other times I think its allowed me to really get to grips with what is important to me, creatively. Either way its been exhausting and now I find myself…. no, actually, I don’t know where I find myself. I think my work has been, and will continue, changing. I paint more and draw less, I write a lot more than I ever used to, I struggle with client work in a way I didn’t in the past. The only thing that seems fixed is that stories are at the very heart of what I do and what I want to do. It is the story that matters most to be. I like telling them, I like reading them and hearing them and I like how sharing a story with another person can create wonder.”

These beautiful book covers certainly create wonder about the stories held within.

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Lizzy has a whole stash of sketchbooks which she has worked in since being a young girl. She sells her prints and zines here over at her BigCartel site.

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You can easily see how her sketchbook work translates into more detailed illustrations.

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Lizzy also sketches when away from home, in fact I think she pretty much sketches everywhere.

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I like these somewhat contemplative studies.

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She now works in London and commutes from her home

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Lizzy talks on her blog about drawing.

” On a few occasions I have been asked why it is that I draw, as though the career I am in the process of crafting for myself has been rationally reasoned and considered. It is a question that, for a long time, I have not taken seriously. I glossed over it with a flippant remark- ‘its the only skill I’ve got’ or something about really wanting to cultivate my terrible posture and poor eyesight. Recently however this question has begun to demand a more considered response. Larger musings, admittedly self-indulgent ones, on who I am at this quarter-century stage of my life have brought me round to thinking through what I do, this thing that has, and will continue, to define much of my life. 

Finally then, I draw because I want, in some way, to be known. Not in any genuinely intimate way, I’m not angling for romance or hoping to draw myself a soulmate. Rather I draw for the same reasons that, I believe, anyone makes anythings. It feels like people are huge, enormous in fact and so many are frustrated by the limits of their physical selves that they feel fit to burst; filled with vast swathes of thought and feeling, joys and sadnesses. Every single person is so much bigger and I suppose we fear that the rest of us, the parts not represented by body or speech, will be lost. I draw, then, for this part of me, the majority of me I suppose; because that way it might outlive ‘me’. If drawing is the best way of establishing what is important to us visually then it must go some way towards recording what it important to us internally. “

These paintings have such a lovely feeling to them. Happy, content and peaceful somehow.

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The story teller in Lizzy keeps eeking out. She reflects, in an interview here on 1granary, about her thoughts on her childhood.

” I was cautious and shy, traits I’m still trying to shake off at twenty-five. I drew a lot and I liked making up stories, I suppose I was the same kind of child that most illustrators were- if you’re introspective and awkward from a young age that probably drives you to spend more and more time in your head making things up and scribbling them frantically down in crayon. I don’t think I ever shook the urge to tell stories and that is something my work still relies on. “

The lovely ‘Fossil’ illustration below, backs that up beautifully.

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Again Lizzy talks about inspiration.

” I go through periods of obsession, things that I get fixated on drawing over and over. For a long while it was big, bleak landscapes but at the moment its people. I’ve spent the last few years looking to other places and cultures for inspiration but recently I’ve tried to focus in on something much smaller. People, ordinary people, are a mine of quirks and intricacies and immeasurable wonder. I think. I visit the British Museum to draw a lot. Whilst it rarely leads to finished pieces its an inspiring place to hang out for a while. I find that a day drawing in there helps me to stop thinking and warm-up for new work a bit. When I come back to my desk I feel refreshed. “

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I really like these aerial views below. Keep up the wonderful work Lizzy and your beautifully honest blog too. Great to ‘meet’ such a warm and open soul.

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Men’s Fashion Trends

July 16, 2014

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It’s midweek here in old Blighty, and yesterday I spotted a new trend … Floral Beards. I’m not sure how long they’d stay in for, (the flowers, not the trend) but the idea is certainly blooming ! (groan)

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Credits for each image and more like these can be found over at Bored Panda, and on Sarah Winward‘s beautiful flower focussed site.

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Continuing on the men’s fashion side, I’ve been looking through the Menswear Spring / Summer 2015 Catwalk shows in Paris, London and Milan. Thanks to our friends over on the Pattern Prints Journal for prompting me. Some great scribbly patterns from Dior to start us off.

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Bold shapes and more delicate lace work as a contrast from Versace, whilst Richard Nicoll has gone for a distinctive tie-dye indigo feel.

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There’s always something for the more outrageous (or overly confident) chap. Check out the monster hand accessories !

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Something a little more elegant, bookish and refined from Burberry Prorsum.

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Moschino is never one to be a wallflower, they’ve gone wild with flags, retro smileys and colourful packaging themes.

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Tasteful detailed mix and match prints from John Richmond, and bold tessellations from Daks.

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Some cool summer peach and oranges from Katie Eary.

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You’ve heard the phrase, dressed up like a dog’s dinner ? well this is the people’s dinner version lol. There’s a rather cute vintage feel to the print all the same.

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Frankie says.. Make Art Not War.. one final great message for all ! Ok guys so which of these would you be happy to wear ?


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