Guestblog: 6 Brighton Artists And Illustrators That Should Be On Your Radar

Brighton Illustration Fair is a brilliantly creative celebration of the city’s illustrators. Their third event takes place this weekend and is a must for all full-time artists or part-time doodlers. We asked Andrew from BIF to take time away from his preparations to give PLATF9RM the skinny on six awesome local artists and illustrators. He came back with a connoisseur's selection. 



STEPHANIE UNGER

I've started with a relative newcomer to Brighton, as it's key for our event to encourage the growth of the medium in this town. Blending bold colour and big lines with a considered basic, naive style, Stephanie’s style is total magic. It’s very current but also feels like it would be at home on a dusty roadside cafe sign on the outskirts of a far-flung city; Jakarta perhaps. We’re big fans. It’s also worth checking out her equally talented sister Catherine, who'll be tabling over the weekend too.

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BRIDGET MEYNE

Having published work recently in Vice and Elle, Bridget's work is funny, weird and often features big-faced baby men. Like everyone on this list, Bridget has a super distinctive style that can only have come from her brain. It doesn't take itself seriously but that doesn't mean she hasn't got some serious talent. Find her comics and more online. Deffo one to watch.

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LUCY SHERSTON

We choose a 'Selected Brighton Illustrator’ for each fair. In the year leading up to the event, we quietly keep an eye out on what folk are up to. If we see someone whose work is evolving nicely and they're putting out regular stuff, we then pounce on them. In a nice way of course. Through this we can hopefully help, in some small way, to give them a platform for their work. 


This year we chose the figurative abstractions of Lucy Sherston. We love how she blends stuff you do and don't recognise and her colour palette is also 👌.


Aside from designing the poster for this year’s event (and an animated trailer put together by the talented hands of animation studio Buff Motion) Lucy is also currently constructing site-specific sculptures that will be on site over the weekend. She'll also be tabling her wares and doing a 'make your own banner' workshop on the Sunday with Brighton’s favourite goth. Speaking of which…

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PIPPA TOOLE

It's a disservice to say that Pippa's work only serves a goth agenda. It's more about rock n roll, a wry homage to sub-cultures of the past, and bad-ass women that don't take no ** from no man.

Using scanned-in cut-outs, amongst other techniques, you’ll have likely seen her work on gig posters, badges or on the back of some young punk’s jacket around town. We love her.

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DAVID SHRIGLEY

You might have heard of David. He did that thing in London with a big thumb [David designed the giant bronze thumb that currently sits on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth]. He got nominated for that world famous art prize [Turner Prize]. Y’know, the everyday stuff. Now David has moved to this fair town, we can put him on the list.

We're incredibly honoured to have him as a guest this year and cannot wait to watch his talk with It's Nice That founder, Will Hudson. The curation of each year’s guests is as much about the big names as it is emerging and less widely known talent. It's important we present them (as best we can) on an equal footing; we really hope that comes across.

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SORE EYES COLLECTIVE

There’s six of them so it’s a bit of a cheat but, in some ways, this is one of the most important parts of BIF for us. After academic life, it can be a genuine challenge to keep your creative self alive. One of the great ways to do this is to band together and form a collective. These guys have done just that and there's some real talent amongst them. It's hard to choose a singular illustrator/image but we went for one by Theo Payne; he's got a real strong editorial tone to his work and hopefully our selection shows that.

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Brighton Illustration Fair takes places 21st–22nd October. Find all the details here.

Company Of The Week - Bare Biology

Bare Biology have nabbed the top spot as Company of the Week. We had a chat with the lady herself, Melanie Lawson, founder of Bare Biology.

Introducing Melanie Lawson - entrepeneur, founder of the UK's leading luxury Omega 3 health supplement brand and chic PLATF9RM member.

So how long has it taken for the business to get from your initial idea to where you are now?

It was really around February 2012 that I had the initial idea, it’s hard to remember exactly when. So that’s about 5 years ago. My eldest child was two at the time. I used to work when she was napping.

So that brings me onto my next question. How do you balance business and small kids?

I think it’s a matter of working in concentrated bursts. Because when you look at the way I used to work; I worked for a company and a lot of the day is spent in pointless meetings. So if you actually do just 4 hours solid focused work, you get a lot done. When the business got bigger I got a nanny because when going to london I wasn’t able to do the school pick up. And often I needed to go to networking events and things in the evening. So I think it’s working in a concentrated way and getting some help. 
 

You mention on your website that omega three helped you overcome post-natal depression, could you explain further how it helped you combat this illness that many new mothers suffer from?

We need DHA for our brains to develop. The mother’s DHA goes through the placenta to the baby's brain and eyes. It’s not really talked about but what happens if you have babies and you breastfeed the DHA goes to the baby through the breast milk. Especially if the mother, like me, has babies quite close together. So if the mother doesn’t top up to compensate she will be deficient in DHA. We worked recently with a charity to raise awareness about post-natal depression. It was my first TV interview on London Live and we were discussing the fact there are things that suffering mothers can do to help.

What has been your biggest challenge in setting up your own company?

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People. Hiring people. Knowing what you need and then finding the right people who can work in a start up. It’s really different working in a start up to a bigger company. Because it’s small and intense you have to all get on. In a big company you don’t necessarily see the person who owns it. It’s different in a start up and I found hiring the right people the biggest challenge. There’s four of us at Bare Biology and then I have a few freelancers.  Its horrible having to get rid of people.

What advice would you give to someone interested in starting their own company?

Well I was asked this the other day actually…. I think you have to be sure, well as sure you can be, that there is actually a market for your business idea. Especially if it’s something, like the omega three market, which is really competitive and saturated. Most markets are, unless you’re inventing a new technology. You have to be sure you’re better and different to the rest. You have to make sure there are people that want your product and your service. People have ideas but they don’t know if enough people will want what they’re producing. You have to be realistic about the reality. So you have to be specific sort of person. I think sometimes people think start-ups are chilled but you have to always be pushing forward. You have to be self motivated, it sounds cliche but it is true.

Bare biology have a permanent office space at PLATF9RM , what made you choose us over other office spaces?

Well Seb, the founder and CEO of PLATF9RM is a friend of mine. I was working from home and the people who worked for me were remote. It got increasingly harder to have a company culture and a team and I spent so much time emailing people. We looked at a few offices and they were so grim and depressing. I kept thinking why would I leave my lovely office in my lovely house? So I asked Seb if it was ready and I walked in and it was perfect. It’s like finding the right house. Great location. It has a nice vibe.

What is your favourite aspect of working at PLATF9RM

It’s super easy; we don’t have to worry about things like broadband and water, we don’t spend time worrying about those things. It’s always clean and tidy and feels safe. It’s easy and pleasant and we have a sea view.

Your omega three is sourced from Norway and I imagine with business you travel a fair bit, what is your ideal travel destination for pleasure?

I think now I have kids my answer is different. I’m half Irish and we went to Galway this summer. We went somewhere beautiful and remote. Lots of empty beaches.

A Foolproof Guide To Staying (Mostly) Sober This October

Chances are that you, or someone you know, is currently in the throes of a dry October. It’s on the back of the much-publicised ‘Go Sober For October’ campaign that promises to make ‘sober heroes’ of anyone that goes alcohol-free until November.

Attitudes among medical professionals about sober ‘marathons’ tends to be mixed. Whilst it’s positive that people are taking time away from the bottle, those undertaking them tend to be the problematic drinkers most likely to fall back into old ways once they’ve achieved ‘sober hero’ status.

A better approach is to see this October as an opportunity to navigate yourself into good drinking habits, rather than some kind of self-flagellation that you have to endure until you can get legless again in November.

So, for people that are doing Sober October or Sober-ish October, here’s a guide to getting through the month without giving yourself a hard time.

Replace booze with exercise

Without doubt, the single best habit you can get into this month is a regular exercise regime. Get hooked on something: running, swimming, cycling, spinning, walking, parkour, hula-hooping, zumba, fencing, dancing, prancing, whatever works for you. Exercise not only gives you those feel-good endorphins that’ll sharpen you up at work, but you’ll sleep better and you won’t need that drink to wind down in the evening. Oh, and two reports came out only this week seemingly confirming the link between exercise and better mental health. 

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Download Drinks meter

Drinks Meter is an app that analyses your drinking habits. then gives you advice about the damage you’re potentially doing to body and wallet.

If you drink within the recommended weekly allowance of 14 units a week (that’s 6 pints of medium strength beer or 6 medium glasses of wine) then this won’t be a concern for you. If you don’t, Drinks Meter can be a good wake-up call.

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Give yourself a Fifty Gifty

Work out how much money you’d normally spend on alcohol in a month, halve it and say that –come month’s end – you’re going to buy yourself a mega gift at that value. Flash new jacket for winter, please. 

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Don’t get stuck in to rounds

If you’ve had a busy week and think you deserve a couple of pints on a Friday (which you probably do) don’t get stuck into rounds. The temptation to go ‘sod it’ when someone pipes up with, “Come on, it’s your round” is hard to resist. Stick to your own and if people think you’re being stingy: tell them why you’re doing it.  Which leads us to…

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Be honest with your friends

Many of us have mates that we claim ‘lead us astray’. You don’t have to avoid them but tell them what’s going on, that you’re trying to lay off the booze. If they’re a real friend they won’t care and will be happy for you. They might even be inspired and join you. If you really don’t think you’ll be able to meet up with them without sinking three bottles of wine and doing ‘the Brexit chat’ (again) then swerve them for a few weeks. It’s fine. They’ll find other pals to go to The Lion and Lobster with. 

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You're creative. Be creative

If you’re a PLATF9RM member, there's a good chance you are either a) are running your own business or b) work for someone else but have some kind of side hustle, either creative or business-related. Go full throttle into that. Set up some meetings and take on some deadlines that mean you can’t risk rolling into work hungover and stinking of Tuaca on a Friday.

NB: Grace was sober for 2 and a half days of October, you're our sober-hero!

NB: Grace was sober for 2 and a half days of October, you're our sober-hero!

Set Realistic Targets

Don’t kill yourself doing the whole month sober, only to then get blind drunk once it’s over. There is literally no point, other than a smug ‘YAY I’M A SOBER HERO!’ Facebook status posted on the 1st November, as you skip out of the off-license with two bottles of
Prosecco.

Get into some of the good habits above, then relish a couple of glasses of whatever your like.
You’re a human. You’re great and you deserve it.  💥

9 PLATF9RM Members Suggest Ways To Improve Your Mental Health

Mental health has never been higher on the agenda, with prescriptions of anti-depressants doubling over the last decade and social media being the subject of a report by the Royal Society for Public Health that suggested it was having a detrimental affect on young people.

Freelancing, or running your own business, have long been associated with increased susceptibility to mental health issues; the pressures of finding work, getting paid and forever projecting an ‘everything’s great’ demeanor impact a huge strain on our minds and anxieties. 

Everyone has their own way to deal with these issues, so we asked PLATF9RM members and staff how they stay happy between their ears.

PLATF9RM Social

PLATF9RM Social

1. ANDY BROUGHTON, DIGIFINGERS DESIGN

I live right by the sea in Hove and my favourite way to unwind is to SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboard) on the ocean. I love cruising through the still waters on my board on a calm day when the sea is like a milk pond, or trying to catch a wave at low tide as the sun sets. It’s about being in the moment and letting all those day-to-day thoughts and stresses slip away. Sometimes I paddle out for half a mile, sit on my board and look back towards the shore and the city I call home. I like to think one day in a few years time my baby son Jesse will be able to come out for a paddle too on the front of my board. 

 

Sunset Surfers, Polzeath

Sunset Surfers, Polzeath

2. CRAIG HENDRY, DRAGONFLY

If things are getting a bit hectic, I’ll take five minutes out and play ambient music though my headphones. It really helps to detach yourself from a situation and regain perspective.

 

3. David Hillier, Writer and Journalist

One of my New Year’s Resolutions for this year was to cut down my use of Twitter. Putting aside the whole issue of it being a toxic waste of time, I found myself constantly comparing myself to other people in my industry who were seemingly so much more successful. Many times I’d find myself idly scrawling someone’s timeline at midnight, wondering just why THEY are getting all the RTs and likes. This would then keep me up, I’d wake up feeling shit and the cycle would continue. So I deleted it off my phone. Nowadays I check it irregularly and only really tweet links to my work, rather than attempting to become part of the ‘conversation’ (whatever that is). It’s been a hugely positive move for me.

App Detox

App Detox

4.  CLIFF ETTRIDGE, THE TEAM

I just try and remind myself that no-one ever died doing marketing!

5. KERRY LOCKWOOD, PLATF9RM

I plug in a podcast - I’m into Desert Island Discs at the moment - and sew. The combination of sewing and Kirsty Young’s dulcet voice instantly puts me in a relaxed state of mind.

Relaxed Sewing

Relaxed Sewing

6. ana Silva, HUMAN MADE

Being a member of PLATF9RM is actually really good for me because it forces me to talk to people, which I wouldn't do otherwise because I work remotely.

NB: Ana did not receive commission for this statement. Honestly. 

PLATF9RM Social

PLATF9RM Social

7. JEZ KAY, NOW | HOUSE

If the whelm gets a little overmuch or I’m feeling a toxic there are two things I love doing…

1 - Trails Running

I always thought of myself as a runner. That was vanity. I was never a runner until I joined a bunch of other runners. Other people give you a reason to run - you can get fit and have a laugh or meaningful banter at the same time. And if you’re feeling that inner Mo there’s always getting to your Personal Best and exceeding it. I was a little freaked by the keenos when I started. Then I realised it’s just a bug we all share - “What’s your PB?” etc. It’s all quite healthy in the end. And you lose weight. The "middle ring" has to go and gradually we’re getting there :grinning:

2 - Bread Making

Bread machines are for Jessies. There, I’ve said it. If you’re feeling the need to get that angst and other stuff and nonsense out of your head, then pummeling a load of dough for 10 minutes is the best way to get rid of it. And once you’ve got over the first couple of dud loafs (largely because you forgot all about the 2nd prove or when you put the thing in the oven) sampling the finished product is a thing of great beauty and satisfaction.

 

Photo Credit: Real Pattiserie, Kemptown. Real Pattiserie do bread-making classes if you want to learn from the best before you try it at home! http://bit.ly/2wpvtnW

Photo Credit: Real Pattiserie, Kemptown. Real Pattiserie do bread-making classes if you want to learn from the best before you try it at home! http://bit.ly/2wpvtnW

7. DAISY CHURCH, PLATF9RM

I cook dinner for myself and my family. It’s my way of winding down because when you’re cooking it’s a physical process and not cerebral. It gives your brain a break.

Street Diner

Street Diner

9. JOHN PRITCHARD, PALA SUNGLASSES

For me it is going out: climbing, cycling or paddle-boarding. It gets you out and breaks you up from the mental side of the work. It’s essential.