Monday, 30 July 2012
A VISIT TO STUDIO'TOOLE.
Saturday gone saw a fairly early start, the sun was shining and it was time for a small jaunt o'er the Pennines into Huddersfield, home of Harold Wilson, Andy Booth, Patrick Stewart, Roy Castle and our resident artist/good pal Peter O'Toole not the thirsty thespian, but the talented young illustrator. Working as a long term collaborator with our brand it was only right we finally paid him a visit, so an invite to the studio was as good an excuse as any to make a day of it... and always a pleasure!
Starting off with a breakfast in his pal's Cafe, we were then given the guided tour of Huddersfield, something we've seldom had the chance to do having only visited previously for football matches at the Galpharm over the years forcibly pushed from pillar to post. It's a cool place for me, a great mix of old and modern, a thriving Northern industrial town. We had a mooch around the local market where anything and everything was on offer from old LP's, vintage toys, arms and militaria to a load of old useless shite.
Peter's studio is situated in an old mill on the edge of town, a massive place still in use today, predominately as a (faux) fur factory. Through the doors and up every last stair to the top and ashamedly out of puff, we were in...
I honestly thought it was just me who collected loads of useless, yet cool things, I didn't expect to meet anyone else who had a Pifco trouser press in a cabinet alongside old Woodbine's and WWF figures, but that's exactly what I saw! I could spin off about how artistically minded people hoard things like this for design purposes and that they do, but if somethings cool it's cool whether that's and old M&S shop dummy, a Strongarm beer mat from the 70's or a Ric Flair figure with little trunks on you'd have found it here. Bookcases with lots of old magazines and newspapers are a source of inspiration for today's designs, not least a few things we have worked on recently, old design has a real timeless charm about it, especially company logos and headers using old print forms with halftones and less colours. It's fantastic to see the mix of old and new, the Mac alongside original printed matter and both worlds coming together in the name of modern illustration to form something fresh and new.
I was super impressed with the set up here, a massive open space, enough room to swing a tiger.
Housing a collective of like-minded creative types, loads of room, loads of light, a great working environment for sure. Nowt but good vibes, there was even a ping pong table at the back for a bit of exercise/arm strain therapy. I could live somewhere like this, 'Big' style with a bunk bed and trampoline, I'd never need to go out like an overgrown under developed man child Josh Baskin.
Peter's own inimitable style adorned the toilet walls poster style, there was also a 'wacko' Jacko mirror right where you piss, a little bit creepy seeing your willy that near his head. Oh, how we laughed. But hey, these guys are artists!
Passing through town we saw the Grand Picture Theatre - an impressive old building which now seemed to make up part of a Lidl, tragic! Once famously 'Ivanhoe''s and the venue of the last UK gig of the Sex Pistols, the scene of a chaotic food fight with local kids on Christmas day, 1977. Before they jetted off to America and never really came back.
When in Huddersfield...it'd be rude not to pay a visit to some of Yorkshire's finest boozers, the Grove, Sportsman, Rat and Ratchet and Vox set us off nicely for a sunny day's supping as we realised we have an awful lot in common and cracked on discussing new ideas and future projects, so watch this space. CD