Flip Flop Flying

Archive for the ‘Artwork’ Category

3,208: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Good morning from the wonderful European Union

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Buenos días

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Morning

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Guten morgen

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A wee bit of artwork

Other business

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Life’s What You Make It by Talk Talk

On this day
Ohne titel 22-31, 21 January 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Straw man

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January 21st, 2017 at 1:08 am

3,207: File > New > x21 > :-(

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Such a Shame by Talk Talk

On this day
Day one, 20 January 2011. The first day of my third trip to Belize.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Red herring

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Written by Craig

January 20th, 2017 at 2:14 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,206: How many people should be in your band?

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Are you a musician? Are you in a band or a group?

How many people should be in your band/group?

Here’s a handy guide to the options available to you.

One
You are a one-man band. You will never be on Top of the Pops, you will just be a menace to pedestrianised areas of cities across the land. Stop it.

Two
The classic. Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Yazoo, Soft Cell, Blancmange, Tears for Fears, Eurythmics, Wham!, Carpenters, Roxette, Sparks, Daft Punk, Suicide, Mel and Kim, Go West, Communards, Chemical Brothers, The KLF, OMD, Chas & Dave. Someone to look at, someone to do the other stuff. Let’s make lots of money.

Three
Not bad. There’s something nice about a three piece – that whole triangular vibe is good – unless they become really famous and play massive sports venues then there’s no real good focus point for a lot of people in the audience. Maybe this is just me, though, but it looks weird when the singer of a three piece is also the bass player. Can’t get my head around that.

Four
The Beatles did this. They probably didn’t invent it, but they invented it, like so many other things in rock music: getting into some Eastern religious stuff, splitting up, and Justin Bieber’s haircut.

Five
The Rolling Stones did this. Spandau Ballet did it, too. One of them played the saxophone, though: the worst instrument ever invented. Five is the outer limit of proper.

Six
Getting a bit much now. Do you really need six people in your band? It’s unlikely. If you are in a six-piece band, all stand in a circle and visualise one member of the band picking up his so-called “gear” and leaving the room for the good of the band, five of you are thinking about the same person, and the other person is praying it’s not him/her.

Seven
At least one of these people plays something yellow and shiny. Get rid of that person. You can hire one if you need one, which should be never (unless you are in a Mexican band).

Eight and up
You will never make any money because you will spend it all on plane tickets and hotel rooms. And in all seriousness: name more than one famous eight piece band. Slipknot? They had, I dunno, probably that amount. More maybe? It feels like Arcade Fire have some tedious amount like that, too.

Orchestras, choirs, Polyphonic Spree
Just think how annoying that must be. It’d taken four or five elevator trips to get the whole band down from the hotel rooms to the lobby.

So there you have it: fire everyone apart from yourself and a person who can stand next to you with a keyboard. You can thank me when you’re on the cover of Smash Hits.

A wee bit of artwork

Other business
The result was pretty much right-in-the-middle grey, but fuck the rest of us, right? We don’t matter. Take away my EU citizenship because you get all boiled up about being patriotic. Thanks, fuckers.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
3 A.M. Eternal by The KLF

On this day
150 brick tower, 19 January 2007. Related to this LEGO business: Mountain and Mountain II. Really should’ve done more of these.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
I’m entitled to my opinion

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January 19th, 2017 at 1:47 am

3,205: Jack Your Body

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Jack Your Body by Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley got to number one in Thatcher’s Britain on this day 30 years ago. What a choon. I was well into his remixes, pretty much buying owt with his name in brackets somewhere on the label. Like his mixes of Something Got Me Started by Simply Red, Tripping on Your Love by Bananarama, What Would We Do by DSK, and the best of them all, the utterly amazing Too Blind to See It by Kym Sims.

A wee bit of artwork

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Other business
Theresa May should’ve been dressed like this when she made her dreadful speech yesterday. Fucking wanker. It is astonishing that this is actually happening. It’s like letting the children vote on nutrition and forcing the rest of us to eat McDonald’s and gummy bears forever. Brush your teeth with Mentos, Tic Tacs, and Polos, you Remoaners!

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Emotions by Mariah Carey

On this day
No bugs, no tickers, 18 January 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Circular reasoning

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Written by Craig

January 18th, 2017 at 12:42 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,204: Ten unconnected thoughts

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1. Why do we mime the words to songs when we have our headphones on? I mean, people sometime do sing along, but those people can be viewed in two ways: full of joy or a bit mental. But where is the joy in miming? I mean, I do it. You probably do it, too. Why? Why? WHY?

2. There has never been a pair of headphones that has drowned out the sound, (or indeed the vision out of the corner of my eye), of a beggar or chugger. They all know this. We’re not fooling anyone by pretending to not hear them.

3. Simon and Garfield.

4. Why aren’t sketchbook covers as plain as possible? Why do they have silly patterns or other people’s pictures on them? Chances of you drawing in same style are is slim to non-existent.

5. A wee bit of appreciation for keys. I was thinking about them recently when I was opening the door to the building. Such a small item that gives us a level of mental protection and actual protection from whoever.

6. Correct pronunciation of Adidas is ADD-idas. Not Ad-EEE-das like Run DMC say it. Correct pronunciation of Nike: not like I grew up saying it, rhyming with like. While we should be saying Ni-keeeee, it’s fun to think of other words ending in -ike pronouced that way. I’m going for a hi-keeee. I’m going for a bi-keeee ride. The wee Dutch boy put his finger in the dy-keeee. Three stri-keeees and you’re out. Mr Trump’s supporters are big fans of the Third Rei-ch-eee.

7. I like going to bed or waking up at iconic number times. Especially the house or techno times: 3.03, 8.08, or 9.09.

8. Every police/detective show should come, by law, with a DVD commentary from an actual police officer or detective to let us know how much of what we think we know about them because we’ve seen it on telly is actually just bullshit.

9. I wonder if there are any cigarette aficionado out there in the world.

10. Friendships are good: I like this person enough to want to spend more time with them. And they seem to like me enough to do likewise. Convenient.

A wee bit of artwork
It was cloudy on Sunday. Clouds were low low low, so they were covering quite a lot of the Fernsehturm

Fernsehturm and clouds

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Other business
Last week, I unsubscribed from following a lot of arty sites on my Feedly news aggregator. Colossal, Booooooom, It’s Nice That, that kind of thing. I always thought it was good to keep up with what other people are doing, but in the last year or so, it’s felt like a chore and an exercise that promotes self-loathing and bitterness. I don’t want to feel those things every day any more. And the way to do that was as simple as pressing the remove button. I no longer have to see what is popular or “doing the rounds.” And it’s helpful to simply not know if other people are doing thing vaguely similar to what I’m doing. I kinda hate it when people mention something like, “oh that’s a bit like X” or “I’m feeling the Y vibes,” and I don’t need to impose thoughts on myself. Two opposite feelings come out of that: a slight feeling of sadness, but also a feeling that I might be on the right track. It’s happened a few times recently. I don’t need it any more though. There have been times in my career when I’ve been more successful and more popular, but I kinda think that my work is a lot better now than it was in those days. (I mean, everyone thinks that, though, right? Maybe I’m entirely wrong. I bet Prince thought his albums of the last decade were better than his 80s albums, too.) But I like this feeling I’ve had for the last week, of not knowing what other people are doing. And to shoo away those self-loathing vibes for a while, frees up brain space to loathe Leave voters even more. They deserve my loathing more than I deserve it.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
TVC 15 by David Bowie

On this day
Not even trying, 17 January 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Begging the question

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Written by Craig

January 17th, 2017 at 12:18 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,200: Sevens

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I’ve had this idea knocking around for a while, but at my old apartment in Mexico City, didn’t have an oven (just the gas stove part with a cupboard underneath which, now that I write it, seems pretty weird), but quite soon after arriving in Berlin, I saw loads of Fimo in the art supplies shop and got on the case. The idea was to make replicas by hand as close as I could to an actual 7-inch single. I had the correct dimensions of the record, the label, and the hole drawn out on a piece of paper, and used that as a guide. But I wanted it to still be totally freehand.

The reason for 7″ singles: it’s the perfect pop music format. It is small, it contains two songs, one on each side, and the labels and artwork are often wonderful. And ever since I bought Baggy Trousers by Madness in WH Smith in 1980, it’s what I think of when I think of buying music.

I also had a self-imposed rule: No fancy labels. The most evocative for me is when the labels are generic record company labels. When we think of a Beatles single, we think of the Parlophone design. So many record company 7-inch labels are wonderful and if you ar of an age where you grew up with them, you can visualise them immediately: CBS, Epic, Decca, RCA, Motown, etc etc.

The Fimo sevens didn’t turn out that great. I felt the idea was pretty good, but the reality of them, especially when varnished, was quite poor. The first couple I fucked up the varnish. A month later, they’re still sticky. These will go in the bin.

The third one was just rubbish. I didn’t flatten the Fimo properly.

I stopped varnishing them at this point. In one way they are preferable, but mostly they feel lifeless.

Time was very much of the essence at this point. The Bowie one was going to be an Xmas present. It was getting close to the day in question, and the varnish wasn’t dry. This forced me to think again. So I did a watercolour version. The tacky varnish was the best thing that could’ve happened because watercolour and gouache on paper versions is the way forward.

George died, so the next one was an easy choice.

After putting some of these up on my Instagram, I was commissioned to do a 12″.

I’d not really considered that before, but it turned out to be a wonderful idea. I got some 300gsm paper that’s thick like cardboard and got to work.

This is the only one where I recorded various steps of the process. It’s a wonderful record, too. I’m happiest with this one. And there will be more to come.

Other business
Walking through Hauptbahnhof yesterday, I was reminded of one of the things I enjoyed the most when I first moved to Berlin. I used to live near Ostbahnhof and I would love standing on the platform and looking at the signs telling you which trains were coming. Yesterday, I glanced up at the big board and the first names that popped out into my eyes: Amsterdam and Warsaw. I love European train stations. That the trains aren’t just going to somewhere else in the country, they’re going to other countries! And while the romance of train travel quite often fails to live up to the idea of it, looking at a board and knowing that I could just get a ticket and be in Budapest or Basel is still thrilling for me.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Warszawa by David Bowie.

On this day
Busy doin’ nothin’ in Oregon, 13 January 2009. Aaah, Oregon is lovely. I miss that place.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Nuclear fallout

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Written by Craig

January 13th, 2017 at 3:36 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,199: Doodling and not reading

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Here’s some watercolour doodles. I’ve not used watercolour a whole amount recently (I’ve mostly been painting with gouache), so did some doodling to get my hand in a bit.

I brought a book with me to Berlin. I bought it in Brighton last year (2015, I mean). It’s been right next to my bed in three different apartments ever since then. I’ve only read about ten pages of it. That got me thinking.

Other business
Watching Carry On Abroad the other night. First time in ages. I’d totally forgotten about Charles Hawtrey’s sunglasses. I had a quick look at the Wikipedia page on Carry On cast members, and he appeared in the third most films. 23 of all 31 of them. The only actors that appeared in more: Joan Sims (24), and Kenneth Williams (25). Enough of that, though. Check out these shades, dudes.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
A New Career in a New Town by David Bowie.

On this day
On me head son, 12 January 2006. Couple of photos of headgear that I bought on my first trip to Mexico.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Nuclear holocaust

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Written by Craig

January 12th, 2017 at 2:22 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,198: A nice walk

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For a few days, I’ve been feeling like I’ve not left Prenzlauer Berg much, especially in daylight. I’ve been to other parts of the city (mainly Kreuzberg, though) in the evenings, but I’ve not done anything that would amount to sightseeing. (I don’t need to do sightseeing in a city I lived in for eight years, but you know what I mean: it’s just nice to remind yourself of the details, innit?) After a walk around the park and a trip to the art store to buy a sketchbook, I kinda realised it would be a nice day for a longer walk. It was cold, yes, but it was also a clear blue sky. Get some daylight and sunshine in me. In the end, that longer walk was four hours and eleven kilometres long. Three stops along the way, which is why it took longer than it really should’ve: book shop, pub for a quick pint, and supermarket on the way home. Listened to David Bowie the whole time, which was nice.

One of the remaining guard towers from the Wall

Double fuckyousun

Stood here looking at the colours of this reflection for a couple of minutes. It was lovely

This part of the city between Hauptbahnhof and the Reichstag is one of my favourite bits of the city, especially when it’s snowy. It’s just blank and empty and I like that

A wee bit of artwork
I stood next to the window the other day and drew the view.

Other business
Well worth a listen is Limmy’s techno remix of the Fry’s Turkish Delight advert that was on telly in the UK in the Eighties. I guess “well worth a listen” only really applies, though, if you were around in the UK in the 1980s and also like Limmy.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Station to Station by David Bowie.

On this day
An old thing, 11 January 2011. Simple thing, combining the idea of that phrase “there’s no I in team” and that thing I learned when I was a kid, how to spell Mississippi, like M-I-double S-I-double S-I-double P-I

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Street punk

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Written by Craig

January 11th, 2017 at 3:43 am

3,196: Fuckyousun

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When I was visiting last year, my friend Kaja and I gave a name to something we all know that is especially prevalent at this time of year in latitudes like this: the fuckyousun. It’s a joy to have some sunshine in the winter but it’s also quite low in the sky, which often means it’s right in your eyes. The fuckyousun, though, is the reflection that blinds you. Here’s two photos of fuckyousuns near the Fernsehturm, and a double fuckyousun on Behrenstraße. Regard!

A wee bit of artwork
Mauerpark Nr. 7. This one is acrylic, gouache, and coloured pencil on paper, and about 50 cm square.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Upper East Siders by Actrese.

On this day
Self portrait w/ self portrait, 9 January 2010.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Levi Strauss & Co.

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Written by Craig

January 9th, 2017 at 2:59 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,193: Mays ranked

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Derrick – 10/10
Invented music with his mates Kevin and Juan.

The month of – 10/10
Good solid month. Not too hot, but deffo t-shirt weather for a few days at least.

Brian – 9/10
Made a fireplace out of a guitar.

Simon – 7/10
Invented the doof doof drums on the EastEnders signature tune.

Maggie – 7/10
Wake up, luv, Rod’s got something to say to you.

David – 2/10
Played for Man U, thus automatically docked eight points.

James – 1/10
The best of a bad bunch on the awful telly show he does, in the same way that eating a firm stool might be preferable to eating diarrhoea.

Theresa – 0/10
Worzel Gummidge after a makeover. Tory scum.

A wee bit more artwork
Plant on the kitchen windowsill.

Other business
I’ve been listening to a bunch of Andrew Weatherall mixes recently. There’s a ton of them online. Specifically, I listened to three newer mixes and one from 1994. I love how his DJing is the same but different and still as exciting as it ever was: Cream (Annexe), Liverpool, 1994, Boiler Room, 2012, Resident Advisor, 2015, Gottwood Festival, Anglesey, 2016

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Elizabeth Taylor by Claire Maguire

On this day
A long weekend, 6 January 2011. I had a weekend away from Mexico City in a place called San Gil in Querétaro. My memory of that weekend was mainly of how absolutely relaxing it was to get away from Mexico City for a few days. I’d only been there for four months at that point, but already the desire to escape was strong, and that has continued.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Pet Shop Boys

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Written by Craig

January 6th, 2017 at 2:59 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,192: Two drawings, two paintings

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A drawing in my notebook of a man with a UFO for a hat, a drawing of a woman eating breakfast done quickly last night in the Paper app, and two more paintings of the park (Mauerpark Nr. 6, and Falkplatz Nr. 4*).

* A note on the different names on what would seem like the same park. Falkplatz is a small park. I live right across the street from this park. Mauerpark connects onto Falkplatz. It has a different name because of it didn’t used to be a park.

Other business
It came to my attention the other day that Tipp-Ex correction paper has been discontinued. Back in the 90s, I would use it in drawings and sketchbooks a lot. I’ve had this packet of it for about six years, so clearly I don’t use it as much as I once did, but it’s always close at hand. (A good example of this is the fact that I brought it with me on this trip.) I’m a little sad that this packet now has extra gravity. I will use it more sparingly, I will think twice about using it. Which, in reality, probably means I will virtually never use it again. I might as well frame it. Perhaps I should just do that.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Upper East Siders by Actrese. Really good song this.

On this day
My hopes for 2007, 5 January 2007. Still not happened…

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Culture of the United Kingdom

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Written by Craig

January 5th, 2017 at 1:45 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,191: Qualität Straße

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A couple of days after Xmas, I saw some Quality Street on sale in a supermarket. Bought a tin. For me it’s quite difficult to assess something like that on its merits, because Quality Street is so wrapped up in childhood memories of what Xmas is. (We were a Quality Street rather than a Roses family. The newer interloper Celebrations can get fucked.) Obviously, the design of the tin has changed for the worse, but really, it wasn’t that great when I was a kid: just a nice cosy vision of an old-fashioned Christmas that probably never existed anyway. Taste them without those thoughts of Xmasses in years gone by, and, y’know, they’re really not that special. The green triangle is kinda nice, but the rest of them are pretty average.

It’s also a little grating to buy a Nestlé product. It’s something I virtually never do. I think in the last year I had maybe one Kit Kat. Still one Nestlé product too many, though. Two too many now.

The only real joy with Quality Street that remains is holding the coloured cellophane wrappers in front of your eyes.

Here is a photograph of my desk:

Here is a photograph of my desk with the purple hazelnut in caramel wrapper in front of the lens:

The pink fudge wrapper:

The blue coconut éclair wrapper:

The green milk choc block wrapper:

The yellow toffee finger wrapper:

The yellow toffee penny wrapper:

The orange orange crème wrapper:

The brown toffee deluxe wrapper:

And the best wrapper (worst Quality Street, though), the red strawberry dream one:

A wee bit of artwork
Downtonfuckingabbey. I’d had this nearly-finished drawing on my computer since 2012. All that needed doing was the tower. I was sick to death of seeing it in my “to do” folder so I gave it some gunge, because I couldn’t be arsed to do the tower properly. I look at it now and wish I’d taken a little more care drawing the gunge, but still, I don’t want this hanging around any more. I’d rather have it as a finished failure than spend any more time acknowledging it when I open that folder.

Other business
John Berger died two days ago at the age of 90. I suspect every art student since the Seventies has read and been influenced in one way or another by Ways of Seeing. I’ve long since lost my copy of the book, but the accompanying BBC four-part series is on YouTube. Worth watching if you’ve never seen it: 1 2 3 4. And while we’re at it, here’s a good interview, and here’s Berger drawing Tilda Swinton.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
I’m in Love with a German Film Star by the Passions

On this day
If I had a hammer, 4 January 2009. A simple bit of audio.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Bovril

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Written by Craig

January 4th, 2017 at 1:55 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,189: The day after

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Good day for a walk, New Year’s Day. Especially if you can get yourself out of the house early. I under-slept, but still felt the urge to get up and see the mess from the night before. Not in a judgemental tsk-pesky-kids way, just that I’d watched the fireworks going off in and around the park, and was curious about what was left over. I was half expecting the park to be more trash than grass. There’s also a nice quietness on the morning of January the first. Being right next to a park certainly helps with the motivation to put on socks and shoes and layers of clothes and a scarf and gloves and a coat.

The pavement and road outside the building was covered in spent fireworks and dust and discarded packaging. Broken and unbroken beer and sekt bottles. The trees across the street which are in my morning view photos are, I believe, ordinarily the place where birds sleep. Where do birds go where there are fireworks going off all around the city? They must be shitting themselves. A number of them probably die, right?

And yep, there was a ton more Silvester* debris in the park. A couple of people walking their dogs, some joggers too. There was a dude working on something on the graffiti wall, and a handful of people who looked like they were on their way home: tired, happy, laddered tights, drinking beers, smoking weed. And lots of trash.

* Germans refer to New Year’s Eve as Silvester. The reason for that is that it’s Pope Sylvester I’s saint day. He died on 31 December 335, apparently.

Here’s some photographs in and around the park.

A wee bit of artwork
The Berliner Fernsehturm.

Other business
And while we’re on the topic of fireworks, here’s a quick dirty chart based on no real data other than making a mental note of things

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Elizabeth Taylor by Clare Maguire.

On this day
NYE, 2 January 2008. I had (what I thought was) a migraine (but subsequently found out is a cluster headache) so no boozing. But a magnificent night at the Royal Festival Hall in London, watching Super Furry Animals play three sets.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Suzerainty

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Written by Craig

January 2nd, 2017 at 2:41 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,188: Embedding the week

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Xmas is no excuse for such shoddy parking.

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Artwork for my ambient album, "Sunshine and a Bag of Quavers"

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Lids at the bottle bank

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Qualität Straße

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Hiya

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

First time I've found Marie Sharp's outside of Belize. The best salsa habanero imo.

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Good night, sweet warrior. Your people would be proud of you. Rest in peace.

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Pretty happy that four of these are recent paintings and that my dad is in the middle. Thank you, damen und herren. Guten Rutsch!

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

New Year's Eve vibes.

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

It was nice to have a quiet Silvester. Bottle of wine, listening to music, painting, and then watching the fireworks in and above the park from the window. I tend to work on two or three paintings at the same time. Switching while allowing bits to dry, then switching back, and continuing the process. Not a revelation, of course. Here’s the one I finished last night at around 1am. First of the year.

Gleimtunnel. Gouache and coloured pencil on paper, 24 x 17 cm.

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
I Can Change by LCD Soundsystem. Same as yesterday.

On this day
NYE, 1 January 2009. Regarding a New Year’s Eve in Bellingham, Washington. I still do that thing with the sport chart, btw. It’s pretty boring though. Just like that last sentence.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Afonso I of Portugal

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Written by Craig

January 1st, 2017 at 2:30 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,187: The song in my head when I woke up this morning

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Every day of the year, I’ve taken a note of which song is in my head when I wake up.

In 2015, the winner was Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. That was in my head first thing in the morning 14 times. She was also the top artist of the year (48 times).

In 2016, the song of hers that appeared the most was State of Grace (4 times). And she was third on the list of artists (21 times). So, here are the top ten artists of the year in my head when I woke up in 2016.

10. Charli XCX
7 times: Vroom Vroom (3), After the Afterparty (2), Gold Coins (1), Famous (1)

7=. Galantis
8 times: Peanut Butter Jelly (8)

7=. Justin Bieber
8 times: Sorry (5), What Do You Mean? (2), Love Yourself (1)

7=. Super Furry Animals
8 times: Inaugural Trams (4), Bing Bong (1), Mt (1), Night Vision (1), Walk You Home (1)

6. LCD Soundsystem
9 times: Dance Yrself Clean (2), New York I Love You… (2), Tribulations (2), Drunk Girls (1), I Can Change (1), Yeah (1)

5. Petite Meller
13 times: Lil’ Love (5), Milk Bath (3), NYC Time (3), Barbaric (2)

4. Beyoncé
17 times: 6 Inch (5), Formation (4), Sorry (4), All Night (2), Forward (1), Pray You Catch Me (1)

3. Taylor Swift
21 times: State of Grace (4), 22 (2), I Know Places (2), We are Never Ever Getting Back Together (2), All too Well (1), Blank Space (1), How You Get the Girl (1), I Knew You were Trouble (1), Love Story (1), New Romantics (1), Red (1), Shake it Off (1), Stay Stay Stay (1), Treacherous (1), You Belong to Me (1)

2. One Direction
39 times: One Thing (6), No Control (5), Best Song Ever (4), Drag Me Down (4), Live While We’re Young (4), You & I (4), More Than This (3), Story of My Life (3), Little Things (2), Night Changes (2), History (1), Kiss You (1)

1. Coldplay
44 times: Hymn for the Weekend (6), Adventure of a Lifetimes (5), Fun (5), Up & Up (5), A Head Full of Dreams (4), Amazing Day (4), Birds (4), A Sky Full of Stars (2), Hurts like Heaven (2), Ink (2), X Marks the Spot (2), Magic (1), Paradise (1), True Love (1)

So yes, Coldplay. They get a lot of shit, and I can absolutely understand why, but I like them. I think they’ve got better. I think they’re a better pop group than they were an indie band. I find it quite interesting that a band like that would go in a poppier direction rather than a rockier direction the more successful they get. I mean, they are an audio distillation of a gap year student having an amaaaazing time in Asia, but they always seem so happy and so appreciative of their position. They’re great. And what they did at Glastonbury this year was really lovely.

And, the song that was in my head the most in 2016 was Peanut Butter Jelly by Galantis. Eight times. I saw them live at the Corona Capital festival recently, and yep, they were a massive load of fun.

Anyway, after the horseshit year we’ve just gone through, and the massive potential for shite next year, it almost feels sarcastic to say it, but: feliz año nuevo, guten Rutsch, and happy new year.

A wee bit of artwork
Not sure what’s going on here.

Other business
I had one of those “huh? of course!” revelations the other day. Looking for black tea in the supermarket, the only thing I could find had the words fair trade on the front. Leaving aside criticisms, it suddenly hit me: if it doesn’t say that on the front, then it deffo isn’t fair trade, right? I mean, if Big Macs were fair trade it’d say it on the box, right? And I mentally scanned everything else I buy from the supermarket and felt bad. Unfair trade is a feature not a bug.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Siege of Lisbon

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Written by Craig

December 31st, 2016 at 1:39 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,185: Arting myself into 2017

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Thought I might show you some work-in-progress and ideas I plan on working on during 2017. This is partly an effort to kick myself in the arse and get going on them. It’s a to-do list made public. I like them as WIP and ideas, so I should really try doing them. Of course, when I check this blog post again at this time next year, I will find that I’ve only finished a small portion of them, and in a way, that’s fine cos hopefully new ideas will have been more pressing. If I can get ten of these done, though, I’ll be a happy fellow.

There’s plenty of stuff that needs finishing off. The most obvious of those is the U-Bahn lines. I’m here now, and it feels right that I should do it while I’m here. I’ve done three of the ten lines so far, but two of those are the shortest lines, which is to say, I’ve still got 159 of 196 platforms to draw.

I wanna keep playing around with the late 80s/early 90s Adidas stuff. (A few early things here.) In my head, it would be nice to experiment a bit and create some sort of massive thing that uses a lot of their designs and makes one coherent piece.

A Berlin version of the Mexico City (2013) and London (2014) pixel drawings. I would’ve done this in 2016 had it not been for the feeling that I hadn’t done enough photo research while I was hear last winter.

This Bodybuilders drawing is unfinished. I want the beach to be full of bodybuilders, male and female.

I don’t remember why this came into my head, but I started drawing quick pictures on Sketches, the first drawing app I ever used on my first iPod touch. Don’t remember why I used that app. But it was fun to get it out again, considering I’ve use iPod and iPad apps so much in the last eight year. Fun to go back to the app that started it all for me. Anyway, I started drawing singers that were on the Now That’s What I Call Music XIII compilation from 1988. I did four of them. There are 32 in total. I wanted to do them really quick. Just two or three minutes each, rough as fuck. They’re stupid drawings, they’re not really important, they won’t be “popular” but for some reason I like then, and it should be easy to finish this series in one evening if I get my shit together. Here’s ones I’ve done: Yazz, Womack & Womack, Jane Wiedlin, and T’Pau.

Princes is something I began on the day he died. Everything you see below was done that day. The idea is do a Minipop of him for every year of his famous life. I really want to find time to finish this before the first anniversary.

I have a picture story related to the Pixies song Tony’s Theme on the go, and something called Twin Eltons which has been sat on my computer since the summer of 2001. Pre-9/11. Which feels mental that a) I have something that old still on my computer, and b) I still like the idea. I’ve got something called Mountain Beyond the Sky which is about a bunch of kids who go on a journey. And this which I just refer to as giraffe story at the moment, about this fella:

I’ve been working on and off on some data visualisation about Ravel’s Bolero for three years. Would be good to wrap that up, too.

Re-approaching the infographic project regarding Maurice Ravel's Boléro.

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Gotta do some more of these Octagonz fellas. They’re a lot of fun to do using the Pixaki pixel art app on the iPad, on the sofa, in front of the telly. These 32×32 line landscapes, too: beach, countryside, glacier, skegness, and this one of an Adidas Superstar trainer:

The last few now. This has no title other than the working title of big fucking pyramid. It’s a big fucking pyramid. Basically the idea is to mix up old school raving with a Mesoamerican pyramid. In my dreams this would be a print with UV and fluoro inks. I keep adding bits here and there. It could do with a two-day burst of action to kick it along a few steps, mind.

The next three things to mention all involve a decent amount of writing. Two of them involve drawing, too. Jesus Christmas is gonna be a short comic story about a guy who runs a barber shop in a mall. I’m a little bit fascinated by the crappy bits of shopping centres. The bits in corridors off to the side, or down near the car parks. So that’s gonna be about one of them. Table 31 Guy is about a guy who goes to Belize for a bit. Fictionalised travel writing, essentially. That’s about 25% done. And something currently called Sherbert which will end up with a different name. This is the biggest of all the projects. A story about a jobless chap in his thirties who lives alone.

But mostly, more paintings. More paintings of Berlin (some of which I’ve put on the blog in the past few weeks, and more jungle paintings (some of which were in yesterday’s Best Of round-up) when I get back on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Painting painting painting.

I really hope to look at this post at the end of 2017 and see that I have knocked some big holes in this list because, yeh, as you might be able to tell, I have trouble staying focussed.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Love Action by the Human League.

On this day
Out and about, 30 December 2010. That was a nice day, walking around, seeing art, eating food, enjoying being Mexico City.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Potential energy

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Written by Craig

December 30th, 2016 at 3:04 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,184: Belize sketchbook

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Something from the summer: I spent two weeks in Belize in June. On previous trips, I’ve spent a lot of time writing, taking photos, and drawing on my iPad. On this trip, I decided to stick to a sketchbook. It was a brilliant thing to do, really enjoyed it. Didn’t put any of this stuff on the blog in the summer, so let’s rectify that, eh?

On the immigration form at the border, under profession I wrote "artist." Usually I write "illustrator." Feels like an important distinction that my brain made unconsciously.

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2km midday bike ride. Sweating my balls off. Stopped for a beer at Olmec Bar. Drum kit outside and locals having a midday chat. Woman drunk and yelling inside the bar eventually comes out and sees a gringo, smiles at me, and turns off the yelly drunk behaviour and says "Hello boy, where YOU from?" (Think Joey off Friends). I tell her. "England, huh? You wanna buy me a beer?" I say no. Dudes sat outside all chuckle. Woman walks off. One dude comes over and fist bumps me for saying no.

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At Gomier's, my favourite restaurant in Punta Gorda. A vegetarian place. Great food. I had the tofu curry. Gomier saw me drawing, asked if I was an artist. I said yes and he said "yeah man. Enjoy the breeze and do your thing."

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A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

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A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

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I think the Hockney fan boy in me is emerging on this trip

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Dude watching the Warriors – Cavaliers game.

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Brit who lives here who I've ended up drinking with a few times. Good guy. Chelsea fan, unfortunately.

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Trees

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Best thing about this trip has been falling in love with pencils again. I really dig that my leaving – hotel – room checklist included making sure I had a sharpener with me. #analogue

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Aeropuerto

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Good feeling to actually fill a sketchbook on a trip

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Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Gumball machine

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Written by Craig

December 29th, 2016 at 3:28 am

Posted in Artwork,Travel

3,183: Best of 2016

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Hiya, this is the third annual review of the year that now feels like a thing in my own head (Best of 2014, Best of 2015). It has felt like another unsuccessful year, but in a way, maybe that should be the case. Feeling that I’ve done things well and right might have a negative effect. Mainly, though, it’s felt like a transitional year. Personally and artistically. On an artistic level, I’ve really enjoyed using pixels again for the first time in yonks. And I’ve been painting more, which I feel will get bigger and bigger next year. Anyway, here’s some of the better things I did in 2016.

Mein Berliner Würfel
Pretty much the best thing I did this year, I think. Maybe more people would’ve liked it had I have done something with some more recognisable places and less personal places that aren’t necessarily nice to look at, but that project would never really have existed in my brain. More info about this project here and here. And related to this, is an ongoing/unfinished thing, drawing every platform of the Berlin U-Bahn.

Raymond and Lola
A story idea that had been floating around in my head for a few years. Turned out alright. The first four frames of the story below, the rest of it here

Folded rainbow
A simple one, but I was well happy with this when I did it. Available as prints and on a t-shirt.

Fried egg sandwich
One of the things I enjoy about drawing is when I have an idea and there’s no way I can even think about doing anything other than cracking on with it. This was one of those.

Big computer
A drawing imagining an olden days computer that could do a lot of the things we do with our smart phones, like ordering taxis, playing music, watching videos, drawing, banking, reading the news, buying tickets, pleasuring ourselves, playing games, checking the weather, translating stuff, etc.

Tree rings
I had quite a long break from doing baseball-themed infographic stuff this year, and this thing isn’t really an infographic, it’s more data art, I guess. The idea is like inverse tree rings. Each ring represents a year of a team’s history. The colours of each one is different, but in the below example: grey is a year without being in the playoffs, the darker the blue, the further the Cubs got in the playoffs, and red is winning the World Series. A print is available for every team here.

Jungle things
Jungle is pretty much my favourite environment. Not every day, but it’s the best place to visit. And after a trip to Belize in the summer, I came back full of a desire to draw and paint jungle stuff.

Um, that’s it. Doesn’t feel like much, to be honest. Must try harder. There’ll be another post along these lines, possibly tomorrow, looking forward to the next year In. My. Art. because I am very much full of myself.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Rolling in the Deep by Adele. Not a bad song, just please please please let me never hear it again.

On this day
North Pole, 29 December 2009. A “poem” from 1994 put together with a drawing from 2008.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
List of CB slang

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Written by Craig

December 29th, 2016 at 2:23 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,181: George

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When I was about 12-years-old, I made a couple of little record sleeves. They were about an inch and a half square, made with graph paper. I cut them out, folded them, and glued them so they looked real. Or as real as my 12-year-old self could make them. I used a pair of compasses to make a circle, cut that out, too, so that it could slide inside the sleeve. Then I drew the front cover and back cover and coloured in the “record” with felt tips. The second one I made was Thriller. The first one I made was Fantastic, the debut Wham! album.

This popped into my mind the other day when George Michael died. I wanted to check the released date of Fantastic, so I had a quick look at the discography on Wikipedia and while doing that, noticed that I bought nine Wham! singles in a row (if we ignore the Club Fantastic Megamix one). I’ve been trying to think of any other artist who I might’ve done that with. I don’t think there are any. And if I think of income, it’s definitely unheard of. Back in the early days of Wham!’s career, I would have been getting one pound a week pocket money. A 7″ single was 90p. I tried to spend that money wisely (always on a single, though).

I did a more-or-less life size watercolour of David Bowie’s Life on Mars? for a friend for Christmas. It felt like a good way to spend my Boxing Day doing another seven-inch watercolour:

Thanks for everything, George.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Second day in a row that it was Elizabeth Taylor by Clare Maguire. Great song.

On this day
Disgraceful graffiti, 27 December 2007.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Women in the EZLN

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Written by Craig

December 27th, 2016 at 3:30 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,180: Some paintings

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I did some paintings for the people I spent Xmas Eve with.
Feels a bit weird to be putting them online, but at the same time: why not, eh?

Watercolour of an imaginary Mexican landscape:

Watercolour of a cafe for the owner of said cafe:

Watercolour and gouache painting of the “Life on Mars?” seven-inch single for my pal who is a big David Bowie fan. It’s more or less life-size:

I was planning to do another seven-inch single watercolour, and asked the recipient of the Bowie one what music the other person liked. A few artists were mentioned, and then a auto-suggestion typo thingy happened, when she typed the word “guns” on her German phone, it changed it to “hund,” so instead of a watercolour 7″, this person got a painting of Dogs ‘N Roses:

And for two pre-teen kids, acrylic and coloured pencil pictures of thingies from a children’s film franchise:

Other business
A quick we chart re. the holidays.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Elizabeth Taylor by Clare Maguire.

On this day
The Beautiful South vs. los Tigres del Norte, 26 December 2012. I heard a song in Mexico that seemed familiar, and it was one of those things where it was nagging away in my brain for a while before finally, yes! it sounds like the Beautiful South.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Zapatista Army of National Liberation

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Written by Craig

December 26th, 2016 at 2:35 am