Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Interview with Eye For London Prints

Filled with sharp graphic forms, illustrations and other beautifully executed artistic images is London based shop, Eye For London Prints. From stunning, colourful architectural buildings and locations to iconic music artists and pop culture icons, Eye for London offer a fresh perspective exploring the overlooked beauties of London city. Of course we couldn’t resist getting these guys on board selling their fabulous works through our curated marketplace, Department Store. Below we interviewed Creative Director Mathanki Kodavsal to find out a little more about Eye For London.

P: Let’s start with the basics, who are you, where do you come from, what is your background?

M: I’m Mathanki. An artist based in Brixton, and Creative Director of Eye for London Prints. My background is graphic design and advertising. I spent close to 15 years working in mainstream advertising agencies, before embarking on this journey into doing something personal and creatively fulfilling.

P: How would you describe your work? What does your work represent?

M: My work reflects my love for London. The music, culture and architecture. I moved to London about three years ago, and what struck me was how perfectly the city was designed. The new blending with the old, the classic and contemporary standing their ground. Every signboard, shopfront, street sign was art directed with such care and detail, and as an artist this was so inspiring. I wanted my artworks to represent facets of London that are often overlooked, and not the ‘usual suspects’ of tourist postcards. The London that Londoners would relate to. That narrow alley in Brick Lane, or the hole in the wall book shop in Stokey. Illustrations that bring back fond and familiar sights of the city.

London is also home to the most inspiring and revolutionary musicians. Bowie, the Beatles, Pink Floyd. This is the music I grew up listening to, and it felt great to be able to pay homage to my childhood heroes through artworks.

P: How inspiring! So what would you say drives your work?

M: Apart from my love for the city, what keeps me going is the amazing love and response I have gotten over the last year. It’s the best feeling when someone writes in to say that a print brought back memories of their brunches in Brixton Village or their weekend strolls in the Barbican conservatory! I once had a customer write to me that he had named his new born son ‘Truman’, and so wanted to get the Truman Brewery Print. He said when his son turned 18, they might celebrate with a pint and fondly remember this.

What drives me is connecting to people in a very personal way through my work.

P: What do you think of the current design industry today?

M: It’s amazing how design is transcending all mediums. Recently I visited the London Design Biennale, which showcased art and design installations from countries all over the world. Almost every piece was a ‘multi sensory’ and immersive experience. Design as combination of sounds, smells and touch, inviting us to become a part the piece, rather than look at it.

It has also become so human- centric. A perfect example is Snapchat. A language made of gestures, that appeals so explicitly to teens, while adults will have a harder time figuring it out. Design today has become such a fundamental part of or lives. A beautifully designed plate of food is such a thing of joy!

P: What are you currently working on at the moment?

At the moment I am working on a series of Linocuts. It’s my first attempt, but there is something so satisfying about carving out a design by hand out of a block, and then seeing the result in print. I’m excited about it!

Nice! What are you plans for the future?

Esher once said ‘I could fill an entire second life working on prints’

I absolutely love what I’m doing, so hopefully more of it in the future. I’m looking to experiment with more printing techniques, styles, materials and possibly taking more risks.

I want to learn and evolve constantly.

Check out the full collection of Eye For London Prints available on Department Store here..

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