Let's go through the keyhole with John Slade

Let's go through the keyhole with John Slade

Welcome to Lazy Oaf’s Through the Keyhole where we delve into the lives and studios of some of our favourite creatives. This month we traveled to East London’s Scrutton Street to immerse ourselves into the world of illustrator John Slade. Born in Limerick, John has more Irish charm than our favourite breakfast cereal and his illustrations certainly follow suit. Choosing pens and paints as his preferred media, John creates bold, humourous graphics often with dark undertones. Severed heads, multiple arms and melting cyclops’ are amongst what can you expect to find is his drawing collection. John has done a whole host of creative projects with the likes of BBC, Nike, Sony Walkman and TFL to name but a few. His designs have taken on a variety of forms including T-shirts, promo graphics and paper creations.  He is also part of the Concrete Hermit Collective who bring us the Progress postcard book available online now. We were also psyched to work with him at the Lazy Oaf Drawing Club event last April where he took part in live drawing on the night (see blog). John’s studio is shared with 6 others but he has an entire corner of his own filled with canvases, prints and an interesting collection of objects including his Irish lucky charms and some giant Duracell batteries. Read on and find out about growing up on turps and falling into psychological ditches. Please introduce yourself I am John Slade, I come from Limerick and I dig psychological ditches. What is keeping you busy at the moment? Just finished preparing for a show in the Conran shop in Japan, so this week is all about scraping paint off the floor, tax returns, writing & Heavy Pencil, a live drawing event. How would you describe the space that you work in? Cave-like, I'm gonna have to put some more shelves up or something, I'm rapidly spreading... In what ways do you think your creative space effects your design process? Would you say it was more of a distraction or inspiration? When I didn't have a space, everything was small, then I got a studio space and started to work bigger now it's bigger still and there's a massive empty loading bay next door that needs some proper attention... Is there one picture up on your wall at the moment that keeps catching your eye? A sketch for a painting I'm working on called 'Animals Clapping Humanity'. What is your most treasured possession? Apart from the obvious stuff, books, hard drive, paints, pens, records, paperweights, 'the light inside'... dunno, perhaps my coffee cup... it's all just stuff though really. What has inspired your designs recently? WW2 books and cuttings. Are you enjoying anyone else's work? There are loads of interesting crossovers happening at the moment, that's where the best workings are for me, in the blurry bits between the prescribed definitions... When you were younger what did you dream of being when you grew up? I've always wanted to do art really; I was lucky to grow up surrounded by paints, pens and the odd swig of turps as my parents were that way inclined (the art, not the turps). For a while fish were really cool, so I wanted to be a marine biologist, but knew there was no chance for me in an academic learning place, so I drew them instead... Where is your favourite place to hangout? Places that have really good coffee or pubs. Mostly pubs. What snack/beverage is keep you going in your studio at the moment? Coffee, Guinness, cigarettes and Fruit shortcake biscuits. What is your dream holiday destination? Vatican City. Find out more at www.john-slade.co.uk or on his blog Let's Bring the Dead Indoors (see we told you he was dark!)