Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Man Behind The Design Throne

If it wasn't for Daniel Croyle, the award winning designer I doubt if Celia Birtwell's unique cover for my new novel Frantic would have existed.

Daniel is a freelance designer, working with interior decorators like Nichols Haslam. He is also Celia's regular Design Assistant, and put her painted design for her Frantic cover onto the screen. As I'm not exactly a Photoshop whiz, I asked him to describe the process to me.

'After Celia designed and painted Frantic's cover, I scanned it and repeated it in various formats until both of us were happy with it. I then also separated the design out so every colour is a spot colour and we could then play around with the colours using Photoshop. We then printed them out, criticised them and then worked on them some more! We usually have a lot of fun preparing the designs and I think this energy translates into the products.'

Daniel is also an interior designer himself and his 'Charlie' design won the Best Wallpaper Design in 2007. His fans include besotted pop star clients and trendy fashion stores like Fifi Wilson.

Daniel ran a studio for a textile printers supplying technical and creative solutions in print for top Furnishing and Fashion houses, but when he got bored recreating archived designs for others, he launched his own collection with plans to take on the world!! Besides working with Celia, he decorates hotels such as The Soho Hotel and the Covent Garden Hotel, night-clubs and bars all over the world.

Daniel originally did an MA in Computer Arts, and I was so impressed with his tech design skills, he has promised to give me a lesson which I know will be more helpful than signing up for an evening course at the City Lit. Graphic novels, here I come.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A New Art Show In Bondi Beach Deserves A Plug

I wish I could zoom to Australia, as I've just received an invite from Antoinette Starkiewcz for a preview of her new Art show next Friday.

Antoinette is an innovative animator and portrat painter who recently supplied her unique illustrations for Jeff Schubert's The Little Pink Ant.

Antoinette was one of the influx of 'zany' Australian girls who invaded London during the late Seventies, and I often witnessed her decorating fashionable nightclubs in the company of glamorous escorts like ex-beefcake Arnold Schwarznegger etc.

Antoinette's frenetic party days are behind her now, as she has been incarcerated in self-enforced solitude for the past few months, slaving away for her new exhibition next week (on Friday June 4 at upstairs, the Chapel By the Sea at 95 Roscoe St, Bondi Beach).

'I've done nineteen new paintings: all are oil on canvas. Of these, four are large, (mostly landscape). Nine are medium (mostly heads) and six are almost miniatures: 13X18cm - 'The Barbie Series'. Five new large drawings (all portraits), The four original cells are not new - they're from my pre-digital era films; animation cells are now a rarity,' Antoinette told me in-between brush strokes.

I do fantasise I could hire a magic carpet to travel there.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Stars Only Come Out At Night

Ex-groupies, start slobbering: it's not often that Jimmy Page (pictured with Sam Cutler, top), Richard Cole, the 'infamous' ex-tour manager of Led Zeppelin, Tom Salter ex-promoter of the Grateful Dead, the legendary rock manager Daniel Secunda, Jeff Dexter, the ex manager of America and Andrew King, the manager, formerly of Blackhill Enterprises, who managed the Pink Floyd and Ian Drury are clustered together in one room.

But this group of Music Industry heavyweights were just some of the glamorous guests at Sam Cutler's launch for his You Can't Always Get What You Want launch at Beach Blanket Babylon last night.

Sam's lucidly written autobiography about his days as a tour manager for the Stones and the Dead was first published in Australia before being republished by ECW Press, a Canadian publisher for the USA market.

Thanks to Sam's extensive Media saturated book launch in the States, his tome is already a bestseller. And one of the guests at the launch told me he's even going to translate the book into French.

Also at this exciting book launch were a sea of glamorous old faces paying homage to Sam Cutler, including Gregory Sams (author of Sun of gOd), Zelda Chesterfield (pictured with Sam Cutler) and journalist and writer Danae Brook also pictured above with Sam (one of her scoops was breaking the story about Diana's 'romance' with Charles).

The photographer John 'Hoppy' Hopkins told me he wasn't going to take any pix, so I gave my camera a whirl. Luckily, Robin Marchesi, the poet changed its batteries for me halfway through the evening.

I was also treated to an impromptu cabaret from the chanteuse/songwriter Holly Penfield (pictured above with Jeff Dexter) who belted out a song before departing for her late night gig.