Monday, 1 February 2010

Arty people I know and respect Part One

These are reprinted storys from by my designer friend Glen Smith who goes by the moniker No Frills Art. Glen works with community groups around Geelong where he lives and is an intrical part of the GAA. I'm printing this because it shows Glen's art as it has progressed through the years, plus he's a nice guy and has influenced lots of students and others (including me) with his enthusiasm.
These  are some more stories on other things Glen has done in the last year or so when you have finished reading..


I met Glen Smith while visiting the Melbourne Festival of The Photocopier last year.
It was to be a very beneficial meet up for me because I got to meet and then associate with one of the artistic gems of Red Bubble.
Glen is an artists foremost as well as being a High School teacher and Administrator for the Arts in Geelong (Victoria’s Second largest city.) Glen with his partner in crime David Dellafiora (also a teacher who specialises in Mail and correspondence art) are responsible for exciting art concepts, productions and exhibitions that are innovative as they are unique.
One the things Glen and I have done since forming our friendship is too exchange art. I give Glen any old shit that I can compile together and Glen every 2 months or so sends me his ‘zine .

Yon can always tell when Glen sends something.
It doesn’t have a name as such as each booklet comes with its own distinctive title. The booklets consist of a compilation of Glen’s Tee Shirt ( and other) art during the period previous to it’s publication a lot of it posted on Red Bubble, there are also new works not seen on the web site and sometimes a better description of what the art is about. There have been seven issues so far and though the quality was high to begin with each issue has increased in quality and design with the last two even coming with colour features.

I will often also get a free gift which is usually a NoFrills Art button or sticker that never get seen on Red Bubble and I treasure these little pieces of ephemera , because they are really what NoFrills Art is all about. Giving and teaching.
Glen has not got a subscription network happening yet but I think if enough interest is shown he may be forced too. You can currently buy NoFrills Art Publications from the Sticky Bookshop in Melbourne or contact Glenn via Red Bubble.

When I first started writing the story about a punk rock band that begun in a Monastery I had no clear plot, no middle and no end but I knew I wanted something that relied less on words and more on images, links, animations, claymation, movies and music to help drive the story and create the atmosphere. The main drive behind this was the fact that I cannot read long stories off my screen, I get distracted, I can’t get comfortable and it strains my eyes, plus I don’t want to print every story off every time I want to read something. So I also decided to serialize it into many parts. Grant Bissett’s Youtube link came along at the right time and gave it a little bit more magic to boost it.
The story was magically evolving with each new part and with the help of some Red Bubble artists and good friend’s I was able to make it fun by collaborating with some of my favourite images of theirs and using them to help drive the story.
These include Angesjemchanel2CathieTScott Robinson I can even boast having one of the last original works by Lucan Industries (the band logo) before he mysteriously disappeared all those months ago. Everyone contributed their work freely and where very supportive; at the end of it all I made a multimedia CD of it and sent it out to them as a thank you. The story still has some loyal fans (as it is slowly continuing) and I would love to thank CathieT and Chanel2 for their unofficial editorial work.
Now of all the contributors I only asked one for an original piece, I needed a bedroom and the only person I knew who could:
One – do it in the style I wanted and
Two – do it fast enough . Well that artist was Glen Smith of NoFrills Art who shot me two pictures in a matter of hours and both were used and in the process inspired another plot line.
Well, when I sent a copy of the CD to Glen he decided that he would do a bit more for me and gave some of the images to the very versatile and innovative David Dellafiora who made them into stamp sheets and they are now going to be in an Exhibition call Postmarked under the description Micro Nation because it has it’s own little identity.

I’m very chuffed and to celebrate I’m willing to send copies of the CD to anyone anywhere- free of charge – to the first 5 people who can send me proof that they visited the exhibition or can send me a review.

One of the sheet of stamps made from the images of Monk Rock by Glenn & Dave.


I was getting the feeling recently that I was walking around the playground alone at red bubble central. A few of my favourite people had been a bit quiet lately and one that I noticed probably more than most wasGlen from NoFrillsArt.
Usually always contributing to some challenges or posting a new T Shirt design, Glen was a bit quieter than usual.
I suppose when you teach High School and run exhibitions and generally devote your life to the Arts you can tend to be missing for a bit.
I BMailed Glen and sure enough he had been busy and had enough problems to deal with in the real world to keep him busy at the moment.
He did however said his recent bout of business had kept him from mailing me something.
“Oh " I thought probably his latest ‘zine. Great. I love those things.
A couple of days later I find in my letterbox not one BUT THREE new NoFrillsArt ’zines.

As with past editions Glen has amped up the quality with the latest issues coming with full colour glossy covers and coloured artworks inside.
Beautifully presented and to top it off it had lot’s of unpublished NFA works.
No wonder he said he was busy.
The latest edition also came with an A3 sized poster.
But as a little gift (Glen always seems to throw in an extra something) I received a full colour print of the latest project that ( I should say SOME of the best designers on Red bubble) the BEST designers on red bubble are secretly working on to release soon as a magical project of massive proportions. Can’t say anymore but believe me it will be MASSIVE.

Glen has also listed back issues on his latest edition and I know these prints are strictly LIMITED PRESS RUNS so if your interested get out your purse and contact Glen.
So as you can guess I’m pretty happy with the latest run of publications

Printmaking, Multiples, Artists Editions and other random ephemera

I was asked recently if i would throw up one of my little rants about projects i have been involved in, work i have been making and whats going on in No Frills land in general. Now i did think about going over a few projects i have done over the last year or so and ones in the pipeline but after thinking about it i figured some were a bit more community orientated rather than arty…so after a little think i thought i would throw up some of my artist editions and explain a little about how i came to be here on RB making tees. This is going to be a little bit of a ride so hold on…
(If you cant read much online, fee free to just look at the pictures and ignore my spiel)
Now i have been a little bit quieter than usual of late due to a number of things not really worth listing, but
on the art side of things i still have been doing things in the real world. I have over the last week just got a new book back from the printers which i am most happy with.
Fast Food for thought – 32pgs Full colour – perfect bound

And a couple of weeks before that i got back three postcards for an edition i was working on from the printers. These may look familiar!

Now to give you a rundown on how i got into artists multiples, there are a few factors that have led me down this path. Firstly i have a diploma in photography(a form of multiples) and when doing my BA in Fine Art(painting) i shifted sideways at uni to undertake my honors year in printmaking as the direction my work was heading supported this notion.
Here are some very old(early 90’s) prints of mine…not the best quality, but the few i could still find lingering in the studio.

At about this same time i also met David Dellafiora who i eventually became really good friends with, and who i still work on about half a dozen projects each year with now. Anywho, David was into mail art/correspondence art and i had been doing this type of activity either to myself(yes, i sent artworks in the post to myself…i liked the postal markings) or to friends, but had no awareness of the network of artists out their who actively particpated in this activity. David quickly got me up to speed on this. Now making editions for artist’s assemblage books via low cost photocoping, active links to visual poetry and fluxus actions, social connection and a means for those in closed countries to have a voice and gain support were where i found my entry point. And i loved it.
Here are a few documentation books of my activities from around this time.

Now im sure most of you who know my work have probably seen some of the zines i have been working on over the last few years(Thanks Danny)...and btw another one is about to be printed. Available at Sticky in melbourne, or if there is a zine fair i will probably be there.

These are not the first books that i have made though. Doing printmaking kinda put the whole bookmaking and multiples addiction into my head. Here are a few from my uni days doing printmaking.

speaking of printmaking…i’m not sure if i have shown any of my graf stencils here before. These are from an exhibition Versus(sex/violence) that i did, which were documented for me. Stencils easily fall into the multiples/printmaking genre.

...but here is what may have started me even doing them, i guess my first attempt at printmaking was from back when i was maybe 13 or 14 and i used to skate…i always want a tony hawk skatedeck but could never affort it, so i took to an icecream container lid from memory and cut this stencil.hehe…

yep, and i sprayed it everywhere i could. Classey hey?!
Anyway as this is getting rediculously long…i need to abridge about now.
Each show i do i try and put out either a catalogue or ephemera to go with it. This tends to document something that after the event seizes to exist other than a line on the CV. This stuff is also fun, collectable and helps land further exhibitions and opportunities from my experience.
So here are a few more examples:

multiples inc. artist trading cards, bookmarks, etc.

more…stamps, tickets, objects and if you look closely labels for no frills art cans from 04 i think.




and working for a community arts org i also do their stuff often as you can see below. (Some catalogues)

(and dvds) – I didn’t lay out the NQA one…but i did the art residency.

and finally(congratulations to anyone who has made it this far)
i started making t-shirts both for exhibitions and simply for myself to wear way back before RB days, when if you wanted them done you either had to get them screen printed(or do it yourself) or do the old inkjet transfers.

Anyway, that leads me to why i found my way here onto RB and why it appeals to me. I still make my own tees to wear, i generally just get them made here at RB now. It also allows me to sell a few around the globe and feed my new addiction for t-shirts designed by other artists.
To sum it up…
I like art in galleries…but i also like art in the real world. No matter if its posters in your home, tees on your chest or graffiti on the street (well if its good graffiti! Actually i feel the same about art in a gallery too, its just gotta be good!). Art needs to be embedded in life.
So thats me done. Its not a definative back catalogue…but probably more than enough.
Hope you enjoyed the ride. I’m out of here…
G aka NFA

some great new work

1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

So much good stuff here!

Especially the photography, mail art, and community art stuff. The bookmaking is good too, as are the prints from the early 1990s.

And it's great to read the Glen story.