ILLUSTRATION: Why DAISY DE VILLENEUVE is Dope
I LOVE Daisy de Villeneuve. Check out my drawing of a funky, punky chick wearing a printed hoodie she designed for Nike. I used an old-school, lined paper background this time, a la Daisy. . .! She's actually a talented illustrator from London and the other day I found one of her old postcards she created as part of a collection for Topshop back in 2002, so I just had to check her out online . . . and boy, she's been a busy lady! From collabs with Liberty and Zac Posen, to Oyster card covers and t-shirts for London transport - her portfolio is bright, eclectic and kicks some serious Bananarama-style, 80's-inspired ass!!
Her signature felt-tip pen colouring style on lined paper reminds me of my school days; conjuring up memories of watching Duran Duran on Top of the Pops, reading Smash Hits magazine and wearing (gasp!) fluorescent leg warmers and pleather miniskirts (with side zips of course. Standard.) But that's why I totally get her work.
She has also written and illustrated her own books - why not take a peak? Her recent publication was in collaboration with the V&A museum in London; a really cool 'paper doll' book where you can mix the garments from different eras to create totally new style mash-ups (hence the title!) It also includes instagram-worthy background scenes where you can photograph your paper dolls in their #outfitoftheday. Awesomeness. Have a look at the vid clip. . .
All this 1980s nostalgia has reminded me of another artist whose work I loved when I was just 7 years old. . . except I had no idea who he was until much later! Until the year 2000 in fact, when I stumbled across an exhibition of his work in Geneva, Switzerland and got very excited to discover the man behind the animated video for. . . . 'Genius of Love' by Tom Tom club!!!
Just like Daisy's simple, colourful work, I found James Rizzi's city folk charming for similar reasons. His style was bold and child-like, portraying ethnically-diverse New Yorkers smiling, kissing, playing ball or just hanging out in densely populated, bustling NYC streets. Rizzi's vibe was hot, happy and energetic - as seen in this classic vid below. . .
Needless to say, I spent much longer than I had planned to in that gallery - and bought a gorgeous coffee table book of his work to take away with me that day. Unfortunately, said book got stolen by a student during my first teaching job as a newly qualified teacher, such was its appeal. I was gutted.
By contrast, Daisy's characters are kind of like a moodier version of Rizzi's. I think that Daisy's folk would have been regulars at Londons Blitz club, listening to Bowie and Human League - where as Rizzi's guys and gals would have been hanging out on their stoops listening to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five! But it's the eyelashes, the shag hair cuts and the lipstick that link all these colourful characters together and send us back to an era of style and musical experimentation - and the birth of hip hop and electronic music as we know it today. . .
And that's why Daisy de Villeneuve is dope :)
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