Well, you'll know by now that Eye Like doesn't do ordinary. So of course, our brand-spanking new artist is no exception! In fact, if you're looking for a unique urban original that makes you say "God damn I want that on my wall", Sam Stefan (a.k.a. "The Ripper") is most definitely the one for you…
Why the graffiti name "The Ripper" you may ask? Quite simply, he metaphorically 'rips' ideas away from the streets! (Graffiti tags, iconic imagery and text, shapes, stencils - you name it, he's most likely used it…) Although he starts his creative process with one main focus, for example an iconic building or person, his eye-popping urban style emerges from this melting pot of influences.
Ironically, although there’s an impulsive feel to the artwork, the process itself is actually far from spontaneous! "The Ripper" originally studied graphic communication at the Cardiff School of Art and Design, and it was here that he first started to experiment with art digitally. He began by layering various imagery and text on top of each other, but it’s over the past few years whereby he’s started to move away from the computer screen.
Sam's artistic process stills begins on the computer however; he aims to creates a rough visualisation by mocking up the final image, and this also acts as the base layer for the physical piece. Once this base has been pasted onto wooden board, he then lets other materials such as inks, spray paints and acrylics take charge. The result? The impact will quite literally smack you right between the eyeballs!
So let's get down to the nitty gritty... We're the first and only gallery to represent this outstanding artist, and as each artwork is created using a range of mixed media, the pieces are solely commission based. Yes, you heard right! You’ll get to choose the exact ‘focus’ of your original - whether it’s your long-standing favourite icon or a place of importance. Would you like a meaningful phrase or quote on yours? No biggie. Wish for a particular motif to be featured throughout the original? Done. Moreover, before "The Ripper" even starts to mock up the artwork for you, your personality and preferences are taken into consideration. Sounds incredible huh?!
'Battersea Power Station' Commission for an Eye Like Client - May 2018
So, it's a given that the enthralling concept and vibrancy of his art will turn heads in your home. But more importantly, you'll own a piece that's personal to you - and completely unique. So if you're crazy about what you see and hear so far (we don't blame you), and you're interested in commissioning an affordable original for your walls, get in touch now!
Buying an artwork? Already bought one? Well folks, the fun doesn't stop there! We're going to be brutally honest, and say that the framing of a print or an original can either make or break the final piece... So if you don't want the latter - and who would?! - then keeping on reading. We've put together a trusty guide on how to frame your artwork to give it the ultimate wow-factor!
When it comes to framing, there are three standard options that people tend to go for:
If you'd like more information on these above options, please read our framing page here.
But did you know that there's so many more choices you can decide to use to jazz up your artwork?
We would recommend this style for when the edges of a print are deckled, rather than straight and crisp. Similarly to the 'floated' option above, there's a border between the edge of the artwork and the moulding. However, it differs as the artwork is raised above the mount board rather than being laid directly on top of it. This is achieved by attaching the picture to foam board (usually 5mm), with the resulting shadow underneath giving the piece depth and impact.
If you wish to make your framing stand out (but don't want to go too crazy) a double mount is an ideal place to start. As per a 'window mount', a mount board is laid on top of the artwork covering the edges, giving a border around the picture. A second mount board is then added and laid on top of the first (usually with an offset of 5 or 10mm) achieving a 'stepped' look. These two mount boards can be identical in colour, but if you wish for more of an impact, we suggest adding a coloured mount board to make your artwork pop! Double mounts can also be used for a textural effect, by combining standard mounts with ones that have a suede or linen surface.
If colours are totally your thing, we suggest jazzing up your framing by adding a spray painted spacer. This wooden spacer is spray painted in the colour of your choice to suit the artwork, and it sits between the moulding and the artwork or mount board. The colour is visible from the front, but more obvious when looking at the artwork from the sides. To date this has been our most popular framing addition that we've offered - it really makes an artwork stand out from the crowd. We've lost count of the number of times that clients have said how snazzy it looks!
Similarly to above, a slip is used to enhance a moulding or a mount. Often chosen in a complementary colour to the artwork, depending on your preference it 'slips' underneath said mount board or moulding to be visible on the inner side. The effect of a slip should be to highlight certain elements within your artwork! (Top tip: as touched upon above, spacers can also be used as a slip if a bright colour is preferred...)
Want to venture out of your comfort zone, but don't fancy any of the above additions? Why not experiment with the actual mount board instead! We find that changing the mount board border size can have a huge effect and really make a difference to the final look. If you have a small artwork, create a contrast by using a large surrounding mount board border - the difference in sizes can make the overall outcome even more impressive. Or for that matter, the dimensions of the mount board don't necessarily have to correlate and be equal on all sides... Be bold and choose to have your mount board smaller on the width than on the height - or vice versa!
Traditional Hand-Painted Mouldings
Well, whoever said that modernity and tradition don't work together, we're about to prove you wrong! In our experience over the years, we've found that pairing an urban artwork with an elaborate moulding can work an absolute treat... Ironically, rather than ageing your piece, the contrast between the new and the old can make your final piece look completely eye-catching and contemporary. We've found this style particularly works well for older classic houses, and for clients who wish to put modern art on their walls but are afraid it won't match the aesthetics of their home. Trust us, you won't believe how good your artwork can look!
So, feeling inspired by any of our suggestions? Have any questions? Check out our framing page or pop into the gallery to receive your framing quotation!
We thought we couldn't love Joe Webb any more than we already do. Turns out we were wrong. The master of collage and ingenuity has released three new banging prints, just in time for what we like to call #SwoonJune woohoo!
Joe has caused double trouble with 'Building Blocks' and 'Transmission' (with diamond dust!), the latest two politically charged prints to clearly reflect his diverse imagination. And for fans of his 'Stirring Up A Storm' previously released, say hello to the incredible larger version of this outstanding print. Now, if we had a blank wall going spare, here's exactly how we'd love to display a trio as mightily terrific as this!
Sadly for us we're lacking in the wall space department at home (cough, for now), but we know that some of you are just itching to refresh your walls. And let's be honest, you can't go wrong with this eye-catching set up... Joe's latest three prints are astonishingly striking, major talking-points, and darn affordable too. You get the idea!
It's raining, it's pouring, and quite honestly, we're sick of this awful English weather! The sunshine cannot come any quicker are we right?! Luckily however, we have the perfect antidote to those grim grey skies in the form of Victoria Topping's vibrant artwork... If you love colour you'll most definitely love her - so it's about time that we let you in to our little studio chit chat!
Before becoming an artist, you began your career working as an illustrator… So if you could illustrate any book, what would it be and why?
I’m actually in the process of illustrating a book at the moment. It’s a large illustrated book on the Greek gods and Myths I’m so excited about it! It’s a perfect subject for my work…
We definitely agree – it’s a perfect subject for the mesmerising patterns and images you create! When it comes to producing these illustrations you use a combination of techniques, including the computer. Do you have a favourite tool that you use for this?
The swatches. It’s a little pallet of textures and patterns that I have uploaded from my photos and mark making. I use it to fill shapes and lay them over my drawing to add life and texture.
That’s so clever! You definitely use technology to your advantage which we love. Speaking of which, you’ve just started using the iPad… Do you find it hard to “draw”?
Not at all! I use a pencil which is incredible - it responds to pressure and even the angle of your pencil so you can shade. Once you get used to the texture of the screen it’s amazing how good it is. I’m always very keen to embrace new technology. VR and 3D Painting is what’s next on my list.
We don’t think we’d be able to do anywhere near what you can do on the iPad… You’re so talented! Aside from technology, you also use a variety of collage elements in your work too. Are there any that you’re yet to use but want to feature in your work in the future?
Absolutely I have thousands of photos and elements stored up ready for the right project.
That’s very organised of you! Speaking of projects, if you could collaborate on a print with anyone (dead or alive!), who would it be and why?
Probably Keith Haring as I’m such a huge fan; his boldness and expression perfectly encapsulates the time and the music that I love. He was also very good at dealing with important issues in his work in a way that was educating and empowering to the viewer. Love is the message!
We couldn’t put it better ourselves! On the subject of love and music, we know that your passion for 1970’s jazz is an important influence for your work. If you could design a promotional poster for any music artist, who would it be?
I’m very lucky to be able to do posters and records sleeves for some amazing artists but I am yet to do Grace Jones - she is my all time favourite muse!
She’s definitely inspirational! Now an all important question, if you had to pick one, what would the theme song to your life be?!
You can’t ask a record collector this question there is too much to choose from! The album I’m listening to most at the moment is Curtis Mayfield - Something to believe in, psychedelic soul, love and social justice that fills me with inspiration.
To be honest his album sounds right up your street and describes you down to a tee! Your other passion though which comes across in your artwork is your love for colour and vibrance. So would you rather a world without colour or a world without music?
Ha! No one has asked me that before....I think I would rather be dead!
Haha that says a lot! But finally, where do you see yourself in five years time?
Making bigger and better art!
We're always told to look on the bright side of life... Well, that most definitely won't be a problem now! We're jumping up and down with joy to announce that Victoria Topping is the latest artist to join the Eye Like family - and oh boy, what an entrance her prints have made! If you're looking for art to make your walls pop with colour and energy, keep on reading...
Last week, we visited Victoria's studio to meet the woman behind the eye-popping designs, and of course, to get the nitty gritty on her work. And well, let's just say that upon setting foot in her studio, we were immediately taken aback by the multitude of colours and patterns adorning the walls. In fact, due to the outstanding vibrancy circulating the entire room, it was difficult to know where to look first. Impressive to say the least! However, there was one question on our lips that we were eager to learn. How on earth does Victoria go about creating such distinct artworks?
In short, Victoria creates her work with a fusion of technology and traditional techniques, ranging from painting to photography, cut up collage (subsequently scanned onto the computer) to gold leafing. For those of you that love a bit of glitz and glam, on a selection of her prints she even hand applies Swarovski crystals as a finishing touch (taking approximately two days to complete). Rather snazzy don't you think! To excite you even further, as technology adapts, cleverly Victoria's work evolves with the times too. As of recently she's been using her iPad as a drawing aid - how uber cool is that!
However, it was apparent when we looked at her prints in more detail, just how eclectic these elements really are.. Victoria's mother is a world leading expert in historical wallpaper, and with her exposure to the interiors of amazing stately homes as she was growing up, it's no wonder that fabrics feature widely within her work. However, as well as different textures, the collage components of her prints also range from patterns and shapes, to photographs of soap bubbles and even a close up of an eye. (Her own eye to be exact!) In fact, many of these collage aspects act as recurring motifs within her prints, the idea of the 'third eye' being one of them. Animatedly, Victoria tells us how she loves the idea of her 'eye' looking out from her prints, acting as a surreal journey from her studio to their new homes.
The result of these diverse techniques are prints quite like you've never seen before. Totally distinct, her bold artwork is heavily influenced by 1970's jazz and her passion for music. (This influence is all the more obvious when she tells us about her background in the music industry as a DJ.) Indeed, it was whilst she was DJing and creating her own promotional posters, that she was scouted by record companies to produce commercial artwork for their music artists! However, as well as the influence of music, Victoria incorporates and emphasises elements of spirituality and culture into her artwork, giving the work a "unique soul".
If there's one thing that we can say for definite, it's that these jaw-dropping and spirited prints will most certainly turn heads on any wall. But is it any wonder really that these modern designs radiate her evident passion and vitality? Victoria's aim, as she said at her studio, is to produce artwork that will provide us all with happiness. Now, we certainly can't argue with that!
Eye Like Gallery.