Simons's love of music is a major inspiration when it comes to creating Rocket Jack's modern art prints...
Having immersed nearly all of my working life in art and design I obviously have a huge passion for that world. However, when it comes to another of my primary inspirations, music, I have an altogether more special relationship.
As someone with absolutely zero musical ability, I can appreciate and enjoy music in its simplest form - without criticism or analysis. In contrast, when soaking up the art that I see, I'm constantly dissecting it. I'll judge the composition, appraise the colours, and check the techniques, my head swirling with inspirations and new ideas. My wife, Hannah, is (not) a massive fan of me pointing out every little typographical no-no that I may spot - outlines an inconsistent thickness, poor font pairings or kerning too tight (kerning is the space between letters and is something that haunts the brains of seasoned designers). But, when I'm listening to music, it is purely for pleasure, or sometimes distraction, but rarely for work so it is always a positive experience. Music for most of us is part of our lives from the moment we are born but some obsess over it from an early age, and others aren’t that fussed at all. I have always been excited by music, but when my grandad bought me my first walkman, I became properly addicted (yep, I'm that old - I had one of the early cassette Walkmans with crappy orange headphones… and even a built-in FM radio!)
Much to Hannah's dislike, I put the radio on as soon as I get up and do not stop listening to music all day. She likes it on occasion but places more value on peace and quiet, not something we get much of with two little boys running around. My favourite part of the working day is often a walk along Brighton beach at lunchtime, and what makes it so special, apart from the stunning scenery, is having music in my ears with no distraction. Just me, the sea air, and the tunes.
Living in Brighton offers many amazing opportunities including a never-ending supply of live music. My absolute favourite event is the Great Escape Festival, which I managed to spend all of last weekend at. The last 2 years' events have been cancelled, due to you know what, so there was an extra level of excited buzz around. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a showcase for new and emerging artists and a really exciting musical lucky dip - covering multiple venues, loads of international acts and more genres than I knew existed. Over the 3 days, I saw about 30 acts ranging from the sublime to the weird as hell. Violins in church, Chilean afro-beats outside the library, heavy guitar laced acid beats and frantic demonic visuals in a blackened nightclub - all while sunshine and ice cream are being enjoyed outside by non-festival-going tourists.
I've taken great pleasure in creating a playlist of some of my favourite acts from the festival. Please give it a listen by clicking here… it goes from calm to crazy, so hopefully somewhere along the journey you will find something appealing. Please let me know if any of it moves you in a positive, or negative way!? There are always so many acts playing at any one time at the festival, so it's impossible to make much of a dent in the line-up. Most notable to me were; Penguin Cafe, Avawaves, Sarpa Salpa, Hamish Hawk, [Leak], Scalping and last but not least our good friend (on her way to superstardom) Kymara.
I have many inspirations, but music is present in some form or other in all of them. [Almost] In the words of Dani, from Ted Lasso (please watch it if you haven’t), ‘Music is Life’!
I'm proud to say that all of our music art prints have been designed by myself, with tunes pumping, in our lovely little home studio in the garden. I have made most of our music art prints customisable because music is such a personal thing for each of us. Being able to personalise the art prints makes them unique and perfect for gifting… a favourite shared song, a first dance at a wedding, or maybe a 90s playlist to be immortalised in print. Click here to sound us out further.