What we did this year
I think we ended last year’s end-of-year round-up with a wish for 2021 being a better year than 2020. We’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not that came to pass, though at Breed it was another year we’ll remember as being defined by the pandemic and working round ever-changing rules to keep it at bay. That meant our London office was still only an occasional place of work, with much still being done from home.
As it was only sporadically feasible to meet up with people face-to-face, we kept up with, and added to, our virtual conversations and items with creative people, both in our own industry and those allied closely to it. Thus BREED presents was born. Among those we chatted to this year were, deep breath in: writer, podcaster and shopkeeper Fiona Golfar, writer and photographer Laura Bailey, chef, food writer and restaurateur Skye Gyngell, Charlie Porter of Tat, The Design Museum’s Chief Executive and Director Tim Marlow, Tara Gladstone of The Good Life Society, Matt Gibberd and Albert Hill of The Modern House, Becky Smith of Twin magazine and studio, Fashion Director of Condé Nast Traveller UK and US Martha Ward, Guy Marshall, Art Director and owner of StudioSmall, designer and author Anya Hindmarch, Cob Gallery’s Curator and Director Victoria Williams, Mimosa House’s Founding Director and Curator Daria Khan, Hannah Weiland, Creative Director of Shrimps, Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset’s Director Jacqueline Moore, Rhys Kearns, Creative Producer at Norse Projects, Luc Goidadin, Creative Director at Smythson, Alex Tieghi-Walker, Founder and Creative Director of TIWA Select, Marie Louise Sciò, CEO and Creative Director of Pellicano Hotel Group, and Florence Knight, Head Chef at Sessions Art Club.
We also continued with our series of friends of Breed recommending their favourite podcasts. We’ve seen Doug Palladini of Vans recommend Malcolm Gladwell, Sarah Bailey of PORTER Magazine loving Desert Island Discs, plus James Wright of So It Goes, Lucy Yeomans of DREST, Elena Lacey at WIRED, and Dr. Neil Wenman at Hauser & Wirth all sharing their choices.
As we re-entered lockdown at the start of the year, it also seemed relevant to re-start our Instagram series, talking to friends about their life in lockdown. Those friends included Katelyn Baker of Elle US, Tatsuo Hino of BEAMS & CO, Andrew Diprose of WIRED, Matthew Bedard of FLAUNT Magazine, Alex Lavery of Pitch and Sync, Bianca de Carvalho of Soho House Retail, Rosey Lakos of Godfrey Dadich Partners, and Matt Brooke of Spring Studios.
2021 also saw us saying a reluctant goodbye to Breed’s Marketing Exec Tine Toftdahl Nielsen, who’s been with us for a few years now, making sure everything goes smoothly, running much of our social media, and bringing in most of the many names mentioned in the previous paragraphs. She’s impossible to replace. At the opposite end of the scale, we were incredibly pleased to welcome the incredibly talented graphic designer and film prop expert Annie Atkins to Breed. Plus, 2021 also saw us working again with photographer Catherine Garcia.
And now, we’ll have a quick-ish run-through of what our artists have been doing over the last 12 months. We picked just a few of our favourites to mention…
Danny Sangra zoomed straight into 2021 with his short film, ‘Sukeban OK Let’s Go’ collaged from old Japanese motorbike gang movies.
Meanwhile, Craig & Karl designed the sign announcing the January sale for iconic Paris department store Le Bon Marché, Andy Gilmore turned up on the cover of the year’s first issue of New Scientist illustrating the entire universe, and James Joyce produced a print edition ‘Abandoning Reason’ for Guy Hepner Gallery and Tax Collection in New York. Phillippa Mills stayed entirely within reason, working with chalk, pastels, spray paint, pencil, acrylic and oils to create her personal piece ‘Dahlias’.
Phillippa Mills continued on a similar track with water colours of some of the first flowers of the year seen near her home in Devon.
In magazine world, Yelena Yemchuk illustrated an article in the February issue of Elle US, and Steven Wilson created a new 3D take on the WIRED magazine logo. Steven could also be found hosting an online tutorial on block printing for the Design Museum’s Lunch and Learn slot.
Quentin Jones got busy with fashion, providing photographs and artwork for an interview with Carey Mulligan in Harper’s Bazaar, and created moving image pieces for a collaboration between Jimmy Choo and Marine Serre.
Anna Bu Kliewer was also busy this month, lending her talents to a collaboration between shoe designers Penelope Chilvers and Collagerie, illustrating an article by Naomi Rougeau in Elle US, another article on cosmetic surgery by Finlay Renwick in Esquire, and putting together a collage for the cover of Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin.
Danny Sangra was back, too, producing a new short film ‘Famous Friends’, working on a new initiative by the Design Museum to help to make the design industry more diverse and inclusive, and creating an animated tribute for George Harrison’s birthday that, to his joy as a fan, was posted on the late Beatle’s Instagram.
Perhaps the most notable and happy event in March was the return of photographer Catherine Garcia to the Breed fold.
Elsewhere, Anna Bu Kliewer continued her run on Elle US, this time showcasing examples of the Spring season’s finest jewellery.
Danny Sangra illustrated an article on being bird-life in Hollywood in Flaunt magazine, and provided animations for the Playboy Advisor page.
Matt Blease turned up in The New Yorker, with a sequence of images showing what happens when pigeons meet pizza.
Personal work this month came from Paula Castro, with a piece showing tigers in jungle surroundings, Neal Murren with a number of his characteristically detailed pieces involving circus characters, a race through the sky, and dozens of characters from fantasies, dreams and nightmares.
We were very pleased to announce that Annie Atkins, Dublin-based graphic designer and creator of wondrous props in films like Grand Budapest Hotel, was joining Breed this month.
Matt Blease was getting into books, adding the illustrations to Charlie Gladstone’s volume ‘Do Team – How to Get the Best from Everyone’. And he also reappeared in The New Yorker, this time illustrating an article by Malcolm Gladwell.
Andy Gilmore was working with a new assistant in his artwork The Axidraw is a pen-plotter, produced by California-based Evil Mad Scientist, which helped Andy with the precision of his drawings. Andy was happy to show off what it could do on his Instagram.
Danny Sangra was still up and at it this month, producing new t-shirt designs for HIT+RUN.
May bloomed with Quentin Jones working for online and print magazine Mission, combining collage, paint, moving image and photography with the voguing stars of New York’s Ballroom Scene.
We were very pleased to see Yelena Yemchuk’s latest book MABEL, BETTY AND BETTE published by Kominek. A multimedia piece, it combines photos, collage and film stills to follow a fictionalised narrative around identity and the passing of time.
Steven Wilson’s work appeared on the cover of The Guardian’s listings magazine The Guide, highlighting its celebration of cinema, as screens across the country prepared to reopen after being closed during the pandemic.
Matt Blease was behind a new set of posters and animations, with the help of Blink and director Alex Grigg, which promoted innocent’s commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030.
Danny Sangra made a short film – Scandal On The Court – for a Brooks Brothers x Fila collaboration on a tennis-inspired clothing collection.
Let’s start with Danny Sangra this month, who continued his run of Beatle birthday tributes with an animation celebrating Paul McCartney’s birthday this month. This time he was asked to do so by Olivia Harrison, who then posted it on George Harrison’s Instagram.
Continuing a Beatles connection of sorts, Catherine Garcia was asked by publisher Thames and Hudson to take some shots of the artist and Sergeant Pepper album cover designer Peter Blake’s studio to add to some portraits she’d taken of Peter in 2018, to be included in the book Peter Blake: Collage.
Moving on to snacking, Steven Wilson helped create new packaging design for Snack a Jacks Rice Cakes, with Pepsico Design and Innovation, including Salt & Vinegar, Sweet Chilli and Sour Cream & Chive flavours.
Matt Blease’s work was featured right through Volume 8 of New York-based luxury vintage watch magazine HODINKEE, on every page in the corners and on the borders. Matt loves watches, so this was certainly a 2021 highlight for him.
Craig & Karl headed into unexpected territory this month, when they unveiled their design for the Chicco Goody, a lightweight folding stroller for young children, complete with brightly coloured sweet-like imagery. They were also excited to reveal a collaboration with adidas® Originals, which saw them giving their own take on the Nizza, Nite Joggers, Boost ZX 2Ks and classic Superstars, along with Adilette Slides, all made from environmentally sustainable materials.
James Joyce’s work formed part of the SHOUT exhibition at the C-mine gallery in Genk, Belgium, with three large pieces, including the ‘Perseverance in the Face of Absurdity’ video installation, unseen since being featured at Banksy’s Dismaland a few years earlier. He also produced an exclusive one-off print for the ONE OF A KIND exhibition in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, with all proceeds from an auction going towards help for young people going through cancer treatment.
Steven Wilson was also taking part in an auction of artworks, this time in aid of Happy Scrubs, a new company helping bring a smile to the faces of people working in care homes and hospices with colourful scrubs.
Phillippa Mills created a new personal piece of a young woman in a flowered dress this month, inspired by fashion designer Simone Rocha’s collaboration with H&M.
Which brings us to Danny Sangra. In July, Danny created an animation of Bob Marley’s Jamming, a new short animation based around the contents of his desk, and celebrated Ringo’s birthday with an animation based around lyrics from a lost George Harrison song found in an old piano bench at George’s home by Olivia Harrison. He also, via M&C Saatchi, designed the visuals for Barclays £100m COVID-10 Community Aid Package, which aimed to help deal with the fall-out from the epidemic.
Back in 2014, Catherine Garcia had her book of portraits, Our Time No. 1, published, including luminaries such as Sir Peter Blake, Sir Paul Smith, and Bella Freud. In August, we were pleased to announce that Catherine was working on Our Time No. 2, which this time is an ongoing series of portraits shown online, complete with a video A Minute of Our Time, showcasing stills from each individual shoot. She started with architectural designer John Pawson, followed by Jodie Harrison, Founder and Chief Creative at Fell & Scar, editor and journalist Michelle Jana Chan, art historian and curator Kate Bryan, actor Remmie Milner, ceramicist Reiko Kaneko, and interior designer Fran Hickman.
Paula Castro was commissioned by Argentina’s Dirección Nacional de Museos y la Dirección Nacional de Gestión Patrimonial (National Directorate of Museums and the National Directorate of Heritage Management) to create an illustrated book for Children’s Day. Paula created ‘Oesum’, which imagines the experience of visiting an upside-down museum. She wrote the rhyming text, too.
What did Danny Sangra get up to this month? Well, he produced his own collection of phone cases for Casetify, using images from his Instagram. And he dived into the archives of Hermès, animating some of their original black-and-white photography. But most exciting of all, he produced a specially commissioned trailer for the fiftieth anniversary reissue of George Harrison’s triple album All Things Must Pass, which appeared on George Harrison’s Instagram and elsewhere.
In September, we said au revoir to Aries Moross, who we’ve been privileged to work with since 2007. They were one of Breed’s first artists, and it’s been a genuine pleasure every step of the way. We wish them and Studio Moross every success in their future.
Quentin Jones turned up being interviewed by Barcelona-based fashion, photography and art magazine METAL, where she discussed her film work and plans for the future. Quentin also worked on a new LOVE campaign for Stuart Weitzman, creating moving image pieces for the luxury shoe company.
In the realm of magazines, Steven Wilson was on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter, or at least his portrait of comedian and TV host Jon Stewart was. Not to be outdone, Andy Gilmore had the cover of New Scientist, illustrating the mysteries of black holes.
Always on the cutting edge, Matt Blease worked with Yohana, a virtual assistant, which also connects you with a real human Yo Assistant, all designed for busy parents. Matt provided illustrations, helping to explain the services the system offers.
Anna Bu Kliewer was back in the pages of Elle US, showcasing an item of Pierre Hardy’s new collection for Hermès. She also began working with esteemed London perfumiers Penhaligon’s on visual treatments for their new Trade Routes collection, based on scents from ingredients that would have arrived in London from all over the world in the 19th Century.
Danny Sangra released A Hue Named Blue this month, a film made for global culture video channel NOWNESS and adidas® Originals, promoting the launch of adidas Originals’ Blue Version collection of athleisure designs.
Anna Bu Kliewer continued her run in Elle US, this month setting jewellery by Tiffany & Co, Schlumberger, Harry Winston and Bulgari in the collaged context of great works of art and nature.
Danny Sangra was back on a Beatles tip, celebrating what would have been John Lennon’s 81st birthday. He created another of his moving image pieces, soundtracked by ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, Danny’s favourite Beatles song, to appear on George Harrison’s Instagram.
Matt Blease created the animated P. G. Turner’s Bookstore’s to illustrate The New York Times Book Review’s round-up of the ten best books of 2021.
James Joyce produced a new print edition for the online Queen & Country Edition of the Art Car Boot Fair, which was an archival pigment print with a hand-applied Royal Mail stamp, available in both 1st and 2nd Class editions. He also worked with Show Media on a map of Shoreditch, highlighting such iconic local sites as The Tea Building, Spitalfields, Brick Lane and Columbia Road Flower Market.
Danny Sangra has just the one item this month – creating animations for fashion brand Isabel Marant, highlighting items from their range, including bags, footwear and a dress with jewellery.
That brings us almost up to date, though December has seen Annie Atkins’ spectacular work on Winterfest at the Guinness Storehouse, the Home of Guinness in Dublin’s Liberties district. Inspired by classic advertising from the Guinness archive, Annie brought Christmas to all seven floors of the building, most notably with a 15-metre modular tree installation in the atrium.
Andy Gilmore has collaborated with Waking Up, neuroscientist and author Sam Harris’ acclaimed meditation course app. Next year, they plan on a collaboration with the estate of Alan Watts, the late thinker and writer on eastern philosophies, and invited Andy to provide illustrations to appear alongside talks by Alan Watts.
We had a joyous few months with the help of an extra pair of hands from Karen Bryant. Hopefully, we’ll be working some more with Karen in the future.
We’re looking forward to meeting more creatives on our BREED presents line up. Keep up to date here..
We’re already gearing up for 2022, not least with Danny Sangra’s new installation at Browns East in Shoreditch. It’s called Psychic Hotline and will feature a selection of Danny’s drawings from past and present, set up in a way that he hopes will reveal elements of what is to come in 2022.
And that’s our 2021 wrapped up, with dreams of the future. We hope you, like us, have managed to gain some enjoyment in these still testing times. We look forward to 2022 being a brighter year for all of us. Merry Christmas to you all.
Olivia and all at Breed
Image: Matt Blease