Breed’s rundown of the year
2020 has certainly been quite a year and, like everyone else, for Breed it was one that was shaped by Covid-19 and its attendant lockdowns. For me, that meant spending much less time in London as I worked from home, while Tine was working from Denmark to be with her family. Though we’re also aware of how lucky we are to be able to keep our business running. While we’ve both missed the direct client contact, we’ve tried to make up for that by speaking to, interviewing and collaborating with all sorts of people, many of whom you’ll have seen turning up on the website.
For example, we got to talk to Bella Freud about The Artists Series, a limited run of t-shirts she put together with Karla Welch, that featured work by artists including Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and John Giorno, with all proceeds going to victims of domestic abuse.
We also spoke to Dave Bell of KesselsKramer, Mark Paton at Here Design, and Kate Congreve, Producer at Mother London, on the challenges of working as a creative team remotely. And Jamie Brunskill, creative director at Nike London, Lucinda Chambers of online fashion, beauty, interiors and lifestyle store Collagerie, and Andy Greenacre, Director of Photography at The Telegraph Magazine, about the experience of working from home
Along similar lines, Malcolm Buick at Athletics NYX, Algy Batten, founder of Art of Ping Pong, Chris Clarke, Deputy Creative Director at The Guardian, James Greenfield, Creative Director at Koto, Carolyn O’Connell of MATCHESFashion, Alice Brasili, Global Marketing Manager, Coach, Ben Palmer, Creative Director at MR PORTER and Fiona Bailey, photographer each shared their visual account of life in lockdown with us.
Stepping away from the impact of Covid-19 on our lives, we continued with a new series of friends and connections recommending their favourite podcasts, tuning in to the choices of Jennifer Higgie, editor-at-large for Frieze, team Zetteler, Rachael Steven, Deputy Editor of Creative Review, the team at NOW Gallery, Greenwich, Olivia Woodgate of Wonderland magazine, Holly Fraser, Editor-in-chief at WePresent and John L. Walters, Editor at Eye magazine. And we chatted to creative couples Craig & Karl, kinetic artists Isabel + Helen and storytellers Britt Iversen and Anna Gerber, the pair behind Visual Editions, about working as a duo.
2020 we were also super pleased to welcome the multi-faceted and multi-talented artist Yelena Yemchuk onboard.
From here, we’ll take a look at what our artists got up to month-by-month in 2020.
Danny Sangra started the year with an attempt to reintroduce a long-lost and possibly fictional product after 39 years with his short film ‘Mrs Biccles Biscuits’. Then he got team-handed to create the Expert Horror X Danny Sangra ‘Year of the Rat’ t-shirt to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Over at the Financial Times magazine, James Joyce continued his ongoing illustrative collaboration with writer Douglas Coupland in its pages, while Anna Bu Kliewer was also making regular appearances with her illustrations for the ‘I’d be lost without…’ column.
Kate Moross played a role in the Qween’s Speech, a short film celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community.
Meanwhile, over in Twickenham, art gallery Eleven issued a limited edition Natasha Law print called ‘Sitting in Pink’.
Finally, on our website, we talked to Matt Blease and Naresh Ramchandani of Pentagram and Do the Green Thing about creativity with green credentials.
We began the month by talking to legendary printmaker Alan Kitching, alongside Steven Wilson, about the importance of typography.
February also saw Quentin Jones returning to New York after a period of living and working in London.
Phillippa Mills got out an eclectic array including pencils, chalk, oils, watercolours, enamel, acrylic, nail polish and spray paint for two personal pieces featuring the haute couture of Chanel and Giambattista Valli. And Anna Bu Kliewer’s work appeared in House, the magazine for members of Soho House.
Finally, we took in the amazing Dora Maar exhibition at Tate Modern just before the first lockdown pulled the blinds down.
Danny Sangra settled into lockdown by sharing his film choices on Instagram with #dannysfilmdiary and producing another short film of his own, called ‘Pyramid’.
Steven Wilson was busy creating a poster for Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson’s concert at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Matt Blease helped out his favourite bike repair shop, SBC Cycles, with the re-release of a t-shirt he originally designed for them years ago.
Quentin Jones was at a modernist ranch in Mexico doing a photoshoot for online fashion store Shopbop, and also fitted in a film for Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl fragrance.
April saw a sudden interest in colouring. Steven Wilson produced seven outline drawings for Karl Lagerfeld. You could download and colour them to help keep yourself occupied during lockdown as part of #STAYHOMEWITHKARL. Meanwhile, Matt Blease put together several of his favourite illustrations to create The Official Matt Blease Lockdown Colouring Book. Matt also provided illustrations for a Guardian lockdown initiative that saw them giving free listings for NHS roles on their careers site.
MATCHESFASHION had its own ideas on keeping yourself amused during lockdown, which were illustrated by James Joyce and appeared on social media. James turned up in his DJ guise this month, too, on Amateurism Radio.
Anna Bu Kliewer provided the portrait of editor and stylist Lucinda Chambers when she wrote about her lockdown experience in Vogue US.
And Danny Sangra was behind 14 animations released this month by Zara Kids.
The month kicked off with Klas Ernflo telling us about the new studio he’s moved into outside of Barcelona.
Jumping into music with both feet, Kate Moross hand-painted a pair of Converse boots to be one of the lots in the One Love Covid-19 Relief Auction run by Island Records. They were also behind the artwork for Amazon Music’s PROUD Playlist relaunch, which kicked off Pride Month.
Staying with music, Steven Wilson designed the artwork for ‘Crossing Lines’, the latest album by Vida Blue and Danny Sangra created an animated teaser for the new single by Lianne La Havas. Danny also put together some sneaker-based animations for retailer MR PORTER.
In other media, Natasha Law designed the cover for Sweet Sorrow, the latest novel from David Nicholls. And we also chatted to Leo Walton of Amateurism Radio.
Anna Bu Kliewer was busy this month. She turned up in Elle, illustrating a piece called ‘Life’s Quiet Awakenings’, illustrated another article, this time about anxiety, by Fiorella Valdesolo published by Hearst in the US, and provided collages across the Design Directory of Wallpaper* magazine. She also crafted the imagery for a piece of fiction by Will Self in Esquire.
Paula Castro was also busy, first making two short films as part of a project for Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, then producing some appearances by her comic character EL RATON PERA.
Matt Blease provided illustrations, some animated, for a piece on the problem of double chins in Zoom meetings for MR PORTER’s The Journal
Steven Wilson embarked on a series of portraits, which would eventually include Serena Williams, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Nick Cave and David Bowie among many others. And Kate Moross was interviewed in Eye magazine by its editor John L. Walters.
Prominent this month was Quentin Jones’ work on the ad campaign for Haig Club Clubman’s new whisky mixers in cans.
And just as prominent was the announcement of the next album from Kylie – ‘Disco’ – featuring creative direction by Kate Moross. Kate also worked on a campaign for BEAR’s yoyo bars via brand agency DXglobal.
Craig & Karl were the stars of the Design Museum’s Architecture Friday series, where they posted on Instagram about how architecture relates to their work.
Paula Castro was still going strong, collaborating with Argentinian poet Cecilia Pavon and writer Jorge Drechsler on an online book called ‘Yo Quiero Ser’. She was also creating portraits of friends, family and fellow artists for a series called FAMOUS TO ME.
Anna Bu Kliewer illustrated a story by journalist Andrew McCormick in the New York Times Magazine.
James Joyce won a Design Week Award for a rebrand of the charity Versus Arthritis done some time before and commissioned by branding agency Re.
Elsewhere, Danny Sangra was promoting his film Thrusters ON, while Natasha Law had another limited edition print launched by Eleven.
August was when Yelena Yemchuk officially became part of the Breed roster.
Early August saw Kate Moross reviewing the portfolios of young artists and designers live in an event on Adobe Live in conjunction with It’s Nice That.
Matt Blease had a t-shirt he’d designed for skateboard store Focus out. Danny Sangra had produced another animated film, ‘DOWNSTREAM’, and Anna Bu Kliewer was in the pages of Elle with her illustrations for an article by Nina Arata Aron.
Down on Dartmoor, Phillippa Mills had produced more personal work, inspired by endangered species of wildlife like dormice, field mice and a polecat, as well as some botanical drawings.
Art Car Boot Fair was back this month, but in post-Covid form it was now the Viral Art Car Boot Fair, and James Joyce was one of those involved. We also took the opportunity to chat to the fair’s founder Karen Ashton on our website. We also found time to talk to Charlie Phillips, the man behind Eleven gallery.
Kate Moross was excited to be asked to work with Adobe on the launch of their new toolkit based on the stylings of one of Kate’s heroes Keith Haring.
Quentin Jones was working on a campaign for Toronto-based fine jewellery brand Mejuri, while Steven Wilson designed the sleeve for a new single by synthpop band Panama Wedding. And Anna Bu Kliewer illustrated an item in Condé Nast Traveller. Matt Blease was busy creating illustrations for Citrix’s new brand identity.
Also out was Danny Sangra’s collaboration with rapper SHIRT, a short film called ‘Rabbit Holes’.
This month saw a few new talks with friends new and old on our website, including founder of Violet Book Leith Clark, Art Director Tim Hughes of Farfetch, and Nike Global Senior Editorial Director Dan Rookwood.
We also celebrated the reopening of galleries and museums by going along to Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers at the Design Museum.
Paula Castro took part in an online life drawing class – Save a Life Drawing – run in aid of charity Breast Cancer Now.
James Joyce produced a set of four different covers to celebrate the 20th issue of Hole & Corner magazine. And an illustration by Andy Gilmore turned up in the pages of science and technology magazine Wired UK.
Late in the month, Quentin Jones was guest editor of the Evening Standard’s ES magazine and her influence was much in evidence over its pages. Also appearing in that issue were Yelena Yemchuk, who illustrated an article by Laura Craik. And Danny Sangra, who provided the odd illustration. In fact, so enamoured was ES with Danny’s work, they asked him to take their readership on a guided tour of his home for their online edition of the magazine.
Matt Blease had two avenues of work appearing during the month. First were bird’s-eye views of New York for The New Yorker, and second came a pair of new t-shirt designs for Japanese fashion brand BEAMS.
Anna Bu Kliewer turned up with a full-page illustration in Elle US, as well as having a good deal of her work appearing in the Autumn-Winter 2020 issue of Le Monde d’Hermès.
On our own site we presented showcases of new work by Andy Gilmore and Craig & Karl. The latter two also turned up with images introducing each section of The New York Times 2020 Holiday Gift Guide.
We also talked to Jeff Glendenning of The New York Times on our site.
Even as December begins, here’s Danny Sangra, as one of several artists to have prints they’ve designed appearing on t-shirts, sweat shirts and hoodies from HIT+RUN.
That’s it for another year. We hope 2020 has been bearable, all things considered, and here’s hoping 2021 will see it getting a little better for everyone.
Olivia and all at Breed