Saturday, 30 April 2016

Today's word is: Tangibility

When you work on something for a while, you loose touch with the sense that you are making something someone wants, something quite possibly desirable and tangible.

For the past couple of months, I've been working with the Colt 45 lads on quite a lot of projects. I've gone from posters, to music videos to websites and now to physical releases. I've been working on the design of their EP release for quite a while now, and yesterday it became a reality.

Whilst working the bar at The Brickyard last night, Colt 45 were burning up the stage with a whole basket of new tunes and fan favourites, and even though that was brilliant I couldn't keep my eyes focused on them, or anywhere in that direction at all.
To my right, was the merch table. Laden in t-shirts, badges and stickers, there was also a large stack of CDs but more importantly, there was this EP. The EP I designed.

I couldn't take my eyes off seeing people actually want to buy something I helped produce. It's a strange feeling; having someone look at your work as a final product, seeing it as an item of desire, actively critiquing it as they order a pint of Fosters. It was both lovely and terrifying.

I wasn't scared someone would say something bad about my design, I was just worried people would care. As I do a lot of posters, I've encountered people wanting to own them, by stealing them off the walls; but actively paying for something I've designed – as a consumer – was a whole new world to me.

This project, that had lasted months and took many upon many tweaks had finally become tangible and not just for me. I could see people actively showing it to their friends as if they were proud to own it; of course this is not all my doing because they wanted to own the music too, but I was a part of that pride, I was a part of something I've only ever observed.

And as it turns out, I do quite like how it feels; how the realism of tangibility feels upon your hands.
I'm quite in love with this CD, and even though I've previously expressed that unlike a record, I cannot bring myself to love a CD—but this is something else.

If I had complete creative freedom, I would have done things slightly differently but perhaps I wouldn't feel the same way I do about it. I'm not sure. And maybe it's not the greatest design I've done, but it was the right thing to do for Colt 45, and that arguably makes it the best design I could have done. Either way, I'm pretty chuffed.

I can't find many more things to waffle on about, so I'll close this post with a little perspective.

For many years, I've ignore music packaging as everything was much easier, much 'freer' and much less legal when I got it digitally from the internet. When I started university I started to collect LP under the influence of my buddy James and it quickly grew into quite a hobby, but CD's were still ugly pieces of plastic that I wouldn't even use in placement of rotten coaster.

But when it comes to actually doing design from music packaging; it becomes very clear to me that the format isn't even remotely important. Sure it's how you buy the music, it's how you consume it and it's possibly why you might have bought it—it's important that you bought it. That you wanted to buy it, to own it and to support all involved.

I still don't care for the CD format, but I do care for this one; because I bloody love what we've made.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Lucky Me, Lucky Day

Well, I'm back in England now; but that doesn't mean the fun has to stop!

Today was the last day for self assigned briefs in my second semester, of my third year—and if that makes no bloody sense, don't worry. Being that is was the last day, I thought I'd exploit that opportunity and make myself a one day brief.

For this brief, I wanted to do something fun, in fact, something stupidly fun; something with the lovely ladies I am starting a studio with—something lucky. As you may or may not know, it is a lightly published fact that myself, Maddy and Katie are setting up a studio by the name of Lucky Me Lucky You.

Lucky Pavement

Only earlier today, we stood without any branding, without any visual identity. My one day project was to create a starting point for our branding, to develop how we will eventually display ourselves in the world.

I don't want to go to far into this, as we haven't got everything set in stone, but here are a few key points. We are experiment, we are forever playful and we are three strong. We are lucky, and in return you are lucky too—Lucky you came to us for some fantastic design (or illustration) (or textile design) (or anything thing else, because we want to do it all) and we're lucky that we get to call this our job.

We ran around the campus all day, finding every spot we could plaster out logo. We want to work with textures and the physical world around us; so of course we put it in the trees, on the floor and out of all the coloured paper we could get our hands on. There are no limits in the lucky empire, so why put boundaries on ourselves now?

Why not, right?

The idea with our branding is that we work with everything we can, so the branding should work with anything we want it to. The shapes should be simple and colourful, because it's playful and a heck of a lot of fun but most importantly, our branding can change with us. It can make a pretty pattern, an abstract shape or just a wicked colour rocket ship. See below.

Our branding can represent us now, as it does when we rule the globe. It can represent us professionally through a logo project, but also aid our visual communication when working within our community. Everyone wants to be different in design, but we are different.

Friday, 15 April 2016

SweVin 15: Final Fridays

Fridays are always the end of something, the week, the month—my internship.

Last day of with this bad boy.
 Today, was Friday; it was also the end of my internship. That totally sucked.
I thought, seeing as it was my last day I would get cinnamon buns (kanelbullar) for everyone. So here I am, trotting along happily, in the sun with roughly eight buns in a little paper bag; oblivious to the terrible fate that was awaiting me. Nothing bad actually happened, I just got the studio for the last time, I realised that my fate was that I would only leave the door that day, not to return on the Monday.

Today, I worked on posters here there and around but mostly I worked on my Raspberry Pi.
Now, with a lot of help and three days practice, I can run all basic commands, wirelessly transfer any and all files and program small shell scripts—if none of this really makes any sense, I've spent many days learning how to make it take an image every two minutes and send it to my website, whilst operating a fully functional live stream.

After quite a morning of horrendously painful headaches, fear inducing realisations and more coffee than my body should ever try to sustain; I thought I'd organise somewhere to meet Gaby for lunch. Previously we've gone to great places to eat, terrible places to eat but this time I wanted to go somewhere bizarre. So I checked my official recommendation list from Mister Scott and I came across a place that only serves Hummus, not meals with hummus, just hummus.

It's supposed to say Hummus, but I have no idea how you pronounce Reggev
So 1o'clock rolled on round, and myself and Gabriella storm off to eat lots of Chick Pea based foods. We get there, order our dishes (of which I wasn't really sure of what we'd ordered) and peacefully wait for our food. Now we were expecting lots of vegetables and bread, to mix with a small amount of hummus, but we were so darn wrong. To our table arrived two pasta bowls filled with hummus, a small amount of veg and three pita breads—there is no way on earth that any single human could eat all of this delicious hummus. Well actually the guy just behind us did, and with half the speed.

It was a really strange way to have lunch, but I did enjoy it greatly.
When I got back, it was right back to working on the Pi, and furiously questioning the two guys sat with me about any Swedish music I could sink my teeth into; which they did in fact give me lots of recommendations, and were totally lovely about it.

It got towards 5pm in the afternoon, after hours of tweaking, fixing and breaking. It was time for me to leave. I gathered all my items, and said a large thank you and goodbye to the whole PJADAD crew and left the door, it locking behind me as it always did. Walking down the road, I felt more and more sad; realising that I've had a lovely time and it would no longer continue.

Good bye pretty sign, good bye sunshine.
Feeling crap, I wandered in my own pity. Looking around me, as if to map the location if I were to never see it again. Furiously messaging Gaby in which to find myself some company, to drive out of my own sadness; but as I look up, I can see a smiling, fringe covered face walking directly towards me.

A quick hug, and some more self pity, I was instructed to close my eyes. Now this could go two ways, I could be getting a present or I could get public humiliation—luckily it was a fantastic Swedish jazz LP that I had been lusting over for the previous week.

So if it's not obvious, we leave tomorrow and I've had a lovely time. So if you ever happen to read this, thank you very much PJADAD & Co; it's been a blast.

^ Thanks Johan.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

SweVin 14: Sad Times

Today, I felt a bit shit. I had little time and little ideas.

I swear, these cycle lanes are getting even more ridiculous. It's actually bigger than the bus.
Today, I realised my time was coming to an end. It was my second to last day at PJADAD and I didn't really have all that much to do; but I wished I did. It dawned upon me, sitting there at the table—I like it here. I like Stockholm, and I like Sweden. I like PJADAD and I like playing around with food; I like eating good food and I totally love Fika.

I felt a crippling sadness when I realised that all that I had enveloped my self into, all my temporary surroundings are actually temporary. They will end and they are going to. Tomorrow is my last day, and it's not something I'm going to relish—it's a day closer to normality and a day closer to travel.

Pi squished against the wall.
Please forgive me, you may realise that this post is very emotional, poorly written and all over the place. That's because I've got a raging headache, my eyes are watering from being tired and I just want to sleep. Anyway, above you can see an image of a circuit board, attached to the wall by various amounts of sticky tape. It looks like a Vincent Walden Botch Job, and you'd be right about that; it works but it looks like crap, it is the definition of a VWBJ.

That children, is a terrible acronym and I'll never use it again. Sorry. (not sorry)

I'm not sure what that means, but it looks very slightly, a lot like a swastika. 
Honestly, I had a great day and I'm too tired to remember it all, but I'll likely edit this in morning, but if it's no longer the morning and this is still here. Just know I'm both happy and sad, happy that I had a good day and sad because it's all coming to an end.

From what I can remember, here's a list of what I did today:
  • Fika
  • Raspberry Pi Coding
  • Coffee
  • Record Shopping
  • Poster Design
  • Photography
  • Shopping
  • Pizza

    Good night. Sorry about the spelling mistakes that are likely everywhere.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

SweVin 13: Chutney is life

No, I am not referencing the asian dip; I'm talking about some seriously good Veggie grub.

Today, I was creating more photo scenes for the project I'm working on; I was photographing bananas, melons and a whole wide range of assorted edible items. All of this made me hungry, as it does every day—but today I had a plan. I'd meet Gabriella for some lunch, we would be ladies that lunch; we, collectively myself and Gaby were going to eat some food, and we were going to enjoy it.

I'm not just glancing over the work I did today because it was boring, no in fact I enjoyed it; but I can neither show you it or resist to tell you all about the food I ate for lunch. Oh man, this food was just something else, and it was cheaper than Sports Direct aftershave.

1pm, myself and Gaby meet on the road we glamorously call 'Balls Road' because it's the road near us, that has has three balls on it. Any how, we wandered from there to Chutney—it took merely 10 minutes and it's quite a pleasant walk, through the park, under the trees and in the sun.

Through the unassuming wooden door, under the bright canopy—you walk down the wooden, creaky stairs to vegetable based heaven. Everything around us was either wooden or draped in a material that could only be described as 'university buddism chic', though strangely enough when not attached to the wall behind a bed in Leeds; it actually works.

For a mere 180kr (roughly £15) we filled our bellies to their tip top point. Not only that, I had the chance for seconds, not that I could fit them anywhere. If that wasn't already enough, upon paying we were informed "you can also have anything from that table' – the table in question being filled high with fresh coffee, tea, infused waters and various salad items.

Lovely tea branding – and it's the cheapest in the shop.

If you are about Stockholm, even if you wouldn't class yourself as a veggie; it's well worth a visit. Even if you only have a few pennies left to your name, it's still worth it. For the price we paid, I haven't eaten anything of that quality before, even forgetting the price; it was a bloody good meal.

As I walked back, parting company with Gaby, I had another Swedish Observation. I think this might be observation #8 but it's an important one. Look at how much space is in that bike lane (pictured below); it's as if the government actually cares for it's cyclists, actually cares that they can get about.

The picture below is taken just off the main road, in the city centre. Just after I took this picture, three little boys cycled past, all within the cycle lane rather comfortably. They were no older than 8 and they were not accompanied by any adults, they did not look nervous and they were happily chatting in Swedish as they rolled on by, exclaiming "Hej, Hej" to me as they past.

I can think of roads that a grown man wouldn't cycle on, never mind ones in a city centre, a capital city centre. I personally fear any cycle lane that exists in London, and I would class myself as a highly competent cyclist.
So a big well done Sweden; you are the Jeremy Corbyn of cyclists rights.

Also, notice that the other third of the road is actually taken up by a council run secure bicycle lock. Kudos again Sweden.

Look how much room there is; you could even cycle a bike in that!
After being more excited over children than I really should have been, I got back the studio, which had transformed into an improntu photo studio. With the camera out of my hands, the plan to create photo scenes had to scrapped, so I went for the next best option—Raspberry Pi time!

I didn't achieve all that much this afternoon, but I did manage to mount the operating system, get connect to the network, update all the firmware and bug Nikolass to help me and inform me of all the code he wrote for the PJADAD live streamer; which he was over the moon to talk about because it's his passion, but I'm sure, if left alone he would have been much more productive. Sorry Nikolass, and thank you!

SweVin 12: Dumbfounded

"You are from Carlisle, and you are not a big drinker?"

Look mother, for I have made it. I have crossed the lands and made it to the PJADAD Instagram.
Yesterday, some point in the middle, I left Petter dumbfounded. He could not believe his ears, a young boy coming over here from Carlisle and he is not a strong drinker. He even reinforced that Johan (his right hand man) was a big drinker; and he's never been anywhere near Carlisle.

This was raised when I informed him that I was not going out this evening because I had at least one bottle of beer at home, I did fail to mention it was 8.5% but it still hold the same principle in this mildly unrelated tale. 

I should now explain, this post will be a little topsy turvy. It will not be chronological, it is a whole 12 hours later than the rest and everything I'm writing feels about as effective as going to A&E to fix your marital problems.

Any how, this post is late due to the beer you see below this and the largest bowl of noodle soup I've had in ages. Last night, we had tea quite late (roughly 8pm) which consisted of a bowl larger than America's debt, filled with a cornucopia of noodles and vegetables. Oh and beer; that beer to be precise. It was like being hugged by a big warm Asian noodle rabbit, then silently put to sleep by Swedish fermented morphine.

SweVin Beer Review: Nebuchadnezzar
Name is un-pronouncable, 8.5%, lovely minimal design, put me to sleep.
A strong – 9/10
Before I fell asleep and slacked on my only responsibility of the evening; I had a really rather good day. I spent most of it photographing strange veg, making fruit based genitals and getting offered a really quite interesting brief.

Now I am unaware if anything will ever come of it, but if circumstances are good; myself, Vincent Walden, may have my work on the front of an IKEA catalogue. (might)

All in all, it was both a production and unproductive day, which I rather enjoyed.
I'm now, in the PJADAD Kitchen/Meeting space getting myself started for this day, desperatly trying to grasp all my memories of the previous. Have a good en' y' hear!

Monday, 11 April 2016

SweVin 11: Have a slice of Pi

I gave in, I bought myself a slice. I bought myself a Raspberry Pi—and it's going to be cool.

Have I actually shown you where I'm working; because it's pretty sweet.
Now it's not going to be cool in it's natural sense; it's not a radical flip over a flaming dumpster, but to me, it's pretty darn cool indeed. I've been talking with the guys within the studio for days now, about how they built their 'live streamers' through a Raspberry Pi module, and since bringing it up, I've been dying to make my own.

After a generous offer, I've plunged in purchasing an Pi module, a simple case and camera in which to create my own with the guys through this last week of my internship; and this excites me greatly.Any how, my day today was a little all over the place. I spent all day at the desk, on a computer but felt like I achieved almost nothing. I, in fact, sorted quite a few details for the exhibition I'm working on, sorted my council tax and developed the posters I'm working on.

For the day, I had been set the task to sort out another photo shoot but through what I was working on; I just could not grasp at any good idea to roll with. I planned, I research and I looked over all my ideas—after 14 photoshoots I found it really difficult to turn myself from my ideas to produce something new. I spent most my day, trying to break from this cycle but with no success.

Tomorrow, Petter will be back in the studio, and with any luck he may be able to point me into the right direction; as I didn't want to make any movement without being sure it was even in the correct direction. It's probably not the most creative approach, but it just seemed the correct one for me today.

SweVin Beer Review: Saison D'etre (Season to be)
Strong, Floral and a well rounded Saison Ale. Also have various bugs humping on it's label. Very enjoyable, and eco-friendly – 9/10

After a slightly productive day, I left an hour early in which to catch Kjell & Company before they closed. If you are not from Sweden, or do not care for tech items—Kjell & Company is the shop in which you can purchase any and every gadget, including Raspberry Pi items.

From there, I went to the System Bolaget to also grab myself some Beers, three in fact. Two of which you are seeing right here, one is staying in the fridge for tomorrow. Saving the best until last.

SweVin Beer Review: Hale to Nothing
A nice, small, pale ale. Well done, but nothing all that special. The screw top makes drinking a little strange, due to it's ridges – 7/10
All in all, I've had a good day because I am really enjoying my internship, but it did feel like one of those day where everything you do drives you forward on the scale of progress, but you only move in the smallest baby steps. Tiny step by tiny step.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

SweVin 10: Coffee, Hornstull & Ramen

We are always on the hunt for Ramen, even in Sweden.

I did not want to start my day without Coffee today, or more specifically, without visiting a shop recommended to me, Drop Coffee. It was both expensive and lovely. I had the standard blend, which was anything but standard—it was slightly fruity but also stronger than a mule. Good choice, good start.
Hopefully, reading this right now is Señor Scott. He lived within Stockholm for two years, so he knew a good few spots to recommend to me. Drop Coffee was both my closest and my most desired recommendation of his. It's worth mentioning that a lot of the things I've done or still want to do have come to me through a recommendation from El Señor.  So I'd like to extend a little thank you to him. Thank you Robbie.

Graffiti has a black letter twist in Stockholm, and I totally dig it.
On with the day! So, coffee in hand, we wandered down to Hornstull to have a browse on their waterfront market. It's only really a short trip from where we are staying, so it wasn't a bother walking over there at all. Along the waterfront is a large mixture of things to purchase; street food, antiques and some slippers that an elderly man is desperately trying to flog. It's a beautifully strange mixture of utter crap and interesting oddities.

Like a horse, we stop for two things; Food and Poop. This time, we had stopped for food. Grilled Halloumi burgers, in fact. They were goooooooooooooooood! Food eaten, we wandered in search for Ice Cream, or as the Swede's call it Glass. We hadn't been searching for all that long when we stumbled upon a small, stone ridden park. It was built around the large limestone (I think it was limestone) deposits that reside within the space of the park; so we climbed a small hill and plonked ourselves down on the floor.
It's worth mentioning that today; it was lovely, lovely weather. So; in the sun, on some rocks there was Me, Gabriella, Our Coats and the surrounding spiders and bugs—it was horrendously pleasant.

Who just abandons crutches? How did they walk away from this?
We eventually got too warm and remembered we were in fact on the hunt for Glass. We were dyeing for the idea of some cool, cold, lovely ice cream. But we managed to get sidetracked again; this time it was Beyond Retro. We looked through isles and isles of denim jackets, bought sunglasses and a hat; then once again realised we wanted Ice Cream.

Eventually, you'll be happy to know we actually got Ice Cream. It was good ice cream, and we even to got chat to some lovely elderly lady in the line. She had terribly broken English, and we really can't construct a sentence of Swedish, but she was happy to chat the whole while anyway. You'll never see this, but it was lovely meeting you; friendly lady from the Glass shop.

ANNNNNNYWAY. We got home, Melanie (our host) booked us a table at a ramen house, we grabbed our stuff and had possibly the best Ramen I've had for a long time. It was totally vegi too!
I am now full on beer, Ramen broth and junk food. What a great way to end a Sunday; which is still the best day of the week for me.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

SweVin 9: Russia, Branding & Fails

When the gallery actively bans selfie-sticks: you know you know you are in the right place.
As you may or may not know, I am a sucker for an art gallery; I may often avidly dislike contemporary art but that doesn't stop me liking them. Today we visited Moderna Museet, a gallery & museum that fills roughly 80% of the island that contain it. The name translates to Modern Museum or Museum of the Modern, so of course it contained a good amount of modern art.

Here's my problem, I do not dislike any art just because of when or where it was created, but I have a problem if your art is a drawing of a dick coming out of a woman's eye, in an illustration style that could only be described as halfway between 'I didn't learn how to illustrate & I drew it with my feet for a greater connection'. That, by definition is boring, contemporary, shite.

But wait Vincent, if you truly liked art you'd know it's all about expression, concept and it's meaning. Yeah that's great, but a bag that inflates in random intervals connected to a CRT monitor playing some kind of abstract feedback pattern, tells me nothing more than you're art was noticed from your notoriety rather than any actual talent.

Who knew Franz Ferdinand were famous Russian Photographers, eh?
Any how, the gallery was only filled with about 20% of this 'modern shite' and the rest was a great mix of well curated art; ranging from a large collection of Russian Constructivism to an impressive room full of Matisse pieces. 

With it being completely free, I think British galleries could learn a lot from Moderna Museet; it was well curated, available in 3 different languages and had a gift shop that was actually worth buying items from. But most importantly, it had really, really strong branding.

I know Tate has a great branding system, but it is the exception. Moderna operates a branding system that reflects it's space fantastically. It's lead and heading font is both highly adaptable and really quite beautiful. The branding lent it's hand both from colourful, type lead advertising to slotting directly into a displaying exhibition—both with ease.

Going directly to the posters. How predictable, how fantastic.
I won't keep on about the branding too much, because other than going looking at type, I actually spent a day doing things today. We went to Djurgården in hopes of attending a student exhibition at Lilyvalchs gallery, which wasn't open. We then went to the Aquarium, which was both small and lovely; though we fired though it in less than an hour; we still had a fantastic lunch there.

From there we caught a ferry, over to the island that hosts Moderna Museet. Moderna hosts (quite lucky for me) a great collection of Russian art, which hosts dreams of a Communist utopia.

I got side tracked there—after our lovely visit we had little plans and little ideas fro what we'd do next. We wondered for a little while, casually arguing with each other in the middle of a Viking Market that we had fumbled into. Actually, there is little that is stranger than arguing in front of a man dressed in full viking gear, smithing metal craft items, in the centre of Stockholm's most central parks.

Fantastic branding example #1
Quarrel over, we had decided to drop the argument and go on the hunt for a craft shop Gaby had found the other day. But with quite a bit of hopeless searching, we either went to the wrong place, or it closed before we could even figure out where we were supposed to be.

We then did the average grown up things; food shopping, walking and eating.
The fun really ended when we stopped doing actual fun, not everyday things; so I won't let you into any more. We're of to Hornstull tomorrow, which went really well last weekend, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Fantastic branding example #2

Free entry signs, are the best kind of signs. Especially when they have nice colour palettes.

Friday, 8 April 2016

SweVin 8: Things can only get Petter

Action station; Friday edition.
It's not like things need to get better, they are going brilliantly well. I've found myself slowly relaxing and fitting into the strange Swedish office that is PJADAD. I don't have a clue what's going on or what's being said, but there is a strange gut feeling when you realise that it starts to make sense, starts to feel right. There is something that buzzes around this strange studio, and slowly, I'm starting the catch onto it.

Today, whilst I was organising people to sit upon a banana, I heard a few cheers and a loud voice exclaiming "Wincent!". Stood above me, was a man in a long coat, with mad hair and moderately strong English; it was Petter. He had returned from his trip over in America, and was back in the studio game to help art direct a photoshoot.

The poor man was both present and not present at all. He looked like he had slept for about -3 hours, and was here to run the gauntlet, with all legs crippled though a smile still on his face. He ran around, receiving hugs and shaking hands whilst downing more coffee than any Swede would really want admit to.

Today, I made roughly four compositions and I am really rather proud of them. I was breaking eggs, cutting avocados and throwing around random bits of fruits. Whilst cutting away at a bit of cucumber, I noticed something. Without Petter, the studio is chilled, quiet and busy; with Petter it is all that but definitely not quiet.

SweVin Beer Review: Leaky Bucket.
Best of the supermarket ale so far, good hops & cool bottle. 8/10
After a bit of work, I spoke to Petter and explained I was hoping to visit Moderna Museet this evening; so he let me leave a little early, the babe that he is.

So when I got home, we grabbed some pizza and headed off out. Whilst out we did more walking than my feet would ever admit to, but more importantly before that I got some crazy ass pizza.
I had a 'Tropicana' pizza, which is a pizza topped with Banana, Pineapple and Curry—sounds horrendously weird, tastes beautifully strange.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

SweVin 7: Window Display

I spent all day in window, though nobody asked to buy me.

My window front workspace for the day.
Yesterday I was being a little moody, a little lonely and a little sad; today it was all different. I did not lock myself away in the meeting room—I was sat on the kitchen floor, in front of the window, making the floor my work station. I was in a hub of activity, be it Swedish activity.

On the floor, cross legged in front of a range of coloured papers, vegetables and fruits. All day I could here endless Swedish conversation, floating over the top of the music being played from a near by bluetooth speaker. It was a strange thing to here because in the mixture of jazz and indie music, I would often hear a song or word that I may recognise, jarring the whole numbing effect of hearing a noise that I can recognise but not understand; the Swedish language.

In the kitchen with me were the two devishly clever fellows who have been doing interesting coding things all week, and as they work on these together, of course they talk and share ideas. As they talk, they talk in Swedish but all coding language is written in English, so every now and then I would here 'Centre Left' or 'Javascript' swim it's was through the 'oo's and 'eih's of the Swedish tongue.

Today, I really enjoyed myself. As you can see from above, I spent all day playing with food (sorry mum) and it was fantastic fun. Above is an image from one of the compositions I made today, of which I made four separate ones; five if you count the one that was a bit crap.

As I left the studio today, it was tipping it down; but with heavy rain, peaking sunlight and Hawaiian funk and soul in my ears, it was a strange and fantastic.

As I spent more time here, I realise how much I like what I'm doing. I may possibly just be what I've been assigned that is fun, but the fact I have the chance to have the freedom and creativity I'm having in this internship shows a great sign of trust and creativity. I'm in a city, that in my mind operates better design and  structure than London without the shithead-ness that comes with having to try and exist in said city.

I have no beer to review for you this evening, but as an observation—Vincent's Swedish Observation #1 is that everyone in this city has time for you. I am english and can only speak stupidly simple Swedish, but the second someone realises this, they bring out their English and help this little curly haired tourist as much as they possibly can do.

A second point to this is that when me and Gabriella visited a museum yesterday, I was asked whether I was waiting for an interview because I accidentally sat in the wrong seat. I was asked whether I was a refugee, as they were offering a service for refugees that have escaped to Sweden to be paired with a local citizen, so that they needed feel lonely or alone in their new country.
We offer safety for refugees in Britain but here in Sweden, they offer humanity. And that is important.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

SweVin 6: Chilled

Just chilling.
Today was chilled but today was lonely, Today was long but today was fun.

Today I was carrying on with my photography, and posing little architectural figures; and as always it was really rather fun. This time with plants, cast iron pans and marble.

It wasn't raining this morning, though it was a little dull. I wandered to work, unpacked my things and got right down to it. The studio was full, but totally empty. The studio had very few people in it today, making it empty but it was full of bits and bobs. There had been a delivery of plastic lighting cubes and enough computer components to send a nerd into overload.

The two guys that had sorted the live streaming devices were now working on something new. Around them is a sea of cables, about 8 motherboards and a series of plants; I'm not sure if you are allowed to know what is actually being developed, so I'm going to tell you anything more than it'll be really bloody cool.

I spent the day feeling a dab lonely because everyone was going in and out of the studio all day and I had partly locked myself away to photograph the little scenes I had been creating. It's nobodies fault that I felt lonely, if anything it's my fault.

After finishing up feeling sorry for myself, I left a little early. Gaby met me just down the road, and we headed out to visit a museum. I cannot remember where we went but it was free, and full of beautiful historical design—this ranges from the Egyptians to the Greek but photographed above is some beautiful ceramics from Egypt.

Those guys knew how to make nice patterns and minimalism way before these modern design trends.

SweVin Beer Review: Mikkel - 2.3% American Hop Pale Ale.
Flavours were nice though a little weak, design is pretty cool. 6/10

Through this week I'm really starting to find myself warming towards the ideals of Sweden, even if the weather is never warm. One thing I've noticed is that supermarkets only allow the sale of alcohol below 3.5%, and there isn't that much choice available.

I love beer, and love having the option of trying as many beers as possible but the idea of the supermarkets not being allowed to fuel alcoholism, is something that I am really finding myself enjoying; even if my hobby of beer tasting is hugely hindered by this.

Another thing that is right up my alley is that there is a huge popularity for the printed poster. Everywhere you go, you can see A2, well designed, fly posted posters. I assume that people will hate them in the most general sense but for me, it's brilliant! Also, I'm nicking them for friends back home.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

SweVin 5: Abusing my power

I bought 8 cinnamon buns this morning, and it was totally worth it.

Strolling to work, in the cold and the rain—Sweden suddenly felt a lot like Carlisle. It wasn't warm, it was damp and nobody around me looked nearly as happy as they did when the sun was shining, so it felt just like home. I love home, but I didn't want it to feel like home; so I went into the local Hemkop and bought about 8 Cinnamon buns for the studio, mostly because I wanted one for myself but also because I wanted to integrate into the Swedish way of being; and an improvised Fika was the best way.

After reaching the studio, a quick cup of coffee, a bun and a little chat; I noticed something. Above me was a contraption, a contraption that was live streaming my every move. It looked like a mixture between a wooden phone case and an angle poise lamp; it had a blue flashing light and a green interior. It was a Raspberry Pi with a mounted camera module, and boy was I excited to learn that!

Abusing my power #1 Talking smack indirectly.
I jumped out of my seat asking around who did it, and how they did it. My luck happened to plonk the two people who made the device just at the other end of the table; I reckon my cinnamon buns did me good, because they even offered me their source code, being the babes that they are. Thanks guys!

If you haven't noticed by now, those images are of me, writing stupid messages to my friends and broadcasting them all over the internet just to force the point across that 'I am the asshole of this friendship group'. But also, Isaac is bad at Smash. Yeah, you heard me. Yes, you Isaac.

Abusing my power #2 Sending messages to the world
Anyhow, it's looking like I may just get myself a RP module, but before I run off to get myself entangled in fancy exciting tech things, I first had to get myself lost in Stockholm. With the Art Director's card in hand, I was off on an adventure to find a hobby shop to purchase papers, figures and allsorts of other crap; and just like always, I walked the wrong darn way.

I eventually got somewhere, somehwere being the right place. I wandered around that shop for a good while, trying my hardest to figure out what I actually needed and what I wanted to do.
After plucking up the courage to actually purchase what I needed, I made my way back and began a photoshoot of sorts.

I'm not even sure what I was trying to make, or what I am trying to make but it's a heck of a lot of fun. I won't show you anything I actually used but I can show you a little image of what was going on. I have broccoli, cauliflower, wooden spheres and drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. Oooooo baby. drugs. 

Monday, 4 April 2016

SweVin 4: First of the first

Wine, Wine, BLOOD, Wine
If it's about the design, I won't go on too much about the day; but I will go on a little. But because it's me.

As I got into the studio, I managed to achieve the first 'Vincent Walden Botch Job' of the internship. I got to the studio 5 minutes early, said Hej to everyone and had a studio tour; which is where the problem arised. I noticed everyone had their own computers, but there wasn't one spare and I didn't have a computer. BOTCH JOB AHOY!

I got straight onto the phone to Gaby. "Gaby, I need your MacBook" Of course she was fine with this because she's far smarter than me and kind of knew this was coming; so she got it all packed and ready for my re-arrive in ten minutes. I got back to PJADAD within a couple of minutes, and from their I was brief on what my first task would be.

I was briefed that PJADAD is actually said as 'peh-jhar-dad' and that I was to start creating posters. Did you read that correctly? POSTERS. My lord and my saviour, posters. Oh those lovely people.
Everyone in the studio is lovely and everyone speaks english better than most of the north. I think I was a bit of a pest, asking too many questions whilst everyone is far too busy but it was still a very enjoyable day.

I consumed so much Coffee in the name of Fika, but realistically it's because they had a slow brew coffee system that was semi-automated and ran about 4 times per day.

Also, I did a very strange photo shoot, which is still continuing—but I can't tell you about that.

Oooooooo dirty banana shot, or not so dirty in fact.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

SweVin 3: Sunday Funday

Lloyds in England is boring, Lloyds in Sweden is beautiful.

Today is Sunday, the last day before the first day. I start my internship tomorrow but that's a sleep away, so I thought I'd make the most of today.

We had out breakfest, we grabbed our stuff and we grabbed the tube. We were heading over to Hornstull today, to visit the waterside market. Accordingly we've arrived at the right time, as the market has just re-open for spring time. The market felt a little like that of the ones in Camden, though on a much smaller scale; there was a massive amount of street food up for grabs and it was busier than a Primark sale in the north.

After scouring some records, fiddling with some old metal tat and looking at the weird purchasables of Stockholm. As I've found out, the market for second hand goods in Sweden is massive, so for most people this was the best place to get some great discount shoes. 

I didn't buy anything but I could smell food. So, under Gaby's recommendation we looked for the food stall with the longest cue, because when it comes to food—the locals ALWAYS know best. We stood for around 15 minutes, being bombarded with smoke clouds of sweet smells waiting for our Falafel wraps. Oh boy, they were FAAAAAAAANTASTIC!

After a quick sit down, we decided to get ourselves lost. We headed into the local park, pondered around until we were surrounded by this cute plots of land. They were a cross between a cottage, a chalet and an allotment; they were bizarre and in such high quantity. It was lovely!

Fika Fika Fika
We eventually found our way, and ended up on a main high street leading back to our accommodation; but on the way, we found a little shop that we'd never seen before but felt strangely familiar. We bumbled into the little shop which was filled to the ceiling with titter tatter and items laden in dust. It was a tiny little shop, filled with woolen jackets, tin pans and more ornaments than a pagen's fireplace—miles from England but it felt like home. It reminded me of Mr. David McGovern, it felt like we'd fallen right back into Strawberry Fields, Strawberry Fields Forever.

For those of you not in the know, Strawberry Fields was Carlisle's best and worst vintage shop and I loved it dearly. In this little shop, we fished around until we came across two little Dalahast figurines. As seen in the image above, the Dalahast is a small wooden, hand painted figure that is in the shape of a horse and a traditional Swedish gift. We got two vintage figures, at a steal! So we celebrated with Fika (of course)

That is that, the day is over and I'm dead excited for tomorrow.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

SweVin 2: 22nd day of Birth


We woke up this morning on Gabriella's 22nd birthday, so of course we had to do something cool! So today we went to a Moomin museum, looked at tonnes of nude photographs and eat so much vegetarian food that we could possibly be rabbits.

We started the day with a long breakfast with Melanie and her lovely little son Jasper, then packed our bags and headed for Photografiska, Stockholm's contemporary photography museum. Entry was about £10 each after a good ten minute wait, and it was totally worth it.
The photography was fantastic and extremely varied, but that wasn't even the best bit—it's branding and typography was brilliant; I've been noticing tonnes of great design but this was in a league of it's own.

Firstly, look at that beautiful specimen! Also, Gaby is pretty hot too. 
I am so happy to see branding for something photography based that isn't a camera or a straight-forward aperture symbol. The monogram is both a logo and a logotype and they adapt it really, really well. The outside of the monogram is made of 'F's (if you hadn't noticed) and they split those apart to suit any given space that it needs to work within; and look at that matching serif typeface. Ooooooooooooo baby!

The branding was strong, but the type was incredible. The in-house typography was a straight forward simple serif, and each exhibition space had it's own typeface and type styling. The above images are for the exhibition hall for an artist that worked heavily with digital manipulation and forced perspective, so of course the type matches that. An excellent piece of design, for an excellent museum.

After Fotografiska, went skedaddled off to Herman's Vegetarian Buffet to eat more curry and lasagne than out stomachs should ever really handle, but it was goooooooood. With stomachs full enough to roll to the next destination, we headed toward Junibacken, a museum about Tove Jansson and Moomins; so of course it was pretty cool.

If looking at her early sketches and characters wasn't enough, we then ended up crawling around children's play areas, designed to look like those depicted in her stories and going on some crazy hydraulic gondola tour, going through one of the most impressive model tours I've ever seen.
This place was a wonderland for children, and being a fully grown adult; I felt a little too tall for the first time in my life, but this didn't change a thing on my enjoyment scale.

From then on we wandered forever, rode a tram and had a little Fika.
Now, we are in the kitchen drinking alcohol and Lemsip because I've been a sniveling mess all day, talking with Melanie and trying to decompress from Gaby's action packed birthday.

Also, here is some hair that was just on the floor.

Friday, 1 April 2016

SweVin 1: First days, Worst days

Getting to Sweden doesn't actually take that long, getting out of the airport does.

Thursday 31st, we catch a train to London at 6pm. The train takes three and a half hours, of which I managed to consume roughly three different podcasts, two sandwiches, a banana and a large proportion of my Thursday.

After we arrived at Euston (roughly 9:30pm) I dash to and from the toilet, until we caught the northern line to London Bridge, making us slightly late in the process. Arriving at London Bridge we dash around to the overground platform and literally ran on command to make our Gatwick connecting train.

Now, roughly 11pm, we arrive at Gatwick. We have no energy, little hope and an 8 hour wait for our flight. Costa! Ahoy! We needed tea.

Gaby needs tea.

Two cuppas and a couple of biscuits later, we're feeling a little better. After about an hour of sitting still, being sniffed by a sniffer dog and casual saying 'good evening' to an officer carrying a full automatic rifle, we wandered around a bit and gave in. We paid £80 for a hotel room and about 4 hours of sleep; hugely expensive, though a great idea.

From now waking up at about 4am, going through security and watching Gaby buy a new bag before half the world was awake; I was ready for our flight. Honestly, the flight was the easiest bit of the whole journey. I got on the plane, I almost fell asleep on the plane and I got off the plane—very easy and rather nice. But most importantly, in my tired state I made a discovery.

Upon a recent recommendation from Andy Bartlett at The Brickyard, I loaded my phone up with Young Team by Mogwai. The album lasted for almost the full flight and was fantastic, it was like some kind of deep sleep, mixed with ambient trips and a fever dream. It was brilliantly strange.

Fancy train, fancy Swedish man, fancy view.

After leaving the plane, we did little but buy a ticket for the ArlandaExpress, leading us to the centre of Stockholm. Here we met our lovely AirBNB host Melanie, who gave us a quick run down of transport, food and everything else. As a side note, if you are thinking of visiting Stockholm, I highly recommend Melanie's listing and it's only been a single day.

Now, it's the late evening, I've explore the whole local area, eaten a load of pizza and fallen asleep many times. Now I will be falling asleep for the final time on this Friday, but that's alright! It's little Gaby's birthday tomorrow, all the way over here in the magical land of Sweden and we're likely to eat lots of crap and do many Moomin related things. Awwwwwwwwww yeah!

Copyright © Vincent Walden Sucks