Tash Willcocks’ artwork is peppered across Manchester transforming spaces such as Tech Hub and The Juice Academy. When she isn’t creating her own artwork, she is teaching as the Graphic Design programme leader at The University of Salford.
Tash recently posted the pictures featured in this blog onto Instagram, they are drawn directly onto the pages of Red Magazine, check out her hashtag #Mundaneaday for a daily dose of doodles.
I interviewed Tash to find out more.
What tips would you give to new artists just starting out in their career?
There’s so much advice out there, it’s easy to get lost. Social media has really opened up the opportunities available, you can find yourself talking to your design idols on Twitter, but it can quickly turn from a happy design pond into an ocean of information. I think this is where some people can drown (don’t worry I’ll leave that metaphor there haha).
Basically, talk to people. In Manchester the design community is amazing and there are plenty of great places to hang out, have a tipple and a talk to other artists.
I was once told to ‘make friends not contacts’, sage advice. Another piece of good advice is an Anthony Burrill quote: ‘work hard and be nice to people’.
Which piece of your artwork are you most proud of?
Elbow debut album cover, Asleep In The Back (above).
So, although I wouldn’t say it’s the best (it’s now over ten years old) it’s still one of my favourites.
The building is long gone now. At the time I was very interested in what went on behind closed doors. It felt like that was what Elbow was hinting at in the album.
The photo is hand developed and printed/tinted, I don’t think you can ever quite replicate that feel. The logo was a handmade print as well that almost killed me when it needed to be enlarged.
The main reason that I love this piece is because the Elbow boys and V2 took a chance on me. I had to pitch against others but mine got chosen in the end. Along with Micah who did the inners with me, we beavered away after our late night jobs and sent zip discs nervously to-and-fro. The day I first saw the entire window plastered with my artwork my mind almost popped!
So there you are, I think this may always be my favourite design.
I love following your #mundaneaday posts on Instagram, what is your favourite account to follow?
Oh, so hard! I LOVE Instagram, can I have a couple?
- MrsEaves101: amazing lettering from Australia, also best pseudonym ever
- Laylasailor: fantastic stylist, hoping to hook up on project soon
- BIJDVLEET: just ace hand lettering
- Staygoldmaryrose: a friend who moved away, AMAZING jewellery and general taste
- Luanna90: just an Instagram crush… ace hair
My favourite Instagram hashtag is #TYPEBRUT, it was started by ex Salford Uni student @lemike76 and it’s going global. It’s addictive, like the typographic version of Pringles, once you pop…
Where do you go/what do you do when you have artist’s block?
I’m incredibly lucky to teach, I have 300 creative brains to bounce off every day at Salford Uni. I’m also a ‘doer’. I do a #Mundanaday everyday and I believe in research through practice.
I’m permanently grazing images and looking around me, but there’s nothing better than just DOING to actually get the creative blood flowing, or go for a walk, look around you, dance with your cat and just loosen up.
My fear is the internet is the first stop for most people and you just get bombarded with images/generic design. Don’t get me wrong there’s some incredible work out there but it becomes all consuming and I fear that you can get trapped looking and not doing (and just because it’s out there doesn’t mean it’s all good)…
Just dance like no one’s looking, be aware of everything around you visually/physically/aurally, live a bit and learn to love your mistakes. You need to make them to make you better…
You might also enjoy Owl Cats and Morrissey Dolls Interview with Liz Kenny Creator of Bettie’s Pets