Thursday, March 03, 2011

Ashley Percival:
Fine Art Illustrator

The universal art scene is kindly welcoming England's very own wildlife inspired artist, Ashley Percival. This recent Falmouth University grad is making her impression on the world by drawing what inspires her most; wildlife forest creatures! At the young age of 22, it's easy to empathize with Ms. Percival's admiration for colour and detail because her work is so unique, and original. You will soon be able to see Percival's work in an upcoming publication of a limited edition art book based upon a collective group of artist from California all the way to New York. She is also nominated for the, I HEART DESIGN Award for best illustrator. (See how to vote below) Here at The Barvar Dear, we had the incredible pleasure of interviewing Ms. Percival, and here is what she had to say:

Barvar Dear: Where do you get the inspiration for the cute little creatures you create?

Ashley: I have always had a passion for drawing since I was small. I get most of my inspiration from wildlife and nature and some of it from my imagination. I normally get inspiration at random times, so I try to write my ideas down, I’m always thinking of new ideas.

Barvar Dear: I’ve noticed in your work that you use quite a bit of detail; how long does it usually take you to complete a picture?

Ashley: I like to use a lot of colour, texture and detail in my illustrations. My work varies a lot in the amount of time it takes to complete a piece. Some of my illustrations with more detail can take about a day to complete, others can take a few hours.

Barvar Dear: When creating a little masterpiece, do you listen to any kind of music? If so, what would we expect to hear?

Ashley: I don’t always listen to music when drawing, but when I do I like it to be relaxing, recently I have been listen to an Icelandic band called Sigur Ros. Listening to this band really helps me relax and come up with ideas.

Barvar Dear: You have a very unique drawing style; who are some of your favourite artists?

Ashley: I love many different types of art, I recently visited a gallery in London and saw some of Van Gogh’s work and was just amazed by the colours.

I also love the work of Dali and Paul Klee, I really like artists that show the beauty of nature in their work and I like quite surreal art, colour is also very important to me.

Barvar Dear: How do you see yourself as an artist?

Ashley: I see myself as an illustrator and also a fine artist that takes a creative and surreal approach to illustrating wildlife. I think my style and subject matter has a broad audience. In my work I try to show the beauty of nature in a fun and unique way.

Barvar dear: What do you do in your spare time when you aren’t drawing little animals?

Ashley: In my spare time I go on lots of adventures around Cornwall with my camera photographing the landscape and wildlife, this is where I get most of my inspiration. Being interested in wildlife and nature I really want to travel the world to see the different species that will inspire me for my artwork.

Barvar Dear: Where do you see yourself as an artist in the future? Do you think you will still be drawing little animals?

Ashley: In the future I hope to be a successful illustrator who inspires people, I would love to see my work in galleries, books, and on clothing.

To shop & Purchase:


To vote for Ashley Percival:

-The Barvar Dear.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Indie Artist, and Illustrator

New indie artist, Stacie Bloomfield, has made it in under the radar! Her shoppe, Gingiber was featured on Etsy as an up and coming artist, and from that she received some much deserved attention. A week after her Etsy debut, she had the opportunity to work with Decor8. Which later on led to an article in the lovely magazine, La Petite. Although she has received some great acknowledgment, her blog is her core advocacy. I had the opportunity to interview Mrs. Bloomfield, and here is what she had to say:

The Barvar Dear: I love your profound yet romantic art, when did you first start creating things like this?

Stacie Bloomfield: My whole life I have been drawing in a classical style. Pencil and ink. Portraits. very Photo-like. My degree is in design and fine arts. It was not until I became a mother that I ventured into this "illustrative style". I have broken all of my previous classical rules of drawing. Now all I do is doodle fun and whimsical illustrations, and I have never been happier.

The Barvar Dear: You've shared with me that you're a wife, and mother. Where do you find time to conjure up your art pieces?

Stacie Bloomfied: I generally do most of my work once I get home from my day job. When my daughter was younger, It was so easy to be productive, as she would go to bed at 7 and I would have the rest of the night to create. Now I find that the weekends are my best friend. My husband is my greatest support, often sacrificing his much needed study time (he is a mathematician!) so that I can be productive. He is a nice fellow.

The Barvar Dear: Where do you find the inspiration to/when you're creating?

Stacie Bloomfield: My greatest inspiration comes when I am relaxed and simply drawing for the sake of drawing. I find that when I set down to draw something specific, the magic is not there. Some of my greatest inspiration comes during conversations with friends, because I tend to mindlessly doodle while talking. I tend to like those drawings the best!

The Barvar Dear:
I must tell you, I am very intrigued by your work. What feedback do you hear the most about your work?

Stacie Bloomfield: I generally get feedback that my art is just fun and quirky. Which it is! I haven't been compared to anyone else yet, which is also nice!

The Barvar Dear: How do you see yourself as an artist?

Stacie Bloomfield: This is a challenging question, as I have struggled over the past year with identifying myself as an artist. As I previously mentioned, I used to only draw in a classical style, very rigid with lots of control. The style that I am currently utilizing requires that I be relaxed and simply explore the world in a different manner. Much more imaginative and free. So, how do I see myself? I am a woman and an artist who strives to be as light-hearted and happy as my artwork projects. I am constantly trying to improve, to reach a larger audience. I would like to think that I fit in nicely with the current "handmade" and "indie" movement (really what does that mean anyways?). I really love what I do and want to share it with others.

If you're interested in viewing, buying, and Etc: (click on links below)

Gingiber Blog
Facebook Fanpage
ShopGinigber on Etsy

Friday, September 17, 2010

(Need ideas for movie night? Well, here are a few to get you started.)

The Royal Tenenbaums.
Directed by: Wes Anderson

This movie was released in 2001, and has a lot to offer. It's odd nature challenges art in this motion, and the characters swoop in to complete the twisted story line. If I were an octopus, I would give this film 8 tentacles up for a Friday night movie!

Harold and Maude.
Directed by: Hal Ashby

This movie was released in 1971, and showcases a May-December love affair. This films art tecnique is a lovely shade of technicolor! This is a strange but MUST see love story.

E. Alger

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Silk Screen Artist

A few days ago I was browsing through Etsy, and I came across the shoppe of, Ben Kafton. I was so impressed with his work, that I couldn't go without contacting him. I asked Ben for an interview, and he delightfully agreed. This is what Mr. Kafton had to say:

The Barvar dear: Where are you from?

Ben Kafton: I live in a rural town of 15,000 people in Northern Utah, roughly 5 minutes away from the base of the Rocky Mountains. Incredible scenery and the rustic feel of a mountain town.

The Barvar Dear: When did you start creating art?

Ben Kafton: My first drawing I did I was probably 1 - 3 years old, built very large cardboard houses when I was 6 -7 years old. I started taking art seriously though when I was 17 years old in high school. I began drawing all these musicians that I liked and learned to screen print the same year, and printed up several t-shirts with my drawings on them.

The Barvar Dear: Where do you get/find the inspiration for your creations?

Ben Kafton: Everywhere from books, films, music, walking, cycling to just putting out a piece of paper and drawing whatever comes to mind.

The Barvar Dear: Do you listen to music while creating? If so, what?

Ben Kafton: I mostly listen to a local non-profit community radio station ( that plays boat loads of creative, different music. Probably defined as the college radio-esque music, world music (from africa to jamaica), indie music, etc.

I recently listened to an interview of sorts with Jim Jarmusch, a creative and somewhat odd filmmaker, he said that he limits what he listens to while writing plots for his films because when he is listening to music it helps inspire his writing, so he is very careful about what he listens to.

I really enjoyed the interview and the idea about what you listen to can have an effect on what you create. Moving forward I am going to try out his idea of only listening to a certain genre of music that has the same feel that I want in my artwork.

The Barvar Dear: Who are your biggest influences?

Ben Kafton: I love the work of Saul Bass, Henri Matisse and even Picasso with his vast different styles of works. I found a book about the 1960‘s Avant Garde art movements in the Nordic countries that had a lot of interesting ideas, artwork, and photographs that have helped me see a different view of the world in a really unique way.

The Barvar Dear: How would you define yourself as an artist?

Ben Kafton:I define myself as an artist as someone who definitely sees the world differently. Choosing willingly to push the limits of my own drawing skills thru massive amounts of ambition to create something that will have an impact on someone. To inspire others to knowingly tap into the large amounts of creative genius that each of us has.

The Barvar Dear: What makes your art different from others?

Ben Kafton: I deliberately try not to be tied down too much to a particular style and in so doing that, I have more free range of the different types of illustration work I produce.

Ben also shared with me that he has recently sold many of his prints at the San Francisco Renegade Craft Fair in California where he had an incredible experience.

To view, buy, or contact Ben Kafton, Click Here!

By: E. Alger

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Daydream Club
"Over grown"

I was recently introduced to the rad indie band, The Daydream Club. I must tell you, I like what I hear. This nice indie band sails in from the UK, and they are a harmonizing seaside melody duo. I had an opportunity to interview them, and here is what they had to say:

The Barvar Dear: Who's in the band?

The Daydream Club: Adam Pickering, and Paula Walker. (Instr. from vocals, piano, guitars, )

The Barvar Dear: Where are you guys from?

The Daydream Club: Paula: I consider myself a Northern girl though I haven't got a broad accent because I lived abroad and travelled quite a bit when I was younger. My family finally settled in a small seaside town called Redcar. Adam: I'm a Midlands lad from Leicestershire constantly striving to get to the beach at every chance.

The Barvar Dear: When was The Daydream Club created?

The Daydream Club: The It was about a year ago...we actually set out to be an electro/pop duo but something happened along the way, and our debut album ended up being an intimate, stripped-back, acoustic affair.

The Barvar Dear: Where did you get the name for the band?

The Daydream Club: Names are spend endless hours traipsing through dictionaries, flicking through magazines with your eyes closed and pointing to a page or making anagrams out of your combined names, all to try and find that perfect blend of random words which eventually just become a sound anyway. Sadly there is no profound meaning behind our name, it just seemed to fit our personalities and the music we create. We figured there's probably plenty more people out there just like us dreaming about someone knocking on your door and saying "Here's a penthouse apartment free of charge and the Barclaycard Mercury Prize for your album "Overgrown"....all you have to do is take this cake and eat it!"

The Barvar Dear: Where do you find/get the inspiration for your musical ideas?

The Daydream Club: It sounds limp but everyday life is inspiration, especially with all the social and economic changes we're facing at the minute. Musical instruments themselves are a huge influence, all it takes is a hint of a riff and then we're away!

The Barvar Dear: Who are your biggest influences? (Musical/written)

The Daydream Club: Our influences change within the space of an this point in time...Steve Reich, Fleetwood Mac, Bon Iver, Yann Tiersen, Rachmaninov, Miike Snow, Underworld, Herbert, Brian know what, this is an impossible task...moving on!

The Barvar Dear: How would you describe your sound?

The Daydream Club: Honest music in its simplest form.

The Barvar Dear: What makes your bands sound different from others?

The Daydream Club: We like to think that our songwriting choices might differ from others, maybe not every band would write a song purely around a melodica or would twock a dramatic classical piano instrumental in a song essentially as its chorus.

The Barvar Dear: Do you have any tour plans/ info?

The Daydream Club: At the minute we don't have enough dates in a row to qualify as a tour but we're always getting gigs in, scattered across the UK.

The Barvar Dear: Where to buy your music online?

The Daydream Club: Our debut album "Overgrown" will be released in November this year and will be available to buy digitally worldwide via most popular download stores including itunes, and Spotify. The physical CD will be available to buy exclusively from our Myspace ( or at gigs.

Here is a little sample from their upcoming album, "Overgrown".

Also, remember to check them out on facebook!

-- E. Alger

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Barvar Dear Blog Project:

Hello, and welcome to The Barvar Dear Blog! We consist of a professional writer, and a (wanna be) indie filmmaker. We've rammed our heads together, and have ultimately decided to assemble this here blog! We've reserved this space to share some rad indie stuff with you! This is how it works; each day is designated for a specific topic. Topics include music, film, art, and much more! Stay tuned for tomorrows post because, we've got a great indie band coming your way!

The Barvar Dear P