Music, Travel

Grumpy’s

Just as I was thinking to go and pick up my bag from the hotel then head back to the airport, I walked past a small bar and the crisp sound of jazz trumpet filled my ears. Peering through the grimy glass, I realised that it was a live performance of My Favourite Things and couldn’t resist a look inside. On this damp Saturday afternoon, the bar was half full, with people of all ages soaking up a live session from what I think must have been the regular session band, Virus Quintet.

I can’t tell you how much I wanted to stay and listen for the rest of the night but London was calling, and I had to leave Melbourne. These are my last few pictures from Australia, I can’t wait to go back. Scroll down through the pictures and listen to ‘The Mooche’, it should give you an idea of why it was so hard to leave Grumpy’s that afternoon.

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Art / Design, Travel

Melbourne Street Canvas

There are endless endless websites, tumblr pages and blogs these days to get your ‘design inspiration’ but nothing can beat travel to refresh, recharge and to spark creative ideas when working on new design projects. I have held back sharing these particular photographs until now because this is the set that feels like it might be the starting point for the work we’ll start shortly for our new client in Australia.

You may look at these and just see battered cars and vandalised walls; so do I. But I also see a rich warm colour palette; colours I never thought of combining before. I see a variety and balance of textures and materials, I see geometry and pattern, Australian humour, I can see the beginnings of something unique. These images are the seeds that will hopefully grow into a plant that I never knew existed. When I look at these, I can’t wait to make the first mark on that blank canvas…

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Art / Design, Travel

Assumption

Before we arrived in Australia, we asked one of our contacts: where should we eat, where are the cool / quirky and interesting shops, where can we see a little street art? The normal questions. I must admit that because of the volume and quality of street art to be found in London, I hadn’t expected to see much interesting graffiti in Melbourne, but now I really do feel so stupid about that particular presumption…

From the relatively average, typical scrawl I saw in the city-centre lanes, I thought I had judged correctly. But the more I walked, and the closer I got to the Brunswick/Fitzroy districts in the north-west of the city, the more excited I became and the more photos I took. The volume was overwhelming so much so that even my eyes got almost tired of looking at the creative, colourful walls. Here’s a pick of the highlights that I managed to see in the few hours I had.

(And if any of you can fill me in on the names of some of the artists, please comment below.)

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Travel

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Our final day in Australia, was the first day of winter (!) and overnight there had been an incredible thunderstorm. Although the ground was wet, I was lucky, and so relieved that the rain had stopped.

Melbourne is such a beautiful city and actually really walkable. I walked from one side all the way to the other in my final few hours, and was lucky to catch these birds hopping around a tray left on a table outside McDonalds.

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Music, Travel

Unexpected

The most exciting cities are those where you can never know what’s around the next corner. Melbourne has a thriving cafe / bar culture tucked off the main streets, through what are know as the lanes and we saw an abundance of diverse activity in the smallest of streets. Passing one of the smaller alleyways, we saw a crowd of people around the entrance and assuming it was because of the street-art, I squeezed through with my camera.

As I pushed through I suddenly realised that classical music was bouncing and rebounding off the graffiti saturated walls and I don’t think I have ever experienced strings in such a dramatic, unexpected place, it was beautiful. The formality of orchestral music seemed at odds with the surroundings and this was one of the many many moments on our trip where I wished we had had more time. I rushed off a few shots and pressed on…

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Travel

Beyond Distance

One of the places I always figured I would never make it to, was Australia. I had always thought that if I had money enough to travel that distance, I would always choose a place with a more ‘unusual’ or ‘alien’ culture to my own; I guess that says something about my personal curiosity. It isn’t that I have no interest in Australia, quite the opposite, I just always thought it was out of my reach and of course, there could never be the chance to travel that far with work. Would there?

Well yes actually. On quite short notice, that’s exactly what happened. The chance to meet a new client and potentially kick off a new project with a brand all the way over in Melbourne; I jumped at the chance.

We had just four and a half days in the city and only half of one day was free to explore. By the end of that fourth day I was thinking that although we had had some amazing food and met some wonderful people, the city lacked a buzz and energy but when I walked the city alone, I found all the things I had thought were lacking. Below are a handful of random pictures I took whilst rushing through the city. More to follow…

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England

Whitstable

I’m having a frantic day trying to catch-up with some photos. I’ve not taken as many as usual lately but they have built up a bit now, these last few weeks have been a little crazy and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of that changing. It’s strange though, our site still gets relatively consistent high traffic whether I post or not! I will make every effort to keep atsukojoe going, as I enjoy it so much, but posts might be a little sporadic from now on. Look carefully at one or two of the following photos and you might start to understand why.

A few weeks ago we took the train towards the coast, in need of sunshine and fresh air; Whitstable delivered both. The atmosphere was so relaxing and calm, it really was a day of ‘healing’ for the both of us. We didn’t do much, didn’t even stay that long, just had fish & chips, ice-creams and a long walk along the pebbles, watched the birds and listened as planes flew high high overhead…

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