- Photography by A Northern Soul
I’ve always been interested in the beginning of things and the history and tradition of how to create and how to produce. In the nighties I studied photography before the digital cameras revolutionised the art form and learned how to limit myself to 24 or 36 photos per roll and most important how to develop and create an actual paper copy from a photo roll which really is an incredibly amazing thing to do as you actually see a picture all of a sudden appear from a white paper. Its almost magic.
As an illustrator and graphic producer I’ve worked with computers all my life, or at least since they arrived at my home twenty years ago but everything in Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop has its precursor as you started off with pen and paper, scissors and glue before that arrived. In one way the time before the computers and digital everything really was more creative as it demanded more from you and your skills but in the other hand there really are no end to the possibilities to what real creative persons are able to do today with the tools we now got at hand.
But, never forget your history cause if you do, you’re never able to understand the work that you do today. You need to understand why a photography comes in the shape it does to understand how to compose and work modern cameras. You need to know how to draw with a pen on real paper to be able to fully understand Illustrator and Photoshop etc. You need to know your own history to understand where you’re going. It’s all a circle.
That said, I just finished another screen print class a couple of weeks a go. As I’ve been working lots with tees and prints etc. over the years, mostly by creating them by hand or digital and sending them to a printer and then returning a product in a box I decided to dig deeper in the art form of screen print. I joined a group of seven girls (always girls who takes these classes) and one teacher and for seven weeks one evening a week I designed some new prints, transferred them to a frame and then by hand printed a bunch of tees.
It’s a lot of things that cant go wrong and mixing of colours that has to be perfect and exactly measured prints at the exact right place on the fabric but the details and the craftsmanship, the hard work is the thing that makes this so fun. Be able to actually create something from scratch instead of sending another PDF to a printer guy without a face and returning a box of tees. Don’t get me wrong though, that’s lots of fun as well, don’t think I’d be able to do this with every project but as I started, you need to know the history to fully understand the future or the now.
All these pictures are taken from the project except for the top one send to me by my brother Milton from over the sea, really hope you like them!
- Photography by A Northern Soul
Fair Isle is a traditional knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colours. It is named after Fair Isle, a tiny island in the north of Scotland, that forms part of the Shetland islands. Fair Isle knitting gained a considerable popularity when the Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VIII) wore Fair Isle tank tops in public in 1921. Traditional Fair Isle patterns have a limited palette of five or so colours, use only two colours per row, are worked in the round, and limit the length of a run of any particular colour.
Some people use the term “Fair Isle” to refer to any colourwork knitting where stitches are knit alternately in various colours, with the unused colours stranded across the back of the work. Others use the term “stranded colourwork” for the generic technique, and reserve the term “Fair Isle” for the characteristic patterns of the Shetland Islands.
This time of year, when the weather is all white and cold I like to get back to the roots of knitwear. The knitted sweater is one of the most important pieces of clothing as it keeps you both warm and handsome and keeps everyones eyes focused if the right or od one is the one you wear.
Traditional knitted clothing tells a story, it has a meaning and sends signals of dignity and style and whether its a scarf, a couple of gloves, a sweater or a hat you can never go wrong if you keep it subtle together with other classic clothing like a duffle coat or a parka.
This years best pieces, even if they’re not all Fair Isle, are shown above and listed below and can be found at Triads.
4. Barbour Dunkled Glove
10. William Fox & Sons Fairisle Jumper
As christmas stands upon us we need some good tunes as companions while cooking, eating and drinking. Subscribe to the playlist, A Northern Christmas with even more great tunes for the holidays and please leave a comment with your own favorite if its missing.
- Photography by A Northern Soul
The great lads of Northern Aficionado asked me to draw a pin for them a couple of weeks a go and to complete the work they also asked a couple of questions which ended up in the latest issue of the mag together with interesting bits on Ben Lamb, Tuk Tuk and a nice piece on Lacoste by the great Bill Routledge.
Here is the interview in its whole, if you didnt buy the mag. If you still want to buy the mag, please visit northern-aficionado.blogspot.se.
For those who don’t know, could you explain a little about who you are?
Born and raised in the dark woods of Sweden where I still live and work with my wife and daughter. A regular bloke with the love for the outdoors, photography, graphics, clothing, music and football the way it once used to be. I run a blog and a business called A Northern Soul, which you can see as a platform for my creativity and a way for myself to express and collect things that inspire me.
When did A Northern Soul start and how did it come about?
A Northern Soul has always been around, in one-way or another. I’ve worked with bands making their logos, record sleeves and posters since the 90’s so I guess the main idea started through that, or evolved through that you might say.
The thing is that I’ve always have been creating and that has always been the most important thing in my life. But I never wanted to make a career out of it as it would have meant me having to discuss my work and ideas with other people and compromise the things I do, something that I’m really bad at. Integrity in doing what I want to do is the most important part in this.
That is probably what I like most of the new, digital world. The opportunities for artists, bands, writers and yeah, almost everyone, are endless and you can create a platform and get your stuff out there for people to see and hear without corporate idiots steeling you work and money. It’s a great way of working with quality and integrity and self-belief.
What makes A Northern Soul happy? Is it photography, clothing, music, sports or a combination?
It’s the small things in life that are the most important and inspirational ones. A nice day with my family makes me happy. My daughter’s smile makes me happy. A night at the pub with the lads makes me happy. A lot of things make me happy. Of course, creating my work takes me to that place, happiness and satisfaction.
During the years in life these things always change and I’m happy to say that I’m in a great place in life at the moment where I really don’t need that much to feel satisfied. A great ale. A nice dinner. A great jacket. That does it.
We’ve heard you’re planning on beginning to produce some garments of your own. Can you tell us anything about that?
That’s true. The next step with A Northern Soul will be just that and the work has been in progress for some time now and the plan is to release a set of tees and a piece of headwear during my favorite time of the year, the fall.
I’ve always had a hard time feeling finished with things as I always think I could do it a tad better but during the last years I’ve learn to look at my work with different eyes and let it be finished when it is.
Who, in your opinion, is producing the best clothing at the moment?
That’s a tough one actually. I do not look at clothing the same way I used to. I love clothing, don’t get me wrong, but a lot f times a get really fed up with it and the way it is today.
That is probably the worst thing about this digital world. People bookmark some blogs and hang around some boards and then just click and order the stuff that’s cool. You can buy the style without having a clue. But it shows, in the end it shows. You can always tell those blog-reading-money-spenders from those who run the show. The thing is that without internet it took time before everyone caught up and followed and by then, the leaders already had moved on. Today there’s no time as it’s out there for everyone to read in a second.
Reading this, I see, I might come of as a pretentious, bitter old fart. But that’s just half true.
The thing about clothing and all things creative is that you always should have a great piece of seriousness as well as a lot of humor. Never irony. I don’t know anything worse than people wearing clothes in a ironic kind of way or bands with these shitty super cool Williamsburg names that get world famous for one day without having a clue how to play an instrument. Just using an app on their iPhone while posing in a leather jacket that Mike D had twenty years before these assholes.
I see now that the bit about me being pretentious and bitter might, at this point, be very true. I’m sorry bout that.
To mention a few labels, I’ve always liked Red Wing Shoes. I like Stone Island, mostly the older stuff though. Ralph Lauren, 6876 and Garbstore. A brand a deeply respect is Casual Connoisseur which I have been doing some work with during the last year. They have a mission and they bring out just the things I said earlier, the great mix of seriousness and humor. And they’re great lads.
…and the best music?
You really could copy paste the bit about clothing I guess but there actually a few bands out there today that pushes the edges further and creating stuff tat still blows my mind. Fucked Up for example. Swedish band Paper. Grande Roses.
I used to collect records so I have been into almost everything through the years but you could say I got my heart more than anything in seventies music, both American and British. On the other hand the British nineties wasn’t that bad either, what you say? Stone Roses, Primal Scream, Verve, Oasis and all that. The whole Madchester scene. Some great bands and tunes made through the years.
Aside from the clothing, what other plan do A Northern Soul have for the future?
I really want to focus on getting the clothing bit out in time and with great quality. I have always done things for me that I would like and this breathes the same air. Just hope that what I like, other people will like to. I have no rush though; I’m in it for the long run and it’s really about meeting interesting people to work and having a laugh with and to do what you like and to like what you do.
Cheers for hearing me out lads, keep up the good work!