Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Playing footsie

If anyone is in need of a little light relief  (I am) and would like a bit of a laugh at my expense, then please come and take a look at my feet…  

Before you ask me to peel off my socks I should explain that I mean the ones below, extracted from my ‘Ideas’ book of late 1982.

The ideas in question were (thankfully) not part of some elaborate ambition to be a shoe designer, so Manolo Blahnik had nothing to fear… but were compiled for a project given to students on the illustration course I was on at the time by the inspiring author, illustrator and poet, Colin McNaughton.  We were all in awe of Colin whose influence was highly motivating, even though then he was yet to impress the world with Preston Pig.  He came along to college once a month or so, and gave us themes to expand upon in any way we liked to help us work on our thought processes and techniques in a totally unrestricted way.  The theme here was (in case you couldn’t guess) ‘shoes’.  By the time we’d explored each subject fully with our minds and our pencils, the pages of our ‘Ideas’ books were full of anarchic scribbles, cuttings, doodles, finished paintings, notes, half-eaten cheese sandwiches, etc.  Some students may have taken them seriously, others abstractly; for me it was playfully.  I couldn’t resist the opportunity for stupid visual puns and corny (especially in this case, and that in itself is corny…) attempts at weird jokes. 

Other subjects we were dealt included 'Christmas', 'sex' and 'faces' (but not 'sex faces'...).  Sex was a good one - I might come back to that later.  Once I’ve taken my socks off.

Now - fancy a song?  A song with shoes in it? 

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