Saturday March 23rd was a night filled with creative enchantment when Sweet Magic London took over Old East Studios and East Village Arts Co–op. The Za Za Zine Fair was very successful, showcasing the artistic visions of zine publishers Sarah Scope, Peter Thompson, Toni Darling, and visual artist Justin Thomas.
Scope, Thompson and Darling illustrate intriguing and thought provoking conceptions of their world through the colourful, finely detailed pages of their work, while Thomas explores the cityscape genre in all its complexity through fantastical, free flowing yet conversely calculated lines and angles. These artists give their audience a healthy dose of artistic individuality, which can then be shared and circulated, perpetuating this important artistic presence in the City of London.
Throughout the evening, one could enjoy this array of artistry while mingling with friends new and old and discussing with the artists the intricacies of their work. One piece I had the pleasure to discuss and found to be a chief standout was Sarah Scope’s Read at the Breakup. Contained within this little red book are all the reasons a break up isn’t entirely bad. Through humour and positivity, Scope offers solace to anyone who has ever dealt with heartbreak...and has a particular penchant for zine–reading.
Scope’s work is unique and complex, through minute detail and imaginative illustration. If you haven’t yet, check out her pen and ink work (along with a variety of other media) at http://scopesphere.tumblr.com/archive.
Peter Thompson is another London–based artist who puts to paper his interpretive visions of hybrid human, animal and technological forms. He collaborated with Scope (as was displayed at the fair) to create intriguing illustrations, their two styles complementing one another immensely). You can see his collaborations with Scope here and here.
Toni Darling’s work is eclectic, highly detailed and visually captivating. At the Fair, she was selling t-shirts, zines and note cards at very affordable prices. Among the pack of 20 cards I purchased (which could arguably be deemed robbery considering they were only $5) is imagery of people, animals and shapely designs which one can absorb themself, investigating for hours.
Darling’s many talents include drawing, painting, illustrating, textile work, photography and makeup artistry, and she was definitely an essential ingredient to the fascination that ensued during the creativity overload of the Za Za Zine Fair. Check out her work at www.tonidarling.com.
Lastly, I found a profound affinity with the artwork of Justin Thomas. His renditions of New York City and Paris neighbourhoods are depicted with kaleidoscopic fluidity that draws the viewer in and insists upon analysis. After having lived in New York, Thomas is extremely knowledgeable regarding the contours of urban areas like Soho, Greenwich Village, Chelsea and the Flatiron District. Amazingly, he draws freehand but the acute detail and grid-like fine lines would certainly suggest otherwise.
Thomas describes the inspiration for his work as “wanting to capture the energy of cities and specific neighborhoods in cities by drawing urban landscape line drawings; being able to bend corners and blocks so you can see and feel it as you move through it with your eyes, while also staying true to details of specific buildings and skylines”. His canvas works, prints and postcards were as compelling as the artist himself, who was approachable and appreciative of the interest shown in his work. For more images of Thomas' work visit his Facebook page.
For more info on the Za Za Zine Fair, check out SweetMagicLondon.com.