Si, for those who might not know of you fill us in a bit..who you are, what you do etc.
Cornish born, Birmingham raised 38 year old PEPLOW. Artist, Humanitarian, Truth Seeker, Water Bearer, Temple, Joker, Monk, Friend – any of these monikers sum up my current belief system.
A burger wrap might not seem like an obvious project but then OPM aren’t your average burger flippers – how did the opportunity come about?
Through happenstance – the past aligning with the present – like everything else. At the beginning of this year co-owner Richard Harris presented me with an opportunity to showcase a solo body of new work at Black Market Barber Company [ BMBC ] based in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Tom [ OPM ] visited the show, liked the work, and inquired about the artist – when told it was me, realised this was the same Simon he’d studied with at Bournville Art college [ 16 years previously ]. Tom kindly purchased some artworks to hang above OPM’s porcelain throne, and in addition had been thinking about teaming up / championing local artists on their tray liners + wrappers [ following their initial collaboration with Gent48 – who’s output / work ethic I admire and respect ] and figured I’d be a good fit to kick this off again. We all share an unwavering devotion to our craft.
Tell us a bit about the project, your approach, and its reception?
My main objective with this collaboration was to represent the essence of OPM’s business – two gentlemen outliers with a humble presence and shared passion for delivering quality products to their loyal customer base. I made another trip to OPM to re-familiarise myself with my clients environment & culture, took a bunch of photos of the exterior / interior + anything else i felt would inspire / form a solid basis for my research moving forward with the project. I rifled through a series of A3 sketches when i got back to my studio – playing around with numerous themes and visual incantations – cows, chickens, mushrooms, beer, stylised characters + various hand drawn type. Another area i focused on was OPM’s tagline ‘Purveyors of Filth’ which i really dig. I ended up introducing the final character – loosely symbolising Tom & Scott and the many hats they wear as proprietors of an independent restaurant business. I also [ rightly or wrongly ] read into OPM’s choice of location and colour scheme to be a subversive dig [ dark homage ] at the infamous American behemoth famed for its arches logo. So I chose to incorporate two of these primary colours into the mix, and the green featured in OPM’s entrance / outdoor dining area to represent the source of their products – nature. As far as i’m aware the reception has been positive.
Any projects in the works you can tell us about?
I’ve been concentrating on new personal work for the last 2 years to re-energise my illustration practice, and slowly build a new site to house the fruits of my labour. I recently painted a fibre glass representation of the vulnerable Southeast Asian Sun Bear for The Big Sleuth Birmingham [ Wild in Art ] trail, selected to reside at the Custard Factory over the duration of the summer, and subsequently auctioned off for a great cause – Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity – selling for £2000.
Burgers are a beautiful thing. What’s on your design/illustration bucketlist?
I remain open to projects – if they strike a chord – the more diverse the better.