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Artists, Makers, Thinkers

Rajeev

Remy somehow finds a way to sleep anywhere and anytime. Even if there’s a lot of moving around, or noise. It doesn’t matter. If he wants to sleep, nothing is going to stop him. He is the inspiration.

Galih Richardson

I’m very much a spaghetti western hat guy, so anything you’d see in a Sergio Leone film I want to recreate - then set on fire - and then wear.

Lisa-Marie Harris

Flowers become part of our space in ways that make you completely forget their provenance and the immense politics surrounding their presence. The Arrangement for Something & Nothing comes from that notion. 

Camille Vidal

I love the way food and drinks bring people together I think there is something magical about it. I think 2020 reminded us how essential to our happiness socialising with a good drink in your hand is.

 Who are you and what do you do?

Hello, my name is Rajeev. I am Executive Creative Director at a new creative agency called Supernatural. I was previously Global Creative Director at Spotify. I make funny, interesting things for brands that help them get talked about. Outside of work I do lots of little side projects. In the past I’ve made a video game called Waiting in Line 3D that went viral a few years ago – a game where you wait in line, and punch yourself in the face to stay awake, but not too hard or you will die. I also play around making things for my dog.

Where are you and what are you doing right now?

Right now I’m in my studio in Greenwich village, New York. 

 Rajeev profile picture

Can you explain to people what you latest project Between Two Naps is?

Between Two Naps is a project where I make things for my dog, Remy. We adopted him about 2 years ago. He’s a mega mix of Chihuahua, German Shepherd, Pomeranian and lots more. I never knew dogs slept so much… he sleeps all the time. And I also noticed he gets cold a lot. And while there are a lot of products out there for dogs, I wanted to see if I could make things for him that were a little more interesting, irreverent, and with a sharper aesthetic. More of a Raf Simons, Craig Green, and OAMC vibe.

What inspired the idea of keeping dogs ‘nap ready’ at all times?

Remy somehow finds a way to sleep anywhere and anytime. Even if there’s a lot of moving around, or noise. It doesn’t matter. He’s so determined. If he wants to sleep, nothing is going to stop him. He is the inspiration.

Dog Nap Hat - Rajeev

We noticed that your designs have progressed from hats into other items like tiny puffer jackets and ramen noodle saddles. Are you starting a couture pet empire?

The projects are a fun way to spend more time with Remy and learn new skills I didn’t know before. And it’s nice to make things with your hands, especially when you spend most of the day facing a screen. 

Everything we make is handmade and 1 of 1. We source materials and fabrics from Japan and Italy. The hardware like snaps and zips, they’re the same ones you find on things made by Bottega Veneta and Balmain. It’s interesting to look at design and manufacturing for dogs with the same level of craft and detail we’d make things for ourselves.

We’ve been approached by some brands to do some collabs, but so far we’re just focussing on making the most interesting, fun things we can. But if anyone out there likes what they see, and is interested in commissioning something, we’d love to hear from you.

 Dog nap jacket

Tell us about something

If in doubt, do something stupid. 

Tell us about nothing

Listening is everything. 

Nap Jacket Black

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Galih Richardson, I work as a Brand Developer for hat makers Tom Smarte and Smarte Creative. I also have many fingers in many pies, involving hat making, and content creation.

Something & Nothing Hibiscus & Rose


Where are you and what are you doing right now?

I'm currently on the Chingford train heading home, looking out at East London, listening to Skinshape.

You are a man who wears many hats, and indeed one of the hats you wear is that you make hats (this sounded better in my head). How did you get into millinery ?

I worked in a hat shop for 6 years, and fell in love with hat people and hat culture. From there, i started to dabble in making them, and then started to make and sell one off pieces to friends, which started the whole snowball of getting into millinery. I’m very much a spaghetti western hat guy, so anything you’d see in a Sergio Leone film i want to recreate - then set on fire - and then wear.

Galih Richardson


I'm always impressed with people who wear proper hats, they look like they have a story to tell - who are some of your favourite hat wearers ?

Probably Townes Van Zandt and his many cowboy hats and Lee Van Cleef with that iconic moustache and glare. The original evil eye.

You have a great eye for style, for light, for authentic energy what inspired the shoot you’ve created for S&N ?

I currently live in Walthamstow, and its the most diverse local I've encountered living in London. Where else can you experience a Tudor house, a new high rise development, and Epping Forest all in one walk. During this year long lockdown, our daily walks have been our mental health's saving grace. We have read the headstones at St. Mary's Churchyard in the snow, and pushed each other on forest swings in the heat of summer. I wanted to share some of these sights with you guys at locations inspired by each flavour of Something and Nothing Seltzer.

Galih wood


I get the sense from your recent work you’ve been spending a lot more time in the great outdoors, how important is nature to your wellbeing ?

Nature is extremely important to me. Being able to ground myself surrounded by trees and the sound of rustling canopies brings me a lot of peace. There is a sensitivity there that we all need to be a part of living in such a heavy city like London.

Something & Nothing yuzu seltzer


You grew up in Indonesia how has its culture and attitude (if that’s the right word) influenced what you do and how you are as a human ?

Indonesia is a very kind and softly spoken country. Everything is done with the soft back of a hand. My grandmother represents the Indonesian temperament to me. Direct, self sufficient, humble, tender, traditional, and devout. It has given me sensitivity, and empathy, and I would move back there in a second. Hopefully that is on the cards sometime in the next 5 years.

3 men, 3 hats

What podcasts, albums, exhibitions or books are currently inspiring you ?

My reading list is a bit of a cliche. 'Ask the Dust', from the 'Bandini Quartet' by John Fante, which I recommend to everyone. And I love music with a folklore story, like F. J. Mcmahon, the Vietnam war vet who wrote one stoner folk record 'Spirit of the Golden Juice'; which garnered little to no attention until a recent three page spread in the Rolling stones 500 greatest albums of all time. - OR - Jim Sullivan who wrote two albums, one titled "UFO" and then disappeared without a trace in New Mexico. I recommend both these records.

Tell us about something

We have just finished watching every episode of Gilmore Girls, and we loved every second.

Tell us about nothing

Apparently if you took away all the empty space on the planet (the nothing) it would fit on the end of a pin.

Cucumber Something & Nothing seltzer

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Lisa-Marie Harris and I am an artist.

In truth, I am an itinerant Trinidadian woman of the sun who hates grey days and nonstop rain, but has nonetheless become a Londoner over the years. I play with my two kids during the day, and at night I make art before nodding off.

Somewhere in between, I steal away time to run Au Courant Studio, which is an independent publishing, art and design practice, whilst completing postgraduate research in Contemporary Photography & Philosophy at Central Saint Martins.

 Something & Nothing seltzer - Lisa-Marie Harris

Where are you and what are you doing right now?

Like the vast majority these days, I’m mostly indoors, touring the sights and sounds of my space for the umpteenth time. I’m in North London and have at least been able to continue walking the woods in this strange time, which I’m beyond grateful for. Too many people have been left adrift with no relief or coping mechanisms, and it’s been sobering to witness, to say the very least.

Can you tell us a little about your work as an artist?

I make installations, sculptural assemblages, photo narratives, publications and performance work across a variety of media, including the use of websites as a performance itself.

As such, I’ve been able to incorporate all the AV techniques I first began using almost two decades ago as a broadcast journalist and radio/TV producer across the Caribbean. Having studied aesthetics and media theory at The New School in Manhattan in my undergraduate years helps immensely for the practical aspects of making art work, believe it or not.

Something & Nothing seltzer - Lisa-Marie Harris

But at the heart of my work lies the fact that I truly am an itinerant being. I’ve had to migrate my entire family to new countries far too often over the last 15 years, sometimes very abruptly, because I come from the 'The Third World'.

We are supposed to dream in adoration about the supposed advantages in these countries, but we are not meant to actually come and partake and build anything here. So we have to find our own ways; one becomes exceedingly shrewd. You learn how to look, and then you dismantle and create exactly what you need.

Migration, home, spaces, and the body are always at play somewhere in my work. I often think about the body itself as the only space one owns, and even that is contested space. I treat the body as a thing to laugh at, to rearrange, depart and remove completely, and I enjoy picking apart those notions around how we dehumanize the body through my work.

What is Au Courant daily and studio?

Au Courant Daily and Studio are my personal journal and thought/action space, respectively. I feel very strongly about artists having agency and ownership over their output, and directing the conversations around their own actions.

I find the idea of making a work and leaving it to posterity for someone else to interrogate without the artist’s voice and authorship being present to be outmoded, institutional nonsense, and a gross act of erasure.

Au Courant also allows for play and open collaboration with other, like-minded artists and designers across disciplines, and I really value having a space to share and discuss ideas in that manner

Something & Nothing seltzer - Lisa-Marie Harris

You seem to be creating a lifestyle brand (for want of a better description) but unlike most others out there you have created a unique balance of beauty, honesty, creativity and humour. It makes the whole thing feel more authentic - how does your work as an artist inform Au Courant?

Your words are kind. Thanks for that.

With Au Courant, I’ve found it more useful to have my own studio space to facilitate the making of work without stifling ideological or institutional restrictions.

I remember starting out on radio at station called 96.1 WEfm in Port-of-Spain as the co-host of a primetime Saturday night show. The concept was that myself and this other lady would dish on sex and generally be rowdy, like a cross between local Trinbagonian street-corner Jamettes and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Before the first live show, the station owner pulls me aside whilst holding my neatly typed up production run (which he proceeded to tear in half) and says, “Listen, nobody is tuning in to hear “Lisa-Marie” talk about culture and the arts, ok? Something more hot will appeal to the masses, so you should call yourself Cocoa Browning and wear sexier clothes for the promos. That will sell the show!”

I was like...”Ahmm, no thank you.”

I came up with another name, the show was eventually called The Ladies Room with Tusca and Deja, and it became an overnight hit. I bided my time making up all sorts of random shit ideas to produce for the show’s features; we interviewed local celebrities and spent hours talking all manners of rubbish.

Something & Nothing seltzer - Lisa-Marie Harris

 

People loved it. I hated it. Not because it had poor content – in fact, I thought the actual premise of the show was brilliant and I ultimately learned invaluable lessons and technical skills in that role. But I hated it because there was absolutely no space for different perspectives besides regurgitating that one fantasy of nubile sex kittens talking about 10 ways to please a man in bed.

Au Courant is a reaction towards the kind of compromises creatives are often forced to make.

For a lot of people your output would be intimidating. Where does your drive to constantly create come from?

I just try to let the work be made, without giving it valence or designations. I also make what I can, whenever I can. Sometimes that’s a print magazine. Other times, it’s a single photograph. After a while, you look around and realize that all these disparate things begin to coalesce into something larger, something beautiful.

What’s the thinking behind the shots for Something & Nothing?

Flowers become part of our space in ways that make you completely forget their provenance and the immense politics surrounding their presence. The Arrangement for Something & Nothing comes from that notion, and from memories of collecting wild flowers like Passiflora and the Orchids of the Northern Range above Port-of-Spain.

It’s really been a small treat to encounter similar flowers on walks to Hampstead Heath, Waterlow Park and all my favourite London haunts.

Also, my mum was a printer and bookbinder by trade, and for many years she would make flowers for weddings and decorative designs using her paper scraps. After school, I’d have to help roll thousands of little orchids and anthuriums onto the fronds of cocoyea brooms for her orders. It was quite fun to touch on that materiality from another perspective.

Any books, podcasts, music, designers, artists you are really into at the moment?

I’m one of those people who play the same five albums over and over. Anything Gorillaz, Tame Impala, the occasional Metronome, and Daft Punk (still processing their breakup).

My current favourite is probably Sweet Sweet Dreams, the debut album released in the 70s from the Tobagonian Calypso icon, The Mighty Shadow. It’s not classic soca or calypso, per se, and nobody in Trinidad remembers it, but it is beyond epic.

As for books, I generally read philosophy. Been chipping my way through Jean-Luc Nancy’s Corpus and revisiting some Baradian stuff mostly, but I also constantly pester the good folks at Magalleria in Bath for those hard-to-find international indie magazines, cause they always find the good stuff.

With design, I am forever in awe of the works and spaces created by the Dutch furniture maker and architect, Gerrit Rietveld.

Tell us about something

Nothing is more real than the things we imagine.

Tell us about nothing

Everything we imagine is nothing in reality.

 

Something & Nothing seltzer - Lisa-Marie Harris

Who are you and what do you do?

Im Camille Vidal, Im the founder of La Maison Wellness and Creator of Mindful Cocktails, most importantly I'm a Healthy Hedonist I live life well mindfully!

Where are you and what are you doing right now?

It’s January, I’m at home in London creating Mindful Cocktails and inspiring people to reassess their relationship with drinking for the better. As the new year starts I’m helping people navigate Dry January inspiring and guiding on what to drink so they can realise how delicious mindful drinking can be either with non alcoholic or low alcoholic options.

Can you tell us a little about your history with drinks, how you got started?

Food & Drinks has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, im originally from the south of France and I have vivid memories of aperitif moment with my parents, I love the way food and drinks bring people together I think there is something magical about it. I think 2020 reminded us how essential to our happiness socialising with a good drink in your hand is.

What prompted the transition into mindful drinking and low or no alcohol cocktail creation ?

Something & Nothing Hibiscus & Rose Martini cocktail

I wanted to show the world how to bring mindfulness into the glass, we empower our relationship with drinking, we reshape the language about drinking and we incorporate more options because tasty doesn’t have to be boozy and its time we rethink our drink.

Can you tell us about La Maison Wellness and what a ‘healthy hedonist’ is?

La Maison Wellness is a platform dedicated to inspiring people to drink well with delicious Mindful Cocktails, either alcohol free or low alcohol and always with good ingredients, as well as living like Healthy Hedonist meaning celebrating the everyday life in a way that feels good right now and tomorrow (hello hangover free life!)

You are also a yoga teacher, how does this inform your approach to life and work ?

I believe that everything start with awareness and that Mindfulness isn’t something you compartment in your life but rather sprinkle all over it. Life, like cocktails is about balance!

Are there any podcasts, albums, exhibitions or books that you currently getting a kick out of?

Im reading “The Monk who sold his Ferrari” by Robin Sharma right now and loving it. Next on my list is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I also love travel cooking show which pretty much combine everything I love travel, flavours, discovery, as we are unable to explore the world right now I more than ever find them inspiring even for my work creating Mindful Cocktails.

Can you tell us a little about this drink, the different components and what inspired its creation?

I love the beauty and simplicity of this cocktail, MARTINI vibrante is a brilliant non alcoholic aperitif with the classic Italian bitter component you will expect as well as bright citrus notes coming from the bergamot so adding Something & Nothing Hisbiscus & Rose was perfect to add a layer of floral notes as well as a touch of effervescent to lift all the flavour. The key in this recipe to take it from good to incredible is the orange juice not only you want to use freshly squeezed orange juice (always hello vitamin C & antioxidants) but you also want to make it fluffy either by juicing it in a high speed juicer or squeeze and place the juice in a blender to make it fluffy. Et voila!

ARANCIA

50ml MARTINI Vibrante over ice

Top up with Something & Nothing Hibiscus & Rose Orange Juice and a decent splash of fresh orange juice

Glass: Highball
T : Build
G: Orange Wheel

Non-alcoholic Something & Nothing seltzer cocktail

Tell us about something

Something & Nothing Cucumber Seltzer is my favourite. I really hope my work keep inspiring people to bring mindfulness into the glass and together we can change the drinking culture for the better.

Tell us about nothing

No.