In January, Geri Coady boarded a plane from the U.K. on a trip to Japan.
She’s a long way off from St. John’s, where she grew up doodling.
The freelance illustrator’s destination was a small café called Shirankedo in Itami, a city in Hyogo Prefecture. She was there to see her own handiwork: the café’s logo, menu and business cards.
Though she did the café design a few years ago, it wasn’t until January that she was finally able to board a plane to Japan and visit due to the country’s strict COVID-19 policy.
“That was absolutely amazing, to just walk down the street, get out of the train, look at my map, walk down the street and just kind of see my branding there,” said Coady, who lives in Nottingham, U.K.
Growing up in St. John’s, Coady said, she was “always drawing.” When her home got a computer, she started working with digital art as well, and she took a lot of art courses at her high school.
While her art teacher tried to convince her to go to art school, she didn’t want to be a fine artist — which is what she thought art school would set her up for. She was also interested in technology.
Years later she said she learned about art programs that prepare graduates for work in graphic design, advertising and marketing.
After high school Coady attended the College of the North Atlantic and left with diplomas in computer systems and networking, graphic design and print production technology.
Eventually she ended up as the Idea Factory’s art director. In 2013 she left that position to launch her own freelance business, and two years later she relocated to the U.K., where her husband is from.
She can remember the exact moment she decided to make the leap to freelancing. She was in the U.K. attending a talk by a designer named Jessica Hische that encouraged people to find a fulfilling career. As soon as the talk ended, Coady had made up her mind to resign from her steady job and launch her own business.
Now her clients include companies like Google, Nokia, Scholastic UK and more recently, St. John’s-based SucSeed as the illustrator for its children’s book series.
Laughing, she said she can’t believe her career in computers and design led her to her own freelancing business.
“I’m definitely over the moon. Of course it would be kind of hard to believe. But yeah, it’s definitely a fulfilling career in many ways.”
Geri draws Japan
Coady said she considers her work as an illustrator different from an artist.
“Illustration is more like problem-solving because I’m working with clients and illustration tends to have a goal.”
On top of her freelance design work, Coady has a creative outlet in a side-passion project, Geri Draws Japan, that she started in 2017. She creates art prints, stationery and goods inspired by Japanese culture that she sells online and at events.
“I do my client work, but I also love the fact that I get the chance to create my own prints and paint designs, stationary, greeting cards, all sorts of things,” she said.
She said being a freelancer gives her the choice of who she takes on as clients. Some of those early clients were from Canada, the U.S. and U.K.
“I really enjoy having the freedom to kind of pick and choose who I want to work with,” said Coady.
One of her recent projects was working on children’s books for hydroponics social enterprise SucSeed. Working with the St. John’s company appealed to her because of its focus on social responsibility, she said.
A 2019 residency at Almost Perfect gallery in Tokyo, which concluded with her first exhibition, is her career highlight, she said.
“To have my own exhibition in the country that inspired me the most, is absolutely a dream come true,” Coady said.
As an illustrator she doesn’t have the same connection as artists have to the art world, she said.
“To be able to kind of go out of my comfort zone and do something like that was really fantastic.”
Living in the U.K. has also been helpful to her career, she said, because travelling abroad is easier and networking can lead to new jobs.
Freelancing has given her the freedom to select her clients and choose what she wants to make, said Coady.
“That’s just been a dream come true, really. I really love that I’m able to do that as a stage in my career.”
What Makes Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square (1915) Not Just Art, But Important Art
Who created the first work of abstract art has long been a fraught question indeed. Better, perhaps, to ask who first said of a work of art that a kid could have made it. A strong contender in that division is the Russian artist Véra Pestel, whom history remembers as having reacted to Kazimir Malevich‘s 1915 painting Black Square with the words “Anyone can do this! Even a child can do this!” Yes, writes novelist Tatyana Tolstaya a century later in the New Yorker, “any child could have performed this simple task, although perhaps children lack the patience to fill such a large section with the same color.” And in any case, time having taken its toll, Malevich’s square doesn’t look quite as black as it used to.
Nor was the square ever quite so square as we imagine it. “Its sides aren’t parallel or equal in length, and the shape isn’t quite centered on the canvas,” says the narrator of the animated TED-Ed lesson above. Instead, Malevich placed the form slightly off-kilter, giving it the appearance of movement, and the white surrounding it a living, vibrating quality.”
Fair enough, but is it art? If you’d asked Malevich himself, he might have said it surpassed art. In 1913, he “realized that even the most cutting-edge artists were still just painting objects from everyday life, but he was irresistibly drawn to what he called ‘the desert,’ where nothing is real except feeling.” Hence his invention of the style known as Suprematism, “a departure from the world of objects so extreme, it went beyond abstraction.”
Malevich made bold claims for Suprematism in general and Black Square in particular. “Up until now there were no attempts at painting as such, without any attribute of real life,” he wrote. “Painting was the aesthetic side of a thing, but never was original and an end in itself.” As Tolstaya puts it, he “once and for all drew an uncrossable line that demarcated the chasm between old art and new art, between a man and his shadow, between a rose and a casket, between life and death, between God and the Devil. In his own words, he reduced everything to the ‘zero of form.’” She calls this zero’s emergence in such a stark form “one of the most frightening events in art in all of its history of existence.” If so, here we have an argument for not letting young children see Black Square and enduring the consequent nightmares — even if they could have painted it themselves.
New Spider-Man Art Features Web Slinger in Various Activities
Being Spider-Man is about so much more than webbing up bad guys. Spider-Man is the neighborhood guy. He gives back to the community. He protects the community. There’s swinging, there’s fighting, there’s dangling, and sure, sometimes he has to traverse the multiverse and see all his alternative versions.
In a new print series from artist Oliver Barrett though, we focus on the simple stuff. Spider-Man just being Spider-Man. Seven prints, available individually or as a series, each showing Spider-Man at his ground-level best. The pieces are from a collaboration Barrett did with Restoration Games/Unmatched and are being released via Bottleneck Gallery and Acme Archives on October 3.
Each piece is a hand-numbered, 10 x 10 inch giclée in various edition sizes and they’ll be available individually (for $30 each) or as a set (for $200) on the Bottleneck Gallery site at noon ET October 3. Check out all the images in our slideshow.
Kelsey Grammer Curates an Exquisite Art Collection New ‘Frasier’ Reboot Posters
Dr. Frasier Crane has always been an admirer of the finer things in life, and artwork is no different, which is why it feels fitting that, in preparation for his return to our screens, television’s most renowned psychiatrist poses alongside striking pieces of art in new posters designed to promote the launch of Paramount+’s upcoming reboot series, Frasier. The series follows Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) as he enters the next chapter of his life. Viewers will see him return to Boston which will come with its own set of challenges, relationships, and even dreams. Frasier has finally re-entered the building.
While the first of two newly-released posters show Grammer next to a striking collection of statues, the second poster emphasizes the start of the new chapter in his life. In addition to Grammer, the new series stars Jack Cutmore-Scott as Frasier’s son Freddy; Nicholas Lyndhurst as Frasier’s old college buddy turned university professor Alan; Toks Olagundoye as Olivia, Alan’s colleague and head of the university’s psychology department; Jess Salgueiro as Freddy’s roommate Eve; and Anders Keith as Frasier’s nephew David.
The new iteration of Frasier comes from writers Chris Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Joe Cristalli (Life in Pieces), who executive produce with Grammer, Tom Russo and Jordan McMahon. The series is produced by CBS Studios, in association with Grammer’s Grammnet NH Productions. The first two episodes of the new series are directed by legendary director and television creator James Burrows, who is best known for his work as co-creator, executive producer, and director of the critically acclaimed series Cheers, as well as the original Frasier series, Will & Grace and Dear John. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution outside of the Paramount+ markets.
The Legacy of Frasier Crane
The original series, which aired from 1993 to 2004, had an impressive 11-season run and earned numerous awards and honors. It was a major success at the Primetime Emmy Awards, winning an incredible 37 Emmys throughout its time on the air. This accomplishment set a historic record for the most Emmys ever won by a TV show at that point in time. The awards covered a wide range of categories, including recognition for Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actor (Grammer), Supporting Actor (David Hyde Pierce in the role of Niles Crane), and Supporting Actress (Bebe Neuwirth as Lilith Sternin), among others.
The upcoming series will premiere in the U.S. and Canada on Thursday, October 12, with two episodes, and on Friday, October 13, in all other international markets where Paramount+ is available. New episodes will then drop weekly on Thursdays, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and Canada, and on Fridays, internationally. In addition, the CBS Television Network will broadcast a special airing of the first two episodes back to back on Tuesday, October 17, beginning at 9:15 p.m. ET/PT. Until then, check out the new posters below:
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