We’re truly delighted to share this month’s colectivo futurist feature and interview with the super talented Lewis Heriz. Mostly known for his visual representations for the Sofrito catalogue, Lewis is currently based in East London after a stint as a DJ and promoter in Nottingham. It was during his time in the East Midlands that he began to experiment with designing posters for the nights he was putting on, which led to requests for record cover designs for bands such as The Whitefield Brothers and served as the foundation for his development of Sofrito’s visual identity. He has also done several covers for some of our favorite labels, including Now Again, Stones Throw, Soundway, and Strut; all the while keeping his eyes peeled for new challenges and opportunities. With no formal training as a graphic designer, Lewis is a clear example of how having the desire and passion for honing one’s craft is more important than anything. Check out a few snaps taken during our visit to his Hackney Wick studio and read our interview for a closer look at the man behind some of the most iconic record covers in recent times.
Visit Colectivo Futuro for the full interview.
Thank you, colectivofuturo!
Poster for short film Le Criquet (‘The Cricket’), a beautifully-observed, intimate snapshot of a couple interrupted by an unwelcome guest.
I’ll update when I know more about the screenings - it’ll be premiered in France, but it may also be shown in the UK and online soon, I hope.
Poster for another Brazilian edition of Super Discoteca Tropical, Analog Africa's occasional roaming club night offering music from the tropical regions of the world. Here I depicted a Janganda boat typical to Ceará - the Northeasterly state of which Fortaleza is the capital - in between fishing trips.
Thanks to Samy and the Mambembe guys for getting me on board again, and for another great brief.
Early rough concept for a 12” house bag design. I didn’t set out to make it so ’50s, it just happened. Though it was too vintage in feel for the job, it helped create structural elements for the final design which was used for a digital remix album for Soundway.
Crowdsourced In-Flight Entertainment
In February (2013) I set off to South America for some months of inspiration-gathering and adventure. ‘Disappointingly, my Muse appears to be absent,’ I thought as I crunched my legs up into the seat in front and sat for 10 minutes staring at this:
And there was nothing to say that it would necessarily get any better.
I was reminded of the last time I flew such a distance, how even my doglike excitement was battered into submission by the end, and I’d found myself staring at the downward-pointing camera feed of the clouds - THE CLOUDS, THAT WE WERE ABOVE. FLYING. IN THE AIR. ABOVE THE FUCKING CLOUDS - to a light jazz soundtrack, which lent the experience something of that detached, disorientating feeling you’d get after feeding yourself an evening of non-stop telly only to discover you’ve inadvertently, voluntarily been absorbing Ceephax for the past 2 hours, and you’re not currently able to stop.
Just the thought of finding myself in that state of mind filled me with dread, and despite the indignant gritted-teethed roar of Louis C.K.’s 'YOU'RE LIKE A GREEK MYTH RIGHT NOW' echoed around my mind, I decided I needed a contingency plan in case the novelty wore off.
Landing in Frankfurt before the long haul, I couldn’t help but turn to Twitter. Sorry Louis. In a last-minute scrabble for ideas, I sent out a request for something to draw.
In the 5 minutes I had before takeoff I managed to gather just two replies. But it was something. It was something.
PERFECT. (Mat later told me the credit goes to moodysson (thanks @moodysson))
Both very apt for my current state of mind and my current location, respectively. Excellent work, all!
I had recently treated myself to a laptop for the sole purpose of unanchoring from the studio so I could work anywhere. But I decided to save the battery and draw in ink first. With the rest of the cabin in darkness, I began with ENNUI.
I was flying away from the digital buzz of a city with its churn of trends and networks and auto-tweeted campaigns and that feeling of staring at multiple updating timelines of user-generated content barely-masking our metamorphoses into products sold by brands back to ourselves, and this small sketch was a cathartic start to that break. Not even mustering up the energy to type anything, just letting the websites deliver their fresh content, whether you ask them to or not…
But I wanted to colour it digitally, so trying my damnedest not to elbow the napping lady next to me in the face, I got out my laptop, took a photo of the drawing with my camera, transferred that into Photoshop:
The only way I would’ve been able to get that transparent/reflection effect without digitising would have involved careful brushwork of the kind not suited to being concertina’d in the dark with a flap for a table designed to catapult everything on the awkwardly intimate stranger dribbling on your shoulder if you move a knee from the perpetual fear of deep-vein thrombosis. So thanks Adobe, for sparing me the latter.
Next up was the German eating a foreign saugsage*. This one was tricky because subverting generalisations that will inevitably be read by someone (who enjoys stripping everything of humour or irony to whip up an orgy of outrage) as xenophobic is a minefield, and I do not possess the kind of sausage-knowledge needed to be able to differentiate visually between a Wurst and an Ausländischewurst. Therefore, I decided to forget the German-ness altogether (sorry, dailyadviser) and concentrate simply on someone on the verge of tasting an unknown sausage for the first time.
I’m pleased with her expression of steely resolve mixed with slight suspicion.
The lack of contrast in the pencil and the dim light of the cabin made this photo harder to process, but I didn’t want to do too much to it anyway. In the end I decided just to give it a whiff of nostalgia, a postcard from the past capturing the ‘the point of no return’.
And by that point, just a couple of hours into the flight, I was knackered and fell asleep, despite all the odds.
So cheers to the three whose words kept me entertained, and maybe I’ll do something similar again next time I step into the belly of an ALUMINIUM BIRD.
*I’m pretty sure that extra ‘g’ was deliberate on Daily Adviser’s part, to point out that ‘foreign sausage’ already has too many Gs. Or maybe just that because ‘foreign’ has a silent G, ‘sausage’ should get one, too. And she’s right, as always.
Throughout the month of November, I’ll be waiting, poised, in my drawing booth, charged like a coiled spring in readiness for your - that’s YOUR - request for me to do your portrait in exchange for a charitable sum roughly equivalent to a couple of pints and a packet of crisps which will be flown directly to the headquarters of Movember by this guy:
Just go to my page at www.galleryofmo.com/artists/lewis-heriz or go behind my back at www.galleryofmo.com/artists and make the necessary donation (helping organisations that combat prostate and testicular cancer OK) to get your very own portrait made by me, or one of the many other great artists they have on board.
AIN’T THAT NICE!