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Alec believes that young people are the future and seeks to empower them through publishing, mentorship, teaching and pay. He’s taken that message to events and institutions including London Design Festival, The V&A, IAM, Nicer Tuesdays, LCF, Glasgow School of Art and the National Museum of Albania.
He’s also delivered workshops for the likes of The Iceland Academy of the Arts, FvF and LCC. He’s written for some of his favourite indie publications like Boat, Perdiz and Another Escape and is an Associate Lecturer in Graphic Design at Leeds College of Art, despite graduating in Sociology.
We caught up with Alec to ask a few questions on which artists he’s enjoying, which apps he couldn’t live without and what he’s currently listening to.
Can you tell us what an average work day looks like?
It depends what project we’re stuck into at the time, but generally first thing I try to get on top of the previous day’s emails and work out the day’s priorities. This week, I’m looking for emerging photographers to write about in a new online editorial planned with one of our partners. I’m also planning our forthcoming day of workshops and talks as part of Free Range at Old Truman Brewery.
Fever Ray is reserved for when I’m writing against a deadline.
What are you listening to at the moment?
When I’m travelling, I often listen to podcasts mixing vaguely work-related shows like Startup and Reply All with news via The Daily and hilarities like How Did This Get Made? When it comes to music, Frank Ocean, Solange and Run The Jewels are regulars at the moment, Fever Ray is reserved for when I’m writing against a deadline.
What apps can’t you live without?
On my phone, just the usual. Spotify, Slack, Pocket Casts and Giphy. On my laptop, Self Control. The latter is particularly useful on days when I’m working from home.
Favourite piece of equipment in the studio/work space?
I recently got a pair of aiaiai over ear modular headphones and while they aren’t noise cancelling, they do the trick in minimising distractions and are super comfy. I backed the Kickstarter campaign for a new bluetooth headband last year as well, so am looking forward to going cable-free when that arrives in the next few weeks.
Which designers/artists work are you enjoying at the moment?
There’s always so much great stuff in my inbox it’s tough to narrow it down. Photographer Paul Phung, who we featured on the cover of our very first issue is doing some amazing work at the moment. At our F You Pay Me night at Open Eye Gallery last week, I met graphic design student Fleur Ellis, whose portfolio of printed work was absolutely brilliant. As for an illustrator, it has to be the brilliant Saffa Khan who we’re commissioning to make a zine in collaboration with Sheffield Institute of Arts.
What’s your favourite place to escape to?
I’ve recently been to the West Coast of Scotland and would love to go back to the Loch Coruisk on Skye. Picturesque and peaceful in equal measure.
It’s a timely, beautiful and idiosyncratic exploration of the brighter side of life.
Do you have a subscription with any magazines?
I don’t, but I’d heartily recommend Perdiz, a magazine about happiness that I’m proud to have contributed to in the past. Particularly with the horror of recent events at home and overseas, it’s a timely, beautiful and idiosyncratic exploration of the brighter side of life.
If you could choose one artist, dead or alive, to decorate your house, who would it be?
I’d rather take care of the decoration and get an architect to design the house in the first place. If that were the case it would be Adalberto Libera, the man behind Casa Malaparte or if I somehow make my fortune, I’ll be on the phone to Andrew Trotter of Openhouse Magazine whose work at Masseria Moroseta is stunning.
With a wealth of knowledge of the creative industries, we’re thrilled to welcome Alec as host of the inaugural Something Good festival.