This November we have chosen to collaborate with local graphic designer Alisha Henry for our monthly artist programme. What originally caught our eye was Alisha’s ‘Architypes’ project, which involved her researching and sketching the various architecture found on Karangahape Road and turning them into a typeface. She has recently been involved in this years' 100 Days Project, where she made 100 zines in 100 days. Alisha has also worked along The Wireless to create artwork to accompany articles surrounding New Zealand Mental Health. She works across illustration, branding, digital design, craft, print and typography; making her the perfect local artist to work with this November.
You have recently been involved in this years' 100 Days Project, where you made 100 zines in 100 days. This is a huge commitment, time wise and creatively. Over the 100 days you worked on a zine everyday. How did you find this process?
I found the process both challenging and freeing. For a long time I’d been stuck in this rigid way of ‘design thinking’ and I feel like the nature of zines in general allowed me the space to experiment and be playful with my design technique; with content, with form, etc… I made it a rule to not redo any if I didn’t like them, so accepting what I’d created regardless of the outcome was very much a big part of the project. The process was definitely a journey!
What was your favourite zine produced over the project and why?
Either ‘Nicely Drawn Potatoes’ (#Day7) or ‘Dick Doodles’ (#Day69, hehe). Both the ultimate culmination of four years at art school, obviously.
This year was your second year committing to the challenge, what made it easier the second time round?
Although it was a harder project overall, I found that having someone to do it with alongside was what kept me motivated. My partner was creating a .gif a day, so we were both able to get to that creative space daily and encourage each other.
What are your all time five favourite zines you have collected over the years?
Swatches from the Stacks by Auckland Libraries (I used to be a librarian so that’s why I especially loved this one).
The Tiny Zine of Scary Peen by Dandy NZ
Anxiety Comics by Stacey Bru
When you were working on the ‘Architypes’ project, what parts of K Road’s architecture did you recognise for the first time? Just from looking at it from a typography perspective instead of a passerby.
I don’t think I’d ever actually looked UP before I had to study the architecture, which sounds really bad because the architecture and history of K’Road is really beautiful and interesting. I’ve never looked at K’Road architecture the same since!
What are a few of your favourite local K Road spots?
As macabre as it sounds, I really like the overpass. St. Kevin’s Arcade is an oldie but a goodie, too.
You work over illustration, design, craft, branding, typography and digital. Do you think it is essential for a graphic designer in this age to work over and offer different mediums of work?
I don’t think it’s essential; I feel like employers nowadays prefer someone who’s specialised. But personally I’d find specialising in one aspect of graphic design to be rather limiting. I’m always wanting to explore new projects and try different things. I always have new ideas, and those ideas usually take me into different mediums of work. I do prefer print, if I had to pick a favourite, but I think it’s great to exercise creative curiosity.
Locally and internationally, what artists, designers and creatives do you admire?
My sister (Colleen Henry). My partner (Jordan Klaassen). Michael Parekowhai. blckwhtstudios/Hollie Arnett. Louise Hutt. Louise Beryl. Inky Palms. Dandy NZ. #WeAreBeneficiaries. Zohab Zee Khan. OhYouFox. CatanaComics. Jordan Debney. Curative. Sew Love. Jessica Hische. The list is endless…
Halsey - I love her vibe. Or Star Wars - that’d be pretty cool.
Best thing you have seen on the internet this week?
Top five tracks to paint/draw to?
Three artists you would give anything to see perform live?
Halsey. K.Flay. My Chemical Romance *sad face*