Art is something we appreciate hugely at Neck of the Woods (along with music and good vibes of course!) and we have made it one of the foundations of our venue since day one. This August we are excited to launch our new local artist programme; a monthly collaboration between a local artist, illustrator or designer, handpicked by the Neck of the Woods team every four weeks. We will collaborate with each artist on our weekly and monthly poster artwork, as well as a handful of limited edition stickers.
Collaborating with these creatives on a monthly basis is about celebrating the talented creatives around us, and having refreshing artwork for your eyes and ours.
This month we have handpicked Logan Smith to get on board, or ‘Smiddy’ a some of you may know him. Logan has recently relocated to Auckland after a year of working remotely from NYC and Copenhagen. Before that Logan was Wellington based, which explains why he is behind some of the best branding and design work in the capital.
His hand drawn, humorous characters and doodle designs are his signature style. He is a design favourite to restaurants such as Five & Dime and Five Boroughs, retail legend Good as Gold, NZ’s only skate magazine MANUAL, and is in constant collaboration with NZ streetwear label Shark Week. Meet Smiddy!
Smiddy Bacall! How you get the nickname?
It's not even really a nickname. It's from Django Unchained, the Quentin Tarantino movie. Smitty Bacall is the leader of the murdering gang of stagecoach robbers The Bacall Gang.
You only relocated to Auckland this year, how are you finding it? What are your favourite local spots so far?
I'm loving Auckland. It's full on, but it's great. After living in Welly for so long - which I love (and miss) - I think AK gets a bad wrap. It's a big city - there's something for everyone. Weather's usually good, it's warm. People complain about stuff like traffic and other shit but it's all good. I choose to live central so I can skate and walk everywhere so it's about whatever works for you I guess. There's money for creativity and the people are awesome.
I love Karangahape Road. I know it's all changing and stuff for better or worse but it's cool. As a newbie to Auckland it's the part I guess I thought Auckland didn't have. Lots of character, not all polished and perfect but still lots of weirdos and a good creative scene. It's fun. Still discovering new places all the time too, Auckland's massive and there's so much around to discover.
A huge part of your work ties back into streetwear and skateboarding, including your heavy involvement with Shark Week. Was this direction always what you had in mind when studying? How did it come about?
Nah not necessarily but I guess they've always been interests. I've just been doing what I enjoy and naturally that's become something that's steered in that direction. I guess the on streetwear side a lot of it has been due to doing all the Shark Week graphics which has been a cool way to get work into the world. Tom always wants to make new and exciting stuff so it's a dream project really. We can do whatever we want which is when the best work gets done.
I know it takes a while for most creatives of any field to find their niche and develop their own style, wether it’s art, music, photography, fashion, filming…etc. Then front that point they don’t change their style much, it becomes theirs. Can you remember the time when this happened to you?
I like to think my style's still developing/hopefully always developing. Really don't want to be limited to a colour palette or a line style or anything. It's hard though sometimes deadlines and budgets mean you've got to work fast so you end up doing what comes most natural. Can't really remember a definitive time but I've always drawn and doodled and I guess that's become my style.
The collaboration with Cathedral Cove Water Taxi’s was pretty cool. How did that come about?
My brother runs the Cathedral Cove Water Taxi with his girlfriend. He's a diver, marine biologist, surfer, ocean baby. He was pearl diving in Australia and bought the business when he came back. I've done some branding work for him and we're going to do limited run tee shirts every year as part of it. Working on the next one now.
What are you working on at the moment? I know you are busy as! Anything exciting?
Working on some cool stuff. Just did a tee for the Green party. My girlfriend Georgia and I just combined powers to start our own design studio - Sunday Best. We've just moved in with Motion Sickness so quite a lot of projects in the works with them. Lots of work with Elie Assaf and Bryn Thomas (Five Boroughs, Five & Dime etc.) - 'Sexi Boi Yakitori' their stall for Beervana. Obviously doing the posters and stickers with you guys has been fun. Doing new cider cans with Three Wise Birds and slowly rebranding their stuff. New stuff with Sharkweek in the works.
Handrawn or digital?
Both. Couldn't have one without the other. Handrawn if I had to choose.
Vans would be sick. Steinlager classic. All Blacks.
Best thing you have seen on the internet this week?
Anderson Paak wearing a Sharkweek shirt I drew.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
Don't sweat the small stuff. Remember, it's all small stuff. - banger from Mum.
Top five tracks to draw to?
Currently in heavy rotation - J Boog - Ganja farmer, Drake and Young Thug - Ice Melts, Sza and Travis Scott - Love Galore, Andreson .Paak and Schoolboy Q - Am I wrong, Giggs - Whippin Excursion, Dej Loaf - No Fear. Notable mention - King Louie - Banana Boat Ft LeekeLeek
Favourite local artist/band/musician right now?
Beach Boy and the boys down in Wellington. Finn's an amazing producer. They're just doing it and having fun. SWIDT are good - only just got onto them. YGB, Passed Curfew, Soaked Oats, Cheeky kids!
Three artists you would give anything to see perform live?
50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Young Buck on a G-Unit Beg for Mercy reunion tour.