Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Interview Barcelona Urban Sketcher Lapin.

I'm tremendously excited about this post. It's been 3 years since I asked Lapin for an interview, and him abviosuly being a very busy man agreed, but we never got around to actually doing it. so I was really pleased when we managed to arrange this again, a big thank you to you Lapin, and please check out his new website, http://www.lesillustrationsdelapin.com/ and you can follow him on twitter here

Five years ago Lapin moved to the capital city of Catalunya, Barcelona. 
It was love at first sight. He loved everything about Barcelona.
He followed every trace of the great artists, Gaudi, Muntaner, Antoni Tapies…
He loved the dusty old parts of it and the new shiny glamorous side. He loved the "cerveza-beer" and he loved the vermout, he loved the Guiris and he loved Castellers and calçots..
He loved the new building of the museu blau and million yeared dinasours inside, he loved the darkside of Edifici Colon and the cheer on the Barceloneta beach, he loved the old ones playing parchis and the young rebel voices in Plaza Catalunya, he loved the old hairdresser’s timeworn chair and he loved looking for old account books in Encants as old as that chair, he loved the the sound of the rally cars passing by, he loved the graffitis and he loved that old emblem on the Plaça del Rei, he loved the tension in the Barça games and the peaceful empty streets on the Sunday mornings. 
He loved walking through the city to rediscover, to draw, in another word to live it like the way he knows.

1. How long have been in Barcelona, and why did you move here?
I lived in Barcelona for 5 years and a half. I came for a job, I was sent by the design agency I was working for in Paris to create a filial in Barcelona.

2. It looks like you always carry a sketch pad around with you. What else will you not leave home without?
For sure my sketchbook is an inseparable part of me, as an inkpen, a tiny watercolour box, and some brushes, pencils…(see more herehttp://les-calepins-de-lapin.blogspot.com.es/2010/06/my-secret-material-gear.html)

3. How long does it takes you to draw the sketches? (I realise that probably depends)

Actually, you’re right, it depends. From few minutes in the metro, to an hour to sketch a modernist building or a vintage car… in any case, it’s quick. If not that annoys me, and I lost the spontaneity of my line.

4. How do you then get them onto the website/blog with such crisp accuracy?
The scanner is a very important thing in my process, and I had to buy a professional one. Than I’m used to calibrate the tones and the contrasts.

5. It looks like you've sketched in some great cities, and my first reaction when I came across your site was the style of the Beastie Boys "to the 5 boroughs" cover on the sleeve. You've been to New York, was it tempting to do a huge skyline (bigger than the one you did)?
I wish I have done this cover ;) 
Of course I have this temptation to sketch most of the sky scrappers there, I’m totally fascinated by the big apple.
I will return there this summer… so let’s see when I’ll be back!

6. Is there any city you'd love to visit to sketch that you haven't been yet?
there are many cities I would love to sketch in fact, Hong Kong, Moscow, Chicago, Buenos Aires, (…) are just a random list of it.
In fact, I’m pretty sure that every city will have some interest to be sketched.

7. Which has been your most surprising find/a sketch you are most proud of?
more than a sketch, what I’m most proud of is the sketchbook I dedicate to my daughter Louise. I sketched her every day during the first month, and still continue to sketch her while she’s growing.

8. You seem to have covered a lot of Barcelona judging by your google map. Anywhere you haven't managed to sketch yet that is pending?
I published this year a first volume titled “te quiero bcn”, a compilation of 100 pages of some of my favourite spots in Barcelona, and I plan to publish more volumes in the next year. I want to sketch the real barcelona, and there is still a lot to do.

This sketchbook is about Barcelona and every detail that made Barcelona so special. This is Volume I edition of the Barcelona serie and this project may be possible by giving back all the love that Barcelona had given to us.

9. Is there anything in particular a scene must have for you to want to sketch it?
dinosaurs and vintage cars are a must have in every of my sketchbooks, but I also love to sketch portraits.

10. Another urban sketcher you admire?
I have several names in mind: Veronica Lawlor from NY, Marina Grechanik from Tel-Aviv, or Nina Johansson from Stockholm…

Again, thanks a million to Lapin for the great interview, and please leave your comments below, and go and buy his book!! 

Coming to Barcelona this summer? Check out BCN Rentals for some great deals on apartments. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

3...2...1...SONAR !!!

I can hardly believe this as I'm writing it, but this year's Sonar is the 19th edition (can't wait for next year already!). Already such an institution in Barcelona, it has also spread its wings in a similar way that Primavera Sound has done with editions in Sao Paolo, Tokyo and Cape Town but it's the original and best which keeps defying the neighbours' complaints in downtown Raval for Sonar by Day and Gran Via 2 for Sonar by Night.   Think dodgems, carpets and a haunted conference hall style atmosphere. With flashing lights.

As usual, organisers have had no trouble attracting big names, and expect to see the über cool New Order (how col is that?), a plethora of different DJs and acts like Friendly fires, James Blake, Die Antwoord, Jack Beats, Annie Mac, and a whole shed load of people who are probably just as good if not better but I've never heard of them. I'll cross my fingers for a tribute to Adam Yauch somewhere. 

Sonar embraces the city and you'd have to say that the city embraces Sonar, too, with events actually going on all this week and off-Sonar parties galore, so don't let it stop you from going to that UB40 concert tonight if that's your thing guys and gals. Plenty of time to watch the footy after a Sonar by Day session or a beach trip along with dinner and cocktails before catching the buses at Plaça Carbon (to the right of Columbus monument, people) to the night stuff. If you need a handy day-to-day guide, then download that here

Anyone heading down ? Or down there now?! Leave a message in the comments! Looking for last minute Barcelona deals? Then Check out www.bcn-rentals.com for some great prices on apartment rentals. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Red-Carpeting the Raval

If you happen to be strolling around the Raval today or tomorrow, I highly recommend heading on down to the area of Carrer Vistalegre, Carrer de l'Aurora and Carrer Carretes. That's because today and tomorrow sees the latest edition of the Paso de Zebra  festival of fashion and artistic expression and it's also a chance to see the streets of the Raval with a red carpet!! OK, well, pink, purple and green, but it's still bloody cool. I apologise to the organisers as I'm not sue which edition it is (3rd?) - feel free to comment anyone who knows more than me!

The idea supports local designers and jewelery craftspeople in a similar way that the weekend market of the Rambla del Raval does: all artisan products and designs, with no brands or well-known makes on offer. I took these photos early this morning, so it was still a little incomplete and empty but the festival is going on all day and into the night, with live music and a really cool chill out Moritz lounge/bar in the basketball courts on Carrer Aurora.

It's a great way to meet the neighbours in a different setting and support the local designers in such tough times. There were some really cool bags this morning made from old vinyl records, for example that caught my eye, and although I had to go, I can definitely reccommend heading down - if not for just a chilled drink in the Moritz lounge!

Coming to Barcelona this summer? Why not rent an apartment with BCN Rentals instead of just heading for a stuffy hotel room? They have fully equipped apartments with air-con, wi-fi, Satellite TV & DVD, etc. And for some more money saving options while you're here, see these budget tips.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

3rd Parallel Party This Saturday!

Parallel is considered to be the Theatrical artery of the city, and aims to cement itself as the broadway of the city - City Hall's plans to make it a gateway between the ever-bustling Port and cruise terminal and Plaça Espanya with the Fira and Las Arenas. With the re-opening of EL Molino and Ferran Adria's Ticket bar hoping to fuel the fires of traffic to the avenue, it's another turn for this year's Fem Paral·lel Festival this Saturday from 10am till 2am. Like previous years, the street is taken over with various stands and stages, workshops and tables with activities and displays for all ages.

Theatres including the Apolo, El Molino and Victoria also open their doors for the locals to have a nosey around and the party goes well on into the night with concerts and live music from all over the world. Full details and programme can be downloaded here (pdf). One of the best things avbout the day (in my opinion) is the fusion of two neighbourhoods with such cultural and ethnic diversity such as Poble Sec and Raval. I've been to the last two and they were great fun, so if you're in and around the area on Satuday, I can reccomend you popping down to check it out!

Anyone headed down there?Let me know in the comments! And if you're looking for accommodation this coming summer, check out BCN Rentals for some great deals on apartments.
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