Currently reading : SB6 Archive (2012): Richard Nicoll

SB6 Archive (2012): Richard Nicoll

28 August 2017

Words by Adrian Wilson

Photography by Adrian Wilson

I always liked the idea of a floral sleeve.
I’d always wanted something in the style of Rousseau.
Tropical, fine, illustrative.

I waited for about 8 years before I had it done.
I wanted to be sure.
Like losing my virginity.

A friend of mine, Howard (Tangye), one of my tutors at St Martins, illustrated it.
I used to study life drawing with him and we remained friends.
He measured my arm and worked with what I had wanted. Birds, flowers and foliage.

I had the design for maybe a year before I went to have it tattooed.
I just felt one day that it was the right day to get it and went across the road from my studio, to Shangri La.
They introduced me to Liam (Sparkes) and he had the time there and then. So that was the moment.
It took about 5 hours. He’d thought it would take 3 and I think he missed the gig he was planning to go to.

I’ve always had an obsession with letters. With an alphabet soup, a chaotic mix of letters and I wanted a slogan
within the illustration that wasn’t readable.
I’d been to a Corbusier exhbition at the Hayward Gallery and saw some some fanzines he’d done in the 1930s. Esprit Nouveau style.
I liked the typeface and the design and thought it was appropriate for that moment.
I’d just got a new job.
I asked Howard to mix it into the drawing.

‘Esprit Nouveau’ amongst birds, flowers and foliage.

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