L.E.T. Mixtape 011 | Stewart Armstrong
Stewart Armstrong (Compost Positions / Club Club) is a self-employed graphic designer, illustrator and animator, based in Edinburgh. Stewart's process involves a cyclical play of analogue and digital. He often starts with a mark, a drawing, a found image or some of his own photography, scanning, arranging, noticing, redrawing, until something feels right, or it’s time to go home.
Stewart, Please let people know about you, where you're from? What's your profession?
I grew up in a little village by the sea in England and currently live in Edinburgh, Scotland. I’m a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. I also dabble in animation and video.
Tell us the inspiration behind your art and the idea behind the collection?
I often collect textures, shapes, marks and bits and bobs, whilst I’m out walking my dog. I spotted some really nice little sea foam bubbles when I was paddling with him last summer, and I kept the phone footage on file without a particular execution or project in mind. When Matt at LET and I were talking about ideas for the capsule, we discussed lowered vehicles and somehow veered off to the original Hannah Barbara Scooby Doo, and how much we liked their van, the Mystery Machine. So I started doodling some of my own versions of it and then it occurred to me that it might be nice to get something from the outdoors and nature in to the mix, and I remembered the sea foam. I used sections of it as shading and for some weird gas / smoke / vapour emerging from the little van and lettering we came up with. There was something nice about it relating to therapy too, as I find the process of noticing and collecting when I’m outside really mindful and relaxing. I also like to include something I didn’t make in my work, as it can steer, limit or surprise me in a fun way.
How did you choose the tracks for this Mixtape? What's one track included that is a constant staple in your life?
I have an ever expanding playlist that I tinker with from time to time and thought it would be interesting to go back through it and pick out some tracks that are a little slower, that I listen to to relax, rather than to work along to. So the mixtape you guys have is kind of like the ‘ambient' ‘Now That’s What I Call Therapy! 2023’ of my original playlist.
One track I’ll never tire of is ‘When You Sleep’ by My Bloody Valentine. It’s incredible. It’s noisy, quiet, shouty, whispery, calming, exciting, awkward, confident, sarcastic, heartfelt, beautiful, bleak, happy, sad. It’s mercurial and amorphous and it changes depending on what mood you’re in when you hear it.
What's next for you? Anything upcoming we should know about?
I’ll just be working away in my studio as usual and hanging out with my dog. I work remotely as in-house designer at Childhood Intelligence and we have a table at Sprint Milano Book Fair in November, so I’ll be working with various illustrators, artists and musicians to prepare for it and on a new publication we’re planning to launch. We’re also working on a new clothing collection which should be ready later this year. I’m working on my second book with Tim Coghlan at Knowledge Editions, and am currently in the planning stages, thinking about what I’d like to explore through it. I also have a few other clothing projects in the works or waiting to be released, I’m busy but it’s a good busy.
Thank you Stewart!