When a friend introduced us to the 60 Minute Stick instagram we were so excited to interview Louise Richardson. There are so many of us that harbour a creative talent or just a general need to get out the glue stick or paints and use the right sides of our brains to express ourselves. Being Brightonians I’m sure there are many of our readers out there who commute to London for work and find themselves bitter and irritable with the commute, (particularly with southern rail being so diabolical). We spend 2 hours a day sat on a train moving one part of our body…our thumb, scrolling and scrolling through, well mostly utter shite. Louise Richardson is a ‘think outside the box’ kind of a woman, and for that we applaud her! Well done girl!
Louise, never before have we seen a better creative use for the wasted commute time than this? What gave you the idea to start it all!
I’d been commuting for about 6 months and was feeling guilty about the endless scrolling through Instagram and eBay. There’s only so much 99p knitwear one person needs and I’d promised myself that I’d make more time for personal work. I was spending most of my day behind a screen and I missed sketchbooks and glue sticks. After a bit of an obsession with newsprint during my Art Foundation, it was always in the back of my mind to do a project with it, taking advantage of the texture and the dot screen in the ink. So eventually I found myself with a spare hour and easy access to daily newspapers. The idea of doing something quick, spontaneous and brief-free was really appealing. Creating something funny or meaningful out of something which is such an everyday, disposable object is really satisfying.
Tell us a little bit about your background, why is being creative in your down time so important to you?
I’ve always been a visual person, at school I’d spend more time designing borders and title pages than the actual work. So doing an Art Foundation and then a degree in Graphic Design was pretty predictable for me. Now I’m a working Graphic Designer and I’m always keen to make sure I still get my hands dirty with analogue processes, so I don’t get too bogged down behind a mac. It helps me to stay playful with my real job, but also gives me another space to think about my own ideas, rather than responding to a brief written by someone else.
We love the little stop motion videos, do you really get all this done on one train journey or do they sometimes take a little longer to finish?
Busted. I prepare all the gifs on the train, but try as I might, I just can’t keep my phone still when the train’s going and move the image into the next frame. I’m thinking about getting one of those special tripods I can secure to the train table, but I’m not sure if that’s going one step too far…
Do you delve into a newspaper with the intention of creating a particular image or message in mind to begin with, or do you just use what you can find that day?
It’s really dependent on the news. Recently, with Brexit especially, I’ve felt like I wanted to respond to current topics more, to show solidarity or just to feel like I’m adding to the conversation and vent. Then there are the slow news days and you’ll get an obnoxious pigeon stealing a box of chicken nuggets.
Favorite video or collage you have done so far?
I was really pleased with my pixelated Kate Moss collage, it was only two frames so a very simple movement, but it turned out to be quite effective. I prefer the gifs to the stills because it’s fun to see how a tiny bit of movement can change or enhance a message.
A video posted by Louise Richardson (@60minutestick) on
Can you see yourself expanding on this skill set further and creating bigger collage work to sell, or is it just the little joy it brings on your train journey that makes it special.
This project has taught me that even if you think you’re doing something daft on a train to speed the journey up, someone might think it’s a good idea. I never expected it to go anywhere, but some interesting things have come from the project that definitely wouldn’t have happened if I’d carried on scrolling instead. I think the best thing was working for Lena Dunham’s newsletter Lenny, which led to a group collaboration with Fab (the online shop not the ice cream) selling one of the collages as a bag and a print. I’m thinking about setting up a way to sell all of them eventually.
How do people react when they see you getting out your glue and scissors and snipping away?
Mostly people go quite British on me and try to pretend I’m not feverishly cutting up a newspaper. But when the girl sitting next to you accidentally cuts off a bit of her hair instead of the picture of Boris Johnson, it’s pretty hard to ignore. No one’s ever complained, but one guy did laugh at me when the draught from the doors blew all my pictures off my sketchbook into someones lap.
Any advice for fellow commuters wanting to put the time to good use?
Think of something which can fit in your bag and doesn’t have too many hurdles so you can put it off. As long as you don’t make a mess and you don’t disturb the Suits too much, you’ll be fine. Ideally, I think people should go all out with their train projects. Don’t just restrict it to Netflix or knitting. I’d eventually like to see a yoga carriage or maybe one for commuter board games.