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12th June 2017

Master of Disciplines: Q&A with John Booth

Scottish-born artist John Booth has fingers in many pies. An illustrator, print designer, ceramicist and textile designer, John’s practice intersects art, design and fashion. He’s also a keen supporter of education, having lectured at Central Saint Martins and now a visiting lecturer at University of Westminster.
John has recently moved into Studio Manifold, a space tucked under the railway arches in Haggerston, east London, that houses an eclectic mix of creatives including Matthew Raw, Ian McIntyre and Bethan Lloyd Worthington. Manifold was founded in 2010 by nine artists and designers who met at the Royal College of Art. Although the work produced in the studio is widely diverse – digital art, sculpture and ceramic design to name a few – each member of the studio shares an appreciation of material and process-led design.  
After years obsessing over John’s work, and being the good friendly neighbours that we are, Zetteler caught up with John to see how he’s settling into his new studio. 
You’ve just moved into Manifold. What’s your space like? Have you made yourself at home?
I love my space. It’s a big open-plan studio in a railway arch, with eight other people all doing interesting stuff. I’ve definitely made myself at home. 
How do you juggle working across disciplines and where do you stand on the hoarder-to-neat-freak spectrum?
I work in quite a loose style, but in an organised way, if that makes sense. I’m definitely more towards the neat end of the spectrum, but with quite a lot of stuff. Because I am relatively organised it means that I can work across different materials easily.
 Your work has been described as exuberant. What does colour mean to you?
Colour is at the core of everything I work on, so it’s very important to me. It’s the part of a project that I always enjoy the most.
Faces feature prominently in much of your work, including the fashion accessories you’ve designed. Is there a fascination there?
Haha, erm, yeah, I suppose I do like faces. I enjoy drawing people, so I guess the face is an important part of that.
You’re given three items to take home from the SS17 collections. Which ones do you pick?
I couldn't even tell you three things I want, apart from the current hiking inspired backpacks at Prada. Can the other things be objects? In that case I’d take home the Pompom vase by Oiva Toikka and a Toucan Lamp by Old Timer Ferrari. 
Drawing is at the heart of everything you do. Who are your inspirations?
Jean Cocteau, Keith Haring, Dorothy Iannone, Keith Vaughan, Karel Appel, Niki de Saint Phalle and Nathalie Du Pasquier. 
You’re now working elbow-to-elbow with the eclectic talent at Manifold. Do you have any plans for collaborations?
It’s a surprise.
We’re practically neighbours! What your favourite spots around Haggerston?
The Good Health Bakery.

Follow John on Instagram to keep up to date with his latest work. 

Studio 3
De Beauvoir Block
92 De Beauvoir Road
N1 4EN

+44 (0)20 3735 5855