Inspired

Johnathan Collins – The Grid

When I was 16, a few mates and I started a music, fashion and club fanzine inspired by Andy Weatherall and his Boy’s Own magazine. Unfortunately, we only did a few issues before realising how much work it was, but it was the first thing that I designed and tried to sell.

A few years later as an art student, my paintings were influenced by the abstract textures, layers and squiggly bits of Weatherall’s production. The cover artwork and visuals that went with the music, labels and events always ran counter to the trends of the day.

Boy’s Own looked completely different to the rest of the acid house visuals, and the Sabres of Paradise and Two Lone Swordsmen phase looked opposite to The Designers Republic and Tomato.

It felt a bit timeless, making it difficult to pinpoint it to an era. There is always a continuous flow of cultural and creative influences, inspiring moments, places and stories, but his work has been one of the constants for me in the past 20 years.

Staying underground is probably the reason Weatherall says he is a classic underachiever, which is a bit like the old Peter Cook adage: someone asked him, ’What’s it like not to have fulfilled your potential?’ to which he replied, ’Thank fuckfor that.’

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