Category Archives: art

Pink Pig Sketchbooks

So pleased to announce a number of our friends at Dirt Cheap are now representing Pink Pig Sketchbooks!

High quality, artists sketchbooks delivered direct to your door in a variety of paper weights and in economy and ecologically sound ranges.

Some members of the team you should follow…










The quality is truly great and many of the artists (including myself) have been using these books for over 10 years before becoming a member of the team. Stay tuned for much more content and exciting projects coming soon from the team.

You can purchase Pink Pig Sketchbooks and papers on their website here and also on Amazon here.

Get 10% off your order by entering the code ‘OSmith10’ at the checkout!

Blissfields 2015


Okay, So we know we are a little late on getting this up! But here is an extensive photo report on our trip to the stunning Blissfields Festival 2015! Enjoy!


After quite a long trip to London from ‘Up Norf’, it was then a further intense trip (…don’t you love megabus?) down to Winchester – so by the time we entered and were greeted by this parade of gold clad fellas I was quite ready for a little drink and a dance…


This bus formed the ‘Blisscotheque’ stage, and pumped out a great little range of sets – blasting out feel good Motown and Funk as soon as we arrived.



The festival had a number of really cool independent boutiques and stalls, Nadia found her favourite in Kouk & Feather Tree – a great collaborative business selling African print clothing (2-pieces in dazzling colour, made in Kenya), with Jewellry, feathers and embellishments from Feather Tree.

A great little business run by a really friendly couple!



The ‘Back of the Bus’ stage provided some really good Hip-hop and general party vibes throughout the whole weekend and was a constant chill out spot for many.




Camping facilities were excellent, with plenty of well maintained water points, toilets and bins. The festival is also dedicated to Green ideas, and they have schemes including a £5 payment if you fill up the rubbish bag you are given with your wristband.





For a relatively small festival, there were quite a number of installations and large scale decorations, it was clear that there had been much thought and effort put in to creating the whole look of the festival grounds, and I was very impressed. Easily surpassing many larger festivals in terms of artwork and interesting visual installations.



Headliners included huge acts such as The Horrors, John Grant, Simian Mobile Disco, Grandmaster Flash & Ghostpoet. Really quite impressive when seen alongside the many, many other acts!


At night, as is the way, the whole feel and experience of the festival changed. It was really exciting to see the way Blissfields had taken this into account – with much use made of lighting, projections, UV and constructions. The whole place really came alive at night, and it looked superb.







Another, not quite surprise, but definitely out of the way, is the ‘Hidden Hedge’ stage, squirreled away along a winding path and only coming alive at night, this was the destination for many of the people swaying through the darkness.



Nadia even found her hero stenciled on the entrance!





Featuring an outdoor DJ booth surrounded by tripped out visuals and the ‘Area 51 Stage’ (above), this was where we ended each night, the enthusiasm of the acts made for a great atmosphere upon finally getting there.



Apart from the obvious beautiful setting you can see in the pictures of the campsite/festival ground, it was surrounded by even more lush landscape, including a huge forest. The setting, for me was one of the biggest bonuses of the festival – it really is a stunning location.




Free hammocks in the centre of the festival ground, were highly sought after – and became bases for groups of friends as they took it in turn. Many funny conversations were overheard as people relaxed in the midday sunshine.








Apart from one grey morning, the weather was faultless – Bright and hot, to a Northerner it was quite a nice shock. (I’m still pink).


Watermelon smiles were a must for the midday heat!


Another good point, and a rarity, was the food available – couldn’t fault it! Instead of just the usual greasy spoon offerings at £20 for a bacon butty, mainly I would say they were all high standard and served much more interesting and healthy alternatives (though you could get a greasy butty too ….I sure did)






This guy was not only a showman, he made bloody awesome pizzas! super nice, some of the best I’ve had (find them here Pommarola Pizza Gardens). Really worth a mention, plus, check his skills!



One of my favourite acts of the whole festival ‘Ibibio Sound Machine‘ absolutely rocked it on ‘Singularity’ (the main stage). So good!!





One of the notable aspects of the festival was how well kids/families were catered for – and not in a separated sense of different areas (though there were lots of specifically kid friendly areas), everyone seemed to enjoy themselves throughout the festival at all ages. It really had a great atmosphere of families and young festival goers all mixing together with a very relaxed feel.




For kids and big kids alike (Nadia), there were many activities popping off across the grounds throughout the event. Here Nadia’s arm was twisted (barely) into joining a giant water fight hosted by Tracksuit and Tie.








…and then promptly got floured in the face for her efforts!





Having areas shaded by trees was a huge bonus, it was nice to be ‘in’ nature as opposed to just the bare grassy fields of most modern festivals. They were, of course a magnet for the many families to escape the sun.


An unexpected surprise and probably my favourite performance of the whole festival came from Loyle Carner – a London MC who performed to a crowd of about 3 people initially. Still, he wasn’t phased and dropped a set of smooth, heartfelt hip-hop over some sublime beats. Everything about this set was perfect for me, and the crowd soon grew with heads appearing from all sides of ‘The Den’ tent.

The tunes were great and heads were nodding, and people singing the hooks almost immediately… great presence on stage from a talented and modest pair.

One to watch!






In conclusion – Blissfields, a ‘big enough’ small festival, with a HUGE lineup of headliners and underground artists, set in BEAUTIFUL surroundings, for a TINY ticket price.

It has also been going for 15 years, a testament to this is how smoothly the festival ran (not one mistake/problem with sound lighting etc that I saw) and still remains limited to 4000 people, and retains the ‘feel’ of a small festival – people are friendly, helpful and relaxed.


Specifically good for families, and for people who are sick of the corporate mega-festivals and all the rubbish that goes along with them…

Blissfields 2016 – GO, …JUST GO!



Until next year, We out…

Words and Pictures by Oliver Smith & Nadia Amini.

Find out more about Blissfields on their website, and Facebook.

Thanks to all the staff and press liaison Alex, who looked after us.

Amadeus Magazine Issue 5 Launch

The good people at Amadeus Magazine are launching their 5th issue, if you are in the LA area you should go check it out. All Vinyl DJ set by PRES, Live art by Jennifer Korsen and free beer from House Beer.

Issue 05 artists include:
America Martin
Clay Hickson
Damien Tran
Fred Stonehouse
Hannah Stouffer
George Heaven
Loro Verz
Kate Mitchell
That Thing


Friday, May 29at 6:00pm – 11:00pm in PDT
Imperial Art Studios
695 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, California 90021
Facebook event info here.

Keep Helping Nepal

Thanks so much to all who have donated, shared and spread the word. The original print is now SOLD OUT – with ALL proceeds going to people on the ground in Nepal.

The terrible news that another quake has hit Nepal is another reason to continue to collect and give generously.

Remaining designs – PURCHASE HERE.

50% of proceeds from the remaining posters in my shop will also be added to the total.

The very kind people at will also be donating £2 from every single and combo pack sale made during the month of May – They make super cool, secure, stretchable phone protection.

Phone Hug example.

So please, please, please get buying the prints or the Phone Hug; do something charitable AND get a useful product of piece of Art to hang.

Shares etc appreciated…

Love Has No Labels

It’s time to evolve, to truly become civilized – beautifully shown in this simple but effective ad from Ad Council.

While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see—whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability. This may be a significant reason many people in the U.S. report they feel discriminated against. Subconscious prejudice—called “implicit bias”—has profound implications for how we view and interact with others who are different from us. It can hinder a person’s ability to find a job, secure a loan, rent an apartment, or get a fair trial, perpetuating disparities in American society. The Love Has No Labels campaign challenges us to open our eyes to our bias and prejudice and work to stop it in ourselves, our friends, our families, and our colleagues.

Find out more at Love Has No Labels.

Guy Bourdin: Image Maker

There’s just five days and counting until the Guy Bourdin: Image Maker exhibition closes its doors after an extended run at Somerset House. If you’re in London and can make it past the fashion pack (and the photographers baying for their blood) hanging around the place over the next few days for LFW, the retrospective is definitely worth a visit.

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Beginning his career in the mid-‘50s and honing his expertise under the guidance of Man Ray, Bourdin is renowned for a high-shine, high-fashion, highly-saturated aesthetic and notably, the distinctive narrative that runs throughout his work.

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As well as these stylised final images, the exhibition offers a chance to see the work behind the images – from the Polaroid test shots, contact sheets and composition sketches, to the Super-8 shorts he made throughout the shoots, including one never-seen-before film.

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The exhibition is at Somerset House until Sunday. Tickets and more information are here.

‘Polaroids’ Andrew Reynolds, 71a London 30th – 31st October 2014

And now we are pleased to introduce you to a new contributor to Dirt Cheap, Rich ‘RT’ Taylor a multidisciplinary artist from Northern England, now based in London. He will be contributing his musings, reviews and artwork from now on, we think you will dig his stuff. First up a look at Gallery 71a’s new show ‘Polaroids’ by Andrew Reynolds…


Firstly, having only been moved to London very recently I can already say Gallery 71a has some awesome exhibitions. The previous show, ‘Artist Beer Visions’, showcased a number of artists and illustrators. On the opening evenings the venue tends to get very busy with a crowd of completely different people at each event. This time was the opening of the show ‘Polaroids’ – photographs by Andrew Reynolds.


The series of Polaroid pictures capture the young life of the professional skater in Florida. Reynolds took most of the pictures inside his home where, evidently, he and his friends had some good times. Although initially Reynolds had no plans to showcase these pictures, or become an accredited photographer at all, it was through this personal documentation of experiences and memories, that people from all over the world can relate to the snapshots shown.





The venue was packed with skaters and other creative people, and the whiskey chasers were flowing. Everyone analyzing the pictures; pointing out the people and discussing similar stories they’d had. In this way there was a sense of nostalgia (especially with the Polaroid format) and community as people connected with the photos, which is what makes these images so successful.

Words and Photos by RT

Tom Sledmore

Trippy ‘Through the looking glass’ type work from York based artist Tom Sledmore, love the bizarre forms and layering techniques. 

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 You can see more of Tom’s work on his Flickr here.


Zaria Forman

Outstandingly realistic soft pastel drawings of water and ice by Zaria Forman.







See more of her work here.

Art and Craft – Documentary

Back to the visual arts for a moment, ‘Art and Craft’ is a new documentary about Mark Landis, One of the Most Prolific Art Forgers in U.S. History.


Although he has never been convicted as a criminal, as he donates his work to museums and doesn’t look to con money from unwitting art collectors. The story follows Matthew Leininger, a registrar who uncovers the ruse and begins to investigate his decades of deception.

Directed by Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman; Co-directed by Mark Becker

For more information go here.