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Introducing Cornelia And Her Aquarius Dreams

Every so often here at Sketchbook, we get a rare opportunity to meet someone who, in our humble opinion, would be classed as a real rising star. So when we met briefly with a Swedish artist named Cornelia (at a New Year party in Paris last year), in an instant it was clear that we were in the presence of a ‘one to watch’. With over a decade’s industry experience under her belt and a record label to boot, it is clear that Cornelia - as a singer/songwriter/producer/DJ/occasional actress and founder of Camp Mozart record label - is truly a force to be reckoned with.

So when we were given the opportunity to go behind the scenes of her latest video for her current single - Aquarius Dreams - we could hardly contain our excitement; especially, as the concept of the video encompasses the illustrative/creative ethos of Sketchbook as a magazine.

On a sunny afternoon, we made our way to a studio in East London to meet with Martyn Thomas, the brains behind the concept for this “real meets dream” video. As one quarter of Stitch That TV, a production troupe based in East London, Martyn talked us through the various stages involved when putting such a range of complex techniques into practice; whilst also telling us about the inspiration behind the concept for the video, which can be seen here.

Having had some more background info into the making of the video, we squeezed our way into Cornelia’s hectic schedule – which sees her constantly shuttling in and out of Europe and beyond) – to have a 60 seconds catch up with her…

For those who may not already know, can you briefly tell us who is Cornelia?

I write songs, and in turn they rewrite me. I sing them. I sometimes play them… or just play with them. The song needs to be played with; it has its own character and feel.

Like plants, rabbits… they all need that arching fresh air to function.

How would you describe your sound?

Books I used to read as a kid. Travels. My home island. Big city life. It’s all in there. Somewhere between Dream Pop, Experitronica and Old Wave.

What inspired your new single Aquarius Dreams?

A time when I felt I had to choose between love and my love for music. 

 How did the concept for the video come about? 

Me and Martyn Thomas grew into deep conversation around Aquarius Dreams, and he told me how both lyrics and production made him want to capture it on camera. I think I mentioned how I tried to make the song sound like I was walking straight into a Mary Poppins painting of my own imagination. And so in the video, all living beings are animated, fictional characters while dead objects like robots and music boxes look perfectly real.

What can we next expect from the Camp Mozart collective?

Regular outbursts of light and sound.  

What’s in your Sketchbook?

Today I’m working on a song for my friends in Portico Quartet. So far it’s nothing but a sketch, and we are very far away from applying the ink!

Words by: Keji Mustapha

Images by: Christopher Hunt -




Mia Jafari and Florence Bamberger in collaboration with Sketchbook Magazine

Late last year we gave our readers a special task for the commencement of our first competition. We called all illustrators to create a template for the design of a new scarf by the masterful Central Saint Martins and Goldsmith’s graduate, Mia Jafari, whose majestic scarf range has caught the eye of Vogue, Grazia and Nylon Magazine.

We received a plethora of submissions and with your help, decided on the winning design of Florence Bamberger, a graphic designer and illustrator from Paris.

The original winning illustration by Florence Bamberger

Together they worked hazardously to design and produce a limited edition scarf, “The Florence”, which we are thrilled to present to you today.

"The Florence" scarf

Designed in collaboration with Sketchbook Magazine and illustrated by Florence Bamberger, The Florence comes in a sumptuous fuchsia pink and black box, with the Mia Jafari LONDON logo stamped on the front. 

Florence Bamberger and Sketchbook Magazine in collaboration with Mia Jafari

These beautiful boxes are handmade locally using the highest quality of recycled card. In addition, each scarf comes with a hand sewn Swarovski encrusted swing tag at a tiny edition size. The Florence scarf is on silk double georgette so prints are visible on both sides, therefore compatible to wear however you choose.

Illustration by Katherine Tromans

The Florence measures at 63 x 63 cm and is available to purchase online for only £45 at the Mia Jafari Official Shop:


Referencing peacocks and Jean-Paul Gaultier, The Florence scarf is ideal for anyone interested in exclusive yet whimsical luxury.

Sketchbook would like to thank both Mia and Florence for their hard work throughout the procedure of the production. We are so happy with the result.

Visit Mia Jafari’s website to see more of her scarf design:

View the work of graphic designer/illustrator Florence Bamberger:

Take a look at the work of Katherine Tromans:

See our Top 10 Finalists in the Sketchbook Magazine + Mia Jafari collaboration: Our Chosen 10




Peacock Illustration: FLORENCE BAMBERGER

Fashion Illustration with scarf: KATHERINE TROMANS



Sketchbook at the Design Museum: Design Overtime

The Design Museum is known as the pillar of fashion and design showcasing, exhibiting some of the most prolific in illustration, art and contemporary design.

In December, Sketchbook Magazine was thrilled to announce a collaboration with the Design Museum along with fashion journalist Hywel Davies for our latest pop-up installment, Design Overtime. 

The evening commenced with a live tutorial segment of fashion illustration by Sketchbook’s in-house illustrator Gabriela Mot whose technique of creating outrageous illustrations with the aid of magazine editorials began a artistic storm.

Our other guest illustrators were Tomomi McMaster, with a variety of illustrative techniques; and lecturer Stephen Stone who integrated members of the audience as his model subjects for his fast illustration class.

Stephen Stone

Gabriela Mot and illustration participants

In addition to our unique illustration classes, Hywel Davies, author of Fashion Designer’s Sketchbooks and Central Saint Martin’s lecturer, entertained an ample audience of spectators with interviews with phenomenal designer greats.

Journalist Hywel Davies

The audience with Fred Butler, interviewed by Hywel Davies

Those interviewed are at the pinnacle of British design, namely Richard Nicoll whose affinity with strong-tailoring and sleek design that has seen him become a celebrated addition to British fashion; London-based Turkish designer Bora Aksu who has fans in the Dolce and Gabbana duo; the celebrated props and accessories designer Fred Butler (amazing us with her eclectic headpiece); and lastly, the illustrious Amy Molyneaux, one part of the notable pair who created the revolutionary cult brand PPQ back in ‘92.

Fred Butler and Hywel Davies

Bora Aksu with Hywel Davies

In true journalistic form, Hywel charmed each genteel participant with a capacious variety of Q and A, allowing the audience and those following our buzzing Twitter feed to divulge in their own individual inquiries. I was lucky enough to snab my own, more-refined questions to each designer, somewhat rousing a desire in me to investigate the true quality of each individual widely praised in fashion.

Art Editor Megan McDowell with Richard Nicoll

The evening buzzed with a fashionable banter and the smell of mulled wine, eventually ending in the Sketchbook editorial team probing guests to the door after an overdue but much appreciated stay. The initial sight of our space after the night had ended imprinted our minds with a fantastic mirage of what the night had previously been.

We will be posting individual interviews from each of the aforementioned designers in subsequent posts that you can enjoy whilst divulging into Fashion Designer’s Sketchbooks by Hywel Davies, available for purchase here.

On behalf of the Sketchbook Editorial team, we would like to thank:

Michael and the Design Museum for being so supportive and of the utmost help.

Hywel Davies for his influence and ability to captivate all those who take an interest in the very soul of fashion and design.

Richard Nicoll, Bora Aksu, Fred Butler and Amy Molyneaux for gracing us with their inspiring presence and inspiring us and the future of fashion in our audience.

Our outrageously amazing advocates who battled through the snow to become part of our discussion.

We are so incredibly grateful for your continual support and well wishes.


See more photo’s of the night on our Facebook page

View the talents of the illustrators that participated (click their name): Stephen Stone, Tomomi McMaster and Gabriela Mot

…and our photographer Nedim Nazerali





Kissing the Shirt

No dear reader, this post is not about a new range of T-shirts, nor is it about a new designer that has felt into the realms of our affection. This post is about football, and yes, you read that right.

If you follow out Editor in Chief on Twitter (@fashionambition) you probably know by now that Wafa is a through and through Arsenal supporter and, by extension, Sketchbook has gone all red and white and invited the very talented Lisa Holland to illustrate that passion.

Lisa Holland is a graphic designer recently graduated from the University of Wales Newport and her task was to create an old school footie comic for us, featuring Sketchbook’s favourite Gunners idol: Cesc Fàbregas.   

Arsene Wenger vs Alex Ferguson 


Arsenal vs Manchester United 


We are just kicking off the game, so watch this space because soon Sketchbook Sports will come alive. Don’t miss out.

For more information about Lisa Holland visit

Words:  Mariana Moyano 




The Unknown Hipster

So the “The Unknown Hipster” doesn’t leave us with an accurate description of The Hipster himself, but do you necessarily want to be named when your artistic medium is a variety of Crayola and the limited creativity of a mere pre-adolescent?

Save yourself the shame, or not…

Alas, my critique is useless when the work of The Hipster (found to be who we think is Jean-Phillipe Delhomme) is seen on The Purple Diary Blog and features Olivier Zahm himself along with Waris Ahluwalia and Marina Abromovic as prime subjects, along with the observant depictions of city normalcy in dark sunglasses and long beards (aka. a “hipster”)

Through these un-limitations and variety of fashion clique, I can honestly declare that the illustrations of Jean-Phillipe have become my illegible obsession. They depict a wild craze that evaluate the standard human form (although extracting all fault) but remain spontaneous and instinctive- a real pleasure amongst the idealism of the usual society of fashion.

Along with his work, Jean-Phillipe adds a descriptive text explaining each of the situations he encounters prior to his scrawl, a bit of a descriptive anonymity.

Moving to New York from France, this lead tambourine for the band Uneven Dusk, states that he planned to be either “a painter, a poet, or whichever position was available on the art scene”.

Discover the work of Monsieur Delhomme and review it yourself at


Images: The Unknown Hipster



Our chosen 10

Our first Sketchbook Magazine competition has come to a successful close. The aim of our campaign was to encourage the creativity of our readers and display the incredible talent of those who took part. With the acknowledgement of each submitted design, Team Sketchbook along with Mia Jafari, chose 10 suitable designs that can be added to a Mia Jafari scarf design.

Here are our ten finalists:

(Each illustrator is credited under their illustration)

7abo 7elwa

All Amy Martino

Elizabeth Alice Rose Flynn

Emily Ward

Florence Bamberger

Hannah Clark

Joao Freitas

Lucy Mower

Mariam Abbas

Nevidita Saha

The second step of the competition is to “like” your favourite design. The illustration with the greatest amount of “likes” will be pronounced winner. Finalists are encouraged to invite friends to “like” there designs by becoming a fan of the page and group.

The competition comes to a final end on Friday, 25th September.

Sketchbook Magazine would then like to thank all of you who submitted designs- the decision making was treacherous! Most of all, we would like to thank Mia Jafari for her incredible help, advice and inspiration.

Vote for your favourite here:  Mia Jafari Top 10




Attention Sketchbookers!

In collaboration with Mia Jafari, Sketchbook magazine calls on all creatives to participate in Sketchbook’s first competition.  In order to contribute, one will have to illustrate a masterpiece that will team up with another of the material kind.

To be involved in this milestone, you will have to do the following:

  1. Draw an animal or template with an element of Sketchbook that can be added to a unique design of a Mia Jafari scarf.
  2. Send your completed illustration along with a brief description to, with Mia Jafari as the subject.

Participants are encouraged to visit the Mia Jafari website prior to take a look at her fabulous designs and discover more about her accomplished brand.

Illustrations will be accepted until Wednesday the 15th of September .

The Sketchbook team along with Mia Jafari will then choose the best ten of these applicants, those of which will be broadcast on the Sketchbook Magazine Facebook fan page. The public will be encouraged to “like” their favourite and the illustration with the most “likes” will be pronounced winner.

The winning drawing will be announced on September 25th. It will then be printed as an exclusive Mia Jafari and Sketchbook Magazine scarf originale.


And now, more on the lady in question…

Mia Jafari makes her accessories debut with a range of limited edition scarves under the coy name of “Ladybirds [love] Strawberry Cosmos”. Already stocked in New York, Dubai and Bahrain as well as online globally at Dia Boutique, Ms. Jafari is taking a refreshed digital era of design to an entire new level.

A Goldsmith’s and Central Saint Martin’s graduate, Mia incorporates traditional Iranian symbols such as birds and flowers, with her own modern twist of present day influences; some of which include Christian Loboutin shoes and vintage Cartier. Every one of these interests mixes collectively, creating an assortment of vibrant colour and matchless design. The scarf designs are complex and individually processed, an aesthetic she named “digi-broidery”. In short, one could define this technique as an infusion of artisanal Middle-Eastern embroidery and digital prints with 20th Century chic.

Each of the nine designs debuted hones into an extensive cultural reference and craftsmanship made to seduce and dazzle, a fabulous addition to any city girl’s wardrobe, along with those Louboutin’s of course…

Megan McDowell speaks to Mia on all things that add to the creation of the Mia Jafari brand. 

You graduated from both Central Saint Martin’s and Goldsmiths. Tell us about your path into fashion via scarf design.

Upon completing my BA in Textile Design from CSM, I needed to explore other art forms to develop my understanding of the larger context of my work. So at Goldsmiths I explored textiles alongside photography, installation and video art but I always came back to working with textiles. My time at Goldsmiths was a series of experiments to see what fit and what didn’t; whilst all the time I was desperately missing working with textiles!  My scarf collection was born out of the necessity to combine the influences of Goldsmiths with textiles, the language that fits me. I wanted to do a scarf collection because I want the buyer of my pieces to wrap it around their head, neck, bag, for it to be seen by all rather and than just hung on a wall or worn a few times. My scarves are designed so that they can be worn as jewellery pieces, day after day to accessorize an outfit. I love that kind of versatility!

What process does one go through to create a scarf?

William S. Burroughs popularised a trend in literature called cut-up technique.   He once said; “When you cut into the present the future leaks out”. My process doesn’t involve design; a lot of what I do is found in the very activity of cutting up the worn out visual culture within the East and West and pasting it together in the hope that this iconoclasm will create new sensibilities.  I work very organically on each scarf, adding, deleting, cutting, pasting, and slicing images for week’s on-end until I am happy with the final look. Because of my training at Goldsmiths I work more like an artist than designer, allowing for spontaneity in the creation process rather than having a set brief. I find through making mistakes my best work is created.

What is digi-broidery and how did you come up with such design aesthetic?

At the time of digi-broidery’s conception I had two concerns. Firstly, digital print is opening up a whole new world of possibilities but as I believe it there is still some uncertainty of how to take it to the next level.  Rather than transferring photographs onto fabric or illustrating them graphically, I wanted to create a completely new print technique.  Secondly, I have always loved the embroidery and embellishment of handmade fashion but find it quite difficult to wear due to its fragility. Digi-broidery therefore aims to make prints that have a hypereal aesthetic of intricate handiwork yet can be worn and handled effortlessly because it is a digital print process. It’s actually a very complex process even with the Arts Council funding, it took 9 months to develop and saw me travelling to Iran to research hand embroidery and back to the UK to work with Claire Mason, a graphic design in. Digi-broidery is something I really want to push the boundaries of with my next collection.

Design is a complex process and yours are often an array of intricate looking forms. Who or what are your personal design influences?

This collection grew very organically and so did the design influences. I have a real soft spot for touristic gaze that sees a culture as a postcard image. One day I was in a book shop in Green Park and came across a stunning, thick bounded book on Persian carpets, I knew instantly that I had to use these in some way! With this collection I really went to my cultural roots and dipped back and forth between traditional eastern influences and contemporary sensibilities.  ‘Berrypolitan’ in particular is built on the traditional design of domes that can usually be found in Islamic architecture. The domes don’t relate to my London sensibilities so I jammed Miu Miu heels, skulls and cocktails into them. 

Designing the collection was fabulous and fun, I spent days in designer boutiques collecting a library of images to use and days at the Victoria and Albert Museum looking at their carpet collection! I can’t wait to start researching my next collection.

We are invited into a distinguished world in your website description:

“Jafari invites you to bask in a world where majestic creatures drag Christian Louboutin heels across endless domes filled with ruby red lipsticks – where nocturnal, gem-encrusted birds take nightwatch over enchanted trees dripping with strawberry pink muffins. A wonderlust of Eastern landscapes exploding with iconic perfumes, vintage Cartier and luscious cocktails. ‘Ladybirds Strawberry Cosmos’ blends Eastern rhythms with a cosmopolitan sophistication that tantalizes and delights”

What kind of woman would wear a Mia Jafari scarf?

When designing, I imagine a nomadic, globe-trotting bird of paradise making her nest from Chanel lipsticks, Dior sunglasses, Christian Louboutins, vintage Cartier and treasures found from her travels. The type of woman I picture wearing my scarves has the spirit of that bird of paradise. 

Where in London are you based?

I live and work in east London by Victoria Park. In the summer I like to get away from it all and live by the sea in Brighton.

Describe the day in the life of Mia Jafari.

I’m a workaholic! During the 9 months of developing this first collection I worked 16 hours a day, every day. Now things have developed and I include time for PR and sales where my working day is controlled by the normal working hours of other companies. My morning starts with hot yoga (which keeps me focused and on track), then about 3 hours of admin and meetings. At about 3/4 pm I actually can start designing and don’t stop till 3am! I have a few research days per week (more so in the summer) where I visit galleries, museums and shops, snapping images on my blackberry and sketching ideas to incorporate into my designs. 

What is in your sketchbook?

When I was at CSM I had so many sketchbooks, but now I work on the computer I only have a very ripped, old sketchbook always to hand, which I use a  line sheet in-progress. Each A3 double page is dedicated to one design and I rework the pages, taking things out and adding new ideas as I go along. In my sketchbook I have images of vintage Cartier jewellery, perfume bottles, colour swatches, Persian miniature paintings, sketches and actual embroidery pieces.

Being a new brand which has already had significant press and acclaim (Vogue, Nylon magazine and Grazia), what do you want to see in the near future for Mia Jafari scarves?

I have been approached by so many young girls wanting to purchase a scarf but unable to afford the limited edition price tag. Therefore I would love to collaborate with a company to make a more affable priced diffusion line. I would love the world inside my scarves to be accessible to all!




Mia Jafari on Twitter

Mia Jafari on Facebook 



Degree Show Camberwell Illustration

SKETCHBOOK went covering the Camberwell Illustration Degree Show SAVE OUR SOULS
Among all the graduates, Tom Pearson’s work caught our eyes with his narrative manifesto creation “Calm down; what happens happens mostly without you.”

Celebrating how small things moves and happens without human beings
taking part, Pearson’s work is build up in a grid of three frames for each short story. Looking like a comic-style and celebrating simplicity, it is a clever way to communicate how we people should calm down and enjoy our lives.

See more of his straight illustrations at Camberwell Degree Show’s website or his upcoming website:

TEXT: Sine Jørgensen



Degree Show Brighton Illustration and Graphic Design

SKETCHBOOK went to visit the Brighton Illustration & Graphic Design Degree Show which finished yesterday. The exhibition was held in the amazing space at Rochelle School, Arnold Circus.

And worth being mentioned is Chosen Graduate Daniel Michael Clark who embraced experimentation in his process completing 8 portraits of Litmus Paintings as finals.

"A series of paintings with acid/alkalis solutions on Litmus paper made to
create distorted portraits of individuals who had experienced alcohol abuse
at some point in their lives. Inspired by hearing the savage scream-fights of
his alcoholic neighbors.”  
The portrait as a media is known as a visual presentation of personalities
composed to present the person in a certain way. By Daniel Michael Clark,
to display his eight personalities with focus on pure honesty.

His other interesting presentation was of four narrative illustrations telling
the story of A lost phone connection displayed with an interactive function.

The images go together with a audio-visual installation playing recordings
to accompany the story with sound dragging you further into the narratives.
To activate and play the recordings the audience have to step on a pedal.
The interaction and soundpiece together with the illustrations make sure to
effect more senses than only the sight.

Daniel’s business cards going for a nostalgic look went well with his style of image. And on his website he has chosen to post images from his sketchbook.
If you missed the event, have a look at his work:

TEXT: Sine Jørgensen

IMAGES: Sine Jørgensen