Things I Love... Cathy from Anorak

Hello I am Cathy, the founder of Anorak Magazine, the Happy Mag’ for Kids. 2010 has been such a treat and I hope that 2011 will be even more satisfying! One can always ask for a little bit more, no? Here are some of the things and people that have inspired me this year.

Things I Love by Cathy from Anorak Magazine

Things I Love by Cathy from Anorak Magazine

Things I Love by Cathy from Anorak Magazine

Things I Love by Cathy from Anorak Magazine

Things I Love...

1. Scrapbooks
I was at a car boot sale in May when I came across a giant scrapbook filled with old fashioned newspaper cuttings. It looked lovely so I decided to take it home. I discovered that it had been put together in 1938 by a girl called Mary Green. There are newspaper cuttings of cats, bygone theatre celebrities and a few jokes about the horrendous Hitler.

I find it fascinating how this object obviously made with love and dedication is talking to me through the ages.  I showed it to Rob Flowers , a brilliant illustrator who has a penchant for all things vintage and we decided to  produce our own scrapbook, secretly hoping that one day in the year 2155 an Anorak scrapbook filled with lovely images may be found by someone, just like Mary’s. It’s available to buy from our online shop only.

2. Supermundane
Supermundane is the art director of Anorak Magazine. I am probably his biggest fan. I am very lucky to be working with someone whose work I genuinely admire. I once walked in his studio to find a gorgeous owl staring at me. That immediately inspired me to do a BIRDS issue. He is one of these very rare people who can do pretty much anything: typography, fine art, illustration, graphic design, even writing. And pretty amazingly too. If I had a talent like his, I would be the most arrogant person on the planet. He is not. Thankfully!

3. Cycling
Come rain, snow or shine, every weekend of my childhood was spent without fail at a cycling race, as my Dad was a keen semi-pro rider.  So if there is a cycling gene, I am pretty sure I have it. I have been cycling in London for many years but this year, I have been very inspired by all the London cycling culture. Brilliant cafes like Look Mum No Hands or the Rapha Cycle Club Cafe. Cycle Polo events.

I also enjoyed discovering Art Crank who invites illustrators to draw cycling related goodness. They came to London for an exhibition in the Summer. If you want to see how brilliantly bonkers and brutal cycling can be, I suggest you get hold of a copy of Road to Roubaix. It’s a brilliant documentary that follows riders in the most difficult of all races, directed by cycling nut Dave Cooper.

4. Oscar Kirk’s Diary
When I discovered Oscar Kirk’s diary on Museum of London Docklands via Twitter in March, I fell in love with it. Oscar Kirk was a 14 year old London messenger boy in 1918 when he first started his diary. It is full of delightful and funny comments about his life and life around him. We asked the Museum of London permission to reproduce and illustrate some of his entries as we felt it would be lovely to connect Oscar with kids today.

When they accepted we were over the moon. Our illustrators did such a wonderful job that the Museum of London exhibited the artwork for a month in November. That is one of my proudest 2010 moments. Read the diary here. See the artwork here on our iPhone app or our Flickr page.

5. Outsider Art
I was first introduced to Outsider Art when I was 7 years old, when my Mum took us to visit Maison Picassiette in France. The owner of the house, Raymond Isidore, spent the best part of his life decorating his house with bits of ceramics and broken plates.  Back then, I had no idea that this type of art was called Outsider Art.

Forward a few decades later and The Museum of Everything opens in London, the home of Outsider Art. I loved the first exhibition so much, it felt like my home for a few weeks too! If you can’t go to the Museum before Christmas eve when it closes, I suggest you get hold of their book, it’s simply stunning.

6. History
I love history. I love spending time in old castles, mansions, museums gleaning information about how our ancestors lived. Thankfully my son seems to enjoy it too, phew! This year, we visited plenty of wonderful historical places. The one that stays in my mind is Burghley House. It was the most magnificent manor house I had seen.

We also love Hever Castle and its jousting tournaments. In London, one of my favourite places is The Wallace Collection. One of the programmes that we watch incessantly at home is Horrible Histories. The books are brilliant but the TV programmes are extremely funny. Who says history is boring?

All About Me...

My name is…
Cathy Olmedillas.

When I grew up I wanted to be…
An Interpreter.

Instead I became…
A publisher.

My secret talent is…
I do a very good turtle face.

Most people don’t know that…
I am that old! 🙂

My go-to song for singing Karaoke is…
Fairytale of New York (Pogues)

If I were a superhero, my name would be…

And my superpower would be…
To shower the world with lovely gifts.

My favourite indulgence is…

If I could go back and give one piece of advice to my teenage self it would be…
‘Chill, it’s only a phase!’

If I wrote an autobiography, the title would be…
‘It was great while it lasted.’

Anorak Magazine is distributed in Australia by Lark.

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