Bags by the House of DS is a collection of unique tote bags by David Spooner, available to order here.
"For Making Art Work I have translated some of my daily drawings onto a number of tote bags. My daily drawings this year have centred around commemorative days that are celebrated in different places around the world such as 'I Forget Day' or 'Water A Flower Day'. My drawings are done every day on a small piece of paper with permanent marker. I then photograph the drawing and post it on social media. I started doing these daily drawings in 2018. In 2017 I did a weekly drawing. The reason for the frequency of the drawings is to keep me making art work, engage with my online community and by extension the art community. The Making Art Work project has been an excellent way to bring my drawings back into the everyday world through creating a functional and wearable item of art."
—David Spooner, 2020
Jahlia Aird: Where do you find inspiration for the days you illustrate?
David Spooner: I search the internet for the theme for the particular day and select the one that I find most appealing. Sometimes I might choose one because it's strange but I might choose one because it's quite banal. There are times when it's late at night and I have to get my drawing done and will choose one depending on what I have to draw for it (it might be easy to draw like an egg or noodle). At times I am completely lost about what to draw but don't get too hung up on it as long as I get a drawing done, I am content. There's always the next day to draw anyway and often when I look back on drawings, I have done that I didn't like initially I later change my mind. Publishing my drawings online is also an interesting process as drawings that I didn't think were that exciting can be really popular with my online community.
JA: How do you come up with the characters that you draw?
DS: The characters I draw have been things I have been drawing for a long time. I think they are probably derived from pop culture (cartoons and comic books) but also from advertising logos. I get a little obsessed with certain animals over certain periods of time and will draw these over and over. I can be the same with recipes, making the same dish over and over, changing things slightly each time and then one day move onto something completely different but then I will eventually circulate back. Triceratops, bats, cats, sauropods and ducks are some of my regular recipes.
JA: How has this project connected you to your local community?
DS: I have recently moved into a studio space with Outerspace Artist Run Initiative in China Town, Fortitude Valley. The studio is close to my place (walking distance) and has expanded my range like I am in a computer game and some new levels have opened up. For the Making Art Work project I have spent a lot of time in the studio drawing and painting on my bags. It's early in the project but already I have made the bags alongside friends in the studio. Normally when I create my daily drawings, I am making them alone. For Making Art Work I am talking to friends and moving around China Town meeting and seeing some interesting new people. I imagine that the bags going out into the world as wearable art will connect me to the community in more interesting and different ways into the future.
JA: How do you find your practice has changed/helped you throughout COVID?
DS: I think my art practice has opened up and accelerated during COVID times this year. I have had a number of different projects emerge out of the woodwork. Perhaps because people have been home more, they have seen my daily drawings and thought to include me in something? I'm not sure.
My friend Danni McGrath, a printmaker included me in a fun project where she hand printed my 'Renewal Day' and sent it around to different people via the post along with a number of other artists and called it Original Copy Press (@originalcopy.press)
I sent a painting to my friend in Los Angeles and am about to send two large paintings to my friend in Sydney.
In November my friend Tara Pattenden and I are going to unveil an Augmented reality project in conjunction with Brisbane City Council and Metro Arts for their Temporary Art Program. We are making real and virtual art along my Story Bridge running trail.
I think through people being disconnected through the pandemic it has strengthened the positive aspects of my art community and made us connect in whatever way we can. Artists are adaptable and we have adapted and evolved in all sorts of interesting ways this year.
Over the past few years, David Spooner has created a drawing a day, searching for hidden structure within his seemingly wild and scattered practice. He draws a connection between seemingly unrelated ideas and materials to make new work, and in the process revealing the complexity of the inner logic that drives his practice. Working with textiles, drawing and found objects, Spooner knits, sews and stitches installations and works that play with literal and imaginative narratives.
Spooner holds a Masters of Visual Arts at the Queensland College of Art (2008), and a Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours at the Queensland University of Technology (2003). He has recently exhibited at Boxcopy, Brisbane; Metro Arts, Brisbane; Wreckers Artspace, Brisbane; Next Wave Festival, Melbourne; Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra. He has collaborated with fellow artist David Creed, and Brisbane-based Artist Run Initiatives The Wandering Room and Inbetween Spaces. Spooner was a visiting artist in the Sculpture Department at Australian National University, Canberra (2011), and was the recipient of the Cathryn Mittelheuser Travel Grant (2008).