George Lavender is a super creative, talented and altogether lovely Designer living in London. He also just so happens to be my best friend Jane’s boyfriend. And a good friend of my own. So when I heard about his new project I jumped at the chance to set up a little interview and get all our wewine readers on board!
The Little Pink Book of Pin-ups is a beautiful illustration book created in memory of George’s Grandma, Joan Astin, an aspiring artist and painter who worked as a Draughtswoman for Roll Royce back in the 40s. Joan unfortunately lost the battle to breast cancer in 1989. And the book, curated by George and showcasing her incredible artistic talent is collecting donations for Cancer Research.
Hi George! Thanks so much for doing this interview with us. I’ve just got a few questions for you. First things first, what inspired you to create the book?
Finding all of the drawings in my Granddad’s loft was the starting point. Discovering the quantity of them (about 40) made me realise that a book was the best format. And it was coming up to my Granddad’s birthday. I’ve always enjoyed making presents for my family as opposed to buying things, so I guess the idea formulated itself quite naturally.
I know, unfortunately, you never got to meet your Grandma, but do you feel connected to her through your artistic nature?
I like to think so, it’s a strange concept to have a connection to someone who you never met. But I’m often told about how well I would have got on with her, and that we are similar in many ways. I think there is definitely a creative link running through my family and it came from her side. I’m very grateful for that. I can imagine it was quite difficult to pursue a career in art at that time period, but my Granddad was always very supportive of her decisions, and I hold onto that. I think it’s a great sentiment.
What was your creative process behind the design of the book?
I wanted to keep it as straight forward as possible, the book is not about my design, it’s about her drawings. It’s about giving an outlet to an unseen talent and sharing it with people. All I focused on was structuring the drawings in such way that made them feel cohesive as a set, but varied enough to show her range and imagination. Whether that’s through the varying techniques she used to draw them with or the manner in which the models are posed.
Which is your favourite image and why?
14. I like everything about it. I think the body language is interesting, it feels dynamic and powerful. The outfit is great too, especially the high contrast of the black. Overall, I think this drawing really captures an iconic representation of female beauty. I also think it’s interesting to see a woman’s perspective on how she would like to see herself. They’re all very glamorous and attractive but you can tell there’s an overarching sense of respect and integrity.
Was it the plan all along to make the proceeds go towards Cancer Research?
Yes. My family has struggled immensely with cancer over the past few years in particular. I guess this had been on my mind recently, and when I found the drawings and remembered my Grandma’s story I knew that I could do something useful. I don’t consider myself very useful in these hard life situations so being able to turn my attentions to something I’m good at and create a positive outcome was a great achievement for me.
Where can people purchase it?
Thelittlepinkbookofpinups.com There’s a link to buy the book from here and there is a limited print run of 20 for this edition. But there is potential to create another book, or some large format prints from some of the unused drawings. There are so many that it would be a shame not to!
And one more bonus question…what was your drink of choice while making the book?
Coffee in the mornings and maybe a cheeky little whiskey in the evening. Cheers!
We love George very much and are so happy to be able to share his work. Please check out The Little Pink Book of Pin-ups and grab your copy before the limited run has gone. We’ve already got ours…