You may have read my lunch review on Sake no Hana earlier this year. The bar and restaurant are part of the Hakkasan group and somewhere you have to visit if you love Japanese food as much as I do.

To add to the delectable experience and if you visit Sake no Hana before 25th January 2014, you will also get to see artwork by Daniele Davitti.

Daniele Davitti at Sake no Hana

Daniele Davitti’s exhibiton at the Sake no Hana bar on St. James Street is the venue’s second art installation as part of A Space For Art, which seeks out remarkable spaces in London and Berlin to place the right art on the right wall.

Inspired by Japan, Davitti’s work has focused on traditional Japanese themes such as the art of ink, kimonos and Japanese style and imagery. Davitti’s portfolio includes global collaborations with Vanity Fair, the Moretti Gallery (London), La Pergola Theatre (Florence) and Arte Fiera International Fair of Contemporary Art (Bologna). And in 2011 Davitti was appointed Professor of Graphic Design and the Aesthetic of Fashion at the Polimoda, becoming one of the youngest professors in Italy.

This is one to check out!

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

Last week I had the great privilege of attending the launch of Moleskine’s limited edition range of Mickey Mouse notebooks, which I think is quite a genius yet unsurprising idea if you think about the legacy of both brands: Moleskine notebooks have been scribbled on by some of the greatest creatives, including Oscar Wilde, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Henri Matisse whilst Mickey Mouse is probably the most recognised cartoon character in the world. Mickey’s introduction to cinema audiences heralded a new age of entertainment and the beginning of the Disney empire.

(Mickey Mouse Moleskine Video link)

So to celebrate this first-time collaboration and the art of sketching, drawing and design, on a Friday morning was obviously a great start to the end of last week!

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by MoleskineThe morning began with a delicious buffet breakfast in an upstairs room at Saatchi Gallery’s Mess Restaurant. After we all had a chance to mingle and chat, we were all seated for what was to become a Mickey Mouse drawing masterclass led by Disney Character Artist Seiji Lim.

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by MoleskineAs much as I have always loved Mickey Mouse and drawing, it had never crossed my mind that I could even attempt to sketch him. Why would it? For some reason Mickey always seemed so untouchable. But Seiji led us through a step-by-step process in piecing Mickey together on the page. And here are my attempts …

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine


Mickey Mouse Notebooks by MoleskineMoleskine’s limited-edition notebooks include more sketches to showcase the process of drawing Mickey Mouse. There is even a six-page drawing guide if you want to give it a go.

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

At the end of the session, I asked Seiji if he observes people and uses their mannerisms when drawing Mickey Mouse. Seiji explained that at times he does for example adopt the attitude of say a model and translates it onto Minnie Mouse. But he also explained that he always has to be conscious that he also needs to keep in line with the character’s heritage. I found this all fascinating because I have always considered a Moleskine notebook ideal for jotting down observations. And I for one cannot wait to fill my latest notebook with more doodles, ideas and ramblings. Maybe I’ll even give drawing Mickey another try. 😉

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

The large notebook is priced at £18.50, and the small pocket-sized one is £13.99, which you can buy from selected retailers.

Disney Moleskines

I’m not really a beer drinker – except perhaps on a hot summer’s day whilst sitting on a beach with a cold bottle in hand – but I am a Hunter S. Thompson fan. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is one of my favourite reads.

I am also a HUGE fan of Ralph Steadman’s illustrations which you’ll most likely come across in Hunter S. Thompson’s books. And last week I went along to a preview screening of For No Good Reason; a documentary on the life and works of Ralph Steadman.

For No Good Reason film trailer

The documentary includes private moments with Ralph Steadman and features Johnny Depp as the ‘interviewer’ throughout. Johnny being Johnny is quite mesmerising to watch – and not just for aesthetic reasons. 😉

There is also some brilliant footage of Hunter S. Thompson hanging out with Ralph Steadman which gives you an insight into the long standing relationship between these two artists: they may have been chalk and cheese but there was also a great affinity between them.

Before, during and after the screening, beer and ale were served in bottles that carried labels designed by Ralph Steadman. Admittedly I was swigging water from a bottle whilst the boys enjoyed their booze. But I still couldn’t help taking these pics (below), which demonstrate clearly Steadman’s warped sense of humour and unique craft.

Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman

One of the most interesting elements in the documentary was watching Ralph Steadman’s creative process: how he could create an animal from a blot of ink. And if you’re walking along the Fulham Road (Chelsea end – just by 86) and are passing my favourite bookshop: Peter Harrington, you might just spot a few of Ralph Steadman’s framed prints in the window – so you can see for yourself what a great illustrator he really is.

After trying The Botanist’s new bar menu last night, I popped into The Sloane Club to take a look at the High Profiles exhibition, which aims to raise funds for the Renton Foundation.

The Renton Foundation is a charity initiative set up by Mencap to offer leisure opportunities for people with learning disabilities.

Caroline Stanley, a trustee of the Renton Foundation and the daughter of its founder Lord Renton, is showcasing 35 bas-relief portrait profiles of many known faces – including Renton Foundation’s Patron Norma Major and Earl Cadogan.

When Lord Renton died at the age of 98 in 2007, he was the longest serving Parliamentarian ever. But it was the impact of his daughter Davina, who had Rett’s syndrome (a neurological disorder), that sparked a long devotion to the cause of those with learning disabilities.

The exhibition which is shared with three other artists: David Welsh, Hugh Dunford Wood and Rod Friend, is only running for two days and so ends today: 6th November 2012.

If you are interested in popping along too, the exhibition will be open from 6pm – 9pm at The Sloane Club, 52 Lower Sloane Street, Chelsea, London, SW1W 8BS.

More information on the Renton Foundation.

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