“a mental list of dangerous things”

When you find someone who describes themselves as an “Artist & Beekeeper”, well, you invite them onto your podcast immediately. Yep, New York based designer, collage artist – and beekeeper – Charles Wilkin is my fabulous guest today. We met this past summer in New Orleans when we were both attending the very first Kolaj Fest put on by Kolaj Magazine. I heard Charles speak and I knew you’d want to hear him too. Obviously, I love his collage, but he also tells some pretty good stories, so that sealed the deal! You can listen right up there under his 2018 collage titled “Messages”, or subscribe on iTunes.

Alright, first things first, a few {ok, more than a few} of my favorite pieces from Charles’ art portfolio:

Gasp! Oh, so many layers and slices and luxurious bits ‘n pieces! Stunning. I can’t imagine that there’s a magazine left uncut in his house. I’m pretty sure this is safe though:

This beauty is Charles’ book, titled Index-A, that he published with Gestalten in 2003. Pages and pages of collages, type, and old Polaroids. I was about to mention the limited edition box set he just released for the book’s 15 year anniversary … but it sold out. Obviously.

Now, as a designer myself I admire Charles so much for making a conscious choice to infuse his own artwork into the brands he was working with. I really liked the pharmacy with which he worked. That’s kind of a designer’s dream, and trust me, it doesn’t happen very often. Well, unless you’re Charles:

Australian Vogue, Australian GQ, New York Times and some kind of awesome tape cassette packaging. And this is just the teeny tiny tip of the design iceberg Charles created while running Automatic Art & Design. Oh, and since we’re talking about gorgeous branding … hello, 2 Queens Honey!

So beautiful! And yes, even his beehives are stylish, but who’s surprised? Ok, a few things. No.1: That’s Charles in his bee suit. Is that what it’s called? Probably not, but either way he looks fantastic! No.2 : The images above are just a few of the products that he and Martin make … all of those delicious things also happen to be in my house right NOW! Yep, they sent me an amazingly sweet {see what I did there} care package after we recorded – which of course was totally unnecessary – but there’s also no way in hell I’m sending it back! Note: The “Honey Butter” is body lotion, so do not eat it {that said, it smells ah-mazing and I’m kinda tempted to grab a spoon.}

And, while we’re at it, one more sweet thing to finish off the post:

Awww! This is Carrot Cake Jake, aka Jake, aka Carrot Cake. Yep, Charles has a wiener dog too! See, I knew I liked him right away. Also, those rainbow shoes. Love. Thanks so much to Charles, for not only being on the podcast but also for sending me a giant box of bee-made stuff; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode {if you’re in Chicago be sure to stop by and see all of the amazing art AND artists at The Other Art Fair}; and as always, thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Charles’ art on Instagram
  2. Kolaj Fest {and there are dates set for 2019! YAY}
  3. 2 Queens Honey
  4. Fiskars Fingertip Knife


comments (5)

  1. Karen /// 09.29.2018 /// 6:13pm

    Forgive me if I missed it in the post — what is the link to the Fiskars ring cutting thing that you recommended to Charles?
    Thank you.

  2. the jealous curator /// 09.29.2018 /// 7:17pm

    oh yes! sorry, karen… just added the link to the bottom of the post! : )

  3. Ann Williams /// 10.03.2018 /// 7:38am

    I want to be him!

  4. the jealous curator /// 10.03.2018 /// 7:51am


  5. RUTH DEL FRESNO-GUILLEM /// 03.21.2019 /// 11:28am

    Hello Danielle, I have been listening to your podcast since day one and I never get tired of it… I stopped for some time and now I am catching up. today while I was listening to Charles talking about glue and materials and he mentioned conservation I was sooooo happy. I am an art conservator (Ph.D.), I’d love to talk with you about it. Love and please keep doing this it the greatest ever!

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