We speak to the London Fields-based illustrators and animators about hanging out on "the Marshes by day and Xenoglossy by night"
With the London Olympics on the horizon, the May issue of Dazed & Confused dedicated itself to asking the question: is east London dead? After inviting many of east London's creatives to join the debate and creating a timeline where you can map your memories of the area, we now speak to Cloud Cuckoo Studio, a collective of illustrators and animators who share their thoughts on the changing local area.
Dazed Digital: Who are you and what do you do for a living?
Cloud Cuckoo Studio: We are Cloud Cuckoo Studio, illustrators and animators working in editorial and publishing. We are also involved in other projects: Katharina Koall is one part of Sensation, a synthwave/disco pop band with Sebastian Muravchik, and Claudia Boldt has recently set up a publishing endeavour called BOLT editions with Eleanor Meredith.
DD: Where in east London are you based?
Cloud Cuckoo Studio: We are based in Netil House, near London Fields.
DD: What first attracted you to the area and how long have you been working here?
Cloud Cuckoo Studio: We have had studios in the east for around ten years. We moved from Redchurch Street (cheap back then!) to Bethnal Green, then Dalston and now near London Fields. We both live nearby and moving from studio to studio always felt quite organic. The reason for moving into Netil House was definitely the working heaters!
DD: How has east London changed since you've been here?
Cloud Cuckoo Studio: This city is in constant flux. It is spreading out, and of course that affects the east as well. The Olympics have accelerated this process, with corporate developments popping up everywhere. East London is becoming more and more mainstream and therefore probably a less exciting place to be.
DD: What is the most exciting thing about living in the East End?
Cloud Cuckoo Studio: There are so many motivated people here. There is definitely still a lot of energy to make things happen.
DD: Has the area informed your creative work at all?
Cloud Cuckoo Studio: At the moment there is a certain antagonism informing our work! What is positive is that there are so many people around interested in similar things which makes it easy to start new projects and collaborations.
DD: Is it possible to say ‘Silicon Roundabout’ aloud without laughing?
Cloud Cuckoo Studio: No.
DD: What's your favourite East End hangout?
Cloud Cuckoo Studio: The Marshes by day, Xenoglossy by night.
DD: Does anything annoy you about the area?
Cloud Cuckoo Studio: High rents.
DD: What are you going to do during the Olympics – stay or flee?
Cloud Cuckoo Studio: Someone has to hold the fort.
DD: Is east London dead?
Cloud Cuckoo Studio: It's dying! We all need to wake up and start resuscitating.
Dazed Digital invites you to map your east London memories on our timeline, 'A Secret History of East London'. Get involved HERE!