B and B blog

Adding art to your home January 26, 2018 12:00

This week we have been mostly... adding art to our homes!

 Art posters and vintage hand decorated cabinet

Our A2 posters look fab framed, but have had them propped up in a corner forever. At long last they are hung in the entrance hall. Accessorised with oddball items of course. These include a vintage cabinet hand decorated by Lisa, stand up animals and a Shaun Ryder mask.

Vintage armchairs and diamante boombox

This shot is of some very retro brown PVC reclining armchairs purchased for first flat from an antique shop in the Angel Islington and finally destined to be on their way to a good home somewhere else. Couldn't resist using giant diamante boombox (originally used for window display in The Retailery) to help display them at their finest when listing for sale.

Loved the pic so much it had to go on our Instagram @brennanandburch for posterity. Follow us on there for more behind the scenes shots as well as art and other stuff that we see along our travels.

Top 10 resources for artists like us January 19, 2018 12:00

Lisa Brennan sketch peaks

We've been having a lot of meetings recently with other creatives and we seem to keep recommending the same places for them to check out. We thought it might be helpful to compile our top ten list of the resources for artists in and around London.

Lisa Brennan sketch skulls

  1. Artquest - this service is run by University of the Arts, which Maj graduated from in 1993. Artquest supports professional visual artists regardless of where they studied. Free legal & practical resources and opportunities.
  2. Arts Council - offer grants to artists from many disciplines and has useful guides, arts jobs listings. and arts news. An Arts Council representative recently came to our borough (London Borough of Havering) and gave a talk for artists, We were surprised to find out how many types of activities could be eligible for funding.
  3. Association of Illustrators - it's always worth joining a professional network for advice and support. Membership allows access to advice on pricing, contracts, portfolio, and lots more member opportunities.
  4. Bow Arts - workspaces across London, including some in Ice House quarter in Barking near us. They also support East London artists and list residencies, artist opportunities and more.
  5. Cockpit Arts - their business incubator program is well worth a look. They have studios for artists/makers in Holborn and Deptford and their open studios are very well attended too.
  6. Craft Central - we received a grant through Craft Central when we started up and we are also part of their designer network. This entitles us to discounted craftworker insurance, training, exhibition spaces, being listed in artist directory and a newsletter with other opportunities.
  7. Fashion and Textile Museum - The FTM was set up by the wonderfully flamboyant Zandra Rhodes, who has a love for print. We often get inspiration from the fantastic exhibitions and have undertaken great value training here on using Illustrator and Photoshop packages.
  8. London Print Studio - is an artist-run organisation with screen printing studios. When we started our brand we did all our screen printing in a place called Ormond Road studios, which closed down years ago. We now recommend London Print Studios for people who want access to printing facilities.
  9. Red Lemon Club - Alex Mathers is an illustrator who writes fine pieces on all the challenges illustrators face and his blog Red Lemon Club has lots of information on finding freelance work. He hits the nail right on the head with his writing skill and we often share his work on social media!
  10. Space Studios - Space run programs for artists such as the London Creative Network. We were supported by Space with fantastic training, mentoring and networking opportunities as part of New Creative Markets, their previous professional development program for artists.

Lisa Brennan sketch clown

Lisa Brennan sketch peaks

    Networking 2018 style with Shapr January 12, 2018 12:00

    Ok, we admit it... the strapline 'Tinder for LinkedIn' is what drew us in! But Shapr, a super useful networking app, is so much more than just gimmicks.

    Shapr logo

    We've had our business for over 17 years. When we started up, we were young, childless and could work till crazy o'clock 7 days a week. Nowadays getting to networking events at 5 a.m. or schmoozing at a bar late into the night can be tricky. Shapr enables us to network on our own schedule.

     Shapr Profile Majida Burch

    It's super easy to set up a profile and get started on Shapr. If you use LinkedIn, you can quickly pull in your picture and bio. You can also upload a picture from your phone. I decided to create a custom Shapr biography to make it ultra effective, as a well crafted bio is your chance to sell yourself. The app uses your interests to make suggested matches more relevant, so it's worth putting some thought into the hashtags you choose. Once you start matching with dream contacts, you can refine tags based on the ones your target matches are using.

    Shapr hashtags

    It also pays to specify exactly what you are looking for on Shapr. It has pre-set categories you can choose from. Our main focus on Shapr is business development, but we are also interested in potential collaborations and meeting other creatives, so our choices reflect this. You can be very specific so if you just want a co-founder, or a job, you can make this clear. If you just moved to a new town and want to make friends, you can use Shapr to speed up this process.

    Shapr Interests

    It's also worth taking time to set up external links, including your LinkedIn profile, and contact details. Potential matches may use this information to decide whether they are interested in meeting you. Existing matches can use this to research you/your company, or to get in touch with you outside the app.

    Shapr links

    We have been using Shapr since the summer of 2017, and have had countless meetings and calls leading to great connections and opportunities. The Shapr community is full of friendly helpful individuals who want to meet people like you. We recommend Shapr everywhere we go, as it is a fantastic way to meet people in a fun and accessible way. And who knows when that Shapr match might turn into a collaboration, sale or new best friend!


    Trading time for skills with Echo January 5, 2018 12:00

    Echo is our favourite way to help others, whilst also helping ourselves. Echo is an Economy of Hours: a marketplace without the money. Echo members buy and sell their skills, services and resources they have for those that they need, using a currency called Echoes. The exchange rate couldn’t be easier: 1 hour = 1 Echo.

    Number 90 graffiti

    Maj went to visit Echo HQ in their mega trendy Hackney Wick/Olympic Park location to get some marketing training. The 1 Echo she used to buy this training had previously been earned by helping out at an Echo event and assisting other business owners. 

    Number 90 entrance

    Other skills our business has been able to access through Echo include website marketing review, head shot photography and defining our business story. If you want to know more about buying and selling using Echo, you can sign up here. (Disclaimer: If you register using this link, Brennan & Burch will earn an Echo for referring you!)

    Number 90 building from Olympic Park

    We love Echo as it shares the hippy ethos of give and take. Maj's dad used to stand by the side of the road in India with a box, from which passers by could take something they needed, or give something they could share. Echo's HQ is located in Main Yard Studios, 90 Wallis Rd, London E9 5LN.

    Number 90 building from canal

    Echo have positioned themselves a stones throw from the Here East campus, a new and exciting purpose built location which hosts many exciting companies and events. Echo hold their wildly successful Echo ++ business accelerator programs there too.

    Here East in Olympic Park

    Couldn't resist taking some street art pics around Hackney Wick on the way to the overground station! We are obsessed with street art (as you may have noticed from our Instagram feed).

    Hackney Wick street art

    Hackney Wick graffiti characters

    Hackney Wick graffiti tags

    Hackney Wick graffiti doorway

    B&B join The Retailery December 29, 2017 12:00

    Brennan and Burch are now based in The Retailery, an eclectic co-working space and bar/restaurant/cafe in the heart of Romford, Essex near the historic Romford market. Superb premium spirit selection from Booze Made Public,  coffee and retro style snacks at Tad's Diner, fresh Indian food Jas' Punjabi Kitchen and handmade pasta from Italian Kitchen, trendy staff... oh and meeting room and hot desks upstairs. What's not to love?

    The Retailery Dining Area

    The Retailery bar

    Memories and tunez on Made Public radio show June 20, 2017 12:00

    We were invited along to Time 107.5 radio station to do a little interview with the lovely Lauren Martin from Made Public. We chatted about all things B&B, where we started and up to the present day with a few of our favourite tunes thrown in. We also chatted about The Retailery re-fit that we have been involved in with our wallpapers and limited edition art prints. We had a great time!

    Time 107.5 sign

    Lisa outside

    Lauren in studio

    Lisa and Maj in studio

    Lisa in studio

    Cocktails, inkblots and tattoo bears June 16, 2017 12:00

    Popped into The Retailery today to have a butchers of our tattoo bear wallpaper and limited edition art on their walls, was blown away how cool it is all looking! Such a great job all! x x x

    Tattoo bear wallpaper

    Bug's Life and Love Hate art prints

    Alice falling art print

    Monsieur Puppy art print

    Mr & Mrs Vamp

    Grey lady art print

    Cocktail menu with inkblot art

    Lisa on way to launchMaj on way to launch

    Ink blot wallpaper

    Simply Southport April 2017 article May 25, 2017 12:00

    Thanks a million to Lauren Holden for featuring us her Spring Interior round up in Simply Southport magazine. She featured our illustrated super-wide textured wallpaper as a kitsch but cool way to make a statement.

    Simply Southport April 2017 cover

    Simply Southport article

    Please note there is a slight typo - our Skull Rose wallpaper is £150 per panel (1.25 metres wide x 1 metre drop) rather than £150 per roll.

    Pelirocco rocks the BMC April 28, 2017 12:00

    Our phones have been blowing up this week with compliments about Hotel Pelirocco bar decorated with our wallpaper. Turns out that it was one of the Brighton Music Conference 2017 venues and our mates in the music industry were pleasantly surprised to discover our art mixed with the laid back Pelirocco vibe.

    Hotel Pelirocco signs

     Hotel Pelirocco Get Together wallpaper

     Hotel Pelirocco Alice Glamour


    The Idealist January 2017 article January 25, 2017 12:00

    We did a Q&A session with the Idealist for their Modern Heroes section:


    Another Rock'n'Roll Christmas December 14, 2016 12:00

    Merry Rock'n'Roll Christmas with love from Brennan & Burch gals x

    Brennan and Burch 2016 Xmas card

    Brennan and Burch Pop-Up in The Retailery December 7, 2016 12:00

    The Brennan & Burch pop-up at exciting new business venue the Retailery is showcasing our supa-dupa vintage upcycled footstools along with a selection of mens' and womens' streetwear samples from previous collections. The Retailery has been launched with the support of Made Public and Havering Council and aims to nurture creative businesses in Romford.

    Brennan & Burch pop-up footstools

    The Retailery porthole with Brennan & Burch prints

    The Retailery frame from Brennan & Burch

    The Retailery table including Brennan and Burch prints

    Brennan & Burch pop-up streetwear

    The Retailery, 82-84 Market Square, Romford, Essex RM1 3ER



    The Retailery Xmas Window Display November 23, 2016 12:00

    Brennan & Burch were commissioned to create a Twisted Nutcracker window display scene to echo the weird and wonderful vibe of new creative hub The Retailery in Romford.

    The window display was launched at the official Romford Market Xmas lights switch-on 17 November 2016 and featured a live nutcracker character dancing in the window. The mayoress of Havering came down to launch the new business venue on 19 November 2016.

    The Retailery before window display

    Cut-outs waiting for placement

    Hand drawn stars

    Skull rose wrapping paper

    Owls ready to fly in window

    Deer in window 

    Hand drawn website text

    Boombox in window

    Rhiannon Faith as nutcracker figurine

    Rhiannon Faith dancing in window

    The Mayoress of Havering at launch of The Retailery

    Eye Candy Festival 2016 September 28, 2016 12:00

    We are going to be very early risers on Saturday 1 October 2016 to drive up to Birmingham and set up our stall at the Eye Candy Illustration & Art Fair, part of the Eye Candy Festival of art. Eye Candy has been running in Birmingham since 2012 and is organised by Kerry from the cult underground magazine Fused.

    We will be selling butterfly skull belts and unframed A1 art posters for super duper Eye Candy prices of just £5 each. Also we'll be taking orders for giclée fine art limited edition prints, illustrated textured extra-wide wallpapers and Leather Satchel x Brennan & Burch printed leather bags.

    Our belts are also available for sale in the fab Eye Candy pop-up store at Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row, Birmingham B2 5HU from Wednesday 28 September 2016 - Saturday 8 October 2016.

    Mad World poster

    Let the Music Play poster



    The Leather Satchel Co. x Brennan and Burch collaboration August 10, 2016 12:00

    We have both admired The Leather Satchel Co. for some time, because the design, colours and quality of their bags is outstanding and they are a traditional heritage British company. We have both bought satchels and always get great feedback wherever we go, and the neon ones are right up our acid house street.

    We were thrilled to meet Keith Hanshaw, the Managing Director of The Leather Satchel Co., at an exhibition in London. We had a good old chat and talked about the possibility of putting our heads together to do something in the future. A year or so down the line, our The Leather Satchel Co. x Brennan & Burch collaboration was born.

    We are very excited to have been given free reign to choose from all their designs and to select two of our prints to use. One print 'New Forest' was chosen as it has been graffitied onto a wall by Romford station and Keith loves it. The other print 'Let the Music Play' is full of our usual mad characters and colour. To start the range we plumped for the gorgeous pixie bag and a roomy leather tote bag. Here is a preview of them being made by hand by master craftsman Keith.

    Let the Music Play Pixie Bag in progress image1

    Let the Music Play Pixie Bag in progress image2

    New Forest Tote Bag in progress image1

    New Forest Tote Bag in progress image2

    Havering Resident August 2016 article August 3, 2016 12:00

    Thanks to Sara Odeen-Isbister, editor of Havering Resident, for this fabulous piece on Brennan & Burch and our New Forest wall painted as part of Colour in Romford project.

    Havering Resident August 2016 cover

    Havering Resident August 2016 Article

    Feathr - wallpaper designs submitted May 11, 2016 12:00

    Our wallpaper designs have been submitted to Feathr.com to be considered for their independent artist roster for 2016/2017 - please rate our designs now!

    To vote our designs into the Feathr range, please click on the individual links below. Voting closes Monday 16 May 2016 at 12:00 p.m. GMT.

    Alice wallpaper


    Lola Crest wallpaper


    Mad World wallpaper


    Tapes wallpaper


    Tattoo Bear wallpaper


    Colour in Romford - street art installed March 30, 2016 12:00 1 Comment

    Colour in Romford aims to support Creatives and engage the local community in the arts by bringing a splash of colour to South Street. The open competition gave the public the opportunity to submit their artwork for large scale commissions with a chance to see their creations brought to life throughout our streets. Focusing on four main sites, entries were encouraged to design a piece that drew inspiration from local history and culture, giving the proposed urban sites an audacious, artistic makeover. Colour in Romford is curated by Made Public .

    'New Forest', Brennan & Burch, South Street (station)

    We made a few site visits as the work was going up and got behind the scenes shots.

    Brennan and Burch street art

    Brennan and Burch street art

    Brennan and Burch street art

    Brennan and Burch street art

    Brennan & Burch street art

    Lis and Maj

    'Monkey', Grant Pearce, South Street (Fiction)

    'Monkey' by Grant Pierce

    'The Reader', Anika Manuel, The Quadrant

    'The Reader' by Anika Manuel

    'Loughros Point Revisited', Chris Stevens, King's Arm Yard

    'Loughros Paint Revisited' by Chris Stevens

    Art prints now available February 3, 2016 12:00

    Brennan & Burch limited edition art prints are now on sale. Have been talking about this for some time and been asked so many times when the art will finally be produced. There are seven limited edition prints in two sizes. Each digital art print is part of limited edition of 100, printed on 210 gsm giclee watercolour paper. All prints are signed by artist with a certificate of authenticity.

    Colour in Romford - New Forest shortlisted January 20, 2016 12:00

    Got some good news this week - our New Forest work has been shortlisted in the Colour in Romford competition. If we are successful then we might be seeing our work up on the walls of Romford very soon! Fingers crossed for us.

    A too-wit too-woo from us to you this Christmas December 17, 2015 12:58

    Owl and boombox Xmas card 2016

    Colour in Romford - competition entry November 18, 2015 12:00

    Now we are Romford girls, we like to try to get involved with stuff that is happening in our local area. We were excited to get the chance to enter Colour in Romford competition being run by Made Public. They are commissioning a number of public art and design pieces in and around South Street, Romford, A nightclub building, town clock, station wall, lamp posts and pavements are just some of the proposed urban sites in need of an audacious artistic makeover. Watch this space...

    Sara Stockbridge iconic muse of an era June 24, 2015 12:00

    I have to post a little homage to Sara Stockbridge as she has been playing on my mind for some reason over the last few weeks. Sara was Vivienne Westwood's muse in the mid to late 1980s and had a very distinctive kind of Marilyn Monroe mash-up look. You couldn't miss her and to me she represented Vivienne at that time. She started her career at Models One and after her high-profile work as Vivienne's muse she went to be an actress, writer and singer. Still to this day she retains the crown as the face of Vivienne Westwood and that era in our youth. Her i-D magazine cover was firmly stuck on our wall for many a year and she still looks as fresh and relevant to this day. She still looks absolutely fab at 49. There's still hope for us!

    All images copyright Vivienne Westwood / i-D Magazine / Sara Stockbridge

    Sara Stockbridge i-D magazine cover

    Sara Stockbridge modelling Vivienne Westwood

    Sara Stockbridge modelling Vivienne Westwood

    Sara Stockbridge modelling Vivienne Westwood

    Sara Stockbridge modelling Vivienne Westwood

    Sara Stockbridge modelling Vivienne Westwood

    Sara Stockbridge


    While researching this blog came across this pic of the one and only NIck Kamen, another love of our youth, but that's another time, another blog...


    Skull love June 17, 2015 12:00

    Skulls are another passion of mine, second only to smiley faces...

    Lola Crest cushion

    Skull cushion

    Butterfly Skull rug

    Skull Frame cushion