Here’s an interview with Matt Bramford, Spotter for our London City blog!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Yorkshire but moved to London when I realised that there’s more to life than looking at sheep and watching television. I’ve been in London for 6 years now, and it’s been a rollercoaster, but I wouldn’t change anything. I studied Graphic Design at Northumbria University and it was an internship at British Vogue magazine that secured my love for editorial design. I now work for a TV magazine as my real job whilst moonlighting as a graphic designer, photographer, fashion blogger and regular contributor to various websites, including Spotted by Locals! I could do with a long lie down, but I seem to be happiest when I’m super busy.
How do you like being a Spotter?
I love being a Spotter! I’ve always loved finding new places to go to and being part of the Spotted by Locals team gives me the impetus to discover more and not sit at home being lazy. One weekend when I was in my local pub, The Sun Inn, I got chatting to a Swedish girl and her mother, who had come to the pub on my recommendation on Spotted by Locals – luckily they loved it!
I suppose that all depends on what kind of interests you have. For me, it was the only city in the UK that offered me the job roles I sought when I graduated from university, as well as the culture that fuels my projects and hobbies. I think our current line-up of galleries and major exhibitions is second to none – our institutions have really pulled it out of the bag for the Olympics. I’d say try and get to as many as you can. I also think that, even though many Londoners look to the area with scorn, Shoreditch and its neighbouring boroughs are home to incredibly talented people and the city’s wildest wardrobes – go for a people watch. There’s nothing I wouldn’t recommend doing, apart from anything dangerous – I’ll try anything once.
Which prejudices about London are true? Which ones are not?
I’m not sure what prejudices about the city there are, but Londoners have a reputation for being grumpy and unsociable. I’d say that’s definitely true on public transport – I pretty much despise everybody first thing in a morning. But if you talk to people, they tend to talk back – you can often see the relief in peoples’ eyes that somebody has started a conversation with them. We’re such a diverse city that I think a lot of people find it difficult to integrate with each other, but that’s usually when London is at its best. I do often wish more Londoners were like the Hollywood chimney-sweeping caricatures, though.
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
That is such a difficult question! It completely depends on my mood and my budget. The Whitechapel Gallery, the V&A and the Barbican Art Gallery are my favourite spots for exhibitions, and the architecture of each is totally inspiring – each is wonderful to wander around even if you don’t fancy the blockbuster exhibition. I wish that I could dine in Les Trois Garçons or Bistrotheque every night, but alas I can’t.
Care to share something not many people know?
My favourite fascinating fact about London is about Savoy Street – the only street in London (and the country) where drivers use the right side of the road. This was ordered by Parliament solely so that ladies could get out of carriages directly onto the pavement (they would traditionally sit behind the driver). Ridiculous but amazing.
You can also check out the other Spotter Interviews and more of Matt Bramford’s articles.