I spent the first half of my life in Auckland, born into a family of mad collectors.
I assembled displays of all the normal kids’ stuff; stamps, badges, coins, feathers, bottle tops – you name it. By ten years old, watching my mother’s rapidly expanding (but very well dusted) collection of milk glass, Victorian pipes and bird feeders, apothecary bottles, majolica tiles and tins – I had moved on to antique bottles (especially with original labels or boxes intact), food and medical packaging, tin signs and vintage magazine advertising, and by twelve years old I already had 200 vintage tobacco tins alone.
New Zealand seemed to be a very old-fashioned country that never really moved on much post World War Two. Being right down the bottom of the earth so far away from everything probably didn’t help; and even while Australia was being invaded by the whizz bang and razzle dazzle of American popular culture, The land of the long white shroud remained very much tied to Mother England’s apron strings. As a result, the way of life, as well as the charming designs and graphics of product, remained a quaint lacuna of the remarkably unchanged over the decades.
Although my original and large collection has long been jettisoned, I continued collecting images for years of those items and anything from my childhood in New Zealand that brings back a memory.
I eventually realised I’d like to “share” the experience and data; in the process somehow organize that jumble into a feed that can be appreciated by, and enjoyed with, others. I will have a focus on food packaging and advertising, and hope to occasionally post footage of adverts.
Nearly two years down the track since my first clumsy posts – and over time my tangential but related interests to food and drink product has sometimes extended to other everyday household items, from preserving to polish; as well as celebrity cooks and advertising agencies that repped for brands, packaging printers, chain grocery or department stores, and unsung commercial artists and copywriters.
Most of the graphics you see on the site have been meticulously recreated by me from often crumpled, dirty, torn and stained items that nobody else wants or cares much about. If that sounds too easy- sometimes I end up recreating them from really bad, blurry photos of crumpled, dirty, torn and stained items that nobody else wants or cares much about! I figuratively spend hours squinting at barely discernible lines and text and redrawing it all as perfectly as possible. – what I call grocery archaeology.
A recent question a reader asked me was: “Longwhitekid, what’s that mean – and what’s it about?” Since nobody has ever asked me – I assumed it was either evident or unnecessary to give an explanation. So after some thought – I guess it’s a rather fitting combination of “long white cloud” and “Milky Bar Kid”. If I need to go into more detail, you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog.
Visit my online store for Longwhitekid calendars, T-shirts, posters, cards and more. http://www.redbubble.com/people/darianzam