We are excited to introduce you to Jessica Dean and Marc Eiden from Blacksparrow. Who have created the wonderful children’s book Gertrude (in store at the Colour Box Studio Pop Up Shop until Christmas Eve). The story is about Gertrude the sparrow who sets off on a perilous journey in search of the things that matter most: family, friends and a place where you truly belong. Keep an eye on our Facebook page to see how you can win yourself a copy of this wonderful locally produced book!

Gertrude Book in store at CBS Pop Up Shop


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your project/ arts practice?

Marc and I have been creating together for many years, but we also create separately. We started working together on a short film Marc was directing and it went from there.

We’ve produced animations, film clips, short films and now Gertrude. Marc started as a visual artist and moved into film, music and multimedia. I come from a writing background.

 What inspires you, and how do you go about creating your pieces?

Genuine people, curiosity, generosity, honesty, art in all its forms that makes me think and feel.

Every project is different, but they all start with an idea. Then I test and stretch that idea, let it ferment. If it feels good, I start.

Whats your favorite piece of work that you have created?

Jess: Gertrude is my favourite so far, though every project I’ve worked on I’ve really loved, but Gertrude came close to matching exactly what I’d imagined in my head.

Marc:  At the moment, my favourite is a song I’ve just finished for my album. https://soundcloud.com/artifishallimb/cat-on-you  but the work I created for my show in Prague, Czech Republic is up there because I had the time and freedom to do whatever I wanted, and that is a rare gift.

Whats your favourite part about being involved in the Melbourne art scene?

I love that there is so much creative industriousness in Melbourne, there’s always something happening. People’s passion and drive is infectious and at a local level there’s a real sense of support and community.

Who are some of your favorite Melbourne artists or craftspeople?

Sean Hogan, Kim Jaeger, Jos van Hulsen, Baby Guerilla, Jessie Fairweather, Kim Aleksandrowicz, Renee Jaeger, Andy Hutson, Ben Sanders, Ladyhands and the Ritual.

What projects are you working on now?

Album artwork for Melbourne electro act Nonagon; ideas for the next book; short stories and the business side of Gertrude, which is a project in itself.

Marc is finishing his album and we’ve been talking about making a short doco next year.

Gertrude Book by Blacksparrow.

Do you have any tips for aspiring artists/crafts people?

Just start. Stay the course. Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others. Work hard. Understand that if you want to share what you do, creating work is just one part of the whole, promoting it is another beast all together.

Marc says it’s a long journey filled with Gollum’s and Gandalf’s.

Jess: Make of that what you will.

How do you feel about being a part of the Colour Box Studio Pop Up Shop?

Really excited. It’s fantastic to see Colour Box Studio in the heart of Footscray bringing together a collection of great artists and makers. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

What would you recommend from your range (or another artist’s range) at Colour Box Studio as a good Christmas gift?

Gertrude of course, but really anything in the store, there’s some beautiful things. Get out there and support local artists!