Amelia’s Magazine | UWE Illustration Degree Show – Break a Lead 2013: Review

Jodie McNeil naked men
I regret to say that I have been somewhat remiss in my coverage of the annual stand alone UWE Break a Lead illustration show, despite this course turning out some top illustrators, including quite a few who have contributed to Amelia’s Magazine (although not in recent years, sadly). This year the graduating students chose to show at the Truman Brewery as part of Free Range, in a cavernous room adjacent to the UpMarket – a smart move it turned out, as this part of the exhibitions was much busier than elsewhere due to intrigued passing traffic. Here’s my pick of the talent:

Jodie McNeil uwe
I liked large scale illustrations of quirky domestic and religious inspired narrative situations, by Jodie McNeil (see also the top of this post).

Elizabeth Loveday Birchley lady
Elizabeth Loveday Birchley
Elizabeth Loveday Birchley created curious ladies and texts using old fabrics and embroidery instead of traditional paint.

Man cabinet by George McCallum
George McCallum gun shirt
George McCallum took a jovial approach to his show, building this striking man cabinet in yellow which he featured alongside a pastel patterned wooden gun held aloft by a man in a short sleeved shirt with a distinct 80s vibe. Miami Vice eat your heart out. His most recent tweet describes an intriguing next project: ‘started work on my bird house squats. based on abandoned millionaire mansions and counsel flats’...

Jack Bailey newspaper
Jack Bailey - Dancehall in the Foodhall
Jack Bailey used a minimal colour palette to produce a series of bold narrative illustrations with a humorous edge. I particularly liked Dancehall in a Foodhall – his image of ladies eating oversized fastfood.

Madison Shackell-York safari
An atmospheric ages old safari landscape pattern by Madison Shackell-York would not look out of place in a Nobrow publication.

First World Problems- laptop makes my legs hot, by Adeel Khan
Adeel Khan addressed a host of First World Problems in a poster: ‘Laptop makes my legs hot‘ was certainly one I can relate to!

Jess Warby
Characters by Jessica Warby UWE
I liked these characters by Jessica Warby, who specialises in complex decorative narrative illustrations created in a variety of media.

Brittany Molineux bottles
Brittany Molineux lighthouses UWE
These lighthouses by Brittany Molyneux are part of a picture book that won her a commendation for the Macmillan children’s book award. She enjoys exploring surreal narratives.

Fox By Amy Mattingley
A minimalist approach to illustration was practiced by Amy Mattingley, who created this lovely fox.

Joyce Lee - mac_scottish
Joyce Lee native american
These Scottish and Native American characters by Joyce Lee make use of juicily simple saturated colour palettes. She is also a qualified web designer and developer, so hopes to integrate both disciplines in the future.

Alison Beecham- portraits and mouths
Decorative eyeballs by Alison Beecham
I adored strange collages by Alison Beecham, featuring odd mixes of body parts and these ace decorative eyeballs.

Jayde Perkin
Lastly, Jayde Perkin uses a painterly approach to tell narrative tales such as this story of beach life.

I’ve got many more show reviews to catch up on, so keep an eye on the website to discover future graduate talent!

Categories ,2013, ,Adeel Khan, ,Alison Beecham, ,Amy Mattingley, ,Break a Lead, ,Brittany Molyneux, ,Dancehall in a Foodhall, ,Elizabeth Loveday Birchley, ,First World Problems, ,Free Range Art and Design Show, ,George McCallum, ,Jack Bailey, ,Jayde Perkin, ,Jessica Warby, ,Jodie McNeil, ,Joyce Lee, ,Laptop makes my legs hot, ,Macmillan, ,Madison Shackell-York, ,Nobrow, ,review, ,Truman Brewery, ,UpMarket

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up 2011 at Somerset House: a review

title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale Sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the peter pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, no rx exciting shapes, more about draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow and my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations ), I took a wonder through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to go to on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off to be catwalked as it were, or a secret till then, and they don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or lets face it, a bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows en mass formation is perfection itself.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
Image courtesy of Selfridges

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

IMAGE sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show – the pieces from spring/summer on show in the gallery still caught my eye with high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

Image courtesy of Yunus & Eliza
At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Lublu Kira Plastina – George Angelopoulos – Yunus & Eliza – Les Nereides – lfw aw11 – jenny robins.

I was struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Images courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones – N2 llama – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine – Neurotica – ethical – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta – Anthony Peto – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by jenny robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Vauxhall Fashion Scout – Erika Trotzig – Una Burke – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Nicole Murray – Edward Finney – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale Sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the peter pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, buy more about exciting shapes, purchase draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow and my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations ), I took a wonder through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to go to on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off to be catwalked as it were, or a secret till then, and they don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or lets face it, a bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows en mass formation is perfection itself.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
Image courtesy of Selfridges

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

IMAGE sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show – the pieces from spring/summer on show in the gallery still caught my eye with high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

Image courtesy of Yunus & Eliza
At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Lublu Kira Plastina – George Angelopoulos – Yunus & Eliza – Les Nereides – lfw aw11 – jenny robins.

I was struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Images courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones – N2 llama – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine – Neurotica – ethical – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta – Anthony Peto – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by jenny robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Vauxhall Fashion Scout – Erika Trotzig – Una Burke – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Nicole Murray – Edward Finney – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale Sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the peter pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, buy exciting shapes, link draw string leg warmers, drugs see the write up by Jemma Crow and my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations ), I took a wonder through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to go to on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off to be catwalked as it were, or a secret till then, and they don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or lets face it, a bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows en mass formation is perfection itself.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
Image courtesy of Selfridges

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

IMAGE sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show – the pieces from spring/summer on show in the gallery still caught my eye with high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

Image courtesy of Yunus & Eliza
At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Lublu Kira Plastina – George Angelopoulos – Yunus & Eliza – Les Nereides – lfw aw11 – jenny robins.

I was struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Images courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones – N2 llama – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine – Neurotica – ethical – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta – Anthony Peto – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by jenny robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Vauxhall Fashion Scout – Erika Trotzig – Una Burke – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Nicole Murray – Edward Finney – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the Peter Pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, remedy exciting shapes, what is ed draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow which includes my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations here) I went for a wander through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to visit these exhibitions on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off being catwalked – as it were – or are secret till they have been, and the designers don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff yet so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or let’s face it, just one bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows *en masse* was perfection itself.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Yang Du, Mary Katrantzou, Fannie Schiavoni & Piers Atkinson in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show, but the pieces on show from S/S 2011 still caught my eye: high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her A/W 2011 collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Lublu Kira Plastina, George Angelopoulos, Yunus & Eliza & Les Nereides in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration. I was also struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Les Nereides, image courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones and N2 llama in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica by Jenny Robins.

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine & Neurotica in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti by Jenny Robins.

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta & Anthony Peto in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine by Jenny Robins.

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by Jenny Robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Erika Trotzig & Una Burke in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nicole Murray & Edward Finney in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the Peter Pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, what is ed exciting shapes, approved draw string leg warmers, search see the write up by Jemma Crow which includes my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations here) I went for a wander through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to visit these exhibitions on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off being catwalked – as it were – or are secret till they have been, and the designers don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff yet so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or let’s face it, just one bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows *en masse* was perfection itself.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Yang Du, Mary Katrantzou, Fannie Schiavoni & Piers Atkinson in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show, but the pieces on show from S/S 2011 still caught my eye: high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her A/W 2011 collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Lublu Kira Plastina, George Angelopoulos, Yunus & Eliza & Les Nereides in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

At the BFC/Elle Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, but looking at the website it seems maybe they are not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though. While Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces – which are based on child genius and bird heads (yay, birds) – she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature idea. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration. I was also struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale (above) to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Les Nereides, image courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the same conflict brought on by the posh/cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones and N2 llama in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line during World War I – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection – which also includes high waist trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items – that chimes well at the moment. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers above with their iconic dress. Read more about Teatum Jones in our emerging talent preview.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica by Jenny Robins.

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W 2011 Bright Eyes collection based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares, especially that bit with the gas in the tunnels, you’ve got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit – all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. Their S/S 2011 stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine & Neurotica in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Then I strayed into Estethica and met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection because each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes. I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the necklaces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti by Jenny Robins.

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta & Anthony Peto in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine by Jenny Robins.

I also enjoyed a sneak peek at Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections, which feature pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun, with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by Jenny Robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layer leather flowers, and were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Erika Trotzig & Una Burke in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s prosthetics inspired pieces and wet plate photography at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand because apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice a Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition, where I drew two stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nicole Murray & Edward Finney in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.
Pick Me Up Paul Blow
Tiger Feet by Paul Blow.

Yesterday 2011′s Pick Me Up once again kicked off in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House. I went along to the opening night to check out this years talent.

Like last year, pharm the lower galleries are once again devoted to the young rising stars of graphic design and illustration. This is the section for which I was asked to nominate a selection of Up and Coming illustrators many months ago. None of my suggestions were picked, and on the basis of some artists who were chosen I would question the description. Tom Gauld – an old acquaintance of mine – has surely been at the top of the illustrative game for many years, as have some of the others. At 47 years old American artist Polly Becker is hardly young. Although it’s great to be feted at any time in your career it’s a bit of an oversight to champion well established artists as Ones to Watch. But nonetheless let’s continue with the review: there was much to enjoy in this gallery.

Pick Me Up 2011-Kate Moross
London based designer Kate Moross has quickly established a glowing reputation for her bold psychedelic style.

Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Matthieu Bessudo, aka McBess, favours a cartoonagraphic style with a surreal edge. Expect naked ladies with ninja faces. I liked the intricate stories in the large scale Night & Day artwork best.

Pick Me Up Seiko Kato
Seiko Kato was a real discovery – this Japanese artist lives in Brighton and produces amazingly detailed collages, filled with colourful flora and fauna. The Funeral is a beautifully surreal large scale work.

Pick Me Up 2011-Andy Rementer
I loved the bold colours and shapes of Andy Rementer.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jules Julien
Jules Julien makes macabre fine line work influenced by the surrealist drawing game Exquisite Corpse.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jessica Hische
Typography is Jessica Hische‘s speciality. Another American, she was a senior designer for Louise Fili Ltd. Beautifully rendered, if a little polished.

Pick Me Up 2011-Clara TernePick Me Up 2011-Clara Terne
Swedish designer Clara Terne is inspired by the deep oceans and outer space, both equally other worldly. Kaleido did pretty much what it said on the tin. Nebuloso was a beautiful piece of digital art.

Pick Me Up 2011-MVM
MVM is a Norwegian and co founder of the Grandpeople design studio. He employs a fluid minimalist form and exhibits huge silk banners – almost Japanese in appearance.

Pick Me Up 2011-Eda Akaltun
Eda Akaltun is a founding member of Nobrow – evident in her distinctive colour palette – and favours a collagey painted approach that is instantly recognisable.

Pick Me Up 2011-Victo Ngai
From Hong Kong but working in London, Victo Ngai graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. I loved her Japanese influenced drawings, which recall the fine detailing of woodblocks combined with a whimsical touch.

Pick Me Up 2011-James Graham
James Graham favours a simple graphic aesthetic.

Pick Me Up 2011-Revenge is Sweet
Revenge is Sweet shows bold 80s art deco artwork that has obvious advertising applications.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah Arnett
Sarah Arnett shows some beautiful digitally created flower artwork, densely created in curious colourways. Her original training as a textile designer is evident in these botanically inspired pieces.

Pick Me Up 2011-Gwenola Carrere
From Belgium, Gwenola Carrere shows some fabulous screenprints. She has published three children’s books to date. I loved her bold playful style.

Nigel Peake, from Ireland, makes lovely delicate abstract work. He has exhibited globally and I’ve always considered him more of a fine artist.

Pick Me Up 2011-Takeru Toyokura
Another Japanese artist, Takeru Toyokura shows amazing felt collages that depict weird faceless figures in surreal situations. Blonde haired children float against grandiose architecture. Strangely wonderful.

Pick Me Up 2011-Otecki
Polish artist Otecki creates black block prints inspired by both traditional iconography and graffitti. Loved his owl.

Pick Me Up 2011-Yoh Nagao
Another Japanese artist: Yoh Nagao is another surrealist collagist (do you sense a bit of a theme yet?)

Annelie Carlstrom uses a propelling pencil to fashion detailed pictures of girls with huge faces and extravagant hair. Quite unsettling.

Pick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul Blow
Paul Blow‘s work really caught my eye for it’s strong colours and amusing narratives.

Pick Me Up 2011-Tom Gauld
Tom Gauld creates a weekly cartoon for the Guardian newspaper and you will no doubt be familiar with his unique drawings and quirky ideas – he used to run an independent publishing house with my bessie mate, the super talented Simone Lia.

Pick Me Up 2011-Polly Becker
Polly Becker‘s surrealist illustrations are created through the assemblage of ephemera.

Pick Me Up 2011-Stefanie Posavec
My boyfriend was most taken with the work of Stefanie Posavec, a graduate of Colorado State University who has an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins. Her data visualisation is almost autistic in it’s detail.

I would love to see more emphasis on really new talent in this section, or perhaps in another bespoke section. Not to mention more variety in style (surreal, collage…) and a real nod to all the amazing home bred talent that is so prevalent on the blogosphere, in the zine world and elsewhere in the UK. The work shown is of an undoubtedly high standard but I think it’s an opportunity missed.

Pick Me Up 2011-Print Club London
Print Club London.

Nobrow and Ditto Press showcase their innovative independent publishing work on this floor, then above and below this gallery are stationed the collectives who pitched to take part in Pick Me Up. Print Club London is once again holding live screen-printing workshops.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sister Arrow
I particularly liked the print (for sale) by Sister Arrow, who has created an imaginary pygmy super-race simply called Sumo Babies of which I presume Crystal String Dance is one.

Pick Me Up 2011-Margaux Carpentier
I also liked Margaux Carpentier‘s work. Her print is inspired by an Eskimo legend where the first woman meets the wolf-god Amarok.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jaguar Shoes
The JaguarShoes Collective is showing for the first time, with lots of work for sale from a wide variety of loosely associated artists. For Pick Me Up they have created a Campfire wall – featuring over sized marshmallows and flickering tissue flames.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous
Next door is the minimalist Nous Vous set up.

Pick Me Up 2011-Samuel EsquirePick Me Up 2011-Samuel Esquire
Puck Collective are hosting a busy room that resembles a working studio. I particularly liked the strong graphic work of Samuel Esquire.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening TweedPick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed
Evening Tweed‘s exhibition space looks like a trendy aspirational shop in Brick Lane, with artfully arranged mementos lined around the walls. I wish my studio space looked like this!

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Anthony Burrill is hosting the big central space – he may be an interesting graphic artist but he’s no Rob Ryan when it come to production techniques: expect photocopied collage opportunities and DJ-ing.

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Pick Me Up Anthony Burrill area.

Suddenly it was closing time so I missed the It’s Nice That section and what looked like an interesting 3D concept from Them Lot – make sure you drop in to be filmed as one of the characters in their cardboard city. Leaving, visitors pass through the Concrete Hermit bookstore, which is much better placed than it was last year. From tomorrow (a bit late in the day I will concede) the shop will stock copies of both my books.

ACOFI Concrete Hermit
UPDATE: ACOFI and AAOI are now available at Concrete Hermit shop!

Make sure you take a moment to peruse through Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration and Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration – both of which are choc-a-bloc with *brand* new illustration talent.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke
Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke.

It’s exciting that an event like Pick Me Up exists, but disheartening that it isn’t more wide ranging and ambitious in the scope of its activities. What about the practical use of illustration and graphic art? Evening Tweed features some fabulous gilded Russian dolls, Nous Vous show a bespoke illustrated ukelele and the JaguarShoes Collective offers illustrated objects to buy, but there is very little consideration of how illustration can be applied to products within the exhibition as a whole or in the workshop schedule.

And what about the many different commercial aspects of working as an illustrator today? Where are the children’s book illustrators, the fashion illustrators, the illustrators who tackle sustainability within their work? Where is the discussion of the many many ways in which illustration is utilised within the online world, in animation and in editorial? Aspects of this will hopefully be brought up in workshops but I feel very strongly that there are only so many prints that people can buy for their walls, and an applied context is what differentiates illustration and graphic design from fine art so it really should be talked about in an exhibition such as this.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed Russian Dolls
Evening Tweed Russian Dolls.

I also think it would be nice if different collectives and publishing houses were invited to take part in Pick Me Up every year, rather than many of the same ones returning again – I had a strong feeling of Deja Vu. And of course, lastly, I’d like to see more work from TRULY up and coming illustrators. There are so many very great ones out there….

You can read my full listing for Pick Me Up, including recommended events, right here. My review of last year’s Pick Me Up event can be read here. And in case you were wondering I feel it’s only right that I admit that I was actually asked to contribute this year. But we couldn’t agree on the best Amelia’s Magazine presence, which is a shame.

There’s always next year…

Categories ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Illustration, ,American, ,Andy Rementer, ,Annelie Carlstrom, ,Anthony Burrill, ,Central Saint Martins, ,collage, ,Colorado State University, ,Concrete Hermit, ,Crystal String Dance, ,Ditto Press, ,Evening Tweed, ,Exquisite Corpse, ,Grandpeople, ,Gwenola Carrere, ,illustration, ,It’s Nice That, ,JaguarShoes Collective, ,James Graham, ,japanese, ,Jessica Hische, ,Jules Julien, ,Kate Moross, ,Margaux Carpentier, ,Matthieu Bessudo, ,McBess, ,MVM, ,Nigel Peake, ,Nobrow, ,Norwegian, ,Nous Vous, ,Otecki, ,Pick Me Up, ,Polly Becker, ,Print Club London, ,Revenge is Sweet, ,review, ,Samuel Esquire, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Seiko Kato, ,Simone Lia, ,Sister Arrow, ,Somerset House, ,Stefanie Posavec, ,surrealist, ,Swedish, ,Takeru Toyokura, ,Them Lot, ,Tom Gauld, ,typography, ,Yoh Nagao

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up 2011 at Somerset House: a review

Pick Me Up Paul Blow
Tiger Feet by Paul Blow.

Yesterday 2011’s Pick Me Up once again kicked off in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House. I went along to the opening night to check out this years talent.

Like last year, the lower galleries are once again devoted to the young rising stars of graphic design and illustration. This is the section for which I was asked to nominate a selection of Up and Coming illustrators many months ago. None of my suggestions were picked, and on the basis of some artists who were chosen I would question the description. Tom Gauld – an old acquaintance of mine – has surely been at the top of the illustrative game for many years, as have some of the others. At 48 years old American artist Polly Becker is hardly young. Although it’s great to be feted at any time in your career it’s a bit of an oversight to champion well established artists as Ones to Watch. But nonetheless let’s continue with the review: there was much to enjoy in this gallery.

Pick Me Up 2011-Kate Moross
London based designer Kate Moross has quickly established a glowing reputation for her bold psychedelic style.

Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Matthieu Bessudo, aka McBess, favours a cartoonagraphic style with a surreal edge. Expect naked ladies with ninja faces. I liked the intricate stories in the large scale Night & Day artwork best.

Pick Me Up Seiko Kato
Seiko Kato was a real discovery – this Japanese artist lives in Brighton and produces amazingly detailed collages, filled with colourful flora and fauna. The Funeral is a beautifully surreal large scale work.

Pick Me Up 2011-Andy Rementer
I loved the bold colours and shapes of Andy Rementer.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jules Julien
Jules Julien makes macabre fine line work influenced by the surrealist drawing game Exquisite Corpse.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jessica Hische
Typography is Jessica Hische’s speciality. Another American, she was a senior designer for Louise Fili Ltd. Beautifully rendered, if a little polished.

Pick Me Up 2011-Clara TernePick Me Up 2011-Clara Terne
Swedish designer Clara Terne is inspired by the deep oceans and outer space, both equally other worldly. Kaleido did pretty much what it said on the tin. Nebuloso was a beautiful piece of digital art.

Pick Me Up 2011-MVM
MVM is a Norwegian and co founder of the Grandpeople design studio. He employs a fluid minimalist form and exhibits huge silk banners – almost Japanese in appearance.

Pick Me Up 2011-Eda Akaltun
Eda Akaltun is a founding member of Nobrow – evident in her distinctive colour palette – and favours a collagey painted approach that is instantly recognisable.

Pick Me Up 2011-Victo Ngai
From Hong Kong but working in London, Victo Ngai graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. I loved her Japanese influenced drawings, which recall the fine detailing of woodblocks combined with a whimsical touch.

Pick Me Up 2011-James Graham
James Graham favours a simple graphic aesthetic.

Pick Me Up 2011-Revenge is Sweet
Revenge is Sweet shows bold 80s art deco artwork that has obvious advertising applications.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah Arnett
Sarah Arnett shows some beautiful digitally created flower artwork, densely created in curious colourways. Her original training as a textile designer is evident in these botanically inspired pieces.

Pick Me Up 2011-Gwenola Carrere
From Belgium, Gwenola Carrere shows some fabulous screenprints. She has published three children’s books to date. I loved her bold playful style.

Nigel Peake, from Ireland, makes lovely delicate abstract work. He has exhibited globally and I’ve always considered him more of a fine artist.

Pick Me Up 2011-Takeru Toyokura
Another Japanese artist, Takeru Toyokura shows amazing felt collages that depict weird faceless figures in surreal situations. Blonde haired children float against grandiose architecture. Strangely wonderful.

Pick Me Up 2011-Otecki
Polish artist Otecki creates black block prints inspired by both traditional iconography and graffitti. Loved his owl.

Pick Me Up 2011-Yoh Nagao
Another Japanese artist: Yoh Nagao is another surrealist collagist (do you sense a bit of a theme yet?)

Annelie Carlstrom uses a propelling pencil to fashion detailed pictures of girls with huge faces and extravagant hair. Quite unsettling.

Pick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul Blow
Paul Blow’s work really caught my eye for it’s strong colours and amusing narratives.

Pick Me Up 2011-Tom Gauld
Tom Gauld creates a weekly cartoon for the Guardian newspaper and you will no doubt be familiar with his unique drawings and quirky ideas – he used to run an independent publishing house with my bessie mate, the super talented Simone Lia.

Pick Me Up 2011-Polly Becker
Polly Becker’s surrealist illustrations are created through the assemblage of ephemera.

Pick Me Up 2011-Stefanie Posavec
My boyfriend was most taken with the work of Stefanie Posavec, a graduate of Colorado State University who has an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins. Her data visualisation is almost autistic in it’s detail.

I would love to see more emphasis on really new talent in this section, or perhaps in another bespoke section. Not to mention more variety in style (surreal, collage…) and a real nod to all the amazing home bred talent that is so prevalent on the blogosphere, in the zine world and elsewhere in the UK. The work shown is of an undoubtedly high standard but I think it’s an opportunity missed.

Pick Me Up 2011-Print Club London
Print Club London.

Nobrow and Ditto Press showcase their innovative independent publishing work on this floor, then above and below this gallery are stationed the collectives who pitched to take part in Pick Me Up. Print Club London is once again holding live screen-printing workshops.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sister Arrow
I particularly liked the print (for sale) by Sister Arrow, who has created an imaginary pygmy super-race simply called Sumo Babies of which I presume Crystal String Dance is one.

Pick Me Up 2011-Margaux Carpentier
I also liked Margaux Carpentier’s work. Her print is inspired by an Eskimo legend where the first woman meets the wolf-god Amarok.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jaguar Shoes
The JaguarShoes Collective is showing for the first time, with lots of work for sale from a wide variety of loosely associated artists. For Pick Me Up they have created a Campfire wall – featuring over sized marshmallows and flickering tissue flames.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous
Next door is the minimalist Nous Vous set up.

Pick Me Up 2011-Samuel EsquirePick Me Up 2011-Samuel Esquire
Puck Collective are hosting a busy room that resembles a working studio. I particularly liked the strong graphic work of Samuel Esquire.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening TweedPick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed
Evening Tweed’s exhibition space looks like a trendy aspirational shop in Brick Lane, with artfully arranged mementos lined around the walls. I wish my studio space looked like this!

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Anthony Burrill is hosting the big central space – he may be an interesting graphic artist but he’s no Rob Ryan when it come to production techniques: expect photocopied collage opportunities and DJ-ing.

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Pick Me Up Anthony Burrill area.

Suddenly it was closing time so I missed the It’s Nice That section and what looked like an interesting 3D concept from Them Lot – make sure you drop in to be filmed as one of the characters in their cardboard city. Leaving, visitors pass through the Concrete Hermit bookstore, which is much better placed than it was last year. From tomorrow (a bit late in the day I will concede) the shop will stock copies of both my books.

ACOFI Concrete Hermit
UPDATE: ACOFI and AAOI are now available at Concrete Hermit shop!

Make sure you take a moment to peruse through Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration and Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration – both of which are choc-a-bloc with *brand* new illustration talent.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke
Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke.

It’s exciting that an event like Pick Me Up exists, but disheartening that it isn’t more wide ranging and ambitious in the scope of its activities. What about the practical use of illustration and graphic art? Evening Tweed features some fabulous gilded Russian dolls, Nous Vous show a bespoke illustrated ukelele and the JaguarShoes Collective offers illustrated objects to buy, but there is very little consideration of how illustration can be applied to products within the exhibition as a whole or in the workshop schedule.

And what about the many different commercial aspects of working as an illustrator today? Where are the children’s book illustrators, the fashion illustrators, the illustrators who tackle sustainability within their work? Where is the discussion of the many many ways in which illustration is utilised within the online world, in animation and in editorial? Aspects of this will hopefully be brought up in workshops but I feel very strongly that there are only so many prints that people can buy for their walls, and an applied context is what differentiates illustration and graphic design from fine art so it really should be talked about in an exhibition such as this.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed Russian Dolls
Evening Tweed Russian Dolls.

I also think it would be nice if different collectives and publishing houses were invited to take part in Pick Me Up every year, rather than many of the same ones returning again – I had a strong feeling of Deja Vu. And of course, lastly, I’d like to see more work from TRULY up and coming illustrators. There are so many very great ones out there….

You can read my full listing for Pick Me Up, including recommended events, right here. My review of last year’s Pick Me Up event can be read here. And in case you were wondering I feel it’s only right that I admit that I was actually asked to contribute this year. But we couldn’t agree on the best Amelia’s Magazine presence, which is a shame.

There’s always next year…

Categories ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Illustration, ,American, ,Andy Rementer, ,Annelie Carlstrom, ,Anthony Burrill, ,Central Saint Martins, ,collage, ,Colorado State University, ,Concrete Hermit, ,Crystal String Dance, ,Ditto Press, ,Evening Tweed, ,Exquisite Corpse, ,Grandpeople, ,Gwenola Carrere, ,illustration, ,It’s Nice That, ,JaguarShoes Collective, ,James Graham, ,japanese, ,Jessica Hische, ,Jules Julien, ,Kate Moross, ,Margaux Carpentier, ,Matthieu Bessudo, ,McBess, ,MVM, ,Nigel Peake, ,Nobrow, ,Norwegian, ,Nous Vous, ,Otecki, ,Pick Me Up, ,Polly Becker, ,Print Club London, ,Revenge is Sweet, ,review, ,Samuel Esquire, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Seiko Kato, ,Simone Lia, ,Sister Arrow, ,Somerset House, ,Stefanie Posavec, ,surrealist, ,Swedish, ,Takeru Toyokura, ,Them Lot, ,Tom Gauld, ,typography, ,Yoh Nagao

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up Contemporary Graphic Art Fair 2011: Sam Arthur of Nobrow speaks at Mokita

Sam Arthur of Nobrow by Yelena Bryksenkova
Sam Arthur of Nobrow by Yelena Bryksenkova
Sam Arthur of Nobrow by Yelena Bryksenkova.

Since Nobrow burst onto the scene in 2008 I’ve been a massive fan of their beautifully produced books and magazines – somehow they’ve managed to print a huge collection of work in just a short space of time and for the past two years they’ve been showcasing their wares at Pick Me Up. This year several of their featured artists were also amongst the newer names showing in the Ones to Watch section on the first floor so I was intrigued to hear Sam Arthur, this one half of Nobrow, medicine in conversation with Kingston University illustration lecturer Geoff Grandfield with interjections from Adrian Shaughnessy and Valerie Perezon. Below is a rough transcription of the conversation that ensued during the Mokita Symposium.

Nobrow 5 - A Few of My Favourite Things
Nobrow 5 – A Few of My Favourite Things.

Geoff: How did you decide that there was a market for your work?
Sam: We were inspired by publishers such as Le Dernier Cri, Bongout, and Fantagraphics: small places with an avante garde output. And we felt we could do something similar in this country. We’ve both been through the art college system, but I felt that most illustration was very industry based, always destined for a client. No one was generating their own material, for their own sake, so we felt there might be a gap in the market that we could exploit. Our aim is to get illustrators to do their own work – we just set a theme and a colour palette. We were unsure it would take off but we knew it was really important to print everything nicely.

Nobrow 5 - A Few of My Favourite ThingsNobrow 5 - A Few of My Favourite Things
Pages from Nobrow 5 – A Few of My Favourite Things

Geoff: In a way you turned the clock back.
Sam: We have a mix of influences, but we love all the old methods of printing. I guess these anachronistic methods of production have met the internet with Nobrow. People say that we have a very strong look but we love lots of different types of work and I think the similarity comes from the way we print things, and our restricted colour palettes. We look at every bit of work that comes to us and store it in memory bank for later. Then we might come back to it at the right time and ask does it communicate the right idea and can we work with this person on an individual basis? We are drawn to relatively expensive ways of printing, which is quite risky really but we want our stuff to look good, smell good and feel good.

Ford Almanac 1964
One of the images Sam chose for a slide show: a famous cover of the Ford Almanac 1964, illustrated by Charley Harper.

Geoff: Like scratch ‘n’ sniff?
Sam: There is definitely a shift back towards attention to detail; I had a paper merchant in recently and she was trying to push coated paper stock onto me, but of course I wasn’t interested. She moaned that no new graphic designer will ever uses it – I guess it’s because we like to be different and coated stock seems so common.
Geoff: Who is your audience?
Sam: In terms of an easily identifiable market it’s mainly students and working practitioners – there is a danger that we will never turn a profit and it will always be that way… For the people that aren’t so easy to label I’m sure there’s some marketing speak for them… maybe Rainbow Sky Crap Thinkers or something! But for us the most important thing is to remain close to our customers via our website and social networking.
Adrian: Mark Valli of Magma said he set up the shop because he realised that there was a big non professional audience, so maybe that is changing?…

Nobrow 5 - A Few of My Favourite ThingsNobrow 5 - A Few of My Favourite Things
Nobrow 5 – A Few of My Favourite Things.

Valerie Perezon: What is your editorial line?
Sam: We don’t mind how you describe yourself, we just chose what we like. Online we can be more adaptable, for example in a blog you can put across whatever idea of yourself you like. You can be illustrator or an artist one week and then a circus performer the next. But it all starts with being able to draw and communicate. For example we saw Jack Teagle at his graduate show and he immediately grabbed us. We are quite often drawn to print making because we like the restrictions of spot colour techniques but I think our tastes are quite diverse: we’re currently working with John Sibbick, who over the years has worked on dinosaur pictures and heavy metal covers.

The Bento Bestiary, illustrated by Ben Newman, former Amelia's Magazine contributor
The Bento Bestiary, illustrated by Ben Newman, former Amelia’s Magazine contributor.

Geoff: Do you ever tackle themes of social change?
Sam: We like to keep our themes interpretable, so that leaves them open to tackle social issues if people want to.

The Bento Bestiary, illustrated by Ben Newman, former Amelia's Magazine contributor
The Bento Bestiary, illustrated by Ben Newman.

Geoff: Did you know that 40% of the printed matter in world is Manga?
Sam: Because the magazine we produce is made up of collections of images on a theme it does tend to limit our mass appeal.
Adrian: There has generally been a huge move towards a very visual culture, but in UK we are still very much a literary culture – we value the word above all and image is not valued as much, apart from the F-word that is, photography… which is revered and valued.
Sam: The French publishing industry is underwritten by the government but here illustrated books are still seen as for children.
Adrian: I think the biggest drivers of imagery come from subcultures where the image is revered, but is it a weapon or a platform? Because something comes from a subculture does that mean by definition that it has a limited period of interest?
Sam: Yeah, and if I become too trendy then I cease to be… but I’m not trendy so that’s fine. Even if we did sell Nobrow Magazine in WHSmith no one would buy it so we know this title will always be relatively niche.

The Bento Bestiary, illustrated by Ben Newman, former Amelia's Magazine contributor
The Bento Bestiary, illustrated by Ben Newman.

The Bento Bestiary is out now and the fifth issue of Nobrow magazine has just been released with the title A Few of My Favourite Things.

Read my transcript of James Jarvis’ talk at Mokita, my review of the whole Mokita symposium or my review of this years Pick Me Up exhibition.

PS: I did scratch ‘n’ sniff for issue 04 of Amelia’s Magazine.

Categories ,A Few of My Favourite Things, ,Adrian Shaughnessy, ,Ben Newman, ,Bongout, ,Charley Harper, ,comics, ,Fantagraphics, ,Ford Almanac, ,Geoff Grandfield, ,Graphic Cosmography, ,Jack Teagle, ,Kingston University, ,Le Dernier Cri, ,Magma, ,Manga, ,Mark Valli, ,Mokita, ,Nobrow, ,Nobrow Press, ,Pick Me Up, ,Sam Arthur, ,scratch ‘n’ sniff, ,Somerset House, ,The Bento Bestiary, ,Valerie Perezon, ,Yelena Bryksenkova

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Amelia’s Magazine | Jack Teagle opens up shop

Flyer designed by Russell Palmer

Two years since their first show in the basement of Shoreditch Town Hall, more about Circuit Wisely presented 17 Artists in an East London live-work space. This second exhibition asked artists to respond to the location and ‘architecture’ of a residential building, investigating its scope for possible comment on the contested geography of East London.

Emily Whitebread Stills from a Film (2010)

The artists work (of which I was one) had to be temporal and capable of negotiating the duplicitous communal spaces of the building, such as the car park, balconies, stairwells, lifts and terraces. Circuit Wisely made it implict that the artwork was not to impinge on the everyday movement occurring within the building, pushing the artists to consider how their work would be installed without marking the building and it’s context within the geographical location.

The exhibition began on the ground level of the first stairwell, Mihaela Brebenel’s installation 1 to 7; G to 6A – Loose Ends invited the viewer to follow the woolen thread wrapped around the handrails and architectural piping. Mihaela’s work explored the notion of navigating a particular space – through externalising the internal sources of what one does and does not see upon entering a residential building.

Mihaela Brebenel 1 to 7; G to 6A – Loose Ends

Continuing upwards, I passed Richard King’s decorative installation and a burning red screen-print by Daniel Wilkins. However my attention was held by Ben Fox’sculptural shanty-town: Sublet City. The contrasting nature of the contemporary East London building and Fox’s fragile houses echo the rapid development of East London, where an organic mixture of old and new is being skewed by the rapid destruction of original property in favour of the new. Beautifully made from found materials, it is accompanied by ‘the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’

Richard King Untitled

Dan Wilkins Untitled (2008)

Ben Fox Sublet City

The next level was occupied by Will Jennings’ Portfolio. A critical reflection on the building’s owner and his vast property ‘portfolio’. The publication with it’s selected photography and investigative text aims to create a dialogue between shared landscape and the increasing capitalisation of the concept of home. It is rare that such an opportunity for a piece of work criticising the building is installed in the location that it is criticising. It was interesting to see the interaction and discussion this piece caused with the residence of the building presenting them with the opportunity to re-think their living space. A favourable comparison to make is Hans Haacke’s ‘Shapolsky et al., Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, a Real-Time Social System as of May 1,1971′.

Will Jennings Portfolio

After reading the Portfolio, I continue to walk up the stairs and see Richard King’s second ornamental piece. Hanging in the window, on the level above, the back drop being the East London Skyline, are three beautiful photographs by Alex Ressel.

Richard King Untitled

Alex Ressel A Three Frame Film

‘DIAL 2-2-4-9 AND POINT TO THE SKY’ a vinyl text piece standing opposite a comical 3D image Lost in Space. The image of a famous Robot appears to vibrate from the paper and into a form of hologram – this I am seeing without the help of 3D glasses.

After the completing the stairwell, I made my way to Charlotte Gibson’s Sitting Room Installation made my eyes pop! The collection of brightly coloured collages, furniture, lamps, china, jelly, plastic and string are are arranged in such a way that the space that is inbetween them becomes more important by the string that attaches them, the water and jelly that resides in them and the shadows that are casted by the array of objects.

Charlotte Gibson Sitting Room Installation

Natascha Nanji’s A Tail of Two Cities occupied the lift in the second stairwell. The ceiling was covered with punctured black rubber, the work physically inserted itself into the lift through the weight of the shells contained within the black fabric. The imposition of the transformed the lift experience, from everyday to the uncanny. On one journey a chattering couple walked in unaware of what was above their heads, until a shell grazed the top of the man’s head, alarming him and drawing his attention to the ceiling. A scene from a horror film perhaps?

Natascha Nanji A Tale of Two Cities

After coming down in the lift, I returned to the 5th Floor to find the walkway occupied by Zoe Paul’s Buoy and the terrace contained Susanna JP Byrne’s Cy Cartographer No. Sculpture. Standing tall, the sculpture looks out towards the city – reminiscent of a century guard, looking out over the London landscape. The copper wire felt referential of a school science project and the tripod’s brightly coloured poles appeared similar to the yard sticks used to measure playing fields during practical geography lessons.


Susanna JP Byrne Cy Cartographer No. Sculpture

Zoe Paul Buoy Photograph by Selvi May

Marnie Hollande’s performance piece Gas wowed the audience on the exhibition’s opening night. A figure emerged onto the walkway, her face covered by a shimmering midnight blue mask, the body cloaked in chiffon with attached balloons. Moving onto the terrace to continue the performance, the body and balloons struggled against both the wind and crowd.. The exceptionally strong wind increased the movements of the performer moving within the constraints of her costume. At one point, balloons detached themselves from the costume and were carried into the darkness.

Marnie Hollande Gas

On reflection Jennings, Dray, Fox and Bryne’s pieces directly tackled the building’s geographical location. The other pieces included by Circuit Wisely responded more directly towards the architecture, whereas others echoed the idea of ornamentation. Personally, the importance of the exhibition, lay in tracing perspectives and making connections between the work within the building’s parameters. Circuit Wisely shift away from the stress and importance of individual works when umbrellaed into a singular meaning all too common with groups shows.

The exciting thing about Circuit Wisely is not just the diversity of work on display but the transition they have gone through as a collective of curators. The success of CWII were that the visitor appeared to be completely free to move about the building, but were fact deliberately manoeuvred to encounter the work in relationship to the various movements one can make within the space. The curation and choice of art works allows visitors to experience different environments and transports them from a block of flats to an interesting space for creative people to come together and display work. This show is successful as it is not constrained by the gallery space. It is a platform for the viewer to encounter works in different environments heightening their experience of viewing a group show – and this is the success of the Circuit Wisely curatorial team.

All Photographs by Circuit Wisely

Jack Teagle heroes and villains
Heroes and Villains by Jack Teagle. I *heart* this image.

You may remember that I had a fabulous time at Jack Teagle’s exhibition at Nobrow earlier this year. Then I saw a tweet about his brand new shop and thought it might be time to catch up with one of my favourite illustrators…

What else has been happening since your Dungeons and Desktops exhibition at Nobrow earlier this year?
Just recently I finished my second solo show over in Porto, buy Portugal at the Galeria Dama Aflita. The title was ‘Zona de Combate’ and the focus was on my wrestlers and pop-culture violence. I’ve been contributing to group shows too. The Monsterbation show at the Pony Club in Portland, dosage Oregon, and Tennis Apocalypse, a show in Seattle.

Jack Teagle exhibition

Another group show is coming up in Porto at the end of this year which I will be contributing too as well. I’ve just worked with Mario, the creator of the ‘Causeineedit blog to create a limited run of tshirts, which you can see here. There’s always an exhibition or a publication to work towards, so it’s exciting. I’ve done some editorial illustrations as well as some commercial projects and book design. I’ve been working on painting more, but illustration is something I really want to get my teeth into properly.

Jack Teagle prints

Why the online shop? What are you selling on there?
After selling paintings at shows, I realised that a lot of people were after certain pictures, but they had already been bought up. Painting – then immediately selling the image – wasn’t getting the most out of my work, so I thought a lot more people could enjoy these pictures if I made some up into Giclee prints. I wanted to expand my little business too.

Best buys from your store for:
Granny: Woodland Print
Baby: Skateboarding Cat
Big sister: Happy Print
Little brother? Heroes and Villains Print

You’ve been inspired by a lot of movie monsters – have your favourites changed over the years?
I think some have and some haven’t. I love Nosferatu now, as a child I would have found him a little dull. I loved the totally bizarre monsters, my favourite would have to be The Creature from the Black Lagoon, it’s just such a great design. I’ve always loved mutants and animal hybrids too, especially the Fly.

fear and misery_jack teagle
Fear and Misery prints by Jack Teagle.

What’s the best classic horror movie?
For me it’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It still scares me to this day now. It has the most unsettling atmosphere and sense of claustrophobia. Gore and visual effects don’t really do anything for me. It was just down to the mystery and the atmosphere, I remember first watching and wondering what in God’s name are those pods!

What’s this about the Daddy Donkey Mexican Grill?
Daddy Donkey was really fun to work on. I got the job through the YCN. Joel, the owner of the Daddy Donkey chain saw some of my older wrestling work and hand-drawn text and wanted me to work on some Luchador inspired artwork.

How is life in the south west?
It’s been pretty cool recently, I’ve just been working away. Not much happens, but I can finally drive, so that relieves some boredom. It’s always a relaxed atmosphere down this way. I travel up whenever I can, usually to meet clients and see how things are going, every few months (I should get up more often!) My top tip would be, only megabus a journey if absolutely needed! The train is the way to go, the extra money is worth it. I felt like a sardine every time I went on megabus.

Jack Teagle characters wrestling

Who makes the best sketchbooks?
I’m still searching for the perfect sketchbook! I change format every now and then to keep things fresh. I did use Moleskine, but they tend to fall apart if you carry them around a lot. I love a sketchbook with good paper and usually a good hard cover. The Handbook Travelogue sketchbooks are the best I’ve found so far.

I got a bit of a shock the other day when I opened my local East End rag and saw a little piece about a collaboration you’ve done with the Museum of London. Tell me more about Oscar Kirk’s 1919 diary….
I was contacted through Anorak Magazine to work on a project with a few other illustrators on Oscar Kirk’s diary. Oscar was a 14 year old boy who worked on the docks in 1919 and kept a diary which gives a good look on life back then. He also kept the weather and what he had to eat. We were all given a diary extract to illustrate, and then the finished images were published in Anorak Magazine with the original text. The pages were also blown up and put on display in the Museum of London. (We did an exclusive interview with Cathy Olmedillas, founder of Anorak Magazine: to read it click here)

What have you got planned for 2011?
I want to get some more solo shows sorted out, maybe set out to try some resin cast toys too. At the moment the plan is to keep working hard and to chase any opportunity that comes knocking!

You can check out Jack’s shop right here. I’d grab yourself a bit of the action as soon as you can…

Categories ,Daddy Donkey, ,Galeria Dama Aflita, ,Handbook Travelogue, ,Jack Teagle, ,Luchador, ,Moleskine, ,Monsterbation, ,Museum of London Docklands, ,Nobrow, ,Nosferatu, ,Online Shop, ,Oregon, ,Oscar Kirk, ,Pony Club, ,portland, ,Portugal, ,seattle, ,Tennis Apocalypse, ,YCN

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Amelia’s Magazine | Christmas Gift Ideas: 8 of the Best Colouring Books for Adults

Harriet Plaskitt Lorna Scobie
If you go into almost any shop in the run up to Christmas you’ll find a sea of colouring books fighting for your attention. With so many books to choose from it can be hard to know which ones to pick, but since I’ve become a bit of an adult colouring book aficionado over the past few months I thought I would share the 8 most unique and appealing ones I’ve found. This lovely lot should keep you and your loved ones busy through the Christmas holidays and well into 2016. Which ones will you choose?

Lost Ocean cover
1. Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford
This is the big one. Johanna kickstarted the whole trend in adult colouring books a few years ago with her bestselling book Secret Garden, and this year she’s back with another beautiful volume of intricate artworks inspired by underwater fantasies. The artwork is top notch, with lovely pacing of different types of image offering real scope for creative input from the colourist. Bound to be another worldwide bestseller. Read my interview with Johanna Basford here.

Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon cover
2. Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon
A book inspired by the daydreams of Swedish illustrator Hanna Karlzon, Dagdrömmar features floating houses, cats with gems, owls, elaborate crowns, mermaids with tumbling hair, more cats, sailing ships, flowers and much more, all beautifully drawn with a Scandinavian flavour. The book is sadly not yet available worldwide, but it can be shipped internationally from the Pen Store. Read my interview with Hanna Karlzon here.

Jungle Paradise_Lorna_Scobie_2
3. Jungle Paradise by Lorna Scobie
Lorna Scobie has a huge following on instagram, where she shares her inimitable animal drawings to much delight. This book is chock full of the cheeky animals and cute critters she has become well known for, with each page featuring a different jungle scene or animal pattern. This beautiful volume has lovely green metallic print on the cover and would be ideal for someone who loves to colour animals and plantlife. Read my interview with Lorna Scobie here.

Escape to Christmas Past by Good Wives and Warriors
4. Escape to Christmas Past by Good Wives and Warriors
This book by artistic duo Good Wives and Warriors is inspired by A Christmas Carol, the famous book by Dickens – making it ideal colouring to get into the festive spirit. There are a huge variety of illustrations to colour in including pretty Christmas decorations, scenes that appear in the story and decorative typography (Bah Humbug!) Read my interview with Good Wives and Warriors here.

beautiful-birds-colouring book
5. Beautiful Birds Colouring Book by Emmanuelle Walker
Beautiful Birds began life as a lovely (and very colourful) children’s A-Z book, but has since been turned into a colouring book featuring the same huge variety of avian life, many translated into patterns that will provide wonderful meditative colouring. The book is published by Flying Eye Books (an imprint of Nobrow) and is therefore beautifully made, with a lovely pink spine trim. An ideal gift for bird lovers in need of relaxation. Read my interview with Emmanuelle Walker here.

Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book
6. Doodlers Anonymous Epic Coloring Book
The Epic Coloring Book was put together by an open brief on the Doodlers website, hub for a huge community of artists. It’s a diverse collection of images made by 90 artists from all over the world so there’s bound to be something for everyone. Expect lots of narrative scenes, surreal characters and images that would not look out of place in a graphic novel. Read my interview with creator OKAT here.

A Million Cats Lulu Mayo
7. A Million Cats by Lulu Mayo
Only recently released by Michael O’Mara Books, this book features a plethora of amusing and adorable cats in a range of surreal situations; playing music, relaxing on the sofa, taking tea with dogs, masquerading as vegetables and dressed in tuxedos, Decorative patterns have a Japanese flavour, with blossoms and temples featuring heavily. One for the cat lover in your life!

Kickstarter campaign image Ameliasccc
8. Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion
I couldn’t leave it off the list could I?! Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion is a unique collaborative book that features the work of over 40 artists from all over the world. It will appeal to art lovers and colourists alike because it is so much more than just a colouring book; each artist has been given a double page, with a full colour image on the left to inspire a colouring page on the right. There are a huge variety of themes and styles to choose from, including landscapes, underwater scenes, food, Japanese folk tales, cats, lanterns, extreme frisbee and much more.

For more tips on adult colouring visit my recent blog 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Colouring Books For Adults. Happy Colouring this Christmas!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,8. Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,A Christmas Carol, ,A Million Cats, ,Adult Coloring Books, ,Adult Colouring, ,Beautiful Birds Colouring Book, ,Coloring, ,Colouring Books, ,Dagdrömmar, ,Doodlers Anonymous Epic Coloring Book, ,Emmanuelle Walker, ,Escape to Christmas Past, ,Flying Eye Books, ,Good Wives and Warriors, ,Hanna Karlzon, ,Johanna Basford, ,Jungle Paradise, ,Lorna Scobie, ,Lost Ocean, ,Lulu Mayo, ,Michael O’Mara Books, ,Nobrow, ,OKAT, ,Pen Store, ,Secret Garden

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Amelia’s Magazine | Arts University College of Bournemouth: Feral Show 2012 Illustration Review

AUCB Feral Show 2012 flyer
Students from the Arts University College of Bournemouth habitually show in the last week or so of Free Range, with creative graduates from a number of disciplines (fine art, illustration and photography) sharing their work across a big open space in the huge Truman Brewery warehouse. Historically this has meant that I don’t get around to covering their show, and I feel particularly bad that I didn’t cover the 2012 show, since this crew were very proactive in networking the brilliantly named Feral Show on social media (hallelujah). Still, here, at long last, is a taster of what I discovered.

Feral show Bournemouth 2012
Illustrator Natasha Durley was justifiably crowned Best of Year by the D&AD Awards in 2012. Her work features lots of winsome characters, often amongst trees and little log cabins, all rendered in a luscious sweetie coloured palette which surely appeals to the romantic in all of us. Since graduating Natasha has worked for an illustrious trio of editorial clients; Nobrow, Oh Comely and Wrap Magazine.

Feral show Bournemouth 2012
Kate Rowland‘s watercolour and ink drawings were inspired by an obsession with science and space exploration. She has recently written a very honest blog about the trials and tribulations of life after university: well worth a read for anyone about to graduate. Kate is now creating jewellery, a popular product choice for many illustrators.

jack reynolds
Surrealism reigns supreme in vibrantly coloured work by Jack Reynolds, also known as REN. All three of the illustrators above were also featured in my review of the D&AD awards show.

Feral show Bournemouth 2012
Polish illustrator Justyna Plec created a series of wall mounted portraits featuring a cast of curious characters: sadly it’s impossible to follow her career since as her only web presence beyond the Feral Show site is now inactive.

Fay Myers Naked Nana
A cast of muted watercolour Naked Nanas were created by Amelia’s Magazine contributor Fay Myers. Her fox puzzle illustration features in the Anorak Magazine Summer Games issue, out mid July, and she has a great tumblr which is regularly updated with new work.

jessica durden
Jessica Durden‘s watercolour drawings of wildlife in the woods are given a fairytale quality with the use of a subdued colour palette. She is currently working on a designer range of printed scarves from her studio in Surrey. You can buy products by Jessica Durden on Society6.

Feral show Bournemouth 2012
Norwegian illustrator Maria Midttun created a giant mural on the wall to go with her 87 Octane risograph zine, available from etsy here.

louise-byng-please-wait-self-service
Prolific blogger Louise Byng creates images with meaning in a consumer saturated society, and much of her beautifully drawn illustrations provide a commentary on contemporary society.

Feral show Bournemouth 2012
This delightfully engaging creature is by Emily Hughes. I love him!

Feral show Bournemouth 2012
And lastly – mine and Snarfle‘s reflection in one of the fine art installations: how tiny he was back then! He may not sleep through the shows this time around…

Categories ,87 Octane, ,Anorak Magazine, ,Arts University College of Bournemouth, ,Best of Year, ,D&AD Awards, ,Emily Hughes, ,Fay Myers, ,Feral Show, ,Free Range, ,Jack Reynolds, ,Jessica Durden, ,Justyna Plec, ,Kate Rowland, ,Louise Byng, ,Maria Midttun, ,Naked Nanas, ,Natasha Durley, ,Nobrow, ,Oh Comely, ,REN, ,Risograph, ,Snarfle, ,Society6, ,Summer Games, ,Truman Brewery, ,Wrap Magazine

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Amelia’s Magazine | Beautiful Birds Colouring Book by Emmanuelle Walker: Colouring Book Review and Artist Interview

Beautiful Birds cover
I was aware of the gorgeous Beautiful Birds A-Z book before it was turned into a colouring book, so I was very excited to see that it had been translated into a new interactive version. I tracked artist Emmanuelle Walker down on Twitter to find out more about her spectacular avian friends. If you love birds or you’re just looking for a gloriously different colouring book to get lost in, this is one you should try.

emmanuelle walker
How did you first hook up with Nobrow/Flying Eye and how did your original Beautiful Birds book come about?
In 2013 I saw a tweet from them saying that they had a spare spread for Nobrow‘s annual magazine. I sent them a link to my work and they immediately sent me an email. They wanted to meet me.

Beautiful Birds 3
How did you choose the birds that are featured in it?
I worked from the text I received from Jean Roussen, so I didn’t get to pick the birds myself.

Flying Eye Books | Beautiful Birds – Book Trailer from Emmanuelle Walker on Vimeo.

You were a winner at the Smallish Design Awards this year, did the judges tell you why they liked it so much?
Yes it’s great! I don’t have any detail on how or why they picked Beautiful Birds but I’m pretty happy they did!

Beautiful Birds 1
Beautiful Birds  4
When and why was the decision made to do a colouring book version?
Nobrow/Flying Eye Books came up with the idea back in June, I guess it was a way to give the book a second life, push the idea further. It is also a perfect timing for it I guess, colouring books are getting more and more popular these days.

Beautiful Birds 13
What did you have to do to adapt the book? The full colour version is more obviously aimed at children but I presume the colouring book is for adults?
To adapt it I knew it had to be 96 pages, and the original version only had 56 pages so I had to find a concept that would allow to double the amount of pages. That’s why I came up with the pattern idea, because it would allow to repeat over the spread and actually double the amount of pages, but also because I absolutely love patterns and I have been working on some for my own pleasure, I thought it would be fun to colour in too! After working on small thumbnails of the layout, I started creating the patterns guide from the coloured illustrations. Then an assistant helped me retrace digitally the lines for the whole book. The colouring book is really for anyone who feels like colouring in, I wouldn’t say it’s strictly for adults :^)

Beautiful Birds  4
What has the reception been like so far?
I haven’t had much news lately, all I know is that they had to reprint 3000 additional copies just before the book came out. So I guess it’s going pretty well.

Beautiful Birds 17
How do you work? What mediums do you use, what is your studio like and what do you like to have close by?
I always start with a detailed spreadsheet, listing all the pages, and then I have columns for the thumbnails, rough, clean, final processes, when it’s still in progress the squares are yellow, when it’s done it’s green, it helps me track my work and to keep up with my schedule. Then I work on some tiny thumbnails for each spread so that the composition is perfect, working at a small scales really allows you to concentrate on the composition. Once all the thumbnails are all done and approved, I rough out every page on a small format, something like an A5 in terms of dimensions. I don’t like working on large scales. Then everything is scanned. In Photoshop I work out a general palette for the book, and then for each page/spread I do some very rough colour roughs again in Photoshop, trying things erasing, changing, tweaking the colours until I am satisfied. After that I start cleaning up the illustration, layer by layer.

Beautiful Birds 14
I have a desk space at Nexus Productions the company who represents me as an animation director. I work there on project with them sometimes and the rest of the time I work on my books and commissions from other clients. I don’t need much, the most important is probably my Cintiq (a screen on which you can draw directly) internet for references, paper, pencils, some nice things to listen to and a couple of amazing teas from around the world

Beautiful Birds 12
You’ve studied all over the world – how did you end up in your various locations and how did you end up in London?
I was born in Switzerland, when I was eleven we moved to Montreal, Canada with my family. There I studied 2D animation and started my carrer in the animation industry there. I wasn’t satisfied with what it had to offer and I knew that the Gobelins School in Paris offered a direct entry in third year if you had enough experience and passed the tests. I tried, and I got in. After a year working on our final year film, I thought I’d stay a bit longer, mainly because the winter was much warmer than the one in Montreal, but also because I felt the industry had more to offer. And then bit by bit I realised that Paris wasn’t for me for a lot of reasons but I didn’t want to go back to Montreal. I had been to London a few times for the weekend, when I was living in Paris, and I absolutely loved it’s vibe, I also knew that there were a lot of interesting companies in London, so I just made the move! It was very hard at first because I had no contacts at all and basically had to start my work network from scratch.

Beautiful Birds 18
How did you get from animation into illustration, was it a planned process or did it just sort of happen?
I have always illustrated for pleasure, and designing characters for animation series, ads and films so it’s always been part of my life, I wouldn’t put myself in the “animation-box” or the “illustration-box”.

Beautiful Birds 15
Beautiful Birds 10
What does your day to day job as an art director involve?
My work as a director is a freelance job, when I receive a pitch from Nexus I pitch an idea/concept/visuals for the project. Usually we pitch against 2 other studios, sometimes more. If I am selected I get to direct the project and start earning money. The pitches are very rarely paid… The rest of the time I am working on my books, sometimes I also freelance as an animator on 2D projects, or for other personal clients.

Beautiful Birds 5
You have a huge portfolio, what is your favourite commercial project so far and why?
I think that the Beautiful Birds book was one of my favourite projects. First of all my clients are the children, and when they appreciate my work it means more than anything. Also I feel free, I feel that my publisher trusts me and my ideas and they really let me do what I want.

Beautiful Birds 11
Have you seen any of your colouring pages completed and if so how did you feel about it? It must be quite a weird thing to see someone else’s creativity imposed on your own!
I actually haven’t seen much. I saw a few pages on Flying Eye‘s website, but not really. I am very curious though!

Beautiful Birds 9
Lastly, are there any more colouring or bird based books on the horizon?
No. Not for the moment, my next book will be about dogs, a loooooot of dogs!

The Beautiful Birds Colouring Book is out now and available here.

Categories ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Beautiful Birds, ,Beautiful Birds Colouring Book, ,canada, ,Colouring Book, ,Emmanuelle Walker, ,Flying Eye Books, ,Gobelins School, ,Jean Roussen, ,Montreal, ,Nexus Productions, ,Nobrow, ,Smallish Design Awards, ,Switzerland

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Amelia’s Magazine | Best of D&AD New Blood Graphic Design Graduates 2011

New Blood show review 2011 Dawn Cooper
Illustration by Dawn Cooper.

Shh, adiposity I know that the D&AD New Blood exhibition was held absolutely months ago… but I would rather play catch up than leave all this talent behind. And besides, this blog was all prewritten – I just needed to post the bugger. Here then are the best of the graphic designers that I found, with possibly a few illustrators thrown in too as it can be hard to distinguish between the two at times.

New Blood show review 2011-Dawn Cooper
There was some wonderful work at Bath School of Art and Design: illustrations for The Outsider by Albert Camus illustrated by Dawn Cooper produced some beautiful prints.

New Blood show review 2011-Charles Van Der Essen
I thought Charles Van Der Essen‘s Atom self portrait poster was rather wonderful, as was his primary coloured beetle waving a spanner on a BMX bike.

New Blood show review 2011-David Otokpa's Eggs (Humanity)
At American Intercontinental I liked David Otokpa‘s Eggs (Humanity), a photo of many sized eggs to represent the similarities of all humans.

New Blood show review 2011-Juliana Roldao orishas
New Blood show review 2011-Juliana Roldao orishas
New Blood show review 2011-Juliana Roldao orishas
New Blood show review 2011-Juliana Roldao orishas
From Middlesex University Juliana Roldao had produced Orishas, a beautiful screenprinted book in barely there neons and black.

New Blood show review 2011-christine harrison
New Blood show review 2011-christine harrison
At Nottingham Trent Uni Christine Harrison‘s Elton the Abominable Snowman and zoetrope caught my eye.

New Blood show review 2011-samuel jones
New Blood show review 2011-samuel jones
Over at Huddersfield I liked Unleashed illustrations by Samuel Jones, which were rendered in a very basic colour range to great success.

New Blood show review 2011-Aaron Vohra
New Blood show review 2011-Aaron Vohra
A very similar colour palette was used by Aaron Vohra, who tackled people in graphics with a faintly 50s style.

New Blood show review 2011-Zane Aldere
At the University of Bedfordshire the force of Nobrow was strong: especially for Zane Aldere, who produced a hand scene printed book that tells four versions of Little Red Riding Hood in concertina form.

New Blood show review 2011-Julia Kisselmann
New Blood show review 2011-New Blood show review 2011-Julia Kisselmann
Julia Kisselmann had produced a lovely series of hand screenprinted prints, Transmutation, inspired by patterns in nature.

New Blood show review 2011-amy collins collin banana
New Blood show review 2011-amy collins collin banana
I do love a bit of a wild card: at Loughborough University Amy Collins showed a purple hippo and featured bird from her Collin Banana Circus project – she hopes to go into animation.

New Blood show review 2011-Bertie the Ickle Pickle Bean
Carolyn Bayley‘s Bertie the Ickle Pickle Bean for a book by Rosie Collins reminded me of the simplicity of Simone Lia‘s work.

More coming up soon…

Categories ,Aaron Vohra, ,Albert Camus, ,American Intercontinental, ,Amy Collins, ,Atom, ,Bath School of Art and Design, ,Bath Spa, ,Bertie the Ickle Pickle Bean, ,Buckinghamshire New University, ,Carolyn Bayley, ,Charles Van Der Essen, ,Christine Harrison, ,Collin Banana Circus, ,D&AD, ,David Otokpa, ,Dawn Cooper, ,Deepwater Horizon, ,Eggs (Humanity), ,Elton the Abominable Snowman, ,Fakery, ,Graphic Design, ,Huddersfield, ,James Rogers, ,John Ellis, ,Julia Kisselmann, ,Juliana Roldao, ,Little Red Riding Hood, ,Loughborough University, ,MIddlesex Univerisity, ,New Blood, ,Nobrow, ,Northumbria University, ,Nottingham Trent University, ,Orishas, ,Rosie Collins, ,Sheffield Hallam, ,Sheffield Institute of Arts, ,Simone Lia, ,Transmutation, ,typography, ,University of Bedfordshire, ,University of Huddersfield, ,Unleashed, ,Zane Aldere, ,Zoetrope

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Amelia’s Magazine | Best of D&AD New Blood Illustration Graduates 2011: part one

New Blood show review 2011-adam avery
Illustration by Adam Avery.

And now time for the best illustration that I discovered at this year’s D&AD New Blood, symptoms part one.

New Blood show review 2011-oona brown
New Blood show review 2011-oona brown
At Glasgow School of Art Oona Brown‘s Bad Eggs considered how the pass time of collecting eggs is now frowned upon and considered stealing.

New Blood show review 2011-adam avery
New Blood show review 2011-adam avery
New Blood show review 2011-adam avery
New Blood show review 2011-adam avery
New Blood show review 2011-adam avery
New Blood show review 2011-adam avery
I was most taken by Adam Avery at Norwich University College of the Arts, sickness one of many graduates who have taken a Nobrow palette to heart. Introspection Out was a wonderful autobiographical book about his time spent in Norfolk.

New Blood show review 2011-Rosalind Johnson
The Mouse, the Bird, the Sausage by fellow graduate Rosalind Johnson was charming.

New Blood show review 2011-MATT BRAND
As were spooky images by Matthew Brand.

New Blood show review 2011-Joe Lyward
At University of Plymouth Joe Lyward featured some evocative line drawings to demonstrate a story, My Fear – about facing fear head on.

New Blood show review 2011-Emma Carlisle
Emma Carlisle tackled historical figures – she has worked for Oh Comely and Ballad Of.

New Blood show review 2011-Josh Neal
New Blood show review 2011-Josh Neal
New Blood show review 2011-Josh Neal
I was impressed by Josh Neal‘s colourful woodcut work, and he had a lovely screenprinted book on sale.

New Blood show review 2011-Southampton Solent University
At Southampton Solent University the girl looking after the display *joked* that her tutor had nicked a prime spot with this nice animal poster.

New Blood show review 2011-Jen Hainsworth
Jen Hainsworth had made this delightful print of a woman.

New Blood show review 2011-Southampton Solent University
The central table was laid out with a whole range of delights.

New Blood show review 2011-Laura Clare Davis
New Blood show review 2011-Laura Clare Davis
New Blood show review 2011-Laura Clare Davis
At Edinburgh College of Art my eye was caught by a little scratch n sniff book by Laura Clare Davis.

New Blood show review 2011-Samuel Hawkins
I’d missed a few from my earlier Westminster University blog, so here they are: Follow Anyone by Samuel Hawkins may not have entirely got the point of twitter, but he wasn’t the only one making a commentary – it was a popular theme this year.

New Blood show review 2011-Natacha Malkin
Natacha Malkin‘s Red Feather was a lovely loose bit of fashion illustration.

More to come in a wee while… read part two of my New Blood illustration review here.

Categories ,2011, ,Adam Avery, ,Bad Eggs, ,Ballad Of, ,D&AD, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Glasgow School of Art, ,graduate, ,illustration, ,Introspection Out, ,Jen Hainsworth, ,Joe Lyward, ,Josh Neal, ,Laura Clare Davis, ,Matthew Brand, ,My Fear, ,Natacha Malkin, ,New Blood, ,Nobrow, ,Norfolk, ,Norwich University College of the Arts, ,Oh Comely, ,Oona Brown, ,Red Feather, ,review, ,Rosalind Johnson, ,Samuel Hawkins, ,Southampton Solent University, ,Suffolk, ,the Bird, ,The Mouse, ,the Sausage, ,University of Plymouth, ,Westminster University

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