Amelia’s Magazine | D&AD New Blood 2014 Review

New Blood review 2014
This year the D&AD New Blood show returned once more to Spitalfields Market. The overwhelming emphasis was on work aimed at the more commercial sector of the graphic arts, with less colleges than in previous years choosing to showcase pure illustration.

New Blood Don't be a Dick
Straight away, I picked up a copy of the Don’t be a Dick newspaper by Shellsuit Zombie, offering some salient graduate advice in a nicely edited one page form.

New Blood Southampton type
Nothing was labelled on the otherwise always excellent Solent Illustration stand, so I tried to match up artwork to illustrators using their A4 hand out and nicely produced newspaper. It wasn’t easy! And even harder to locate websites in quite a lot of cases… The funky circus inspired typography above is by Laura Hunt. Dontcha just love the word funky?

New Blood southampton
Luke Baker is responsible for this gridlocked city scene.

New Blood southampton skull
Kirby Pyle made this skull and other wooden cut outs.

New Blood southampton stencil
Hannah Bartlett’s stencilled lady looks into her looking glass.

New Blood southamption grace williams
In the newspaper: I liked this abstract image by Grace Williams.

New Blood southampton emily wilks
Emily Wilks made this cool pattern of animals and foliage. We were not officially invited but I picked up an invite to the students’ stand alone show at the Coningsby Gallery, and asked former student Jenny Robins to cover the Wooly Bully studio work in more detail… to be posted soon.

New Blood Jennifer Humphreys
These decorative blue hands by Jennifer Humphreys at Gray’s School of Art went down a storm when I shared them on instagram.

New Blood Hannah Botma
Dinosaurs in bottles were held up by the ever popular bulldog clip method, by Hannah Botma at Edinburgh College of Art.

New Blood Caitlin Parks
I was most taken by this exploding bird from Caitlin Parks, part of a series designed to draw attention to the plastics found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

New Blood troll lips
At the University of the West of England Holly Dennis made this arresting image: the word Troll collapsing over overprinted neon lips.

New Blood 2014 -Mark Cook
At Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design the designer Mark Cook had produced this very appealing poster of fish lures.

New Blood David Hill
This tram coming up a hill is by David Hill at Sheffield Hallam University.

New Blood Emily Elvin
At Edinburgh Napier University Emily Elvin explored sleep in this rotating paper sculpture.

New Blood  By Heather McCarthy at Sussex College Hastings
At Sussex College Hastings Heather McCarthy had created some wonderful cards and posters designed to promote foreign destinations.

New Blood Dream Good by Hilary Newman
Colour, type and pattern were used to great effect in this Dream Good pamphlet by Hilary Newman at Bath Spa University.

New Blood Hipsters by Jacqueline Fryars at Blackpool & Flyde college
These hipsters are by Jacqueline Fryars at Blackpool & Flyde College. So true… beards and tattoos… everywhere. I have to say though, that it’s not the greatest to discover one of my own tweets (and that’s all) when trying to track down a student’s presence online.

New Blood Sophie Heywood
The trend for all things handmade shows no sign of abating. I like this risograph print for Handmade Studio by Sophie Heywood at UCLAN.

New Blood Midwinter Mischief by Dawn Williams
I was very sad to have missed the Middlesex University illustration show (no invite) because a small selection will never give me a full view of the talent on any one course. At New Blood I was drawn to this wonderful Midwinter Mischief fold out book by Dawn Williams.

New Blood Kayleigh Pavelin
I also liked these strong images of an African wild dog and giraffe by Kayleigh Pavelin.

New Blood Gary Curzai
Typography by Gary Curzai was clearly inspired by traditional Indian signage, but his is a fresh new update for a modern world.

New Blood David Doran
David Doran from Falmouth University already has an impressive list of clients to his name. I’m not surprised, his colourful patterned work is extremely clever and hugely engaging.

New Blood Dream Alphabet by Lauren Humphrey
Lauren Humphrey has adopted a similar curvaceous outlook, rendered in an appealing neon colour palette. I loved her humorous Dream Alphabet.

New Blood Rachel Saunders- Let's Play PeePo
The sea air must nuture illustration talent. Rachel SaundersLet’s Play Peepo! features lots of fabulous animals and foliage.

Falmouth students are also notable for their hearty online presence: I always find it intriguing how students at one college can be so incredibly useless at self promotion, whilst at another they are all on top of it. Can it all be solely down to talent that so many Falmouth students are doing well professionally before graduation? Maybe, but it doesn’t hurt to put yourself out there, and the sooner the better.

New Blood Necklace by Kristi Minchin
This quirky and colourful laser cut necklace is by Kristi Minchin at Arts University Bournemouth, who had also created a bizarre greeting machine replete with waving hands. I will be covering other discoveries at their High Noon stand alone show in another blog post.

New Blood Annabel Davis cats
Daft but brilliant. Annabel Davis imagines kittens and cats as kings and queens.

New Blood Strange animals by Dan Widdowson
These strange animals are by Dan Widdowson.

New Blood Lauren Rothery at Plymouth Uni
Lauren Rothery at Plymouth University had created these pamphlets with titles such as ‘How to Interact Socially.’

New Blood Norwich uni
I really liked the little hand out sheets about artists at Norwich University of the Arts: a nice touch.

New Blood Oddities by Tim Blann
These oddities are by Tim Blann, who has an appealingly blobby style.

New Blood Chris Shuttleworth - Learn to Sail
New Blood Shuttlefingers Pitch a Tent
Chris Shuttleworth at Leeds College of Art made these eye catching promotional posters adorned with the slogans Learn to Sail and Pitch a Tent.

New Blood staffordshire dogs
Finally, I didn’t record the name of the designer behind these marvellous pink Staffordshire Dogs. Sorry!

The hall was buzzing on my visit to New Blood, and I thought it interesting to hear from one graduate that it was a great opportunity for her to meet all the other students she had been following online for so long. Times have changed! How wonderful that nowadays the most engaged illustrators can discover and friend each other from across the UK before they have even graduated. Just think of the potential work partnerships.

Categories ,2014, ,Annabel Davis, ,Arts University Bournemouth, ,Bath Spa University, ,Blackpool & Flyde College, ,Caitlin Parks, ,Chris Shuttleworth, ,Coningsby Gallery, ,D&AD, ,Dan Widdowson, ,David Doran, ,David Hill, ,Dawn Williams, ,Don’t be a Dick, ,Dream Alphabet, ,Dream Good, ,Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Edinburgh Napier University, ,Emily Elvin, ,Emily Wilks, ,Falmouth University, ,Gary Curzai, ,Grace Williams, ,Graphic Design, ,Gray’s School of Art, ,Great Pacific Garbage Patch, ,Handmade Studio, ,Hannah Bartlett, ,Hannah Botma, ,Heather McCarthy, ,High Noon, ,Hilary Newman, ,Holly Dennis, ,How to Interact Socially, ,illustration, ,Jacqueline Fryars, ,Jennifer Humphreys, ,Kayleigh Pavelin, ,Kirby Pyle, ,Kristi Minchin, ,Laura Hunt, ,Lauren Humphrey, ,Lauren Rothery, ,Learn to Sail, ,Leeds College of Art, ,Let’s Play Peepo!, ,Luke Baker, ,Mark Cook, ,middlesex university, ,Midwinter Mischief, ,New Blood, ,Norwich University of the Arts, ,Pitch a Tent, ,Plymouth University, ,Rachel Saunders, ,review, ,Sheffield Hallam University, ,Shellsuit Zombie, ,Solent Illustration, ,Sophie Heywood, ,Southampton Solent School of Art and Design, ,Spitalfields Market, ,Staffordshire Dogs, ,Sussex College Hastings, ,Tim Blann, ,Troll, ,typography, ,UCLan, ,University of the West of England, ,Wooly Bully

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Alex McGinn: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Alex McGinn Artwork example 2
Illustrator Alex McGinn was one of a slew of graduates discovered at this summer’s New Designers show. Her distinctive artwork features a strong palette of autumnal colours, which lend themselves perfectly to a host of subjects.

Alex McGinn Artwork example 2
What was the best bit about studying at Falmouth Uni?
At Falmouth University I think the most helpful part of our course was the amount of tutor time and group critiques we had to discuss the development of our work. The university felt like a community, probably because the campus is situated in such a small town. As a student, I really felt the tutors really knew me and were always aware of what particular problem I was trying to overcome.

Alex McGinn Artwork example 4
How do you start a piece of artwork and what is your favourite part of the art making process?
Generally my favourite part of creating an illustration is the ‘thumbnail’ stage. Which is where I am literally laying out every idea that pops into my head until I have this massive page filled with plenty of different visuals to compare and choose from. At this part of the creative process I feel very liberated as I don’t have a fixed idea about what my final outcome will be.

Alex McGinn Artwork example 7
You favour a very particular colour palette, where do you find inspiration for the colours you use?
I think when I was starting to create more editorial illustrations I looked into the kind of colour palettes other successful editorial illustrators use, such as Neil Webb and David Doran. My main aim was however to make the illustrations really jump out at the viewer which is why my colour palette is vivid and bright.

Alex McGinn Double Page colouring book
How did you create the artwork for the colouring book?
I started off by making a few sketches and thumbnails and decided what subject matter would work best for a wide audience. Once I had decided I wanted to create a nature themed image the rest of the process was fairly simple. All my drawings are rather large so I can place all the necessary detail, and then digitally edit using the Adobe Suite.

Alex McGinn Artwork example 6
What are your favourite Dorset landscapes and why?
I personally enjoy the view from the Purbeck peninsula looking towards Corfe Castle which is an area I visited regularly as a child.

Alex McGinn Artwork example 3
How did you get involved with Write to Freedom and what have you done for them?
One of my Falmouth tutors was in contact with a member of Write to Freedom who were collaborating with the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), and it was through this connection I got one of my first commissions. For this particular commission I was asked to produce a leaflet depicting the History of the Workers’ Educational Association within Dartington, and an illustrated map. The illustrated map was designed to lead the viewer along a trail around Dartington Estate and the surrounding countryside. It was called the ‘Dartington Then and Now‘ Trail. Throughout the trail there were a series of ‘then’ and ‘now’ statements displayed, explaining the past and current projects the WEA undertook in Dartington.

Alex McGinn Artwork example 1
What kind of illustration are you producing for Workers’ Educational Association?
At the moment I am working on another commission now specifically for the Workers’ Educational Association. I am creating large illustrations summarising the development of the WEA over the last 100 years. These illustrations will eventually be displayed in an exhibition towards the end of the year.

Alex McGinn Artwork example 5
Why have you decided to train as a teacher and where do you hope to pass on your skills in the future?
I decided to train to be a teacher whilst keeping up with my freelance work as I really do have a passion for passing on the knowledge I have learnt throughout my education. I enjoy the opportunity to inspire creative thinking at any given opportunity which is why teaching was a logical path for me to undertake. At the moment I am training to teach Secondary Level Art and Design but potentially, in the future, I may qualify to teach at University level as well.

Stay tuned for many more interviews with featured artists from Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion.

Categories ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Alex McGinn, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Corfe Castle, ,Dartington Estate, ,Dartington Then and Now, ,David Doran, ,Dorset, ,Falmouth University, ,illustration, ,interview, ,Neil Webb, ,New Designers, ,Purbeck peninsula, ,Workers’ Educational Association, ,Write to Freedom

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with illustrator David Doran


Illustrator David Doran is a recent graduate of Falmouth University and was one of the standout graduate illustrators discovered at the 2014 shows (read more in my New Blood review)… I caught up with him to talk inspiration from the USA, working with new clients and how to engage with the commercial world before graduation.

How has your recent trip around America informed your work?
It was great to get out and about, see new sights and meet new people. Illustration is one of the few jobs that you can do from pretty much anywhere. After finishing University, my girlfriend and I felt the need to travel to new places. We had a few contacts in New York, Boston, Portland and San Francisco, and decided that it was the perfect time for us to just head off. I met with clients at newspapers and magazines, and together we also managed to meet up with other creative people. It was great to make more personable relationships with clients I’d been working with and to realise how international illustration and the industry is. Visually, the American landscape is incredibly inspiring. We took a few days to drive down the Highway 101 from Portland OR to San Francisco, taking in the wild coastline.

NY Times

Why have you decided to stay in Falmouth after graduation – what are the benefits of staying put? (other than the fabulous scenery!)
After seeing other places and spending time in a lot of cities, Falmouth felt like the most perfect place to return to. There’s something very unique about the town, it has a brilliant close-knit, creative community and there’s nothing quite like being so near to the coast!


How do you like your studio space set up?
I’m really enjoying having a studio. After a few years of working from home, I found that it was important for me to get out of the house in the morning and to have a routine of going to a different place to work. It also helps with the work/life balance. I try to stick to normal working hours, but occasionally a deadline will mean that there are a few late nights! My studio is set amongst other creative spaces, with architects, artists, jewellery designers, graphic designers and a print studio all working either side of me. There’s also a ping-pong table nearby, which is the highlight of every day.

The Weekends Start Here

What or who have been your biggest influences in illustration?
I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but travel posters from the early 20th century have always been a large influence visually. I enjoy the traditional printing techniques and love seeing how tactile the posters feel. There’s plenty of contemporary illustrator’s making really great work at the moment, but I find inspiration from a wide range of artist’s, including Eric Ravillious, David Hockney, Barbara Hepworth, Mark Rothko and Henri Mattise, to name a few!

NY Times Book Review

During your degree what was the best way of learning about commercial world of illustration?
There are so many resources available for students to learn about the commercial world of illustration, such as the libraries, illustration annuals, creative magazines and websites. I read lots of interviews with illustrators, art directors and graphic designers, and was always fascinated with the commercial world and the process of a job. Most tutors at Universities will also have a wealth of knowledge about the commercial world and the different areas within illustration, so it’s always worth making the most of them and asking as many questions as you can!

The Quarterly

You have unsurprisingly had a lot of success, despite having only graduated last year – what tips would you give other illustrators graduating this year?
Get your work ‘out there’ and seen as much as possible. Attend the graduate shows and make conversation with people, the people that commission work are regular people and putting a face to a name is always helpful. There may be quiet moments once you graduate, but you never know what you’ll be commissioned for in the near future, so keep on going! I think it’s important to keep your illustration work interesting for yourself by working on personal projects whenever there’s the opportunity between projects. I find this can complement my commercial work and keeps me inspired to make more work. As an illustrator you’ll often be working as part of a team with art directors and designers, which is great, but your personal projects are a nice opportunity to be in complete control of one area of your work.

The Weekends Start Here

How did you get involved with the project to illustration London: The Weekends Start Here and what was the process in researching and creating the images in the book?
Elen Jones, an editor at Ebury (Penguin Random House), got in touch with me last summer. She had seen my work at one of the London graduate shows and thought my work would fit nicely with the book concept. The process was very natural and collaborative: I was sent Tom Jones’ manuscript and I went through selecting what I’d most like to illustrate. There were a few places I hadn’t visited before, but Tom was able to help with his photographs from the research for the book. We had a meeting where we went over the list of illustrations and checked that we matched the criteria. Once we’d settled on the pictures, it was simply a case of making sketches for each of the illustrations and then working with Sophie Yamamoto, the designer at Maru Studio, to make the right adjustments to the illustrations. I then went through the list one by one making the final images. I was still in the States while I working on the book and Sophie was in Japan, while Elen was still in London, so we became quite an international working team… The time zones were very confusing! It was great to work on a larger scale project, especially compared to editorial projects, and it’s now very satisfying to be able to hold the final book and stumble upon it in bookstores.

The Weekends Start Here

What has been your favourite editorial project of recent months and why?
I enjoy almost all editorial projects, I think there’s always the possibility to make an interesting image and the process of getting to that right image can be really fun. The added adrenaline of tight deadlines means that there’s always something new to be getting on with and keeps the work fresh. A recent editorial project that I particularly enjoyed was creating a series of illustrations for the next issue of Smith Journal magazine, based in Australia, which should be coming out very soon! The magazine has a great aesthetic and the articles had a large amount of scope for concepts; the images came together very naturally.

The Weekends Start Here

What are you working on next and what would your ideal project of the future be?
I’m currently working away on editorial projects and am slowly developing a children’s picture book of my own in between jobs. It’s in its very early stages, but hopefully one day it will be revealed to the world… watch this space! I would love to explore publishing more and work on book covers in the future. I’m excited to continue working on editorials and developing concepts too!

Categories ,Book Review, ,David Doran, ,Ebury, ,Elen Jones, ,Falmouth, ,Falmouth University, ,Highway 101, ,illustration, ,illustrator, ,interview, ,Maru Studio, ,New Blood, ,NY Times, ,Smith Journal, ,Sophie Yamamoto, ,The Quarterly, ,The Weekends Start Here, ,Tom Jones

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