Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2014 Review: Best New Illustration & One Year On Textiles

New Designers Adam Corns 2
Illustration by Adam Corns.

I sadly missed the first weekend of New Designers this year, but I made it to the second weekend and made a beeline for the illustration degree and graphic design stands.

New Designers Horses Josephine Birch
I began with the Cambridge School of Art stand, which is always one of the strongest in show. These characterful horses are by Josephine Birch.

New Designers Francesca Esme Morris
I adored this colourful patterned work by Francesca Esme Morris.

New Designers Aleesha Nandra guitars
These wooden cutout guitars by Aleesha Nandhra feature lyrics and imagery from favourite songs.

New Designers 2014 -Jess Bennett
Jess Bennett updated Snakes and Ladders with her Space Race board game, part of a project to ‘make space cool again.’

New Designers Louise Hall- churches
Louise Hall was inspired by the churches of East London for her London Bells series.

New Designers hannah Kurz
Hannah Kurz created these truly stunning illustrations for a book inspired by Nordic folklore.

New Designers Ella Catt
This cute papercut card design is by Ella Catt at Nottingham Trent University.

New Designers Chris Worker
I was most impressed by the monochrome artworks of Chris Worker, who gives a modern spin to the art deco style of Metropolis. This rocket is part of a stencilled visual history of spacecraft and he also did some amazing tarot card designs. A really awesome body of work, do check out his website.

New Designers Claire Evans
I made a quick trip downstairs to check out the always impressive University of Brighton Design & Craft stand and discovered these samples of recycled plastics by Claire Evans, who explores new ways of working with used materials.

New Designers Holly Alexander
This interactive musical quilt by Holly Alexander blends new and old ideas together to encourage the act of storytelling.

New Designers 2014 -gordon gorilla
Hayley Moisley developed her Gordon the Gorilla character as a learning aid, with interchangeable facial features to create different emotions.

New Designers Amy Clare Barden
New Designers Amy Clare Barden crocNew Designers Amy Clare Barden croc
Back on the top floor I discovered yet more talent amongst the Falmouth University graduates. These awesome animals and the crocodile lift the flap book are by Amy Clare Barden.

New Designers Katie Ponder 2
New Designers Katie Ponder
Katie Ponder was the deserving winner of an AOI award for her From the Rite of Spring series.

New Designers Sessions Surf Shop by Joe Baines
Joe Baines created this eye catching identity for the Sessions Surf Shop.

There is something no nonsense about the way that Falmouth put their identikit boards together and bed down at both New Blood and New Designers every summer, but I would really love to see what the students could do with a stand alone show in London one year.

New Designers Jordan Wray at Plymouth College of Art
Over at Plymouth College of Art Jordan Wray depicted a host of fish in The Element of Surprise.

New Designers Katie Turner
New Designers katie turner foxes
Cute patterns featuring badgers, strawberries, foxes and mushrooms by Katie Turner would look great on wrapping paper.

New Designers Sam Thorne
Sam Thorne’s shouty lady is the best kind of optical madness.

New Designers Adam Corns
People on their iPads everywhere, and fabulous brights (see top of the post). There was some awesome work on show from Adam Corns at Birmingham City University.

New Designers Bunnies by Hollie Crooker
This tumbling pile of bunnies by Hollie Crooker is an astonishingly detailed bit of art.

New Designers award winner Matthew Alker
Over at UCA Farnham I was introduced to the award winning work of Matthew Alker.

New Designers Dogs, by Angelica Hood at UCA Farnham
These plush dogs with lolling tongues are by Angelica Hood.

New Designers Otro Mundo Libby Parra
New Designers 2014 -libby parra
I was immensely chuffed to be gifted one of the best things I found at New Designers; Otro Mundo, a beautiful limited edition risograph zine by Libby Parra, printed by Ditto Press. Her otherworldly creatures are bathed in a neon glow as they wriggle across the pages.

New Designers sparklymouse
New Designers sparklymouse face
At the end of my visit I just had time to visit the One Year On zone. This cheerful hoop embroidery is by Louise Jones, aka Sparklymouse.

New Designers Berty B
This great retro inspired textile design is by BertyB.

New Designers Neon weave
Angie Parker hand weaves these epic neon textiles; absolutely stunning.

New designers charlie mortley
Charlie Mortley’s galactic textile designs were used to great effect in upholstery.

New Designers rosie moss
And finally (phew) these lush figurative textiles are by Rosie Moss, who contributed illustrations to Amelia’s Magazine many moons ago.

Categories ,2014, ,Adam Corns, ,Aleesha Nandhra, ,Amy Clare Barden, ,Angelica Hood, ,Angie Parker, ,BertyB, ,Birmingham City University, ,Business Design Centre, ,Cambridge School of Art, ,Charlie Mortley, ,Chris Worker, ,Claire Evans, ,Design & Craft, ,Ditto Press, ,Ella Catt, ,Falmouth University, ,Francesca Esme Morris, ,Gordon the Gorilla, ,Hannah Kurz, ,Hayley Moisley, ,Hollie Crooker, ,Holly Alexander, ,illustration, ,Jess Bennett, ,Joe Baines, ,Jordan Wray, ,Josephine Birch, ,Katie Ponder, ,Katie Turner, ,Libby Parra, ,London Bells, ,Louise Hall, ,Louise Jones, ,Matthew Alker, ,Metropolis, ,New Blood, ,New Designers, ,Nottingham Trent University, ,One Year On, ,Otro Mundo, ,Plymouth College of Art, ,review, ,Rite of Spring, ,Rosie Moss, ,Sam Thorne, ,Sense of Making, ,Sessions Surf Shop, ,Space Race, ,Sparklymouse, ,textiles, ,The Element of Surprise, ,UCA Farnham, ,University of Brighton

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Amelia’s Magazine | Meet Katie Ponder: Featured Artist from That Which We Do Not Understand

Katie Ponder graduated from Falmouth University and was one of my favourite new illustrators discovered at New Designers this year. She was the winner of the 2014 AOI book category award and took part in the recent exhibition at Somerset House. The Weather Witches was inspired by the change of seasons, and the design of tarot cards. In this image the tempestarii (who control the weather) exchange summer for winter, as the leaves fall and the starry nights draw in.

Rite of Spring, Growth.

Your illustration was inspired by ideas you first discovered in childhood… can you remember how you came across them and what effect they had on you then?
Whilst considering the theme of That Which We Do Not Understand, the seasons changed from summer to a very sudden winter. Dramatic changes in the weather always bring to mind a song I learnt at primary school about a weather witch, when she was happy she would make the sun shine, but when she was angry there would be thunder and lightening. There is a lot of folklore about witches some times referred to as tempestarii, who control the weather. Inspired by this, I imagined the seasons personified by two witches, who are sisters. The changing of the seasons happens when one sister passes her reign onto the other sister, so that she may rule for her share of time. My image is about autumn, when the sisters exchange places and the weather changes from summer to winter, the leaves fall off the trees and dark starry nights draw in. I am interested in how changes in seasons and the lunar cycle impact the world and also our physical and mental wellbeing.

Titania & Bottom

What in particular appeals to you about Tarot?
I read my own tarot cards on a regular basis, and collect different packs. I find it intriguing me how a picture can reflect some kind of personal truth, and can inspire different ways of thinking about a situation. I also love the symbolism within tarot cards; in particular I love the Rider Waite deck, which has very bold graphic colors, and mysterious symbolic landscapes and scenarios.


How did you put together The Weather Witches?
To create my image The Weather Witches, I started of collaging using old papers, self made textures and found images. I then scanned the collage into Photoshop and played around with the composition until I felt there was an aesthetic balance. I added new textures and tweaked the colors and contrasts to create the final image.

Rite of Spring, Arrival.

What was the most challenging part of the process and what was the most satisfying?
I found it a very enjoyable project to work in response to ‘that which we do not understand’ as mysticism and the occult fascinate me and have inspired a lot of my work. Composition is really important to me, and I really like an image to feel balanced. The idea of portraying two sister witches allowed for me to make a fairly symmetrical image, which I find very satisfying to work with.


Falmouth University consistently turns out top illustrators, why do you think that is?
The illustration course at Falmouth is well known, the tutors are available to talk to all the time and they are absolutely amazing, and very inspiring, I miss them so much! All the people I studied alongside were very ambitious and had lots of drive, which created a very motivating atmosphere in the studio. I also think what makes Falmouth a really good course is how they prepare you for industry. As part of the course we had to arrange meetings with leading professionals in the industry to have our portfolios reviewed. Knowing that the best art directors and agencies are going to look through your portfolio pushes you to work at the highest standard you can. Also attending these meetings teaches you how to handle and be confident in intimidating professional scenarios.

Words have wings.

You only recently graduated this summer, what has happened since then?
I was very lucky to be awarded the new talent award for books by the Association of Illustrators as I finished university. Over October my work was exhibited at Somerset House in London, which was a wonderful experience, and now my work is on a touring exhibition at different venues around the UK. Since graduating, I have moved back to central London where I am originally from and I have been really enjoying being back in the city, seeing lots of art and ballet. I have set up a small studio to work from, and I have been working on commissions as well as meeting people to talk about projects to work on in the future.

Katie Ponder Women Who Run With The Wolves
Women Who Run With The Wolves.

What are you currently working on?
I am working on a couple of ideas in between commissions. The project closest to my heart is some work that has been inspired by ballet and classical music, and is the catalyst behind a book I am developing at the moment.

Kaite_Ponder_Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

What are you most looking forward to in the coming year?
In December I am taking part in a stop motion animation course, which I am very excited about. I did a project in 3D whilst I was at university and I am eager to see how that might translate into stop motion animation. I am also pursuing my other long-standing passion next year and training to be a yoga teacher, which I plan to have as a companion job alongside being an illustrator. There is also some travelling I really want to do that I am currently working towards and dreaming about.

Visit Katie Ponder‘s website here and pledge for a limited edition gold leaf fine art print of the The Weather Witches on my Kickstarter campaign page here.

Categories ,#TWWDNU, ,Association of Illustrators, ,Falmouth College of Art, ,Falmouth University, ,illustration, ,illustrator, ,interview, ,Katie Ponder, ,New Designers, ,Rider Waite, ,Somerset House, ,Tarot, ,tempestarii, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,The Weather Witches, ,Weather Witch

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Amelia’s Magazine | Yeasayer – Odd Blood – Album Review


Odd Blood, online the second album from Brooklyn natives Yeasayer, drugs has been a long time in the making. Following their critically acclaimed debut album All Hour Symbols in 2007 diehard fans have been waiting three long years for the follow up, illness so the pressure was on for the trio to not let their devoted followers down. And fret not, freaky ones, they have delivered a belter.

The beauty of this band, which is obvious from the outset, is that they don’t adhere to rules of genre or influence, and so laugh in the faces of us lazy writers, who like nothing more than a nice neat pigeon hole to squeeze music into. It is easy to toss the names of MGMT, Animal Collective and TV On The Radio about when discussing Odd Blood, but that would be an injustice to the originality and creative flare of Yeasayer.

Somewhat of a reinvention from their debut album, throughout Odd Blood we get smacked about and sonically felt up by cow bells, fuzzy rock guitars, world drums, break beats, ooohs and ahhhhs, hand claps, synths. To say that their influences are broad is like saying that John Terry has a ‘bit of an eye for the ladies’. This is no ordinary electro pop record.


Album opener The Children is a dark and moody march through echoing marimbas, layered and lowered electro vocals, lush saxophone hooks and an ominous sentiment. Yet it seamlessly segues into their first single Ambling Alp – a slab of cockle-warming pop, which leaves you grinning your face off, hugging your mates and baying for more. It is this obvious penchant for catching the listeners off guard that makes this album so irresistible. Anthemic Madder Red sees big beat tribal drums, middle-eastern pop and indie guitar solos meshing together as if they had always been harmonious bedfellows.

Second single, O.N.E is one of the most uplifting break up songs I have yet to hear. Blissed out harmonies bump along to a backdrop of break beats, bouncing eighties influenced synths and just the right amount of cowbell.

However this is not a completely perfect album. There are a couple of weak spots, namely Rome with a baseline slightly too close to Fat Boy Slim’s Weapon Of Choice for comfort, and then there’s easily forgettable Strange Reunions, but all in all this is a staggeringly impressive experiment in reassessing and rearranging the current pop landscape, creating a genre busting, deliciously weird result. Odd Blood is easily in the running for being one of the best and most innovative albums of the year.

Yeasayer were featured in issue 9 of Amelia’s magazine and also featured on our compilation USB stick.

Categories ,All Hour Cymbals, ,Animal Collective, ,Fat Boy Slim, ,mgmt, ,Odd Blood, ,TV on the Radio, ,Yeasayer

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