Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2015: The Best Jewellery Design Graduates

New Designers Melissa Martinson 2
New Designers Melissa Martinson
New Designers part one is a jewellery lover’s paradise. First up this fabulous embroidered jewellery by Melissa Martinson of Huddersfield Uni, who has worked with AIDS sufferers in Africa using local techniques to create something wonderful. All the pieces are checked for quality and the workers paid a fair wage. I love the colours and shapes of these statement necklaces!

New Designers Natalie Adams
This amazing perspex and woven necklace is by Natalie Adams.

New Designers Maisie Welch
Maisie Welch played with resin shapes at Edinburgh College of Art.

ND Emily Gore
Emily Gore made this extravagant affair.

ND Karolina Baines
Karolina Baines used circular shapes to create this unusual neckpiece.

New Designers jade Stimpson
This organic jewellery by Jade Stimpson at Hereford College of the Arts uses unusual materials such as bone.

New Designers Chesca Dowthwaite
Chesca Dowthwaite created bold silver rings with deep bowls.

New Designers Amelia Hales
Lasercut jewellery by Amelia Hales at Nottingham Trent Uni was ‘inspired by china, made in the U.K.’

New Designers Katie whittaker 2
New Designers Katie whittakerNew Designers Katie whittaker
I absolutely loved this multi media jewellery by Katie Whittaker at Bath School of Art and Design.

New Designers Venice AW
Birmingham City Uni always turns out a selection of brilliant fine jewellery designers: and it is clearly a popular destination for Chinese students wishing to make the most of the burgeoning luxury market at home. This stunning gold necklace is by Venice AW.

New Designers Vanessa Zou
Jewellery by Vanessa Zou takes a more abstract turn.

New Designers Jing Jocelyn He
As does this Blooming collection by Jing Jocelyn He.

New Designers Rachel Codd
New Designers Rachel Codd 2
Ceramic jewellery by Rachel Codd at Cardiff Met is a successful marriage of the beautiful and the surreal. And she was also selling small pendant versions on her stand (available on etsy here), a clever business-savvy move.

New Designers Naoise Fitzgerald
These bright brooches are by Naoise Fitzgerald at the Dublin National College of Art and Design.

New Designers Senak
Resin pendants by Senak at UCA Rochester make a fun statement.

New Designers mary temilola
Mary Temilola made architectural enamelled necklace designs.

New Designers Sinead Toner
I loved the work of Glasgow College of Art students. This is sweetness made bold by Sinead Toner.

New Designers Maisie ford
And a brilliant use of variegated materials by Maisie Ford.

New Designers Maliha Khan
These chunky rings are by Maliha Khan.

Checkie Ieong showcased delicate and unusual jewellery.

ND Ieva Mikitaite
Ieva Mikitaite was a precious metal award winner for her delicate expanding jewellery. Very clever!

New designers Rachel Blair
Textural jewellery by Rachel Blair featured strange organic shapes.

New designers Chloe Michell
Enamel silver bowls by Chloe Michell at Plymouth University were part of a very strong collection.

ND Megan Maggie Gray
Over at Duncan of Jordanstone I liked these very wearable but unusual rings and earrings by Megan Gray.

New Designers Dione Bowlt
New Designers Dione Bowlt
Clever gold dipped porcelain earrings by Dione Boult are a great way to hang statement jewels without too much pressure on the ear!

ND Leah Orford
It turns out there were a couple of great designers I missed out on with my first review of the Middlesex University jewellery graduate show. Leah Orford makes jewellery that could double as sculpture.

ND Aelita Pluiskyte
Aelita Pluiskyte created an eye-catching display with her silicone necklaces.

ND Elizabeth Gray jewellery
This Elizabeth Gray necklace was inspired by crystals and microscopic sections.

ND nichakan jewellery
Organic shapes are the inspiration behind Nichakan jewellery.

ND kiki tang
At The Cass I liked floral enamel twig earrings by Kiki Tang.

ND Lynn Tunney
And lastly these playful necklaces are by Lynn Tunney.

All of these images first appeared on the New Designers instagram feed (they very kindly asked me to guest post a favourite selection from both part one and part two of the show) or on my own my instagram feed: follow me there to catch my discoveries as I make them!

Categories ,2015, ,Aelita Pluiskyte, ,Amelia Hales, ,Bath School of Art and Design, ,Birmingham City Uni, ,Blooming, ,Cardiff Met, ,Checkie Ieong, ,Chesca Dowthwaite, ,Chloe Michell, ,Dione Boult, ,Duncan of Jordanstone, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Elizabeth Gray, ,Emily Gore, ,Glasgow College of Art, ,Hereford College of the Arts, ,Huddersfield Uni, ,Ieva Mikitaite, ,Jade Stimpson, ,jewellery, ,Jing Jocelyn He, ,Karolina Baines, ,Katie Whittaker, ,Kiki Tang, ,Leah Orford, ,Lynn Tunney, ,Maisie Ford, ,Maisie Welch, ,Maliha Khan, ,Mary Temilola, ,Megan Gray, ,Melissa Martinson, ,middlesex university, ,Naoise Fitzgerald, ,Natalie Adams, ,National College of Art and Design, ,New Designers, ,Nichakan, ,Nichakan Jewellery, ,Nottingham Trent Uni, ,Plymouth University, ,Rachel Blair, ,Rachel Codd, ,review, ,Senak, ,Sinead Toner, ,The Cass, ,UCA Rochester, ,Vanessa Zou, ,Venice AW

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Amelia’s Magazine | D&AD New Blood 2013 Review: Best Graduate Illustration and Graphic Design

Bird man by Charlotte Cox at southampton solent screenprinting
This year the D&AD New Blood graduate show was held once again in a cordoned off section of Spitalfields Market. It’s a small space with hoards of exhibiting students crammed into the tight corridors, which can make it hard to manoeuvre around when it’s busy. Most colleges had as usual opted for a simple display on plain white stands, but one in particular had pushed the boat out: Southampton Solent had hand stamped the brown boards of their Wooly Bully Illustration show stand, providing an excellent foil to large scale screen printed work, handmade badges and a high quality promotional package. Amongst a sea of stands featuring A2 printed copies of students work this was a delightfully visceral experience. One of my favourite pieces was the bird man above by Charlotte Cox. They were also handing out invites to their stand alone London show, Solstice, at the Coningsby Gallery, but I was sadly away when it took place: I hope I’ll get an earlier invite next year!

Southampton solent book
Southampton solent book
These images are from a book that was hanging on the wall, illustrator unknown.

Southampton solent - Rake
This screenprint titled Rotam Vitea features alchemical symbolism and is by the enigmatically named Rake.

Elliot Kruszynski at Bath Spa Uni - Save the forests and the animals and the wizards
And from the rest of the show, here’s the illustrations and design work that caught my eye: Elliot Kruszynski at Bath Spa University wants us to Save the Forests and the Animals and the Wizards with this wonderful atmospheric print.

Austrian folk tale by Carina Dewhurst
I didn’t get an invite to the Westminster University standalone degree show this year, which is a shame as on the strength of their small New Blood display it looks like this was a particularly talented group. This beautiful illustration is based on an Austrian folk tale, by Carina Dewhurst.

Louise Byrnes
Printed textiles by Louise Brynes
This gorgeous abstract artwork is by Louise Byrnes, who also created textile designs that reminded me of the trend for splashy abstracts that was very prevalent at New Designers. Just lush, so lush in fact that someone tried to make off with the very print shown above whilst I was there!

Carmen Lynch environmental disaster westminster uni
Carmen Lynch was inspired by environmental disasters to create this threatening yet engaging image.

These cute animals are by someone at UCLAN – unfortunately I didn’t note who as there were no labels. Then the artist responsible tweeted me, but I failed to to take a note of her name then. If it’s you, let me know!

Lunchtime atop a Tree by Rhiannon Izard at plymouth uni
Lunchtime Atop a Tree features a trio of monkeys, by Rhiannon Izard, a paper artist and illustrator from Plymouth University.

Sophia Viney's ghost
Sophia Viney goes under the name Littleinkstain – I like her ghost, which is part of a story about a dark forest inhabited by pixies, created for the BimbaGirls Comic Anthology.

New Blood design show 2013-Saif Chowdhury
Saif Chowdhury‘s fantastical characters are inspired by Japanese video games and bizarre worlds – this image was created for a story about a child on a quest to find their dead father, whilst overcoming monsters and obstacles.

Children's book by Lucy Wooler at norwich uni
This colourful children’s book by Lucy Wooler at Norwich University was inspired by a Victorian morality tale.

Bumble bee by Tori Gray at Dundee
Behold, a humble bumble bee made of type by Tori Gray at the University of Dundee.

Marco Galloway abstract dundee
Marco Galloway researched colour theory to make this great abstract illustration.

Danielle Smith ceramics
These ceramics by Danielle Smith were inspired by mysterious tales of the traveller community.

New Blood design show 2013-Dictionopolis by jame wilson
Dictionopolis by Jamie Wilson at northumbria uni
Dictionopolis tells the tale of a city of words: this beautiful hand printed concertina book by Jamie Wilson of Northumbria University simply took my breath away. I wasn’t sure where to find him online, since Jamie Wilson is apparently quite a common name for an illustrator. This seems most likely to be his home though.

Flower print by Sarah Baskeyfield at Staffordshire Uni
Shells, pineapples & flowers by Sarah Baskeyfield
These hyper colour flower, fruit and shell printed patterns are by Sarah Baskeyfield at Staffordshire University, and were standout pretty amongst all the angular graphic designs on show.

Pottery ampersand by Helen Player at staffordshire uni
This giant pottery ampersand by Helen Player was created as part of a design brief for the V&A.

Dominic Kesterton at ECA
Dominic Kesterton at Edinburgh College of Art based these designs on the linguistics of a fictional seaweed picking culture.

Alex Tait at bucks new uni
Lastly these brilliant black characters are by Alex Tait at Bucks New University.

There were lots of other interesting things on show, but I’ve been writing (or am still writing) stand alone reviews about a number of illustration degrees, so you’ll find their best work elsewhere on my site.

*Many of these images first appeared on my instagram feed, where you can view my pick of design graduates and other inspiring finds as I see them.*

Categories ,2013, ,Alex Tait, ,Bath Spa University, ,BimbaGirls Comic Anthology, ,Bucks New University, ,Carina Dewhurst, ,Carmen Lynch, ,Charlotte Cox, ,Coningsby Gallery, ,D&AD, ,Danielle Smith, ,Dictionopolis, ,Dominic Kesterton, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Elliot Kruszynski, ,Helen Player, ,Jamie Wilson, ,Littleinkstain, ,Louise Byrnes, ,Lucy Wooler, ,Lunchtime Atop a Tree, ,Marco Galloway, ,New Blood, ,New Designers, ,Northumbria University, ,Norwich University, ,Plymouth University, ,Rake, ,review, ,Rhiannon Izard, ,Rotam Vitea, ,Saif Chowdhury, ,Sarah Baskeyfield, ,Save the Forests and the Animals and the Wizards, ,Solstice, ,Sophia Viney, ,Southampton Solent, ,Spitalfields Market, ,Staffordshire University, ,Tori Gray, ,University of Dundee, ,va, ,Westminster University, ,Wooly Bully Illustration

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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 | Free Range Art & Design Show 2013: Week Three Photography Review

Nicholas White
Photography by Nicholas White.

The trouble with photography is that it is so very hard to come up with an original concept, not to mention an original execution: thus I tend to find myself walking around the graduate shows in a daze of deja vu. This year my sense of ‘seen this all before’ was stronger than ever, but here’s the artwork that stood out as different and intriguing during week three at the Free Range Shows in 2013.

Jenni Hardman is Grown Out
At Canterbury Christ Church University Jenni Hardman has ‘Grown Out‘ with this clever patchwork of analogue photographs from her childhood bedroom, all hand stitched together with thread from a cardigan she wore as a baby. I am sure many people can relate (with nostalgia) to this kind of room: my father even did a panoramic collage of mine, me as moody teenager, centre stage.

Free Range shows photography June 2013-abbie web
Free Range shows photography June 2013-abbie web
Plymouth University is always a favourite bet for quality photography. Abbie Web photographed the New Forest National Park, merging her love of portraiture with the rural landscape to create a series of engaging ethereal images, which included a ghost image of a dog.

Free Range shows photography June 2013-Nicholas White 6
Free Range shows photography June 2013-Nicholas White
Nicholas White‘s beautiful photos depict the militarised zones of Dartmoor – paying homage to the historical importance of the infrastructure at the same time as acknowledging the environmental impacts of military use.

Aspergers Syndrome by David Benson at Plymouth Uni
David Benson analysed himself in a series of brilliant images about Asperger Syndrome. Each photograph shows him surrounded by carefully laid out items – with writing next to each one explaining the reference. From these I learnt that attention to detail is extremely important, that he takes great comfort from physical objects, buying doubles and amassing large hoards of paraphernalia, that he has an insatiable appetite for learning, especially from instruction manuals and that he has an obsession with anything related to spaceships.

Free Range shows photography June 2013-kate moss
At the University of Westminster Alexandra Djivanovic explored The Mask of Moss – based on the frightening premise that those under the age of 25 have never known a world without Kate Moss (boy do I feel old).

Free Range shows photography June 2013-Peter Stevens
A series of beautifully printed high contrast black and white photos by mature student Peter Stevens showed workers in the concrete shell of a massive new build house. His professionalism is evident in the execution of these photos; the staging reminds me of old masterpieces. Just gorgeous.

More photography from week four coming soon.

Categories ,2013, ,Abbie Web, ,Alexandra Djivanovic, ,Asperger Syndrome, ,Canterbury Christ Church University, ,Dartmoor, ,David Benson, ,Free Range Art and Design Show, ,Grown Out, ,Jenni Hardman, ,Kate Moss, ,New Forest National Park, ,Nicholas White, ,Peter Stevens, ,photography, ,Plymouth University, ,review, ,The Mask of Moss, ,University of Westminster

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Amelia’s Magazine | Free Range Graduate Shows 2014: Photography

Andalucia by Sara Bertolasi

I always get a sense of déjà at the Free Range student photography shows, where similar themes and styles crop up year in year out. However there are always some stand out photographs which capture my attention, either because they have done something new, or because they have made great images regardless of technique or subject.

Free Range photography 2014-Sara Bertolasi 2
At Westminster University Sara Bertolasi showed a series of tree portraits shot in Andalucia, which are believed to contain the souls of fallen soldiers who died in the War of Alpujarras. Each tree has a very distinct personality of their own, which is reinforced by the simplicity of the land, tree and sky.

Illuminated by Vladislav Kolev shows portraits of people watching TV, their concentration writ large in the eery glow of the screen.

Free Range photography 2014-Sarah England 2
Free Range photography 2014-Sarah England 1
The Pipe Dream by Sarah England uses analogue methods and double exposures to evoke dreamlike scenes, where houses and landscapes blend eerily together (and in the instance of me shooting the art at the show, yet another layer is added over the top). It’s not a new idea but this was executed very well.

Free Range photography 2014-Mhairi Law hebrides
Hebrides by Mhairi Law
In the Lay of the Land is a project following the lives of the young people who live in the Outer Hebrides, choosing to ‘enrich their local culture and community with energy and enterprise’. At Edinburgh Napier Mhairi Law’s wonderfully evocative photographs reveal the real people that are making this outer isle vibrant again. Just above is Rosie Wiscombe, who makes Harris tweed accessories.

Nicoline Vormedal Sandwith
Free Range photography 2014-Nicoline Vormedal Sandwith fox
Free Range photography 2014-Nicoline Vormedal Sandwith pigeon
Large scale photographs of Pests (stuffed ones) explore ideas of the animal as ‘other’. Amazing! By Nicoline Vormedal Sandwith at Roehampton University.

Matthew Cooper
This photograph of a chilly looking Santa enjoying the waves is one of a series looking at Britain’s Hidden Culture by Matthew Cooper at Northampton. I love the energy in this carefully composed shot.

David Morris colchester

Tucked away in a dark corner I found David Morris (of Colchester Uni), who had created a stunning hand crafted cyanotype movie of the tide going in and out on a stretch of Essex beach near his home. On the wall were hundreds of prints depicting the same simple scene, rolling waves grounded in the unchanging line of wooden struts stretching out to sea. You can watch his magical movie above.

Brett White
Brett White‘s photos at Plymouth University are a visceral abstraction of military history.

Tamar Valley Shelley Belboda
Free Range photography 2014-Shelley Belboda
Evocative photography by Shelley Belboda looks at the legacy of mining in the Tamar Valley.

Our Tommy photo montage sculpture
I could not find who was responsible for this Our Tommy photo montage, part of a clever installation.

Paint is Paint by Harry Scott
Paint is Paint by Harry Scott showcases a nice confluence of photography and ink, at UCA Rochester.

Free Range photography 2014-Amber Banks Brumby
This intriguing installation by Amber Banks-Brumby at Nottingham Trent reveals the aesthetic power of tiny organisms.

Kieran-Hosking-expat life
At Swansea Kieran Hosking took this evocative picture of his dad, in a project about the banality of expat life.

Rosie Gilbey E8 trannies
Rosie Gilbey put herself in the frame with pictures of E8 Trannies.

Matt Tacon
Each year the photography students at Falmouth University consistently present one of the best Free Range photography shows, and this year was no exception. Recreated landscapes my Matt Tacon look real from afar, yet closer inspection reveals them to be constructed of tiny well-lit models.

Free Range photography 2014-Amber Jane Strickland
Amber Jane Strickland fuses photography and ink to create romantic artworks.

Christopher Ower-Davis
Free Range photography 2014-Christopher Ower-Davis
Scalpel Constructions abstracts by Christopher Ower-Davis mix illustration and photography, creating artwork that pops.

Elinor Bussell- Defying the Male Gaze
Elinor Bussell is Defying the Male Gaze is a series of unsettling images featuring nude women with sewn meat details.

Andy Race
Beautiful images by Andy Race blur the lines between art, science and nature. Also, props to him for being the only photography graduate to notice that I tweeted about his work – no surprise then to find that he owns a super professional website where you can buy one of his otherworldly prints from the Maya Blue Lake series.

On a final note, it’s nice to see that despite the passing of the years bulldog clips remain as popular as ever as a simple and effective means of hanging art on the walls… I used the very same technique nearly 20 years ago: like the drum n bass of that era it’s an idea that refuses to die.

Categories ,2014, ,Amber Jane Strickland, ,Andy Race, ,Brett White, ,Britain’s Hidden Culture, ,Christopher Ower-Davis, ,Colchester School of Art, ,cyanotype, ,Cyanotype printing, ,David Morris, ,Defying the Male Gaze, ,E8 Trannies, ,Elinor Bussell, ,Falmouth University, ,Free Range, ,Harry Scott, ,Illuminated, ,In the Lay of the Land, ,Matt Tacon, ,Matthew Cooper, ,Maya Blue Lake, ,Mhairi Law, ,Nicoline Vormedal Sandwith, ,Northampton University, ,Our Tommy, ,Outer Hebrides, ,Paint is Paint, ,Pests, ,photography, ,Plymouth University, ,review, ,Roehampton University, ,Rosie Gilbey, ,Rosie Wiscombe, ,Sara Bertolasi, ,Sarah England, ,Scalpel Constructions, ,Shelley Belboda, ,Tamar Valley, ,The Pipe Dream, ,UCA Rochester, ,Vladislav Kolev, ,War of Alpujarras, ,Westminster University

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Amelia’s Magazine | Becoming A Successful Illustrator: An interview with illustrator, publisher and author Derek Brazell

Understanding Illustration_cover_dancing bear

Illustration guru Derek Brazell has an awesome amount of projects on the go – as well as being a successful illustrator in his own right he also works for the Association of Illustrators, publishes the illustration industry bible Varoom, and has recently co-written three essential books about illustration. His first book with collaborator and cohort Jo Davies was Making Great Illustration, (read our review right here), and below he introduces his two most recent publications – Becoming A Successful Illustrator and Understanding Illustration. Read on, and glean some essential advice…

Derek Brazell_portrait

Last year you published Becoming A Successful Illustrator. Why do you think it is so important for illustrators to know more about the business? Do you think it is an especially difficult industry to work in and if so why?
It seems all creative industries can be an initial struggle to get established in, and tenacity and loads of enthusiasm are really important. Co-author, Jo Davies and I wanted to help illustrators get a grip on the side of the business which isn’t the artwork side. If you want to be an illustrator, you also want to make some income from creating artwork, and that means having an understanding of the industry so you can thrive within it. Just having an artistic talent isn’t always enough. So we cover topics in the book including Illustration and the world of work; Working for clients; The art of self-promotion; Getting your work seen; Securing work; Finance and legalities and added in an activities section covering Understanding fees, Promotional strategy, Skills audit, Where to work and Costing commissions.

For this book, Jo and I wanted to combine our varied experiences in the illustration world, both as illustrators since the 1980’s, and myself through a thorough understanding of copyright, licensing and negotiating and Jo’s longstanding teaching experience as professor of illustration at Plymouth University – our ‘insider’ knowledge. We knew we wanted to combine strong, contemporary visuals with solid advice, coupled with first hand quotes from illustrators from across a range of experience – newer artists as well as more established ones. This turned out to be a successful approach to illuminating illustration business, and gives the book a unique voice and visual style.

Becoming a Successful Illustrator cover

How did you decide upon the illustrators that were commissioned for inclusion in the book?
We were keen to break up the chapters in a visual way, and the best solution to that was to commission five illustrators to create a piece around the number of the chapter they were asked to illustrate. It was important that they all looked different, with varied approaches to their artwork, so both Jo and I went back to our research and selected illustrators we liked and then discussed our long list. Some had been taught by Jo at Plymouth University and others were people whose work we generally admired.


What is the single most important thing an illustrator should know before embarking on a new piece of work for a client?
The brief is ultimately the most important element of a commission, as that is what starts off the creative process. And even if it’s a fairly open brief, it’s important to know the parameters of a job. But a close second is what rights are being requested from you by the client, and does the fee you’re asking reflect those rights accurately?

Understanding Illustration_Audrey Niff

Understanding Illustration is a sumptuous volume that was published this year and focuses on the work of a selection of illustrators. How did you choose the ones included and was it difficult choice?
Jo and I spent ages deciding who we thought would best suit Understanding Illustration. There are four sections covering Traditional Uses, Documentary, Message and Off the Printed Page, and we wanted each image to reveal something about the subject in the 21st Century, whether demonstrating the power of illustration to communicate (such as Luba Lukova highlighting social issues and Veronica Lawlor exposing the neglect after the New Orleans flooding disaster), revealing the breath of subjects it deals with, examining the way that illustration functions across a diversity of platform and reflecting on the way that artists create.

So we took a long list and got ruthless with who we thought would really demonstrate the points we were raising with each of the four sections. It meant we ended up with a wonderful diversity of projects: Emma Houlston’s seven foot high monsters for Mulberry fashion house catwalk show, Jan Pienkowski’s delightful silhouette fairy tale images, Victor Ambrus’ battle drawings for Time Team and Richard Johnson’s reportage sketches from Afghanistan.

Understanding Illustration_Message

Can you tell us a bit more about the project?
With Understanding Illustration we wanted to provide a snapshot of what is happening with illustration at this time internationally and emphasise that illustration continues to be powerful – culturally, politically and commercially. And also that the individual illustrator is still important and valued in the creation of imagery, that illustration contributes to other fields of knowledge, working as it does with science, history, conservation, and that it is a vast and evolving subject, constantly re-defining itself, in fascinating ways. So showing amazing work, but also the thinking behind each project.

Understanding Illustration_KristjanaW

What has been your favourite project to work on recently and why?
I feel really passionate about illustration, it’s great to continue to be immersed in that world, so all projects involved with it are enjoyable. Jo and I organized a launch event for Understanding Illustration at Foyles bookstore earlier in the year, and that was great to work on. We invited Sara Fanelli and George Butler, who are both in the book, to speak on the projects we’d featured, and they were really entertaining speakers. Illustrators are so often really nice, generous people.

Understanding Illustration_EmmaH

How does your collaboration with Jo Davies work?
Jo’s often come up with the concept for a book, and then we brainstorm it, spending time on the structure and what’s required and how a reader will approach it. We don’t think people start our books at the beginning and go methodically through, but more probably dip in and out – so it’s got to function well in both contexts. Once we know what we’re doing we divide texts up and write them separately but then send them back and forth for comments – and that seems to work well. Sometimes when I read them back I can’t remember if I did them or Jo did! Unless I interviewed a certain artist, of course. Jo’s great fun to work with as she has a fantastically positive attitude and a really sharp mind.

Understanding Illustration 1

Why do you think that illustration continues to be such an important medium today, and what can it contribute to the visual landscape that perhaps a photograph cannot? 
Illustration has a unique ability to explain a concept and illuminate an idea, but also to be less literal than a photograph, although obviously both disciplines can blur together and produce amazing artwork. Illustration brings so many personal voices to the table, something that possibly is more challenging to create in photography.

Understanding Illustration-2

As well a working at the AOI you also publish Varoom magazine, how do you split your time between these two outlets?
Varoom takes up a substantial amount of my time at the AOI, and it’s great working with editor, John O’Reilly, whom I liaise with over themes and content (plus proof reading and liaising with the designers and printer). I also write as one of the magazine’s contributing editors on Reportage illustration. I feel proud of the depth of writing on illustration in Varoom, and believe it gives a fantastic interrogative platform to the art form. The rest of my time at the AOI is involved with working with other visual artists’ rights organisations including the British Copyright Council on protecting illustrators rights, which are always under threat, running the illustration research network, VaroomLab (we’re holding a conference called Interpretation with Arts University Bournemouth in September), supporting the membership department, and lots of other things!


How on earth do you churn out the volume of work that you create? What is your secret to such large scale productivity? I am in awe…
It’s exhausting! Doing a full time job and writing complement each other fairly well, as they’re different areas for me, but we wrote Becoming A Successful Illustrator and Understanding Illustration at the same time, for two different publishers, AVA and A&C Black (subsequently AVA was bought by Bloomsbury, so they ended up under the same publishers’ imprints). That meant sidelining my social life for quite some time. Friends were moaning I never saw them for a year, and culture took a back seat. But I’m back having some fun again now.

What other projects do you have lined up and what are you most looking forward to doing during the rest of 2014?
Jo and I have continued promoting our three books (they were all recently featured in Pick Me Up fair’s bookstore) but currently I’m taking a rest from writing books and doing more artwork for myself – working on decorative tiles (on cardboard) and I’ve started a project on trees, my favourite growing things. Something where I can paint a few leaves and think ‘Yep, done some art today’.

Categories ,A&C Black, ,AOI, ,Association of Illustrators, ,Author, ,AVA, ,Becoming A Successful Illustrator, ,Bloomsbury, ,Costing commissions, ,Derek Brazell, ,documentary, ,Emma Houlston, ,George Butler, ,illustration, ,interview, ,Jan Pienkowski, ,Jo Davies, ,John O’Reilly, ,Luba Lukova, ,Making Great Illustration, ,Message and Off the Printed Page, ,Pick Me Up, ,Plymouth University, ,Promotional strategy, ,Richard Johnson, ,Sara Fanelli, ,Skills audit, ,The art of self-promotion; Getting your work seen; Securing work; Finance and legalities, ,Traditional Uses, ,Understanding fees, ,Understanding Illustration, ,Varoom, ,VaroomLab, ,Veronica Lawlor, ,Victor Ambrus, ,Where to work

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Amelia’s Magazine | Best of D&AD New Blood Illustration & Graphic Design Graduates 2012: part three

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Alex Young
Following on from my second review of New Blood comes my final write up. Lots of students illustrated the cover for Grimm’s Fairy Tales – at University of Central Lancashire the rough energy of this woodcut by Alex Young stood out.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Nicola Jones
At Norwich University College of the Arts Nicola Jones screenprinted the open market.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Nicola Jones
New Blood graduate show 2012 -Stacey Knights
Stacey Knights worked in simple colourways to create illustrations of the market and for a brief to design for the cover of Little White Lies (another popular project which featured throughout the exhibition).

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Gina Pape
New Blood graduate show 2012 -Gina Pape
Gina Pape‘s Sympathetic Magic was inspired by the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Sophie Perryman
New Blood graduate show 2012 -Sophie Perryman
New Blood graduate show 2012 -Sophie Perryman
New Blood graduate show 2012 -Sophie Perryman
Sophie Perryman created a collaged monster that was the antithesis of the Kawaii (cute) phenomenon.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Jack Cullis
At the University of West England Jack Cullis created a series of stunning illustrations for classic Penguin book covers.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Sami Al-Adawy
Sami Al-Adawy‘s grid town appealed to my love of repetition in design.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Jamie Jones
This harbour by Jamie Jones would look great in a kid’s book.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Rebecca Clemson
New Blood graduate show 2012 -Rebecca Clemson
The Great Barrier Reef in paper quilling by Rebecca Clemson at Staffordshire University was a huge hit with visitors – she’s also a potter who has secured funding to set up her own business in the potteries. I wish she had a website.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Melanie Milne
Melanie Milne had also dabbled in ceramics and had created this wonderful typographic textile design as an ode to the humble sprout.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Elora Taylor
New Blood graduate show 2012 -Elora Taylor
New Blood graduate show 2012 -Elora Taylor
At Plymouth University I loved beautiful character illustration of jazz monkeys by Elora Taylor.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Jenny Cox
At University of Cumbria Jenny Cox illustrated The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Shorty Lee
New Blood graduate show 2012 -Shorty Lee
New Blood graduate show 2012 -Shorty Lee
Cute illustrations for a touchy feely children’s book called The Magic Sheep by Shorty Lee at Edinburgh College of Art.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Nikki Wei Guo
New Blood graduate show 2012 -Nikki Wei Guo
Mother Worms by Nikki Wei Guo; illustrations to accompany self penned folk stories about desire for life and fear of death.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Cara Holsgrove
Creepy but beautifully realised imagery by Cara Holsgrove is part of a handmade book of poems about distorted reality.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Sophie Hargrave
Sophie Hargrave‘s recycle week and gender equality posters at Loughborough University.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Camilla Perkins
I missed this year’s University of Westminster illustration exhibition at the Ambika P3 Gallery so Alia Gargum covered it. Here’s what I liked at New Blood: Above, super colourful portraits of David Bellamy and Jaques Costeau framed in wreaths for plate designs by Camilla Perkins.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Angelina Ioannides-Beer
Like Alia I picked up on the geometric work of Angelina Ioannides-Beer. And what a marvellous name!

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Emma Black
Intrigued by overlaid monoprint work by Emma Black.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Holly Monger
Narrative scenes by Holly Monger.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Olivia Henry
Cute character work by Olivia Henry.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Nina Jorgensen
Beautiful abstract patterns from Nina Jorgensen

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Josie Shenoy
Intricate patterned work by Josie Shenoy.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Rikki Hewitt
Collaged work by Rikki Hewitt.

New Blood graduate show 2012 -Paul Hickey
Paul Hickey‘s work combining photographic imagery and a painterly blocks of colour.

It’s hard to pick out the finest graduates from such a busy exhibition which is why I always prefer to see individual college’s shows. I will always be most attracted to narrative illustration and typography over digital or advertising led work, and in those areas these three blogs should give a taster of the huge amount of creative talent heading out into the marketplace this summer. If you like what you see why not give them a job? I wish them all the best: whilst design becomes ever more important in our consumer led world it’s undeniably tough out there and only the very talented, motivated and lucky will end up doing exactly what they want to do.

Read my first and second reviews of New Blood 2012 here and here.

Categories ,2012, ,Alex Young, ,AMBIKA P3 gallery, ,Angela Carter, ,Angelina Ioannides-Beer, ,Camilla Perkins, ,Cara Holsgrove, ,D&AD, ,David Bellamy, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Elora Taylor, ,Emma Black, ,Georgina Pape, ,Gina Pape, ,graduate, ,Graphic Design, ,Great Barrier Reef, ,Grimm’s Fairy Tales, ,illustration, ,Jack Cullis, ,Jamie Jones, ,Jaques Costeau, ,Jenny Cox, ,Josie Shenoy, ,Kawaii, ,Little White Lies, ,Loughborough University, ,Melanie Milne, ,Mother Worms, ,New Blood, ,Nicola Jones, ,Nikki Wei Guo, ,Nina Jorgensen, ,Norwich University College of the Arts, ,Olivia Henry, ,Paul Hickey, ,Penguin, ,Pitt Rivers Museum, ,Plymouth University, ,Rebecca Clemson, ,review, ,Rikki Hewitt, ,Sami Al-Adawy, ,Shorty Lee, ,Sophie Hargrave, ,Sophie Perryman, ,Stacey Knights, ,Staffordshire University, ,Sympathetic Magic, ,The Bloody Chamber, ,The Magic Sheep, ,University of Central Lancashire, ,University of Cumbria, ,University of West England, ,University of Westminster

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Lydia Coventry: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Lydia Coventry contributes a super fun bird-filled image for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion. She tells us more about life as a designer at Macmillan Children’s books, and the colourful influence of Oilily.

Why did you choose to study at Plymouth University and what was the best part of your course?
It’s a funny story actually, I had never visited Plymouth before applying – I knew it was by the sea and that was a bonus alone! I applied to a range of different universities and when I was called for an interview at Plymouth that was my time to explore. Not only did the Illustration course sound fantastic, Plymouth itself just felt . . . right. I think the best part was probably the skills, knowledge and confidence I developed there but also the people I met. I met my boyfriend and some of the best friends I’ve ever had there. To have like-minded people studying with you is just the best feeling!

How did you get your job at Macmillan Children’s books and what is most enjoyable about your job?
I just finished my Illustration course, and my boyfriend had just started working at publishers Profile Books in London. So I had an extra month alone in our Plymouth flat before I would need to move out. I was constantly looking online for design jobs (well any job really!) and then I came across an amazing advert on The Bookseller for an Assistant Designer. I love absolutely everything about my job, I’ve learnt so much since I started and not just in terms of software but the actual production of a book. You never realise how much hard work and how many people are involved in the production, it has been such a fantastic experience. It’s also incredibly rewarding working with talented Illustrators, which has really helped me develop – every day I’m inspired.

How have you been building up your portfolio in the past year?
It sounds silly but I’ve been trying to draw exactly what I want to draw and when I want to draw it. The nice thing about finishing University is the freedom. I was so used to working on a brief, researching and drawing constantly to meet a deadline – it felt a bit robotic and at times forced, I didn’t have time to develop my drawing skills as much as I wanted. When I finished I wanted to get control back and just doodle away without thinking which is exactly what I have been doing this year. My next step is to take my doodles and develop them into a project or final stand alone pieces, which I’m really looking forward to.

What is your favourite way to work?
I love being as free as I can when drawing. I don’t really think about anything else whilst doodling and I have found that approach to be the most effective. I love using collage and ink brush pens, I find that they really help with the looseness of my lines and colour. I also love using colouring pencils and wax crayons. I tend to work in layers then combine them in Photoshop, I think experimentation and playfulness is key, I love not knowing exactly what the end result will look like.

What was the brief for the recent Ohh Deer competition that you entered and what was the outcome?
Ohh Deer always have such fabulous competitions! Recently they were on the look out for designs which they could add to their greeting card collection. They were looking for something fresh but something that would also fit in with their cute and quirky brand. I remembered a little doodle I did while at Uni; it was something a bit soppy I did for my boyfriend and I thought it was something cute that other people could relate too, so I entered it! I was very lucky to win along with 9 others whose cards have been added to their collection.

Where and how did your love of colour and pattern begin?
My mum has played a huge part with my love for colour and pattern! From a young age I grew up with her love for the gorgeous Dutch brand – Oilily. She dressed myself and my siblings in it for years (until we got to the age when we wanted to just wear denim to her dismay). I have always been incredibly fond of their eye for detail, and their wacky colour combinations are so quirky and inspiring. I have been very lucky to inherit her love for the brand, which has really helped my confidence for using colour.

What inspired your artwork for my colouring book?
I absolutely love colour, texture and character design so this was the perfect brief to fuse them together. This piece focuses on my love for nature depicting beautifully coloured birds of paradise allowing for the ‘colourer’ to explore any combination of colours they wish. Within this scene nothing needs to be an ordinary colour, not even the plantlife, as a rich diverse Jungle can offer a huge variety of colours!

What do you find most exciting about the prospect of your work appearing in the colouring book?
I’m really thrilled to be appearing in the colouring book. I am eager to see what colours/patterns people use when they colour in my page. I love not knowing what the end result will look like so that is something to really look forward too!

What do you do to unwind and does it ever influence your designs?
Oh it definitely influences my work! I love watching old movies and cartoons I grew up with like ‘The Secret Garden’, ‘Breakfast at Tiffanys’ and ‘Madeline’ (based on the original illustrations by Ludwig Bemelmans). I am constantly on the look out for inspiration whether it be the clothes they wear, the expression in a face, the flowers in a certain scene – it all pops up in my work one way or another. It’s also a must to take time out of work and just relax, I love going to the cinema, watching old movies, sewing, and spending time with my family and friends.

Lydia Coventry is featured in Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, jam-packed with artistic talent, and available on Kickstarter soon!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,illustration, ,Kickstarter, ,Ludwig Bemelmans, ,Lydia Coventry, ,Macmillan Children’s Books, ,Ohh Deer, ,Oilily, ,Plymouth University, ,Profile Books

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