Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up Contemporary Graphic Art Fair 2012: Illustrator Emma Block Reviews

David Sparshott Pick Me Up

Illustration by David Sparshott.

Each year the relatively new addition to the art and design calendar that is Pick Me Up seems to find it’s feet a little more and get a little more into it’s stride. This year showcased an impressive range of up and coming illustrators, as well as collectives, agencies, galleries and workshops. To a (hopefully) up and coming illustrator such as myself, this is a pretty important event in the year.

Niki Pilkington Pick Me UpIt was nice to see more names I recognized this year. All the artists were inspiring last year, but I’d never heard of most of them. If you can’t be in the show, it’s nice at least to see your friends exhibited.  It makes it a slightly more realistic dream being to one day be featured in this annual celebration of illustration and design. As a collage artist it was also a refreshing change to see the reliance on traditional rather than digital media, which can dominate the illustration landscape at times. I also mush preferred the way the work was displayed this year. Illustrations are largely ephemeral; we throw illustration away every day, in magazine, newspapers and packaging etc, but I felt it was wrong to carry this idea into the display. Where work has once been clipped to sheets of pegboard, it was now framed and well lit.

Niki Pilkington Pick Me Up

Some of my favourites were Niki Pilkington’s feminine 3D illustrations, which combined fluorescent cut paper elements with sensitive pencil work, while Rikka Sormunen’s surreal and beautifully haunting watercolours showcased an expert use of colour and pattern. Both are featured in Amelia’s Pick Me Up Selects review.

Rikka Sormunen Pick Me Up

A familiar name was Tim McDonagh, previously featured on Amelia Magazine, whose incredibly intricate illustrations, which I had admired before online, looked amazing full sized and framed.

Tim McDonagh Pick Me Up

Sarah Maycock’s beautiful paintings were incredibly bold and expressive; the wrinkle of the paper under wet ink, the drips, slashes and smudges were all impossible to recreate in a digital medium.

Sarah Maycock Pick Me Up

David Sparshott’s colour pencil drawings captured some thing very real and human. It’s the little things like the way we take our tea, and the way we love to see things carefully collected and catalogued that made his work so personal.

David Sparshott Pick Me Up

Each artist showcased a different skill or attribute, each one leaving you itching to get the paints, pen and paper out yourself.

Away from the 20 selected illustrators in the main hall there was a whole world of warren like rooms and exhibition spaces to explore.  I entirely missed this section last year, so don’t make that mistake, there is so much more to see.

Tom Frost Soma Gallery

Soma is a little gem of a gallery that had set up shop in one of these rooms. Tom Frost’s vintage animal stamp prints and painted wooden sculptures were favourites of mine.

Tom Frost Soma Gallery

In the next room was Many Hands, an online shop that was new to me, but contained many familiar names. I had the chance to meet the lovely Lizzy Stewart, whose work I have long admired. Her delicate and sparing work was perfectly juxtaposed with Sister Arrow’s vividly coloured risographs. One of the lovely things about Pick Me Up is that there is something for every budget, from framed originals to zines, badges and post cards, and of course Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration and Anthology of Illustration, stocked by Beach London and featuring moi. As an illustrator shows like this not only inspire you, but also give you an insight into the industry. I know I was walking around mentally taking notes of possible stockists and collaborators.

Sister Arrow  Lizzy Stewart Many Hands

Lizzy Stewert Badges

To me this year’s Pick Me Up was bigger and most importantly better than ever before.  For the first time I feel like it truly represented an illustration and graphics industry that I not only know and love but also feel a part of. It is essential viewing for all art and design student, graduates, aspiring and professional creatives.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,art, ,Beach London, ,David Sparshott, ,design, ,Emma Block, ,illustration, ,lizzy stewart, ,Many Hands, ,Niki Pilkington, ,Pick Me Up, ,Rikka Sormunen, ,Sarah Maycock, ,Sister Arrow, ,Soma Gallery, ,Somerset House, ,Tim McDonagh, ,Tom Frost

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival 2013: A Review of Illustration Collectives

Pick Me Up London 2013 review- day job victoria willmott
Bird by Victoria Willmott.

In the upstairs section of the Embankment Galleries at Pick Me Up are housed a plethora of hand-picked collectives, some of which have had a presence in previous years, some of which are new for 2013. The section begins with a superb display by Day Job, a collaboration between ten recent Camberwell graduates who share a studio in Peckham, South London, some of whom I recognised.

Pick Me Up London 2013 review- Charlotte Mei
Charlotte Mei‘s idiosyncratic pottery was a stand out feature at her graduate show: for Pick Me Up she has created a whole fleet of cars, characterful naked ladies in contorted positions, a pizza with strange toppings and a host of other animals. Brilliant stuff!

Pick Me Up London 2013 review-Charlene Man
I loved all of the prints by Charlene Man, and I was also tempted by her pastel painted wooden blocks for Snarfle, but feared he might chew the patterns off.

Pick Me Up London 2013 review - human after all tshirt
Pick Me Up London 2013 review - Human After All
Human After All is the latest brainwave from Danny Miller and friends. As promotion for their newly launched creative agency they are hosting a space where you can construct your own #facestamp, to be applied to a t-shirt, with eye-catching results.

Pick Me Up London 2013 review-zombie collective maggie li
Pick Me Up London 2013 review- frann preston gannon

Zombie Collective is five illustrators: their interactive cog machine is a splendid addition to the gallery, spitting out gifts for lucky punters. Maggie Li‘s beautiful house print really caught my eye, as did this politely sleeping fox by Frann Preston-Gannon. Also for sale, some sweet acrylic treats.

Pick Me Up London 2013 review- print club london
Print Club London are hosting the main room with a chance to help create a ‘living wallpaper’ drawn by the likes of Fred Butler and Margot Bowman. It looks like the just the place to hang out with the kids: give Snarfle a few years and we’ll be there!

Pick Me Up London 2013 review- nelly duff dan hillier
Pick Me Up London 2013 review- nelly duff sweet toof
Pick Me Up London 2013 review- various and gould nellyduff
Columbia Road‘s Nelly Duff gallery have created perhaps the most spectacular room, where artworks and specially commissioned wall decals on a ‘flower show’ theme combine to stunning effect. Of particular note: Dan Hillier‘s foil blocked lady, curlicued skulls courtesy of Sweet Toof, and a skull print by Various and Gould (seen above in situ on a doorway just off Brick Lane).

Pick Me Up London 2013 review- soma gallery peskimo
Back for a second year running Soma Gallery are showcasing a wide selection of prints by long running collaborators such as Peskimo and Tom Frost, as well as newbies such as Telegramme Studio and Hazel Nicholls. I particularly loved these 3D wooden gum ball artworks by Peskimo.

Pick Me Up London 2013 review-el famoso
Unlimited Collective is a print company based in Brighton. Taking pride of place in their busy space is a huge yellow tattooed man, complete with hipster moustache. All over tattoos continue to be the badge of the uber cool, but if you’re too chicken to go the whole hog yourself then artwork by El Famoso might be just the ticket instead.

Jessie Ford black bear on bike
I was so taken by a black bear on a tiny tricycle by Jessie Ford that I bought one on a whim – it will go up in Snarfle‘s room: something more to growl at.

Pick Me Up London 2013 review- helen musselwhite
Pick Me Up London 2013 review-Emily Robertson
Pick Me Up London 2013 review-matt saunders
Pick Me Up London 2013 review- lesley barnes
Handsome Frank is an illustration agency that has done a great job of snapping up brilliant up and coming illustrators, including many that have featured in these pages (Lesley Barnes, Tim McDonagh, Sarah Maycock). Some of my favourite works on display at their interactive stand include a stunning paper gatehouse by Helen Musselwhite, a curious character by Emily Robertson, sleeping log gremlins by Matt Saunders and a wonderful knight on a horse by Lesley Barnes.

Read my review of Pick Me Up Selects here, and if you are unable to check out Pick Me Up in person make sure you check out all the talent above online. Full listing information here.

Categories ,#facestamp, ,2013, ,Camberwell College of Arts, ,Charlene Man, ,Charlotte Mei, ,Collectives, ,Columbia Road, ,Dan Hillier, ,Danny Miller, ,Day Job, ,El Famoso, ,Embankment Galleries, ,Emily Robertson, ,Frann Preston-Gannon, ,Fred Butler, ,Handsome Frank, ,Hazel Nicholls, ,Helen Musselwhite, ,Human After All, ,illustration, ,Jessie Ford, ,Lesley Barnes, ,Maggie Li, ,Margot Bowman, ,Matt Saunders, ,Nelly Duff, ,Peskimo, ,Pick Me Up, ,Pick Me Up Selects, ,Print Club London, ,Sarah Maycock, ,Snarfle, ,Soma Gallery, ,Somerset House, ,Sweet Toof, ,Telegramme, ,Telegramme Studio, ,Tim McDonagh, ,Tom Frost, ,Unlimited Collective, ,Various and Gould, ,Victoria Willmott, ,Zombie Collective

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Amelia’s Magazine | Kingston University: Illustration and Animation Ba Hons Graduate Show 2011 Review. Upstairs.

Ellie Tzoni lobster
Lobster by Ellie Tzoni.

The illustration on display at the Kingston graduate show, sales Highs For Your Eyes, sick was of an overwhelmingly high standard, cheapest so much so that I’m going to split this into two blog posts – Upstairs and Downstairs. Plus then of course there’s the animation to consider…

Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 review

Kingston Illustration and Animation students chose to show their degree work in a gallery space behind the Foundry (now closed, RIP) which shares the same idiosyncratic characteristics of the old bar space. The best of the installation set pieces were shown in the upstairs rooms and downstairs a cavernous space was filled with a plethora of artwork. At the back a rickety industrial belt vanished up into the bowels of the building.

Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Ellie Tzoni whaleKingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Ellie Tzoni whaleKingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Ellie Tzoni whale
Ellie Tzoni‘s work was the first that I saw as I entered the show. She plays with strong iconographic screen printed shapes and words to create graphic designs. I really liked her deceptively simple pieces, which reduce seafood to the simplest of shapes and textures.

Jason Munro Olympics bikeKingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Jason MunroKingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Jason Munro dogKingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Jason Munro cat
Jason Munro showed a host of curious globular animals in scrumptious colours, some of which formed letters and numbers. I absolutely adore his very unique style.

Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Eve Lloyd KnightKingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Eve Lloyd KnightKingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Eve Lloyd Knight
Eve Lloyd Knight specialises in a kind of abstract surrealism that involves tiny figures scaling huge neon brick blocks. Curious animals and evocative words also feature in her work.

Tom Clohosy Cole Road Accidents
Tom Clohosy Cole Machinery accidents
Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Tom Clohosy Cole Machinery accidents
Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Tom Clohosy Cole Machinery accidents
In the next room Tom Clohosy Cole had put together an extraordinary installation to showcase his insurance based final piece. Sounds boring, but was anything but that. Are You Covered? asked a suspiciously wonky sign on top of a carefully constructed plywood booth. He explored the imagery of accidents such as falling down sinkholes, gas poisoning, car crashes, falling and even the results of nuclear fallout. A billboard declared that You are at Risk from the Eight Perils. All of it was rendered in a simplified screenprinted colour palette of raspberry red and layers of berry blue. I was quick to take my very own insurance hand out, stacked at the side of his stand.

Abigail Read Spectrum of Emotion
Abigail Read cycle to the olympics
Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Abigail Read
Next door Abigail Read‘s work featured diagrammatic layering of shapes and lettering and a carefully made 3D pop out book on a stand that took my breath away. Her delicate bike collages were framed so that they seemed to pop out in motion, with shadows behind.

Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Henry Wood
At the back Henry Wood had grabbed some space on a flat surface to showcase his wonderful sculptures of… wood. Sadly the website given on his business card does not work, but you can try him here on this website.

Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Hey Gyeong Jang owl
Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Hey Gyeong Jang owl
Hey Gyeong Jang has only the most minimal of blogs, which is a shame as I struggled to take photos of her artwork through thick panes of glass. Absolutely loved the anthropomorphic watercolour foxes, squirrels and owls that populate her landscapes. I apologise about those pesky reflections.

Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Patricia VoskovaKingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Patricia Voskova
Patricia Voskova works mainly in black to create simple shapes and textures that tell a story. I loved the people tramping up and down an endless staircase in her showcase book.

Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Jack Hughes
Jack Hughes Solar Flare Village
Jack Hughes created a Tender Buttons juke box and piano stand in response to a brief put together by Diesel for the D&AD student awards. He has a very special way of putting colour together. I also picked out this book cover from his website.

Sam Falconer CloudySam Falconer Humpty DumptyKingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Sam Falconer
Sam Falconer‘s work dwells in the land of fairy tales and children’s stories. His enormously fun collages feature curious people and animated buildings. Through copious use of a mild grey tone they manage to be both bright and subtle at the same time.

Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Sarah Maycock bearKingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 Sarah Maycock lionsSarah Maycock fox_print
Next door Sarah Maycock had pinned a giant friendly bear to the wall and beneath this she had piled up some limited edition screenprints on newspaper of an equally lovely fox. There were none left when I came back upstairs later but she kindly gave me a print made on much better quality paper. He’s a winner I’m sure you will agree!

Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 review Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 review Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 review
I also liked the watecolour buildings and books next door to Sarah’s work, which was the work of Nina Cosford.

Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 emily rudd wallKingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 emily rudd wall
Emily Rudd had appropriated the staircase with a series of bold monochrome screenprints on newspaper inspired by a book written by Albert Camus. I can’t get her website to work but you can follow her on twitter.

Kingston Illustration graduate exhibition 2011 red gallery

I hope that I’ve got everything right in this round up – it was incredibly hard to match business cards to my photos when I got home. Note to future graduates: it’s so much better to have a clear name on a wall next to your work. Now I’ve just got to tell you about the stuff downstairs…and the animation

Categories ,2011, ,Abigail Read, ,Albert Camus, ,animals, ,animation, ,Are You Covered?, ,D&AD, ,Ellie Tzoni, ,Emily Rudd, ,Eve Lloyd Knight, ,Foundry, ,Graduate Show, ,Henry Wood, ,Hey Gyeong Jang, ,Highs For Your Eyes, ,illustration, ,Jack Hughes, ,Jason Munro, ,Kingston University, ,Nina Cosford, ,Patricia Voskova, ,Red Gallery, ,Sam Falconer, ,Sarah Maycock, ,screenprinting, ,Sculptures, ,shoreditch, ,Tender Buttons, ,Tom Clohosy Cole, ,watercolour

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