Amelia’s Magazine | Soma celebrates 10 Years: an interview with founder Fiona Hamilton

Soma Gallery - 10th anniversary prints

Like Amelia’s Magazine, the fabulous Bristol based Soma Gallery launched in 2004. Founder Fiona Hamilton was a big supporter and stocked Amelia’s Magazine in print from the very outset. Since then we have kept in touch and Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration visited Soma Gallery on tour back in 2011. I caught up with Fiona to talk about ten years of working with emerging and established artists. Read on for more and to view all ten of the wonderful prints featured in the 10th anniversary celebration show and box set.

Soma Gallery - spencer wilson
Print by Spencer Wilson, available here.

How did Soma begin, and how has it changed over the years? Can you give us a short potted history…
Soma started way back in June 2004 and opened with an exhibition by Anthony Burrill, Jon Burgerman, Richard May, Container and Dettmer Otto. The original idea was to exhibit work by a mixture of illustrators and graphic designers alongside ceramics, jewellery and textiles. In that respect, things haven’t changed all that much in the last 10 years! We started off in a small single room space in Clifton Arcade and in 2010 moved to a much larger space on two floors over the road. We are now able to have larger exhibitions in a separate gallery space and we’ve also been able to hold events like book signings and a Tatty Devine jewellery making workshop in this space. We’re currently in the process of installing a small print workshop in a small room at the back of the shop.

Soma Gallery - peskimo
Print by Peskimo, available here.

Soma Gallery - Graham Carter
Print by Graham Carter, available here.

How did you pick the artists who have contributed to your 10th anniversary collection of limited edition prints?
It was very hard to choose just 10 artists. Some of the artists we have chosen have worked with Soma since the early days including Adam Bridgland and Lucy Gough who both exhibited in our second exhibition in 2004 and have continued working with us. Alice Pattullo is one of our newest artists and joined us before Christmas last year. Hazel Nicholls joined us for Pick Me Up graphic art fair in 2013 and has continued to work with us ever since. Andy Smith, Peskimo, Gemma Correll and Crispin Finn have also exhibited with us at Pick Me Up as well as many solo and group exhibitions in our gallery. Graham Carter and Spencer Wilson are both original founding Peepshow (illustration collective) members and have been with us for a long time!

Soma Gallery - gemma correll
Print by Gemma Correll, available here.

Out of the 10th anniversary collection can you recommend your top tip: for a child’s room? for a new boyfriend? and for a mother in law?
The perfect print for a child’s room would be either Peskimo’s ‘Flying Saucers’ (which glows in the dark!) or Spencer Wilson’s ‘Bring the Noise’. For a new boyfriend, Crispin Finn’s ‘Double High 5’ or perhaps Graham Carter’s ‘Oh James!’. A good mother in law print would be HelloMarine’s ‘Jungle’ print.

Soma Gallery - crispin finn
Print by Crispin Finn, available here.

Which other artists are amongst your favourites at the moment?
Tom Frost and Nicholas John Frith are other artists I would have loved to have been part of the 10. Both were unfortunately too busy to take part, Tom was working towards his solo show at Yorkshire Sculpture Park which opened just after the prints were launched. There will be other projects in the future, I’m sure!

Soma Gallery - hellomarine
Print by HelloMarine, available here.

Soma Gallery - hazel nicholls
Print by Hazel Nicholls, available here.

What are the biggest trends (that you have spotted) in prints in 2014?
We don’t tend to follow trends here at Soma, but something I have noticed is that tropical plants, birds of paradise and very bright colours are very much on trend. One thing about not being led by trends too much is that we hope people will treasure our prints for years to come and so for that reason don’t want anything that might date too quickly. Bright colours are definitely something we fully embrace at Soma though!

Soma Gallery - andy smith
Print by Andy Smith, available here.

Which artists should we look out for in the coming years?
I think it’s worth keeping an eye on Alice Pattullo and Hazel Nicholls. And maybe the next young artist who joins us!

Soma Gallery - Alice Pattulo
Print by Alice Pattullo, available here.

What do you love most about producing prints and selling specialist designer goods?
One of the nicest things is working directly with the artists and building good relationships with them. We work with a great bunch and it’s a pleasure selling their prints and goods.

Soma Gallery - adam bridgeland and lucy gough
Print by Adam Bridgeland and Lucy Gough, available here.

What have been the high points and low points of the past ten years?
There have been some great high points. The most memorable are moving to the larger space in 2010 and exhibiting in Pick Me Up for the first time in 2012. Andy Smith’s solo exhibition, ‘Sunny Side Up’ in 2011 was a huge success. Our 10th anniversary print project and event was also quite a high! The low points are thankfully few, but the long hours and how hard you have to work as a small creative business can feel quite thankless at times. But in the end it’s all worth it!

Each print is 30 x 40cm to fit in a standard size frame. They are available as singles at £30 each or as a boxed set of all 10 at £275. All prints are printed on GF Smith Colorplan or Mohawk Superfine.

Categories ,10 Years, ,10th Anniversary, ,Adam Bridgland, ,Alice Pattullo, ,Andy Smith, ,Anthony Burrill, ,Bristo, ,Clifton Arcade, ,Container, ,Crispin Finn, ,Dettmer Otto, ,Fiona Hamilton, ,GF Smith Colorplan, ,Graham Carter, ,Hazel Nicholls, ,HelloMarine, ,Jon Burgerman, ,Lucy Gough, ,Mohawk Superfine, ,Nicholas John Frith, ,Peepshow, ,Peskimo, ,Pick Me Up, ,Richard May, ,Soma Gallery, ,Spencer Wilson, ,Tatty Devine, ,Tom Frost

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Amelia’s Magazine | The ACOFI Book Tour visits Soma Gallery in Bristol

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011

Soma Gallery has been a faithful stockist of Amelia’s Magazine since the early days of its print version, generic so I’ve had a long and lovely relationship with gallery owner Fiona Hamilton:

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Fiona Hamilton

Fiona started up Soma Gallery in 2005 as a place to show up and coming artists, and thanks to her good eye she picked up on the likes of Rob Ryan, Anthony Burrill and Gemma Correll early on in their careers.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011

Soma Gallery used to be housed in a tiny space inside the Clifton Arcade but last year Fiona moved into a bigger shop across the road and it was in the upstairs gallery that we held the ACOFI Book Tour gathering just over a week ago.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 LahlooACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Lahloo Tea

When I arrived (last minute, slightly flustered, again. must learn to manage time better) Kate Gover from Lahloo Tea already had the kettle on. She was joined by Vicky and Stu, who were both excellent people to have helping out. Kate came to the tea trade via restaurant retail, but it was a slightly strange career path to choose because she hates normal builders’ tea.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Kate and Fiona
Kate Gover shows Fiona some of the tea.

Due to her inquisitive nature she decided to find a tea that she did enjoy drinking and spent many years developing her palette by training with some of the best tea masters – through them she met with the small scale producers who now supply her with the very best quality teas from their estates. Lahloo Teas can be bought in Chandos Deli and Arch House Deli in Bristol, as well as in fine food stores across the UK. I particularly love Kate’s dedication to the way her teas are presented – she has developed some lovely flyers to promote the tea, her logo features a great fat red heart, and larger quantities come presented in a wooden box. Each tin is decorated with an old shipping map that was inspired by the travels of a famous clipper that her great grandfather sailed on, after which the tea brand is named. Clearly she is a lady for whom attention to detail is important and it certainly pays off with her fragrant teas. Choose from such delights as Amber Oolong Tea, grown on a misty mountain in Taiwan or Guricha Green Loose Tea from China.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Hart's BakeryACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Hart's Bakery iced ginger heartsACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Hart's Bakery iced bicycle biscuits

Lahloo Tea is the perfect accompaniment to a very good hand made biscuit… and on the table were three expertly packed boxes of the most stupendously gorgeous biscuits from Hart’s Bakery: as promised Laura had hand made heart shaped custard creams, iced gingerbread hearts and the cutest hand iced shortbread bicycles. Honestly, I am flabbergasted at pâtissière Laura’s skills – she’s trained with the best of them and it shows. Good folks of Bristol, if you want to try something really special then you should visit her in her shop in Hampton Lane for some artisan delights, where you can also try rhubarb and almond danish, eccles cakes alongside savoury delicacies such as olive and rosemary bread and filled croissants. It really doesn’t get better than this. I am jealous of you Bristol folks.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Juiceology
ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Juiceology
Of course we once more had a little help from Juiceology drinks and Dr.Hauschka goodies, much appreciated by everyone who attended, thankyou!

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Bex Glover
At my Bristol leg of the tour I was lucky enough to be joined by two of the illustrators who are featured in ACOFI – Bex Glover of Severn Studios, whose work just keeps getting better and better. She’s just done a mural for a cafe in Harrods and she is currently featured in several other magazines including The Mighty Pencil – combining two of her favourite things: fashion illustration and animals.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Bex GloverACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Bex GloverACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Bex Glover
She has also been doing tutorials for the likes of Digital Artist Magazine, so you can catch up with some of her techniques there. I’m sure you’ll be seeing much more of Bex’ unique style.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Bex Glover Hart's Bakery
Bex Glover with a Hart’s Bakery bicycle biscuit.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Katie Harnett Lahloo Tea
Katie checks out the Lahloo tea – she’s a big tea fan! Hence her moniker Teabelle!

Katie Harnett is just coming to the end of her degree at UWE, so she’s been very busy putting that together – I look forward to seeing the show in July when it comes to London!

Jasper Conran A/W 2011 by Katie Harnett
Jasper Conran A/W 2011 by Katie Harnett. She has also been experimenting with some new techniques and animal drawings.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Katie Harnett
She came along with an old school friend and fellow UWE student Lilly Allen, but sadly no one else from UWE came along. I put it down to the frantic time of year…

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Kat and Rog of Howkowpow
It was a pleasure to meet Kat and Rog of Howkapow, who stock a delicious range of goodies on their website. Kat is a girl after my own heart – a lover of bright colours and patterns with an 80s flavour. All good things I say! She was wearing an eye-catching Gonzalo Cutrina Extinct necklace from her website. It’s a mere £55 – what a bargain:

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Gonzalo Cutrina Extinct necklace Howkapow
The Howkapow website invests in new and unknown designers and they plan to open an agency to fully support them alongside. Why not find out more about what they are up to on the Howkapow blog?

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Ben Newman
It was lovely to finally meet illustrator Ben Newman, who illustrated for two issues of Amelia’s Magazine back at the start of what has become a very successful career. What a lovely smiley chap he is!

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Lauren Neko, Bonina Silvestre and Charlotte Pain
Lauren Neko, Bonina Silvestre and Charlotte Pain.

It was also nice to meet the fabulously named Bonina Silvestre and her friend Charlotte Pain, both studying art. Lauren Neko sings and reads dreams. Impressed!

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Lesley Barnes badgesACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Lesley Barnes dancing bear tote
There are countless good reasons to visit Soma Gallery, either at Fiona’s space in Bristol, or online from anywhere in the world: Soma Gallery stocks Lesley Barnes prints, and also Lesley Barnes dancing bear badges… and tote bags.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Fiona Hamilton badgesACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Fiona Hamilton badges
Fiona has an old specialist printer with which she makes these adorable badges: I couldn’t resist buying a metallic pair of brightly coloured rodents. Also stocked at Comma Shop.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Tom Frost
Soma stocks a wide range of one off and limited edition art, including this lovely screenprinted wooden piece from Tom Frost.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Donna Wilson creaturesACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Donna Wilson creatures and Lisa Jones cushion
Donna Wilson animals are in abundant supply, as are Lisa Jones prints, cushions (above) mugs and cards:

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Roger La Borde cards
And of course Soma also does a roaring trade with my new Roger La Borde range. Yay! Make sure you visit Soma Gallery soon.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Ben Newman
Ben Newman reads my Anthology of Illustration.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Lauren Neko
Lauren Neko.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Lilly Allen
Lilly Allen.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Rog, Fiona, Kat
Rog, Fiona and Kat.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011 Stephanie Weise
Stephanie Weise.

ACOFI book tour Soma Gallery 2011
I sat on the floor to give my talk, it was all very informal!
You can read Fiona Hamilton’s marvellous account of the night here.

Don’t forget that I have one more date on my ACOFI Book Tour – if you live in London please do join me at Tatty Devine, Brick Lane, on Tuesday 7th May. I’ll be talking from 7.30pm and there will also be the opportunity to learn how to make iced biscuits with Biscuiteers! Read about my first tour date a few weeks back at Tatty Devine, Covent Garden. Lovely stuff. Join the facebook for the event here.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amber Oolong Tea, ,Anthony Burrill, ,Arch House Deli, ,Ben Newman, ,Bex Glover, ,Biscuiteers, ,Bonina Silvestre, ,Book Tour, ,Chandos Deli, ,Charlotte Pain, ,Clifton Arcade, ,Clipper, ,Comma Shop, ,Digital Artist Magazine, ,Dr.Hauschka, ,Dreaming with Neko, ,Extinct necklace, ,Fiona Hamilton, ,Gemma Correll, ,Gonzalo Cutrina, ,Guri-Cha Green Loose Tea, ,Guricha Green Loose Tea, ,Hart’s Bakery, ,Howkapow, ,Jasper Conran, ,Juiceology, ,Kat and Rog, ,Kate Gover, ,Katie Harnett, ,Lahloo Tea, ,Laura Hart, ,Lauren Neko, ,Lesley Barnes, ,Lilly Allen, ,Lisa Jones, ,pâtissière, ,rob ryan, ,Roger La Borde, ,Severn Studios, ,Soma Gallery, ,Tatty Devine, ,teabelle, ,The Mighty Pencil, ,Tom Frost, ,UWE

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up Contemporary Graphic Art Fair 2012: Review

Pick Me Up 2012 -puck collective
Following on from my review of the newcomers in Pick Me Up Selects section it’s time to take a look at the rest of the exhibitors at this year’s fair. It was seriously busy at the Pick Me Up private view, so I no doubt missed out on a huge chunk of talent in the market place, but what I did find was a fabulous preponderance of screenprints and risograph images: the popularity of these mediums shows no sign of abating, presumably as a counterpoint to these digitally obsessed times.

Pick Me Up 2012 -people of print
People of Print was established in 2008 to sell the work of emerging artists across the globe. Their display stuck to a magenta and turquoise colour scheme that created an eye-catching effect.

Pick Me Up 2012 -ship of fools
Ship of Fools caught my eye with their beautifully curated stand Trapped in Suburbia – check out that explosion – and it was nice to see a collective that isn’t based in the east end of London. Not that I’ve got anything against it mind, it’s where I live after all… but there is art being curated elsewhere in the universe too.

Pick Me Up 2012 -landfill editions
I was pleased to see that output from Landfill Editions has grown greatly recently: their stand features a plethora of beautiful plates, glassware, ceramics and more, commissioned from artists and inspired by the work of Eduardo Paolozzi.

Pick Me Up 2012 -landfill editions
Pick Me Up 2012 -landfill editions
Are Landfill responsible for the Florist stand? It’s adhoc primary coloured artworks are a joy to behold.

Pick Me Up 2012 -liv Bargman
Liv Bargman.

Pick Me Up 2012 -jack teagle
Jack Teagle.

Puck Studio are showing artwork by creative talents working in the South West – which includes two of my fave artists: Liv Bargman (a contributor to my first book, Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration) and Jack Teagle.

Pick Me Up 2012 -Peepshow Collective
Upstairs the Peepshow Collective take the large central space to show a Pitt Rivers inspired Museum of Objects and Origins. It will be a changing display over the course of the exhibition as visitors add to the content.

Pick Me Up 2012 -Print Club London
Pick Me Up 2012 -esther mcmanus
Esther McManus.

Pick Me Up 2012 -Margaux Carpentier
Margaux Carpentier.

Print Club London‘s space was a hive of activity when I visited – not surprising since they have transplanted a fully functioning studio into Somerset House. My favourites on display are by Esther McManus and Margaux Carpentier, who will be on hand to demonstrate their print techniques during the fair.

Pick Me Up 2012 -Nelly Duff
Pick Me Up 2012 -'Bunny Blossom' by American artists Kozyndan.
Bunny Blossom by Kozyndan.

Nelly Duff are based in Columbia Road, where they are known for selling an eclectic selection of paintings and prints from a diverse range of artists.

Pick Me Up 2012 -Soma Gallery
I am so pleased that Soma Gallery is showing at Pick Me Up this year. Fiona has curated a carefully edited selection of work from her stable of regular artists: Peskimo, Gemma Correll, Andy Smith, Crispin Finn and Tom Frost. Look out especially for bargain prints by Peskimo and some great wall slogan artworks from Andy Smith. Loads of bargains to be had!

Pick Me Up 2012 -karolin schnoor
Karolin Schnoor.

Pick Me Up 2012 - sister arrow
Sister Arrow.

Many Hands is a new online shop that sells the work of a variety of artists, including Stone and Spear, Sister Arrow, Thereza Rowe (find her work in my first book!) and many others.

Pick Me Up 2012 -Marcus Oakley Nieves Books
Marcus Oakley for Nieves Books.

Pick Me Up 2012 -Lubok

Beach London have carved out quite a name for themselves in a very short space of time – and this year they join Pick Me Up for the first time with a shop space in prime position before the official exit. They have chosen to showcase the publications of five indie publishers known for their illustrative output, so you can take a peek at new work from Nobrow Press, Nieves Books, Lubok and more. They are also selling copies of both my books, featuring some names you will recognise from the exhibition: Yoko Furusho, Karolin Schnoor, Thereza Rowe and Liv Bargman. Make sure you take a peek when you go through! And check in with my listings to make sure you don’t miss one of the many workshops and talks that are taking place over the next week. Pick Me Up London is one event that graphic artists, illustrators and lovers of either or both should not miss!

Categories ,2012, ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Andy Smith, ,Beach London, ,Bunny Blossom, ,Collectives, ,Columbia Road, ,Crispin Finn, ,Eduardo Paolozzi, ,Esther McManus, ,Gemma Correll, ,Jack Teagle, ,Karolin Schnoor, ,Kozyndan, ,Landfill Editions, ,Liv Bargman, ,Lubok, ,Many Hands, ,Margaux Carpentier, ,Museum of Objects and Origins, ,Nelly Duff, ,Nieves Books, ,Nobrow Press, ,People of Print, ,Peskimo, ,Pick Me Up London, ,Pitt Rivers, ,Print Club London, ,Private view, ,Puck Studio, ,review, ,Risograph, ,Ship of Fools, ,Sister Arrow, ,Soma Gallery, ,Stone and Spear, ,Thereza Rowe, ,Tom Frost, ,Trapped in Suburbia, ,Yoko Furusho

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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 | 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 | Christmas Gift Ideas 2011: Prints, Interiors and the very best Handmade Ideas

Lesley Barnes wrapping paper for Soma Gallery
Lesley Barnes wrapping paper for Soma Gallery.

Time for a further round up of Christmas goodies; all things print, interiors, hand made and wonderful. Don’t panic, there is still time to do a bit of Christmas shopping… for most online companies the last Christmas posting date is Monday 19th December.

Magpie Miller Knitted Bowl
First up, wonderful interior items from Magpie Miller: How about this clever ceramic bowl with knitted imprints? Perfect for that special someone who loves to craft.

Blue Magpie Miller Bird
They also stock plenty of ‘relived’ items including these wonderful decorative ceramic birds from North America.

Anissa Lee Black and White Hand Cut Paper Bow and Heart Wreath
I discovered the work of Anissa Lee on twitter, and was instantly drawn to her bold paper cutouts, particularly this amazing monochrome Christmas wreath. Very unique and eye-catching.

Cat o Neil print
Amelia’s Magazine contributor Cat O’Neil is selling some wonderful illustration prints on Etsy too. I particularly like this A3 print inspired by a story from Oliver Sacks whereby a blind lady with cerebral palsy learns the use of her hands, eventually becoming an artist who produces sculptures.

Cat o Neil print
Or how about this one: Disembodied Lady 4 illustrates the case of a lady who lost all sense of proprioception (a sense of self). A bargain at £14.99.

Tom Frost soma gallery
For the wood enthusiast in your life how about this fab piece from Tom Frost at Soma Gallery? The Dead Wrestler has been silk screened onto a chunky wooden base, making it a 3D artwork unlike any other.

Gemma Correl au revoir tote
There’s also this fab new Gemma Correll Au Revoir tote bag, featuring a cat on a bike, of course. And even better you can wrap up your Soma gifts with some bespoke Airmail Bird wrapping paper designed by none other than Lesley Barnes, ACOFI illustrator extraordinaire (see top of blog!)

Woolly Babs Christmas dog jumper
They’re completely daft but I am utterly in love with handmade Christmas jumpers from Woolly Babs, as sold at the Duckie Christmas Market by her son, shown here with a dog in a doggie jumper. I mean, what’s not to love? The nose on the reindeer even squeaks. Woolly Babs also sells festive jumpers to suit your kids… and you.

Landfill Mould Map 2
Landfill Mould Map 2 sister arrow
For art and design lovers Landfill Editions have just released their second edition of Mould Map, and it’s a technicoloured glory: just check out this beauty. Artists have been asked to imagine a distant future which is splattered across a 24 page A3 mega book with 7 feature prints. Some of my favourite illustrators are featured, including Sister Arrow and Rui Tenreiro.

Zosienka and rosie calendar cover
Zosienka and rosie calendar
I am a little bit in love with this Zosienka & Rosie Into the Woods Calendar for 2012. So pretty.

Petra Borner Thistlesnake
Illustrator Petra Borner produces the most fantastic decorative illustrations and now you have the chance to own a piece. Hop on over to her shop for a bit of the action: I particularly love this intriguingly coloured piece: Thistlesnake.

ACOFI Anthology illustration_bundle
Lastly, don’t forget to support Amelia’s Magazine and buy one of my books! Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration makes an ideal gift for the fashion/illustration lover in your life. For a real bargain buy both my books with four back issues for just £50.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Anissa Lee, ,Au Revoir tote bag, ,Bluebirds, ,Cat O’Neil, ,ceramic, ,Christmas Wreath, ,Disembodied Lady 4, ,Duckie Christmas Market, ,etsy, ,Gemma Correll, ,gifts, ,handmade, ,illustration, ,Interiors, ,Into the Woods Calendar, ,Landfill Editions, ,Lesley Barnes, ,Magpie Miller, ,Mould Map, ,Oliver Sacks, ,Petra Borner, ,prints, ,Rui Tenreiro, ,Sister Arrow, ,Soma Gallery, ,The Dead Wrestler, ,Thistlesnake, ,Tom Frost, ,Woolly Babs, ,Wrapping paper, ,Zosienka & Rosie

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Amelia’s Magazine | Christmas Gift Ideas 2011: Prints, Interiors and the very best Handmade Ideas

Lesley Barnes wrapping paper for Soma Gallery
Lesley Barnes wrapping paper for Soma Gallery.

Time for a further round up of Christmas goodies; all things print, interiors, hand made and wonderful. Don’t panic, there is still time to do a bit of Christmas shopping… for most online companies the last Christmas posting date is Monday 19th December.

Magpie Miller Knitted Bowl
First up, wonderful interior items from Magpie Miller: How about this clever ceramic bowl with knitted imprints? Perfect for that special someone who loves to craft.

Blue Magpie Miller Bird
They also stock plenty of ‘relived’ items including these wonderful decorative ceramic birds from North America.

Anissa Lee Black and White Hand Cut Paper Bow and Heart Wreath
I discovered the work of Anissa Lee on twitter, and was instantly drawn to her bold paper cutouts, particularly this amazing monochrome Christmas wreath. Very unique and eye-catching.

Cat o Neil print
Amelia’s Magazine contributor Cat O’Neil is selling some wonderful illustration prints on Etsy too. I particularly like this A3 print inspired by a story from Oliver Sacks whereby a blind lady with cerebral palsy learns the use of her hands, eventually becoming an artist who produces sculptures.

Cat o Neil print
Or how about this one: Disembodied Lady 4 illustrates the case of a lady who lost all sense of proprioception (a sense of self). A bargain at £14.99.

Tom Frost soma gallery
For the wood enthusiast in your life how about this fab piece from Tom Frost at Soma Gallery? The Dead Wrestler has been silk screened onto a chunky wooden base, making it a 3D artwork unlike any other.

Gemma Correl au revoir tote
There’s also this fab new Gemma Correll Au Revoir tote bag, featuring a cat on a bike, of course. And even better you can wrap up your Soma gifts with some bespoke Airmail Bird wrapping paper designed by none other than Lesley Barnes, ACOFI illustrator extraordinaire (see top of blog!)

Woolly Babs Christmas dog jumper
They’re completely daft but I am utterly in love with handmade Christmas jumpers from Woolly Babs, as sold at the Duckie Christmas Market by her son, shown here with a dog in a doggie jumper. I mean, what’s not to love? The nose on the reindeer even squeaks. Woolly Babs also sells festive jumpers to suit your kids… and you.

Landfill Mould Map 2
Landfill Mould Map 2 sister arrow
For art and design lovers Landfill Editions have just released their second edition of Mould Map, and it’s a technicoloured glory: just check out this beauty. Artists have been asked to imagine a distant future which is splattered across a 24 page A3 mega book with 7 feature prints. Some of my favourite illustrators are featured, including Sister Arrow and Rui Tenreiro.

Zosienka and rosie calendar cover
Zosienka and rosie calendar
I am a little bit in love with this Zosienka & Rosie Into the Woods Calendar for 2012. So pretty.

Petra Borner Thistlesnake
Illustrator Petra Borner produces the most fantastic decorative illustrations and now you have the chance to own a piece. Hop on over to her shop for a bit of the action: I particularly love this intriguingly coloured piece: Thistlesnake.

ACOFI Anthology illustration_bundle
Lastly, don’t forget to support Amelia’s Magazine and buy one of my books! Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration makes an ideal gift for the fashion/illustration lover in your life. For a real bargain buy both my books with four back issues for just £50.



Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Anissa Lee, ,Au Revoir tote bag, ,Bluebirds, ,Cat O’Neil, ,ceramic, ,Christmas Wreath, ,Disembodied Lady 4, ,Duckie Christmas Market, ,etsy, ,Gemma Correll, ,gifts, ,handmade, ,illustration, ,Interiors, ,Into the Woods Calendar, ,Landfill Editions, ,Lesley Barnes, ,Magpie Miller, ,Mould Map, ,Oliver Sacks, ,Petra Borner, ,prints, ,Rui Tenreiro, ,Sister Arrow, ,Soma Gallery, ,The Dead Wrestler, ,Thistlesnake, ,Tom Frost, ,Woolly Babs, ,Wrapping paper, ,Zosienka & Rosie

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